For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Soul Whisperings--It's a Warzone, and You Need to Run


It's a warzone out there, and the enemy wants to destroy all you are and all you hold dear.


Run straight at that giant with your faith holding firm and know that giant does not come against you but against your God and all He says you are and all He says He will do in you and through you.

And that very same God will strengthen you and fully equip you to take that giant down.

Do not fear the giant but know that giant should fear your God.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Soul Whispers--When Pain Proves You are Healing

Dear Soul,

Never ceases to amaze, does it?

The weird things that prick and loose the bit of pain.

I know you wonder when the pain pricks will stop and you wonder if they ever will. I don't know. Some don't. I know that isn't what you want to hear, but I am being honest. Some things...some things are just always tender.

But, Soul, take comfort.

That painful prick was a painful stab not that long ago, and before that it was your heart being ripped from your chest. But today the heart didn't stop, and the breath didn't catch, and you might have winced, but no tears fell.

I know what isn't can be lost in what it is, but it isn't as bad as it used to be.

Soul, breath deep. The pain prick is evidence you are healing.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Soul Whisperings--No Need to Fear

Dear soul,

No need to fear that you can't do this. You can't. There is no need to fear what you cannot do. Only stand firm knowing what He can do. Speak it with me...and then, speak it again.

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid.
Do not be discouraged.
For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go.
Joshua 1:9

Saturday, January 25, 2014

When the Promise Turns Painful

Be still.
And know I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

The stilling is first. Then the knowing.

From my journal…

It is tiresome trying to hold onto a promise that never happens…but hurts you, and this just hurts.

Last night I was reading Genesis 13-15, and God made a monster promise to Abram. “Children numbering more than the stars.”

I cannot imagine how hard that was. He and Sarai wanted a baby so badly. It must have been the most raw and painful part of his heart, and God laid it wide open.

Then they waited.

I’m not sure how long went by before the second visit, but surely he and Sarai thought of that baby every single day. Their heart ached every single day. Every month when she wasn’t pregnant must have been a new death. To see Hagar pregnant and to see her belly getting large with the baby she could not give her husband…I cannot imagine the crushing pain Sarai felt.

To see women rejoicing with Hagar, to know another woman could give her husband what she wanted to give him more than anything but couldn’t, I cannot imagine how that attacked her mentally or shredded her emotionally.

And the promise still didn’t come.

I understand to a point, maybe more than I realized before now.

I was given two plainly stated promises years ago, before the collapse and during, and I am still waiting.

I have watched friends live the promises I was given. I have watched them be blessed and flourish, give birth, if you will, and rejoice.

And I am still waiting.

And I ache. Beyond words, I ache, and the only answer I have is to do other things to keep me busy while I am waiting, and it is hurtful when even those doors slam shut. It feels like I’m being told to sit here and just hurt. Logically, I know God has a plan and each closed door is just a redirect from something I would hate. Emotionally, though, it is torturous.

How did Sarah get through that? At least she had a husband to tell her he loved her as she was. Of course, she would tell me at least I have children to raise.

How does one make a heart not want something?

There are days I wish God had not made those promises. Maybe I wouldn’t wake up each day and wonder if it were finally Christmas. But obviously, at that moment, I needed the promise. At that moment, I needed hope.

And I know none of the Lord’s words ever return void. Maybe when everything was collapsing around me, I need a foundation that couldn’t collapse.

But what happens when what is meant to bring hope only inflicts pain? What happens when the promise holds more pain than you can see power? How does one make the pain stop?

I don’t know.

All I know is I’m called to be still. When I still my heart and my mind, when I still the emotions running wild, and refuse to look at what has happened or even what has that makes this whole promise so completely unlikely at this point, when I still the chaos, I know.

He is God.

Does it make the pain go away? For me, no. But it keeps the promise before me, and He keeps my hope alive.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
 so that you will be filled with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
–Romans 15:13--

 Be still. Know that I am God. And hope.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Soul Whisperings--Life isn't an Accident

Dear Mind,
You choose what you believe.
What you believe is what decides how you act.
How you act builds the life you live.
The live you want won't just happen.
You have to choose it.
Choose wisely.

