Resting in His Love

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Psalm 1:3


2 Comments

Regain Your Sight

Regain: to get again; recover; to succeed in reaching again; get back to

As we embark upon a new year, I believe that our gracious Father is presenting to us a RESET button. This isn’t about resolutions. This isn’t about reaching a goal that solely depends on our willpower. No, this is about our God-given purpose on this earth that by grace we can carry out. Whatever you were assigned to do last year but for reasons known between you and your Creator, hit the reset button and begin again.

It’s not too late.

Don’t let fear rob you of what God already said was yours. Don’t wallow in the “what-ifs” of the year gone by. Don’t condemn yourself for not following through. Instead praise God for lessons learned. Thank Him for the wisdom and strength you have gained. Remember, He is a God of perfect timing. So while you may think you are behind schedule, you may find that you are right on time. Beloved, He already knew the path you would take, along with the detours and rest stops that came along on the journey.

Life may have delivered you a series of trials and setbacks that blinded you. Cry out to Him to help you see again. He is gracious to reveal what He wants you to do. Declare that this is the year of regaining your sight and you will succeed!

And Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni (my Master), let me regain my sight.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith [and confident trust in My power] has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus on the road. Mark 10:51,52 (emphasis mine)

The blind beggar in the book of Mark simply wanted to see. His simple request matched with His faith gave way to a miraculous healing. Your request to begin again and your faith in God will also give way to supernatural vision and direction. Hit the RESET button and set out to have a victorious year in Him!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

S.M.I.L.E

Summer, Spring, and Autumn. Seasons that often represent renewal, rest and times of relaxation. For me, the beauty of seeing flowers blossom and the aura of warm nights are all times that I treasure. Yet, when the warmth of the summer and fall months begin to fade away and the brisk, cold air of the winter is ushered in, I experience what I call an internal shift. For me and countless others, when those seasons ebb, there is a little sadness that tags along with it.

Some call it the “Winter Blues”.

The truth is, it can take some time for our bodies to adjust to the changing of the seasons. Our days may feel shorter due to less natural sunlight. It also takes a toll on us when winter can seem way too long. We begin to yearn for winter to make its exit, and fast!

Even in this, I am learning to give thanks to God because it is He who controls the seasons. And because He is our Father, He can help us to adapt to the creative changes that He indeed orchestrates.

As with anything, be prayerful and always and I stress always talk with someone if feeling a little down has progressed to something that you are unable to manage on your own or if it is disrupting your day-to-day.

I want to share with you some ways that God has allowed me to graciously go through the changing of the seasons. I pray that it helps you!

Seek Him. First thing in the morning upon arising, take a moment to thank Him for waking you up. It is such a simple thing but the effects are anything but simple. When you realize that God in His love kept watch over you while you slept and without missing a beat, kept your heart beating, it is truly miraculous. It was no mistake that you were awakened and that reason alone should fill your heart with gratitude. That same gratitude can set the tone for the rest of the day. Keep a journal nearby and jot down what you are grateful for. Then, take a few moments to spend in prayer. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 Because He is with you while you slumber, He is also right there as you open your eyes. He knows what the day holds for you. Ask Him to fill you with His joy and peace. Ask Him for wisdom to carry out your day. Whatever you are in need of, His hand will supply.

Move! If you are physically able, exercise! Whether you take a walk, visit your local gym or pop in a DVD and move to your favorite exercise program, just do it. There is much to be said about exercising and its effect on our mood. We reap not only physical rewards but our body releases “feel good hormones” like Endorphins which give us that positive feeling while exercising. Exercising is also a natural way to boost our energy levels, which in turn can fight off fatigue. Don’t put too much thought into how you are going to do it if exercising isn’t something you normally do, ask God for wisdom and go for it. Just simple movements will bring about a body, mind and soul jumpstart you are in need of!

