I LOVE LOVE LOVE waking up on Thanksgiving morning before anyone else in the house. I grab my coffee and sit in prayer with God thanking Him for everything I can think of as my heart overflows with gratefulness! It is kind of my yearly tradition!
Though this list could still be added to.... this is a very good start!
100 REASONS I AM THANKFUL!!!!!
1. My God and His love, mercy and forgiveness
2. Eternal life.... the sting of death is gone.....
3. My husband, my soul mate, my friend and God's restoring power in His life.
4. My four little blessings..... chosen for me.... before the foundation of the world
5. My Mama.... who gave me life... taught me how to love my home.... and find the joy in simple things.
6. For my sisters.... my friends.... and all of the intense belly laughs we have shared!
7. My Father, who gave me life..... and gives to me..... as he can....
8. My Grandparents..... Grandma and Poppy...the very people that helped mold me into the woman I am today..... for many, many years.... they were my source of salvation.
9. For my Poppy.... teaching me to love to cook and bake. I shall never forget the comforting aromas that poured from every crevice of their home.
10. For my Grandma... who taught me how to be a "lady," use my manners, not pass gas in front of people, to place my napkin on my lap and "kill the world with kindness."
11. For the WONDERFUL and comforting memories that flood my mind of holidays and special events spent with my family.
12. For laughter and silly humor!
13.For in-laws....and their willingness to always help us as they can!
14.My Aunt, "Nanny" and her generous heart and ability to take humor to a whole new level!
15. For friendships and Lord blessing us with our wonderful friends and church family we wouldn't trade for the world..
16.. Health and healing
17.. Every breath... the good Lord gives me...
18. My home and my love of it....
19 My warm cozy bed....
20. My ability to fall asleep peacefully
21. Living in a country of freedom and plenty!
22. Living in a little town..... where it is normal to leave your doors unlocked.
23. My wonderful neighbor..... who continually helps us out and loves our doggies and 100 other things we ask of her!!!
24. My pets..... and the laughter and joy they bring our family!
25. Cozy fireplaces!
26. Chilly mornings.... watching puffs of steam circle the roofs of my neighbors homes.
27. Chubby little girl feet.... in plastic dress up shoes.
28. A closet full of clothes...
29. A washing machine and dryer to make them clean!
30. Steamy hot bubble baths....
31. Sizzling hot showers!
32. Pretty smelling body lotion...
33. Soft, cozy, fleecy blankets...
34. Poofy slippers...
35. A pantry... literally overflowing... with food for the holiday!
36. That I even have to complain that there is not enough room in my fridge....
37. A backyard full of broken toys.... that have been well loved...
38. A driveway... to park my car... and a NEW GARAGE being built!!!!!
39. Frosty trees.... on a brisk morning..
40. Early mornings... with peaceful darkness and the twinkle of Christmas lights...
43. A love for writing!
44. A changed heart!
46. The desire to change my flaws!
47. The ability to homeschool and train my children... daily..
48. Never missing an important milestone in my children's lives...
49. Understanding the deep calling of motherhood.....
50.. My failures as a mother.... that have helped me grow...
51. Trials and challenges.... that have allowed Christs strength to shine through me.....
52. That God chose my husband and I... along with our friends.... to help build His church... by birthing one in our home....
53. That God sees so much more of me.... than I will ever see....
54. For unexpected blessings....
55. For access to medical help.. whenever it is needed....
56. For God's perfect provisions....
57. The sound of the dishwasher washing my dishes... so I don't have to....
58. The smell of coffee brewing...
59. Sugar Cookie Creamer....
60. Whip Cream!
61. Cinnamon and nutmeg!
63. Gingham checkers....
64. Feather ticks....
65. Down comforters...
66. The color red!
67. My vehicle!
68. Falling leaves...
70. My children's laughter.....
71. Snuggle time...
72. Foot rubs....
73. Christmas movies....
74. A SUPERB hair stylist!!!! Love ya Erica!!!
75. Caring hearts of others...
76. The ability to see the good.... not just the bad....
77. Clean, running water....
78. The ability to shop... right from my home...
79. Surprises in my mailbox....
80. The ability to forgive....
81. Ice Cream....
82. Chocolate chip cookies....
83. Little ones with tired eyes and bed head!
84. The smell of pancakes on the griddle!
85. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!
86. My children's friendships....
87. My children's health....
88. The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree...
89. Freshly painted toe nails...
90. Access to healthy food...
91. Wildly colored turkeys... hanging from my fridge...
92. Moments with family....
93. Sharing my home....
94. Rastrelli's pizza!
95. Christmas light displays....
96. Heat... to keep me warm...
97. Having choices.....
98. The inspiration of other believers....
99. My little girls... in princess dress up....
100. The life... that God has given me....
Peace and Blessings
A thankful heart.... precedes..... each blessing. A thankful heart..... precedes... each blessing. A THANKFUL heart.... precedes.... each blessing.
As I sat and pondered these words... slowly... over and over again in my mind, it prompted me to truly ask myself if I understand thankfulness. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we often begin pondering the things we are thankful for in our lives. While this is a beautiful thing, I have been challenged by Christ over the years to instill thankfulness.... in every day.... in every circumstance.
WOW... to say this has been difficulty some days... would be an understatement, however, it has proven to be life changing.
If you spend any time whatsoever in the Bible you will find that giving thanks became a way of life for those who were to Christ. This is one of the major things one should notice changing when they accept Christ.... their heart transforms from self seeking to full of gratitude for a God that has shown them love, mercy and forgiveness like they have never known before.
A very popular scripture in Philippians came to life for me years ago as God conked me in the head with part of it's wonderful meaning....
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
What God revealed to me through this scripture is even in the midst of anxiety and fear, we must present our request to God with THANKSGIVING in our hearts, not bitterness, self righteousness and disbelief, but a heart felt thanksgiving for the One who can do exceedingly more than we could ever imagine....
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20
To say I am extremely guilty of forgoing thanksgiving for self pity and bitterness would be, unfortunately true.
I had the privilege of hearing a remarkable story on the power of thanksgiving while attending a Lysa Terkeurt conference many moons ago. This story expressed the POWER choosing THANKFULNESS, even when there appears to be nothing to be thankful or, can have over your life. It can literally change it's course.
In short, she told a story of her two adopted sons from Africa. They were 13 and 14 years old and living in a very poor orphanage in Africa. Their surroundings were dangerous and nothing short of sad. They had one meal a day and had to walk miles to school, climbing over dead bodies and dodging evil people.
One evening as they orphanage prepared for dinner the oldest boy was asked to say something he was thankful for. He told Lysa, that he sat there and was unable to find anything specific to be thankful for living in those conditions. So, unable to think of anything, he chose to just begin singing songs of thanksgiving to the Lord.
Each night, after that, as other boys were called on to share something they were thankful for, they all chose to sing songs of thanksgiving instead. One by one the boys all began to sing each night while the others joined in with them.
On one of these evenings, as God's providence would have it, there were some individuals form the United States, touring the orphanage and heard the group of boys singing. These individuals told them they needed to come to the United States as a choir and sing. They took these boys to the U.S. and they began singing in churches. One of those churches happen to be Lysa's,
One by one, each one of these boys were laid on the hearts of several families in the church and they were all adopted. The two brothers were adopted by Lysa and her husband.
All because.... one boy chose to stand in sing songs of thanksgiving to his Lord and Savior even though his flesh could not find one thing to be thankful for!
THAT.... IS THE POWER OF THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!
I challenge you today... that even in your darkest hour.... sing songs of praise and thanksgiving in your heart.... to the one.... that can do.... exceedingly and abundantly more... than we could ever ask... or imagine!!!
Peace and Blessings
If you are reading this..... I thank you.... from the bottom of my heart.
I pray my readers understand that they have as much value in my blog.... as I , the writer do.
God uses each of you to encourage me and to give me the motivation to grab my laptop and keep going.
I wish I could tell you how many times Satan places strife in my heart regarding this blog. He speaks a plethora of lies into my mind.... pursuing me with feelings of worthlessness as he will do to anyone who dares to do something for Christ.
I have LOVED to write since I was a very little girl. I would sit and write stories and poetry as a leisure activity. I always found it very easy to express myself with words. I felt this feeling of release as I wrote those words on paper.
I wish I had a portfolio of all my writings from grade school until present. Nearly every year of grade school I was chosen to attend the Young Writers Conference held at a college campus in a town close to where I lived. And the funny thing is, I never ever remember even trying to get chosen. I simply just wrote.
I do not tell you this in prideful sense. I tell you this so you have a clear understanding that God gave me this passion from a very young age. As I have always pressed upon my readers.... God gives us gift, talents and passions to use for His glory. Never to be wasted.
I certainly know I am a far cry from the best writer in the world and there are a million blogs out there run my others with a greater gift than myself, however, God never intended us to use our gifts as a competition..... simply as a gift of service to Him and others.
