Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Is Your "Thinker" Thinking?

Daniel and I have this thing we do.... in the car, when it's just the two of us. It will be quiet after a moment of chatting, enjoying the view as we ride a long... then.... one of us will ask in an extra exuberant tone.... "What is your thinker thinkin'?"

Sometimes he will answer the typical 9 year old responses of "nothing", "about this game I played yesterday", "about boy stuff" or "thinking about Maverick in California". We'll.... last weekend he asked me, "What is your thinker thinkin' mom?" Oh man... I'm caught!

He caught me! My thinker wasn't thinking on the good stuff at that moment. A phone call had tried to stir me into a moment of frustration and fear. Ever been there? That was that day.

I had been busy all afternoon, then got busy enjoying a visit with a neighbor, then busy trying to wrap up the evening to get baths, prayers and bedtime completed. I have to admit, a little concern and a little creeper by the name of "fear" had started to try and sneak in. Oh man - Daniel caught me!

I did not realize my countenance had given my thoughts secretly away. I take that back, I know it wasn't necessarily my facial expressions, but the Holy Spirit was using my son to do a heart check on me. I was caught! Oh man! Did he see worry in my eyes? What about my joy - did I have it on that day? What about my tone? Oh we won't go there from that particular day. Found Guilty. Now it was time to make it right. Found Grace!

The Holy Spirit used my son to check me, to check my heart, my mind and my emotions... What WAS I thinking? Would I allow fear to rule? Would I choose to be attentive to my words and declare what God has promised or declare what I'm seeing or not seeing with my eyes? Would I allow God's peace to rule in me? What WAS I thinking? Time for a mind check and heart check.

I was reminded of the verse below..... You see.... I know God's covenant name. I know His covenant love. I've experienced His grace and abundant love and have seen His redeeming, restoring power over my own life - time and time again! Even in this new season, I can and choose to confidently declare - He is faithful to the Haas'! He is our trust! He is our God! We will believe His word no matter what we see, what we feel or what we hear. He is our hope!

Psalms 9:10 "Those who know your name will trust in you, For you Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."

For me... this is what I know and was reminded of today .... to keep the thinker thinking the good.....

1.) Don't be busy thinking on the frustrations or fears. Ask often - What is your thinker thinking?

2.) Keep the Word in front of you! Stay focused in having alone time in your Word. THIS IS VITAL! And .... literally - and if you have to... keep scripture that keep you in check where you can see them and keep your spirit, mind and eyes focused on God's promises! Get some great cd's or podcasts you can learn from and keep them going in your car or where you can listen throughout the day!

3.) Keep worship your focus and declare God's promises with your voice! LOUDLY! I sing them, I shout them, I talk to myself with them. That's really fun in traffic and with the kids singing loudly too! Many days we also keep worship music playing continously throughout the house. It makes a difference! Try it and see!

Worship with all you are! Don't hold back! Worship is a weapon that destroys any thoughts of fear, anxiety, frustration, grief - it's all defeated with WORSHIP! There's a whole other thoughts coming on this one soon!

I've had my "thinker" adjusted today!

What are you thinking about?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Lead or Not To Lead - That is the question!

Over the last few days, Chris and I have been reading and listening to a lot about leadership principles...think about this...

"True leaders attract others because of their authentic, transparent, Godly lives - not because of a position, money or title. True leaders don't seek out people who can give or do for them and only make them look good. True leaders look to see how they can serve, give and equip others to be the best they can be". - Chris Haas

As we continued talking about what God was teaching us on this season of many new adventures we are on, we were reminded that as leaders we will draw others to ourselves as leaders.

You see.... as a leader, you will draw people into your life. People will see things they want to be a part of. Either it will be the God things or the not so good things that they are captivated by. If you are a leader who is continually being critical with your measurement of other leaders or ministries, what kind of people do you think will be around you?

You will duplicate character in others. If you are stirring negative character traits in your own life, don't expect much more than that of what you see in others who are around you. The word says, what we sow, we get back. I sure want to be careful not to sow or do these things to others - it will bite hard!

