The Money Talk

 

Hi friends!!  Okay, so it’s been a loooonng time since I’ve logged in here, but last week was the first time in over a year that I’ve felt the nudge to write in a semipublic setting.  I’ve struggled immensely with searching out my motives for writing, but that’s another story for another day!!

What’s on my heart today is a necessary moment of transparency…

Most of you know that for most of my adult life, I’ve had a passion for budgeting, stewardship, day-to-day finances… to the point of even participating in and co-leading classes and writing about stewardship.  But the truth is,

I struggle a LOT with my attitude toward money.

I’ve spent most of my life thinking I had a handle on it, that my attitude was godly and as long as I focused on good stewardship, hard work and tithing… I was good.

But lately, God has been working on me, and let’s just say… it’s no fun when He shows you the UGLY in your heart!!

Maybe I’m the only one with this struggle, but just in case I’m not, see if you can relate to these words from Psalm 73:

“I almost lost my footing… for I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness… then I went into your sanctuary, O God… then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.”

When we have a fundamental misunderstanding of money, when we get confused about who is actually in control of our financial situation (I’ll give you a hint… it’s NOT us!!!), it’s easy to become bitter, anxious, and all torn up inside. That was me. Sometimes, it still is.

My dilemma is this: I want to trust God. I do. I believe that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, that the earth and everything in it belongs to Him and that He alone provides for me and for my family.

But my capitilalistic, entrepreneurial spirit says “you’ve gotta work hard… make hay while the sun shines… toil away because your value comes from what you do… the more you have the more successful you are… “

And then, when God does provide extra money or we experience “success” as the world defines it, I don’t enjoy it at all because I feel guilty!!

So I have spent my life either stressing because I didn’t have enough money, or feeling guilty because if there was extra money, then I shouldn’t spend any of it on myself, but should probably be giving it all away or going on a mission trip or something!!

See what a wreck I am??!  I can’t seem to grasp the concept that it’s possible to be at peace!!  Despite my best intentions, I find it next to impossible to maintain a good attitude toward money!!

But in the midst of this struggle for proper perspective, scripture has given me hope and encouragement:

James 1:9-11 says

“Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.”

The truth is, God is far less concerned about my financial situation than He is about my heart. He needs to be Lord of my life whether I am wealthy or poor.  He wants me to be content, to have a heart of gratitude no matter what my circumstances.

He does not want me—or you– to experience bitterness, envy, anxiety OR guilt over money!!!

Listen to this in Ecc 5:18-19,

“It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.”

And Ecc 6:9

“Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.”

Like every area of our lives, finances provide an opportunity for us to grow.  When I find myself succumbing to the feelings of envy, bitterness, anxiety or guilt over money, it is the perfect time for me to sit at the feet of the Almighty and give thanks.  To acknowledge Him as the Creator of all things, and the One who is the Great Provider.  To count my blessings… and sometimes even (gasp!) actually allow myself to enjoy those very blessings!! 🙂

One thing I’m thankful for is each of you.  And I’d be super grateful if you’d leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing!!  Maybe even let me know if there’s something specific you’re facing right now so I can pray for you… that would make my heart happy!

Liana Joy

Transformation

After weeks of irregular schedules through December and part of January; holidays, vacations, snow days, etc, I breathed a sigh of relief when we returned to our “normal” routine.  On that first day, I got the kids up and fed and off to school, had my VERY long list of things needing to be done, sat down for my quiet time, and BAM.

It hit.

My old companion, my spiritual weakness, my achilles heal…Insecurity.

It took Satan all of .128 seconds to sabotage my mind and begin his destructive work in my heart, and the first words on the page of my prayer journal read like this:

Again–routine. 🙂  But God, how am I loving you? How is my life showing love for You?  How, God? How shall I honor You?  Routine is good, I guess, but it just serves to remind me that I’m not really doing anything of value.

Good grief.  The immediate, habitual companionship of an errant thought pattern is embarrassing.  The only thing that gives me the courage to share my weakness is the knowledge that surely I am not alone, and that maybe… just maybe… if I am transparent, someone else can find hope.

Maybe insecurity isn’t your struggle… we could insert any number of things that fall into the “errant thought pattern” category: fear, ingratitude, impatience, impulsiveness, anger.  Whatever it is, my encouragement to you today is this:

God is victorious, and He is stronger than the bonds of habit.

