My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.janellekeith.com.
I often wonder about a lot of things and I find myself coming to the same conclusion each time. Now I'm not talking about the cure for cancer, or the national deficit, or the latest bargain price for broccoli. This isn't a post to tell you my vote for President.
The two words "I'm busy" make me wonder and create a contradiction in my soul. I also wonder how many busy signals God hears. I'm busy blogging, writing, editing a book or two, writing another book or two, recording some radio stuff, cleaning, eating sleeping, and exercising. I get it. Me too.
I run to God constantly but sometimes I am distracted with problem solving on my own. Then when this happens...it's as if there's a tap on my little shoulder.
"Please rest in Me."
Here I am in a season of busy activity and it seems super unproductive to take a siesta or halt to a stop with all this activity around me. I'm used to doing for myself, producing, and meeting deadlines. I'm used to feeding and dressing myself, but one idea I'm not good at is resting. So why would I need to rest now?
I found myself saying, "I'm too busy to rest." And the conflict comes down in my soul.
Then....I came to my senses through the help of the Holy Spirit. Needless to say, I repented of my wrong thinking, refocused my mind and put my thoughts back on Him. And now I can see more clearly, I've learned that rest is more than a season. Rest is an attitude I am adopting into my life permanently.
I don't know if you have thought about rest in this way, perhaps you have been too busy. I believe God planned rest from the beginning of time and created a whole day intentionally for rest. I know you've read this over and over in Genesis, but I realized it was the very component I needed. To help you be more productive, more focused, and more intentional with your time, you might need rest to be more than just a season.
So I ask you, what would it take for you to stop the whirling world you live in and give yourself a long soaking rest in God? I get it...I thought I was too busy also take a long time to rest. Then once I experienced true rest, it's now a part of my life I can't live without. Try it, even if you think you are too busy.
God is trying to reach you in your busyness. And this just in...He wants to be MORE than a crisis manager to you. He specializes in perfecting the very details which seemed to go unchecked when you are busy. I let him manage my task list, my clock, and my seasons from now on. It's important to Him, and I can rest on Him knowing He knows more about my needs than I know myself.
"Who you spend time with is what you value the most." - John Gray
I get it. I know. I see. Rest isn't just a suggestion from our Creator. Rest is a place to center your will back where it belongs, in His rest. He gets it, He sees you, and He knows you need it.
Take my word for it, it's worth it. I dare you to try God in this too. It's better FOR you than you know.
It was 20 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I've watched him struggle to a decent level of health with many medical complications as a result of his diagnosis. There have been some good days for sure, but as a wife and help-mate, there have been more days that I wish we could do over. Instead of harboring regret and resentment, I've learned that every marriage has "those" days when it's cloudy and the skies are not singing a sunny attitude.
Change in attitude came by faith in his simple prayer one day, "God, help us to be optimistic about all things." I realized what I had leaned on to get me through the hard years was more than the disappointments that life had to offer.
Six words that have gotten me through struggles like cancer and hard days since are:
"You'll get through this, have faith."
Life is full of many scenarios and simply said we didn't "sign up" for trouble. Like it or not everyone has good and bad "stuff" to contend with. Problems aren't specifically set up for the result in disappointment but rather problems present opportunities to see God get you through...by faith.
There's a choice in how you respond to life and when holding to a positive attitude, it can get you through the toughest of days. Let's break this encouragement down word by word. In those six words, I found these treasures:
1. "You'll - You will: Remember, yes you, reading this right now...aren't singled out. The world is not against you. No one is out to get you. You can't control every circumstance that comes your way, but remember you CAN choose how you respond to it.
2. "Get" - You get: Don't buy into the lie that a bad situation has come because God is upset with you or you've done something wrong. God is for the good and right in this world. Whatever the situation is God can reach down and help you. He is always on your side, in a good mood and you get to ask Him to intervene!
3. "Through" - Get you through: there is an end to suffering believe it or not. "This" too shall pass. Healing comes for the hurts and wounds. Tomorrow is a new day, there's newness every morning. Even when it seems endless, storms don't last forever. Pray continually and don't stop once the clouds clear!
4. "This" - You and "this": There are many events that come into our life that the Enemy uses to marginalize, isolate, and segregate us from hope and God's love. Satan knows when we have loneliness, rejection, and oppression, we become weak and closed off. Our numbers tank spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. When we want to run from our conflicts or storms that's when we should be reaching out for comfort and support through together strength with friends, spouse, church, and family. There's strength in numbers. No man is an island and as humans, we weren't built to go through life alone. Even in paradise - the Garden of Eden - God said "It is not good for man to be alone."
