Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sometimes We Need To Be Stirred


We don’t always get what we want in life.  But maybe, we do get what we need…..



Sometimes, maybe we go through chaos for awhile in life, so that we can be stirred from having complacency in the calm of it.

I can see how whirlwinds of challenges swirled around me at certain times in life. I don’t think they happened because I was doing necessarily anything wrong before they arrived, but that maybe my heart needed to be stirred. Maybe I needed to understand and empathize with others more – after going through certain struggles. Maybe I needed to develop and grow more spiritually. Maybe I needed some humbling.

Each situation has been different. Each one – so very personal.

God says that we will be sifted like wheat. We can’t expect a loving Father to leave us alone in our pride, our lukewarm living, or our ignorance. He has plans for each one of us. He sees who we can be.

So, sometimes, we need to be stirred up a little.

Or a lot.

I dread going through these seasons. I should count it a joy that my Lord loves me that much. That He loves me so much that He can’t let me go down a path that isn’t full of Him or full of all that He can show me.  But, I’m human. And I dread the personal hurts that come with these times. I hate the stretching done on my character, and I feel so beat up at times, wondering if my own stamina can last.

And yet – I like who I am more this year, than last year. I love who I’m becoming more, as I grow. And that’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s because of what I’ve gone through in life. It’s because of the stirring in my heart, soul, and circumstances. It’s because of tilting my head up and lending an ear to what God might be trying to say to me.

So – in the midst of the stirring – it’s never fun. But the feeling of BEING stirred and knowing your are more aware, more beautiful, and more complete because of it?


Priceless.

Monday, December 29, 2014

But.... Have You Tried?




We are great dream killers. We have this innate ability to shoot down anything that isn’t easy or expected. Not just for others…but also for ourselves. Maybe, especially for ourselves!

When we were little, we were told we could be anything we wanted. Our eyes sparkled as we tilted our heads to the sky and dreamt of going to the moon and back.  We felt special, believed we were special, and knew that one day, the whole world would know that as well.

It didn’t quite work out that way.  We started listening to all the voices around us. Some would laugh at us when we shared our deepest heart’s longings for the “impossible.” Others simply scoffed.  We got busy. Practical. We fell in love.

Somehow – the years ticked by in double time.  We looked up at that same beautiful blue sky and wondered how we’d aged so quickly without doing what we really intended on doing.

We start doing what we are so good at. Talking to ourselves. Except the voice that we should cherish the most (our own) often does the most damage.

“You can’t.”

“You shouldn’t.”

“You don’t have the money.”

“You have responsibilities.”

“You don’t know how.”

“It’s a long shot.”

“Not that many people achieve that status.”

“You’re too old.”

And more. MANY more.

Friend, will you quiet those voices for a minute to listen to mine?  Listen closely.

“Have you even tried?”

“Have you…..TRIED?”

Why not, try?

Yes. It may be hard. It may be unrealistic. It may take many years. You may be old. You may have to sacrifice to pay your way.  But it’s your dream right?  And who gave you that dream? Did it die? Or did it stay tucked inside of you all of these years?

There’s a reason some dreams die and others don’t. I like to label it “our calling.” You can call it fate, if you want. But we were meant to do some things. Live out some things.

And the point really isn’t even if you get there. It’s only that you try. So you will know.


Try. TRY. Just try.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

When The Call On Your Life Is Great, So Is the Attack



I am so blessed with my children. I couldn’t have dreamed of having more precious people in my life. They have brought me such great, unspeakable joy. They have stretched me and they have given me a drive to protect them, that I didn’t know could exist.

They have completely changed me.

I look back on my life and on the life of my children (who are no longer little), and I see the challenges and battles that have come into our lives along the way. I’ve seen the unfair turn of events, the random battles we waged, and the deep hurts we’ve struggled through.

I believe God has a calling for my life. And I also believe He has a calling in the lives of each one of my children. The realization of this, can’t exclude the fact that this is the exact reason we have gone through some of the attacks, hurts, and battles in our lives, that we have.  Satan doesn’t want us to fulfill that calling.

I see things in each one of my children that maybe they don’t quite yet see in themselves. I see the potential that is still not fully developed. I see the beauty in their hearts. I see and I know who they are. Just as my God knows me. 

Each spot of tenderness, each soft spot in their life that has a gifting, God wants to develop that to impact as many in His name as possible. Yet it is those exact spots in their hearts and lives that seem to be discouraged and hurt time and again. Because – again – satan does not want us to develop them. He doesn’t want us to grow. To gain strength and courage. He doesn’t want us to realize what we’ve been given.

But I see it. And I will fight for it.  I will protect, to the best of my human abilities, the specialness and uniqueness that God has given each one of my kids. I will pray over them, I will encourage them, and I will fight hard when they don’t realize they need to fight for themselves.


Because I am a mother. Because I love them. And because it’s part of my calling.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do So Even More

1 Thessalonians 4:1 “Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God – as you are doing – do so even more.”



As I was reading this verse for a Bible Study recently, the last few words of it really jumped out at me.

DO SO EVEN MORE.

We are all at different stages and phases in our walk with the Lord. Some of us are mature believers while others are babies in the faith.  Some of us were blessed to be raised in Christian homes, while others came from very volatile and dysfunctional backgrounds.

Yet we are all on the same page when it comes to what God asks of us. 

Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, however we are obeying and growing in Him – we are to do MORE.

I like that. For it reminds me that I’m not on better ground than someone else. God still knows that I have room to improve. He knows what areas I’m weak in, what areas I’ve been neglecting, and He knows what needs work.  We never get to a point in our faith where we can say, “I’ve arrived. I’ve done the work that needs to be done, now I’ll work on someone else.” No! We always have work that can be improved upon in our own souls and lives.

It is between us and God what areas we need to focus some attention on in our lives. Is it the way in which we speak? Is it how we dress? Is it how little we get into His Word and spend time alone with Him? Do we need to confess hidden sins in our life? Adjust our attitudes? Do we struggle with selfishness? How about our finances? Are we wise or wasteful with our money? Are we respectful to those in our families and in our neighborhoods or workplace? Are we controlling? Unforgiving?

You see – there are SO many areas in a life that needs work. For each one of us, our weaknesses and struggles are different. We all have room to DO MORE. Even for those of us who are walking and pleasing the Lord – we are to DO SO EVEN MORE.

Let those words sit on your heart today as I let them sit on mine. Let them sink in.

What is one area in your life where you can DO SO EVEN MORE?

Then do so. More. Turn what was once a weakness into a strength. Then attack another area and do so even more with that area too.

He is the potter and we are the clay. We are being molded and shaped each day into something more beautiful and perfect. We are cheating ourselves to only do ‘just enough.’


Do MORE.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I Am a Girl



I am a girl. I like being a girl. I wasn’t made to be tough. I like having emotions and knowing how to express them. I like sparkles and things that glitter.

I am a girl.

I love having a gentleman open a door for me. I don’t feel offended, I feel cherished.

I like being protected. I am thankful that my man takes care of most of the critters around our place, our finances, and keeping the cars running well. It doesn’t mean I’m ill-equipped to do those things – although some of them, I don’t know how to do very well. It simply shows me that He loves me and He wants to make sure I’m safe.

Yes, I am a girl. I may take a long time to get ready for the day and I may change my mind about something. I may cry over having hurt feelings, and I may giggle over something I find amusing. It’s all part of being female. And I relish in it.

I want my femininity to help my man feel more like a man. I want him to know he can conquer, he can be a little rough around the edges, and he can be both a knight and a warrior for his family. He needs that. He needs to feel like he can protect, save, and be manly.

I don’t feel like I need to do everything a man does. I don’t want to. I don’t want to be helpless either. I want to know that I can be independent if I have to. But I want to be a woman – a lady – a girl. I want to see chivalry. I want to feel respect. I want protection. For I am a girl and I should be treated as such.