He is more powerful than even the most errant thought patterns.  No matter how hard Satan works to sabotage our thoughts, words and actions, God is bigger.

Take heart, for He has promised victory. Check this out from Romans 12:2

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Believe it!!

Then, do the heart work.  Capture your thoughts and begin to form new pathways in your brain. Identify the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and ask God to change them!  He will, I just know it… because it happened for me.  Look how He changed my perspective that day:

The original to-do list:

  • DQT
  • run or bike
  • dust, vacuum, stuff to Goodwill
  • laundry
  • meal plan, grocery shop
  • PCI compliance
  • return phone calls, emails
  • begin taxes
  • message Sue, Wendy, Bob

Lol, no wonder I felt like I’m not really doing anything of value!!  BUT here’s what God did for me; He took that list and gave me fresh eyes.

  • DQT = preparing my heart for the day and acknowledging God as the source of my strength
  • exercise = moving my body to stay healthy and honor God with this temple He has entrusted to me.
  • housework = preparing our home for hospitality
  • meal plan, grocery shop, laundry = passing along a heritage of love, commitment, hard work, and order to my children
  • desk work = performing foundational tasks for our business to run smoothly so it continues to provide for the family we have been blessed with
  • text/call friends = reaching out to encourage friends

He took every single mundane act and showed me how it mattered to Him.  He gave me a renewed perspective, set my heart right, and turned my insecurity into confidence.  God transformed me by changing my thoughts!!

Friend, take heart.  Be of good courage.  Know that there is hope beyond weakness.  Give your struggle to Him, and trust Him to change you.  No matter how much it hurts, no matter how difficult it may be, change that makes you more like Christ is ALWAYS good!!

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. 

Let the transformation commence!!!

 

 

These Hands

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When’s the last time you took a look at something and realized just how much you’ve taken it for granted??

It happened to me last week after giving the dog a bath.  I know, it seems pretty random, right?!  But of course once the pup was clean, it was my turn for a shower… and as I massaged the shampoo into my own hair I got to thinking about my hands.  They’re pretty remarkable, actually.  Such an integral part of me.  Doing so many things, yet most of the time completely overlooked.

Take a minute, stop reading, and just look at your hands.

What do you see?

Maybe your hands are beautifully groomed and manicured, the skin smooth and unwrinkled, the nails blemish-free.  Or maybe they’re like mine…imperfect, scarred, calloused, slightly neglected and rather beat up.

Either way, when you really look closely, aren’t they marvelous?!  Think about all the tasks your two hands have performed lately.  Maybe, like mine, they have…

wiped the tears of a crying child

prepared meals

cradled a sleepy puppy

typed encouraging words

held the phone

massaged knots out of a loved one’s sore back

washed, brushed and dried hair

guided the steering wheel while driving kids to and fro

penned words of honest supplication and praise in a journal

So, so many things that I do rely heavily on the proper function of my two hands… and yet, when was the last time I thanked God for them?  We’ve all heard the instruction to count our blessings.  I’ve done the exercise a million times.  But never once did I think to thank my Creator for the use of my hands.  God in Heaven, forgive me for taking something so amazing for granted!!  Thank you for these hands of mine and the ability to use them to your glory! Thank you for the scars they bear, for the swollen joints as well as the incredible feats they are able to perform every moment of every day.  Thank you, God, for showing me miracles in the midst of the mundane.

Today, I want to encourage you to look with fresh eyes at yourself and your surroundings.  Find something mundane… and see the miraculous in it!  Then, please leave a comment and let me know what YOU are thankful for today, and why… because we ALL need a little reminder sometimes, to simply revel in a grateful heart!

Making Moments Matter

Time marches onward, and as this irreplaceable, priceless resource slips away, the question burns in my soul…

“How am I investing my time?”

Each and every moment of each and every day on this earth is measured.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.  Irretrievable.

So how do we make moments matter?  How do we look back at the end of the day and KNOW with absolute confidence that our moments were wisely spent?

The answer is simple, and–contrary to my nature as a do-er–has nothing to do whatsoever with my actions.  The measure of how effectively I invest my day is in the amount of glory I gave the Creator of the universe, and that has everything to do with my heart!!

