August 2020 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
It is what it is.” This is a favorite of my mom’s. When discussing her health, a not so good night’s sleep or her caregiver giving her something she doesn’t particularly like for supper, she says. “It is what it is”. My sister and I now say this as well when things don’t go the way we’ve planned, or the weather is not what we want it to be or we are at the grocery store when we realize we have left our grocery list at home. Sometimes you just need to shrug it off knowing, it is what it is, period. Oh yes, we laugh about it afterwards and we move on because in all reality we understand that we don’t always get our way. But think about it, if you always did get your way, I wonder how many of us would be truly grateful or would we eventually take it for granted thinking our lives are better than all the others who have to carry the inconveniences of a not so perfect life. God knew what He was doing when He so lovingly created us. Some things we have control over, but others we do not, and ultimately God is the One who plans our way and directs our steps. He also knows that life is not about being given every desire we have, but it is serving Him and doing so with a grateful heart, on good days and bad days. (At least we call them bad days) but they all serve to fulfill His plan, bringing Him honor and glory as well as working towards our own best interest. We learn to pray with-in His will, longing to follow His ways and becoming the people He desires us to be. It all works together for good. Romans 8:28
So as this new year unfolds may we all ask for His guidance and not complain about all of life’s irritants. Life isn’t always rosy and the sun doesn’t always shine, so the next time you get caught in a rain storm walking home, look heavenward and smile because after all, “It is what it is”.
Then when you get home, dry off and have yourself a cup of coffee. You are loved!
Be Still and Know
When life lets you down
and you feel alone;
When emptiness lurks at your door,
Remember the One who calls you His own,
Remember He’s walked on before.
When this world disappoints you
and your hopes and dreams fade;
When life doesn’t seem to make sense;
Rejoice in the day the Lord has made.
He alone is your Rock and Defense.
When you’re feeling so desperate
With no answers ahead;
You long for some peace of mind,
Think of what our Savior has said,
“If you seek, then you’ll surely find.”
For after each nighttime
There follows a day.
Behind dark clouds the sun is still shining.
And during the storm a calm comes your way
As you trust in what God is designing.
There are so many places in this world I would love to see. Destinations out of my reach, but yet longing to experience the beauty, mystery, and emotions in experiencing Gods most beautiful, most awesome places on earth. Knowing these things are unattainable for several reasons, I take comfort in looking at the artistry of God, such as sunsets and sunrises, a night sky filled with twinkling stars, the full moon shining as a night light for all, fields of wildflowers, and colored Autumn leaves, just to name a few. I also listen to the sounds that bring joy to me such as waves hitting the shore, a cardinal singing his little heart out, the breezes blowing through the trees and the sound of a distant train in the night. As much as I love all of the above, and though I cherish those moments, there is one place that I can be which is the most treasured of all. I don’t even have to leave my home, save my money or pack a suitcase. You see, the place I desire above all others is to be in God’s presence. Now, I know He is always with me and I never need fear that He doesn’t see me, hear me or love me. Yet there are moments when He just fills you and everything else fades as His love takes over every thought and every emotion. These treasured moments can come to us in a variety of ways, but for me, they usually come through music or song.
Example: The other day I am driving home and this song I love comes on the radio. As the words were sung, the cries of my heart overwhelmed me. I began crying and felt as though God was hugging me, His presence saturating my very being. I pulled in my driveway, and just sat there with my eyes closed, crying. It felt so good, so heavenly, because I not only knew God was there, I felt Him there. I wanted to stay there forever, basking in His love. My soul felt so connected to Him. Oh how beautiful it was, enjoying His Presence, as my heart once again filled with hope and peace. I wanted that moment to never end. When it did, I asked God, “Why does it have to end? I just want to stay here, in this moment with You.” It was so real, His love embracing me and the intimacy we were sharing. At that moment I longed for heaven, for if this was so amazing in this world, oh, how unimaginable it will be in heaven as we gather around His Throne! How humbling to praise Him and Glorify His Name as we gaze upon His face! His radiance will fall upon us and His glory will fill all of Heaven! And no one will need to ask Him, “Why does it have to end?” because it won’t and we will bask in His love forever. That moment will be eternal.
