Can We Be Friends?

So who are we, and why are we hiding?

Maybe it’s just in my imaginary ideas, but I envision you a lot like myself.  And for me, I feel like maybe sometimes the room just isn’t quite big enough for me to let myself into it.  Is that true for you too?

You see, I have a lot of great ideas.  They just come out a little too late to share them in a normal way.  I am the queen of after-thoughts.  Hello, it’s me again.  With one more thing to say.  After the conversation is over.  And it just goes on… forever.  It’s great.

I think I’m really funny.  Inside my head.  Of course, that’s a place where there are sound effects and my timing is great.  And the people there actually get my jokes.  In real life, that doesn’t always happen.

By far, the hardest thing for me to manage is the super scary stuff that I think to myself is definitely best kept neatly tucked away.  I keep that stuff safely hidden on the inside, where I reason that no one can use it against me.  That’s the stuff that tries to run my life.  And can I tell you something funny?  That’s the very part of me that in my own experience is the most helpful to someone else.  That’s the stuff that connects us to others.

The stuff we’re scared to let out is the part that makes our stories matter.

I’m learning to tap into that power, and that’s the magic I hope to share with you here.  You have a story, and I want to hear it.  “They overcame (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…” Revelations 12:11  That’s how YOU overcome the scary stuff that wants to run your life.  You let it out, into the world.  You draw power from the blood of the Lamb.  You take cover in God’s grace, and His truth about you.

We want to hear your story.  The world wants to know you, friend.  We want to know the you that you’ve kept locked up on the inside.  Let her out!  She wants to play and make friends.  And maybe tell a joke that doesn’t quite land.  Or even braver than that, maybe she has a really sad story to tell that people may not understand.  She might need to invite someone into her pain so she doesn’t feel so alone anymore.

We’re not called to carry our burdens alone.  We’re made for community.  Everybody needs a friend.

Can I be yours?

Because you’re already mine.

Thanks for stopping by, friend.  Come back soon!

How Do You Take Cover?

Security.  Confidence.  They’re heavy words.  It’s difficult to spill words onto a page without forcing them into a usable mold.  But I know that’s exactly what this practice is about.  It’s the necessity for a space to simply exist.  As I am.  As you are.  Without effort.  Or analysis.  And editing.  Which I’m already doing.

It’s about moving the existence of self from our heads to the space that we occupy.  I need to experience the space I’m consuming.  I need to exist in it.  Maybe you can relate. I too often feel trapped inside the walls of my head.  Confidence seems to be the key to unlocking that door.  I just don’t quite know how to take hold of it yet.

I seek validation from myself and others to convince myself I’m ready for things.  But just as easily, I convince myself I’m not ready, and we’re back at square one.  The only cure for me seems to be just going for it, unsure.  With as little time possible spent inside my head.  So that’s the practice I’ve been attempting to cultivate.

Still it’s not a total cure, in seeing how unsteady I feel from the outside.  I’m reeling inside until someone relieves the pressure with awkward validation.  I say it’s awkward because I don’t know how to accept it.  It’s probably more awkward for me than for them.  But I question and doubt if they really meant it.  Sometimes I wonder if their compliments are concealing something else entirely.  Perhaps a threat.  And while all this is a learning curve that comes with due frustration, I’m still finding it’s better out here than in there.  At least out here I can navigate the threats and use them to learn and to grow. In there, I’m just hopelessly stuck.

So what does all this say about me?  What truth lies exposed beneath these rambling thoughts?

Deep insecurity.

For which, I’m not even sure there is a cure.

That’s when I consider the miles I’ve come walking with Jesus into my own skin.  And clearly there is One.  Only One.  And perhaps that’s the biggest challenge of all.  I seek so many other answers to this never ending equation for which there’s only One answer that counts.  It’s so simple, it’s too simple.  And over and over, I near miss it entirely.  When will I learn that Jesus alone is the answer I crave?  Every answer, to every question.

“Pick something you like, and see how it grows.”  Thank you, Emily Freeman.

Everlasting Daddy, hear my prayer and answer.  Teach my soul to start with Jesus every time.  In everything.  More than anything else, I want to see Jesus take form and grow in every part of  my life.

