Archive | February, 2013

Well, That Was Easy!

27 Feb

happiness
Wow, we are already into week four of the Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study titled, Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman. You can bet I will be bragging about this book for some time to come in the months ahead! Over the last few weeks, I have discovered it is best for us to get rid of the control in our lives in order to live the life God intended for us. If you truly desire to always feel the joy in your heart as you walk in faith with God, you have to learn to let Him reign over your life and let it all go. This week, I will explore how to discover joy in all our daily circumstances and pray without ceasing. I tend to think of joy as a bright light that consumes me in four different ways through hope, faith, love and prayer. The greatest enduring virtues of a Christian life! In the paragraphs below, I will also be highlighting my favorite Bible verse(s) in all four areas.

✫HOPE ~ Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We can always rest assure that we have hope in our life when we have a relationship with God because we realize we are here to fulfill His purpose. When we learn to put our faith and trust in God, we live a more exuberant life with Him by our side. I have learned some valuable lessons about hope in my walk when I was forced to endure pain and suffering in life. Once I learned to turn the problem over to God, I was able to gain hope in my life and the suffering diminished because I trusted Him in the outcome of the situation. “Whether your life contains life-altering crises, out-of-control circumstances, or relatively normal bumps and blips, you must nestle yourself neatly and surrendered into the spot God has reserved for you in it all.” (pg. 163) When I hold onto something and refuse to turn it over to Him, I feel more hopeless in dealing with a circumstance since I am the one trying to control the situation. With hope, I know all things are possible and work out for God’s good!

✫FAITH ~ Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Faith is about learning to trust and accept God as your personal Savior through belief in our hearts and soul. I must admit that walking in faith can prove to be difficult at times when it comes down to waiting for an answer in His timing rather than trying to rely on our own timing. He already had our life planned out for us well before the time we were born, so we must learn to wait on Him for all our answers. In the end, I have had to face some unsettling consequences for my actions that taught me a hard lesson. When I choose not to wait on Him for the answers, I face tougher outcomes in life. At the same time, I know I am not pleasing God since I did not go to Him first and wait on Him. Learning the value of patience in life has been a very daunting issue for me in my work life and my personal life. Nowadays, I am learning to go to Him first about everything because it got to the point where I got tired of making the wrong decisions in my life. “Trusting God demands that we learn to fix our gaze on him and our glance on our circumstances.” (pg. 163) When I have faith in God, I can trust Him and wait for Him!

✫LOVE ~ John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” God truly loves me and you because He created us to serve Him and His purpose for our life while we spend our temporary time on Earth. There is no greater love than His because He made the biggest sacrifice of all…He died on the cross for all our sins. Over the years, I have learned to always ask for God’s forgiveness when I sin because I truly repent my actions. God’s love is the one love I know I can always count on and He will never hurt me. God’s love is everlasting!

✫PRAYER ~ Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is a big part of my life today because I have learned over the years how powerful it is in one’s life. I have learned to thank God for both trials and blessings in my life because I am eternally grateful for everything He provides in my life and through what He teaches me when faced with a tribulation. When we learn to look at a trial as a blessing, only then can we begin to understand that God is trying to teach us something. This one has taken me a long time to understand in my daily walk with God. In the end, when I go to God in prayer about something difficult I am faced with in life, I seem to feel a great deal more peace nowadays than what I used to feel when I wanted to try to handle it on my own. I choose to pray without ceasing in my life because I want to feel God’s presence around me at all times. The power of prayer is amazing!

In conclusion, I can honestly say I feel truly blessed in my life because of my relationship with God today. It is apparent to me that I long to always have joy in my heart because I know He loves me and wants me to have an everlasting life in Heaven with Him. When we learn to focus on our future with Him in Heaven rather than the temporary life of here and now, everything makes perfect sense according to God’s will for me. I’ve got to learn not to let the stumbling blocks in life rob me of my joy and always be thankful for everything that comes my way. Being thankful in all circumstances means learning to let go of control and fully trusting Him in your life no matter what happens. Since God already had our life planned out for us, there is no need to fret about tomorrow since it is never promised. One needs to savor every moment of each day in God’s presence if you desire to have a joyful heart!

✫REMEMBER: FAITH MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE, LOVE MAKES ALL THINGS EASY, HOPE MAKES ALL THINGS WORK!

Joy in My Heart by Susie McEntyre Luchsinger

Never Gonna Steal My Joy by Mandisa

joy

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Put your hands up!

