“Two Years”

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WordPress just informed me that today is my two year anniversary with them. Two years of being a blogger. Never really thought that was something I would be. If you had told me that, I would have laughed. Two years….

Two years ago, I jumped into the blogging world not knowing what I was doing really. All I knew was that my demons were chasing me and I needed a way to bring something positive to my life through photography and writing. Last January, I dreaded the turning of the calendar. I didn’t want to see that month come into focus because two years ago, it had been the worst month of my life thus far. But I survived it.

This year, I didn’t even really think about it. My transformation continues and this time around it didnt seem so bad. (So far…the month is only half over!) The phasing out of anxiety isn’t a quick process by any means. I’m sorry to say that for those who are going through it but it’s an honest truth. If I were to put a different spin on it though, instead of calling it a “phasing-out” process, I could say that the “transformation” God is making in my life isn’t a quick process. More so, it has been the beginning of a new relationship. That’s really what it’s all been about..and any good relationship takes time to build a solid foundation.

Just as when you meet someone for the first time and you start dating, you get to know that person. You learn as much as you can about them and you want to spend as much time with them as possible. You begin to like them more and more because of how they make you feel. You feel warm and fuzzy inside and begin to feel yourself falling in love. You can’t imagine your life without this person and feel like a part of you that has been missing for so long is now making you whole. You see your future together and you commit your life to theirs.

I have been lucky enough to have all of that happen to me and to fall in love (and recently become engaged to) a wonderful man that God brought into my life. Even better news is that I can have all of that through a relationship with Christ also. Although I already knew who God was, I didn’t begin to fully know Him until this totally new relationship began two years ago. As I leaned on Him more and more to get through the days that were dragging me down, I began to crave more of Him. I wanted to know more. I prayed, read scriptures, listened to worship music and began to live my life more as He would want me to. I still have a lot of work to do, but I have changed in so many ways.

Open your heart today and allow yourself to have that relationship with Him. No matter where you are in your life or in your walk, it’s never too late. It may take you two months or two years but trust during that time that God is working on you and keep focused on Him and how He is changing your life for the better.

 

“Wherever You Are”

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As I listened to the words of a song this week, one verse in particular stood out to me:

“He’ll meet you wherever you are”*

Never think that God is out of reach because of where you are in life. Literally or figuratively. He will truly meet you anywhere. At 3 a.m on the bathroom floor (true story), in the street, on a mountain, down in the valley, the frozen food section at Walmart, in your car (another true story), even at your desk at work.

He will meet the sinner, the drug addict, the weary and the broken hearted. He will meet the orphan, the widow and the shamed. There is no one outside of the reach of His mercy and grace.

All it takes is the simple uttering of His name. Cry out to Jesus.

*Third Day, Cry Out to Jesus

“Dying, He Saved Me”

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After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”Matthew 28:1-10

“He Did It For Me”

But as for you, continue in what  you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – 2 Timothy 3:14-15

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I read an interesting quote today which led me to thinking and eventually to writing this post. It said “Are we given children to teach or to be taught?” In other words, there is so much we can learn from our children. Probably as much as they can learn from us. Their little minds are always open. Open to new possibilities, an open heart that can see beyond what we see. As adults we tend to look at everything with a bit of skepticism, doubt or worry. Children see things just as they are and with hope and excitement.

In a way, I saw a lot of what this quote meant when I listened to my own child this week. As I worked around the house last night, my heart smiled as I heard her in her room pretending to be the leader of a bible study. She was reading from her bible and explaining the verses out loud. And she was doing a very good job! I thought to myself how I hadn’t taken time from my own busy schedule for reading God’s word yesterday or the day before. So I sat down and made a little time last night after my freckle-faced inspiration had gone to bed.

She also made me stop and think earlier this week when she turned a Wii game into a thought about Jesus. She was playing a game that required a lot of balance on the Wii board and afterward she remarked how hard it was and it made her arms and legs hurt. Then she said “But that’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through! He had to hold himself up on the cross. That must have been hard. But he did it for me!!” She was so excited as she said it. Yes, he did do all that for her… and me… and all of us and yes it was hard. But where would we be today if he hadn’t? And how different would the world be if we were all on fire for Jesus like that??

Take time to listen to the children in your lives. Remember what it was like to think with a happy heart, a heart that is excited for what Jesus did and for what God can do in our lives. And take time to learn with them.

On the flip side of that, don’t forget about the children who aren’t fortunate enough to know God or have Him in their lives. How can you help them? Invite a child to your church or a youth group : )

 

“Open The Door And Smile”

Over the course of the last few months, I cannot tell you how many times I have read or heard mention of the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible. Today, I was sent an email that once again recounted this story. I am beginning to think God is telling me to take a hint. So after reading it today I decided to write about it because it definitely relates to me on many levels and makes me think that maybe my mother should have named me Martha!

Mary and Martha were two sisters who were visited by Jesus.

“She [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’ ” Luke 10: 39-42

So here is how I picture it. (Ladies, I know you can relate to this. We have all been there.) Jesus and his disciples drop by for a visit and Martha asks them in. I imagine at this point she is looking around wondering if the house is clean enough. If only she would have had time to sweep! She then starts to prepare the meal. What will she fix? Oh, visitors on such short notice. While she is busy slaving and sweating over the food preparations she looks over and sees Mary just sitting there at Jesus’ feet. Well how dare her! Just look at her, lazy woman just plopped herself down in the floor and is not even thinking about lifting a finger to help me! And here I am busy in the kitchen. Hair falling in my face, clothes a wreck. (I imagine there is eye-rolling, huffing and puffing and hands on hips at this point.) Martha has worked herself into such a frenzy worrying about every little thing that she tells Jesus, “Do you not see me over here diligently preparing the meal while my sister just sits there? Make her help me!” But Jesus tells her simply that she is too anxious and worried. Mary is happy and content and he will not disturb her.

The Bible doesn’t say what Martha’s response was. Did she throw her hands in the air and stomp off? Did she hang her head in shame and agree with what Jesus revealed to her? I would like to think it left a lasting impression on her.

I am a “Martha”. Worrying over every little thing. I panic when someone stops by to visit and  the house is not in perfect order, instead of being pleased that someone thought enough of us to visit. I need to open the door and smile. Not do a quick glance behind me to see if everything is in place. This should be my aspiration in all areas of my life. There are moments that I spend more time in an anxious state of mind than in the presence of God, in peace and serenity. I shamefully admit that. I need to constantly “choose my part…the good part” that God has laid out for me. It is mine and it is there for the taking anytime I desire. It is my goal to be Mary in a Martha world. A world where life is fast-paced, busy, always in motion. I want to slow down and concentrate on the things that have the most meaning. Life will be much simpler when I do.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27)