Will you return to your mess?

Proverbs 26:11
As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

A few weeks ago this scripture came to me so clearly at church.

Why is it that we can gain victory in an area of our lives, only to open up the door for the enemy all over again? Often times, it is harder to break away the second , third or eighth time, when that door has been opened.

For myself I find if I keep opening the door again and again, it is because the root of the sin has not been dealt with. I will stop sinning in my bitterness, anger, gluttony, worry or whatever it is for a season, but I have not completely rid myself of it. So it sits below the surface and fester, waiting for another onslaught to rear its ugly head. The temptation will rise and I will entertain it rather than cutting it off at the root.

It has been time to CUT off that sin. Walk away from it. Turn away and change. This is what repentance really means. To turn away from. I can’t keep picking the same old hurtful habits back up again and again and expect a different result.

I do not want to be as a dog returning to its nasty vomit. I do not want to be the fool returning to my folly that drags me down and steals my life and abundant joy.

My prayer today is the Lord makes every hidden thing abundantly clear to me so that I will not miss the areas that are lurking. That He will continue to give me strength to walk in HIM and not my own ways of self-destruction. I was created to be more than a fool.

Blessings

 

 

 

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She listened and I learned

Today was a hard one. My father passed suddenly just a few weeks ago and this was my first Father’s Day without him. The last two years on Father’s Day I was lucky enough to travel the 2,000 miles to see him in Tennessee. I was planning a surprise trip this year and then he passed before  I could finalize details.

My heart just broke today. I would think this week that I was over the grieving and then it would hit fresh. While my inner joy will surface, the in the moment is rough.

At church today, singing some of the very songs that I had sung with my dad on my last visit. On that visit, I had the precious moment of holding him as we both cried because he was so sick and we were pleading with the Lord for his health. Our please and cries turned to praise and peace. Today the memory flooding me, it was all too much and I had to leave the building and get away from the songs.

Along came my sweet spirited sister in Jesus. Now normally I would have such an anxiety over showing myself so vulnerable, but she brought such a peace with her !

My friend sat with me and listened to me talk and cry. I shared so much I didn’t even think to share, simply because she listened. She had the sweetest spirit of comfort and assured me in the simplest of ways. She did not talk over me, as I likely would have done, but she waited and smiled. Oh her beautiful smile.

I learned so much from that exchange today. I learned by example to listen lovingly. I learned that a hug can bring the calm, instead of anxiety I often feel when crying. She just waited and I felt so connected to the here and now, and the grief just melted. We were laughing and sharing and I dusted my self off and we went back inside.

The message today….was on connecting with one another. A real connection. God had given me a perfect physical understanding before the message today and it was so sweet.

Thank you my friend, for stepping out, for teaching and loving. The fruit you share, will blossom and spread to others! You are a treasure!!!!

I am ALIVE RIGHT NOW

A dear friend of ours has been told that he only pumps ten percent of oxygen into his blood that his body needs. He is going through the process of discussing life options with hospice, planning where he wants to be when he dies.

I LOVE his heart and attitude. He knows that even though He is not technically well, that GOD has a plan for him and our friend knows he WILL LIVE every one of those days the Lord has planned.

Our friend has taught me to be a life-giver to those around me, to bring joy into the worlds depressing situations. He reminds me anew that the situation around us does not matter.

He always has a smile to greet us, his words to me a few days ago ministered to me deeply,

” I am not dying tomorrow, and I am alive right now!”

He was not spending our whole visit focusing on his death, or that one day he will die, maybe even soon…. he wants to live in his life in the moment of NOW.

He knows he is ready  to die, whenever the time may come, and he may flesh out and have a moment of doubt and frustration, but he doesn’t STAY there.

Fear is NOT an option. We have so much before us that if we stand and live in fear of our death or our health or our ‘what ifs’ we will be miserable!

I walked away from that moment of my technically dying friend, BLESSED!

