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.


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.


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.


There is something that I have been meaning to talk about for years.

It has to do with how we treat people.  If someone loses a child to war, we are there for them.  Which we should be they sacrificed all for us.

If a child is lost due to sickness, we are there for them.  And we should be. The child lost their life due to no fault of anybody.

But what about the mother that loses a child to gang violence, Is their pain any less than the one that lost to war or sickness?

What about a mother that loses their child to suicide? Is their grief any different?

The last two mothers we look down on them as if they pulled the trigger. They failed to move their child away from the gangs, or failed to see that their child had suicidal thoughts. We judge them incorrectly.  Jesus calls us to have mercy on these people. They are as weak as the parents that lose their child to “legitimate causes”. (Romans 15:1)

It is the holidays and there are many reasons why people may be without loved ones over the holidays. They are in the service, they live far away, they have passed on (whatever the reason), they are drug or alcohol addicts and are missing, they have been kidnapped, they ran away from home, they are mentally ill and no one knows where they are, or they are in jail.  We are not sympathetic with many of these reasons.

It is not Biblical to be unsympathetic with these parents, yet sometimes we act as if these parents deserve to be sad.  It is their fault these things have happened.  This is faulty thinking.  Sure I realize that if the parent has problems, their children are likely to have problems. But instead of blaming them, we should help them. Not hurt them. I find it hard to believe that drug addicts and alcoholics want to be that way.  They want to be clean.

The drug addict or alcoholic: the parent did not raise them right.

I have seen these signs that say raise your children right of the guards in jail will have to teach them.  This is very insulting Do you really think that these parents didn’t do the best they could?  Do you really think they tried to guide their children.  Most families with children in jail are not crime syndicate families.  It is not like it is on TV.  Most families are law-abiding citizens and except for a mistake; their children are as well. More often than not their child was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t do anything to be in jail except didn’t have enough money to afford an attorney.  The Public defender is over worked and under paid and find in their best interest to plea bargain most cases. (not the interest of their client)

Families with children who commit suicide are often as shocked as the world was when Robin Williams committed suicide. There weren’t any “signs”.  There are some that say well we knew something was wrong, but we didn’t know how to help.

There are those that suffer from PTSD. We just assume that these people are crazy.  It is called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because they were exposed to the worst most depraved evils of the world. Most suffer in silence because they feel as if they talk about it, then people might think they are crazy, or worse people might not believe them. Although the largest population of people with PTSD are soldiers; other people suffer from PTSD as well.

Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that everyone has these assumptions. I don’t believe that all  people judge others.  I believe that there are people that try very hard to be sympathetic to others. I believe there are people that mean well.  I just think that there are more people that do judge, are unsympathetic, and think that many parents without loved ones especially without children, don’t deserve our consideration or sympathy.

There is one population of people that are sad over the holidays that deserve every help we can give them.  They are children with parents in jail.  Try going to school and say my daddy is in jail.  These children need our help how else can we end the cycle of poverty? (no not every child with a parent in jail is poor) but so many are poor.


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.


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.

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.’”


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.

Walking on a picket fence, Even for 10

Hello,  Sometimes I find myself walking on a picket fence, knowing that something is wrong not wanting to hurt people’s feelings divided on how to handle an uncomfortable situation. Not wanting to sound as if I am judging someone.

Sometimes I see people walking in the gray area and God says that person is not one in your path.  Then it is easy, they hit my radar but I am not supposed to reach out to them.  I am to pray for them.  When this happens, I have learned to not sin by reaching out to them anyway.  I am not a super Christian able to reach every person that crosses my path.  Sometimes those people that cross my path are there because I need them.  God sent them to help me.

Our nation is standing on a picket fence.  Or at least that is how it seems to me.  One side seems to want complete control of our lives.  They are willing to do anything to get it.

As Christians we should beware of the untruths that are being spread.

If we don’t accept the side that is trying to control everything we are called all sorts of bad names.  They don’t accept that if I say okay you do that but I don’t approve; that is my right.  They want everyone to believe exactly how they believe.

The early church had that problem.  Deceivers everywhere trying to change the Salvation message, the word of God.

Jude: 17-23:

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

I guess I just jumped off the fence.  I am on the Lord’s side. The deceivers are wrong. Bring on your bad names you haters of God. God is my choice. I have been on this side for some time now, I just have been silent. Which is wrong. I hear people say there is evil afoot and no one can stop it.  God can if we believe if we ask. God Can. I understand that if the bowls have been poured there is no going back.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?

How about What Abraham asked God?

Genesis 18:

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

If God’s people repent, if God’s people pray, God can stop the evil.

lift each other up

James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. As I was reading this it dawned on me why we do works.  We don’t do works to earn our salvation, but to show our faith.

woman wearing grey crew neck sweater
Photo by on

The Bible encourages us to take care of each other.  To lift each other up.  When we accept Jesus as our savior, the desire to become more like him.  This is why we do good works.

But how do I lift someone else up?  How do I have the strength?  Trust God. When you hear of someone in need, do what you can to help.



How do you look at people?  When you meet a new person do you make a snap judgement?  Do you look at their hair, clothes or their shoes?  Do we listen to how they speak, do they stutter? If someone is not delightful do we decide with a snap decision that we don’t want to associate with them?

I know I have been victim of snap decisions.  My social EQ is low. I used to live with pain, still have some, however it is getting better.  But when that pain is big, I am not always nice.  I have learned that it is easier to just be quiet than to try to communicate.  I know it makes me appear cold. But it is better to be quiet than to allow a surly attitude to shine through.  After all, I can’t stay at home when I hurt.

I have also been guilty of  snap judgments.  I have looked at people and thought okay, I don’t want you near my children. I remember this one person who admitted making a snap judgement about me, they said you are not someone whom I would have given a glance. I looked at them and said if I had seen you walking down the street, I might have crossed it.  I would not have allowed you to speak to my children.

Today, my views are different. Oh sure there are styles that make me cringe. Sorta like on that movie Liar Liar, the secretary asks Jim Carrey’s character  How do like my dress? It was a rather loud dress and he says whatever takes the attention off of your hair. I have just gotten better at not showing it.

I think that is the catch, we are still going to have our snap judgments.  What matters is what we do with it. Do we allow our initial impression to influence how we treat that person? Do we allow the person time to show us who they really are?

If we don’t learn how to control our primary response, then we lose opportunities.

See the people who need Jesus the most are probably not people we want our children near. They might be homeless, they might need attitude adjustments, they may feel they are superior, or they might be impressed by how much money you make. Or unimpressed as the case might be. They might be addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, or maybe a convict. Sometimes the person who needs Jesus is someone whom we respect. Just because a person is nice doesn’t mean they have Christ.

When we make snap judgments we lose opportunities.

When we are surly we lose opportunities.

When we are not compassionate we are not loving the world as Jesus would have us love the world.

Compassion means that we strive to treat people the way we want to be treated. I know when I went out in public in pain, I often wished that people would just try to understand.  I know my clothes don’t fit well, my hair is a mess. I wanted to comb it better, but it just hurt. I just wished for help.  I know I rarely asked for it, I know how easy it is to get tired of hearing people’s problems. I just don’t ask very often because I don’t want to be that person. The person that everyone avoids. They frequently request favors and are rarely there for anyone else.  I want to be the person that helps.

Things started to change for me when I learned how to appropriately ask for help. I am not very good at asking for help, I am still afraid of people getting tired of helping me.

God is working on me.  While God s working, I am becoming more compassionate, I am becoming more willing to ask for help. It is a two-way street to be compassionate with others we have to be compassionate with ourselves. We have to accept our weakness. God will turn it to strength.

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