You are Worthy

I grew up feeling loved by my Dad, and worthless by my Mom. I became a perfectionist in an attempt to pull some sort of affirmation from my Mom. I lived to make her proud of me. Sadly, it has never come to fruition and all I got from it is frustration and anxiety. I’m old enough to not be a victim or play the blame game for any bad behavior I can exhibit time to time, but it still gets to me after all these years.

My Dad has shown me such unconditional love over the years. No matter how mad I would get at him when I was a young girl, or when my mouth gets ahead of me as an adult, he still loves me. Despite the love I received, and still do, there was always this nagging voice in my mind that told me I would never be good enough or worthy enough. That’s where my perfectionism is rooted. This determination to one day be told I did something worthy of a mother’s love was my focus even when it wasn’t my focus. I felt like I was able to overcome so much of this when I was a stay-at-home Mom for almost 12 years. It was challenging at times, but I loved so much of it and felt like I was a success. I love my sons fiercely and unconditionally. I am always proud of them and their accomplishments. I’m also proud of them when they try and fail, because at least they tried!

When I finished my degree and decided to go back to work, this is when I saw that perfectionism and frustration raise its ugly head once again. When I work so hard and years go by without promotion, it brings me right back to feeling like I’m worthless. Realistically, I know I am not and I know my boss doesn’t feel that way, but it’s rooted so deep inside of me, I struggle to get rid of it. How is it even possible to feel accomplished, confident, and find success, yet still struggle with not being good enough?

This brings me to a turning point for me that still brings me to tears. I was at a Women’s Conference this spring at my church. Going to things like these are so out of my comfort zone as I struggle big time with social anxiety and awkwardness. Anyway, my church always has gifts and giveaways for these meetings and they display these gifts at the front, on the stage. I don’t normally win things, but as I look upon this big vase sitting there shining so brightly, I felt like the Lord told me I was worthy of this vase. Not necessarily this vase, but the meaning behind it was what this vase represented. I was shook. This vase was the Grand Prize. I was sitting there minding my own business when I felt God speak those words to me. As I drove home for the lunch break, I began to tell my husband about this and the emotion of it all brought me to tears. God said I was worthy. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth said I am worthy. I could barely get these words out. This revelation was slowly pulling on that root of perfectionism and unworthiness that was instilled inside of me as a little girl. After lunch, I went back to the Women’s Conference and needless to say, I did not win the vase, but it was still such a good conference and I won that vase in my heart with those words God spoke to me.

Shortly after this conference was my Anniversary, and very unexpectedly my husband walks into my room with this Vase! I assumed he went out and found a duplicate vase like the one at the Conference, but as the tears streamed down my face, he told me how he reached out to one of our Pastors to find out where she got it. After he explained what the Lord spoke to me at the conference, she let him know who won it and the woman who actually won it was more than happy to give it to him so that I could have it. I was absolutely shocked!

This vase now sits on my dresser in my bedroom as a reminder that I am good enough. I am worthy of God’s love. I am worthy to be healed. I am worthy of promotion. I do work hard and I do believe effort is also necessary. You’re not going to give 50% of yourself at a job and expect to get promoted. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, or my husband to love me, or my family etc. In the same way, you don’t have to be perfect to feel worthy of being loved and appreciated. Don’t allow anybody else’s insecurities to tell you different. Sometimes God uses things like vases to speak to you. Listen to Him and understand who you are in Christ. God did not create us to feel worthless. He created us to be loved and to love because we are worthy of love!

Better You, Better Me

new-year-1898553_1280So, this New Year brought me to the place where I look at my life and decide what I would like to change. I take a look at my health as many people do at this time of year. I hear people say that you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions because you should always strive to be better. Well, yes, this is true, but why is it wrong to want to make a fresh start to your life when a another year starts fresh?

I decided I wanted to be a better wife and mom. I also decided I wanted to try to run a 5K faster than I did when I used to run a few years ago.

If starting a new year helps somebody decide to make a better effort regarding their health or their finances or even their relationships, then I say go ahead; Make those resolutions!

firework-collage-1489849_1280One thing you must watch for though, is to not feel regret or condemnation if you don’t measure up to your resolutions. We all fall short and we all struggle in certain areas of our lives, but does it mean that we just give up until another new year starts? Absolutely not!

I know we are a few days into the New Year of 2017, but let’s together make it a greater year than we have ever had. Let us decide to be better and do better this year.

