5 Things I’m Learning in a Season of Monotony

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. -Ecclesiastes 5:18

The monotony of the days have been taking their toll lately and I’ve found myself increasingly frustrated and irritable. Like painting with those messy Crayola watercolor paints. One color runs into the next in the plastic, oblong case, and, in no time, there’s a muddied mess. This can happen when we don’t find satisfaction in the day to day work God has given us. The resentments build, anger and frustrations arise, covering up and muddying the beautiful fruits underneath that He’s trying to sprout in us. If we aren’t careful and paying attention, these can also conceal the many blessings He has given us. Just like the muddied watercolors, underneath each puddle are vivid colors, we just have to clear away the muddy mess to see them. God taught me five things recently about finding color in my life in a season of monotony:

1. See the good

While in Ecclesiastes, He spoke: find satisfaction in work. This doesn’t mean I’m supposed to turn work into an idol. What He meant by this was to find enjoyment in the work that I have been given during this season of life, rather than grumble my way through it. On my YouVersion Bible app, another translation stated find enjoyment in his toil and when I clicked on the word enjoyment, it further stated or make his soul see good. One way we can see good, is by counting our blessings daily. And, instead of seeing our daily tasks as just tasks, we can think about what good will come from accomplishing them, whether in the short-term or long-term. This brings us the second thing I learned about how to see good.

2. Start the day with “I get to”

On Instagram, Dr. Caroline Leaf posted about beginning each day with an “I get to” mentality, rather than “I have to”. I get to wake up and teach my girls at home, I get to wash dishes for my family, I get to prepare and cook for my husband and our daughters. Not everyone gets to do these. When we change our perspective and reframe our thoughts from “I have to”, to “I get to”, we can see the colors for what they are-bold and beautiful blessings that can wash away the dark and dreary.

3. Get creative and cultivate more joy

As far as enjoyment goes, when I asked God how to find satisfaction in my work, this popped into my mind: get creative. Creativity calms me and brings me joy. We can use our creativity by mixing up those mundane tasks and making them fun. How? Here are some ideas that occurred to me:

Tired of…

  1. Making dinner? Why not involve the family and have a dinner dance party. Grab a cooking utensil as your microphone, crank the tunes, and break out your best moves in between meal prep and cooking tasks. And if you live alone? Who says you can’t cut a rug to your favorite jams too?
  2. Homeschooling? Add some simple arts and crafts projects to your week or interrupt a day here or there with impromptu nature walks, scavenger hunts and photography challenges.
  3. Cleaning? Have at it with cleaning karaoke-80’s style. Choose your favorite hits and clean through two songs, karaoke through one, clean through two, karaoke through one and so on-or if the whole family is cleaning, the songs can be divided up and rotated through. If it’s not your song, clean. When your song comes on, belt out your number.
  4. Meal prep? Why not create some new meals? And if you aren’t super confident in the kitchen, start small. Alter recipes by adding new ingredients or experiment with new spices.

Yes, some of these may sound silly, but why not? Life is supposed to be enjoyed.

4. Embrace the mundane with a cheerful heart and glorify Him

Not only do I need to worship God in the wilderness, like He’s been showing me lately, but by embracing this season of monotony and doing the work He’s set before me with a cheerful heart, trusting Him with the season and tasks He’s given me, and doing it for Him, I’m glorifying Him in the process. This is a form of worship.

5. Be eager to work for the Lord

As I was reading in the Word tonight in Exodus, the words eager to help in the work the Lord had given stood out so I circled them. And on the next page, eager to get to work leapt off the page. He was telling me that I need to be eager to do the work He has given me. According to macmillandictionary.com, eager is defined as: very enthusiastic about doing something…So, in other words, I need to get intensely excited about working for the Lord. He chose this work for me and rather than just seeing these as dull repetitive duties to be completed, I need to see them as the Lord’s work and be be eager to do His work.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. -Colossians 3:23-24

Still, I Press On

So burned out and weary
this life looking dreary
Still, I press on.

Energy, it's lacking
the fatigue attacking
Still, I press on.

To-do's piling up
while emptying my cup
Still, I press on.

Day-to-day so routine
the season, in between
Still, I press on.

With my head in the race
continuing to pace
Still, I press on.

Endless tasks, there's no end
adulting, not my friend
Still, I press on.

Thoughts of getting a break
hoping, but a mistake
Still, I press on.