5. "Have faith" - You MUST have faith: Jesus said you will have trouble in the world but John 16:33 ecnourages our faith by taking part of His heart, to overcome whatever has come to plague yours. When having faith it strengthens you to the end! Help is surrounding you, to navigate you through. There is a difference in talking about what faith is and believing God is your help and strength by faith. God is who He says He is!
Through it all, we count it all joy friends. But how can you be joyful? The truth is numbers don't lie, but they often don't tell the truth. Consider the joy that Jesus had as His reward on the way to the cross. What I know about crucifixions, the process is the most cruel way to die, but yet Jesus went joyfully. The process of life is often full of handling cruelties and torments of this world. But remember, you too will get through, because there's joy to be gained by going through it with Jesus.
Hope that helps you this week as you are going through some tough situations. I would like to pray for you so please let me know what your situation is and I will!
I’ve told the story before about a giraffe named Gerald who dreams of being a dancer with the other animals in the jungle. Gerald has the desire but his ability to dance like the others isn’t quite up to par. His knees are crooked and his legs are thin. All the other animals mock him when he approaches the jungle dance floor. His swagger (as they say in jungle-eeze) isn’t zig-zaging like the others.
Gerald took lessons, studied the moves, more grooves, and eventually developed his own style. One day, on jr.audition day, Gerald showed up prepared to zig and zag in a confident direction. After many hours on the dirt floor, he perfected a secret move all his own and still wasn’t chosen.
As he lumbered off in a dejected fashion, the lonely lanky spotted giraffe felt rejection from his “wanna-be’s”. Downcast, he met up with his cricket friend who chirped “Gerald, you just need a different song.” Gerald’s heart lightened a little as he took the cricket’s advice. He retreated to his own little jungle corner to let his heart dance free.
Soon, Gerald was prancing and sashaying once again.
Suddenly, a crowd gathered in amazement and recognized Gerald could dance after all. All he needed was his own little space be brave and bold, freedom to unleash his rhythm by the light of the moon.
It might seem strange to you to tell you I think about Gerald often. I know how this kind of rejection feels. What the story doesn’t tell you is Gerald had a lot of doubt going into dancing. So much doubt he wanted to give up. He wanted to do anything else instead of dancing. Gerald also had a big heart to teach others to dance but he couldn’t lead out because he felt unqualified.
The story didn’t mention how Gerald was faithful to his craft. There were lots of practices he only watched from the outlying and surrounding undergrowth as the other animals gracefully swayed. Gerald watched in wonder at their magical skill. He longed to be included and seen by them. But shamefully, self-doubt kept coming against him. Opposition came in the jeers and taunts of his so-called friends. Provocation came from his inner critic. He was discouraged and just wanted to give up.
Why does this story move me so much? It has a happy ending like most children books do and Gerald found the courage to recover a dream. For me, it also speaks of how we should never give up uncovering who God created us to be. If you are honest with yourself, wouldn’t you admit you want to belong somehow?
The search for purpose sometimes leads a person to unexpected places. Michael Hyatt says to do “what makes you cry” in life. What I’ve found so far is dreams are full of hard work and lots of practice. There’s lots of pieces to making a dream work. There’s even more work to get someone to notice your dance in a jungle full of excellent dancers.
So why should we try? If Micheal Hyatt were here now I would ask him, “What’s the point?” It doesn’t matter if you are a musician or not, please watch Victor Wooten’s talk. His lessons about life, success, creativity, learning, passion, permission and smiling are profound.
In using my creative confidence, I still have some lessons to learn. Like Gerald, my dance doesn’t look like others, but mine is a worthy and weighty move . I have also learned to not lean on feelings but to dance anyway. Taking action on an idea requires applied practice and a dedication to stay the course. Dancing takes courage, skill, and ability. It takes guts to put your best foot forward. It’s risky, hard and you may lose. But… you will never know discovery unless you try. It’s never to late to be what you might have been.
What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
Speaking metaphorically, life is a dance. We all have a unique design made by a God without rival. And when an incomparable God has placed His uniqueness within, it’s our best response to practice and sing in the octave He gave you. There’s no two dancers the same, each are unique in every way. And finally, God just loves it I show up for practice, even with my deficiencies.
So where are you in this dancer’s world?