There’s one particular friend who can’t seem to do things exactly right. It’s as though when she buys me a gift, it’s the one color I dislike. When she says she’ll see me soon, she forgets because she “had to run more errands” and shows up 30 minutes late. When she’s trying to be thoughtful, it’s awkward.
Now, issues like this would be fine as an isolated incident, but she always and repeatedly acts this way.
I know her heart, but she lets me down – even though her intentions are good.
It is easy for me to judge her. And, I have. Her wrong timing. Her wrong words. Her wrong ways.
But, recently, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been wrong?
God says: “Bear with each other . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NIV)
Where God wants us to bear with one other, the enemy wants to tear us apart.
Recently, I started noticing my 7-year old son’s tendency for ungratefulness. I’ll buy him the world and he acts as though I owe it to him. I go out of my way to reverse my car so he can see one particular person that looks like his teacher and he gets upset I didn’t do it fast enough. I make him a special dinner and he hardly notices. He tells me he wanted something different.
I’m like my son. I get ungrateful. I don’t see the good. I want things to cater to me at times.
I repent of this. The reality is, this friend is not perfect, but she’s pursuing relationship as best she can. She has many outstanding characteristics about her. She is giving. She makes time to show up. She goes out of her way to be thoughtful.
I’ve been hard on her. I’ve made a mistake.
I am sorry God. Father, will you help me to see the good in others, before critiquing the bad? Will you help me give thanks for the beauty you’ve created in them, even when it is hard to see?
“Make allowance for each other’s faults . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NLT)
May I make allowance so I can draw closer rather than giving enemy room to drive us apart. Thank you for your help, Father God.
But, I am not; the reality is: I still get shaken, unsure and a little nervous.
It’s embarrassing to say that despite my 90% growth, I still live with 10% lack. Friends, the pride in me, doesn’t want you to see me this way. I want to hide the embarrassing parts of me in my bedroom, shut the door on it, and return to you as strong-and-mighty Kelly. But, that would be a lie.
The reality is: I don’t know it all, my friends. In many ways, I fail. On my own, I fail. By my own strength, I fail. When I control, I fail.
Do you feel like you are failing? Failing those around you? Failing to do faith well? Failing to find answers? Failing to make a way for those you love? Failing to be pure, honest and true to God? Failing to really surrender? Failing. Failing. Failing.
What if…today, you let the weight of your super-sized backpack full of bricks go? What if you began to speak a new word and release new life.
It sounds like this (speak it aloud): “Father God, the enemy accuser is right. I have (controlled, grasped, managed and not let go of the reigns, put your words here). I am sorry; forgive me.”
This is powerful, because rather than trying to defend ourselves against the inner attacks we actually know are true, we release them to God. The second we acknowledge we are wrong, we see how Jesus is 100 % right, righteous and right by our side ready to restore us. He is not undone by what He knows we’ve done, He is coming to release us from the inner turmoil of it.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (1 Pet. 5:8)
While you and I sin – Christ comes for us.
Why? What is Jesus’ plan in all this?
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Pet. 5:10)
He comes to restore us, to make us strong and steadfast. He does not come to shame, to hate or berate us. The path to Jesus always leads to freedom.
Friends, rest assured, whether it is me, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham or you – there is no perfect keeper of God’s law. There is no key to sudden perfection. There is no way to the freedom of life – to grace, either – except Jesus.
He has designed our faith-walk in some ways (or the fall of Adam and Eve has) to be a continual return. We just keep coming home. We just keep coming back. We just keep getting up. We just keep surrounding ourselves with His truth.
Battle Ready women aren’t perfect, they just know Who Is. They have strategies, wisdom, truth, and promises lined up in their fanny-pack like weapons for hard days. They are practiced with thought-patterns of God’s love so that when defeat shows up, they don’t listen to it. They are equipped with little tips on how to change bad habits and how to embrace Godly vision. They know how to fight proactively, rather than responding reactively. They aren’t ruled by the world they inhabit, but ruled by God’s love for them that helps them love the world. They don’t get with God once, but they are so full of desire, they keep coming back to the well of His love. They believe in God’s love for them. They hope and see His best. They walk by faith and not by sight.
