Slow Down

The faster we are moving the less likely we are being directed by God.

In order to hear from God throughout our day we have to slow down.  Here lately the Lord has been doing just that with me- slowing me down.  I’m finding that as I’ve slowed down I’m consulting with Him more.  I’m taking the time to pray more- about big and seemingly small things.  I’m also more aware of myself, what I’m doing, how I’m responding, how I’m falling short- basically I’m more sensitive to the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

The faster we’re moving the more likely we’re depending on ourselves as opposed to depending on God.  If we’re not intentional then we will go through our day doing on own thing without even considering God.  When we do that, we’re missing out on so many things.  We’re falling short in so many ways.  We’re not as aware as we could be.  

God has a purpose for us in every day.  We must consult with Him to make the most of our day.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  – Galatians 5:16

If we’re not intentional about walking in the Spirit then our flesh will lead the way.  We all have those ways about us that aren’t pleasing to God whether it be selfishness, rudeness, judging, pride, laziness, gossiping, or whatever it is that we struggle with.

The thing is that we must know ourselves, we must know God and His way, and we must slow down and allow Him to lead us.  God knows we’re imperfect, which is why He is so rich in mercy and kindness toward us.  Paul writes about how he cried out to God for Him to remove the thorn from his life:

“And he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”  – II Corinthians 12:9

God doesn’t want us rushing around trying to be perfect.  Instead, He desires for us to slow down and come to Him.  Cry to Him.  Talk to Him.  Ask Him.  Depend on Him.  Receive His grace.

His grace is enough for us.

The people around us don’t need to see us excelling in everything, anyway. They need authenticity.  They need to hear that everything we are- Our love, our kindness, our compassion, our humility, our smile is all by His grace.  Our money, our home, our clothing, all of our extras that He so kindly blesses us with are all by His grace.

Slow down and depend on God.  Follow His leading and make the most of your day.

With Love,

Margo

11 Lessons From Yesterday

Good morning!  It’s a new day.  What a gift.  Before I let go of yesterday, let me share 11 lessons from my yesterday:

1. STOP NEGATIVE ASSUMPTIONS.  Don’t immediately jump to assuming negatively when dealing with situations and people.  Slow down and trust.

2. BE KIND.  Simple, but huge and often overlooked.  Be kind.

3. LISTEN TO OTHERS.  Trust those people that God has placed in your life.  Talk to them about what’s on your heart and listen to them.  Really listen.

4. WALK IN LOVE.  No matter how you’re feeling, push those feelings to the side and walk in love.  Less of us, more of Him.

5. BE SPIRIT-LED.  Let the Spirit of God lead you to do everything.  Some things may appear good but it’s not what God would have you to do.  Follow the leading of God and lean not to your own understanding.

6. IT’S A PROCESS.  Everything is a process!  You can’t change in a day and you can’t clean up everything in your life in a day.  Do what you can.  This leads me to my next point…

7. BE EASY ON YOURSELF.  Don’t expect perfection and don’t dwell on your shortcomings.   Yesterday I told my husband I know I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!  If I take just a second to look back on my old self I’m grateful for today’s mess ups.

8. DON’T OVERTHINK.  Everything doesn’t call for a philosophical debate questioning if people are saved or not!  Oh help me, Lord.  Stop overthinking, Margo.  Ok, next.

9. JUST TAKE IT.  Some things you just need to take.  Sometimes you will give what you don’t owe.  Sometimes you will have to do what you feel you shouldn’t have to do.  Struggling with this one?  Look at Jesus’s life.  Just take it.

10. EMBRACE YOUR STRUGGLES.  So often we want to run from our uncomfortable situations without taking the time to consider why we’re in this particular struggle to begin with.  Why are you there?  What do you need to learn from it?  Keep the right attitude toward your struggles.  Yesterday I thought how some people stay in their struggles because they aren’t learning and changing.  Embrace your struggle, learn from it, and then move on to the next one.  Yes, the next struggle. 

11. BE REAL!  Stop faking, wearing masks, trying to pretend that everything is always okay.  You’re not always good.  I’m learning not to suppress my feelings.  No, don’t tell everything to everybody but be real.  Instead of saying I’m great when you’re really dealing with something try I’m dealing with some things but I know it’s all going to work out.  Let others know it’s ok to be real.  Everything is not always great- for any of us.

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Chist Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.”  – I Peter 5:10-11

Margo

MARGO: I’m 32. Now what?

Less of me, more of Him.

I celebrated my 32nd birthday on Sunday and now I’m asking myself: Now what?

I appreciate and respect the power in newness.  New days and new years are important to me.  When I’m granted new time I like to take the time to ensure I’m doing what I need to do in order to experience the fullness of the new.  I want to let go of the old, and prepare myself to embrace the new.

I’m 32.  Now what?

