I See Jesus

I went walking around the Lake today for my cardio workout.  When I got there, there were only a few cars and some people sitting at tables under the picnic shelters.  I started walking and feeling insecure and scared because no one else was walking but me. I felt isolated and targeted.

But being stubborn and needing to get the workout done, I continued anyway.  I prayed, “Lord, please protect me and keep me safe.” Then I started to see Him.  I started to see Jesus!

He came as a butterfly as He always has to tell me that everything’s gonna be alright.  But He knows me too well. Around every bend, near every corner, every single time I felt unnerved, He came.  He came 9 times to reassure me that He had everything under control and that I was protected.  

I felt so loved, I smiled every time He came and said, “Hey Jesus!”  One time, He swirled around my feet like we were dancing together. He made me feel so protected and worthy.  

I know people see Jesus in nature and in other things.  But He always comes to me as a butterfly and today was no different.  Thank you, Jesus that you know me so well and love me so much.

To die is gain!

I have not lost, I have gained.

Philippians 1:21-22a (NIV)

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  22a If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. 

Over the past month, I’ve encounter an end, a loss, let go, a resignation and a possibility.  Each thing representing something that I loved or wanted to love. Each thing having a specific meaning with time and space in my life.

In my singleness, I’ve learned to become independent. I’ve learned to rely on myself with God’s help.  Taking care of children, a house, a car, finances, serving others, friendships……always putting others first.  When faced with the upside downness of the past month, I realize that each of these things have taken my independence away and made me more dependent on God.

I have prayed and studied God’s word and put things aside to pursue God more and more.  I have been happier and found more joy in my sorrow and pain than at any other time in my life.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. (Philippians 1:21-22a)  I desire to be closer to God and learn how He wants me to live and who He wants me to be for this season of my life.  He has sent each of these situations to me to gain perspective, discipline, consistency, motivation and love.

I want to be wanted, chosen, cared for, loved, respected and pushed.    In each situation, God has shown me that even when something is worldly lost, gone, done or taken, He is still here, waiting, wanting,  pursuing, loving, providing, protecting. I have not lost, I have gained. I have gained more with Him than I can ever gain with another person, job, or success.  I have gained love, joy, peace, mercy, grace and everlasting life! Nothing I could ever gain with a person, job or success. Therefore, I have gained it all! I have gained Jesus!  I have won!

Silent Heartbreak

Poem by Lola Brooks

Too quiet to speak,

No words can express the pain.

There’s no one to tell,

you were my one,

Now I’ve lost you.

I did the wrong thing,

I said something wrong.

I’d take it back,

but it’s too late.

I carry the silence within,

no one knows me like you.

There’s no one to share it with,

you won’t talk to me and

I can’t make it go away.

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Worthy

I’ve been on vacation this week and I haven’t been following my regular at home schedule.  So I have missed some of my daily devotions with God.

I had a moment this morning that made me realize that “you don’t have to be perfect to follow God”.  In fact,  God would rather us be broken, torn to pieces, battered, bruised, shaken, scared and a bunch of other not so lovely things, so He gets the glory for saving our behinds.

The story!

My grandson and I were traveling to meet my old high school friend for lunch.  We had to drive over the “Cape Fear River Bridge” that separates Wilmington, NC from Leland, NC and beyond.  This bridge has a grated part in the middle that is lifted when a big boat or barge needs to go under it.  As we are going over the bridge, traffic is heavy for two lanes on each side.  We are beside a tractor trailer at times as well as other vehicles.  As we are all on the last grated part, traffic is stopped because of the traffic light that is ahead.  We all start to slow down expect the tractor trailer who is beside us.  He slams on his brakes, skids to stop, I say, “Lord, help us” and slow down myself.  The tractor trailer comes to a stop, doesn’t fish tale into my lane or hit the person in front of him.  Praise God!  I told my grandson, “Only but God, only but God!” We thanked God all the way to our destination.

I had felt guilty for not including God in my vacation routine.  I was not consistent in indulging in His word like I am at home.  But He is not me!  Thank you, Jesus for being you!  He is always on time!  He is always with us!  He is always protecting us and loving us and providing for us.  There is no way, I mean, no way, my grandson and I and all those other people would have made it out without anything happening without God being there at that moment.

I love the way God loves me, in my mess or no mess.  He loves me so much even when I’m not consistent, not on time, not loving, not perfect!  He loves me and will always, always love me!  If you don’t know God the way I do, you are missing out on a loving, caring Heavenly Father who wants to get to know you!  Talk to Him, He is waiting to talk to you!  He created you and He knows you!  Let Him love you and feel His love for you today!

Reality Check

People go around saying you need a reality check.  Well, what they don’t realize is that everyone’s reality check is different.

Whatever you are living, whatever your goals, whatever your dreams are, is your reality.  If you get off track, then your reality check is to reassess your whatever’s and get them back on track.  What you do will be different from others and how you get them back on track will be different. You can’t look at other people and do what they do.  You have to do what is best for your whatever’s.

Make a list (pro/con), think with your heart and your head, write down your goals and dreams and how you will get there.  Dream BIG! Make sure these are your ideas and not someone else. Devote time to prayer and ask God what His goals and dreams for your life are.  His plans are way better than yours and His journey is way more exciting.

Jeremiah 29:11  New International Version (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God has already prepared and planned our lives for us.  We just have to follow him to follow our destiny. Now that’s a Reality Check!

 

Finding Happy!

People look their whole lives for happiness.  But I believe it is inside us our whole lives.  Silly, I know. But look how we strive to do things, be things and accomplish things never to find happy.  Money isn’t it, love isn’t it, family isn’t it, our job isn’t it, what could it be?

Finding happy happens when we’ve lived long enough to look back and see how far we’ve come.  When we can see how we’ve changed, how we’ve lived, who has come and gone purposely in our lives, what we thought was important and what is important now.  

Striving to find happy takes up our whole being and life.  If we strive to find happy, we miss out on a whole bunch of things where happiness would be found.  Your purpose is attached to your happy. If you have found your purpose, you have found your happy. It is not materialistic.  It is found deep in your soul where only God can fill it.

I hope one day you find your happy.  I have found mine and I have lived half of a full life, some good parts and some not so good.  But I found that finding happy is attached to my purpose. Being a Teacher, Author, Parent and Writer are all connected to the people God needs me to meet and connect with.  And before I became all these things, I wasn’t truly happy.  I had to become all of them to appreciate what it meant to find happy.  All these things together make up me and who God created me to be and who He created me to help and to help me.

Stop searching and waiting  for happy, let it find you. It will!  Until then, live your life. Do things that bring you joy!  Spend it with people who bring you joy! And one day without you even realizing it, happy will find you!