I have to pray over this continually, as that is a definite area Satan enjoys striking. Making me fully aware that there are bigger and better blogs and I am wasting my time. He likes me to base my success on the number of readers, likes and comments I have, rather than the peace and joy of serving my very worthy God.
He likes me to feel defeated, rather than focused on the fact that the words God gives me to share may impact only one life.... but that life may go on to impact 500 others.
We are not always privy to what are service to God accomplishes as God does not desire for us to make our service about us.... but always about Him and growing His kingdom.
I write..... for God. I pray He gives me words to share each day. I pray for my readers. I pray for my heart and motives to be pure and I pray God gives me the mighty honor to be used to help bring His presence into another person's life.
That... is the gift I receive for writing this blog. Every day... I feel I have purpose because God has made is assignment clear.
God uses my quiet moments with Him as a tool to bring His word to others they may not receive it any other way. I am completely humbled and honored by this and I need my readers to know.... it is a privilege I do not take lightly.
So please.... accept my sincere gratitude for your loyalty and interest in what God uses me to share. You are so very much appreciated..... more than you will ever know.
I pray... that if ever my blog speaks to you in a mighty way and you know someone else that could benefit from a specific message.... to please share that post with others.
God desires to reach every soul in need and if I can be used to accomplish that in some way.... it would be a true blessing.
May God bless you... always.
Peace and Blessings
My Mama taught me many things, but one of my favorite attributes I received from her, was the desire to make a cozy home. Aside from a very OCD passion to keep our house immaculate (which FYI I unfortunately did not attain that attribute) she loved creating a cozy space for us to live.
Our home was a tiny, 3 bedroom ranch, but was truly one of the coziest homes I remember. She loved geese! So we had many stuffed farm animals strewn about, as well as cozy blankets, a blazing wood burning stove that she would place a container of potpourri on top of for a pleasant smell, fluffy decorative pillows, peaceful low lighting lamps and comforting decor.
Christmas was my favorite time as our home was filled with festive greenery, clear twinkle lights, a display of Victorian porcelain homes and very often, Christmas tunes playing in the background.
So, there you have it. It was inbred in me to cultivate a cozy and comforting space for my family to enjoy.
I am one of those individuals that is very affecting by my environment and surroundings. This is why my home environment is even more important to me. I need a peaceful place to land and I often need constant reminders that even when there is chaos around me..... peace still exists.
So... this takes us to workout #2!!! What kind of environment to you currently have in your home? When you look around to you find peace or chaos? Does your home cultivate a heart of thankfulness or a heart of despair and darkness?
Here are some ways to begin cultivating a "Thankful Space"......
1. Try to keep your home somewhat tidy and organized. NOT OCD, stress type tidy and organized, enough that when you look around you do not feel more chaotic despair. That you can find some peace when you step in the door of your haven from the world.
2. Invite God into your home!!! Now, hopefully if you are a believer, you have already done this, however others ways you can allow God to make His presence known is by saturating your home with His word in different ways such as; wooden signs with scripture, post it notes or index cards with encouraging scriptures taped to mirrors or your refrigerator, making your Bible easily accessible throughout the day so you can grab it on the fly when you need a healthy dose of thankfulness. There are literally scriptures for every room in your home.... here are some of my favorites...
"Let your words always be grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
This photo hangs in my kitchen!
"Let your beauty not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and gold jewelry rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit that is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:4
"What God has joined together, let no man separate." Mark 10:9
"And the two shall become one flesh, So they are no longer two, but one." Mark 10:8
"I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine." Song of Solomon 6:3
These are just a few!!!
3. Pray over your home.... daily. I do this every morning!!
4. Never allow yourself to forget... the little blessings that make your life much easier..... that are actually HUGE blessings; your washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a working oven and microwave. Truly... if you think about it... they are enormous blessings we take for granted daily. I have had every one of these appliances break at some point and it really is a huge inconvenience. I reheat my coffee 800 each day.... I could not do that without a microwave!
5. Lastly.....Enjoy your home. It is a blessing from God. It is your space, He gave you to live, love and enjoy. Take care of it, cherish it, make wonderful memories and serve others with your home. Always be hospitable...... let others feel God's presence when they walk in your doors.
I pray... this inspires you to make your home a place of peace and thankfulness... in a world.... that runs on stress and chaos.
Peace and Blessings
At some point in everyone' life, they will more than likely be both; on the receiving end and giving end of a broken promise.
