Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

Pursued with Love

When I was a little girl I loved the story of Cinderella. She was the most unlikely candidate, yet chosen. She was raised from a low-standing to a royal position. She was pursued by one and she found love.

Stories like this capture us, don’t they? We love to see the one who is down and out, lifted up. The unlovable, loved. The unlikely, redeemed.

I wonder if you feel like Cinderella before she went to the palace? If you feel unloved? Down and out? Unseen? Unwanted?  Perhaps, your marriage feels dead and you feel left behind.

May I encourage you for a moment? The Cinderella story is yours…

“By the purpose and choice of God”, (Eph. 1:1 AMPC) you are wanted.
By Jesus you have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing. (see Eph. 1:3)
By His love, He chose you.

He “[actually picked you out for Himself as His own] in Christ, before the foundation of the world.” Now you are “holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4 AMPC)

Radiant.

Because of Jesus, you are fully seen and fully wanted.  In fact, He “[desinted, planned in love (for you)] to be adopted (revealed) as His own…” (Eph. 1:5 AMPC)

God is not ashamed to reveal you. Just like the prince revealed Cinderella as his own, with proudness…Ephesians 1:5 says, “it pleased (God) and was His kind intent”— to reveal you.

You are His, radiant daughter of the High King. And, God is yours too. He wants you, has adopted you and He freely bestows this love on (you), His beloved. (Eph. 1:6)

Let this all soak in. You are a princess. The daughter of the Most High King. Can you be any more wanted than that?

Prayer: May the truth of this love overwhelm you today. May the fullness of His desire for you — be made known to you. May the beauty of the work of His hands (which is: who He created you to be) be appreciated, as you think of how much He loves you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you want to learn to rest more in the love of God? Consider my new book: “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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What You’re Going Through

Does it feel like you are going through some things? That you might not come out the other side in one piece?

I remember years ago, I didn’t think I was going to make it… It was the physical pain of what I was going through that was excruciating. If I judged the agony 1-10, I would yelled I was at a level: 100.

I thought I was going to die. The pain was that excruciating.

In my case, it was an extreme and super fast birthing-a-baby moment, with increased side-effects. As we drove down the street furiously, I remember thinking that my husband couldn’t help me escape my body. Nor, would he drive on the sidewalks like I was instructing him to.  I remember coming to the stark realization that the only one who could really help me — was God. I thought — if this is a glimpse of hell — I want nothing to do with it.

Only Jesus could save me.
Only Jesus was there for me.

I was in the inferno alone. For many of us, it may feel that we are in the fire or storm alone.

But, we are not — alone. Another is there with us — Jesus. He is always in the storm.

Remember, Jesus was in the boat with the disciples when the storm hit. He was there when Jesus walked on water. Not only that, but He was in the fire when Daniel went in. He was also at the tomb when the women came, likely, sad and weary from the crucifixion.

Be it an angel sent by Jesus or Jesus himself, He was in the storm and the fire.

Jesus is in your storm. He is in your boat. He is in your fire. He awaits outside every circumstance you may see that looks like a tomb. He knows how to rise above that. I truly thought I was going to die, yet Jesus helped keep me alive. I birthed a beautiful baby girl. Jesus was with me. He was in my trial.

And, Jesus, himself — is there, with you. He, himself, is ready to help you.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” 2 Thess. 2:16-17

If the Rescuer, Redeemer, Restorer, Healer and Helper goes with you, what does this mean for you?

About “Rest Now”
rest nowRest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Get it.

 

 

 

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Breakthrough is For Today

rest now

Do you all remember those MasterCard advertisements?

New dress: $100
Lipstick: $35
New handbag: $90

The look on your ex-boyfriends face when he sees you: priceless.

It is easy to accumulate things to accumulate worth. I remember when I got my first car. I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have enough money for that beautiful sports car. But, still, I looked at my dad and said, “Can I?”

He said, “Sure.”

So we put a whole chunk of debt down and I worked forever… to pay that baby off. In the moment, it was all thrills. I kept looking to see who was looking at me when I stopped at lights.

Then, the pleasure wore off.

Many of us are searching for this pleasure of a greater measure.

What others think…$100

If we look good…$200
If we do well…$250
If we are better than she is…$99
If we are seen…$800
What we wear…$300
How much bible we know…$400
Our position, our power or our placement in this world… $400
How much money, how many vacations or what social media influence we carry… $1000

Yet, the irony of pleasure-seeking is that it always leaves us wanting: more. We can’t climb high enough. Or, go far enough. Fashions change. There’s a naysayer. There’s that nagging feeling that we’re not enough. We fear exposure.

I remember this hamster-wheel; I lived on it for the longest time…until, I got off.

