go ahead… take that blindfold off

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time or pat at your head and rub your stomach at the same time? How about run with your eyes closed?….

 This past Sunday at our life group Chris (our leader) had each couple reflect on the different ways our spouses cared for us.  Some people said their spouse sent daily sweet text messages, some said their spouse prepared and brought them coffee every single morning. Some said their spouse went above and beyond to help around the house and with kid duties.  It was so neat hearing all the different stories and how each couple connected with one another. Our scripture that evening was based around how much God cares for us and how when we care with intent for our spouses we are able to have an even deeper intimacy with them.  I am learning more and more that God desires our hearts more than anything we could offer him. A text message or a cup of coffee isn’t what He wants from me (ha kidding). It’s so much more deeper He doesn’t want my “acts” of any kind to be what I bring to Him. He simply wants ME. Now don’t get me wrong those things are good and they deepen our relationship with Him but when I look at scripture  in John chapter 3 verse 16 it says this… God so loved the world that HE GAVE his ONLY son.  I thought about this verse long and hard and realized that because of God’s deep love for us He allowed His son to be brutally murdered. That is an extreme act of kindness! WOW.  I often don’t give money at a stop light to that homeless person simply because I am on the phone or too busy in my head to stop. I may see someone who I know needs me to stop and talk and because of my selfishness that is centered on “my schedule” I say hello and have meaningless chatter and go on about my day. Another verse that has been pressed against my heart this week is Psalm 34:8 and after reading it over and over I also reread it in the message version and God said so sweetly to me “Holly Can you run with your eyes closed”

 

8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see
         how good God is.
   Blessed are you who run to Him

 

You see I can go through every day and miss my Creator!  I may do great and wonderful acts of kindness all throughout the day but never see God simply because I ran with my eyes closed out of duty.  We have to OPEN our mouths to eat and OPEN our eyes to see and when we are going through life outside of His word how can we truly taste and see that He is good?  God’s love for us went beyond an act of kindness it was a full-out sacrifice of what He loved the most.  I remember back in student ministry days we would cut all the lights off and try to lead each other from one side of the room to the other and all throughout the room there would be chairs and people moving you in order to distract you.  It was hard because you couldn’t see anything at all and you had to fully rely on the person’s voice.  The knocked over chairs and the people throughout the room that were trying so hard to make you fall became irrelevant because you were blinded and desperately tried to listen for the person leading you across the room. Are we that desperate to hear God’s voice in our lives? Do we think every single day as we go from place to place that God has ordained our steps and may have allowed that sweet lady behind you at the bank to be there with such a look of despair on her face. God wants us to see Him and even more others to see Him through us.  Today as you sit at the stop light look over and see who is beside you, when you are driving down the road notice that flock of birds flying over head. God wants you to experience JOY and the fullness of His love for you.  That last part of the verse says “blessed are those who RUN TO HIM.”  Blessed…. (let that soak in) are those who RUN to Him.  My prayer today is that you will see GOD but also see those relationships, those distractions that have you limping and unable to run to the Creator and soak up His word, His grace, His mercy and most of all His love for you. He wants to blow your mind ….  Let Him!

 

Holly

Do you use a certain soap?

My husband and I both have type B personalities. However he has always used the same products since I have known him. If I tried to buy anything other than Dukes mayonnaise or if brought home mountain dew rather than Diet Sundrop he would wonder what in the world I was doing.  He has other things that are very routine and it often makes me laugh because he is so easy-going. For instance there is a certain way to make his sandwich – the mayonnaise always needs to be on the cheese side and the mustard on the meat side. He likes his LIFE cereal to be so soggy that it’s blended into the milk. He drinks un-sweet tea with 2 packs of sweet n low. He likes his clothes hung up only on glass hangers. He likes dove soap and it has to be the same kind (color/smell).  I once brought home a new bar that I thought would be a little something different and even though it was the exact same color he noticed as soon as he seen the box.  Last night was the last session in the STUCK study by Jeannie Allen.  I have loved every second of our life group. I literally stood in awe last night as each woman shared stories of how God is using such painful past and other struggles to bring about change and freedom in their lives.  The first week of our study I heard things like “ I hate the way I look”  “ I worry constantly over finances” and last night as we stood in a circle hand in hand we praised our Creator and I heard these NEW statements “I am finally learning to embrace that I am a masterpiece” “I have given my finances and my past to God”.  I drove away with such a full heart.  As we were reading through John 15, I was reminded yet again that God’s words are so powerful because when we encounter Him we are forever changed. Its like the perfect soap to our hearts.

