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.

Your Vision

Lord, I pray that You open my eyes so that I may truly see. I know that my vision is blurred by my own selfishness and self-centeredness. I try so hard to broaden my perspective, but I am still only seeing from a human perspective. Show my how You see me. Show me how You see the world, even if only a glimmer.

I try to imagine how You look upon this world with great sadness. This beautiful creation being destroyed by those you long to have a relationship with. Your people turning away from You and causing such pain while claiming that it is in Your name. I wonder how You can look upon such defiance and darkness in this world and love us all anyway.

I want to walk this land with Your eyes and Your heart. I pray that You break my stone heart and replace it with a heart of flesh. I pray that You lift the veil that blinds me to the eternal and let me see You in all things.

You are the only thing in me that is good.

I am sorry for the error of my ways. I am sorry for my moments of weakness and deceit. I truly am and I know that You can see that in my heart. I know You hear my cries, both spoken and silent.

Thank You for not giving up on us. I know that we have deserved it for centuries. Thank You for allowing me to walk upon this earth with my free will to choose You. Thank You for the people You have given to walk by my side in all this. I thank You for entrusting me with all that You have, despite my ignorance at times.

You are good and I will never forget that. You are mighty and I will never say otherwise. You are the way, the truth and the light. I will always walk in You my Lord.

Clear my vision, soften my heart, cleanse my thoughts and feed my soul. Let me see You always and in all things. Show me Your plan for this life You have so graciously given. Guide my steps and hold me close to You.

I alone can accomplish nothing, but all things are possible through You. You are my strength and my refuge. Thank You Jesus.

Fulfillment

Aren’t we all looking for some kind of fulfillment in this life? Where do you go for it? The TV? Relationships? Food? Alcohol? Our society inundates us with these empty promises. False fulfillment. Temporary satisfaction that leaves us feeling the emptiness deepening. Our very foundations begin to crack when we rely on the things of this world.

Take a moment to stop right where you are and think about where you look to for relief in the midst of the storms.

How do we handle the unknown, the pain, the suffering, the injustices that are all around us? Who do we look to? Where can we find true peace?

Psalm 29

1 A psalm of David. Give honor to the LORD, you angels; give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. 2 Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts. 8 The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake; the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” 10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. 11 The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.   

 

The voice of the Lord is mightier than anything this world brings to us. He created this world, why would I think anything could be bigger than Him? How easily we forget who watches over us, who created the very air we breathe. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is mightier than the circumstances we face.

Today I choose to pause in my stressors and anxieties and bring them before my God. I choose to smile in the face of adversity, knowing that I have a mighty force before me, behind me and within me. All of this will pass, all will come to an end, but I have an eternity before me that I can look forward to. I will be in the very presence of our great Creator and will bow before Him full of joy.

All of this is temporary, I cannot stress that enough. We all know our time here is short and that we need to make the most of it, but what does that mean exactly? What am I to make the most of? Simple pleasures? Physical fulfillment? Drowning away my sorrows and numbing myself? What does God say? What is the meaning of life?

Romans 12 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Living Sacrifice to God

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

Read this, study this and apply it to your lives. Let the Lord work through you and you will truly be amazed at what comes out it. Stop searching and look to the Creator of all things. He will always lead you to a place of true fulfillment.

May God bless you today.

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.

Proverbs Study Day 11

Proverbs 10 really resonated deep in my heart and made me think about a lot of things. I am excited to jump into chapter 11 today! How has this been speaking to your heart?


Proverbs 11
The lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights. Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people. Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death. The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin. The godliness of good people rescues them; the ambition of treacherous people traps them. When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength. The godly are rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous. The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die. Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart. It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet. A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt. A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Your kindness will reward you,
but your cruelty will destroy you. Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last. Godly people find life; evil people find death. The lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free. A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment. Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need. If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise. The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, what will happen to wicked sinners?

What have I taken away from this chapter today:
“Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you. Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.” This can be difficult to remember in the midst of the storms. This also caused me to think about the fact that we are rewarded here on earth, but that we need to keep our eyes on eternity. Life here is not meant to be easy. We live in a place where sin has entered and Satan wanders. If we can experience blessings, joy and happiness here, can you imagine how much more it will be so in heaven?
As we come against the wicked people of this world, we must keep Jesus in our hearts and rely on the Spirit to work through us. We must shine wherever our Lord asks us to. He can use us if we allow Him to. Walk in His ways and you will walk straight. Look not to cause trouble, but to bring peace and to be kind. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and you will never be danger. Tempting as it may be, don’t allow yourself to react to the wicked in the same manner they approach you. Don’t think that they are successful in their dishonest ways. We have an eternal life before us and our treasure is being stored in heaven. Rest easy in that.
My prayer for today:
Jesus, I just want to thank You for all You love, peace and kindness. You amaze me. I ask that you work in this life and that I shine before the wicked. I pray that I be an instrument and that I can bring peace and truth to those struggling. I pray that You fuel me each day and protect my path as I walk this journey laid before me. I thank You for Your Word and pray that it soaks to my very core. In the precious name of Jesus I pray.