Category Archives: Spiritual Journey

Falling Short

Falling Short

Falling short often means humility, embarrassment and failure. But there is so much more to it than that. Falling short is due to human expectations whether it be your own or someone else’s. But the truth lies in our short comings often bring us to Christ and back to keeping our eyes fixed on Him rather than ourselves.

I find myself often contemplating my days end with a negative connotation. Replaying the things I did or did not do with my son. How I treated my husband whether in love or selfishness. Feeling deep guilt of failure when I realized tonight I can’t think on the negative but on how to prepare for the following day. We speak words of life or death all day long whether to friends or family. Our words tear down souls or build them up.

Do you ever have those moments where you act as a fool, not paying attention to something? Letting something slide that typically wouldn’t fly in your household? Becoming more of the “world” than of Christ.

This morning has been a battle in every sense of the word. A spiritual battle that has landed upon our household for the past week. A battle that if I am honest, I do not want to fight. I am worn, exhausted, emotionally and mentally spent. I want to crawl into bed and pray that God just lifts this battle and allows me to move on from here.

Unfortunately we are placed in the battle to fight the fight and not escape. Though escaping often feels easier, it’s harder in the long run. It’s tiring and we often do not learn what we should learn if we fought the battle head strong.

This morning started off on the wrong foot. Everything that could possibly go wrong in the past two hours I’ve been awake, has happened. I partake in Facebook parties and host them for people throughout the states to gain awareness of Jamberry Nails. This is something I enjoy and it allows me to meet people from all over. In doing so, I was realizing several days ago that most the parties I have thrown have been with fellow sisters in Christ. I’ve been thankful as in the midst of this being fun for me, I have been encouraged by them in more ways than one.

To see women all across the states share a deep love of Christ while having an online party has been a beautiful thing to see.

While this morning was the same thing on top of everything going wrong, I am throwing parties left and right. While I completely got distracted from the real meaning and purpose of my life for a moment, I was determined to help make my business more successful. In that very moment, I posted something crud and unworthy of notating. In my defense- though I shouldn’t even defend myself, I did not read the caption in the picture prior to posting. Immediately, I get a personal message politely asking me to remove the photo. I got thoroughly embarrassed and defensive to myself that I would never post something inappropriate. I promptly remove the picture and go back to reread the caption and immediately plagued with “oh my goodness, I can’t believe it. Wow, seriously Tiffany” All these feelings and emotions flood over my soul and bring me to tears. Though I have been crying all morning, this moment brought me right back to a humbled position at the foot of the Cross.

God always allows thing to happen for a reason. Nothing falls through the hands of Christ without His approval. My embarrassment brought me back to a place of realizing my business will not be successful on my own. My goal is to have fun and be a Light to those around me. God quickly reminded me that my
business” should not be my focus right now. My focus must remain my family.

While sitting here in my chair, starring at the bright light from the computer I realized God brought this woman in my life at that very moment to encourage me. I needed encouragement. that moment this morning was not for me to encourage others but to accept encouragement from a woman who I’ve never met but shares the same love of Christ with me. And that’s all that matters. Our eternal position is what draws her and I together and what a beautiful scene that is when two people who do not know one another can speak words of encouragement that comes from our Lord and Savior. Amazing!

Here’s the truth in this situation. God is faithful no matter what we are involved in. If we choose to let Christ reign in our lives, we will be glorifying Him in the littlest of things. My business I have been doing as an independent consultant for Jamberry Nails has been really fun for me but even in work, God must be glorified. My perspective was on myself and my circumstances this morning and God humbly brought me back to a place of humility and also used this woman to encourage me. God knew exactly what I needed this morning. We all need to have a teachable heart and allow the Lord to work in ways we could never predict.

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God is faithful in bringing the right people in the right time. People I never would have expected I consider a dear friend.

This little boy also brings me back to reality. His innocence, his view of the world is so tiny and naive that I long to embrace the spirit of living each day for the simplest things. Nothing else matters to a two year old. He’s a wonderful reminder to let the little things go and keep my eyes on Christ!

Thank you Jesus!

A Cloud Of Insecurity

A cloud of insecurity raining over my head calling me Eeyore from Winning The Pooh. Head hung low, shaking my head from side to side trying to escape what this cloud is dropping upon me.

Is life hard, kind of, but not where it was the past three years. Or maybe that’s it…maybe that’s where it all comes from. These past three years of heavy downpour, torrential downpour finally gaining suns first bright beams. A flower bud popping through the surface as if the rain has finally let up. The clouds stay low from the evening dew but still the sun shines through.

