Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Real-Time Relationship

Thank you Elisa Pulliam for today’s message.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony – Colossians 3:12-14, NLT

I expected my usually happy teenage daughter to bounce into my office singing VBS songs from her morning spent serving at church. Instead, her sullen face conveyed another story. She was battling feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy after receiving a message from a friend about something that was happening in a completely different place.

Let’s just say this mama llama wanted to spew more than a few unpleasantries about social media and towards the adult involved behind the scenes. Yet I could feel God urging me to not be so easily offended. I’d been down this road enough times before to recognize what was happening.

Satan was busy writing the story in my head according to his own agenda.

Can you relate?

The Holy Spirit prompted me to take hold of my thought life before doing or saying something I might regret. While I’ve been practicing taking my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and asking God to align them with His truth (Romans 12:2) for the last decade, I’ve come to see that I have a harder time doing this when a relationship is at stake. It’s hard to find your voice when you’re already wounded and fear more rejection. Yet, avoiding conflict never leads to relationship restoration.

So I skipped the easy-out texting approach and took the risk with an old-fashioned phone call. I put into action the best communication tactics anytime conflict is brewing. I prayed for God to speak through me and asked the open-ended questions I’ve been trained to use as a life coach. It worked! As I listened and affirmed my commitment to our friendship, her voice softened. Her defenses dropped. And the truth rose beautifully out of it all.

Turns out that there was no reason to be offended. There was no intention to hurt my girl or betray us. There was no ill will. There was a perfectly good explanation that social media failed to capture. I should have known!

Satan is the King of Drama ready to destroy every relationship God created for His glory and kingdom purposes.

Maybe that’s why Paul urges the Colossians and us to clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, making allowance for each other’s faults. Yes, it’s always beneficial when we choose to seek forgiveness and extend it. It’s God honoring when we put on love in the pursuit of unity.

When we live according to God’s design, we get to experience a whole lot less drama, along with the blessings that come from real-time relationships restored by His love and extravagant grace.

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

My Battle With Pride

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Toss Fear Aside

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

Have you every thought “I’m tired of worrying yet you can’t seem to stop”?  Maybe the worry is whether or not you have enough money to pay the bills.  Maybe the worry about your aging parents.  Maybe the worry is about your children and the decisions they will make.  I am tired of worrying about (fill in the blank).

Worry is due to FEAR!  I feel like I have had fear since my early teens.  Fear of rejection. Fear of failing.  Fear of success.  Fear of not being good enough.  Fear of being alone.  I stuffed the feelings and moved forward in my career.  Fear surfaced when I made mistakes or when I was about to make a change personally or professionally.  Somewhere along the way, I started to believe that fear was just a fact of life and I could do nothing to change it.  I started to believe that I was alone with my fears.

How wrong I was!

When I started truly believing that God had a plan for me and he was in control, the worry subsided.  Notice I didn’t say go away because those evil gremlins try to rear their heads when I least expect it.  We can decide though what we want to with with our fears.  Here are some truths:


Truth #1: Other people do worry; they just don’t talk about it or let it consume their lives

Truth #2: Worry and fear must be a normal because God tells us not to, over 100 times in the Bible.

Truth #3: God doesn’t just tell us not to worry or fear, He tells us what to do when we do!



ball toss

Picture your worry as a ball.  What do you want to do with the ball?  Do you want to toss it or do you want to hold on to it? No, we aren’t going to have a game of catch because we truly want to rid ourselves of the fear that is holding us back.

Let’s toss the worry (ball) to God and let him handle it.  As we do that, let’s ask for peace – not a solution and thank him for taking care of things in the past.  How does that feel?  Do you feel relief?  Try that with each worry that you have today and see what happens.

Each time that we do this, we strengthen our faith and our ability to decide what to do when hard times come.  It allows us to see that we can either control the fear or let the fear control us.  Which way would you prefer to live?

Share your thoughts with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!