Life: It’s a Process

I was walking down the back staircase of a hospital when I saw this mural. My husband chuckled when I stopped my descent to take a pic, but when told him it would be for a blog, he totally got it, because he’s amazing like that.

To every challenge, every improvement, every healing, every victory, there has to be a process of steps to bring you to that positive outcome. Courage, strength, endurance, recovery and accomplishing goals don’t just happen miraculously or overnight. There are always steps involved, and sometimes, those necessary steps have to be taken meticulously and can even be excruciating.

However, if you are willing to put forth the time, effort and tenacity to take them, you can reach your goal, and you can shout your victory!

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Fight the Good Fight

This life will have it’s ups and downs. We will have our good days and our bad days. We will have our moments when we feel on top of the world and then the very next moment, we can feel as if our world has come crashing down around us. This is the journey called LIFE. It is what it is.

Sometimes, the lows will be in physical form, maybe a ridicule from a friend, a sickness/disease or an actual assault from an enemy. Other times, it will be an emotional conflict or a spiritual confrontation that we must face. However, the times I have found to be the most difficult are those mental battles the devil will try to wage.

He knows our weak spots, our vulnerabilities, our tender places we try to hide. You know, the ones we so eloquently maintain and cover up that they seem to no longer exist. Yes, when we are allowing Christ to be strong through us, these sensitive areas are shielded by His strength. These liabilities are covered by our shield of faith. However, sometimes, we can start listening to the enemy’s lies, accusations and doubts of our identity in Christ. This is when we lower our shield, and he takes a shot to wound us.

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Just because we serve God, and just because we have been Christians for a long time doesn’t mean tough seasons in life never come. The truth of our faith and Christian maturity is what we do when these hard times come. When we’ve been knocked down on the canvas again, the referee is starting the count, and the crowd believes it’s over, THIS is when it all comes down to truth:  THE TRUTH OF OUR CHARACTER.

These are the moments that matter the most. Will we fight the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH and lay hold on eternal life, or will we lay down our weapons and quit? Will we finish what we’ve started when we made the confession of our faith in the beginning, or will we walk away and give it all up? It is up to us to decide.

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What we decide will not only effect OUR outcome, but it can leave a legacy behind that affects many generations to come…

His Mercy and Goodness

His goodness simply amazes me again and again. His mercy isn’t just for one moment, one breath in time. It endures forever! This is the God I serve!

I am amazed. I just stand back in total awe and surrender, humbled by His grace and love. A God so Mighty, so true, and so faithful; yet, He cares for me? He cares enough that He sent His only Son to die a horrible death to atone for my sins before I was even created in my mother’s womb! “WHAT?! Are you kidding me??”

It is so incredible to even fathom. It is so mind-boggling that I cannot comprehend. The depth of love, mercy and grace He extends is so overwhelming. Once experienced, you’ll never be the same, and you’ll never want to be different 💗

No wonder the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “… His love endures forever,” 26 times in Psalm 136…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights— His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings— His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan— His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel. His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies. His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Just Roll With It

“Roll With The Punches” … Definition: term is used to explain how boxers will often angle themselves in certain ways to help lessen the impact of incoming blows. 

Sometimes, you just roll with the punches. You know what I mean, don’t you? Things just keep piling up, and there seems to be no end to the “punches” that life is doling out. There seems to be no relief to the amount of “adulting” we have to endure. 

I have found there are times when “the rain just won’t let up,” or “”the hits just keep coming,” and if you’re going to survive, you’re just gonna have to roll with it or DIE! You have to make a decision in that moment. Are you going to give up and quit, or are you going to dig in for one more round, one more punch, one more hard blow before the bell rings? 

As Christians, we’re called to roll with the punches. We’re encouraged to endure till the end. We’re to finish the fight, complete the race, and finish it well. Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “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.” Finally, Hebrews 12:1 reminds us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

Our ‘commission’ from God to endure, to persevere is not simply so we can suffer through hardships, and it’s not just so we can prove to the next person how tough and strong we are. No, we are encouraged by God to finish so that we might be a witness for Him. 

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We are stirred to continue on so that we might share our story with others and they might see Him through our faithfulness. We are inspired to remain steadfast, regardless of the obstacles or the hinderances, in order to inspire someone else along the way that they might see His goodness, His love and His grace. After all, this earthly home is not our destiny, this is just a season. We have an eternal home to which we look forward with desirous anticipation! 

So, get up! Dust off those gloves. Get that grit back in your eyes. Get ready to swing, and roll with those punches! He will give us strength for each and everything we encounter. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He will always fight for us! With God by our side, we cannot lose!! 

Why Break Their Hearts

IMG_9834Ya know, sometimes, this world makes me angry at how easily people can walk away from a life commitment. I want to remind them that they made a vow before and to each other, before their family and friends, before GOD. Vows shouldn’t be made flippantly nor should they be taken lightly. Your word should stand for more than just a simple piece of paper that can be shred and burned in less than a minute. Your word should be solid, one that can be passed on from generation to generation.

I understand, there are legit reasons, cases of infidelity, abuse and illegal activities. I got it. They’ve got their reasons, but sometimes, I just want to scream at those who give up for stupid reasons, especially when there’s kiddos involved. Statements like, “Well, I just don’t love you anymore….I’m tired of trying.” These nonchalant attitudes, thoughts of reckless abandonment, these kinds of things should be scoffed at in today’s society, not “understood” and consoled, even congratulated. These are the words that shatter young dreams. These are the actions that implode self esteem and fragmentize tender hearts, and I’m not talking about those who make the decision but, rather, the lives surrounding that decision. Everyone is effected. No one is immune.

Moments fade. Lives change. Hearts are never to be the same. The decision makers think, “All will mend in time. It will eventually be okay.” What they don’t see is the permanent limp they’ve caused, not only to their own life, but to all those involved. Yes, limps can be managed, compensated for, and sometimes, even hidden for a while, but eventually, truth always unveils what is left in the shadows. Water always finds its level, and that is when surviving begins, and thriving is left in the dreamland.

Yes, I know, thriving can come. Healing can come. I am a testimony to this kind of pain and to this kind of healing. It is possible. There is hope thereafter; however, I still experience the pains and the healing…and I’m in my 40’s…and the deed was done just shy of that many years! It’s just not an easy road to travel for those following behind. 

Be careful what you say in anger. It may come back to bite. Be cautious what you do when lonely. It may come back to haunt you. Live your life for the eternal moments more than the momentary pleasures of relief. Live out your days with determination to keep those commitment which matter to those coming behind. Live in such a way that generations to come will be eager to follow.