I Trust You

Nativity

When I read the gospels, I usually skim through the Christmas story. The nativity is repeated so often during December that I consider my Christmas story quota filled. But recently I started researching Mary, the mother of Jesus, and discovered something both deeply humbling and encouraging.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’” (Luke 1:26-28). . .

For the rest of the post follow this link to the Whatever Girls Blog! I’m sharing how Mary continues to teach me about trusting God even in the midst of uncertainty and change.

whatevergirls

I’ll be back tomorrow with the next installment of 12 Steps to Stay in Tune this Season. Catch you then!

Following,

Ginger

Friday Finds: The Whatever Girls

whatevergirls

 

In the late summer months I was approached by Erin Bishop to see if I was interested in joining the contributing team for a blog called The Whatever Girls. Here’s all about the organization in Erin’s own words:

The Whatever Girls are intentional moms and intentional daughters. We exist to empower girls to choose God’s best for their lives by exemplifying the pillars of Philippians 4:8: “whatever is truenoble,rightpurelovelyadmirable—if anything is excellent orpraiseworthy—think about such things.”

As one who stumbled through middle and high school making a series of poor decisions, my hearts desire is for teen girls to know their true value and identity comes from Jesus.  Stability, acceptance and unconditional love are critical for shaping our daughters character.

I was totally on board with the mission and am now happy to have my very first post on the blog today. I’m sharing an excerpt from Forget the Corsage and talking all about our worth and value as God’s masterpiece. I hope you’ll take a second to follow this link to the post! While you’re there, take a look around at all of the great resources available to both mothers and daughters.

Happy Friday!

Following,
Ginger

p.s. I will be continuing the 12 steps to Staying in Tune this Season on Tuesday. Catch you then for the next installment!

Hopes and Dreams

Bibles

 

During my summers in college, I worked as a camp counselor. I spent three months each year ministering to junior high students and added all sorts of skills to my resume: I taught sailing, basketball, drama, and high ropes. I fought off bees, ate my share of corn dogs, and made countless friendship bracelets. I loved almost every second. But some of my favorite moments were spent in the home of my camp director. Each week his wife would host some of the women on the staff for a small group. We sat in the air-conditioned living room, eating popcorn and maturing through the study of God’s Word.

I remember one conversation in particular. We were discussing the dreams we had for our lives when she issued us a challenge …

That’s the start of my post that I’m sharing over at Trochia. I am beyond blessed to be guest posting on their blog and hope you’ll click on the link below and keep reading. Here’s an incentive for you: they are giving away TEN free copies of my book this week. Who doesn’t like free books?

Click here -> Life Starts Now: Trusting God with our Hopes and Dreams 

Hope you win!

Following,

Ginger

Crazy Thursday

Good morning! To those of you that received the abbreviated post early this morning, I apologize! I had every desire to finish that post and have it ready to go, but life stepped in and rearranged my plans yesterday.

I took a two month old to the grocery store for the first time.

The good news: we survived, but we’ll just say that all of my brain power and energy were sapped.

The even better news: I did not say “I feel so overwhelmed” yesterday. Instead, my prayer was, “Lord, let me be overwhelmed by your goodness.”

That’s the kind of overwhelming I want in my life: more gratitude, wonder, and attention to the way my heavenly Father loves me on a daily basis. Tomorrow I’m sharing a Friday Find that reminds me of just that!

Following,
Ginger

Unbury

Yesterday we started our conversation about feeling overwhelmed. Today we are going to address the first definition of the word: 1. To bury or drown beneath a huge mass.

When I admit to feeling overwhelmed by my life, I am essentially saying that I am living in a grave. The weight of the dirt changes in various seasons of life, but chances are, you know what I’m talking about.

I don’t think we are supposed to feel this way. I know we’re not supposed to live this way.

Did you know that unbury is a word? I’ve never used it before. It means to remove (something) from under the ground. Friday morning I felt as though I finally came above ground. My to do list was just as long as it had been on Thursday. The items that had brought me to tears on Wednesday night still needed to be tackled. So what changed?

I learned some simple steps to getting unburied.

Step #1. Talk to yourself!

My pastor quoted D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Sunday. This is a good one.

jones

We spend so much time listening to our worries and fears. I how tempting it can be to dwell on your problems the moment your eyes open in the morning. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is suggesting that we instead start the day by dwelling on our joys.

 

Step #2. Claim truth!