Just the same, if you are a leader who cherishes the gift of what God designed in others, you will want only God's best for them; You will whole heartedly celebrate those who are have gifts different than you or those who are growing faster than you; You are honored to serve others in any way you can, by serving God any way you can; You get excited when you see others move into what God has for them; Your heart is stirred by seeing others do what God has planned for them; You purpose in your heart, mind and spirit to honor others with your thoughts, your emotions and your love.

As we are learning every step of the way, I want to saturate myself with the leader I want to be like - my God! I can only do that by spending time with Him, in His presence and with His people. I want the direction and correction that His Word brings and Holy Spirit heals. I want to keep my heart focused on the measure of what He see's in me. Not what others may measure me by.

Along this journey I have had the gift of having some pretty amazing leaders be a part of my story. I've learned so much - from so many! I've had some pretty great folks deposit some key things into my life that are treasures to me - Love the Word, Be Loyal, Be Faithful, Be Trustworthy, Be Transparent, Be Ready To Serve, and most recently - BE ME!

Even in those difficult seasons of being with difficult leaders in difficult places, I've learned so much that I would never trade! Even in those places and seasons, God revealed so much to be learned. God restored what was meant to bring hurt, fear and intimidation. I love reading the stories in God's Word of David, Joshua, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Micah, Jonathan, Jesus, Paul, Timothy and even Saul. Those folks were some of the strongest, most purposed leaders we know - yet, they still had a lot to learn!

What is being "copied" into who you are? What character is God developing into the big picture of who you are? Are you easily angered? Do you get jealous or intimidated by the strength in other's gifts? Do you measure others with your own guide or by what the Word says? What are you "duplicating" in others? God's word or man's measurement? Are you living real & authentic lives - without hypocricy or manipulation to others? Do you seek out others just for what they can "do" for you or "give" to you? What is God teaching you about being the leader He has called you to be?

I am so thankful that my story isn't finished yet! There's a lot still to be "duplicated" into what God has designed for me. I'm choosing to be more purposed in my journey. I will choose to be a part of God's character. Thanks for being patient as God is finishing up some pretty important details of His story of me! It's going to be a grand adventure to enjoy!

I'm letting Him write the story!

Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New School Year!

Have you ever been excited to step into something new, but you are a little nervous to take that step? You know with all that is in you that God has asked you to do it and it will be an extravagant, fun, adventurous and sometimes risky endeavor! You know you will have the time of your life if you do it? Well that has been the recent season for our family!

Last night as I finished up reviewing for my first day of homeschooling, I got this knot in my stomach. A nervous ache! As I was thinking .... oh God ... I need you! I need you in this new thing you are asking of me! I need you to tell me you are with me! I need you to reassure me that I'm not going to "mess up" my kid! (Even though I know that God has given me every tool, thing, gift, passion to be the best mom to him!.... there are times we question..... right?). I was reminded of Joshua 1 - before Joshua even had a chance to cry out in fear - God assured, "I'm with you - don't be afraid!"

As I was setting our breakfast table with all the fun fabrics, new crayons and pencils and making it fun for the bright morning sun and bright eyed kids, God gently assured me, "Hey.... just as you want to make this new morning fun for them, I'm making this fun for you.... Laugh and enjoy every part. Know I'm right here with you - making it great for YOU"!

Sometimes some of the greatest new seasons require steps of faith for the places we've never been.... for the lands we've never visited. For this season, God is requiring me to have faith for this new land.... but also a joy! A joy that only a great father would want to give his kids! A joy only a parent can understand as they see their child grow into the young man God designed. If we don't step in and enjoy it all .... think of all we'll miss out on!

This morning as we started our day, I asked Daniel to write ... "My first day of 4th grade, I think it will be...." his first response..... "Fun to get to know my parents better".

Oh he'll get to know me better.... I hope he will laugh along even louder WITH me! I'm looking forward to knowing our "young man" like never before! It's going to be fun!

I'll keep you all posted as we step into this new adventure!

The first day is completed.... Math - Check..... Language Arts - Check..... Spelling - Check ...... Science - Field Trip to a Dentist Office this afternoon (with a full report to follow).... Fun -Check .... Every step of the way!