Self-Love

Be Gentle

gentle

I’ve mentioned before that if you are not following a verse of the day you should. A few weeks ago Philippians 4:5 popped up and the line blew me away: be gentle. I’m not gentle. I’ve believed the lie that to be gentle you are fake or just naturally sweet, kind, and nurturing. If you are gentle you aren’t being authentic, yet, gentleness is an attribute we are commanded to exhibit.

Take the idea of gentleness and apply it to any situation, and see how the situation could change. It’s obvious for times of conflict. My conflict stance is to have a firm, unwavering voice (usually full of anger), planted feet, a hand on the hip or waiving in the air, and a scowl. But what if it was softer – an arm around the waist (for those who know you), head to head, and a gentle whisper. How differently would my kids respond to this? It speaks of intimacy, love, care, and grace.

Here is another exercise I suggest, say these lines and notice a rest in your soul.

Be gentle when you have been wronged

Be gentle when you are right

Be gentle when you are angry

Be gentle when you feel defensive

Be gentle when you have done wrong

Be gentle in your thoughts

Be gentle with your words

Be gentle with those you love

Be gentle with those you don’t know

Be gentle with yourself

When I originally wrote these lines above I could feel relief in my soul. This is the answer for me. I struggle with social anxiety, especially with people new to me. When I don’t know how I will handle an upcoming situation, a feared tragedy or conflict I know gentleness is the answer. If I can conquer this at home I believe that any situation outside my comfort zone will easily be met with gentleness. The habit of gentle is likely difficult, I have 37 years experience leading me to anger when mad or scared but think of the benefits. Think of how growth can happen in a tended, weeded, and loved garden, rather than one of hateful words and shameful thoughts.

Here is the verse in its entirety:

Philippians 4:5

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

I hope you feel encouraged by this post. If this touches you and you want to talk about it but don’t want to comment, send me an email  – jollybison.info@gmail.com. I’m happy to talk about this subject with anyone interested.

Self-Love

Daily Spiritual Inspiration

Steven Furtick

Everyone needs inspiration now and then and I like mine in daily bites. On Instagram, I follow @stevenfurtick from Elevation Church. If you’re looking for truth and a different perspective, this is your guy. You can also find his podcast on iTunes.

Graham Cooke

Through email, I watch for regular wisdom from Graham Cooke. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Graham Cooke at our home church in Fort Worth. He has prophetic insight, along with a fresh understanding of the Holy Spirit and provides hope for an optimum relationship with Christ. You can find him at http://www.brilliantperspectives.com and sign up for his newsletters.

Ransomed Hearts

Signing up for Ransomed Hearts email subscription offers you daily excerpts from John and Stasi Eldredge’s books – Wild at Heart and Captivating, to name a couple. The lessons seem to offer exactly what my husband and I need daily.

Daily Verse

Youversions Daily Verse is amazing because it offers you the verse of the day squared and ready to share on any social media account. You also have the option to design your own image.

I hope you like my sources of spiritual inspiration. I’d love to hear who you follow.

Self-Love · Testimony

A New Frontier

New Frontier
My Happy Place via @thejollybison Instagram

Have you ever heard God? A thought comes from left field and you feel that slight swell of excitement in your chest; that’s when I know it’s God. Big decisions are generally confirmed when my husband has the same crazy declaration: Like, “I’m going back to college,” or “We are supposed to give ___________ our last $500.” Lately, I haven’t heard anything and I’ve never heard the small whispers of encouragement or instruction. I think the reason is that I can hear the messages that are so far from my own thoughts but my thinking drowns the whispers.

The other day I was frustrated by this and started asking God to just tell me what to do. Do I sell more on eBay, Blog, get my teaching certificate, or find the first random company that will hire this burnt out stay-at-home mom? I then realized I know what to do – sit and be with God. Take our relationship seriously, feed the spirit, and love the Son. So far my husband and I have gotten by with a mediocre relationship with God – we go to church, obey the loud messages, and behave like decent human beings. Times are changing. My husband heard he should quit his job. I had no confirmation but no fear either. We are entering a season where a reliance on God is essential to our survival. We have a new house at the top of our budget and it needs repairs and renovation. We both have skills but neither of us has built those skills to sustain us. We have three girls and one is getting close to Junior High (insert every possible cry, scared, wow, and even poop emoji available).

This new frontier is scary but I have learned a couple of lessons, just in the last couple of weeks.

  1. If you are avoiding something because it sounds scary or foolish, do not dismiss the idea. God performs big works as well as small. If you are avoiding something because of fear, he may be upgrading you.
  2. When in doubt, rest. Sit and pull out your bible and journal. Meditate and search for the Spirit. You are not going to hear the voice of God by talking loudly or even quietly. Has someone ever asked you a question but then continues to talk? It’s super frustrating and generally prompts a rude, “If you would just stop talking, I’d answer you.”
  3. Realize it may not be time to know. If you force your timeline, you may not be ready. Let God prepare you and other people in the situation you are walking into. Having favor in a job, home or relationship goes so far.
  4. Build faith in God. Having faith in God is difficult unless you have seen him work in your life. Take a minute in silence and ask the Holy Spirit to show where God has shown up in your life. For me, the obvious places came up, but even some new ones revealed themselves. Please, do not be discouraged if you hear nothing. This is not a bad omen  – like an empty fortune cookie. Keep trying and keep it cool.

I hope anyone reading this post has the best weekend. If it isn’t the best, ask God what lesson to take from this. If you are struggling in a relationship (it is Mother’s Day, after all) ask God if there are any boundaries you are breaking with the person. This small act improved my relationship with my Mom tenfold.

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Food · Self-Love

Summer Soup

Summer-Vegetable-SoupThis soup is so delicious and it’s vegan. I’m not vegan but the soup is. Anyway, it’s so stinking good. This recipe is probably the most sophisticated flavor profile (I’ve been watching Worst Cooks again) I’ve ever made. Specifically, the balance of lemon and basil (which honestly is the best thing I’ve ever tasted). The recipe came from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook. Try it and tell me what you think!