Do you have a friend who seems to have it all together?
Perfect life, perfect home, perfect car, perfect family............. they seem to have it all.
But do you find yourself trying to measure up, failing at it all, sizing your life up by another person's? It can be exhausting, spirit crushing and will make you feel down-right pitiful! I admit, I have been there - and it made me a little nuts. Sometimes it is even worse when you are doing everything you can to just hold it all together - including living out your faith in God and serving Him - and it might just be that person "living for themselves" that seems to be getting their socks blessed off!!!
What can we do when we find ourselves in that place where our reality looks so much less "lovely and perfect" than everyone else around us? 1. Be thankful and realize your blessings. Take a look around and see where your blessings come from. Look for the small things, the large things, the blessings that only you may have. Keep a journal and list something every day. Your list may have the big things, like health, strong marriage, financial blessings. Some day's it may be simple, lemonade on a hot day, the butterfly you saw, a mud pie left on the counter (forget the clean up)! When we look at our blessings, we find peace.
2. Never forget that you belong to the Father. You are loved and adored. You belong to a good, good Father and He will never leg you go! Know who you are, write scriptures down to remind you. I often keep scriptures on my mirror (and in my kids bathroom mirror) that reminds me just who and Whose I am. 3. Stay away from media. We have the world at our fingertips. Facebook, Instagram, etc is in our moment by moment lives. We see all the lovely things (and not to lovely) people post. Their Bahama vacation, new car, perfect child at dance, new house (clean house)... just perfect! But if viewing these things all the time is hurting your ability to be THANKFUL for your blessings, however small they may be, shut off the media.
4. Think about real life. Many times what is on display is not the "real" life. Perhaps their big new car, hides a rocky marriage. Maybe their perfect portrait really isn't so perfect after all. Reality is... no one has a perfect life. No one.
Let's remember to be thankful for our blessings and gracious to others. God loves each of us and wants good things for His children. May we all keep our eyes on Him and count our true blessings, the ones that really make a difference - especially eternally.
It seems that time goes by so quickly these days. Every moment is planned, or somehow becomes planned... it is crazy. I tell myself every day, I need to blog, I need to journal.... yet it still somehow goes undone before I fall crashing into the bed each night.
When did life become one blur of "fast forward"? I need to slow down. I need to choose my "must do" and "need to do" and "want to do" and "no thank you's" better, but how exactly do I do that. Maybe I'll find the answer this year, maybe I'll be a better mother, daughter, wife, teacher, worshiper.... maybe.
But for today, for this moment, I am sitting here in the quiet of my office, waiting for time to tick by, so I can go on to the next thing I need to do today... but I am soaking in just a few moments of worship, a few moments of Jesus.... I am so thankful that even in my hustle and bustle of life that seems to keep whirling around like a hamster wheel, He continues to draw me in, to draw me close, to welcome me at any moment in time. He loves me - I love Him.
Enjoy the following worship video, one of my favorites right now.
“Who can be afraid of one who is
written in the same list with us? Surely we may come boldly to Him, and
confess our guilt. He who is numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was He
not put down in the transgressor’s list that we might be written in the
red roll of the saints? He was holy, and written among the holy; we were
guilty, and numbered among the guilty; He transfers His name from
yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are taken from the
indictment and written in the roll of acceptance, for there is a
complete transfer made between Jesus and His people. All our estate of
misery and sin Jesus has taken; and all that Jesus has comes to us.”
- C.H. Spurgeon
We all sin. We all can be forgiven. He took everything upon himself, so that we could have everything He has for us. His grace, His mercy, His love, His acceptance, His forgiveness.... everything He has is available for us.
You delight in unfailing love. Micah 7:18
There are days when I just want to run and hide! You know those days... when you feel so much less than you are, like you are failing at everything. You are pulled in every direction, from everyone who needs a part of you. You feel completely under qualified and totally overwhelmed!
But that is where God can reach you the easiest. And He reminds us that He loves us regardless of our imperfections and failures. He loves us when we are at the top of our "game" or if we have three strikes! (I know nothing about baseball... but it sounded good.)
As a mom to my clan, I have to do the same - have unfailing love. I have kids of all ages and in all stages... and they do things that I do not approve of. But I love them, in spite of their best accomplishments or total messes.
We want so badly for our precious children to be the poster child for "perfection" - and some days they may be. But I promise, one day you will wake to find that they have not lived up to your ideals for them (or even God's). Just as God loves us in our messes, we really must love our children in theirs. (And they need to love us when we are a mess too.)
