let your weight of burden go

I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. Philippians 3:13b

I have had a few conversations of late where wonder was expressed at how I can leave my past behind me.

It was not easy learning to let go and to forgive, but I figured out quite quickly I couldn’t hold on to the old me if I wanted to become the new me He had in mind with my design.

The tighter we grip our past, the less able we are to step forward.

We weren’t meant to be under that kind of strain, nor to carry that kind of baggage.

God reminds us that we are to:

Come to Him, all those who are weary and burdened, and He will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Al;though I knew this as we all do on one level, God made this verse come alive to me in a very unexpected way.

One day, soon after my second child was born, I was walking from our car into a mall to go shopping.  The moment i got out of the vehicle, with each subsequent step, I could feel an increasing weight being applied onto my shoulders. I felt more and more weary,  with a strong sense of despair all at the same time.

I was beginning to hunch and limp so much so as I kept walking I thought I might be having a stroke. I was pretty close to completely freaking out on the inside when it suddenly occurred to me to pray in the moment.

So I did.

The weight briefly got heavier as i did, and then i heard, “Are you ready to let Me carry those burdens?” in His sweet soft voice.

That was the eye opener my squelched down hurting soul and spirit needed.  I stopped, prayed and asked Him to take anything i might be carrying off of my shoulders, and to give me rest in the place of those burdens.

He did, almost immediately.

My  exhaustion and sense of burden lifted. My back straightened, my neck and shoulders loosened up, and my gait realigned with every step i took after giving Him that weight.

The weight of our past and our disappointments we were never meant to be lugging along with us.

We were meant instead to carry the weight of glory, Beloved.

The moments in our past where we were hurt or experienced a sense of loss?  He asks us to give Him those as we draw close to Him.

The moments in our past where we felt joy or celebrated? These too can become traps when we stay stuck in them, and can’t move beyond them.

We are meant to live in the now of this moment, Beloved.

God has reminded us in his Word how He has plans and a purpose for us, each and every one of us.  Good plans.

Plans which will incorporate the blessings and lessons from your the past, as He uses them to help His design come to light.

If you haven’t fully stepped out of the reach of those shadows lurking from your past, take comfort.  God knows.

His plan is for your full freedom.

And your full freedom will come to pass, because He isn’t a liar.

When the weight of the past speaks loudly at you, remind it you know it isn’t His voice trying to get Your attention.

Its time to take the igniter out of the liar’s hands, and let God heal and remove the past wounds weighing us down.

Then He can reignite…

Our hearts with His love.

Our minds with His hope.

Our bodies with His touch.

Our purpose with His guidance.

Our lives with His life in us.

Before this busy season of celebration begins to pick up speed, set some time aside to soak in his Presence.

Just like a bubble bath relaxes you physically and emotionally, soaking in his Presence helps the dirt of the past to be washed away as He restores and rejuvenates your spirit.

Let the weight of His glory cover you and make you whole as you place the weight of your burdens and hurts into His loving hands.


facing my giant

I am downtown with a girl friend today, thoroughly enjoying myself.

There was a period of time where I couldn’t do so.

I allowed a fear to dictate where I could walk free.

Years ago, someone tried to pull me off the subway car onto an empty station. Thanks to a good Samaritan & my backpack straps, that didn’t happen.

But the seed of fear entered to make itself at home as I blocked this incident out, burying the memory.

My daughter decided to go to school in this very town I was so uncomfortable in, and I knew I needed to be free. And I knew He wanted it too.

I asked God to release me from whatever had caused the fear, and He brought that memory back….with a difference.

When you know the God of the universe is standing beside you, you can face your giant.

Mine was fear.

In giving Him that fear, He broke its claim on me, removing the Liar’s venom within me.

But He didn’t stop there.

His Spirit swept in, and filled me with a quenching peace.

And reignited my desire to see new places, many of which are nearby.

So on the bus we went, and I am a sunburnt, slightly disheveled content visitor in the city that used to cause my fear temperature to spike.

For I know He walks with me, and I need not fear. God is so much bigger & greater & stronger than we can fathom, and He chooses to hang out with you, & me!


holding fast

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
*Psalm 16:6-8 ESV

The path has been quite rocky over this most recent leg of this journey.

Changes left & right have caused me to recenter & stand firm on the unshakeable truth: God alone is my sure foundation.

I have had to take a step back & closely examine what matters most to me, and He has been reshaping me on the inside while the storms swirl around me on the outside.

By the way, a storm is anything that tries to knock you on your Foundation.  It can be a temptation, a spiritual attack, a crossing of a boundary, a sudden loss….any unexpected change, big or small.

