Blessed

25 Apr

blessings

This is the third week of the Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study titled, Stressed Less Living by Tracie Miles. We are learning all about stress in this study and I hope I am able to keep it in check more often upon the completion of this study since it is a problem I have dealt with for a long time in my life. This week, I decided to talk about my most precious blessings in my life. It helps me put my mind into perspective and be truly grateful for everything God blesses me with each and every day. I know I don’t always show Him how grateful I am for everything He gives me, but know that He knows my heart and how much I love Him. I am learning to be more grateful for all my blessings because I realize at any time they could be taken away from me without a single notice. I cannot begin to think how my life would be different without my many blessings in life. This is why I think it is utmost important for us to be thankful for all the gifts we received from our Lord and Savior. When we learn to savor all the blessings in our life, it keeps us more focused on Him and less focused on our problems that cause us to stress out. Below I have listed some of my most precious blessings and the reason why they are the most important to me.

jesus loves me

My Relationship with God – I could never imagine my life without my Lord and Savior because He has been there for me to lift me up when I was down and helped save me from some pretty tumultuous times in my life. I asked God into my heart when I was 25 years old and felt it has been the best decision of my entire life. God is my peacemaker, comforter, strength, and salvation. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) ~ “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

family

Family – First of all, let me just say that I feel I was blessed with the best parents a person could ever have in life. My mother is my “rock” in life and someone I can always go to about anything because she understands me the best out of all members in my family. She is also not just a mother, but one of my best friends. My dad went to be with the Lord on August 1, 2010 and I will forever miss him. He is always in my heart and I will never forget about him. You don’t realize how much you love someone until they are gone. Luckily, I know I will see him and the rest of my loved ones in Heaven one day when He calls me home. I am the oldest of three girls in my family. I have two younger sisters who are both happily married with children. I am also a proud Aunt of 5 nieces and nephews who I adore as if they were my own. Last, but not least, I also have two of my own children, Brittany and Meredith, up in Heaven who I cannot wait to be reunited with one day. I learned a long time ago we all need people in our life, and I cannot imagine going through life without the people who I trust the most, my loving family. Exodus 20:12 (NIV) ~ “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

Friends – I have always valued every single friendship I have in life because I hold my friends close to my heart and am thankful to God for having each one of them in my life. My dearest friend, Karen and I have been friends for nearly 26 years. She knows me better than I know myself sometimes, is always there for me, and always gives me great advice when I ask her for some in my life. Friends are someone we can always open our hearts to and someone who will always love us for the person we are today. I have met some of my dearest friends at church who have been absolutely amazing sisters in Christ. Romans 12:10 (NIV) ~ “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

My Health – I am also very thankful that God has provided me with good health all the years of my life thus far. I am grateful for every breath I take every second and each new day I am blessed to be alive in order to honor Him. You learn to be grateful for your health even moreso when you witness to one of your family members being sick in the hospital. All I can say is I felt somewhat helpless when my late father was in the hospital before he passed away because I felt helpless. I wish there would have been more that I could have done for him. But, in the end, I realized that he was grateful to have me by his side during his final days before his death. I will the first one to admit that I am not one who is good at tolerating pain, so I pray to the good Lord that I do not have many painful ailments during my lifetime. Luckily, He never gives me more than I can bear in life, so I can always count on that promise when I am sick. In Chapter 2, when Tracie Miles was talking about all the health risks involved with not getting stress under control in your life was a huge wake up call for me. I realized from that day moving forward that I want to do everything possible to keep my stress under better control, because I do not want to be at higher risk of developing severe health problems. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) ~ “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Doxie

Chloe

My Two Dogs, Doxie and Chloe – I am one of the biggest avid pet owners you will ever meet in your life. My two sweet and loving dachshunds are the joy of my life and I refer to them as my children. I love them and spoil them as if they were my very own children. Doxie, my 16 year old I have had since she was 6 weeks old, has been through some of the rough patches in my life and I am thankful I had her to come home to everyday. Dogs always have a way of cheering you up when you walk in the front door because they always act like they have not seen you in a long time. They are so happy to see you so they can love on you. Chloe, my 2 year old is a dog that I rescued from the street in my neighborhood. She has been a great blessing in my life too and am glad that she has come along to keep Doxie company when I am not at home. I never imagined having two dogs at once since I generally only have one at a time, but when I came across Chloe I could not imagine my life without her. Genesis 1:26 (NIV) ~ “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

