Potluck Spirituality

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Pretty much everyone I know, from young tots to seasoned grown-ups, loves a good old-fashioned Potluck Meal.  Who can resist a table lined with every type of dish imaginable, just waiting to be sampled by its hungry participants?  Swedish Meatballs, Shepherd’s Pie, Spicy Chili, Sweet Potato Casserole, Macaroni Salad, Lasagna, Veggie Trays with Dip and Sliced Ham!  Not to mention the various renditions of all these favourites and new dishes never before tried, soon to be attempted.

And the desserts are to die for!  Cheesecake of every variety.  Brownies and Blondies, Macaroons and Lemon Squares.  Cakes and Pies and Loafs and Muffins.  Shortbread and Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Balls and Fudge.  We must not forget the infamous Butter Tarts and the always loved staple, Date Squares.  Trifle and Torte, Apple Crisp and Bread Pudding.  The sweet options are endless!

As plates are loaded with a “little of this and a little of that” each participant finds a place to sit and settle in for a leisurely stretch of fellowship.  Gales of laughter are heard and complements to the chefs, while recipes are being swapped.  Enjoyable chatter and deep discussions break out around tables, while children sneak a few extra sweets and dash off to their hiding places with their “buds.”  Sometimes, groups break out in song or a game is initiated to add a little pizazz.  Then the sleeves get rolled up for clean-up duty and bakeware is sorted out to ensure its safe return to its owners.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience.  One which fosters a sense of belonging, comradery, friendship and generosity.  Until hours later when indigestion sets in and relief is so desperately sought after.

Recently, I came across a statement that said, “All religions lead to the same god.”  Many believe this to be true.  This idea is prevalent in our Western Culture, where tolerance is of high value and personal beliefs trump any absolutes.  Couple this with the world being so small due to the internet, that information regarding religious ideologies are literally at our fingertips and just a few taps away from entering our consciousness.

Essentially, we are presented with a Spiritual Potluck of indulgences, one in which we can sample “a little of this and a little of that” until we find a religious experience that tastes good.  Some will adhere to one religion only, consuming only the sweet items on the menu.  Others will mix and match their beliefs, stuffing themselves to overflowing, based on their spiritual cravings.  Still others, will choose to graze on familiar comforts that lack true nutrition.  Some simply choose to abstain from consumption altogether.  All of this in an effort to fill the God-shaped void they innately possess deep in their bellies.

By seeking out a group who share the same tastes in religiousity, a sense of belonging, comradery, friendship and generosity is deeply developed, breeding appetites only temporarily satisfied.  Eventually the empty spiritual calories, consumed by the participants of this type of Spiritual Potluck, will leave them with spiritual indigestion only relieved by Jesus Christ, Himself.

In fact, Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 that He is, “the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father (God) except” through Him.  His work on the cross, His death and resurrection are what gives us life!  He is the very “bread of life” and “whoever comes to (Him) will never go hungry, and whoever believes in (Him) will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) Jesus, alone, satisfies all our deepest hungers and he calms all our spiritual indigestion once and for all!

Colossians 2:8 admonishes us not to, “let anyone capture (us) with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  We need to stay the course with Jesus, feasting on His very being, eating up His every word for there we will find true health and vitality on our path to meet the one true God, our Heavenly Father.

The Power of Prayer

By: Sarah Walker

I have often shied away from prayer. I felt that my prayers were weak, short and sloppy. Even though I had complete faith that God could answer all my prayers, I sometimes doubted that he would answer mine. I am not a great speaker or leader, and I felt inexperienced in how I should be praying. Compared to others, I didn’t feel “Christian” enough.

My daughter and I were in the middle of baking chocolate chip cookies one afternoon when the phone rang. One of my best friends was calling because her infant daughter, River, had a fever of 106 degrees, and Mom was looking for some support, advice and prayer.

As I hung up the phone I turned to my three-year-old girl and said, “That was River’s Mommy – Baby River is very, very sick!

My toddler’s face twisted in concerned as she gasped and cried out, “OH NO!

I asked, “Should Mommy pray for her or would you like to?

Me pray,” she cried, (speech impediment added for emphasis and cuteness): “Weer Jesus, Sank you for a very fun day. Sank you for very fun blessings. Make Baby River better. Amen.

