Monday, April 28, 2014

This is going to be a different post than usual.

Tonight I am sitting in my living room praying.  It's one of those prayers that doesn't have to do with a specific need or desire. It's deeper. It's about needing Him.

Because I know myself. I know how I fail others. I know how I can judge, and get frustrated. I know how I am not as patient as I should be. I see how selfish I can be.

Tonight I heard a pastor speak about the prodigal son. He talked about how he was always thinking that he was either one son or the other. Either he had it kind of together, and was the good son, or he was a total failure, and was the bad son.

So, tonight, I was praying specifically about that. I can relate.

Now, mind you, I know we can't earn our way to heaven. I understand it's a free gift from Jesus. But, even after all these years of being a Christian, I am still learning what it means to be loved, covered, and wanted despite my many flaws.

To make up for my flaws, there is a part of me that feels like I should be doing "something." And that "something" looks a lot like acting perfectly.

When I have a good week, I feel like am doing that "something." I feel like I am starting to get my act together and figure it out.

When I have a bad week I feel like I'm never going to "get it right" no matter how hard I try.

Tonight, as I prayed I felt like the Lord highlighted to me (and I am not saying, "thus sayeth the Lord." This is just the feeling I got) that the father in the prodigal story was equally close to both of his sons. The father was just waiting for both of his sons to turn and see how loved they were.

Because, in the story, the "good" son has moments of resentment when the "bad" son returns home. The father rushes down the street to grab the "bad" son up in a hug.  The "good" son doesn't feel appreciated, and the father tells him (paraphrased) "Don't you realize all I have is yours?"

And the "bad" son returned home feeling overwhelmed with guilt and desperation, and was also completely unprepared for his father's love.

I don't get it yet, but what I felt was that God isn't expecting me to be good. He is expecting me to turn to him, and let him be my covering, because he loves me. This is why it's good news.

Sometimes good news can be unbelievable. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, I couldn't believe it. Sometimes, rather than believe good news I worry that it will get yanked away somehow. For example, if we planned a trip I'd worry it would get rained out, or delayed.

Good news can be hard for me to accept.  I'm thinking that instead of worrying if I am doing it "right or wrong" I might just try to keep my eyes on the one who says this.....Romans 8:31-37 (So amazing. I am trying to grasp this!!)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

  we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day! Happy Easter! This day is the reason I have hope.

Because of what Jesus did for me I am free from guilt and shame.  I am completely forgiven.

Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

*and my favorite promise...*

Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

We all screw up, but he sees us as his precious children; someone worth dying for.

He loves me.

He loves you!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday is winding down, a new week is starting.

It's a gift.

And you are a gift to it.

Somehow this week, someone will be affected positively by something you say or do. You might not even know when you do it. It might be a smile you give, or letting them merge ahead of you on the highway, or holding open a door. It might be something completely accident, that happens just because your you.

You are made for great things.  But great things don't always look great, sometimes they look small, insignificant, and unnoticed.

Like a mustard seed, which eventually grows into a tree. Or any seed for that matter. Something great often starts in the tiniest ways.

So if you don't see your mark this week, don't worry. You're still planting seeds. :) :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wow! Today I woke to great news! An editor from sent me an email saying they were doing a spotlight on my book, Ghost No More, tomorrow! I am super excited and honored. I hope it reaches a lot of people that need encouragement.

~~~~Dancing the happy dance~~~~~~

Thank you God!

I should write more, but I think I am still stunned. 

I will tell you, every time I hear from my readers it's my beauty from ashes. Just so thankful for each one of you who take the time to write me.

Ok, let me leave you with this, in case you didn't hear it today....

You are beautiful!
I'm glad you are alive and here.

(((((((((((big hug to those who need it)))))))))))))))))

Have a great day. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Good morning everyone! I hope you are having a great day today. 

So, I want to get back to an earlier thought about going around and around the mountain. I can't tell you how many times I've felt like I was doing that. If you read back, you can even see me mentioning  that way just a few posts ago.

When I describe going around the mountain, I am describing facing the same situation over and over, and feeling like I'm not making progress. It can be doubt, misunderstanding, condemnation, forgiveness, frustration. It feels like I am not going to "get over" that obstacle no matter how hard I try.

I was watching a travel show not too long ago. They were climbing up a desert mountain in sweltering conditions. They could only climb it in switchbacks, because going straight up would kill them by dehydration. At times, they could practically reach down and touch where they were just a step below, even though they had walked a zig-zag. So, even though the back and forth seemed like very little progress, it expended less energy and got them to their goal.

It reminded me that what felt like going around the mountain was more like a tight spiral. Sure, I might not be able to see a difference in myself the first 8 times (ha!) I pass the same situation, but eventually I will. There are small changes being made in me, so that as I come across the same situation I have grown, I do have new insight, God is healing me, and I respond instead of react.

If you feel like you are going around the mountain, consider maybe it's a spiral. Even if it looks messy now, keep hanging on. God loves you immensely no matter where you are.