Tag Archives: holy spirit

Waiting for the Whole Story.

In life, it is crucial to wait for the whole story.

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Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

How many times in relationships do we only see the smallest portion of the story? Many relationships have ended because one person failed to ask questions and assumed the worst. Other relationships have been tarnished and filled with animosity because one person knew a sliver of the story and decided not to ask any questions. They decided to hold onto a small shred of information (possibly not even true). That small shred of information, or misinformation, causes a divide in the relationship if the truth is not sought out. Great damage can be done in relationships and to individuals in these circumstances. As we choose to ask the right questions, we discover the whole story. We discover the motivations of the other person and why they behave in a certain manner. 

Your life currently may not look anything like the life you envisioned. You might wonder what is going on. What is God doing? What am I doing? Wait for the whole story, my friend. Life is often best understood looking backwards. Continue to look forward, as you await being able to look backward one day and better understand. If we don’t wait for the whole story, we may be filled with despair. We’ll lose hope. We must trust God with the whole story. 

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Photo by hiva sharifi on Unsplash

What if the apostles had simply moved on with their lives after Jesus died? What if they decided to forget all about this Jesus Christ that had turned their lives upside down? The story was far from over. Jesus rose from the dead. He then spent another 40 days with the Apostles before descending into Heaven. So as not to leave them alone, He sent the Holy Spirit (Who remains with us, now and forever). The whole story is very, very important. The Cross does not make sense without the Resurrection. The Resurrection does not make sense without the Cross. 

Wait for the whole story. Seek it out, if you have any questions or doubts. Your relationships will look different and you’ll be more apt to be generous with others. Relationships may be restored. Your trust in God will be stronger. You’ll be more hope-filled.

Wait for the whole story. You never know the difference it will make in your life and in someone else’s.

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Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

 

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Life In Christ=No Limits.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”~Luke 1:37

A decade ago, I would never have dreamed of the places I’ve been and the opportunities I’ve been blessed with in life. You see, I had a picture in my head of how God “normally” worked in people’s lives. Because of this picture, I placed limits on my life. I expected my life to follow a similar trajectory. I based my vision for the future based on what I saw in other people’s lives, and even what society expected. Very sadly, I was putting God in a box and limiting an all-powerful, limitless God!

As I began to be more open to God’s work in my heart, mind, and each aspect of my life, amazing things began to happen. My Heavenly Father placed people beside me that lived with purpose and did not follow societal expectations. Miracles happened. I was presented with opportunities that cannot be explained except through the eyes of faith.  My mindset shifted. My eyes were opened, along with my mind. I began to see that the only limits on life are those that we place upon ourselves. Yes, you read right–the only limits on your life are those that you allow yourself to believe.     

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Photo by Katerina Radvanska on Unsplash

I have crazy dreams for my future. Or should I say, I don’t have the “American dream.” (Thank God!) Other people sometimes find it difficult to understand when I tell of my dreams for the future or to understand why. I know that God has placed these dreams within me, and has confirmed them over and over again. The reactions of others and the practicalities could easily sway me from striving from these dreams. But, would God be pleased? Would I achieve what God put me on this earth for? NO. Does God want me to live within my comfort zone and let those gifts He has placed within my heart to languish? NO. In fulfilling our purpose and coming to better know our Creator, we find joy.

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Photo by Luca Zanon on Unsplash

Thank You Jesus, that these lives You have given us are limitless in YOU! Show us the limits we have set on ourselves for whatever reason, and show us the dreams that YOU have for us and the path You have set before us to attain them. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen!

“Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.”~Galatians 4:6-7

Mental Health Series Pt. I: Relationships.

For the sake of this series, we will define mental health as including: “emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” (Definition taken from: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/index.html)

We are all a part of one another and can’t exist except in relation to others. Our past, present, and future relationships all have (or will have) a profound effect on us, whether we realize it or not. Thus, we will start the series with relationships!

So, how do we work toward positive mental health in regard to our relationships?

  • Build a strong support community. It is so important to surround yourself with people who are positive and who build
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    Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

    you up, helping you to grow in healthy ways. People who criticize or undermine you just aren’t worth your time. (If you are searching for community, pray! It will and can come to you in interesting ways! A solid church home is important as well.) Think about it this way: Are the people you spend time with helping you grow closer to the person God created you to be, or does your time with them leaving you feeling like an inferior version of yourself? (“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

  • Learn signs of abusive relationships and get out! (Here is a number you can call if you are in the USA and need help getting out of an abusive relationship.) These relationships are immensely harmful to your mental health/emotional state, and their impact is very negative. Find freedom and go back to the step above.
  • Recognize where your current sources of difficulty may have come from past relationships. If you grew up with a father who told you that you were useless–or a father who just didn’t seem to care–it’s going to affect you today. This goes for any kind of abuse, neglect, rejection, etc. Bring these to the Lord, and if needed, to a counselor (no shame!). All of us have these areas, even if we are not aware of them. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring these specific areas to light and to heal them.
  • If you are taking care of others, don’t forget to take care of you! Most of us are taking care of someone, whether it be as a parent, a teacher, or helping your grandparent or older parent. Self-care will go a long way for not only your mental health, but also for the relationship. An empty vessel cannot fill other vessels. If you forget to take care of yourself and keep pouring out on the other person, you may even grow to resent them.
  • Set boundaries. This goes along with the above point. Even Jesus set boundaries. Remember when He went away on the boat Himself? The crowds even tried to follow Him (Matthew 14:13). Boundaries are important in managing stress and doing only what you can. Again, you need to be filled up. Boundaries are important in building healthy relationships. A relationship is unhealthy if one person walks all over another or takes advantage. People need to be clear and honest about their boundaries with one another.
  • Forgive. The main person you are hurting by not forgiving is yourself. Not only that, you are harming your relationship with God! (If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. (Matthew 6:14-15)) Forgiveness is seriously important. When you hold onto hate or anger, it can lead to bitterness and anger. These do not lead to positive mental health, and even affect our physical health negatively.
  • Last, but definitely not least, keep your relationship with God first! If you are truly seeking Him, it will keep you grounded. It doesn’t mean life will be perfect and that you won’t struggle with any type of mental health difficulty, such as depression or anxiety. Having God in your life will give you the grace and tools to fight whatever battles you face. I’ll touch on this more in the faith and mental health post.

