Reclaiming Remarkable

Reclaiming Remarkable

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Remarkable: worthy of attention. I am worthy of attention, therefore, I am remarkable. God created me in a space of fear and wonder. ME! I have believed a lie for all of my life that I am utterly unremarkable, replaceable and disposable. Believing this lie has led me into 2 divorces, alcoholism and an abusive relationship along with a boat load of other heartache’s. This lie is insidious because the enemy has an unlimited supply of examples of how unremarkable I am and he just keeps them playing on repeat in my head and heart. And for each other, God stamps “remarkable” on me but I’ve been so brainwashed by the lie, that I couldn’t see it. Today that ends. Today I reclaim remarkable over my life!

Now the fear sets in with my least favorite word….arrogant. My heart is racing at the notion of reclaim remarkable and having it be perceived as arrogance. I fear being seen as arrogant because that’s not my heart at all. So, here’s an opportunity to break another lie with the truth…I’m not arrogant and the people who know me and love me know that so why am I afraid of being seen that way? The enemy’s lie. Reclaiming remarkable isn’t putting myself above anyone or saying I’m better than, it’s simply saying that yes, I am worthy of attention. God has created me in a space of fear and wonder and that is remarkable!

Now, here’s where you come in, are you ready?? YOU ARE REMARKABLE!! Don’t stop reading, please. Don’t click away because you can’t accept this truth, please. If this word scares you as much as it scared me, you’ve already started playing the movie in your head that tells you all the reasons you aren’t remarkable. STOP! If you’re doing that, stop, please, stop. God has made you in a space of fear and wonder, you are remarkable.

Reclaiming remarkable isn’t a moment in time, it’s a process and a journey. It’s starts with even being able to say, “I am remarkable” and it is followed by, “Abba, show me the lies I have believed and agreed with that say I am unremarkable and break those chains”. We are going to have to fight to reclaim remarkable. I’m serious, the enemy isn’t going to go quietly because he holds way too much power in your believing this particular lie. So get prepared for battle.

Reclaim remarkable. God has created you in a space of fear and wonder and that is remarkable. You need a prayer partner if you are going to reclaim remarkable so if you don’t have any in your life or you want to add one more, please email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

Reclaim remarkable. God has created you in a space of fear and wonder and that is remarkable. If you’re willing to start reclaiming remarkable, will you please email me with just a simple, “I’m reclaiming remarkable” at jesusreliant@gmail.com. I would love to just check in with you.

Shalom!

KA

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Where is Your Faith Placed?

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24

Confession time: I have been choosing to put more faith in money than in God. Forgive me, Lord. I have been seriously fretting and worrying about money. I’ve lived most of my adult life, if not all of it, either in a two-income home or as a single income making enough for 8 people. Money isn’t something I’ve had to think about for a very long time. I grew super comfortable with money and the security that comes with it. And here’s the problem with that: I’m more secure in money than God.

In this passage in Matthew, Jesus goes on to tell me not to worry about the very thing I keep worrying about, basic necessities. He steps on my anxiety and doesn’t try to give me some flowery, feel-good message about how it’s ok to worry, it’s human. He pointedly says don’t do it. Don’t worry about your food or your clothes or any other basic needs because God knows your need and He’s got you covered. And then, is if drive the point home he asks a question, “Can you lengthen your life in any way by worry?” Of course not!

All I need to be concerned about is doing the will of my Father. I need to be seeking His kingdom first and when I’m doing that, everything else is met. This means a shift in the atmosphere and a turning away from what society says is important and successful and a full turning toward the Cross.

I can’t truthfully seek God and His plan when I am worried about how my needs will be met. In that worry, all of my focus is on me, not God. Jesus offers the example of birds and flowers. Neither of these worry or work to support themselves and yet, both are fully cared for and beautiful. Jesus goes on to call out, if God takes care of His creation at that level, surely He will take care of me. The question is, am I willing to let go of my worry?

So, today I confess my sin before you and say, I repent of worry about money. God will provide and that’s all I need to believe. I will refocus and turn my heart toward Him who created me, who Redeemed me and who loves me more than I will ever fathom and I seek His kingdom. I encourage you today to look at what you are worry about, repent and give it to God. Live unchained.

