Appreciation

Something I am reminded of often, in order to have true appreciation, I have to ask for it. It is so easy to take my life for granted. I can easily fall into the place of complaining and ungratefulness. This is especially true in my marriage. I have found myself slipping into the place of taking my wonderful husband for granted. I easily get into the place of complaining about the little things and forgetting what an impact my words have on his heart. My prayer for some time is that I would be able to step out of the critical mode and into the appreciative mode. I drive myself nuts, I can’t imagine how my poor hubby feels!

Lately I have been blessed with memories of when we were first dating and married. Clear memories and the flood of emotions that go with them. I have been remembering how excited I would be when I was going to see him, how heart wrenching it was when we had to part. A reminder if how luck  I am to have this man by my side every single day. I get to see his handsome face every morning and fall asleep in his embrace each night. I cannot take this for granted. I have a wonderful husband that is perfect for me. We balance each other out in ways only God can understand. He has made me a better woman, a better mother and a better friend.

Today I just wanted to share this with you all and remind you to take a step back each day and remember the reasons you have to be happy. you may be in a rough spot in life and you may feel overwhelmed, but you will come out of it if you allow God to work in it. He will show you the beauty that surrounds you if you open your heart and ask Him to. It may not come quickly and you will struggle still, but you will also find pockets of pure excitement and appreciation as well. Ask and He will deliver. Our God is always on our side and wants us to be happy in the life He has provided to us. Only we can get in the way.

Certainty in the midst of uncertainty

So many people have shared with me that they see strength, certainty and self-confidence in me, especially when in the midst of troubled times. I think I laugh every single time I hear that. I am glad that I can come off as someone who “has it all together” as it comes in handy in my professional life. I am more than happy to share with everyone that I am quite uncertain all the time! I question my decisions, my motives and my abilities every day! I do not necessarily dwell on them. If I have been looking to the Holy Spirit for guidance, I can rest on that. If I have been moving in my flesh, then I need to seek forgiveness and then let it go. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

When I was younger, I had a false sense of confidence that I portrayed in order to hide my vulnerable side. I would put on a very tough exterior in order to keep people out and to keep from having to face my wounds. Today, I have a certainty that I wish for all, a foundation that has literally changed my life. I am confident in the fact that I am a child of God and that He is working such amazing miracles in my life each and every day. This is NOT an exaggeration.

Since I have come to know Jesus, He has brought me to places within me that I locked away long ago. There are so many experiences in my short time here on earth, that have damaged me deeply and have brought me such shame. As I have learned to allow Him access to these places, He has shown me just how much He loves me and has brought such healing. This is a testament to the power our Lord has, this is something I can stand on in moments of uncertainty.

As my path takes me into new and uncharted areas, I am most definitely terrified, uncertain and stepping out in pure faith. This does not necessarily make it easier to do, but I do know that no matter what, my God is on my side. I mean, how can I question the Creator of the very ground I stand on? He has shown me that He loves me, He has met me in my hour of need every time. He has taken care of my emotional, spiritual and physical needs beyond what I could have ever imagined.

I am a child of God. I am here for a reason, He has a purpose for this life. I have found that I can trust Him and that is what allows me to step out in places unknown, despite the anxieties that try to keep me from doing so. My spirit longs to be used by our Living God and that is something I have to remind my flesh of often. I have to make an effort to rest in Him and to know that He is God. He is for me. Who can be against me when He is by my side? These words ring so true in my heart.

I know I have a long journey ahead of me and have so much more to learn. I know that I am not even close to having a clue! The thing is, that I don’t have to. I am learning that I don’t always need to know the long term plan, I just need to know that this is where God has me going right now. There are people in my life right now that are there for a reason. Maybe I am to learn from them, maybe they are learning from me, maybe it goes both ways. All I can do and want to do, is to seek His face in all I do. I want to know that no matter how far off I am, He is right there. No matter how many times I fall, He is there to pick me up. No matter how insignificant I feel, He knows me and cares more for me than I could even begin to understand. That is a certainty that I can stand on, even when I don’t feel it in the moment.

I am so thankful that Jesus has been breaking down my false self-confidence and has been replacing it with the knowledge that He will always equip me for any journey He asks me to embark upon. The key is to wait on Him and to allow Him to lead the way. I cannot forge ahead on my own just as I cannot procrastinate in my insecurities. I must seek our Lord in all things and let Him show me the steps I need to take, that is when the miracles happen. Take it before the cross and you will be amazed at the outcome!

