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!

Love 2019

It began with Love, when God created the world and it will end with Love, when God returns and Heaven becomes our home.

Love rules the earth and the Heavens.  It overtakes our lives if we let it in.  I began to learn to love again this past year. (2018)  I found the love of best friend and a lost love. After many years of blocking love with a wall I built to protect me from getting hurt, two people were sent to me to show me the love I deserve and wanted.  

I am grateful to God for always loving me and showing me unconditional love.  For bringing new loves into my life and proving that it still exists in the right people that He chooses to send.  But remember, you must be discerning and receptive to receive this love. It doesn’t always come the way you think it might. Thank you, God!

I am grateful to my loves who bring such joy to my life.  Showing me how to receive love has been their greatest gift to me.  I have always given love, but receiving it has been a little hard because of past mistakes.  Opening up, taking down my wall, becoming submissive and enjoying their love has made me a better person.  Thank you, loves!

In 2019, My one word is Love!  I choose the give and receive love.  I want those I love to know I love them.  I will overly love them because our days aren’t promised, even though my coffee thinks I’ll live forever. lol  

Learn to love God who loves you even if you don’t love Him.  Learn to love yourself even if you don’t. Find ways to change that without looking for others to do it for you.  Love for yourself should only come from you. Your happiness is just that: Yours. No one can make you happy, only you.  When others see your happiness for yourself, they’ll want you. But you can’t make them happy either. They must find happiness for themselves.  And when you come together, It’s a whole lot of love and happiness for yourselves and those who you give it to.

Grow together, love together, lean on each other together, have fun together, make memories together, build a life together.  Love, just let it in!

 

True Friendship

I had been on vacation a missed a couple of Sunday services at my own church, but had gone to my sister’s church where I was visiting.  This was my first Sunday back at my own church.

I had missed some of my friends who I get to see every Sunday, but everyone needs to refresh themselves with a vacation.  Thinking about one of my best friends I usually sit with and hoping he would be there this morning made me extra excited about worship.

As I was walking in with my grandson, I was greeted by friends with smiles and great love.  I was already feeling awesome and this just took me over the top. Suddenly, I seen him and he had seen me.  We ran to each other and hugged for a long time. It was awesome. It was like seeing an old friend after an extended period of time.  I asked him to wait so I could take my grandson to children’s church, so we could sit together.

Once in the service, we made sure we found seats together and began worshipping our Heavenly Father together.  What a great friendship to have with someone. I am thankful for our friendship and I thank God for him.

This made me think about my friendship with God. This is how God feels about me!  He loves me and misses me when I’m distant from him. And when I “let go and let God”,  I run to Him and He catches me in His arms and we hug for a long time. Then we sit and have a long conversation about how much He missed me and how He wants me to stay close to Him.

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. God teaches us to love Him and love others.  Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your 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.” (NIV)

God brings people and takes people out of our friendship circle.  People who love us, support us, pray for and with us, who are honest with us and stick by us.  He loves us and wants us to be reminded that we are loved, cared for, and wanted by Him and our friends.

 

If you are seeking that kind of friendship, God wants you to know that He is waiting for you and He loves you!

An Abundant Life!

A lot of things happened in 1962.  Here are some of them:

Popular Culture 1962

  • Beatles Turned Down By Decca Records
  • Release of first Beatles recording: the single “Love Me Do”
  • Andy Warhol’s famous painting of a can of soup
  • Beverly Hill Billies is on TV
  • The Dick Van Dyke show on TV
  • Johnny Carson begins as presenter for The Tonight Show

Popular Films

  • West Side Story
  • Spartacus
  • El Cid
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Popular Singers

  • The Beatles
  • Bob Dylan
  • Chubby Checker
  • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
  • Neil Sedaka
  • Roy Orbison
  • Shirley Bassey

But one of the most important things that happened in 1962 was my parents getting married!  Wow! That’s 56 years ago! What a trek! Six kids, nine grandkids and three great-grandkids.  What an abundant life!

Living in any decade is hard.  It wasn’t easy. My dad worked and my mom stayed home and took care of all of us.  Growing up was fun and we were never without. If we ever were, we didn’t know about it!  We traveled, went on vacations, church, school, ball games, played with our neighborhood friends, celebrated birthdays, holidays, etc.  It was the life! An abundant life!

The abundant life they created together began with a love of Jesus and each other.  Then it trickled down into our family. Generations have been blessed because of this union and generations to come will be blessed.  All because two people fell in love and both of them worked extremely hard year after year to keep it together. Happy 56th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Advice Through the Decades

I have only lived four actual decades, but I’m starting on my fifth.  When thinking about what got me through each one, I thought I would share them with you.