They see how far they’ve come. They give thanks for the 90% growth they’ve found because of all the Battle Ready wisdom God has poured out. They leave the other 10% in God’s hands and entrust: He is Faithful and True to His Word. They see the good, yet they don’t run from the bad. They bring it to Jesus.
Here’s what the Battle Ready launch team has been saying:
“Battle Ready is really helping understand what I mean to God. I’m beginning to understand I’m very important to Him.”
“How did Kelly manage to read my personal diary? I felt as if she had cracked open my head and started reading my deepest thoughts and fears. Her vulnerability in sharing how her own thinking is in need to redemption makes me realize I am not alone in the struggle.
“I love the practical Scriptural counsel that this book offers. Kelly guides you in how to take the truth and apply it to your every day crazy life. I am sure this is a book I a going to need to re-read often.”
“It’s really been transformational in my mind and business even in a short time period. It’s sad to realize that many are struggling through life when just with these simple daily principles they could be THRIVING.”
“I love it!!”
“Kelly has jam-packed this book with truth.”
“I already feel myself relaxing in that truth and the tension in my heart has already started to loosen…!”
“Battle Ready dares me to see my “prayer time as a battleground where wars are lost or won.”
BLOGGER GIVEAWAY: I am feeling a little gifty because of Battle Ready.
To enter:Either share the #BattleReadyBook Trailer (this Facebook Post) or feature a guest blog by me coming 2 weeks. Note what you did/want in the comments to be entered to win. I will contact you about the blogging details.
I hated how I looked. I hated how I acted. I hated how other people were better than me. I hated that I couldn’t control my family or my future. I hated that no matter how hard I tried, it always felt like it wasn’t enough. I hated how people seemed to do things easily, it was hard for me. I hated how I always had to prove myself. I hated how nothing came naturally to me. I hated how and I never seemed to have enough (money, smarts or looks). I hated how God seemed far and life seemed too tough and I didn’t really know how to get through the hardest times of life…
There was a lot to hate…
Then, I met Jesus. I began to find love.
I started to know He loved me and He wanted me as His daughter.
But I still hated how I was afraid to be me. How I needed to seem not too arrogant to church people. Or, too wild for their liking. Or, too smart in front of the leader of my small group. Or, too Christian in front of my neighborhood friends. I hated how I felt like I was made for more, but couldn’t access it. I hated how I didn’t really know why God created me. I hated that I partially believed God’s truth. Sure I read it in the morning, but I lost it mid-afternoon. I hated that about me. I hated how I tried to do good, but never felt good. I hated all that. I hated how, even though I had Jesus, I still hit hard battles and got emotionally destroyed. With shame, guilt, despair, and fret. Like a bad spiritual hang-over. I hated all that. I hated how I couldn’t really obey God. I hated how, underneath it all – I didn’t trust Him.
Then, I met a moment that changed me. All the circumstances boiled down to this thought: If I let God into my thoughts, won’t He change my life?
I started not to hate myself. Or, God. Or, what I do wrong. I started to invite God into my battles, my problems, and my doubts.
I began to see the ways to cultivate fresh faith, to renew my mind in Christ and to change my outlook on everything that had previously kept me stuck. I began to have: Breakthrough. Today, I can tell you without a doubt, I trust God more than ever. Here I am today, in the heat of a horrible battle (which unfortunately I can’t explain right now) that threatens me – BIG TIME. Yet, I feel at peace. I feel sure. I feel steadfast. I feel the purpose behind it. I am not freaking out.
This is huge. Now, I am far less afraid, doubt-full and stuck.
The lessons God has taught me within my mind – have changed my mind. I’ve discovered strategies, tips, truths and scriptural wisdom that has not left me the same. My life is a testimony. There’s nothing more real than that. It surprises me, but it also gives me so much hope for you. You really can change your thoughts, then change your life. You really can get past your doubts.