Soul Whisperings--Remembering You are Important When You are Inconsequential

How do you know you are having an impact and making a difference? Just count the number of times in the last 3 days the enemy has told you how inconsequential you are, how no one cares about you, how no one reads anything you write or listens to anything you say, and how if you just turned off the computer or phone and went to bed no one would ever miss you at all.

Tally marks running off the page yet?
Then deep breath, Soul, and march on.
You have a world to impact.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From My Journal--Love That Expects Nothing

I'm still stuck on that tree in the Garden.

I can't get it out of my head because here is the thing. God really had to put that tree in there. Think about it. Without that tree, Eden suddenly goes from paradise to a spiritual whorehouse with one doozy of a powerful pimp on a domination kick. The tree had to be there.

Except, it didn't.

If God wanted to play the God-All-Mighty-and-don't-you-forget-it card, He could have. He not only had the power, but He had the right.

Instead, He planted a tree.

And He had to know. You know He had to know. He made these humans from mud, and mud hearts erode easily.

When He planted  that garden and poured all the good stuff into it and filled it with love, it was because of who He chose to be, not what He expected them to do. His choice was based on His choice to be loving, not on the likelihood they would love back.

And that leaves me...stuck.

A God who loves with no expectation of anything in return.

In a perfect environment, created because of perfect love, perfect love did what it did because it was perfect, not because it was expectant.

I'm drowning in this.

To love, to serve, to give, to...expect nothing in return.

To mow your neighbor's yard and not expect them to acknowledge you in anyway.
To make dinner for a family at church and never expect them to return the favor or even mention you'd ever done it.
To wear your spouse's favorite blouse or shirt and never expect it to be noticed.
To write a blog with the hope it helps or blesses someone and never expect a comment or a "like".
To sing and never expect an applause or a word about how you sound.

To be who you are without ever expecting anyone to make a big deal of it.

To do the right thing because it is the right thing, not because you expect someone to pat you on the back.

I am mesmerized by this, and I am trying to wrap my mind around the freedom of living this way.

To love and give and serve with insane generosity and never feel that your success is based on someone else's response.

THAT is the perfection of the garden.

It even says Adam and Eve were just themselves without worry about others' responses--they were naked and vulnerable in every way--and they were unashamed. It wasn't until they were afraid of God's response that they were ashamed. Even God, when He looked at His creation, it was good, and He found it satisfying, and He rested. He was fine until chapter 6 when He looked at the human's response to their world, and He was grieved that He had ever made them.

On one hand, having watched my husband walk out the door, the idea of loving without expectation is terrifying, but on the other, to base my choice of how to love and how to give on who I am and what I have to offer instead of how I think others might respond sounds wondrously freeing.

I'm still pondering, but right now, in this moment, I am totally enamored with the concept of a love that gives without expectation of getting and the joy and freedom that brings.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to Change the Importance of Where You Are

Dear Soul,

I feel it. The heaviness. The memories that have been kept at bay for the last several days that have crept up today and seem to sit in front of you like phantoms, and sometimes all you see are the changes you didn't want, and the sting of not getting what you did want sometimes feels...Yeah. I know.

 But, Soul, you are not the only one living a life you never expected, and you have weathered well, and some things sting, but they no longer suffocate.

And how do you stop seeing the ghosts, you wonder? By seeing those still in the raging, still looking for a foothold in an life ocean gone crazy.

How do you stop the whisperings of the dreams you watched drift away during the storm? You stop them with prayers for those who are still fighting for light in the nightmare.

 Crazy truth, but when you have compassion for where someone else is, you are less aware of where you are not.

Where to Find Hope When the Hopeless Past Takes You by Surprise

Heart, it's okay. Take a moment. Breathe. Wasn't expecting that to hit quite the way it did, were you? Yeah. Those things come out of nowhere sometimes. So take a moment. Get your eyes off the past. There is nothing to look forward to there.