Less then 20 minutes had passed and my friend was calling back with an update. As I picked up the phone I said, “Kaylee prayed for River as soon as I got off the phone with you!

My friend said, “Well, it worked, because her fever just went from 106 degrees down to 98 degrees without any meds!

It is amazing that my three-year-old daughter said a basic prayer and instantly her voice was heard, her prayer answered! Her speech is not eloquent, her grammar is far from perfect, and she does not have any clue about the complexities or doctrines of the Christian faith, BUT, she knows that there is a Jesus, and that we pray to Him and He makes us better. She believes that fact, no questions asked!

It’s no wonder Jesus calls us to be like little children.

“In him and through him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)

She came to God with freedom, freedom from being self-conscious about her words, her age, or what others may think of her. She also came to God with confidence; her prayer was simple and faith-filled. As I looked at my free and confident little lady, I was so proud of her, and a little disappointed in myself! There are still times when I am afraid about what God and others may think of my prayers – are they good enough?

Then I remember 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Now I come before God with new confidence! Confidence in the promise that God’s power is making my weak prayers PERFECT! Just like my daughter’s! I am resting in the freedom that I don’t have to be perfect in prayer for God to hear and answer me!

The True Heart of the Father is Exposed

Written by: Christianne Williams

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16

Very simple verses that anyone who ever went to Sunday school has heard.  If you grew up in church then these were likely the some of the first ones you even put to memory.  In fact, they may have been rehearsed so many times that the message they convey may have been lost.  The meaning in these simple truths is very deep.   The map for peace and joy are found here, the true heart of the Father is exposed here.  The words are simple, the requirements are simple, and yet very difficult sometimes.

God loves us!  He created us, and since He knows the end from the beginning, He knew how things would go in the garden.  While it must’ve broken His heart that even in the early days of life there was a lack of trust in what He had spoken, He showed them the plan of restoration.  That’s love.  To come up with a way that people, who knew they were disobeying Him, could not only be reconciled but restored shows a love that’s so great —it’s amazing!  Just think about the depth of that love, there is a way for anyone who believes in Him to make their way to the cross for restoration, a new life, and a new perspective.

When we come to Him and put our trust in Him He lavishes that love upon us. He wants us to have a revelation of how much we are loved so we can show that love to others.  Freely we have received, freely we give.  It cost Jesus His life, but was given to us with only the cost of loving Him and following His leading.  I’ve often felt that the only way I can truly walk in the calling He’s placed on me is if I perform well enough, if I have it all figured out, if I don’t ‘mess up’.  The problem with this way of thinking is that I can never be good enough.

My job is to focus on what He’s already done, to love Him back, and then to be amazed at how he shows me how to live in a way that pleases Him.  This life is a journey, none of us have full revelation of everything that the kingdom of God is, we just have to wake up each morning ready for a new adventure.  Trust in Him with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  If it doesn’t make sense to you – that’s ok, but trust His heart for you.  Trust in the truth that if you give up your understanding and say, ‘I don’t understand but I believe you’ve promised good things for my life’; He will not let you down.

I’ve lived through some experiences that make absolutely no sense and while I was focusing only on what I could see with my physical eyes.  God faithfully brought along people who would speak into my life and bring encouragement without ever knowing my situation.  Those encounters spoke to my spirit about how concerned He is for me, that He wants me to know His nearness and compassion.  My prayer recently changed to “Lord let me be the encouragement to someone who needs to know they’re loved by You and You’ve got this for them”.

He promises strength, and He will deliver.  He promises direction, and He will deliver.  He promises eternal life, and He will deliver.  Whatever promise He gives is sure to be fulfilled.  Trust in His heart and not in your own ways and He will not disappoint.

Shaking Foundations

Written by: Cindy Morrone

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

There were reports all over social media.  Was that an earthquake? My windows and house were shaking! We saw a bright light; like a fireball.  There was something falling from the sky!

Just last week a meteor fell from the sky very close to our area.  A 2.0 earthquake was registered.  On the Richter magnitude scale this is considered minor but it stirred up enough people that it was noticed.

There was no warning that time.

Our homes’ foundations can be shaking right underneath us and oftentimes we don’t notice the warnings until its too late.

And in the business of life, we can easily put aside the shaking, bright lights and fireballs until our skies fall.

It’s been a really different season for our family and we found ourselves in our Pastor’s office looking for guidance.  This was so unlike us.  We were so accustomed to ministry involvement and leadership positions.  But it seemed like, if we continued to serve in this capacity, we’d be doing so only like a deflated balloon.  Spent in only our own strength.

With less outside focus, we started to notice cracks in our foundation. We started to feel the shaking and see the bright lights.

We were spending less time as a family, the time we did spend together was mostly in discipline and correction; not in sharing and laughing.  Quick and rote prayers were said instead of ones from elicited concerns. Hello and good-bye kisses were replaced with waves.  It became more about doing and rushing here and there instead of enjoying the journey.

It is time for us to hone home.  And God knew this.  He saw the cracks and has directed us away from faults before our foundation hit a 9.0.

So, in this season, you’ll find us at home continuing to build our family on the Rock, until God directs us otherwise.

Expectations …Part Two

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

Recently I was speaking with a friend on the topic of healing. We had not seen each other in a while and she asked me if I had lost weight and I said I had. I told her it’s because of the “sick days” that I get so often,  BUT that I believed I was being healed from them.  I went on to say that I didn’t know how scriptural that was…about healing being a gradual thing, but I had heard it preached on during the summer.

She said something to me that has stuck with me ever since and I will try and paraphrase it somewhat. She said “if you are in the hospital, you spend time in the recovery room before you go home. Surgery is not an instant fix…you have to recover.  The instant healings in the Bible were miracles.”  I can’t tell you how encouraging that was to think about.  Another thing that I thought of was that after any major surgery, you typically have to take it very easy for a several weeks. You don’t just go home and continue on as normal.

This past Sunday when the Pastor called people forward for healing, he was specific about it being those who were chronically ill; those with ongoing sickness.  I didn’t go forward. I wanted to, but sometimes I just get weary of asking for prayer for the same thing over and over again. I am sure some of you can relate. Yet doesn’t the Bible tell us in Colossians 4:2 to keep praying?  The other reason, I explained to my husband afterwards was that I was choosing to believe that I am already being healed.

Anyway, not long after, the Pastor’s wife came to my seat and asked me if I would go forward with her for prayer.  She wanted to pray for me, so of course I went up to the front of the church with her. She is well aware of the struggle I’ve had for so long. And she knows the truth God planted in my heart a while back regarding healing.

She prayed this verse…That He who began a good work in me, would be faithful to complete it. (Phil 1:6) It’s a verse that most of us know by heart, but I never really thought about it applying to healing, and yet it is so true. God is faithful. He is true to His word. He doesn’t start something and then not finish it.

Ps 138: 8

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy oh Lord endures forever. You do not forsake the works of your hands.

There is a Jesus Culture song that we sing in our “Spanglish” church that I love. We sing it in Spanish, but it translates to “Miracles.”  Maybe you have heard it before. Here are a few lines..

The one who made the blind to see

Is moving here in front of me

The One who made the deaf to hear

Is silencing my every fear.

I believe in you

I believe in you

You’re the God of miracles

The one who does impossible

Is reaching out to make me whole

The one who put death in its place

His life is flowing throw my veins.

The God who is and is to come

The power of the risen one

The God who brings the dead to life

You’re the God of miracles

So that is where I am right now. This situation with my health may seem hopeless when I look at it with my “human” eyes.  Yet, I am choosing to believe that I am being made whole. It may not be this week or even this month. But perhaps a year from now, I will be able to look back and say “Look what the Lord has done! “

How about you? Do you believe in the God of miracles? Do you believe in the God who was and is to come?  Can I encourage you, dear sisters, that whatever season you are in, to put your trust in Him? Perhaps you are not believing for physical healing, but something else. Remember He is faithful and always keeps His promises.

In Him There Is No Darkness At All

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Have you ever, in the heat of the moment, had to choose between something right or something you knew was wrong, and you chose to do the wrong thing?

I am ashamed to admit it, but I have chosen wrong on many occasions. I’ll bet, if you’re being honest, you’ve chosen similarly a time or two as well.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

Recently, I started studying the book of 1 John through Wendy Blight’s new book “I Am Loved: Walking In The Fullness of God’s Love”. Wendy has captured my heart through her previous studies and I am not at all disappointed with this newest addition to her writings! As I was studying the word yesterday, God used those moments with Him to begin to heal some of the shame I have felt from choosing poorly in the past.

