RUN – SWC #10

RUN

I don’t like to run. And when I say I don’t like to run I really mean that I despise it. It makes my knees hurt and I just don’t see the point. I’ve often questioned my friends that are runners asking them some of the following questions:

Are you running because

  • There is a bear somewhere and you’re running away?
  • There are zombies somewhere and the apocalypse has finally begun?
  • You saw an ice cream truck and your running to get some good eats?

I mostly ask these questions because I’m sarcastic and again, I don’t understand the point of running. I’m probably the least athletic person you’ll meet. I mean I try to be athletic. I’ve played softball, but I have this habit of tripping whilst running to bases. I’ve played volleyball but I’ve served the ball into the backs of my teammates heads, that was not appreciated for some reason.

Each time I meditate on this passage I’m lead to different aspects that are beautiful. Previously I wrote a blog about the word YET that is contained here in Habakkuk 3:17-19That’s why I find it hilarious that this is my absolutely favorite verse and here it speaks of running. When I spent time meditating I was just drawn to the word RUN. 

Habakkuk was recounting in these verses that even though ALL things may not go as he planned he would still rejoice in the Lord. He would glory in the God of his salvation. And that God would make his feet like deer’s feet so that he could RUN on the high hills.

Here is where I stopped. The terrain that surrounded Habakkuk was rough. It was not easy to traverse, and yet Habakkuk had confidence that God would make his feet surefooted so that he could run on the mountainside.

That is the God I serve. A God that sees the trouble that surrounds me, prepares me to travel the path He has designed and give me the proper sneakers and abilities to run the race He has set before me!

And so I shall run, even if there are no zombies!

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Guarded – SWC #8

When I was a teenager I worried about everything. In fact, I worried so much that I would break out in hives all down my legs, on the bottoms of my feet and across the palms of my hands. It was awful and itched so badly. The ones on my feet were really bad because they not only itched but they burned too and made my feet swell which made it difficult to walk.

When these moments happened it was usually because I was bullied, or I had a test, or I felt that a friend was mad at me. I was literally a ball of anxiety. I worried about EVERY SINGLE THING! I just couldn’t take it anymore.

And then the strangest thing happened. I was in High School and I was walking under our 2nd floor walkway and a group of kids yelled at me and called me fat, ugly and another word I won’t repeat. Usually I would just continue walking and emotionally shut down, but I’d finally had enough. I turned around – walked up to the biggest jerk I could see and poked him square in the chest. I then yelled saying, “I’m not UGLY!” The guy was shocked, and then he apologized.

From that day forward I determined deep within my heart that I could not let worry consume my life. I couldn’t let the words of others define how I saw myself and instead needed to let God define me.

Phil 4:4-7 became the cornerstone of that decision! I chose every day, sometimes every minute of every day, to not concern myself with the opinions of others but to only focus on God’s opinion of me. It is in that place of total surrender that God began to heal my brokenness and restore a wholeness I never thought possible.

If you are broken today, if you are struggling with worry or anxiety, just know that Jesus Christ is there to listen to you. He asks that you TELL HIM ABOUT EVERYTHING! Ask him what you need and have full confidence that He will guard your heart and mind as you live IN Christ Jesus.

GUARD

Use the Map – SWC #6

My daughter and I have been on a few road trips. We drove from Ohio to Tennessee to Georgia to South Carolina and then back to Ohio. During this entire voyage my phone or the GPS in my car navigate our journey.

Often, I would miss a turn and hear the inevitable voice say – recalculating. Sometimes my daughter would see the signs before I could and she would help point out the way, but she was 13 so her directions weren’t always helpful or accurate.

And isn’t that the way with our own lives? We see the path before us and we pull out what we assume are appropriate guides only to discover that they can’t do the job.

We reference Google to tell us how to make a restaurant decision, how’s that worked out for you? We go to Web-MD to determine what is medically wrong with us, and it’s always life threatening. We go to YouTube to discover the best way to put on make up, only to discover that you need to spend an arm and a leg to afford all that stuff. We watch the food channel to learn how to cook but all their food seems pretentious.

We are faced with the figurative mountain before us filled with craters of lies, cliffs of destruction and potential avalanches of insults and instead of going to God for guidance we get out our phones and consult social media for advice.

Then we come to Psalm 119:165, “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.” And that’s really at the heart of what’s going wrong in our lives. We spend all the time to consult everything else and yet we make God the last ONE we talk to. He is the only ONE that has all the answers. He is the only ONE that will give us great peace. And He is the only ONE that will be there for us 24/7, 365 days a year. He won’t ever need to recalculate the best way for us to go, because He already has our path mapped out for us – but only if we LOVE HIS INSTRUCTIONS.

 

GUIDANCE

Undeserved Privilege and Hope SWC #5

Many years ago I committed this passage to memory. I was going through a very challenging time. I was struggling with deep loneliness. I was longing so much to be in a relationship. I wanted to be married and have a family. But my singledom had reached an all time depressing high, or maybe that’s a low? It could have been both!

I was 32 years old and the last time I’d dated was when I was 27. Before that, I had never really dated anyone. I felt like I was being setup to hit another dating drought (and I wasn’t wrong) and that prospect ripped at the small amounts of contentment I was grasping onto. Not only that, I was struggling with a personal sin that seemed to attack me at every turn. How on earth could I dig myself out.