20 Feb

Barbie Jeep

Well, here I am, in the third week of the Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study titled, “Let.It.Go.” by Karen Ehman. I am halfway through the book at this point and can succumb to say that letting go of control is essential in our daily walk with God. You can bet I am one of many who still have a hard time resisting control when we get caught up in rustle and bustle of our lives each new day. This week, we have learned some helpful techniques for proper mothering rather than trying to micromanage our children and learning how to care for a balanced home in chapters 5 and 6.  Naturally, I cannot completely relate to these two chapters since I am divorced with no children, but I can recall some all too familiar moments from my childhood regarding proper mothering and managing a household.  This week, I will explore the topic titled, “Put Your Hands Up!” because one too many times I have found myself in a lackluster mindset when it comes to managing the important elements in my life. In the paragraphs below, I will discuss what I have gained from these two chapters that I hope to hold on to for my life in the future.

As I read through the chapters, I discovered that we are blessed to have everything God gives us in our life. In return, we should learn to hold everything close and dear to our hearts and never take it for granted for one minute. There are times I think it would be easier to just throw my hands up and give up, but we need to continue working hard to maintain what we have in life and keep everything in check to avoid added turmoil later. I’ve learned over the years, it is important to develop and maintain a healthy family and home life.

During my childhood, I will admit I do not feel I grew up in the perfect family environment. My parents were very old-fashioned, strict and overprotective when it came to me and my sisters. They were always willing to do without in order to provide for us which I found out is because they loved us so much. My sisters and I had assigned chores every week in our household, and if they went undone we did not receive our allowance. My mom was very good about delegating different chores each week to be fair among all three of us. My least favorite chore (still remains true today) is dusting the house. My allergies seemed to get disturbed by the dust particles that settled around the house and it also took the longest time to get done. So, needless to say, I dreaded getting assigned this chore every few weeks. Nowadays, I have learned as I got older that all elements of cleaning need to be done in order to have a tidy home. Plus, the longer you put off cleaning, the messier it will get over time and take even longer to clean up. Why do we put off something until tomorrow, when we can make time for it today? I am fortunate to have grown up in a household where I was taught to take care of a home because I have learned to appreciate it all that much more today. When I was married, I was very faithful in cleaning the house every weekend because it was easier for me to manage and did not take as much time. Nowadays, since my divorce, I find I have become more relaxed in my efforts since I find other ways to occupy my time. I am doing my best to develop my old habits again since I am constantly reminded to take care of things I own.

My two younger sisters and I had to be taught boundaries growing up because we had a hard time sharing with each other and would fight over such miniscule things. “They need to know the rules of the house (and the whys behind the rules) and the expectations from the parents in charge” (pg. 86). Naturally, parents want to instill good values and morals in their children but sometimes can get off track by the daily distractions and behaviors of others. My parents had to invest in a station wagon in order to keep us separated when we went on family vacations since we had an urge to pick on each other all the time. When you grow up with siblings in the family, you learn from an early age that you do not always get what you want in life. When we overstepped those boundaries, we got punished for it so we would be taught right from wrong. My parents did not enjoy disciplining us at times, but wanted us to grow up being responsible adults in life and go on to carry those same traits with our children. I seem to recall my dad saying, “Just wait until you grow up and have children of your own, then you will understand.” I have witnessed the challenges my sisters have encountered raising their children today, and they now realize the hardships my parents faced when we were growing up.

When I was growing up as a child, I remember playing with my Barbie dolls all the time. Ken and Barbie were married with a child named Skipper, and they lived in a plastic house and drove a plastic car. This was the perfect make believe world back in those days because we did not have to deal with the drama and chaos that households have to endure today. Every time I set up the plastic house, it did not take more than a minute to get it situated to where I could play with it again. Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple when it comes to keeping watch over our house in today’s world. When you have young children, you can expect the house will be in shambles every day as it contains toys scattered all over the floor. Then, every time someone goes to the kitchen to cook, you can expect dirty dishes with each meal that have to be washed after each meal. It takes plenty of patience, organization and time management to maintain a busy household in an orderly fashion. God expects us to take good care of the things he blesses us with in our life. A part of this responsibility starts with maintaining a tidy household. Sometimes the house chores get put on the backburner when our time becomes preoccupied with our faltering routine or leisure activities.

