Monday, January 13, 2014

More than two years! And... thought for the week.

I can't believe how fast the last two years have passed.  I am hoping to contribute to my blog again, in meaningful ways as well as mundane.  Because there are so many facets of my life, I will go back and tag my posts so they are easily skimmed on the sidebar and easily accessed without scrolling.

For now, I want to say that I am so grateful and happy that we have found a local church we enjoy attending as a family... that feeds each of our souls in the different ways that we need.  There is a vibrant children's ministry that Kaylee looks forward to before and during the service, which serves her needs in a relevant way, and serves our practical need to be able to be fully present during the teaching.  There is a small group ministry (actually there are several small group ministries!) that allow us to dig in deeper and get to know others in ways that we wouldn't get otherwise.  There are very strong friendships that have developed as a result of this small group, and we now have close friends here that we can serve, who serve us, and we can help each other and meet needs that come up.  I have girlfriends here locally and Ian has guy friends here locally - friends who really care about what we are thinking about, feeling, and who have our backs.

There are also opportunities to serve that are presenting themselves.  Our church is a very social church; that being said, the sense of community is what I like best.  There are practical ways to serve; from helping set up or clean up after a church-wide activity - to providing a meal for the small group we attend - to using musical gifts during worship - to being able to communicate with the church body on topics that are relevant.

That being said, I was asked to provide a small contribution to our church's emailed weekly newsletter once a month or so.  Kind of a blog, of sorts.  I am honored to be able to contribute in this way and look forward to seeing what direction the Lord leads me in as I think of things to write about.

This month, I have written a short article on FEAR.

Until next post, we wish you a fabulous 2014.

If you're local to us and you're looking for a really great group of people to worship with, you're welcome to join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM at The New Community Church, 1560 Old Alabama Road in Roswell, GA.  Our small group meets Tuesday evenings at 6:30.


What could you do if you had no fear?  The beginning of a new year has placed this question on my mind and in my heart.

What kinds of things do people fear?
    Change - though you want to change, fear of the unknown is more scary than fear of the known; keeping you in a trap of stagnation and feeling unmotivated.
    Failure - this fear also keeps people from trying new things or changing an undesirable situation.
    Death - it is often perceived that death is the end of our existence.  This should give us a sense of urgency, but often paralyzes us into experiencing the first two fears, fear of change and fear of failure.  It's true we have a finite number of moments here on our earth; however, we have the hope of spending our eternity with our Heavenly Father in a new home he has prepared for us, where time and fear have no relevance.  This should give us hope! 

I have a five year old daughter, and I have been re-learning so many of life's lessons by watching her live and learn.  She is fearless!  Some of her lack of fear stems from lack of experience; this is where we guide her into making good choices to minimize risks.  It is glaringly obvious, however, that our fears in our lives are as a result of our learning experiences and conditioning.  My daughter does not have the same learning experiences and has not been conditioned to fear the unknown.  She also is not weighed down by worry of what people will think, whether God or her family loves her, whether she will fail.  She is pure joy, excitement, and enthusiasm.

What does God say about fear?

I John 4:16-18 says that God is love.  Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us, so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE.  Perfect love drives out fear! (emphasis mine) 

What a powerful passage.  Perfect love drives out fear.  To me, this verse says that we need to strive to love, and fear will sort itself because where love exists, fear cannot exist.  There is no fear in love!  There is no fear in love!

I resolve to love.  I will love my life.  I will love my parenting.  I will love my work.  I will love my time on earth.  I will love my experiences.  I will love to learn from them.  I will learn to love from them.  I will love, and I will not fear.

What could you accomplish if you had no fear?  Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid—I am with you!  I am your God—let nothing terrify you!  I will make you strong and help you;  I will protect you and save you."

EDITED TO ADD:  Just ran across this blog on my Facebook news feed about Trauma.  Trauma and fear go hand in hand sometimes, and I thought this was a great bit of info on how trauma can change you and what healing looks like.

A New Normal blog post