Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

From “a Bad Hand” to “The Upper Hand”

For a large part of my life, I believed I’d simply been dealt a bad hand. I had thoughts like this: “Things work against me. No one is for me. The world will hurt me. People are out to get me. I can’t trust anybody. I am at risk of being continually injured or stranded. Bad circumstances find me.”

Bad. Hand.

Hurt. Kelly.

Struggling. To. Be. Okay.

Annoyed….Others. Have. It. Better.

Defined. By. My. History.

Have you, like me, allowed internal definitive statements to define your identity? Are you unsure how to climb out of the pit of injustice you’ve found yourself in?

Incredibly, God’s Word shows us the way. God has clear-cut, straightforward instruction for those who have been punched one too many times by the constant onslaught of the world. For those whose stomach feels like it is caving in and they’re about to give up.

Here it is…(notice the two main call-to-action points included within this statement):

“If you… 1.) listen to the commands of the Lord your God and 2.) carefully obey them, (then) the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand.” Deut. 28:13

If you listen and obey…

Then you’ll have – not the bad hand –  but always, the upper hand.

You won’t be the tail that gets stomped all over, but the head that is wise, smart and full of God’s truth.

Jesus, as the head, will get in your head and change the world of hurts you’ve been living in. Give Him a shot. Listen, obey and find yourself ahead.

 

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Let’s Count the Ways: God Watches You

“Are you watching me?”

My 6-year-old son puts on shows. Willy Wonka, Moses in the wilderness, Box Car Children- you name it, and he acts it out. And he always asks this question.

“Are you watching me?”

Half the time, I’m not. I mean to be, but I’m also human. I’m trying to tackle things like bills, emails, text messages, phone calls, dishes, laundry, dinner…you get the point.

The fact of the matter is, our parents didn’t watch us non-stop either. I know there were times I put on shows and my mom or dad didn’t watch. It’s not because they didn’t want to, but because they were human.

But you know what? God is not human and He is watching. This fills the desires of all our hearts. The desire that says, “Someone, please, be watching me. Watch out for me. Watch me and know my ways. Watch me and protect me. Watch me and help me.”

God watches, carefully.

God is always with us.

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Ps. 139:7-8

God’s watched our days before they’ve even happened.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139:16

God’s intimate thoughts about us don’t stop.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Ps. 139: 17-18

God is aware of our most intricate workings, habits and ponderings.

“You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.” Ps. 139: 3-4

He watches you to protect you.
“You hem me in behind and before.” Ps. 139: 5

God watches it all. Every song, dance, move, time you sit down, stand up, and twirl around. You are precious in His sight.

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Let Go of Old Grudges

I’m under God’s conviction.

There’s this person in my life I thought I’d forgiven long ago. That is, until I realized I didn’t want to bless this person, give to them, or pray for them. At just a mention of their name, yucky emotions made me annoyed.

Why am I still so upset?

You can’t just brush offenses under a rug like dirty crumbs and expect them to self-clean. There they sit there, until one day you pull back the covers to see the disgust of what you’ve left untended.

It is not pretty.

The unforgiveness we leave unchecked goes unhandled. What goes unhandled grows uncontrollably. Ungodly growth has ruined a soul or two.

Friends, don’t discount even the smallest amount of growth. A little touch of poison ivy can cause immense bodily agony. A poisonous bite from the wrong insect can send one to their deathbed in a minute. A weed can take over a bed of flowers in a flash.

I am not trying to invoke fear, but I am trying to say this: a little unforgiveness can cause much distress within a soul and body.

We don’t want this and shouldn’t allow it. So, let’s plant a stake in the ground. God has far better for us.

We must break down the set-up of unforgiveness in our heart and return back to love. What the enemy has purposed to ruin us, we must let go so God can remake us. It is the only way true love prevails.

Who do you need to forgive today? Might you consider letting go of the thousand hurts they still inflict on you in exchange for one simple act of letting go?

I am going to join you in this process right now.

