Here’s something to consider:
The new thoughts, the random thoughts, perhaps every experience and every encounter is aiding you to your greater purpose. Start by giving yourself permission to change. Then allow yourself to be receptive to receive paradigm shifts in your thinking and the way you see things.
Often times, you may want to excuse something as a trend or a fleeting thing that will pass and you don't give it any attention because it won't have any lasting effect on you. But what if…What if....God is exposing you to this to help you grow? To help you grow into your greater purpose that He has for you!
May your curiosity be poked enough to find out what it is that God is leading you to. May you be prompted to discover what God’s greater purpose is for your life. May you search relentlessly to know the essence of who you are. God has not designed you by happenstance. He put crazy detail into you. Every quirk, inkling, preference and detail is radically designed by God. Some of those things will fluctuate and be circumstantial; and some will not. All are the elements that make you, you.
Have you ever said, “If it had not been for that person, experience or exposure, I would have never known.” Right! God’s best often comes through exposure, experience or people. So be open, be available to accept the opportunity to learn and give yourself grace to grow and change. You are amazing! God made you that way, invest in yourself to discover your greater purpose.
God is with you and through Him, all things are possible!
Greater is ahead, Julie
Remind me Lord, what the gift of love is. My heart has forgotten and my mind refuses to recall it. The love that is pure, the love that brings comfort and brings affirmation. Show me the love that brings a smile to my face and brings a leap in my step.
The gift of love that reflects the love that you have for me. Remind me Lord, what the gift of love is.
Father show me what the gift of love is. For surely I have forgotten.
But You, Father are love. Your love is perfect and perfect love casts out all fear. Love covers a whole lot of stuff. Show me Father, what the gift of love is. Such a BIG gift that often comes in such small packages and ways. The gift of Jesus is the love of Jesus.
Thank you Father for the gift of Jesus, that I am able to see love in His selfless sacrifice and know love through His compassion that drew and included everyone. No one was ever outside of the love of Jesus, not then and not now...and not ever! Let me see Jesus and in seeing Jesus, I see the gift of love Father.
There are situations in my life that frustrate me, perplex me and I simply can’t conceive the why of them. With my best efforts and well laid plans, I attempt to manipulate my life to make it work. It leaves me feeling like a failure. I’m convinced that’s exactly what the enemy wants me to feel like. The world’s philosophy is to keep trying, never give up and don’t give in. Which has some validity; but the Bible truth is to remain humble, giving up isn’t necessarily giving in, it simply means submitting to God’s will and way and not mine.
I find at the basis of my frustration is self will. I want what I want because my want makes sense. I know that my life will be better if only I could get what my desire is. It’s at that point that I either keep fighting for something that God apparently doesn’t have for me, and I remain frustrated. Or, I can submit my will to God’s will and accept that what I want is not what He has for me.
It reads easier, than it is to actually do it. It’s hard to embrace disappointment of your flesh and desire, so often I continue to plead my case before God telling Him why He should do what I want and that He should provide me with my plan.
Only through prayer, can I submit my agenda to His. Only as I render to Him, my idolatrous desires, can I receive His plan. Only in faith, can I believe that better is ahead as I get out of the way.
After, all God knows more than me, so I must begin the painful process of letting go…letting go of my expected outcomes. I then, ask God to show me that His ways are better than mine, He knows my future, He knows my hopes and dreams. And after I let go, I ask Him to help me to accept and embrace His plan because His plan is always better.
It’s my birth—day! It’s my birthday!
It’s been a mixed bag of emotions leading up to this day. Gotta be honest with you….on one hand I’m very grateful; actually humbled at the care and concern that this Big Holy, Majestic God has toward me to keep me and on the other hand, I’m almost in disbelief that I am now 51 years old! YIKES…age is just a number right?
Typically, I write to encourage you, to strengthen you and to prompt you to trust God and this blog is no different; but I intent to be more transparent than normal, as well. Perhaps, I pray you will find a word, a thought or principle that will inspire and encourage you.
I decided to do a collage of pics of me as my birthday gift to me from me. I wrestled with the thought at first, and even now, that it may be perceived differently than my intention; but I did it anyway, I wanted to and it’s my gift to me that I wanted to share with others. And with every pic that I put together; I looked at my face at different ages and stages of my life. I looked deep into the pic that was looking back at me. Humbled. Accepting that I am a miracle! A miracle because I lived, my mom choose to keep me against all odds, including her own. I was her third baby and I too came with no evidence of any father anywhere in her life. She had 3 illegitimate children. I hate that word; its definition is almost a curse. It’s the opposite of legitimate; which is accepted and authorized. But, I use it to confirm and support mine and my sibling’s existence. Her children were born in the 50’s & 60’s in a small, predominately white community in South Dakota. She was a minority woman with minimal education and on a misguided quest to find love. I can’t judge; God knows I’ve done that most of my life and it’s fruitless and hurtful.