Being a girl to me is about fun things like nail polish, lipstick, curly hair, fancy boots, and darling purses. It’s about giggle-fests with other girls, crying times over good movies, and batting eyelashes – feeling the power and charm of womanhood. But it’s also about knowing how to nurture, love, and feel. It’s about instinct, intuition, and discernment. It’s about being soft, warm, and welcoming.

I love being a girl. I was created to be a girl. I’m raising girls. And I relish it all. For this is our calling. This is who we were created to be. We were created to use our beauty for good. Use our intuition to encourage, and use our softness to heal.

What power lies in our sex. What a shame when we don’t see it or feel it. When we don’t tap into who we really are.

Girls aren’t weak. They aren’t ‘lesser than.’ They aren’t stupid. They are simply girls. Stronger in some areas, and not as strong in others. But extremely special and unique.

The world needs girls. So, if you are one – be one. Embrace it. Love it. Use it for good.


For you were called.

Friday, December 19, 2014

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor



“May the odds be ever in your favor.”   That is a quote from the movie, “The Hunger Games.”  It’s a quote that says so much and can be applied to our life as a Christian. Once you have Jesus in your heart, the odds ARE in your favor.

It doesn’t always feel that way though. It doesn’t feel like the odds are in our favor when we are hit with challenge after challenge in a short time frame. It doesn’t feel like the odds are in our favor, when we always seem to be struggling with our finances, our friendships (or lack thereof), or our health.

But they are.

It occurred to me, that every time I sit in church, I’m stacking the odds in my favor.  Every time I open my Bible, participate in a Bible Study, listen to Christian music, or PRAY…. The odds are in my favor. For, Satan doesn’t like it when I do those things. Especially when he’s been on the attack in my life. And believe me, he IS on the attack in our lives!

So I can claim victory. Each time I kneel on my knees in prayer, or seek God out – even if it’s in a Christian self-help book – I can claim victory over Satan. For he doesn’t want me to do those things. And if he wins any mileage in my life, it will be to get me to stop doing those things.

The odds ARE in our favor. But we have to acknowledge them. We have to let the power that God has given us through other Godly people, church, prayer, His Word, and music; we have to allow room for access to those things in our lives.

They are our fuel. They are our joy. They are our peace, healing, direction, and strength.

Let us seek them out. Let us depend on them, enjoy them, use them, and be thankful for them. They are our weapons against the evil one who DOES seek to destroy everything that has any meaning to us in our lives. Especially our purpose, faith, and calling.

The odds are already stacked in our favor if we believe in the Lord and call Him our Savior. But let’s start thriving instead of merely getting by with those odds. Let’s wield the weapons that have been given us and be strengthened daily by them.


Go to church. Read God’s Word. Listen to that Christian radio station. Join that Bible Study. And pray. PRAY all the time. And not only know that the odds are in your favor – but truly feel it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

He's My "Familiar"


I love my husband. It’s true, that with each passing year, I love and value him even more. I appreciate what I’ve got.

I wish I could share with young girls the value in waiting for your husband before you are sexually active. I wish I could help them feel what I feel and see what I see.

When I think of kissing someone, I think of kissing my husband.

When I envision holding hands with someone, it is my husband’s hand I can feel and envision clasping into mine.

When I watch a movie, and I see romance between a man and a woman? It only makes me think of my husband. How he feels and what his touch is like.

He is my “familiar.”

Waiting gave me that.

I’m thankful that no one else knows me as intimately as he does. That I don’t have to share that with someone else in my past.

I’m thankful, that I don’t have to worry about impressing him. I can be myself and he still loves me.

I’m thankful that we are maturing together. That we have a history shared and one that has bonded us. The tough times, as well as the fun memories weave their way into our hearts and we can see life from a shared perspective because of these things we’ve been through together.

I like that I can count on the familiarity of my husband. It gives me security and joy. It helps me feel safe.

I understand that not everyone has what I have. Not everyone comes from a past that gives them that. But the thing is, you can still start towards that goal today. You can still get “familiar.” Slowly. And with time.

