I Am Baker

calming my anxious spirit

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Gina Horkey.   Gina is a freelance writer, with a background in finance. She’s passionate about Jesus and designing a flexible lifestyle suited to meet the needs of her young family…while honoring God of course! She hopes to inspire others to do the same and shares her story via her blog. Next year at this time she hopes to be writing and traveling around the U.S. in an R.V. Please stop by her Facebook page and say hello!

 

“For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” ~Philippians 4:11

 

Do you struggle with an anxious spirit? If you’re nodding your head yes, you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the whole wide world that can’t get out of your own head or that can’t shut off your brain, but it’s not true. Tons of people struggle with anxiety, me included.

 

This weekend’s church sermon was one that I felt was spoken directly to me. I’ve felt this way before, but never quite so directly. Our church is ending a message series on being “More Than Happy.” The context is that like Paul in the book of Philippians, we as Christ-followers should find joy in all circumstances, rather than being focused on finding temporary happiness.

 

The final message was for those of us specifically battling anxiety. Personally, I been having my most intense battle this past year with this very thing. My ears perked up and I found a pen to take some notes. I wanted to share in case there were others like me that could benefit from hearing this message.

"Prayer is the Language" by Leland Francisco

“Prayer is the Language” by Leland Francisco

 

“I want you to know that what’s happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” ~Philippians 1:12

 

The teaching pastor offered us three ways to overcome anxiety:

1.Don’t bury it! The worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings of anxiety and worry all to yourself. That’s what the devil would prefer of course, but that’s not what God wants for you. God wants for you to share your burden with others and especially with Him. The pastor went on to say that we as a church sometimes project perfection, but the truth is that we are all broken. “It’s okay to not be okay.” Ask someone to fight alongside you. Tell others. Be vulnerable with God and with your Christian friends who will lift you up.

 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that He has done.” Philippians 4:6

2. Work on it! It’s best to do this BEFORE anxiety inducing events arise, as the last thing you want to do when in these situations is oftentimes what will help you the most. Pray without ceasing. Get in the habit of praying more often. Pray when things go right, as well as when things don’t. Pray when things are status quo. It’s easy to see what we’re lacking; instead let’s work on seeing what we’ve been blessed with and thank God for it instead.

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

3. Defeat it! With God’s power you can defeat anxiety, instead of letting anxiety defeat you. You can’t change anything by worrying about it, but if you give it over to Him, God can! You are not helpless; you are powerful and in control not due to your own actions, but because of Jesus. He has employed the ultimate strategy of defeat on our behalf already. Accept it and own it!

 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” ~Philippians 1:21

 

I’m sure that for me anxiety could easily be a lifelong battle if I let it. As a young woman dealing with the stresses of raising kids and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Showing up and letting others see me warts and all, is the real challenge. Maybe by me sharing a little of my story I might be able to help someone else.

 

Have you dealt with anxiety? How has it affected your faith?

I Am Baker

What am i saying?

Today’s special guest is Karen Hossink from the blog Surviving Motherhood.  I have known Karen for many years and find her heart and dedication to Jesus truly inspirational.  She is a talented writer, author, singer and mentor.  Karen’s blog, Surviving Motherhood, is a sacred, happy place full of encouragement and support.

 

Last week the sermon at church was all about our words.

A few days ago someone asked me, The peace that comes over you hearing a graceful melody – is that how you are heard?

And every day since the beginning of the month, I have been reading a chapter of Proverbs.

Words – what I say, how I say it, and the way in which it’s heard – have been heavy on my mind. Because I am becoming more and more aware just how powerful our words are. To build up, or to tear down.

I am a woman, so – by nature – a lot of words come out of my mouth. My husband hears them. My kids hear them. The folks where I work hear them. My friends hear them. And when I am particularly excited or angry, my neighbors hear them, too.Words, words, words!

But what are they accomplishing?

Proverbs 10: 11a says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” Verse 21 of the same chapter says, “The lips of the righteous nourish many.” And I find myself drawn to that image – a fountain of life, nourishing many. Yes! That is what I want my words to accomplish.

So, I’ve started doing something.

Proverbs 10:21

Besides being more intentional about speaking my love to others, and handing out compliments and encouraging words on a regular basis, I have started copying a few biblical authors. I noticed at the beginning and ending of just about every letter written in the New Testament, the author uses words like, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:2) “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” (Titus 1:4) “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (2 Timothy 4:22)

Titus 1:4

Photo by Marina Bromley on Meet Me in the Meadow

And I thought, Wow. How great would it be to receive a greeting like that on any given day? But – who talks like that???

I mean, really. Nobody talks that way anymore, do they?

Well, I decided I’m going to start. I am using greetings like those when I end an email or a text message. I am working on practicing those greetings verbally, too. I realize I might sound strange to most people, but I want my words to be a fountain of life which nourish many people. And if that makes me sound strange? So be it!

 Will you join me in this quest to speak life?

I Am Baker

What is the Fragrance?

guest post by Gianna Kordatzky from Traveling Thought and Family Fun Twin Cities

Sitting at my booth at the farmer’s market, I fed my kids a picnic supper (I must say it didn’t last them three hours—I guess that’s what happens when you eat supper at 4:30). We had spread out a blanket, and a gentle breeze was blowing.

