Saturday, October 22, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 22: Hands and Feet

"Just because my hands and feet  no longer serve me well physically, I don't want that to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God." Sara 'Gitz' Frankl

When you know someone's life is coming to an end, you do everything you can to take in and savor every last moment with your loved one. That is exactly how it was during those final days with Sara. Sara's life was an example of someone who chose to surrender their life to God...right up until her final breadth!

Sara's book, Choose Joy Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts provides readers with so many examples and ways to choose surrender...and her life was so much more than what could be captured in a book. Her love for God and others poured out of her! 

Even though the last three years of Sara's life were spent confined to the four walls of her home, she continued to surrender her life and teach us what it meant to be the hands and feet of God. One of the last things Sara said to me was that she wanted people "to continue to learn, trust and believe in God as she tried to be His disciple, but, she said, It's not about me, it's about Him.That's the message I want people to hear."

Now, let's remember...Sara was the writer and artistic one in our family. Me...I can hardly draw a straight line and was once asked if I spoke "Frankanese" (Assuming that meant an individual Frankl family language).

Even though I felt less than capable, my life these last 5 years has been one of surrender. There have been days when surrendering has been easier than others. I had no idea what God's plan was for continuing this Choose Joy ministry that Sara surrendered her life to, but I knew her wish and words to me were a calling from God and I didn't want my lack of knowledge, writing and artistic abilities to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God.

My surrender prayer each day is that God will give me an open mind, a humble heart and faithful feet to walk where He leads. He has been the one driving and opening doors. Some of those doors have been shut (and admittedly disappointing at times), but I didn't put a period and stop trying. I put a comma and continued to pray for His guidance.

There have been many humbling and blessed examples that have come from surrendering this ministry to Him, and I'd like to share a video of the most recent. I was blessed to host a Choose Joy and Lindsay McCaul event in Sioux City this past month. The below video gives you a quick snap shot of the event. Even if one person's life is impacted and brings them closer to God, it is worth it.


Surrendering to God and trusting this path has not always been easy and I am sure there will be more difficult days ahead, but the blessings have far out weighed the difficult days. I will not let my fear of surrendering keep me from not being the hands and feet of God. 

And, I will always remember, it's not about's not about Sara...It's about Him. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 21: The Sparrow

Sara left many beautiful legacies for us, and one of them is the gift of her angelic voice. I was listening to her sing His Eye is On the Sparrow, and I couldn't help but think of how God is again reminding us to trust Him and surrender our lives to Him.

Take a moment to listen…

Matthew 29-31 says…"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

In times when we are judging our lives against others, or when we feel that we have disappointed God because we gave in to our human weakness and sinned, let's remember the story of the sparrow. We often complain about sparrows and consider them pests and yet Jesus said, "not one of them falls to the ground outside your Father's care." This says to me that in God's eyes, no one is insignificant! And…"You are worth more than many sparrows!"

When God says no one is insignificant…Do you trust that? God has proven many times in word an action that we can trust Him…this makes worrying worthless. Worry wears out our mind and our body. It also impacts our judgement and decision making…ultimately showing God our lack of faith. 

We can show our Faith by surrendering our worries to Him. We are significant and He loves us…He has told us that over and over. Now He wants us to trust Him and show our love for Him by surrendering our lives and worries to Him…with Joy!

Hab. 3:18…"I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 20: It's not about me.

Mark 8:34 says, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." 

Deny himself...As human beings we are taught to satisfy our needs. If we want something we should go after it! I think we have to remember there is a difference between selfishness and selflessness. Meeting our personal needs versus meeting the needs of the greater good.

Take up our cross...There  are many crosses that we bear in this life and some are more difficult than others. When Jesus calls us to take up our cross, I'm sure He is speaking of our daily struggles, but I think the call is even deeper. For Jesus, the cross lead to His death. We must be willing to take up our struggles and not give up...even to the point and difficulty of death.

Follow me...God calls us to follow His call. The path that He planned for us. It is only when we completely surrender an follow Him that we are free and no longer bound by our human desires that keep us from the Him.

We must submit all we are to God and His call for us. It is in this surrender that we find who we are called to be. 

"This life is not about me; it's about who He needs me to be."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 19: Anything is Possible with God

I believe in a God who is so much bigger than I can imagine Him to be that anything is possible.   ~Sara 'Gitz' Frankl

The bible tells us in Ephesians 2:9 that "salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." In other words, good works in and of themselves, will not get us into heaven.

But, in Luke 18:27 we learn that "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

These verses specifically speak to us about our choice to surrender to God.