Now. Put your eyes on Him. There is everything possible in Him. He is your hope. Is that dream full right now? Not that you can see, but if you can see Him, you see everything you need to because everything you will ever need, everything good for you, is in Him.

From My Journal--Love That Puts a Tree in a Garden

I find that I am fixated on Genesis 2 and the fact God did all those things--choosing specific plants and food for their beauty and flavor for mankind--out of love. He gave the very best He had because He loved them, and HE gave the option not to choose Him.

He put all that great stuff in the garden...and then He put a tree that gave them the ability to reject it all.

Was the very best love, the love that gives knowing someone has the option to leave?

Is the deepest love the one that loves greatly knowing the other may choose not to love at all?

Is that perfect love? If Eden was perfect, and that is the love He gave, it has to be.

Is seems like such an inane idea, but yet, it fills my mind.

When I got married, I thought it was forever. I knew divorce could happen. No. I don't think I got married with the idea divorce was a real possibility. I don't think the idea he could or would really leave ever really occurred to me.


I think I believe if I choose more wisely, pray for absolute clarity, refuse to marry anyone I am not absolutely sure is the man God has for me, then I am guaranteed a great marriage.

But here is the reality:
God gave the perfect environment for love.
He created these people and controlled every detail of their crafting.
He accepted that despite HIS perfection, they could not love Him at all.

If a perfect God has no guarantees, how can someone as imperfect as I am?

And if the greatest love is love that does not turn a blind eye or live in delusion but instead says, "Yes, I know you can choose not to love me, but I choose to love you anyway?", I wonder if I can love that greatly.

I know. Some folks would tell me I need to heal more so I don't think such fearful or negative thoughts, but the very heart of God embraced the truth that one can love perfectly and yet not be loved in return. It gets no more healed the heart of God Himself. God does not live in fear and negativity. He lives in reality of people's ability to be selfish and deceived into not wanting the one who loves them most.

I think of this in terms of potential relationships and marriage someday, but I can't grasp it. It's too abstract. How does one really love like that? What does it look like?

Like Jesus.
On the Cross.
For me.

Loving me knowing I might not love Him back.

My being kind to someone who thinks they are above me, knowing they will not appreciate my kindness, net even understand it, and mostly likely ridicule it.

Sending a card of condolence to someone who won't give me the time of day.

Letting the driver cut in at the last second who is too busy believing he owns the road to appreciate my sharing it.

Loving my enemy who thinks I'm an idiot for doing it.

It's that kind of love.

The loves that knows the end might not be happily ever after. It's love that is willing to give it's absolute all knowing it might get absolutely nothing, but still, it loves. It's that kind of love.

That is the Eden kind of love.

And it is perfect.

How to Be on a Madness-Coming-Down Monday

Good morning, mind. Already racing with the to dos of the week? yeah, I've seen the list, and maybe you are wondering how the out of you stuff will get done when the inside of you stuff is jumbled and trying to find its way. Hard road. So let's stop racing altogether. Forget the to do list and to fix list and to simply survive list. Remember your to be list:
Be loved.
Be valuable.
Be provided for.
Be awed by the good things.
Be open to acts of kindness.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be the favorite of the King.
Be ardent in refusing to be anything other than what He says you are.

--Jerri Jerri Kelley Phillips-Writer--

Friday, January 17, 2014

Soul-Whisperings--When You are Weary and Need to Rest

Hard day, soul? The kind you don't know whether you want to do over or just go to bed and end? Some days are like that. So let's do this. Let's have a good cry. A hard one. The pour all of the wordless pain out of your heart kind of cry that shakes your body hard and the shattered pieces loose. Let is all drip onto the pillow.

You know crying doesn't mean you've taken your eyes of Him. If He was so bothered by them, he wouldn't come close to wipe them away. So instead of trying to hold it together, let's let Him hold us to Himself.

