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.  

IMG_20181211_100746

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.

 

God’s Glory

Having to be transparent at times a little difficult for me.  I am not an open book. But when God uses my difficulties as a story for his people and those that are not His, I must be transparent to show you how awesome and loving He is.

Being a Teacher means that I only get paid once a month and sometimes that is hard. Being Single Mom makes it all the more difficult in making sure all the bills get paid and we have food  to eat and gas to go places. Sometimes everything gets paid and sometimes something get left unpaid.

Recently in August right before school started, I put off paying the electric bill because of thinking I would get paid before school started.  I used that money to buy things I needed for my classroom because Teachers have to buy their own stuff. I postponed it 10 days after the due date and then found out I was not getting paid until the day school started (27th).  The bill was due on the 24th, a Friday. I wouldn’t get paid until that Monday.

I tried to figure out something.  I felt horrible, but there was nothing I could do, but pray. I prepared for the worst (no electricity). I made arrangement to stay at a friend’s home.  I found my kids places to stay. I packed all the food in the refrigerator to take to my friend’s house.  I cleaned, took out all the trash, washed all the clothes and waited. I went to school that morning and then back home expecting the electricity to be off, but it wasn’t.  I called my friend to let her know that I was waiting for it to be cut off. So I waited and waited and waited on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  The electric company workers can come at any time, even on the weekends to cut it off. Sunday morning, I checked my account balance at the bank because I needed some gas and I knew I had a least $10 in it.  But Glory be, my school check was in there, posted and ready to use. I immediately posted a payment with the electric company and thanked God for showing me His glory, grace, mercy and favor.

God showed me his glory.  He showed me how to prepared for things that could happen and recently for things I want to happen.  God showed up and showed out so that I could show you His greatness and love for his children. Just like He did this weekend when Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, where I live.  He show His glory by calming the storm through prayers by people who love Him and people that don’t. Think about how many people who don’t know Him saw His glory through prayer. Now they know and hopefully they will have a change of heart about him.  You can too! Just ask Him. He loves you and wants you to see his glory, too!

 

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!

Doors

I’ve had a lot of experiences with doors lately.  Whether it was a door for me or a door for a friend, doors bring choices where decisions have to be made.

Closed Doors

Some doors are closed.  They’re not your door or it is closed for right now.  STOP BANGING! This door will not open for you no matter what you do or how long you wait.  You will get frustrated and angry and upset and discouraged.

Advice:  Continue with the life you have now and when it’s time this door will open.  And whatever is behind it will belong to you and only you, IF you choose to it.

Open Doors

Some doors are open.  They’re doors that are for you and only you.  These doors are scary, exciting, make you nervous and wonder.  These are doors you have to make a decision to go through or not.  FAITH and TRUST is required at this door. You have to be BRAVE! You could decide to walk through or you could decide not to walk through.  It’s your choice.

Advice:  Walk through the door.  It’s what you’ve been waiting for!  It’s new and scary and different, but it’s what you’ve prayed for.  It is hand-picked just for you and no one else! God has been saving it for just the right time.  NOW!

Swinging Doors

Swinging doors exist, but these doors aren’t true doors.  These doors aren’t from God. These are doors we create ourselves because we can’t make a decision about what to do about something.  We’re on the fence, we’re taker-backers (giving something away and then taking it back) and we don’t share with this door. These doors cause a lot of problems for our lives.  Problems we create and then try to fix. DISASTER!

Advice:  Don’t create a swinging door!  Make decisions based on an open door or a closed door.  Don’t make your life harder than it already is. An abundant life doesn’t require any drama, but it does require work, love, trust, faith which will bring you peace!

These Doors bring us two choices:

Closed doors- walking away or waiting

Open doors-   walking through or walking away

This Door only gives us one choice:

Swinging doors- walking back and forth continuously

When given a choice, making a decision is hard.  Make a list, talk to friend, pray, etc. Know you who you are and your true self.  Make your decision based on you, what’s best for you and what is at your door. Whatever you choose becomes your life now!

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!

 

A Change of Heart

These last couple of weeks have been very challenging at my house.  First, the washer breaks and doesn’t work anymore.  So we have been taking our laundry to my mom’s or the laundry mat.  Second, (this week) the toilet got stopped up and flushes but doesn’t go down.  Yuck.  Third, Friday morning, there was a rooster walking around our yard and was scared off by the dog next door.  Lastly, (so far), my daughter called and I left school earlier than usual, because she couldn’t get her keys out of the ignition.  This was an easy fix:  the car wasn’t put into gear before turning off.

Whew!!!!    As a human being, I think I’m entitled to get mad, upset, frustrated, stressed out or worried.  But as a child of God, I know that I don’t have to do or feel any of those things.  And I didn’t.  Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27  

All of the credit goes to God!  Before 2012, I would have been livid.  Fussing and cussing up a storm.  Raising so much cane that they could have heard me in Australia.  But now, I take it to God. I can’t change what happened and I can’t make it go away.  So I ask God for guidance and discernment.  He either fixes it or gives me the wisdom and the resources needed to help with the problems that arise.  I can’t do it on my own.  I need Him and the strength and love and grace and mercy and comfort and peace He gives me.  It is enough for me.  It’s just what I need at the time I need it.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

I had a Change of Heart.  It’s a work in progress.  I will never be complete until I reach my home in Heaven.  I’m glad God has patience with me because this has been a long ride.  I’m glad he never gives up, stops loving me, or pursuing me.  I’m glad he’s on my side and moves me forward.  I’m thankful that He died for me because He thinks I’m worth it.  I grateful for His wisdom and discernment that keeps me grounded and helps me move through this life.  

If I didn’t have God, my life and my heart would be different.  I love my life and the people who are in it.  Let God change your heart and your circumstances won’t be out of your control!