Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

it’s monday – how’s your soul?

Here it is the Monday morning.   We pack a lot into our weekends so it is not unusual for  exhaustion to set in on Monday morning.

I want to do it all!  Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.  (hmm, I am starting to see a pattern in my life.)

 

matthew 11 28

 

Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day.   It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?

I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough.

Jesus is more than enough.

Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother set the bar high for her daughters.  She worked full time and her house always looked great.   She rose early and was the last one to bed.  I can’t live up to that expectation of myself.   Laying that down has been very liberating.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV)

How’s your soul?

Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.

Selah,
til next time

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February 12, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas is coming….

Here it is the day before the day before Christmas. For some, by this point, exhaustion has set in. In addition to your normal full schedule, you have added decorating, a list of people to shop for, cards to send, treats to make, parties to go to, and a host of holiday commitments.
 
All these things are good. I want to do it all! Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.
 
Jesus says to us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
matthew 11 28
 
Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day. It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?
 
I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough. Jesus is more than enough.
 
Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother would make 20 different Christmas treats (some years more than that) and her house always looked great. I can’t live up to that expectation of myself. Laying that down was very liberating.
 
Also, look for the good in others and extend to people grace. This is good advice for any last minute Christmas shopping.
 
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV) How’s your soul? Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.
 
til next time
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December 23, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , | Leave a comment

9/11

It’s been 15 years. Each year on the anniversary of 9/11 I try to watch at least one video of the song “God Bless the USA.”

So many times when I don’t have words to say what is in my heart, it comes out in a song. This is my song for today.

“God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like You do. God I look to You. You are where my help comes from. Give me wisdom – You know just what to do….”

Father,
Thank You. Thank You for Your peace and comfort that quiets our hearts and calms our fears. Thank You that You wrap us in Your loving arms and hold us close to You. Thank You that when our world looks dark, cold and scary You shine Your light, You illumine our path and You are right with us each moment. Open our eyes that we may see You and cultivate an awareness of Your presence. Thank You.

 

til next time,

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September 11, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trading

“He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”  This is the song my heart is singing today taken from Isaiah 61:2.   It speaks of the trade off we have when we choose Christ.

ashes to beauty
mourning to joy
heaviness to praise

Sure we can choose to hang on to our ashes, to stay stuck in sorrow and to be weighed down by heaviness, but why would we? I think, for many, they have lost sight of the truth. God is with us (Matthew 28:20) and will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB)

understand

Peace that goes beyond our understanding is ours if we but hold fast to God (weeping may endure for the night) and trust Him (joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5) Sometimes the night seems long and dark but Micah 7:8 tells us “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

 

til next time

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June 11, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

reminders are good

Sometimes I just need to be reminded.

Some days getting out of bed is an accomplishment.  Yet, it is important to remember that I only have one opportunity to live this day.  When the day is done I want to look back on it and know that I chose wisely, that I didn’t let my ‘feelings’ control my day, that I didn’t let my physical pain have the upper hand, and that I walked with God.

P1080733

This next lesson is one many people could benefit from.   When my life is seeming to resemble chaos, when stress is high, and it seems I just can’t get a handle on things — God leads me beside still waters.   He leads me but this means I choose to follow or I choose to continue down the stress highway.  God’s path is so much better.   Which path are you choosing?

still waters

Sometimes things happen that are out of my control.  The thing to remember is nothing takes God by surprise.  The question is – how long will I allow my heart to be overwhelmed before I cry out to God?   The sooner the better.

psalm 61

Anxious, worried, stressed, this is a good ‘go to’ scripture that is powerful to meditate on.

daisy

Sometimes people can be hurtful.  Recognizing that how I treat them is a reflection of me and my walk with God.   Yes, sometimes I badly need to remember this prayer.

my prayer

Finally, remembering that the center of God’s love is where I want to stay means exchanging my will for His.  What a wonderful trade off.

word pic 5

til next time,

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February 5, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

i choose

walk by faith

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless remain that way. Say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.” Max Lucado

When was the last time you actually took time to enjoy the sunrise?  or set?

When you look at flowers/gardens – do you focus on the beauty or  the weeds?

Choices — we get to choose what we focus on.

This year found me again finding new ways to tackle weeds and sadly not very effective ways.  Oh, how we can take for granted the ability to get on our hands and knees.

IMG_20150729_172627_592

My husband gave me this little reminder.  For me, it isn’t just about my gardens.  In my life both beauty and weeds will grow.   What I focus on will affect how I see things and even how I feel.  My garden is not the only thing that is in need of regular weeding.

Today is not a good day for me physically.  It is what it is.  BUT  I still have a choice.  I can let this overtake me. In which case, discouragement is right there.  OR I can make the necessary changes to my schedule and do those things that I know will eventually give me some relief.  I can give in to self-pity or I can walk by faith that even this has a purpose in my life.  (Rom 8:28)  Choices!

