Living Unshakeable When Life Gets Shaky!

It’s been quite a week in our little town! Augusta was hit by a huge ice storm. It took down trees and took out power—for several days for many of its residents.  For me, the most unsettling hours were during the evening when the ice had settled in on everything and the limbs of trees were beginning to snap, crackle, pop and then the thundering booms as trees and limbs came down. It was like the sound of constant gunfire and explosions.

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Our home backs up to the woods, so I was just waiting for that 60-foot hardwood to come crashing through our roof!  Thankfully, it did not and we sustained very minor damages. But then, just as things were beginning to thaw and melt, we experienced an earthquake!  Things were quite shaken up this past week, to say the least!   Continue reading “Living Unshakeable When Life Gets Shaky!”

Get Real: About to Burst!

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Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah —Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

I love waterfalls. Last summer my husband and I took a trip to the Smoky Mountains and hiked waterfalls. I love the refreshing energy and calming peacefulness of the water spilling over the rocks, trees and anything else in its path. It makes me think about Psalm 62:8.

Psalm 62:8 is one of my all-time favorite, go-to verses.  It helps me so often when I feel like I’m about to burst!  I might be overwhelmed, stressed, angry, inconvenienced, burdened, hurt, disappointed or discouraged.  But I love how practical this verse is in building and strengthening my faith in the real life of my day.

The word for pour out literally means to gush forth, to spill over.  Have you ever been there?  When you don’t feel like you can contain that emotion or that comment that just has to come out of your mouth?  When you feel you are about to explode in anger?  I love how Psalm 62:8 encourages me with the fact that I can go to God at anytime —regardless of my mood or situation and pour out my heart to Him.   How often have I found myself gushing and spewing in frustration or anger or when I have been hurt?  And it’s usually not a pretty scene when this happens.   Or maybe instead of being a “spewer”, you are a “stuffer”.  Neither one is healthy. But when I take it to the Lord—He listens, loves, counsels and heals.  He changes my perspective.  When I practice Psalm 62:8, it gives me an opportunity to talk it out and get it off my chest.  Many times I am hurt or angry and just need to vent.  He is my safe place.  I can share exactly how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking and I don’t have to worry that He will judge or reject me.  Many times that is all we really need—a listening ear and place to vent our frustrations and feelings. He is our refuge!  And we can be real before Him, He is a big God —the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign-ruler over all things.  And He tells us in Psalm 139 that before a word is on our tongue, He already knows it!  He is our Creator and knows our thoughts even before we do, so why do we feel we can’t get real and honest before Him? Continue reading “Get Real: About to Burst!”

Stressed!?! Find Rest

We are a society that has become weary for lack of rest. We can relate to the psalmist who says, “I am weary with my sighing” (Ps 6:6). Weary can mean faint, having nothing more to give, ready to collapse. Do these words describe you? Are you weary emotionally, physically or spiritually?

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Too often our “to do” lists are longer than the hours in our day. If you are like me, much of the time, I create my own stress. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to a task or request. I fail to take time to pause and just be in the Lord’s presence; instead I fill my days and hours and the result is exhausting. Many times I create stress by taking on tomorrow’s worries today. I let my mind wander and worry. But God created rest. God desires we find rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to us about learning to find rest in the midst of our stress:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Come – deute – an imperative — come hither! come here! come! come now! —from a root word meaning urging and calling, here! come!

Rest – anapauoto cause or permit one to cease from movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, to refresh; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation, an intermission.

Jesus beckons us to come to him to find rest. I love how the original word for “come” is so emphatic. It’s like he is saying, NOW! Not later, not if you feel like it, not when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, but NOW! The rest He desires to give us is a pause to recover our strength, a quiet and calming of our souls. The great thing about learning to rest in Christ is that it can be done in the midst of whatever we have going on in our day.

Three ways I’ve discovered I can find rest instead of experiencing stress:

Continue reading “Stressed!?! Find Rest”