Change can turn our world upside down if we’re not careful. Trust me, I know. There was a time in my life when God allowed change to become my normal. I fought it tooth and nail just like an unruly toddler.
But looking back I can see God’s hands were lovingly moving all the pieces of my life around … and it was for my good.
Today I am humbled to once again share a part of my journey in a guest post over at (In)courage. If you are not familiar with this beautiful place where women connect and share their hearts then today is your lucky day!
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I promise you will love this place to connect with others and our God … this site has certainly been a beacon of light for me in recent years.
But don’t forget to click over right here and read more about the year that God totally changed my world … for my good and His glory.
Change is messy my friends … but our Heavenly Father knows that change can bring us closer to Him if we will let it.
The waves lapped the shore as we sat side by side on the sand. Sitting with my first born, we were soaking up the beauty of the ocean. All defenses were down as he relaxed in the sun and became the brilliant, talkative boy I remember. He and his brother were excited to have tickets to a medieval dinner show later that evening.
We found ourselves in a sweet conversation that I’ll treasure forever. It started with the subject of knights and their noble causes.
As he talked … I realized boys big and small, want to live out nobility.
To have a cause gives purpose.
He continued to tell me about Roman history, naming his favorite emperors and historic battles. And then he mentioned Constantine and the significance of the cross that was put on the soldier’s shields … taking me all the way back to the crusades.
His eyes danced as he relayed historic and symbolic meanings of Christianity.
Then I asked: “Would you have been a knight, son?”
“Well yea mother” he said. “I would fight for my faith, absolutely.”
Joy swelled in my heart. When sons and daughters grow up, taking their own paths, it’s a sweet blessing when they confess what we taught.
I struggled through the years with letting go and trusting God with my boy’s future: But in all my mistakes as a well-meaning mom, I see a hairy, man boy who isn’t perfect, but he gets what it’s all about and deeply believes his faith is worth defending.
I smile and remember the time he got a perm because he wanted hair like the knight, “Arthur” in the 2004 movie.
“Girls like curls” he said with a mischievous grin.
The qualities of a noble knight are loyalty, generosity and chivalry … and my boy gets all these right. He is loyal to a fault, generous till it hurts, and he defends the weak fearlessly. He works in the medical field and is so compassionate that his patients fight over him. For all his human frailties … my boy has some mighty noble qualities.
I will forever cherish those two hours with my son that day. I saw him as a man … and not my little boy.
Too often we take this parenting thing too personal. We think our kids are a reflection of us … when they do good … and when they mess up.
But that’s just pride, because any good thing in our children is because of the Creator.
And even when they make a bad choice, it doesn’t mean we didn’t do our job as a parent.
A sweet friend recently said; “Kids do stupid things because their brains aren’t fully developed.”
How very true. So lighten up moms, our sons and daughters have to live and learn.
Our job is to keep pointing them to JESUS.
My boy immensely enjoyed the medieval dinner show that evening. He even decided to be knighted. When asked what proclamation should be put on his knight certification … he replied … “Because being a knight is awesome.”
And so as he knelt for the ceremony, the Lord of the Manor “dubbed” Sir James Matthew Porter, a knight, and proclaimed to the masses that he was granted all the rights and privileges of a noble man … “Because being a knight is awesome.” He giggles like a little girl when we talk about it.
So moms, embrace everything about your kids, big and small, quirky, normal, good and bad.
Feed their dreams, guide them through their messes and celebrate their victories.
Take every opportunity to view into their souls … because I promise, you will cherish it forever.
Wrap them in your prayers but leave their future to their creator.
And most important … give them unconditional love … just as our Heavenly Father gives us.
So on this October day 2016, I celebrate my noble son’s 30th birthday.
Happy birthday Sir Matthew. You are precious in my sight … as well as your Heavenly Father’s.
Gosh how I love you son!
Aaron- my middle son, Matt- my first born, and the Falconer
She was the funniest girl in school with the coolest clothes. Everyone wanted to sit by her at lunch, but she decided who did. She formed a club and chosen members met on Friday nights at the skating rink.
Then her parents got a divorce. She told fewer jokes. The trips to the skating rink stopped.
I found her crying one day, and my sixth grade heart hurt because her world was falling apart. I could have been a good friend. Not like the one’s talking behind her back … but she wouldn’t let me.
Just like the popular girl in sixth grade, big girls have holes in their hearts too. We all have secrets, heartaches, betrayals and shameful details.