Until I found a treasure of greater measure:
Knowing Jesus. Priceless.

Just to be clear, the difference from then and now — was more than just accepting Jesus into my heart. It was about choosing to know and dwell with Jesus. You know, we can know about Jesus in our head, yet miss Him in our heart?

This can be one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian faith as I see it…

What about you? Do you know Jesus — in a way where HIs love frees you, where His peace holds you, and His trust overwhelms you?

My hope is “[that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].” (Eph. 3:18-19 AMP)

Dear friends, I want you to experience this love and wholeness. I want you to find soul-rest that shields you from the sweaty pursuit of lesser crud. I want you to have an experiential knowing of a Good Father’s love. I want you to leave worry and anxiety in the dust as you come to know hope and peace like no other. Jesus is my treasure of greatest measure and He is the Prince of Peace in my life.

If this speaks to you at all today, consider getting my new book, Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries, and Seize Joy. t releases today! Your support means everything!!! Through it, I believe God will radically transform your life. He will liberate you in light of His love and care.

rest now

“Rest Now” will not only will bless me but, undoubtedly, I believe it will richly bless you in knowing God and His radical, unconventional peace. My belief is that you will truly find what is: priceless.

About Rest Now
Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Get it.

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Good Father

good father

I stood looking over a box filled with cash. Should I give her two dollars or should I give her five?

Earlier in the day, my daughter said, “Mommy, mommy, please give me a five-dollar bill tonight — for the tooth under my pillow.”

I replied, “Madison, this is your third tooth you’ve lost. For the first tooth, you get a lot but for ones after, you get a little less. Don’t expect a five-dollar bill, you’ll maybe get a couple dollars.”

She asked me again for the $5 bill and then I shuffled her off to do other things…

Yet, when night came, and I stood looking over the cash box…I realized how badly I — wanted — to give her more. I wanted to delight her. I wanted my daughter to have the very best. I just love her so much.

I grabbed the $5 bill, snuck up to her room, and tucked it under her pillow, with joy.

“If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.” (Mt. 11:7 AMP)

If I love to give what is good, how much more does my Father in heaven want to give good, to me? If I want what is advantageous for my little one — and I’m not even nearly half as amazing as God is — how much more does God give what is advantageous?

Sometimes I long to do the most amazing things for my kids… I desire so deeply that hard situations change… I want, absolutely, their best…

This makes me see, the enemy has been telling me lies. Namely that: God doesn’t give me good things, God doesn’t want to give, and that He won’t help me. He might be busy with other people. I’m last on the list.

What lies have you been hearing?

The truth is that God has a heart to give: He gave His son. He gave us eternal life. He gave us the flowers, the birds, and the stars out of kindness.

He gave everything for us. He loves us, incredibly, absolutely, and eternally.

Believing we have a Father who gives is important.

If we don’t believe God is good and that He gives, we will keep our head down and miss all the goodness He has set before us. We may even develop a victim-mindset. I think I’ve missed God’s good gifts before. I’ve likely walked right by them, but I am determined on lifting my head and seeing what He has for me now!

What about you?

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Little Foxes

little foxes

We just had a fire-drill in my house!

A must-act-now email popped up in my inbox demanding my immediate attention… I got flustered because of what it was requiring me to do. My son was demanding that I play chess with him now. The world needed everything I had in that very milli-second. I couldn’t take it.

Can’t you just wait a second, son?!  Give me a break!

I was so aggravated, both at what was coming at me, and because of this needy child, I lost my composure. Then, I felt guilty about it.

Grr… A stupid email set my house on fire.

Small things cause big damage just as little foxes spoil whole vineyards…

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” (SOS 2:15)

What little fox tries to attack you? Is it a mistimed word from a family member? Is it your boss’ critiques? Is it a house out of order? Is it people with different political points of view.

The enemy desires to use small things to create big havoc. If we let him… But, we don’t have to.

““Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.” (Mt. 5:9 AMP)

When I keep the peace I literally express God’s character. When I maintain calm, I am blessed with life and joy and God’s favor. When I remain calm, I am a child who trusts God.

I want all to see the character of God being expressed through me. For then, He will calm them. He will heal the situation. He will add himself to my situation, whereas before my anger and frustration would have stopped me from seeing Him. This is favor.

Where is God calling you to new calm and peace?

 

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Special Invite for You (Read to the end!)

Have you ever said yes, then hated yourself later? Or, wanted to spend time with God, only to lose track of time to something else? Perhaps, you’ve done what people wanted and completely lost any sense of inner rest…

Long ago, I had no ability to say no. I remember one instance, years ago, where everyone was ordering one type of food. It was unhealthy and, at this point in life, I had made a conscious decision to become more healthy. I knew, with better health, comes making wise decisions. But, because everyone ordered a type of food, I felt obligated too.

