Posts Tagged With: Relationships

Send Some Joy

Christmas cards.

Card Blog

Did those two words stir up any emotions for you? They do for me. It’s no secret that I love cards. I love shopping for them. I love giving them. I love receiving them. There are probably a number of reasons why I love them so much. My mom was a card sender. As a little girl I remember her sitting on the couch with the TV tray (those of you from the ‘70’s will remember the TV tray!) pulled up to her. Her list, cards, and envelopes all arranged neatly on the tray. Both of my grandmas also took the time to hand sign and mail Christmas cards every year.

Not only did the ladies in my life love to send cards, they looked forward to receiving them. Each card meant someone was thinking of them. Someone took the time to say, “Hi! I’m thinking of you.” Sometimes letters were enclosed or perhaps a picture or two. The cards were always ALWAYS displayed. Whether they were taped to the door frames, clipped to string above the fireplace or placed on end tables, each card was given a place of honor.

How do many people view Christmas cards today? Perhaps they see signing and mailing cards as a chore. Maybe cards cost more money than they want to spend. The cost of stamps have gone up, so, it might be people just don’t want to utilize the postal service anymore. Sending an email is quicker and easier. It makes me sad, actually.

Yes, cards cost money. Yes, stamps cost money. Yes, it’s a little time consuming. How long does it take to write, “Merry Christmas” and sign your name? A stamp?–one of the cheapest things you can buy now-a-days. It’s possible that a card might be just the thing that takes the “lonely” out of the holidays for someone.  If you can’t afford cards, a Christmas “note” would be just as special, I’m sure.

We live in an impersonal world–a world where if we have to wait 10 seconds for a screen to pop up on the computer we get irritated. Let’s slow down. Let’s take time for relationships. Let’s take time to SEE each other. Let’s replace every act of hate in our world with ten acts of kindness.

Christmas is about Jesus. Jesus. The ultimate gift—God’s gift to us. Jesus was all about relationships.

Today is December 5th. You still have time…it only takes a minute to let someone know they are special to you…

 

Photo By Krafts By Kondrot. Check her out at: https://www.facebook.com/KraftsByKondrot/?fref=ts

 

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Categories: Christmas, Encouragement | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jesus

I had a light bulb moment just now.

I was doing my devotions which I do with a small online group when
BAM! IT hit me!

Maybe you have already considered this. AND, it’s not something I haven’t heard before. But, today as I read it, God was like, “THIS is your family. This. There is hope. Your past (The people in your family’s past) is NOT your future. You are not them Your life is not their life. Their life choices do not dictate yours (who you are or who you are going to be).

Here’s part of the story of Judah (if you want to read the whole thing, read Genesis Chapter 38)

Genesis 38:12-19 and Genesis 38:24-30
12 In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral.[c] Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.”[d] And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” (See–he was judging HER for something HE had done himself.) 25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26 Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.
27 When the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. 28 And when she was in labor, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called Perez.[e] 30 Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

Now let’s read Matthew 1:3
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron

Judah slept with a prostitute. Yet, when he found out that his daughter-in-law had been immoral, he was going to have her killed. She did the same thing he had done. Yet, he was judging her and had no shame in what he had done. (I do realize it was a different day and women were not treated the same). She gave birth to two babies from Judah…one of which, Perez, was an ancestor of Jesus. Jesus had all SORTS of sinful people in his heritage. But…God chose THEM to be the flesh to which Jesus was born.
WE have been adopted by God our Father. We are children of the King. Sometimes we have Godly role models who turn out to be someone FAR from who we thought they were. They may be a family member, a pastor, a teacher…It might be someone we kind of “set up” as our Biblical Giant or Spiritual Guide. And, when they fell or when they proved how very human they were, we became devastated or disillusioned. But, that does not mean that WE are any less. Because the human who we regarded as godly and moral fell doesn’t mean that who WE are in Christ has changed. It doesn’t mean that the lives we have touched weren’t touched. It doesn’t mean we are less of a pastor, minister, missionary, son, daughter, father, mother. We are God’s Children. God, who created all things and makes all things new. Who we are in Christ is found in the reflection of Jesus in us, not a person’s impression on us.

It’s always about Jesus, never about humans. Humans always fail. Jesus never ever fails.

If Jesus, who was perfect, could come from adulterers and murderers and have the most amazing and incredible ministry of anyone ever on this planet…don’t you think God has amazing things planned for us too?

I do!

Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I am doing. (HE REALLY DOES< DO YOU TRUST HIM?) I have it all planned out (HE HAS A PLAN!) plans to TAKE CARE OF YOU, not abandon you (HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU), plans to give you the future you hope for. ❤

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Grumpy Groggy Times

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Through the cobwebs and grogginess in my head I hear the chime on my phone playing “Good Morning”. While the little song is somewhat cheery, that is the last thing I feel when it goes off. My hand searches for the phone. Finding it, my eyes try to locate the “dismiss” button. The light from the phone is overwhelming so I close my eyes and barely squint through one eye attempting to turn it off.

By this time, my husband is completely frustrated and growls, “You still don’t know how to turn that off?” I wisely ignore the comment, press the button and drop my phone. At this point, the puppy is scratching at the bed ready to go out. I plop my head, face down, into my pillow and wish it was all a dream. 

Adulthood. Motherhood. Jobs. Responsibilities. Relationships. Many mornings as I reluctantly pull myself out of bed I wonder, “Is this really all there is to life? I don’t want to be an adult today. 

Been there? 

Little girls can’t wait to be teenagers.

