God’s Umbrella

Standard

In our home, we teach our children that there’s covering and blessing under God’s umbrella. It serves as a great metaphore. Think about it…

An umbrella does not act like a locked corralle where one is imprisoned in a covered bullpen. Rather, an umbrella is light and can travel with you wherever you go or you can choose to leave it at home. And you can hold an umbrella for cover from harsh wind, sun or rain. Or you can choose to lay it down and walk alone freely in the elements. 

God has no desire to enslave you. He loves you enough to let you decide whether you want to live under the covering of His umbrella or dance outside of His umbrella. One note of caution: Dancing outside of the umbrella might appear fun at times, but the elements can quickly turn harsh out there.  And it can be quite difficult to manage the consequences alone.  

Here is the good news. You may choose to live beyond the reach of God’s protective umbrella, but you can never live beyond the reach of God’s love for you. 

God is always eagerly waiting with open arms for you to return and pick up the umbrella He has unconditionally reserved for you. No questions asked. Just a loving Father delighted to see His child find security under His covering. 

Live Your Purpose

Standard

God created each one of us with a unique purpose. Find your purpose, live your purpose, and you will find your joy.

“If you have felt hopeless, hold on! Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose.”

Rick Warren:
The Purpose Driven Life

IMG_2453.JPG

Painful Stick In Your Eye?

Standard

Do you know someone who is distant and only engages long enough to criticize?

IMG_2381.JPG
People that are critical toward another person’s needs, wants or desires is a projection of how they feel about themselves. They often resent their own needs. They view themselves through a dark kaleidoscope of disdain. Therefore they also resent the needs of others and often express criticism about another’s needs, wants and desires.

Then there are people that are so narcissistic that they can only focus on their own needs. They never get past themselves to “see” another person’s needs, much less care about them. So they ignore others without feeling any obligation to tend to anyone outside of themselves.

Maybe they have a painful stick in their eye? Matthew 7 can help with that one:

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT)

God wants you to take care of your own hurts so you can help others and have real joy in your life. You have to have the courage to identify “the stick in your eye” causing the pain and remove it. Then you can become truly happy with who you are on the inside. It is amazing how much brighter the people and the world around you will appear without that “stick” hurting you and clouding your perception. Same people. Same world. Just a pain-free happier you.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT)

Nicie Lee is a Christian Life Coach that can help all individuals with matters of the heart.
http://www.NicieLee.com

Little Green ‘Mater

Standard

IMG_2358.JPG
I’ve never had a green thumb. A few years ago I started growing potted plants in my courtyard. This was a big deal for me because I am one of those people that can somehow manage to kill an ivy. I am proud to say, I actually still have some of those plants alive today. And I love them like babies. I talk to them; yes, the crazy lady that loves to wear hats and talks to her wilting plants. They have lived despite my unknowing.

I have also attempted to grow various vegetables over the years. Those were all big fat failures for different reasons.

Then last year I was so excited to see 3 small berries on one of my strawberry plants! The next morning I eagerly went to check on their progress only to discover that some critter had chomped bites out of each berry, only leaving enough flesh to taunt me. Boo.

So this year I set out to try again. I ordered heirloom seeds online and planted tomatoes. The seeds eventually sprouted and some grew taller than others and I was excited. And then they seemed to just stop. Everyday they appeared stunted and struggling. And now it’s October and I am discouraged thinking it will freeze before too long. Boo. I will try again next year.

I stopped going out everyday to study their progress. With all the rain, I haven’t needed to water them as much. I had mostly given up on keeping them resuscitated. It seemed almost inhumane to delay their certain fruitless demise.

And then my hubby called to me this weekend and said, “Have you seen your plants lately? You’ve got a little ‘mater growing on one.” (Yes, he calls them ‘maters.) I walked out hesitantly with half doubt to see if he was pulling my leg. Low and behold there was indeed a tiny little green tomato. And today we spotted a second one.

I do not know whether these tomatoes will grow or if some critter will have it for a tasty feast. But it has brought me happiness and one step closer to possibly one day growing something my family and I can eat!

But here is why my little green tomato is really so special… I had become impatient; frustrated with no movement and no growth. I had no faith in me or in nature and wrote it off based on my past experiences. And all the while God was working. And when I had just about given up, there was my little green tomato. And then today there are two.

How often do we do the same thing with circumstances in our lives? All too often we become impatient and give up before God has a chance to deliver his prize. My little green ‘maters taught me quite a lesson.

Let us all keep our faith, even when God is taking His time to work in us, or we may miss His prize.

