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Learning to Lean

Boy leaning head and looking out window

I was grumpy yesterday.

My plans went south. And I had to WAIT for someone before I could move on with my day. I was frustrated. I like routine and dependable people. So I was grumpy and feeling miserable because I could not have MY WAY! I was at the mercy of another. I went to bed late and had troubled sleep.

So, when I woke up this morning, I realized I did not want to be grumpy anymore. I DECIDED to be content. I CHOSE joy as I awakened and a song popped in my head. Not sure I have the words exactly correct, but here is the gist of it: “To God be the Glory. To God be the Glory. To God be the Glory for the things He has done. By His blood He has saved me, by His power, He has raised me…And if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary. To God be the Glory…”

I’m sure I left something out, but it got me back into right perspective. Truly, God had ministered to me and my spirits lifted.

Then, I asked God, “Why is it that I don’t “wait” well, God? I get grumpy. I feel like so much time is wasted waiting. HOW can I have a better response as I am going through the “waiting”???” (That is kind of a risky prayer, because God gives us opportunities to see if we really want an answer to that kind of prayer. 😉

How do we do that?

How do we learn what is right in the sight of the Lord? We learn by reading the Word and then applying those Biblical standards to our personal lives. Our faith is nurtured through extended and deliberate time spent in the Word of God and in prayer. Spiritual wisdom comes little by little throughout our earthbound days, maturing and growing us daily.

We learn to trust

Trust develops over time, and we learn to experience and believe that all that happens—the blessings AND the sufferings—are God’s ways of teaching us reliance on Him. He never ever leaves us alone. He walks through ALL of life WITH us. The good, the bad and the ugly.

An attitude

Learning to lean is an attitude toward God—a mindset—an awareness—of what He wants, and then desiring to do it. And then following through on that desire. He renews our mind, resulting in Godly living. Leaning guarantees the Lord’s guidance in all things so that we may live rooted and grounded in Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We stay connected. This is where that peace that passes understanding comes in. Even in the midst of storms of life, we can be peaceful on the inside. Blessing upon blessing.

Solomon teaches in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding…Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Again…This is a choice.

Living under the influence of just our own understanding…

  • can lead to MISunderstandings
  • can lead to fear
  • can lead to poor responses
  • can lead to assumptions based on past experiences


To trust in the Lord and acknowledge His authority and leading in all our ways…

  • dispels fear
  • brings inner rest and peace
  • leads to trust that today is a “new day”
  • daily new beginnings

And these Godly responses lead to peace, joy, rest and confidence moving forward.  Learning to lean!

Until next time…

Personality and Jesus

Do you know who God created you to be? Have you ever stopped to think about how your personality affects the way you interact with others? Find out more in this new book by Pamela A. Taylor.

Personality and Jesus

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor

Guest Post: Emily’s Journey with Jesus

Nativity Set


It was perhaps a decade or so ago that Emily Forsyth and I first met at church. She was young and pregnant with her fourth child. She was weary, but hungry to be all God intended her to be. Little did I know that the Lord would allow me to be a part of her “story” for all these years. I love being in the background, watching God work as he is molding her into a thing of beauty, fit for the Master’s use. She has found the path to the source of Joy.

God adores His “girls” and He is a good, good Father. He can be trusted to direct our steps if and when we surrender to His leading. He wants us to know that He is intimately involved in our lives, just as He has been in Emily’s. We are each a work in progress. And we all need someone to remind us it is not about us. We are merely to allow ourselves to be vessels through whom God works.

Emily has given me permission to share this article with you. She originally wrote it for her church newsletter. My prayer is that you will be inspired to stop and think how God might help you to more fully find your own unique path of decrease so that He might increase in your life.

And now…Here’s Emily……

…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:29-30

I just love how our church is buzzing with excitement over the children’s Christmas program! I can’t help but remember back in 1991 when the words were announced by the Sunday School Director, “and the role of Mary goes to…Emily!” That moment, my ten-year-old heart must have skipped a beat. I couldn’t have been more happy to have been chosen to wear that sky blue robe and hold the plastic baby Jesus as the congregation sang Silent Night. At that year’s Christmas eve program, I’m sure I was beaming with delight.

I have always felt the urge to be front and center. What is that about me? It’s not that I have many skills or talents to offer. It’s just that I sometimes don’t mind the “story” being about me.

Several years ago, I had taken a stance in front of a group of people, and in the days following, I began worrying. I found myself at an emotional low. I turned to an older, wiser sister in Christ for counsel. She patiently listened while I shared my heart. I told her of the people, and the things I had said, and how I must have sounded stupid, or unkind. They must have thought I was hateful. I carried on… After a while, she stopped me. She gently put her hands on my arms, and looked into my eyes. “It’s not about you, Emily.” What did she mean it’s not about me? I was the one with anxiety because of this stance that I had taken. Didn’t I have to get it straightened out to be myself again? But as she paused, that truth struck me. This. was. not. about. me. This was about GOD. Everything is. The moment I took myself out of the picture, and focused my concerns on the story being told about God through that situation, I could breathe again. Not only could I breathe, but I felt joy! John the Baptist said “…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

From then on, I realized how much of my life I spent trying to play the starring role in a story that was never about me to begin with. I realized that I was created for a purpose, with giftings, and talents, and passions that were given to me to play a specific supporting role in God’s story. I was created to direct all attention to Him, like shining a spotlight, or making the announcement, or opening the curtain. I no longer had to be the shining star, because in His eyes, I already was! He made me precious in His sight! There is nothing more, nor less I can do to be worthy. And the joy is found when each of us works together to fulfill our supporting role as part of the body of Christ to further His kingdom and shine the light on Him.

When I adapted the principle that “it’s not about me,” everything changed. I stopped striving and over-preparing, and watching to see what others were thinking of me. I knew that it no longer depended on me to get it right, but that God would always get it right. My relationships, my health, my finances, and my faith all grew stronger. Now, whenever I feel consumed with thoughts about what people think of me, or whether I am succeeding or failing, I stop and find a way to serve someone else in the name of the Lord Jesus. It’s amazing how small acts of service toward others can relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s a way of directing our attention away from ourselves. It’s because we were created for that — to play a supporting role in God’s big story! If we do His work, we will find a joy that passes all understanding.

So, to that ten-year-old little “Mary,” I would say, “hold that Jesus high and make sure the light shines on Him. Don’t worry if you fall out of the spotlight, because there is no greater blessing than to be the one who makes great the name of the Lord.”

Emily ForsythEmily Forsyth

Emily finds her joy in Jesus, coffee, and people. As the only extrovert in her family, she admires her quiet, steady husband, Aaron, and their four children. They homeschool and live in Clear Lake.

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor