Tag Archives: peace

When We Run Into Problems.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5

These verses carried me through the hardest time in my life over 14 years ago. I read this passage again this morning with a different set of eyes. A confident set of eyes. A heart that knows and understands. A life that can testify to it over and over and over again.

Our initial reaction to adversity and problems isn’t, “Well thank you, Jesus. This is going to grow me and strengthen my character.” No. It can be anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, and so many other things. Certainly not happiness that we get to endure something hard. It’s not a normal reaction. Hey, you’re normal. So, I am I! However, once we get over the initial shock and awe of it, we get to make a choice how we are going to through the problem. Whether the problem is as large as what I endured 14 years ago when my husband walked out or even if it is as small as a conflict at your work, we get to choose to endure it with a confident hope that He will grow us and work it for our good.

So, what do we do after we get over the initial onset of a problem? I wanted to share some things that I do that may help you, too. First, I vent upward. That means I don’t share my problem with someone who isn’t on the same page of life with me spiritually. Because, that person may feed into my anger or resentment where nothing redemptive comes from it. I vent to someone who has compassion but who also brings light to it. They help me process it from a position of forgiveness and understanding. They remind me to trust Him. The conversation is always redemptive.

I slow down. Haste causes us to react instead of respond. It causes a build up of negative emotions and feelings that are hard to come down from. I slow down my responses, my comments, my time. When we slow down, we are able to think more clearly, take captive our thoughts that are negative more easily, and avoid making the mistake of saying or doing something we might regret.

I pray and meditate. This keeps my heart soft and refocuses my thoughts. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Don’t worry about your problem. Don’t dwell on it. Tell God what you need, and THANK Him for everything He has already done. Everything He has already delivered you from and made better for you. Re-center your thoughts on Him and on thankfulness. When you catch yourself dwelling on the problem, replace that thought with all of the good in your life. Everything you have to be thankful for. THEN, peace will flood your life.

Finally, I am open to change. What if I am the one that is the problem? What if God is not just working something for my good, but what if He is changing ME? What if I created the problem myself? Stay open to accept responsibility. Allow people you trust to speak into your life.

All problems are meant for our growth. I learned a long time ago to say, “Nothing goes wrong in my world.” Instead, every situation is an opportunity to grow. To learn. An opportunity to be a better friend. A better mom. A better wife. A better person. Without running into hard situations, it is impossible to become BETTER. So, with that knowledge, we really can rejoice in hard times. Because, we are then presented with an opportunity for our lives to be better. We may not always see the end from the beginning and know the hows and whys, but we can trust in the One who is working all things, ALL, for our good.

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Create Your Calm.

Jett blankie

Jett loves his little, blue blankie. If you’ve seen Jett, you’ve probably seen his blankie. We are working hard on getting Jett to leave his blankie on his bed every morning. And, by “WE” are working hard, I mean Kris. It makes mornings harder, because, blankie…..you know.

Last night as I was putting Jett to bed and praying over him, I added, “Thank You for a smooth morning. Thank You that Jett is patient and cooperative and full of understanding. Amen.”

This morning Jett woke up happy and cooperative and saying, “yes ma’am” to leaving blankie on his bed. Inside, I was thanking sweet Jesus for such a smooth morning and fist bumping Him in my heart. ‘Cause, we got this.

Then, my sweet, cooperative boy spilled my entire cup of coffee all over the coffee table. All over my phone, my iPad, my favorite books, his Legos, and whatever else was in that line of fire. Jett awaited for scary mom to come out. John Henry left the room to get paper towels and not hear scary mom.

And, I paused. I remembered my prayer of a smooth morning. And, I just said, “It’s okay, bud.”

While, we cannot control every part of our day and avoid trouble, we do get choose our response to the bumps and how they control us. And, instead of it ruining our morning, I was able to be a model of peace and self-control and forgiveness to my children. I do not tout this inner fortitude to do this all of the time. I have failed so many times and went scary mom on my children more times than I care to recall. And, self-appointed Holy Spirit in my life, Anna Takle, is always quick to remind me of how I should’ve responded. Bless her. But, today, I made a decision to create my calm. To CHOOSE a smooth morning.

We can pray for things, and that’s okay. We can thank God for things, and that is necessary. But, in as much as I thanked Him for a smooth morning, it was up to me to create it.

You create your calm. You create your peace. You create your smooth. It’s not the hard moments that wreck us or our day. It’s our response to them.

Instead of coming home from dropping the kids off stressed, I came home noticing a beautiful sunrise. I came home pouring out tears of gratitude for this beautiful day. Creating my calm made thanksgiving so easy.

Make the decision to choose your responses today. Create your calm, and let thanksgiving pour out.

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Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, life, Life Experiences, Motherhood, Uncategorized

Peace, Be Still.

You may not believe this, but, I am the queen of second-guessing. Especially when it comes to making big decisions for our kids. I second-guessed leaving Oklahoma City in 2010. I second-guessed over and over moving to the farm. I continue to second-guess myself, even after I have clarity and peace about a decision. It’s what I do. It’s also how I wear Kris Takle out. Kris has the crazy ability to see clearly and have peace about situations. It’s like he walks out this trusting the Spirit within him thing or something. Crazy, huh?

In making a big decision for our children recently, we both felt peace and had clarity. Kris doesn’t waver in this. I waver like Jett Takle on the toy aisle who can’t decide which toy he wants. What if he chooses this toy and then wishes later he had chosen the other toy? Oh, the humanity! So, last week, I asked Kris to pray over the decision. The one we had already made. The one we both had already felt good about. That one. He looks at me and says, “I’m not praying over that. I will pray over YOU.”