Rejoice

Psalm 31:7

I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

You truly care for me and I will not succumb to the lies that surround me. I will not loose focus on the rejoicing in my heart. I will step back and let You shine through. You are good and in all things true. No matter what may happen here in the temporal place, I have an eternity with You and that is truly unfailing.

When I feel like no one cares, please remind me that You do. Not only do You care but You truly understand all that I go through, even better than I know it myself.

Thank You. These words don’t even begin to express the depths of my gratitude. You amaze me. I pray that I make Your heart smile.

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Stress

Stress creeps in and steals away the joys that were possible.

Lord, please fill me in this place so that the stress will be lessened. Let me look to You in these moments, help me to remember Your promises. I long for You in this place and know that only You can fulfill me truest desires.

The emptiness we feel is real. Our hearts are calling out for what is missing, a true relationship with the Living God.

I need to refocus. How easily my point of view turns back to self. When I look to me, all falls apart. When I try to control, I lose all control and I begin to spiral. You are my rock, my shield, my salvation and my Lord.

I bow before You. I know that You are most wise and I trust You in all things.

Remind me of the cross and all that You have done for each of us. Your ungrateful children. When will we learn?

You are so patient and so kind. I long to have just a fraction of Your grace and mercy.

My emotions can be useful but they can also blind me. I give them to You. I choose to no longer fight them but to feel them, acknowledge them and give them over to You.

Shine Your mighty light into this weary soul and help me see the truth in all things. Let my perspective be from Your eyes and Your heart. The struggles of this world mean nothing next to You. The stressors fade when You are with me. My focus determines my response and my focus needs to be on You.

Show me Your plan, show me my purpose and let me see me the way You do.

I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.

My prayer for today

Lord, I want to see You, feel You and hear You in my heart. Each day I long to know You more. No one truly knows me like You do and yet You seem to be the one I try to hide from at my lowest times. It’s as if I am ashamed of my lowest moments and yet you are right there with me. You not only hear me, You know the word of my heart long before they are known to me. This I can rest in.

You are almighty, You are our Creator, You are all together good, You are full of love, grace and mercy.

I am Yours. You created me. You knew me before I took my first breath in this world. You lay my path before me and I struggle to see it so many times. You know that too.

You have held me close in my darkest moments, even when I thought myself a full blown enemy of Yours.

Why?

Why do You love me so much when I often think myself unlovable? Why do You bring such beauty and such blessings to me when I know I don’t deserve them? How can You look upon this soul with loving kindness? How can You forget all that I have done?

I am Yours. I am a child of the Almighty God and I can find my strength in that. I pray that I can see myself the way that You see me. I want to forgive myself as You have forgiven me. I want to see the beauty that is possible as You do. I want to walk in Your footsteps in all things. I want to be content with where I am, knowing that You have a much bigger plan than I can even begin to imagine.

I rest in You Lord. I love in You. You are all that matters. You are my peace and that is all that matters. Let the world melt away, let my uncertainties melt away. Let the stress fade away into the background as I gaze upon Your beauty. Fill me with Your mighty Spirit, guard me against the attacks on my enemy and build me up as I stumble.

My words fall short of the craving in my soul, but I know that You know my desires better than I. Mt heart cries out to You and I pray that You hear me as I lay it all down before Your throne.

Thank You for being the merciful God that You are. Thank You for never leaving me. Thank You for all the beauty, blessings and family that You have so freely given me. Thank You for saving me, thank You for loving me and thank You for all the work You are continuing to do in this life. You are amazing and I would be lost without You.

I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Why should I share?

These past few months have been flying by! Work, family, fun, lots of fun. Often I have found myself contemplating various ideas and thinking that I should come on here to share with all of you, and then I talk myself out of it. I begin to think that maybe it’s not important to share that particular idea.

Today I am on here to remind myself and all of you that we need to share. Sharing our struggles, triumphs and questions helps us all grow. I love to be reminded that I am not alone in my wanderings. To let all of you know that you are not alone has always been my wish.

To be open and honest with our imperfections. To allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other. To accept and love each other in the midst of it all. These are my hopes for us.

I don’t want to get on here to vent and bash my life. I want to embrace this life, dig deep and grow. I want to share my wrongs and how God has healed this wounded soul. I want to take ownership and I want you all to be here with me in it. I want to hear from all of you and learn from your experiences. I want my perspective to continue to grow. I want us all to be open, honest and true in front of one another. How frightening and how liberating it can be.

