Where do I start…?
I am often anxious…
” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
I know this verse above… It plays over and over in my head. I know it to be true, so why is it so hard? I give my anxieties to HIM and then I sometimes take them back…
I struggle to find peace at times…
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled ”
I also know this verse to be true, but again, my heart is often heavy and I long for peace. Peace for myself and for others.
I sometimes do not feel good enough…
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.
I Know this verse to be true but I am hard on myself. I often feel that I have failed. I struggle to accept mercy.
I am often weak …
“Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!”
I cry. I know that no matter what is going in in my life, I am where God wants me to be. Yet I still cry out for HIM to change things even though I know HE already has my life planned.
“A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.”
What can I do…?
How do I find peace, strength and courage ?
God knows that I am HIS anxious child, HE knows I am not perfect, HE knows I cry…HE has every little hair on my head ( even the grey ones) accounted for!
HE always answers my prayer when I pray… ” Lord, place me where you want me to be today”… Now I need to trust HIM when I land in that “place”.
I know constant prayer is the antidote to anxiety, fear, heartache and weakness. Praying lets God speak to my heart… I am trying to ” worry less and pray more”. I want to give it all to HIM and not take it back…. Who’s in?
A friend sent me an article that inspired me to write about friendship today. I was thinking about how very fortunate I have been to have friends that I can call family. I am not talking about fair- weather “friends”, or talk about you behind you back “friends”… I’m talking about true blue, donate a kidney to you if they needed to friends. People who have been there through the ups and downs. The ones who have cried with me when my heart was broken and shared pants wetting laughter with me ( I won’t mention any names) in times of JOY! The friends who I can share my deepest secrets with and not feel judged. Friends that say and really mean the words of.. “I get it”, “I have been there” or even “I have no idea how that feels but I’m here for you”. Friends that REALLY pray for me when I ask them to and pray even when I don’t ask them to. Friends that can tell when “lets do dinner or lunch” means “I really need to spend time with you” and they make room in their busy schedule to take that time.
Most of you who know me, know that I don’t really know many strangers. I love people. Old people, young people, people of different cultures… I meet you, we click, I love you forever! I truly believe that loving God and loving people are the most important things in life. You can’t love God if you don’t love his people. If we do this well, we are living well, we are rich! A richness way beyond “money” and “things”. Some of you make the above so easy, and I love you as my family as well as my friend.
Of course, we go through seasons of life where due to circumstances we don’t always get to spend the time we want with certain friends. We know that real true friends will always love you, and you can easily pick right back up where you left off! Thank you to the ones, new friends and old, you know who you are, who have added to my richness! I love you and I cherish our friendship!
Please share with your special friends!
In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalms 104:24
Most mornings I sit on my back porch with my coffee. For awhile, I have noticed this “mean” bird pacing the stones between my neighbors and my yard. Always screaming and even tries to attack my cats, which is pretty funny!
Well, below is why “he” was doing this. He is not mean but protective. If he only knew that Lucy and Lilly are way too old and fat to climb trees. At least I think it’s the daddy bird. I’m not a bird expert by far, so feel free to enlighten me with some facts if you are bird savvy!
Seems that the mama bird is in her nest with her two babies while Daddy paces around protecting the nest and brings food. I think these birds are called American Robbins…again not sure.
This morning, I got to pretend to have one of my dream jobs as a National Geographic photographer and hang out in a tree. I did almost face plant once…ok maybe twice. The neatest thing was how these birds were so alert until I got close to them. The mama bird would spread her wings over them and they would play dead. I could just see their little chest pumping in and out. Finally, the daddy bird came flying in with a juicy worm ( one of my almost face plant moments). I crouched down and tried not to breathe. I got a few shots but had a hard time getting too close when the worm was dropped. The mama bird gave me some dirty looks for interrupting her breakfast, so I left them alone before I got a good face pecking.
I understand the “don’t mess with my kids” attitude.
If you look close you can see…even baby birds make their mamas hair turn grey!!
All Gods creations never cease to amaze me!
So, yesterday was one of those days! Just one issue after another, after another that had actually trickled from the day before and… the hubs was out of town.
By 5:30 soccer practice time, I was just “had”. We get to the soccer field and Ava still needed to put her soccer socks/ shin guard combo things on. ( dumb invention). This is our only option since she hates the straps on the back of her calves…any way back to the story! Now, let me back up a bit. We just had a 40 minute crying melt down over a skinned knee prior to the ride to the soccer field, so I agreed to let her ride bare foot and said we could put her stuff on when we got there…bad idea! Those darn things must have shrunk in the wash and Ava is ever so blessed with her daddy’s calves. So, there she was laying on the floor of the van crying and whining because they will not go on. There I was with the van door open bent inside pushing and tugging to the point where I was sweating. Not to mention my rear end was sticking out the door and I forgot a belt…need I say more? For a moment I actually was going to start crying with her and then like a momma gone coo coo! Then,I just started to laugh…really laugh! Ava was just looking at me thinking who knows what. The picture I had in my head was…fast forward to this coming Saturday morning. My husband will be the one wrangling these ridiculous “schlocks” (as I like to call them) over her calves with much less experience than me, while I’m at the beach with my girlfriends! The question is, should I tell him or let him figure it out for himself? Maybe I will just remind him to wear a belt and leave it at that…
I really liked this chapter in this book by Holley Gerth and wanted to share it! It reminds us that we don’t have to be alone. She explains how women need to be connected with others.
