Monday, January 29, 2018

Give God Your Crazy

We all have our crazy! We deal with crazy jobs, crazy schedules and crazy situations. Often it is just a season in our lives, often the crazy life wasn’t a choice, and then there are some people just thrive on crazy.
What do you do about it? I found an excellent article written in Devotionals Daily by Rachel Hollis.
Jesus and Chaos
by Rachel Hollis, from her new book Girl, Wash Your Face

About Rachel Hollis: Rachel Hollis picks away at the lies that hold us back from reaching our God-ordained destinies in her new book Girl, Wash Your Face. Today, we’re digging into the craziness of our daily lives that threatens to overwhelm us.
The thing is, Jesus was the ultimate embracer of chaos. He preached and taught and shepherded a flock, and in the midst of his tumultuous ministry, he accepted everyone. Everyone was allowed to join in on the love. The widows, the prostitutes, the lepers, the orphans, people with great need, people who brought drama and stress into his life, and folks who weren’t always lovable or even kind. Furthermore, Jesus told us to love them too. He didn’t ask us kindly or say, “Hey guys, maybe you could…” No, He straight up called us to stand with the oppressed. Jesus looked at them and said, “Bring it on.”
Jesus took in the messy, broken pieces and said,
Behold, I am making all things new. — Revelation 21:5 WEBAmid our chaos, fear, and frustration there is the reminder,For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. — Ecclesiastes 3:1 WEB, emphasis added

You’re sitting in your house, in your neighborhood, in your city, and thinking, This is so hard. Nobody else understands. I can’t keep up. Blah, blah, blah. And God is up there like, Good and perfect daughter, I have been talking about this since Jump Street!

Being overwhelmed isn’t a new concept.Having a tough day or week? Do you snap at your husband or want to pull your hair out? You haven’t cornered the market on that. You are not the only one. The way you deal with your stress, though, is where your individuality comes through.
So maybe you’re reading this and you’re thinking, Okay, I’m in… I get it. Let’s embrace this chaotic life! But how in the heck do I do that?
Start by giving yourself some grace. We all mess up; we all make mistakes; we all forget pajama day or mix it up with picture day. I’ve screamed at my kids, my husband, and myself. None of it feels good, all of it devastates me, because the loss of control is so upsetting. But you know what? Tomorrow is another day and a chance to try again.

“Embracing chaos might be the journey we take to finding peace.”
Rachel Hollis
Take a breath. Find humor in the situation, and force yourself to look for it when it’s not immediately evident. A couple of years ago when we were getting certified to be foster parents, a social worker had to interview each of our kids. We sat in the living room with them while she asked innocuous questions over iced tea. She gave them harmless prompts… harmless until she spoke to a barely four-year-old Ford Hollis.

“What makes you happy?” she asked.

He said he liked to go swimming. “And what makes you sad?” she followed up. Without hesitation he told her, “When Daddy scares me in the night.” Both Dave and I froze like deer in headlights. What? What the heck was he talking about? And why was he choosing right now, with a social worker from Child Protective Services, to work through this?

“What do you mean when Daddy scares you in the night?”

“You know, when he comes to my room in the night and he’s mad at me.”

Y’all, when you do an interview like this, you’re already on edge; but when your kids say something crazy, you think that not only are you not going to get approved for foster care but also you might lose the children you do have.

More questions revealed that Ford was talking about the night before when he’d woken up in the middle of the night and tried to sneak in bed with us (which is against the rules). Daddy was grouchy when he had to walk him back to bed three times at two o’clock in the morning. It’s hilarious in hindsight, but at the time, before we’d gotten clarification, I thought I was going to hyperventilate. So push yourself to laugh at hard situations. In fact, the crazier the situation, the more humor you should be able to mine from it.

I also encourage myself, and you, to look for the fruits of the Spirit. For those of you who didn’t grow up singing them on a kids’ worship music tape before breakfast each morning like I did, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are incredible values, but I believe there’s always one that we need the most in a particular season. Choose the one that resonates with you at this moment, write it down on some Post-its, and stick them everywhere.

Don’t forget to take a break, take care of yourself, go on a date, or get your nails done. Take some time just for you to refill your cup, and you’ll be better able to embrace all the madness when you step back inside of it.

Find a tribe of people who are in a similar walk of life as you are. Once you find them, be honest about where you are and what you’re struggling with. Learn to ask for help, and when someone offers help, accept it! Accept any and all help you can get and consider it a gift from God! I cannot tell you how many women ask me how I “do it all,” and when I tell them that I’ve learned to ask for help, they look at me as if I’m an alien.

