TheHeartShapedLife http://theheartshapedlife.com Who doesn't want a life lived in love? Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:19:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Stop trying and know. http://theheartshapedlife.com/stop-trying-and-know/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:14:06 +0000 http://theheartshapedlife.com/?p=27 Continue reading "Stop trying and know."

]]>

Consider it wholly joyful, my brothers and sisters, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and testing of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

 4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

If any of you is deficient in wisdom let him ask of the giving God, [who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him. 6 Only it must be in faith, without wavering [no hesitating or doubting God’s willingness to help], for the one who wavers is like the billowing surge out at the sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord. 8 [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating =, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, and decides].

The first time I remember hearing this passage, I was a teenager in Sunday school. My teacher, whom I respected and trusted, presented a lesson on James 1:2-3. I vividly remember the take away as, “be thankful for trials; be glad to have them”. This was impressionable to me as a teen; it gave me something to strive for. It seems admirable {kinda}; however, somewhere along the way “being thankful for trials” didn’t really shape  up to being practical or an image of my Savior’s promises. It’s hard to say if this being thankful and happy about hard things was something I personally inferred and allowed for resolution within or if this was the intent of the lesson. Either way, it became evident to me, I needed to seek revelation from God about the depths of James’ truth.

I’ll be honest. My heart seeks to love first; my God, my husband, my family, my patients, friends and everyone I come in contact with. I have a genuine Spirit-given and led desire to love and serve others, but I fight. I fight with struggling, striving, trying, achieving. I try to be aware of the unevenness of my moods, temper, personality. My responses to people, my tone and facial expressions, at work and at home. I’m not always up to par when I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. To be specific, I’ll hi light my job.

I work full time as an occupational therapist, definition below. I manage 3 full caseloads and 2 occupational therapy assistants in a small rural clinic, hospital & nursing home. It seems lately, as if I’ve been extraordinarily busy; working long hours, combating inefficiencies, some I can control and most I cannot. {I have a hard time letting the cannots, cannot} However, in 3 years, I’ve worked in multiple settings, with numerous people and varying degrees of factors; some similar and some vastly different than my current job. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN TIRING AND HARD.

I recognized the selfishness of this idea {my job is hard and I’m tired, waa waa waa} and the despair it brings my soul. Working in health care is stressful (so is business, construction, education and everything else). Being an over achieving, employee is emotionally and physically taxing (so is being a compassionate teacher, researcher or missionary). I’ve made job changes in the past, to “better myself and family” and the level of fatigue and difficulty doesn’t seem to budge. Different opportunity, different challenges.  I’ve spent too much time at  self loathing pity parties; invitation only. Me. So, I’ve been on a mission. A mission to seek from the Lord first as to how to make a change. An internal change first, since I’m the common denominator.

It would be easy to infer from James 1:2 that I should simply; “be thankful for all the hardships I face at work and to consider it pure joy”. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it. I spent too much time, trying to be thankful; trying to be joyful; trying to be patient and steadfast. Walking away with the same level of anxiety and fatigue and disheartenment as before.

I learned, you can’t try to live by the fruits of the spirit. As a born again believer, you ARE the fruits of the spirit. They are inside of you working hand in hand with the Holy Spirit that God gave to us when we accepted him as Lord of our lives. But just like the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we have to engage it.  Activate your faith in God knowing that He is joy and has given us joy that comes with trials; to prove our faith in Him; to be complete.

Oh great, something else to do; be joyful in trials, try to have faith and try to be complete. NO!!! To experience these truths and to be assured of them. James tells us to prove/activate our faith; that the trial AND proving of your faith [together] bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. (James 1:3)

So there, we can’t just have a trial and be joyful; you might be excellent at that…..I am NOT. James says the trial AND the proving of your faith will bring out the coveted fruits. It’s noting we can manufacture, it’s nothing we can get better at doing.  It’s not something we can achieve. We get it by the proving of our faith. Which is not something you “do”; you change your mind about it, by knowing it and assuring yourself.

We don’t do. We know. We seek to know God more and our faith and our assurance in Him becomes more.

I’m stubborn. And when “I know something, I know it”. It doesn’t matter how I feel, what the circumstances are or what someone else tells me. “I know it”. Lately, I’ve chosen to know God’s truth and word and promises despite what others say, or how I feel; and this, my friends…..will change your life.

11 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and  the conviction of their reality. [faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]

We just assure ourselves that what we hope for IS. We know it. I’ve never been successful at fabricating patience and endurance. But, I have experienced the peace of mind knowing, that I have the Holy Spirit in me and if I choose to know that I have ALL things that He gives; I already have patience and endurance inside of me. I just need to re-assure myself to KNOW that truth, and exercise it.

To KNOW it; is to KNOW it; despite all else. That’s what we have “to do”. No more trying, striving, whining and crying. Just KNOW and just do. I just modified Nike’s whole mantra. “Just know it. Just do it” You’re welcome Nike; we like this slogan better.

 

Occupational Therapist: a medical professional that works hand in hand with patients, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in creating and implementing treatment plans & education for patient/clients in the rehabilitation/recovery process; mostly after injury, illness or due to a physical or cognitive dysfucntion/delay.