If you need a prayer partner, please email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

Shalom,

KA

Missing the Promise

“Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” Numbers 20:12

Following God isn’t easy, let’s just be honest about that truth. It isn’t easy because we don’t see, think, speak or quite honestly do anything at the level God does. He’s higher and He sees things from an eternal perspective which we will never understand while we are here on earth. That’s why faith is critical. The only way to follow God is to believe in the core of who you are that God loves you and has a plan for the world and you are part of that plan.

Moses was part of God’s plan and it was an uphill struggle from the moment he was called. God placed a call on Moses that he was uninterested in having. In Exodus 3, God comes to Moses in the form of a burning bush and tells him that the pain of the people is not unnoticed by God and he, Moses, is part of the plan to bring deliverance. God lays out the plan in quite a bit of detail and Moses launches into a list of reasons why he isn’t the right person for this call. God does not relent and meets every argument Moses has with how He is going to work it out.

Moses does, in fact, lead God’s people out of captivity and it is a long and hard journey. Moses meets resistance after resistance from God’s people. The level of discouragement in the Moses had to be deep. I’m sure in the quiet moments between he and God, he reminded God of all the reasons he was STILL the wrong person for the job of deliverer. God had laid a large promise in front of him and I don’t think he ever fully bought in to the process or the promise. Much like Jonah, he went because he knew that God was behind the work, he just wished God had used someone else.

From the beginning, Moses was a reluctant leader. Throughout the entire exodus out of Egypt, you catch glimpses of his disobedience to his call in his attitude and words. And in his defense, the people of God did nothing but complain over and over again about the conditions. It doesn’t appear that anyone is really buying into this plan of God’s and yet, God’s plan is still being played out because it’s God’s plan. Numbers 20 begins with the people complaining that there is no water. Moses goes to God to find an answer only Moses doesn’t follow God’s answer. God tells him to, “tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water.” (Numbers 20: 8) How awesome is this going to be?! God is going to provide water for His people just by Moses SPEAKING to the rock! Only Moses doesn’t quite do what God asked.

Moses goes to the people and instead of following God, he decides to change the plan. Moses goes before the people and he says, “’Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?’ And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.” (Numbers 20:10-11) Not only did Moses not follow God’s instructions by merely speaking to the rock for water, Moses took credit for the water and didn’t bring any glory to God. Because of his rebellion, and I’m sure his overall heart condition towards this call of God in the first place, God bans him from entering the promised land. I can’t even imagine the heartbreak for Moses in this moment.

Friends, don’t miss the promise God has given you because the call feels too hard. A call given by God is inherently too hard for you, and never too hard for God. He knows what He is doing so have faith and follow well. Your life may not look at all like you ever expected but you don’t want to miss out on the promise. No matter how crazy the call, like speaking water out of a rock, believe it is possible and follow God.

If you would like a prayer partner, please email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com

Shalom,

KA

Delight in God or Go Crazy

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 20:24 A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand His way?

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in His way.

I’m strategic. I don’t like to waste time and I don’t like to just sit around. When there is no plan, I honestly start to get a back ache because it stresses me out. I even have to plan days where there are no plans for that day. I also like to understand and know why something is the way it is. Not to the level of say, how a clock works at the mechanism level, but I like to have something make sense. My brain is always on and it is always processing. It’s nuts and it’s exhausting.

Lately, I’ve been processing the question of why things are the way they are in this current season of life. I see myself spending significant hours in a job that isn’t furthering the Kingdom in a direct way. I know that I am making an impact for Christ in the relationships and there is deep and amazing value in that, please don’t mishear what I’m saying. But the actual work I’m doing, the 40 hours of pushing buttons on a computer at my desk aren’t of any eternal value and so my brain labels them “waste” with a HUGE red stamp. This drives me crazy because it isn’t part of my plan. Did you catch that? I’ve determined that the job that I know God has brought my way in order to meet the needs of my family is a waste of time because it doesn’t seem to fit into MY plan. And I know God looks at me, smiles and shakes His head.