First Corinthians 10:31 says: So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I struggle so often with feeling like I’m squandering my time, like the activities and busy-ness that fill my days are relatively useless in the scope of eternity.  And the truth is, if my heart is not in the right place, that feeling is absolutely correct.  As Ecclesiastes reminds us, everything is meaningless under the sun.  The things of this earth really are temporal and meaningless.  BUT when my heart remembers to do EVERYTHING for the glory of God, suddenly my actions take on new, eternal meaning!!

As I sit here and ponder Him, this moment matters.

As I feed the puppy and care for one of His creatures, that moment matters.

As I swam, biked, and ran in the cold rain during my triathlon last week, my mind focused on the mantra “this is an act of worship”, and my heart sang His praises… so those hours mattered.

As I fly the balloon and expose others to the beauty of His creation, those moments matter.

As I frantically raced around the kitchen to fix dinner and cleaned the house to prepare for small group…um…okay, those moments can fade into eternal oblivion because my heart was definitely NOT in the right place!!  But the moment I slowed down and asked my kids’ forgiveness for temporarily becoming monster mom, that moment mattered.

There are countless moments I have squandered–and I imagine there are countless more that I will make unwise choices about.  But, praise God, He loves me anyway.  He knows me intimately, including my darkest sins, deepest regrets, and most devastating failures–yet He still finds me infinitely valuable.  Christ’s blood covers ALL my sin.  Even the “little ones”.  Even when I waste my precious time, He forgives me.  Loves me.  And turns my heart, one way or another, back to where it belongs: in fellowship with Him.

Because that is what truly matters.

And so… let it be said that today my time mattered because I spent more time in fellowship with Him than yesterday!!

Won’t you search your heart and pray for the same?  That your time would be wisely invested?  That your heart would be ever turned toward Him to give Him praise and glory?  That your moments would matter?

 

 

Faith is a Marathon

Living a life of faith is not a sprint.

Faith is a marathon.

It is not easy.

It is not quick.

There is no fast-track, no pat answer, and each of us has a different “training plan”.  Only the most tenacious will make it to the finish line with strength.  There are constant trials-tests of willpower, strength and stamina.  There are distractions, both overt and subtle.

And failure is part of the journey.

No athlete is perfect from the beginning of training to the finish line.  In fact, true grit–one’s deepest character–is forged in the response to failure.  Those who lack courage will quit, allowing defeat to be the end game.  But the truly courageous one–the victor–will not lay down and die after experiencing failure.

The athlete with true heart and determination will take failure and use it to her advantage.  She will examine her training plan, adjust her workout and her mindset, consult with her coach, accept encouragement, and try, try again.

And like the determined athlete, a devoted woman of faith will learn from her trials, mistakes and failures.  She will drink from the well of Living Water, she will rest in the arms of the Loving Father, then she will respond to His gentle nudge when He whispers

It’s time to begin again, my daughter.

Go, and train.

Grow in your faith, exercise your gifts, develop your muscles, and grow in Me.

Show others what it means to train, to have the courage to continue on despite pain.

Do not give in to the desire to camp out here, in your comfort zone!!

Run the race.

For I am with you, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

My friends, today is my day to be a woman of faith, to stare failure (real and perceived) in the face and refuse to give in.  To hear the words of my loving Father and know that I am not alone.

And dear friends, neither are you.  Are you facing defeat?  Are you struggling with failure, real or perceived?  Stand with me and refuse to give in to Satan.  Together, let’s tell him he cannot have our hearts.  He will not defeat us before we finish the race.  Our faith will grow, our lives will matter, our reward at the finish line will be the best ever:

Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

May it be so.

Comic relief!

Hey all, I just want you to laugh with me for a moment.  Okay, you can laugh at me, I deserve it!!

I have an unfinished post that I’ve been working on for weeks.  I can’t publish it, because I can’t seem to find the right words.  Call it writer’s block, or maybe it’s just fear, I don’t know, but for whatever reason, I’m just having the hardest time finishing.

Want to know what the title is??

Git ‘er Done”

Yep, that’s right.  Laugh all you want, I’m getting to the point where I find it hilarious myself.  I’m trying to write a post to encourage my friends to go ahead and do that hard thing on their list, and I can’t get it done!!!