Going through life with one person isn’t boring. For even though a spouse is familiar, they are also changing as they age and go through things in life. So you are constantly relearning one another.  But going through life together IS comforting. And it IS a gift that brings numerous blessings and joys.

It’s also a choice. Not every day is sunshine and roses. Some days are simply clouds and rain. But those pass. And you get stronger because of going through them together.  The rainbow comes out and life again, is familiar. Full of love and smiles.

Oh yes, how I love my “familiar” man.

I wish that love for everyone’s marriage.




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Monday, December 15, 2014

Don't Stop Believing

 You’ve been hurt. Again.

Women, especially, tend to put a rock wall around their heart when they’ve been hurt. They don’t want to ever feel that hurt again – so they decide that putting up a wall will protect them.

The thing is, a wall can go two ways. It can either get higher and thicker over time, or it can start to crumble. It’s up to us to decide if we are going to let the wall fall a little, or if we aren’t going to take the chance of letting anyone in ever again.

It comes down to – do we have it in us, to believe again? To believe in love. To believe in dreams. To believe in healing. To believe in God?

Dare we hope?

It’s a huge leap for some of us. We are so afraid we will fall as we jump. We just often, choose to not jump at all.

But – what – if? What IF? What if you jump, and it’s the best decision of your life? What if you go for it, and you are more blessed than you ever thought possible?

Everyone gets hurt in life. That’s not to minimize the hurt and disappointments that you are feeling. It’s simply there to remind you that even though you may feel alone at times – you aren’t. Almost everyone in life knows what it feels like to hurt on some scale and in some way, shape, or form.

I think that sometimes we get hurt again and again because we expect to. We are so afraid to believe and hope, that we get what we expected out of that ‘thing.’ And sometimes, we just have to have the courage to know that getting hurt is part of growing and learning. It’s part of becoming better at being US.  Eventually, we will be able to walk through the pain knowing that the next time around, the sting won’t hurt quite as bad because we will be stronger and wiser.

There will come a time that hanging in there will pay off. We will see the rewards of perseverance, patience, and hope.

I’d much rather go through life hoping and believing, than doubting and fearing. I’d much rather take a chance on a dream, on a “someone,” than be alone or left wishing for things I’d never tried for.

I’d rather swallow, and let that wall crumble down, than see it get higher and higher, so that I miss out on things that could have given me great joy in life.

You get hurt. I get hurt. It’s painful. It’s awful. It’s unfair at times.  But the thing we can never let hurt be, is a winner. If it halts my life – it wins.

Go out there in spite of the hurt. Dream. Believe. Love. Grow. SMILE. You deserve that. 

It’s ok to keep a small stone in your heart as a remembrance of what you’ve been through. But let it be a memento that fuels you to be a better you, today, never pulling you back to who you were at that moment.


Find it in you to believe again. It’s a good feeling.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When You Think Your Prayer Request Is Silly




I don’t know about you - but there have been times in life where home and family details really weigh on my mind. Whether it’s the fact that my dishwasher isn’t working and I’ve had to wash dishes by hand for several weeks, or the fact that birds are attacking my house and trying to build nests – it doesn’t matter. They are concerning.

I can go to Bible Study, Small Group, or even in a church setting and feel weary. I can be in the frame of mind where I just am asking God to release me from that inconvenience, burden, or financial hardship. 

Then I hear someone else’s prayer request.

Cancer. The news isn’t good.

Car accident.

The loss of a house. Or a child.

Suddenly, you can feel so small. So silly. You (like me) can think, “How could I let something like a dishwasher weigh so heavily on my day?”

It’s good to have things put in priority. It’s good for us to realign our focus and see that sometimes we let ‘small’ become ‘too big’ in our lives. It reminds us to be thankful for so much that we would otherwise take for granted.

On the other hand, I believe that God still cares about that dishwasher, those birds, and those long hours at work. I believe He hears our hearts and He WANTS us to come to Him with these concerns. Yes, even these seemingly small daily details.

