Personal Growth, Redemption, Reflections

Redemption

sunrise

Redemption is not simply being fixed or all wrongs righted or the erasing of mistakes.  It is far more glorious than that.  God’s redeeming of a life is taking the brokenness, the mess, the wrong of it all, and making it beautiful.  He does not replace; He transforms. As miraculous as changing water into wine,  He gives beauty for ashes.

Isaiah 61:3

(I have come) To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Failure and Success, Living in Freedom, Personal Growth, Redemption, Reflections

You Are Mine!

Called you by name

Isaiah 43:1

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!

I crave a sense of belonging.  Somewhere in the deep secret places of my being, I fear being left out and overlooked.  I struggle with the false belief that I am not good enough for this or that.  I can go on a real downward spiral if I embrace that lie.

Enter God.  He first reminds me that He formed me.  He put me together and He knows my inner workings.  He always addresses my fear; “Do not fear.”  He always reminds me what He has done for me; “For I have redeemed you” and “I have called you by name.”  He then goes straight to my heart, to that place that wants to belong…..”You are Mine!

“Lord Jesus, thank you that when I was far away from you, you brought me near.  Thank you that you made me your child.  Thank you that I now belong to you!”

 

Failure and Success, Living in Freedom, Personal Growth, Reflections

Keep Moving!

Holmes quote

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

There are new mercies for us in this day.  God isn’t using yesterday’s leftovers or rationing out from tomorrow’s supply.  He has provided NEW mercies for our journey TODAY!  You are clothed with His strength and His royal garments of dignity.  Keep moving, keep sailing, keep living!  The Living God is with you!

Happy Thought Indeed, humor, Reflections, Simplicity, Whimsey

Top Ten People – #9

bc_2

Beverly Cleary is my all time favorite children’s author.  Every time I read her books, I am awakened again to laughter.  She is the champion of humorous and realistic portrayals of children, animals, and adults and her stories never fail to bring a smile to my face.  Her writings also encourage me not to take myself or my children so seriously.  She provokes me to make room for laughter; not everything has to be a somber, “teachable” moment. Her humor and life might also prove scripture out.  Still alive, at age 100, she might be living proof that, “laughter works like good medicine.”   Thank you, Beverly Clearly for giggles!

bc-quote

Failure and Success, Living in Freedom, Personal Growth, Redemption, Reflections

You Are Enough

Some days, a lot of days, I wake up with a megaphone of defeat and failure blaring in my mind.  “You blew it.  You can’t do it. You are worthless” are some of the phrases that I hear.  Usually a smothering blanket of shame and guilt needs beating back too.  HELP!!!

Enter God.  “Shhhh, my child.  You are enough.  Not because of anything you do or don’t do but because I have done it all for you.  You are clothed with my garments.  I have place royal robes around your shoulders.  You are worthy, you are beautiful, you are enough….YOU ARE MINE!”

I am enough because He is more than enough.

Living in Freedom, Patience, Personal Growth, Redemption, Reflections

With Great Patience

ear

2 Timothy 4:2

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Do you want to share more?  Do you want to be heard more?  Then focus on the phrase, “With great patience”.  How often do I ignore this important tidbit?  How often do I wrongly wield the Word of God too quickly with little or no understanding?  What does “Great Patience” look like? Or, more importantly, sound like?  I think great patience looks and sounds like a LOT of listening.

I find that most people are genuinely interested and inquisitive about spiritual matters.  After all, we are spiritual creatures.  Our innate sense of mortality and relationship to the spiritual realm compels us to ask questions and to find out more.  I also find that ALL people desire someone to be genuinely interested in THEM!  The number one way to demonstrate interest and give validation to another person is by listening more and saying less.  This approach allows us to then be intentional with what we do say.  We can then speak to what they have shared from their heart. By gaining trust and providing respect thru active listening, we then are often afforded more privileges to speak.  Active listening allows you to hear with the heart and speak with compassion.

Before we ‘preach the Word’, let us be slow to speak and quick to hear with GREAT PATIENCE.

 

Living in Freedom, Personal Growth, Reflections

God. Is. So. Good.

floral-duffle-bag

Those who have eyes, let him see.  God wants to be seen.  He places evidence of his being so that even the casual observer might find him.  With the sky as His canvas, he paints, “Good Morning!” for those who are looking.  Every blade of grass, every drop of dew, every new-born baby, all of creation declares His handiwork.  Each day, I have the opportunity to behold his presence in the World, but some days the evidence is presented in a personal way.  Yesterday was such a day.

I was preparing for a four-day trip out-of-town.  I chose my old favorite wheely suitcase and tried to pack as efficiently as I could.  My goal was to end up with only two small bags with one of those being my “purse”.  My purse is really an oversized computer bag with cool compartments and pockets and easy on the shoulder.  It can hold a lot without becoming burdensome.   I arranged my belongings carefully and neatly and managed to get it all in these two bags.  I was so pleased with myself!

Since I was leaving after work, I grabbed another bag to take a change of clothes in.  It was a ridiculous choice, really.  For two pieces of clothing and a pair of tennis shoes, I chose an oversized floral print duffel bag that was waaaaay bigger than I needed.  I really couldn’t explain why I chose it.  I jokingly call it my carpet-bag.  Oh well, part of the fun!  As it turned out, it was part of God’s plan.

My husband drove me to the airport and as he helped me get my bags out of the trunk, the zipper broke on my ‘favorite wheely suitcase’ and all of the neatly packed contents began to spill out!  Yikes!  Enter God and His provision of the oversized duffel bag.  I was able to quickly transfer my things into the spare bag and scoot on in to the ticket counter with no delays.

“God, you are so good.  You nudged me to select the carpet-bag.  You knew.  You provided. Thank you!”

God. Is. So. Good!

 

Local Favorites, Simplicity, Therapy, Whimsey

Backroad Connoisseur

backroads

Some of the best dates my husband and I have are on backroads.  We love to try to get lost and see where an unknown road might take us.  With our favorite music playing, an afternoon drive becomes an adventure.  As windy mountain roads descend into hidden valleys, rustic barns and log cabins tempt the imagination with a simpler way of life from days gone by.  The road lengthens, our worries shorten and we keep on driving.

A real treat is when we find an out of the way “Mom & Pop” diner or a provincial hole-in-the wall restaurant. To see where the locals go and do a little people watching is a always a thrill.  A few weeks back, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary by spending some time in the NC Mountains.  My niece pointed us in the direction of a winery she had visited and the roads to get there looked inviting.  While not exactly a mom and pop, our destination did not disappoint.

Situated smack dab in the middle of apple country,  St. Paul Winery is a delight to the senses.  With an intriguing history,  an oversized rock fireplace, to die for views, and award winning wines, the tasting room is the perfect respite from a long drive.  We sampled several selections paired with local made goat cheese and crackers.  I know I sound like a travel guide but I prefer to be called a, “Backroad Connoisseur.”  Visit St. Paul’s if you can.

Sometimes the best therapy is a long drive on a backroad.  Give it a try.