Friday, March 19, 2021

Brave Enough to Say No

Saying "no" as an action of being brave.



As I think about what my "no" actions are, I am reminded of a time....









It was several years back, my word of the year was "Brave". For me, it meant being brave enough to say "no" to certain things in my life. For instance, I had to be brave enough to try and do things to take care of myself. So, if I had to say "no" to eating certain foods, then that is what I did.
 


I also remember blogging about this, at the time (a totally different blog, btw), and someone responded to me saying that that is not how being "Brave" is supposed to work. Hmmm.



It is "Brave" to say "No"




So I just read in Let's All Be Brave about finding your "no". For Annie, a big one was the realization that she should change how she eats for her health.




What is my current "no"?




Like Annie, I work hard to watch what I eat. I have several health issues and I am very sensitive to certain foods, spices, smells, etc. So, to help with my sensitivities, I have said "no" to certain things, like garlic, onions, gluten, dairy, fried foods <--- and that is just a small list.



I have fibromyalgia  and I tend to hurt, everywhere, all of the time. One symptom that I have learned that goes along with fibromyalgia is sensory overload . I suffer with sensory overload a lot. If I am out, in a restaurant and there are strong smells, it is overly warm, a child is throwing a fit, lights are blinking, and music is blasting ... oh boy, I start to feel overwhelmed. So, I have had to say "no" to going places that I know are going to trigger my sensory overload issues.



To say "Yes" to something better

 


I love Jesus. I don't think that I can say that enough. I love being in the Word. I love reading devotionals. I love working through Bible studies. I want to grow closer to the Lord and to be in His will for my life. I work hard (as I am a work in progress) to keep the Lord first and foremost, in my life. So, I have had to say "no" to activities that seem like fun, but in reality they pull me away from God. Activities like watching tv, shopping online, scrolling through fb or pinterest.
 


Matthew 6:33 NIV 



But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.









So, as you see, taking a step, even a small one, and saying "no" to something in order to say "yes" to something else, is an action of being brave.



In summary, you will see:



I said "no" to certain foods and spices, but I said "yes" to less sensitivities.
I said "no" to places that trigger my sensory overload issues, but "yes" to less triggers.
I said "no" to activities that seem fun but pull me away from God, but "yes" to growing my relationship with God.



Your turn:



Do you look at saying "no" to something as being a "brave" action?
What things have you said "no" to in order to say "yes" to something else?
I challenge you to spend some time thinking about this.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. You created the heavens and the earth. I ask, Father, that You will forgive me for not trusting You to guide me through my "no" steps. I have to confess, sometimes it is easier to follow where everyone is going, to follow the world, than it is to say "no". Please help me to always seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness and to know that everything else that I need will be given to me as well (Matthew 6:33). In Jesus' name, Amen.
 


Check out these posts: 





Are You Following Jesus?




Blessings,







Leigha






Photo credit by shapkasushami of pixabay.com

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Are You a Prayer Warrior?

As we were riding along, we came across a funeral procession. We pulled over to the side of the road, to show respect.



I suddenly have this strong urge to pray. So while we are sitting there, watching the cars, with family and friends of the lost loved one go by, I pray.








There are other times that I am suddenly hit with the urge to pray. Like, for instance, if I see an accident has happened, I feel led to pray for those involved and for their loved ones.



Do you ever feel the urge to pray like that? Where no matter what you are doing, you have to stop and send up a prayer? Do you ever wake up from a dream about someone that you have not seen in a long time and you just know that you need to pray for them?




I am learning, from Stormie Omaritan's book Prayer Warriors, that all the things I have just described are from a heart of compassion. We are being led to pray as Prayer Warriors.



A tug on your heart for the suffering. 

 


As prayer warriors we feel a tug on our hearts whenever something grieves us. We may sense that something is not right and need to pray. We may see an injustice or some type of suffering that we want to change. We, in our best efforts cannot bring about that change, however, we can pray for the Lord to take action in that situation.

 


Do you feel led to pray for those who are suffering? Then you are called to be a Prayer Warrior. Actually, in all honesty, we are all called to be prayer warriors as we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).