On Friday morning I woke up, poured my cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table. Even though I wanted to rush to shower or jump straight into my never-ending task list, I instead pulled out my Bible and journal. My daughter rocked contentedly in her chair (for a brief moment!) and I started by reciting the verse that kept coming to mind.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2, NKJV)

I could feel those items on my list wanting to bury me, so I started saying the verse aloud. Over and over I repeated those words from Psalm 61 until I began to picture myself being led to a higher rock. I needed a visual picture. This time last year we were visiting Ireland. Gorgeous, green, the island was a perfect break from the desert heat. We spent many days hiking in craggy rocks. Those rocks are what I pictured on Friday morning.

 

rocks

 

Step #3. Admit your feelings in prayer.

I knew what was making me feel overwhelmed, so I listed everything out in my journal. Then, one by one, I listed everything in prayer.

Lord, I cannot write all of these posts without you. Lead me to the rock that is higher …

Lord, I cannot figure out how to balance all of my roles right now. Please lead me to the rock that is higher …

Father, I don’t know how to make this decision. Lead me to the rock that is higher …

With each prayer spoken it felt as though layers of dirt were being pulled off of me. The burden was lighter every time I admitted I did not have the answer, the stamina, or the wisdom to face this day.

 

Step #4. Focus on this day.

The moment I let my brain dive into everything I have to do in October, the overwhelmed spiral would begin again. One of my favorite verses, 1 Timothy 1:12, says … “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” 

God is faithful to give me the strength for right now. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow affect your mindset today. Remind yourself that God is able to guard what you entrust to Him today.

 

Step #5. Get vulnerable.

Wednesday night our small group convened at our house. We all went around the room sharing our stories from the summer. We hadn’t convened since early June and a lot of life change has taken place. When it was my turn I started crying. Gah. Not my favorite thing to do. I used the key word: overwhelmed. I tried to convey that I am so thankful, blessed, and grateful for this season of life, but that I just don’t know how to structure my days so that I can be both mom, wife, blogger, friend, and now author.

Had I not shared on Wednesday night, I would not have received the texts, e-mails, and phone calls that so encouraged me on Friday. The Lord knew exactly when to send in reinforcements. When we are willing to get real, others respond in turn.

So that’s the short initial list that has been guiding my new outlook. Instead of letting myself get buried by emotions and fears, I’m choosing to be active in my unburial. Who knows if that’s a word?

 

Following and learning,

Ginger

Sharing the mess.

I know what you’re thinking. ANOTHER post about being authentic in our messes?

I have to. This is an exercise in changing my mindset. I am perpetual perfectionist, and if I can’t actually BE perfect then I will often give the illusion of perfection. I don’t say it, but I also don’t ask for help. I enter relationships that are convenient. But this is all about to change.

This Wednesday night our home will be filled with an additional fourteen adults and three more infants. Our small group is convening for the first time post baby boom. We’ve debated about where to host this ever-growing crew and it became obvious that the Lord was asking us to open up our home this time.

Remember that part about the illusion of perfection?

 messy

This is what my kitchen currently looks like. I told my husband last night that even if someone came and babysat for two straight weeks I still couldn’t get to everything on my list. This is what I wrote in my journal this morning:

My list is too big. I feel overwhelmed. Any of these tasks alone would be enough to fill my days.

-Writing for other blogs … when I feel like my inspiration has vanished.

-Speaking outlines

-Caring for a new baby

-Maintaining friendships

-Time in the Word

-Cooking and cleaning

-Exercise? (HAH!)

-Growing my marriage

-Book promotion

-More thank you notes

-Financial decisions

-My own blog

-Connecting with neighbors

-Investing in the community and our church

I need a workable plan/schedule. LORD I NEED YOU!

And after coming slightly unglued, I felt the Lord speak into the massive messy list. “You need me.”

I’m not sure why I thought I could do this, any of this, on my own. I didn’t notice the change. I was lifting up my concerns and requests to the Lord when one day I must have just started reaching up and taking a few of them back. “Oh, I’ll take that one. Don’t worry about this one. I’ve got it.”

I don’t got it.

I teeter on the edge of grace and mess each and every day. Here’s the real kicker- life was like this even before the addition of a baby! God is simply using this lifechange to remind me that I cannot do any of this on my own. Why would I want to?

I’m telling you and I’m telling me: stop taking the stuff back. He really wants to take it! This week I’m meditating, claiming, writing and memorizing these gems.

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:2, NIV)

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2 NKJV)

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

Be encouraged. Share the mess.

Following,

Ginger