By Grace

As some of you know, This spring God gave me a “reset”.  God had been telling me that I have been doing things wrong for sometime.  But I didn’t take the time to figure out what exactly he meant.  I kept seeing all this stuff about self-care.  I thought that it meant doing stuff for myself.  The truth never dawned on me.  I need to learn to slow down, relax.  I had this faulty thought process. I thought I needed to be doing something every waking hour.  I was always tired. I always felt behind. No matter how hard I worked; it was never enough things were not how I wanted them to be. If that sounds familiar, maybe God is speaking to you as well.

It has been a long summer as I learn the hard way how to slow down.  How to take time to read his word, pray, and be quiet listening for His instructions.

I have been changing habits and have come to realize that self-care has nothing to do with going to the spa and being pampered. It has nothing to do with making sure my outfit is just right, putting on make up, and fixing my hair.  Those things are what we do so the world accepts us. Sure looking nice can make us feel good. It gives us positive attention.  However, if you are reading this with baby and/or dog slobber all over you; just remember you are still the same person who was all dressed up looking sharp.

YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL

Caring for yourself means developing your relationship with God, and the people he has put in your life. It means exercising and eating healthy.  It means telling yourself that it is okay the dishes are not done, I need to rest, read my Bible, or just be still.

It means on the day that you only get half of what you set out to do; that it is okay, you are not a failure. FORGIVE YOURSELF.

FORGIVING YOURSELF IS A HUGE PART OF SELF-CARE.

Accepting that you only have so many hours in a day and what gets done gets done and rest is important.  I know your in-laws are on their way, the house looks as if two little hurricanes hit it, there are dishes in the sink and you look as if you haven’t taken a shower in days. Oh and did I mention the meal is only partially started, you have to run to the store for a crucial ingredient like the meat.

Self-Care says oh well if my in-laws don’t like it then it is their problem. They need to accept the fact that you are not perfect. Only Jesus is perfect.

We get through each day by Grace.  God gives us the strength to do everything that is necessary. Everything else, well it will just have to wait until there is time.

One last thought we still need to organize and plan; but we must also pray about our plans.  God will say yea or nay.

Accept that there may be days when other things are just more important.

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Actions Not Just Words

1 John 3:16:18:  16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.kind

We frequently hear this scripture: Love your neighbor as yourself Leviticus 9:18.

But how does that look?  If your neighbor’s yard is on fire and they are standing in their yard waiting for the fire department to come. Stand with them. Bring them a glass of water, a chair to sit on, or maybe just be there.

Is your neighbor’s house being robbed?  If  they are unarmed don’t just call the police; tell the robbers to stop. (if they are armed -call the police but don’t interfere.)

What if your neighbor’s yard need mowed, looking like a jungle mowed; check on your neighbor or mow their lawn.  Want to take the extra mile? Ask what else you can do to help.  I get it some neighbors are just lazy.  But if they normally mow and then all of the sudden it isn’t perhaps something is wrong. overgrown yard

We tend to have the “It’s not me” attitude. But it could be you.  Wouldn’t you like someone to help you?

 

Accepting Help – it is as hard as asking

Recently I talked about how hard it is to ask for help. What can be harder is accepting help. You’ve been there. Someone offers to help or asks if you need anything and you turn it down.  Claiming that everything is okay, when in truth; you are falling apart.

help

We don’t want to put anyone out. You are afraid they don’t mean it.  You are afraid that your friends won’t want to talk to you any more because you might ask for a favor. Sometimes it is true, when you ask for help sometimes it seems as if people are avoiding you.  Accepting help means dropping your pride.

It means accepting that you NEED HELP.

The next question is how do offer help? You know someone in need, you feel the Spirit prompting you to go help, but there is a fear that you will insult them. They will reject your claiming they don’t need it. Maybe it is not your mission to help this person. offering help

Have you prayed about it?  Is the Spirit prompting you to help this person?  It is not your job to help every need.  God shows us who we should help.  Say for example you see a person with a sign requesting help.  You wonder if you should, are they faking it, should you give money, food, clothing, or just pray with them?  Trust God to tell you.  God not only tells you who you should help, but how. If you do not feel the Spirit prompting you to help, don’t feel guilty.  There is a drive at church, I want to be a good Christian, but I am not feeling any pull to give this charity.  They came to our church; and I want to look good.  If that is your motivation, then don’t help.  Your motivation to help someone should not be about you. It should be about sharing God’s love with someone.  If you are hesitant about accepting help allow the help. You have asked God, Right? Then trust he is giving you the help that you have requested. Even if the person offering the hand of help is someone that you don’t like.