John 15    1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

When we place our hearts inside God’s heart it’s what connects us to the vine. Because our hearts are connected to the vine we begin to see fruit grow out of our lives.  Joy, peace, and love for others as we begin to walk IN Him.  It also says in verse 2 that every branch that does not bear fruit He prunes. Pruning is difficult and it hurts when this happens. Relationships are broken, struggles surface  yet we tend to only see pain.  Our Creator is often pruning us in order to bear MORE fruit.  We want to see and understand His plans and then we miss him in those teachable moments of frustration and brokenness. Verse 3 is what I have never noticed until last night. It says “Already you are CLEAN because of the word that I have spoken to you.” We are clean. We are clean. We are clean.  When I talk to girls and women of all ages they walk in the constant regret of their past and can’t seem to get past the “dirtiness” of who they use to be.  That is a lie from the enemy. Most women walk in the fear of who they use to be so deeply that they can’t embrace freedom because they don’t believe they were ever forgiven to begin with.  Verse 3 reminds me of that soap Richard loves and can’t seem to live without ha.  He once said he doesn’t feel as clean unless he uses that particular soap.  When we encounter God and our heart collides with him and we move into the place of abiding IN HIM we are no longer unclean and nothing else will complete us except our heavenly father!   If you are reading this and you are numb to your dreams and cannot move forward with all that God has for you,  be encouraged that God has forgiven you and wants to do amazing things through you!! I believe in you and even more the Creator of the universe CHOSE YOU!

Holly

Can we start January over? … I mean I am a dreamer!

I have so much to say….

I am overwhelmed and filled with such excitement for what 2012 holds but if we could just start this month over that would be great! In just 10 days I have had major car trouble, my hubby and I both have had the flu, my bank card was stolen and used by who knows for a few hundred bucks. I am laughing as I type just those few things but finally things are now settling down (afraid to say that). God has shown me so much in a year’s time.  I have learned more than anything that He is sovereign. He knows my heart… He made it. He gave me dreams… He birthed them inside me. He called me to speak… He gave me a story to share. Over and over I keep looking at His word and I see that in every old and new Testament story God is in complete control.  I have spent this past year walking beside my husband as he embraced a calling on his life to start a church from the ground with no help from an organization or a church.  At times I prayed WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING GOD and now just 12 or so weeks in Revolution church has seen 80+ come to know Jesus  and yet again I am reminded that He is in control.  We waste so much time worrying about the very details that God wants to use to grow us, push us and move us into a place of His leading.   God has led me through some pretty rough moments throughout ministry and also through some pretty dark places where my thoughts reflected lies from a mirror about just how disgusting I was.  I have struggled with approval addiction, self image, body image, fear, insecurities,  my past, obesity and food addiction (to name a few).  One of the biggest moments in my faith was several years ago when I realized that God wanted to use the ugly places within me to bring Him glory. As I fought and struggled through them little did I know I would walk out of several of those struggles victorious!!  Through each one a new layer would be stripped from my heart and as I stood before God with just my heart and all the junk He simply wrapped His love and grace around me and as He squeezed I begin to see HIM and no longer me.   What a freeing moment to NOT have to worry about me me me and also a great realization of just how selfish I had become.  When we hide behind the struggle and do nothing but talk about it and point to it and give excuses about it how is that pointing to a God who can deliver us from it. I had to position myself behind the very one who was going to lead me into victory.  I no longer hate a mirror nor do I care what people think about me when walking through a restaurant  I wear funky glitter polish, clothes that often don’t match or even look remotely “in style” but I am me and I can say that with a smile.  This past year I stood before the giant of obesity and food addiction and I stared up at this HUGE giant ( no pun intended) and I remember saying there is NO WAY to defeat this.  My word for 2011 was discipline and January-April there wasn’t so much of that in my life. I spent most of my time and energy chasing my tail just to stay a float.  I read a book by Lysa Terkeurst called Made to Crave and God began to reveal to me that my body and the extra bulge was sin in my life. I realized that this food addiction had to be stopped.  I began to take small baby steps and now 8 months later I have lost 35 pounds. I started in a size 24 and I am moving into an 18.  I am BELIEVING that my Creator has a purpose for me and wants to give me the desires of my heart.  I started this year a little on the rough side but the JOY I have down deep can’t be shaken or stolen from me. My God is sovereign!  My ONE word for 2012 is BELIEVE.  Luke 1:45 says “You are blessed because you BEIEVED that the Lord would do what he said”.  This verse is being burned into my brain and even better into my heart.  God is up to HUGE things and I don’t have to worry about the details.  Next month I will be running in the Disney princess ½ marathon with one of my best friends and our daughters. We can’t run 13.1 miles yet but two months ago I couldn’t run 30 seconds and I am up to over 2 miles. Please continue to pray for me as I continue on a journey that literally is changing my life.  BE ENCOURAGED today dream BIGGER and know that the Creator of the universe wants to USE YOU to change the world!!

