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Choosing Calm Over Chaos – Tips For Dealing With Pesky Inconveniences

They came out of nowhere! My husband, daughter and her sleepover friend had just gotten home with some delicious dinner. We unpacked it, sat down, said Grace, and began enjoying dinner when, out of the blue, we were attacked!

Twelve to thirteen of the peskiest big flies flooded the dining room. My husband grabbed a flyswatter as the girls (seven and eight years old) shrieked while trying everything they could to cover up the target…their food.

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Now I have to admit, I became a little “girly” myself displaying some graceful moves that, I’m sure, would have earned a part in a Michael Jackson video. For the next 15 minutes the place was filled with laughing and shrieking, followed by more laughing as my husband, with sniper-like precision, well, “neutralized” each and every one of them.

Needless to say, my appetite was quite shot after watching fly carcasses literally “fly” across the room.

Isn’t that life? You’re going through the day-to-day motions of life, enjoying your “dinner”, when, out of the blue, these pesky circumstances, beyond your control, both big and small, begin to swarm and launch a full on attack.

While it may not be easy to pick up a flyswatter and “wipe out” the pest, I am sure of this; our God is always beside us. He will never leave us or forsake us AND we have a choice. We can complain about interrupted “dinners”, or we can pick up our “flyswatters” and defeat the enemies attacks. But we must learn there are things we can control AND there are things we allow to control us. Many of the circumstances we face in our life end up controlling us because we have not learned how to take authority over them. How on earth do we do that? Let’s dive into a few things you can do to keep C.A.L.M.

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COME TO ME 

If you’re anything like me, it’s the little things that get your feathers ruffled. Like Francesca Battistelli sings, “This Is The Stuff” that drives me CRAZY. If we are to be trusted with more of His assignment, we must first conquer the small things. Drawing near to Him on a regular basis allows us to learn from Him. Soon enough, we will begin to consider Jesus’ response to life.

  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30
  • Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
  • Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest. Mark 6:31

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

The enemy is the author of strife so, in choosing a grateful position, we extinguish his schemes to divide and defeat. A grateful heart weeds out anger, leaving a heart fully acknowledging God’s goodness. Then, the mouth speaks the overflow of a grateful heart (Luke 6:45).

  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
  • Continue in prayer and be watchful with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
  • I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Ps. 9:1
  • I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30
  • And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

LISTEN TO HIS VOICE

Allow God to speak into those hidden crevices of your heart. Those deep areas that only He sees, only He truly knows. Take some time to sit and “be still“. As He speaks to those unseen places, the dirt of doubt is washed away, distractions are disconnected, and the disease of anger is healed. You see, the more we hear and take to heart – take action on – what we hear from Him, the more He will speak to us (Luke 8:18). When we listen to our Shepherd’s leading voice, the enemy’s pushy voice dissolves.

  • Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
  • Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. Deuteronomy 32:1-2
  • Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Luke 8:18
  • Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Psalm 85:8
  • Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. Proverbs 8:34

MEDITATE & MEMORIZE

It’s a known fact, what you meditate on (focus on), you magnify. The more your thoughts are consumed with the “death” of negativity, the more worried, frustrated and exhausted you tend to feel. Lashing out, especially at those closest to you, becomes the path of least resistance. But there is hope. Memorizing God’s word and meditating on Him is a surefire way to remove the enemy’s lies as you CHOOSE to take His higher route of renewal.

  • Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
  • I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:115
  • Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Joshua 1:8
  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2
  • Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12
  • Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

It’s not always easy but, when we begin to practice these principles, clouds part and beautiful rays of the Son light the way. May God’s brilliant face shine on your efforts to remain C.A.L.M. in the chaos.

Blessings!

Esther | Chosen & Cherished

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4 – Tips For Making Godly Decisions E.A.S.Y – Biblical Help For Looking Upward Not Inward

As I watched the raindrops break the stillness of the pool last Saturday morning, I considered how much life’s decisions mirror God’s raindrops.

We normally make around 250 decisions in a given day – both big and small. And, just like the raindrops, those decisions (whether good or bad) have rippling effects. The bigger the decision, the bigger the ripple.

Making life decisions can be overwhelming but it doesn
Ripples that affect our hearts, our minds, our actions, our relationships, and our souls.  And they don’t just stop with us. The ripples of our lives, OUR choices, intersect the ripples of other people – their hearts, their minds, their actions, their relationships, and their souls. Just as one raindrop sends out ripples far surpassing the original drop, our choices send out ripples affecting those around us.

Think wisely before you make decisions that will affect, not only your life but the lives of those you love and cherish as well as the lives of your future generations. Think – LIVE – beyond that first “raindrop”.

When faced with the dilemma of making decisions, we can look inward or upward. Here are a few great guidelines to make your decision E.A.S.Y.

1. Establish Godly vs. Fleshly Desires

Left to our own desires, our flesh leads us astray. Our past experiences and other external factors can persuade one to “follow your heart” leading us down a one-way road to destruction. God’s desires, His ways, are always higher, pure, long lasting, and life-giving.

  • Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
  • The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
  • All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Proverbs 16:2
  • There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 16:25

2. Absorb Scripture

Soaking our mind in Scripture aligns our thoughts with His and helps us set immovable God “rails” to guide us along the curvy path of decision making.

  • This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8
  • Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
  • All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

Making life decisions can be overwhelming but it doesn

3. Seek Godly Advice

While we should never base our life decisions solely on the advise of others, we should seek Godly councel. God established friends and the church to provide encouragement and a different perspectives. I can’t stress Godly enough though; we are bombarded with fleshly opinions and wordly thoughts thrown at us daily.

  • “He who separates himself seeks his own desire. He quarrels against all sound wisdom.” Proverbs 18:1
  • Listen to advice and accept discipline, and you’ll be wise for the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20
  • Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. Proverbs 27:9
  • He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility. Proverbs 15:31-33

4. Yearn For God’s Will

As hard as it may be to surrender our desires and release our outcome to Him, this truly is the only choice that leads to life. After all, He knows the plans He has for you and those plans are to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a beautiful future (Jeremiah 29:11)

  • “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
  • The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. Proverbs 11:30
  • In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
  • Jesus said, “I can do nothing on My own initiative As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30
  • …but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. This goes without saying but a decision bathed in prayer, saturated in surrender is sure to prevail.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). So, if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5). He will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; He will counsel you with His eye upon you (Psalm 32:8).

And, if you happened upon this post AFTER making a decision that didn’t turn out as planned…


“Try Again, This Time With Me.” –God


Blessings Friends,

Esther

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