You really can be Battle Ready. Today, I feel unstoppable, strong and I live with a purpose.
****Will you share this trailer with your friends? So many are in need. So many need love. So many silently suffer from what I wrote above? Won’t you be the light in the midst of darkness? You never know, it could save someone’s life.
For 3 random sharers of this video, I’ll bless them with a: Battle Ready T-Shirt, a bracelet and a book.
Let’s help others in their pursuit of God, His love and hope.
About Battle Ready
In my new book Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) I discuss a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. Also if you pre-order the book between now and July 3, you’ll receive FREE bonuses including a 7-day printable journal.
You may be wondering what a grocery store has to do with being Battle Ready? But let me tell you I had a straight up WAR in my mind. In my mind. That’s the key. I almost didn’t include the following story in the book because it’s EMBARRASSING. But it’s the truth. Here’s a little excerpt from the introduction of Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) …
Life’s greatest fight is within the mind. I decided this at the supermarket not too long ago as I watched a lady survey the meat counter. Said lady? She appeared nice enough. The only issue was that she was beautiful and the exact opposite of how I’d been feeling lately. . .
Lately, I’d been trying to oil-slick all of my wild strands into a contained mass of frizzless order. Lately, I’d been trying to cover my gray roots. Lately, I’d been trying to triple-foundation-cover redness on my cheeks that wouldn’t relent. Lately, I’d been trying to yank-button my shorts to hide an ever-bulging waistline. Lately, I’d been scouring online reviews for wrinkle creams that actually work (without success, I might add). So when I saw her, I hated me even more. Her. In all her tight-fit body glory, walking around in those little spandex pants and bra-like workout shirt . . . she silently mocked me. Her body laughed at mine. Her unsaid words critiqued me. Her confidence attacked mine. That show off!!!
So I did what any violently threatened woman would do—I fought back. Right there, while holding the hand of my little toddler and a bag of chips, I envisioned myself approaching her, tapping her on the shoulder, and saying, “Excuse me, dear, I just want to let you know . . . your outfit sure is cute. So cute, in fact, I don’t think anyone would ever notice the bulges of back fat you probably never noticed when you looked in the mirror this morning.”
Bam! I’d hit her. Then I’d offer her a wink and be on my way. I’d march off with the military precision of a girl who just won the war! She’d stand there, mouth agape I’m sure . . . and I’d forget about how all those pretty girls back in third grade once made me feel. All this? My imaginary emotional uplift? This little break from my own faults?
It felt so good in the moment . . . so right. Until the regret came and I realized I had just done the unthinkable, what I’d pledged within my heart not to do: criticize, tear down, and rip apart another person. Why do I always do what I don’t want to do? Not too long after, my son and I checked out at the counter.
The cashier passed us a little red contest ticket. You get it for bringing your own bag. A chance to win $25 at the store by dropping that little red ticket in its own special box. I pointed out the box about twenty feet away and told my son to drop it in as I finished paying. The problem was, once there, my son couldn’t reach it. Jumping didn’t help either. Neither did my encouragement from afar. To make matters worse, she came. Said-lady rolled her pristine self and bagged-up cart right next to him. I believe I pretended not to look, but I certainly heard her voice, sweet like honey, say, “Hi, cutie, can I help you, little darling?” Workout Barbie then looked over and yelled to me, “He’s so cute!” She lifted him just right so he fit his little ticket in the box and affectionately dropped him down. She smiled big and waved goodbye.
I wanted to hate her. I did. But I couldn’t. Turns out, she was a kind lady with back fat rolls about half the size of mine. A thousand pound weight heaped on my back. I am so bad. I am horribly bad. I will never, ever be good.
Can you relate? In my new book Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) I discuss a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. Also if you pre-order the book between now and July 3, you’ll receive FREE bonuses including a 7-day printable journal.