The Holy Bible – I am also grateful that I can read God’s word in the Bible everyday. It draws me closer to Him and helps me stay focused on Him and His promises for my life. Anytime I am going through something in my life, I find I am at more peace when I go to His word. Psalms and Proverbs are my two favorite chapters in the Bible, but every chapter is important to the life of a Christian. I think it is important to commit to reading the Bible everyday so I can make an effort to read the entire book every year. This is the most important book I will ever read in my lifetime because it is our basic instructions before leaving Earth to spend eternity with God in Heaven when He calls us home. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) ~ “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Online Bible Studies – This is my fourth bible (previous studies include Unglued by Lysa Terkuerst, Greater by Stephen Furtick, and Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman) study to complete on Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies and continue to enjoy it more and more with each new study. I have made some amazing friends through the small groups and have been blessed to have two great leaders. I gain a lot of perspective from others based on our chats in small group and reading all the fabulous blog posts every Thursday. The conference calls are also worthwhile the time and money because they always have some very inspirational speakers lined up with each study. Everyone is always encouraged to participate and spend time in His word during these studies. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) ~ “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

spring blessings

God’s Creations (Nature) – Isn’t it amazing to wake up each morning and enjoy all the beautiful creations that God created for us to enjoy each day? I love to look out the window at the sun glaring in my face, the smell of mowed grass, the smell of rain, the smell and feel of all the vibrant flowers, etc. I love going to the Hill Country this time of year and look at all the beautiful wildflowers along the way. It is also a lot of fun to watch the birds in the birdbath, eating off the birdfeeder, and the squirrels chase the acorns up the trees. I see many animals when I go outside because I live in the country. I see my share of rabbits, roadrunners, deer, raccoons, squirrels, armadillos, and possums which is great since I love all animals. Genesis 1:26 (NIV) ~ “ Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Shelter – I am glad to live in a house because it keeps me out of harm’s way and keeps me warm at night. I feel a heightened level of security where I live since God has provided a roof over my head every day. I don’t even take something like shelter for granted because I am truly grateful to God. I also like the fact that I like my living quarters better today than where I used to live in an apartment because I love the peace and quiet. You live in more confined quarters at an apartment complex, so there tends to be quite a bit more noise than in a house. Psalms 27:5 (NIV) ~ “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”

Food – I always thank God at mealtime for the food He has blessed me with for the nourishment of my body. Food is important because it gives us strength and the nutrients needed to maintain life everyday while we are on Earth. Food is vital for the growth and maintenance of the human body. There is nothing better than food fresh from the garden and farm. I have so much fun planting my own crops in the garden where I live because it beats the store bought items regarding freshness and taste. I am starting to learn the importance of a healthy and balanced meal in addition to a daily dose of exercise for overall well-being. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) ~ “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Water – I am even thankful for the water that God supplies me with each day so I can fill up when I get dehydrated. This time of year is not hard to get that way with the warmer temperatures and with summer being just around the corner. Water is one of those essentials we need in life to help maintain our living existence. I have started drinking a glass of water about 30 minutes before mealtime because it makes me feel more full when I go to sit down and eat my meal. I am not tempted to eat nearly as much since I am all about portion control these days so I can lose some much needed weight. I am also grateful for ice because without water I would not be able to enjoy my cold drinks. John 4:14 (NIV) ~ “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

My Pastor – I am amazingly blessed to have my current pastor. I have never had a pastor quite like him before because he is very passionate about other people (mercy is his spiritual gift), he truly loves the Lord, and his sermons each week are filled with powerful messages and God’s word. I pray he is with the church for a long time because I am so proud to be a member of his congregation. I was in his wife’s Sunday School class before I joined an all lady’s class a few months ago. They are both such amazing people and I am glad they are both a part of my life. I will never forget the remarkable service that he performed at my late father’s funeral and how he came to visit my dad in the hospital before his passing. One can just fill the love in him whenever they are around him. Psalm 37:23 (NIV) ~ “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.”