Are you with me?

What’s Your Identity?

dawn-190055__340I try to live my life to the best of my ability. I could sit in my room and be angry because of different situations I have had growing up. I could blame my failures on my parents. I could blame so many things on the continuous rejection and hatred I feel from my own Mother, but I don’t. I won’t allow myself to play a victim. I won’t allow my children to see me as anything but their Mother who knows her value in life.

I know so many people who have had difficult lives. I think in some ways, most of us have had difficulties in life. What kind of people do you find yourself identifying with? Our history shapes us and our culture helps shape us, but does it define us? When you open your mouth, what comes out?

summit-cross-225578__340I have so much respect and awe in people who live as overcomers. They may have been abused growing up, but they don’t live in their past. They live in the identity they know they have in Christ. When I see a man who didn’t have a father, and he chooses to live his life as a man of God who strives to be the best father he can be, I have so much respect for him. When I see somebody who is fighting such sickness or disease, yet they live their life giving Glory to God and don’t make their sickness their identity, I am in awe. These people understand their identity is not in sickness or being fatherless or being abused.

What is difficult, is listening to somebody who can only talk about their problems. There is more talk about problems than solutions today. The enemy wants us to get stuck in our own problems. We need to recognize this and we need to close our mouths. The enemy knows us so well and he knows what it takes to take our focus off God and put it right back on ourselves.

1 Peter 2:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Imagine how much we could change the world if we turned our focus away from ourselves. We are a a chosen generation; a royal priesthood. Let us live like this and help others understand that their hope is in Jesus and not in this world.

My Timeline

pocket-watch-731301__340One thing I have been trying to work on lately is timing. If I want something to be done, I want it done on my timeline. Ask my husband; he will totally and completely verify this to you! On the plus side, I am finally realizing this about myself, so I won’t have to live the rest of my life wondering if people are purposely being jerks to me.

I make light of this in today’s post, but in reality, I still struggle when things don’t happen on my timeline. I do recognize when it is happening, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I was talking with my Dad not too long ago and telling him why I struggle with certain things. I explained to him how I am having to learn that just because someone doesn’t do what I asked today, it doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. I think it explained quite a bit to him about why I have gotten somewhat frustrated with certain situations going on.

This can cross over into my spiritual life. Many of us have dreams and visions of doing things and we expect to be able to do them by tomorrow. We received prophetic words about futuristic things and we think we are going to wake up tomorrow and be able to do them. There are times, when things do happen that quickly, but overall, be prepared to wait possibly many years for things to come to pass. I think all of us at times tend to forget that God’s timing is so much different than our timing. We get words that talk about something happening quickly, and that means to us by the end of the week.

Be patient! It is so much easier to say than do. I never pray for patience any more because God will most certainly put me in tests to improve it. Lesson learned on that one! I think patience also comes with maturity.

We mature to a level where we understand that every moment of our life is a process of learning to trust and obey God.

When I get frustrated that people aren’t doing what I think they should on my timeline, part of it is a lack of trust. I need to trust people more. I also need to trust God more. I definitely don’t need to keep reminding God of what He told me in the past; He knows! God wants us to trust Him and to obey His voice. When we do this, we are walking in His will and what He has spoken over us will come to pass. His timing is perfect.

$4.3 Million Baby!

Abe L 28284320The internet tells us so many things. I can google pretty much anything and get information from one end of the spectrum to the other. I see so much stuff on Facebook and social media sites that gets my angst up, yet I need to do the smart thing and research it. It’s so easy to like something because we have an already formed opinion about it. When I see something bad about Hilary Clinton and her campaign, I automatically believe it must be true, because I believe she lies without thought, and is responsible for the death of American citizens. What I cannot do though, is automatically believe it. Politicians lie. They lie about each other as well as themselves. Republicans twist things, Democrats twist things. In their minds they believe it’s for the greater good. I think the best policy is to do your research on all candidates whether you read good or bad things. Why do so many people believe things at face value?

Power ball

I believe too many of us have become lazy. We want everybody else to do the work for us. We would rather believe something, good or bad, than to do a little bit of research. Take for instance this Power ball Lottery; there is the meme going around on how everybody gets $4.3 million dollars if somebody would just share it with all Americans. In fact, it may work out to $4.33 and that is before taxes! It’s so important to look into things and study it out.