Here we go:

Father God, we feel angry, hurt, irritated, alone, ____ and left behind by this person. We hate how they made us feel. Yet, we are thankful that you, Jesus, sympathize with our pain. Not only this, you understand it. You know pain; you know the cross. You also know humility. Although the pain is real, we let go of what hurt is still hurting us. We clear room for your new life. We welcome in your grace. We give you the offense right now. We breathe in grace and breathe out what unforgiveness does not belong to us anymore. We breathe in the love you have for us, we breathe out the shame we feel for holding on to this for so long. We accept what Jesus did on the cross today and we celebrate it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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When You’re Feeling Bad About Yourself

Do you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe you start your day doing great, only to end it feeling poor.

I understand.

I sit here feeling kind of blah.

Blah because I don’t know how God will handle everything I’m concerned about.
Blah because I know that I should know: God has everything handled.
Blah because I still feel irritated at people I am desperately trying to forgive.
Blah because I’m not really accepting the grace Jesus died for.
Blah because I want to connect with God, yet I feel ashamed to.
Blah because it is weird to tell people you’re feeling these kinds of things.

Blah. Blah-dee. Blah-blah.

So, I pray, “Here in the place of blah, God, what do you have for me?” And here’s what He empowers me to do:

If Jesus busted out of the tomb, so can I.

If the dull sounds of guilt-ridden religiosity didn’t hold Jesus back from new life, neither should my sins.

If Jesus left me peace, it is mine for the taking.

If He forgave me, I can forgive others.

If there are new mercies every day, I can seize them right now.

If Jesus died to cover me with grace, covered I am.

If I don’t know what to do, I can lean not upon my own understanding, trust Him and know: He’ll make my paths straight.

If I feel disappointed by my lot in life, I can give thanks for the whole lot of stuff I do have.

If I wonder if people will ever change, I can simply praise Him for my inner-change.

If I can’t forgive myself, I can remember how Jesus’ death on the cross proves He already has.

If I feel unloved, I can remember His constant never-ending outpouring love from above.

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Ro. 8:31-32

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? …No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Ro. 8:35, 37

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ro. 8:38-39

 

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Do you Still Love Me?

I had a really hard talk with a friend. I told her some things that needed to be said. Her face looked sad.

I didn’t want to say all these things, but I felt God wanted me to. The words were supposed to be encouraging. I tried to do this the best I could, but sensed I was failing. She listened. She nodded and soaked it all in.

We understood each other. It was all good.

But after she left, I felt crushed.

Does she still love me? What if she leaves me?

Does the idea of confrontation ever make you want to cover up because you fear you’ll be left unwanted?

I’ve noticed that in the past I left people before they left me, in order not to get hurt.

God help me. I don’t want to do that again. 

Frankly, I often don’t realize what my flesh is doing until my Spirit realizes it’s too late. But is it? Is it ever too late to return to love? It can sure feel like it. It can feel like it when memories of relationships are severed. Or the way you approached something can’t be taken back. It can feel you’ve gone down a one-way road leading to continually hurt feelings inside you.

I always mess up.

Are you there today? Do you feel you’ve ruined a relationship in a way that can’t be fixed?

5 Truths when Relationships Appear Broken

1. We are not perfect, nor will we ever be. On earth, we are moving from one glory to another. This means we start at a lesser glory, learn through a trial about God’s glory, and grow up into His greater glory. Life = Learning. We are learners.

2. God’s love is steady and sure. We may do what God wants, but man may still leave us. This doesn’t mean we didn’t: Do what God wanted us to, love well, and handle things correctly. It means that life gets sticky and sometimes people need time to process.

3. Our God is a God of new beginnings. Just as Jesus found new life after He gave up his own life at the cross, sometimes we must give up our pride to find new life in a relationship. This looks like humbling ourselves, saying sorry, and moving into the new thing God has for us.

4.  We all want to be loved. While we look at our stack of mess-ups, reasons we’re right or issues surrounding the relationship, others are doing the same thing. They want healing too. They want restored connectedness also. Understanding others’ perspectives always comes before judging them. This posture lets us kneel instead of cowering before others. Whose heart doesn’t open up when you see someone kneeling before you?

5. We get grace. Lots of it. It is abundant. Magnificent. Restorative. Full of opportunities to start over. Take it, in full-measure. God loves us. We are covered by the blood of Jesus. This means that by turning back to God and letting him take what we’ve done wrong, we get a covering, a protection and a start-over that our soul longs for. Things may not be perfect with others, but we look perfectly blameless in the sight of our God.