Paul said in Corinthians that the even though he begged God to make him well again and remove the thorn – that God’s response was —  “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.”  (2 Cor 12:7-10)   

So today I remind myself again that I am nothing without Jesus.  All of my talent and ability comes from Him.  He is in control of my life and if today finds me changing my plans then I will embrace today in the same way I embrace a day of activity.  This is the day God has made, I will rejoice and be glad.  (Psalm 118:24)

louis a

I see leaves of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Whatever the day holds for you, remember you have a choice.  You can trust God that He is an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (Please notice it doesn’t say He will remove all trouble.)  In your weakness He will be strong, if you trust Him and let Him.

I choose joy!

God I look to You.  I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like You do.

God I look to You.  You’re where my help comes from.  Give me wisdom to know You know just what to do.

til next time

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October 13, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

vision and wisdom

My last post was titled overwhelmed.  Some days are just like that.

So it really came as no surprise to me that this week I would find myself working on a song for band practice that is about vision, wisdom and has the word overwhelmed in it.

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom
You know just what to do

And I will love You, Lord, my strength
And I will love You, Lord, my shield
And I will love You, Lord, my rock
Forever all my days
I will love You, God

Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days
I will worship God

My son asked me a month ago to work up this song.   I do so much better when I have music.  It doesn’t require as much time or effort on my part.  However, some things are worth the effort and I just need to make time.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  He will never leave us.  (Hebrews 13:5)  He gives wisdom liberally.  (James 1:5)  He will make a way.  (Isaiah 43:19)

til next time

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September 8, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

overwhelmed

I woke up this morning and I knew before I ever got out of bed that I was emotionally depleted.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is what it is.

psalm 61It can be the result of  a good thing as it can mean that I have had a schedule filled with all sorts of wonderful activities and been traveling on an emotional high.  I am reminded of Elijah in the Bible – 1 & 2 Kings.   This weekend my victories were not on the same enormous scale as his were, but there are similarities.

It can also occur due to a torrential downpour of “issues”  bombarding me.  Those things that try to squeeze the life out of me and never seem to come one at a time.  Instead they seem to come out of nowhere or where I would least  expect there to be a problem.  I am reminded of Paul addressing his troubles in 2 Corinthians 1:8 & 11:26-28.

Physical pain/sickness can also cause emotional depletion. Some days it seems like I am on the top of a teeter totter and the other person has just jumped off the bottom.  Other days the pain doesn’t even phase me.  Personally, I am so ready to have my life back.   The longer pain lasts, the greater toil it can have on your emotions.  Yet, greater trial – greater victory!

Then this morning I go and read this in Mark Batterson’s book “The Grave Robber”

“A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and we’ve been praying for spontaneous remission — the medical term for miracle.  Unfortunately, further tests were trending in the wrong direction at his first follow-up visit.  When my friend called me, it was tough to know what to say.  And the truth is, it’s better to listen than to talk.  But then I felt like I needed to remind him of a simple yet difficult truth.  “I’m going to keep praying for your healing, but healing isn’t the ultimate goal.  The ultimate goal is God’s glory.”

The goal is God’s glory!praise  (see John 9)  Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I act as if the goal is pain free, problem free, financially free…

Last night we had a powerful praise service.  Kneeling before the Lord is one of my favorite positions.  Yet, it’s been almost 11 weeks since I messed up my knee and have not put any weight on the top.

During this song  my desire to kneel before God was strong.  (to listen to the song – click on the title)   This is my desire   

I did a one knee kneel at first but then it was as if God was prompting me to ‘go ahead – kneel with the other knee too’  So I did.  No pain!   Still numbness but no pain!

restIf your heart is overwhelmed please recognize that you have a choice.  You may try to ignore it but that won’t help.  Blaming something or someone won’t help either but you can choose to go that road and stay miserable.

OR

You don’t have to remain overwhelmed.  You can recognize it for what it is and then go to the Rock (Jesus) and wait in His presence.  Take the time to immerse yourself in His Word.  Allow Him to fill you up again.  Take time to quiet your soul.

flower message

“May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

In closing, remembering God’s goodness is vital to dealing with the sense of emotional depletion/exhaustion/being overwhelmed.  A tool available to everyone is to start a gratitude journal.  I recommend it highly.  I don’t write in it every day but I try to regularly write in it.  The key is to not repeat something – be looking for treasures.    It does open your eyes to the beauty that is all around and the big and small ways God works in our lives.  (A great book to help you get started is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp.)

I am confident that nothing takes God by surprise.  My life is in the palm of His hand.  He has a plan that will turn ashes into beauty, give me joy instead of mourning, and my praising Him will overtake any heaviness that tries to rest on me.  (Isaiah 61:3 my paraphase)  He will do the same for you.

til next time

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August 31, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment