Monday, December 2, 2013

What's Stealing Your Joy? and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria!  This group exists to empower women to authentically share their hearts.  Want to learn more?  Click here to find out ways you can be involved here.  Before you leave, take some time to visit a new friend.  If you decide to link up, be sure to stop by your neighbor's place.  We want to make sure everybody at this party feels a little love!
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We’re driving back from Houston, our tummies full of turkey and our hearts filled with memories of another year of Thanksgiving with Craig’s family.

Life feels good and we chat in the car about how to fit in the purchase of this year’s Christmas tree, the LSU-Arkansas game, and getting all the Christmas gear out of the attic.  Oh, and we have to pick up the dog, get lunch, and aren’t we out of orange juice, too?  We discuss the next day’s plans of a birthday party and our appointment with our friend, a professional photographer, who has also offered to do some family pictures, too.

We keep driving and I think about the Christmas cards to address, for whom I still need to buy presents, and the dwindling amount left in the Christmas budget envelope.  I look at the calendar and wonder how I’m going to fit in the book editing and prep for next semester’s class.  And then I start to feel selfish – this is all I have to worry about? What about the troops overseas, the sick, the dying, the homeless? 

Apparently, I can make even stress a competition.

All of the sudden life doesn’t feel as good anymore.  I’ve been sucked in by the tactic of darkness  called worry.  But upon this realization, I’m able to stop her in her seductive tracks and go on the offensive.  I pull out my P.A.A.T.S. shield (want a copy? email me.)

God, I PRAISE You, for You know how I am made.  You know my struggles.  You know the things that break my heart.  And You are bigger than my biggest fears and You love me in spite of all my imperfections.

God, I ACKNOWLEDGE that worry has a hold on me, that many of these thoughts swimming through my head are not of You.

God, I APPLY the scriptures to my specific situation that tell me that You do not want me to be anxious, that you desire for me to give my anxiety and worry to You, through prayer and petition.  And so, I present my requests to You and wait for Your peace to give me Your understanding and guidance for my situation.

God, I THANK You for a fun trip to Houston and for the relationships you continue to build, especially those between my daughters and their cousins.  I thank You for all I have and for the specific ways You show Your love to me.

And God, I SHARE with my Soli Deo Gloria Sisters my worries.  Because as You have taught me, darkness thrives with more darkness, but Your Light dispels it.  And I don’t want any one of us to hide in the darkness when we could be dancing in Your Light.

I bet you, sweet sister, have a worry or a fear or an anxiety that might be gnawing at you.  As I was cataloguing and analyzing and planning through my own, God reminded me that we might all be in the same boat – trying to manage our regular lives with all that the holiday season brings.  Because to be honest, although this season brings much joy, it can also bring much stress.

Do you want to go on the offensive with me?  Do you want to confront the tactic of darkness that always seems to worm its way into your heart so that the enemy CANNOT steal your joy?

In the comments, will you SHARE with us your worry?  A big one ore a little one – but a real one.  Because when we share, we allow light in.  When we share, we let others know they are not alone.  When we share, we invite the power of prayer into our lives.  How?  Because I will be praying for you.  And so will your sisters.

Before you leave, will you pray for the commenter before you, specifically lifting her up out of her worry and anxiety (or whatever tactic she shares) so that we might live in a space of peace and understanding?  And know, the next commenter will be doing the same for you.

Everyone who leaves a comment with their worry, will be entered to win a John Journible that you can use as we study John here on Mondays (we will restart sometime in January).  I’ll pick using a random number generator.  Do you know a sister who could use some prayer?  Share this place with her?  A place, especially this week, dedicated to prayer for each other.









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SDG will be on break from December 23rd and 30th.  Please plan to link up your SDG post on January 6th (the beginning of Epiphany and my hubby's birthday!)
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Click here.
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read!
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31 comments :

  1. Jen, I like the visual.........'game on!' indeed. Jesus, keep me in your Presence, in the center of your joy. My worry? That I will get snagged by lies and the hype of the season and miss what really matters.
    Great post.

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  2. "Your Light dispels it..." May I remember that when the darkness begins to overwhelm me in those moments of weariness as my body grows older, as I walk through this Christmas without my mother, having lost her last January. Knowing that His Light dispels all darkness, may I lay my burdens down and know. Glad I cam by tonight. Great message and one I shall meander back through tomorrow!

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  3. Praise. Acknowledge. Apply. Thank. Share. What I like about these words are how they are intentional action. We may not be able to control the stress or worries, but we can make intentional choices about what do about our burdens. Thank you for this reminder. I believe we're supposed to adopt again, but sometimes I worry I'm not hearing God as clearly as I think I am.

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  4. My worries are similar to the ones you described in the car: how to fit it all in, how to pay for it all, how to make it all work. Boundaries are what I'm looking for - yes, this is enough. That's it. We're good. Enough. Slow, slow, slow, enjoy, listen, look for the Savior - that is my mantra when things get crazy.

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  5. My worries usually involve my children…..something tragic happening. Usually my fears involve the future now that I think about it. It's not so much the here and now as much as what could happen and if I would go off the deep end or keep trusting God. That's just a real true confession that I wish was different….you know like I wish it was something like "I worry about my kids spending close to $50 in ice cream at school." Oh wait, that just really happened and I never dreamed of that. Ha! Oh my.

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    1. Melody I pray that God will turn your fears into sweet moments of faith. I love that God is teaching me that faith is not the absence of fear, but taking fear to the father!

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  6. Courtney.. I pray for you that you experience the gift of slow.. the gift of enjoy.. that God shows you the Savior in sweeter ways then you could ever ask or imagine this christmas. That you experience the Goodness of being able to say no when you need to and yes to what God has . Praying for you!

    As for me.. not so much a worry as more a crazy step of faith. Trying to raise 15,000 dollars in 31 days to reach my dream of self publishing the devotional book I wrote 31 days to coming alive. 28 days to go.. and lots and lots of money left to be pledged. Trusting that God called me to this crazy step of faith..

    for more info visit http://igg.me/at/comingalive/x/5536304 would so love your prayers!

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  7. I thought being broken was enough until I learned that it wasn't.Truly yielding, actually waiting on God is the most humbling experience of my life.I know God will be glorified through my learning, but I am so afraid.
    I am encouraged by the prayers and nearness of my sisters in Christ. They are His arms, His Heart, His Voice in the world.
    Chelle

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  8. My worry is almost always financial. Since hubby lost his job 3 years ago, but employed now, we have never fully recovered. Things are very tight and I'm trying to fit gift buying in for my family without stressing and taking my eyes off what is truly important.

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    1. praying peace for your heart barbie as you continue to walk this tough road.

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  9. Praying for joy and peace! Please pray I don't get overwhelmed by activities too--and yet, not procrastinate like I tend to do! Thanks for always sharing your heart Jen and helping me remember where my focus should be. :)

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    1. praying for you, jennifer, that you will have JOY in the activity and find times of peace as well.

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  10. what? only ONE worry? i worry about car crashes. a lot. i love the PAATS and will copy that into my journal. thanks, jen.

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  11. So grateful to read this just now. My worry? Exactly what was in the printable - that this time the enemy has knocked us off His plan for us & we're down for the count. This post was so what I needed to remember this morning - "Game ON!" My belt is on & my shield is up. Thank you. I truly was infused with encouragement & strength in reading this post. Most grateful!

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  12. Worry - I'm an expert at it! If I am not worrying about finances (probably at the top of the list) or my family, I worry about failing. I guess I feel like I'm failing God if I fail at things. I like the PAATS - what a good plan.

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  13. Thank you for the encouragement today. I'm currently praying for awareness of the things that bring on worry and anxiousness. These are areas I'm trying to yield to and give to the Holy Spirit as they come up. Anxiousness when my children sin, worry about tragic accidents happening or sickness, worry about our financial future and uncertainty in that area. I'm thankful to see other sisters in Christ willing to share their worries here. Helps me to see I'm not the only one but also that we all want to turn toward Christ in the midst of the worry. The opportunity to worry will always be present--but I think the Lord thinks it is beautiful when we do turn.

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  14. I love this evil-defeating practice Jen! Thank you for illustrating it so well. Can I say that the Share section is not one that I had thought of. I call my mom or sister and do the same thing...but you are so very right...sharing purges the darkness. It's somewhere between confession and seeking intercession. Love it.
    Summer Joy
    www.athirstforGod.com

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  15. I am learning to STOP obsessive thinking about areas of the Praise and Apply area - but I still struggle - because sometimes it isn't a 24 hour fix - or evena one year fix. My area of struggle? Being placed as an outsider in a relationship where I should be an insider. Praying hearts burst open - because - hearts are designed to love as many people as one chooses to love - and it's like a Mary Poppins bag - it's bottomless!