He has decided NOT to live in a pity party, oh he has his moments but is not living in fret, working at not being angry, but to rejoice, and just love on the ones he has opportunity to love on all the days he has left. What a wonderful way to LIVE!

Challenge this day my friend: No matter what we are going through, we can rejoice that there is LIFE in us. The LIVING GOD has breathed new life into His children. We are not the old, we are not the same, we can have FULL victory over death and the darkness. Say to yourself… ” I AM ALIVE RIGHT NOW!”

Colossians 2:13

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

Can I have a do over???

Image I remember playing games when I was younger. There were times that the dice didn’t roll the way I wanted it to or a play didn’t quite go the way that was planned, and I would ask, “Can I have a do over?”

I don’t know how many times in the last twenty years I had asked God that question. My prayers have often included, ” Lord if only I could take that back!” or ” Please let me try that again, I will do better next time.”  After the question leaves my mind or lips, I always had to face the  reality that there was no do over.

All those opportunities that I either had taken for granted or thrown away, I can not grab those same opportunities back. I find that no matter how big my regret of my mistakes, and the mess that they made, I can not erase the consequences of something I did.

One thing I can do, is pursue from this moment on a life full of joy and promise. I would rather have a life filled with joy and a hope for my future than looking back and always wishing I could have done things differently.

Living a life full of joy is an action involved journey. I can not live in joy if I am constantly walking in regret. I can take those moments that I messed up and say, “Well, I hope not to do THAT again!”  and move on.

There is a season of growing and learning from these past wrong doings, mistakes, or foolishness, but I am not to allow it to hold me down or hold me back. When I have repented and done what I can do to make a situation right in His eyes, the Lord forgives us from our sins and our past mistakes, the slate is wiped clean. I do not have to keep rewriting the mess out over and over again. I too can let it go as the Lord has.

When I am walking in the question, “Can I have a do over…..PLEASE!” I am walking in condemnation. I am not walking in victory. If I have taken my issues to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, then I am forgiven. The Lord does not want us bogged down by regret and shame, constantly looking back at, “what if” and “if only I had”.

If I have missed an opportunity because of foolishness, I can trust my God is good enough to bring new opportunities my way. It is important I learn, grow and then let go.

Walking in a life with Jesus, I don’t have to ask ” Can I have a do over?”, because He already finished the game and gave the victory to me ! I just need to stop and remember to accept it.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

( NIV)

Childhood joys

The sun shines bright. My spirit perks up a bit just to have the glorious light beam across my face and the warmth hits deep!

I am taken back to childhood days. Days that were complete bliss in the midst of the most simplest moments. Memories flood back  of blowing sticky bubbles, drawing in sand with my fingers,

drawing in Sand with my son

picking dandelions as a prize for my mommy, imagining I am the princess dancing in the kingdom, running in green grass with bare feet and how the grass stained the bottom of my toes, and moments of laying on the ground in fits of giggles when my friends and I were exhausted from the games.

This is the kind of pure simple joy that I am trusting for daily. My joys do not come from my circumstances or the amount of money I put into an experience, but just by having the experience. Joys that come from simply living. Joys from spending time with the one that loves me most and encourages me to have the heart of a child.

To have joy, simply because I have the right to. I can still dance, sing, clap, laugh, be silly and simply just be me.

I AM a princess. I AM a daughter of a king. One that does not have to give up the childlike presence in my heart. I am encouraged to be as a child. To laugh and have joy, to look at all the blessings as sweet gifts. To look at a bird flying in the blue skies with awe anew. I have the ability to look at the awesome gifts the creator has given me with fresh eyes and wonderment. I can stop taking the world around me for granted. He has given me a beautiful picture to wake up to daily…. life.

Challenge this day my friends: When struggling with walking in joy, stop and look at things in your life with wonderment. Have that childlike faith that the things you need to change will. That you still CAN be anything He created you to be! Walk with you eyes forward and face what you must, but remember, there is joy in simple things!