Nicie Lee is a Christian Life Coach that can help with matters of the heart, relationships, daily life or work issues.
http://www.NicieLee.com

DEAR GOD, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO

Standard

IMG_2344.JPG
Sometimes we are perplexed about what we should do in certain situations. “Should I do this? Should I do that? Should I stay here? Should I go there? Should I say this? Should I say that?”

We spin and toil, we wring our hands and lose sleep wondering if we are doing the right things to create the best outcome. We pray to God, “Please tell me what to do.” Maybe He already gave you the answer? “Dear Child, I’ve got this one. Please be still.”

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14 NIV)

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

NicieLee is a Christian Life Coach that helps people with matters of the heart.
http://www.NicieLee.com

YOUR SILENCE IS LOUD AND CLEAR

Standard

Why the silent treatment hurts.

IMG_2319.JPG
There are times in life when we have to exercise self-control and bind our lips so as not to say something that we can’t take back. “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” (Proverbs 29:11) This type of silence is of good character.

Then there are some people that take silence to another level…. THE SILENT TREATMENT. When we are threatened in some way, we react with fight or flight. Silence may initially be a protective mechanism of flight. But the moment the threat is no longer present and the silence evolves into punishment of another, it becomes an active form of fight.

Silence pops up in many relationships in our lives; spouses, children, co-workers, friends, family, etc. Some people try to defend their silence by saying things like, “I’m not calling you names. I’m not raising my voice. I’m not hitting you. I’m not doing anything to you.” Let’s be clear…. The silent treatment is loud and it hurts or offends. The thing you can count on about the silent treatment is that it will never bring resolution or peace to a situation; it will only make a chasm wider or lengthen the duration of the pain.

In Matthew 22:36, when Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” But he doesn’t stop there. Jesus goes on to give a second commandment, “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In order to comply with these commandments, we must first understand what it means to love.

Love is many things. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” So we know that love is about action; actions of patience, kindness, protection, trust, hope and rejoicing.

Ignoring someone is the opposite of love. It screams loud and clear to the other person, “You are not worthy of my attention or my breath. I refuse to hear you when you speak. I do not even care about you enough to acknowledge your existence. I dislike you or disrespect you so much that I cannot even look at you.”

There are many reasons why we resort to silence in our relationships with others. Anyone who delivers
silence and anyone who receives silence knows that silence can be a dysfunctional disruption to a relationship and it can cause painful deep wounds.

If silence is your “go to” coping mechanism or you are the recipient of chronic silent treatments, the pain that exists in that space is real. There are ways to break such a cycle and they are worth exploring. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

STOP THE SILENCE.
IT IS LOUD AND IT HURTS.

Nicie Lee is a Christian Life Coach that can help people with matters of the heart. http://www.NicieLee.com

Determining Someone’s Value

Gallery

HOW SHOULD YOU DETERMINE SOMEONE’s VALUE?

Do you have someone in your life that you value so much that you are willing to die for them?

Do you know someone that values you so much that they are willing to die for you?

How do you value yourself? Do you believe that you are worth dying for?

Thoughts of inferiority attack us all. No one, no matter how beautiful or successful, is immune from thoughts of inferiority.

Who should you allow to determine your value? Who really knows enough of you inside and out and who can really see you and your full potential?

A parent?
A spouse?
A sibling?
A coworker or friend?
A boyfriend or girlfriend?
A neighbor?
A boss or teacher?
The enemy?
Yourself?

Hardly! All these people, including you, are limited in their knowledge and understanding. Compared to God, they lack truth and understanding about what is within you.

So, how do you determine how valuable you are?

The best way to determine the value of something is to find out what someone is willing to pay for it.

What was the price God was willing to pay for you?

Death. His Son.

Do you value someone so much that you would give up your child for them? Is there a person in your life that values you so much that they would give up a child for you?

God, the all mighty creator, the only person that knows every hair on your head, the one that knows your every thought and that has seen your every action, all of your good and all of your bad, he knowingly paid the ultimate price for you: death. He gave up his only son in exchange for you. There is no greater price to pay.

God knows you are extremely valuable. Yes, this means YOU. There are no exceptions to his love for all of his creation. Don’t let the enemy rob this precious truth from you. Maybe you are not yet displaying your full potential, but God sees what you can eventually become and loves you for it today.

YOU are valuable enough to die for, so don’t ever let anyone else beneath God, including yourself, tell you any different.

ROMANS 8:32 NLT
32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

20140618-072627-26787154.jpg

20140618-072627-26787090.jpg

20140618-072626-26786978.jpg