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No More Lonely People

We know what it feels like to be crushingly alone. Maybe if you’re like me being alone, as a choice, is your preferred way to spend time. Yet, when you’re forced to be alone even God seems to be miles away.  We then meet and make “friends” with Loneliness.  As Loneliness settles into various cracks and corners of our minds we sink deeper into the abyss with the surface fading fast.  This is the time to remember Christ is our eternal friend, who “sticks closer than a brother”. Christ can seem distant based on our feelings, but feelings aren’t absolute truth. 

Harsh as the above statement is when walking through loneliness, we need to hear it. Feelings are changeable. So how do we change how we feel? Change out routine for starters. Visualize loneliness as a starving, ravenously hungry monster just released from prison. To gather strength, it eats comfort food, easy to find comfort food (ex. the reasons why we’re lonely). Changing our thoughts isn’t what I’m talking about. I mean to take physical action to continue to starve our loneliness further beginning the process of freedom.

Ways to starve the “monster”:

  • Put down the phone.

Studies have shown social media increases a discontent in our lives. We don’t think about our browsing others’ lives deep enough until we look at our own page. We don’t have the smiling group, amazing cruise photo’s, our kids aren’t winning trophies like that etc. It has become routine for us to live in a digital backyard gazing longingly into the windows of other people. So, put down your phone and take a walk. Science has proven walking increase feel-good hormones.

  • Satisfy your curiosity.

All this method takes is a car, maybe coffee/tea if you’re tired, and the library. What has you curious, what have you always wanted to know more about? Distract yourself constructively while learning about what modern décor goes best with your star sign, how to defend your relationship to Christ, how to meal plan food with flavor, or how to draw 3D art. The world is your oyster!  

  • Volunteer

There are many causes needing (wo)man power to make the difference. Giving money is a start, but it’s a soul-lifting feeling to hands-on see what your hard work creates. If you attend church I can guarantee one ministry or another needs help. If you just donate some items and pass them out at outreach event you claimed a victory over the “monster”.

  • Take yourself on a date!

Is a concert coming up? A new restaurant you’ve wanted to try? Go do those things! You are an amazing person so don’t wait for someone else to tell you that! Treat yourself has become meme worthy, trivializing it, but take back what it means to love yourself and do what makes you happy! If eating alone is scary, order takeout from that new restaurant and sit in the park listening to a podcast (I suggest Rabbits).

My hope is this post is some help to those who are feeling lonely today. Know Christ is ever present and a whisper away. Take a chance today because you are awesome- I mean that.

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We need better Answers

Reading Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace lately, I’ve realized while I love Jesus I can’t defend my relationship to others in a transformative way. In a way that will impact their souls. On Forensic Faith’s website, a test asks you how you would respond to each question. You have 21 minutes to answer them.

Here are the questions:

  1. Why are you a Christian?
  2. What evidence do you have to believe God exist?
  3. Why do you trust what the Bible has to say about Jesus?
  4. Why would God send people to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus?
  5. If God is all loving and all powerful, why is there so much evil in the world?
  6. If God is the creator of everything, who created God?
  7. Why would a loving God command the total destruction of all Israel’s enemies (including their children and livestock)?

I haven’t taken the test. I’m scared of my answers and I know I can’t answer them as I want to. Worst of all, those who don’t know Christ can better answer why they don’t believe, why they’re gay, why they think the government is out to get them, why aliens exist, and how science is the only “god” they trust. Even worse, I envy those who can stand up and make powerful leaders in my world follow them because they can answer why! Evidence, fake or not, is making a bigger impact than most followers of Christ. I want to change that.

How would you answer the above questions? Let me know in the comments or just share how you struggle as well to defend your faith in Christ. I want to show my love for Christ in this world. To sum up my point Mr. Wallace says it best, “We need better answers”.

No More Self-Doubt!