So there you have it, your comic relief for the day.  I’m going to hit the “publish” button, and it’s going to bring me so much relief (from the self-imposed pressure to DO SOMETHING here) that maybe I’ll even be able to finish the real post.  Maybe.

In the mean time, I honestly am laughing out loud at myself because I’m so pathetic.  Hope it amuses you, too! 🙂

Have an amazing day, friends!

Liana Joy, the master at NOT “gettin’ it done”

The Race

 

 

A few years ago, as many of you know, I completed my first triathlon (a sprint, the shortest one I could find!).  Last year, I set my goal a bit higher and completed a mid-distance triathlon, then toward the end of the year also did a half marathon.  Training for these races was extremely time consuming, and as I considered my goals for 2016, I began to question the value of the investment of my time and energy into what began as a mainly selfish pursuit.  I asked myself: “Why am I doing this?  What is my motivation?”

The answers have come in quiet moments of (sometimes) painful honesty with myself.

I have to honestly say that my reason for doing the first tri was totally, completely, 100% selfish pride.  My exact thought was “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life saying ‘I used to be able to… ‘ so I’m going to do something I can be proud of before I turn 40.  Besides, surely if I train for a triathlon I’ll drop this extra 10 lbs.”

See that?  Pride, with a side of vanity!  I wanted to be proud of myself, I wanted to look better, I wanted my husband to be proud of me, and I wanted to make my kids and family and friends proud.  I wanted. I.

I am so ashamed.

When I began training for that first sprint triathlon, I was physically unable to run a half mile.  Sure, I had participated in sports in high school, and had tried to stay somewhat fit through my adult years, but in reality I was completely unfit for a race…and my physical condition was a reflection of my spiritual condition.  Things looked okay on the outside, but my heart needed work.  Lots of work.

BUT… I serve a BIG God, a God of redemption who can use anything–even my selfishness!– and turn it into something good.  Over time, He has used these races to begin a transformation not only in my physical body, but (more importantly) in my mind, heart, soul, and spirit.  And He has also instilled in me a desire to focus less on me and more on others!

Now don’t get me wrong; I still have a LOOONG way to go!  I’m nowhere near where I know God is ultimately leading me.  But as I contemplate my annual physical and spiritual goals, it is empowering to realize that the two areas aren’t really so separate after all. The time invested in achieving those physical goals; the hours and hours spent training for the races, have taught me (and continue to do so) solid spiritual truths.  God, in His infinite wisdom, has used the physical training to teach me things like endurance, discipline, and perspective.

Today my devotional was based on Hebrews 12:1, which says:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Even though I memorized that exact scripture passage when I was 12 years old, you better believe that today, 30 years later, it jumped out at me like never before!!  It wasn’t until I had pushed through the training for an endurance race that I could fully understand the spiritual imagery.

That moment in the pool last March when I didn’t think I could swim another stroke, but pushed through and finished my last 7 laps?  That moment taught me endurance, that when I’m completely empty, God fills me.

That day on the bike when I caught a brief vision of what it would be like when I crossed the finish line as loved ones cheered for me?  That day taught me perspective, to keep my eyes on the prize at the end of this race called life, when my Lord and Savior will be waiting for me with open arms, cheering me into Heaven.

That cold rainy day when I didn’t want to leave my warm house but decided to set aside momentary comfort for the sake of achieving a goal?  That run taught me the value of exercising mental discipline… and gave me a better understanding of another scripture:

All athletes are disciplined in their training.  They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should… (1 Cor 9:25-27)

Each day, I’m learning to see my “athletic endeavors” as less physical and more mental, emotional and spiritual.  God is using physical things to teach me spiritual lessons.  The  half marathon was something I NEVER would have imagined even wanting to do… ever… and was convinced even up until race day that I would be a “one and done”, never to repeat the ridiculousness of intentionally trudging 13.1 miles on foot.  But as I ran alongside my dear friend, encouraging her to finish strong, and in turn saw her encourage others, I knew it would not be my last race.  For if, as I firmly believe, these races are symbolic of life itself, how can I ever quit???  The self-centered vision with which I began my racing “career” is morphing into an others-centered passion.  My deep, honest desire now is to share victory with others, to help those in my circle of influence understand the spiritual value of endurance, perspective and discipline.  And I can’t pursue that purpose if I’m not running with endurance the race God has set before me.