It works the same way with our Christian walk. Maybe this blog is all for me, but I know I have had times where my main Bible reading is when the Pastor has me open up my Bible to a specific scripture during a church service. I can’t wonder why I have struggled throughout the week when I haven’t even opened up my Bible to study and do my research.

We need to turn to our Bibles more often than Google!

I’ll be honest, I love Google. Google has grown so immensely, that it has actually been added as an English language word. Google helps me cook. Google helps me with my education. Google helped let me know that I was truly in labor with one of my sons. Google even helps me find specific scriptures for some of my blogs. Google helps me with a lot of things, but it does not give me life.

Hebrews 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is refreshing to my soul. It is powerful and strong. The Bible tells us the truth; always. There is no need for fact checking with the Word of God. As you read it, you grow in faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

We walk by faith when it comes to the Word of God, but don’t be naive and believe that everything and anything is the truth outside of the Bible. Study your Bible. Understand when things line up with the Word of God and when things do not. Always be humble and always be in the Word of God. His Word will never let you down!

 

Press On

I believe today I want to encourage you. We need to always encourage each other and build each other up. Keep pressing on and understand that God has never and will never forsake you. He loves you!

My husband and I have changed our lives so much these last several years trying to follow the will of God. There are times we question if this is the right thing to do or not. There have been times we knew without a doubt. We have made plans and God has changed them. We seem to be living by this scripture lately.

Proverbs 16:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Green-Forest-Walk

We made plans, but God opens doors that we weren’t even considering to open. We have some exciting changes happening and I know this is God working because this girl does not get excited about change!

I just want to encourage you to keep pressing through. If you feel like you are in the wilderness and can’t find your way out, God is with you. If you feel like giving up, DON’T GIVE UP. It is too easy to focus on our circumstances and miss out on things. The enemy really knows how to thwart us, but if we understand who we are in Christ, the enemy has no power over us.

Let’s build each other up. Let’s help each other through the difficult times. Start today and tell somebody that they are special. Remind them that God is directing their steps and to not give up. Let’s do this together!

Joseph’s Understanding

Forgiveness can be difficult. Saying I’m sorry can be difficult. We are made of human, imperfect flesh. We have to die to ourselves every day. We have to get rid of pride, anger, jealousy, rage, envy; all things not of God. Our whole lives are filled with trials and we have to fight to be overcomers. That is what God calls us to be; overcomers not survivors. At times in my own life I have questioned God. Why did I have this parent? Why did I go through this God? Where were you God? I think we have all cried out to God for answers in moments of this life.

I would like to think that I have had some understanding of what forgiveness is throughout my life. Forgiveness is so powerful; it brings freedom. In the same way unforgiveness is powerful for the enemy; it brings bondage. I was reading about Joseph again the other day when I had to stop and reread a portion.

Genesis 45: 4-8

And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will beneither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

I have read those passages so many times, yet on that day God really revealed something to me. Joseph keeps telling his brothers who sold him, that “God sent me before you”. Joseph had a full revelation that God was fully involved in this whole journey. God was not surprised that Joseph was sold by his brothers, or that Joseph ended up in prison. God planned it that way. Joseph saw the bigger picture. He was sent so that one day, he could save his family from the drought.

No matter what we have gone through, or are going through, we need to hold on to that revelation that God sent us. It is so easy to say that it is all the enemy’s fault. Because of the enemy, I am not doing what I was supposed to be doing. The enemy stole my future or my calling. I know it can happen. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We do need to be ever watchful of the enemy’s snares. God has plans for our life and sometimes those plans may include things like your own brothers selling you out of jealousy, or ending up in prison as an innocent man. Joseph understood this. He did choose to forgive his brothers, but he understood that God planned all of his life and Joseph was faithful to overcome all of his adversities by being faithful to his God, the God of his fathers.

I want to be like Joseph in that way. I want to be quick to forgive and quick to understand that the enemy doesn’t surprise God. Our parents or siblings, or that person in your life that you don’t understand why God put them in your life, they are there for a purpose. God is sending us and it is up to us to choose to forgive with the understanding that we serve a faithful God and He knows our destiny. God is sending us because perhaps one day, we are going to be saving another person’s life, or many people’s lives. Don’t live in your sorrow, or unforgiveness. Keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t lose hope.

Lord I choose to forgive all those who have hurt me. I choose to walk this path with the understanding that You alone are God and nothing is impossible for You. Thank you Lord for my destiny.

Forgive Me Again

I shampooed most of the carpet in my home yesterday. I love that clean new carpet look after they are cleaned. There is no more dirt or stains. It is like they are brand new again. It is such a great feeling! I can look at my life the same way. When I sin, I start to become dirty, or stained. I can continue to live my life with the filth and stains, or I could choose to clean myself up. We all sin, but how we deal with our sin is what can really change us. As a child, I used to say “I’m sorry” all the time to get out of trouble. I knew it would appease my parents. I knew if I showed remorse, that they would show more mercy. I think many Christians live their lives like this; without maturity. Apologizing and asking God for forgiveness makes us feel better, but it does not change us.

Yes, God forgives us when we ask for forgiveness. He never reminds us of our sins that He has already forgiven us for. The problem with too many of us, is our failure to truly repent for our sins. To truly repent, we literally turn away from that sin and change our course. God knows our hearts. We can’t fool Him. He knows when we are trying to soothe our own soul, and when we are truly coming before Him, broken and wanting to be made whole by the only One who makes all things new. I know in my own life, there are too many times I have been almost flippant in my, “Oops! Sorry Lord, I did it again! Oh, please forgive me Lord!” Then, I choose to walk right back into that very same sin. I have to stop this. Where is the Fear of the Lord in this attitude? I should have the utmost of respect and reverence for the Almighty God, that my deepest desire is to completely turn away from my sin.

This takes maturity. We need to continually be maturing as Christians. If we truly want to be followers of Christ, we need to obey Him; obey the leading of His Holy Spirit. When we hear that still small voice telling us we shouldn’t be doing something, we need to obey Him. Yes, we serve a gracious and merciful Lord, but that doesn’t mean we continue to live a sinful life because we know He will always forgive us. Why are we even Christians if we don’t attempt to truly follow Christ in every area of our life?

“Lord please forgive me for not fully committing my life to You; for not truly repenting and turning away from my sins. Lord help me to walk in maturity and today I choose to recommit my life to serving You and loving You. I choose to understand who I am in Christ. I thank You for Your grace and mercy and for always loving me because that is who You are!”

Your Breakthrough is Coming

I saw a video today that literally made me weep. It was a group of men from Syria digging in the ground until they came upon an arm, then a head, and much later on in the video, finally, the whole body….of a toddler. This toddler was rubbing his/her eyes and was ALIVE! I don’t know how long this small child was buried alive, but they didn’t give up. I don’t even know if it was a boy or a girl because it just wasn’t that clear. All I know is that God has a plan for this child’s life and this child never gave up. Death tried to come for this child and this child didn’t give up! How many times have we given up? I know we struggle and get frustrated and feel like we are alone, but we are never alone. God has promised He would never leave us or forsake us. I just want to give you some hope today.

Don’t give up! Your breakthrough is coming….

No More FEAR!

As I sit here listening to “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser, I find myself really listening to the words. We are no longer slaves to fear. Those words are so important. I know in my own life, I have missed out on too many things because of my own fears. I feared unusual things, and what many would consider to be ‘normal’ things. We find in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” It does not say that it is okay to fear certain things! God sent His son to die on the cross for all those fears, no matter how rational you think they are. I do not like bugs or heights, but I don’t fear them.

God does not want us to live in any sort of fear. Give your fears to Him! He has given us a sound mind. I can’t tell you what that scripture means to me having lived with massive anxiety for too many years. Don’t give up this life because of your fears. Go outside and enjoy God’s creation. Look at things with new eyes. Go to the top of the Empire State Building and see what beauty you can find there. Go to the ocean and find the beauty there. Go to your mirror and find the beauty there. Go for a drive and revel in the beauty of nature.

Beauty is everywhere. You will find it more easily if you are no longer a slave to fear. You will see the beauty in others as well as this world. We have enough to overcome in this world than to let fear control us to the point we can’t leave our homes, or even our towns.

Your fear died on the cross with Jesus. It is time you left it there. When Jesus rose, all our sins and fears were washed away. His blood saved us and to this day spares us from all fear and anxiety. Let’s rise up and walk together as one body of Christ without fear. One day without fear will turn into two. Two days will turn into three and before you know it, you will be walking in complete freedom from fear and anxiety. You can do this!