1. Deal with me.  The Lord is allowing me to see the many natural ways that I have that aren’t pleasing to Him.  As I start this new year I am humbled and I am focused on dealing with me.  I’m committed to Jesus, I’m committed to His Word, and I’m committed to growing in him.  I’m committed to changing.  I’m committed to becoming more like Jesus.


Less of me, more of Him.

2. Get organized.  I’m in a new season of life, as I’ve recently graduated grad school, and I’m adjusting to life without school.  For my birthday I got a planner and notebook, and this is the first planner in a long time that didn’t come from the college bookstore!  I’m excited.  


I’m looking forward to better managing my sleep, schedule, time, and priorities. 

3. Stay focused.  There are always life issues, relational issues, and money issues that come our way; but in the midst of all of life’s issues I’m focused on staying focused.  Staying focused on what?  My faith.  During this new year of my life I’m focused on seeing the spiritual issues underlying the natural issues that meet the eye.  I’m focused on reading, meditating, speaking, believing and living the Word of God.  I’m focused on applying the Word to all of the situations that come my way.  


I understand that it’s not about the issue, but rather it’s about me and how I respond to the issue.

Without a doubt, I know it’s all by His grace that I’ve made it to 32 living the life that I’m now living.  Only by His grace.  Like the apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:10, I don’t want his grace being bestowed upon me to be in vain.  I want to do all the work that He has for me to do.  We don’t work to get saved, but rather we work because we are saved.  The Lord takes us through a purging and pruning process so that we are prepared for every good work (II Timothy 2:21).  It doesn’t feel good but it’s so necessary in order to fulfill the purpose that He has for our lives.

I want to do all the work that God created me to do.

 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  – Galatians 2:20

Margo

Love Is No Respector of Persons

When we love as Christ has commanded us to love, we love with no respect to persons.

Outside of Christ our love is conditional.  We love those who say they love us, we love those who love us, we love those who understand us, we love those who think like us, we love those who look like us.  When we love like that we’re falling short. Way short.

When we love people for particular reasons we distribute love unfairly.  We love someone because they do things for us, but what about the one who does nothing for us?  Do we still love them the same?  We love the one who loves us, but what about the one who hates us?  We know Christ has told us to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us, but how?  

If we love based on particulars and conditions then it makes it hard for us to love just because.  We must grow beyond loving those who treat us well and love unconditionally- which is the way God loves us all.  We’ve gotten comfortable loving with conditions,  and this is not pleasing to God.

We must love with no respect to persons.

We must grow to a place of loving all– regardless of how they feel about us, what they say about us, or what they do to us.  None of that matters.  Honestly, the more we look at the shortcomings of others the more prideful we become and the harder it is to truly walk in love.  Instead of looking at their shortcomings, let’s look at the cross.

In order to love unconditionally, without respect to persons, we must fix our eyes on Jesus.  I know I’ve been saying it a lot lately, but the lesson is truly for me- The love we show to others has less to do with them and more to do with Jesus.

I’m getting it.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  – John 13:34-35

Margo

Do You Aim To Please? READ THIS.

Are you more concerned with pleasing people than you are with pleasing God?  Do you have an internal desire to keep the people in your life happy with what you do?  Do you spend time thinking about what people think of you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you, like me, are on the journey from people pleasing to God pleasing.  

We all have a need to belong.  When people scream I don’t need anyone they are lying.  We all need people in our life, and we all need people in our life to love us and accept us for who we are.  With that, though, we have to learn to keep people in their proper place.  Consider Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22).  The Lord tested Abraham’s commitment to Him, and Abraham passed.  And because of his commitment to God, he was blessed.

  He was set on pleasing God above everything.  Are you and I?

This scripture, written by the apostle Paul, has given me much encouragement lately:

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?  Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  – Galatians 1:10

Trying to please people limits what we can do for Christ.

I believe that some people love Christ, even follow Him, but are severely limited by what they do can do for Him because of their inability to let go of people pleasing.

Let’s get free from pleasing people and set our sights on pleasing Christ.  Yes, it’s a journey, but it’s one that will change the entire course of our lives for the better.

I used to be a complete people pleaser.  Saying only what I knew people would agree with, afraid to say what they wouldn’t want to hear.  Saying yes to requests that were thrown my way only because I was afraid to say no.  By His grace that’s not me anymore.

Now I know that the people that I need in my life are pleased with me simply because of who I am, not because I’m doing what they want me to do.  Me being me is enough.  I need people around me that encourage me to do all that Christ has called me to do.  

Watch out for controlling people.  Controlling people love people pleasers.  Why?  They know they’ll do anything asked of them without a second thought.  Don’t do that.  Whether you do it or not, involve Christ in your decision.  Act on His leading.  Remember that there are many good things that we can be doing, but we want to focus our efforts on doing what God has called us to do.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  – Ephesians 2:10

In order to do all that God has ordained us to do, we must seek Him.  We must be set on pleasing Him and following Him.  If not, we’ll be distracted by everything that’s thrown our way. 