It was a picture perfect summer evening. The kids dug out their sandwiches, their graham crackers and their juice boxes. After supper was gobbled up, my rascals scampered off to meet the other vendors at the market (it was a very small farmer’s market—including my booth, six were set up). When they got to know everyone, they came back hoping to find some entertainment.

Once again they dug into the picnic basket hoping to find something delicious. Fortunately for them, success was at hand, and they pulled out a very large container packed with fresh strawberries. Everyone gathered around, and except for my warning to share, no one stopped to breathe. Before I knew it, the strawberries were consumed, and my little ones were off again making their rounds, strawberry juice dripping from their mouths.

iamservant-gianna

Needing a cuddle Jack came back to me and climbed up on my lap. I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed. As I did, an aromatic fragrance filled my nose.

What was that?

Cotton candy? At a farmer’s market?

Where was the cotton candy?

I did a quick scan of the 6 vendors. Nothing. Why was the aroma of cotton candy so strong?

Not long after Jack climbed off my lap, Dash scurried over claiming dominion of Mama’s lap. Again I could not ignore the whiff of cotton candy.

That’s when I realized that it wasn’t cotton candy I was enjoying. It was fresh strawberries. Strawberries that stained Dash’s lips, that made his fingers sticky and that dripped down his chin.

That revelation got me thinking Do I love Jesus as much as my kiddos love strawberries?

Do I inhale Jesus like my children inhaled those strawberries? Am I devouring God’s word and learning about Jesus like my little ones were consuming strawberries? Is the aroma of Jesus surrounding me so much that people can’t ignore it? Does it make them look for the source of the fragrance?

matthew 28 19

image can be purchased on Etsy

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus was speaking to his disciples, people who had immersed themselves in Jesus for years.  They knew Jesus.  His aroma surrounded their lives, their souls.  What is amazing is that I can know Jesus like they did. I can spend lots of time with Jesus and be his disciple. He promised to be with me always, and I can be full of Him.

When Dash and Jack were so full of strawberries, they didn’t smell like Dash and Jack.  They smelled like strawberries.

I want to be so full of Jesus I smell like Jesus.

 

*****

 

Thank you so much Gianna!  Love your beautiful words and faith!

I Am Baker

inspiring faith

Sometimes when I need a bit of a spiritual kick in the rear, I head to pinterest and read my Loving Him board.  It’s almost like a spiritual truth jam session… packing my brain full of encouragement, hope, (truth), and love.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Let the words...from etsy shop MsDsSigns

godsapproval

Unconditional Love

Chrystal Evans Hurst

forgiveness

You are Good!

just as i am

boom.

todays letters

Hope one of these spoke to you today!

I Am Baker

i have this dream…

Dreams.

I would definitely consider myself a dreamer.  I like to think about things. I like to dream about things that will probably never happen.  I like to just sit in the fantasy of “what if”.

We have a small stream on our property that empties into a little pond.  The pond is only 8 feet deep, but it’s waters are dark and murky and still.  As I would sit in my living room and look over at the pond on a cool fall day, I would see something different.

Lazy River poolsFBimage from Kuykendall – Lazy Rivers

 A lazy river. You know, the kind that are in fancy waterparks?  With people on big inner-tubes just relaxing and going round and round, moved lazily along by the jets in the water.  The river would be small, but it would empty into a perfectly round pool (that was the former pond), similar to the image above.

I know in my heart of hearts that we will never be putting a lazy river on our property.  We live in Minnesota.  We are not millionaires.  And lazy rivers are pretty darn impractical for many reasons.

It’s safe to say that I have no hope of that BIG HUGE CRAZY idea becoming a reality.

But I still love to dream about it.

audrey-backyard

 

I am reminded of how much God wants to give me the desires of my heart, but so thankful that He already knows what I need.

Maybe He already knows that many memories will be made on the long winding trails by adventurous little kids with endless imaginations and courage. That clubs will be formed and pacts made and discoveries of nests and bugs and new flowers will create far more lasting reflections than concrete and chlorine.

I love that He can see beyond worldly (and sometimes selfish) desires.  That He doesn’t provide something simply because I ask.  That all things, good and bad, will be used to strengthen our relationship and bond.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

He created me.  He knows me better than I know myself.  And He knows exactly what will truly fulfill me.

I have another dream.  And that is that someday the desires of my heart will be in line with God’s will.

Now that is a worthy dream.

 

I Am Baker I Am Baker

saying i’m sorry

It seems to me that I grow most in my walk with Christ when I am eating crow.

Having to sit back, recognize that I have made a mistake, that I need to seek forgiveness and repentance… its humbling. (to say the least)

This poem comes to mind:

i am a christian

 

Those last three lines are pretty powerful.

Tonight I am thankful for His forgiveness.

I Am Baker I Am Baker

Sharing Faith the Duck Dynasty Way

I am a new convert to Duck Dynasty.

Duck Dynasty

I really like the show… its funny, its interesting, and all the people on it seem real. Like, really real.

But my favorite thing about it is the story behind the people.

They love the Lord and they testify His name.

They go on national television is proclaim the way of Jesus of Galilee.  They share the true message of the Gospel.

And I cant help but think its totally awesome.

Have you seen Duck Dynasty?  What do you think of the unabashed proclamation of God’s holy word?

(check out some funny Duck Dynasty quotes here!  They are also on facebook in case you want to follow along)

 

I Am Baker