If we choose to run our own lives instead of surrendering our life to God, we will not be walking the real path that God calls us to travel. Any works that we end up doing while traveling on our own path will not be as highly regarded as the works that we do while walking in God’s perfect will for our lives.

God will reward us for faithfully working for Him during our life on this earth. They will be heavenly rewards that will last for all eternity. The rewards for those things we try to accomplish on our own during our life on this earth, will not come close to what they would have been if we were operating under God's perfect will for our lives.

So, what will you choose? Who should be running your life? You, with all of your human limitations, or God the Father, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect?

I choose to surrender to Him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 18: Gratitude

"I’ve learned to appreciate the simplicity in my moments. I’ve learned that being thankful in everything is more important than being thankful for something. I want to be grateful for everything in my life, not just the special moments."         ~Sara 'Gitz" Frankl

Being thankful in everything…

Each day of our life is made up of moments. How we choose to look at those moments is a direct reflection of the Joy in our life.

We all have moments when life isn't showing up how we would like. Whatever we may be struggling with, how we choose to look at the moments ultimately determines how we live our life. Our life is precious. It is a gift from God. Living in gratitude and ultimately surrendering our struggles to God is the foundation to creating moments of joy.

So, instead of focusing on what is going wrong, start focusing on what is going right. I may be struggling with my job, but that job has provided a roof over my head and the ability to provide for my family. I may be struggling with my health, but I am still here on earth and have a purpose to fulfill. I may have lost a family member, but I was blessed to have them in my life for the time I did. I may be frustrated with the line at the grocery store, but I am blessed to have food to put on the table.

People will respond to us based on the attitude and perspective we bring to this life. The attitude and perspective that we bring to each new day will create the experience of our moments and ultimately the moments of those we come in contact with.

When we surrender our moments to the one who has the ultimate plan for our life, it will be easier to be thankful in everything, not just the special moments.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 17: The Comma...

Have you ever been walking a path that you have felt God is leading you on, only to find a number of dead ends? How many of us take those dead ends as a "sign" that God doesn't want us to continue the journey?

I have been in those situation several times. What I have learned is that we should "never put a period where God has put a comma. I have learned that those dead ends that we experience in life don't always mean we should end the journey. There may be a detour or a pause in the journey, but not an end...not a period. 

What I have learned is that I need to regularly gift myself with the time and space needed to pause, rest, reflect, and be present with the Lord without distraction. I need this in order for me to know, understand and follow God's path. It requires regular submission and a humble surrender to God.

I have often used the butterfly analogy with my children when they face difficulty. As a parent, when my children struggled and faced times of hitting a dead end, I wanted to fix the situation so they didn't have to hurt and struggle.

A butterfly must struggle out of its cocoon in order for it to eventually fly. If we help the butterfly out of its cocoon and don't allow it to struggle, the butterfly will never fly and it will die. Humans are just like a butterfly...if we constantly fix the dead ends people face instead of allowing them to struggle, they will not grow, flourish and eventually soar in life. 

So when you are feeling a dead end on a journey you believe God is calling you to follow, I encourage you to embrace the struggle. Pause and gift yourself with time to reflect and humbly surrender to God. Pray for the wisdom and patience needed to trust His timing to continue the journey.

Never put a period where God puts a comma...Never end a journey where God is asking you to pause.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 16: Being Brave

"No moment from my God is a rock of's a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones."

This graphic made by Sara says a lot to me about surrendering. I think there is a fear of surrendering because we are afraid that we won't be brave enough to give up what we want and say yes to what God is asking of us.

The things we want and desire are things that typically fulfill the needs of our ego. Fulfilling the needs of our ego won't fulfill us deep won't fulfill the needs of our soul. When we only fulfill our needs...the needs of our ego...our joy and satisfaction will only be temporary and will only last for a moment in time. When we surrender our lives to the wants and desires of God, the joy and satisfaction will last a lifetime.

Surrendering is often times what we do as a last resort, a last effort because we are at a loss of what to do next. Surrendering needs to be the first thing we do. We must surrender to God and be willing to accept whatever He desires for us...even if it is not what we desire for ourselves.

Surrender and let go of the weight that you are feeling on your shoulders. The weight is no longer yours to bear. Pray that God will change your heart to what He wants...because no moment from our God is a rock of's a rock waiting to be broken down into stepping stones.

Surrendering calls us to be brave, but God will always be walking ahead of us to guide us, beside us to befriend us, behind us to encourage us and over us to protect us.