God IS with us!

There is just something about an airport that is very special for God and I.

For many reasons actually but one especially, as it was on an airplane when my sin first flashed across the screen of my mind 6 years ago. I was crying so hard, snot was running everywhere, as God Himself was showing me my need for Jesus.

When I traveled over to Thailand last year, the strangest thing kept happening, flight after flight packed full, somehow a seat would always end up empty right beside me.

I remember being on Asia Air after 4 airplane rides, a lost passport and a night alone in Japan, I was tired and slightly emotional to say the least. I boarded the plane, just thankful I had made it that far. As they closed the door, I looked beside me and smiled as the seat next to me was again empty and I just knew it was God! It was God reminding me that He was indeed with me! I couldn’t stop smiling that whole leg of the trip. I had not really thought about that trip in months.

Until last week as I arrived at the airport on my way to a really great event, I suddenly felt overcome with sadness.  I wasn’t sure why at first, but then I just felt old, I felt I had missed out on life, my friends all have husbands, kids, houses, all of these “things” that people our age “should have”. But me, I didn’t have any of “those” yet and it hit me hard that I was going to be 37 soon. I looked up and I said, “Lord, did I miss out?” I felt sad as I got on the train and hung my head, you know that kind of hopeless feeling, that was me.

I then walked into one of those little shops at the airport to get a water and I passed by the stand of “inspirational books” that are usually all about God. I had a flashback to over 7 years ago when I was in the airport and would stop and stare at those books, I didn’t know God back then, but I realized in that moment He was with me back then and He was indeed with me now.

Husband, no husband, kids, no kids, house, no house, God the creator of the entire universe was with me. I got overwhelmed again and shed a few tears right there as a 70‘s love song was playing over the sound system in the store, I then kind of snickered as I thought about this entire situation, it could have been a scene in a movie.

I felt better and boarded the plane with my new book that I bought from the little stand. Staring out the window, I was just thankful to God. As the cabin door was pulled closed, I turned my head back towards the plane and saw the empty seat next to me on this completely full fight, (que: tears) I knew at that moment without a doubt it was God saying

“My dear, I am with you!”

I was just overwhelmed with how real God is and how He can show us in the smallest little ways in our everyday lives that He is indeed with us. We just have to sometimes turn our heads to look!

Books for Spiritual Growth! (Free and On Sale)

I heard and LOVED this quote early this year, “visit many good books, but live in the Bible” unfortunately I can’t remember who said it… But my sentiments exactly!!!

In no certain order…

Drum Roll Please- Favorite Books I read in 2013:

Circle Maker! Mark Batterson -It’s about prayer, it’s a must read…

True Identity! by Jennifer Brommet…gotta get it.. It changed the way I saw myself. Powerful

You can only get this one at her link http://www.shop.booklogix.com/True-Identity-4684.htm

Captivating! by John and Stasi Eldredge… I met Jesus face to face in the middle of this book right in one of the craziest moments of my life. LOVE THIS BOOK..

Love Does! Bob Goff, hello he is hysterical!

Wild Goose Chase! (Mark Batterson again)

Like a Vapor! Jamie Massey! (Jamie and her husband Victor are my pastors here in Atlanta)  I read this book in a week, that is a personal record.

If you want this book you have to call the church directly to order it 770-491-7071. First 5 people to comment below and mention they want this book, I will buy it and ship it to you!

Books I am in the middle of and LOVING!

Celibate Sex! My friend Abbie Smith talks about being single and WHOLE. I personally hope to not be single forever, but while I wait…….

Comment below that you want this book and I will do a little drawing and send winner a copy!

Becoming Myself! Stasi Eldredge (Stasi Co-Authored Captivating with her husband)

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope!

Jesus is… By Judah Smith. You will smile through the entire thing, I am half way through and loving it.

Books I am going to start AND/OR finish in 2014….

