Riding The Wave

Overwhelmed. Too many people. Can’t focus. Can’t think.

You know the verses. The one about casting your anxiety on Him. You just don’t always know how to cast it without keeping a little behind.

You talk fast. You rush. Get irritated. But you know you are unreasonable. But it’s real.

Your mind focuses on one thing. Getting out. Finding the exit. So you can breathe. So you can have some space. Personal space. Hmm. Maybe that’s why you see personal space as a necessity. Space to breathe and think.

You breathe in and out deep and slow. You pray. You allow yourself that quiet time to get refocused. You try again. Successfully!

That’s one more time you’ve rode the wave of anxiety and didn’t drown.

It’s a real thing.

You try to explain it to your people. They may say that you shouldn’t feel this way. That it’s no big deal. They may make you feel like you are ridiculous for having to leave a store because there are too many people there. But it’s real.

You are fine in some crowded places. You are fine in your normal crowded habitats. But some places send you searching for an exit.

You often fill like you don’t fit in. You feel like you are a stranger in a crowd of friends. You don’t make eye contact when walking through a room. You hate the way you are.

A battle to overcome. A thorn in your side. That’s anxiety.

When you aren’t in control. Anxiety. When you have so much to do and the thoughts in your mind are just bouncing back and forth and you can’t focus. Anxiety. It’s a real struggle for many.

When you are the one who would prefer to people watch instead of engage in meaningless conversation. Is that so wrong? I think not.

When you don’t love to have shallow conversations or to talk just for the sake of talking. Wrong? No.

God made us all different. He doesn’t make junk and he is incapable of messing up.

I’ve learned to ride the waves. I’ve learned to embrace who God made me to be. I’m still learning to put on the armor of God daily. Not just a few days a week. But daily.

You don’t worry all the time and you aren’t what most would consider “anxious”. Or maybe you do. Either way, anxiety rears its head in many forms. Not just the typical ones that you hear of.

Maybe it’s an uptight feeling. Or a feeling that you have to get it all done right now but don’t know where to start so you just don’t. Or maybe it’s the wanting to online shop because shopping in stores leaves you overwhelmed with too many things to look at and too many people to deal with.

Anxiety. Such a multi faceted word.

Be anxious for nothing. But in everything, with prayer and thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Got it. ✅

Maybe just maybe it’s not anxiety that we deal with but a lack of Being Still enough with The One who truly calms our souls.

Jesus often went to lonely places to pray. It says so in HIS word. He woke up in the early mornings to spend time with His Father.

He went away from the crowds. To be still. Because let’s face it. Crowds are great to get lost in and they are a great place to blend in. But really, they can be overwhelming at times.

What if we looked at “anxiety” as a gift? A gift that forced us to spend alone time. To be still. With Jesus.

What if we turned to HIM and rested our weary heads in the crook of his neck and rode the waves safely to shore? That actually sounds nice. We can do that you know.

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

{ Look for a post to go along with this one. One that will give tips and ways to help with anxiety}

Seeking Him,

When You Are Out Of Practice

 

woman-dropped-fail-failure.jpg

 

 

Well. Earlier today I shared a photo on FACEBOOK and that photo explains my brain lately. Too many thoughts going in too many different directions. Geez. I should really stay away from technology when my brain is messed up like that. The photo was of a scribbly line going all different directions and it said : “How do you explain this feeling?”

Then, I proceeded to read an almost 3600 word ROUGH (rough being the key word here) draft of a future book that I began in July of 2015. I edited it and saved as draft or so I thought. Then I received an email. Which means that all of you received an email. That email contains RAW rough draft words that were not meant to be seen or shared yet. However, God knew it would happen so I am trusting that there was a reason for my dumb luck.

Here’s hoping that someone out there that might possibly open up a Simple Truths blog post and read it, will have needed the words that I was not supposed to share yet. If you click on the link you will not find it on the blog because I deleted it. But…..the email you received has the post available. (insert hand over face and shaking my head here)

Happy weekend friends. I think I will steer clear of technology for a few days. And yes, I do plan to pick up where I left off a few years ago. It is past time to follow the call God has given to me. I have filled that space with things that I thought were good ministry things. I have filled that space with things and with work and with well meaning good works. I haven’t actually been doing what I know I am supposed to be doing though and that is why my joy has been lacking.

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) ~ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 

Looking forward to ministering to you right here again.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus.

 

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The Comparison Trap

Simple Truths

The Comparison Trap is just that… A trap. A trap that leads to feelings of worthlessness, envy, bitterness, and discontentment. It steals our joy.

“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” ~
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬



Comparing themselves to each other… Hmmm. Sound familiar?
How often do we find ourselves in this comparison trap?

We compare hairstyles. We compare relationships. We compare outfits. We compare how “busy” we are.(and that’s another message for another day). We compare occupations. We compare houses. We compare waist sizes. We compare cars. We compare how educated we assume someone else to be. We compare compare compare.
Then we feel worthless because we assume that we aren’t as good…

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Fab Friday Faves

So. I just got back from an amazing Mission Trip to Honduras. Check out the website if you want to see where we went. I’ll be blogging all about our trip later. 

I wanted to share a few things that I love and that I find beneficial to me or my family. 

We did a lot of walking while there and one of my favorite comfy and cute shoes are these Birkenstock lookalikes from Target. My daughters and I all have a pair of the rose gold & the black ones too. So. Comfy. So. Stylish. (A teacher friend was wearing them last year and I spotted them immediately.. because.. hello.. SHOES. ) So you can really thank her. You’re welcome. 

While in Honduras, my essential oils were a necessity. We used the tea tree, lavender, peppermint, AND clove to prevent lice. It worked! And we used lavender and peppermint for bug bites. Deep Relief was a lifesaver after the 6 mile hike. I even ended up leaving it with the girls there. 

My new favorite healthy go to meal is avocado cut in chunks on sesame Ezekiel bread that’s been toasted. I drizzle olive oil on top and McCormick’s original all purpose salt-free seasoning and coarse sea salt and eat it up! 

With school/work starting back for me on Monday, I ordered a few things for my desk. Because it’s my home away from home from 7:15 am until around 3:30 or 4:00pm Monday – Friday. Look at this CUTE glasses holder I got! Amazon prime. Yes. I’m an Amazon Prime fan. Check it out!
  Cute right?! 

When we got back from our Honduras trip I ordered Chatbooks so I could keep the memories close by. Such a GREAT idea. Fast, cheap, and easy. And this way I won’t accidentally delete memories from my computer.. or if I do I’ll still have them printed!

One last thing that’s a new fave. Well. Two. My Mophie charging case 

 and my pop socket that’s attached to the back. This mophie gives me charge all day long. The pop socket makes it easy to carry my phone or prop it up to watch my favorite series on Amazon Prime video. (That’s a plus 😉 )

One of my favorite podcasts is Steven Furtick at Elevation Church. You can find it here

That’s all for this week. There’s more I could share but I’ll save it for another time.

 
Happy Friday! 

Heather Dawkins 🙂 

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Fab Friday Faves

Hi friends! We all like to find new things and what better way to share some favorites of the week than on the blog. Think of this as a time of us sitting at my table and sharing a cup of coffee or tea or whatever and the things we like. Like a “date”. 

I went to Mexico Beach this week for a short getaway with my sis and niece and her kids. While I was there my sister cooked the BEST LASAGNA EVER. Seriously. That’s even the name for it. It’s The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I may have eaten like 4 helpings. Carbs don’t count at the beach. Here’s the recipe !

I’ve also really started enjoying something that I never enjoyed before. Something that I had to leave the class because I didn’t want my laughter to disrupt the others. I love Yoga now! I also love Pilates. And if you want a real kick butt workout then you combine the two and you have the Beachbody PiYo workout. Loving all of the Beachbody workout dvds. Some more than others. But yoga has been good for my lower back pain.

As far as pain goes, essential oils are a go to for me. Lavender for burns (as my daughter said the other day “you burn yourself every time you cook”). Tea tree for lice prevention because we are heading out of the country on a mission trip and want to prevent lice. Going to put it in our shampoo and also on our heads. Deep Relief rollerball oil for the tension in my neck and headaches. 

Found a new favorite lipstick too! Always pays to ask someone if you like something they are wearing. It’s a Bare Minerals plumping lipgloss in the color Spark Plug. And I picked up another great color too. Lipstick and mascara (LimeLight’s mascara is my favorite) are a necessity for me.

Looking forward to listening to a brand new podcast this weekend. Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love podcast is ready and waiting for me. It makes a world of difference when you fill your soul with good things instead of negativity. I also started a chapter of Proverbs a day again. Tomorrow will be Proverbs 15. 

Until Next Time.

Happy Weekend. Happy Friday.

Heather Dawkins

Make Clear The Way

photo: heatherdawkins.com

Fear of failure. Fear of not being good at it. Fear that you won’t be noticed or make a difference. Fear.

It can paralyze you. It makes you ineffective. It stops you from doing the things that your soul craves. 

Fear tells you that you won’t do good enough. Fear tells you that somebody else would do it much better, so why try.
Fear of not measuring up and failing has stopped me many many times. It’s kept me complacent… Or not complacent but feeling like there’s nothing I can do that would be successful. So why try that thing that’s been burning in my soul? Why move forward with the thing that I know I could do but fear I would fail at?
Oh I’m so very thankful that my daughters are brave. That they try new things without a second thought of failure. I’ve always let them try. I’ve always told them that they won’t know until they try and that if they fail then it’s ok! At least they tried and God has something else in store for them.
Why is it that I can give advice that’s true but I can’t take that same advice myself? 
It’s frustrating at best. That “want” to do something but then FEAR of Failure says: “nah, you better not.” 
I know that my God can do immeasurably more than I could ask or think.
I know that I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I know that the same power that conquered the grave LIVES in me!
Yet, I don’t always apply that knowledge. I just pass it out to others. Wanting to help them not be like me. 
I have dreams. Spoken and unspoken. Life is passing me by. I’m not making some of those dreams a reality. AND I COULD! I can.
I get a little brave. A little bold. Then….. Fear pops up and I say, “nah… I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”
And fear for me is not like a scared of the dark fear. It’s more like a feeling that makes me stay COMPLACENT. 
I am working on it. Asking God to make me brave. Asking God to make clear the way in which I should go. 
If you are like me, I pray that this post shows you that you aren’t alone. Because it’s easy and habitual to put on a BRAVE face. To seem content and as if you are truly living out your calling.

 But are you? Or do you know that you have more to give and more to offer and like me, you keep stuffing it back in a drawer? 

Psalm 34:4 ~ I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.

He is always faithful. Prayer is the answer for sure. Constant prayer.

2 Timothy 1:7 ~ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

He makes clear the way. We may not really be listening and hearing him. It’s when I turn down the volume in my head and tune in to His voice instead that the fears and doubt subside. When I stop making it about me and rest in the truth that all of my strength and anything good in me comes from Him and Him alone. 

With Love,

Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire.


If You Didn’t Come Back

My mind is in overdrive. And when that happens, I write. 

Spencer and I met 10 others from Redland after lunch at a home where one of the tornadoes touched down. Utter destruction. We were literally picking up the pieces of their home. Pieces of their life. Metal, wood, shingles. All around them. Mattress up in a tree. Debris all in the tree lines of surrounding fields. Piles upon piles being made. This family survived. I couldn’t believe it after seeing what used to be their home. 

Strewn everywhere were pieces of life. Just heartbreaking. Thought provoking.

 Then we met them and their neighbors and family to help them unload the personal belongings that survived the horrific tornado. How does an ink pen survive? And a note perfectly folded and dry? Yet, metal is twisted and wood is ripped in pieces. 

The father saw it coming and covered his family and they survived. I can’t even fathom the fear. Was there even time for fear? The freight train sound. And in a matter of minutes how things can change.


 I can’t help but see the correlation between this father and THE FATHER. 




 I stood staring at the belongings that survived and the toys in the field and the pieces of house in the trees. I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. 

Destruction. People working like ants. Busy. With a purpose. 

They were so thankful for the help. But really, we were just being the hands and feet of Jesus. Life on mission. That’s our heart. That’s the heart of my church, Redland Baptist. Where the pastor serves in the trenches with you. Where the members just jump in and get their hands dirty ( personally my favorite type of mission work). And I’m seeing that it’s the heart of so many in our community. It’s a beautiful thing. 

The last items that I carried inside were an ink pen and 2 Christmas ornaments. An ink pen. It mattered. There were pillows that looked perfect that remained untouched by the tornado. Photographs untouched. I don’t know what all they lost (and I’m not minimizing the “things”), but I do know this…they still have each other and you could see the thankfulness in their eyes. There are many who can’t say that.

The home across the road was completely twisted and torn. And this was just 2 of the MANY homes that were destroyed. 
So many lives were lost this weekend.
 In a matter of minutes worlds were changed.

 As we were hunkering down after receiving Code Red Tornado warnings (and we were fine.. just a precaution) in our downstairs laundry room, waiting for round 2 of the storm, I left to run upstairs for something. I looked at my girls and said “if something happens to me and I don’t come back, I’m in heaven. Don’t worry about me because I’ll be just fine.” I meant it. 

That’s it.

 A matter of seconds can change your world. 




Do you know where you’d be if you didn’t come back?

 We aren’t guaranteed the next second. 



Missions is A Beautiful Thing. Knowing your future is secure is even more beautiful. 



In Christ Alone,

Heather 


I want to say thank you to the first responders, law enforcement, medical teams, linemen, and the communities and anyone who have been the hands and feet. You are appreciated. I am thankful for you. You choose to love your neighbor as yourself and it doesn’t go unnoticed, even if it feels like it does at times. It’s been a blessing watching so many people love on our sister counties. I got choked up a few times just seeing and hearing about the kindness extended to those hurting around us. 


“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭20:28 NLT


“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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