I am so grateful for those personal times with God. It’s moments like that which make everything worthwhile. Sometimes we all just need a moment to reconnect, to be assured and to feel the embrace of our loving Heavenly Father. It’s not something we can create or bring about on our own; rather it is a deep desire to know Him, as He desires to make Himself known, especially in the darkest days of our lives. I’m reminded again that I matter. He loves me; in all of my weakness and fear, in my failures and doubts, He loves me. And you know something? He loves you too. Deeply, unconditionally and eternally. He loves you, because He created you and you matter. Never, ever, forget that. And if you ever find yourself starting to forget, ask God for a little reminder. You may be awestruck when He answers you. God Bless.
It matters. Just like the food and drink you put into your body contributes to the condition of your overall health, so are the things you put into your mind affecting your spiritual condition. It matters what you watch, what you listen to, what you take part in, what you read, what you think about, what you speak, and what you prioritize. It matters because we all will reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7-8 Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.) What we fill up with, will eventually come out, in our actions, our words and our choices. My hope is we all go forward, deciding to fill our minds with goodness, kindness, love, forgiveness and hope. Good and evil do exist. Let’s strive to fill up on the right stuff. God says it best. (Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.)
Thunder rolls, the dark clouds grow;
The rain is pouring down.
Harsh winds blow and on every side,
are mountains that surround.
Standing firm, I try not to fear,
as the Savior takes my hand.
He assures my heart, He’s in control,
I need not understand.
He’s my shelter in every storm.
No one can do me harm,
for in it’s midst, I lean on Him.
He keeps me safe and warm.
What’s this I hear, oh, could it be
the sound of God’s soft whisper,
assuring me to just be still;
Fear can’t hold me a prisoner.
Finding peace in trusting Him
Is where I find my rest.
Now as the storm begins to calm
I know I have been blessed.
I got permission from a very good friend of mine, to share her personal experience with God. It really inspired me to share it with others, because many of us need a reminder every now and then of how very much God cares for us.
I will call this friend, Martha, (not her real name) She informed me a few weeks back that she had decided to quit smoking. She had smoked her whole life and just came to the decision to quit. She knew she could not do this on her own, so asked me and others close to her, to pray for her. “I can’t do this without Gods help”, she confessed. I totally understood that because my own husband had quit smoking cold turkey years ago, and to this day knows it was God who got him through on his toughest days. By God’s grace alone, he was victorious.
Martha was doing pretty good with this until one morning before she went to work, she felt her urge to smoke a cigarette was extra strong, so she decided to look for a peppermint candy or mint of some sort to help her with it. The taste of peppermint in her mouth helped to tone down the cravings, so she looked in her purse and around the house just hoping to find a mint. She found none, so eventually just went on her way to work.
She walked into the small area where the employees punched in to begin their work day. She had her coffee mug with her, so set it down on a table nearby. She then punched in and turned to pick up her coffee mug. Upon picking it up, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something fall apparently from her mug, onto the floor. She stared down in disbelief at a completely wrapped peppermint candy! She picked it up, and looked all over the table, and there was nothing else on the table. No candy dishes, no nothing. When she set her mug down, there was nothing there, in fact the mug would have been lopsided quite a bit if she had placed it on something like a peppermint candy. No one else had come into the area before or after she punched in. It was as though it fell from heaven! And she believes, as do I, that it had. God knew she had the craving and He wanted to show her, He was with her every step of the way. Only God can make something out of nothing, and I believe that’s exactly what He did. (What you, yourself believe, is totally up to you.)
She never ate that candy. The experience itself was all she needed to know she was not walking through this journey alone and she has kept the wrapped peppermint as a reminder. She knew God was showing her how He loved her in such a personal way, and that, she will remember forever.
Think of it. With all that is going on in the world, one would assume God had his hands full with millions of other things, way more important things. But yet, once again He shows how much He personally cares for us, and how He is so willing to supply our needs, if we would just trust Him.
He makes a way for our financial needs, He grants peace when heartbreaking news comes, He heals with-in His will for us, and He sometimes grants us the deepest desires of our heart. He also makes Himself known to us through His Word, through our conversations with Him, and yes, sometimes, by providing us a peppermint candy when we truly need one. What an awesome God we serve!
Have you ever walked into a spiderweb? I bet most of you have. I know I have, at least once or twice a summer. We have a covering that hangs over our outside door. It seems to be a favorite place for spiders to create their web. However, I have walked out some mornings at 3 a.m. to go to work, and not seeing the web, have walked into it, followed by dance moves I didn’t know I was capable of! It is not a good feeling by any means!
Well, I’m not sure what is so different this year, but like usual there was this web one morning which luckily, I saw, before walking into it. In fact, right in the middle of it was this gigantic spider! Well, not quite giant size, but bigger than those little ones you see. I had my husband knock the web down that day after he got home from work. The next morning there was another web, in the same spot! Again, we destroyed it. A couple days later, yep, you guessed it; another web right there by the door! In fact, you had to duck to miss it when walking out! This has never happened before. This spider just would not go away and find another spot to create its web. Every time we knocked it down, it would rebuild! It is still an ongoing problem, apparently for us and the spider! Yet, you have to give it credit. It is persistent. It does not give up. Hmmm…. could we learn a lesson from this little guy?
When life knocks you down, don’t stay down! When your plans fail, do not give up. When you’re feeling like no one cares, be persistent in your prayers and bible reading, for it is God’s word that will strengthen and sustain you. Life can be annoying, and yes, even very hard at times; but be like the spider, who continues to do what it was created to do, no matter how many times someone comes along and destroys its efforts. You, also, were created for a purpose. You are loved and cherished by God, your heavenly Father. Don’t let life knock you down so hard, you refuse to get back up. Failure doesn’t happen, until you stop trying. Keep getting up, my friend; because this life is a journey with Jesus, and you won’t want to miss the things He has in store!
I am not fond of spiders, yet perhaps this spider situation is a lesson learned, one we could all benefit from.
I recently read something on the internet that blessed my soul, and I wanted to share it with you. A young man had a ‘God Moment’ after witnessing an incident at a store. God moments are awesome. It’s that moment that God speaks to you in some unique way and you have to look up and say, “I know that was You, God!” So here is one of those times. (Warning, you may need tissues.)
“I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG waiting line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow sticks and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said “I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it.” I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.” That little baby was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow stick around in the air because he didn’t understand what it was created to do…which was “glow”. There are some people who will be content just “being”, but some of us that God has chosen, we have to be “broken”. We have to get sick. We have to lose a job. We go through divorce. We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created. It really takes a child often to teach us lessons as adults for the things we forget.”
Oh yes, I cried as I read this because it was something my soul needed at that moment. Then I thought of Jesus, who was more broken than anyone, as He was beaten, flogged, spit upon, mocked and nailed to a cross, bleeding and suffering, almost unrecognizable. He was crushed in body and spirit as all the sin of the world was on Him. The perfect one who knew no sin, had become sin on that cross, your sin and mine, from the beginning of time until He makes all things new. Even God, The Father, had to turn away, causing Jesus to cry out, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me!
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
Yes, Jesus was broken, BUT with His brokenness, Salvation was offered to every person on earth. Think about it. What if Jesus, as fully man, changed His mind and didn’t want to go through with The Fathers plan? Remember His agony in the garden of Gethsemane? Luke 22:42 “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Where would we be had He not said, “Never the less, Your will be done. “We would still be lost, without hope. Jesus’ brokenness brought eternal salvation to the entire world. Through His brokenness, He defeated sin and death, offering us forgiveness and eternal life. Your brokenness will fulfill a plan for which you were created as well. Believe me, I know suffering is probably the hardest thing we can go through, no matter what causes it. But know this. God has a plan. Submit to His will for your life, and you will discover the amazing things He can do though you. YOU ARE LOVED!
Do not live with deep regret,
for you have been set free.
Let go of the bitterness
so you may clearly see
that Jesus loves you passionately,
and longs to make you new.
Forget the lies that no one cares,
for they were never true.
Don’t hang onto the heartache
that tore your world apart.
Jesus longs to comfort you
when nights are long and dark.
Trust Him with your weakness,
your brokenness and pain.
Trust Him to restore you
and make you whole again.
He never promised roses,
for His grace would be enough.
and you, my friend, will be just fine
because He promised love.