Love Me Challenge #23

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Some might say my best feature is my smile. My friends might say it’s my eyes. I’ve heard others say it might be my hair or my tall physique. My husband would say…well, he just left the room when I asked him; so, I guess, I won’t be getting his answer for this post. If you ask me, my first response would be, “I don’t know.” This is really a difficult one for me, because I don’t like looking at myself and trying to figure out these kinds of answers. I’d rather talk about you and brag on your best feature(s). That is much more fun!

Yet, if I could say what I’d like my best feature to be is not something you will see at first glance, and it might not even be something you’ll notice at our first meeting of one another. However, once you get to know me, you’ll see I have a quiet, gentle way about me, and I have a knack for noticing small details. Sometimes, this trait will make me excruciatingly slow and meticulous, but when I’m “on it,” it allows me to see things others might miss. It causes me to see a pain in someone’s eyes when all the room sees their smile. It creates within me an ability to connect with the quiet, the lonely and the fearful. It allows me to see past the facade and smokescreen that someone may be giving in order to see the inner need to just belong and be loved.

I may not always see those little details, and I may very well “miss it” from time to time; however, when I’m listening closely to His voice and being in tune with His direction, this small ability becomes a great big asset in the Father’s hands, to be used for His glory, not because I’m ‘all that’ but because HE is.

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Love Me Challenge #14

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Sometimes, we think we’ve overcome certain fears, and later on, we realize we have to face those fears once again. So, I’m going to share a time when I simply overcame FEAR itself…

It was the summer of 1993, when I had returned home from college. My parents had just moved to the mountains of East Tennessee a few years before, and my room was now a “studio/attic” room on the top floor of their house. I began waking up in the middle of the night with a paralyzing fear. There was a large, double window on one end of the room, the wall I was facing when I awoke each time, and it seemed as if two great big eyes were staring at me. I know, I know, for some this might sound like it is being written right out of one of those cheesy 1970s cheap horror flicks. However, I am here to tell you, I was petrified. I had always battled fear as a child and young adult, but this fear was so debilitating, so overwhelming, I would just lie there in the bed, unable to move, speak or even hardly blink.

This went on for about 2-3 weeks, and the consuming fear of falling asleep was causing me to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, only to fall asleep exhausted and awake to the paralyzing fear just an hour or two later. My mom would just tell me to pray, as I didn’t really give her much detail of what I was going through. The books I’d read would advise me on all kinds of nightly routines to combat the fears and prepare my body for sleep, and the soft instrumental music I’d play seemed to help as I drifted off to sleep but would be off by the middle of the night (remember, this is the early 90s. I didn’t own a iPhone with a playlist built in. 😉 ) It seemed nothing was helping to change this terrible cycle of sleep and fear into which I had fallen. About 3 weeks into this “rollercoaster ride,” I was talking to a former pastor’s wife and describing to her what was going on. She very gently encouraged me to read the Bible more, concentrating on verses dealing with trusting God, combating fear and standing on the promises of God. She encouraged me to memorize one Scripture, 1 Timothy 2:7…

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ptl2010.com

She, also, told me to just speak His name. I asked her, “What if I can’t speak His Name?” For, I had not been able to call out to my parents during those times or speak a word of anything. She said, “Then, you just whisper it, and if you can’t whisper it, you close your eyes and think His name in your head until you can.” Ok, now that I was armed with “weaponry,” I was miraculously healed that night from all my paralyzing fears, right?? Unfortunately, I have to say, “NO!” That night, when I was awoken once more by that debilitating fear, I started trying to quote the Scripture that I had not yet fully memorized, this all in my mind, of course. (Remember, I couldn’t speak, because the fear was so great.)

All I could remember was, “God…isn’t…fear.” Oh yeah, that’s just great! How can I battle this fear when I can’t even think of a Scripture to quote in my mind? Then I remembered my pastor’s wife, her sweet voice telling me, “Just say His name.” So, I did. I said, “Jesus” inside my head just as loud as my mind would scream it. I screamed it over and over again, and evidently, I drifted off to sleep after about 30+ repeats. This rolled on for about a week before I was able to whisper His name and the Scripture I was memorizing. After about 2 1/2 weeks, I was speaking this Scripture each time I awoke, speaking the name of Jesus, and very peacefully, drifting back to sleep.

After 6-8 weeks, from the very beginning, I no longer had these “night terrors,” as I now call them. I cannot tell you why I had such a battle, and I cannot answer the questions as to why God didn’t just instantaneously and miraculously heal me from that paralyzing fear; however, I can tell you this, I emerged from that period in my life with a stronger faith and trust in my God. I can tell you that I have not dealt with that type of ‘midnight fear’ again. I can also tell you that I have been able to use this story, over the years, to help people who have battled with a spirit of fear.

I have found that, throughout my life, sometimes, God doesn’t answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to, but if we will allow Him to and trust Him to, He will answer them exactly when and how He needs to in order to fulfill His glory in our lives.

I do hope this story will encourage someone out there who has battled or is battling fear. He is a good God, and He can help you. ❤

*This is a song set in a Christmas setting, but it is a wonderful reminder to FEAR NOT…         I hope you enjoy…

*I do not own any part of this song, these lyrics or this video. Copied straight from YouTube. Song by Travis Cotrell.

PS. Happy Valentine’s Day!! Love the one you’re with, and share your love with those around you!