The significance of these broken promises can range from mild disappointment to heartbreaking pain
Perhaps when you were younger, you recall and adult promising to take you somewhere, or buy you something and for whatever reason, they were not able to follow through. That in itself can be hurtful. But then, there are the life altering and heart wrenching broken promises that actually have the power to change who we are.
Those broken promises may be; a parent that never showed up at an important day in your life. A parent or loved one that promised that would be the LAST drink, the LAST fit or rage or the LAST time they would ever lay a hand on you.
Those broken promises can fill our heart with such pain and despair that it flows from our heart saturating every area of our body, until it has actually succeeded in changing us a little each time we experience a broken promise.
By the time we are adults..... the person perhaps we were "created to be" may be significantly altered into a person we don't want to be, as we now struggle with worry, fear, feelings of unworthiness and a default reaction to always expect the worst as the worst happened much of the time.
You may also find it extremely hard to trust anyone, assuming they will fail at following through with their promise, just as others have in the past.
This can cause significant issues in relationships as trust is one of the foundational pieces of any healthy relationship. Honestly, without trust I do not believe a relationship can ever really flourish. You can't enjoy the company and companionship of another individual if at the same time you are questioning their intentions, motives and actions. The lack of trust will override any good that they do. And even if they ARE being honest, you have no way of truly knowing this, so it is rare that you get to experience any true peace in that relationship.
Sometimes.... this lack of trust is warranted..... sometimes.... it is our own insecurities and past experiences that we are allowing to taint our current relationships.
I will tell you one of the most devastating relationships to experience a lack of trust...... and that is with your relationship with God.
Unfortunately, if you are one that lacks trust in individuals, this WILL more than likely follow you in your relationship with God.
I recall clearly a time I spoke with my cousin on the phone after I had given my life to Christ. He was my mentor and someone I trusted, appreciated and respected greatly. I was sharing with him how I felt my prayers were pointless. I would try to engage in prayer with God and honestly felt as though I was talking to the air. It was very frustrating as I knew I was having some kind of struggle receiving God's grace and building a personal relationship with him.
My cousin was well aware of many of the issues I had growing up and how due to some very painful life circumstances, I had significant trust issues I was not even aware of. I remember him saying...
"Missy, I can almost hear the demon sitting over your shoulder while you are praying, whispering in your ear.... that your prayers are pointless, God can't hear you, He doesn't care, He won't answer that prayer. Satan is playing on and using your trust issues to keep you from what God has for you"
Those words had a profound impact on me as I became aware that there was a reason for my struggle and it gave me hope that is could eventually get better.
And... it did. I began changing my prayers asking God to deliver me from my lack of trust in Him. Help me to believe He will do what He says He will do. I wanted to experience the amazing feeling of having ONE person in my life that I could trust explicitly, 100% of the time, without fail or question.
How awesome would that be?????
If you are finding it difficult to connect with God and you find yourself continuously weary and hopeless even though you are praying.... it is very likely lack of trust is playing a major role in this scenario.
Depending on your past issues, learning to trust God may be extremely difficult as it will require letting go of past baggage and painful issues. And that may take time, effort and even help.
I still struggle with trusting God, more often than I care to. This lack of trust will steal many amazing blessing from your relationship with God. He wants for you to fully trust Him because He has definitely proven His trustworthiness to the world.
We must also understand God's ways are not like our ways. A lack of trust in Him can also stem from a misunderstanding of His character and how He operates. Often, we are under the impression that He is a "genie in a bottle" ready to grant our every wish and desire.
Make no mistake, He is the Great Provider, however, His actions always have purpose, therefore, just because we ask, does not mean we shall always receive what we are asking for.
Stayed tuned for a future post as I explore the promises of God with you. I will lay out for you, all of the promises God makes to us in the Bible and how believing these promises can bring enormous peace into your life.
It gives you the ability to be standing in the midst of a hurricane and barely be shaken.... as you cling to the faithful promises of God.
I need reminded of these promises just as much as you all, if not more, as the experiences of the last few years of my life.... have often left me with a weary and worried heart.
I will make these promises a free printable so you can hang them on your fridge or wherever you can see them often!!!
If I can't believe and trust in my God's promises... my relationship with Him will be stuck. Please join me... as we learn the blessings that come from complete trust.
Peace and Blessings
I know the day is probably coming that my views, words or opinions strike a negative cord with someone who feels lead to let me know that it did so.
I am somewhat prepared for this, although as crazy as this may sound to some, I really do not like confrontation. God has called me to address things at times, that I literally pray as I press post and so far, that has worked out for me. I am aware, one day is may not.