My Church – I am also thankful for my wonderful church because of all the wonderful sisters in Christ I have met and all the great opportunities I have had to minister to others. It is a big church that continues to grow each month so there are always lots of ways to get involved in the church. I have always felt very comfortable being part of a big church because it gives me the opportunity to meet and serve more people. I love to sing in the choir because I am constantly singing all the time. Also, I like taking part in Bible studies at my church so I can learn more about the Lord and grow closer to Him. Acts 2:47 (NIV) ~ “Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

My Part-Time Job – I am grateful to my local fire department for allowing me to assist them every day in assigned tasks in order to help reach out and help my local community. I was working with them on a volunteer basis for a few months before they decided to hire me as a part-time independent contractor. I am the Secretary for the department and I enjoy it because I get to work with everyone and help others. I have always thought of firemen, policemen, doctors, etc. as my heroes because they are out there saving lives every day in their profession. I admire them so much for their courage and for what they do each day to help others! I am being put through a real test right now because I have been looking for a full-time job over the last nine months and have not had any luck yet. I continue to pray about it and it is my hope that eventually God will lead me to my dream job that I have been waiting for several months. This is a true test of waiting on the Lord and His timing because it is easy for me to get anxious at times. I desperately want to work more hours in order to help others and a way to support myself. I continue to ask others to pray for me in this area of His plan for my life. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) ~ Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Volunteer Opportunities – I tend to look for ways I can help out in my local community while I am not working full-time because it allows me the opportunity to meet some new people and a way to network with other businesses in town. My current part-time job is primarily on the weekends and evenings, so I can easily work in a full-time job during the day. I know there is a reason God allows me to work in all my volunteer opportunities so I can still serve Him until He leads me to my next full-time job. I am not type of person to sit at home all day and do nothing because I tend to get bored easily if I am not doing something. I actually find more opportunities to witness to people in my volunteer jobs because I enjoy talking about God to others and share His love with them. I like to hand out little new testament Bibles to people who may not know about the Bible and do not have a relationship with the Lord. Lucky for me, there are several Christian organizations in my area where I am able to do volunteer work so I can minister to others in public. Acts 20:35 (NIV) ~ “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

After making note of my many blessings this week, it makes me realize how fortunate I am in life and how much God has truly blessed me and my life. Do you take the time every day to thank God for the many blessings in your life? He wants us to come to Him when we are stressed out just as much as He wants us to turn to Him and thank Him for the great things in our life. Thank you Jesus!

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8 Responses to “Blessed”

  1. Nancy Miksad April 25, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Your puppies are absolutely adorable ~ I am a huge doggie fan ~ we have three (st. bernard, black lab & a heeler) Great job on thankfulness ~ being thankful can change our world

    • ceragsdale April 25, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks for the response, Nancy! I greatly appreciate it. I find that if I continue to be mindful of the things that God has blessed me with in my life, it is amazing how much my attitude and perspective changes for the better. I pray that we can all find a way to combat this stress in our lives to live long and healthy lives moving forward. Have a blessed day! May God Bless You Always! 🙂

  2. smeltontx April 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Another great post, Charolette!!! I love how you included so many pictures too.

    • ceragsdale April 26, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Thank you, Stephanie! I always love to include the videos and pictures because I feel it jazzes up my posts. I could not resist putting a picture of my precious doggies in this post. Stephanie, I have finally caught on to the fact that stressing myself out does not good and never changes the outcome of a situation. All it manages to accomplish is make me feel worse in the end. After you read a few of the chapters in this book, it really makes you want to reevaluate your life and seek the necessary changes for a much fulfilled and happier life with less stress. Have a blessed weekend and May God Bless You Always! Love ya! 🙂

  3. marci54 April 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you for the terrific post…you reminded me today of things that I forget to praise God for providing to me…great friends…awesome Sisters, the animals that make me smile and nature that always provides beauty!!!

    • ceragsdale April 26, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks for the nice comments, Marci! Glad you enjoyed reading my post and that it reminded you of the many blessings we are blessed with each day from God. I used to take these things for granted, but nowadays I am eternally grateful for everything good in my life. Have a blessed weekend and May God Bless You Always! 🙂

  4. robinjp7 April 27, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    This was great! What an awesome reminder to daily count our blessings! You have an amazing heart for God and for others and are such a blessing. I’ll be standing in agreement with you for your job sweet lady, and may God bless you over and above what you may ask, expect, or think, as His Word promises.
    CUTE dogs!

    Robin-OBS Leader

  5. bloggerlovestheking April 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    Charlotte as usual your blog is awesome! How did you do the sub-headings at the top. I cannot get it figured out.

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