Say it with me… “NO.”

Boundaries are made to keep you healthy. Boundaries are given to keep toxicity out. Boundaries are taken from those who never set them. Boundaries are best when set, supported and reinforced.

Sometimes, we are living a life that is tiresome, weary and chaotic, because we continue to allow others to ignore the boundaries we’d like to have but never really put into place. Sometimes, our hearts are in utter turmoil, because we continue to complain about our conditions of relationship but never take steps to change them.

Boundaries are needed for peace to be found. Boundaries are necessary for joy to be restored. Boundaries are essential for sanity to be maintained.

How strong are your boundaries?

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Are you struggling to climb today? Don’t stop. You can do this hard thing! The view is amazing! 😉

Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Freedom of Forgiveness

I saw this post on FB today, and I thought it an awesome subject upon which to post. This is so very hard, sometimes, but it is so very true. The quicker we learn this lesson, the better, and the key to unlocking its truth is in the freedom of forgiveness.

I have found the quicker you can truly forgive someone who has hurt you, the less like them you will become. Over the years, I have watched family members, friends and acquaintances who have “claimed” forgiveness was in their hearts, but as you listened to them talk about the certain person or circumstances, all you heard was bitterness flowing from their souls. As I’ve watched these year after year, I have seen how, slowly over time, they have become more and more like the person who hurt them, the one whom they haven’t forgiven.

You see, the unforgiveness you harbor within your heart will fester and soak in anger and disgust. Eventually, that unforgiveness takes hold of your soul and buries a root of bitterness deep beneath the surface. Once the root of bitterness takes up space, it will consume and override rational thought, peace and even at times, your own sanity.

Learn to let go. Learn to forgive. Learn to show mercy and grace. It doesn’t mean all is well at the snap of a finger, and it surely doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation is on the heels of the forgiveness. Some things just get lost in the pain, brokenness and years.

Yet, it does mean your heart can heal. It does mean you can grow and learn and dream once again. It does mean you can grasp hope, embrace love and be consumed by an inner peace that will no longer be easily shaken.

Warrior or Weeper?

I posted a similar pic the other day, using the same phrase; so, please, forgive me for being redundant. But this has been my motto for the last month, and yet, when I look back, I think this has been my motto for quite a while now…

Sometimes, I just have to remind myself to get back in the fight.

When you’ve fought so long to become someone, the person God has called you to be, there are moments when you just grow weary in the well doing. When you’re helping someone else through the battle, you know all the right answers to give them. You have faith to cheer them on. You believe they can and will make it through.

Yet, when it’s your battle… you know, that one you’ve fought your whole life and you thought it would surely have ended by now. Yeah, that one. When you’re in the middle of that battle, it can get wearisome. You can grow tired. You can become lonely and afraid that this is never going to end!

But can I encourage you? One warrior to the another? One child to the other… (because after all, that’s really all we are, aren’t we? Little children in grown up bodies who have learned to fight, frustrate, forge and forget.)

You were made for this! You have been equipped to win! You have been fashioned for this fight, and just as a trained boxer can get weary in the last round, all you have to do is stand and find your knock out punch!

So, raise your sword one more time. Lift that shield just a little higher. Take that next step toward your enemy and show him you will not back down.

You can do this! You will make it! WIN!!

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Need more encouragement? Check out this blog post and this one, too.

Fear or Fire?

When troubles come, what do you do? Do you cower, shivering in fear? Do run away and hide? Do you stand, paralyzed by indecision and doubt? Do you run to the flames, ready to encounter what comes?

How you endure the heat will often times dictate who you become when the embers cool. What wisdom you to use to conclude your decisions will often determine your promotion or your failure. The whys of your choices will always impact those who follow.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Fight Right

Too often, we fight the wrong enemy. We fight with the wrong weapons, and then, we wonder why we’re struggling and losing the battle we’ve engaged.

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Wage war with the right enemy, or you will constantly be “spinning your wheels” in conflict but never achieving a resolution. Face your foe with the right weapons, or you will constantly be losing ground and be receiving wound after wound, never winning the victory.

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

No matter the battle, No matter the giant, with God by your side, YOU CAN WIN!!

Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, then who can be against us?”

Scars

Your scars may be many. They may be deep, and they may be unforgettable. Yet, consider them scars of honor. Consider yourself blessed to be in company with Jesus.

His scars are many. His wounds were deep, and how He attained each one is unforgettable. He died for you. He died for me. All because of His love for us. ❤️

Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

Fight for Your Life

Sometimes, life is gonna come and kick you in the teeth. It’s gonna hurt. It’s going to be beyond painful. It’s gonna feel like you could die! No, I’m not trying to speak doomsday, and I’m really not trying to be negative. If you haven’t encountered a battle in your life, just keep on living. It’ll come. That’s just life.

Yet, we Christians weren’t called to just lie down and take it! We were not designed to cower in fear and run in retreat when the fire gets hotter! We were never destined to lay down our weapons and walk away from the battle He told us to win!

So, RISE UP! Reforge your sword! Pick up your shield, and walk toward that battle! Reclaim that ground that was lost! Fight for your life and WIN!!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 5:13, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Ephesians 5:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

When the Struggle Comes

What do you do with struggle? What do you do with change? How do you handle life when it just doesn’t work out the way you planned, or when it throws you a curveball or a great big surprise?

Do you stop in your tracks? Do you back up? Do you trim around and retreat? Or do you throw a fit and let everyone know it’s not as you expected? Or do you press onward, keeping the end goal in sight, never wavering or giving up?

What do you do? What is your reaction? I would love to hear from you, my friends.

It’s an interesting journey when change comes. Everyone reacts differently, and no one can prepare you for many of those surprises along the way, and some tragedies will knock you to your knees, and you’ll wonder if you’ll ever be able to stand again.

How you handle change, and how you react in the struggle and in the tragedies of life will often determine whether you’re a leader or whether you’re a quitter. Your response in the hardest moments of life will determine who you lead and who you turn away. It may sound like a harsh judgment, but it’s true.

Everyone will encounter struggle, hardship and tragedies throughout life. If you haven’t yet, well, keep on living and count your blessings for the moment. But talk to an older person, spend some time with someone who has weathered the storms of life. You’ll find that in those darkest moments, character is chiseled and destinies are designed. Friendships are forged and lifetime relationships are created or crumbled. And often, each are determined by the words we chose and the attitudes we allow.

So, I ask you again, what do you do? How do you react? Think about, and choose today what your words and your actions will be. It doesn’t matter that the struggle or tragedy isn’t on you at this moment. Being prepared mentally, emotionally and spiritually is half the battle. If you wait for the moment of crisis, then you wait for knee-jerk reactions of the heart, and no matter how good you believe your heart is, it can never be trusted.

Set your foundations on solid ground. Set your thoughts on higher ways. Then, when those struggle of life gets difficult, and when the tragedies hit that you’d never expect, your heart an mind will be ready. Doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it does mean you will survive through it!

Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Seriously.

Sometimes, I wish expectations weren’t so high for me. Let me explain. My husband has this funny little saying when I ask him how he can get away with saying what he says, because he’s so blunt and to the point, a real truth speaker of sorts. He can say stuff that the rest of us would get into so much trouble if others even realized we thought the thought, much less actually said it! He says it’s because, “People have such low expectations of me, and people expect so much better out of you!” 😂 It’s so very true…so painfully true!

Yet, when I see this picture, the one that I have saved to my photo stream, I wish sometimes that the expectations weren’t set so high for me. Then, I could say what I’m really thinking…

…and no, I have no one particular person in mind right now. 😉

…see, there’s those expectations again! 😂😜