Invite divine interruptions into your day. It’s called “going with the flow”. Beloved, God has a flow and it is a divine one. I have had the life-long habit of wanting to be in control. If I had my whole day planned out, I would leave no wiggle room for revisions. It was beneficial at times when I had little ones running around the house who needed stability and structure. But when God wants to bring a little sunshine and surprise to your day, you may have to let go of what you had “planned.” It may be a phone call from a good friend while you are in the middle of that long-awaited lunch break. It may mean that on your day off, a family member needs a favor. It may mean rearranging your schedule to fit the needs of someone else. On the surface level, all those examples can look like inconveniences. But, looking a little deeper I have come to know that those are the exact times that God is interrupting your life to bring you a blessing. Because of the phone call, you are now laughing non-stop and you are filled with joy. Because that family member needed help, your heart is now filled with love and gratitude simply by being there for them. Because of your sacrifice to help another in need, you are now reaping that which you sowed into their life. Never underestimate how God brings goodness into your life, it may come disguised as an inconvenience when in fact it is a divine interruption intended to bring a little love into your day.

Love. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38  God first loved you without you doing anything to earn it. There was nothing about us that warranted such extravagant love yet He loved anyway. That love isn’t just there for us to hold onto, rather we are vessels of that love. From engaging in a conversation with your elderly neighbor to holding on a little longer to the embrace of your child, give love. From smiling at a perfect stranger to holding the door open to a struggling mom with a stroller, give love. From saying ‘I love you’ to cooking your loved one’s favorite dinner, give love. Love has no limitations. When you think that you have nothing to give based on how you are feeling, I challenge you to remember who God is. For where God is, love resides. As you give out, He will pour right back into you while filling you with His endless love.

Embrace the seasonsThis may be the tough one to hear and receive, I know it is for me. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I would love to be somewhere sunny with clear blue skies and where warm weather is the norm. However, that is not where God has placed me. Where I am now, I experience all seasons in their fullness. It is all a part of embracing the Sovereignty of God. He has a reason why you reside where you do. He has a reason for the very state you live in. Whether you are on the East Coast or West Coast or anywhere in the world for that matter, He has a reason. Our part is to embrace it. Embrace the possibilities that a new season can offer.  Embrace change. Embrace the beauty of fresh fallen snow. Embrace the season in which we celebrate our Saviour’s birth. Embrace that while the land is at rest from the blooming of flowers and other vegetation, we can look forward to Spring when the land comes alive again. There truly is a season for everything. Perhaps, these cold months are a chance to rest and look forward to the new that God is bringing. Ask Him what it is that He wants you to embrace in this season and be ready to do just that.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

 


2 Comments

Just Breathe

Just Breathe.

I can only imagine how many times I have spoken those two words over myself. Two words, simply said yet containing the power of surrender and yielding the fruit of peace.

He who created the world and has given me the very breath that I indeed breathe has my entire life in His hands. His Word reminds me that the plans He has crafted for my life are indeed good (see Jeremiah 29:11) The life God has given me is a gift. It was meant for me to enjoy.

So why spend countless days and nights filled with angst? Why worry about things that are beyond my control? Why miss out on the blessing of living each day?

Yes, hard times come. Yes, good times abound. But in all these things God is unchanging. I am gaining the heart knowledge that in the good and even in the not so good times, He is allowing all of it to work together for the good of my life. (see Romans 8:28)

It has come with many years filled with many tests to finally understand in my heart what this verse means, “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

It is a daily decision to not live in anxiety or uncertainty about the future. It is a moment by moment choice to hide myself in the bosom of His love. It is a lifestyle of peace that He beckons me to adapt. His peace is solid. It is a force that nothing or no one can interrupt. It goes beyond the natural way of thinking.

Beloved, we will be faced with moments that have the ability to knock the wind out of us. When lay-offs come, His peace will sustain you. When the doctor finds the unexpected, His peace will cover you. When you are faced with losing your home, His peace will calm you. When you are concerned about the path your children are taking, His Spirit will show you how to pray for them. There will be times when you feel like you cannot breathe. But you can. Breathe in His peace. Breathe in His provision. Breathe in His gentle assurance that everything will be okay. Breathe in every promise found in His Word.

It’s not that He allows these things to occur as a cruel test, rather He is growing you. He is allowing you to see Him for Who He is. He is Jehovah-Shalom. He is the Lord our Peace.

Don’t forsake the seasons of hardship for there is a greater purpose that you cannot see just yet. I confess that it may be a hard lesson to comprehend while in the midst of troubling times but I would not trade it for the sake of knowing Him the way I do now. I would have missed out experiencing what it felt like to feel His peace wash over me. I would have missed out experiencing Him as my Provider. I would have missed out experiencing Him as the Lover of my soul.

I would have missed the miracle of learning to “Just Breathe…”


Leave a comment

Finish The Work

Whatever God has assigned you to do, do it. Do it when you cannot see the reward. Do it even when you feel stuck and stagnation starts to set in. From the moment that we were conceived, God breathed into us a purpose for our lives. We are purposed to glorify Him, to bring honor and fame to His name. How He chooses to do that in my life will look different from yours. We are uniquely handcrafted by the Father and filled with His Spirit to carry out His intentions for our lives.

Did you catch that last sentence? Whose intentions? It is God. When you realize that, humility sets in. It is not about me and what I feel about it, rather it’s about God. If it is His intentions and His purposes then it is also in His strength. The days will come when the monotony of life sets in. Day in and day out, you may be doing what He has called you to do with no fanfare. You may feel uninspired, tired and empty. Does that mean that you no longer need to continue to walk in obedience? No way! If God did not tell you to stop, then my sister, you must continue to fight through what you are feeling and keep doing the work He has called you to do.

So use your voice to sing. Write the book that has been on your heart to write. Teach the children God has called you to teach. Be the entrepreneur that the world needs. Mother those little blessings God has given you. Put on canvas those creative designs that He has so blessed you to create. Whatever it is, do it! Remember, it is God who gives strength to the weary. It is God who wipes the tears of the broken and tired. It is God who puts in us all we need to carry out the work that He has set before us. His mercies are new everyday. So that means, each morning that you arise, no matter what the day looked like before, it is a brand new beginning with the slate wiped clean to do what He has called you to do. Finish the work!

“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24


2 Comments

Just Jump!

On a recent vacation, I was faced with two choices: jump or stay stuck. I eventually chose to jump but the internal dialogue that I had within myself shed light on my ability to trust. As always our loving Father NEVER misses an opportunity to teach us His life lessons. There I was just having completed a major feat for me in zip lining! The joy of gliding in the air right next to the trees was simply exhilarating. As I wrapped up my adventure, the next step was to then drop down to the lower level from the platform that I just landed on. I was still safely tethered and all that I needed to do was to be lowered down. One would think this to be the “easy” part, but not for me. There was no way I was dropping ALL the way down there, no way. One look down below and I had made up my mind. I even asked the poor guy could I just walk down? Surely, there were a set of steps somewhere. He said no and went on to explain that I would be fine and there was someone who was waiting there ready to catch me. Still unmoved and not quite convinced, I asked him if I could sit down and then slide off? And that’s exactly what I did, with eyes closed, I scooted off that platform and dropped down. And there he was, that someone who was waiting for me, able and fully capable to attend to me. Isn’t this what faith and trust can sometimes look like in our faithwalk? There are times when God is leading you somewhere and you cannot quite see the path. You don’t even understand His plan. He may have called you at a time in  your life where quite honestly, you are comfortable right where you are. Remember the story of Abraham? Read along:

The Lord said to Abram,

   “Leave your land,
    your relatives,
        and your father’s home.
Go to the land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation,
I will bless you.
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you, I will curse.
        Through you every family on earth will be blessed.” 

So Abram left, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. Genesis 12: 1-4

A place that was not known to Abraham. The reality of leaving all that was familiar. Many promises from a faithful God and a heart of obedience prompted Abraham to follow and obey. You see, the jump was filled with too many uncertainties even after a successful run at zip lining. Would I hurt myself upon landing? Was the rope really secure? Yes, all valid things to ponder when dealing with man made things. But the pondering should stop when we are following God. He can never lie, hurt you, deceive you or mislead you. Where He leads you is sure to be full of promises. What He is calling you to do has a divine purpose to it and it is a part of His Masterful plan. “God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7

No condemnation is upon you if you find yourself being stuck because of fear. Simpy spend some time in prayer and share with God all that you are feeling, He already knows. Allow Him to soothe your heart. Let Him in so that you can begin the process of letting go and trusting Him wholeheartedly. Perhaps you are reading this because God has declared that now is the time for you to “jump” into His plans. He is waiting there for you. He is able. He is full of love and He is ready for you to move in accordance with what He is already doing. Let go and jump.