If we won’t delight in all that God is, Creator, Comforter, Father, Friend, etc, then we will go crazy trying to makes sense of this life when it is never going to be possible. Follow me here:

  1. God and I don’t think or plan alike. God thinks at an eternal level and I only think at a temporal level. (Isaiah 55:8)
  2. I can make all the plans in the world but I can’t bring them into existence, only God can. (Proverbs 16:9)
  3. Because all I can do is plan and not actually create the steps to fulfill the plan, and because only God can do that, I will never be able to understand because I can’t think like God. (Proverbs 20:24)
  4. If I can only plan but never create the steps, and if only God can create the steps but I’ll never be able to understand because I can’t think like God, then my only choice is to delight in God so that I am in the right place at the right time. (Psalm 37:23)

Yikes!! So all of the sudden, the planner-girl is brought to an invitation: will you just delight in all that I am and let Me, your Father, take care of the rest? This invitation brings me to the brink of insanity because I am left with two choices: delight in God or go crazy trying to do something you have NO way to do and can never understand!

God’s ways appear crazy to both me and the world around me and guess what, He doesn’t care. God is at no point worried or concerned about what anyone is saying about what He’s doing. He never craves your approval, just your delight, love and surrender. God is fully willing to ask you to do things that will make your friends and family wonder if they should step in and have you committed. YOU may even think that now and then. I’ve said, “what on earth” more times in the past 4 years of following God then in the 42 years prior to that and guess what, God’s ok with that!

Delight in God or go crazy, those are your only choices. Living an unchained life is nuts, it goes beyond the norms of this world and truly flies in the face of all that “makes sense” at a temporal and earthly level. Delight in God and see what He’ll do. I believe that once we can say ok God, I’m just going to delight in You, God will transform us in ways we had no way, on earth, in our tiny brains, to ever imagine and life will be a grand experience. I’ll happily be deemed crazy for that adventure! It’s the narrow path, it’s not easy ever, and it is ridiculously worth it.

If you would like a prayer partner, please email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

Shalom,

KA

I Am Going Fishing

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“Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” John 21:2

The disciples have just come off of a 3-year adventure that was like nothing they could have ever imagined. They were walking, talking and living with Jesus and watching Him establish His kingdom here on earth. They were part of eternal impact all the time! There was nothing mundane about their lives because every day was a new adventure.

They saw Jesus crucified and then saw Him resurrected. Just think of that for a moment. Their leader, teacher and friend was brutally murdered and then, without the help of anyone  here on earth, He’s alive again! How do you truly even process all that the past 3 years has meant?

The scene changes and more than a week has gone by for the disciples since they last saw Jesus. What on earth do they do now? The great gathering of Acts hasn’t happened yet and they really don’t know it’s coming. Jesus is somewhere but they don’t know where. So, they go back to doing what they know, fishing. What other option is there right now?

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I’m coming off of 2015 which was truly the best year of my life. Every single day was a new experience. I was always available to help and serve whoever needed it. I spent countless hours in the Word and prayer. I was available for my daughter in ways I had never been available before. It was an amazing year. And then my savings ran out, just as I knew it would. So what now? I went back to fishing, or in my case, healthcare.

This new season is one of waiting and I’ll be the very first to admit I don’t wait well. Being feels like a waste of time to me and the enemy uses that perspective against me well. He tells me I’m being punished, that I’m not good enough for God and that all the dreams I believed God had put in my heart are dead. Every minute I sat at my desk yesterday, I walked deeper into this sticky, thick tar. And then God…

God has provided me this ridiculously amazing group of friends who are never short on prayer. In the midst of my mind and heart cursing the fishing I had gone back to, the voice of my Abba came through just enough for me to reach out for prayer and support. These women went into action and though it took me a while to get unstuck, God was faithful and led me out of the muck and into a new place.

Going back to fishing wasn’t a punishment for Peter, it was what he knew to do. He was a fisherman so it would only make sense that left with nothing to do and no income, he would go to fishing. He also needed an opportunity to process all that had happened in his life and what better way then out on a boat doing a job that was familiar. And don’t lose sight of the fact that they weren’t catching anything. This was truly an opportunity to just be. And so similarly, healthcare isn’t a punishment for me either, it’s an opportunity to be.

