Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Beloved

 Once upon a time, it was a bitter cold day that seemed to whisper winter was surely on its way. There was the dim glow of lights strung about the Christmas tree and the soft lulling sound of a sax playing "Let it Snow." A faint aroma brushed the air smelling of hot cocoa. In the quiet moments of that day, an overwhelming peace filled the room where I laid cozied up in a blanket. Gazing out the window, all seemed calm. The branches intertwined as if they were holding each other close to keep from getting chilled as the sky grew dim and grey. The birds already flew south and the squirrels had finished stockpiling their acorns in preparation for the freezing months ahead.

Have you ever thought about something as simple as a bird flying south, or a squirrel stashing acorns? How do they know when to prepare for winter? I find it absolutely amazing to think that God, the creator of heaven and earth, designed such complex creatures. He designed them to know how to survive. If He cares so greatly for such small animals, imagine how much He cares for us! He made us each unique in our own ways. He knows our deepest thoughts, our desires, our fears, our troubles, our happiest moments, and our saddest, darkest days. He knit us together in our mother's womb, which is a miracle in itself! Sometimes, I find myself looking into the eyes of my sweet baby boy thinking, "Oh my goodness how on earth are you already so big? You started out as a tiny sesame seed in my belly and now you are two years old!" As a mother, I feel like the Lord puts me in awe of Him more often now than ever before. With each new day, my little guy learns something new, and I can only give credit to his Creator. Since he was about 20 months old, he began saying prayers with his daddy. Listening in on these prayers has melted my heart. Each night he tells his daddy and Heavenly Father who he is thankful for in his sweet little life. I just think if I can find so much joy in listening to these prayers, imagine the joy it brings to our Father! I'm sure He is more than thrilled when His children talk to Him. He made us. He grows us. He does the most amazing things through us. Even through our sweet little boy, God is at work. We see Him in how our little one treats others. If a friend is sad, he goes up and gives a hug. My husband and I don't have to say a word, our little guy just does these kind gestures on his own. I know without a doubt that in these moments I'm seeing our heavenly Father teaching and growing our son into the man He wants him to be someday. Just as God helps the birds and squirrels prepare for winter, He helps prepare us. He helps prepare us for who we are to be someday... for rough roads ahead, for exciting moments of pure joy.... He is always there to help. We just have to choose whether we want Him or not.

Reader, as Christmas draws near I pray that you grow near to the Lord. I pray He draws you in close and that you truly for maybe the first time in your life feel more loved and cherished than ever before. Beloved, you mean more to Him than anything of this world. Please know that I pray for you.... my family prays for you. I absolutely promise you that if you begin talking with the Lord as if He is your friend... you will find no better friend, no better comforter, no better Father, no better lover than Him. If He was willing to send His one and only son to die on the cross for you and me... imagine how great His love is for you. When I think about the ones I love most, it hurts to think of anything ever happening to them. Yet God knew He would have to give His son up for us. He knew before time began... but the most amazing part is that Jesus patiently awaits alongside our Heavenly Father for the day we come home to spend eternity with them. God knew that giving up His son would bring all of us (who have surrendered and asked Jesus to be Lord of our life) together in the end. Please surrender. I want so badly to see your face in heaven with me one day. As a child of God we don't have to worry about life after death because we will be with the one who gave us life. On those dark, cold winter days, remember our Savior who brings warmth and peace. Go to Him, that He may bring rest for your weary soul.

Be blessed.

Scripture:

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

"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

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

Song:

How Many Kings

 


















 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I Thought I Left That Behind.....

Once upon a time, a young couple entered the room. It took only a mere second for all eyes to notice them. It's as if you could read everyone's mind; simultaneously all but maybe few people in the room thought,
"I wonder what it's like to be them; I wish I was like them." 
Many flocked over to ask them all about themselves. They were so intrigued to know about their life, who they were, where they came from, and everything in between. The woman had great poise and spoke rather eloquently. The man was professional and well dressed. Everything about them seemed dreamy and perfect.

How many of us get caught in this endless cycle... this trap that only leads to discontentment and shame? As children, we all start out as friends, doing life together and supporting one another. We compliment each other and life is all about make believe. We get so caught up in our imagination, our fairy tales, our absolute innocence... until we reach THAT AGE. What age am I referring to? It's slightly different for everyone... but sure enough it happens. We all go about ourselves in such a positive light until the world creeps in. Suddenly we go from seeing ourselves as beautiful/handsome and wonderfully made to "never being good enough." I truly feel that Satan gets his foothold in us and runs wild. We suddenly put others up on pedestals because we think they look perfect, or they are better than us in some way or another.

