Know your Opponent..

black-wallpaper-black-and-white-boxer-3797

I was sitting at my kitchen table sharing with my husband some of the challenges I am currently experiencing.  I am learning how to work with different personalities.  He gave me a visual example of a football coach and a boxer.  Such a romantic illustration, right?  He shared with me how in football if I ever noticed the coaches cover their mouths when they are speaking?  I always wondered why they do that and felt that was rude or do they have stinky breath or something!  He said, “The coach does not want the opposing team to know the different plays he’s telling his players.  These teams  come together, watch the players, coaches and study their plays then prepares the players for the game.  There came that blond moment for me! What!  This is where I saw my husband as a radiant stud and how he seem so romantic! I know it sounds corny, but I sure love when he is sharing his wisdom and coaching me! I would pay for his services any day of the week!

Then he went on to tell me about boxing.  Boxers know the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent and study each other.  When the boxers are in the ring, they let some hits slide, others they dodge and as the punches are coming they can land and take them out.  He said to me, “Babe, you can not take things so personal and you have to work on learning the other person strengths, weaknesses and styles”, “Learn to let some things slide by and others don’t even go there with the punches, it is not worth it”.  There is where that emoji where the eyes are rolling up comes on my face because I do not like what I just heard, yep that was me! Then that radiant stud became more like a troll, he was not so radiant anymore, lol!

In boxing, their style is defined as a strategic approach a fighter takes during a bout.  No two fighters styles are alike.  They come in with different strengths and weaknesses.  They have studied one another and know what those are!  Their styles have an advantage over one, but then there is a disadvantage over the other one. Muhammad Ali would always maintain some distance between himself and his opponent.  By his style, he can control the pace of the fight and lead their opponent, by wearing them down and showing more skills.  He would win every time knowing how to fight against his opponent.

In the line of work I do, I work with a lot of different personalities, some I do great with and others I become very frustrated by.  To the point where I am consumed by it and asking myself “Why are they like this”.  As I am growing in this area, I know God asks me,  “Sandy, Why are you like this, then looks at my the heart and begins to shine a light on the “WHY.

Sometimes we do not understand the WHY in people and WHY they carry themselves the way they do.  I do not even understand why I carry myself the way do at times, honestly.  But by allowing that situation to consume me, I am giving that other opponent control, I am not dodging the punches.  I am allowing that opponent to lead me, in the fight.  By being consumed by their actions and allowing it to distract me and lose focus!  I am not creating that distance between me and the opponent.  “God always says, “Your allowing this to cloud you Sandy, stay focus”.  It is taking you out of the game and you are creating a distance between you and me”.  Not even realizing who the true opponent is in operation!

Today, I wanted to share these challenges, that I am currently walking out.  I am discovering that I need to watch my opponent and study their style. That opponent is the enemy himself.  He would want nothing more than to see me clouded, defeated and losing this fight.  But it’s those things that God brings in to coach me, like my radiant stud, having no idea how much I needed to hear these truths and how much he was being led by my Coach, God! I love how simple God is and I am overwhelmed in how he is always looking out for me and is dictating my style! Just like the football coach that is covering his mouth to not let the other team know the plays.

Life Application 

  • Study your opponent!
  • What are you going to allow to slide off of you?
  • Dodge the punches!
  • Create some distance between that opponent!
  • Draw closer to the one who is on your side, God!
  • Watch out for the whispers of the different plays that the opposing team is trying to come at you with!
  • This will help you win the fight!

This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world (Ephesians 6:12, God’s Word Translation).

God bless!

Carrier’s of Hope

Breathing Hope One Life at a time!

20 seconds…

antique-clock-conceptual-1010513There I was gasping for air, holding onto the railing for dear life, thinking in my head, “I am going to die”.   Somehow in the back of mind, I got this crazy idea that I would start running, well more of jog on the treadmill. I was trying to do this crazy thing called HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training.  Yeah, the only intensity that was happening was my breathing and my heart-rate. I could see myself being a runner, before my attempt but in my current reality, it was more of a jog and fast walk.  In that one minute interval, whenever those last 20 seconds came it would hit me and felt like I was going to pass out.  Every time I would hit the next interval I thought, “I am not going to make it”, but yet there went that other interval I overcame!

How many times in our lives we feel we are being pushed towards that next interval due to the intensity of it and stopped.  Not realizing if we just would of pushed through those few moments we would of made it, versus giving up because it became too hard and wondering what would of happened if I would of stayed and pushed through.  Life at times can feel so hard especially when it’s new territory and fear of the unknown.  Today, you may feel as if you are drowning and are gasping for air, like I was on that treadmill!  I am not sure what interval or level of intensity your in and are trying to hold onto for dear life. But I am here to tell you “This too shall pass”.  You will overcome and even though it seems like your not going to make it, I am here to tell you, “YOUR GOING TO MAKE IT”!

I wish I can tell you that I became that runner that I had envisioned, but honestly, I am okay with the jog/walk for now.  I know the more I practice at those intervals the better I will become at them.  Eventually it being a constant run and flying through those those intervals.  I am better today, than yesterday!

So I leave you with this, put on those running shoes and keep going! Remember to hold on, it may be hard at first and you may be gasping for air, but you will look back and see how far you have come! Whether it is that you turned your jog into a run, or you wrote your first blog, or you did not yell at your kid today or walked away from that relationship that was toxic or changed your thought process! Whatever that interval looks like for you, and no matter how intense it it, YOU WILL OVERCOME!

Celebrate and rejoice in the small things and laugh at the voice that told you, “You can not do this, or you will never get pass this”.  You can just go ahead and kick the devil in his teeth, let him know “Look at what I did and how I OVERCAME that interval”. Even if it felt like you were barely going to make it through,  YOU DID IT!  I have overcome a lot of different intervals in my life and it still gets hard and sticky, but I tell myself, “You will overcome, no matter if I am crawling over that interval” So I know if I did it, you can too!

Life Application

  • Look at those intervals in your life: finances, family, addictions, relationships, etc.
  • Get on those running shoes.
  • Start running and hold on…
  • Kick the devil in his face and let him know, ‘That what he sent to destroy you, was the very thing YOU OVERCAME!

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phillippians 3:14, NIV).

Be blessed!

Carrier’s of Hope

 

Breathing Hope one Life at Time!

“What is behind door #1?”

doorsHave you ever watched the gameshow the “Price is Right” and see how excited people get when they are told, “You’re the next contestant”?  They are running so fast, not caring how they look and can not wait to play the game.  Not knowing what is behind door #1? How many times in our lives are we so excited and hope our name is being called. We chase after something, not realizing what is behind that door.

In my adolescent years, I would run to many doors.  I recall running to the door #1-Approval, hoping I would be accepted.  So then I would try door #2-Love, assuming that I would feel loved.  Door #3-Recognition, I became performance oriented and wanted to be the best at whatever it was that I needed to be, to feel accepted and loved.  Door #4-Pride, now that I have deceived myself into believing that I am accepted, loved, and recognized, now “I am the best at everything and I am complete or was I?”

Maybe your choice of doors was different than mine.  Maybe you chose: the next big thing that you thought you needed in your life at that moment, or a guy, money, or said to yourself “I will try this just one time.”  Then another mistake awaits you and is left with consequences, the scars on your heart.  Everything at first felt so right but yet went so wrong!

After many years of choosing all the wrong doors, I was cautious in opening any more doors throughout my life.  Yet one day, I stumbled on door #5-Chosen.  Only entering out of curiosity, I walked in very skeptical, guarded and came through with all my different pieces of baggage of brokenness, and all my scars.  As I continued to walk through that door, I realized a man standing there with arms wide open.  He did not see all my baggage and scars or as I saw myself.  I did not have to perform or look perfect in order for him to acknowledge me.  Saying, “Sandy, I have been waiting for you”. He knew me by name!  His name was “Jesus”.

The number 5 in the bible symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

You may say, ‘No one has any idea what I have been through and have made many mistakes”  But he knows and has chosen you!  He has extended his grace, goodness, and favor for you, regardless of your choices!  He wants a relationship and waits for you to open the doors of your heart.  He wants to give you the gift of life and breathe hope into those broken areas of your life!

Life Application

  1. What are the doors you continue to open?
  2. Time to close those doors!
  3. “You are the next contestant”, come as you are, run too and open the door!  He is waiting for you!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Luke 11:9, NIV).

Carrier’s of Hope,

Breathing Hope One Life at a TIme!