Love Me Challenge #12

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To share a flaw, my mind is immediately drawn to how jacked up my heart can be. My flesh is ugly. It is unruly, untempered and unkind. It takes a daily crucifixion for it to be maintained within my being. It takes a conscientious rebuking every single time this old flesh wants to rebel to keep it in check. If I allow it any leeway, it will overrule whatever and whenever it can…

So God, always guide and direct my deceptive heart. Never let me convince myself that my motives can somehow be pure and innocent. You judge my heart. You refine it. You transform it to be more like Your precious Son. ❤

 

 

Love Me Challenge #11

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To share a smile, my mind immediately thinks of my loves… ❤

I love this one of yesteryears… ❤

 

Love Me Challenge #10

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Today, it is suggested that I share a secret…

WHAT

KIND

OF

SECRET

CAN

BE

SHARED

THAT

ONCE

SPOKEN

TO

MANY

IS

A

                                                                                                  SECRET??

                                                                                                                                            Shhhhhh……….

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themidult.com

 

 

Love Me Challenge #9

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To share something beautiful, I hesitate to pick just one. There are so many from which to choose…people, places, things, animals, sceneries, and so much more. Yet, as the days grow older within my own heart and mind, I find the most beautiful things in this life are, often, hard to capture in a photograph or write down in letters and words. The most beautiful things I have found to be true are

FAITH      HOPE      LOVE      FRIENDSHIP      GRATITUDE      HUMILITY       ENCOURAGEMENT

Words and actions that can’t quite be grasped in a frame or held in a hand but can always be seen by the heart and heard by the soul…

 

 

The Mailbox Is Full

Are you one of those whose voice mailbox is always full? People call your number only to receive the automated voice which says, “I’m sorry the voice mailbox is full and cannot receive any more messages.” I know, those of you who know me personally are chuckling right about now. Sometimes I am the world’s worst about cleaning out my mailbox. (#sorrynotsorry). My problem is being a keeper of too many memories, but that’s another story for another day…

Regardless of the reasons for a full voicemail, having one full inhibits a new message from getting through. Having a full mailbox causes a backup, a blockage, a hindrance of something new or something important being delivered to you. People have to recall, send a text or try to remember to give you the message upon the next time seeing you. This method isn’t very helpful, and it can definitely pose a problem in the case of an emergency or an important moment of contact when missed.

This made me start thinking of when God is trying to get “a message” to us. Sometimes, our minds are full of so much clutter that we can’t hear truth. The volume in our head is too loud. Our thoughts overrun whatever message He is trying to send, because we never shut them off. We never make time to just be still and listen.

Sometimes, our imagination is at such a high that it causes the volume in our head to be too low. Our daydreaming has become so unruly that we constantly live in a “happy place of nothingness,” and we miss His message, because we’re not connected to the moment when He speaks. We miss an opportunity, a person of influence or a moment of impact, because we are never present where we are.

I don’t know about you, but I want God to be able to get through to me at anytime, night or day. I want to be so in tune to His voice that no matter what is going on, where I am, or who I am with, He is able to speak, and I immediately hear. I want to be free from clutter, and I want to be living in each moment of every day, never leaving anything to chance.

Lord, help me to clean up my “mailbox”; so, I can clearly hear Your voice. Help me to turn the volume down in my head when it gets too loud by walking out into the woods or standing beside a waterfall to remind me of who You are and who I am not. Help me to turn up the volume in my head when I am distracted by the void of nothingness. Always remind me to live fully in every moment You give me, for I never know when it might be the last for me or someone I love. Let my life be of impact to those around me, because I am in tune with You, and I know when You speak.

 

Love Me Challenge #8

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To share a scar today, I am going to share a bit of poetry

This scar will be with me for life. As a child, I hated this mark upon my skin. I thought of it  as a deformity, a nuisance and an intrusion to what and whom I believed I could have been without it. Now that I am older, even as the skin tucks and pulls at the place of injury, I find myself thanking my God for saving my life on that dreadful night.

I should not have survived…but God. ❤

 

 

What Do You See?

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see

-D.H.Thoreau

Sometimes, your vision is everything…

What do you see when you look at people? What do you see when you are in the middle of chaos? What do you see when you are surrounded by those who have less than you or, maybe, who have more? What do you look at? What do you envision?

What you see makes up who you are. If you always see negative, you will tend to be a negative person. If you see hopelessness and despair, you are, most likely, a fearful person and you will have a tendency to either run away from problems or avoid anything that might appear a challenge. Yet, if you see hope and strength, you will have a tendency to be a fighter, a person who doesn’t give up too easily. If you see love and prosperity, you will tend to seek out those with whom you have camaraderie and with whom you can succeed.

What you see will determine where you end up in life. If you don’t see success, you’ll never achieve it. If you don’t see possibilities, you’ll never try. If you don’t see faith and integrity  in others, you’ll never learn to trust and open up to another person. In order to have a dream realized, you must first see the goals needed to get to the dream. In order to have a goal achieved, you must first see the first step that is needed. In order to start on that path, you must be able to see those around you who can help you and guide you learn to walk.

You can look at people all day every day, but if you don’t see them, you’ll never be able to reach them, and you’ll never be able to learn from them. You can look at the places people go, or the successes they have and wish you were there; however, if you don’t see the sacrifices they made to get there, you will never know the cost you’ll need to pay. You’ll never see how many steps it will take, whom you will need to help and how long it may take to arrive.

What do you see?

Daily Prompt: VISION

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