Life on the Edge of the Comfort Zone

Why is it always so tough to jump into the unknown fearlessly? Probably because it’s the unknown I guess.

We’ve talked about the comfort zone here on the blog in the past. This is not my first time feeling like I just want to snuggle up with my blankie and stay in my safe little circle. Seriously God, can’t you see I’m comfortable here!?!

These last several years feel like a season of stretching and growing in so many areas of my life!!

Life on the edge of the comfort zone

I mentioned to a good friend of mine the other day that I’m not even sure I know what my comfort zone is anymore because God never leaves me there long enough to get real comfortable. He keeps calling me out into deeper water and invites me to do the hard things.

I wish I could always say I jumped immediately at the invitation but the human side of me still holds back just a little. I’m getting to the point where I trust Him so much quicker and know that He’s there in the hard places.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 4:9 (ESV)

I don’t know about you but I very rarely feel strong enough. There are very few days I would say I’m courageous! And all too often dismay and fear creeps it’s nasty little head into my life.

Yet I know God has commanded, not suggested, commanded us to be strong and courageous. So when the doubts start swirling through my head on whether I’m really capable of what God’s calling me to I stop and pray. I speak truth over myself!

Life on the edge of the comfort zone

He’s not expecting us to go after these dreams He’s given us on our own. He doesn’t want us to do them on our own. We’re created to be in relationship with God and that means in every area of our lives. Not keeping parts of us walled off and separate. I truly believe He delights in our honesty with Him. So I’m not holding anything back from Him. Guess what I’m scared I’m going to fail. I’m not sure I want to put myself out there.

Then I can feel His presence envelope me and His courage invades my very being. And I choose to just do it scared!

 We can’t do it without Him and honestly I don’t want to do it without Him!

I keep wondering if I’ll ever truly feel “good enough” to write and share my thoughts on paper with others. Yet I know this is exactly what God has called me to do. So whether I feel unequipped, scared or even downright defeated some days I’ll just go back to the truth.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (ESV)

I love the following quote from Rick Warren: God uses people who expect Him to act, who never give up, who take risks in life, who get the dream and go after it. It’s my choice to be the kind of person God uses to accomplish His purpose.

So I say goodbye to what I thought was my new soft place and follow Him out to the edge yet again! And I wouldn’t want it any other way!!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below.

~Laura~

3 Practical Ways to Learn to Trust God

The day started out bright and sunny with so much promise. Loping along on my little horse alongside my brother and dad. The day was beginning to unfold and there were many adventures left to be had.

I was living every little 6 year old girl’s dream. Well, I’m not sure every little girl dreams of living completely off the grid in a tiny, chicken wire, stucco house but it was the one of the biggest highlights of this gal’s young life.

We lived well over an hour from the nearest town and spent every day of the summer horseback. It was glorious.

On this particular day we were out checking fence lines. Life wasn’t the hurried mess we often find ourselves in in this day and age. It was just a day of glorious adventures with my family.

I was never one short on words, especially when I was young. So the questions flew out of my mouth almost as fast the wind blew through my hair. Dad always humored me well answering my questions and making me feel completely loved and safe with him all the time.

We were miles and miles from home as the clouds started to roll in. In the wide open country of SE Montana you could see storms coming from many miles off. Dad decided it was best if we headed for home and hustled a bit in doing so.

The sky was growing darker by the minute, the wind was beginning to howl and the temperature took a drastic turn south. My little girl heart just knew to stay close to my dad as he would know the way.

It wasn’t too long before the rain started to pick up and the drops got larger. I lowered my head and trusted my horse to follow my dad’s. Suddenly something hit me on the top of the head. Then another and another. Ouch, it kind of stung. I had spent enough time outside to immediately know the hail had arrived in full force.

They started small but quickly grew in size and amount. My dad pulled his horse up and my brother and I followed suit. There was a cutbank we had been running alongside and my dad spotted a badger hole. He took a quick look inside and then had my brother and I stuff ourselves in there the best we could. He leaned over the hole covering his head the best he could and shielding us from the pounding hail.

Okay, I have to admit, I’m not sure which I was more scared of at the time. The hail outside or what might still be inside the hole with my brother and I! I just closed my eyes and trusted my dad.

Dad had to know we were scared about going into a badger hole. But, he knew what was best for us and we had to make the choice to trust him or not.

3 ways to learn to trust God.

Get to know Him:

We need to spend time getting to know God. We won’t trust someone we don’t know. So we need to get into His word and discover the heart of God. Once we know Him personally it makes more sense to trust Him.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:9 (ESV)

Learn from past experiences:  

Just as I had learned to trust my dad from him proving himself trustworthy in prior experiences the same can be said for God. As we go through life we’ll have opportunities to put our faith in Him and learn to trust Him more each time. We need to recall those past experiences and thank God for them often so our trust in Him can grow.