I was in curling my hair in the bathroom when God gave me this message. I told Him I would post it next week. He told me... "no, you will post it now."
I bargained a little more, but as usual, He won! So here it is.
Ladies, women... I love you..... you are my sisters... even if you don't desire to be.... but.... I have to be totally honest..... and please note that I am fully aware that what I am about to share does not apply to all women... however.... it applies to quite a bit of the population anymore.... and I have to say....
Women have fought for women's rights for a very long time. The feminist movement began a major shift in women's roles and identity. I am not going to sit here and say that there have never been legitimate concerns regarding women's rights. I believe there was a time in history that women were definitely oppressed, however, I believe this has been taken to dramatic lengths that I, as a woman, am frankly, tired of.
Ladies.... I as a woman has felt more oppressed by other women... than I EVER have my a man. That is the honest to petes truth!
Women have been in the battle of fighting for equality and notoriety way too long. They are never content with what "is" and are on this continual and endless pursuit to find some kind of contentment as a woman by trying to squeeze themselves into every single role their ever was in this world.
Yes, women can do just about anything a man can do. Everyone gets that. But all women are succeeding in to doing is driving other women into the belief that they will never be good enough, when in reality, they always have been good enough.
They were made in the image of the perfect God with great and beautiful purpose. A woman's body can grow another human being from a microscopic egg, deliver that human through excruciating pain, while her body stretches beyond belief and then goes back to the way it started. That woman can then feed that baby every possible nutrient it could ever need from her own body!!
I say that is pretty darn amazing!!!! My personal belief.... far more amazing than anything I have seen a man do! Yet.... that is not enough!
Women are known to be much better multi taskers as well as home managers and peace makers. They fill this world with grace and beauty (if they choose to) and decorate the scenery so it is a joy to look at.
I am personally tired of feeling like just being a woman... is not good enough. You must be more. You must be the BEST. You must do BIG things. You must outshow MEN! You must show men we can do it ALL!
Okay... well, for the most part... I hear a whole lot of women exhausted form "trying to do it all." So the very thing women are fighting for is the very thing that is killing them.
I don't understand!
I feel like this world is trying to blot out all gender differences so we are all ONE sex. We are forsaking something so incredibly beautiful and wonderful by pushing for this.
Women are their worst enemies. They can be caddy. They are extremely jealous. They spend most of their life comparing themselves to other women. They never feel good enough. They allow others and the world to be the gauge for their self worth.
I have fallen into every single one of these pits at one point in time and it is a very ugly place to be!
It was not until I EMBRACED who I am as a woman and allowed God to be the gauge of my worth that I actually began to find joy, purpose and fulfillment in my life.
Climbing to the top means absolutely nothing to me if once I get there I have crushed the beauty of being a woman.
This society of women are teaching young girls far worse things than immodest dress and seductive dancing.... it is teaching them... they are not good enough. They are teaching them their purpose in life is to keep reaching for endless worldly goals... that once they achieve... will only send them pursuing more. And at the end of their life.... they may have a shelf of rewards or money in the bank.... but they will never ever have learned what it means to LOVE themselves for who God made them. They will learn to only love their productivity and achievements.
I will have nothing to do with that. And I surely won't allow my girls to be any part of it either.
Yes, I am JUST a stay at home mom. I cook, I clean, I make my husband dinner. I teach my children and I try to love my husband to the best of my ability. I plan meals, I grocery shop, I cut coupons, I paint my nails sometimes, I love to shop and I consider being able to whip up some homemade cinnamon rolls in a jiffy a great quality!
And if this is all God ever calls me to do..... That is 100%, totally and wonderfully okay with me!
Women.... you are only as oppressed as you allow yourself to be. I would love to see the day women hold their heads high, not because they achieved the presidency, but simply because... THEY ARE A WOMAN AND WOMEN ROCK!!
Peace and Blessings
There is a thief on the loose!
Make no mistake about it. If he has not come after you already, he WILL!!
He isn't really after your money or personal possessions, though he will help himself to those if it accomplishes his purpose, he is after much, much more...... your heart and your soul.
He will not stop until he has achieved your demise and he is sneaky, crafty and chameleon like.
He will disguise himself as everything you ever thought you wanted in order to get you to believe his lies. He will lure you in with what appears to be what is good and right and proceed to lead you straight to the depths of hell.
Then, he will laugh and mock you as your heart and soul burn to ashes.
He will cause you to waste precious, precious years of your life, pouring every bit of your physical and emotional resources into a LIE! He will steal your joy, your contentment, your character and your integrity.