God has been quietly prompting me to allow Him to set my boundary lines, and giving me the strength to hold fast to Him as I do.

Boundary #1: God time is in permanent marker in my schedule, wherever & whenever He wants. 

Allowing Him ownership blesses my time, makes me more confident He is with me & more productive at all I do.

Boundary #2: Self care under His direction is not selfish.

This includes enforcing my need for balance. Too much work at a time leaves me exhausted & drained. As part of my work is freelance, I now have boundaries on when I will/will not work which God is helping me reinforce.

Boundary #3: After God, my family is more important.

God didn’t just randomly refer to children as treasures or gifts we were never meant to unwrap. Your spouse is to be your best friend, the one you go to first after God with whatever is bugging you. God wants us to have daily family time, however that can look for your family. Meals, DVD, walking, laughing, worshipping together…. We miss the tight bonds God planned for us when we fail to put family ahead of all else after Him.

Boundary #4: Saying no is to be welcomed when it is enforcing a boundary, and/or following His leading.

I have a hard time with this one, as several people around me like to try and bypass my no. What is urgent to them is to become my urgent project to be immediate dealt with. If I am already working, or on a day off, I need to say no or not yet.  If they can’t accept it, that isn’t my problem. As the Polish saying goes, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!”

The reality is: I am not on call 24/7 to anyone but God or my family.

I suspect I am not the only one who needed to read that truth today. If your ‘no’ is not being respected, then quite honestly the requester is not respecting you. Stand up for yourself, and if you have to, take a stand. I have left a job I was very good at because my employer crossed the boundaries I had clearly set. As much as I hated doing so at the time, it was the best thing I could have done for myself to learn how to enforce my boundaries, knowing God was with me as I did so. No means no.  God will back you for standing firm on a boundary He has helped you set.

Boundary #5: God & I together are free to change, adapt or create new boundaries at any time. I don’t need anyone else’s permission to follow His lead.

Now, if I do something completely out of character or fall into sin, it will become obvious to those around me whether God is in it or not. We are known by our actions & their fruit, not only our words. We are to be considerate & honor one another, and at the same time we are not be someone else’s doormat to be walked all over at their convenience.

I speak from experience that I have learned the difference between serving & being a slave.

I will not head back into the chains God rescued me from.

I had spiritually cowered like Piglet for way too long, being timid and afraid to speak up for myself. Allowing God to direct me into healthier living has enabled me to see that where He wants me to step, in His Presence, will lead me towards becoming the ‘me’ He designed me to become.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t need to apologize when I improve for the better, when Holiness & Love grip me so tight I become broken to be rebuilt into something better & more precious: More His.

My boundaries all lead back to freeing myself to live more fully in the wide open spaces of His love, mercy, grace & Presence, where He is constantly with me.

So the winds will continue to try & sweep me off my feet. Let them come, I say:

Because if I am already on my knees, I will not be shaken.

God’s promise: When I stay close to Him & follow His lead, He’s got me solidly 100% on His grip.


In His strength, I can stand firm and hold my ground when the storms circle about me.

Hold fast, dear ones.
God knows the way ahead, and the way through.
He’s got you.

lining up where I shouldn’t

Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday. @toddclark

The comparison trap will cause me to believe what I see, and forget what I know. Beth Kinder  www.strongholdthebook.com

I have a problem with my mirror. Maybe you can relate.

My mirror doesn’t show just my reflection, but lines me up beside others I compare myself to, every time i approach it.

In fact, I can’t remember a time besides my wedding day, that i looked in the mirror and just saw me.

Until yesterday.

I decided after having some fun with matching my red undertones for an all over foxy red these past eight months to head back to my roots.  Which are a dirty blonde with i suspect a few streaks of grey.  I am trying to simplify my life, and fussing with hair dye every time my roots show is too high maintenance for me (but that is me, if you can do it, bless you!)

After my daughter helped get all the dye on, i realized that as I was looking in the mirror, I was wondering what people would think if the grey starts coming in as I let my hair go natural.

Then i thought of a few women i know who always have perfect coiffed hair, as my nana would say.  Without a hair out of place.

And as my mind began to wander down that path, this time i caught myself, as i reminded myself of a quote that came to mind:

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

I don’t need to worry or compare myself to others, because let’s face it, everybody is struggling with something.  Just because it can’t be seen on the outside, doesn’t mean it isn’t there on the inside.

I am tired of judging myself by people’s standards, and lining their opinions up beside me in the mirror.

I choose His standard for me, which is Jesus.

I choose His design for me, which is unique.