I know. When you are in most need this is when you most need to pray, but words may be stuck behind that wall of tears, so let's pray this:
 "I know you are good. I know you love me. I know you are good. I'm going to lie here. I need you to love me. I know you are good. I need you to love me."

Pray truth. Pray honest needs. He is good. You need Him to love you. It's okay. The rest of the answers will come, but right now you need just rest. So rest, soul. Rest in what you know. He is good, and you need Him to love you, and He does and He will. Just let yourself rest.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Self-Talk--When the Day Starts Rough, Time to Start It Over

I have had one hour sleep. My sinuses are full and throbbing. My head is full and throbbing. Tried to talk to a friend about the throbbing head. That went totally wrong and made things worse, and the enemy of my peace is saying, "You know what she is thinking. She is thinking you are too blunt and ugly and rude and ungrateful and just flat stupid, and (write your own list of you-are-such-a-failure here). That's the problem. You really are unlovable. No one wants you." 

And the brain that used to say, "You're right," and go crawl back into bed or wander around bursting into tears over anything and nothing has put its hand up and said, "Um. No."

Having to do some serious self-talk this morning.

This whole avalanche started with stupid. "The act was stupid. Not you. Don't do that again."

I am not stupid.
I don't have to choose stupid.
Freedom to choose wisely.
Got it.

And there it is. Mid-morning and the day is starting over.
 Nothing stupid.
Nothing suffocating.
And in the last 4 minutes I haven't failed at anything.

It's the beginning of a great day.

Soul Whisperings--When You aren't Sure Where You Are

Dear Heart,

Don't get lost in the illusion.

Wild panic is not the time to go running wildly down a path unknown.

You don't know if you've missed something.
You don't know if you've taken a wrong turn.
Just because this is wholly unfamiliar doesn't mean you are in the wrong place.

And life isn't about getting to the right place.
It's about getting in the right Presence.

So be still.

Breathe deep.

You know the way to go.
You know to go right into Him.

Make no decisions and take no steps until that is where you are.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Soul Whisperings--When It's Not You...Again

Oh, Heart, it is easy to wonder why you seem to be the one being passed over when you pray and pray and stand and trust and hope, and one day you can't stand anymore and wonder why you hope at all. Faith feels like folly and maybe...maybe you missed it...maybe it was all your idea and not really His promise at all...or maybe you've just made such a mess of things...maybe YOU are such a mess at things that...I know. You can't even bring yourself to speak the words, but the pooling eyes tell it all. So, Heart, let me tell you, and I will tell you straight up truth.

He is keeping something from you.

He is keeping from you the pain of badly timed heart giving that will only crush you.
He is keeping from you the option of settling for something when He has the heart to give you everything.
He is keeping from you the cheap fillers when He is the only one that can possibly fill.
He is keeping you from believing something is better than nothing because He knows "nothing" is the perfect beginning for Him to create something you've never imagined.

Yes, Heart. The quiet is deafening when all you hear is what isn't there, and it's deep and filling when you realize it is in that silence that He sings to you His love song. Oh, Heart, do you hear Him singing?

Soul Whisperings--Oh, Heart, Don't Give Way to Fear

Oh, Heart, do not give way. Not now. You have put this in His hands. You have put yourself in His hands. Do you think your frailty is bigger than His faithfulness? Heart, hold steady. This has never been about your perfection. It has always been about His power. It isn't about your ability to always get the steps right. It's about His ability to redeem even the steps you get wrong. Do not falter here, Heart. Do not give way to fear that you got it irrevocably wrong. Hide yourself in the Truth that even when you are horribly human, He is still irrepressibly God.

Leaping...Knowing I Can't Fail Because He Won't Fail

Hold on. I have to get a cup of coffee. I know. As I write this, it is nearly 8:00 pm, and you are sure I won't be able to sleep tonight, but really, if I don't sleep tonight, it'll be because my mind is racing with ideas and thoughts and plans I need coffee.

Okay, the truth is, I don't need coffee. What I need is to stop the voices in my head screaming, "WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?!"