He will use and abuse you. Once you have accomplished his evil will, he will drop you like a bad habit and have you laying in a corner, weeping and alone.
He was an angel. Yes, at one point and time, he was living among beauty and peace. UNTIL, he decided HE wanted to play God. He wanted the power only one God will ever attain or have.
God threw him out of the gates of heaven and now... he roams the earth... looking for you. His goal.... to make you.... want to be like God.
And if you look around... he is succeeding.
Only God alone...knows the future! Only God knows what the final puzzle will look like after all the pieces are in the proper place. We as earthly humans... HAVE NO IDEA!
BUT SATAN... YES... THE THIEF.... he will give convince you... you can predict the future. He will place catastrophic thinking in your brain and project the worst, scariest and most devastating scenarios he can concoct.
He will crush your hope. He will watch you shake and tremble with fear.... that is pointless.
I can never be Satan's victim.... I have to be a willing participant to give him power.
He will encourage you to do evil and dark things, convincing you it is the only way to achieve your desires and then he will turn around and condemn you for the exact thing he tempted you to do.
He wants you to live with a lifetime of painful regrets that you will surely have if you listen to his evil voice.
He is the father of depression, anxiety and fear. He lives to taunt you, especially if you have a heart at all for your Creator.
I am sadly watching Satan at work in this country like I am not sure I have ever seen him before.
He is stealing precious time and energy from unknowing individuals. He is placing their focus on a "projected catastrophe" that may and more than likely will never come to pass. They are placing their hope in man, rather than the living God.
Don't let Satan steal your precious life right from under your nose.
Who will you walk with today?
It is your choice.
You have free will.
It is a gift.... please use it as such.
I am praying for a sweep of God's peace like never before. For rest for weary hearts. For Satan to be crushed under the foot of man, as God has given us the ability to do.
Today.... may you LIVE!!!!! Love and treasure the life God has given you.... He will take care of the rest!!!
Peace and Blessings
WELCOME!!! It's time to grab your workout gear and get moving!!
I am CONTINUALLY in awe of God's impeccable timing! Don't get me wrong.... all too often I get extremely impatient wondering why in the world He is taking so long in dealing with an issue I want resolved..... but there are also moments my heart is keenly aware of His perfect presence.
Those moments are precious.
The fact that God lead me to focus TRAINING our hearts to be thankful at the exact time in our world a lot of us may need it.... it only by His perfect plan.... not mine.
There are A LOT of people struggling right now. I need not spend time focusing on why..... I believe we are all very aware.
My heart has been stretched to what I thought was beyond repair, too many times for me to count in the last few years.
I recall one of the most painful moments I had. I physically felt my heart breaking. I cannot explain it any other way. I was standing in my kitchen by the fireplace. The moment the pain hit me, it literally felt like the weight of the world had fallen upon my body. I COULD NOT hold my body up. That is how intense it was. I laid my body on the hardwood floor and sobbed like I have never sobbed in my life. Far beyond an ugly cry. It was the body piercing, hyperventilating, unable to even speak type cry. All I could do, was muster up the energy to call one of the amazing friends God has placed in m life. When she answered all I could say ... was "I need you, please come over here, I need you."
Of course, without question she hopped in her car and came over to my house and simply sat with me, held me and let me cry.
That's all I needed. That's all she could do. That is all I was able to receive in that moment. Her willing and loving presence. She brought God with her that day..... and He knew that is all I needed. He knew... I needed to feel His arms wrapped around me..... and he used my friend to give me that gift.
In these extremely painful years of struggle and battle that Garrick and I have been in, I cannot tell you HOW MANY times our wonderful, Godly friends have ran to our side, without question, without reservation, without judgement..... simply with open arms, open ears and an open heart ready to serve God in any way He asked them to on our behalf.
I knew nobody could "fix" our problems. I knew nobody could "fix" my heart. But God knew..... their presence alone.... gave me enough strength... to take one more breath and make it through one more day.
I honestly was at points where one more breath was all I could focus on.
God... just give me one more breath. As painful as it is God to breathe it in.... give me breath.... enough for just this moment.
Those moments turned into, hours, then days, then months, then years. I am still breathing. And it has become less painful and more joyful, in huge part, due to God calling our beautiful friends to walk through this devastating journey with us.
I have witnessed tears fall from my friends eyes, as they watch me fall apart, genuinely feeling my pain, wishing they could take it, knowing they can't but more importantly... KNOWING the One who can and bringing his presence to me.
I will FOREVER be thankful for this gift.