As the night settles in
day coming to an end
Still, I press on.

Time to sit and unwind
Nope! more needs done, I find
Still, I press on.

Then tomorrow, it dawns
and I wake with a yawn
Still, I press on.

Arising with the Son
this marathon to run
Still, I press on.

Remembering the prize
towards Him, I turn my eyes
Still, I press on.

Copyright © 2021 Aimee Phillippi

*This poem was inspired by the following verse I read last night: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:14

Worship Him in the Wilderness Playlist

As January of the new year comes to an end (how is that even possible already?!), some of you may be feeling weary. Maybe the beginning of 2021 hasn’t lived up to what you had hoped. We can’t expect life to change drastically just because the numbers on our calendars have flipped. Life with this Covid stuff is hard and it may never be like it once was. Or maybe there are other challenges trying to snuff out your hope. Maybe you are walking in the wilderness, like I am right now, and have been for some time.

During my time in the Word this week, God clearly spoke. His words leapt off the page-worship me in the wilderness. Not only does He want us to come to Him on our knees in the wilderness, but He wants us to go deeper and worship Him in the struggles. This has not been a daily practice, but it’s a missing piece in my walk. Lifting my eyes towards Him in worship feeds my soul and fills me up when I am running on empty, those times when I need to serve my family but have nothing left to pour out. He will fill us, but we must let Him. In doing so, we can pour from The Living Water, rather than keep driving our parched selves in the middle of the wilderness.

One of my favorite avenues of worshiping our Heavenly Father is through music. Here is my Worship Him in the Wilderness playlist that helps to direct my heart towards Him:

  1. So Will I (100 Billion X)-Hillsong UNITED
  2. Give me Jesus-Jeremy Camp
  3. Great Are You Lord-one sonic society
  4. Touch the Sky-Hillsong UNITED
  5. First-Lauren Daigle
  6. God of Wonders-Mac Powell, Cliff Young & Danielle Young
  7. It is Well (Live)-Bethel Music & Kristine DiMarco
  8. Oceans-Hillsong UNITED
  9. Our God-Chris Tomlin
  10. Olorun Agbaye-You are Mighty (feat. Chandler Moore & O/B/A)-Nathanial Bassey
  11. Nobody Like You (Live)-Red Rocks Worship
  12. I Stand for You (New Version)-Tree63
  13. Lead Me to the Cross-Hillsong UNITED
  14. Eyes on You-Mosaic MSC
  15. Christ in Me–Jeremy Camp

He is All that I Need

The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need. -Psalm 23:1

Last week, something odd happened. I awoke with this Bible verse turning over and over in my mind. This has never happened to me before, nor can I ever recall having God speak to me through my dreams. Maybe this is a first?

As I lay there dozing in and out, I remember rattling off these words again and again: The Lord is my shepherd. He is all that I need. For awhile now, I’ve felt like He has been telling me this and apparently, this particular morning, God was really trying to pound it into me.

What I find even more interesting is that I will often start drafts of posts, to later come back and write more. I had forgotten about this post until I came across it tonight trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about. In His most impeccable timing, I saw the title I had written and once again, knew it was His way of reminding me of this after a most trying weekend.

This past weekend was one of those-can-I-please-just-pull-the-covers-over-my-head-and-keep-dreaming-so-I-don’t-have-to-get-up kinda weekends. This, along with the last three years of our lives, made me question life itself. It can be difficult to not understand what God’s plans are and yet, keep running the race. Without going into every detail, we have had to move several times in the past three years due to toxic mold exposure and environmental sensitivities. We are in another temporary living situation and were supposed to move into a different cabin this weekend, however, after moving nearly all of our stuff, we were not able to stay there. The entire cabin had been freshly varnished recently and although it had been aired out, it smelled so strongly, our belongings even smelled like varnish. So, after moving everything, it all had to go back to the cabin we came from. It felt like such a waste of time, energy and hard work. I know that there are different seasons in each of our lives, and then the seasons change, but this season we have been in the past few years has been extremely challenging, to say the least. Yes, there have been many adventures that I am so very grateful for, but there has also been a lot of hard.