Wary of trust, a wall goes up blocking sweet connection on a Jesus level.
That’s exactly what the Devil wants when it comes to sisters in Christ.
When he separates us … he causes unity to fade.
With the fading of unity … the kingdom’s work is stalled.
So what is the solution? What can we do?
If we really want change … we have to be willing to change.
The scriptures say …
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3
The Greek interpretation for the word esteem means to lead … or go before. This made me think about not only putting others before myself … but taking the lead in loving my sisters first … before they love me.
I ache for this holy sisterhood to bond through the beautiful redemption process … to be real on a come to Jesus level … to find sincere connection and genuine grace.
What could happen if we all take the lead to love first?
What would that look like?
Perhaps a good starting place is putting our sister’s feelings before our own, letting selfishness fall to the wayside.
What if we put away all unfavorable perceptions and think only the best about our sister … instead of judging her in specific measures?
What if we forget previous clashes and renew our thoughts?
What affirmation for her if we’d speak truth in kindness, encouraging and praying for her.
What if we keep secrets in perfect trust and serve her in ways glorifying to our Father?
And because we are terribly flawed and we will fail her … we humbly ask for forgiveness … as we forgive.
You see in order for this sisterhood of messy hearts to flourish in Christ … grace must go both ways.
Oh what beauty is found in grace.
What hope is exchanged in love.
What redemption is mined from humility.
The meekness of a messy sisterhood can be a beautiful tapestry of merciful grace … if only we’ll take the lead to love first.
When your life is over….will how you lived have value?
I’m not talking about matters of melancholy……
I’m talking about living a life that matters.
Time is painfully deceitful.
We think we have plenty of it to do what we want in life, or someday we will arrive at what is meant to be.
But the truth is we’re always putting things off….dreams, goals, education, good deeds…ministry.
I look back and kick myself for losing 10 years of life in what was a very dark period. I don’t know what is worse….wishing our lives away to dodge the bumps and hit the highlights…. or being stuck in the past?
Will it matter that I even walked the face of this earth?
Will GOD be pleased with me?
Or will HE be disappointed because I didn’t live up to the potential HE weaved into my DNA?
What about you?
Are you living with purpose?
Are you stuck living in the past?
Do you think you have plenty of time to get to those dreams in the future?
Does your life reflect value or fleshly causes?
Over the last 3 years my life has changed drastically….for the good…..but it wasn’t easy to face this simple truth……
“You can’t change your life until you change your choices.”
Miserable in a dead-end job traveling and working for a foreign company that did not value me, I prayed for a way out. GOD answered and brought me a new job working for Christian owners.
Battling health issues like blood sugar problems ….out of shape…poor sleep habits….I didn’t feel great on a regular basis. But I changed my habits…I lost weight and I can accomplish more now.
Being the book nerd I am, my dream to write words to impact people beyond the stage, was just a faraway dream. Then I stepped out in FAITH – believing the LORD was calling me to share hope and just be real….just be me.
No longer am I putting off my future.
As I reflect back…..I see years wasted, hope deferred by fear or lack of faith, and missed opportunities.
Does the landscape of your life look the same? Regrets….waste….shaky faith?
As long as we are still breathing…there is time to live this abundant life that JESUS sacrificed HIS life to give us.
So I lay my heart out for you…. to share what GOD has shown me…and just maybe it will help you.
I’ve decided to give you one sign a day for four days….just so you can let it soak in and pray about what GOD may be speaking to you.
HE is so sweet to show me things in my obsessive thinking….perhaps you can relate?
Four Signs you’re living a life that matters
1. You’re living in the present.
Living in the present means we’re not looking back at loss or the good ole days. We can’t see the future if we are always looking back. It’s not healthy and it’s not wise to long for days that have come and gone.
GOD has a new day waiting and it’s our responsibility to go forward. HE clearly tells us in Jeremiah…
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
I love the old Hebrew King James Version of this verse – there is so much depth to specific words. “End” translates to reward, posterity, and a remnant.
Even though end may sound final, in GOD’S economy…it means we have blessing awaiting us. Even if we’ve blown it…we can try again and there is still hope in a remnant of blessing.
There is no end in GOD’S kingdom….if you are HIS child….you will live in HIS love infinitely.
And backing up to the word “thoughts”….it translates to imaginations, intentions, purpose and plans. This is so beautiful; I don’t want you to miss this….
GOD is dreaming for you.
Isn’t that cool? HE’S thinking about what will be best in your life…what goals you can rock and what lives you can affect for good. This fact… just wrecks me.