I don’t know much, if anything factual about the man who my mother was with when I was conceived. And my heart breaks now that I’m a woman with children to think about the fear, pain, regret, anger and every other emotion that my mother must have lived with for 9 months as her belly grew with me.
A friend, a young woman who loves God told me about this Youtube video that ministered to her. I have been listening and soaking: here’s part of what God is saying: “Gods heart toward you is beyond fantasy. Logic cannot comprehend God’s love toward you. God desires to fulfill His plan in your life. God delights in your life. He rejoices in walking hand in hand with you through your life, that you may be full of thanksgiving and gratitude. And that you will see yourself as God sees you. And that you would rejoice in the splendor of His foundation in your life and you will know who you are in Him as He proclaims your identity fully.”
WOW! That “you” is you and it’s me and it’s for every beautiful creation that He created in human life. I am yet attempting to understand the totality of God’s love in my life and toward me. The mistakes, wrong turns and disappoints will attempt to sabotage my realization of His love, but I am desperately trying to believe that God’s love is beyond anything and everything that I could know or do.
So today, 51 years after my first breath, my choice to be grateful is more real than ever. It’s not vanity to love yourself. It’s not pride to delight in yourself and when you think those thoughts, it is not from God and it will do exactly what the enemy intended it to do…tear you down and underestimate your worth...my worth.
Look at that beautiful baby in the picture collage that I made, as she grew up, she too desired to find worth and love and acceptance…happiness. I took wrong turns and went through some dark valley’s, but God knew that, even when I was unaware.
I officiated my mother’s Memorial Service this past June and so today I don’t have the opportunity to celebrate my birth day with her. To call her and share in her story of my life, as I said, it’s a mixed bag of emotions today. My mother and I didn’t have a healthy relationship, and I never felt compelled to call her or reach out to her to celebrate my birth day with her. I never felt led to acknowledge the trials that came along with my birth with my mom, or to tell her thanks, thanks for life. I could be regretful, but instead, I will be grateful. Grateful that she endured beyond herself and gave birth to me!
That’s part of my story, thanks for reading it. I encourage you to study your story, tell your story! It’s therapeutic and enlightening to look closely at your pictures. Study them and remember the times of your life, and perhaps you will find the faithfulness of God and also see the strength that you have, that brought you to this point in time.
It’s my birth-day…it’s my birthday!
So, it’s no secret that the days of my son having to get up to get to school are coming to an end. Ahhh, school night protocols are coming to an end, at least for three months. In our home, he begins the countdown about 6 weeks before that glorious last day of school. I have to admit, the year went by like it was a week, until I think about all the nights of homework at the dining room table.
Here it is the last full week of school for my young man. He will close out his sixth grade year with many memories and experiences. I’m not sure why I think we are on the downward side of the school mountain, but I did, that is until the last few nights. I’m already in “school’s out” mode; and he abruptly bursts my bubble with his numerous homework projects that HAVE to be done tomorrow! Ugh, really Mr. and Mrs. Teacher? Don’t you know I’m over this school year thing? Like, I’m all about academics; but it’s the last full week of school! For 9 months, I have complied with all the requirements to support my son so he can pass your class, but it’s the last week and now you tell my son, he needs to find baby pictures, write an end of year summary, learn some new pattern thingy in math; which I can’t even comprehend with the help of Google and, read 100 pages before tomorrow?
Last night at 8:33, I was officially over being a parent of a child in school, I had to excuse myself and go in the bathroom and lament like I was the child who had to meet these deadlines. I decided I could tell my son that it’s on him and good luck with that. But, I realized that wasn’t probably the best support decision, so out of the bathroom I come, reluctantly offering my help dissolving any and all hopes of getting to bed early.
I’m grateful for the education my son is getting, but these end of school year projects, books, summaries, and tests…..I’m ready to be done. Anyone else feel my pain? Can I get a witness?? LOL
Tonight, I wait to see what awaits our attention as I adjust my attitude. Realizing, these nights will one day, too soon be memories and off to college, he will go. I wonder if I’ll go with him? Just kidding! Be blessed these last days of school.
PS. Mr. and Mrs. Teacher, thank you for your end of year expectations. It is teaching my son to stick with it until the end.
~ Kendel's Mom
As I'm thinking about sermons; I'm pondering the Scripture of Mathew 20: 29-34, aka the two blind men who received sight.