I can’t help but wonder, after losing nearly everything we owned to toxic mold almost three years ago, when we will have a more permanent home. It’s all just wordly “stuff”, I know, and we are not of this world. Maybe though, I’m still grieving our losses-our health, our home, our belongings, my social work career, and private school for our girls. That’s a lot to lose in one shot. And it doesn’t include the more recent loss of seeing family due to Covid and our big move to Alaska. It’s tough not to compare our life before toxic mold, to the hardships we have endured since, or to others lives, but I know He’s refining us. There are definitely lessons in all of this. We are learning to trust God more and choose faith over fear. And we are being taught to wait patiently.

Today, I’m weary, but I’m going to choose faith. I’m going to keep my eyes on Him and remind myself that my prize isn’t this side of heaven. He’s telling me that He’s all I need, and maybe until I really, truly comprehend that on a heart-level, He won’t give me any more.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18

Fuel Your Walk Friday

Fuel your walk with some Jesus and Joe.

I love Jesus and I love me an iced cuppa fresh cold brew halved with vanilla almond milk, so I recently started something new on my blog called “Fuel Your Walk Fridays”. What better way to combine the two and perk up the beginning of your weekend, than to “Fuel Your Walk” with some Jesus and Joe. Once a week, I will be posting a little snippet, thought, or questions to ponder in relation to your walk with Christ. So grab your favorite mug, pour yourself a delicious cuppa Joe and get comfy as you let these questions percolate in your mind:

The pandemic we are living through has brought many changes to our lives, including a change of pace and more time spent at home. And as it continues into the new year, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. What if God is using this time to draw you closer to Him? Will you heed the call?

© 2021 Aimee Phillippi

Who He Is and Why We Can Trust

Being abandoned by my father in my early teen years, shattered my heart into a million pieces. This trauma taught me that it wasn’t safe to trust and I’ve grappled with it ever since. I want to trust my Heavenly Father with childlike faith, but there’s this part of me that won’t let go completely. Day by day, He’s showing me I can trust Him more, and He’s slowly healing pieces of my broken heart through my writing. He gave me the idea to dive into His word and see what it says about who He is and why we can trust Him. Here’s what His Word says about who He is-

Our Heavenly Father is:

*Love

The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] -1 John 4:8 (AMP)

*The God of all comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

* Never Changing

I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. -Malachi 3:6

*The Prince of Peace

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] -John 14:27 (AMP)

*Good

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! -Psalm 34:8

*Our Healer

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. -Psalm 147:3 (AMP)

*Trustworthy

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? -Numbers 23:19

*The Truth

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6

*Our Forgiver

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32

*Slow to anger and rich in love

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. -Psalm 145:8

*Accepting

Therefore, [continue to] accept and welcome one another, just as Christ has accepted and welcomed us to the glory of [our great] God. -Romans 15:7 (AMP) ?

*A God of justice

And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice. -Psalm 50:6

*Gracious and righteous

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. -Psalm 116:5

*Always with us

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. -Joshua 1:5

*Our Helper

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10

*A merciful and compassionate God

For the Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.- Deuteronomy 4:31

*Wise

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. -Jude 1:25

*Gentle

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11:29

*Faithful

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you [setting you on a firm foundation] and will protect and guard you from the evil one. -2 Thessalonians 3:3 (AMP)

*Our Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. -Psalm 23:1

*Giving

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not 8perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

*Kind

in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— -Ephesians 2:7-8

*Our Protector

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. -Psalm 32:7

After seeing this list, are you asking yourself the same question I am? How can we not trust Him fully? He is an amazing God!

That Pesky Thorn

What is that thorn in your side? One of mine is perfectionism. I’ve wrestled with this since I was a teenager. It used to be so much worse, but God has been working on me with this one for a long time. It’s gotten a lot better, but still rears its ugly head during times of stress or uncertainty. The other day, I made a lot of mistakes and felt like a failure. I’ll admit. I didn’t want to write. I felt unqualified, but my husband suggested I make a list of all the ways I’m not perfect and all the ways God is. So here I am.

Here are 6 ways I’m far from perfect:

I’m impatient

I can be negative

I get easily frustrated

I like things done a certain way

I raise my voice

I struggle with letting go

Here are 6 ways that God is perfect:

1. He is the God of all grace and His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in weakness.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Corinthians 12:9

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. -1 Peter 5:10

Grace upon grace upon grace. See the common theme? His grace more than makes up for our weaknesses. In fact, His power is made perfect in our weakness. His power shines through our weaknesses. It is through our flaws and brokenness that He can best work and be glorified.

