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Remember The Wildflowers

A precious, little Cuban wildflower.

Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? ~Luke 12:27-28 (The Message)

Growing in grace teaches us that it is not the color of one’s skin, but the content of their soul that makes our world beautiful. Under all the facades, past all the tips and tricks to hide what we deem unsightly, God crafted a heart purposed to reflect the love of The Almighty.

Aging is a beautiful thing when we look beyond the ordinary markers to behold the extraordinary meanings.

Wrinkles are the troughs eroded by tears and settled by smiles. They map out our life right there in plain sight, telling the world of a life song threefold. Once a man, twice a child so the circle goes. And in the process of completion wisdom waltzes in and shares her instruction.

Bruises, and scars are signs of a life lived, loved and lost. They are medals of honor that portray the stories that sometimes made us laugh, and other times made us cry. Each one, a monument of rising to the mountaintop or descending into the valley. But we know life is both hard and holy.

Every year, a new number. A new season. A new calling. We all want to behold burning bush moments, but God. Sometimes He places us right in the midst of life’s mundane messes and asks us, live here. Make a difference here with all your scars and scrapes, not in the middle of momentous miracles and before millions of eyes, but among measureless mercies and man’s desperate cries.

Wherever you are friend, remember the wildflowers. You may be one dancing in the wind on a beautiful hillside for all the world to see, or maybe you are tucked into a safe corner disguised by many. Both coordinates are needed and necessary. Be about the business of Kingdom building. The harvest is plentiful in the majestic and the mundane. You were picked and planted to thrive right where you are by the Hands that molded the world. Thrive wildflower. Be alive.

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At The Foot of The Cross

Every day I must wake up and remember who I am in Christ- loved, accepted, redeemed, worthy and righteous. When I forget or mistake my identity, and I often do, I spend my day resolving, grasping, controlling and exhausting myself trying to secure that which is already mine, procured by the sacrifice of my Savior not the striving of myself. Jesus did die for my sins and yours, but He also forfeited everything to impart His perfect record to us. I can work so hard attempting to achieve that which I only need to surrender and receive. Friend, this week I am praying for the grace to leave our debts, failures, and insufficiencies nailed to the cross where they have been rectified. There is a shady spot waiting for us at the foot of the cross.

Jesus did die for my sins and yours, but He also forfeited everything to impart His perfect record to us. I can work so hard attempting to achieve that which I only need to surrender and receive. Friend, this week I am praying for the grace to leave our debts, failures, and insufficiencies nailed to the cross where they have been rectified. There is a shady spot waiting for us at the foot of the cross.

There is a shady spot waiting for us at the foot of the cross.

You are loved!♥️

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Purpose Amidst Imperfection 

Nestled amidst the sunrise of a fresh week and all the promise it holds is an ever faithful reminder of my inadequacy. I am presently, but peacefully aware that I got more wrong than right last week, and that will surely be my truth this week as well.

My keen sense of insufficiency poses a different purpose for me now, though. Growing in grace teaches me that it is no longer about striving for perfection only to be frustrated, but seeking purpose amidst my imperfection only to be furthered.

 It is an incongruent truth that on the other side of our failures is an intention designed for our prosperity. 

Understanding that falling down is not a shameful thing, but a sacred tool is the genesis of praise. Praise opens the door and welcomes gratitude right into our hearts.

When gratitude is our guest, we see through all the heavy right into the heart of the holy, and joy becomes a source of our strength. 

This week, friend, I pray you have eyes to see and ears to hear all the beauty that your brokenness beholds, and your heart will sing, it is good and it is well with my soul.
You are loved.❤️

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Footprints 

A few days ago I left my footprints in the sand. I was walking in search of Jesus, reaching for his nail scarred hand. This countenance, a plea and praise on my heart did land. When I wander forth from you, Lord and my veers, direct me back till Your Light in my view appears. May my steps always follow your trail for that is the only way my flesh will fade and allow Your Spirit to prevail. You are the Light of the world. You shine in the heavens, on the waters and among the tiniest grains of sand. There is not one spot under the sun that Your light can be undone. May your glow always lead me to look up and ahead, never back where my transgressions in your sight are dead. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for dying for me; it is only because of you that my blind eyes are allowed to see. When I needed a friend it is you who has always been there; and because I required a Savior, it was you who my sins did bear. It is finished you did cry, so that I may live with you forever, never to die.

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Peace

I have been on a mission lately to identify and minimize or eradicate the things in my life that compromise my peace.  When I started putting ink to this stuff, I was surprised just how exhaustive my list is, and I have not unearthed it all yet.  One thing that was at the top of my list is the bad habit  I have perfected of assigning thoughts and feelings to other people.  Not many things steal my peace like this destructive practice.  You know what I am talking about, right?  When a friend does not acknowledge a text or email promptly, I can easily allow my thoughts to sabotage me.  My internal dialogue goes something like this,
“She must be mad at me.” or
“Maybe she didn’t like what I said.”

I have found that the overwhelming majority of the time I. Am. Wrong.

There are hundreds of scenarios like this that vandalize my sanity.  It is plain ridiculous.  When I get honest, though, it is much more about an unwise behavior.  There is a deeper root to the problem.  I want people to be pleased with me.  I want people to like me.  I am a forever recovering people pleaser.  There should be a support group for this kind of thing!  I am no expert but perhaps going even deeper this is about the sinful pride that lurks in my heart that I need to pray for the grace to see and uprooted daily?