 

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I Can’t Do This All

One way to succeed at life is to take inventory of what sets you off.

Ask: What makes your chest well up with discomfort? What makes your stomach turn in rolling knots of nervousness? What makes your hands sweat?

There’s some very good news coming to you soon. With this, I’ve had to do some very hard work to see it through. Hard work makes me feel under much pressure. And being under pressure makes me feel I must perform.

Performances steal the presence of God.

It becomes all show and no rest. Performances are about: doing, striving, working stuff up, making things happen, generating results and presenting a good face.

They’re about getting somewhere. Meanwhile, God just wants to be with us.

Maybe you are there. Maybe you are saying to yourself, “I try so hard, but get nowhere. I don’t know how I’ll do it all. I am stressed out. I am overwhelmed. I am burdened.”

Right now, I believe God has an invitation for you and for me.

As I see it, I believe it reads like this…

Dear (your name),

I invite you to step away from the soul-crushing burdens of all you feel you “must” manage. I will manage those things as you trust in me. I can do far more than you can think or imagine when you trust me. I can accomplish in one minute what it takes you 5000 to conceptualize. Will you trust me? Will you let me take lead? Will you hand to me what you’re death-gripping and mishandling? Will you let go of those unruly emotions and trace them for promised lands of peace? I promise to take good care of what is most important to your soul. I won’t leave you behind. I am always true to my word.

“Defeat does not come to those who trust (in God).” Ps. 23:5 GNT

“(God) is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6 NKJV

Above all, please know: I am with you. I am on your side. I am helping you. My hope is to give you the deep desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)

Love,

God

 

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When You Don’t Know What to Do

Have you ever asked these questions?

God, where are you?
God, why haven’t you shown up by now?
God, don’t you have a better plan – than this?
God, you need to come through for me. What do I need to do?

I’ve asked this a lot. After all the battles I’ve gone through (health, mental, financial and emotional), I’ve asked this time and time again. In fact, I’ve fretted and tried to figure out why God isn’t doing what I want him to.

He usually answers back with something like this:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8-9)

As if He is saying, “Daughter, lay down your demands for predictability and safety to come, follow me.”

Jesus is always inviting us somewhere. The question is – will we go?

You know, we don’t make just one decision to follow Jesus and throw in the towel. We do it again-and-again, day-after-day, minute-by-minute. We do it everytime we choose to disagree with the mayhem we see, in order to believe the truth of God’s Word within our mind.

This is following Jesus. This is being Battle Ready.

Being Battle Ready is getting to this question: “God, how in the world do I leave it all behind, to follow you, yet again?”
Then, listening
Being willing to accept a new plan.
Moving forward with it.
Fighting enemies attacks.
Pushing back against lies.
Seizing truth in our heart, through practical ways.
Giving love out to the world.

When we do this faith comes easy. Believing the God-0f-miracles happens more seamlessly.

I wrote my upcoming book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously, because I wanted a clear-cut plan to know what to do – when my mind went ballistic because it “didn’t know what to do”. Why? Because, I’ve gone through battle after battle, relationship problem after relationship problem, health concern after health concern. You name it, I’ve probably faced it.

I wanted strategy on how to stay close, strong, confident and steadfast. I wanted to get pro-active rather than reactive. I wanted to learn how to really allow God’s truth, promises and scripture to dwell in my mind.

While writing this book, God laid out scriptural plans, bible verses, how-to steps, habit-changing tips. I discovered how to create a personalized Battle Plan. You’ll create your-own Battle Plan too.

Want the insiders track to progress? Want to get all my exclusive freebies, devotionals, scripture on battle, little insights, live prayer meetings, plus join a band of women on-fire for Jesus?

Consider joining my launch team (Yes, YOU!!! All are welcome!).

Get the inside scoop on the book.  Printables. Video devotionals. Live prayer with Kelly. My arsenal of Battle-scripture. Group-support. All the Pre-order bonuses. Weekly accountability. A physical thought-changing gift. A Mini-Prayer Journal.

You’ll do little things, like:

Sharing the book with your small group or women’s minister
Spreading the word about it on social media.
Writing an Amazon review (which is so helpful).
Encouraging my heart.
Sharing it with your people (if you are a blogger)

Just pre-order a book today, then join the group here. Don’t delay.  200 also get a free book sent to them.