Eor

I had to post this picture as it depicts really well the gloomy rain cloud with sun shining all around.

These past 26 days have been a miracle. Truly a miracle. This has been my long awaited miracle for our family but why am I struggling to shake the weight from my shoulders? Why can’t I seem to pull myself from the covers in the morning that rest upon me allowing me to escape for a few hours. The sound of pessimism begins to fill my mind with things that do-not-matter.

I’ve prayed, fasted, yearned, pleaded and cried out to God on my face many times and God finally looked down upon me and showed His glory; He choose to lift my rain cloud and bless my family eternally. Though this miracle has eternal ramifications, our worldly hope and despair still press upon us leaving me feeling conquered but with Hope. Let me say that again, the hope of God with the weight of the worldly sin still pressed strongly upon me. God is present though we live in a sinful world. God doesn’t necessarily take circumstances away but shines through the circumstances producing a humble heart ready to glorify God no matter the pain. We long for God the most, in the midst of our “shattered dreams.”

Doubt. Fear. Insecurity. Rage. Pride. Anxiety. These all still reign in my head. How do I release the struggle of my flesh when I finally received this long awaited miracle after three long years of seeking God’s face?  I’m beginning to understand, though 26 days later, that this rain cloud following me around is a rain cloud of repair. Repairing my soul, my trust and my hope. Putting the pieces back together of insecurity and doubt. Forcing me to go that extra step saying “God, I still trust You. Though my three years of misery are coming to an end, I will still trust in the next three years ahead!” These are the new giants in my life, I need to accept them for they will make me stronger still.

I’ve prayed only a few times in life that the Lord do whatever it takes to bring my long awaited miracle. The fear and dread of praying that also plagued me. “Do you know what you could be asking for?” “Do you know what Job went through?” “Do you really want to release that question and battle the consequences? Boy you think you got it bad now, well that prayer will make it get 10x’s worse.” These are question I had to face when I finally got to the end of myself pleading with the Lord. Fine, take it all as long as you fulfill Your promise.

I will be honest, I was scared to death but more scared to not pray it. At that particular point in my life, I knew I had no option but to pray this prayer and earnestly await the response. Was the response easy, by no means, but was God glorified through it, absolutely. What Satan intends for evil, God turns around and turns to good. God be glorified!

The battle raged and is still raging, though I feel the presence of not only the Holy Spirit but the Angels surrounding my family with their swords fighting the unseen battle. I feel it and can truly sense the deep dark battle fighting for my life. I know it’s there and it is a continual reminder that God is faithful! God is who He says He is. Though my life may pass me by, I cling to the Father up above as that is the only thing that satisfies and fulfills my soul. Nothing else matters!

My husband and I have both come to the end result that nothing matters. Say it with me “nothing matters.” What a release from bondage and security to truly believe nothing else matters. The King of the universe has conquered evil and reigns on high. Amen. My rain cloud is simply that, a rain cloud. It wont last forever, it sees sunny days and gloomy days and both are okay. God is growing me in the midst of what I call life. Life is anything and everything of what I ever had pictured the past 28 years of my life and I am thankful. Though it may be utterly painful at times, those are the times I see God move and bring me closer to Him.

These next 26 days will be an adventure. I use that word because past circumstances do not simply disappear. They can diminish and eventually the fire will be put out, but through knowing Christ and experiencing our shattered dreams that bring us closer to Him, we still have to go through the trenches while we live in this sinful world. Putting the pieces back together as when Humpty Dumpty fell to the ground and shattered to a million pieces. Who is the one that could perfectly heal Humpty? Christ. And that is right where we need to be; a malleable heart seeking the face of God.

When we begin to scratch the surface of who God is even in the midst of our shattered dreams, we can hold our rain cloud high to the sky and know God is there with us and wants the best for us. We can learn more about ourselves and more about who Christ has made us to be in Him.

I love my family, love my friends, long for fellowship, long to know Christ more and to share Him with the world on a very honest level. But most of all, most of all, I yearn for heaven. I never yearned for heaven as I do now. Not in a way that I’m hating life and suicidal, but in a way that I hate the evil of this world and want to share Christ with everyone and head to heaven holding hands with my family and enter into the real world. The world without pain, tears and sorrow. The world I can share peacefully with my family and truly know and understand what it means to experience unconditional love. A love so pure that even with my own family I have the tiniest glimpse in comparison to heaven. I can’t fathom a love so pure. Having a family is the closest I can get to feeling this accomplishment on this side of heaven.