Verse 32 jumped off the page when I read it. The words of Jesus, "What do you want Me to do for you?" NICE!!! Image Jesus, the One and Only Jesus! Jesus is in your presence; face to face and asks you that question! "What do you want Me to do for you?" WOW.
We all have needs, we all have wants and we certainly all have desires that we regularly and frequently rehearse in our prayers, conversations and our thoughts. But...image that when Jesus actually asks you face 2 face; what do you want Me to do for you?? Our words will probably not form and we would stand with our mouths open. Perhaps not even able to think or articulate what we've been lacking and wanting. Perhaps, we'd be so perplexed and mesmerized that He actually wants to know what He can do for us??
Bible truth: Jesus is closer than we often remember and realize, and He is asking you the same question He asked the two blind men that day, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Your request may be for you, or it may be for another; whatever the case, we have a compassionate Lord who desires to help and bless. Thank you Jesus!
"Trust the process" I read these words some time ago and didn’t realize the importance they would play in my past weekend. As it turned out, I was somewhere in this beautiful country of ours that I had never been before. I had to catch an early flight at an airport that was an hour and some change away, according to my handy IPhone GPS. So off I go, following the instructions that were being fed to me. It all looked legit until it told me to turn on some County Road that I passed by because it was not clearly marked off the main highway. Realizing I had missed the turn; while my GPS said, “Rerouting…” I quickly made the decision to turn around and take the County Road; as I traveled down the road; I realized it was very rural and not much traffic at that early morning hour, I reluctantly continued following the instructions that would hopefully get me to the airport to catch my flight home. Just when I decided to trust the judgment of the GPS; it told me to turn onto another County Road. It appeared I was going further and further into the country and farther and farther from the major Highway I turned off of. I began to doubt. Doubt the GPS, but more so, doubt that I had put the proper destination in the GPS.
I panicked a bit; and decided to try to back track my GPS and make sure I put in the airport as my destination; all the while going down the Country Road in the dark and very mindful that I have to make this plane home. Unable to finagle the task; I decided to trust the process……
Even in my decision to trust the process, I’m thinking of alternatives that can validate that I’m on the right road in the middle of nowhere in the dark, trying to make it to my destination. Those alternatives included thoughts of, “Who can I call…it’s early, who will be up? And if I can call someone, how do I tell them where I am?” UGH>>>>I personally am very uncomfortable with situations that I’m not sure of. Instead of thinking, “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? I miss my flight.” Instead of thinking, “I’m gonna trust God that He’s got this.” Instead of thinking, “I’m gonna trust me, that I put the airport as the destination in the GPS.” Instead of, Instead of….I took the insecure path and tried to find ways I could make sure I was on the right road to the airport. Which, all were negative in nature and opposite of trust.
When I realized that I would have to stop the car in the dark on this County Road in the middle of nowhere to do any of those options....which means I would delay myself and quite possibly miss the flight, I decided to trust the process and keep going.
Please read those words again, “I decided to trust the process and keep going.”
How many of us need that reminder, right now? Right where you are? Right where you are in life? “I decided to trust the process and keep going.”
Not only did those words fit my situation that early morning; those words can be applied to almost every situation in my life. Those words can fit your life’s journey with God as well. Whether you’re on a path that God has you on and you aren’t clear about where He has you going; or you’re on a path that your own choices have you on; and you’re desperate to get off and find God. You can make the decision to trust the process and keep going.
The life lesson that I couldn’t overlook through that experience was that there will be times when you’ve been given instructions and those instructions will make you question. You see, I put my destination in my GPS and hit, “Find route” and off I went. But in that, when the instructions made me uncomfortable, I began to question, panic and second guess the process. When those instructions brought me a place where it appeared so opposite of where I knew I was going, I began to question. So it is with the spiritual. If you’ve given your life to Christ; if your heart is to be with God and heaven is your destiny and you’ve hit, “Find route”, you gotta trust the process and keep going.
By the way; there will be County Roads that you turn down that appear you’re going away from your destination; but trust in the Great I AM.
For He is the One who holds tomorrow, who holds you in His hand…trust the process and keep going.
It was only time on those dark County Roads that eventually got me to the major freeway; which had a sign for the airport! It was only time spend that eventually validated my decision to trust the process and keep going.
Oh, and I got to the airport on time, turned in my rental car and boarded my plane home! Can I encourage you to trust the process you’re in and on, and keep going? Know that God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life! So…trust the process.
