Ownership | Are You Willing to Pay the Price?

This week, my husband and I have confronted an issue I have long sought to avoid. The issue of our finances has always been a sore, dreadful subject. We have robbed Peter to pay Paul and never really been on a budget. We’ve been overdrawn, bankrupt and pressing on – moving right along – trying to make it work while digging a deeper hole to finally fall into.

What are the Keys to Your Success?

What are the Keys to Your Success?

Tuesday morning  greeted  us rudely with the culmination of years and years of poor choices and ignoring the problem. You see the problem has never been money – it is that we have never been in agreement about where we are with our money. And, to be completely honest I’ve made a lot of choices based on fear.

After a full day of grieving and getting discouraging news, I found myself repenting to God and my husband, looking for a way to work things out prayerfully and finding a solution that may benefit us long term. But, because of my choices, and to some extent Scott’s as well, there will be a price to be paid.

You see – I have a destiny to get to, a dream to be fulfilled, but this one thing that so rudely interrupted my life on Tuesday threatened to undo all of it. I knew I needed to unpack the issue with my husband for months. I even told him before Christmas I wanted to lay it all out for him after the first of the year. The more I considered doing that, the more fearful I became. After all, it is my mess and he would have to help me clean it up no doubt. The question, the lingering fear, remained. “What if he doesn’t want to be my husband anymore?”

Today as I spoke to a friend who is counseling me and keeping me accountable she helped me see this is the thing that is keeping me from moving to the next level. Painful and dreadful as it is that this had to come to light this week – I find myself so grateful for the revelation that has come as well.

After the first 24 hours passed, I now find myself thinking this is actually a bit of a relief. Having all this out there – on the table. Drawn into the light, I realize it is bad – it is what it is – but it is not as bad as I had imagined it. All locked up in the closet of my mind this monster of a mess grew bigger and bigger-more intimidating and fearful to me. I was so divided. I wanted desperately to unpack the issues and lay them bare. But, at the same time, I feared the outcome – the unknown. And felt paralyzed. I know God wanted me to move, but I could not find my way to do it. Life patterns and my flesh overruled my spirit at every turn.

That is until Tuesday… When I had the choice. COVER UP. PRETEND. DENY and PROJECT. Or come clean. Confess, repent and move ahead. You know God is often about the process and not just the results. As I have repented, confessed, and laid out what I’ve tried to keep hidden all these years – as I examined myself alongside it – God began to move on our behalf. He reduced the overwhelming to what seems possible and now probable. It is a timing and a patience thing. I am walking the path as one learning to accomplish, but I would not trade this moment for anything. It is a necessary and dreadful thing we do, but it is also the next step to the greatness I am destined to live in and so I press on.

In the last few days I realized God cannot redeem what I will not openly address and present to Him. He cannot work and move and restore until I seek His face and submit it to Him. Until I get real, take responsibility and allow Him to show me what needs to go of my flesh in order that more fully become who He created me to be.

I also have to step back, give up control and let Scott take the lead. I have not ever been in that situation before. So, now I have to release Scott to be who God created Him to be. And release my strangle-hold on my idea of how it should work. Scott and I have to work at negotiating the peace and unity needed in the coming months of work. Still, he is open and I am grateful. So grateful.

Then, after I get real and take responsibility – I have to be willing to accept the consequences and pay the price. In my heart – the answer is yes. But, in my mind I have long drawn out conversations and debates about what to do.

You know the lessons in this season are invaluable to my dream goals and my hopes for the future. Because in creating an atmosphere where your wildest dreams come true one must commit to these two things: 1.) They have to own their dream and take responsibility for the actions required to see that dream become a reality; and 2.) You have to be willing to pay the price. Take the risk and sacrifice until you see the thing bear fruit or God releases you from the burden. And in all these things remember, “God brings wealth and adds no sorrow to it.” – Proverbs 10:22.

His ways remain better and higher than my own. So grateful for confrontation, a loving God who cares deeply for us and a husband who lives so gracefully with me.

AMEN?

Life Fully Alive

100_0277Flyleaf has a song about someone who’s physical existence has been disrupted, but how her spirit and her soul still strive for Life Fully Alive. I think of that with many of us who get bowled over with the seasons of change, traumas and experiences of life and find our way to complain like the Israelites in Exodus 11. Lamenting about going back to the place of bondage for fear of what Life Fully Alive might mean.

Living the life of your dreams is risky. You have to be willing to step out by faith, follow God’s lead and trust Him for every detail of the outcome. AND THEN, you have to be willing to do your part. Life Fully Alive doesn’t just drop itself into your lap and say hello. Life Fully Alive comes to those who abide in Jesus, follow Him and partake of His life giving Spirit.

There are 1-3% of this country’s citizens who are living “the American Dream” from self-made millionaires to billionaires rolling in the family dough. But, how many of these people live truly satisfying and happy lives? Are we willing to lay down our idea of what success looks like as well as our expectations for what that will fulfill in our lives – and absolutely lay it out in surrender to receive the fullness of life that God has promised us through Christ Jesus? John the Baptist wore camel’s hair, ate honey and locusts and live like a nomad in the desert – but he in his darkest moments remained more fulfilled and alive than any one of us in our societies of excess and moral vacancy.

What would success look like if you fully abide in Christ? Life fully alive.

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive and she knows
How to believe in futures

(“Fully Alive” as sung by Flyleaf)

Living for Jesus? | Romans 8:1

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If Romans 8:1 assures us there is NOW therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, then why do we continue to try to live our lives FOR Jesus by controlling our behavior around the Law of Moses? We were never called to live or give our lives FOR Jesus by succumbing to the Letter of the Law. The Letter kills, but God’s Holy Spirit brings life to us through Jesus Christ. We are called to live our lives (abide) IN Jesus. This is the law of grace which trumps the Old Testament letter. Through this abiding relationship we come to repentance – (Greek: Meta-nooia- two root words meaning to change and the mind; or change your mind, the way you think)- in the Loving Kindness of God rather than fear of Judgment for sin. We grow in grace & knowledge of who He is and so become like Him being transformed from glory to glory! Happy Easter! Jesus died to redeem you – not your sins. Salvation & Christianity are not behavior contracts – they are an invitation to abide in Christ and find life to the full- the life you were always meant to live. So the only question is: Are you abiding in Christ or just living for Him?

Creative Log A Time To Every Purpose

 I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives; to eat and drink and see the good in all of our hard work is a gift from God. I know everything God does endures for all time. Nothing can be added to it; nothing can be taken away from it. We humans can only stand in awe of all God has done. What has been and what is to be—already is. And God holds accountable all the pursuits of humanity. (Ecclesiastes 3:11-14, The VOICE)

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