Friday, July 19, 2013

Kick Off Your Flip Flops!

It's that time of year boots have been put away and I have exchanged them for my favorite flip flops!  Bring on the warm weather, swimming and campfires!  I am ready! Seems that we have had an especially long winter more ways than one! And over here in Graham land, we are all back and unpacking from our vacation...wish you could all see the magic of packing and unpacking for this many people! back to flip flops, thanks to my friend, Traci Mason, I can never look at a pair of flip flops the same.  Just a few months ago I had the opportunity to hear her speak and it set me to thinking!

What I have realized is that I am a flip flopper.  When things in my life are going smooth, I find it rather easy to trust the Lord.  As a pastor's wife and women's ministry leader, I often have the opportunity to encourage people who are struggling and I am always quick to share with them how God can and should be trusted in ALL circumstances. Even if you take a look back at these blogs and I hope you will find this to be true. And, I believe with all of my heart that the things I tell others are absolutely true.

The trouble comes in when I am facing frightening situations in my own life.  Even as I type this the verses, "Perfect love casts out all fear." (1 John 4:18) and Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear for I am with you..."  pop into my head.  So the battle is between my head and my heart.  In my head, I can reason and stand rock solid in my running shoes on these truths, but my heart is not always convinced, and often wants to choose the flip flops.

When I think about it, flip flops are almost like wearing no shoes at all...natural you know?  Just as my natural response is to waiver, or to doubt, rather than to rise to the challenge. Why must it be so easy to sin?  :( and so challenging to walk in faith?!

Maybe you struggle with these same things?  Not just knowing that God is in control, but living that out in the day to day.  Or maybe I should say, living that out in the middle of your anxious nights?  If so, my challenge for both of us is to throw away our flip flops and trade them in for a brand new pair of running shoes!

Because I often struggle with this, I have found a few things that help when I catch myself grabbing my flip flops, maybe they will help you also:

-Don't focus on the problem, focus on the solution... (Think Peter walking on water)

-Don't wallow in your misery. (Pity Party, Party of One)

-Remember that there was no promise that this life would be easy once we signed up to follow Christ.  (John 16:33)

-Joy is a CHOICE...In the words of Cheir Keaggy's song Restored, "I'm practicing joy, choosing it daily, putting it on like a favorite cologne and when life breaks me down, it won't even phase me some call me crazy, but I'm just in love with the Lord!"

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you have, until then I hope to see you on the race track in your running shoes!

"...let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"
Hebrews 12:1