Everyone is different.  We all experience seasons in life.  My season may be far different from yours.  I would never impose my goals or experiences on anyone else.  But for me, for now, pursuing physical fitness and continuing to enter a race or two a year is the right thing to do, because I think God has more to teach me…and I believe He wants me to stay the course so I can better teach others about Him.

So if you see me running or biking or swimming laps at the beach, give me a thumbs up and cheer me on… and know that I’m not just preparing for a physical race.  I’m running the Race of Life!!

 

Snow!

What a glorious display of God’s creativity!  While I grew up in the north, accustomed to snow for months on end, there’s something rare and special about a southern snowstorm.

Maybe it’s the doomsday forecasts that make you feel as if you’re lucky to survive 16 inches of snow… or maybe it’s the excitement over missing days and days of school… or the idea of being isolated from civilization for a time… or maybe it’s simply the fact that usually, the sun actually returns once the snow stops falling!  Whatever it is, I’d like to capture, bottle and save it for the next scorching 100+ degree summer day!  To be immersed in the beauty of deep blue skies, brilliant sunshine sparkling on fresh snow, and the crispness of clear, icy air is to experience a taste of heaven.  To have the good health to endure hours of shoveling…not quite as heavenly, but a blessing nonetheless!

I’m no expert photographer, but I tried to capture a bit of the magical beauty to share.  I’m also no expert blog-layer-outer, so forgive the sloppy format!

For those of you experiencing the Virginia snow with us, please make sure you set aside time to simply enjoy the beauty around you.  Bask in the gift of time.  Commit to making memories with your loved ones.  Open your Bible and allow the Living and Active Word of God minister to your heart.  And remember to thank Him for the ability to enjoy the snow!

 

Being a Champion

Champion. 

It’s one of those words that has become blasé in our society, don’t you think?

The name of an athletic wear company… A word found on trophy cases and medals everywhere… even part of the motto of a company I represent (We Build Champions)!

But what does it really mean to be a champion? When we look at the definition of the word, it warrants a closer look:

While there are several definitions (with the most common use referencing “a person who is better than all others in a sport or a game of skill”),  I am irresistibly drawn to this definition: A champion is “an ardent defender of a cause or a person”. 

Stop and think on that for a moment. 

An ardent defender of a cause or a person. 

Who is your ardent defender? The one who never quits on you? Who believes in you when no one else does… when you no longer believe in yourself? Who is that person in your life, who brings out the very best in you and challenges you to be better than you believed you could be?

If there’s no answer to these questions, FIND SOMEONE. Do not go another day without at least beginning the search for a champion in your life! Without a doubt, I believe that those of us who claim Jesus Christ as Lord know in our deepest core that we have a true champion already, and I absolutely do not intend to minimize that. But I also believe very strongly that our Heavenly Champion would have us seek out relationships here on earth that reflect our relationship with Him…so again I ask, who is your ardent defender? 

Maybe it’s your spouse, or a parent, or a sibling. Maybe you have a close friend whom you would consider your champion. Or maybe you love the idea of that kind of deep bond, but it’s not present in your life right now, and you have no idea how to go about pursuing it. If that’s the case, allow me to offer a suggestion: be proactive, and begin with a champion mindset. Search for someone else to whom you can be a champion! Be a champion, an ardent defender of another person…because when you set your heart on being that person for someone else, God will use your willing heart to attract champions into (or maybe develop them in) your circle of influence. 

Imagine for a moment how your life would look if you awoke every morning knowing without a doubt that you had someone ready, willing and able to be your ardent defender. That no matter what your day holds, this person has your back. What kind of confidence does that inspire within you?! Does simply envisioning it plant a seed of hope and shed a ray of light on your day?!

Allow me to share the story of a true champion in my life. It’s a beautiful illustration of a champion mindset, of someone so giving and so selfless that I am truly honored to call her my friend, for this is the kind of person I want to become!

