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Friday, January 22, 2016
It’s a new year! Some people may cheer about that, others may groan. For me, it’s been a bit of both. I could whine, cry, throw my hands in the air and stomp, but would it really solve anything? No. Might make me feel better. Then again, it might just make things worse. What good is throwing a fit anyway? Might as well shine my tiara, put it back on straight, fluff my tutu and move forward.
How about you? Is your tiara a bit tarnished? Has it slipped a bit cockeyed on your head? Is your tutu in a bunch, or maybe a little flat? No worries. God still loves you and He’s still got a really cool plan for your life. His plan has never changed, even though we may think it did.
What do you think happened when Jonah spent three days in the belly of that great fish? He had a lot of time to think, that’s for sure. But when he was spit out onto the dry land what happened after that? The Bible says that “God’s word came to Jonah a second time…” and guess what? It was the same as before. It didn’t change.
God’s word did not change. Let me reiterate that. It. Did. Not. Change. It’s like when we tell our kids to clean their room. They don’t. They get in trouble. Then what? We tell them again. “Clean your room.” Do we love them any less? No. Does God love us any less when we’ve been disobedient? No.
But what about when life just chews us up and spits us out and we haven’t done anything to deserve it? What then? Our poor little tiara loses its sparkle. Maybe it slips off to the side. Our tutu loses its pouf. And maybe we pout…just a little. Well, instead of a pity party, stand up straight sister. Shine that tiara on your sleeve and put it back on your beautiful head where it belongs. Fluff up your tutu a bit so it’ll look sweet. Then hold your head up and pirouette.
The Creator of the Universe, God, still loves you. His promises for you are still the same. His call on your life is still there. His gifts to you are still yours. The only thing that has happened is that you slipped and maybe you splashed a little mud on yourself. No biggie. So don’t let the devil or anyone else tell you that God can’t use you anymore because that’s a big ‘ol lie.
Sweet, sweet sisters, God adores you so much, tarnished, crooked tiara, flat tutu and all. He doesn’t care about the fact that your tiara slipped off center. In fact, it’s the off centered ones He’s looking for. He uses the broken, bruised, scarred, cracked, uniqueness of your life to make something beautiful. So smile and move forward. God has great big plans for you.
You are more than a conqueror, sweet one. There is no weapon that has ever or will ever prosper against you. Because when God calls you, He also equips you. There is a wonderful story being written in you. Walk it out, steps, stumbles, trips, cracks, all of it. It’s your story and it’s beautiful. Just like you.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
On dreary, overcast days it’s easy to get in a funk and feel down and depressed. It’s especially easy to feel that way when everything all around you seems to be falling apart. But in the midst of all that, there is a bit of hope. Did you hear a little “snap?” You will soon.
There are times when we feel so beat down, stretched to our limit, bent to the point of breaking even. But lovelies, I promise you that you won’t break. Oh no, you won’t break. However, at just the right angle, when you’re bent so far that you think, “This is it, I can’t stand anymore!” if you cry out to God something amazing will happen. You’ll begin to glow like a little glow stick.
Just like a little glow stick, at just the right angle you hear a tiny little “snap” and then with a little shaking the little stick begins to glow the most wonderful color. It wasn’t broken. It didn’t break when it was bent nearly in two. Instead, its little light shines so brightly in the dark that the surrounding area around the little glow stick will light up, too.
Sometimes our circumstances will bend and twist us. People around us will shake us up a bit. We may go through things in our lives that cause us to wonder just how much more before we break. We cry out for the Lord. Then we hear that little “snap.” And while we think He’s not listening, He really is. He comes running in, smooths us out, and suddenly . . . we glow.
Our light begins to shine. And it’s not our light per se, but the light of the Holy Spirit shining through us. When that happens, a whole lot of other things begin to happen around us. People are drawn to that light. They notice. Some comment. Some just stand back and watch. But the light is there nonetheless. And it’s beautiful. You’re beautiful!
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:14-16, The Message
We are God’s little glow sticks, shining in the darkness of the world. If we shine bright enough, others will be drawn to that light and we can help them find Jesus.
Let your light shine, dear ones. You are set on a hill and you cannot be hidden any longer. Shine for everyone to see. Because I guarantee that there is someone who is looking for that light. They are bent to the breaking point. They are searching for that beacon of hope. You have what they’re looking for.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Well, 2015 has left us in a rush of cold air and 2016 has begun. I can hear the booms and the pops of fireworks and shotguns going off. While I listen, I’m wondering, what have you decided your new year will look like? How will you embrace it?
I read a post by a friend of mine who said that she cried many tears in 2015, but that was okay because she just decided that those tears were “nourishing the seeds” that she sowed for 2016. She has declared that her harvest is coming. Yours is, too.
I’ve had my share of years that were less than desirable, too. Trust me. I can tell you some doozies. I spent over forty years shedding tears, worrying, and dealing with fears that were unfounded. In addition to that, my family and I suffered many losses, several happening in one year.
There are so many things we could dwell on. But what if we made the decision to be positive in 2016? What if we decided that all those tears we shed were just watering the seeds we planted?
So while I sit here watching a random ladybug on the wall (I just spotted it, go figure), I’m wondering about this harvest. What kind of seeds have you planted? What will you do with them?
Our words are little seeds that we plant in our lives and the lives of others. The positive ones grow wonderful things. The negative ones are like weeds, winding up and choking out the beautiful things that could have been. We have the choice to plant a beautiful harvest, or kill it off with the frost simply by the words we speak.
This year I’m deciding to make it a positive one, an encouraging one. There are so many promises in God’s Word that if we just took the time to read them we would discover such wonderful things to add to our life’s garden.
This year I’m going to watch for the blooms of beauty, because one of the promises God has made is that he would give us beauty for our ashes. And He sure knows I’ve had plenty of ashes.
It’s time for a beautiful year, don’t you think?