It seems that Jesus is teaching me something.  Maybe the problem isn’t that I retreat but how.  By default, I retreat back into my head.  That’s where I feel safe.  But that’s the most dangerous place of all.  It’s there that my insecurities eat me alive.

Maybe growing into this Jesus within me retreats from out here, from the outside.  In Him.

“Keep me safe, O God.  For in you I take refuge.”  Psalm 16:1

“… in YOU I take refuge.”

Not me.

Maybe that’s exactly the point.  To meet the world, just as we are.  Without a single answer if only to say, “We’re here.  And we’re covered.”

Because of Jesus.

The Blessing of Being Battle Ready

I know what it’s like to feel trapped by the limitations I build in my own mind. I’m discovering that the cure for that is stepping out. And our trials are the key. #BattleReadyBook by Kelly Balarie has challenged me to trust God’s heart, and let faith lead my way in the dark.

 

TITLE: The Blessing of Being Battle Ready

By: Kelly Balarie

 

I was in the waiting room for the MRI. All that was going through my mind was thoughts of, This is horrible. I am never going to survive. I am not going to be able to walk. There is no way out of this. I will be scared to death in that loud machine. I hate needles and they’ll put one in me.

 

All I could see there was me. It was me and my problems. Me and my trauma. Me and all the horrible pain that was ahead of me.

 

Add this to the fact that I was a new mom. My kid had been up screaming all night long. I had been pacing the hallway with him. I had been the one trying to hug him all day long as he screamed his head off. I think he had acid reflux.

 

I also had a mole that needed to be taken off my chest. We didn’t know if it was cancerous. The doctor gauged my chest. The scar still remains.

 

Did anyone ever tell you that we have an enemy that roams around like a sneaky, conniving villain in the night, searching out ways to steal, kill and destroy?

 

He’s likely come after you.

 

But, may I tell you? Battle Ready women, built up in the Lord, strong in their mind – those who renew their thoughts – know something that others don’t.


They know: It doesn’t matter what the enemy does; It matters what Jesus did.

 

You see, above our problems, our mayhem, our issues, our dents and dings of life, is a victorious King who reigns and rules. He sees everything. He knows our every tear. He sees our every way. He is a help in a time of trouble. He is our refuge and our strength. He is our way and our life.

 

He is Overcomer. He is Victorious. He is equipping us with all we need to fight the good fight today. We are not crushed, ruined or abandoned, we are raised up with Christ Jesus in the heavenlies.


Jesus brings resurrection life no matter what situation we’re in. Battle Ready women are not driven by their wide-ranging emotions but by heartfelt dedication to God’s truth, His promises and His purposes. This changes everything.

 

Rather than seeing the issue, they see the Provider. Rather than seeing the MRI, they begin to see the other woman in the room that they can minister to. This happened to me. I lifted my head there and got to know a woman with bone cancer. She was in so much pain. I prayed for her before she went into her MRI. I told her about Jesus.

 

Battle Ready women do the awesome and amazing work of God. They let not their issues hold them back. They’re all in. They go for it.

 

Are you Battle Ready? Are you ready to let peace, passion, life and freedom take over?


Come join me.

 

 

About Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt & Live Victoriously

 

“The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy’s tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!”

Lysa TerKeurstNew York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

 

 

Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You’ll gain practical wisdom, like how to

· make new habits stick in just five steps
· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters

 

Buy Battle Ready here: https://amzn.to/2l5qQrw

 

To get Battle Ready freebies – printables, devotional reminders, a customizable daily Battle Plan and the “Find Your Battle Style” quiz, visit: www.iambattleready.com  

 

 

To order the companion Battle Ready Daily Prayer Journal that will help you practically change your thoughts, then your life, visit:

 

 

Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman, every battle and in every circumstance. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today’s Christian Woman. Kelly’s work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts. When Kelly is not writing, she is chilling at the beach with her husband, a latte, and 2-toddlers who rightfully demand she build them awesome castles.

Recruiting Season!

I recently discovered something I don’t do as well as I should. I think it’s one of those things that will really enrich my life if I practice more of it. I think you’ll agree. Are you curious?

