The Feels

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Feelings are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

Feelings are a gift.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

Feelings are not based on truths but perceptions. You can not base your life on them.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow, change and shift but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow. He is the rock that will not be moved and the faithfulness that does not fail.

What you feel is valid and real. They are real feelings. Feel them, then look to Jesus and ask Him to show you what to do with them.

What feelings are you experiencing?

Do they line up with the truth of God’s Word?

What is Jesus guiding you to do today?

It’s the Holidays

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As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.
When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions. It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through all the emotions that this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.

This Time of Year

As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
 
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
 
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. To mourn. To love. To be thankful. He knew that there was a time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.  When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.  
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions, it means that you walk with Jesus through all the emotions this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.
 
Happy Monday!

Stay Tender

  

You were created to be tenderhearted.

To feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in between.

Yet it seems so much easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter. Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened, or what should have happened and letting that shape your future.

Fight for your tender heart.

That means you have to feel the pain and process it. That means you walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

That means you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance, so you can live beyond it.

Stay tender hearted.

Don’t let life (and other people’s
choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future you will thank you for it.

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.” (Proverbs 28:14 MSG)

A Bouquet of Newly Sharpened Pencils

This morning I am sitting in the midst of school supplies yet to be unpacked and distributed between one sturdy old backpack and one brand new backpack of two very special boys, my own.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.” said the character of Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in You’ve Got Mail directed by Nora Ephron.

I don’t know if I love New York in the Fall. I know I love it during the Spring, as I got the opportunity to take a jaunt over there this last May. I am pretty sure that I would love New York in the Fall too. Although, I have it on good authority (the Director’s commentary on the DVD) that they did have to paint some of the leaves brown and gold for a couple of scenes in the movie because they really filmed it in the late fall/ early winter.

I digress. This post isn’t about New York in any season (sigh). I should write one but this isn’t it. This post is about sitting in the midst of school supplies in one of the hottest weeks of the summer in sunny California.

Here, we don’t send our children to school in the Fall but during the hottest, most miserable time of the year anywhere – Mid August. My boys will probably say when they grow up, “Don’t you just love the 110 degree weather? It makes me want to buy school supplies…”

In Vegas, Nevada, where we lived for the first 9 years of the boys lives, we started school in late August when it was still a brutal 110 -115 degrees. I remember going to pick up the boys from Kindergarden and First Grade armed with small bottles of Gatorade so that we would all survive the walk from their classrooms across the melting black asphalt of the parking lot to the car parked down the street. At least here in Northern California, I have the hope that the temperature will come back down to a pretty warm midday bookended by beautiful cool breezes in the mornings and evenings for the start of the school year.

Ugh. I am very ADD this morning….pencils, I am writing about newly sharpened pencils and the smell of scotch tape. I am writing about tearing through the flimsy plastic wrapping of 8 &1/2 by 11 lined notebook paper so that it can be put into the back of a brand new 2 inch binder. I am writing about breaking through the cardboard back of a neon highlighter set to release them for use.

I am writing about the nervous anticipation of the unknown future and the tools that trigger powerful emotions. As a child, I experienced mild nervousness and the excited awareness that soon I would soon be back in the classroom. I loved school. Now, I get to experience theses moments with my boys who are sad that the summer is over and very nervous at what the new school year might bring. They are excited about the new shoes, new binders, new highlighters and so many # 2 pencils that I could make a beautiful pencil bouquet of out of them.

I am excited, too. It is time to launch into a new season.

What does the smell of “new sharpened pencils” invoke in you? Are you ready to launch into a new season? What tools or preparation would help you get ready? What do you need to do to be successful in it?