Don’t get distracted, and don’t aim to please people.  Keep your eyes set on Christ and allow Him to lead you to what He has for you.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.”  – I Corinthians 9:24

Margo

Just Love

The love we show to others has less to do with them, and more to do with Jesus.

Although we have been raised in a world that teaches us to love those who love us, we must grow past that.  We must grow to a place of loving, regardless of how others may treat us.  We must live a life of love.  Again, the love we show has nothing to do with people and has everything to do with what Jesus has done for us.

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling  savour.”  – Ephesians 5:1

We love others just as Christ has loved us.  That simple.

Simple to understand yet not always easy to do.  It does get easier though after we make the decision to obey.  Once we decide that we are going to obey and love as Jesus has commanded us, He will help us.  He will give us exactly what we need, and He will not put more on us than we can bear.  The level of mistreatment that he allows your way is not more than what you are able to handle.  Yes, it will hurt, but you can handle it.

To love through the hurt is real love.  This is what Jesus is all about.  Love is much more than loving those who love you.  That’s simply just reciprocating affection.  Anyone can do that.  Jesus himself said:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:43-44

Loving our enemies requires maturity, obedience, and a love for God that motivates us to do whatever He commands us to do.  We also have to trust.  We trust that God will protect us, and that somehow He is getting glory out of the situation- which He always does, whether we realize it or not.

We know that God is a God of order, and while our perspective and sight is limited, He is able to see the beginning from the end.  He is able to see the hearts, and He is also able to see what will result from our obedience to Him.  He sees all, we just have to trust Him, and our trust for Him will enable us to obey Him.

We must never underestimate the power of obedience to God.

We must also keep in mind that we all will reap what we sow.  None of us can get away with wrongdoing.  We don’t know when or how it will come back on us, but it always comes back.  This is consolation for us when we know others are mistreating us.  They won’t get away with it, it’s just not our job to pay them back.  It’s always our job to love.

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”  – Romans 12:19-21

No matter what comes your way: the lies, the masks, the hate, the rejection, the envy- Just love.

Don’t worry, don’t fear, and don’t fight back.  Just love and allow your enemies to see the goodness of the Lord in your life- all the days of your life.

Margo

Just Be

Have you ever been told: You are enough.

Life has a way of making us feel like we aren’t enough, like we have to do more and work harder to measure up to some imaginary, ever-changing standard.  Books titled 10 Ways to get Rich and 10 Steps to a Better Life become national best-sellers.  Why?  Because we’re all trying to be something that we feel we’re not.  We’re trying to make something happen.  We’re trying to be bigger, badder, better.  

We feel it’s not enough to just be.

The world tells us to be assertive, take what’s yours, and be confident cocky to get what you want.  If you believe it, you can achieve it.  Right?  Well, not always.  Some things will just be, whether you believe it or not.  While some things will never be no matter how much you believe it.  And I’ll also add, some things will never be no matter how bad you want it, how much you believe it, or how hard you work for it.

It’s not always about us working, sometimes it’s just about us being.  We have to learn to just be.

“And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you- you of little faith?  – Matthew 6:28-30

Lilies don’t work to be lilies.  They just are.  Likewise, we don’t have to work to be who God has already made us to be.  Get it?  He has already made us.  He made us in a particular fashion for a particular purpose.  We are already made, we don’t need to try and remodel ourselves.  He made us wonderfully, and marvelous are His works.

Now, don’t take me out of context.  I’m not saying we do nothing, or we become passive about life.  That’s not what I’m saying at all.  For we know that faith without works is dead, so we must do something.  Often, we must prepare ourselves, but even while we do that we can just be.  We don’t have to constantly toil and labor.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”  – Psalm 127:1

Our work in vain leads us to believe that we did something, when in actuality God did it- and it would have been done whether we toiled or not.  Let’s not work in vain.  Let’s just be.

Esther was chosen to be queen.  The king loved her above all the women and she obtained favor from everyone that saw her.  That’s just how it was.  And did I mention she had neither father nor mother?

Just be.

Solomon was chosen by God to succeed his father as king.  

“Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”  – I Chronicles 29:23

He was chosen.  He sat.  He prospered.

Just be.

Some things will just be, without any help from us.  We have to learn to just be and know that what’s for us is for us.  No one can take what’s ours and nothing can stop the plans of the Lord.  Instead of trying to make things happen, let’s ensure that we have a heart that God can work with.

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”  – I Samuel 16:7

We don’t have to work harder or try to be something that we’re not.  We don’t have to try and make everything happen on our own.  

Honestly, some things that we receive in life will be because of nothing that we have done.  That’s called grace.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  – Matthew 6:33 

Just be.

Margo