Next up: counseling and mental health!

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Guest Post: Fear, Joy, and Change.

Today I am featured over at Modern Ruth Project with a post titled “Fear, Joy, and Change.” This year is bringing many changes for me. I’m learning to let go of fear and jump into the new things that He has for me–even though it can be terrifying! Head on over and read! I hope you’re blessed by reading!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”~Isaiah 43:19

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Blessed & Renewing Pentecost!

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”~Acts 2:1-4

I want to wish all of my readers a wonderful and blessed Pentecost! Today is the day we celebrate the birthday of the Church! The Holy Spirit fell upon the apostles, and they were empowered to go and begin preaching to the ends of the earth, healing, teaching, and baptizing at a large rate! Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit and promised we would not be orphans, until the end of the time. The Holy Spirit is still with us. 

Every Pentecost is a joyful day. This Pentecost, though, is an especially important one for Catholics! It marks the 50 year anniversary of the Charismatic Renewal! This renewal occurred at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania in 1967, and you can read the story here. From there, the Charismatic renewal has spread again throughout the world, to bring back the Church as it was at the first Pentecost! (Though there is still a long way to go in awakening all the members of the body to a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit!) Thousands of Catholics are gathering in Rome this weekend to celebrate Pentecost & the 50th anniversary!

The Holy Spirit is present and active in our lives. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit! Ask for more of the Holy Spirit! Attend a Life in the Spirit seminar, if you have not already. With the Holy Spirit, our lives will never be the same!

Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!

Power in Weakness.

I almost didn’t believe what I was reading. A dear mentor texted me after an event where I was able to be one of her guests. I had to re-read the text a few times to make sure she wasn’t talking about someone else. Me, a great conversationalist? Yes, it was true-she was complimenting me on what I perceived was one of my weaknesses!

I reflected on her words and on the event. She was right–that day, my efforts had been successful in connecting people and keeping an interesting conversation flowing. My friend, believe me when I say that is not me! It was the power of Jesus & His Holy Spirit working in me.

Perhaps Jesus is shining through you in ways & areas of your life you never expected!

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It just goes to show that His power is made perfect in our weakness! In fact, God may very well be using your weaknesses to shine through you!

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”~2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Single Sundays-Finding Wisdom and Clarity.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!”~Proverbs 16:16

I hope you are having a very blessed Sunday that includes lots of peaceful time with the Lord & fellowship with others! Today is the last Single Sundays post, as it is the last Sunday in February. Today I will focus on how being single provides ample opportunities to gain wisdom & clarity for your life and future marriage. Without further ado, read below some of the reasons why being single for a longer time can actually be a blessing!

Being single provides time to gain wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. Very young people can be endowed with more wisdom than an elderly person. However, God grants many of

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us the gift of wisdom over time and through experiences and growing in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Experiences can take years to amass for many of us. Sometimes we even need to re-learn the same lessons over and over during a period of years. During your time of being a single person, you can find wisdom about marriage. You will be able to observe many relationships & marriages. This will give you a vantage point to determine qualities you hope for in a partner. Your observation of different relationships and talking to those you know who are courting, engaged, or married will give you wisdom. You will be able to learn from the successes, challenges, and even mistakes of others.

Being single gives you time to gain clarity. As I wrote in the post last week, marrying young can turn out to be detrimental for some, as they have not yet realized their callings. They may not have had the time and experiences to clarify their purpose that those who are single for a longer period of time have. A person who waits longer for marriage is generally more mature and has had more life experiences to gain clarity about what direction their life is headed. A time of singleness (and past relationships) can also provide clarity about what you are and are not looking for in a marriage partner.

The clarity you find as a single person can bless your marriage, future family, and maybe even a ministry as husband and wife. As you grow older, your vision grows wider.

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You are more aware of the direction your life is headed in. I am in the midst of some big decisions, decisions that could affect my husband & our children. These decisions have come about due to wisdom and clarity I have gained about my purpose & the vision I have gained for my (and my husband’s) future family. As a person in my younger twenties, I did not have full clarity about these visions for my life.  I am grateful now that I have a clear vision for moving forward into marriage and family life. If you are in ministry or feeling called to ministry, it will be good to know the realities ahead of time so you and your spouse can be on the same page. Sometimes the Lord calls couples into ministry together, so you may even be looking for someone ministering in a similar or complimentary way. That clarity is very freeing.

What opportunities has your time of singleness provided to gain wisdom and clarity?