Holly Myers

loves like a hurricane….

Today my sweet husband and I went to lunch. We love and appreciate every moment we can get simply because our schedules have become so hectic. I love being busy and I also love love time with my man:) After our sweet meal together we were walking to our cars hand in hand and he looked at me and said this to me- “what do you regret most in life?” I answered quickly and said “ my relationship with my father”.  We kissed good-bye (awwww) and we headed back to our work places.  I thought about that question deeper on my drive back and I realized that it was so much more than just my relationship with my father I regretted.   As a kid I couldn’t truly verbalize just how angry I was at him and so that led to years of pain frustration and vulnerabilities that led me into sin.  I would dress and do whatever I could to gain the looks of boys, I would hide food and binge simply because I felt pain and I would do and say what I needed in order to gain friendships.  You see the anger I had for my father gave root to lots of different sins in my life which led to many regrets along the way. This past week I was reading in James 1 and I came across verses 22-25 …. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Verse 25 honestly froze me in my tracks. As women we are control freaks. We want our marriages to be happily ever after, our friendships to always be in BFF mode. We want our houses to be spotless with beautiful decorations hanging without a bit of dust on them and perfectly behaved kids sitting by the fire-place reading their lengthy chapter books with smiles on their faces.  For some of you this may be your lives and I say to you WOW!! But for most women we struggle to keep the dish piles out of the sink, clean underwear on our kids and dust off the ceiling fans ha (well I just keep my going and I know no one will notice).  What I realized that all throughout my life I have done things in order to gain some type of control just to keep the anger and hurt from surfacing. Food was a way out for me. Boys were a way out for me and so on.   When I read verse 25 I noticed one word FREEDOM.  I know I desperately want to walk in freedom from guilt of measuring up as a perfect wife, mother and friend. I will always fail and yet God’s perfect grace is what causes me to walk in any type of confidence what so ever.  The first part of that verse says but whoever looks INTENTLY into the perfect law. When we look into the mirror and a zit, or a cold sore or a nappy hair day awaits us our whole perspective of how we view ourselves changes and we usually make some type of change whether its zit cream, toothpaste for a cold sore or our hair goes into a pony tail or we wash it and start all over. The same is when we look INTENTLY into God’s word it always reflects the parts of our hearts that keeping us from gaining freedom. When a wife who constantly is nagging at her husband because of their fear and lack of control looks INTENTLY into God’s word about respect and honoring her husband this pushes her to implement change.   You see God’s word isn’t meant to bring guilt shame or regret in our lives it is meant to bring redemption and forgiveness to us so we can walk in His perfect love and FREEDOM. So what do I regret most… I don’t think I can honestly say just my relationship with my father any longer.  He passed away 14 years ago and before we died I was able to share my heart with him and to tell him I forgave him and when He died he knew I loved him.  You see God’s word tells me I don’t have to walk in regret because he keeps NO records of my sins. Today as satan reminds you of ALL the wrong things you have said or done in your past remember you are a NEW creation and the Creator of the universe loves you with an intense love.   He loves like a hurricane…..

Holly Myers

stand here beside me…

Has your heart ever been so heavy you could physically feel the pressure? This morning I am in that place and I was reminded by my Creator that He is standing right beside me. I was in Acts this morning and as I read about Paul’s encounter with the Sanhedrin I could feel the intensity and the anger those people had toward him.  It says this in Acts 23:11 The following night the Lord STOOD NEAR Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”  I read that and realized that Paul must have had a heavy heart. He must have been scared out of his mind with a roller coaster of emotions so much that Jesus appeared to him and STOOD BESIDE him and encouraged him.  You see God knows that we are emotional beings because He created us.  God has filled my heart with so much joy lately that when I come into a place like I am today I am blindsided with emotions and its ok.  This morning I wrote in my journal that I needed for God to stand beside me and show me His presence all throughout the day as a simple reminder that He is in control and He did just that.  Two of my closest friends called me back to back and they had no idea how I had been feeling this morning or the stress I have been carrying. God sent them to stand beside me and they both encouraged me so much. I sat in my car and just cried out of thankfulness. I walked in to work sat down at my desk and God sent me to Acts 2:25 and He spoke clearly to my heart.. it says “King David said this about him; I see that Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for HE IS RIGHT BESIDE ME. 26 No wonder my heart is glad. “    God my heart is heavy but it is also glad!! When I need to feel your presence in my life You send people, songs, scripture, and silence to surround my heart and encourage me. You are beside me and today I will choose to lavish in Your presence and embrace Your strength so I can move forward and press on.