His Word, Kids/Parenting, Series

Change

Well, folks, it’s been awhile…I feel like my life has taken on a life of its own lately. Here I got this fancy-schmancy website and I don’t even use it!

Today, as with Fridays in the past, I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday – only it’s no longer with Lisa-Jo Baker. Now, we are linking with Kate Motaung. You can find her here.

The prompt for today is: Change.

It’s been said that the only certainties in this world are death and taxes. I’d like to append that and add that change is certain.

Change can occur for the better, such as a better job, a better home, a better school for the kids, or even something as trivial as a better meal.

It can also occur in a negative way. For instance, a job loss, the loss of a life, or even the loss of a vehicle that you depend on.

BUT, here is where I challenge your thinking. What we may view as a negative change may, in fact, be God working out things on our behalf that we know NOTHING of.

For instance, perhaps that job loss will open up the door to a career in something you’re passionate about. Or, the loss of a vehicle opens the door to a newer vehicle that is paid for. How rockin’ would that be?

See, let’s be real…you never would have left that job {or the security that it offered}, if God hadn’t shaken things up a bit and removed it for you.

These changes I’m referring to are large, life-altering changes.

But what about smaller ones? The ones that occur on a daily basis that may seem inconsequential, but that add up to a mountain of changes?

You could decide that it’s time to change your lifestyle. There is no time like the present when it comes to changing your lifestyle. Swapping an unhealthy meal for a healthier option. Deciding to participate in 15-20 minutes of aerobic activity 3-5 times a week. Getting more rest. All of these small daily changes would add up to a larger lifestyle change when made consistent.

And then there are the changes that have to occur for mental health. Things like: letting go of bitterness, anger, resentment, hurt, envy.

Just this morning, I read this quote:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

This is so true. Because, while you’re holding onto anger that someone caused by something they did, they are across town, across the state, across the country and not even thinking one second about how their actions affected you.

Now, we get into the HOW of making these changes. These are not the easy changes that are tangible.

These changes require a choice to forgive and move on that is made daily, hourly, moment-by-moment. You can’t just wake up one morning and the feelings of hurt and bitterness are gone.

You have to have a daily laying down of your feelings and CHOOSE to let. it. go. so it doesn’t have a negative impact on your life.

You have to remind yourself that you are ABOVE the actions of the other person.

You have to take back control of your life by refusing to allow the actions of another person to affect you any longer.

You have to tell yourself that your future is worth it.

YOU are worth it. You are worth letting it go and moving on. Your happiness depends on it.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Random

Grace

I’ve been thinking a lot about grace these days.

What it means to me. What it means to receive it. What it means to give it.

Merriam-Webster gives one definition of grace as ‘approval or favor.’

Another definition offered by Webster is ‘disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.’

I think this second definition embodies how we should treat others. We should give them grace in the things they say, the actions they do and even {or especially} the things they don’t say or do.

I would love to be able to say I’ve arrived in behaving this way. But the truth is, I haven’t. I’m still a work in progress.

Did I extend courtesy yesterday when I was rushing Emma out the door so we wouldn’t be late? I didn’t give my perpetually cold child enough grace to grab a jacket on the chilly-overcast day. This momma felt like a heel when I saw her goosebumps in church!

Did I give clemency to the waitress who brought me a lemon in my ice water when I specifically asked for no lemon? I’m not so sure I did.

But, and here’s the true question…would I want someone to extend grace to me for either of the above instances?

YES! Absolutely I would. Because I could say that I wouldn’t have done either of these transgressions intentionally.

And I should have known that Emma wasn’t intentionally trying to make us late. And the waitress wasn’t intentionally trying to irritate me by bringing lemon when I asked for none.

I’m also trying to accept grace…the grace of God. Webster defines this grace as, ‘unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.’

Do I want this grace? Oh yes. I do want divine assistance. Yes, I do want unmerited favor.

So, the one person who can offer it with no questions asked is Jesus. Why do I feel I have to work for grace coming from Him, and yet, naturally expect it when coming from sinful, fallible humans?

It should be that because I know people are imperfect by nature, that I extend them extra grace, knowing we all aren’t capable of giving grace the way He does.

And I should lovingly accept the gift of grace that Jesus gives with open arms. The grace He gives and keeps on giving.

Let’s try to spread and extend unmerited favor where we can. We are worth it, aren’t we?

His Word, Series

Begin

It’s kind of the end of an era. Most Fridays for the past year and a half, I have linked up with Lisa-Jo Baker to write for Five Minute Friday – where we write for, yep, you guessed it, five minutes, on a one word prompt.

As she indicates on her blog today, she is passing the baton after today. This will be my last Five Minute Friday post linking with Lisa-Jo Baker. I have mixed feelings about this, as her prompts have helped me write on specific days, as well as opening the door to my creativity on other days.

Today’s prompt is: Begin

It’s fitting to me that this is my first post on my new blog/website and the prompt for today is begin. I am beginning a new adventure. One in which I can’t see the end. I can’t see how this story writes itself. I guess that’s my role. To write my own story.

To make it what I want it to be. 

It’s time to begin…living…loving…writing. The way I know He wants me to. The way that brings Him glory.

He tells us in Isaiah that we are to forget the former things and not to dwell on the past. That He is doing a new thing.

We need to watch for that new thing. And be ready to participate in it. Not let it pass us by. Let Him make His way in our wilderness.

In the wilderness of our hearts.

In the wilderness of our minds.

In the wilderness of our lives.

Be ready…to begin a new thing. To allow Him to begin a new thing within your life.

He is ready to throw open the floodgates of heaven to pour out so much blessing that we will not have room enough to receive it. {Malachi 3:10}

Let’s let Him. Let’s not be so hesitant when He brings things across our paths. Even if we perceive them to be negative, He will work it for our good.

Are YOU ready to begin?