“Like, help with what?”

For example, when your mother-in-law says she’ll come for the afternoon and entertain the kids, say, “Yes, please.” If your husband offers to fold the laundry (even when you don’t think he’s good at folding towels), say, “Yes, please.” If your girlfriend says she wants to bring you dinner but you feel bad that you’re putting her out, say, “Yes, please.” Or if your elementary school offers afternoon classes that will occupy your rambunctious boys for an additional hour and a half, say, “Yes, please.”

What can give you more time, more space, more freedom to find your center? Whatever it is, say, “Yes, please” to that!

Remember that old joke about how a man keeps praying for God to save him from drowning? Someone comes by in a boat and asks him if he needs a ride, and he’s like, “Nah, God will save me.” When it happens two more times, he says the same thing both times. Spoiler alert: The man ends up drowning, and when he gets to Heaven, he’s like, “God, what the heck? I asked You to save me.” And God looks at him and says, “Dude, I sent you three different life rafts, and you ignored each one.”

Girlfriend, God is sending you all kinds of life rafts. Some are big and obvious, and some are as simple as the bagger at the store offering to load your groceries into your car. Get in the freaking boat!

Remember Philippians 1:6:

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.

Oh man, I just love that scripture. I believe it’s true, and I’ve watched it unfold in my life again and again. You will get through this season. This too shall pass. Don’t set the rest of your life up on a downhill slope because of one hard season.

It also might be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of chaos you’re currently crying about. What I mean is, the things you think are so difficult could be someone else’s dream come true. I don’t say that to make you feel bad, or to negate your difficult experience; but perspective may help you see that your chaos is actually just a gigantic blessing. Adjusting your view can work wonders.

Lastly, remember the butterfly effect? Well, let’s consider an actual butterfly, or more specifically, a caterpillar. Caterpillars are awesome. They have all those legs and they’re really cool, and there’s an entire children’s book series about how pretty they are. But if the caterpillar just chose to stay a caterpillar, if she decided that the chaos of metamorphosis would be too much for her to handle, she would never know what she could become.
Do you think that changing her entire being isn’t painful? Do you think it’s not scary and hard and overwhelming? Of course it is, but if she didn’t fight against the fear, if she didn’t allow the change to turn her into her true self, we would never know how beautiful she is. She would never know that she was meant to fly.

Devotionals Daily, Jan 27, 2018

And of course, A plug for my book – soon to be released “Christians Have Crisis?”.  It will have a lot of answers for people in crisis and crisis prevention.

Have a blessed week!
Judy Herrig

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Goal Setting

Well folks, 
     It is time to write some goals. I am not good with resolutions. I am not even that good with goal setting. Here's inspirational scripture to share!

1 Chronicles 4:10. Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

2 Chronicles 15:7. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your 
                                 plans succeed.

Be specific: 

     What and Why?
     I want to blog because I want to help others by sharing what we can do to help ourselves and others.

What can I do for success with the goals I set?
     Goals need to be realistic.
     Achievable goals must be something you can live with. I think blogging one time per week can be an obtainable goal. And I am remarkably disciplined with a calendar. So my blog writing should be written in my calendar. My husband has a varied schedule, but he will always work on Mondays. So my goal will be to make an appointment with my computer every Monday morning.
     Some people write their goals on paper and hang them on their wall or bathroom mirror to remind them daily.

     You may need to have an accountability partner.
     Often a person works better with someone or has someone to be accountable to. I have been working on eating more plant based foods and less processed foods. The holidays are not my friend! My accountability partner is a person who has gone completely plant based. I am amazed at how her life has turned around for her just by changing her diet! She is good about her approach (good thing because I can get bucky at times) and I respect her.
  RESULT:  I have on my calendar to write a weekly Monday post. 


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Do you have a troubled teen?