Barbie House

In conclusion, I think it is summed up best when women learn to live and follow the committed course of a Proverbs 31 woman when it comes to maintaining a balanced life. The Bible is our reference to the basic instructions before leaving Earth. When it comes to being a Godly wife and mother, she converses with others in a supportive and respectful manner (v. 26). The next verse states she protects the affairs of the household (v. 27). Maintaining a household that honors God comes down to finding a happy medium between a balanced structure and speaking in a dignified tone. The key to running a successful household is creating and following a list of ground rules for everyone to follow. When one learns the difference between being a control freak and being conscientious, then they can begin to understand the importance of God’s guidance and how it plays the key role to the management of a family and the household.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 (AMP) ~ But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children. So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news (the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us.

Proverbs 31:27 (HCSB) ~ She watches over the activities of her household.

proverbs 31 woman

Prevail!

14 Feb

proverbs 1921

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV11). Does this Bible verse ring true in your life like it does mine? As I have walked down my journey in life over the past years, I can honestly say it is amazing to me how God overcomes all storms in our lives regardless of our struggles, hurts, disappointments, etc. I have learned through life experiences that we must endure certain tribulations in life to be the person God wants us to be and get to where He wants us to go in life to fulfill His purpose for us on this Earth. Throughout my years of growing up, I will admit that I have made plans only to be witness to God completely moving them in a different direction. Like many of you, I have experienced my share of trials and blessings in my life, but now finally grasped the concept that both are necessary in order to mature in our relationship with God and go to Heaven with the Lord one day.

Today, I have decided to share how God was able to help transform me while dealing with my biggest heartache in life. Plus, I hope it will provide inspiration to many since I know a lot of women face this same hurt in their lifetime. D-I-V-O-R-C-E is that seven letter word that I never like to say when sharing my life with others. I always imagined my life would be much different today than it is right now. Growing up, I always had a vision of how a picture perfect marriage should be after seeing my parents live a blissful life for many years until my father’s passing a few years ago.

When I was caught up in the midst of my divorce, I could not understand why it was happening and did not want to deal with the pain associated with our separation. I learned I could not rid myself of the pain and bitterness, much less the desire to forgive until I turned the whole situation over to God. As I went through the course over the next several months, God was able to open my eyes and heart and see the situation for what it really was and allowed me the strength to move on with my life. This was when I finally learned that all things are possible with God through the good and bad times in our lives. He wants us to share every aspect of our life with Him and live the life we deserve because He loves us so much. It is amazing to see all the good works that God did in my life when I reflect back on all the struggles I had to endure as I went through the entire process. My life was one big rollercoaster and had its share of ups and downs. Today, I thank God for this trial in my life because He allowed me to rediscover who I am as a person, made me realize I am a stronger person than I thought I was, and how He can turn any problem into a miracle. Most of all, I learned that my life is all about glorifying Him and no one else. As long as we realize God is on our side as we face any trial in life, we will gain the wisdom and strength to get through it with His help. God is always on our side!

In conclusion, I can honestly say it is amazing to realize how far I have come seven and a half years later after my divorce. Two things that helped me deal with this situation in my life in addition to God was reading the book, Growing Through Divorce by Jim Smoke and attending a divorce recovery class called Divorce Care (http://www.divorcecare.org). Due to this experience in life, God has allowed me to minister to others who I encounter in life. I am no longer afraid to open up about this past situation if it means helping others who are hurting today. No one quite understands the level of pain one goes through in a divorce better than someone else who has encountered this same problem in their life. In the past, I have helped with divorce recovery classes by sharing my story with others because it has helped me in my healing process. God also made me realize when you go through this type of ordeal in life, it takes time to heal those broken wounds. Everyone is different when it comes to dealing with pain and suffering, but it all starts with a little time and restoration through prayer with God. Today, I have come to grips with my past because I know God is not finished with me yet and has much greater plans in store for me and my life. This trial ended up being one of the biggest blessings in my life because He allowed me an escape from the pain and suffering as He laid a hedge of protection around me. It is my hope that other women who are faced with this trauma in their life can go on to find the level of peace and comfort I feel today.

 
gods help

 

This song has helped me alot though some rough times in my life. Jesus, I will praise you in this storm called Life. You will never leave us nor forsake us! Hallelujah!

 
 

serenity prayer

WiReD – Letting Go To God

7 Feb

Welcome!  This is my initial blog post for the Let. It. Go. Bible study.  I want to take this time to praise Karen Ehman for taking the time out of her busy schedule to write such an inspiring book that we may all learn from over the course of the next several weeks.  It is my hope that God allows me to share my heart during this Bible study, and it is my prayer that others are able to learn from my perspective.  So, I am going to discuss what I hope to gain from this study and have high hopes that it will make a positive impact on my life and yours.