I recall another incredibly beautiful moment when I friend showed up at my door with bags of groceries. I was having a very bad day. I was crying when I answered the door. He stepped inside my door, handed me the groceries and tears started rolling down his face. His heart was breaking for me. I found out later, that crying was NOT typical of this particular friend. God purposely brought him there that day... to show me God is hurting with me. It was precious.
YOU..... are called to be that gift in other's lives. Thankfulness begins with service. Every single part of serving God births thankfulness... to both the giver and the receiver.
During these past few years.... some of the most healing moments I have had, aside from the moments when dear friends came to my rescue... were moments I stepped outside my devastation and focused on serving others.
My acts of service were not HUGE things in my eyes.... but to the receiver they meant so very much and allowed them to experience God and thankfulness in their heart. If they were traveling through a difficult time in their own life.... the moments God prompted me to serve them.... allowed them to know God was STILL there and will never leave them nor forsake them.
Friends.... God is STILL here. He has not left. No matter how grim, how hopeless, how hurt or how angry you may be. God is still on His throne and no power of hell can remove Him from that throne.
If you want to experience a beautiful level of thankfulness, when your heart is anything but.... serve. Serve God. Find a way to serve someone today.
I have been called to do anything from send a note, a text, a message, to baking something, making a meal for someone, surprising someone and cleaning their house, sending surprise gift cards in the mail, making a gift basket, or a simple phone call.
We were created to serve..... not to be served.
Our hearts will find the most peace and joy when they are fulfilling God's call and purpose. I can attest to this first hand.
So today.... don't sulk..... serve.
Take the focus off of yourself and place on whatever area God calls you to serve. Remember.... little things to us.... are HUGE things to others.
My friends arms... were the greatest gift I could have been given at that moment. Someone could have pulled in my drive way with a brand new Mercedes Benz and told me it was mine.... and it would have meant absolutely nothing to me in the painful moment. But... my friends arms... meant the world.
So this is your first workout..... find a way to serve to today. Big or small... it does not matter. Just serve..... be a blessing to others and be enormously blessed in return.
Peace and Blessings
Today is bound to be an emotional day for many. Some celebrating a very unexpected victory and others mourning a very unexpected defeat.
Though I have been lead to place as much trust as I possibly can muster up, in the candidate that stands for the sanctity of life..... I believe with either candidate in office, our country is facing a major challenge.
Facebook and social media as well as television are going to be blowing up with their personal fears and opinions about the outcome of this election. It may not be pretty. Already this morning as I was scanning through FB I saw a post that literally JUMPED off the screen and sank into my heart. I immediately felt a call from God to address this post as I believe it is going to lead millions upon millions of women down an unnecessary path of hopelessness and despair.
Without repeated it verbatim it read something like this... "Ladies... your body is no longer your own... it belongs to Donald Trump."
For a moment I was aghast at such rhetoric, but once my spirits kicked in, I was easily able to discern God's voice leading me to address this evil lie from Satan.
If you do not have a relationship or belief in the Almighty, Perfect and Sovereign God, this post may speak very little to you. (and I pray from the bottom of my heart, that changes!!) It may even ruffle your feathers, which, PLEASE believe me when I say.... that is the furthest from my intentions.
I am writing on behalf of God in attempt to bring you some peace. Your body. Your precious,and cherished body, does not belong to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or any other government official. Your body..... the one God knitted together in your mother's womb., the body that God brought to life for great purpose, the body.... that has more than likely both... walked through beauty and the fires of hell.... belongs to your Father in heaven.
See, this is the where the healing can begin. When our eyes are opened to the comforting realization that our body was designed and brought to life to be a part of playing out God's grander purpose on this earth.
Our body is not even our own. Every decision I make.... I make at the feet of my Heavenly Father, looking up to Him to guide my way.
I want to do absolutely NOTHING with my body... that does not bring glory to Him.
Therefore, if I am placing God's purpose for my life and body above even my own desires, there will be no room or place for any other's desires. I will follow Him and Him alone.
I have both prayed over and studied God's word for many years and have become aware of God's desire for how I treat my body and what I choose to do with my body....
*God desires for me to care for my body.... eating well, staying active, maintaining yearly checkups, getting enough rest, and caring for my body when it is ill or need of healing. Avoiding things that are toxic to my body... drugs, excessive alcohol or tobacco.
*God desires for me to use my body to glorify Him.... by staying faithful to my spouse....serving Him by helping others.....not taking unnecessary risks with my body. Allowing my body to be used to bring forth another precious life.... even if that life was not in my plans (that was my little Audree!) He has purpose for that child's life.... just as He has for mine.