Just because we may not be dealing with a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about what may be worrying us. He loves us. He cares about us and He cares about helping us. With ALL things. All burdens. All inconveniences.

I have seen God come through and lavish His love on me as well as others, by handling those seemingly minor details. I’ve seen Him bless – with weather, with a fridge, or with time needed simply to sleep and get rest.

God wants us to come to Him with all of our cares and concerns. We must never think we are silly to ask Him to provide! We must never be afraid that He will laugh at us.

For He loves us. Greatly.

So ask away. Ask God to help your bug bites to heal quickly. Ask Him to help you get that heater fixed. Ask Him.


He longs to provide for us. To delight us. To love us.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

You Can Go The Distance




I get weary sometimes. Let’s face it, we all get weary sometimes! Weariness is often a blessing in disguise; showing us where we’ve neglected some things in our lives.

We all know that life likes to throw us curve balls when we’re already down. Broken appliances, illnesses, and other misfortunes often like to accompany already burdened times. We can try to have a good attitude when one thing goes wrong – but when 3 or 4 go wrong and we start feeling overwhelmed? Challenging. Tiring.

Spiritual warfare often seems to go the distance, as well. We think each day will bring answers or closure, when it only extends onward to another day, another week, another month. Our patience is tested. Our FAITH is tested.

I’m here to tell you that you CAN go the distance. You WILL make it through. I have seen so many times that just when I’m at the point of feeling like I will collapse, deliverance comes.

And it will come for you too.

Each day the sun rises, is a new chance for a fresh start. And when that sun sets, it’s one less day that you will have to struggle or battle. It’s one more day you have survived. You have overcome. You have not let “it” beat you.

You can finish strong. You can go the distance. Rest is just around the corner. Victory is just around that next bend. Keep your pace. Stay in the race.


You can do it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sometimes People Just Need Someone To Talk To





I was walking in the parking lot, heading into the grocery store when I was stopped by a man who started talking to me out of the blue. He proceeded to tell me about how his girlfriend used to cook for him all of the time, but he’d been gone for awhile and now that he was back, she only cooked for herself. So, he thought he’d go to the store and buy some chili fixins and start cooking for himself. He didn’t want to put up with not being cooked for anymore.

His story. It all unfolded in the middle of the parking lot. I was caught unaware and initially was ready to get annoyed. I had things to do. Groceries to get. Lots to do at home. And he stopped me to tell me that his girlfriend wouldn’t cook for him?

Then God prompted my heart with these words – “Sometimes, people just need someone to talk to.” And with that, I smiled, and encouraged the man to keep on cooking.

He probably just wanted someone to listen. Not everyone has that. Not everyone has someone to talk to. They are lonely. And maybe he was lonely, especially now that his girlfriend wasn’t cooking for him anymore. Maybe he felt unloved?

I have known 4 people in my life who have committed suicide. Each one had their own individual reasons for doing so, but I can tell you, that each one of them was cared for. I wasn’t in their heads, but I’m guessing that they felt alone. Maybe they just needed someone to listen and understand. Maybe they just needed someone to talk to?

I think we’d have less violence in this world against society, and against ourselves individually, if more people felt less alone. If more people felt like they had someone to talk to.

Even if that person is a stranger.

If the least I can do is spend two minutes in a grocery store parking lot listening and encouraging someone in their own independence, then I should do it. For it’s so little.


And I’m thankful I was reminded of that.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

No One Has The Right To Control Someone Else



There are people in our lives who just aren’t good for us. They may love us, they may want the best for us… but they can sometimes not see past what’s important to themselves.

People don’t often see it, when they are suffocating, stifling, or hindering us. They don’t realize that they can be controlling. They don’t mean to hurt us.

But they do.  Maybe not so much in words, but in how they relate to us and in the input they give into our lives.

It’s just not in our best interests.

You see; people can color what we want for our own lives – with THEIR own agenda, thoughts, and wishes. They try to talk us into things, they try to mold our dreams into how they see the future should go. 