So friends, my shattered dreams may appear shattered but in all reality they are perfection. God’s perfection. He turns ashes into beauty, literally beauty and I am blessed. Things I never thought could happen in a million years literally has already happened in my 26 days of a miracle. Praise God for His Son and praise God for His faithfulness.

Motives Of The Heart

Motives of the Heart

1 Corinthians 4:5
“…God will reveal what is hidden and the motives of our heart.”

Lord, I long to stand blameless before you with pure motives to live a life worthy of your calling. A life that influences others hearts and brings people to their knees in awe of who You are. Lord Jesus, I pray for a right mind as I bring up my child in the way he should go. I pray for my patience and that it would come from You. I pray that my teaching would reside deep within him that Jesus is Lord. I pray that I will always be the light of Christ when living in my marriage. I pray I would not cause my husband to stumble but grow deeper in his new-found love for You.

~Amen

Every day is a day battling our flesh and mind. Oh how easy it is for your thoughts to wander even while reading the Word of God. Take your minds captive, let God show us the steps for today.

tragedy-strikes

Put your faith to the test. Stand in awe of Christ with a thankful heart. Find miracles in hardship. Find miracles in pain. Find miracles in the places we think can’t be reached; God is there.

Allow God to release you of the sins of this world.

Friends, you’ve heard me talk about this over and over again. Life is extremely distorted and burdensome to the world who knows not of Christ. Our family was faced with yet another “tragedy” this week. I use that word lightly because in the midst of fear, pain, tears and uncertainties, God is and was there! I’ve counted more than ten blessings in one nights tragedy that God was gracious towards, yes ten blessings. This blessings were no “little” blessings either, these were huge, massive, gigantic blessings that the Lord spared us from. His mighty hand rested gently upon His children. More importantly when this tragedy hit, the Lord was glorified three days later! The angels sang, the trumpets played and heaven praised as another child came to the foot of the cross begging for forgiveness and submitting their life to Christ. Through this tragedy, eternity sings and forever God is glorified. Can I get an amen?

Experiencing tragedy is a nightmare we long to avoid but God was ever so present in SO many ways. And I will step out an a limb and bring the uncomfortable to fruition that in every trial, tragedy, heartache and loss, GOD IS THERE. We must look for the blessings! I promise they are there even when you think there is no blessing to be found. The worst scenario possible still brings about God’s glory because God has already overcome evil. Victory already wins.

This heartache we experienced was a life altering situation BUT God longs to use this for His kingdom and bring others to Christ just as he did three days later. I pray for you in the midst of your tragedy whether big or small that God meets you there. I pray you don’t push it aside as God is longing for you to rest in His arms and allow Him to be the Potter, Maker, Chief and King of your burden.

No matter where you are in life, your face will never be hidden from the true Light!

Psalms 139:8 “If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.” Our face will never be hidden from His great light!

Do not hold onto lies, addictions, anger, resentment, bitterness and pride. God sees the worst and the best in us, we cannot hide from Him as we can attempt to hide from our spouse, family, friends and neighbors. He already knows your hearts contention so please release yourself to Christ and He will bring you strength; refreshing your soul of all that was not of Him!

Moment of Truth: Where we are broken, God is there. Where we are wounded, God is there. Where life is empty, God is there.

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Passion Crumbled

Passion Crumbled

I’ve been reading a book by Larry Crabb called Shattered Dreams. He talks about the impossibility to truly know Jesus until we face trials of many kinds; shattered dreams. He proclaims all throughout the book about what it means to feel Jesus, hear Jesus, and rest in His presence.

“Shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream…Larry Crabb retells and illuminates this sometimes disturbing and often profoundly touching story, we are shown how God stripped Naomi of happiness in order to prepare her for joy. And we gain an unforgettable picture of how God uses shattered dreams to release better dreams and a more fulfilling life for those He loves.”

I’ve wavered back and forth on whether I truly agree with everything in his book, but I tell ya, he’s a tough cookie to crack. He has multiple points, great stories and real life experience. As I continue to read each page, I begin to feel conviction. Not conviction that I shouldn’t have dreams for my life, my husband, marriage and son, but dreams that when I see shatter before my eyes, I need to rest in the Shadow of His wings and find Peace. God meets us in our weakest, most desolate places of our soul. He longs to revive the passion we so desperately long to feel. He longs to fulfill our dreams beyond comprehension. And He will. It may not be had on this earth, but when we see Christ face to face, our dreams will forever be met with no tears or suffering. Our long-suffering will be worth every tear we cried, every sorrow had and we will be forever with Christ never seeing our dreams shatter again. What a miracle, literally a miracle.

