8.25.2015

Whoops! Sorry about that last email.

You might have received an email from me yesterday with the subject line ‘Speaking-Dylan.’ We had some maintenance going on with my blog and that post went out by accident. I’m sorry about that!

My technical genius dude Tyler sat at his desk yesterday wishing he could hit ‘unsend.’ Which is actually such a fine reminder to us all, that once our words go out … we can’t unsend or unsay them.

 

 

I assured him y’all are basically the kindest blog readers in the world and would just smile and delete the crazy 2-word email.

I love that about y’all. And I hope you have an amazing Tuesday.

8.4.2015

When I Don’t Get What I Want

Have you ever wanted something so badly your heart ached with each thought of it? It seems life would be so much better if you had that.

There would be more happiness.
More contentment.
More fulfillment.
More satisfaction.
More peace.

We can envision ourselves with this thing, this person, this opportunity. And all things are better. So, why doesn’t God give us this longing of our heart?

Because He wants us to willingly release it to Him.

Ouch.

Not the answer we want. Why would God let the aching desire linger and not make things happen? He could. He’s certainly able. But when He doesn’t, it seems unfair. Not good. Confusing.

It’s easy to get down when we’re constantly let down.

We hope this thing will happen … we’ll meet this right person … we’ll get this job … we’ll finally be healed … we’ll get that chance … we’ll see that family member turn their life around. Time and again it doesn’t happen. That’s when it’s easy to slip.

We can so easily slip into feeling a little distant from God because we feel hurt by God.

That’s what happened when the man I thought I was going to marry told me he met someone else. That’s what happened when I didn’t get the job I was so certain was going to be the answer to all my financial problems. That’s what happened when my son didn’t get into the charter school we were so certain would have been perfect for him.

But, in each of these things, I eventually had to make a choice. I could either be consumed with my unmet longing or trust the plans of our loving God.

As an offering of trust, we must give up that which could so easily bring us down.

Not give up as in a discouraged surrender. But giving up as in placing this desire in the hand of God and saying, “Either way, I will see Your answer as the good answer and walk in trust.”

The Scriptures promise He rewards those who honestly seek Him: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Sometimes I get so consumed with seeking my unmet longings, I don’t earnestly seek Him. But then I miss out on His reward. And His reward is the only thing that will fill the void in my heart.

Yes, I still struggle with unmet desires.

But not as much today as I did yesterday.

And that is good. Not easy. But good.

Learn more about trusting God’s plan instead of ours with my book, The Best Yes. I’m giving away 5 copies today! To be entered to win, leave a comment below with what unmet longing you’ll be releasing this week.

7.27.2015

What Are You Putting First?

I’m the kind of girl who likes to get her day started bright and early. I want to answer emails, text messages, and be totally caught up on social media hours before the first alarm goes off in my house. And as long as everything I read and see is positive and encouraging and completely wonderful, I can say with enthusiasm, Yes! I can take on this day!

But in reality there’s usually something I click on that is less than awesome. And when I choose to give the first moments of my day to those things… those shouts of the world… instead of spending them with God, I sense my soul getting a bit parched. Small things annoy me. The Lord seems a little farther away from my life that day. And I just can’t shake that nagging feeling that I’m not measuring up.

Even if you’re not an early riser, I have a sneaking suspicion that you know what I’m talking about. I want to start giving my first thoughts of the day to the Lord. So, here are 3 reasons that we should reach for God’s Word in the morning instead of social media, email, and other distractions:

1) What feeds us, affects us. When I wake up, my mind is like a dry sponge. What I soak up first will saturate me most deeply. If I don’t want to be consumed with the stresses of my day, I must soak up what will renew my mind instead: God’s Word. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, I’ve got to put the world on hold until I’ve checked in with God.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

2) There are scientifically-proven benefits. I read some research by Dr. Caroline Leaf recently that revealed something so fascinating. When we sleep our brains produce baby neurons. How we use those new neurons first thing in the morning determines so much about our patterns of thought for that day. And that process is called… neuroGENESIS! How cool is that?! Giving the Lord our first thoughts – our genesis thoughts – each day can really help us process life in healthier ways. So from a spiritual and scientific standpoint our first 5 minutes really matter!

“ …We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b (NIV)

3) God desires to help us. He wants to give us the exact instruction and comfort we need to handle all He sees coming our way—how to act and, even more challenging, how to react in every situation. But we can’t experience that if we aren’t spending time with Him. Giving Him our first thoughts each day is the perfect way from the start to receive His protection and direction for that day.

“In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you…” Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)

At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we think it’s so important to give the first moments of our day to God. And our brand new app, First 5, is designed to help you do just that! You can set your morning alarm in the app and when you turn it off, the first thing you’ll read is a 5-minute teaching from the Bible.

We’re excited to announce that First 5 is ready for download and our very first in-app study of the book of John begins TODAY!

All you need to do is download the free app to get started. Find out more at www.First5.org.