  We are forgiven in Christ as the first step into a new life of purpose. Yet we can be worn down by self-doubt when we linger in past mistakes. Bad choices will try to remind us of negative results as we try to climb out of the doubt and even try to convince us no greatness lies ahead. This is a waste of our time. The reason why is simple: We need to apply the lessons we’ve learned from our past to new challenges today. In God’s word, He states clear “I am about to do something new. (Isaiah 43:19)”. Join me as we learn how to disarm 3 traps that create self-doubt.

First trap that creates self-doubt: Idols

A short example of mine is a pastor I went to on guidance about a spiritual gift let me down when he didn’t take me seriously. When I was dropped and my seeking guidance treated as a joke I realized the pastor had been an idol to me.  God in chapter 44 of Isaiah says “Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times…”  He goes on to say “The person who made the idol never stops to reflect..” Reflection comes too late after the hurt when doubt has planted its seeds. 

Rooting our doubt takes time because continuing to pursue our goal seems pointless. We become deluded and think “If so and so had helped me I would be more confident.” Why let a human hold you back? God is our father, power source, and all loving creator who longs to see us do well. He has greatness in store for us if we will just choose to keep going. When doubt begins to nag at you try some of the ideas below to remind you that God is all you need to succeed and will send help when it is needed.

  • Write the promises of God on note cards to reinforce Gods word in your heart.
  • Pray for opportunities to prove those useless idols wrong and meditate on what your success looks like.
  • Try new techniques to create growth and have fun learning, don’t focus on the end goal. Enjoy your journey!
  • Make a list of I Am statements (ex. I am a daughter/son of the king,  I am powerful through Christ, I am loved by almighty God, I am equipped for success).
  • Know you are not alone in how you feel. There are tons of people who struggle with self -doubt.

Let me know in the comments or on Facebook how you combat self-doubt in your life. Join me again for how to disarm Failure. 

Blessing and Peace- Randa 🙂

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In Defense of Being Single.

“You’ll change your mind when you meet the One.”, “You don’t want kids? That will change when you get married.”, “You don’t want to be alone do you?”,  and many other varieties of these phrases have been hurled at me since I’ve decided to stay single. And NO, I’m not choosing to stay single until my “prince” comes because God has prepared us both for the great journey of marriage. I choose to stay single because I want to.  If there is anyone out there like me I’m writing this to encourage the single to stay strong when well-meaning people offer their “advice”.

Family, friends, co-workers, etc. can’t help themselves because they don’t understand that singleness  isn’t a curse. They see single as a temporary disease, a defect caused by bad examples and go so far as to suggest you join the singles group at church to meet people. Prayers go up imploring God to guide you since no man is an island. Here’s a newsflash: Being single is a gift (1 cor.7:7)! God’s path for us who are single is to remain this way and for others God wants them to be married: different is good.

Not getting married doesn’t mean missing out nor does it mean we who follow Christ can share our what God gave us with whoever we please. The purpose we strive for will differ from single to single. Having a freedom to pursue this divinely given goal is reason enough to fight for being single.  It can be lonely and make even the stoutest single doubts, but I am here to encourage you to not allow loneliness to taint the life you live. You should never be with someone just to avoid emotions instead pursue ways to enjoy your hobbies with other people and make some new friends. Invite someone from work to hang out or take that class you’ve been eyeing.

I’ve seen marriages where loneliness wasn’t avoided but amplified. I’ve also seen how marriage has brought out the best in both people. Still I don’t want marry as I know myself  and what I want out of life, what God wants out of my life.  Being single  is a special gift given to strong believers because knowing who you are in Christ and as a person makes a target out the believer from the church and the world.  Think salmon swimming upstream.Singles have figured aspects of their lives out because they take the time to minimize distractions. Most people I’ve met looking for a mate are distracted by past relationship let downs, crazy exes, and trying to impress the next guy/girl.

That’s my take. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Blessings and Peace,  Randa 🙂

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What’s That Smell-My Morning Meditation

Mediation is joy and the ways to feel such joy depends on the practitioner. I like sound when I can’t turn my mind off, yet I’ve been captivated by scent and not sound. Since discovering my inner tea lover just the smell of black tea is all I need to transport me to a safe place. Each morning can just mesh with the day, no real start just that I woke up. That changed this past week as I discovered the value of silence.

