Easier Said Than Done

walk

Growing in my walk with God has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything, even what I’ve been through to get here. It was worth it. Feeling His presence in my deepest pain has led to my desire to feel and listen to Him more. I long to hear His voice and I want to obey because of His love for me. I’ve learned so much about who I used to be, who I’ve always been, who I am to Him, and where He wants to take me. I’ve also learned how hard the Christian walk is to walk in this world.

I get now why it’s easier to say you’re a Christian, but not live like one. Because, I did…for years. I get now why it takes supernatural and divine power to stand up, speak up, and walk daily with Him. His way is HARD for us. His way doesn’t come naturally in our selfish human flesh. Once we’re open to Him and His love for us, He takes our hands and leads us out of sin by convicting us and staying on us until we see and choose His way for ourselves. Even with His help, we will never be sinless in this world, but by His grace it is possible to sin less. His way leads to lasting peace and joy. Once our eyes have been opened, we see how the world’s way leads to quick satisfaction, but is followed by regret.

I’d rather my girls choose lasting peace and joy. Not a quick fix, whether it be acting on revenge, hatred, jealousy, or lust. If I’d rather them choose His way, the best example would be for me to as well. I want that lasting peace and joy too. So, here goes…..a list of things easier said than done, but lead to lasting peace and joy, in the Christian walk.

  • Holding my tongue in anger
  • Letting the last word be God’s
  • Not lashing out at my loved ones
  • Having the courage to address issues with loved ones in a reconciliatory manner that leads to healing on both sides
  • Denying the flesh while single (especially after being married 10 years!)
  • Forgiveness
  • Choosing to love even when it’s not openly returned
  • Daily quiet and prayer times
  • Waiting on God
  • Stepping out in faith
  • Fighting the paralyzing fear of people’s opinions
  • Just doing what God wants me to do….the quicker the better!

These are a few things that come to mind that are very hard for me, but I feel called to do. They also never crossed my mind in my teens and 20s. I guess my relationship with God, marriage, divorce, and two daughters have brought me to a place where I’ve never been before. And, since this is all new to me, I’m more dependent than ever on God to lead me through it. Because…I sure don’t know how to do this! I just know He’s brought me here, so I’d better trust Him to help me. I could never do these things on my own.

I know I’ll need major help, where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1

I know I’ll need major strength, where does my strength come from?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalms 28:7a

I know I’ll need supportive friends. Thank God for the ones I have and the ones I’ve made. They are gifts! Where do these friends come from?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Sharing my walk in this format has been a huge personal step of faith and has forced me to face fear every single time I write and share. He has promised to teach me healthy love and asked me to share what I learn in return. That’s the least I could do for the lessons He’s teaching me! But still, He knows how much it scares me…..so He continues to lovingly nudge.

Blessing others in this process has been the biggest blessing of all. Words can’t express my gratefulness for your love, support, and encouragement! You have helped more than you could ever know. There are no sufficient words, only love and gratitude from my heart to yours.

Let’s continue to walk together….

 

 

What I Learned From My Grandma…

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Here are a few things I learned from my grandma. She was one of the smartest, funniest, strongest women I’ve had the privilege to know and love….

  • Keep God first
  • Work hard
  • Save money
  • Tell the truth, even if your voice shakes
  • Humor is always welcome and usually necessary
  • Be straight with your man, he’ll appreciate and respect you for it
  • Give to others
  • Pray for others, both international and domestic
  • Be a witness
  • You are a living example
  • Love hard
  • Time is precious
  • A timely joke can cut the tension in a room like nothing else
  • Chicken taco and spaghetti tastes better (to me) with veggie-meat instead of real meat
  • Fried okra has never tasted better (to me) than straight from Grandma’s skillet
  • Heaven will be the greatest family reunion any of us can ever imagine!

As a child and adult, my grandma took me to lunch and shopping for my birthday. This tradition continued until she couldn’t physically do it anymore. I looked forward to it every year. That special time she carved out just for me was the best gift she ever gave me. With my birthday quickly approaching, I am reminded of how much she loved me. I am forever grateful and blessed to be her granddaughter.

When Love is What You Don’t Do

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To quote Forest Gump, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” I feel like I’m in the same boat in discovering and sharing what healthy love is and what it is not. These actions do not equal love and respect even if they say they love you:

Love is when you….

  • Don’t ridicule or criticize their efforts
  • Don’t use the person for your own personal gratification
  • Don’t lie or cheat
  • Don’t belittle a person’s values or opinions
  • Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not
  • Don’t prevent or discourage growth in a person
  • Don’t intentionally hurt someone physically, mentally, or emotionally
  • Don’t expect your needs to be met without concern for the other’s needs
  • Don’t dismiss their ideas or feelings
  • Don’t shame or call names
  • Don’t withhold or withdraw from a person without explanation
  • Don’t isolate the person
  • Don’t minimize their problems or fears

Just a few that come to mind….

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Jesus is the ultimate example. Love is not easy and love will get messy, just look at the cross.  Love will take work, grace, and forgiveness. We will never get it perfect in our humanness, I know I haven’t. But, we can pray and ask Him to help us love in a way that pleases Him. We can ask forgiveness when we fail, and give it another shot. With Christ ALL things are possible. When our love tanks get low, refuel with the unfailing love of God and DON’T give up! If the love we offer is not received and/or returned, let them go. Letting them go is showing love for yourself and that is also VERY important. We can’t make someone love us but we are all worthy of love. Love never fails. DON’T forget that!