I’m not enough

I see the phrase, “I am enough” everywhere these days. I get the sentiment behind it. Everywhere we look these days we see our own insufficiencies. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have enough stress to last a lifetime. Sometimes we need the reminder that we don’t have to do it all. We are loved just as we are.

But may I be honest with you for just a moment? Because when I read “I am enough” I want to cringe and crawl under the nearest chair.

Friends, I am not enough. 

I will never be enough. I will never have enough strength on my own to face what tomorrow brings. I will never have enough patience of my own to mother my children the way God asks of me. I will never have enough love to go out and serve others and love them unconditionally. I will never have enough resources of my own to fulfill the callings God has on my life.

I am not enough.

But, He is.

I think that as believers, this is the message we need to be proclaiming from the rooftops. We don’t even have to try to be enough on our own. We don’t have to feel guilty that we aren’t enough in this area or that.

Even hearing the words “I am enough” causes condemnation to well up within me because deep down in my soul I know I truly am not enough. I will never have enough strength, enough love, enough grace, enough knowledge, enough of anything.

There is freedom in acknowledging that we are not enough. You know what the freedom is, though?

Christ in us is enough. He is always enough.

Christ in us is our hope. Telling ourselves that we are enough will never satisfy the deep holes in our hearts that were created to be filled only by Him.

Telling ourselves that we are enough will not allow us to live victorious lives totally and completely dependent on Christ’s redeeming power.

But, praise God, telling our hearts that Jesus is enough will fill us to overflowing. Because that is what Jesus does when He invades our dry and parched souls.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.

He is strong in our weakness, not our enough-ness. He is strong for us. His strength in us is more than sufficient.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29.

“He says, I am the Bread of Life.

He is the Bread of Life. We are not.

He says, I am the Light of the World.

He is the Light. We are not. 

He says, I am the Door.

He is the Door. We are not. 

He says, I am the Way, the Truth. 

We are not. 

He is enough. We are not.” 

Jennie Allen from Nothing to Prove

Friends, for today, let’s rest in the fact that we are not enough. Let’s rest in the freedom that Christ paid it all and is all. Let’s acknowledge that we aren’t enough so that we can loudly proclaim that He is!

If you need more encouragement to remind your heart of His enough-ness, I highly recommend the book Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen.

Two Steps to Take To Know Truth from False Doctrine

walk-this-way

{Please help me welcome my dear friend, Anne Marie, to the blog today!}

Nothing is new under the sun. Humanity has not changed for the better or for worse. We are still sinners saved by the grace of God through Christ Jesus.

However, the world does seem to change. When you look around, how do you know what is real or false?

When a meme passes by on your Facebook feed, do you fact check before you share it? Magazine models are all air-brushed these days, and the news, liberal or conservative, doesn’t really share the “News” but opinions about what is happening in the world. Even churches today can get caught up with the entertainment factor and forget about the gospel.

The Apostle Paul warned his protege, Timothy, against false teachings. Timothy was the pastor of a church in an environment that included disorder during worship, false doctrine, and materialism. Having a reputation for godliness (Acts 16:2), Timothy was a good leader, but needed the support of a strong mentor. Paul knew that it was vital for Timothy to teach what was false doctrine and real gospel.

Paul reminded Timothy that it was essential for the people to have a good understanding of the law because knowledge of the law brings about a conviction of sin. He knew that once the people were convicted of their sin, then their appreciation for Jesus and grace would sky-rocket!

We have a lot of “junk” that swirls around us every day. How can we know what is sound and what is false? Like Timothy, we want to minister to those around us as well as teach our kids well.

There are TWO ACTIONS you can take to make sure that you know the difference between a true gospel and false doctrine.

Know Scripture

Be proactive and know as much scripture as you can. His Mercy is New has wonderful resources that help you entrench scripture into your heart. And my blog, futureflyingsaucers, offers fun Biblically solid lessons you can use with your children. Dig into your Bible and read it. Meditate on it.

Once you have that scripture planted, once you know the law and what God expects from His people, then the Holy Spirit can do His job and help you remember truth as He guides you throughout life. But if you do not put scripture into your heart, then the Holy Spirit has no material to work with. And that will make you susceptible to lies and false doctrine.