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  16. Great, great stuff, friend. Honestly, I used to be an obsessive worrier-- as in to the point I couldn't sleep. But a few hard seasons and some God pruning has seriously grown me in a different (and much more positive) direction. Worrying takes to much of my energy-- but trusting God is becoming more natural daily :-)

    I would say that there are few areas that I struggle with... finances, parenting, hubby as a soldier... But I know in my heart (even if my head and/or flesh and/or enemy try to convince me otherwise, that God IS trustworthy and He's got this.

    Thanks for this today, Jen. You rock. (As usual.) Love to you!

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  17. Hey Jen,
    Glad you had a great Thanksgiving...praying God continues to give you peace and shows you what you can let slide off your plate and what to keep...Thanks for sharing your wisdom :)

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  18. Hey Jen,

    There's so much comfort here in this place…just in sharing our worries and praying for each other. Thank you for binging us together!

    My worries…I have to work to not let them fill my mind for sure…they are related to my mom and her health. I struggle to let go, but every time I do God is able to do so much more than I can. I am learning that sometimes my worries are because I am trying to fix things that aren't mine to fix.

    I am praying for all the beautiful ladies and our worries on the comment section today. May God's peace and love fill us beyond our understanding.

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  19. Don't you wish you could just turn off your brain sometimes, Jen? Great post :)

    I am praying for several "tough cookies" in our family who need to make their peace with God. I worry about what will haappen to them if they don't.

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  21. Hi Jen! How lovely of you to allow us to vent a little, and maybe even win a book too. Thank you!

    My husband is still unemployed after a year and a half. The unemployment and COBRA benefits are ending at the end of the month. Sigh. It's going to be more challenging now than ever. I have hope for 2014, but worry that times will get much harder before they get better. Prayers gratefully accepted.
    Blessings to you!
    Ceil

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  22. Just what I needed today, Jen! Praise God that He is bigger than any obstacle from Satan. Thanks for the great post & for hosting & God bless!

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  23. Hi Jen- thanks for the encouragement to go on the OFFENSIVE with you.
    God, you know that I wonder who will care for me when I am old. I am about to retire, and have no children close, and no grand-children. Lord- I declare that you have always been and will always be my Jehovah Jirreh,my provider, and that your word says: No good thing will I withhold from those that love me, that are called according to my purposes. Therefore, I will TRUST in the God of my salvation [ solution] and not be afraid !
    Mary, New Zealand.

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  24. Hi Jen,

    Oh yes! Game on! I actually said those very words at the end of last week. Being real with my sisters, my worry is keeping a roof over our heads. With rent and other bills rising, I am trying not to worry and asking God to please open a door for me to have a regular income that fits in with my ministry work.

    Hope you have a wonderful Advent and Christmas with your family.

    God bless

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  25. Dear Jenn
    I ove that Scripture verse where Paul tells us that when the evil one wants to destroy us with his roaring, we should submit to Jesus resist the devil and he will flee. I can just see in my minds eye how he flees with his tail between the legs when the Lion of Judah roars at him. Like Mustafa and Scar in the Lion King!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  26. Jen,
    We are in limbo at our home. But clinging to hope. Dealing with a child's impending diagnosis(social anxiety and a few others things) and upcoming plan for her future is leaving us feeling a bit isolated. God keeps shining glimmers of light and hope...but it is a waiting for tests, communication with mental health and school support personnel, and staying away from a lot of social media which exasperates feelings of sadness and depression. One day at a time...thanks for the reminder - you bless me!

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  27. I have had such a difficult time these last 5 years finding steady employment, and I find myself unemployed, again. And the money is gone, again. During the day, I keep my worry busy with things, but it's the nights that bring the anxiety, the fear, the what now's. Because I'm 54 years old, and too old it seems for the administrative assistant jobs that I am so skilled at. Even Pizza Hut doesn't call back. I try, really do, to give it to Him...but the nights are hard. The enemy invades my mind, and frankly, I'm exhausted. That is my vulnerable honest fear.

    I appreciate this safe place to come...even if it is on a white screen. Thank you Jen. XO

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