Believing God by Beth Moore…get it (the Kindle version is FREE right now, remember there is a Kindle APP so if you don’t have a Kindle still take advantage..) Link here for this and 13 other FREE Kindle Version books by Beth Moore, THANKS BETH!!!! http://echristianresources.com/2013/12/16-free-ebooks-from-beth-moore/

Unseen by Jack Graham

ALL IN (Mark Batterson AGAIN)

Soul Print (Mark Batterson -yes he is my favorite)

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley

Freefall to Fly! Rebecca Lyons

More of Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity! Jeff Shinabarger (this dude is the real deal….)

More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity.

GOOD NEWS, most of these titles are available on sale at http://www.christianbook.com.

Gosh there are honestly so many more, but for where God has me right now, these are it for this girl….

Share with us your fav reads from 2013 and you’re “going” to reads for 2014!! So fun to share!

Do As You Write, Put the Pencil Down!

It’s terrible when you name your blog Putting the Pencil Down, totally pointing out the need to surrender to God moment by moment and then you find yourself on your floor completely confused because of all the uncertain areas in your life.

“Trust God” I would say to my readers.

No wonder I haven’t been able to write lately, I feel like a total hypocrite.

Somewhere along this journey of what I think God is preparing me for (more on that later, I am not 100% sure what it even is) I find myself, scared and confused.

Confusion is NOT from God!

And I have been feeling really confused lately. So confused that I sat in child’s pose (child’s pose is a resting pose in yoga – which I don’t even do anymore) on my bathroom floor for like an hour the other night. I wasn’t upset, I was just feeling confused but I think I was confused on why I felt confused, so I just laid there without any thoughts on what to do next.

That my friends, is a text book tactic of the enemy.

Feelings are not to be trusted.

It seems so illogical our feelings FEEL so REAL. And I think they are real, but they are not to be trusted especially if they don’t line up with the Word of God.

The Word of God is TRUTH. (Period DOT DOT) You can remind the devil of this when he tries to lead you down another rabbit trail of destructive thought patterns.

The lies come subtly and then all the sudden it’s you, on the floor of your bathroom really not even sure what to do other than lay there.

I started to have weird thoughts like  “I wonder if I have made this all up in my head. I wonder if prayer really even works, have I lost my marbles?”

I started to feel really lonely, I started to make scenarios up in my head, I started to take offense and become bitter at people in my life, I started to feel sorry for myself.

I was whining and crying to God in my journal instead of praying.

What went wrong?

Forgetting to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus Christ. That’s what went wrong.

Starting to even entertain thoughts that are in direct opposition with what the Creator of the Universe says. He created the universe, why am I wondering if I am right.

Lindsay= been here 36 years

God= been here since before time began

Hello, this is not brain surgery.

Back to the basics, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Back to reading what I write, put the pencil down, Lindsay, and let the Creator of the Universe Write Your Story! He has got this too!

What’s Holding You Back from Dreaming?

What’s holding you back from dreaming?

Maybe take a minute and really ask yourself.

What are some of the deepest desires of your heart?

I suggest sitting with God and a journal and asking Him to help you see into your own heart, into the desire that He created within you.

Write down all that comes to mind in that moment.

Talk to Him, He is listening, He desires a personal relationship with you, He delights in YOU. Sit with Him and just talk.

Ask yourself  “If I could do anything and money didn’t matter what would it be?”

(take a moment and a piece of paper and write it down)

Just do it.

RIGHT NOW….

……. did you do it? Don’t read on until you have done this, even it is for 5 minutes.. It is not silly, it is revealing..

Good job! He is proud of you!!! He is.. I know what you might be thinking, but here is my take, the Bible is explicitly clear that He is our Heavenly Father (those that choose to receive the gift of salvation from Jesus and then be in right standing with Father God). Our perfect Father who is always available, He has always been right there and always will be. It is up to us to engage with Him.

He is always speaking, are you listening?

He created you. And created you on purpose for a specific reason here on earth. You were not a mistake, even if your parents didn’t plan on you, your Creator did.