Examine Everything

Friends, we cannot be too careful monitoring what we allow into our homes and hearts. I don’t mean for you to cut yourself off from the world and sing, “kum-ba-ya“. As Christians we are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. This means we must use discernment.

If you know your scripture, then call upon the Spirit to help you know if what you are reading and listening to are edifying to your soul. Are you doing something that is harmful to yourself or to others? Are you *not* doing something you *should* be doing? This might mean we need to be convicted of sin. And this is good because we learn to love the grace of God more.

We also want to be discerning of those from which we learn: preachers, teachers, Bible studies, podcasts…and even blogs. Do these people really share a gospel message?

We are not to give heed to fables and false doctrines that cause arguments. What we are supposed to do is teach gospel doctrine and serve with godly edification. Examine everything with the heart of God through the Holy Spirit.

This sounds hard enough for us, but what about our kids?

Same thing. They need to be soaked in scripture and learn how to examine everything around them.

Be intentional when teaching your children about Jesus. Be intentional when you have them in activities. Help them to think about their choices and how they affect others. Don’t be busy just to be busy. Examine how your family is spending time…then redeem it, no matter the cost. How are you serving people in your community? Faith without works is dead.

Know the scriptures. Examine everything. Then serve those around you as you spread the gospel of Jesus.

Walk This Way

businesscardheadshotAnne Marie Gosnell has a Masters in Education with a focus on developing curriculum and instruction. Her life journey includes over 25 years (so far!) in Children’s Ministry: Sunday School, Puppetry, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church, Awana, and various outreach ministries. Currently she is an Awana Bible Teacher and loves every moment of it! She is the founder of www.futureflyingsaucers.com where she shares creative, engaging Bible resources so parents and teachers can share Jesus without fear.

She is also the author of the book, Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids. For more info about the book CLICK HERE. Or check it out on Amazon! If you purchase the paperback version, you get the kindle version for FREE!

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Advent Prayer Journal Ebook 50% off TODAY!

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TODAY (Black Friday) through CYBER MONDAY, Jesus, Light of the World will be 50% off and selling for $3.50. Yay!! Snatch up a copy and one for a gift!

You can still purchase the PRINT version at Lulu, however the shipping is pretty slow and I doubt you will receive it in time to start on December 1st, just wanted to be sure you realized that. 🙂

NO COUPON CODE needed, it is marked down in the shop.

 

Jesus, Light of the World {PRINT edition}

 

Print Copy Jesus Light of the World 2

My heart, as I’ve been sharing about Praying the Scriptures, has been for each of you to personalize the Scriptures and pray them yourselves. My hope has been to express how impactful this practice has been and inspire you to give it a try.

When I released the ebook, Jesus, Light of the World: Praying the Scripture through Advent, I knew that eventually I would LOVE to offer these as journals ~ in print ~ for you to write in.

Because so many of you have already asked for the print version, I have looked into several options and have one option available now for you!

Head over to LuLu’s site and you can order directly from there!

I have already ordered several myself and they are beautiful, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Print Copy Jesus Light of the World

How to Know if it’s Depression

How to know if you're depressed

In the past I have had people say to me that they feel a certain way or have done a certain thing and wonder, “is this depression?” Now, I want to be clear from the start, depression looks different for different people. I can only share my own experience. But, these are traits that seem to be *fairly* common among those of us that struggle.

So, what to do if these characteristics describe YOU? Here again, different things work for different people. First and foremost, TALK to someone! Do not suffer alone! Counseling is NOTHING to be ashamed of, but if you can’t afford that, a good friend or pastor or your doctor are also great places to start. Here are some more links that may help you: Natural Ways I’m Fighting Depression, Best Biblical Book on Depression, Practical Tips for Struggling Moms.

How to Know if it’s Depression

1. You’re tired all the time, but “tired” isn’t really the word you’re looking for. For me, tired didn’t begin to cover what I was feeling. I would say I was tired, but I would be thinking on the inside, “you have no idea.” Not being able to get out of bed is pretty common for those that are struggling. But it’s more than a physical tiredness. It is mental exhaustion. It is beyond that “emotionally drained” feeling you have after a big event in your life. You just can’t even make one.more.decision because your brain feels incapable of thinking clear thoughts.

