Firmly Planted

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

In our yard, there’s this huge, beautiful old tree. When we moved to the farm 19 years ago, it was the first thing I fell in love with. Every spring, I look up at the very top and watch the new leaves start to inch out bit by bit. It is perfectly shaped like an egg, with a narrow top that widens toward the middle and narrows ever so slightly down toward the bottom. I love to watch my 3 kiddos link their hands to hug its thick, rough trunk. When the summer wind blows it makes the most peaceful ‘shoooo’ sound. It has a massive width and height by July and even the worst of storms cannot budge it. I imagine that if you tried to dig it up, the roots are intertwined so deep you’d be unable to tell where one ends and another begins.

When I think of the spiritual mentors in my life, they remind me of that big ole tree in my yard. They, like the tree, have roots so intertwined with our Savior that it is hard to tell where one ends and another begins. They are not shaken by the storms of life. They are like the verse in Ephesians 3:17. Their hearts are filled with faith in Christ. They are rooted and established in His love. They are powerful in their churches and ministries. They are rooted in the body of Christ for life. They are filled to the measure with the fullness of God.

When I look at the life of one that recently went home to be with the Lord. I am overwhelmed with a fresh fervor for reaching the lost. He was consistent, disciplined, and connected to Christ. His calling as an evangelist took him all over the world. Some places he was welcomed and some he was not. That didn’t stop him from reaching out to the lost regardless of their opinion of him.

He was brave, I am not. I want to be. How was he so bold and fearless, I ask?

It was his desire to fulfill the calling of his Father. He took chances that others would run from. He wasn’t focused on his ability to perform well and he fully trusted with no wavering that the Lord would take his time in preparation and use it for His glory. What people thought of ‘him’ was the furthest from his mind, it was communicating what God’s thoughts were of them. I hear the echo of his words right now, “God loves you!”

What is keeping you from fulfilling the calling on your life? Are you called to teach, or speak, or even preach? Does fear, intimidation, unworthiness, acceptance, or laziness hold you back?

Make a choice today, dig in your heels, refuse to spend one more moment outside of your calling. You are firmly planted, rooted and established in love! Walk in boldness friends!

~Shana

We are Safe!

img_4924

What is it that scares you right now? What are you afraid of that keeps you from living the life you have always dreamed of? Here are a few of mine:

  • Flying
  • Traveling to a foreign country
  • Public Speaking
  • Pursuing my Masters Degree

This is just a few by the way.. I have many more! This is the thing though, on January 1st 2018, the Lord gave me the words ‘strength’ and ‘joy’. It is my desire over this year to find my strength and joy in Christ alone. The thing is.. the last few months I have been my weakest physically and emotionally. Daily I must fight with Scripture and I tell Christ, “I just want to know You more!”

I’ve fell into a trap of performance over the last few years. I’ve tried to find my worth in homeschooling my kids, keeping a tidy home, staying on top of my list of responsibilities but no matter how fast or hard I worked at feeling worthy, I was still coming up short.

This is what the Lord is showing me right now. My fear is NOT a sign of weakness. Not if I find my strength in Him. How do I find strength in Him? I find it by combing through Scripture daily and praying His words over my heart. I post His Word on my walls and mirrors. His Word is on my phone to be pulled up at any moment of weakness. For every battle of fear we win, I find JOY in knowing that God cares about every thought I have and He truly never leaves me. He has sent me countless Sisters in Christ that are going through the same season that I am. We have locked arms and are seeking to know Him more together.

This is what I DON’T want. I don’t want to waste my time here living a life of busyness and miss out on a relationship with Christ. We can be Christians and not have a deep relationship with Christ. I refuse to wait until I am in heaven to get to know Him. I want to know Him now! I can only get to know Christ by study, prayer, and living life with Him.

The name of the Lord is our tower! When we are in need, we can run to it and we are  SAFE!

~Shana

#stronger2018 #joyfilled #purpose #ohjesus