Bonus for bloggers, authors, women’s ministers and leaders: Also get my whole Platform Writing and Speaking Coaching Series for free in the group. This is 15+ expert coaching videos that will help you build an audience and speak to them in ways that move their hearts.

Pre-order! And sign up for the launch team today.

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What if Jesus Drove Your Life?

Him: “Mom, I want to ride my bike with you on a major highway.”
Me: “Hmm… No.”
Him: “Mom, I want to ride my bike to a far-off neighborhood I’ve never been to before. I want to go far and get somewhere.”
Me: “You know, son? I care far less about our destination and far more about just being with you.”

As soon as I said it, the words hit me like self-reversing bullets at brute force speed. God cares far less about my destination than He does about just being with me.

I say: “God, I want to do things for you.”
He says: “Come and sit at my feet. Be not worried about many things.”
I say: “God, I want to do things for you.”
He says: “It appears being first is the right way, but sit with me and you’ll find being last is your true joy.”
I say: “God, I don’t know if I’m doing enough for you.”
He says: “People look at the outward appearance, but (I) look at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

In all my going, am I missing the fullness of God? In pushing fast, am I really pushing God away?

God is the driver; I am the passenger. God knows where I’m going; I stay near to Him. God has the heavenly GPS; I pay attention to where He wants me to go.

Can a passenger ever go anywhere if she isn’t seated next to the driver? If she’s off in her own land, trying to drive her own pretend car to her own Never Neverland…can she ever arrive?

Surrender is to allow God to be the driver. It means you become a sitter at the feet of Jesus. It means allowing your heart to become in awe of Him and His every word. It is to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, knowing at the proper time: He’ll do the exalting. (1 Pet. 5:6) It is peace. It is joy. It is our portion. It is our calling. It is our ultimate destination.

Why? Because the destination that is Jesus always leads to a destination of vision. We find out who we are in the boundless nature of His love. Here, He reveals the “go” we always wanted to find.

Another note: My new book Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously is available for Pre-order. This summer, I want you to read the book with me. We’ll be going through the book (200 people get a copy) in my private launch team group. I’ll also be providing free support materials, printables, scriptures, prayer time together and fun stuff from me. If you want to learn to abandon discouragement, doubt, and disappointment, come join me on the launch team. Just pre-order a book on Amazon, then sign up here.

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Where Did God Go?

I believe some of you counted yourself not valuable or unable to make a difference. It’s not true. This is why I want to invite you, again, to join my launch team.

Friends, every bit helps – how you share Battle Ready with a friend in need, or do a post on Facebook, or encourage me along the way, or share it in your small group, or bring unique excitement to the team. Don’t discount yourself.  You all mean something to me; I want you to be a part of the launch team.  I want you to do this with me. Big or small, whether you feel important or meaningless, join me as we gain new confidence, seize new thoughts and spread Jesus’ liberating truth far and wide.  Pre-order a book on Amazon, then join the team here (and get a ton of video devotionals, scriptures, accountability, team support, prayer with me and little gifts from me: www.iambattleready.com/launch 

I love you all. Now here is the post:

Consider a random picture frame in your house. See it? When you wake up the next morning, do you know where it is? Are you confident it is there? Think of another one. When you walk into that room, are you sure you will see it?

What about the frame of your bed? How sure are you that when you return to your room, you’ll find it? Pretty confident, right?

The permanence of these objects is obvious. Yet, why doesn’t it feel this way with God?

It’s like God’s with us one moment and gone the next. We’re full of God one night, but down the next day. Trusting fully, then stuck in swirling ruminations the next hour.

We go from God with us to God is gone. God is here to God, are you really here?

Why does eternal God seem less real than the passing world around us?

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:8

Because there’s a re-framer in our house.

The enemy constantly attempts to steal our view and reframe it with his. He takes our pictures of God’s nearness, assaults them with doubt and tries to move them out of our line of sight.  We say, “God’s good and gone.”

Same tricks. Different day.

Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1

Suddenly, Adam and Eve bit the fruit and were standing stark naked, ashamed in front of a far-off God.

What has the enemy reframed in your life? What has he subtly led you away from? What has he put between you and the God of closeness and fullness?

