Pause in His Presence

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I took a break from social media.  It was not planned. I just stumbled across a post by Pastor Laura Lee that said “Social Media Sabbatical – 21 Day challenge”.  

Just reading the word Sabbatical sounded like a vacation on a shoreline to me.  I scrolled on to the next post, but I kept coming back to hers. I am a big fan of social media. I love it and I use it personally, professionally, and in ministry so stepping away would be a big deal for me. 

Reluctantly, I took the plunge and removed all of the apps from my phone except the Bible App.

Besides the obvious benefits of having more time and being fully present and engaged, the one thing that shocked me the most was feeling my anxiety levels decrease.  

Who knew?

I felt lighter, slept better and was able to breathe easier.  

I had no idea how much being on social media caused me to worry. 

I worry about you.  

I genuinely care about your crisis, your online business, your milestones, and I especially worry about what you think of me. 

None of this is bad, but when it all piles on in 30 minutes (which easily becomes two hours), it makes my heart feel a lot heavier when I finally x out. 

The tape in my mind starts playing on repeat, “People are hurting. They are offended.  They need to sell just a little bit more. There is a birthday, an anniversary and more.”  As the tape continues to play, I worry did I miss someone’s birthday? Did I say enough? Should I comment? I don’t even know which emoji to add because I am not even sure how I feel.  The pressure builds and it is overwhelming at times.  

I worry about myself. 

I wonder if I said enough, or did I say too much.  Now that I have teenagers, they read what I post and they don’t always like the pictures I share of them so I am more sensitive to their eyes and hearts. I start to doubt my calling and it slows me down. I see others celebrating huge victories and I am thrilled for them!  It encourages me at first, but then comparison creeps in, followed by insecurity and ultimately I am filled with doubt. I worry about what I think of myself.  

The tape in my mind starts taunting, “Did God really say? It will never happen for you. Why bother? Who do you think you are?” Am I saying enough? Am I doing enough? It is too much? 

But there is One… 

When I was able to escape the awkward high school halls of social media for a bit, I was able to pause in His Presence. It was there that I discovered this truth: 

There is only One whose opinion of me matters. Just one:  Jesus

My word for the year is Joy, and the verse is Psalm 16:11:

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” 

Taking a break from Social Media helped me to see the Bigger Truth in that verse.  

Joy will come in His Presence.  He will make known to me the path of life in His Presence.  

When I am in His Presence I am fully aware of who He says I am, and what He has called me to do. I am fully aware of His strength, His power and His healing.

When I am in His Presence, it is not about me.  

In His Presence, I believe all things are possible. Doubt, panic, worry and anxiety wither away in the fullness of His Glory.  

When I reached day 21, I put my little toe back in the waters of social media and I quickly retreated. I wasn’t ready. So I took a few more days and I waited a bit longer.  When I went in, I stayed in the shallow end for a bit but it didn’t take long for the waters to rise and the tapes to start playing.  

So, I am stepping away again. 

I have tasted.  I have seen.  I believe.  

He will show me MY path and fill ME with joy in His Presence.  

I want to be intentional to meet Him there.  Join me? 

For he alone is my safe place.
    His wrap-around presence always protects me
    as my champion defender.
    There’s no risk of failure with God!
    So why would I let worry paralyze me,
    even when troubles multiply around me?
God’s glory is all around me!
    His wrap-around presence is all I need,
    for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength.
 Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment!
    Tell him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to him.
    Believe me when I tell you—he will help you!
Pause in his presence 

Psalm 62:6-8 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Be Still and Know

Be still and know

My word for 2016 is KNOW, as in be still and Know that He is God.

I wanted to spend time in the Word studying His character and His attributes. I studied, but it feels like I spent most of this year in a classroom or lab learning these truths hands-on. When I was absolutely terrified, overwhelmed and so very sad, I was reminded to Be Still and Know. I had to learn to just let go, and completely depend on Him and trust Him.

That’s not easy for this type A, control freak, and take charge kinda girl.

I know He knew what I would face in 2016, and through it all, I am thankful that I had this gentle reminder to focus on…  “Be Still and Know that I am God.”

For the month of December, I’ve been doing the Names of God Bible Reading Challenge with Rachel Wojo.  It has been powerful to focus on these names, and to let them sink deep not only into my heart but also into the heart of the little girl inside of me.

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My One Word for 2016 {Know}

Whatever is Lovely: Be Still and Know

I found my six-year-old son’s wish list for Christmas and laughed when I saw he wanted a robot to do his homework for him.

As his mom, I know better.  I know homework will help him, and will prepare him for the quizzes, tests and exams that will come.  I love him too much to let him skip his homework because I know what is good for him.

Likewise Jesus knows what is good and beneficial for me. He’s the greatest teacher ever. He knows what lies ahead. He knows where I need testing. He knows that my “homework” is good for me, too.  When I struggle with discipline, time management and listening, God is gracious to meet with me everyday to mold, teach, refine and train me. But, it is up to me to do my homework. It is up to me to study. It’s up to me to show up. I have to trust, and be willing to have my faith stretched. When I mess up, I have to be willing to try again. When I fall, I have to be willing to stand back up. When I want to move, I have to practice being still.

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Being Still in the Storm

Be Still and Know The pouring rain had slowed to a drizzle. My arms were full and I almost decided to just run to my car, but I grabbed an umbrella thinking I may need it later.

After just a few steps, the bottom fell out and it started raining much harder. I stood there shocked trying to load the car and stay dry. Where did that downpour come from??  I was so thankful I paused to grab that umbrella because otherwise I would have been drenched.

The storms of life show up suddenly like that sometimes and take me by surprise. My first instinct may be to foolishly run ahead thinking I can somehow outrun it. But, it’s always wiser to be prepared, and pause to take the time to grab the umbrella.

I find myself in a storm and I think, “Lord, I want to hold onto you and not let go. I want to go where you lead when you say go. I want to do what you want me to do.”

Those are the sincere cries of my heart, but in reality it is a huge struggle for me.

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