#45 – let’s do this

Not such a big secret, but a confession of sorts – I truly deeply dread my birthday. Please don’t assume this has anything to do with age because it honestly does not. I’ve spent many years (25+) contemplating and curious on the day that celebrates my arrival’s anniversary. Did I do enough? Have I accomplished enough? Made a big enough impact? Am I memorable enough? Why am I NOT memorable enough to a certain someone?  enough enough enough……. ENOUGH!

Declaring 45 the year to stop beating myself up for what I perceive as didn’t happen.

45,  I will conquer you, slaying daily the things God puts in front of me. And the days my “slay” looks a lot like naps and accomplishing nothing more than puppy cuddles, I promise myself to be confident this is exactly where I am intended to be. I won’t call those days wasted. I will rejoice in the required rest to refuel for the mission.

45, I won’t over think you too much. Being totally honest with myself, I know I will over think, but I promise not to do it as much. I will continue seeking wisdom through my own personal crazy trusting the truth filled promises of Jesus.

45, I will spend you getting healthier so that I will have the energy to do what I’m called to complete. This commitment is to being healthy, not skinny. Because, really, skinny is probably not in my genetic pattern. But healthy most certainly can be. Earlier in 2016 I read a quote that changed my outlook in this subject. (inserted below)  All credit to spiritual leadership and intelligence of Christine Caine. If we are lucky, 45, we will see her in person together! (check her out – http://www.christinecaine.com/)

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45, Let’s deliberately and intentionally love people. The kind of love that shows Jesus, building and encouraging more Jesus. I will start at home with the people God entrusted most to me. Even when we don’t feel like it – because let’s be honest, sometimes it is hardest at home. May my true colors reflect Jesus to my people.

45, Let’s stop allowing other’s perception about my worth shape my world any longer. I will focus on the acceptance of my God who created me and wrote my beautiful story in complete perfection. I will embrace every moment as part of His sovereign plan and excitedly await the next steps He has for me.

Plans like naps and puppy cuddles. Accepting my personal flavor of crazy and my physical self. Loving my people and most of all loving my God.

Remind me when I forget – okay? Deal.

45, we are In His Grip,  Ashlee.

Pray with me: Heavenly Father God, I love you so very much and remain continually thankful for all you have blessed me with.  God I ask now that someone somewhere who needs to be reminded in there “45” or “35” or “18” or “65”- whatever age Father – they are beautiful and perfect and so very much enough in you. Give them eyes to see how you created them and a heart to seek your perfection for their lives. Allow us to give ourselves the grace you intended us to have. Keep our focus not on what we get done, but focus our hearts on seeking you. May we rest peacefully in our imperfections knowing we are enough in the saving perfection of your son.  In His name we pray, Amen.

Yes or No?

WOW – so much has been going on the last couple of weeks, months (maybe years!)…..

College kids home… warm weather bringing family trips… business travel coming… some not entirely minor medical things going on in our family… new work out routines (because being healthy matters)… not to mention another fairly milestony-ish birthday coming … intentional time for family and friends… stuff…. lots and lots of stuff.

See, I love to be busy. I love time with people I love. Serving and loving my people is deep in the core of my soul’s desires. Conquering plans and objectives keeps my clock ticking. I don’t know exactly what I would do if I wasn’t so actively doing stuff that I fell exhausted into bed every night.  Yet.  Ahhh, yet, I know my spirit needs to be alone.  I am learning that so much of me loves to be outside myself in action to others, while an equally large part of me needs desperately to be alone, refueling. And finding that balance is very very hard for me.  What about you?

Learning to say no to others can be so painfully difficult – I don’t know how really. My close people continually tell me I need to learn to say “No”.  But so often I wonder am I saying “yes” to the wrong things? Or “no” to the right things?  Everything matters in some way, yes I do believe this.  Even still, in the perspective of the kingdom purpose, how much does everything little thing matter?  When does God want me to say “no” or “yes”?  In this lies my true balance issue.

Our church is having a long awaiting new campus grand opening tomorrow, June 5th. And there has been a myriad of things to do by so many to prepare for what God has coming. I see my closest people working tirelessly and wishing there was something, however minor, I could do to lighten their load. To be their “yes” when God has so clearly told them it is not time to say “no”. I know the Lord of all things guides them, carries and sustains them.  I yearn to stand beside them holding their tired arms like Aaron and Hur did for Moses. [Exodus 17:12]

I know for sure this is not just stuff. This is kingdom driven. This is the Holy Spirit calling on His people to stand up. To fight for exactly such a time as this. This is most certainly not my “No”. Everything else, regardless of my “yes” or “no” will work itself out, when my “yes” to serving my Lord and Savior comes first. Here I will find my peace.

So the chaos is exciting and a noisy kind of busy and sometimes a little suffocating too. I pray for contentment in the storm of activity, refreshing deep breaths when I feel I can’t breathe and an ever-present still quiet voice resounding through the stuffyness of the stuff.  Wishing only to keep my eyes on Jesus, I will seek His direction for my “yeses” and my “noes”. Won’t you do the same with me?

In His Grip, Ashlee.

Pray with me:   Dear Heavenly Father God, We love you so much and are humbled to come before you.  Thank you for all you have done for us and will do for us. God, we ask for clear direction in the chaos of this life.  Help us keep perspective focused on you. May we clearly have peace in all that we are to do and the things we are to lay aside.  Make us soldiers for your eternal purposes.  In Jesus name, Amen.