While I Wait

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Silently

Hopefully

Trusting.

I am like a child anticipating Christmas. I am hopeful that God will grant me what I truly desire. But I cannot be sure. God may give me something totally different. He is a loving Father. I used to want to manipulate God’s will to fit what I wanted. But I desire God’s best even if it isn’t what I desperately yearn for. Anyways, He sees life from all sides and knows what I cannot. I will not lie and say that this time of uncertainty is easy but it allows me to draw closer to Him if let it.

“Wait on the LORD;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart…Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of Him who prospers in the way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Psalm 37:3-4,7.

While I wait, I will pray. I will continue to pray with earnest until God closes the door. Then I will pray that God gives me the courage to accept His no. But for now I will wait on the Lord and hope for a yes.  ❤

 

 

 

 

Leading with Victorious Humility

 

 

0525181155It can be difficult juggling the gift of leadership. For me I like to think that I could run anything on my own. One of my greatest strengths and weakness is independence. It is difficult for me to work on as a team. I’m a take it over kind of woman. As a leader it’s difficult for me to bring a halt to my creativity and unending vision and ideas so that I can collaborate with others and gain their wisdom and insight.  To be a good leader, one must find the right balance between doing what God has called you to do and respecting those who have pioneered before you.  Sometimes, as a leader I get tired of answering questions or pouring into other people. This is terribly selfish since God has put so many godly women into my life that are willing to sacrifice their time and their heart to influence me. If you are a leader and need encouragement, this is for you. If you want to be a leader, this is for you. This blog will walk you through the 23rd Psalm with leadership insights.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Before you can be a strong, godly, leader, you must first have God has your foundation. Notice it says my shepherd. Before you can influence others in Christ or to pursue their calling, He must first be your Shepherd.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater that all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27-30. You must first belong to Him. Romans 10:9,13.
I shall not want.
A true leader is not leading a person for their own gain. Their contentment is found in Christ alone. People will come and go. People that you pour your heart and soul into may walk away from the Lord or turn away from wisdom. Your success as a leader is not based on the turnout of those you mentor. It is founded on your contentment and firm foundation in your Shepherd. Regardless of circumstances, He does not change.

He leads me beside the still waters.

As a leader it is easy to become overwhelmed or feel like the weight of the world lies solely on your shoulders. A good shepherd would ensure that the sheep could have water to drink near still, calm, waters. In order for this to happen the shepherd would have to protect the sheep. Allow your Savior to lead you beside the still waters and allow Him to protect your heart. Still waters speak of physical need. Sometimes I cannot adequately serve the Lord because I have not taken care of my body. If I haven’t eaten in hours, then I will become angry more easily. If I’ve only had three hours of sleep I may lash out more or be lazy in my duties. The spiritual and physical are connected. Though the things of God are obviously of greater concern, it is important that you take care of your physical needs, so you can be charged spiritually. The devil knows our weakness and will prey on them. 1 Peter 5:8-9. Sin is still sin even if it is done when you are tired or hungry.

He restores my soul. 

This one is like the last one, but its chords run deeper and closer to the heart.
Who speaks into your life? Who shapes what you think about yourself and others? Personally, I have a hard time speaking my heart to other people. It is difficult for me to be raw and vulnerable. But we must remember that we are sheep. Sheep are not known for their wisdom. Leaders, your wisdom comes from The Great Shepherd. Our wisdom comes from Him. When we lead on our own cuddly, sheepish wisdom, we lead people astray. We must daily allow God to restore our soul, shape our emotions, and guide our thoughts. It is foolish to think that we only need God when life is difficult. Trust is something that is developed over time. Just as we need sleep every night to restore our physical bodies, so we need time with God to restore our spiritual body. For this restoration comes godly wisdom that will point others closer to Christ.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake.

To lead you must first be able to follow. A leader must walk daily in paths of righteousness. Different decisions will lead different directions. As a leader, people will follow you sometimes whether you want them to or not. Lead a life that is worth following. 1 Cor. 11:1. Paths of righteousness means making wise choices daily. Wisdom doesn’t magically appear when you hit a certain age. There are people in their old age who have been through difficult times and have become bitter rather than learning through the struggles and becoming wise. There are young who have chosen to see the wisdom through the trials God has given them. Wisdom comes at any age, but it is a gift from God and a choice to seek Him in every circumstance. Allow The Great Shepherd to guide you along paths of righteousness. You must submit to His ways. God leads me down His paths of righteousness for His glory. Sometimes paths of holiness are difficult, the rocks under your feet have slipped into your broken shoes. The path of following Christ with all your heart is full of opposition. But it is for His name sake. Ps. 31:3, Ps. 5;8. Prov. 8:20 Living a life of denial of self is so that His glory can be displayed in You.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;

You will walk through the valley…. many valleys.
2. Tim. 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
I think as a Christian there are certain trials that will only come because you follow Christ. John 15:18-20. Maybe you poured Jesus into your child as he or she grew up and they chose to turn away from Him. Maybe you are watching a family member suffer, or watched a godly person die. You wonder why. Maybe your marriage is dying, or your dreams are being crushed, or maybe God is closing a door you had longed prayed that He would open. If you are God’s sheep, His child, then Satan cannot steal your soul. But Satan will try to steal your testimony, steal your joy and passionate love for Christ. If you are walking through the valley, you don’t need to fear. He is with you.
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;

Do you know who is with you? Do you know? Remember when Moses was afraid when God called him to speak to Pharaoh? Moses was scared. He was probably mighty happy feeding sheep and caring for his family. But God reminded Moses who was with him.
“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” Ex. 3:14.
Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Jer. 1:6)
So, the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” Ex. 4:10-11.
The same God who parted the red sea is with you.
The same God who saved the adulterous woman is with you.
The same God who hung His son on the cross and proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED!” is with you.
The same God who raised Jesus from the dead is with you.
The same God who was with the martyrs is with you.
The same God who guided Corrie Ten Boom through the concentration camps is with you.
The God who spoke the world into being is with you.
Dwell in His confidence today.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

A rod guides. If you are hiking a mountain you need a guide. Even as a leader, I must constantly be reminded that God is the one I follow and ultimately lead others too. I would feel much more comfortable with a guide who has been down the path before and knows where he is going. The Lord has gone before us. He walked centuries before you and was around before time. You can trust that The Lord will guide you. His rod can comfort you because you know that Christ knows exactly what He is doing.
A staff has a hook. When the sheep stray from the path, the shepherd can steer the sheep back on track. A blessing of being God’s child is that He guides us when we stray. Heb. 12:5-6. It is a wonderful thing when God eliminates distractions or reminds us of our sins so that we can better follow Him.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

I love this one. Why would the Lord allow communication in the presence of enemies? I think that is a privilege (a difficult one) when God places you in the presence of your enemies. God wants you to be a light. Prov. 25:21-22. Matt. 5: 43-48. One time, God gave me an opportunity to speak into the life of someone I had struggled to love. I was afraid. I wanted to hang onto my resentment and hurt. It was easier to play the victim rather than the victor. I was scared, shaking, trembling, but the power of the Lord Jesus was with me. And, so I obeyed. I prayed with this person and loved them like Jesus. I haven’t spoken to this person much since. I think they might still resent me. But I was faithful. God gave me the golden, opportunity to shine for Him. Had I cowered down, the moment might have been lost forever.
Be obedient right when God calls you. It takes a leader to forgive. It takes a leader to step out by faith. Forgiveness requires a level of maturity that is difficult. But Jesus forgave all of us on the cross what else can we do but do likewise?

You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Anoint is not a word used much today. But in Bible times an anointing was a sign of kingship, a sign of being special by God. 1 Sam. 16:13. God wants us to be royal priests and kings. We are to represent Christ. We are to be a leader that acts, smells, and carries the aroma of Christ. Ps. 92:10. You should be so filled with the Holy Spirit that He’s presence is all over you. When you speak, people are guided closer to Christ. When you pray people are drawn into the presence of Christ. Your attitude for Christ should spill over into every area of your life. So much so that you are pouring what you have learned into others who are younger in their walk.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

When you are following Christ, your life will not be perfect. I’m sure you have already figured that out for yourself by now. But you can trust that He will guide you and that His goodness and mercy will follow You.
When Christ is Your rock, Your Shepherd, and Your comforter then you already are dwelling with Him. Francis Chan put it well when He said that when we get to Heaven we will be spending eternity dwelling with Him. Once you are saved, then you begin dwelling with Him. 1 Cor. 6:19-20. As a leader, it is easy to become overly busy. But before you can do anything for God you must dwell with Him. You must abide with Him. John 15:4. As a leader, you are always leading. You are leading when you are in front of a group speaking. You are leading when you chose to go to church or chose to spend an hour alone with Him. You are leading when you chose to spend hours watching junk television or impulsive buy something you don’t need. How you spend your time, and your money is a way of telling those around you, who you worship. Simplify your ministry to this, The Lord is my shepherd, He guides me, restores me physical and spiritually and directs my thoughts and actions. I must walk in Him for His glory.

 

He Restores My Soul

 

0506181918aDear Blog Readers,

You all have been so wonderful and supportive. Thank you for faithfully reading my blogs, sharing them, and commenting and liking my posts. In these ways you have inspired me and encouraged me. 🙂

Many of you know what it is like to be broken. I certainly do. But I also know what it is like to be healed by the blood and power of JESUS. He heals the broken hearted and sets the captives free! And so by His grace I published my first book entitled, He Restores My Soul.  I still in awe over what God has done. I look at this book and I think about a me. I think about  crying with my head on the cold steering wheel. I think about the utter feeling of helplessness and failure. Those that love with their whole hearts will hurt with their whole hearts. Jesus loved you and me enough to die and rise  again. He loved with His whole being and with every inch of His soul, but His body pained for every human past, present and future. He felt the sting of all our sins. But He chose to love us anyway. His arms are open ready for you to come to Him with absolute adoration and surrender.  Jesus loved me enough to rescue me from feelings of rejection and ugliness. He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock.

So, I want to close by saying two things. First of all please buy my book.  The book is eight dollars before shipping.  Simply go to Amazon and type in Sarah Anna McConnelee or He Restores My Soul. It is a small book that hopefully will encourage your heart. ❤

The second thing I want to say is don’t run from God, run to Him. Don’t say that you are to far gone for God to use you. You are not!! He is the great Redeemer. Give Him your heart and your hurts and allow His saving grace to work through you.

 

Thank you again!

 

Love,

Sarah ❤

More Than Enough in His Eyes

 

More Than Enough in His Eyes
Sarah McConnelee 2016

There are dishes to be done
My floor is a mess
The windows are sticky
My clothes are not pressed
My child hasn’t been bathed since last week
And my husband is wondering when we will eat
Unaccomplished, grouchy, a mess is this right?
Was this the bargain when the prince and I drove off into the night?
Is life really worth all the hassle and struggle?
Soccer games, meetings, and laundry juggles?
How many nights have I gone to bed tired?
Hungry, and mad at not finishing my piles.
Where is the grace hidden behind the endless expectations?
Unending perfections?
When will my enough ever be louder than the expectations?
When will my good be enough to fill the world of its sorrow?
Enough to see me through till tomorrow?
With my messy hair and a heavy heart
I began to weep at how much I’m not.
Through my tears and my mascara stained face
I heard a whisper of the softest shades of grace.
You are more than enough in my eyes.
I rule the oceans, I rule the skies
I made color of your skin, I made the color of your heart
And I’ve known you before you had a start
It’s you I love and want to mesmerize
So, stop your tears
Look to me
My grace is enough
I came for thee
Why?
To set you free.
Free from complete perfections and free from inadequacy
Free from sin, free from people’s expectations
You are complete in me
I came to earth to set you free.
I died that you might live
Not just survive
Truly thrive
Now go live and
Follow me.
The whisper was gone
As well as my tears
Looking at the messy kitchen and my cranky child
Almost forgetting what I just had made my heart run wild
Closing my eyes, I prayed
Lord, make me yours
Make me new.
A smile was granted with strength fresh, anew
I knew God would help me get through.
I was not perfect but in God’s eyes I was enough.
I am His masterpiece
Still, a work unfinished.
I must allow Him to chip away all my selfish edges.
So, this Mother’s Day
Married, single, children or not
You are worth it
You are enough
Because of Jesus.
Happy Mother’s Day. 

John 3:16 Colossians 2:10, John 10:10, John 15:9-11 Galatians 5:1 Galatians 6:9 Eph.2:8-9, Romans 5:8.

 

To all the wonderful women out there, you are treasured and precious by the Lord Jesus. He loved you enough to die on the cross, rise again, giving you new life! I don’t know how today finds you. Maybe you are snuggled up on the couch with your lovely children that you keep you up and bring you joy simultaneously. Maybe you are looking out the window, anxiously awaiting for a child’s return. Maybe your hands are weary from praying for a wayward heart to return to Jesus. Maybe your heart is broken because you have lost your mother, or you have not been able to be a mother yourself.  Take heart dear one.  The Lord sees you. He knows your joys, and He sees your pain. Run into His arms. ❤

Hello Mr. Bumble

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Aw, finally a moment of peace and quiet. Such a blessed treasure in my life. Can you relate? I eased my achy body into my cute patterned, prayer chair. I opened one of the four novels ,I was reading at the time, and deliciously opened the pages. Just as I was delving into the pages of my book, I heard a buzz buzz. Must be one of those rounds toys that the cat was playing with, I mused as I quickly returned to my book. The buzzing continued. I sat up in my chair and continued to read, I was not in the mood to be distracted. After a few seconds of very distracted reading I closed by book to investigate this noise. Under the window, I saw a struggling bumble bee. His wings fluttered and flitted. I didn’t want to touch him and definitely didn’t want to kill him. The thought of touching this insect scared me. I hate tiny, moving things!
Mr. Bumble finally recovered and in a few seconds was wildly doing circles around my bedroom. He was lost and terribly unsure of himself. He fumbled up and then down. Upon seeing Krystal, my brother’s snowy kitten, Mr. Bumble had the fortitude to flutter upward. I on the other hand was not handling Mr. Bumble very well. I obviously couldn’t sit down in my comfy chair again, as Mr. Bumble sometimes hovered right over my chair. The nerve of Mr. Bumble! I grabbed “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst and began traffic signaling the lost bee towards the door. However, I wouldn’t touch him. Because, like I said, I’m afraid of tiny, moving, things. Mr. Bumble didn’t understand that his best yes would be to follow me to the door! Finally, after many minutes of aimlessly flying, Mr. Bumble got stuck in my tall, reading lamp. Quickly, I unplugged the large, lamp, and made a dash for the door. Mr. Bumble, must have read my signals. I don’t think I could’ve been any clearer! 😊 He latched onto the screen and I bolted open the door. Thankfully, he agreed that his best yes would be to fly free.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, my time of peace and quiet was at hand. I slumped back into my chair weary from my adventure with Mr. Bumble. I couldn’t help but becoming a little upset atthe passing of time worrying over a bumblebee. My time of perfect solitude was now reduced. But then I realized that maybe God had put this buzzing interruption in my life to teach my restless spirit. How many times do I wander, straying back and forth, failing to fly into the light of His providence, His love, and of His plan. Like Mr. Bumble, I try doing things in my own strength and my own timing, and I mess up miserably. When I’m in the center of God’s light, He will take me exactly where He wants me to go in the timing I’m supposed to be there. I worry and stress about the future, about upcoming projects, family situations, and the unknown. I cannot handle any of theses life situations on my own. I need the help of Jesus to get me through. We will never reach a point of spiritual maturity where we don’t need God to guide us. As we grow spiritually, we become more aware of what He wants, but we still must constantly be seeking Him.
So, maybe your wings are broken, and you are struggling to get out of bed in the morning, or weary just at the thought of moving forward. Trust me, I understand. I don’t know what heartaches, or uncertainties fog your viewpoint but run towards Jesus. He is the light and He will take you outside where you need to go. Trust after Him, even when you can’t see or have forgotten how to fly. Allow God to carry you. Let Him be your wings. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The only way to get anywhere is to know Him and to bask in Him. Get sonburned with Jesus. Others should see that You have the glow of the Lord around you. If I try to spend time with God when I feel like it, it will never happen. To blossom spiritually, I must be in the center of Him, all the time.

Messy Ministry

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Ministry is Messy.

I am slowly learning what ministry really means. Slowly, like a turtle with serious memory problems. It’s not really what I expected. It’s much more of a denial of self than anything else.  The other night, I only had four hours of sleep and needless to say I was grouchy. I was snoozing and in a good mood until
Until
Until
My mother called down the stairs asking for help in the kitchen. Due to my exhausted spirit, I had avoided the piling dishes on the counter along with the clean dishwasher that begged to be emptied, the messy table, and there were still dishes on the drain tray to be put away. Not to mention dinner had to be fixed.
I groaned thinking, the time most inconvenient.
When I came upstairs my mom pointed to the coffeepot. Whew, what a blessed relief.  I began to help with the mess, afterwards picking up my brother from work.
I learned something that day. Ministry is meaningful but not convenient. We cannot expect it to be. We cannot expect to only obey God when everything works out perfectly or when nothing else appears to be pressing. I used to see ministry as doing “big things” for God.  And obeying God in big areas of our lives is vital, but at the same time ministry is surrender in a million small choices every day.  True ministry works behind the scences and beneath the surface. It is the roots to the flowers that later blossom.
Ministry is serving.
It is listening to one more conversation that you’ve heard a million times before.
It is cleaning the kitchen one more time.

To be like Jesus I must listen, love, and give
Even when I’m tired and afraid.

If God has called you to something then be bold and go, knowing that it will be difficult, inconvenient, and beautiful. Because any size, shape, or form of ministry doesn’t go unnoticed by God.

“And whoever, wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20: 27-28.

 

Out of the Ashes, Beauty Will Rise.

sam_4166.jpg The dusty, smell of autumn filled the air like a warm bear hug. The wonder of autumn enticed me making me take a much-needed walk. After sitting for hours in conference sessions, it was time for an immersion in the fall perfect.
I didn’t have much time and so I quickened my pace. I strolled past all the cabins, past the people, and past all distractions. I saw a path on the right side of the road. I smiled and pretending I was ten again took it with a sense of adventure. I walked under a covered bridge and trailed up the path full of leaves. The path was full of leaves that the trees shed.  They had to drop all their beautiful layers. The trees still had their autumn allurement, but they were becoming bare as they dropped precious gems onto the path where I was walking. How like my own life, before I can grow, I must first shed each thing I hold dear. The shedding is necessary, so God can radically use me as a vessel only focused on Him, because He is all I have. I continued my journey enjoying the air of mystery and the aroma of adventure.

I found some steps which I eagerly ran up. It was a miracle I didn’t fall backwards from those slippery leaves. And then I saw it, the chapel at the top of the hill. My heart was warmed. This was what I’d long been yearning for. You can talk to God anywhere at any time. He’s always there. But I think there is something extra special about being alone with God in a church. Reverently I opened the door to the empty church. The emptiness didn’t bother me. God filled every square inch, in a way that I hadn’t noticed before. With an attitude of awe, I slipped into a pew. I simply sat there, taking in the beauty of His presence. I sensed God nudge me to go to the altar. So, I left my fifty- pound purse on the pew, and with only a paper, a pen, and my broken heart I obeyed. The last two weeks, God had tested me and tried me through a fire I didn’t want to walk through. God was making me into gold, but I was struggling to surrender. Like the autumn trees from before, God had been stripping me of all that I clung to.  I was like a tree, no leaves were left, only my branches reaching upwards in surrender. But out of the ashes God can redeem if only we let Him. So, I penned a letter to God, expressing my heart.
I wanted to linger, but I had to be somewhere soon, and I’d already walked a long way. I almost picked up my letter from God to keep. But I sensed that God wanted me to leave my note on the altar. It was like I had surrender my pain, and my desire to control. Leaving my baggage at the altar was like saying, okay Lord You take it. I surrender my control, my dreams, and my past. So, I eased myself up, grabbed my hefty purse, and silently strode out of the quiet cathedral. I turned back once, but I trusted that I could leave it all in His Almighty Hands.
I had to run back to my hotel, down the slippery steps, and past the bridge. But I didn’t mind. The run was worth it. I had made my peace with God and that was what I needed.
If you are broken, weary, or worn, run to Jesus.
If you are happy, excited and joyous, run to Jesus.
If you are afraid, anxious, and sick run to Jesus.

Take your desires and leave them at the foot of the cross. It is not until we have laid down our dreams that God can truly repair the old ruins into a vessel for His glory.
I know it’s spring time now. The trees have buds, the air is warmer, fresher, and more exciting. What does something from last fall have to do with spring time? In autumn the golden yellows, brash reds, and playful oranges must flourish and then fall one by one. Winter is a season where things appear dead. The trees continue to stand, but there are no leaves to clothe the barren, barked body. But though the winter is long, it is not a dormant time. This year winter seemed to drag, on and on and on. But God continued to work in nature during the winter as He worked in the winter of my heart. But spring always comes. Spring is a time for new life. It’s a time when new dreams are reborn. So, don’t despise the long winter. Spring is most beautiful when the winter has been long and harsh. When God asked you to lay aside your dreams, it seemed painful, and maybe even pointless. And then came the winter. You shivered and shook. All you had was God to lean on. He was the one to comfort you and sustain you through the long dark night of the long winter. But then Spring peeked her head up. Out of your sorrows flowers were born. And now you can stand tall, as a blossoming tree, a testament to how God uses the broken. I know because He is still using me. ❤