Write this on your heart beloved…….GOD is dreaming for you.
Living in the present means you are living in expectation of the future GOD has for you, and not looking back.
Don’t let the enemy rob you of your future by holding you hostage in the past.
GOD has a new path….a new beginning and a new work HE wants to do in you.
So let it go…whatever is hanging over your head….let it go. Be present in what today has waiting for you.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Let this permeate your heart today….HE wants to do a new thing in you!
Every decision or action starts at the crossroads of choice.
We can choose to do life different than before, or we can walk straight through the crossroads of choice and stay the same.
Realistic choices serve as momentum for change; however, unless you pause and examine what is working and what is not, you will never have a different outcome.
Instead of making resolutions….a few years ago I asked GOD to help me do things different.
First, I prayed for conviction to change. Second, I prayed for courage to change.
Most of the changes HE made in me, started spiritually…..and it all started with a simple prayer…..
“GOD, convict me to change and give me courage to change.”
When conviction becomes the catalyst for change…….HE sets a fire of courage in your soul.
I want to share with you what started the seasons of change in my life.
Instead of making resolutions….I promise…if you initiate just one of these actions….it will make your life better in 2015.
1 ~ GOD has a word for you in 2015.
Yes, GOD has a specific word, “one word,” that HE wants you to focus on for 2015. For example…..after much prayer, my word for 2015 is DISCIPLINE. HE wants me to zero in on becoming more disciplined. If I practice discipline in all areas of my life….I will be more productive and become more like HIM, period.
Maybe your word has to do with patience, love or truth? Perhaps it’s hope, compassion…or faith? Spend some time with JESUS and let HIM lead you to your “one word,” and go after it with all your heart! Journal your experiences while practicing your word. This time next year…you will be glad you did.
2 ~ Tune in to life.
What in the world, right?
Tune in to what is going on around you. Become aware….watch people….look for JESUS…..HE is there if you will look for HIM.
Recently, I was sitting in a waiting area while my husband had cataract surgery. An elegant, petite woman in her sixties struggled as she brought in a huge man in a wheelchair. She parked him next to a chair and went to sign in.
Returning with paper work, she stooped down, eye to eye with the man, and whispered something to him while smiling. His catatonic face seemed to reveal a slight smile.
A few minutes later she returned the paperwork and on her way back, she stopped and stooped to meet the gentleman eye to eye, again, only this time…she lovingly caressed his cheek.
The tenderness and care she gave this man….blew me away.
I was mesmerized by her love, gentleness and incredible patience. When the man’s name was called, she physically strained to push him through heavy doors.
Immediately I heard the spirit whisper…..”You’ve just seen JESUS.” My heart literally skipped a beat and tears filled my eyes. I had seen JESUS at work….and that changed me.
I took my husband home with a new mindset of mercy. I decided to love and care for my man in the same manner I witnessed….because here is the kicker…..my husband is not a good patient.
In fact…he is horrible. At his request, I usually stay away from him when he is sick. But not that day…I loved on my man….I fed him…I waited on him…I was beyond patient.
At bedtime, he thanked me for being so kind to him…..and he wasn’t even grumpy. I would have missed a great blessing and my husband would have probably been a bear to tackle, if I had not chosen to show love. Instead, we were both touched by JESUS that day.
Tune in to life. Become aware. Let GOD make himself, real to you in the flesh.
Pay attention….HE’S all around you every day.
3 ~ Do one thing in 2015 that scares you to death.
Step out of your comfort zone. You will never learn to experience GOD’S power until you take a chance and try something new. What have you always wanted to try? Sky diving? Dance lessons? Going on a mission trip?
This past month, I took on a stage role for a Christmas production and it terrified me. I am usually behind the scenes but this year found me center stage, acting and singing. I hadn’t taken on a role like this since college. Fearful I would forget lines or notes….I made it through. After it was over….it was exhilarating! I felt younger, capable and by golly….it was fun!
You will never feel more alive than when you face your fears and do something that scares you!
4 ~ Pick that dream up off the shelf and dust it off.
Go after that dream. Chase down the regret before it’s too late. Take it in baby steps if you have to, but determine to take a step in the direction of your dream.
GOD wants us to constantly be learning. HE wants us to become more. HE wants us to reach our potential for HIS glory. HE doesn’t want us to stay the same in an unfulfilled life that bores or discourages us.
HE created you with a purpose. Pray for boldness, for courage, and go after HIS purpose for your life.
