Tag Archives: devotional

Another Lesson. Going Deeper

It’s like the Lord to keep revealing Himself to me. SpS-04

Releasing Soul Scents: Awaken teaches me more about Him and myself.

He is as committed as ever to keep my mind and heart focused on His will and way instead of my own. He continues to remind me that it isn’t about perfectionism or performance, but about message and impact.

This weekend is a prime example.

I was thrilled to give away almost 1,000 book before Christmas. However, then I was embarrassed to find several little things that needed fixing. You know–a missed or misspelled word–that type of thing. Then a friend who is a professional editor/proofreader offered to give the book another round of line edits. I was thrilled. We worked tirelessly, desiring excellence. My formatter uploaded the newly proofed document to create the paperback book, then we decided to update Kindle as well.

We were so happy!

It looked perfect on the previewer. I clicked “publish” with confidence.

On New Year’s Eve I clicked on the link on Amazon to share a preview with a friend. What Amazon published was not what I’d seen on the previewer. Some of our meticulous formatting didn’t make it in the new version. Frustrated, I cancelled my free days and contacted support.

Only they weren’t available due to the holidays.

PMApprov1-01it was hard to combat my ego, but I did. After a day of prayer I rescheduled the free day I’d originally planned and added a second.

This book isn’t about proving anything to the publishing world. The content is intact in the updated version, and this book has a message HE asked me to share. The only thing holding me back from making it available for people to begin on Monday was my pride.

And so today I choose joy. I let go of perfectionism and performance-driven behavior once again. I proclaim from the rooftop (or at least this computer screen!) that God is an loving Father and wants to draw His children close. I’m not going to waste time worrying about some paragraphing.

What about you? Is there a passion in your life you long to share? Does fear of not doing it perfectly hold you back?

Of course we want to share our gifts with excellence, but when ego gets in the way of sharing the glory and goodness of God, the cost is too high.

May He give us both courage to act when it is is time!

The electronic version of Soul Scents: Awaken is free today and tomorrow. The paperback is available for purchase. I hope you’ll join me on the 2016 on the Soul Scents devotional journey.

If you do, I invite you to also check out the Soul Scents Facebook page. Beginning Monday I’ll post little thought starters. I hope you’ll comment/think/prayer/and discuss with me in community.

 

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Spirit Seeker Sunday~Filling the Empty Place

Spirit 12 stephen

photo by Stephen Moldenhauer

“Somewhere behind all of the numbers, a less measurable force is at work within me. It’s emptiness or lack.” Lysa TerKeurst

I KNOW I have eaten out of exactly what Lysa said in the above quote. She can trace the beginning of this to the day her dad left. I’m not sure I can find such a specific moment when I starting using food to fill emptiness, but I know I do. I’d love to say, “did” but the journey out of old habits can be slow. I’m walking forward, but I haven’t conquered completely.

For Lysa, forgiveness was an important aspect of find the strength to turn from food instead of trying to eat her way out of emptiness. About ten years ago I went through an intense cleansing time of forgiveness. I remember feeling like I’d lost weight because I felt so light inside.

But over the last ten years I put on physical weight, despite the beautiful change inside of me. I KNOW I was different after I forgave (and forgiveness is on-going, not something that only happened back then), but somehow I had a disconnect between my body and the rest of me.

Early in my weight loss journey, when I’d lost about 20 pounds, I was convicted by my daughter’s observation. Sarah said she’d watched me take care of my heart and spirit over the years, but never my body.

Ouch! In her whole life she’d never seen me focus care on the temple where God dwells. Not only did I neglect my body, I’d never given Him permission to deal with the outer me. I just keep sitting, writing, praying, studying, eating, and . . . gaining.

Then Jerry almost died. We went through bankruptcy. Our home was put on the auction block (then rescued, but that’s another story). All four of the kids had surgery or broken bones or both. All four of the kids were diagnosed with learning issues that required intense therapy. Jerry went through depression before and after the heart issue that almost took his life. And I cried out to God. I only got through all of that because of God.

But I also ate my worries, my emptiness, my fears. I ate for energy. I was too tired to care about my body.

While everyone I loved most went through crises, I stayed strong, pushed through, and took care of them. They started coming out of their stuff, and then I had two car accidents. I felt like Job. I was finally personally attacked, and I was done.

The Lord allowed things to get bad enough last summer that I spent much of my days in bed. It got bad enough that I finally had to change. I’ve seen a chiropractor, a counselor, a trauma doctor, and made changes with my health. Some days it’s still a fight to look toward what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

I’m finding that how I treat my body has a lot to do with my emotions. If I try to eat away the emptiness, I am left not only empty, but more discouraged than ever. If I go for a walk and stomp around and eventually surrender to God’s will as I move beneath a blue sky (or even a snowy one), my emotions ease, and I am better able to “park my mind and heart on thoughts that refresh instead of one that depress me, I am filled.” (thanks for the perfect words, Lysa.)

Father,
Help us to taste and see that You are good today. To fill up on YOU instead of trying to eat away our emptiness. Help us to be defined by YOU, nothing else. And help us to receive and experience your love.

Food Doesn’t Fill the Empty Place