This world does not hold such an idea of no pain and sorrow. Our eyes become wet more often than not. The news of a newborns death, fatal car crash, suicide, crumbled marriages, broken families, false gods and spiritual warfare are ever so present. We only dream of a day that no pain exists anymore. Our minds cannot comprehend such an idea.

As I was reading this book, I found myself not wanting to believe that pain brings us closer to God. I immediately wanted to put the book down and never turn another page. I felt as though the more pages turned, the more pain I would encounter that I so desperately wanted to avoid. Deep down, I know God doesn’t work that way; playing on the battles of my mind. But I still wasn’t ready to embark on another terribly painful road. I wanted to stop on the side of the path and take a breather from the past 3-5 years of hardship. I wanted to hear God speak to me that I’ll receive a break, but as each page turned, I realized though the hardship of the past 3-5 years was painfully difficult, the miracle that resided within the pain is my relationship with Christ. Going deeper with Christ, knowing Christ and desiring Christ. That is how I would sum up the past three years if I had to. Yes pain resided. Yes heartache was to be had, but the joy of knowing my Savior and His deep, unspeakable love for me, His child, was beyond comprehension that only He could allow me to feel. Had I not walked the road of hardship the past 3 years, I would not know Christ the way I do today. And let me tell you, I have barely cracked the surface of who Christ really is.

My passion for Christ was not crumbled but ignited. The deepest parts of our soul is where God so desperately longs to meet each and everyone of us, but we tend to put guards up and quickly get through the pain we are currently experiencing ever so quickly to move on to the next phase in life. We are called to rest, seek and know God. He desires the deepest dreams of our hearts to be met. He wants to fulfill them in ways we cannot fathom, but more often then not, our dreams being met, look entirely different than we envision. And that  my friends is Faith; trusting God to fulfill your deepest desires, protect your heart and bring you closer to Him even when life is incredibly messy. 

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10)

Living in dependence on Me is a glorious adventure. Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserably. But both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with Me.

When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and “coincidences.” You begin each day with joyful expectation, watching to see what I will do. You accept weakness as a gift from Me, knowing that My Power plugs in most readily to consecrated weakness. You keep your plans tentative, knowing that My plans are far superior. You consciously live, move, and have your being in Me, desiring that I live in you. I in you, and you in Me. This is the intimate adventure I offer you.

-Sarah Young

The promise of Hope is here. God longs to meet each and every one of us in the midst of our pain. The question you must ask yourself is if you are allowing Him to. Or are you quickly trying to push through the “trial” and move on with life? That my friends is an honest soul seeking question and you must be fully honest with yourself when choosing to answer that. I find every time I enter a trial of any kind, I want to rid it immediately from my life rather than seek what God is trying to accomplish within my soul and how He is longing for me to go deeper with Him.

Through reading this book Shattered Dreams, I could pinpoint a couple times in my life where my dreams were ultimately shattered and one in particular that still may be shattered forever. Or is it? Is it truly shattered or is God going to full that dream in a way I never saw possible or desired. A way that may not be what I long for, a way that doesn’t seem fit for me? This dream I am talking about is the dream of having a large family. I have one little miracle sleeping in the next room as we speak. He is the joy of my life. But when it comes to further children, I am not sure if I can have another baby, deliver a healthy child and come out on the other side alive and well. If any of you know my pregnancy and delivery story you know the pain and fear in which I am talking about. (Read My Shocking Pregnancy Story)

Coop

My Little Miracle

This my friends is a true test of whether God will fulfill my dream in the manner I see fit, or if He will choose to shatter my dream and fulfill this dream in a entirely different manner. We are still in the process of knowing the outcome and will one day look back on this dream but hopefully, with either outcome, I will come out closer to Christ than I currently remain.

Moment of Truth: “Learn how to look through life’s tragedies and see the lavish blessings God has for you.”

Anxiety and Fear

As I have promised multiple times that this site is all about honesty and delighting in life no matter the circumstances, I am choosing to bring you on this journey yet again with me, as I face trials in my everyday life; good and bad. You will see my weaknesses and hopefully my accomplishments when I continue to handover my daily problems to Christ. Some may think I am too honest, but the reality is everyone has struggle, pain and hardship that they have to encounter throughout life; so why sugarcoat it? If you want life sugarcoated, than by all means, this isn’t the place for you. BUT….if you want an honesty coupled with hope….than please stick around and travel the path of living an extraordinary life with me as God has promised for those who seek Him.