Matthew 19:14

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

(NLT)

And the storm stirs again

It has been a wild ride in our household the last few years. I have written in the past about all the frustrating storms we have gone through. I describe these storms in our life as frustrations. Nothing in our personal experience has been as drastic as others may have gone through. Our personal storms have been more like a small earthquake with some shaking up and a bit of damage, but is eventually repaired. The loss has not been completely devastating, as so many face.

As I am reflecting back, I clearly see that these storms raise their ugly heads and stir the safety around us into a tempest mess. Each time we face one; we have thrown our quick tantrum and then come to the realization that God is still God  and is always in control and will see us through it.

Each storm that we have come through,  we are stronger for it. Our foundation may be shaken a bit but because it is firm, our foundation is not destroyed. We have learned how to hold on tighter than ever before while we wait for the worst to be over. We have learned to lean on and trust in new ways. May every bit of glory ALL be the Lords~

I am not diminishing anyone’s storms in their lives by sharing that we can get through them and even be stronger than when we started.  I do know that our personal storms range in great variety. But I know who is the victor as we dig in to the very truth and nature of our God. I know that there is a plan and a purpose for our lives and when we face these storms they are just a minute in the grand scheme of time and what God has before us will be accomplished!

Recently we were sure that our most recent storm was just about over. Rejoicing and shouting out that we had seen the end in sight. Only to discover that what we thought was the end was just a new stirring to take us even deeper in our faith. We had a direct hit from the enemy. We recognized the hit for what it was and took control over that area in our lives.

These are the questions that arise:

Are we still trusting in the middle of this storm? Yes.

Do we know our storm will end as every storm eventually does? Yes.

Am I going to allow my faith be moved because of a new set of winds blowing in my face? Absolutely not!

I will be a part of the force, changing the atmosphere around me, not be a part of the storm but an opportunity to share my victories!

Challenge this day my friends: Hold on tight, do not bend, stand firm, for your storm will come to it’s end. Allow yourself to be stronger from it and never forget to share the testimony. In the midst of that storm reflect back on other points in my blogs; equip yourself for the storm, expect a good outcome, sow into others lives anyway, and trust that joy is always yours!

Proverbs 10 :25-

When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,

but the righteous stand firm forever.

Thank You

 I get so disgusted when I am out and about shopping and standing in line I notice the people around me are in so much of a hurry, that they do not stop to thank anyone. I hear from one say, “thank you and have a good day” and there is silence as a response. It is so sad that I feel like apologizing and shouting out THANK YOU to the person that was left without that little blessing of feeling appreciated.

 Thank You! Two simple words can mean and do so much. When you thank the service worker with a genuine heart, you sow a seed of joy. When you thank your parent, friend, teacher, child or spouse for all they are and do, you sow a seed of joy. When you stop and take the time to say two words to our Lord for what He has done, you sow a seed of joy. Often the seed of joy may be in the receivers heart, but mostly a grateful heart sows a seed of joy in your life.

 Having a thankful heart keeps you focused on the good in your life rather than the troubles that may be stirring. When you share a thankful heart you give an opportunity for another to experience a seedling of joy. Take time to stop and be thankful this day.

 I have seen a quote on Facebook before, I apologize as I do not know the author of it; ” what if you only woke up today with what you thanked God for yesterday?”   

 This gives us a pause to really think. Have we walked around with a thankful heart? Have we walked around with the goodness of knowing even in our worst circumstances there is always ‘something’ to be thankful for?

 Let’s start simple; thank you for this breath! Thank you for a new day! Thank you for the sun that will shine and bring life and for the stars that hang in the sky at night. Thank you that this day I can say, thank you within my heart and that I will be grateful not now but always.

 It is time to be thankful afresh. It is time to remember all things, you can be thankful for, and you can spread a little joy!

 

 Challenge this day my friend: List your own simple things to be thankful for. Come up with at least one to think upon. Make sure you share a thankful heart with someone else.

 Psalm 107:1-

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

(NIV)