I often have to say to myself, “WAIT, God who created this entire crazy beautiful and detailed universe, that One, He also created me. HUH

According to the Bible, He loves us and even though we can be a major idiots sometimes, we are forgiven if we ask for forgiveness and that is all because of Jesus.

God forgives us, He wipes our slate clean, He gives grace in our wonderings and mishaps all because of Jesus.

He asks us to admit our mistakes, confess our sins and we are forgiven. I think there is power in “the saying you are sorry to God part”.. Even for the little goofy things..

He takes the disgusting ashes of our lives and He makes them beautiful.

He takes our mistakes and the broken world around us and He works it all for our good and most importantly His Glory . He does this to be seen by others, so they could know Him also.

That whole love and grace thing is more than amazing in my book!

Here is a prayer I prayed to remind myself that He is the reason for life. Feel free to pray it yourself.

“Oh Lord, I seriously can’t take another breath without you, I am thankful for what you have done and I am super excited about what you are going to do, because I believe I am not here by mistake, I believe that if I follow You, You will indeed lead me to my purpose in life, the desire in my heart that isn’t even fully clear yet, I believe that you are the One to trust, to follow, to spend time with, to study, to love, to ultimately give my life to, so you can replace it with the life I was always intended by you to live. Thank you Jesus for what you have done for me on the CROSS, I receive that again and again, because truthfully, I need your grace, again and again, I pray all this in Your name and for Your glory, AMEN!”

 

 

 

 

Control, Submit and Resist.

And then there was CONTROL, a subject I was prompted to write on after I let my feelings about a situation steal a good portion of my day and just about all of my peace.

The funny part is as I opened up a document to write on the issue, my issue of control, I noticed this half written blog from a few months ago titled “Control, Submit and Resist. Interesting enough, it looks like God and I started to deal with this little issue in my life a few months back and then I got distracted and here I am, trucking back around the same mountain.

The unfinished blog from a few months ago starts here:

The past month has been what I like to call a hot mess. Maybe not so much on the outside, but on the inside, the inside of my brain.

Every once in a while, I will tend to have a mini meltdown. The problem is a few weeks ago I had like 7 complete meltdowns in a row.

I was basically over myself. Thankfully God was not over me, but I pretty much thought He was, it was the strangest thing. I am not normally THAT off balance. WHOA.

Then it was a health scare that kept my attention and shook my faith in God.

In the end, as usual I learned that God is simply in control and I either have to choose to believe that or not.

That was all I wrote, I didn’t get to a place that it was ready to post, I was mainly just putting my thoughts and feelings out on paper, wondering if anyone could relate.

Today I had a similar but slightly more subtle control issue. I was mad about all these things I couldn’t control but thought I should have a say in. It was completely illogical but seemed so very logical in my head as I heard the enemy whisper in my ear:

“Lindsay, that is ridiculous, you can’t stand for this, you must say something, do something, you can’t let this go on.”

After hours of agreeing with him, I finally let go and asked for help. I prayed even though I didn’t “feel” like it would be a lick of help.

Suddenly it was obvious to me; I was trying to control these external factors, that truthfully, I have NO control over. I wanted control, but in this circumstance, no one was asking me, so I had a choice to either bang my head against the wall (figuratively wishing I had control) OR I could submit my will to those God placed in front of me. Ultimately to Him. Which means resisting the lies of the enemy telling me I had a right to push my thoughts or feelings on others.

Can I take my thoughts and feelings to God? Absolutely and He is happy to listen and give me peace if I will allow Him. But I also heard God ask me if I TRUSTED HIM. In my head I was like “YEAH, totally”, but in my soul it was like I was saying “well, I am not so sure God, if things go my way, of course I trust you.” eeeeeeekkkkkkk

“Create in me a clean heart OH God and renew a right Spirit with in me!” Psalm 51:10

“Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will make my path straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

In what areas of your life do you struggle relinquishing control to God? Do you trust Jesus with no parameters?