Tag Archives: Believe

All these details

One morning, as I was spending time in the Bible, I came across the following passage…

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 NLT

I struck fire. After I read this, I couldn’t continue reading on through the next chapter. This passage brought to light an unsettledness in my heart I didn’t realize was there before. It showed me that I had been striving too much lately.

I had been trying to do everything perfectly. I’ve been trying to navigate my friendships perfectly. I’ve been trying to be perfect at work. I’ve been trying to be perfect at making meals for my family. I’ve been trying to manage my time perfectly. I’ve even been trying to control my thoughts and emotions perfectly.

When I read this passage, I felt like the Lord was saying to me, Kristen, you are worried and upset over too many details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.

I get distracted by the “big dinner” I am preparing for the Lord. I get so hyper focused on doing my absolute perfect-best that I end up getting stressed and frazzled. I make great efforts to achieve great things.

But then the Lord whispers, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about.”

 

Time spent with the Lord is all that really matters. It is the only thing worth being concerned about. When we spend time with the Lord we learn how to put our hope in him and not in our abilities. When we spend time with the Lord we learn how to be patient and wait for his best. It is there, at his feet, that we learn humility and what it really looks like to offer mercy and gentleness to our enemies. In him we find strength in light of our weakness.

Our hearts are not at peace when we are doing things for him – our hearts are at peace when we are abiding with him.

How can we point others to Jesus if we don’t know who he is or where he’s found? How can we serve one another in love if we haven’t learned what love is from him? How can we offer mercy when we’ve never experienced his mercy? How can we ask people to repent when we’ve not repented? Maybe an ability to serve others and point them to Jesus will result from our time spent abiding. But in the end, our relationship with Jesus is all that is worth being concerned about. Our service to the Lord shouldn’t be our focus. We’re not hired salesmen trying to earn a big commission. We’re children of God. We’re heirs with Christ. We’re adopted into his family.

Our service to the Lord should be a result of the relationship we have with him, and come from a deeply rooted desire to invite others to experience what we have. God loves the people in our lives so much and wishes that as many as possible would come to know him in this way.

And he wishes that we would know him in this way.

So where do we go from here? We go to the Bible. We pray. We put down the details and spend some time a Jesus’s feet.

Father, I pray that you will help us to stop worrying about the details. Please put our eyes back on you. So much of what we do is born out of the need to produce – the need to be good at something or to be somebody of worth. But we find our worth in you. And we look to you to fill our hearts, and we ask that you would fill us to overflow so that other’s may be encouraged to look to you as well. You are the goal.  Should all else be taken away but you remain, still my soul would be at peace. May your kingdom come and your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

Relax a little

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

This morning I woke up tired of the rat-race. I’ve been feeling tired of always thinking, always boring forward, always concerned with the next thing. Work, events, task lists, get it all done quick quick quick…

I woke up and made my way to the living room with my coffee and sat in the dark, watching the stars – waiting for the sun to rise. All the while the words on my heart were, cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 NLT).

The Lord invites us to a slower pace and to a life that is managed and directed by him. I believe that he’s not just to be our first priority, but our source.

He’s the one that needs to be our source of answers, direction, clarity, stability, energy, and willpower. He’s the one that needs to be our source of love, hope, and peace.

Today I feel lead to slow down and breathe. I feel the invitation to live each moment and be at peace with it. I feel like Jesus is whispering to my heart to be present with him and to let him go with me through whatever lies ahead.

Jesus gives us the option to lay it all at his feet and let him take the lead. I think he even prefers it when we slow down and hop in the back seat, surrendering to his leading and instruction. Doing it all on our own is exhausting. What God offers us is full of hope and life.

Read this verse again, slowly. I hope it’ll give you something to hold onto today.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Featured photo by Andrea Reiman on Unsplash

Guest Post: I would have lost heart…

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

My precious husband and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage this month. I honestly didn’t think we’d make it to 40 years – its been a very frightening year but we’ve also experienced the grace, mercy, and closeness of our Lord in so many ways.

In January, my husband fell ill and was experiencing horrible physical symptoms: He lost 40 pounds in just a matter of weeks, had severe jaw, neck and shoulder pain, a constant fever that ranged from 99 to 103 degrees, drenching night sweats, sore eye sockets, periods of uncontrollable shaking, bruising on his palms and legs, weakness, exhaustion and difficulty breathing. As he would rock back and forth in pain sitting on the edge of the bed I would sit next to him and gently run my hand over his back and pray, finding it hard to breathe myself because I was so terrified. The only whisper of a prayer that I could get out was, “I trust You, I trust You.” It took weeks of blood draws, scans, x-rays and biopsies to finally come up with a diagnosis. He had Large B cell Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

During this time we would encourage each other the best way we knew how, reminding each other of the goodness and trustworthiness of the Lord. Through our mustard seed-like faith, He grabbed hold of our hands and walked us down a path of amazing blessings. I started making a list of the surprise gifts from the Lord that grew to a couple of pages which gave us an expectancy of how He would “show up” each day. Out of the many different kinds of this type of cancer he was diagnosed with the one that is not only treatable but curable and had very little to no side effects from chemotherapy. In addition to having enough money stashed away to get us through the eight months he was out of work, people randomly handed us money – we even found a $100 bill lying in our back yard partially covered with leaves. The other financial miracles left us awe struck. We had the awesome love, support and help from our daughters and their husbands, many prayers, the tireless help from my sister-in-law who has uncanny medical knowledge and came to every doctor appointment with us. God used the many kind words, gifts and gestures from so many people to remind us He was moving, working, and fighting our battles.

After making it to full remission in May and being back to work just a few short weeks he had a major heart attack while on the job. He drives semi and thankfully was at his first stop when it happened. He was airlifted to St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester where, through an angiogram, it was discovered that the widow maker artery was totally blocked and two stents were put in. If it wasn’t for the quick action of an employee calling 911 and the first responders that were readily available, he wouldn’t be here today. God was still showing us His faithfulness.

The Lord chose to give divine wisdom and insight to the medical professionals in both cases to save his life. For those of you who are going though a similar situation, let me encourage you not to lose hope and to trust fully in the Lord. We don’t know what the coming year will hold, but we have come to understand on a deeper level just how good God is. He is faithful, He cares, He knows, and He’s concerned about every little detail of our lives. My husband’s latest scan still shows no cancer and the oncologist doesn’t expect it to return. He’s back to work and is continually gaining back much of his strength. Praise!


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Kathy lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her Super Hero husband, Joel. She has two adult daughters and two over-the-top smart grand children. She divides her time between painting, gardening, and the joy of taking care of her home and family.