It turns outs out I’m so addicted to checking things off my list, that too often I fail to take pause for celebrating wins. Which is sad.

When I take inventory, I see a lot of milestone moments that haven’t gotten the recognition they were due. There were risks I took to follow God’s lead into new and blossoming friendships. Others were less noticeable, and maybe more personal to me, but just as significant. Many times, these are the journeys that happen in books. A book is an adventure that happens inside me. It’s my favorite kind!

Last summer,  I went on an adventure with Kelly Balarie called “Fear Fighting.” It totally changed the course of my life. It was one of those God appointments. You know, when everything syncs up at that perfect timing for you to hear just what He’s saying to you in that specific moment. You know there’s a reason, so you listen up. And I did.

If you don’t know about Kelly Balarie, believe me. You need to. She’s awesome! You’ll love her. Now that you know that, you must know the very latest, this just in, thing.  Kelly has a new book coming out THIS summer!! You don’t want to miss this adventure my friends. It WILL change your life. She’s doing all sorts of giveaways and fun stuff for pre-orders because she wants to bless you friends! So don’t miss out on the #BattleReadyBook by @KellyBalarie to be released July 3rd. And don’t forget to claim your bonuses for pre-order at iambattleready.com.

I really want you to come along with me. It’s going to change the way you see the world you live in. I promise. Kelly is super relatable and fresh. I’m so excited to see where God leads from here! And anything good is always better with friends. That’s why I’m saving you a seat, right next to me!!

See you there.

Why You Should Just Go For It!

Assuming you’re like me, there’s a million reasons you’re waiting to start on the path to your thing.  And there’s always a thing. Trust me.  Something that maybe feels too far off to admit that you can’t stop thinking about it.  But it’s there.  It never really goes away, no matter how well you cover it up.  It just won’t go away.

It’s way too far off as it is to make sense of your path, and that probably freaks the bananas out of you! So it’s discouraging to consider possibility over trying something totally new to you.  But if you’re honest, I’m guessing there’s something that’s closer.  Something you can do.  Something right in front of you.  Still, you’re waiting.

Maybe you’re waiting for something better to offer, something special or new.  But the truth is… you may never find the thing that feels special or new.  People everywhere are doing, and have been awhile, the thing you want to do. “…There’s nothing new under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

But there’s ONE thing, something special, that whatever it is will never have without you.  Maybe something you haven’t actually considered.  And you already have it.  That something special is you, Friend.  It needs you.  WE need you.  Just be honest.  And be you!

Start doing your thing, as only you can.  You know you want to.  So what are you waiting for?  Say yes!  Say yes to your thing… say yes to God.  He’s the one that put it there.

Maybe that’s exactly why you can’t get it out of your head.

How To Stop Second Guessing

Are you waiting for permission to live deeply? And true?

Granted.

Consider this an invitation to submit, to the thrill of creation… within you!  It comes with one word of caution.  Don’t ignore the voice that speaks you into existence.  God’s guidance is there to preserve the very breath that IS you.  Jesus said it this way.  “What good would it be to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?” Matthew 16:26

God would love nothing more than to witness you stepping into the fullness of life that He lovingly sets before you, day after day.  Don’t settle for anything less than exactly that!  Resist the urge with every fiber of being you are to shrink into lesser offers than God’s very best.  And beware.  Because there are threats on the path to your destination.

They will try to convince you there’s something better than what God has for you, on the other side of trust.  These foes don’t want you to arrive, and they’re working against you.  They’re tricky too.  But the sheep know the voice of the Shepherd, and His is the only voice you can trust.  That’s a promise.

Anything other than that knowing voice in your spirit that aligns with God’s Word and His plan is a trick.  Even if it seems right.  Don’t sell out for second best, friend.

Jump into life.  All in.  Both feet, and head first.  Go for it!

You don’t have to travel alone.  Your traveling companion knows every step of the way.  Every inch.  Just start with yourself, and let God lead the way.  To a new day!

What’s Behind Your Curtain?

