Friday, February 21

The Secret For Unleashing God’s Peace In Your Situation – #BEaNOTICER

I’ll never forget the night I helped my son edit his college term paper. Something he wrote was so powerful it jumped off my computer screen, grabbed my heart, and challenged my perspective.

If there was ever a secret for unleashing God’s powerful peace in a situation, it’s developing a heart of true thanksgiving. My son, Jackson, knows this.

#BEaNOTICER Challenge

The truly thankful person is a truly peaceful person. They have made a habit no matter what to notice, pause and choose.

Notice something for which to be thankful no matter what circumstance they’re in.

Pause to acknowledge this something as a reminder of God’s presence.

Choose to focus on God’s presence until His powerful peace is unleashed.

Jackson’s paper was about the corruption and greed that caused the civil war in his native land – Liberia, Africa. He did a great job recounting the facts of the story. But the difference between Jackson and most other kids explaining a historical event is before we adopted him, he lived in the midst of the horrific conditions of this war.

During one part of the paper, he described what it felt like to be naked digging through the trash looking for the treasure of thrown away food.

The treasure of thrown away food.

I can hardly type those words without crying. This is my son.

And yet, despite the horrific conditions of his childhood there was an unexplainable thread of peace woven throughout his recollection of the story. A powerful peace centered in the awareness of God’s presence.

I doubt any of us will find our treasure in thrown away food today. But will we be a noticer, a pauser, a chooser – a person of thanksgiving no matter what circumstance we’re facing?

I find this truth about the power of thanksgiving over and over in Scripture. What was the prayer Daniel prayed right before being thrown into the lion’s den and witnessing God miraculously shut the lions’ mouths? Thanksgiving.

After three days in the belly of a fish, what was the cry of Jonah’s heart right before he was finally delivered onto dry land? Thanksgiving.

How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.

And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace. Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace.

“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:7).

Interestingly enough, one of Webster’s official definitions of thanksgiving is: “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.”

Will you join me in celebrating God’s divine goodness today?

This week I’ve been posting about how to #BEaNOTICER (click here if you missed the first post, and here if you missed the second post.) Our final focus of this challenge is to be a noticer of the treasures in our hard circumstances.

Leave a comment below telling me how you are cultivating a heart of thanksgiving and seeing God in your struggle today. I’m choosing 3 winners for my #BEaNOTICER giveaway, which includes a copy of Unglued, Unglued Devotional: 60 Days to Imperfect Progress, and a set of Unglued key tags.

You can also share what you’re doing to be a noticer on social media. If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag… #BEaNOTICER.

Wednesday, February 19

I Want To #BEaNOTICER With My Words

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

We live in a day and time where our rights sometimes take precedence over our pursuit of righteousness.

I can be quick to offer a complaint when things don’t go right. I can be forgetful with my “thank yous” when things go well.

And I am challenged by this.

My husband owns a restaurant. If there was ever a man who cared to the depth of his being about serving his customers well, it’s my man. To him it’s not just about serving a great chicken sandwich. It’s about serving a life. It’s his opportunity to hand them a sandwich with a smile, a kind word, some kind of second mile gesture and, for that brief moment, make their day a little brighter, a little better.

And he never qualifies his kindness.

The grumpy customer gets the same kindness as the happy one.

He inspires me.

He is a man of the rare word.

It’s so easy to extend pleasantries to the person who is treating me right. But what about that moment when things aren’t so right? Might I see even that as an opportunity? An opportunity to reach past my feelings, my comfort zone, my rights and pursue righteousness in that moment?

Might I dare to be a woman of the rare word?

And might I even be so bold as to not just make kindness come out of my mouth but also be the meditation of my heart?

It’s not easy. But it is good.

My rights – make me feel accepted, good, and treated fairly.

My righteousness – my choice to make right choices that honor God daily.

So here’s the challenge I’ve issued myself – find the good.

In every situation, in every interaction, in every day – be a noticer of the good.

In every situation, in every interaction… be a noticed of the good.

Even when the good has nothing to do with the circumstances and everything to do with how God will teach me through them – find the good.

And be a woman who is lavishly expressive of that good… who rarely, rarely, rarely utters the complaint.

This week I’m challenging myself and you, my blog friends, to #BEaNOTICER. (If you missed my first post, click here.) Today’s focus is to be a noticer of others and how we can bring happiness to the lives around us. Who could you lift up today? Maybe it’s simply thanking your cashier at Target by name, sending an encouraging text to a friend, or writing out Scriptures to pray your child through a tough time. Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Whatever you’re doing today to be a noticer, I want to hear about it! If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag… #BEaNOTICER.

Monday, February 17

Learn To Love Your Story – #BEaNOTICER

I stood in my kitchen laughing with one of my kids picking hard macaroni out of the melted cheese in the crockpot. Apparently, noodles like to be boiled beforehand.

About the time I posted an Instagram picture of the dinner fiasco, I heard another daughter upstairs yelling for towels.

It took a minute for it to register why she was panicked. Then I saw the water leaking through my kitchen ceiling. Toilet water.

I ran. No, I flew upstairs yelling, “Turn that silver knob thing behind the toilet. Quick! Turn it so the water will shut off!”

Later that night, our couch-turned-dancing-springboard decided it would no longer tolerate overly energetic snow bound teens. RIP dear couch.

I’d laughed about the noodles. I’d dealt with the toilet water. I’d gotten quite miffed with the couch situation.

Another day.

Another page in what makes this life… my life… a story.

Not so much like the stories of books and big screens.

Those stories are a little more shiny and sexy and seemingly perfect.

Those moms don’t have cellulite probably because they don’t eat mac and cheese. The kitchen ceilings don’t have stains because… well because their kids don’t use too much two-ply toilet paper. And the couches don’t sag beyond repair.

But I love my story. I love my story most of all.

Why? How?

Because I pre-decided today that I would.

I decided I would look at it all through the lens of noticing the rich evidence of life through each mess and mishap.

Did I do it all perfectly? Nope, not at all.

But even if we choose to be noticers with thankful hearts just once today, we’ll start to look at our stories in a different way.

A more beautiful way.

While carrying the wet towels downstairs, I saw this and smiled…

Learn to love your story… be a noticed

I whispered, “Notice. Be a noticer. See all the fun represented here and thank God for these moments.”

Noticers see the lovely before them and learn to love their story.

This week, I’m writing several #BEaNOTICER posts. Today’s focus is to be a noticer in the midst of the messy and mundane. What might happen if you pre-determine to look through the lens of lovely today? Leave me a comment below sharing something you notice.

And if you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag…#BEaNOTICER.

Love your story most of all.