We cannot escape our sinful nature. Our flesh is drawn to sinful behaviour. However, with the Lord as our Saviour, our heart is drawn to Him (the light) and so this inward battle ensues. Our flesh is pulling us one way and our heart the other.

I began searching to find ways in which to escape this battle and how to only pursue the light. I want to make ONLY good choices! My hopes were quickly dashed as scriptures began flooding my mind:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” —Romans 3:23
So, how do we escape the hopelessness that comes when we realize we simply cannot escape the temptation to choose wrong?

We pursue the light.

We fight with a holy passion to not only know and experience Jesus, but also transform our lives to mirror His. We become like Him. We are intentional about reading the word, praying, fasting and worshipping. And, knowing that we will never arrive to a time or place where we are only presented with the right choice and that our flesh will always be drawn to sinful tendencies, we are always on our toes preparing and anticipating the inevitable. But also fully understanding that the more we become like Him….the more we are going to choose the right thing. Because;

“God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.”

Will He Find faith?

Written by: Conny Varga

“And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matt. 13:58) This Bible verse is written in the context of Jesus visiting His hometown Nazareth. It got me thinking – how many times does God NOT do a miracle in my life because of MY lack of faith? How often do I not even pray about things because they just seem so outrageous and impossible? I find myself living in this self-constructed nice little box, tidy and predictable, expecting God to act within it, according to my laid-out plan as if He is my genie. I forget that He is so much bigger, that He is not bound to the same limitations as I am. He can do whatever He wants, in whichever way He wants – I just have to be ready to let go of my expectations and believe that He can do the impossible.

God is a God of miracles. He never changes, so if He did miracles in Bible times, He does miracles now. The only limiting factor I can find in all of the Bible is a person’s lack of faith. Is this why we don’t see Him act often in our Western world? Are we limiting God’s work in our lives? He often tends to be an afterthought, doesn’t He? For example, when I’m sick, I go to the doctor. When my car is acting up, I take it in to be fixed. When I’m hungry, I go to the store or drive-through. When I’m lonely, I reach for friends, food, TV, or whatever gives me the quick-fix. Maybe we have lost our desperate dependence on Him, and so we have un-learned how to trust Him and expect from Him in faith to meet our needs.

Friends of ours grew up and lived in Toronto, successful in business, well-to-do with all the luxury and comforts a person could want. Then God called them to become missionaries in Zambia, in one of the poorest, dirtiest, AIDS-impacted slums. Talk about night-and-day difference! But you know what? They now see miracles happen, they literally feel God working in their community, and they love the sweet fellowship they have with their Father as they bring their every need to Him. I must say, I envy them in that respect.

In Luke 18, Jesus tells the story of a widow who goes to an unjust judge for help. Due to her persistence, the judge, though initially unwilling, does eventually help and avenge her. Then Jesus goes on to say that God is not a God who needs to be begged to help His children “who cry out to Him day and night”. He will answer their prayers quickly! But then He asks a very haunting question:

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Will He? What will it take for us to have faith in God again? For one, we cannot expect God to jump through hoops for us and fulfill our every wish but not lift a finger when He asks us to do things for Him. We cannot continue to live in our comfortable, safe little bubbles, staying within our box and making sure that we don’t do anything crazy or risky for God. WE MUST STEP OUT! “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” (Francis Chan)

Secondly, we have to stop living as if God doesn’t exist. We can say all we want that we have faith in God, but if our lives are marked by worry, self-indulgence, temporal priorities, or strife, clearly something is wrong. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and let’s be willing to let go of our own plan for our life, step out to join God in His kingdom work with reckless abandon, and then fully and desperately cling to Him in faith. May He find faith when He returns!

I Surrender All

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Last night I watched the most riveting testimony online from Bethel Church in Redding California.  It struck me profoundly, deep within my heart, and caused me to reflect greatly into the night.

The testimony was given by a beautiful dark-haired woman who looked to be in her mid-thirties.  She was dressed fashionably in a crisp summer outfit, complete with accessories and perfectly coiffed.  From her very appearance, one would think her to have a life well put together, complete with a husband, a couple of kids and a mini-van.  Someone free of life’s troubles and strife.