Do you have a teen that thinks they shouldn’t have to put up with rules?  They think they shouldn’t have to deal with school, hang with older friends that are sexually active, offer drugs and alcohol.  Have they been caught shoplifting, steal money from you or maybe even steal your car?  Are they carrying weapons?  Do your teens have melt-downs when you attempt to enforce a rule?  Do they break things?  Are they physically and verbally threatening you?  Do they hurt themselves or others?
What do you do about it?  Do you dole out money?  Do you hand them the keys just to shut them up?  Do you make threats and not follow through with them? 
A parent should not worry about making their child mad.  Rules are a part of adulthood.  It is not easy to parent!  Teaching children that they don’t have to follow rules is going to create a young adult in jail.  Your child will not respect authority (police/laws, professors, bosses, etc.) if you don’t teach them respect at an early age.
When my children made poor choices, I felt like a failure of a parent.  My mind worked overtime to try to protect them from making mistakes that would affect them the rest of their lives.  We are often free to make choices but powerless to choose our consequences.  Proverbs 14:12  
If you are living with a troubled teen, arm yourself with this book:  Not My Child by Frank Lawlis.  It is a progressive and proactive approach for healing addicted teens and their families.  It will help children deal with depression, obsessive cravings, and damaged relationships.
Make sure you have a support system.  My saving grace was my bible study leader.  He was a great advisor and prayer warrior.

With Blessings to You and Yours,
Judy Herrig

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Self Will vs God's Will

I am such a control freak… I find it difficult to concentrate on my devotionals and bible study when I feel so out of control.  I obsess on the difficulties and disappointments rather than glorifying God for my blessings. 

In Galatians 5:1, Paul teaches that Christ died to free us of our sins, not to do whatever we want to do. Those who tend to indulge themselves fall into sin. Paul writes that we are to live unselfishly and to not allow things that keep us from being saved or growing in Christ.   
In Romans 12:2, Paul warns Christians to be careful of worldly customs because they are usually selfish and corrupt.  We must stand strong against worldly ways.  Only the Holy Spirit can truly renew and transform our minds.  In Romans 8:5 Paul describes people as being divided into two categories; those who are controlled by sin and those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 6:33, we are reminded to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else”.  All else!
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul warns that our joy, prayers and thankfulness should not fluctuate with our circumstances. When we do God’s will, it is easier to feel more joy and gratitude.

So, with this, I am going to concentrate more on my attitude toward God and His kingdom rather than my worldly expectations.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Power Struggles With God

I have been absent from writing due to some struggles going on in my life.  The truth of the matter is that I am having power struggles with God.  Sometimes it is very hard for me to remember that I am powerless and I want to control every area of my life.  I forget that things happen in His time, not mine.

This morning, I decided I am going to let go, and let God.  I am going to obey God by doing His work.  So I am intently reading His word and doing what He has asked me to do.  So, please forgive me as I confess my anxieties with you so I can infectiously motivate others.
In Psalm 127:2, I am reminded to work while trusting God, and also rest while trusting Him. 
John 14:27, John wants us to understand that the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives offers us a lasting peace. That we have no need to fear the present or the future.  Jesus says all I have to do is accept it from Him.

Well, I know all that…  so…. what is my problem???  
I want resolution yesterday!

It is easy to get impatient and feel hopelessness when my resolve is moving too slowly.  Especially when we are close to the situation, it is difficult to see the progress.  Joshua teaches us that when we look back, we will see God’s hand in it.   Joshua 11:18
And in 1 Samuel 13:11-12, it is recognized how difficult it is to trust God when you feel your resources slipping away.  Saul though his time was running out and he became impatient with God’s timing, so he substituted a ritual for his faith.

When we are faced with difficulties, we should never allow impatience allowing us excuses to ignore or disobey God.  We know God has a plan for us, and often uses delays to test our obedience and impatience.  We should never justify our mistakes or sins because of “special circumstances” because God knows our true motives.  1 Samuel 13:13
In Exodus 2:23-25, God promised to bring the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt.  The people waited a long time for that promise, but He knew the perfect time to rescue them.  God rescues us in His timing, not ours. 

Jesus trusted God’s timing for His life in ministry according to Luke 3:23.  Like Jesus, we need to be patient to receive direction.  We need to trust God’s timing.
I used to sing this song in my gospel bluegrass band: (rest in peace Karen!)
In His time, in His time.  
He makes all things beautiful in His time. 
Lord, show me every day, as You’re teaching me Your way,
that You’ll do just what You say, in Your time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Defeat Temptation

Defeat Temptation

As a human, defeating temptation is difficult.  We face temptation every day.   It is easier to blame others and to make excuses for our actions.  But a Christian should accept responsibility for their actions, confess them and ask God for forgiveness.

In James 1:12-15, we are reminded that when we endure trials we are blessed because when we pass the test, we receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. 

To help resist temptation, you can ask a trusted person to be your accountability partner.  It has to be a person you can be forthcoming with.   In return, that person should reciprocate with non-judgmental honesty and grace.  This person should be someone you are comfortable to pray with, to be a prayer warrior for you. 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16.