Friday, December 12, 2008

I can top that!

Ahhh onto more vulnerability... I'm sure I'm not the only one who deals with this sort of least I hope not!
The next thing that has really come out in the past couple weeks through seeing this whole "need for validation" thing is trying to PROVE myself. Thinking welllll if they don't know me and WHO I am...then I'll just have to show them!

IT. IS. PRIDE. Yuck....I've discovered it so strongly in my life and who I am, trying to tell allll the amazing things I've accomplished, when someone tells a story trying to top it, telling where I live or who I'm related to. It all goes back to the need for validation and is so incredibly selfish. Sure maybe it inspires people, maybe helps them see more... but all it does for you is keeps inflating that balloon more and more...and balloons WILL pop eventually.
For me the times that I discover that I do it the most are when I don't know what else to talk about, I feel bad about myself, or I want to prove myself.

Ugh... it is so hard. But I have been learning soooo much lately about servanthood and humility... obviously God knows that I need it! Today I opened right up to Micah 6:8 - He has showed you Oh man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God.

The VERY best that we can do is to...1. SERVE....anywhere and everywhere we can, not to get glory for what we've done but to truly see a need and accomplish it. It get's us out of ourselves and our own self preservation and a heart after others. 2. Ask questions...get interested in others and BOOST them up! Stand firmly in who YOU are in Christ and then you are able to pull other people up there too!

We usually view talking about how great we are and boosting ourselves up as high and lofty but it's actually one of THE lowest down and out things you could do! Be a present to unwrap! Let people ask about you and then you can share....HUMBLY still but the more interested you are in others the more that it boosts THEM up, you up, and helps that little pride balloon start deflating more and more.
It is something you have to keep a check on daily, watch every word that comes out of your mouth, how many times are you saying "I"??? IIIIIIII say it a lot, I've discovered! Make most of your talk end with a question mark....that is when you will know that you aren't talking about yourself! Here is a video to perfectly sum this up!! I love you alll!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PLEASE tell me I'm great! I'll post about Fear part 2 in a little bit.. but this is really strong on my heart and what God has really been working in me HARD lately! This is a REALLY vulnerable post and some of it actually from my private journal... but I thought it would help you all:)

I'm sitting here today with A LOT on my mind.... moving to a new town and out on my own has caused me to wake up to a lot in my life that I didn't know about! It's hard discovering strong weaknesses in yourself that you wish you could just simply forget about one day and they'd be gone! They are deep rooted, ingrained issues that only God can really help you root out! The first is Validation....
I need it. I crave it. It's what I think about and what affects my mood. I never realized it until recently how strong an impact and pull it has in my life. To know that I am worth something to someone, to know I am good in the world, to know that I am making an impact.

I've starved for it lately as I haven't been receiving it as regularly as I would back at home. I would receive it from everyone I came in contact to practically. "Ohhh! You are Joe Barlow's daughter!! I heard allll about you." "Nooo way.. You are Barlowgirls cousin!! I LOVE them!! I want to be your friend." "Are you SARAH ANNE?? Like the photographer?? I LOVE your work!!"
To be recognized and acknowledged by those that I don't even know but also by those I know and love to constantly be lifting me up and encouraging me was the norm. It's what I've been built on. And yet with that I constantly NEED more. More and more. And more. It is NEVER enough. I may feel validated and wonderful one day and horrible the next. Those are surfacy words that I may always remember but never necessarily believe about myself... only that remembrance of the little high that I got when I received it.

God has been training me so much lately though in how He sees and values me and how it relates to a queen...He has me really in an Esther season right now.... in relation to a queen and validation he showed me that in being Queen.... she can not depend on others validating her. She HAS been validated. She knows her position and stands in it. If people don't agree that is their own fault.

She is the one that validates others from the firm validation she herself has received. She KNOWS who she is. It's not a daily questioning... well AM I a queen? Am I good enough? Am I smart enough or talented enough? NO! Even if she was none of these except queen.. she would STILL be queen and whatever she did would become the norm!

I desire to know that no matter how many friends I have, how popular I am, or how beautiful I am...I am STILL so solidly validated by God Himself... that even if no one ever gave me a compliment again...I would be SO sure in who He has made me to be that I wouldn't waver! I would stand up and be the "queen" He has created me to be.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

To fear or not to fear?? Part uno....