Today God moved me to consider the spirit of obsession He built into my wiring.  At first, I wondered if it was something I should surrender, if I could fix it somehow.  Classic control freak.  Then I recalled how it was there as a child.  How it had always been there.  Maybe that’s how He intended it.

As a girl, I took delight in mapping out my future.  Full detail.  Super precocious, and charming of course.  Although, something disturbed me when it caught my attention today, as I pondered.  It was the smallness of my tiny vision.

As a child, with the rest of my life still ahead, my best years yet to come… this glitch in my wiring could have easily been channeled into something with promise.  Anything.  But I dreamed of McDonald’s.

I would work there and rent a studio apartment for $300 or so, making little more than minimum wage (at the time just barely $5 an hour… maybe less.)  All according to my strict timeline.  I used newspaper ads to build my research, and I had a five-year plan at the ripe age of twelve.  But I didn’t plan for school.  College wasn’t part of the dream.

Tragic, really.

I didn’t leave much room for trial and error in my rigid plan.  But I did most of what I set out to do exactly as I had intended.  The fact that no one thought I actually would just ensured my pre-written fate.  I was more determined than ever to prove I could run my own life.  My only goal.  And a poor one.  But I did it.

By this time, I had acquired many things on which to fixate my attention.  I moved from one fixation to next, quite effortlessly.  I was always armed with something to obsess- or someone.  I guess it was my way of coping with the very little to no control I had over anything at all.  I micromanaged my own little space, where no one was allowed to come all the way in.  Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

And well, it was in a way.  I grew accustomed to a life that was trapped inside my own head.  A perpetual daydream.  Where I made the rules.  Can I point out the obvious?  The world I invented didn’t really exist.  And I was quite lonely really.  I should furthermore remind you of the smallness of vision that ordered my steps.  That is, until God…

“But God,” quoted famously as the pattern interrupt to save life after life.  Over and over.  “But God.”  I’m no different than the others.  God rewrote my script.  Which leaves me here today pondering the possibilities at the thought of surrender, over this life-long crutch of mine.  That’s when God stirs in my heart.  Once again He is speaking.  I listen.

It’s difficult for me to share anything I’ve learned without touching on lessons I’ve learned from a person or book, in some way or another.  Recently, I read a book called “Whisper” by Mark Batterson.  He mentioned a similar feeling over his competitive streak.  I discover here in this moment of stirring as I lean into God, He could be inviting me to a call that looks different that the one that I’ve been expecting.  Could the thing I’ve spent my entire life fighting be the very thing that He wants to use for His glory?  Maybe He doesn’t so much wish to remove it, but rather to sanctify it.  And use it.

God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh.  Three times he pleaded with the Lord to remove it.  But he didn’t.  Perhaps this is mine.  And that’s okay with me Lord.  Maybe my quirky obsessions were part of Your plan.  Built into YOUR vision- made for glory.  YOUR glory.  Something altogether bigger than me.

Can I be too obsessed with God and His heart?  His people and ways?  I think not!

May my obsession be for You alone, my Lord.  And my God.  You are God enough for me.  Even me, as me.

Let me “fix” my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith…  Hebrews 12:2

Can you relate to my struggle?

Friend, if you answered yes, can I tell you… you were made for more… so much more!! Perhaps the very thing that’s been in your way, God would love nothing more than to turn it inside out and upside down to turn your whole life around.  Maybe, just maybe He’s hiding your very best and biggest smiles inside the very same bottomless pit you call your frown.  Maybe the place you don’t want to look is exactly where you’ll find your joy.

Just look to your Maker.  The answers you seek just may be hidden in the way that He made you.  He’s laid out a path that’s intended to lead you to Him.  And He won’t let you down.  That’s a promise, my friend.  And brace yourself for a game changer.  Cause it’s not a promise from me, but from God.

He is faithful.  Will you let Him show you just how faithful He is?  Take hold of the promise.  He has set eternity in Your heart, dear sister.  Have you laid hold of that fact? It’s there to teach you how to grab hold of your Maker.  Will you go to Him… with your  whole heart?  He’s faithfully waiting to receive you.  With arms wide open, just as you are.

“It’s how He made you.”