It’s not done with malice. But it’s still being done.

We don’t even always see it happening until our emotions are entangled in the friendship, relationship, or romance.

That’s why having many people who have input into our lives is important. You should never just listen to the thoughts and counsel of only one person. Even if that’s one person you love a whole lot.   You should seek out advice and input in many ways and from many respected advisors.

If we are in a relationship (whatever kind of relationship that may be), it’s important to get breaks from that person so you can get your thoughts into focus. Breathe. Think for yourself and focus.  If someone wants to utilize all of your time and doesn’t want you talking to other people or getting their opinion – that should be a big red flag. They are trying to control you.

It can be so hard to break away from someone who interjects all of their time, care, and input into your life. After all, they do care about you. But it’s not being done in a healthy manner. For a healthy friendship, relationship, or romance to happen, two people need to be allowed to have their own opinions, dreams, and wishes. Encouragement should be given for these to flourish.

Someone who truly loves you will want the best for your life…. even if that doesn’t include them. Because they will want you to be the best you, you can be.

Chances are if you are in an unhealthy relationship right now, deep down, you know it. But you don’t want to lose that person.  That’s understandable. But think about your own future. Do you want to lose yourself? Your dreams? Your ability to freely be the person you know you can be? Lose other relationships that are important to you?

No one has the right to control someone else. No one else has the right to tell another person what they should feel or want for their life. For we all feel and want different things. We can encourage. We can give hope. We can advise and pray for wisdom. But we should never tug and pull on someone to do what WE want them to do.

Get some space. Get some fresh air and room to breathe and think for yourself. You have better instincts than you know. Believe in yourself and in the direction your heart is telling you to go in.


Do what’s best for YOU. And let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Longings




Longing.

What do you long for? Do you long for a boyfriend? A husband?  Do you long for a child? A best friend?

Some of you long for your own home. You long for a dream to come true.

Longings can grow too big in our hearts. They can expand beyond what they should be.

They can consume us.

A commercial can make us long for something that we didn’t even know we wanted before we watched its advertisement. They know how to ‘sell’ to our feelings. Whether it’ s loneliness, fear, insecurity, or ambition. An advertiser knows how to activate those moods and feelings, creating a longing in us for that ‘thing’ they want us to buy.

So does satan. He is good at ‘selling’ the idea to us that we are not complete if we don’t have a guy or gal on our arm. If we are single, something must be wrong with us. He loves to remind us of what we DON’T have – whether that’s a child, a home, a job, or a spouse. And in doing so, we start feeling depressed, discouraged, frustrated, and alone.

It’s ok to have wants, wishes, and dreams in our life. It’s okay to have passion for something that you feel you were called to do, live, or be. But make sure that the longings of your heart don’t enlarge to the point that they overtake the rest of the life you’ve been given. That you don’t forget the other blessings you have and the other gifts God has graced before you.

For they are there. They exist.

I pray that the longings of your heart will some day become a reality for you. I hope you will feel the great joy and bliss that I know comes with answered prayer. I LONG for you to understand what it means and how it feels to be so greatly loved by the Lord, that you see how He has perfectly woven together that complete and perfect-for-you answer to your heart’s pleas.

But in the meantime, I pray that you will still feel your heart beat and pound and live to the fullest extent that you can, to experience all of your life.  Every last bit. Despite the longings of your heart and despite satan’s attempts to make you think you need something to complete you.

We all don’t have something. But joy is still there to be found as we continue to seek our dreams. Touch it. Feel it. Find it.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Someone Treats You, Can Affect Your Whole Day



We are creatures of emotion. As much as some of us would love to deny the fact that our emotions affect us, they do. In fact, I’d venture to guess that your emotions affect who you are, what choices you make, and how you feel about yourself.

If you live in an unstable home environment, it affects you. How your spouse, your parents, or your children treat you, affects you. It can color your whole mood and your whole day.