Teenagers can’t wait to be adults.

They dream of their perfect job with the perfect salary and the perfect husband and perfect children. They will live in the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and drive the perfect car. They will be perfectly happy all the time and life will be—PERFECT.

Nope.

It is highly unlikely any of them will have lives that even come close to resembling perfection.  Why? Because LIFE happens. Life—reality.  A job with conflict that pays too little. Layoffs. A husband who eats too much or watches too much TV…or maybe he isn’t romantic enough or doesn’t pay enough attention. The kids are constantly sick, they don’t sleep enough, they are sloppy, and always need something. Someone else always has a bigger fancier home. The neighbors are continuously upset about something and the car keeps breaking down.

Ahhhh—This is life—REAL LIFE. 

— Back to my morning. It’s at these times…the grumpy groggy times…that I have to remind myself that life isn’t about me. It isn’t about my job and whether or not I like it. It’s not about having to get up when I’d rather sleep. It’s about Christ. What can I do for Him today? Who might need a word of encouragement from me? I need to remember to appreciate the man God gave to me—as a gift.  My children are a blessing, not a chore, and I am so lucky to have them.

Our society tells us that we should focus on ourselves—our desires, our wants, our happiness. But, the more I get into the Word, the more I find that kind of thinking is contrary to God’s heart.  Frankly, if we’d quit seeking our own happiness, we would likely find ourselves much happier.

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. –Colossians 3:1-2 MSG

Categories: Encouragement | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Does Twenty-Five Years Look Like-A Tribute to Our Marriage

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Well, really, it goes back further than that. I was 14 years old when I met my husband. He asked me to marry him when I was 15. Of course, at the time, I think it was just a way of getting a kiss from me. But, I said, “yes” enjoying the little fantasy.

Five years later, I found myself walking down the aisle, looking into his brown eyes, hopeful for a future together. We were anxious to get started on our journey; I was amazed that I was fortunate enough to marry my high school sweet-heart.

Looking at the pictures, I realize now we were technically adults, yet we were still children. We had no idea what “life” really meant.

Another five years later we brought our first son into our family. He has been a joy. He is a near duplicate of his dad: hard-working, strong, intelligent, and loyal. He is a deep thinker. When his words are offered, you know there has been much thought beforehand.

Two years later we lost two babies. The heart-break was deep, but the next year God gifted us with our second son. I refer to him as my sunshine because he is always chatty, full of ideas, compassionate, and passionate. He can always make me laugh and his eyes literally light up a room.

Through the years we have walked mountains and valleys together. We have held each other through the good and the bad. There have been giggles and tears, passion and anger. There have been times we haven’t liked each other much, but, never a time that we didn’t love each other.

Sometimes I look at him and still see that skinny cute boy in his Levi jeans and his sweet smile looking at me from across the hall. He still makes my heart flutter when he tells me I am pretty. He still makes me feel like I am special; a gift.

I dreamed of growing old with him. And, I guess we are on our way.

What does 25 years look like? It looks like for better or for worse. It looks like in sickness and in health. It looks like in good times and in bad. It looks like the choice to LOVE.

I love you, John, forever and for always.

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We All Need Someone

1 Samuel 18:1-3 ESV 1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.

God is so good. Say that with me, “God is SO GOOD”!

How many of you know that God loves you more than you could possibly imagine? He does! He cares about every part of your life, from the major events to the smallest concerns. Isn’t that an incredible thought?

I had a conversation with one of my sister-friends this morning. And, she reminded me (unintentionally) of the goodness and importance of friends.

You know, sometimes we just don’t have what we need naturally. What I mean is, perhaps our family doesn’t provide that emotional nourishment we need.

2013 was my Year of Relationships. God saw my need…my desire…for people that I could invest in AND who would invest in me.

This scripture talks about David and Jonathan. Notice how they were instantly bonded. This wasn’t a friendship that had been in the works for years. They met and souls united.

Friends are one of the sweetest blessings God created for us. I have several friends who I instantly knew I could trust and pour myself into. Some of them I haven’t even seen in person! But, we have kindred spirits and I consider them part of my family…some even closer than family.

Are you feeling lonely?

Pray and ask your Father to bring a special friend into your life. (Remember, it does take some work on your part.) Be willing to trust. Be willing to care. Be willing to share.

Categories: Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stinky Yucky Mess

Good morning. Today I’m going to chat with you all.

Humans. We were made in the image of God. That is a marvelous and beautiful thing.

God gave us free will. Of course his desire was that we would choose to worship Him, adore Him, desire Him, commune with Him, have a relationship with Him…

Throw Satan into the mix. Satan is the master of confusion, lies, loneliness, anger…his desire is to steal our joy, ruin relationships, inflict pain and destroy our relationship with God.

So, with our free will we humans often make the wrong choices. Why we do so, well, I certainly can’t answer that. We are gluttons for punishment (as my mom would say).

Here’s the thing. If we know that humans make mistakes, make bad choices and are…well…HUMAN, why do we put so much faith in them?

How many times has a “godly leader” fallen into sin and his “followers” are completely devastated and perhaps even turn their backs on God because of it? WHY? They’ve turned their backs on a relationship with God, the Creator of the Universe, because a human failed! Really?

We MUST keep our focus on Christ. No one is perfect except for God. No one person has your answers. NoBODY can make your life right. If you count on people, you are going to find yourself in a “Stinky Yucky Mess”.

Psalm 118:8 KJV It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Hebrews 13:6 KJV So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Hebrews 3:1 NIV Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

Hebrews 12:2 KJV Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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