This morning, I woke up with immense anxiety and fear. Starting my day off with such consumption is a horrible feeling and can be very debilitating. Within the first 30 minutes my husband and I got into a debate and unfortunately, it took place in front of my son. Second, I paid for it all morning long as my son was extremely clingy and emotional. As I headed to church I knew I couldn’t put my son in childcare as he has been extremely sick lately and until we really know what is going on, I can’t take that step.  So, off to church with little man by my side, not understanding the full concept of what it means to whisper. The challenge it brought to take a toddler to church service was anything but easy and definitely a distraction. But….I knew I still needed to be in fellowship with those around me.

Lets just call it what it is….I am a basket case lately. I beat myself up for engaging in an argument, let alone in front of my son. I beat myself up for how I handle myself in the midst of trials and tribulations. I beat myself up for being emotional. I beat myself up for being exhausted and worrying all the time. If I am completely honest, I feel I have had my anxiety level under control for quite sometime until this past week. The devil knows my weakness and is out to bring the worst in me to light. He does a good job and unfortunately I allow it. Today, I realized worrying is only making me struggle to breathe, concentrate and focus on my son.

Thanks to prodigalthought.net

Thanks to prodigalthought.net

I came home from church and began to read my Bible to gain the Lord’s insight rather than my own. Mine always lets me down, leads me down rabbit holes I don’t want to be in and simply holds me back from the joy I’ve been given. I was reading in Proverbs and then continued to read in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Boy was today’s message for me:

June 29th

As you get out of bed in the morning, be aware of My Presence with you. You many not be thinking clearly yet, but I am. Your early morning thoughts tend to be anxious ones until you get connected with Me. Invite Me into your thoughts by whispering My Name. Suddenly your day brightens and feels more user-friendly. You cannot dread a day that is vibrant with My Presence.

You gain confidence through knowing that I am with you–that you face nothing alone. Anxiety stems from asking the wrong question: “If such and such happens, can I handle it?” The true question is not whether you can cope with whatever happens, but whether you and I can handle anything that occurs. It is this you-and-I-together factor that gives you confidence to face the day cheerfully.

Was that not the Lord speaking to me? It most definitely was. From what took place the very moment I woke up until mid afternoon was exactly my own thoughts consuming me; “how can I handle what comes my way today?”  The reality is this: I will have to get through this day one way or another. Do I choose to do so with anxious thoughts and doubt, or do I simply confide in the Lord multiples times throughout the remainder of my day? I will choose the latter.

I kept asking myself whether I am alive in Christ or consumed by emotion? There was a harsh reality to my answer. I was not only consumed by emotion, but consumed by angry selfish thoughts. I heard today that we often look to God to change our circumstances when we forget that Christ came and lived the same life we are today; full of sin. He walked the road of manipulation, anger, doubt, confusion, pain, agony, sorrow and temptation. He walked it because that is also the road we are walking. He doesn’t promise life will be easy, just as it wasn’t for Him either. Our focus isn’t to be on the hardship, but the glory we will one day receive. The only way we can keep that focus is to allow Christ to transform our minds just as I had to do today and will continue to do.

The feeling of anxiety plaguing my soul is a horrific feeling. The many thoughts that bounce back and forth without me giving approval, instantly encapsulates my soul. If you have ever had anxiety and the physical struggle it pours upon your body, you understand what I am saying. It is that moment I never want to experience again, and although I’ve given it to the Lord many times, it continues to creep up now and again. This  is my “Achilles heel;” anxiety. Do you know what yours is? Be on guard and watch for it to creep up in the most unexpected ways.

Moment of Truth: When my anxiety takes over my body in a physical manifestation, I will choose to release it back to the Lord, begging and pleading to fill me with peace no matter the circumstance.  I will not let my anxiety rule my life and waste another day. Lord, let my thoughts glorify you.

Going Through The Motions

Heartache is a horrible thing. The true pain life brings is scary and unpredictable. I thought I knew this world was ugly when I was in college but little did I know how ugly it could really be. The vast waters of sin are beyond my comprehension. Although my eyes have seen but a taste, I can’t fathom the root of where this evil really lays and nor do I want to.

“Our world is so big and scary out there” so they say in all the movies, but if that is true, than how much bigger is our God? How much bigger is our sin? How much bigger is heaven and how much bigger is hell? These are all questions that we get scared to think about, but the fascinating part is, this is all we should think about. Christ came for us, made us and wants to bring us home with Him, yet we get so distracted by the daily troubles of life forgetting about what truly matters.

