A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.
One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.
Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.
Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.
After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.
My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?
With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.
Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…
What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?
I’ve been a bit concerned with myself lately. Constantly asking myself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I where He wants me to be? Am I on the path He wants me to take? What does He want me to do next? Is He disappointed in me?”
Saturday night, this literally kept me up nearly all night long. I prayed, tossed, turned, and worried. By nature, I’m a worry wart. Problem was, I was asking myself all of these questions instead of asking Him. I finally laid there in bed and said “Lord, lead me. Tell me what You want me to hear… I need to know where I stand and where to go next…”
“You’re free, Angie. There is no burden to carry, everything is forgiven. You are FREE…”
I didn’t even realize this was something I had been worrying about! But it made so much sense when I laid there and thought about it. I’m free. I’m listening. And with that simple answer from him I knew where my focus needed to be re-aligned, the next step to take, and that He is still just as happy to call me His daughter as I am to call Him my Father.
To help keep this reminder to myself, I’ve been humming this old song since then. It may not be a favorite style of music for a lot of people, but just listen to the lyrics and let it bless you!
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
A year after my mother passed away, my daughter married. A few months afterward she was expecting a baby as her husband embarked upon his three-month internship for his college degree. He was to make the 2,000 mile trip and get settled while she stayed with me the first couple of weeks, then she would fly out to join him.
It was bedtime when I wandered into the living room to say good night. As I did she casually told me he had arrived safely and really loved the area. “He would be interested in taking a position and living somewhere out there,” she explained. I don’t believe I flinched, though my heart sank to my toes. I made a graceful exit and headed to the bedroom.
My husband was sound asleep so I felt my way in the dark to find my Bible. I slipped into the bathroom for some light and sat on the step beside the tub to cry. The only way I knew to express myself to the Lord was to be direct and that’s how I proceeded. “God we’ve got a problem,” I candidly prayed. “I need to talk to my mother, but You had this bright idea to call her home. Now what am I supposed to do?”
Mom had a remarkable gift to speak a “word in season” that would calm my troubled spirit. My only daughter and first grandchild could potentially move thousands of miles away and if ever I needed a word in season, this was it.
Then I desperately flipped open my Bible and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Scripture leaped off the page from Mark 8:35. Then, as if we were sitting at the kitchen table, I heard Mother’s voice in my head. I could visualize her leaning in with her hand gently patting the page as she began to explain, “Let me tell you what this Scripture means,” I heard her softly say. “The Lord knows that Kimmy is your life and always has been. But God is a ‘people mover’ and He strategically places them around the world where they can be utilized for the Kingdom.” I heard her continue, “He’s asking you to lay your life down for His sake. But it’s your choice. You can pitch a fit and get a bear hold on her and refuse to let her go. But she could be living on the other side of the wall and not be yours. On the other hand, as long as she is in the will of God, there is no distance that can take her from you.” In those few moments, “I got it.” I allowed myself to cry through the night, but by dawn I washed my face and prepared to lay my life down.
So far, I have been spared… she has lived within a reasonable driving distance. But as a result, it has been a joy to watch first-hand as she has grown and matured in God, standing on her own two feet, becoming what He has called her to be.
I realize from the moment God loaned her to me, she was really His all along. But as a young mother I spent my time cleaning the “sticky fingers” without seeing the big picture. He could see it all along. The sticky fingers were mine to care for, the calling on the one whom those sticky fingers were attached, was His.
I learned a valuable lesson that would serve a young mother well to realize now. Because in order to keep your life, considered it a privilege—for His sake—to lay it down.
To learn more about Lona (pronounced like Donna with an “L”) please visit her website at www.lona.org. She has an amazing testimony that you will be nothing but blessed to read about!
I cannot emphasize enough just how cool I believe this really is!!!
Little did I know that my little guy was going to be used, once again, to minister to me. You may remember that on Monday I posted about taking a leap of faith and how God spoke to me by watching Tommy jump off the couch.
Well, fast forward to this morning. I’m stressed. I’m scared. I’m worried. My Dad is going in for another surgery tomorrow. I’ve been praying all morning for peace. I went in to do some dishes when I heard my son sing “Hahahahahahaha” as in the verse from “The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength”. I couldn’t help but grin a little.
“Why didn’t I think of that? Duh Angie!”
Needless to say, I’ve been singing it for the last couple of hours.
What about you? How have your children ministered to you lately?
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…
Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, they may see your good works and your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV
I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.
When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV
So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)
Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!
Facebook has gotten to be more than just a social site. It’s definitely like living in a fantasy world. People put statuses that you know are directed at you and you know that they would never have the guts to say them to your face. If you see in on Facebook, you know it must be the honest to God truth. Rumors are started out of the most simplest of statuses and you know that it was made more out of it than it really is.
Accusations are thrown at others out of nowhere. Everyone is perfect and make no mistakes. The Gospel according to John becomes the gospel according to Suzy, Jake, Chad, Norma… etc.
Fights become public and disagreements become “hate”. No one is to blame for any of their actions and no one will take responsibility to any pain that they cause for someone.
Someone is always down in the dumps. People judge others for everything they do or say, whether it be good or bad. If you get blessed, they say that you don’t deserve it. If something happens to you in a bad way, you must have deserved it somehow.
Then there are those who hold it against you if you always have something positive to put. You can’t win for losing.
Let’s get Facebook going on a positive track. I know that we can’t change everybody’s thought process, but we can start with our own friends list. If they don’t like it, there is always a delete button… just sayin’… 🙂
In the words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
OMGosh! It never fails to behoove me, to see the kids in our school and observe the way they treat each other. They are so pre-occupied with impressing each other than doing the “right” thing. It doesn’t matter what they say because it doesn’t matter who’s feelings they hurt. This type of behavior begins at home. When the kids see their parents acting in this childish behavior, it plants a seed for others to come by and water, and then a root system begins to grow.
I tell my kids all of the time that they are responsible for themselves. No one is going to make them live a life for Christ. I can lead them and guide them in the way that they should go, but I can’t be with them every second of the day. That is why I teach them to hide the Word of God in their heart, so that they can draw on it in times of need.
Popularity doesn’t do anything for you in life. It will not get you to Heaven, and you truly don’t have any REAL friends. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for popularity. But if given the choice, always choose integrity. Choose what’s right over pleasing others because it’s what they want you to do.
As mothers, or people who have a strong influence over the life of children, it is not too late to set a good example. To teach others integrity.
It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.
So how can we set those examples before our children and others?
Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.
Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.
I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”
Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid. She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing. It is Eeyore in the flesh!
There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this. Raw. Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else. These are the ones who need to be shown love the most. Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance! I know. I’ve been there.
She doesn’t need me to shun her. She needs to see the love of Jesus in me. To know that she matters to the Kingdom. Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.
The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.
We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are. Ask God to teach you how to love them.