Decade one:  Believe in who you are!  You have great abilities that you don’t even know about yet.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade two:  It’s okay to be different!  Follow your own path and heart!  You are made for greatness. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade three:  Life is hard. Sometimes you already know what decision you need to make before you actually make it.  Set goals and go after them no matter who is against you. Always believe in yourself. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade four:  Dream! Dream BIG!  Let God change your heart to serve others, not yourself.  Don’t be materialistic! Share your stories with others. Become a light in the darkness so that others can find their way.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade five:  Have fun! PLAY!  Believe you are created for much more than where you are and what your doing now!  Believe in people, not things. Create an environment in your life that invites others to want what God has placed inside of you.  Set goals bigger than what you could ever hope to accomplish on your own because you know that God will go BIG on you! Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

As the decades grow, so does the advice.  It grows because your wisdom has grown. You know more, therefore you can accomplish more and create more.  I pray that you will have many years to know how much God loves you and wants to create in you great advice to give to others who will need it.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for you life!

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!

Some days Singleness Sucks

Some days being single sucks.  It just does.  No matter how strong you think you are or how strong your will is to not let it bother you, it does.  It’s not a great feeling.  You feel left out, unnoticed, unworthy, unloved, unfriended, alone, neglected and sometimes abused.   Have your feelings, let it out, speak your mind, write your words, let people know.  More than likely, there are others who feel the same way at the same time, but would never say anything.

Christ-following singles are strong, lovable, smart, important, beautiful, honest, trustworthy, discerning, God-loving, generous, thankful, gracious, forgiving, friendly and kind, among other things.  We take relationships very seriously.  Our goal is marriage to our God-chosen mate.  Please STOP playing games with us.  We know what you are doing.  Our Heavenly Father keeps us in the loop by helping us discern who deserves our time and attention.
A relationship with us, whether just friends or beyond, is solid.  Because it is based on God and the truest of Love. It should only be in the best of hands, deserving hands.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day where love is shown, but everyday should be a day we show our love.  Love should not be saved for special days.  It should be something we do all the time, without thinking and without expecting something in return.  

1 Corinthians 13 is scripture that is referenced to when talking about love.  I grew up knowing it was the “Love Chapter” and my mom made me memorize it.  I want you to re-read the verses and replace your name where the word “Love” is.  Can you say you really know how to love?

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut,  Doesn’t have a swelled head,  Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. (The Message)

True love only comes from God.  He is the one who loves unconditionally.  He loves us unconditionally.  If we are following God and learning His ways, we should also strive to love unconditionally.  Love is shown in many different ways:  a smile, touch, hug, candy, flowers, dinner, phone call, note, letter, text, voicemail, time, etc.  Let someone know how much you love them today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

You Inspire Me

You inspire me to think ahead

Of the future that could be.

You inspire me to want to see

What you already see in me.

 

You inspire me to believe

That things could change.

You inspire me to feel

Something wonderful and something strange.

 

You inspire me to write

All the words I cannot say.

You inspire me to speak

Of love and relationships that one day….

 

Will inspire me to think, want, believe, feel, write and speak of

A greater thing that will happen because

You inspire me!

Two Words 2018

Every year I choose one word along with all the other people who choose one word to work on during the new year.  During our life groups (bible study groups), we create momentos to remind us of the one word we choose or God chooses for us.

This year, I prayed asking for God to give me my word because of course He would know what I need!  Well, he gave me trust, love, believe, hope and faith!  I kept seeing these words everywhere, sometimes together and sometimes separate.  It drove me crazy!

This morning in church, where I always have time to listen to God and after really contemplating the words he gave me, We together came up with two words.  Two words that encompass trust, love, believe, hope and faith.  My two words for 2018 are Seek Him!  Two words, one thought!  Wow!

Seek Him in prayer, family, relationships, business, serving, church, children, worship, friends, purpose, dreams, praise and scripture.  Seek Him for every area of my life.  Pure obedience to God!  It has been my desire for so long now to really know who God is and what His promises mean for me.  I’m glad He knows my heart and chooses words that are just for me. Boy, do I need that.

I hope you Seek Him and ask Him to help you find your word if you’re choosing to have one.  Remember He has your best interests at His heart.  If you follow him, he will lead you to unbelievable places where you will meet remarkable people and live an incredibly abundant life!  

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20.

Happy New Year!