In his short, but stirring book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, Tim Keller says this;
“People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can’t be hurt! It is the ego that hurts – my sense of self, my identity.  Our feelings are fine. It is my ego that hurts.”  “Walking around does not hurt my toe unless there is already something wrong with it .” Well, a big ‘ole ouch and Amen to that!

When my identity, worth, value, and placidity are rooted in people, I am in trouble.  There will be no peace in my heart.  I continually have to put on the attire of Christ’s atonement that sealed all those things for me at a very high cost.  Otherwise, I am simply not living free in the abundance of my Father, but a prisoner to the perceptions and permission of people.

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Prone to Wander

There was a time when I thought I was a good person, (notice the emphasis on I).  Growing in grace has enabled me to see with my eyes, understand with my mind and confess with my mouth that there is nothing good about me alone except the holy, blameless, good and loving God who dwells within me.  Sometimes even my best intentions are peppered with pride.  It is when I remember my utter depravity that I became free to rejoice in The Lord’s unparalleled adequacy.  Lord Jesus, I confess I am a mess.  I am prone to wander, clothing myself in filthy rags and seeking perfection, approval, and satisfaction from the false God’s of idolatry.  Grant me the blessing of quick detection and correction when my heart turns from you, Father.  At the end of every road of obstinance is death; while the path of obedience leads to life.  May your truth be my compass so that all glory shines on you, my Savior, not myself.  Amen.

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Seasons of Change

Father you know we mamas are creatures who crave constancy not change.   When it comes to our children, our hearts are troubled by the trials of transition.   Tis the season of approaching change, God. Soon our babies will be starting kindergarten, entering high school, arriving for their senior year and launching off to college.  As our lives are fluctuating, and our familiar becomes foreign, our normal becomes new and our usual becoming unknown, it feels like permanent pieces of our lives will be changed forever.  They will never be as they were again.  It is the dying of a chapter that is so deeply rooted and known that it is painful to imagine how life will look moving forward.  We are challenged to hold gently and fondly to what was so that we may courageously embrace what now is.  Give us the grace to be more than conquerors in all these circumstances of change, Father.   May the faith that lives in our hearts be bigger than the fear that lurks in our minds.  Bless our children.  Insulate each and every one of them from head to toe under your wing of protection.  Remind us mamas that we have raised or children to run with determination not retreat in doubt.  There will be trails, and there will be triumphs.  May we all remember that disguised in all our disappointments are Your Appointments.  Give us the grace to not look for life somewhere under the sun, but in someone above it-You, Lord Jesus.  Amen

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Contentment

Growing in grace is finding joy at the juncture of what is and what we desire to be. Contentment builds her home there.

Friend, what person, plan or situation do you need to surrender to God’s sovereignty today? We are all Picassos, painting pictures in our minds of the way it should be, our way, our dreams. When we cling to our perfectly polished plans, we leave no room for God’s purpose to define our lives.

Perhaps we spend so much time longing for our coveted desires that we cannot enjoy our current destinations.

Our desires are not wrong, but our demands are. May we lay down our brushes and clear our canvases so that we can hang our hope on faith rather than fiction.

1 Corinthians 7:17~ And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. (The Message)

You are loved!❤️

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Growth, Grace, Power

She was wronged.  She was misunderstood.  She was disliked and even disowned.  However, she no longer took her pain to the people, but The Promiser.  That is growth.  That is grace.  That is the power of Christ Jesus!  We already have victory, friends.  We no longer need to fight for it!  You are loved!

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ONE

For life travelers longing for an analgesic to satiate the ache that feels as if it were born and branded into every beating heart, we search and scurry for a cure as if that longing is something to be erased and replaced with happiness when all along it is an immutable hunger for Home.
Friend, I know it is tempting to numb. The food, the television, the drink, the romance novel, the internet, the busy schedule, they all eventually fail us. There is not one possession or person under the sun that will complete us.

John Calvin said the human heart is a factory of idols. I will add to his observation that mine is no exception. Idols are the thieves of my soul, robbing me of peace and joy. They are dressed up impostures that pursue me, promising pleasure but ultimately never delivering the pacification they purport. They have an inferior half-life that leaves all partakers thirsty and longing for more.

I was sitting on my counselor’s couch Tuesday and as I was talking to her, staring out her big window in the sky, my words were interrupted. As it sometimes happens a memo from semmingly no where comes as if it is being spoken in my head. That day the message was, when you are only concerned with One none of the other stuff matters.

Too often that one I am concerned about is me instead of Jesus. When my eyes, ears, and mind are fixed on Him, I do not need to numb. I do not need to find satisfaction in secular things. But surrounded by my desirous heart for God is a deceptive flesh for gratification; and this is why I need Jesus every moment of every day.

Jesus secures me when I am splintered. He welcomes me when I am weak. He “feeds” me when I am famished. He lifts me when I am low; and Jesus desires me when I am disappointing.
If you have received the gift of God’s only son, you can replace every me in the sentences above with your name. Isn’t that a breath of fresh air! If you have not received His gift, right now is always the right time to make the right decision.

You are loved, friend!