I matter to Him, because of His timely & costly investment in me.

I don’t have to compare myself to anyone, but rather I choose listen to His heart for me, which is to live free & close to Him.  I choose to change the things He is most concerned about uprooting from me, and embrace the newness He has waiting for me.

Quite frankly, my hair color, or my extra weight, or my freckles, or my naked nails are between God & me.

Stop allowing the enemy to invite other people into the conversation God wants to have with you alone.

It was quite a jolt to my mind to realize where my thoughts naturally start to wander.

And they wandered back to a particularly hurtful grade 7 classmate, who embarrassed me in front of the whole class through her writing about me. Which I believed has been fully dealt with, not!

God reminded me today that the reason there was still an entry point for the enemy was due to my harboring unforgiveness, and shared with me that the person wasn’t trying to be deliberately cruel as it came across, but was very insecure & jealous and was trying to knock me out of competition for our mutual friend’s affection.

By my not forgiving her as a person, but just the action, I allowed a piece of the root to remain, and the enemy has been nurturing it to grow down deep over the years.

I am so done with that!

So i pray,

“God, I fully and completely forgive S___________. I believe Your blood is more than enough to forgive all my sins, and I extend the same mercy to her that You extended to me. Full & utter forgiveness in Jesus’ mighty name.  Wherever she is, I ask You to release Your Spirit to whisper the truths You long for her to hear into her mind, heart & spirit.  I ask You to restore to me the joy I had in being myself, in embracing who You designed & called me to be.  Uproot the enemy plant You have just destroyed, and release a fresh sense of Your wholeness and peace where it used to live.  May I ever delight in hearing Your words spoken over me. May I ever trust in You as the Lover of my Soul.  May i never lose the wonder of knowing how much YOU delight in ME. May I continually bring the things which are breaking me down & place them into Your hands for You to build me up. Where the enemy played for harm, restore Your goodness & purpose in my life.  Blessed be the Lord!  I pray this as one of Your beloved, Abba.  In Jesus’ name, and Holy Spirit power. Amen.”

Instead of letting ourselves see just our outer beauty, let’s join God in seeing His hand & move in our lives.  As children of the King, as the beloved bride of God, let’s allow the Lion of Judah to arise within, and move forward in the confidence of who we really are.


No matter what we look like its who we are inside that truly counts.

His handiwork.

His child.

His delight,

His beloved.


now is the time….

Worship releases God’s presence into the atmosphere, wherever we are.

And when God is there, all of Him- His character, freedom, love, justice is there as well.

When we acknowledge God is King, number one in our lives, and our strength….He can move in ways we never fathomed or dreamed possible.

When we are battling depression, anger, anxiety, fear…we need to call out to God through praising HIm for who he is, what He has done, and invite Him into whatever it is we are facing.

When we recognize God on His throne, we give Him the honor He is due.

We release Him to be all He is.

To do all he wants to.

Right in the here and now of the moment we are in.

Worship releases God’s power in a way that is almost beyond comprehension, but is certainly felt and seen.

We can feel when God enters the room.

We can see Him moving when we see people praising Him, bowing before Him, being healed, being set free, worshiping with abandon.

Worship releases God to move against our enemy.

Which is why worship can be and is a weapon.

When we proclaim who He is, we use our devotion and love for God as our defense, and allow God to battle, to fight for us.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, holy holy is He.

Sing a new song to Him who sits on heaven’s mercy seat.

He is Lord,
He always will be,
forever and ever,


(repost from May 4/14)



Short fuse going off?
Is your molehill looking like a mountain?
Just like me?

Yes, we all have days where we get stuck in it.
Life has both ups and downs…and no two days are ever truly alike because of all the variations involved…

But we can still feel stuck…
in a rut
in a bad relationship
in a boring class
in a dead end job
in old memories
in a situation that’s out of control

And it can strike at any time from the moment we arrive til right before we leave here.

How do we get unstuck?
How can we face the day?

Seeking His face.
No matter what.

Last week was a rough week for me. Several doctor appointments, two kids starting back to school, a new job for one child, sick days, unexpected tech glitches, early mornings/late days and little sleep add up to feeling stuck.

Taking a few minutes to breathe in and out, quieting myself as I got ready to drive the car.

Worship music in the CD player.

Reading a few positive devotionals each morning.

Checking out the Psalms, a record of David and several others’ ups & downs while seeking God.

Touching base with my support team.

Praying, even when words didn’t come easily and only teary groans were barely possible.

And God got me through.

Today He showed me He was taking care of us in a very practical way, which boosted my faith.

A major need on my mind was met. In full.