2. Motivation is a thing of the past. This was a HUGE one for me. I could not find motivation to fix dinner, wash clothes, even smile and make small talk. And it wasn’t that I just couldn’t “muster up the energy.” Depression makes these normal, everyday things feel flat out impossible. Like in my brain, I was thinking, “there is no possible way I can get these dishes loaded into the dishwasher.” It wasn’t laziness, it was a mental block, my body would not let me move forward.

3. Irritability and anger are much more present in your life. This was a very real struggle for me. I would not feel my best and become soooo irritable. The irritability led to much guilt in my mothering. It was just a vicious cycle. I would snap at my family for tiny, normal kid things. And I would snap for NO good reason at all. I hated it about myself but felt helpless to change it. I could tell when I woke up in the morning before I even talked to one person if it was going to be a good day or a bad day. It felt like a switch in my brain.

4. You don’t have the words to pray. I’m so thankful that when we don’t have the words to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Because, I’m sure most of you know, when you are going through something hard, day in and day out, sometimes you lose the words. Often it was hard for me to talk to actual human people in my life, let’s be honest, I’m an introvert and conversation isn’t always easy on a regular day! ha! But, during these times, I often could not even think of the words that I wanted to speak. Forming the words in my mouth was difficult and felt impossible. So praying? I would go before God, with tears streaming down my face, and just sit in His presence. I may not have had words, but my time with God was still sweet. I knew He was with me in the darkness. A huge, huge help to me in my walk with Christ was learning to pray the Scriptures in times of depression. Praying the very Words of God gave me the words I needed, especially the Psalms.

5. You don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Some days it isn’t a matter of “want to,” it literally feels impossible. I would dread appointments and even cancel them. Getting myself and the kids out the door literally felt like an impossible feat. My head would be clouded, I would look around and literally not.know.what.to.do to get us all ready. It’s crippling, really.

6. You feel extremely lonely even if you are surrounded by wonderful friends. This is a hard one for many people. I have friends that love me and would ask how I was doing. Some days I could be more honest than others, but it took me awhile to get there. Probably a long while. It was a long time before I could even say “depression” out loud. I had to remind myself that I.was.not.alone. But those reminders didn’t feel real to me. I was overly sensitive and borderline paranoid that people didn’t want to be around me. So, I would withdraw even more. One of the things that happens to me when I’m at my lowest is the racing thoughts of anxiety. Just walking into a room of people would feel overwhelming to me. I just *knew* no one wanted me there. I was highly irrational. Those irrational, racing thoughts were a big part of my struggle because they led me further down the spiral. I want to note here that I think a lot of the anxiety and racing thoughts is hormonal for me!

7. You have no hope that tomorrow will be better. Hope was a thing of the past at my lowest times. I truly thought life would never, ever get better. I thought I was destined to suffer forever. And, friends, I don’t think that God’s heart is for us to be happy. I believe He brings suffering into our lives to make us more like Him. There is purpose in the suffering. But, dear ones, the thing is, at my lowest, I could not see that…I did not have the hope of Christ that there was a  purpose, that He was still at work in my life. Without that hope, the dark times seem so very hopeless. But, with Christ and just the realization that He was still at work, He was with me in the dark, that gives PEACE and HOPE back.  Jesus is the hope — the hope is not that we will feel better tomorrow, unfortunately. That is a tough lesson. But holding on to that hope did bring peace.

Friends, don’t read this list and get even more overwhelmed. As I shared in my depression story, admitting you are struggling is a HUGE step. Say it out loud to someone. Allow others to help and bless you. Talk to your doctor. Don’t walk this path alone!  Even when the enemy makes you feel alone, speak the truth aloud to yourself, here are 10 Truths to Speak Aloud When You Feel Despair. And here are all of my posts on depression

Depression may look different for you. Please share in the comments symptoms you have found to be true in your own struggle that I may not have listed here!