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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Are You Really?

I was watching an interview with Oprah and she asked her guest this question. It made me stop and think and examine my life for a moment.

Who Am I?

I am a child of the King. I am a survivor of Amniotic Band Syndrome. I was born with a purpose and prospered with love. I am nothing, but my God is everything to me. He is the one who blesses me with everything I am.

It is because of His grace and mercy that I am a mommy, wife, daughter, sister, friend, survivor, author, witness, servant, etc. He is the One who created me. He is the One who teaches me. He is the One who molds me. He is the One who prospers me. He is the One who loves me and blesses me to share His love. He is the One who holds me secure and shelters me from the storms. He is the One who allowed me to live—when I should have died.

There is something so beautiful about living a thankful life. To wake up each morning and know there is a purpose for your life, far beyond your own understanding. There is a great peacefulness in knowing God has a plan. And it all works to your own good.

There are times when I feel like my feet are dragging through mud and I’m not going anywhere or accomplishing anything. There are times when I feel so small in this great big world. There are times when it all seems hopeless. And that’s when God intercedes and reminds me to do what is possible for me to do and leave the impossible to Him. 

I love it when He gives me a little glimpse of where is all started and how far He has brought me.

Only God could take a person ashamed of her scars and make her thankful for them. Only God could take a person afraid of her own reflection and make her a window for Him. Only God could take a tragedy and turn it into a blessing.

I am a living testimony of His greatness.

Sometimes I think about it. God could have taken me as a baby and I would have never had to suffer. And the end of my journey would be the same. However, it was God's will that I live. It was His will that I live my life for Him. And that’s what I try to do.

I am a work-in-progress. I have tons of faults and failures, but I continue to try. I love deeply and am loved even more deeply. I don’t have all of the answers nor questions to life, but I know the One who does.

By the grace of God, I am blessed to be many things, but the most important is a sinner saved by His wonderful grace. It’s not who I am that matters, but He who lives in me.

Who are you really?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Family

Sometimes I forget how blessed I am. I often forget to whisper a thank you from my heart for all of the ways God blesses me each day. However, those beautiful blessings are always there, whether I acknowledge them or not. And there are times when I just know God has blessed me far above anything that I could ever repay or deserve.

He has blessed me with the most amazing family. There is love in each branch of my family tree and every aspect of my life. When I think about my family I’m awed by this amazing love. And I think about how it all started. I think about the roots and the solid foundation on which it was established.

It started with love.

There were two people who fell in love and were joined by God. While they loved each other, they also loved God. He was the center of their life. They prayed and served Him and discovered the meaning of life. They had children in love, they raised them in love, and they showed them the depths of their love every Sunday as they took them to church. They never placed conditions on their love or tried to contain it, but they gave it freely and nurtured it. They passed it down from generation to generation.

  • Proverbs 13:22 (KJV) A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

They stayed focused and grounded on the importance of life. They knew God and family are the most important part of life. And they didn’t tell their children these things, but they showed them through the course of their life.

In my family, when one hurts we all hurt. When one suffers, we all suffer. We don’t have to compete for anyone’s love, there’s always enough for everyone. When one needs help, we all do our part, not expecting anything in return. We love each other and it shows. We continuously work on our relationship. We check on one another. We pray for one another. We continue on the path laid before us by our ancestors and embrace the amazing foundation on which it was established.

It was established by God.

My grandparents belonged to God and prayed for their children to be saved. And the cycle continued through every generation. Salvation and love are what bonds a family together. Without God there is no perfect love. He is the center and the solid foundation on which the grandest things occur.

So often we get so distracted by our everyday life that we forget what truly matters. We forget to show our love or to be forgiving. Instead of embracing God’s precious and priceless gift, we turn away from it. We make excuses and justify our bad behavior. We think if we are the one to pull away from our loved ones or build a wall around our heart we won’t be hurt. However, we are only hurting ourselves.

 I have a natural family that is so precious to me. I can’t even find the words to express my love for each and everyone. And I have a spiritual family that is just as precious or more to my heart. Regardless of what I go through or how bad I act, there will always be a big Godly family that will love me unconditionally. They will request prayer for me at church and then kneel before God on my behalf. They will not judge me— only love me forever and ever. They will forgive my faults and failures and always be there for me when I need them. Even if try to push them away. They will ask God to be merciful to me, even if I can’t remember the last time I stepped into God’s house. The will hug me when I finally come home and make me feel so welcome.

They will pray for my children and unlock the kingdom so they may be saved. They will gather around me when I’m sick and dying and comfort my loved ones who are grieving. They will visit me in the nursing home even if I don’t remember my name.  They will always be there to help me carry my load and pray with me.

Sundays are not for sleeping in, shopping, etc. They are for going to His house and showing the world you do love God. They are for praying and hearing the prayer request of the church. They are about crying out in one mind and one accord unto God. They are about supporting this amazing, loving family that gives so much without expecting anything in return.

Whatever your situation, I pray you make your way to God and His house. And come to love this amazing family as much as they love you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Turning the Other Cheek

Some people will always have something bad to say. They will always focus on finding something ugly verses the realm of beautiful surrounding them. They love to be a negative, hateful, opinionated, let’s bring everyone else around us down and wallow in self-pity, kind of person. But you know what, I refuse to allow the Eeyores of life to bring me down.

Be miserable, if you want to. Think of the light at the end of the tunnel as a train ready to run you over, if you want to. View your glass as half empty with a gaping hole in the bottom, if you want to. However, I chose to see the blessings and rainbows in life, instead of dwelling on the heartaches and storms.

Life gets hard. There are always disappointments and heartaches to bear. There are always times when things seem hopeless. There will always be times when people test your limits and push you to see how much you can take. There will always be people who assume the worst of you and say things that are hurtful. There will always be times when you feel defeated. There will always be times when you are thrown inside the fiery furnace, and the enemy declares victory. However, when we look to God, He can always take the absolute worst situation possible and mix it with His amazing love, grace, and mercy and make it into a beautiful blessing. After all, He’s the one who takes carbon and mixes it with extreme heat and pressure to form the diamond.  

It’s hard when people say hurtful things or treat you badly. It’s so hard to turn the other cheek and not lash out at those who hurt us. It’s hard for me to understand at times why God allows these things to happen. And then I think of how the world treated Jesus. It’s not us they don’t like, but God who lives in us.

  • Psalm 109:3 (KJV) They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

However, God wants us to love them. He wants us to pray for them. He wants us to surround them with kindness. He wants us to live for Him.

Most of my life, I have worried about what other people think of me. I remember trying so hard to make others like me that I was afraid to be myself. And then God gave me wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

God is the only one I need to strive to please. If He is satisfied with me, then who cares what other people think of me. They don’t give a righteous judgment anyway. God is the only one with the ability to judge the heart and the efforts we make. He is the only one with the ability to see the truth and the whole picture.

I would rather for the whole world to hate me and be angry with me, than for God to be angry at me. I’m so thankful He always loves me, regardless. He doesn’t put His foot on me and push me into the ground when I mess up, but rather picks me up and comforts me in His arms of love.

Let them hate me and my love for God. Let them hate me because I’m obedient to my Lord. Let them speak evil of me and try to discourage me. Let them throw me into the lion’s den. My God will protect me. He may not prevent me from being hurt, but He will help to me forgive and use the hardships to shine my light a little brighter. During the midst of the heartache, in the eye of the storm, He can give me a smile and a testimony to praise Him. He can make my heart so thankful to suffer for His glory.

When I keep my eyes on God, all I can see is the good.


Author shares message through Zippy the zebra