I thought for sure, after high school this cycle would end. Looking at myself in the mirror, God would remind me, I am made in His image. I am beautifully made and I am His. Isn't that enough? No matter what the world says is "perfect" does not matter. All that He is concerned with is our heart. I have learned to stop wishing I was someone else. Have you ever thought that though someone's life seems perfect on the outside, it might be different behind closed doors? Maybe that person is struggling with something physically or emotionally and that front that says he/she has it all "together" is just to keep others from seeing flaws and knowing him/her deeper. I encountered this in college, and to my dismay I am encountering it as a grown woman who is now a wife and mother. This cycle hasn't stopped.

Most people call it the Green Monster of envy. This Green Monster sure does like to hang around. It doesn't affect me how it use to, thankfully. Instead of comparing myself to others, I have created an idea of what I should look like and be like, and that in itself is harmful if it's discrediting who God has made me to be.
Let me side note and say, it's not bad to want to better ourselves; but it's terrible when we don't love ourselves in the process. Who are we bettering ourselves for? The only answer should be, for the Lord. 
I may look like I just walked out of a magazine or I may look like I just rolled out of bed. Maybe I have peanut butter in my hair and jelly stains on my shirt from my rambunctious little messy toddler that rides around on my hip. Some months, I may have less in my bank account than I am comfortable with and wish I had more. There are evenings when I would rather soak in a bath and scroll Pinterest leaving the loads of laundry and mopping of floors that are forever getting dirty to my sweet hubby. Thankfully, I have a hubby who helps me out and allows me to do so every now and again. However, amidst the messes that linger in my house sometimes a little too long, there are moments I sit down and think, "Man, I wouldn't trade my life for the world."

I realize I've rambled on and should go ahead and wrap it up... my southern core could ramble for much more. In all of this my point is,

Stop putting others on pedestals. Be who God is creating you to be and don't change for anything or anyone but Him. Ladies, you are gorgeous and made in His image. Gentlemen, you are handsome and made in His image. You are loved and cherished. Open your eyes to see yourselves as He sees you. 
Scripture:

"I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

"So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Refusing to be Rescued

Once upon a time, I heard Him.
     I heard His voice. I can't describe it to you. It's truly one that you would have to experience for yourself. All I have to say about that is, you WILL know. You will know it is Him. Once you have heard Him, you will recognize His voice forever. I know when He is talking to me because I have an overwhelming peace that comforts my soul deep from within. Who is He? He is....

He is our Creator, our Father, our Lover, our Provider, our Comforter, our Healer, our Friend, our Brother, our Protector, our glorious, grace giving, mercy pouring, love enduring, faultless, powerful, all sufficient Author of you and me, time and space, the world, and everything in it. 

     As I sipped my coffee today and thought about life, I found myself speaking aloud in my car asking God, why...
Why have I had such an obsession with people? Social media has taken over countless hours of my life the past several weeks and it only angers and saddens me. Why Lord, do I bother opening my Instagram app and Facebook when it seems to do little good for my wellbeing? As I struck open this conversation which I assumed would be between me, myself, and I... He entered my heart like a bullet train answering my questions out of no where. Readers, I care. I open those apps daily because I care. I care about you.

     Have you ever witnessed a classmate working out a mathematical equation, and halfway through the problem he/she gets stuck. They sit there staring blankly wondering if they are on the right track, if they made a mistake, if they should start over, and there you are looking over their shoulder thinking, "Man, if I could just give you the missing piece. If I could show you how.... if I could only get in your brain for a moment just to simplify that equation for you, I know you would have it down." Imagine, that same classmate refused help a week ago... and the test is today. How would you feel knowing your help wasn't wanted?

     He, our heavenly Father sent us help. He sent us a rescuer. As a believer, the hardest thing for me to learn over my short quarter of a century is that not every one wants rescued. I have lost countless friends and family because they did not want to be rescued. I am not by any means saying I am a super hero here on this earth to save lives... I not once have believed myself to be. However, I know a life saver. I know Him and He is good, and He is faithful, and forgiving, and wants us so badly He sent His perfect son to die for our sins. All we have to do is surrender to Him.

     Losing friends and family has been a real struggle for me over the years. I don't do well when people walk out of my life. Some may not have any issue with moving on... but no matter how good or bad that relationship was, it still hurts. However, it makes me cling to Him so much more... it gives me a taste of what my Father feels when His children walk away from Him. It is my prayer for all of you who read this blog, that you stop running. Stop running from the truth. The further you get, the harder you may fall. Turn your eyes to Him... for He cares for you... and coming from someone who cares a whole lot, I can't even come close to caring for you as much as He does.

     Reader, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you know His voice. I hope you know you are loved. There is nothing so bad you or I can do that He won't accept us as His child if only we ask His forgiveness and surrender to Him. Many of us are surrendering to the world... surrendering to who or what the world says we should be... but who in the world will save you when your time is up?


Truth in Scripture:

"If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave." -Matthew 10:14

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

"God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His light brought life to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it." -John 1:3-5