Lessons Learned in Your Storm

...storms come...storms go...

Peter and the disciples are in a boat at sea. They jumped in the boat pumped!

They witnessed Jesus feeding more than five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Can you imagine the awe and laughter from the men as they made their way across the sea with their personal souvenirs (the remaining food) as evidence of such a wonderful evening?

Storms of Life | Dana Pittman

I can hear them talking over one another recounting the story again, as if they all had not witnessed the same miracle. But the joy of their very special picnic was quickly pushed aside as a bad storm disrupted their cheerful banter.

The men would weather this storm for many hours. The waves crashing into their boat. The winds nearly overturning them under its force. Yet they had no choice but to endure since they were too far out to return to the shore.

What would they do? 

Knowledge of God Induces Action

We as people sometimes let our feelings run the show. When we feel happy we actively go about life with glee and enthusiasm. When we feel angry we change the vibe of the atmosphere around us. When we feel hurt we withdraw and repel all good and wonderful things for our lives.

When We Feel…

I am reminded of Hagar, a woman in a love triangle. A woman subjected to mistreatment and decided to run. I’m sure she felt hurt. Betrayed. Maybe even unloved. Yet she was told “go back and submit to her” (Genesis 16:9).

 

[blockquote align=”center” variation=”teal” cite=”Genesis 16:9″]Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” [/blockquote]

 

Submit to her…submit to the source of her discomfort. Submit to potentially what she feared most, what many of us fear most…rejection. And so she ran. Yet she was told to return to that which she sought refuge from.

Do you know that God’s promise is greater than our discomfort, our feelings, our plans? I pray you see the hope in this story. Because the story does not end with Hagar hiding in the desert. Oh no. Hagar was sent back not empty handed but armed with a promise and an encounter with the Lord.

…Continue Reading on Encouragement Cafe

 

 

[fancy_header2 variation=”teal”]Encouragement Cafe[/fancy_header2]

This is an excerpt from a devotional I have available on Encouragement Cafe. I am always blessed to write for them and I hope you’ll hop over and read the full post. Oh…and don’t forget to leave a comment. Thank you!

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For more information visit www.encouragementcafe.com.

Precious Cargo

My daughter had a quick temper. She would go from easy breezy to blowing a fuse in seconds. This bothered us as her parents. But I could recall times even when she was a baby that she would bully her brothers.

 

Devotional Written by Dana Pittman on Encouragement Cafe

 

We thought, “it’s her being the little sister”. But as time continued we knew something had to change. We tried and tried. We punished and grounded. She’d do better but then like the times before she’d get really angry at her brother.

I started praying away her anger. I pray for my children but I never quite prayed for a specific situation like that one. I added her to our prayer list at church, as well.

I made the decision to pray it away after one day her coming to me and saying…”Mom, I don’t know why I get so angry.” It hurt my heart and I knew I needed help from upstairs.

Read the full post along with the invaluable lessons I learned through this experience with my daughter on Encouragement Cafe.

 

 

Worldly Influence

Meditation of My Heart is a monthly series. I hope to share a piece of my heart to inspire you to let God into yours.

In the past, I thought loving others and living my life according to God’s word was enough. Watching these videos slapped me awake because if the world is viewing this overt displays of lust, pride, and selfish actions I have to consider my role. What am I doing to ensure they know about the price Jesus paid for our lives? That His love is real. How am I ensuring that they know He is the only way?

 

Worldly Influence by Dana Pittman [pinit]

 

Early one morning, I took care of my personal business. Read the word. Then I made my way to the computer. I pressed “Play” on my Praise and Worship playlist and readied myself for my few office tasks. What happened next shook me to my core.

Love & Fear

Have you ever felt a slight tension in your chest, embedded in the outlining of your heart?

A burning, which holds your heart and the pit of your stomach captive, until the thought of breathing escapes you, only to find the sensation increasing triggering your need for air?

I’m not referencing a real medical emergency. But something equally important.

Devotional Written by Dana Pittman on Encouragement Cafe

The feeling surfaces when you know, that you know that you know it’s time to change your life. That your life just can’t remain the same. That if you allow your circumstances to continue you will be utterly miserable.

What caused the feeling? Is it God honoring? Will it benefit others?

And why are you just thinking about it…and not doing it?

As you read this post I am readying to take a plunge, I’m heading to a conference to pursue growing in ministry.

Ministry…me?

Who would have ever thought I would desire such a thing? However, it was like I suddenly became uncomfortable in my own skin.

Read the full post on Encouragement Cafe.

A.D.D. Cures Mental Clutter

We exist on a pretty tight budget. We don’t complain or grumble because we knew things would change once we decided to homeschool our children. We went from two full-time incomes to one. Then last year my husband left his job and now we are fully self-employed.

Our budget went from tight to nearly rubbing pennies. However, having the opportunity to homeschool our children is worth it. Doing the work God called us to is worth it.

Devotional Written by Dana Pittman on Encouragement Cafe

But life sometimes throws us curve balls. The kids still enjoy extracurricular activities…money. Gas prices increased…money. Groceries are at an all time high…more money.

I found myself thinking money…money…money. When is it coming? Where is it going? Do we have enough?

This is how mental clutter manifests itself. It is a single thought or several that take hold of us and multiple.

Do you remember the Gremlins movie?

Continue reading… on Encouragement Cafe.

 

I’m also linking up with my sisters: Women in the Word Wednesdays, Denise in Bloom, and Thoughtful Thursday Blog Hop.

Comfort in Your Shade

A seed of an idea was planted in me many years ago. I’d like to share what God has done in my life with women like me…stifled, strained, living robotic lives. I’d like to share His freedom. It was merely a thought. Unbeknownst to me, this seed was growing.

Do you know what happens to a plant that outgrows its pot? The roots begin to push until they can find a way out. If there is no way out, the plant will stop growing. No matter how much you water and care for it.

What seeds have been planted in you? Do you want to start a ministry? Do you want to return to school? Do you want to serve on a mission’s trip? Do you want to sing in the church choir?

Comfort in Your Shade by Dana Pittman on Encouragement Cafe

However, much like an outgrown plant, you too will need to be repotted if this seed has outgrown your current place in life. This tends to cause us to worry–to fret. To allow the how’s and why’s and when’s to keep us planted where we feel safe…and comfortable.

We remain in our comfort zone.

Dear sisters remaining in our comfort zones may cause us to cease to grow. The current scenery maybe nice but I came today to present a thought to you. Just one thought.

Who is waiting to find comfort in our shade?  Continue Reading…

Freedom No Takebacks

Happy 4th of July!

Today is a day of celebration and a time to reflect on our freedom as a country. As a child I only wanted the BBQ. 🙂 As a woman, well, I’ll take the BBQ but I see freedom from a different perspective.

Freedom No Takebacks by Dana Pittman

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

John 8:36

My perspective shifted with four life-altering events:

  1. Military service (8 years in the Army Reserves);
  2. My family (marriage and children);