Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Burn Baby Burn

A short while ago we started a campfire in our fire pit. It was early afternoon, but that didn’t matter being that the purpose wasn’t to sit around at dusk and sing songs or roast marshmallows.

The reason for the fire was to clean up the sticks and small branches that had overtaken groundcover in a corner of our back yard.

It started out as a small campfire with a few sticks and branches arranged to burn slowly. It quickly grew to a roaring fire as I discovered how liberating it felt to throw a twig onto the fire and watch it disintegrate within seconds.

Imagining the sticks being problems, slip ups, errors on my part, weaknesses, sins I’m guilty of, and overall things I wanted to erase from my life I would pick up a stick and throw it on the fire while praying for that thing to be free from my life.

Up in smoke went my stupid gossiping, burnt within seconds was my selfish pride, and turned into black ashes was a whole bunch of wrongdoings I knowingly committed. Burn baby burn was my motto until I heard my husband, who had gone to collect more rubbish, call out telling me to “hold back—the flames are getting too big.” Oops.

I stopped what I was doing and gazed into my roaring fire; I could feel the heat and intensity. A warm feeling overtook me as I felt the love that our Lord has for all of us.

A love so strong! 

A love that nothing can divide or force apart, no sin, no slip up, no weakness . . . “No, in all these things we have complete victory through Him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from His love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

Can you feel His love?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

You Are Mine

When our kids were born, I would find myself just wanting to sit and hold them, not being able to take my eyes off of them. I kept staring at who they were, becoming mesmerized, hardly believing they were really mine.

Today, as I look at them, all grown up, I’m so proud and I still find myself glancing over at them, completely spellbound, hardly believing they are mine.

I cringe when I think back on the meals I put forth, which honestly were never quite up to par. I wonder what would cause me time and time again to make a federal case out of some small molehill, and I’m embarrassed of all the instances where I should have backed off and let them handle the situation, but I just had to get involved, me trying to play the perfect mom!

As a parent, more than anything else, when the day is done, despite whatever happened or didn’t happen, I pray that my kids will know that through it all I love them. No matter what!

Praying for my love to be received and understood helps me to realize a fraction of just how much our God loves each and every one of us.

“Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.” (Isaiah 43: 1-2)

When the day is done, despite whatever, I know in my heart of hearts that God loves and God saves.

For He says: “I have called you by name—you are mine.”

 (Photo image courtesy of Cullen O'Donnell.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How I Wish

Oh, how I wish I could pull it off, to walk around life as if nothing bothers me whatsoever. To be satisfied with what I have and what I have not.

Jack Kornfield, author of A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times wrote the following:

“If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; 
if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; 
if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; 
if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; 
if you can always find contentment just where you are;
you are probably a dog."

As I look at our four-legged friend that rests on the floor near my seat, he looks pretty content, and he looks this way pretty much all the time. How I wish I could always find contentment just where I am…not always thinking I need this, that and something else in order to feel fulfilled.

I highlighted these words in my Bible; they help keep me focused on what I really need, and what I don’t.

“Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 5-7)

When was the last time you sat quietly and felt God’s peace?

…Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need…

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Today . . . Today . . . Today

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do It! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” (Pope Paul VI)

If you knew how many tomorrows you’d have, would you live differently?

I believe I would. If I knew which tomorrow would be my last today, I would make sure my todays were lived to the fullest. I would not waste hours zoning out, trying to hide from today’s issues. I wouldn’t waste my minutes gossiping about everything and nothing, and I’d try harder not to let meaningless things get the better of me.

If I knew for sure that my last day was fast approaching, I would not sit and complain that I’m bored with life and can’t find anything exciting to do. For starters, I would concentrate on my faith more earnestly.

We say we believe in God, but do we actively live like we do? If we did, I think we would find purpose in the time we are given. Believe in Him and put the past behind, don’t fret so much about the future, most importantly face the present moment head on.

There are only so many tomorrows, make sure you are living in today.

Live life to the limit, every minute of every day. We have a purpose in life; let’s not neglect it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dream BIG

“Follow you heart and your dreams will come true.” (Anonymous)

Any dreamer can tell you how amazing and fulfilling it is when a dream becomes a reality.

The best dreams are the ones you yearn so much for that they become part of who you are. They are the dreams you carry within your soul and come to be as much of yourself as your heart and hands are parts of you. They can’t be easily pushed out; they are stronger than any negative energy that may be trying to chew away at your hopes. They are the dreams that outside forces can’t snuff out, no matter how many times or how many people there are who tell you it will never work, to give up, that it is just a pipe dream.

If you have the desire, you will find the ambition.

And if you have the ambition, you can create great things.

I took a dream of mine and mixed it in with this Bible verse:

“With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

After many months and more months of working on this project (too many hours to add up), carrying around boatloads of hope (constantly giving myself hope pep talks), spending much time in prayer (really getting down on my hands and knees and asking for guidance and insight), a dream of mine has been fulfilled.

Check out my first book...A Better Life (Awaits You) available for purchase.

I believe everyone can dream, and any one of those dreams can be fulfilled. You just need to let your heart be the deciding force of your dreams.

Never forget that with God all things can become possible. Dream BIG!