I can’t let it go

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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Are you a control freak? I know that sounds harsh.

Do you like being in charge? Why yes, yes I do.

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In Karen Ehman’s Let.It.Go book, she suggests maybe we’re taking God’s directions in Colossians 3:23 too  seriously:

“Aren’t we just being good church girls,
trying to serve Jesus by being in charge of it all?
Yep that’s it. We’re simply being careful and conscientious.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.

I can’t stop trying to be in charge of it all. Especially when it comes to my family.

We often confuse being in charge with being in control. In her book, Karen teaches us how to stop running the show and start walking in faith.

I love Karen’s style of writing. She includes humor, relating to us as a friend who is living the same day-to-day struggles as the rest of us busy women. I often think she’s been a “fly on the wall” in my own home. She also inspires us with her personal stories (the good and the bad), and countless biblical truths to apply to our lives.

At first I didn’t think I had trouble with control over my home. Boy was I in for a surprise! In Part 1, Why We Women Love to Run the Show, Karen challenged my doubt by highlighting the creative ways we try to control. Her examples of control’s clever disguises hit home (what a surprise, i’m an enabler). She teaches us what “I’ll do it my way” really means in our relationship with God. Karen also points us to God’s Word in Proverbs reminding us that it’s not our job to change our circumstances, it’s God’s job.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Stop running the show. Karen gives us “switch-er-oo–s” to replace our “sometimes selfish line of thinking” with God’s truths. She gives several examples of “When you’re tempted to think (this)”, instead accept God’s interruptions and “Be reminded that God says (this)”. Start walking in faith.

“We need to experience the thrilling feeling of being “out of control” and loving it.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.

I love Karen’s practical way to apply God’s Word to my everyday messy life, but “loving” being out of control? I wasn’t sure about that.

In Part 2, Domestic Director or Tin-Pot Dictator, our book club came to quick agreement that Chapter 5, Micromanaging instead of Mothering, was a control issue we all faced. Actually a trust issue we all faced. Karen teaches us to take advice prayerfully and carefully, with practical steps to follow. She also applies her life experiences by mentoring us in “turning over the reins” of making choices for our children as they grow and mature through different age stages. Very helpful for many of us with teenagers. And if your daily race doesn’t allow time to stop running the show and start walking in faith, Karen gives us some great ideas for “putting the brakes on busy”.

In Part 3, How to Lose Control and Keep the Faith, Karen points us to God’s Word in 1 Thessalonians:

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

I love this verse challenge that Melissa Taylor, from Proverbs 31, posted in her online study of Karen’s book. She challenged us to fill in the blanks of the above verse with our name. Then for the next 48 hours be intentional on being joyful (despite your circumstances), praying a lot (even when you don’t feel like it), and remembering to be thankful (despite your circumstances).

Kim, always be joyful. Kim, never stop praying.
Kim, be thankful in all circumstances.
Kim, this is God’s will for you. Kim, you belong to Christ Jesus.

Let. It. Go. was a “thrilling ride” in itself. Thank you, Karen, for a fun and inspiring read. I’m praying to let go, “Let God”, and to “love” being out of control! I highly recommend women everywhere do the same!

**update 06/17/15 – The e-book version of Let It Go is on sale for $2.99 right now – grab it while you can!

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Running for God’s Biggest Loser

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I turned on the morning radio show and heard the voice of Gina from season 14 of The Biggest Loser.  She was the “at home winner” that season.  Do you watch it?

I always love the first show when you hear all their back stories.  And I really love the finale when you see everyone in their “after glory” standing next to their “before” images.  I’m always inspired to be The Biggest Loser.

What are you waiting for? Take the first step and transform your life today.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lose the weight and compete to win big $$$$.

But watching each episode and the grueling workouts they go through? Um, no thanks.

Gina talked about her physical transformation of course, but she also spoke about her changes spiritually and mentally.  She had opened her heart to God, and forgiven herself for her past mistakes.  And God showed her his plan for her.

Maybe God was inspiring me today to audition for the Biggest Loser?  He knows my weight is an issue I struggle with, but not 80 lbs. worth (yet).  Well, maybe with my fears, insecurities, worries, and guilt added on it would be.

But the fear of revealing my back story (not to mention my back side) on national TV was enough to scare this girl away.

Run to lose weight? No thanks.

Run to hide? Yes please.

What if this Biggest Loser call was God’s casting call I was hearing instead?

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7)

Stop hiding and start seeking.

God is saying “what are you waiting for?… Take the first step and transform your life today… Are you finally ready to change your life?… This is a once in a lifetime opportunity”….But its not a weight-loss program.  It’s not a competition.  It’s not to win big $$$$.

Our relationship with God is our “once in a lifetime” opportunity, because this journey will be the most important one ever.  Let’s run to God. To lose our fears to God is to gain the strength to truly be the “at home winner” He wants us to be.

Now that’s the Biggest Loser I want to audition for.  Care to join me?

Linking up this week:

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Let’s Fix Our Eyes on Him

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For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
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 Corinthians 4:17-18

Light, momentary, and temporary?

When I am in the midst of trials and suffering, it’s hard to remember that God has a plan.

I tend to hide and get stuck in the “Why Me?” phase.

{Read more ~ I’m so honored to guest post at my friend Sarah Travis’ blog today.}


Brag about your weaknesses

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

“Do I have to tell her again?”

Do you imagine God thinking that about you on a daily basis?

Or maybe it’s just me.

When I struggle between my faith and my temptations, I know God asks “do I have to tell her again?”

It’s like the church in Corinth. Paul’s second letter to the church was much more personal than his first.  His first letter was practical, focusing on the character of the church.

But some questioned Paul’s authority wondering “who are you to tell us what to do”.  So he wrote to them again, sharing who he was, and about God’s strength in his weakest moments.

And just like them, I need God to tell me again and again he is strong where I am weak.

A few words in verse 12:9 stood out to me so I looked them up:

  • sufficient = enough to meet the needs of a situation
  • power = God’s ability to control people or things
  • perfect = satisfying all requirements
  • weakness = something that you like so much that you are often unable to resist it
  • boast = brag; speak with pride

Food is my weakness, something I like so much I am often unable to resist it. Honestly, it’s out of control.

But really, it’s my weakness that is out of my control.

So what’s a girl to do?

“Do I have to tell her again?”  (yes, please).

Paul teaches us to turn our weakness over to God as He’s able to satisfy all our needs.

Then Paul encourages us to brag about those weaknesses. Show others how God’s power makes us strong enough to live with those weaknesses.  In fact, if the number of times Paul uses “boast” in this letter is any indication, he wants us to brag A LOT.

So let’s turn to God and brag in prayer:

God, I’m struggling here. I am weak and looking for my “quick fix” of comfort in the pantry again. I’m relying on you to give me the strength to make a better choice. Let me feel your perfect power in my weakness.

Now it’s your turn:  what weakness will you brag about today?

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