2. His way is perfect and His Word is flawless.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. -Psalm 18:30

Our way is not even close to perfect, but His is. When we try to do things in our own strength and our own way, we falter. Earlier this week, I tried to be and do in my own strength and I failed. He is our refuge though, and we can take shelter in Him when we make mistakes. And His Word is flawless, so we can rely on that Truth to help correct and instruct us to live a more righteous life. When we are struggling with guilt and perfectionism, meditating on His Word, which is alive and powerful, can also restore us.

3. He is Holy.

“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samual 2:2

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Holy as “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” It also says that holy means: divine. There is no one holy like Him. And therefore, only He can help us become more holy and righteous, because we were made in His image. We can’t do this on our own.

4. His works are perfect. He does no wrong.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. -Deuteronomy 32:4

He is a perfect and just God on whom we can stand. When we stand firm on the Rock, we can withstand anything. If He is our foundation, we will not collapse under the weight of our failures.

5. The Law of the Lord is perfect.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; -Psalm 19:7

His law is meant to instruct us in the right way and when we obey His law, He will restore us and renew our spirits. With obedience, comes blessings. So when we are struggling with perfectionism and guilt, let’s ask ourselves if we are following His law.

6. He is the God of love and peace.

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. -2 Corinthians 13:11

He is love and He is peace. And His perfect love casts out fear. So when we are afraid that we aren’t enough-that we aren’t perfect enough, that we aren’t doing enough-that we aren’t (fill in the blank) enough, we can rest assured that His perfect love will cast out that fear if we let it.

Therefore, those times when we try to be perfect, and we can’t, we don’t have to fear, because we have a God who is. And He will fill in the gaps for us with His love, mercy and grace. For He is perfect in all of His ways. And He is a God who loves without limits.

Fasten Yourself and Do Good

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

Have you ever had one of those really bad weeks? I’m not talking about one day, but rather, a few. Each day you peel yourself out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, hoping the day will be better, but it ends up seeming like each day just crashes into the next until BAM! you just want to give up? That’s been my week, y’all. It’s been tough. I don’t think I’ve been walking in His strength. He is renewing me day by day, but the truth is, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what walking in His strength looks like and how to do this all the time.

In my time in the Word tonight though, God spoke to me in 1 Peter 4:19, telling me to commit myself to Him and continue to do good. There are several definitions for the word commit, but what stood out when I looked it up on Oxford Languages was the meaning-to pledge or bind to a certain course; to be dedicated to; and the synonym devoted. I then looked up the word bind and the word fasten spoke to me. When I looked up the definition of the word devoted, the words that popped off the page were- to give all or a large part of one’s time or resources (to Him). What does this all mean?

When we feel like giving up, let’s devote ourselves more fully to Him. Let’s spend time with Jesus, giving Him the opportunity to fill and refresh our souls. Not only that, let’s give our time to Him-both in the physical sense, and by putting time in His hands, letting Him order our days. Do you ever find that there’s just not enough time in the day? Then, why don’t we allow Him to help us? In our own strength, we can quickly burn out. Yet, by fastening ourselves to Him, we can walk alongside Him in each and every moment. We fix our eyes intently on Him, knowing He is beside us-because He is. Intently is the key word here, folks-we eagerly and earnestly keep our focus on Jesus because when we take our eyes off of Him, how easy it is to do on our own.

And speaking of do-maybe your week was like mine, or even your day, and you experienced lots of hurts and hangups. Despite these, let’s continue to do good. Let’s serve others-even if they’ve hurt us, but with the strength He provides, so He can be glorified because that is His will. And His will be done, not ours. Stand firm in the faith because after we have suffered a little while, He will restore us making us strong, firm and steadfast.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. -1 Corinthians 15:58

10 Verses to Keep the Stress at Bay This Christmas Season

With Christmas around the corner, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays at our feet, things can get stressful quickly if we aren’t careful. And this year, with Covid-19, the way we celebrate may be different. Life is already hard and when we have to find new ways of doing things, it can be even more difficult. Here are 10 verses to remind us that the Christmas season need not be stressful. Meditate on these often to help you get through in one “peace”:

1. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. -Psalm 55:22

2. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.-Psalm 16:8

3. I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.-Jeremiah 31:25

4. Set your minds on things above, not earthly things. -Colossians 3:2

5. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -Matthew 6:34

6. Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face always- 1 Chronicles 16:11

7. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I don’t give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27

8. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. -Psalms 63:7-8

9. The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” -Exodus 33:14

10. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. -Psalm 29:11