5 ~ Break a bad habit.
You know what it is and GOD knows what it is.
It may have to do with your health, personality, recreation, or your finances. Whatever it is, determine to break the cycle of behavior holding you back. I gave up sweets before bedtime in 2014. I gave up foods high in fat and started choosing healthier meals. I not only lost 25 pounds but I was able to stop taking meds for high blood sugar.
With the good Lord’s help, I plan to lose more weight and get even healthier for 2015.
Break a bad habit….you’ll be glad you did in time.
6 ~ Hide GOD’S word in your heart.
Memorize one scripture a month. Start with shorts verses because the victory of learning a scripture, will give you momentum. Buy some index cards and write the scriptures down, then post them on your mirror, fridge, or dashboard of your car. Post the cards anywhere you will see them on a daily basis.
At the end of the year you will know 12 scriptures you can recall whenever you need to feel GOD’S presence.
Digesting the word of GOD is sweeter than anything you can take in. You won’t regret hiding GOD’s word in your heart.
And finally, last but certainly not least…. the most important action you can choose is number seven.
7 ~ Cultivate a dialogue with GOD.
I have been having a quiet time with GOD since I was a teenager; however, in the last 3 years I started dialoguing with GOD.
There is a difference in reading the Bible and actually dialoging with GOD.
First you must establish a daily practice of meeting with GOD. For me it’s important to start my day with the LORD. I can’t live out the day, spirit filled, if I don’t fill up first thing in the morning.
Read until something jumps out at you and then break it down and ask questions. How does this apply to me? What is HE trying to teach me? What is the overall message? Keep a journal and record the answers to these questions and more.
The longer you linger in HIS presence, the more HE will show you.
It takes time to develop this discipline…and it may take a while before you learn to dialogue with HIM….but stay at it. I promise HE will show up and speak to you in specific ways, at specific times, that will be relevant in your life.
If you will determine to seek HIM with all your heart……you will learn to dialogue with HIM.
Well there you go….the choices I have made for the better over the last 3 to 4 years.
My life looks completely different today and I would hate to be where I was before.
Today you are standing at the “crossroads of choice” friend.
Just making a choice to do something will make your life better, as well as honor GOD.
I leave you with a question to ponder……
What will your 2015 look like if you decide to cruise through the crossroads of choice and stay the same?
Like the scripture says in Proverbs….
“As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11
Do you want a repeat of 2014 or do you want more of GOD’S abundant life?
Everything changes in this vacuum of time called life.
The babies grow up, the loved one passes away, the job ends, the divorce becomes final, the friends come and go.
Resistance is the human reaction we all grapple with.
The seasons of life can bring great joy as well as great pain.
The good changes are easier to deal with, the scary changes with consequences not so easy.
With every change the uncertainty of life as we know it becomes a distance memory and if we’re not careful…..it can cloud or stall our future…..but be cautious because our faith is our future.
Don’t get stuck living in the past…….it can be a miserable place to exist …I know….I’ve wasted too much time living in the past.
GOD allows change for good….even though we don’t like how it comes sometimes.
We may face life events that seem catastrophic or heartbreaking….but if we are abiding in JESUS….HE will work it all for our good.
The fact that HE allows change….regardless of how it comes….. shows HE doesn’t want us to stay as we are….HE knows change can bring us closer to HIM if we will let it.
Its when we resist HIS change that we stumble and stray….getting lost in the foggy circumstances.
We can choose to stay the way we are….. where we are at……or we can embrace the change….and become more.
More like HIM is the change HE wants.
I know many are wrestling with big changes in your lives……but instead of dreading and fearing them….let GOD’S peace rest in your heart.
Take time to grieve or regroup…..but …don’t linger too long in the pain because that’s the place Satan uses to trip us up……the pain can cause us to become bitter, hardened….hopeless.
The bible says there is an appointed time for everything….for every event under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
If change wasn’t part of life there would be no long summer evenings on the porch….we wouldn’t have the splendor of fall to look forward to…..there would be no winter for the earth to rest…and without the rest….the spring wouldn’t bring new life.
The same is true in our spiritual life.
Fervently trusting JESUS will change the shades of our faith, making them more brilliant…..no matter what season…. be it the hurts and the joys…. seasons of change spin abundance from GOD’S heart.
Change hurts…. but somewhere along the path….the evolution of the heart finds a harvest of mercy, healing, joy and new life.
Hold on tight to JESUS… embrace the change….and see what HE does next.