Dear Natalie, I haven't written in a LOONG time which I'm bummed about...but life definitely caught up over the summer! The past couple weeks though I've really been seeking about what to write! God is really working on me in SOO many different areas that I feel like every one is half way there! Probably THE most obvious and right in my face one right now though is the area of FEAR! The good, the bad, and the ugly of it! He has been really teaching me about all sides of it! I've really struggled lately in this area...fear of flying, fear of sickness, fear of not having enough, fear of not hearing God's voice correctly, just keeps popping up in most of the things I've been doing lately that last night it finally came to a peak I am DONE with this!
Two days ago I was praying and God gave me the word FEARLESS for me to meditate on... that I am fearless in everything I do! That I move forward confidently, with boldness and with FAITH! I realized I had let my faith level drop in a lot of areas and not keeping what God has said about my future before me! I let circumstances and petty things distract me!
It says in the bible that God has not given me a spirit of fear but a spirit of POWER, LOVE and a sound any time anything occurs to us that is opposite of these 3 things it's from the enemy! Also, when we are tempted with fear...and it's just that a temptation...and it also says in the bible that where there is a temptation there is ALWAYS a way out!...but when we are tempted with that spirit of fear we receive 3 others to combat it that are far more powerful that fear could ever defeat; power, love and a sound mind!!! Know that YOU have a call and destiny on your life! Take a promise that God has given you and STAND ON IT...even if there is no other possible hope around you keep standing on that at least! Walk confidently in God's plan for you! Pray Psalm 91 over yourself if that fear is creeping up...pray angels surrounding you and plead Jesus' blood over you! You know when the Israelites back in Egypt were commanded to put that lambs blood over their doorposts so there first borns could was because the angel of death was coming through the camp and if it saw blood over the doorpost it meant death had already happened there so it could just move on. Well we have it even better now! Jesus died so WE can plead HIS blood over ourselves and it's telling the enemy...uh can't touch me! Death has ALREADY happened here!!! That is our PROMISE!! Stand on it and don't let the enemy tell you any different!! You are FEARLESS!!!!!
Love you!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Where did that cloud come from??

The past couple weeks I have been dealing with something that I'm VERY not used to.... I know that God has really given me such joy in life and I love to laugh constantly so what happened? Well the light seemed to dim.... I had NO clue what was going on! All I knew was that I couldn't hear from God clearly! There was so much confusion everytime I would try and listen for him! Just plain static! I got really upset about it which then got me into this depressed state! "What the heck!!!! THIS is NOT me!" I would think so many times!

Sometimes I felt God was leading me one way but then at the same time the other way! It was craziness! I finally met up with one of my friends and found out that she was dealing with the exact same thing and that a couple nights earlier we were dealing with the same kind of depression! I didn't want to do anything!
Finally, last week I broke down to my dad and was like "DAD! I don't know what to do! I can't hear God's voice clearly and I feel like I'm just hearing everything under the sun to distract me!" It was amazing too because that morning it was just getting pretty rough and finally I cried out to God asking Him for a clear word from Him! Well I went to church that morning and my dad was talking all about distractions and that when you are on your way to victory so many times the enemy will try and stop it with confusion and distractions! To combat it we have to get pumped up with the word!! The higher the word "level" we have in our hearts the harder it is for the enemy to lie to us! That afternoon when I was sharing everything with my dad finally he is like "Sarah, just go up into your room and start confessing the word!" He was like do it even if you have to for 3 days! Don't let the enemy get a foothold! I went right up and started praying, reading the bible and worshipping!! Then I wrote a little prayer out to keep my mind on track and I just said it over and over and over again until I felt this thing lift and guess what?? It did!!!! Thank God!!

It's interesting too because during that time I was looking back in my journal at the different scriptures that God had given me and one was from Isaiah 60:1- Arise from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you-rise to a new life! Shine be radiant with the glory of the Lord, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
When I first got that verse I was like, God I'm not depressed!! He was just preparing me though and giving me weapons against the enemy!

He also showed me Luke 4 which basically in there it talks about right before Jesus came into his REAL calling that he had to go through a time of testing so he was led out into the desert and was tested and tempted by the enemy there for 40 days!! Wow!! Mine only lasted a couple days he was MUCH more enduring that I am! ha! After the devil took him to all these places and even tempted him with scripture Jesus still said no because he knew why He was there and what His calling truly was! So it was easy for him to say no!! And to say no WITH the scripture!! Just like I was doing! After that whole time he was then indued with power and then was released into His full calling!! Even though the path was mighty rough getting there I'm SURE it was worth it! Especially since he passed that test of temptation!!
I know this is something that a lot of you deal with!! You CAN pass it!!! Say NO to the enemy now with the word! And watch that cloud disperse!! I love you all so much!! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

How usable are you??