During the opening musical montage, she walked across the outdoor pavilion to her seat in the garden with a beaming smile from ear to ear, as if she and an unseen partner were exchanging an enjoyable private conversation.  Her manner was carefree and light, her countenance peaceful.  She had a definite spring in her step and grace in her movements.  She was truly a picture of loveliness.  I wondered what on earth she was going to testify to, as I quickly judged, based on her appearance, that her life was perfect.

Then she opened her mouth and began to speak.  I was proven wrong!

Her yarn of past atrocities unfolded at a rapid rate and left me aghast.  I couldn’t fathom that what my ears were hearing matched the image I was seeing.  A broken home growing up.  Molestation at a young age.  Cutting, suicide attempts and substance use.  Pregnancy and motherhood in the teen years.  Kicked out of the house and on the streets.  Supporting a child while working at a strip club.  Abused by a pimp.  Incarcerated because of fraudulent acts and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

But, her story turned a corner.  I rejoiced!

While in prison, she had a vision of Jesus walking into her cell and sitting on the end of her cot.  He took her hand and spoke words of love and forgiveness to her.  She had a true encounter with her Saviour and spent the night repenting of every sin she had ever committed from childhood to that present moment.  She experienced complete salvation and began a journey of ongoing transformation in Christ.

Moving forward from that night, she located a Bible in the prison library and devoured it from cover to cover and the Holy Spirit made clear each word she read.  She believed every word to be true and allowed those truths to sink deep into her soul.  She began to pray and commune with Christ each day, sharing with Him her deepest desires and scariest fears.  Jesus began to heal her life.

Over the course of a few short years after these victorious moments, her life was turned completely around for the positive.  Her prison term was reduced to one year.  She was reunited with her son, found a home and employment.  There she met her husband, got married, had two more children and has established a ministry working with street girls.  She also works to fight against human trafficking.

Now she lives a life of complete surrender to Christ.  I was thankful I was spared such a life!

This morning I woke up with the old hymn, “I Surrender All,” running through my head.  I love that old hymn and found myself singing it in the shower, humming it while doing my hair, replaying it while making my lunch, tapping it on the steering wheel while driving to work.  In fact, I could not get it out of my mind all day!

“All to Jesus, I surrender,

All to Him, I freely give.

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all.

All to thee, my blessed Saviour.

I surrender all.”

Then, it hit me.  That still small voice broke through the above ear worm and spoke to me.  “D’Anne.  In comparison you think you have it all together, because you are in Me and have served me your whole life.  But, what will you surrender for Me?” And, immediately my mind was flooded with images.  My husband, my kids, my home, my career, my money, my possessions, my luxuries, my country, etc.  I was brought low.  I could not answer.  I was left speechless.

Daughters, even though I am serving the Lord with every fibre of my being, I am still contemplating my answer to that question.  I want my answer to the Lord to be honest and true.  I need to take serious stalk in where my priorities lie and whether or not I would truly lay it all down for the sake of the cross.  Even if the littlest thing gets in my way of living in 100% surrender I need to deal with it.  This is a daily process and one we must be ever vigilant in maintaining.

Have Courage And Be Kind

Written by: Jody Mugford

“Have courage and be kind.”

Last week we looked closer into this motto, as highlighted in the latest Cinderella movie (2015) by little Ella’s mother. We dug into courage and what it can look like. I pray it was an encouragement for us all as we learn to wait on God’s direction, to be bold and brave in His timing. This week I would like to take a look at kindness.

“Have courage and be kind.” These are words that Cinderella lived by and were so strongly embedded into her character that they poured out of her every word and action. One didn’t need to be around her very long to detect a quiet strength and a genuine love and kindness for all of God’s creation.

This phrase has impacted me greatly over the past year and I’ve seen it woven into many areas of my life. For example, I used to always tell my daughters to “be nice” – when playing with friends, speaking to others, etc. I noticed one day that a dear friend of mine says to her children, “be kind”. The difference got me thinking and I felt to modify my words as well. This small variation may seem insignificant to some but, to me, it was a complete change.

Nice is defined as “being pleasant, agreeable or good”. Being nice is a great and wonderful thing and we should be nice to all those around us. However, when I stopped to think about it, I felt like the word “nice” has a relatively shallow meaning. Anyone can say nice things or do nice things…anyone can be nice on the surface…but do we always mean it deep down?

