This month I am flinging open the doors to my online home. I’m celebrating six years of publicly writing, via this blog, and I’ve met some pretty amazing people along the way. Janet Hines is one of them. Her soft spoken voice carries such a depth of wisdom, and her story touched me deeply. A huge congratulations to Janet on the release of her very first book! Details are below!
Way too often life brings challenge after challenge, leaving us feeling like we have no ability to choose what’s happening. Many years ago, in response to the comment by one of my kids, “yea, it’s Sunday, we have to go to church,” I responded in awe, “we don’t have to go to church, we get to go to church.” It is a privilege and an honor to be able to worship our living God.
Looking into circumstances in every day life, many times we feel we are robbed of our options and we are left feeling resentful and angry. In the last few years, I work hard at changing my outlook to these circumstances.
How would it change my outlook if I change my attitude? I do get to choose that. My response to the “things” that make me feel helpless and angry is to seek an opportunity that will rob the power of these circumstances. I want to replace their power with the power of my Lord and Savior. There are many times I have really had to dig deep – deeper than ever before – to be able to find and give God the opportunity. I get to choose though. I am not helpless.
Then they cried out to the Lord because of their problems. And he brought them out of their troubles. He made the storm as quiet as a whisper. The waves of the ocean calmed down. The people were glad when the ocean became calm. Then He guided them to the harbor they were looking for. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love. Let them give thanks for the miracles he does for his people. Psalm 107:28-31
And through this process, I find the peace Jesus talks about – the peace that passes all understanding.
What if I constantly change my “have to’s” to “I get to’s”?
See what happened there? I took the power that helplessness had over me and I gave it to God.
When we allow that feeling of helplessness to be the trigger that reminds us to respond by turning to God and handing it to Him, everything changes. I pray you will find a shift in you and your relationship with Him as you begin to practice this response.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. Philippians 4:7
I want my heart and my mind to be guarded by God and my heart’s desire is to experience The Peace He promises us here.
We get to choose to engage Him in our lives and walk into the future with Him there. To Him be the glory!
PS – In full disclosure, I wrote this early one morning. I had no idea how the day was going to unfold. I felt God gave me these words to write to myself because He knew by end of day, I would need them. Isn’t He amazing? I sit here and smile at His rich presence in my life, in full gratitude and praise.
I pray you find comfort too.
“Lord, Father, thank You for the experience of meeting You in the storms in our lives. I praise You for Your presence there. Thank You Father for allowing us the privilege of worshipping You. We humbly bow before You to serve through the gifts You have given us. To You, Lord, be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Janet is a photographer and author on a journey of restoration and learning to be grateful for brokenness. Through photography, travel experiences and writing, she brings together pieces of life in ways that connect with the hurting people who need to know they are not alone. Her heart’s desire is to build a community of hope through sharing Christ all of her days.
Janet recently published her first book: Between the Valley & the Mountaintop, Glimpses of God in the Middle Places.
So much of life is spent in those “between” places. Janet has combined her love for photography and gift of noticing beauty in the journey into this dynamic devotional-style message. Janet transparently shares about how she saw glimpses of God in the triumphs, trials and everything in between.
Follow Janet’s story and her amazing photos on Facebook or Instagram.
As I read this post and reflected on my own personal journey these past many years, I thought about Galatians 5:22, the Fruit of the Spirit. I wondered if the the last Fruit , “self-control,” is really that willful change in our attitude of thought, word and action to surrender “it” all to Christ!
Oh, great word, Nanette! Yes, I imagine it is!
It’s amazing how such a small change in the way we think can revolutionize our lives, turning bitter into sweetness by changing our “I have to’s” into “I get to’s” Great life altering message!
Amen, Cathy! It’s such a perspective changer, isn’t it?