When we can’t see wiggle room is possible beyond our sight, we limit what God can do.

We remain stuck in our self imposed ruts.

I am tired of stuckititis. In its quicksand miry pull that sucks the joy out of the moment, day, week.

Its time to stick close to the One who sticks closer than we can ever imagine this side of heaven.

He is enough. More than enough.

Stick with Him to find the freedom you long for, just like I do.

Been stuck too long?
He can release you.
Reach out your hand, and let Him guide you safely out from whatever is holding you back.

your big year

I recently watched the movie ‘The Big Year’ with my family, without knowing much about it, besides the actors & that birdwatching would be involved.

It was quite the eye opener for me.

The day before I was reminded we need to remember the treasures we have, which may be hidden under all our junk.

The Big Year brought this to light.
(Note: a big year is a calendar year where you total up every bird you have seen by type & species in North America. The real life winner at the time of filming had seen 755!)

The world’s best birdwatcher couldn’t see beyond his desires or plans, as he was consumed only with his goal: to stay on top & protect his world record at all cost.

His two main contenders this same year, one a well-off man, the other an average Joe, both managed to make  place in the top four that year. 

As they both pursued their lifelong dream of completing a big year, they came to realize their true treasures were the loved ones who were there for them, not setting the world record- for love lasts.

The defending world record holder lost the treasure waiting for him at home, as he could not let go of his desires to work together on anything with his wife. He sacrificed love for glory.

We have all been guilty of doing the same at times.

We too have the choice for a big year. The bible refers to it as “The Year of the Lord’s Favor” in Isaiah 61. Jesus lived this out while He was here on earth.

A year filled with freedom, Spirit filled living, good news, healing for the brokenhearted, comfort, rebuilding, renewal.

Where we will wear a crown of beauty and garments of praise, salvation and His righteousness.

And if those are not enough, we will also receive a double portion, and our inheritance.

All of this is what God intends for us, this year.

This could be your big year. To see the Spirit move in you over & over. That you- the captive, prisoner, hurting and/or lonely will be released from your cage, and soar. Free. As God intended for you.

You could total up your year of treasures, the ways God chose to bless you, and I suspect God would blow 755 out of the water without any two being duplicated.

Don’t settle for the glint of worldly glory.

Step out into your big year, and let His power move to let the blessings for His glory begin!


(PS. You can learn more about the movie ‘The Big Year’  at:

rest a while

Why is rest such a forgotten resource?

I think, simply put, so many of us are too busy to remember to stop to smell the flowers, pet the dog, chat with the neighbor or sit with a book.

I have rediscovered rest after a very hard season a few years ago, where I had a lot on my plate and almost none of it by choice. I had to literally book time to rest in. Even if it was reading for fun while in the bath once a week, I made sure I scheduled it in with pen.

Our bodies are not designed like the Energizer Bunny would suggests, to keep going and going and going without stopping. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to: ( as outlined in: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss)

1. Unsafe driving (can be as bad as drinking and driving)
2. More accidents on the job
3. More sick days
4. Impaired cognitive thinking- a harder time problem solving, paying attention, staying alert
5. Impaired cognitive learning- not getting into healthy sleep patterns helps us lose what we may have learned the day before
6. Serious heart problems: heart attacks, heart disease, heart failure and irregular heartbeat
7. High blood pressure, stroke or diabetes can develop
8. Lower sex drive
9. Depression
10. Loss of collagen, leading to puffy skin and bags under your eyes, leaving your skin to look older
11. Increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone- which can lead to heart problems and diabetes
12. Too little growth hormone being released in youth, which can hinder proper development
13. Increased forgetfulness
14. Increase appetite, which can lead to:
15. Increased weight gain
16. Mood swings- being grouchy, touchy or moody
17. Live a shorter life
18. Impaired judgment. Lack of proper sleep can lead you to misread situations and make snap decisions as a result.

Our bodies actually require us to get enough rest (7-8 hours a night) in order to properly function and keep us well.
Since it is good for us, we need to make more effort to get enough sleep, and have downtime to relax.

But there is another kind of rest that you may need, which can help us relax the most. You may need to give up reminiscing about things that may have happened to you in the past.

No matter how much sleep your body may get, if your mind can’t stop going over your hurts, you can actually still end up ill, as if you weren’t getting enough sleep. Figure out how to let it go, so that it becomes a chapter in your history instead of the title of your life’s story. Allow yourself to move on, and put the hurts to rest.

Rest physically,
Rest emotionally,
Rest deep in your soul.

Off for my Sunday afternoon nap 🙂

Photo from: