‘Fraidy Cat Confessions is moving!

Hello again, faithful confessers! It’s been a long time since I posted an affirmation, and I’m sorry for the lag. But I want to let you all know that I’ve moved ‘Fraidy Cat Confessions to a dedicated website. I’m still feeling my way around – HTML is not yet my friend – so I ask your patience with the changing layout. But the content is the same!

Please go sign up for new posts and encouragement to live outside of fear. Leave comments, prayer requests, and confessions at shelleyring.com. I look forward to seeing you there!

Keep confessing the truth!

With God all things are possible. And an award!

http://learningtobeblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/versatile-blogger-award.jpg

Thanks to Chrystal at Learning To Be for nominating me for this award! I confess, I’ve been nominated for an award a couple of other times and because life has been so crazy the last three months, I haven’t taken time to respond or repost. If you nominated me, know that I’m thankful and I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you!

Okay, on to the award rules.

The Rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (or whose blogs you enjoy most). I’ll nominate as many as I can before my littles scream or throw something breakable.
  2. Let them know that you have nominated them
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself. I’ll do this so you can get to know me better. I can’t remember if I did this on another blog post…
  4. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

Seven random facts… Well, I’m a fairly random person anyway, so this should be easy.

  1. Rottweilers are my favorite breed of dog. I love their strength, their personality, and their loyalty. They truly are gentle giants if they’re trained right from the beginning.
  2. Not a breakfast person. Give me a glass of water early and protein bar around 10am and I’ll be good until about 2pm.
  3. I really (I mean REALLY) like to sleep. Haven’t gotten much of that in four years. Makes for a grumpy momma.
  4. My favorite singer is Harry Connick, jr.
  5. I’m the youngest of four children.
  6. I’ve heard we only use about 10% of our brains. I’m functioning with about 5% on a good day. Today I’d say I’m working with 2%.
  7. I love crafts. All kinds of crafts. Wood, paint, yarn, paper. Scrapbooking and crochet are my faves.

Okay, nominating as many other bloggers as I can.

  1. Wordsmith’s Desk He has a way with words that I really appreciate. Also love his shorter style.
  2. 5 G’s and a Cup of Joe His blog is a kind of daily devotional and he makes me think without hurting my brain. Remember, 2-5% here, people.
  3. Veracity Woman This blog is so affirming and powerful!
  4. Bird Martin Bird has a lot to say, and she’s funny. She shows a vulnerability in her posts that allows Jesus to shine through.
  5. Mad Mad me This is crafting blog. Just love everything about it!
  6. Monica Shaughnessy This is one of the writing blogs I follow. She’s down to earth and encouraging at the same time. No sensationalism, which is good for this drama queen.
  7. Writing While the Rice Boils Another writing blog that is amazing for resources and tips! Plus, Debbie is a good friend of mine and she really knows her writing stuff.
  8. Get up. This is another brief, but very powerful blog. Especially loved her post on breaking the approval addiction.
  9. The Red Pen of Doom. This guy totally cracks me up. Doesn’t hurt that he has dynamite thoughts on marketing, writing, and editing.
  10. Terry1954 Her love for her brother just bowls me over. She is such a heartfelt and warm person in her blog, and she genuinely interacts with her readers. Love this blog because it gives me a view of true love.
  11. Growing in Jesus Jennifer’s blog points me right to the Source. It’s another one for powerful affirmations from the Bible.

There are so many more blogs I’d list if I could, but the littles have screamed several times now. Thrown things too, but nothing breakable fortunately. And my 2% is pretty much used up for the day.

On that note, I will leave with a confession. No this isn’t cheating because it still applies. If you feel short on attention or time or any necessary element in your life, confess this truth with me today:

With God, all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26 tells us that men can be saved from death because all things are possible with God. Today I will approach life knowing that all things are possible with God. Even accessing more brain power.

What do you need to be possible today?

I will call on the name of the Lord

I’m a strong believer that faith in God is far-reaching. Farther than we can begin to comprehend, in fact. I’ve talked to so many people who seem to believe that God’s help is limited to the spiritual realm. Salvation, grace, mercy, all that intangible stuff.

I disagree.

The Psalms are full of confessions that God saves, that He is a very present help in time of trouble, that He watches over us. While we put our trust in Him for the afterlife, not many of us put our trust in Him for THIS life. And we get caught up in bad decisions or poor thinking that seems to rule every earthly action. (I’m so talking to myself here.)

Negativity and depression want to rule my life. Wallowing in poor decisions of the past, I’m in danger of missing the glory and power He has for me today. What a perfect time to give those decisions, mistakes, and regrets to Him! Today’s confession, from Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13, relieves me of the guilt and shame of the past.

I will call on the name of the Lord.

When I doubt His promise to deliver me, I will confess this truth. And I’ll turn to Psalm 121 for reinforcement. Especially meaningful to me is verse 5: “The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.” It gives me visions of being hidden in His shadow. The enemy passes right by, never even seeing me, because the Lord hides me in a protective shade.

I will call on the name of the Lord today. I will not fear because He stands beside me.

Do you believe God’s help is limited to spiritual things, or does He ever intervene in a tangible way?

 

He keeps every promise forever

Twenty-one years ago, God promised me a son. Fourteen years ago today, when my husband and I said our vows, He kept that promise with my stepson. I’ll call him the biggest big. At 6’5″ and still growing, he’s much bigger than any big I know! I didn’t realize it at the time, but this biggest big would become one of the biggest blessings in my life. (Okay, I didn’t mean to do that. God must have something BIG in mind for us today, huh?) Anyway, this big has become my son in every way, and I love him to pieces.

Then four and a half years ago, God kept His promise again by giving me another son, the biggest little. Abundant blessings! (Talking of abundance, He gave me a surprise blessing with my daughter, the littlest little. I can’t leave her out of this because she reminds me of today’s confession with every smile.)

God has kept other promises in my life, but sadly I haven’t recorded most of them. One of the things I’d like to start with my littles is a sort of altar to the Lord, where we keep a basket of rocks with numbers on them and a notebook nearby. Each time a promise is realized, we’ll write a number on a rock and record it in the notebook. What better way to remember His faithfulness? (And thanks to my Bible study teacher for this idea.) I’m still waiting on some promises to be fulfilled, but I know He’ll do it. So today’s confession speaks to that (and to the ‘K’ in our line of affirmations).

He keeps every promise forever.

According to Psalm 146:6, God is a promise-keeper. He’s a heart-keeper. He’s a spirit-keeper. In other words, He keeps us in such an all-encompassing way we can’t wrap our brains around it in this life. He keeps every promise forever. I encourage you to start a notebook and record the promises He’s kept to you. I’m going to go celebrate another one: my wedding anniversary with the man He promised to me. Keep confessing, y’all!

What promises has God kept in your life?

Names of Jesus reposted from Chief of the Least

Hey, gang. I’m taking today to repost something from fellow blogger Bryan Daniels at Chief of the Least. It fits well with our affirmations, and I love that Bryan included the Scripture reference for each name.

Take a few minutes today to look up some of these verses, then confess the truth out loud. And check out Chief of the Least for more fantastic insights.

AND HE SHALL BE CALLED:

God (Hebrews 1:8)

Son of God (John 1:34)

Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)

Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)

Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8)

I AM (John 8:58)

Savior (2 Peter 1:1)

Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16)

Upholder of all things (Hebrews 1:3)

Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The Word (John 1:1)

The Image of the Invisible God (Col 1:15)

The Brightness of God’s glory (Hebrew 1:15)

The Wisdom and Power of God (1 Cor 1:24)

The Lord from Heaven (1 Cor 15:47)

Son of Man (Mark 10:33)

The Great Prophet (Luke 7:16)

The Great Apostle (Hebrews 2:1)

Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11)

Messiah (John 4:25)

Anointed (Psalm 2:2)

Lamb Of God (John 1:29)

The Bridegroom (Matt 9:15)

Jehovah’s Shepherd (Zechariah 13:7)

The Door of the Sheep (John 10:7)

Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2)

True Vine (John 15:1)

Tree of Life (Rev 2:7)

Bread of God (John 6:33)

Light of the world (John 8:12)

Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)

Horn of Salvation (Luke1:69)

The Rock (1 Cor 10:4)

The Foundation (1 Cor 3:11)

The Temple (Rev 21:22)

The Altar (Heb 13:10)

Great High Priest (Heb 4:14)

Mediator (1 Tim 2:5)

Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25)

The Resurrection (John 11:25)

Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45)

Holy One (Acts 2:27)

Captain of Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)

Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

Righteous Judge (2 Tim 4:8)

King of Kings (Revelation 17:14)

Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14)

The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6)

Jesus Christ

Does one of Jesus’ names speak more to you than the others? Why?

Nothing is impossible with God

The last two weeks have been an interesting time in my house. For the first time ever, I’ve battled panic attacks that threaten to lay me flat on the floor, gasping for air, sure my heart is going to come to a dead stop. Or I’ve nearly climbed the walls with anxiety that sends adrenaline soaring and blood screaming through my veins. The only thing that keeps me from showing this panic to my children is reciting Psalm 23. I’ve also watched my four-year-old son scream, unable to catch his breath, and almost throw up in fear. I have no idea what he’s afraid of, but it seems to control almost every move.

I make light of my own panic because there’s really no reason for it. (Not that the realization stops my fear, but it is true. Forget what seems to be real; the truth is that I have not been given a spirit of fear. Realizing it and confessing it is the first step to making it real for me.) But seeing it in my child is a different matter. Fear – and overcoming it – is hard enough inside my own head. How do I teach my son to recognize the truth and fight against the fear?

The only way I know is to speak the truth over him, over our entire family. We move forward with normal activities, and if I have to leave him with a Sunday school teacher or a Bible study teacher, I pray and trust God to take care of him. Doing this, I’ve seen the fear we both experience recede. I love today’s confession (the ‘I’ in our alphabet of confessions) because it speaks to the myriad of reasons I battle breathtaking fear.

Nothing is impossible with God.

Do you really believe this? We serve the God of the impossible. What are your dreams or goals? What are your wildest prayers? Here are a few of mine, and what I think of when I pray them.

Establish a successful storytelling career? Impossible.

Raise happy, healthy, Jesus-loving children in a world of pride, excess, and indulgence? Impossible.

Banish all forms of fear, and embrace the future and the hope He plans for me? Impossible.

But nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 says so. For that reason, I’ll continue confessing the truth over myself and my family. My God will make a way, and the impossible will become possible. Beyond that, the possible will become achievable. Nothing is impossible with God.

What impossible things have you seen God do lately?

He is the Lord who heals me

I told my sister this morning that being an adult is far harder than I thought it would be. Must we choose between our dreams and reason?

When I was younger, I watched my mom and dad do the things parents do. I never wondered if they had dreams, but I wonder now. They went to work, probably paid all the bills, cooked meals, cleaned the house, set healthy boundaries for us, and generally gave me a wonderful, wholesome, sheltered childhood. They argued, but they laughed too. I remember game nights (Scrabble from the vantage point of Dad’s lap, anyone?) and bacon waffles for dinner. I remember feeling safe. Loved. Unafraid.

Then I grew up and realized I had to do what they did. And I might have to choose between my dream or living responsibly.

I’ve been editing my second novel and trying to get started on the path of public speaking while taking care of two littles who are by nature demanding, loud, and cuter than anything I’ve ever seen. Is the responsible thing to continue pursuing my dream, believing God will show favor? Or am I to abandon it and the faith that I can do all things through Jesus Christ? Life is uncertain. I struggle with depression, discouragement, anger, and a boatload of disbelief.

But I don’t have to live with it.

Today’s confession is important because it proclaims the truth about God’s power and promise in light of my struggles. Exodus 15:26 says, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

The first part of that is important because it leads to the second part. It tells me what I have to do to get the promise. If I listen carefully to the voice of the Lord my God. Do what is right in His sight. Obeying His commands and keeping His decrees. The promise is protection. And today’s confession is deliverance.

He is the Lord who heals me.

Whatever my struggle, He is the Lord who heals me. Uncertainty, depression, discouragement, anger or doubt, none of these things are bigger than my God. He is the Lord who heals me. Whatever you fight today, know that God is capable and desires to heal you. Confess the truth and keep the faith that He loves you and wants to bring bountiful blessings to you. Then step out in that faith and expect them to happen.

What is your big dream? Are you doing something to make it happen?

His faithful love endures forever

Someone asked me this weekend if I could find the word ‘unconditional’ in the Bible. As in, God’s love is unconditional. Salvation is unconditional. Mercy and grace are unconditional. Of course I can find it! It’s everywhere, I said. And then I went to my Bible and tried to find it.

…Looking, looking. (You may begin humming the tune from Jeopardy as I search.)

Well, so it’s not everywhere. Actually, I couldn’t find the word ‘unconditional’ anywhere. But that’s okay. The Bible doesn’t have the word ‘trinity’ in it, either. Or ‘rapture.’ But that doesn’t make those concepts any less true or relevant. God’s unconditional love is defined and demonstrated through the lives of people in Scripture:

Abraham, who tried to rush God’s covenant blessing with Hagar.

Sarah, who laughed in disbelief when she heard the covenant blessing.

Jacob, who lied about his identity and essentially stole the birthright from his older brother.

David and Bathsheba, who committed adultery and then tried to cover it up with murder.

God’s love and blessing stayed with these people (with me!) in spite of bad decisions and faithlessness. Jesus’ life and death is proof of unconditional love, and these examples speak to my heart when I fear I’ve messed up so badly He must turn His face in shame. In 1 Chronicles 16, King David teaches the priests and the people to sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Remembering this truth also gives me strength to keep going when I’m so tired I can only imagine falling face-first in the dirt and passing out for days.

His faithful love endures forever.

When I remember all He has done for me and the power that lives inside me, I feel compelled to get up out of the dirt and take another step. Praying for direction with each footfall, I take another step. And without realizing it, His faithful love has guided me through the fear and doubt. I rest safely on the other side, encouraging others with the truth. His faithful love endures forever.

What does His faithfulness help you accomplish?

The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy

I have trouble believing in myself. My abilities, however developed or natural, do not speak to my brain and convince me that I can accomplish much. It’s ridiculous to feel such self-pity and depression when I have so much to be thankful for, but the day can be wasted fighting for the slightest sliver of joy. It impacts my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of my littles.

I’m praying for that to change, and I think it begins with one word.

In searching for today’s confession, it seemed that one word jumped out at me over and over.

Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

Everlasting life (Galatians 6:8).

Everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Everlasting kingdom (Psalm 145:13), peace (Psalm 22:26), and joy (Isaiah 35:10).

According to the news reports, three people won the largest lottery in history this weekend. Over $200 million goes to each winner, and so much money must be hard to spend, right? But it’s not everlasting. It will come to an end.

Besides my own pity party, I look at the world around me, at the lives of people I love, and see heart-wrenching pain. Brokenness, confusion, isolation, and destruction seem to have no end. But they do end. They are not everlasting.

It gives me comfort and hope that something worthy in this life is everlasting. (The keyword there is worthy, by the way.) And two pieces of Scripture give me a window into a world that far exceeds this one.

Isaiah 40:28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

Isaiah 51:11 Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy.

That’s a powerful confession to me because I find joy hard to come by. When I feel defeated or hopeless, I’ll proclaim this truth. The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy, and I will move in the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have to believe in myself as long as I believe in Him.

Do you struggle to find joy in your life?

The Lord is my deliverer

It is late and my family sleeps. (Well, my littlest little fusses in bed, but she’s supposed to be asleep.) The night is dark, quiet, seemingly peaceful, but I know…

Women in my own city – in every city across the world – are held in bondage.

Children lie terrified in their beds.

Men sit with their hands fisted in their hair, fighting the urge to do something drastic to make a little money for their families.

We need deliverance, and it feels more urgent now than ever before by listening to people. We’re looking for someone to rescue us from the pain, hopelessness, and fear.

My husband and I watched The Hunger Games movie today. I’ve read the books, but one line from the movie reached out and snared me. I don’t remember if it’s in the book. President Snow says, “There is one thing stronger than fear. Hope.”

Like many people, it is at night that fear grips my heart hardest. With an unrelenting hold, it flashes my worst nightmares in front of my mind’s eye. It tells me I’m not enough, I’ll never make it, and my family will suffer unspeakable pain. I might listen but for the still small voice that nudges me to hope.

What a powerful drug hope is. It encourages us to keep going, to fight against all odds. It picks us up by the bootstraps and kicks us in the pants. That still small voice carries the promise of hope to my spirit. It reminds me that the Lord is my deliverer, and He is coming.

Psalm 18:2 makes me think of someone who has nothing left, someone who is holding on to the last thread of hope with all his might. He holds on, knowing the truth in spite of appearances. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

The Lord is my deliverer.

I don’t know why people suffer, why children are abused, or why God doesn’t just smite the offender where he or she stands. I only know the truth I choose to believe. Yahweh, God Almighty, the one who created the heavens and the earth, is my deliverer. A day will come when we don’t suffer. Children will be loved and cherished. Justice will prevail because my deliverer is coming. Will you confess it with me?

How will it change your life today to believe God is your deliverer?