Five Minute Friday :: Settle

This is my Five Minute Friday(fmf) blog post. If you’d like to read more fmf blog posts from Kate Motaung and our fmf group click here Five Minute Friday

Settle in the loving arms of our Savior no matter the winds that blow, no matter the storms that rise.

Through financial struggles settle in the arms of Jesus

Through health trials settle in the arms of Jesus

Through feelings of doubt and unrest settle in the arms of Jesus

Through the loss of loved ones settle in the arms of Jesus

Through broken relationships settle in the arms of Jesus

When we settle in the loving arms of Jesus our situations may or may not change but what will happen is a peace that surpasses all understanding.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

The straight paths He makes for us are settling-peaceful-full of grace and love.

Absolutely nothing we go through is wasted. God will bring beauty from the ashes and bring good where there was only heartache.

How do I know this to be true? Because He has proved himself true time and time again through out my life and I am sure He has done so in yours too. You just need to look past the heartache and pain and see Him in the times you felt alone. I know that is hard but it can be done. I know, I know. I was once was lost in anger and resentment and it took a lot of time in God’s word for me to let it go. I know it seems like a tall order but I also know God is able to give me the strength when it’s the desire of my heart to let things go so that I can settle in His peace and rest.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

Day 31-Enjoy

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

I have enjoyed this 31 Day challenge to write every day!!

Some of my writing has been light and airy

Some of my writing has been deep and serious

Some of my writing has been solely for consistency

I have enjoyed writing every day-I hope you enjoyed it too

So what is next?

I will continue writing but just for me, for my own satisfaction and all towards the same goal. A book God has placed on my heart.

Stay tuned!!

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!

Day 30-Memory

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

Memories are strange animals. One can look back, at an event in the past, and remember it one way while someone else might remember the event entirely differently.

I have a lot of memories of good, bad and absolutely horrible events from my past. Some as a victim of others and some as a victim on my own poor choices. Today I CHOOSE to focus only on the good. I’ve spent entirely too much time justifying my bad behavior and, also, justifying unforgiveness because of these events but not today. I choose the good, I choose forgiveness, grace, mercy and love.

I was accused of pretending the bad experiences didn’t happen because when sharing past events I choose not to share the bad ones. I surely know they occurred but I can’t see anything constructive by bringing up the time such and such happened. Specially at happy holiday get togethers. Remembering those events is not constructive. Those events helped formed me to be the woman I am today, they help me to be compassionate to others dealing with the same situations and do have a purpose. But they are not for dinner conversations around our holiday table. When I do share them it is to give God the glory because they show who I was, what I went through and who I am today.

As I look back I can see how even though my choices negatively affected myself and others, good was brought about too. To get to the roses you first need to get past the thorns. The thorns serve a necessary, protective purpose.

Do focus on the negative or the positive?

Can you see the roses despite the thorns?

My prayer is that wecan get freedom from the past that has held is captive. There is no way to go back and change choices made but what we can change is how we deal with those memories. Do we allow them to make us a stronger, more compassionate, forgiving person today or allow them to control our words and actions today?

Forgiveness leads to freedom.

Forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of others.

The choice is ours.

How will you choose?

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!

Day 29-Practice, practice, practice!

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

Yesterday in my post Day 28-This is just a test I shared how we all go through various trials and we have a choice to give into the trials or focus on the one who will carry us through all the world will throw our way.

I choose to focus on Jesus. I would love to say that has always been my first choice but it has taken many trials and lots of practice to make this my first choice and still there are days when, sadly, it’s not my first choice.

You would think I have had enough practice to be perfect at this but perfection is not attainable. All trials are not a like. I get through one and then another pops up. Sometimes it takes some time to turn my eyes on the solution. How about you?

The enemy is relentless in trying to deter me from my calling. To wear me down and honestly he does wear me down. That’s when I lean into Jesus even more.

I am in the middle of a health trial. Went to my Neurologist and frankly I am not thrilled with the plan of care but I will give this one last medication a try. I will trust Jesus in this process and rejoice always, pray and give thanks to God in all circumstances-not just the ones I like.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8 (ESV)

What helps you through life’s trials?

What practices do you fall back on when your back is against the wall?

How can I pray for you?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9(ESV)

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!

Day 28-This is just a test.

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

This will give you a hint of my age but when I was a kid we would frequently hear this on the TV:

“This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.”  You would wait the 60-90 seconds and then your show would continue.

This is only a test. This is only a test. This is only a test. As I go through trial after trial I keep reminding myself this is only a test.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-3

As one health challenge comes on another health challenge I remind myself, “This is only a test.”

As financial challenges occur I remind myself, “This is only a test.”

The test? Am I going to give into trials or am I going to lean into the one that will carry me through any trial the world will throw my way?

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12.

My body may be attacked, our finances may be attacked but I know who is my true healer, Jehovah Rapha, and my true provider, Jehovah Jirah.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

As I walk through each trial my faith grows stronger and as I give God the glory, despite my trials my test ends. Until the next trial begins. Some tests I end up strong, some I stumble through but always end up passing. Not because of my might but because of God’s grace. God’s amazing grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!

Day 27-Better

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

Sitting at the kitchen table chain smoking and choking. I was doing an inventory-the fourth step in a 12 step program. Listing every wrong, perceived and real, done against me and every wrong I committed. The list was daunting. So many wrongs against me-no wonder I drugged and drank-you would too if you were wronged in the same way. No wonder I acted the way I did. I was feeling justified.

Then I had to look at this list and one by one see my part in each of the items on the list. One by one I would seek God and ask him to show me my part and show me he did. With each cigarette I smoked I would cough and choke. With each item listed, I saw my part and one by one I realized I was the problem. Even with things done against me as a child. There was nothing I could do as a child, to prevent some things from happening to me, but as an adult I and only I could control how I lived. Would I be the victim forever and justify uncontrollable behavior or live victoriously despite what had happened?

With each one I saw the problem was the same..ME!! I called my friend, who was taking a group of us through the steps, and said I see the problem, do I need to continue? Yes he said. With each one I began to start laughing. I lived as though it was everyone else’s fault. It was easy to live as a victim but if I was the problem that was a whole different thing.

As I saw myself in each and every item, as I continued to smoke and choke on cigarettes, I cried out to God, “I hate this woman, I can’t change I make the same mistakes over and over. Change me and help me stop smoking!”

That was the beginning of changes for the better. I never smoked a cigarette from that moment on and I began to change for the better. I admitted to God that I had no ability to choose a man and vowed to stay away. In His timing He put a wonderful man in my life.

I wish I could say my life changed as quickly as my cigarette habit but it didn’t. I had lots of healing to go through, lots of growing and I am so grateful for the man God put in my life because he was sober 19 years more than me and was very patient. He has been with me ever since and continues to offer me grace and love.

God changed me for the better and as long as I continue to focus on HIM I will never go back to the person I used to be but, instead, God will use me and my past to help others who need to see hope. To know that I was where they are now and I made it through. Then we, together, can then help the next one suffering.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20 (ESV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10(ESV)

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!

Day 26-Accept

Here is the next installment of my Five Minute Free Writes Challenge.

Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:20-21(ESV)

You hear the words, they sting, you want to recoil and disappear. Quietly turning thoughts over in your head: how could she say that? Oh how that did sting! Where did that come from? Who is she to give me advice?

Then you take a deep breath, step away from the sting and ask yourself, “Is there any truth to what was said?” Was it said in love from a friend who wants the best for you, sees the best in you? Could it be about a control issue and not from the best motive? Could the advice be needed and help you to grow?

It’s so easy to get stuck in the words, we want to think we know best but often a different perspective is needed. Someone not so entrenched in the issue can see the issue better and can give sound advice.

Often she has been where you are now and walks in victory. She walked through the storm and stands refined by God before you. She wants to walk with you.

Often she is further along the path, worked through the difficult choices and has weeded out the best ways to get where you want to travel to with the least amount of stress.

The question is will you trust your friend and take her advice or will you continue struggling on your path?

I am so grateful for those who have gone before me and helped me grow in so many areas of my life. Grateful for advice given.

Do I take all the advice given. Nope. When someone gives me constructive criticism there is a path I take.

  • I thank them for the advice-needed or not I choose to believe their intention was good.
  • I ask God to reveal himself in the advice given.
  • Will it help me grow in my life or craft.
  • If the advice fits I ask God to give me the strength to take the advice.

How about you? Do you take advice easily or is it for you, like me, a process?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

If you would like to read more blogs in this series click here 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge They are written by my Five Minute Friday friends!