Unbound

I’ve never been shackled or in handcuffs thankfully and pray that I never find myself behind bars. Parenting teenagers have made me often joke that if someone sees me in an orange jumpsuit it’s because of my teenage boys. They try my patience and my sanity like nothing else on this earth. Paul’s sanity and patience was probably tried a little bit, too. He was constantly thrown in chains and in prison because of his faith. I am sure it was a lot more awful than we can imagine…chained up, beaten and left in a dark, harsh environment. Confined and restrained like a criminal for the message of Christ.

Lately, I have been having bad dreams that seem to have me bound in fear. They are vivid and wake me up in a panic and feeling paralyzed with panic until reality sets back in and I can distract myself long enough to drift back off to sleep. I usually start my day in quiet time, but tonight I climbed into bed with my Bible before falling asleep in hopes to redirect my subconscious (if that is even possible). I know God has a sense of humor because I went back to 2 Timothy where I was earlier in the week and read in chapter 2:9 where Paul says he suffers for it (the message of Christ) to the point of being bound in chains like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.

I’m trying to decompress and these are the words that jump out off the pages before I go to sleep?

Prison?

Chains?

Sigh.

I say to myself, “God’s message is not bound.

It is not chained.”

“How is that supposed to help me, Lord?”, I ask myself. As I go back and read the verse before it, it starts with “Keep your attention on Jesus…” and I immediately am reminded that when I focus on Him, everything else is loosed in my life.

I am not bound either.

No matter what happens to me or around me, the message of Christ will continue to go forward. It can try to be squashed by philosophers, scientists and any skeptic out there, but at the end of the day it ALWAYS stands and nothing can stop the work of The Word! When I lean on the words from Genesis to Revelation that are living, active, sharp and free from being hindered by anything on this earth, then I am not bound by the chains of bad dreams, bad choices or bad people.

As a child of God, we must refuse to live bound by the things of this world. We must bind our fears with the words of scripture and keep them tightly in our hearts and minds. When fear creeps in and puts us in dark, confined places in our minds we must redirect our focus and attention on Jesus Christ.

There is freedom in Him.

No chains.

How you doin’?

Monday morning was a migraine day. I literally slept for about 8 hours and it was just was my body needed. I was exhausted mentally and physically which usually results in a migraine.

Tuesday morning was fueled by coffee, writing, painting at the studio, running errands and trying to check things off my to-do list. I took the help of a friend to get my kid to ball practice so that I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed and could focus on accomplishing a few more things. Yesterday morning I was talking with a friend on the phone about everything from how much Halloween candy I had managed to eat over the last few days to her son selling his car. We usually talk about all kinds of stuff…we solve all the worlds problems almost every morning. During that conversation, I had someone call on the other line that had left me a couple of messages on Monday and called me several times on Monday. I told my friend to hold on because I had to take her call. If I was being honest, I wasn’t in working mode yet and I debated on answering and calling back later…but I needed to not put her off anymore as she had to discuss things for an upcoming class this weekend. I told her about how I wasn’t ignoring her the day before and explained how my Monday was a no good, awful, terrible day. Instead of just saying, “awe, I’m sorry”, like most of us tend to do these days, she told me that she wanted to pray for me.

As soon as we finished talking about the details of this weekend’s paint class, she prayed over me and asked for blessings over me, my ministry and business.

Wow. What a blessing. What an encouragement.

How many times do we put off talking to someone because we got so much other stuff going on and we end up missing a blessing in the process. Now, I am not saying that she would have not done the same thing later in the day, but truth is I need that prayer in the exact moment that I sat in my husband’s truck waiting to pull our the driveway. It helped me to realign my focus and reminded me that even when I feel like I can’t seem to manage everything piled on my plate, I have people praying for me…speaking life over me, my family and my business. I wouldn’t be sitting here right now without those prayers. Many people don’t realize or know, because I didn’t share it with many, but there was a time just a couple of months ago that I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep my studio open. Rising costs and sales that seemed to tank all at once had me feeling discouraged. I probably cried a whole lot about things out of my control over the last couple of months. I am still not quite sure what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. I know that without Him, I can do nothing. I just keep pressing on and trusting the Lord to open doors and put me in front of the right people at the right time. He is faithful to do so. I have actually in the last couple of weeks turned down jobs that I just couldn’t do, because of time and honestly they weren’t profitable to me or my business…but I did them because I didn’t know how to say no. I am learning that sometimes no leads to a greater YES. God replaced those jobs I was doing for free or where I was losing money with paying jobs I wasn’t even expecting to receive. I have seen things work out and God take care of some things that I would have never dreamed possible…and I know He isn’t done yet.

So, just like that lady yesterday on the other end of my phone, will you pray for me?. I feel as though I am being selfish, but I know that prayer changes things. I have this vision in my head and I ask that you just pray for that vision. I know God is able to do exceedingly above what I could ever think or imagine and I am trusting Him for that. Will you do that for me?

Mercy. I unpacked a lot this morning, but sometimes I just enjoy sitting down at my computer at writing out my emotions and letting you know how I’m doin’ over here in my little piece of the world. Sometimes the stories are funny, sometimes they are sad, but I always keep it real. I also enjoy looking back and having the documentation of the unseen hand of God on things that were blinded to me in the moment, yet later revealed.

Isn’t that awesome?

So, enough of my rambling because I do have lots to accomplish today as I know you do, too! Before I sign off, I wanna know how you doin’?

I’ve asked you to pray for me, but I want to pray for you. I want to encourage you knowing your situation and your life is being prayed over and God is going to work out the details for you, just like He will for me. We are all in this thing called life together…lets pray for one another, check on each other and when someones tells us how they doin’…let’s take them to the throne of heaven in prayer!