Bonded

God puts together the most unlikely people to share his eternal blessings. Who has God put in your path? Whether they’re physically or mentally in your path, you are bonded, eternally bonded!

The Story:

I serve in our Kidz program at church (Revolution Church, NC)  every third Sunday. This particular Sunday, a little boy, Logan, attended with his dad.  It was his first Sunday at our Church and his first Sunday at any Church, since his mom didn’t take him to Church at all where they live.

When his dad brought him up to kidz, he was crying and didn’t want to come into the room.  I was given the opportunity to assist his dad and Logan into our Kidz service. Not sure what to do, I lead them both into the room, showed them around and found out which center Logan liked to play in, Legos.

We sat down, even dad, and began to play.  Logan stopped crying and began a conversation about what he was building.  After dad notice Logan was calm, cool and collected, he decided to leave us and attend the adult service.  Logan still wasn’t sure he wanted to stay, but we told him he couldn’t take the Legos with him and I promised to be with him the whole time.

We worshipped through singing, reading and praying.  We ate snack and made a craft. It was then time for parents to pick up their children.  When Logan’s dad came, he didn’t want to go with him. He wanted to stay with me. We had bonded.  We had created a friendship; an intentional, eternal seed had been planted in both of us by God.

Logan lives in another state but when he comes to visit his dad, he makes sure I’m going to be at church and I make sure I’m serving in kidz (even if it’s not my Sunday) so I can spend time with him.  God has bonded us together purposely, intentionally. I’m not sure why, but God does. And I’m ok with that!

 

One Word 2019

Jesus loves us with no strings attached.  I wanna be like that! Our purpose is to love others the way we want others to love us.  Unconditional, like Jesus loves us. Strive for that! In 2019, that’s my One Word—-Love!

In thinking of my goals for the coming year, I’ve been thinking how I like to be treated: consistent respect, loved unconditionally, forgiven, carried, hugged, positive encouragement, having a growth mindset, cheerleader, always believing, always hoping, always loving, never giving up, striving, changing for the better.

I make goals starting in August because I am a Teacher.  I have 6 goals that run from 2018-2020, short-term goals.  I have 5 out of 6 goals running  right now simultaneously   because they all fit together and I’m a very blessed and favored girl.   All of these goals are not out of selfish intent. These are goals affect other people as well as myself.

  1. Begin to pay off debt (starting in 2019)
  2. Get books published and write new ones (started)
  3. Become healthier in spirit, mind and body (started)
  4. Love my students and help them love learning (started)
  5. Fall in love with my best friend (started)
  6. Start National Board Certified Teacher Program (started)

Within each goal, are smaller goals that help these big goals seem not so big.  Things that I need to do to accomplish each goal. It may seem I’m a type A, but it helps me know what needs to be done.  

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While accomplishing these goals, I am asserting my One Word—Love!  Love for myself and others, but I need to be make sure I’m aware of my love for myself and others as the year progresses.  I need to be intentional. I need to be patient. I need to stop overthinking situations. I need to forgive myself and others and move on when it’s not returned or accepted.  I need to not put people in categories; we are all God’s children. I need to encourage, be inspirational, supportive and show compassion.

Goals help us to accomplish what we deem important to us and therefore, become important to those who matter.

 

Please don’t call me a Christian!

I know this seems crazy, but after talking with a friend today I decided to let all of you know I’m not a Christian, I’m a Christ-follower!

Now I know some of you believe these are the same thing.  They used to be. But in recent generations, people have put stipulations on what Christianity is and isn’t.  People believe Christianity is a religion with rules and a set of do’s and don’ts. They believe you have to be perfect and sinless before you can join.   This kind of thinking forces people who want to believe to change their mind. They don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops to love Jesus!

Being a Christ-follower is knowing that I’m a broken, sinful, lonely, unworthy, unwanted, never gonna be perfect person who needs a loving, caring, omnipresent, holy savior who searches and waits for me daily to ask him to help me live my life.  He is the potter of my life. He hugs all the broken pieces together. He forgives my sinful life and forgets about it with my repentance. He’s tells me I’m worthy, wanted, loved, favored, blessed; his princess. I am always, always welcomed at his table.  I don’t have to jump through any hoops to be there. I just have to believe his is the Son of God, Accept Him into my heart and Confess that He is my Savior and live for him with His help.

I still get to be me!  The one He created and knew He wanted to be here on this earth for a purpose, His purpose:  to love Him with all my heart and to love others! Simple, right? Yeah, I think so too. My Christ-follower life is my relationship with God!  It is different from yours. I’m not you and you’re not me. He created us different with different gifts and talents to love Him and reach others so they can know him too (purpose).  There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV

You do this by just being you!  That’s it. No hoops, no rules, no stipulations.  Just love, his love. He will teach you how to love and live for him, just by being you.  Listen for Him! He is close by waiting for you to call to him (talk/pray). He is always by your side, whether you follow him or not.  He created you and you are His. He just wants to love you and for you to feel his love.

Don’t let Christianity scare you, be a Christ-follower and have a really cool relationship with God today!  Find a church that loves Jesus and people more than they love rules and stipulations. Read The Bible and books that teach you who Jesus really is.  And live the abundant life of love, joy, grace, mercy and peace with Him by your side. The life He created you for!

Jesus replied:  “Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

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!

Purposed!

Defined as something set up as an object or end to be attained.  Having purpose means to live a life full of meaning and intent.  This is your life!

You were given purpose a long time before you were ever created.  Even before Jesus was born. God knew he needed you because He knew you were going to be needed by others.  

Psalm 139: 13-16

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

   you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!

   Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

   I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out,

   you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

   how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

   all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

   before I’d even lived one day.             The Message

He made you extra special with extra special abilities that no one else has.  He made sure you could do things and say things that are compatible to the people who you need and are needed by you.  Your stories, your experiences, your adventures and your goals are purposely placed inside you so that someone needing an ear, advice, a hug, a friend, a love, or laughter would be able to relate and understand what you’ve gone through or will go through.  God strategically places people in your life and in your season to be helped by you and to help you.

The reason you’re here is no mistake.  You’re still wanted and needed by God who purposely breathed life within you.  Knowing your purpose is a little tricky. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that our whole life is our purpose. Sometimes we try to change what God has put in our life, our purpose, because we don’t like it or it’s too hard.  But when we let God have his way and we follow his purpose for our lives, we begin to see how easy our life is and that the purpose he placed inside of us fits us perfectly. There’s no doubt about it! It is then we begin to live a life full of meaning and intent.

Enjoy your life!  Live abundantly! You are purposed!  You are wanted! You are needed! And You are loved!  Live fully today!