I have no idea what God has next but I do know this, if I run too far and too fast, I run in my strength and while I am strong, I’m not nearly as strong as God. This season is temporary but it isn’t unimportant. It’s an opportunity and an invitation to wait on God and in that waiting, meditate on how much He loves me no matter what I’m doing.

I don’t know where you are in life but if you are in a season of fishing, enjoy that season. Don’t let the enemy lie to you that it is a punishment or that you aren’t good enough. Just do what you know until Jesus shows up on the beach and everything changes once again.

If you need a prayer partner, email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

Shalom,
KA 

A Balanced Life-Not Really Balanced At All with Jesus

**This is a repost of an entry from April 2012**

Over the course of the past several months, I’ve had several friends ask for prayer in finding balance in their lives. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word balance, I think of something that is weighted equally on all sides and is steady. Or I think of the Yin/Yang symbol with it’s swirling appearance of black and white with two perfectly centered dots. No matter what imagine is conjured up in your mind at the word balance, there is a sense of harmony and peace that allows us to feel like our boats aren’t rocking any longer and we are just easing through the water. My question in response to the desire of my friends to find balance is what does God say about balance?

My first thought was of course God must want balance because balance feels like peace and why wouldn’t God want us to feel peaceful? However, if we are truly going to seek God’s answer on balance for our lives, we have to look to his Word. I started to think about the people I’ve become acquainted with in the bible who lived their lives for God but had nothing that looked like balance in those lives. If balance means all sides being equal, then that means that I play a role in keeping things balanced and I have a level of control that is contrary to scripture. God calls us to be 100% devoted to Him and following His will. 100% devoted to God…there’s no balance in that because He wants it all! He wants us to completely depend on Him to meet our needs and then watch as He does.

In Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23-24, Jesus tells us that in order to follow Him we have to deny ourselves  and follow Him completely. What?! That doesn’t sound very balanced! Lord, can’t I just give you some free time that I have on Tuesday morning? The answer, of course, is sure, He’ll take that time you have considered “free” but He wants ALL your time. Not balance, just surrender.

In Luke 9:3 Jesus calls His disciples to go on a journey spreading the Good News and taking NOTHING with them! He wanted them to completely give over their needs to Him and watch how He would care for them. Not balance, just surrender.

In Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30 Jesus tells us a parable about a rich man who comes to Him asking what he has to do in order to follow Jesus. After they together establish that this young man has been following the law, Jesus shatters his dreams but telling him that lastly he must sell everything he has, give the money to the poor and then come and follow Jesus. This young man’s heart is broken and his choice is to walk away from Jesus because giving hm everything is just too much. Not balance, just surrender.

Right about now you’re probably thinking geez Kellyann, thanks for all this positive information…NOT. Many of us go for many years not fully living in the promise of God because we can’t quite fully give Him every aspect of our lives like He wants. It’s a frightening idea to give your life over to someone else in complete and utter abandon and surrender. And through ourselves, it is impossible to do this but through the power of God, nothing is impossible. (Matt 19:26)

If you decide to jump off what you consider your safe place and pray for God to take over your life and live recklessly abandoned to the God of the universe, here’s what He promises:

* He’ll be your salvation and strength: Isaiah 12:2, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

* He’ll be your arm every morning: Isaiah 33:2, “O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.”

* He’ll be with you: Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

* His love is steadfast: Isaiah 54:10, “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.”

All of this is to say that I pray you stop seeking balance and instead start seeking God and to be completely surrender to His will. It’s a scary idea to give Him everything but He’s there to catch you and work out all things in your life. Make Him your primary relationship and then everything else will fall into place. It may not happen overnight, and actually likely won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. You can surrender your life to Him. He will not forsake you, instead He will carry you to a deeper relationship. And as you travel through life and find that sometimes you stumble and take over your life again, just pray for His help to give it back. He’s there waiting for you. 🙂

If you would like a prayer partner, please email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com

Shalom,

KA