Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Things Change

LIFE LESSON: Things Change
by Toni Spaulding

I have prayed this prayer many times over the years. It brings me peace and comfort.

Change. It can be good, but then again maybe not so good! Just thinking about change brings instant anxiety. I am a creature of habit, organized and methodical. I like routine and the old saying “same old, same old” suites me just fine. I’m also a realist. I know that every single day I have to face the fact that changes will arise. My day will not go as I had perfectly planned!

As I write, I find myself in what I call “The Middle of the Grease”. Things have me hoppin' and poppin' like popcorn in a hot skillet. I am smack in the middle of some serious changes that have been imposed upon me. I am scrambling to meet business deadlines and I have no choice in these matters. Frustration is mounting if you know what I mean!

Serenity. If I ever needed to pray this prayer with fervency it is now. I need a sense of peace and calmness. I am reminded of Ephesians 2:14, “He Himself is Our Peace”. Lord, I need less of me in these situations and more of you. I need the Lord to give me grace to accept all of these changes, which are out of my control.  Are you right there with me, in “The Middle of the Grease”? Take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to fill you with His peace.

Courage. I need to make some very difficult decisions, and soon! I have to be courageous, and that doesn't come easy for me. I am a people pleaser far too often. Yet I find myself swinging a double-edged sword. Sometimes, I am too blunt, which comes across as “nasty”.  More times than not, I find myself doing the “hot potato dance” so I don’t step on toes.

Do you find yourself saying "Amen" to that? As Christian women, concerned that we will appear unlike Christ, we delay making any decision at all. This only brings further anxiety. The reality is, sometimes our decisions will cause heartache and sorrow for others. Our prayer then needs to be, "Lord bring healing to the hearts and minds of those who are affected by our decisions."

It is not easy, but In Isaiah: 26:3, the Lord told us that He will keep us in perfect peace if we keep our mind on Him. He’s the only one who can give us the courage and ability to do what is necessary and needed.  Take a moment to pray for the mind of Christ for me, please, and also for you.  Pray for peace and courage.

Wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom." I fear God, but love and trust Him more. I have found his promises to be true and trustworthy. So I leave you with this promise in James 1: 5,
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him.”
Will you join me in making a commitment today? Let's agree to
  • Accept Change Graciously,
  • Be Courageous
  • Just Do It!
  • And pray that all of our decisions are Father-Filtered.

This is a beautiful prayer sung by Mandisa, something we should all be seeking, Oneness with Christ. Let's commit our hearts anew to Him. No matter how close we are to Christ, no matter how much we already know of Him, there is still more! We have so much growing to do!
I am praying for us to be the answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17, to be ONE as He and the Father are one...Love is the answer! ~Cindy

The Serenity Prayer, by Mandisa

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It's a pleasure to introduce you to Toni. Our paths have crossed in many arenas over the years, most of which were ministry opportunities. I know for a fact that she cares deeply about others and loves to serve God. She is an active servant of the Lord.

Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!
Thank you Toni! We look forward to hearing more from you ~~Cindy

3 comments:

  1. Toni,
    As I edited and soaked in your message today, I really appreciated your words and openness. You accomplish so much as a Christian leader. Those of us in leadership can especially identify with what you are describing.
    Thank you for sharing with such honesty and directing us to the Prince of Peace!
    Praying for you in this time of transition,
    Love You!

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  2. Toni, your words were especially meaningful to me today. I'm in one of those 'in the grease' moments. God's provision is such a comfort, and I am acutely aware of my need for his filter! Thank you so much.

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  3. Toni...I am so proud to be by your side as a Woven Woman, to be able to read your words, I hear your compassion and love for God and share the hectic world we live in,while we try to find the peace. Praise to God for using Cindy to weave us all together as we encourage one another. Love to all my "Soul Sisters" SallyAnne Trissel

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