Today's date is etched in my mind and heart...my late husband died on April 16. Today makes 5 years ago. Long days but short years. The sting of it has lessened. The tears are fewer. My heart is more recovered. I still live with the effects of the loss, but I've mostly adjusted to being a single mom, a widow and a party of 1. Mostly adjusted to flying solo in ministry and life. Mostly figured out how to live without him and mostly discovered who I am apart from being a wife.... I've mostly adjusted to shopping alone, sleeping and getting up alone. Yep...adjustment doesn't mean happy about it. But adjustment means adjustment. You see for over 2 years after his death, I lived like he was still alive and had you spoken to me and didn't know my husband was dead, you'd think he was at home waiting for me. Adjustment. I had to give myself permission to live without him. I had to accept my new norm.
What I know is that God has kept me...even when I didn't want to be kept. God has kept me. 5 years later...God has kept me. To God be the glory. And He will keep you too.
I recently read a post on social media that said, “You are strong enough to walk away because you’re worth it.”
I read it twice…ok, maybe 3 or 4 times. I tend to re-read stuff when posts seemingly fit into my world and current situation. From that place come these thoughts:
I think most of us, at least us women, think enough about ourselves not to intentionally hurt, harm or neglect ourselves. We can assume that to do otherwise; would be foolish. But yet; we don’t see the hurt, harm or neglect we willfully subject ourselves to when it comes to certain relationships, circumstances or situations.
For example, staying in a toxic situation is not good and benefits no one, mostly you. Sticking it out in an expired relationship isn’t noble or comfortable; it’s simply settling for left overs every day. When we engage in circumstances that we sense aren’t good, why do we continue in them?
Perhaps, we fail to see the impact of these choices because most of us wear a big tool belt. It’s not that we’re aware of this belt, or we put it on every day; we just never take it off and it becomes part of who we are. This belt is equipped with lots of tools and stuff to help us fix things in our life. This is a great attribute; as women, I tend to think God made us this way; we are the called ones to help, nurture and fill in the gaps. We also enjoy challenges and lead regardless of conditions. All great attributes…thanks God, by the way, for equipping us!
Back to the tool belt…along life’s experiences, we have added so much stuff and tools to our belt. In fact, there’s probably everything but the kitchen sink in there. And…at any given time or circumstances, we reach and pull out what we think is necessary for the job. The problem with this is that these tools typically cover up the hurt, harm or neglect that is present. And while we know we are strong enough to walk away…we don’t always do that.
At least for me, I’m realizing I’m worth it... to just walk away. I’m not yet conclusively convinced of my worth…not yet. Not entirely. But because I know God knows my worth, I can too and therefore, it will strengthen me to walk away from hurt, harm and neglect.
Saying so long and divorcing relationships, situations and circumstances that aren’t healthy takes courage and it takes intention. But mostly, it takes knowing you're worth it. When you know you’re worth it, you’re then strong enough to walk away….pray for me, as I pray for you.
“When you don’t know the value of someone or something, you will abuse it.”
This morning my son and I are blessed to be flying first class on our travel journey. Big seats, lots of leg room, special attention, "uh....yes please!" First class is a very comfortable way to fly! As I'm traveling, the familiar instructions of the flight attendant almost always get drowned out by the conversation of the passengers and the background noise in the cabin. If you've flown frequently enough, you know the drill so much so that you tend to ignore their instructions. "Blah, blah, blah..."
Today I listened and watched as the attendant demonstrated the instructions to us. I can glean several spiritual lessons from their instructions, but for this blog I'll highlight the exit instructions. You see they are obligated to tell those on each flight how many exits there are on the plane. Which I'm assuming is helpful to know in the event there is an emergency or situation when one needs to jump out of the plane right quick. (Visions of the titanic sinking and not nearly enough life boats were available for all the passengers race through my head.)
So about this exit business. They inform us how many exits and show us where they are located. The suggest we look around where we're seated to know which exit us closest to us. In addition, they tell us the closest exit may be located behind you, which I'm guessing is often an overlooked fact.
This is helpful information in life as well as on the airplane. You see, there are times in your life, in situations and in relationships when you will benefit to exit. I'm not necessarily referring to running away from problems that need to be resolved; but perhaps you realize that to stay and remain is not going to yield any benefit. And to stay is only adding salt to an injury. In those cases, an exit is in order.
Some exits may be emergent and others require a plan or even a strategy. Timing may be a factor in your exit. Whatever the case, it's helpful to be aware of the nearest exit - in the event you need to use it.
As we close out yet another year, perhaps an exit is in order. Exit those things that are unnecessary. Exit because you've been meaning to leave behind some things, but instead have just been tolerating. What about all those just going through the motions situations? It may be time to look and see where the exits are.
I pray you have the courage to trust your instinct and you'll ask God to help you find the closest exit to you.
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