The thing is, I couldn’t dig out of anything at all.  If I tried to dig out of this pit of depression the enemy just seemed to pile on more despair. It was then that I began to pour myself into God’s Word and let God’s Word pour itself into me! Romans 5:1-5 gave me a hope that I couldn’t really comprehend, and yet I held onto it fiercely. I said these verses over and over and over again until they were embedded in my heart, mind and soul! 

As I re-read these verses and journaled them for days 4 &5, I was deeply overwhelmed by the “undeserved privilege” that I’ve been granted through faith in Christ and brought to this place today where I can “confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”

All aspects of God’s deep love and leading are an undeserved privilege, but one that we all are am offered on a minute by minute basis. Not only that – we can rejoice when problems (depression, sadness, health issues, or enter your own struggle here) and trials come our way. Why? Because those problems develop endurance, and endurance strengthens our character, and character gives us a confident hope in salvation. All roads lead to salvation when we set our minds on God and His purpose and plan for each of us! But that is not the end of His promise, when we reach that point of a deep hope, we can be assured that God’s Hope will not lead to disappointment. And how do we know that? Because God loved us so much that He sent us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with God’s love.

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Do you feel His love? Do you know what that kind of hope feels like?

In the midst of my despair God gave me this passage. In the midst of my singleness God gave me a new perspective, that what I was going through today would mold me into exactly who He would need me to be in the future! And because of that, I found a new hope that took root deep within my soul. May you also find a new hope today and a joy that surpasses all earthly understanding!

Blessings – Sheri

Eternal SWC#3

Today is SWC #3 in our October challenge. It’s actually a continuation of the passage from day 1. When meditating on this passage I was again first drawn to what I felt was the primary message for me, that God grants joy as a direct result of His presence and the pleasure of knowing Him.

And then I saw that last word in verse 11… FOREVER.

Forever is a hard word to wrap your mind around. It means for all future time, for always, continually. The Hebrew word for forever is “olam” which means a “duration of time concealed or hidden” (Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies by William Wilson). That means that Forever can’t even be put into words because it’s limit is UNKNOWN!!!!

Think about a joy that will never ever end. Think about a God that will show us the way of life, granting us the joy of His presence and the pleasures of living with Him FOREVER! I can’t even wrap my mind around that kind of promise.

In this world we will be disappointed by belongings, weather, sickness, family, friends and strangers. But, our God will never disappoint us. He promises to never leave our soul among the dead, and for me that means that God will never leave me to flounder! He is my constant and the only One I can eternally count on!

Today’s promise – my God’s love is ETERNAL! It will not waiver, even though I may fail Him, He will NEVER turn from loving me!

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Confident and Cared For – SWC#1

Today is the first day of the October Scripture Writing Challenge (SWC). This month is all about understanding what God provides for all of us. It’s also about actively choosing to practice Peace and Choose Joy! Each passage that was selected for October has been prayed over. I encourage you to take time to meditate on each day’s verse. It’s amazing how much God has changed what jumps out at me from the verses even on a day to day basis. Today’s verse is no exception.

I chose Psalm 16:7-9 to begin this SWC because it screams JOY. “No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice (vs.9a).” As I meditated on this passage though the joy seemed to be overshadowed by something much more deep.

I can have CONFIDENCE in GOD because I am CARED for! When I truly and deeply understand that I am cared for, I can then be confident that I cannot be shaken by this world because even in the midst of unrest and cruelty – my God is above all of that. He is so far above all of the world’s noise that in my sleep he speaks to my heart so that my heart can speak to my head. He guides me, and when He guides me I can rejoice because my body rests in safety!!
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Maybe you begin this SWC in the hopes that you will become more joyful and peaceful but my hope is that you begin to understand God on a much deeper level. Spend time listening to His word and voice, and you will NOT be disappointed!

October Scripture Writing Challenge

Hello Everyone! It’s so nice to be with you again studying, reading and writing God’s word. For October I prayed over this month to see what God wanted me to focus on in my personal walk, and He directed me to Choosing Joy and Peace.

October SWC

I must admit, I initially wanted to do a SWC that was all about God’s steadfast love. But just because that’s my personal obsession that doesn’t necessarily mean that what’s God wanted me to focus on. I went to bed one evening and when I awoke the song “joy” by for King and Country was on my heart and mind. If you haven’t heard this song, go listen to it right now. It’s awesome!

God’s word is filled with how much God loves us. How we are cared for and loved. How God wants to show us His presence in even the most simple of things. Like being held through the night, a whisper on the wind of His love for us, and a beacon of light through the darkness.

Here are some guidelines for doing a scripture writing challenge:

  • Consider reading the entire chapter or section that contains the daily passage. It’s important to not just read the words but understand the context.
  • Take 5 minutes to meditate on the passage before you write it out.
  • Once you write out the passage listen to what God says to you about His character, and what He needs you to learn.
  • Determine how this passage applies to your life whether past, present or future (or all of the above).
  • Post a picture of your SWC on Instagram and/or Facebook (there is a Facebook group setup for this month’s challenge)
  • Feel free to use #OctoberSWC and #sherisdoodles so that I can see what God is doing in your life too!
  • BONUS – each Monday of October a new coloring page that I’ve designed will be released here on my blog. Please check back and print yourself a copy!

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @sherisdoodles

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do this October! Let the scripture writing begin!