They all said, “Come on, Kelly…have it too!”

I gave in and then hated myself later. Afterward, I had such inner-turmoil for not standing strong. My mind wouldn’t let it go.

…Thus, why the invitation at the end of this email is so vitally important.

But, before we get to the invite, let me ask you — what things are forcing you into a state of unrest?

It may not be food for you like it was for me.  For you — it may be you doing more housework when you need to sit down with God. Or, working longer hours when you really need to spend time with your kids. Or, allowing a family member to suck the life out of you, because you can’t separate yourself.

The inability to say no causes exhaustion, stress, and tiredness. Are you there now?

Jesus says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life…” (Mt. 11:28 MSG)

The beginnings of every good “no” — is simply saying yes to Jesus. The more you meet Jesus, the more you want Him. The more you want him, the less things block His joy and peace.  The more you rest, the more you understand you are blessed.

Today, I want to invite you to find this sort of rest. Rest beyond people’s demands…rest beyond up-and-down circumstances…rest beyond insane world happenings and rest beyond a busy life. Does this sound like something you may need?

If you have been blessed by this blog…if these messages have resonated with your heart, might you consider blessing me? How? By pre-ordering the book Rest Now and joining “the Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries, and Seize Joy” launch team.

With a supportive, loving group who are seeking rest, much like you, you’ll learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Only when we receive God’s rest can we most effectively bring God’s peace.

Launch Team Details
Timeline: Starting Now to Mid-October.
Gifts for you: Get all the Pre-order Bonus’
(25 practical ways to rest with God, rest-filled prayers, and more..)
Exclusive videos: Have an inside track to Kelly’s learnings, wisdom, and wealth of resources.
Gain: Support as you walk out rest, peace, and new boundaries in your life.
Your part: read the book, share the book, and review the book.

Anyone — can join no matter who you are!  Have a friend who may want to join? Simply forward this message. All that’s needed is to pre-order “Rest Now” and fill out this spreadsheet to join today.

I love you all and thank you for your support. I could not do this without all the prayers, love and heartfelt messages I get from each of you. This book is a product of you — too!

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A Secret to Communication

I knew I said too much. 

She was sharing her heart, but for some reason I felt like I had to have her “fixed” by the time the call ended. She phoned me because she needed help. And, I wanted to really be there for her. To leave her where she was — didn’t feel right.

I offered some advice. I gave her some strategies. Yet, after hanging up — I had a sinking feeling that I said too much. That my words were — input-overload.

In retrospect, she didn’t need my lofty words, but just my care. My heart. My presence with her in the heat of a hard moment.

She didn’t need an answer as much as she needed an ear.

I noticed when I did stay quiet on the call, she had room to pray. I also remember how she seemed to pray her way out of her own hole.

It was my pride that made me want to be a savior.  It is also my pride that makes me unload harsh words on others because of my inflamed emotions. It is pride that feels like it has to have an answer to everybody’s every question.

Humility does the opposite, though. It says less so that God can move more.

“A truly wise person uses few words…” (Prov. 17:27)

Wise people say less and listen more. They weigh words carefully before blasting them like a water gun. They intentionally think about restoring the other person, rather than ripping them apart or giving too much advice. They don’t let their emotions get the best of them.

Wise communicators know they don’t have to respond. They are okay with silence. They give space for others to help themselves. They allow ‘no response’ answers or ‘let me think about it’ approaches so they can release life-giving, redeeming words.

Using less words provides more impact. Where, in your life, might God be calling you to use less words? What would this look like practically?

 

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He’s Already There

The group was going one way; I was intent on going another. I wasn’t about to eat ice cream this late. That was fattening and I still wasn’t over my eating disorder.

Walking away from the retreat group, I headed back to the cabin. That was –until I felt God stop me in my tracks. It was as if I got hit by a 2×4. God placed on my heart, “Turn around. Go back with the group.” I knew to ignore His pull would be direct disobedience. Direct disobedience comes with consequences.

So, I turned around and, somewhat begrudgingly, walked all 23-years of me back into that line. And, as I met up with a group of girls I recognized, I discovered — He was already there.

The man I would marry. He was already there. He saw me pass Him and that’s when he caught up with me to get to know me. Thank God I obeyed God. Not only that, but Jesus was already there too. After that weekend, I accepted Him into my heart.

Jesus was already there. Do you know that whatever boat you may find yourself in today — in singleness, in financial ruin, in hopelessness, in defeat, in confusion — that Jesus is already there?

“So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too.” (Mk. 4:36)

Jesus was already in the boat where a wretched storm was about to hit…. He was already there. He knew. He could see. He was aware of what was to come. He was already a step ahead.

“Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow.” (Mk. 4:37)

Just because a storm is raging doesn’t mean that Jesus isn’t already there.

The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” (Mk. 4:38)

Maybe you are saying… don’t you care God? Why am I here? What is happening?

Jesus hasn’t fallen asleep on you. He hasn’t lost touch on what you are going through. He goes ahead of you.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8)

God is already there — His love goes ahead of you. Be not afraid, my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world (1 Jo. 4:4). This isn’t a cheap line, but truth.

Prayer: God, you are amazing. You go ahead of us. You care for us. You are with us. You strengthen us. You empower us. We say thank you, thank you, thank you. Please add all these things to us as we come into loving you more and more and more. Great is your faithfulness! We do not waver, but trust you today. You have not fallen asleep on us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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When you Want Deeply

“You want what you don’t have…” (Ja. 4:2)

How many of us desire what we do not have? We want a bigger house, a better husband, a different school year, a more satisfying job, a better family situation… then, life would be good.

There are things that I want. I desire them. Badly. Yet, the time isn’t right. Nothing’s changed. I am at a standstill.

I believe, one of life’s greatest hurts is mental fantasies, unrealized. We create storylines about how things should be. Yet, the more they are not the way we think they should be, the more hope deferred we feel.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Prov. 13:12)

Our sickness causes us to act out with schemes to help ourselves feel better… We get jealous of others. We demand people do things our way. We take things into our own hands. We bang our head against the wall out of frustration. We retaliate.

“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them…”  (James 4:2)

But, what if we stopped — to pray God’s way?

James 4:2-3 continues on……”Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)

What if God was our greatest motive? Our love for Him, our greatest pursuit? Our hope, His way of showing up? Our belief, who He says He is — Provider, Shepherd, Keeper of our Soul, Comforter, Redeemer. Our steadfast belief, He is greater than any fear or worry we face.

God will show up; it just may not look exactly as we think. Are we willing to surrender our thoughts of how things should be for His best plan?

Prayer: God, let me desire you more than anything else on this earth (see: Psalm 73:25) All other things will fall into place as I trust you. You have a good plan and you are worthy of all my trust and faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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God Fights For You

There’s nothing worse than believing God for victory, only to experience defeat.

Has that ever happened to you?

Recently, I prayed and prayed, without change. I praised, without a breakthrough.  I hoped, but I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere.

Even now, I need God for everything, yet I wonder how he can possibly show up — in this situation. What if I am left with nothing? 

Fear wants to grip me. It tries to make me focus on the natural over God’s supernatural power.

God, will you really provide? Show up? Help? Can I trust You, God?

The Israelites are a bit like me: They saw the Egyptian troops chasing them down. They got overwhelmingly terrified. They must have figured they were incapable.. They were seemingly angry at their leader, Moses.

Upset with themselves and unable to hold-it-in they even griped, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12, NIV)

Slavery was more appealing than trusting God for victory.

I’m like them when I say:

Why am I here, God? Where are you, God? Why haven’t you ____, God? This doesn’t make any sense, God!

Moses replied to the Israelites, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV)

As I’m still, God fights. Wow. This is incredible. Beyond natural sight is God’s greater fight. Far more effective than worry is my Warrior, God. He is bigger than any big issue I face. And stronger than the very definition of the word — strong, as I understand it.

God can accomplish more in a split-second than I can produce in my whole life. I want the work to be His, not mine. He can do anything at any time.

Our God, while we are still — fights on our behalf. Are we letting Him fight for us or are we griping, opining, complaining, and doubting?

God is working, even when you can’t see it.

It doesn’t matter if it looks like God is late. Or, if you would have done it another way. Or, if you can’t really understand. Still, God’s way is the best way.

A kid can’t understand why he gets a novocaine shot at the dentist, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t good reason.

You know, when the Israelites lost faith, God instructed Moses to tell them something. He said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move on.” (Exodus 14:15) I believe God is saying the same today:

Move on from unbelief.
Move on from fearing your battle.
Move on from counting everything as a deterrent.
Move on from your old outlooks.
Move on from your self-limiting beliefs.
Move on from the idea there is no good plan.

And, trust God to fight your battle. You do this by: making space for God, listening to His heartbeat through His Words, and through ‘saying yes’.

God’s plan is good. Even here, in this instance, He had good reason for doing what He did.  It was so He could gain glory.

“Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground…And I will gain glory through…The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” (Exodus 14:16-18, NIV)

And so the Israelites moved. The miracle happened. The sea parted. And God got all His glory. The Egyptians knew who was God.

Friend, don’t lose hope; there is a good plan in motion.

 

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