Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating about how God is right there with you in the midst of your circumstances. Repeatedly think about this and quietly say it to yourself. Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!
For the month of November, I’m being intentional about having FUN!
FUN is this month’s F-word in my 2014 F-word challenge.
I’ve found as I’ve gotten more intentional about these F-words, something has shifted (for the better).
As I have weaved my way through this challenge over the past four months, it’s clear that:
- Fellowshipping with God and acknowledging His presence frequently throughout each day
- Focusing on Jesus’ love for me instead of my problems
- Following through on things that I promised myself and others (that’s called integrity) AND expecting God to follow through on His promises as well
- Flowing with Holy Spirit by being in synch with Him and allowing His desires for my life to shape my desires and therefore my actions
have all provided an environment where FUN can now thrive in my life. Weird huh?
The FUN started flowing right on 11/1/14 and hasn’t stopped yet. Each day, there has been some opportunity for me to have fun (I actually started tracking it). I’m loving it! I also see how I’m enjoying stretching myself in ways that I would not have enjoyed at the beginning of 2014. I’m finding that FUN is coming a lot easier than it used to. It’s coming at times and in places where I wasn’t looking for it and it’s happening more intensely in the places where I would expect it.
NOTE: A Word about my personality– I’m somewhat serious. There have been a few times when my kids and husband have called me a “fun-sucker” because I’ve killed the fun instead of enjoying it. So this month is HUGE for me!
For instance, this past weekend, I attended a conference that I knew would help me with my financial mindset. My expectation of it was that it would be B-O-R-I-N-G some of the time. But it wasn’t! Even though it was a 3-day intensive workshop, there were fun activities interspersed throughout the day. One of the activities was to allow attendees to come up on stage and dance at the beginning of each morning, afternoon, and evening session. When I got home Saturday night, I made up my mind to have some FUN by running up on the stage and be one of the dancers for the Sunday morning session. I did it, along with ~20 other attendees, most of whom could surprisingly stay on the beat! It was a challenge for me since I’m usually the one who observes the FUN rather than participating in it. But this time, I was in the groove, literally.
This week is already packed with activities to have FUN with 3 friends– a new one, an old one that I haven’t seen in a while, and one who I’ve yet to get to know very well. My point is that when I got intentional about doing a few things (all the F-words), it created an environment of overflow that required no effort from me, other than being available and open to receive.
Kinda like God’s grace, don’t you think?
Would you like to take the F-word challenge? Maybe this would be a good way for you to start 2015. Let me know if you’re open to seeing what your intentionality will look like.
Photo courtesy of Vectorgirl | Fotolia
Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating on this Word about how to prosper. Repeatedly think about this scripture and quietly say it to yourself. Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!
Here’s your spiritual marinade for this week:
Focus on this scripture about grace throughout the day.
It’s God’s Word showing how grace, and not self-condemnation, should rule in your life. It’s what He desires us to believe. Believe it is true for you because God’s Word is Truth.
Use it as an affirmation. Speak this Word to yourself throughout the day. Personalize it by putting your name in it!
In elementary school, or in junior high school, you probably learned about the grammatical impact of the word “but” in a sentence. The word “but” is a conjunction, joining two phrases. It is a powerful word to use because “but” essentially negates the idea in the first phrase and implies that something else should be considered.
Here’s a quick list of what “but” can do:
- suggests there’s a chance for a different outcome
- implies there’s something which should not be forgotten
- serves to redirect your attention
- implies doubt in the preceding phrase and a more confident expectation in the phrase that follows
- marks an opposition to the preceding phrase
As I was writing my book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility, one of the things that Holy Spirit whispered to me to include was how to use the “Holy But.” I laughed when I heard that– the Holy But. However, I began to understand how using it could bring godly results to our ungodly circumstances. You’re probably wondering what makes the “but” holy. The use of God’s Word following the “but” is what makes it serve a holy purpose in your life.
When you find yourself saying some negative things about yourself that you know you should not have released from your mouth, use the Holy But by stating some truth from God’s Word that addresses the circumstance that you previously stated negatively.
For example, you may have said in a moment of exasperation, “I feel like I’ll never be pregnant!” Quickly follow that up by saying, “BUT, God said that none shall be barren and that includes me” (Exodus 23:26). Maybe you’re experiencing some financial challenges and you might slip and say, “I’m always broke.” When you catch yourself, say something like, “BUT, Jesus is with me and He prospers me (1 Chronicles 22:11). The key is to negate your negative statement by stating what God has said about the matter using the word “but”. You see, good grammar really can bring godly results (Proverbs 18:21)!
God’s Truth is stronger than your fact. It is powerful and never changes. God’s Truth never fails. When you believe it and speak it, it can actually change your facts of life. What’s God’s Truth? It’s His Word of love and grace toward you (John 17:17). God’s Word doesn’t change but it does change– it is eternal. It’s power can change your circumstances. It can change how you see yourself and your circumstances. It is absolute—you can count on it!
Use the Holy But to:
- Express belief about the outcome God has planned for you
- Remind yourself of God’s viewpoint of the matter
- Redirect your attention to Jesus’ love for you
- Erase doubt and affirm your confidence in God’s words
- Declare your opposition to the negative thing you’ve previously said
Use what I call the “Holy BUT” in your everyday conversations.
It is applicable in any circumstance. It is a simple exercise that will redirect your focus and strengthen your faith.
In the midst of negative circumstances, what do you do to redirect your focus to Jesus’ words, love, and viewpoint?
As October is coming to an end, being in the FLOW has brought challenges, victories and a few surprises.
The FLOW is what I consider as being in synch with the Holy Spirit.
Since I started this F-Word challenge in July 2014, I understand better how hearing from Him is a result of “Fellowship” with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9). Fellowshipping was sometimes (surprisingly) a challenge. There were other things that I wanted to do at the moment that my phone alarm beeped to remind to take a P.I.T. stop and focus on Jesus for (a mere) 60 seconds.
I see the resultant rest that comes from my “Focus” being on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). When I look to Him instead of the negative circumstances surrounding me, life is so much better! I’m less stressed. I see His acceptance of me; I’m more confident of it. My words about my situation change because I trust Him more. I’m also more grateful.
My productivity has gotten better because of the “Follow Through” that I commit to His instructions (John 15:5). I released some things that I thought for sure I needed to do, but through Fellowship and Focus I was convinced otherwise. I found that I was enjoying doing the Follow Through because I knew that I was headed toward the target that He had set for me (rather than my own). I also found that I experienced more of God’s strength and power in all the “next steps” I needed to take.
My point is that I’m seeing how each of these steps in my F-Word process is tied to one another. And when I’m Fellowshipping with Jesus, Focused on His love for me, and Following Through on His plan for me, I get to FLOW with ease!
I think all of this is building up to make November FUN for me!
Here is a consolidation of a couple of posts that I previously shared. I hope you find this encouraging and a source of light in what can be a dark and lonely experience.
If you are struggling with infertility, you know what a hopeless situation it can become, if you let it. When I dealt with it, I found the best source of hope was the Bible. It contains numerous scriptures that pertain directly to infertility. It also gives many accounts of women who were once barren/infertile/childless but became a mother, all because they trusted God to be true to His promises of fertility.
Infertility Sucks! But I know from personal experience that it can be overcome. Here are some verses that I meditated on and repeatedly used as verbal affirmations, putting my name in each scripture. You’ll find them to be great sources of HOPE.
Deuteronomy 7:14 [NKJV] ~ “You shall be blessed above all people; there shall not be male or female barren among you.”
Isaiah 50:7 [NKJV] ~ “For the Lord God will help me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.”
Leviticus 26:9 [Amplified Bible] ~ “For I will be leaning toward you with favor and regard for you, rendering you fruitful, multiplying you and establishing and ratifying my covenant with you.”
Hebrews 11:11 [NLT] ~ “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.”
Luke 1:37 ~ “For with God NOTHING shall be impossible.”
Lamentations 3:26 (NKJV)- “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
Hebrews 13: 5 (NLT)- “For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
1 John 5:4 (NLT)- “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
1 John 5:14, 15 (NIV)- “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
What other bible verses do you depend on to give you hope during infertility?
Focus on this scripture throughout the day.
It’s about God’s gift to you– HIS righteousness, not that born of your own efforts– that causes you to reign in life.
It’s what He desires you to believe. Believe it is true for you because God’s Word is Truth. Speak this Word to yourself throughout the day.