Thursday, May 31, 2012

What God is Teaching Me...About Attitude...

"Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths."
(Psalm 25:4)
God is currently teaching me about my attitude.  Being a Christian with a bad attitude is counter-productive to your Christian walk.  My attitude as of late stinks!  I've been in a bad mood for a few days.  I don't have any reason to justify my moodiness or overall sense of "blah"...I'm just stuck in a rut.  Nothing to blame, but no way out.  I have an overall sickly feeling of "all someone has seen of Christ is my bad mood..."

So, what's with the attitude? 

Well, attitude is an outward presentation of inner dispositions of your heart and thoughts.  The dispositions tend to show up in our actions and are usually contagious to anyone who is watching.  The only person who truly knows your heart and thoughts is the Lord, Jesus Christ.  (Thank goodness, right?)  God's word tells us that we can never hide from Him.  He knows our hearts; He knows our thoughts before we even do. 

So, what do we do when we have no idea what's in our heart or thoughts that is putting us in a bad mood? 

Well, you pray for starters.  You ask God to search your heart and thoughts.  You read God's word, maybe starting here...and you start the day over.

Psalm 139
O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I found the article titled "Check Your Attitude" by Dr. Dale Robbins.  He says so well what I fail to put into words.    Read what he has to say about good attitudes and ways to develop one.  Its well worth the few minutes it will take you to read it.

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7)

I don't want to be Negative Nelly or Debbie Downer.  I want to be me, chosen by a risen Savior, striving to be more Christ-like every passing day, living a life full of praises that reflects a relationship with the Lord, fearfully and wonderfully made, with an attitude of gratitude. 

Lord, I've been in such a bad mood.  I don't even have a reason for my sour attitude.  It's just present.  Lord, search my heart and thoughts to remove any form of wickedness in me.  Help me to focus on the mercy and grace you have overwhelmingly poured out over my life and family.  When negative thoughts or feelings creep inside of me, I pray that they will be rebuked by the armour of a holy, righteous God.  I am so sorry for my bad attitude...You have been so good to me.  I am a spoiled brat at times.  I beg your forgiveness and ask for your mercy and grace again...Help me shine for you Lord.  Fill my vessel full of your love and kindness.  May a good attitude radiant from every aspect of my life...from my words to my actions to my most intimate details.  Lord you know them all, and I will continue to trust you to make a dramatic inner change in my life.  Lord, come quickly!  Show up BIG! Amen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Word...

I've seen so many of my fellow blogging friends who are picking one word for 2012.  One Word 365 is an alternative to setting New Year's Resolutions.  It is...

"One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live
or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012.
One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment.
 But if you let it, your One word will shape you and your year.
It will guide your decisions and help you grow."

So, I picked a word...

I'm six months late, but better late than never, right?

When I started the Couch to 5K, I really struggled with breathing.  I was concentrating on surviving.  Deidre had to keep reminding me that I needed to breathe..."breathe through your will help regulate your breathing."  I couldn't.  I struggled.  I've been struggling with asthma for the past year. 
While it was really hard for me to find just one word to concentrate on, when I saw the picture above, I knew it was IT...the one word for the remaining half of 2012.  "Breathe."  It's the first thing I forget to do when the going gets tough. 

So, why "Breathe?"  What is God teaching me about this word? First off, it doesn't only apply to running.

1. to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.
2. (in speech) to control the outgoing breath in producing voice and speech sounds.
3. to pause, as for breath; take rest: "How about giving me a chance to breathe?"
4. to move gently or blow lightly, as air.
5. to live; exist: "Hardly a man breathes who has not known great sorrow."
So, what is God teaching me about breathing?
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."  (Genesis 2:7)
Breathing is to live.  Having breath is having life.  We can't survive without it.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
All scripture is God breathed.  Reading God's word, or inhaling His inspiration, is profitable.  Breathing in God's word is having communion with Him. 

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."  (Psalm 150:6)

Breathing is a form of worship.  As long as I have breath, I should be praising the Lord.

When the going gets rough...and it will, I should be pausing to remember to inhale God's strength, wisdom, and security...exhale my fatigue, anxiety, and doubt...  I should remember Who I belong to and how He will sustain me.  Throughout the good and bad experiences I may encounter, I will praise God with every breath He has mercifully given me.  While I am running this race we call life, when I feel completely overwhelmed, when my heart aches with sorrow, when my strength is all gone...I must remember to breathe and find rest in Him.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mayan or Your'n

Today at work, we were collectively speaking about the Mayan calendar and the hoopla surrounding the projected date the world will end.   If you haven't heard about it, you can google it.  I couldn't really find a reputable source to link to.  Basically, it turned out that the Mayan calendar, which predicts the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012, may be wrong.  Well (reverting back to my teenage ways), "DUH!!!"

