40 Days of the Best of My Life

(I write this in honor of you, “Sarvoirfaire”, my dearest friend with that “certain air of savoir faire”.  The 40 day countdown to your birthday (and mine) has personally been an inspiring experience; so here’s my gift to you, to help you celebrate the first 40 days of your new year.  May this year and this new season be the beginning of the Best of Your Life!)

rock beach 40 days (white) crop

Dear Seeker,

Whether you’re counting down the days “till” a big event or the end of the year, or you’re starting a new season or decade of your lifeWelcome and Congratulations!

You’re found a resource to encourage your walk with the Lord and hopefully inspire your spiritual creativity.  You don’t have to complete these 40 days in 40 sequential days.  You don’t even have to do them in order.  Obviously, you don’t “have” to do them at all, but I hope that the prompts posted here will trigger a brainstorm of your own ideas.

These are your 40 days!  This is your time.  This is your life.  So, use these suggestions however and whenever you wish.  Whatever you do,  “Carpe Diem!”  Seize the Day!  Live your days FULLY ALIVE!  

Today, your assignment is to choose a starting date.  These posts aren’t going anywhere.  So, it doesn’t have to be tomorrow. But, if you want to start right away, Day 1 of the Best of My Life will be posted tomorrow, August 1st.

Happy Seeking and Finding to you, dear Friend and Seeker!  I am praying for you; whenever you read this and whenever you choose to apply these 40 Days, may they be “divine appointments” for you.  May you find all you need and all you are seeking in Christ!  

“Inside Out” Checklist

inside out 1We drove into town early and were first in line for a ticket at a free showing of Pixar’s “Inside Out”.

We laughed, we cried… another wonderful “girl-time” memory.

Memories, thoughts, emotions, feelings… Yup, Pixar made another winner.  We loved it.

My favorite part of the whole day was as I walked out to our car with my daughter in the rain and the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Ya’ know, it’s a lot more crowded than that in your mind…

Not only do you have Joy, but I’ve given you Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  And, I’m ready and willing to be at the controls of your life 24-7-365.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

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I’ve been mulling this over for weeks, and I thought this was just a private pondering to treasure in my heart, until the other day when I heard Little One playing:

“Whatcha’ playing?”

“Inside Out.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah, I’m pretending I’m being controlled by Anger and Disgust.”

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“Whoa there, Little Lady, I don’t think so.”

— Hello, teachable moment.  Cue the lecture.

“It’s too easy to let our emotions rule us in real life.  And, though it may be fun to pretend and jump back and forth between feelings, I don’t want you to even ponder allowing anything to control you but the Holy Spirit.  Just like in the movie, we don’t get our best ideas when we let our feelings be in control.  That’s the difference between walking by faith, what we know is right and true despite how we feel, and walking by sight or our perception, how we feel about what is going on.”

Despite our circumstances, we’ve got to take our thoughts captive, hold on to what we know is true, and let the Holy Spirit be in charge of the control panel of our life.  (“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Cor. 10:5)

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Even if, and especially if, we think we’ve “lost our Joy”, we need Someone steady and wise directing our thoughts and actions.  Thankfully, once the Holy Spirit has come into our life as our Counselor, Comforter, and Guide, He’ll never leave us or get lost.

If we give Anger full reign even for a moment, it will only bring destruction and trouble to our relationships.  Yet, even then, the LORD is patiently waiting, ready and willing to help us when we surrender the controls back to Him.

So , here’s the checklist, short and sweet:

  • Have you made Jesus Christ the Lord/Boss/Master-Controller of your life?
  • Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to stand at the controls today?  (Are you taking your thoughts captive, filling your mind with the Word of God for counsel, and looking to Him for direction in how to respond to people and circumstances?

And, one bonus, precautionary question to help you avoid disaster:

  • What feeling/emotion are you most tempted to allow to run your life?

Some of us aren’t just “pretending” to be controlled by Anger and Disgust.  We are angry and disgusted, and it’s ruling our lives!

(So, what’s your weakness? Anger, Fear, “happiness” – which is often confused with true Joy, Disgust, Sadness?  —  What about bitterness or unforgiveness? … judgment or criticalness? … discontent and envy? … insecurity and comparison? … perfectionism or laziness?)

inside out 4

When you became a child of God, you were given so much more than Joy, and I’m talking the real Joy that isn’t just stubborn optimism or based on circumstances.  In Christ, you have the Fruit of the Spirit as well as Faith, Hope, Righteousness, Truth, Holiness, Perseverance, Acceptance, Purpose, Calling, Salvation, Insight, Eternal-Perspective, Wisdom, Understanding, Discernment, Generosity, Hospitality, … and so much more; because we have God Himself.  And, God is Love.

We have Him, and He is all those things.  He is also Grace.  He is Mercy, and He is perfect Justice, godly Wrath, and holy Vengeance.  We are His, and He is ours.  We can believe what He has said, and we can trust Him completely with our lives through all the changes and the seemingly upside-down, inside-out seasons.

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He knows you Inside Out.  He remembers every moment of your life, even the hazy-early days that you’ve nearly forgotten.  Nothing is lost with Him ever.  He not only knows everything, but He has a purpose for everything and is able to work all things together for good, even those past mistakes and the hurtful memories, too.

inside out 3And, just like me with my Little One, He only wants the best for you.  He won’t tolerate little compromises that may later turn into excuses, mindsets, and strongholds.  He wants you to live is VICTORY and FREEDOM!

Once He is “inside”, He is there to stay.  Now, we just need to let Him, with all His attributes, have full control; so He can display His character through us as He renews our mind and transforms us from the Inside Out.