]]>
Refuge http://theheartshapedlife.com/refuge/ Fri, 12 May 2017 16:23:39 +0000 http://theheartshapedlife.com/?p=11 Continue reading "Refuge"

]]>
ref·uge

ˈrefˌyo͞oj,ˈrefˌyo͞oZH/
noun
  1. a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.
    “he was forced to take refuge in the French embassy”
    • something providing shelter.
      plural noun: refuges
      “the family came to be seen as a refuge from a harsh world
    • an institution providing safe accommodations for women who have suffered violence from a spouse or partner.

v1. He WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. v2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! Psalm 91:1-2

Psalm 91 has long been a “go to” or a “come back to” read for me. Perhaps it’s because it seems to be almost directly in the center of my Bible; or because I’ve read it to stand on for specific circumstances and received an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort from the truth revealed in it.

It would be dishonest of me to say, despite how many times I’ve read it (Ps 91), that I consistently choose to remember in my heart (mind; because they are the same) this psalmist’s blaring confirmations…my refuge, my fortress….STABLE and FIXED. Who doesn’t need these things on a daily basis?????

My fear is that we do need these things, yet we choose tangible and temporary things to fill the void; houses or spouses, cars or clothing, the almighty $$$, children, family, entertainment, food even. We’re human. These are the things that we hear, see, feel all day long. These things brings us joy and comfort. However, these things can bring us great disappointment, fear and hurt, too.

Think about it: our houses for example.  A long day, or busy times and you think “if I could just make it through the day long enough to get home and sit on my cozy couch, or chair”…yet when you walk through the door, piles of laundry, bills, dirt, dust, grime, glaring sites of imperfections or unfinished chores/lists somehow seem to knock away that earlier sense of refuge you were seeking for peace and rest. Our spouses and children are also often that source of comfort we seek to run away from the world’s issues; yet they are people too and can break our hearts more than anyone.

Which is why our Father offers us Himself, daily, to seek refuge from. Seek His Refuge 1st.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and THEN all these things taken together will be given you besides. Matt. 6:33

His promises are there to keep us safe, and stable; to lean on and put our confidence in. I don’t know about you, but not only do I desire to seek Him and praise Him for the safety He provides my family through our shelter, food, water, jobs, etc……but I need STABILITY on a daily basis. Emotional stability. And I haven’t found anything consistent the world can offer. The occasional vacation, glass of wine are good resets; but the problems don’t go away. I need a Refuge, a source of constant stability. So today, I’m seeking Jesus’ shadow to be rested under. Not giving into my emotions or feelings, and when it creeps up; I’ll remember Ps. 91:1-2 [not even in direct quote form]; “those that set their love and their thinking upon the Lord shall draw their refuge & stability from Him”. Don’t complicate it. Just remember it. When you start to get overwhelmed. Jesus. {stability; refuge}

REFUGE. >keeps us safe. >keeps us stable. >lean on it. >put our confidence in it

God, I thank you for revelation received in this scripture. For the hope-the hope for every single thing we face-that comes from the truth declared by the psalmist. I believe that I receive, through your Holy Spirit, revelation not just something good to think about, but spirit changing and lifting revelation…that you are my Refuge and I seek you first; AND THEN……all the things. Amen.

Don’t you love that overwhelming sense of peace and comfort you get when you take some time to read over God’s promises? So for me, when I make the time to sit down and meditate, it’s easy. It’s relaxing and safe, it’s a place of refuge for my mind, my soul and my body. I get up from there, go about my business and I face day to day life, with a choice. The people, challenges, words…[paperwork, laundry, bills, food, exercise v. no exercise, fatigue, drama, gossip, emotions]. I can choose to face them with an overwhelming sense of emotion and chaos or go back to my meditations and choose the Almighty’s promise of Refuge and Stability.

It seems almost instantaneous for me sometimes how quickly I receive the revelation, then how quickly I choose to let my thoughts and feelings overpower that revelation. I give into the people, the challenges, the words rather than choosing to remember the Truth and the Promise from the Almighty that I had not so long ago, meditated on. I challenge you, while continually challenging myself. Don’t view quiet time/mediation on God’s word as “something else to do” or “a struggle”. We’ve got enough of those. Our Heavenly Father is a Giver and not a taker. His yoke is easy and His burden in light. He wants to give you the tools to get through the day with, we just have to choose to take them.

This is not a guilty, “I haven’t been reading my Bible enough” or “I need to do better” post. We’re all human. None of us are enough or are at our best [thank you, Jesus]. This is a post that deeply desires to encourage you to not {overcomplicate it}. Take 1 minute, 1 verse and walk in that promise every minute of that day. For me today, it was the 1st two verses of Ps. 91 as a reminder to seek Him for Refuge.

]]>
Hello world! http://theheartshapedlife.com/hello-world/ Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:53:50 +0000 http://theheartshapedlife.com//?p=1 Continue reading "Hello world!"

]]>
I said I wouldn’t do a first post; I would just start writing. I didn’t want the pressure of that obligatory, really cool/inspiring “reason I started blogging” statement. I don’t have one of those. I just have a heart that desires to connect with people. We weren’t meant to walk this life alone and God is good. {I didn’t promise my posts wouldn’t be random}. {I also didn’t promise that my use of punctuation was immaculate……so…….}

Read. Share. Inspire. Love. Grow. All the things.

It’s a journey. Here goes.

This is one of my favorite pics. I’ve never known what to use it for…so now seemed like a decent opportunity.

I’m an occupational therapist (OT), by career choice, (I’ll explain that on another post if you don’t know what an OT is). And this is a picture of an activity I used on earth day, one year. We decided to use planting seeds for our therapy garden as the nursing home patient’s therapy for that day. THEY loved it and it gave them something to talk about and look forward to for an entire season.

Let’s plant some seeds peeps. Literally and figuratively.

 

 

]]>