Thanks to socialshare.com

Thanks to socialshare.com

There was a song on the radio other day that I haven’t been able to shake from my memory. It said this: “I don’t want to spend my whole life asking, what if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions.” I know we all can relate to this on some level or another, especially with different seasons of our life. What a horrible feeling to come to the end of your life wishing you had given it your all…but hadn’t. What if you decide today you will do your best with the Lord’s help? How would your life change, what purpose would you fulfill that you wouldn’t otherwise? What regrets would not be there and how many people might you have touched?

This one sentence brought such conviction to my heart but as the day progressed my motions slide quickly back into routine. I don’t want to let my days be a waste, my conversations be worthless and my mind to be on things that I will never remember the next day, week or months.  Being married can help gauge how you are doing. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it’s not. I look back on the past couple years of marriage and see how far we’ve come. But, in the same breath I also see how we haven’t moved at all. Within those feelings I have to separate what matters and what doesn’t. Evaluating the things we’ve come far in; is it worldly items and pleasures, or is it of value? That is a tough answer for me and if I am completely honest it’s a good combination. I would rather it be of value than not. And though my combination of the two may seem good, but if you really think about it, do the worldly things even compare to heavenly things? No, not at all!

This doesn’t mean, don’t be thankful in the little things and the worldly pleasures. Christ created this world to be for His glory. I will admit, my little pleasure on a daily basis is drinking my morning cup of coffee. I get such pleasure in this and I get even more pleasure enjoying it with my husband.

Moment of Truth: Are you going through the motions, not giving it your all? How can you make little changes in your day so that when you lay your head to rest, you have confidence that whatever circumstance come your way, God will say “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Who Does the World Say You Are???

Yesterday I was struck with the simple fact that we place our worth and value on how the world perceives us. This thought stuck with me all day and made me contemplate how God views me verses how the world views me. I figured it would be important to actually put it into words and compare and contrast the two.

I think we forget the promises of God a lot quicker than we forget the hurt and betrayal we receive from our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and colleagues.

I’ve had the hurt of words stab my soul at the innermost part. I’ve had to deal with the pain and still have to deal with the pain words cause. The saying “words are sharper than any two edged sword” is beyond accurate and only those who have been inflicted with such pain (all of us) know how deeply our words kill.

In our household we call them ‘death words’ as they literally can kill a family and destroy the hope of true love. We jokingly say, “that was a put down, you owe me five put ups.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t take away the hurt our words cause, but it does stop to remind you how hurtful words can be and how finding positive things to say is not always easy. What a good reminder!

Words bring life or death and how do you want people to receive your words? If we aren’t out to kill one another, than we do we have to be so destructive to “make ourselves feel better?”

Who the World Says You Are:

You are worthless, prideful, and arrogant. You are fat and overweight. You are underweight. You are controlling, manipulative and weak.  You will die someday, you are ugly and have too many flaws.

You are a low life, you are a burden to society and you are stupid. You will never accomplish anything in life. You are selfish; extremely narcissistic. You are a liar and a failure. You are mean, hurtful and not a good friend.

You are evil, only care about yourself and insignificant.

Who does the world say I am

Who God Says You Are:

You are being remade, you are new, chosen, Holy, redeemed, blameless and loved! Blessed, faithful, a child of God, justified, no longer a slave to sin. You are not condemned. (Eph 1:7; Gal 4:7; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21;

You are accepted by Christ; His friend. In Christ you have wisdom, righteousness and sanctification. Your body is a temple and the Holy Spirit dwells within you. God brings about triumphal knowledge in Him. You have Christ’s power and every spiritual blessing provided to you in the heavenly realms. (2 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Cor 6:19; 1 Cor 1:2; Rom 8:1; Rom 15:7)

You are forgiven. God predestined you. You have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. He has seated us in the heavenly realms with Christ Jesus. You are Christ’s workmanship, created to do go out and produce good works. You have boldness and 100% access to Christ within you. (Eph 1:3; Eph 1:11; Eph 2:4-6; Eph 2:10; Eph 3:6)

You are made new, full of righteousness and called holy. God’s peace guards your heart and mind. You are a citizen of heaven. God supplies all your needs and has made you complete. (Col 2:10, Col 3: 4, 12; philp 3:20)

God loves you and chose you to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. (1 Thes 1:4)

Who does the world say I am 1

This is how we need to treat one another. God calls us to “love our neighbor as ourselves!” What a contradictory to lay our lives down for each other but to treat one another just as we LOVE ourselves. We are so self-focused and that God even knew these things back in the very beginning. He clarifies in the Bible how to love our neighbors- as we love ourselves. Because He knew we are self driven and self focused that the only way we want to be loved is how we need to love others. This shows our depravity as humans that we need to take the love we have for ourselves and gift that to one another! So challenging but also kind of sick that we are that self involved.