Please excuse the messy flow and enjoy the read!
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable: to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength“ – Chriss Jami
Being vulnerable is not about always showing all of our glamour. It is about showing the parts of us that we keep locked up that are not so glamorous. I think we feel that if we show the parts of us that we keep locked up, we risk being judged and even rejected. We don’t think anybody else could understand us, so we stay behind our walls. We see vulnerability as a sign of weakness but it actually takes so much strength to show weakness.
” What happens when people open their hearts?…They get better.”
– Haruki Murakami
God asks us to pour our hearts out to him. When we do this he will expose our hearts, not to punish us but to heal us. True joy, comes from sacrificing ourselves for others, this requires vulnerability. We need to empty ourselves out to others while trusting God will fill us back up. We need to stop seeing others as our “competition” but more as our brothers and sisters of God who have the same needs and fears as we do. Don’t forget, God allowed Jesus to die on the cross for us. If he didn’t scorn the shame of the cross then we should not be ashamed of being vulnerable. Humility and vulnerability are so very hard to let show, but so necessary to have true JOY!
“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful” – Brene Brown
We are vulnerable on all sides, in and out, up and down, past, present, and future. We fear vulnerability. It takes a great deal of living to discover that, actually, vulnerability comes to us more as friend than as enemy. Vulnerability may be the greatest strength we have. Vulnerability bonds us to one another and makes us a community in league with life. Because we need one another, we live looking for good in others, without which we ourselves can not survive, will not grow, can not become what we ourselves have the potential to be. [Change in our lives and in our communities cannot happen without this]. Vulnerability is the gift given to us to enable us to embed ourselves in the universe. We are born dependent and spend the rest of our lives coming to wholeness. It is a delicate and dangerous process, requiring and untold amount of support and an amazing degree of forgiveness as we stumble and grope our way from one new part of life to another. Vulnerability, in fact, is the one hallmark of life which, try as we might, we can not cure. Vulnerability, therefore is clearly part of the spiritual process, clearly part of the human endeavor. -Joan Chittister
Today I am thankful for so many things but most of all I am thankful for God’s grace. I don’t think I have ever paid attention to God’s grace like I have lately… The fact that I am studying grace has a lot to do with it I’m sure, but I will say, not everything I study tugs at me like this has. I have not been seeing many ” squirrels” during this study!
God has got my attention.“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer
I have been able to fill some of that spot in my heart that holds guilt and feeling unworthy with God’s grace. I can’t say I don’t or won’t still feel guilty or unworthy, I think that is impossible. I am just saying I feel God working in my heart in this area.
“Grace, then, is grace,–that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte
The best part about accepting grace is….you have a strong urge to give grace. Although, I do try to give grace and mercy, I slip and fall at times. I was thinking about the verse “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” I think, how hard it is to do this especially if that “other” never treats you with the grace and mercy you have shown them?? My first instinct sometimes is to ” give them a taste of their own medicine” Sadly I have reacted on this thought, ummm, more than once. The problem is, this reaction only gives temporary relief, as quick as you get “relief”, you are filled with regret and the anguish of hurting someone else. I find this is much worse than the initial feeling of hurt you had in the first place. It is a “lose lose” situation. This is not how God wants us to react. He has given us grace and is constantly giving us mercy and wants us to do the same for others. A “win win” situation!
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” – Hebrews 12:15
Being human and a sinner, I will at times throughout my life feel guilt, anger and resentment . I will hurt people’s feelings and get my feelings hurt. I will say the wrong things. React the wrong way. I AM IMPERFECT. I am so glad God loves his imperfect children and uses his imperfect children for his glory.. I am so thankful that he allows my heart to feel conviction. I am so thankful… For his perfect unconditional GRACE!
Why do we think we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted? It says in Romans 15:7, Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. If we did this then people would not be afraid to approach us and reveal their true selves. If we didn’t walk around with “I am perfect” written across our face then we would be so much more approachable. Who wants to be around perfect people anyway…?
YOU CAN STOP HIDING NOW…
” Facing others without covering my physical blemishes is actually more terrifying than going out into the world without a shower or makeup, far more offensive than body odor are my fears, malicious thoughts, insecurities, shame and pride.” – Beyond the Masquerade
YOU CAN STOP HIDING NOW
While we strive to make ourselves approachable .We also secretly long for someone to catch a glimpse of our true selves and exclaim. “you can stop hiding now- I really do love you just as you are!” –Gods Heart For You
YOU CAN STOP HIDING NOW
Real friends tell you when you have something in your teeth. They love you enough to speak the truth, and Jesus is our most faithful friend of all. He sees deep within our hearts and tells us when something is stuck there that doesn’t belong. His correction always come with GRACE, not condemnation. When we open our hearts and let God speak to us we discover we’re truly know and loved in a way we never thought possible. The acceptance we long for is already ours if we only dare to embrace it… You Are Accepted! – Gods Heart For You
YOU CAN STOP HIDING NOW
” The Lord constantly looks at us with eyes of love. His scars bring healing and even beauty to our own” GHFY. Read that again and again, let it absorb. ” Oh, beloved. You are beautiful” Those are the words we want to have spoken to our hearts.
Just as you are…