We can't overlook or condone sin. We do have to offer love and a safe place to land when they realize that they need it. Sometimes loving them means leaving them where they are, so they learn the hard way. (And that mom is very, very hard.)
I am so thankful for the unfailing love of my Jesus.
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
I've really never look at this verse very closely, until today.
My daddy always had a garden. He often would leave the seeds in the house to dry out in the fall. I loved to play with the seeds and just let them fall through my fingers. But those seeds would just lie there until he put them away. When planting season would come around, daddy would till the soil, and we would plant the seeds. Drop them in the dirt and cover them. They would grow and grow - we would harvest. It was after some of these vegetables were cut and had "died" that the seeds would be harvested.
Jesus - had to die, be buried and be raised from the dead - to bear much fruit. It was after He completed what He was sent to do - bring salvation to the lost. He bore much fruit.
We are the same - we have to die to self, allow Jesus to change us, till the ground, plant within us, and we grow - to produce good fruits.
Sometimes death is painful, we have to surrender OUR wants, for His best. But oh how great the reward in the end.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:12
I am totally on track with my reading for the year, horribly behind on my blogging!
Reading James - I will be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with James!
Considering it pure joy when I face trials............... not so joyful here!
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trials.................. God I've been persevering for almost 3 years now, as we walk through this horrible road. I realize that the goal for standing the test isn't a crown here........... it is in heaven. But could I please just have a little break from it all while I'm still here?
But then he says: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." Ahhhh.... You really do not ever change... whether through trials or through your good gifts - you are always constant and always the same. Thank you!
My heart is really heavy for someone I love so dearly, who is set to wreck their life, and I can do nothing about it. They can't see good gifts, they refuse to realize trials are only for a time, they get just close enough to God to feel His presence and then run screaming..... I do not understand.
My heart is breaking... because all it would take for real joy and real peace if for them to just STOP and let God heal their brokenness. Allow God to give them good and perfect gifts - knowing that when trials do come - He is always constant.
Why can't they see - regardless of whether life is great or life is hard - He just wants them to trust Him, because He never changes.
Father, I pray for my loved one who is running so hard away from you, as for the person who may be reading this who is running. God I pray, that your light would shine from the heavenlies and they would just STOP running and allow You to work in their broken places.... broken hearts, broken pasts, broken marriages, broken promises, broken families..... wherever they are broken - may they know YOU are always constant and they can depend on You.
I have started today, with a reading plan to go through the Bible in 365 days. I read through the Bible about 2 years ago in 90 days, and although I enjoyed it, I know there is so much more God wants me to see and know about His word!
The awesome website #SheReadsTruth will be going through the entire Bible - so I'm jumping in with them. (They are also beginning this year with a study on the book of John - you should check it out!)
So - with all that being said - although I probably will not post a daily thought on what I read, I do plan (hopefully) to be consistent sharing the words that speak to my heart.
Today I played catch up from January 1st reading. I have read Genesis Chapter 1-6 and John 1-2. (When you read the Bible - highly recommend using a "real" Bible - not online and have a choice of several colors of highlighters.) I love to highlight and underline and make notes. (Someday my children will inherit this Bible - I want it well used and falling apart!)
I have read about Cain and Able many times - you know they both knew the difference between right and wrong... but Cain was entertaining sin. In Gen 4:7 God told Cain - If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
All these hundreds and thousands of years later - we are still just like Cain. We know what is right and what is wrong. If we would only do what was right. But instead - we allow the sin crouching at our door to overtake us. Sin desires our very life. It is only through the Blood of Jesus that we can overcome it. Even in Genesis - God knew how desperately we would need a Savior.
My thought - for 2015 (and always) purpose to do what is right, in all things. Because the enemy of my life wants nothing more than to drag me down to his level.... But I have a Savior!
I am happy to see 2014 go, although I have some beautiful memories - I am looking with anticipation to mountains being moved in 2015.
According to something I quickly read today, the biblical "meaning" of 15 is Peace. Should this be truth, that is my prayer for 2015 - Peace.
I can honestly say that I have learned even more about trusting God in all things this year.
I have learned to extend more grace.
I have learned to be thankful when other's show love in so many ways, by being His hands and His answer to my needs.
I have learned humility.
I have learned more about contentment.
I have learned to love my family better and to pray harder.
I have learned (although not enough) to believe in His timing and His planning - more than my own.
My list of things I have learned could go on much further than this. I am just thankful that God still uses situations, people, words, prayers and so much more to teach me more and more about Him.