I just committed to posting everyday until we are through reading the Bible, so at least a year. Daily Gypsy Ponderings...for a year. I already know I have oral surgery coming up in February, and I am hoping you can take some trips, and...there is no way in the world I can do this. This is crazy.

And it is crazy.

But I prayed for something crazy. I asked for something impossible. I prayed specifically:

My prayer for 2014:
To be courageous enough to
look stupid by trying REALLY big
instead of
feeling stupid for not trying big enough.
And here I am a few weeks later launching this crazy huge writing project that I cannot possibly even keep up with, and this part of me that keeps wanting to stop breathing keeps gasping for me to pull it down. Say it was a mistake. Say I didn't intend to post anything. Except--
It isn't a mistake.

I did intend to post it.

My friend John Perron served in the Marine Corps for 9 1/2 years, and we were discussing the Marine mindset one day. In the course of discussion, I asked him how they saw themselves mentally. What was their personal identity? John answered simply.

"We were never really allowed to  believe we could fail."

Those words have reverberated through my spirit since he spoke them to me.

If I knew I could do anything and not fail, what would I do?

I have tried for over two years to think of an answer, but I had none. Then in the end of 2013, the question changed.

If you could do anything
and know God would not fail you,
what would you do?

I knew that answer.

I would do something so big that there is no possible way I could take credit for its success.
I would do something so big that His fingerprints were all over it.
I would do something so big that it stretched me beyond anything I ever thought possible.
I would do something so big it would show how big He is.

So here I am sipping coffee from a mug that reminds me of the Marine mindset, and I refuse to allow myself to believe I can fail, not because of who I am or what I can do, but because of who He is and what He has promised to do.

--Semper Fi--
Always Faithful

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

And to the voices screaming, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" I say simply:

I have chosen to leap...
...not because I cannot fail...
...but because I trust He will not fail.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When This Gypsy Chooses to Ponder the Truth She Cannot Fail

You ever do something so much bigger than what you are capable of that it’s like standing in front of the sheer cliff of K2 wondering what in the world you were thinking only to remind yourself this is not of this world?

I’m there.

Excited beyond words. Chanting Joshua 1:9 like it was spiritual and mental Tums. 
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid.
Do not be discouraged.
For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Repeat….like a million times….
And then come over and join me at my wondrously exciting new writing project
I look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Living through the Birthdays by Creating Life Everyday

Today is my birthday. By the time you read it, it won't be, but as I lie hear under multiple blankets because it is cold outside, it is my birthday.

Sort of get that double whammy when you birthday is at the first of the year. The pressure of making a new year count and making great plans and the reality that one more year of your trip time waltzing around the sun is up and your time is shorter, and how many more times will I make this trip anyway?

Yesterday I had a good cry.

This is my third birthday as a single mom, and, well, to be honest, I just didn't think I would be "not in a relationship" this long. I really thought I might be remarried by now, but even if I wasn't, to be this long without a relationship...really? In fact, in the last 3 years I've been on two dates, and both were with friends of mine from high school whom I love friends. BUT, I looked nice, and they paid, and this, so I found out, is a date.

So there you go. My romantic life.

Sometimes being alone is really hard. Contrary to what folks think, it isn't about being stuck in the past, unwilling to move forward. Sometimes it is the very desire to move forward that makes it so hard. It is hard not having someone to watch a favorite movie. It is hard not having someone to do the Christmas shopping with you. It is hard sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, and no one else be there. It isn't being stuck in the past. It's wishing someone was there now. A few of my friends are also widows whose husbands died within months of the time my husband died. They will tell you the same thing.

So I moved forward. Embraced life. Found new stuff I love. But some days I wish there were someone here to live with. I don't mean cohabitate. I mean LIVE with. Adventure with. Investigate with. Enjoy the world with. Someone to be on the journey with. Someone to be excited with. Someone to be still with. You know. LIVE with.

Today is one of those days.