*God desires for me to honor Him with my body, by not allowing anyone or anything to determine my worth other than God's unfailing, undying and perfect love for me. He is my life gauge. I pray He is yours.
*Lastly, God desires for me to cherish my body. It is the ONLY one I will ever have on this earth. It is both fragile and strong! It can accomplish far more than I can ever imagine with God as my mentor. He will use my body to accomplish great and wonderful things.... one of which may be bringing for another life..... that He created to cure cancer. It is not for me to decide or know.... simply to trust and obey.
When an angel came to the virgin Mary and told her that He was going to use her body to bring for the Savior of the world.... her response was inspiring.... "I am the Lord's servant, let is be as you say." Luke 1:38 If she had refused to carry that child.... or chosen to end her pregnancy.... she would have been taking the life of Jesus Christ.
So you see.... your body does NOT belong to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or anyone else. Your body belongs to your Creator.... and if you let Him use it to create..... I promise you..... you will be blessed more than you can ever imagine.
Peace and Blessings
Today... is the day.
Today.... we are given the incredible freedom to cast our vote for whom we believe should lead our country.
I have to admit. For years, I couldn't have cared less about politics. I really payed little attention and never stepped foot in a voting booth.
I sometimes REALLY, REALLY miss those days.
It's like the old saying.... sometimes... ignorance is bliss.
That is not the case anymore. There is simply too much as stake NOT to pay attention to politics.
Once I accepted Christ, my entire world view changed. I will never, ever forget the letter my wonderful cousin Nick, a devout and faithful Christian, sent me right after Garrick and I were saved.
He had been praying for YEARS for his family members to come to know the Lord. The day Garrick and I called him and told him that we had accepted Christ, he laid the phone down and we heard him calling out to God in heavenly praises for our salvation.
About a week later, he sent us a letter in the mail. Somewhere, I still have that letter, (though I have admitted organization is not really my thing.. LOL) In that letter he wrote..... now that you have Christ living in your heart..... your view of the world will change.... and your heart will begin to ache and hurt..... for a lost and hurting world.
How right he was. I began to notice and observe things in the world, I never paid attention to before..... the hatred, the lack of valuing life, the corruption, the never ending violence and immorality that has simply become "normal."
It's not normal.
Today.... we are faced with an extremely difficult decision.... at least in my heart it is.
The two candidates we have to choose from are like being forced to choose between two bottles of poison...... though both are dangerous an potentially, very harmful.... one you KNOW without a doubt stands for death and darkness and will more than likely be your demise. The other is not a lot better, but, this one does have a heart for life..... and gives you the greatest chance of survival.
I am going to choose the lesser of the two toxins.
I am going to ask God..... in the midst of this impossible decision..... what aligns closest to His values and commands.
I will listen for His voice. I will cast my vote according to His response. I pray His will be done. I then, will sit back, be still, and KNOW that He is God.
That is the peace find.
This morning.... God continues to remind me of how often wicked rulers that made seemingly devastating and unjust decisions were used for His will and for the good in the Bible.
Imagine the day Pontious Pilot allowed Jesus to be tortured and killed, AN INNOCENT MAN, and having to stand by and witness this. This seems like corruption and evil at its worst. And it was. HOWEVER, God had a much GREATER plan than anyone could have possibly seen or known.
He used the wicked individuals that killed the Savior of the world.... to accomplish His greater purpose.... of offering salvation... to even the individuals that murdered Jesus Christ.
No one is beyond the reach of God and no situation can become to grim that God cannot redeem it with a simple command.
And though, I often get caught up in the evil corruption of the world and it angers me deeply, at the end of the day.... my hope rests in the arms of my Savior.... not my president.
God will take care of His children. They may be asked to walk down a painful and evil road, they had no part in choosing, but He promises a crown of glory for those who STAND and persevere.
I want my crown.
Therefore, I will submit to my Father.... whatever His will may be. And if the outcome appears scary, evil, dark or grim.... I will continue to hold His hand as He leads me to the place.... where the pain will eventually end.
Today... I pray for this country Lord. My heart is heavy. My heart is frustrated. My heart is weary. But.... my heart belongs to you.... Not the world... therefore..... what can this world do to me.......but send me running deeper into your arms. You are my Rock and my Salvation. I will trust in You and You alone. Be with each voter today Lord..... and show Your glory by taking a seemingly hopeless situation and shedding Your light like never before.
In Jesus Holy and Precious Name... Amen.
Peace and Blessings