Remove it. Remove it fast and get with God. Do this repeatedly. All the time. God IS with you. He is. He will never leave your side.

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The Mind + Exciting News + You’re Invited: Do it With Me!

Our mind is a garden. We either take time to water it, or it wilts due to worry, distress and stress. We either remove the weeds or they crowd-out fruit.

God cares greatly about our gardens. Why? Becuase what we think on, we act on. What we dwell on, drives us. What untruths we believe, shape our instincts, emotions, and impulses.

Our mind is not meant to just memorize scripture, it’s to be compelled by the mind of Christ, always. “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)

As we pluck what’s not of Christ, He seems to grow in us.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Ro. 12:2) 

Nutrient-dense soil grows faith.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
(Phil. 4:8)  

Without weeds, Christ rules our thoughts.
“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
(2 Cor. 10:5)

Is Christ’s truth, promises, and love ruling your thoughts? Or are you stressed out and stunted by problems, pessimism, and pain?

What if, you began to think differently, like Christ? What if you could face your problems proactively, verses reactively? How would your whole world change?

I wrote the book Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously after suffering through an eating disorder, depression, health issues, relationship problems, financial struggles and so much more. This book is not only a hands-on manual, where you can explore-your-story, but it is also a battle plan for your mind. With how-tos, practical and biblical wisdom, verses and truths it will help you stand strong. It will surely change your thoughts, change your habits and then change your life.

Want the inside scoop on the book?  Printables? Video devotionals? Live prayer with Kelly? My arsenal of Battle-scripture? Group-support? Weekly accountability? A physical thought-changing gift? A Mini-Prayer Journal?

****SPECIAL INVITATION: Join me on my launch team and you’ll get all the above and far more.

You don’t have to do a ton, you’ll just get behind the book in the little ways that seem natural to you. Such as:

Sharing the book with your small group or women’s minister
Spreading the word about it on social media.
Writing an Amazon review (which is so helpful).
Encouraging my heart.
Sharing it with your people (if you are a blogger)

Just pre-order a book today, then join the group here. Don’t delay.  200 also get a free book sent to them. Join the launch team.

Are you a seasoned- or veteran blogger, women’s minister, leader or speaker?

I’m offering an unprecedented launch opportunity. I am taking the Platform Mastermind Course – the one I’ll be releasing in the Fall for $500+ dollars – and I am literally giving it to my launch members for free. FREE.

This course:

  • Boils down all the marketing mumbo-jumbo into clear and concise how-tos so you can steward and grow your audience.
  • Reduces hours of learning, flight-times to conferences, time away from your family, and money spent trying to figure out what to do or not do.
  • Gets industry experts to share what is working right now on social media, in speaking and online so that you don’t have to endlessly search to figure everything out.
  • Presents the information in easy-to-consume and take-action videos that are short, and chock-full of wisdom. Plus, you can watch it all from the comfort of your home.

What are some of the 15+ courses experts in each field will share?

Video sessions include topics like:
– The 5 Biggest Speaking No-Nos (and 5 Things You must do)!
– “Crushing it on Facebook/Instagram Stories Video”
– The 7 Best Blogging Tips, Ever
– Making Facebook Work For You
– 3 Tips Publishers Won’t Tell You, But You Need to Know
– Why You Need an Agent and How to Get one
– Start a Blog: Get Up and Running in No Time
– Thriving in Ministry and Motherhood
– How to Boss Your Time Around
– How to Build an Email List, Fast
– “Rock it” on Instagram
– 5 Tips to Heart Connecting Writing/Speaking
– Find and Book Speaking Gigs
– The Social Media Strategies that ARE Working
– Learn Kelly’s Groundbreaking Tips in Bonus Video Content
– Creating awesome photos and visuals that attract people
+ much more…

How to join:
1. Pre-order a book on Amazon to help me.
2. Join the launch team here.
3. Fill out the form (do it now, limited space available).

I expect this launch team to be not only mind-changing but also life-changing and platform ground-breaking.

Share this on social media (and be entered to win a free book): Join Kelly Balarie’s Battle Ready Launch Team! You’ll get 15+Platform-Building Expert Coaching Videos for Free. (Include the link to this page)

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