Let me start off this journey by stating that I have a tendency to control things in my life rather than turn them over to God.  There are many faces of control as discussed in the book, Let. It. Go by Karen Ehman such as someone who is soft-spoken, an enabler, a martyr, and a people pleaser.  There are negative aspects to each of these faces that we as women face when dealing with control issues.  Why do we as women have a tendency to control things in our everyday lives?  For starters, we have this false concept that it is the answer to our problems and desire to control things all the time.  I would say I am a cross between playing the victim and being a people pleaser depending on the situation.  There are times I feel the need to be emotional if I do not agree with a certian scenario or decision and times I desire to please people in order for them to see my side of things.  Regardless of the fact that I am a sensitive person and enjoy helping others, these are two easy traps for control if I do not act according to His plan for my life.  This is something I desire to surrender in my life since I desire to walk in my faith and let it all go in order to glorify Him.  This is the primary reason why I chose to embark on this particular study at the present time.  I have already revealed to God that I am ready for Him to show me how I can learn to trust Him in all aspects of my life.  I feel God and His promises is what lead me to do this study at this point in my life.  With God’s help, I know there is much hope for my future and He can have the same impact on your life if you are willing to let Him.

It is my hope during the course of this study, that I will allow myself the chance to become less of a control-freak woman and more of a trustworthy woman toward God.  Satan attempts to delve into our souls to make us feel thwarted and baffled at every turn in our life as we achieve to draw closer to God and glorify Him in our works.  Below is a list of key things I hope to accomplish during this study.

  • Realize the limitations that I put on my life in controlling situations
  • Become a better me so I can make the necessary changes in my life to let go and let God
  • Learn from the perspectives of others in order to shed some light on what I can do better to improve my life and relationship with God
  • Get to know and understand the root of my control issues so I can learn to move forward in the future without this barrier holding me hostage during my daily struggles
  • Gain more spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit in my daily walk and trust that God always knows best for my life since He already has it planned out for me

In the coming weeks, I look forward to exploring the necessary tools, thought patterns, and ideas to make a positive impact on my life and praising God throughout the study.  It is okay to admit to ourselves that we feel the need to control things in our life, so we can start changing our beliefs with God’s help.  We can have a more blissful life with God if we rid ourselves of control. Life is so precious, so we need to savor each moment and do what we can to always glorify God.  Below, is a poem I stumbled upon this week that I thought was appropriate for this study.

When We Let Him Have Control

Why is it as though
We struggle so much
And live in constant despair?
We don’t need to carry
Such burdensome loads
But should go to God in prayer

Give Him your burdens
And all of your hurts
Just lay them at His feet
He’s such a big God
He can handle it all
And watches over His sheep

He cares so much more
Than we’ll ever know
And just wants the best for our lives
Each one of his children
Has so much potential
If we’ll only begin to rise

To be all that God
Has intended us to be
To walk through His open doors,
We need to stay focused
And open to God
And put our trust in the Lord

For when we all come
To realize God’s love,
Our hurts will not have a hold
For God’s love will cover
And free us from fear
As we give Him total control.

© By M.S.Lowndes

Please enjoy the video titled, God is in Control by Twila Paris.  May it be an inspiration to everyone as we continue our daily walk with God. Dear God, please open our eyes and hearts as we go through this study with your will for our lives in mind, and allow us to apply these concepts to our daily life to release control and walk with you on our journey in life.  In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen!

 

let-go-let-god

Welcome to my Blog Page!

1 Feb

welcome to my page

Hello!  I want to welcome everyone to my new blog page!  This is my first time to ever create a blog page, so I am pretty excited about this new venture in my life.  I am actually stepping outside my comfort zone, so I look forward to the many benefits in store for me as I embark on this adventure.  I am thankful to the Lord for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.

In the weeks ahead, I look forward to sharing some weekly blog posts, a little information about me, and some other surprises along the way (some good laughs, some of my favorite resources, etc.).  Thank you for dropping by to check out my page if this is your first time to visit.  Feel free to leave me a comment!

May God continue to richly bless you, your life and your family!  Hope the new year is off to a good start for you!  Look forward to hearing from you soon!  🙂

Here is a video of one of my favorite songs titled, I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.