BUT, despite not having a significant "friend", I do have important people, and I spent the day with my two amazing kids who made the day about me, and we laughed and had fun. It was a good day. :-)

And I've been pondering.

When I was married before, so much of my life revolved around my husband, his job, his schedule, what he wanted to do, where he wanted to live. Now, I'm wondering.

If I could do or be anything, what?

Once again, my friend's words are reverberating in my head:

"We were never aloud to believe we could fail."

If I could do or be anything and know I could not fail (because God NEVER fails), what?

If I could be any Jerri, what Jerri would I be?

I want to be a Jerri of impact. Not because I need to be known but because others do. I want to impact others' lives. I want people to know there is a way through their pain. There is "the other side". No. Nothing will ever undo the past, but that doesn't mean anyone has to live there.

I want people to know someone cares that they are in their own personal hell. I can't fix it, but I won't ignore it.

I want people to grow and become strong and know God is with them and know how to relate to Him and let Him relate to them.

I want to empower people to be the person of impact they were created to be.

And I'm pondering how my package of gifts can be used to do that.

The fact is, I don't know if this will be my last year or if I'll finish this year or if I'll live another 40 years. What I know is if I am serious about this life not being my life, then this time is not my time, and I'm wondering how God wants me to spend it.

I've signed for up a class. :-) I might tell you about it later. Not sure yet. We'll see. :-)

The project I was asked to oversee looks like it is not moving forward, so that gives a LOT of time.

I'm still raising teenagers, with one of them preparing to start college.

I'm still writing, which I love.

I feel like I'm doing a lot of consuming and need to be doing more giving. And, no, this isn't a guilt thing. It's being responsible for who I am and my time here. It's being a steward of my life. Granted, it isn't the life I thought I'd have at this point, but it's life, and life isn't something that happens. It is something that is created.

I want to create something worth living no matter how many birthday I have.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Soul, He has You

Humble yourself before the Lord--acknowledge Him as the Lord God Almighty, the one with all the answers and the power to bring them to pass--and in due time, He will lift you up (restore you, accomplish what He desires, fulfill His promises, bless you because He loves you, and give you tears of joy instead of trial). Cast all your anxiety on Him (all the things in your heart that you desire so greatly but can't see how they can ALL come to pass) for He care for you (and knows what is best for you and what will truly fill your soul)--1 Peter 5:6-7

Endeavoring to be humble instead of anxious because I know my Lord's heart. Not one word of His promises fails. He withholds no good thing from those who love Him. Humble...not anxious...oh, Lord, whisper how to humble...when I hear your voice, how can I be anxious?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Why Right Now is so Important

Lots of talk about the new YEAR and what to do with the YEAR. I've been practicing asking the Lord what to do with TODAY or even more precise RIGHT NOW because I don't know what tomorrow will bring or even an hour from now will bring. I'm not being morbid. I'm being honest.

Jesus said, "Give us THIS DAY our daily bread." He said to focus on today and let tomorrow take care of itself. This is how I am learning to live, and it is because of that that I share this with you.

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was an amazing day with my kids. It was the best birthday ever. I loved yesterday. First time in nearly a month I was both pain-free and med-free from the pain in my sinuses and mouth due to dental work and its complications. I am telling you. It was like a gift hand wrapped by God. It was that good.

Then today.

The hole in the sinuses reopened, so the every time I breathe, nerves are hit...again. I feel like I have a nail stabbing into my upper jaw bone. My amazing body is doing its job to heal it by trying to cover it, so now my sinuses are filled with thick sludge, which further aggravates things when I sniffle, and I am having ocular migraines, which means areas of my vision become impossible to see because they become opaque and blurred. Sometimes it is right in the middle of my vision. Sometimes there are multiple ones.

Between the sludge and the pain, my stomach feels the need to rebel by refusing to hold down food I eat, which isn't a really big deal because the top of my mouth hurts so much I don't even like squishing food against it.

To say I am not the best mom in the world today would be an understatement. Days like today, I pray for God to cover my kids' hearts and let their hearts and souls not remember them...except for my gratitude for how they step up and take care of things.