Moment of Truth: Friends, God has so much in store for us but we must take our eyes off ourselves and others. Keep your eyes on the Lord and he WILL direct your path!

 

Thought of the Day

I read this today and I felt like I got punched in the stomach. What a sad reality that our security is so wrapped up in this world. Our motivation, encouragement, excitement, goals, dreams, family and much more are all dependent on the worlds acceptance of us.

Thought of the day

Read this and rethink what really matters!!!

Do not search for security in the world you inhabit. You tend to make mental checklists of things you need to to do in order to gain control of your life. If only you could check everything off your list, you could relax and be at peace. But the more you work to accomplish that goal, the more things crop up on your list. The harder you try, the more frustrated you become.

There is a better way to find security in this life. Instead of scrutinizing your checklist, focus your attention on My Presence with you. This continual contact with Me will keep you in My Peace. Moreover, I will help you sort out what is important and what is not, what needs to be done now and what does not. Fix your eyes not on what is seen (your circumstances), but on what is unseen (My Presence).

Sarah Young- May 6

Moment of Truth: Do not let the world be your motivation, let Christ!

 

Faith or Religion

Oh boy, the very topic of religion and faith begin to rustle our feathers. My parents came into town for the weekend to watch our son while my husband and I enjoy a couple nights away for the very first time. We are extremely excited but it’s almost as if we are both waiting for something terribly bad to happen as you can see with our life….things simply don’t slow down. We live in a sarcastic zone right now almost expecting something to occur while joking with one another to only help keep our sanity alive. We sit in a stupor of “what just happened” kind of state while we try and process everything. It would actually be humorous to the outside world taking a look in to our home and the Cook’s sitting on the couch entirely unengaged by what is taking place in life not even able to converse with one another; simply starring at the motion streaming across the TV.

While we were chit-chatting last night with my parents, the topic of religion and faith got brought up. This is a sticky topic and tends to make many people uncomfortable. Isn’t that what we want, a place of uncomfortability? This is where we should be! I know it sounds clique but in all reality a comfortable place is a scary place. We never want to be comfortable with God, there should always be a relationship bouncing back and forth forcing contemplation of life and actions as well as a forward progression.

Thanks to: alookintomymind.wordpress.com

Thanks to: alookintomymind.wordpress.com

The topic of “earning” our place with God got brought up. Sometimes we live in a world of complete expectation; if you do something for me, than I’ll do something for you. This is exactly how we treat relationships. We fight against this very thing only to find this is exactly what we are looking for if we are honest. Perfect example- my husband was never blessed with a good childhood or parents who truly loved him. He thought from a young age, if he did all these things than they would accept him. That never happened. He joined the Airforce, got his bachelors and masters degree, went ahead and got his CPA license and now here he is….35 years old questioning his very being. What was all of that for? It was all for the very purpose of wanting to be accepted by his wealthy, prestige family who wouldn’t bat an eye at him unless he became something great. Even after all that, he wasn’t successful in their eyes. Years in school, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent only for the sake of their acceptance and longing to be loved never being met; my husbands happiness sunk deep into a hole. Realizing years later that he doesn’t even enjoy what he does for a living, it was all simply for the sake of “becoming something greater” that never existed. That greatness is within my husband, not the jobs be preforms. This is the concept we all need to remind ourselves of. This is a sad reality.

Earning acceptance comes in many different forms but we all do it on some level or another. We crave relationships and this is exactly why the weight of friendships become so heavy. We think we are being the best friend possible to only be let down because their reciprocation isn’t as much as yours is. These are lies that you are believing. We need to live in a relationship for that relationship and not what you can get out of it, but what you can bless them with. This is what makes great people of the world, this is what brings credibility, this is what brings true friendship and love. This is what helps create happiness.

