Which Phrase Best Describes You?

I can do this, or God can do this.

I wish I could say that I always picked the latter one.  For years, I tried to do life in my own strength.  I was always striving and never really at peace.  Can anyone relate?

It took a season of brokenness for me to realize that I cannot do it all on my own.  As I cried out to God for help, He faithfully walked with me.

Learning to depend on God was a gift in the middle of my greatest heartbreak.   

Friends, God wants to give you this same gift.  The gift of His Presence in Your Life!  He wants to do life with you.  He wants you to seek Him, rely on Him, and allow His Strength and Power to guide you.

What does this look like practically?  Open Hands! 

I love this prayer that Pastor Buddy Owens has taught us at Saddleback Church.  As you pray, instead of folding your hands tight, keep your palms open wide and pointed up toward God.  As you do this physical act with your hands, say, “God, I give this to you.”   Then turn your hands over so they are pointing down and release it to Him.  Lastly, as you ask God for His strength, power, and wisdom, turn your palms up one more time to receive His provision.

This prayer of surrender is a powerful first step. 

But there is a next step.  After God guides you and places a calling in your heart, then you must be faithful and do the hard work.  I love what Jennifer Dukes Lee says in her book, It’s All Under Control, “We surrender outcomes, not effort.”

Our job is faithfulness.  God’s job is fruitfulness. 

Friends, this is where it gets exciting.  We don’t need to worry or compete.  We just need to be faithful and do the next step God has directed us to do.  As we follow God’s plan for our lives, He will handle everything else. Honestly, it does not get any better than that. 

So today, as you live out your unique calling on your life, let me ask you a question: Which phrase best describes you?

I can do this in my own strength or God can do this through me as I rely on His Strength.

I pray we will always choose God’s strength!

Love, Jodi

More to See…

This beach looked perfect.

Its beautiful blue water and white sand beach was breath taking.  From the outside looking in, it seemed like perfection.  BUT it was not. 

These same magical waters were also home to the Portuguese man o war jellyfish.  Captivated by the beauty of the waters, my boys and I ran and jumped into these waves.  Immediately, one of my son’s got stung. 

It is easy to make judgments based on how something looks on the outside.

Have you ever looked at someone else’s life and thought it was perfect?  Looking at the pictures they post on social media, you conclude that they have it all together.  Friends, I know I have struggled with this before.

I love the quote from Steven Furtick’s book, Crash the Chatterbox.  It says, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.”

 Just like that day on the beach, we were only looking at the surface.  Once we dug deeper, we realized that nothing is perfect. Everyone has their struggles.

My boys and I just got back from the beautiful island of Oahu.  Each day, I posted some of my favorite pictures from the day, and I realized that I was just showing the highlight reel.

In an effort to be completely transparent, let me share with you some of our behind the scenes:

  • There was frustration trying to find places we have never been before and sadly, impatience and snapping at my kids on my part.
  • There was ungratefulness and complaining especially when one is a teenager and at times wishing he was home with his friends.
  • There were many arguments in the car, in the hotel, and on the beach.

 It was a great vacation, but it was not perfect. No one has a perfect life.  There are no perfect parents or perfect kids. 

Remember that life is not all good or all bad, but actually somewhere in the middle. 

As we look at others, let’s remember we all have our struggles that we are working on.  Let’s extend love and grace. Let’s try not to compare, especially “our behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel”.

Friends, it is easy to compare but today I challenge us to look deeper, not just at the surface. Instead of comparing, let’s cheer each other on. Let’s encourage one another because we know that there is more to see than just what is on the outside.

Love, Jodi