Oh Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You plan them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)

Tell Him about our fears:

When I first went into the badger hole I was too scared to tell dad I was scared. Guess what, it added to my fear!  Once I told dad I was scared he was about to help reassure me. When we keep our fears in the dark they grow even bigger in our mind.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We go through so many things in life where we aren’t sure what’s scarier, what we feel on the inside or what’s happening on the outside.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?

Please help me welcome Kelly Balarie to the blog this week. 

Just yesterday, my friend told me her daughter has lice. 

I hugged that girl yesterday!

Would lice go from her hair to mine? Would I be cleaning the entire house, washing every sheet and stuffed animal, and pulling a thin comb through every inch of hair on my family’s heads from now until eternity? I can’t handle this thought. Next time, fist bumps will trump hugs.

Fear is the plumbing of discontentment.
It is the spillage of hesitation and loneliness.
It is the brakes to love.
It is the bulldozer to close relationships.
It is the boundary holding you back from God’s unlimited plan for you.

Fear is the rain cloud that always follows, the homicide to all God has, the breeding ground to insecurities, the shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, the cemetery of faith, and the artery blockage to the Spirit’s leading.  Continue reading “Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?”

Whisper Yes to quiet time with Jesus

Why do we struggle to spend quiet, undistracted time alone with God in His word and in prayer?

 

I tell myself every evening that tomorrow will be different. Nothing else will happen in my day until I’ve had my time following Jesus into the word of God. Then the next day comes and the day comes flying at me.

Now, I know people always say to just get up earlier before anyone else gets up in my house. There’s a bit of a problem with this though. My husband gets up between 4 and 4:30 every morning. I’m not going to to try to beat him out of bed in the morning.

So once I’m awake the day just starts to slip away. Distractions, even minor ones, creep in and try to steal my time.

I don’t know about you but then I’m trying to “squeeze” time for God in while I do other things.  Maybe it’s just me but I often find myself reading from my Bible app while I’m walking dogs only to have my phone ring.

I sometimes feel like I can’t focus for more than about a minute at a time most days. So I find myself praying while I shower, out feeding sheep or doing dishes.

Now I want to make it perfectly clear, I want to spend time talking to God while I do all those things. There isn’t anything wrong with listening to God’s word from a Bible app when I’m walking dogs.

But…Jesus has been calling me away from the distractions. Asking me if I will whisper yes to following Him into the quiet.

As for me, this means when distractions want to run rampant in my life I will choose to put them on hold.

One of the most important steps I’ve made is no social media before my quiet time with the Lord. I want my genesis thoughts each day to be centered on truth I can trust, not the chaos of the world.

Another one is realizing silence has actually scared me. I’ve been known to fill my days with sound of some kind all day.

This may sound a little simple but I also find when I first wake up, before I ever roll out of bed, I say “Good morning, Jesus.” Simply speaking His name first thing each day invites Him into my day.

Let’s be on guard for the distractions satan tries to throw at us to steal our time quiet time with our Heavenly Father. Stand firm against them!

I’m praying our daily whisper of YES to take Jesus’ hand will echo throughout our day.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Into the Deep End of Faith

Is it just me or does life feel messy sometimes?

I feel like I can be going along and life feels kind of simple for a while and then wham, hit with something else!
Not too long ago my youngest brother was living life pretty fast and hard. Some choices he made were not in alignment with God’s will for him.
He was in a pickup accident which almost took his life.
SO many broken bones along with serious head trauma! Just to name a few were his back, neck, face, ribs, sternum and one leg. The only thing not broken were his arms and they were full of glass. His lung was punctured and full of glass as well.
The phone call you get after an accident like that is kind of burned into your memory.
My dad was the first person to get the call. Before he called anyone else, he prayed the following verse for my brother.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
The doctors were giving our family the worst case scenario. They said there wasn’t much hope of him surviving let alone being restored to full health.
It was time to step out into the deep end of faith. As a family we could have crumbled and given in to the fear but we cried out for God’s mercy and stood firm on His word. We spent quite a bit of time in prayer reminding God of his promises.
We let the doctors do their job and we did ours as a family, 
standing in the gap for my brother.
I won’t lie and say it was easy. There were tears shed and frustrations vented. Many days of hearing the worst case scenarios could have threatened to steal our faith. The thief came to steal, kill and destroy. We were holding onto the promise that Jesus came to give us life abundant. (John 10:10)
We already knew God was in control and would never leave us. We also knew God is sovereign and His ways are higher than our ways.
Many times, well meaning friends would comment how nice it was to see us “hoping” he would be fully restored. It wasn’t just hope like we normally think of it. Not the wishful kind of hope anyway.
There are no shortcuts to faith. We must spend time in God’s word so we’re ready to do battle when the tough days come. Arm yourself with God’s promises so you too can cut down any attack from the enemy!
My brother is a living, breathing, fully restored, walking testament of God’s miracles. He will always have some scars to remind us of the battle God won!
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~