This isn't the worst day I've had in the last month, but it is certainly not on the level of yesterday.

Y'all, I don't care if you're tired.

Play the game with your kids.
Spend focused time with your spouse.
Make that call you need to make to your friend to make sure things are okay.
Make the most of THIS moment.
Enjoy THIS moment.
BE enjoyable.

It's easy to think we'll fix things or be better tomorrow, but tomorrow is a mirage. Right now is the opportunity God gives. Make this most of this opportunity.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

From my journal...My Side of the Promise

Each one will be like a refuge from the wind
and a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
Isaiah 32:2

Lord, guide my thoughts and impart wisdom and understanding so I know your heart and vision for these words.

Remove all filters, theology, doctrine, and Jerri-ness that stands in the way of your word coming to fruition. If anything in my thinking  or belief system taints this or alters it in even the slightest way, remove that error from me.

Lead my steps and renew my mind so that your word does not return void but returns in the absolute filled-fullness for which you sent it forth. Lord, when this span of time for which this word is spoken is finished, I pray that not one person whose life should have been touched would be unaltered.

Lord, may this word invade this world with all the fullness of your power and your intent.

Dear Lord, maybe I be nothing that you would be everything.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

From my journal...When God Makes a Promise, He's Already Made the Plan to Fulfill It

(Written December 28, 2013)

I feel the urge to memorize Isaiah 32:2 (my word for 2014) before the first of the year. I don't want it to be mid-December when I finally get this one like it was for the word for 2013. Praise the Lord I finally got it, though. At least I can carry it with me the rest of my life.

This year I want to take more responsibility for this word. I'm not really sure how to do that. In the past I've tried to make things happen, part of that being and doing has been misguided and not realizing the Lord will make everything happen. It's really a hard concept for me honestly. I have responsibility to do my part, but yet, He does everything.

The analogy of marriage again popped into my head.

I love when He makes things so I can understand them.

He is the husband. He has promised to cover, provide, lead, and make a good life for us. He's given His word.

I am the wife. I am to:
--cultivate our relationship and be open to intimacy with Him
--steward my time so we always have time together, important things are done, others are part of our lives
--take care of myself so I am the best for Him and for us
--steward our resources well
--be in agreement with Him on how we raise our children
--take Him at His word

If He promises something, He will bring it to pass.

Those seem like simple enough guidelines. Think marriage. Not as the needy wife, but as the capable partner who is fully covered, whose weaknesses are not grounds for rejection, but are accepted as part of the whole package and are covered.

Isn't that what commitment in a relationship is?

We are committing to covering the other person's weaknesses.

I don't know how to explain it without it sounding warped, but we have to realize we are saying:

"I know you are figuring out conflict resolution and pretty much stink at it right now, are learning to communicate better by learning to trust me, working on your cooking, or whatever. I've got your back. If there is a chasm between us and you can only get 1/3 of the way across the bridge, I'll walk the other 2/3 of the way to get to you."

With the Lord, He already knows my weaknesses.
He already has me covered.
He already has a plan to meet me wherever I am.

When He promises something in our marriage, He already has the plan to get us there. He's already factored in my personality, my weaknesses and strengths, and everything else. He's not thinking, "Well, if everything goes just right and she gets her act together and handles this the way I need her to, we should be okay."


He's thinking,
"I know my Jerri. I know what she's capable of. I know where she is going to get tired or discouraged. I know where she is going to excel and run wide open.
I know my Bride,
and I am confident we can do this."

And isn't that the key?
We can do this.

In the past, I've seen these promises as something I've had to accomplish, more like a command of who I need to be than a gift of what I get to live.

This year I want to live the gift.

My Prayer for 2014

My prayer for 2014:

To be courageous enough to

look stupid
by believing and living
instead of
feeling stupid
for not believing or living big enough.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you?

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid;

do not be discouraged,

for the Lord your God

will be with you

wherever you go.”