Letting go of expectation will bring about a giving heart. This is where Christ wants us. We need to serve those around us just as Christ has called us to do. This all ties into religion and the expectation that if we are “good enough” God will bless us. This isn’t how relationships work, so why would we want a religion that works that way. Works based religion will only tear you down because you will and cannot ever be good enough. Look at my husband, he did everything he knew they would like but it was never enough. Do you really want to Worship a God who you can’t quite meet up to His standards and waste your life trying? We become consumed with these thoughts to only blame God for not following through on His end of the bargain. “I’ve been faithful, I’ve stayed married, I had multiple children, I help friends, I work hard, I share my money so why aren’t you blessing me back?” These are the very thoughts we take on when life gets hard. I’ve done all these things so why are you bringing tragedy into my life? Why are we in the hospital with my son, I’ve been faithful? Why did my mother have to die without resolution? Why? Why? Why?

The very essence of our works based religion stems from a selfish gain. I’ve done all these things so you should pour down blessing on me? It’s the very thought that keeps our focus on ourselves not Christ. God wants to pour blessings upon us, but when our perspective is on HIM not OURSELVES. He also wants us to get the very essence that we are forgiven before we even act upon our sin. This is a faith based relationship with God, not a religion. God wants us to accept the fact that we are forgiven and have the gift of salvation, NOTHING is to be earned. We don’t want to strive so hard in friendships to earn their approval, those relationships are not worth out time, so why would we do the same with God?

Friends, we all need to remember that God died for us a painful death only for the sake of taking the sin of the world upon His shoulders before we even sinned those very sins. He had to take upon the impossible to create the possible! Without his death and resurrection, there is no point in living! We are redeemed brothers and sisters and need to start living in that redemption. He forgave us when he was strung upon the cross; walk in that freedom! This is Faith not religion. Faith is accepting the gift of Christ not earning something he’s already handed us. There are a million billion doors of love to walk through and one of those doors is for you! God has strategically placed His loving hand in your life waiting for you to accept it and walk through the door of true life; living in grace and freedom! No matter how flawless your behavior, the answer to being worthy enough of Christ’s love is always no. You are not worthy enough by any means, but simply because He loves you. Your performance and Christ’s love are completely different issues, which we all need to sort out. “I love you with an everlasting Love that flows out from eternity without limits or conditions.” ~Sarah Calling

Faith Vs Religion1

You are not trapped and enslaved to sin! There is a hope and a future! Even though life is down right horrible and painful at times, our hope begins to be refined when in the midst of hardship, begging for something greater than ourselves. When life gets messy we seek for something bigger than our powerless hands, but when life is fantastic we use our hands to try and run the world thinking we have it all under control! We must not let unexpected events throw us off course.

Moment of Truth: Learning to accept the forgiveness already handed to you and choosing to talk in that freedom. You are redeemed! “If I have you permanent Peace, independent of My Presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency.” ~Sarah  Young

The Merry-Go-Round of Life

The Merry-Go-Round of life. Shouldn’t this ride be slow and relaxing? Are we riding faster and faster begging for life to slow down a little? Is our patience being tested? Is our integrity failing? Is our lack of trust letting others down? Is our dishonesty destroying relationships?

This merry-go-round of life is never ending and we haven’t quite figure that out yet. It seems that every new twist and turn in the road we are looking for an escape rather than accepting the very day we have been given.

As I had previously mentioned about my patience fleeing my soul as if I became a ravenous dog out to destroy anything and everything in my site, I stumbled across this and found it to be entirely fitting…..WAIT!!! It was not fitting at all, it was convicting to the innermost part of my being. Reminding me why I exercise patience and why I am not running my own life.

I have a devotional that is beyond quick and helps convict you for the entire day with your 3 minutes of reading. :)

This is by Sarah Young, April 16:

I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence.

When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited human perspective, it may look as if I’m mismanaging things. But you don’t know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much more. However, I have designed you tolive by faith, not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future of seeing into the spirit world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances.

Boy was this a mind, body and soul experience to remember to give thanks in all circumstances and that I often act as though I could run the world better than the God that created me! Who am I to think such things and exercise a power that I clearly do not have?

This helped put me back in place remembering I need not say the things I want to say from my flesh. But give thanks when my son is testing my patience for the very reason that I have a son to test my patience. Being thankful in the little things help bring clarity when bigger things arise.

I am thankful for the very fact that I cannot see the future as I would probably be more scared than excited. I would base my every move off what the future would bring rather than living in the moment and allowing my faith to grow and my focus to remain on the Lord. This is the merry-go-round of life. It continually happens and constantly tests my limits.

Thanks to fineartamerica.com

Thanks to fineartamerica.com

Moment of Truth: I learned through a simple reminder that I am powerless but have a God who is all Powerful! My faith is not in the patience I lack throughout the day, but in God who has given me a desire to exercise patience for the sake of Him to bless my family.

Read more about my Lack-of-Patience