The Slowness of Progress

 

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So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head and deliver him from his discomfort.  And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.  Jonah 4:6

Good morning!

Have you ever been completely frustrated?  Almost annoyed at the slowness of progress?  It doesn’t matter if we are parenting children who seem to not be getting the message, trying to grow our online businesses, or working at a relationship that seems to keep coming up short.  Sometimes it is easy to get worn down, stressed out, and flat frustrated at the slowness of progress.  It feels like a mountain we keep climbing yet the top doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.

I was feeling this very frustration when I read this verse out of Jonah while working on a bible study I am currently doing.  The words literally jumped off the page at me.  God appointed a plant…a plant! To provide protection for Jonah while he sat and sulked under his own man-made shelter and had his pity party.  After he had prayed to die, by the way.

While Jonah sat there feeling sorry for himself, God was still at work.  Don’t you love how God never stops working on our behalf.  Jonah had prayed to die, sat sulking under his shelter as God was working on his real protection.

We can sit and sulk and feel sorry for ourselves too, and we do, don’t we?  And honestly, it doesn’t do anybody any good.  Why we are throwing our pity party and wondering why our children won’t listen, why our business isn’t growing, or why our relationship isn’t working God is ALREADY working it out.  He is going to provide exactly what we need, when we need it.

If he can appoint a plant to provide protection for Jonah, I am confident that He can provide absolutely whatever it will take for us as well.

Let’s let our frustrations go.  They aren’t doing us any good…and let’s start trusting Him to provide what we need, when we need it.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Moving Forward in Power

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Good morning!

Did anyone else take the time to reset their emotions over the weekend?  In case you missed the last couple of blogs, I have been sharing a bit about dealing with our emotions when they seem to be on a roller coaster ride. Make sure to check them out!

Anyhow, I know there is so much going on and it finally feels like spring around here! We are planting flowers and building another garden bed, doing yard clean up, and just loving being outside!  But…emotional clean-up was first on my list.  I knew that if I didn’t get cleaned up on the inside, I wouldn’t be any fun on the outside.

So, once we have reset our emotions and gotten cleaned up on the inside and re-submitted to God’s will, what do we do with the mess on the outside that got us here in the first place?

  1. We can let it drain us and we give in.  Or…
  2. We get determined and walk in the power Jesus died to give us

If I have said it once in my life, I have said it a thousand times… I will not be conquered by this.  Jesus came and gave His very life so that we can live full and I am determined to do so.

So the thing that has your emotions on that roller coaster ride?  Take another step.  Seek out more answers.  Don’t give up, dig in.  Look in the mirror and tell this so called “thing” whether it is:

  • sickness
  • failure
  • pain
  • a broken heart
  • a broken relationship

that it has no power over you.  Jesus died so the Holy Spirit could come and dwell on the inside of us giving us power! Power to stand, power to conquer, and power to defeat these things that try to come against us.  Beloved, don’t give in to your emotions.  The Holy Spirit will provide everything it takes to get back on your feet and face this thing head on.  Let’s choose to get determined and let the power of the one true God fight from within us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Battling Our Emotions

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Good morning!

I wrote a couple days ago about how draining our emotions can be.  God has shown me over the course of this week that the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes is usually when life doesn’t look like I want it to… Ouch.

What about you?  When do your emotions seem to take you on a roller coaster ride?

I believe that our emotions can just flat wear us down over time.  It usually happens when we stand firm week in and week out, believing in the good of all the mess going on around us and then when we can’t actually SEE the good, our emotions take off.

So, what do WE DO when our emotions rage?  That is what I have really searched out this week.  I don’t want to live by my emotions but I also don’t want to slap a smile on my face and fake it.  There is nothing real or genuine about that.  So here are a few actions that I believe we can take to reset.

  • Resubmit ourselves to God’s will.  When we actually take the time to be still and hear from God, yield to His plan over our lives, and recognize Him as the Mighty Counselor, we can relinquish our need to be in control.
  • Pray for an undivided heart.  When we declare God’s truth from His word over our lives, He will realign our hearts to match His.  There is no better place to go when we get frustrated then to God Himself.
  • Look for the goodness of God all around.  When we choose to only see the negative going on, that is all we see.  And then it becomes manifested in our sight.  We must CHOOSE to see the good things that the Father has graciously provided all around us.

There is no one closer to our emotions, our tears, our frustrations than God himself.  He is right where we are.  Meeting us there in the middle of our roller coaster ride, reaching out His hand, offering to help us off.  Even though the mess might not change right away, we can accept His help and choose to move forward in His grace.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Declaring Truth

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Have you let the heaviness of your current circumstances weigh you down?

I’m here to tell you it can happen before we know it.  And don’t worry…you’re not alone.  This world can be brutal and unless we chase after the truth, the lies will consume us.

As I sat down at my kitchen table a couple of days ago I could feel my stress level rising as the weight of anxiety was creeping in.  Our son that was in the hospital a few weeks ago has been sick again this past week with something viral.  As I got him out of the bath that afternoon I could see the rash spreading all over his belly and creeping up his chest.  Seriously? I thought to myself.

I sat down at our kitchen table, opened my journal, and wrote across my page:

If I didn’t hold on to Jesus so tightly I might just fall apart. 

And I began writing the truths I needed to hear…

  • I believe His promises
  • I believe He is good
  • I believe He works all things together for good
  • I believe His ways are higher than my ways
  • I believe He goes before me and behind me

Declaring Truth

Sometimes we just need to declare out loud His truths over our own lives.  We need to be bold even when it is just to remind ourselves of the very truths we believe in.

As I sat there, trying to process all my emotions and give my anxiety to the Father I wrote one more statement in my journal:

Even though it doesn’t look like I want it to…maybe it looks just as it should.

As I lay my head in my hands and began to pray I felt Him asking me to yield my frustration, yield my control, and to trust Him.  Trust Him with my child’s health.  Because after all, they were His children first.

What has you all tied up in knots?  There is no better way to untie them then to declare His truths over and over until we feel the release of His power in our hearts.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

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