Last weekend, I participated in a race. A long race. (As a matter of fact, the only reason I even signed up for this event was because of my champion friend…she believed I could do something I never envisioned myself capable of!) And just like life, this race was no sprint. Side by side, my friend and I completed mile after mile. We talked and laughed and ran and walked, so by the end we were spent. And just like in life, as we approached the finish line, my dear friend had given her all and her tank was empty–or so I thought. But just as we were rounding that last turn, we came upon a man clearly struggling to put one foot in front of the other, clearly more empty than we were. He needed a champion! So…you guessed it… My champion friend did what she does best, and she set aside her own fatigue to pour encouragement into a complete stranger! 

Honestly, what happened next was absolutely incredible. Although I was unable to hear the words that  were exchanged, it didn’t matter. What I did see was a beautiful illustration of the power of a champion mindset and a little encouragement! At a place of complete emptiness, a champion will set aside his or her own well being to be the ardent defender of someone else…and it will not return empty. You see, after my friend gave of herself to encourage and empower a stranger, she found the strength to finish the race strong. When she took her eyes off her own pain, when she allowed someone else’s struggle to be her focus instead of her own, God gave her what she needed to cross the finish line.  

That, my friends, is being a champion. And that is who I want to be, so you can bet I’m going to continue hanging out with this champion friend of mine! She shows me what it means to truly be an ardent defender, to put the needs of others ahead of herself, all the while knowing that giving hope will never, ever return empty. 

Who is your champion, your ardent defender? 

Sideways Disease

It’s insidious. 

It’s toxic. 

It’s one of Satan’s favorite tools.

It’s called Sideways Disease. And it’ll kill ya. But even if it doesn’t physically kill you, it will most certainly steal your joy and–if you let it–your effectiveness for the Kingdom.

And it’s so subtle, often you don’t even realize you’re afflicted. Here’s the scenario: you’re living your life, going along on your merry little way, but then you see a Facebook post by her. You know, that friend who has it all together, whose kids always wear adorable matching outfits and have perfectly braided hair. She is fit and trim and her house is perfect and her husband is perfect and her kids are perfect and her life is perfect and when you see her latest perfect photo of their perfect family vacation, you’re fit to be tied!! You see her “perfection” and begin to feel inadequate. You feel fat and lazy and start focusing on all the imperfections in your own life. 

At this point you have a choice. You can recognize the truth and move on, or you can allow Satan to fill your heart with his dirty rotten lies. 

What do you choose? 

Moment of transparency here: I’m writing this because far, far too often I find myself making the wrong choice. I fail to see the truth, get hung up on the lies, and find myself in the miserable place of being ineffective for Christ.  I suffer from Sideways Disease.

So that begs the question: What IS the truth? 

The truth is this: we are commanded to have hearts of gratitude, and Sideways Disease steals that from us. When we are so busy focusing on what others have that we can’t see the good in our own lives, we have lost a great gift, and Satan wins the battle for our minds. 

The truth is also this: we have MUCH to be thankful for. We are each uniquely blessed with gifts and abilities, and it is our responsibility to use those gifts and abilities wisely. Comparing myself to her will invariably leave me dealing with insecurity, feeling inadequate, and wallowing in lies. 

That is not what I want. It’s not what I want for me, and it’s not what I want for you. 

Admittedly, I have been embroiled in the battle against Sideways Disease my entire life. But with plenty of grace and forgiveness, I’m still fighting…and winning the battle a bit more often these days. Will you join me? 

Will you catch yourself the next time you find thoughts in your head like “I wish I could afford a newer car like hers”. Or “Man, she is so thin and always so well dressed. I feel frumpy compared to her”. Or “Shes’s so good with kids, I wish I had that gift”. Or “I wish I could sing like her”. 

Do we really think those thoughts are pleasing to the One who created us?!?! How can I truly be honoring the God I claim to serve when I’m so busy bashing His creation (ME!) there’s no energy left to serve? 

Not only do we need to capture and cast off those thoughts, we need to actively fill our minds with Truth. Truth states that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and that “God has given each of you… spiritual gifts” (1 peter 4:10). God has a plan for your life, and it doesn’t include suffering from Sideways Disease!!

If you don’t know God’s plan for your life, let’s talk. If you need help overcoming the temptation to compare yourself with others, I want to help. If you can’t figure out what your gifts are, we can work on that together. 

We were created to help and encourage one another…not to give in to Sideways Disease!