1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV 

 


pray without ceasing,




So, what does it mean to pray without ceasing? It means that we take our concerns to God, in prayer. We seek His help and guidance with decisions that we need to make. We pray for the safety and wellbeing of our family and friends.




 


Praying without ceasing means that we talk to God about every aspect of our lives. Big, small, it doesn't matter, He wants us to talk to Him about it.



Listen for the Holy Spirit. 




Being a prayer warrior means that we listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to us about something. If we feel a nudge in our spirit, that is Him letting us know to pray. If we feel grieved about a situation, that is the Holy Spirit guiding us to pray.




Prayer: 




Father in heaven, You are mighty. You are powerful. You are majestic. You are my Jehovah Jireh. Father, I ask that You will forgive me for the many times that I have ignored the nudging of the Holy Spirit to pray for someone. I ask that You will increase my awareness of His nudges. Make those nudges so intense that there is no way that I can ignore them. Please help me in my efforts to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When something grieves my heart, my soul, help me to stop and pray for You to take action. Thank You for all that You do. In Jesus' name, Amen.

 


Your turn: 




Are you a Prayer Warrior?
Do you feel led to pray for those who are suffering?
Do you feel the need to stop whatever you are doing and pray about something or someone?
If so, then you, my friend, are a Prayer Warrior.

 


Check out these posts: 



Trust God to Direct


Are You Following Jesus?


Pray For Your Enemies



Blessings, 





Leigha

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Trust God to Direct

"I am not planning to come back home. I am trying to move on with my life."



Those are very crushing words. How do you respond after hearing (or reading, as this was part of several text messages) these things?









To be honest, it was another punch in the stomach. How have I been responding to these words? I have been depressed. I have cried a lot. And I have been having really bad panic attacks.
 


Okay. Yes. I have to confess, here, that ever since he left me on January 25, I have been experiencing everything that I just described. However, I guess it has re-started. Or maybe it has gotten worse.



Do not focus on fear.




I have this fear that he is about to just walk away and leave me with everything. When I focus on that fear, my panic kicks into gear.
 


In an attempt to find some help, I have reached out to three of my doctors. I have explained some of the situation with them. Like for instance, the fact that I do not work and cannot work because of my health conditions and I do not have my own health insurance. I also let each of them know about my panic attacks.



I want to let you know something, my efforts of reaching out to my doctors, as I did, took a lot for me to do. I guess I would call that my "brave" thing.



I am still here. I am still trying my best, each and every day to put one foot in front of the other. I am still trying to follow where the Lord is guiding me.



Instead, focus on trusting in God.




As I think about following the Lord's guidance, I am hit, in the face, with the fact that I need to place my trust in Him. In order to follow where He leads, no matter where that might be, means I have to trust Him; with everything.









Do I trust Him enough to direct each step that I take?
Do I trust Him enough to follow, no matter where He might be guiding me?
Do I trust Him with my security?
Do I trust Him to take care of me?
Do I trust Him to take care of everything?



Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV 



Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.



That is something that I am working on, right now. Asking God to forgive me for not having that much trust I Him. Asking Him to help me overcome the fear that is holding me back. Asking Him to give me the strength that I need and to help me in my efforts to fully trust in Him.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are my Jehovah Jireh, Immanuel. Nothing is too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17). I pray, O Lord, that You will forgive me for not having more trust in You. Please help me to overcome the fear that is holding me back. Father, I ask that You will increase my strength and that You will help me in my efforts to fully trust in You. As Your Word tells me, in Proverbs 3:5-6, when I place my trust in You and do not lean on my own understanding; when I submit everything I do to You and Your will, You will make my paths straight before me. I am claiming that promise. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.
 


Your turn: 



Do you trust God enough to let Him direct each step you take? (Proverbs 16:9)
Do you trust Him enough to follow, no matter where He might be guiding? (Proverbs 16:3)
Do you trust Him with your security? (Psalm 121:7-8)
Do you trust Him to take care of you? (Psalm 91:9-12)
Do you trust Him to take care of everything? (Jeremiah 32:27)



Check out these posts: 







Brave in the Lord






Blessings, 





Leigha

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