Faith not fear…

Today, I was sitting down to fill out the ‘reflection page’ in my Brilliant Life Planner, and I was thinking about how I don’t always see huge progress from week to week. That being said, when we look back a few weeks, months or even years, we can see how much God is teaching us and growing us.

 

faith not fear, brilliant life planner, tokyo blossom boutique

 

One area that God is really working with me on is learning how to trust Him more. I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person that has to have it ‘all figured out’ before I make any decisions. If we take a road trip, I have to have every stop along the way planned out, how much we are going to spend on our meals, and all of the activities we will be doing once we get there. I’m not a control freak, I promise! I just REALLY enjoy planning. It’s half the fun for me!

The only problem is, I’m like that with life decisions too. I struggle to move forward on things I should do unless I have every step planned out and I have it under control. I think it’s good to make wise, thought out decisions, but when I refuse to move forward until I have every detail worked out in my control, I’m really just saying that I’m not sure if I can trust God with my life. ?

While this is an ongoing lesson I have to learn in my life, I’m so grateful for the big, scary opportunities God has put in my life that I can reach out in faith and say ‘YES’ to! Sometimes that might be saying ‘yes’ to doing a show that I might feel inadequate for, sometimes that might mean saying ‘yes’ to trying something I’ve never done before, and sometimes that might mean saying ‘yes’ to taking the next step in life that I don’t fully understand yet.

Whatever the scenario may look like, I’m learning that it’s a lot less stressful to trust God for directions instead of bearing the weight of having to have it all figured out! What is God teaching you this week?

 

When your best doesn’t seem enough…

When your best doesn't seem enoughPreview

You’ve been there… When your best doesn’t seem enough.

My husband and I got married right when the economy took a nose dive. We were both poor college graduates and had very little to call our own. He struggled to find employment in his field while I managed to find a part time position teaching music. He took up a job as a machinist until that company had to down size and had to start letting people go, starting with the newest hires.

Fast forward several years. We went from working multiple part time jobs, to a full time job, to an unexpected pregnancy, to losing another job to yet another company downsizing. One day when my son was less than a year old, I had just come home from working one of my three jobs to find a pre-eviction notice taped to our apartment door. You would have thought that I would have spent the next several hours bawling my eyes out, but I didn’t cry a single tear. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to cry, but because I had no tears left to cry.

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.                                         Jeremiah 31:3b

The months leading up to that point, our pantry had a grand total of ramen noodles, a bag of beans, rice, and a handful of random seasoning packets. We would go to our local pregnancy center and take their classes just so we could earn ‘baby bucks’ to buy the diapers that we couldn’t afford otherwise. My husband was working as a freelancer, and he was very much in the beginning stages, but since he couldn’t find employment elsewhere he did that while taking care of our toddler since we couldn’t afford childcare.

We tithed to our local church, we lived on next to nothing, and we did our best to continue to be a blessing to others when we got the opportunity, but it still didn’t seem to be enough. We had reached out for help, but the lack of consistent employment really hurt us. So here we found ourselves staring at this piece of paper with no tears left to shed. I wish I could say that something amazing happened at that moment, but it didn’t. The next week, I numbly watched as we moved the tiny white crib out of our studio apartment, and did the last of the cleaning.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

If I stopped there, that would just be a depressing story that probably wouldn’t help you in any way, but fast forward 4 years. My husband and I are still happily married, we found out that our son has autism, but he’s such a happy boy that’s learning so much every day, and my husband’s freelance business has become our full time income. I’m not telling you that to make you think that every rough story has a fairy tale ending, but I’m telling you this because God has a plan for your life. Sometimes it means that we’re going to face difficult times. Sometimes it’s going to feel like your best really isn’t enough, but that’s because that isn’t enough to get through life.

In the darkest hours of life, it’s not your best that will get you through… It’s God’s infinite grace and love that He puts all around us through every step we take. He shows us great love through other people, through His grace to get through things day by day, and while it’s heartbreaking, He’s right there beside you, seeing and knowing.

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!