Being kind is defined as “being of a benevolent nature; gentle; generous; warm-hearted”. To me, this is different. Being kind is not easily faked or manufactured. Being kind comes from the inside, from a heart of gentleness and love.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatian 5:22-23 (NLT)

I love how this verse highlights the awesome characteristics that should embody a follower of Christ. I must admit, though, that growing up I often felt like this was a list of goals I needed to attain. I knew I needed to have these characteristics but I always felt I was falling short. When I did exemplify these traits, it was short-lived and I would plummet again into an attitude of selfishness and short-sightedness (especially as a teen!). I just couldn’t seem to measure up.

My revelation came many years later when I realized the biggest part of this verse. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives…”. The Holy Spirit! This is His work in me! It is not my job to dig deep and create these godly characteristics within myself. In my sinful, rebellious nature, I can never live up to this. In my own self, I will always fall short. But God… Oh I love that phrase! But God…! When we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. He then begins the process of molding us to be more like Christ. He starts sweeping out the sin in our lives so that more of Himself and His character can fill our hearts and overflow as the fruits of His Spirit. This is a process, my friend, and takes time but it is an amazing experience.

I have often felt (and often still do), that I can’t live up to Christ’s standards. Sometimes I don’t have enough patience with my family, some days I don’t have joy in my heart, and there are times I can’t control my thoughts or my tongue. If this is also you, friend, let me encourage you. The Holy Spirit wants to fill you up with so much of Him that these fruits will pour out of you. The more He fills you, the more of Him and His nature you will have. This comes from spending time with Him regularly, in prayer and in His Word and it comes from obedience. God honours obedience. Is He prompting you to get rid of a certain sinful habit in your life? Do it. Do you need to make amends with someone or change a behaviour because you know He’s calling you to? Do it. God values your obedience and with it, He will fill you up with more of His Spirit. It truly is a mind-blowing process, and ongoing transformation! This is when will see His fruit. This is where we find our (His) true kindness.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6


Love and Blessings,


Be Still

Written by: Christianne Williams

Be still.  That can be tough.  When I think about being still, my children as toddlers always comes to my mind.  They would run about here and there from the time they got up in the morning until they laid their heads down at night.  One of my children in particular didn’t even really stop through the night.  There were constant trips to bathroom and pleas for water, hugs, and rescuing blankies that had suddenly vanished.  Taking them to places where being still was appreciated always made me anxious, because without fail they call upon some hidden energy store and need to be busier than normal.

I remember one time in particular one of my boys was being really loud and fidgety while a missionary was giving a presentation.  I got so tired of ‘shhhh’ing and trying to keep him still that I decided to take him to the nursery.  On our way he out, he asked very loudly, “Are you going to spank me?”  In this instance my son’s struggling got him where he wanted to be, in a place he could be free, not bound to sitting and coloring.  In life, though, struggling never helps us to achieve what God has for us, it simply wears us down.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is getting closer to God and resting in His plan, asking Him for wisdom, and believing He’s going to work things for my good even if I don’t see evidence of it with my natural eyes.  It means being aware of how you’re viewing the situation around you, how you’re dealing with it, the action you’re taking.  Sometimes we feel like reacting instead of praying for wisdom and waiting until we get revelation on how to proceed.  Sometimes we try so hard in our own strength to change the way things are, the situation we find ourselves in, when what really brings peace is to say, “Ok God, what are you going to do here?”

I’ve had days when it really feels like everything is set up against me, like there’s no way good can happen, and I have to find a way to still my mind before the Lord and ask Him to bring me peace while He works things out.  Getting alone with Him and asking for a new perspective, for revelation about what you’re facing, that’s where we find perfect peace.  It doesn’t mean that the storm will pass right away, it may rage for awhile, but it brings an awareness of His nearness and the truth that He goes along beside us.

The more time you make to be still before Him, the easier it will become to trust Him to work things out for your good, regardless of the process He takes you through.  I’ve been in situations that make no sense, and quite honestly struggling through, trying to come up with a solution or a plan of some sort, has never worked.  What did work is realizing that my Father is good.  No matter how many people here turn against you, He never will.  No matter how many times we mess up with our reactions, He will always be faithful to help us back up.

I read something on social media the other day that I really like, and it sums up a new mindset I’ve tried to adopt.  “Instead of saying ‘Lord I don’t know how I am going to do this’, say ‘Lord, I can’t wait to see how You do this’”.  Be still. No struggling. Allow excitement to fill your heart over how He will work this out!