Jan 28 2018

Surrender and Win

Surrender and Win

Surrender and Win

Surrender sounds like a word of defeat, but it’s not.

Not always.

Surrender releases and brings freedom. Letting go of a dark, bitter-filled past welcomes a fresh, new today ripe with possibility—of a life without poisonous, plaguing thoughts.

Surrender frees us to be in charge…of ourselves and not everyone else and the world. Control feels powerful, but it’s a false sense of control, and it’s exhausting to have all that responsibility.




Find another way in surrender and rest.


He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
~Jim Elliot

I’ve been the fool by holding on to my way. My way doesn’t work. My way is shortsighted. My understanding is limited. How can I possibly know what’s best for me and for the people all around me all the time? I can’t. No one can.

Have you found yourself frustrated at your own plans flopping? You did your best and tried your hardest, but it didn’t work. Trying to force “my way” is foolish. It’s no different for you. One way to ruin a day, and a life, is to chase after a clenched-fist “my plan.” There’s a better way. Surrender and rest.

Jesus spoke of his own surrender before the cross

““Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Everything is possible for you,” he prayed. I’ve prayed that too. But I struggle with words of surrender, “Yet I want your will…” That’s harder. That’s a perfect picture of surrender.

Even though Jesus faced the cross—what he wanted to avoid—the Father’s plan was most important. From the vantage of eternity, all who are in Christ benefit he chose God’s Will over Jesus’ right-in-the-moment desire.

The Bible calls us to have Christ’s attitude—the same one that had desires, yet released them to God’s will. As we surrender our will, we win. We win because we gain God’s eternal best.

Planning is good. Planning that is surrendered to God is better.

Here is a prayer of surrender that wins.

A Prayer of Surrender


Father God,

I take my fists and release them from my plans for today. I have plans. I think they are good, but you know my heart. You, alone, know what the day will bring. Give me your wisdom to face the challenges. Give me eyes to see where you are working—and what part you want me to play.

Do you want me to speak? What words? Give me words of kindness.

Do you want me to act? Where do you want me to go? How should I keep my hands busy?

Do you want me to be silent or be still? Lord, you know how hard that is for me. Give rest for my heart and mind that spins with solutions and tries to figure it all out.

Where can I be your hands and feet? Where can I speak the message of the hope found in you?

Help me to rest in your sovereignty and to hold my thoughts captive.

I am yours.

I want to have the attitude of Christ.

I want your will. Help me to know it.

In Jesus’ name,



What brings you to a place of surrender to God’s will?

I get there, more often that I’d like to admit, when I have exhausted all of my other schemes. I want to surrender my plans to God first. How about you?

Share your story.

Do you notice where in the Bible it talks about having the same attitude as Christ?

Philippians. This week, I’m starting a Bible study on Philippians. We’re taking it at a super slow pace so we can practice having a daily time in the word and learn practical tools to dig deeper—even if you’re new to the Bible. I’d love you to join me.

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

Would you consider sharing this with a friend who needs it? If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list, click here.

What is Five Minute Friday?

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word surrender. My five minutes are between the // marks.

(This was updated from an original post on November 25, 2016.)



Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/surrender-and-win/

Jan 19 2018

Intentional Bible Study (Join me in studying Philippians)

Intentional Bible StudyIntentional Bible Study


In a few weeks, I’m starting a Bible study on the book of Philippians. My goal this semester is to teach my group tools to help them dig deeper into scripture. Many people I’ve spoken with don’t feel confident in studying the Bible for themselves. With the tools I’m going to teach, I hope to take them (and anyone else subscribed) to growth in personal Bible time—without a devotional. Instead of leading with a devotional guide, I’m teaching how to be intentional.

The first rule of being intentional is knowing what you want to happen. What’s the goal? What does success look like?

In reading the Bible, knowing more isn’t the end game. Instead, it’s growth in one’s relationship with God.

The second rule of being intentional is laying out a plan. Knowing the steps to take from here to there is key.

After that, accountability is helpful. With a good, encouraging group of friends, intentionality is all but one little step forward at a time.


Join me

If you want to join me in studying the book of Philippians and live in Lexington, SC area, I’d love for you to join me. Contact me here.

If you’d rather connect virtually, sign up here. You’ll be added to my newsletter list and get a weekly update with tools you can use in studying the Bible.

We start January 28 and end March 28. That’s 9 weeks with a clear goal, a step-by-step plan, and accountability.

Five Minute Friday

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word intentional. My five minutes are between the // marks.


Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/intentional-bible-study-join-studying-philippians/

Jan 13 2018

Blessed are those who have little: Declutter and find wealth

blessed are those who have little: declutter and find wealth Blessed are those who have little: Declutter and find wealth


When I lived overseas, one of the noticeable differences is less choice. Shopping had less to offer. And on a filled menu at the local restaurant, the waitress pointed to the two items available. I got used to it.

When I came home [to the US], I felt overwhelmed with the choices before me. I suffered from a serious case of decision fatigue. I felt nauseated looking at choice after choice. Having so much choice wasn’t better, but I adjusted.

This year, I choose “declutter” for my word for 2018. Why? Because simplifying my life allows me to find the wealth I already have.

Little choice meant an easier choice.

A little amount of stuff means more space, enjoying what I have and having more time because I have less to maintain.

Little on the calendar means more margin and sleep as well as more time with my family.

To simplify my life, in all areas, I need to declutter. As I progress with my goal to live this out, I know there is wealth awaiting.


What will you remove from your life so you can find wealth?

Wealth is not necessarily financial (although I found money when I decluttered my closet). When I feel poor (financially), I forget the wealth I have in the areas of life that truly matter.

What will you gain when it’s gone?

When I think of getting rid of some of my stuff, I feel an old part of me that wonders if I regret my choice. But as I think about the gain, I have a greater resolve.

Make a plan and take a step

If there is clutter in your life, start by writing down what area you want to purge. Writing it down will help clarify your choice. Then write down your why (it’s what you’ll gain). Then make a decision to take one specific step.

I’d love to hear what you decided and what you did.

Five Minute Friday

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word simplify. My five minutes are between the // marks.

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Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/blessed-little-declutter-find-wealth/

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