I don’t happen to live in an unstable home environment, thankfully. But I still know that how my family treats me, affects my mood, my outlook, and my attitude each day; especially when my feelings are hurt. I tend to be more irritable and grouchy. I get mad at traffic easier and I’m less gracious and accommodating of others when I’m running errands.

I judge people quicker. 

When I feel as if life is going well and things are good between me and my husband, and my children and I are in sync, I feel like I can face almost anything when I go outside my front doors. I tend to wear a smile on my face more often and I greet others with polite manners. I am more forgiving and understanding when others make mistakes.

All because of how I feel.

I think that’s why it is so important to treat others with love, respect, and tenderness. Oftentimes, we can be gruff with each other and harsh – hurting and wounding each other in ways that go deeper than we think or understand. Hurting people hurt people and it starts with how they were treated by someone else.

I can look at people differently if I look deeper than their outward fa├žade. If they fail to smile, are they bothered by something? Did someone they love wound them with a comment? Are they feeling unappreciated?  Is that maybe why they didn’t pay attention to my dinner order in the manner that they should have? Is that perhaps why that teen picks on others? So that he can try to release the anger and hurt that he has bottled up inside?

We live in a hurting world. People are hurting from so many things. Our homes need to be a safe place. They need to be a shelter from the storm.  We need to nurture, love, and cherish each other in our own homes, so that we have the joy, love, contentment, and understanding that will spill over from us onto others, when we go outside our front door.

Children who feel loved, will love on others. Teens who feel accepted, will accept others. Families who exchange kind and gentle words…. will offer them to those they meet.

What we learn, we teach. What we’ve been given, we tend to give.

So let’s be kind to one another. Especially those who live inside of our four walls at home. Give each other grace and space at times. I never want my spouse or children to have a bad day because of something I said to them. I know it’s happened, but I can do my best to avoid it happening again. I love them. And I want them to feel it.




Monday, December 1, 2014

We Hold a Little Back




I love children. I love the honesty that comes from a child. I love the innocence that is untainted from the world’s hurts. And I love the freedom with which they live. If they want to run, they run. If they want to laugh, they laugh. If they want to cry, they cry. It doesn’t matter who is watching or what someone else will think of them.

They are true to their heart.

I hate that as we grow into adults, we seem to be so guarded with others. We easily put up a shield that we think will protect us from hurts.

When we are in a room full of people, we usually compose ourselves somewhat. Holding a little bit of ourselves back to see if we will be accepted or rejected.

When we have emotions that stir up in front of others, we usually try to stifle them until we are home, alone, and in private. We hold a little bit of our honesty back by not showing our true feelings.

When someone asks us our opinion and we are afraid to hurt their feelings, we hold a little bit back.

It feels wrong. It’s not authentic. It’s not freeing to always be so aware of what we should be saying and how we should be acting.

I want to be true to myself. I want to laugh out of joy, cry out of pain, and say what my heart is feeling. Of course I want to have kindness. I never want to be rude or inconsiderate of someone else. I don’t want to unfairly judge. But I do want to be true to my heart.

I don’t want to hold back a little bit of who I really am. I want people to see me for who God made me to be. I want to be authentic and honest. I want to have integrity and freedom to live life with my character and personality. I don’t want to have to adapt to someone else’s idea of who I should be. I don’t want to have to stifle my God-given gifts or traits because someone else might not like them!

I don’t want to hold back who I am.

Maybe others will like me. Maybe they won’t. Maybe they will accept me. Maybe they won’t. It just can’t matter anymore, because I am who I am. And I want to love who I am. That has to be enough.

I know that my Lord loves me. He finds me precious. I am HIS child. So I want to live like it.

Some risks may not pay off. They may hurt. Just because you’re true to yourself doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt. But it does mean, you will embrace life fully by being fully YOU. You will love life as only you can. You will laugh when you want to laugh and cry when you want to cry. Just as a child. In freedom. The freedom God gave you to be you.


No more holding back. No more being afraid. Shine. Live. For you are special just as you are. And you are accepted just as you are. By the One who made you.

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