The other day I was preparing for our young women’s group for our church…which this time I was the only leader! Yikes! It was actually 15 minutes before it started and I still didn’t have anything solid…finally I went into my room and was like “God! I need something to teach the girls tonight!” I asked Him where I should turn to in the bible and I felt like I was supposed to go to Daniel 1 for some reason…odd!

Basically it talks about how when Daniel was working for the king..they wanted to feed him all this crazy fancy food! But he didn’t want to defile himself…because a lot of it was the type of food that God had forbidden the Jews to eat! He asked to eat vegetables and water instead! You might think YUCK!! Who would ask for veggies and water if they had a huge banquet in front of them?? They MUST be out of their mind! But….it keeps going and said that for 10 days Daniel and his friends ate just the vegetables and water…as a test…just to see who would be healthier and better looking afterwards…well sure enough..Daniel and his friends won the contest! It says that they were stronger and healthier than any of the other men!

I was like…ok God so what am I supposed to teach out of this?? That the girls are to eat veggies now all the time?? Lol! No! He reminded me that the day before he had given me another verse out of 2 Timothy 2….basically it says that God has made some of us for awesome purposes like pots of gold and silver…but others he has made for just everyday menial stuff…like clay pots…I was like wait a minute God you are not a respecter of people though! You don’t have favorites! Then I kept reading though and realized that it’s MY choice what kind of pot I want to be! It says those who keep themselves clean and set apart will be used for great purposes!!

I’ll actually post the verse here…“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.”

So basically if you get rid of the stuff in your life that is contaminating you and keeping you as an everyday vessel God can use you and you will become a beautiful vessel that can be used for incredible world changing stuff!

How amazing is that!! But here gets to the hard part….the part that was THE hardest to teach the other night too…What are you feeding yourself with? The other night we were over at our cousins house and started watching some movie after awhile there just got to be too much “stuff” in it… not even bedroom scenes…just a lot of talk! And finally we all had to turn it off because we know what God has called us to and the influence that we want to be so we had to shut if off to keep ourselves clean! You might be watching something or listening to something and some questionable things come on…what do you do? Do you think it just goes past you?? NO!! You are letting it in and the more you let in the more you are opening the door to sin and lessening your capacity of God really being able to use you!

Trust me….I am TOTALLY going through this too and it is always a process!! But I know that the more I set myself apart for God the more he honors that and can use me!

I had the girls make a list of boundaries that they were going to set for THEMSELVES in areas that they wouldn’t cross, put before their eyes or their ears…I know for me….that if there is a bedroom scene, nudity, talking about sex in songs, swear words in songs, etc, then I don’t watch it or listen to it! Now these might not be your boundaries…yours may be more strict or less…but go to God and ask him to reveal to you what to cut out so that he can truly use you and you can be a beautiful sparkling vessel of GOLD!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting your eyes off love

Finally back to posting! :)
I have been talking to a lot of people lately about exhausting your single years!
If you really look around VERY few people actually take advantage of being single! Basically you’re little, young, too young to date, then 16 or 18…sometimes younger than that and people start dating! Then break up, then drama, then find someone else and repeat the process until they get married!

If you look around basically every song, every movie, most ads are all about love or being in a relationship! It’s what our culture is driven by! People want to feel needed AND they need a time filler cause otherwise they don’t know what to do with their time!

I was listening to the radio the other day and really got so sad after listening to it because they were interviewing people and almost all of them said all they loved to do was go to parties, go to the movies, and hang out with their friends and boyfriends! What a waste of precious time! Now don’t get me wrong…I absolutely LOVE to do all of that..(except haven’t hung out with a boyfriend yet;)…but it’s not what I live for or what most of my time consists of!

You see once we get married, which I know a lot of you are looking forward to, you have a WHOLE new set of responsibilities..and your life is not your own! And that is for the REST of your life too!

Why not use these VERY few years before you get married to see the world, discover who God’s really created YOU to be, pursue your dreams for your life, and impact people’s lives! Then you’ll look back at those single years and won’t have regrets but will have exhausted every minute of it not waiting around for a guy or filling up the time with time wasters but living it to the complete full!!

I know that right now….I don’t care if I get married in 3, 5, 8 years or even ever! I’m so absolutely content in where God has me and in ALLLLLL that he has me doing that I’m such on a high right now! I KNOW that this is the way to be single…not desperate, lonely, or drama filled. But so satisfied with life and not having to be distracted with every distraction the world sends my way! It’s THE most fulfilling thing ever! HA…and I thought I wanted to get married when I was 18;)…LOL