This culture I live in tells me to be strong, put on a happy face, judge those that are different and cover the not so pretty parts of me. I don’t want to anymore.

Today I choose to be happy with who I am at this very moment. I choose to stop and just be comfortable in my own skin. Today I choose to love what God created in me. When I tell myself that I am not good enough, I am essentially telling God that He made a mistake. When I tear myself apart for not measuring up to some standard I have set, I am telling God that I am the one in control.

God gave me this life. Jesus died so that I can have a relationship with Him. Right now is when I am looking to God and telling Him that I give up. I give up the illusion of control that keeps me captive. Isn’t that the kicker? That when we get down to it, I am the only one allowing myself to be held captive. I am the one listening to the lies whispered in the background, I am the one not bringing these uncertainties before the Holy One that I know can deliver me. I keep myself tucked away in the dark, afraid to step out in the light.

Today I encourage you all to take that leap of faith. Step out into the Glorious Light that Jesus provides. Our Lord will never force anything on us, even if He knows just how beautiful that outcome will be. It is up to each of us to decide to let the garbage go and walk out of our self created cells. We are not imprisoned by some unseeing force that holds us captive. We allow it to happen when we live in the shame that has already been paid for by Jesus.

Have faith my friends. Don’t allow the shame to keep you from the freedom that is so much closer that you realize. Bring all your pain, sorrow, shame and guilt before the Great Healer and you will be blown away by the work He is aching to do in you.

Love you all and pray that we all give up the things that keep us back so that we would live fuller lives.

A widow’s heart, before I am one.

 Light burst forth

You may be wondering why I would choose such a title as this. Why would she want a widow’s heart? What is wrong with her? Well, my friends, I will tell you 🙂

What I am feeling at the moment, is that I take my husband for granted.

Yesterday I was listening to part 1 of a 2 part podcast by Focus on the Family, and Gary Thomas really hit home. Gary was referring to a Barbara Walter’s special that aired one year after 9/11. Barbara was interviewing a group of widows and one things said, was that they wished women would stop complaining about their husbands, this really hit home. These women were in a place where they would give anything to walk into a bathroom and have to put the toilette seat down, they would give anything to have to pick up their husband’s dirty clothes from in the middle of the floor, they would give anything at all to have those moments back, to have their husband’s back, to have their loves with them. Wow.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I definitely complain about too many things in my life that are inconsequential. I lose sight of the big picture, I get too comfortable with the wonderful aspect of my relationships. I get annoyed when I walk in the bathroom to find clothes strewn all over after shower time. Instead, I should smile and be thankful that I have a family to make said mess. I want to have a heart that rejoices at the thought that they are mine and at the love we share.

I long for a widow’s heart. A heart that recalls the ways he serves me every day. The coffee he lovingly brings upstairs to me each morning while I am getting myself and the kids ready for the day. The loving looks I catch when he thinks I don’t see him watching me with the kids. The time he gives in maintaining our vehicles, the grocery shopping, the walks with the kids, the morning kiss, the hugs, the smiles, the strong arms to wrap around me when I need to know everything is going to be ok. I long for a hear that rejoices at the wonderful things my husband does for myself, for our children, and for our community.

I don’t want to take this life given to me, for granted. I don’t want to take my husband for granted. I no longer want to feel those pangs of annoyance when I have to clean up after my family.

Today I choose to be thankful that I have a sink full of dishes, they signify the meals shared. Today I choose to smile while picking up the toys thrown all around the house, they signify the laughter and play that has taken place in our home. Today I choose to be joyous in the dirty floors that need to be swept, they signify the feet that come in and out of our home. Those feet belong to my hardworking husband, my playful children, our friends, and our family.

Today I choose to look at my husband with eyes of admiration and to let the pettiness go. Today I beg the Holy Spirit to rekindle this fire of joy and fulfillment in my relationships. I pray that He will change this hardened heart of mine, that He heals the places that are broken, that He sheds light into the darkness that chokes my joy.

I pray these things for myself and I pray these things for each of you.

I pray that we wake each morning refreshed and rejoicing. That we all look at our lives from a different perspective, that we shift out of complacency and into a place of humility and appreciation. I pray that we find these things now, this very moment, and that we do not wait until we have lost what is most precious to us. In Jesus’ name I pray these things and expect great things.

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24