Getting up early is a chore I’ve struggled with my whole life yet has a higher value now. At 6:30 I get my tea ready and while it steeps I let myself ignore the clock, the fact I have to be at work soon and generate a mental barrier between me and the world. For 30 minutes it’s me accompanied by golden silence. Once I begin to drink the tea I focus on my breath emptying my mind to create a clean slate for the busyness of the day ahead.  Reading my devotional bible I use this time to pray seeking guidance for the day. Just this much “me time” is enough. This is my meditation practice now. I wonder what changes await me in the next evolution?

However you mediate, celebrate your journey by giving into what gives you joy! Walk and meditate, journal and mediate; use essential oils, sit in the sun… whatever moves you.

Let me know how your practice has grown in the comments or on any of my social media links! I would love to hear from you.

Blessing and Peace-Randa 🙂

Evict Fear

 

This will sound stupid, but I’ve never taken a walk around my neighborhood by myself. Being super private I  don’t even walk in the park because I feel enormous pressure to greet fellow walkers. Stupid right? Wound up from a call I received today, I took that brave step and walked around the block for 15 minutes. Thanks to my phone I have evidence of this fact with a few milestone trophy’s- the game is on! Join me today and take one step in evicting fear from an area in your life!

Worried I would be spotted I hesitated on the porch fiddling with my phone.  Now I want to scream at my past self, “GET MOVING!” After walking I was awake, more awake than I’ve been in weeks. Don’t sit down on your fears. Face them and conquer them starting today as life is terribly short. Wallowing in fear won’t cripple you, it will make you a Ripper victim. Whatever you think is on the other side of door #2 isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning. 

Right now, grab a pen and some paper, we’re going to play the “What-If Game”. Write you fear on the top with a fierce underline: imagine you’re crossing it of existence. Now write what-if statements like, “What if I do succeed”, “What if I do get that promotion”, and “What if my book is accepted”. Keep going and tape your list where you’ll see it when you’ve finished. Post the list on your social media as well and ask your friends to play along.

Leave a comment if you liked what you read and make sure to check out Meditated Faith on Facebook. Post your “What-If” list I would love to see it. 

Blessing and Peace- Randa 🙂

 

Why Clutter is Killing You

Besides obvious clutter around our homes, there is hidden clutter– messes even the neatest of neat freaks miss every day. These messes are chameleons blending into our routines and hiding right under our noses. No, it’s not dirty dishes or that box of old clothes, it’s your thoughts, fears, and the illusions you cast around yourself while you suffer behind the curtain. Clutter of the soul and mind derail us just as we think we’ve cleaned our spiritual house.We can keep repeating the vicious cycle or let God step in.

Sadly, we only notice a relationship in trouble after a fight, not before. We only notice were out of storage right as we go to take a perfect photo. You see where I’m going. Why should you care? The answer is simple: true happiness and peace of mind. Small is big when it comes to being outrageously happy and that means you must know yourself as well as a human can. Allowing deep-seated issues to clutter up your life leads to regret; regret chains us to our past, stealing our futures.

 In Christ, we are new creations not burden with the sin debt of our past. Our future is wide open, filled with second chances and yet we still don’t understand how the transformation works. To stop living in illusion we have to be changed from the inside out. Imagine inside all of us is a vast landscape filled with, aptly called, inner demons that taunt and goad us to admit defeat. In response, we hold on white knuckled generating an outer image of “okay” and “at peace” when we are far from either.

Dispelling illusions are easy as were not alone. God is aware of every need you have and every issue you have. Nor will He manipulate you because of your sin because He longs to be close to us, to heal us. To have a deeply committed relationship with us. His thoughts about you are all love and wanting to heal you of any hurts because small is big.

Blessing and Peace-Randa 🙂