White as Snow

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There is nothing more beautiful than that first snow all white and clean.  You can be clean.

There is hope for eternal life

It doesn’t cost a dime.

By accepting Jesus as your savior, you have eternal life.

Your since are washed away.

Your are free of guilt and shame.

We still make mistakes but forgiveness is there and we are white as snow- blameless before the Lord.

 

Downhearted or hopeful

When the things of life get us down, we know we should pray, but it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves as if we hacontrolve any control. We don’t have control because God is in control.  It is why so many of us like organization. It gives us a sense of control.  But when we leave everything to God and trust his directions; wonderful things happen.  Leaving things to God letting go of the control.

Life will still bring us down, but with God in control, we can rest knowing things will be alright.

Isaiah 45:22-24:

“Turn to me and be saved,                                  smiling sun
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”

Meaningless

Ecclesiastes 1:2:  Words of Solomon  hopelessness

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

Have you ever read Ecclesiastes?  If you are prone to depression, you might not want to read Ecclesiastes.  This first verse sounds as if a depressed person wrote them. At least that is how it looks on the surface.

No one thinks that the person with everything could be depressed.

No one thinks that that smiling person could be depressed.  But as I said one of the most renowned men in the history of times, shows signs of depression.

read verses 17- 14:  It sounds as if he is tearing his clothes and crying out loud to God.

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.cropped-forgive.jpg

If this is how you feel, I suggest reading the Psalms. but most of all find someone to listen.

Just remember we are all broken.  What we do with it is what defines us.

 

 

Miracles

Lately, God has reminded me that his miracles are everywhere.  It has been an unusual fall. For Nebraska, the colors have been vibrant. We have seen brighter reds, oranges, yellows, gold, and of course shades of brown.  There is one tree with a red that is almost purple. It is amazing. 20181018_094730

The truth is Falls in Nebraska are interesting to Nebraskans.  The crops are being harvested, the trees are turning brown.  Produce is being “put up”  Either by freezing, canning or storing in a root cellar. corn-harvest

To find God’s miracles, we just have to look.  Because even though I don’t find harvesting a thing of beauty, Nebraskans do and to the it is a miracle.

God’s miracles are everywhere

For years I have been sad during the Fall. It only reminded me of how much I miss the fall foliage back East. But this year, I have been focusing on the positive and have seen an absolutely beautiful fall. fall
Philippians 4:8    tells us to look upon everything that is lovely and good.  Seek out what is good in the world.  When we look for the good, we see the world in a different light.  Our attitude  changes.   

 

 

 

 

 

 #freshstart #corageous #holdontothruth#followerofchrist #godismyrock

#LivingThankfully

Generally we think of giving Thanks unto the Lord.  But what about the people in your life?  #GivingThanks

And how do I start Living Thankfully?  #ThankfulLife

They say it takes 2 weeks to develop a habit.  Well, in my experience it takes two weeks just to decide if you want to put that much effort into changing a bad habit.

Then another two weeks to get started.  Then two weeks of practicing, two more weeks of concentrating of the habit being consistent.  Forgiving yourself if you miss a day. Then about 2 – 3 more weeks of thinking am I doing my new habit consistently?

the next stepEventually you stop thinking about it and doing it.

I am engaging in developing a thankful life.

The first step is to thank God for something once a day.

Step number two was to thank him for something twice a day.

Then we increase the number from one thank to two.

There were times when I had to ask God for forgiveness because I was just saying Thank You God just for the sake of saying it.

Next step is a bit harder.  You thank people around you for something. Starting with each member of your immediate family.  Thank them for one thing a day.

Learning to live a Thankful Life is probably going to take around 6 months to a year.

Each time you forget, then you have to ask for forgiveness and then forgive yourself.forgiveness

Don’t listen to Satan’s lies about how much a failure you are and PICK UP FROM WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. Don’t start all over again just start where you left off.  If you are at two thankful to God times and one thankful to each member of your immediately family; then you start right at that point. Going back and starting again just gives Satan a door to mock you.

Starting from where you were says “I made a mistake. I didn’t ruin all my efforts from one little mistake.  It works with changing your diet as well.

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