Part of me wanted to give him this look Anna Takle gives me when she’s appalled. Instead, I said, “Oh, my gosh! That’s what I needed to hear!”

You see the problem wasn’t the decision. Quite often the problem isn’t even the problem. The problem isn’t the situation. The problem isn’t the circumstance. Most of the time, the problem is me. It’s you. It reminded me of this story:

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:35-40

Clearly, Jesus wasn’t worried about the storm. The man was trying to sleep. So, when He spoke, “Quiet! Be still,” he wasn’t speaking to the storm. He wasn’t speaking to the circumstances. He was speaking to the disciples. If you really read into it, you will see, He was calming the storm WITHIN them.

Kris was calming the storm within me. Often times, we don’t need to ask God to change our situation. We don’t need to ask every person on the planet for confirmation of a decision. We don’t need to speak peace into a decision or circumstance. Instead, we need to speak peace into our own lives.

You already have everything within you that you need to be at peace. So, speak to your own soul. Say to yourself, “Peace, be still.” And, trust in the One who has never, ever failed you.

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I Like The Hustle & Bustle, But I Need This More.

Hustle.

Bustle.

This Christmas party.

That Christmas party.

Christmas lists.

Christmas shopping.

Christmas travel.

So easy to get lost in it all.

So easy to lose its meaning.

Yesterday, I had one thought in my hustle and bustle:

I just want to put it all aside and throw myself down at the altar of Jesus Christ.
Experience His peace.
Delight in His joy.
Bathe in His love.

Just for a moment.

Maybe longer.

You?

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  – Author Unknown

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‘Tis the Season.

I experience different seasons of life just like you.  Some are easier than others.  Some do not end quickly enough.  Then there are seasons where I hardly stop to notice the season.  Know what I mean? 

I’m noticing this one.  But, not the things one would expect for me to notice. 

It’s not hard.  It’s not easy.  Financially?  I’ve seen more.  I’ve seen less.  I don’t notice a real difference in myself as a mother (unless I look at my protruding abdomen.)    I’m sure my children have grown a tenth of an inch this past month.  I can’t really tell until their jeans hit above their ankles.  Kris still makes me laugh out loud just like he does in every other season. 

What I am noticing this season is a greater intimacy in my relationship with my heavenly Father.  I know He’s always tender.  He’s always gentle.  But, I’m especially noticing a sweet calm – a peace – that can only come from Him.  I think about Him when I take my kids to school and on my drive back home.  I think about how good He is when I serve my husband.  I think about how a perfect son of God was born in the most humblest of circumstances. 

I think about Him.

All the time.

And, my heart overflows.

I am in love.

Totally.

And.

Completely.

With Jesus.

I love this season.

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My Pre-Blogging Life.

Long before I started this Randomness journal online, I had this journal.

journal wp

This book has been in my life since October of 1986.  Susan Woodward (Mimi) gave it to me.  See?

journal - susan wp

That was twenty-three years ago.  TWENTY-THREE!  That would have made me 11 years old.  I pulled out that old journal last night.  I have written in this journal every year since 1986 until 2003.  My very first entry began like this:

Journal entry 86 wp

The title of my entry was “The First Time the Lord Spoke to Me.”  I read through the writing of an eleven year old with a thirty-four year old heart.  I can still remember her and what she felt.  I read about a young girl wanting to hear God speak to her about a situation.  I wanted to hear a yes or a no.  I simply heard a trust that my parents’ decision is the will of God. 

I can remember my father telling me “no” concerning an event I wanted to hear a “yes” to.  I wrote, “Before the Lord spoke to me, I just knew I’d be disappointed if dad said no.” 

When God speaks, it should bring us peace.  It should make trusting Him easier, because His thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts.  It was such a simple concept for me to grasp at age 11.  But, at 34, I forget, on occasion, to be solely dependent on Him and what He says. 

I forget to trust His voice.

I forget to trust His voice in scriptures. 

I need that eleven year old girl to remind me more often that His very voice can calm stormy waters and bring peace to an unsettled heart. 

How do I ever forget that?

Incline my heart to your word.  Psalm 119:36

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How Does Your Heart Beat?

The nurse listened for the heartbeat.  There was nothing.  She was certain the doctor, skilled and experienced in finding those little heartbeats, would capture it.

There was nothing. 

While we knew this was not unusual, our doctor still expressed concern and ordered an immediate ultrasound. 

Kris and I waited a grueling forty-five minutes for peace of mind.  We sat quietly, but our minds could not have been louder.  What if?  What happens if we lose this baby?  Do we try again?  What’s the follow-up procedure? 

What if?

I had just written the post on Fear.  And, I was feeling it.  Those scriptures came swirling through my mind.  “When you walk through the fire, I will be there…”   

I felt a calmness in the midst of my sudden upheaval.  No matter what happened that day, His presence would never leave me.  No matter what happened, I would not stop running after my Father. 

You see, I decided a long time ago that there were no deal breakers for me following Christ. 

None.

My heart beats for Him.  For HIS glory.  Not mine.  And, every single thing and every single person in my life are added blessings.  Because, if He never did anything else for me but give me eternity, that would be enough.

But He does more.

Because, He is so good.

Forty-five minutes passed, and we entered the room.  The technician placed the instrument on my bare belly, and we looked on a monitor and saw a vibrant, little life.

And heard the sweetest, little heartbeat.

A heart that beats for Him.

So many of you prayed.

Thank you.

We love you all,
Dusty and Kris

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