I don't even know how or why the conversation came up, but I made the comment, "The only person who knows when the world will end is the Lord."  Then, I said, "And I'm ready...He can come today."  My co-workers looked at me as if I had the bubonic plague.  One even asked me if I was in a bad it really so bad to be eagerly awaiting the Lord's return?  I don't think so.  Come quickly, Lord.  I'm ready!

I'm pretty sure the Mayan calendar doesn't match Yourn's either...

Who did you discuss the Lord with today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who am I?

I'm coming off a difficult weekend...a smack-you-in-the-face-because-sometimes-life stinks kind of weekend.  It was also a much-needed-reality-check-because-Elaine-just-can't-fix-everything kind of weekend. 

Hello, my name is Elaine.  I'm a fixer. 

When my kids have boo-boos, I get band aids and kisses to fix the boo-boo.  When my house seems out of order, I rearrange my priorities to get things all in place, or "I fix it" if you will.  I often do a quick-clean which is basically put a band aid over the mess.  When I know people who need something, I instantly jump in to motion.  When people I love hurt, I want to fix them. 

I'm also a hindrance.

When my own motivation to fix things gets in the way of what God wants to accomplish, I hinder the work He wants to do in another's life.  I take control instead of "Letting Go, Letting God..." blah, blah, blah *insert lots of eye rolling*.  In the process, I wonder how often I have hindered something BIG that the the Lord wants to do...I actually shudder at the possibility that I have more often been a hindrance than a help to someone. 

Reality check:  When I jump into motion, I am allowing the other party to take their eyes off God and His ability to fix things.  I am actually limiting Him, whether I realized it before now or not.  Not limiting His ability, per se`.  I'm not so naive to believe that God is incapable of intervening between my plan and His.  But I am hindering the other person's ability to keep their eyes on Him...

So here's the truth:
Jesus is the answer to despair; Not me
Jesus is the answer to death; Not me
Jesus is the answer to peace; Not me
Jesus is the answer to the future; not me, Elaine Killian, the "I-need-to-let-go-and-let-God" believer, who I'm not but aspire to be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Vision

I've been struggling with blogging lately.  Nothing exciting has been happening in my life as of late (WooHoo!), so I've really been trying to sort what direction I'd like to take my blog in. 

My Prayers, His Promises is a record of my infertility struggles.  I began blogging as an outlet, therapy for the soul.  I felt so alone in my conception journey, but once I began to document my thoughts I had women come forward and offer to cry with my failure and celebrate my successes.  It just doesn't seem "normal" to blog there regularly any longer.  I do add to the blog from time to time:  bible versus which seem fitting for anyone in this journey, new blogs I've found, etc.  I won't be taking it down, and I continue to meet and pray for people who find there way to My Prayers His Promises.  (As a matter of fact, I've been praying for my friend Rita who found out right before Mother's day she is expecting!  She reached out to me through this blog, and there is nothing I love more than praying for women who are experiencing similar emotions as I felt--although I wished it were unnecessary for anyone to feel that way.)

Then, along came Killian Corner where I presently do most of my blogging.  The vast variety of topics include my family, church notes, prayer requests, venting, lists of things I like/dislike, etc.  There isn't really a theme, and truth be known, I'll probably continue to write here. 

I also created Between The Covers Book-Nook where I would occasionally record my thoughts on books I've read.  It's primary purpose was for me as a future Middle Grades Teacher.  I just wanted to keep quick thought about books I've read...was the book a good read?  What was the theme?  Which characters stood out?  Are the language or content areas which concern me for adolescent readers?  etc...  I'll probably continue to write here too occasionally.  (In fact, I'm reading a book right now called "To Save a Life" which is Christian adolescent fiction dealing with suicide that I plan to include a review of on this blog...If you only knew the irony in me downloading this book on Friday morning you would get cold chills.  Actually, not irony...totally "a God thing.")

So, what's my new vision?  Being Souled Out for Christ...but more importantly, AreYouSouledOut4Christ is going to be a place that I record anything pertaining to Christianity.  Topics such as what I'm learning about the bible...What is God teaching me in this current season of my life?  What questions do I have?  What bible verses am I learning?  What am I doing for Christ?  But MOST importantly, am I souled out 4 Christ...and does my life reflect that walk?

I invite you to join me as a follower (or lurker) in this new walk...where I live out John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."