Ever Asked Yourself What is God’s Purpose for Me?

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How often have you pondered over the question What is God’s will or purpose for my life? or What does God want me to be? I have spent much time pouring over the same questions and honestly the answer seems to change often. I have all sorts of ideas that pop into my head that I want to do or accomplish for the sake of His glory.

I will wake up and have something on my heart and think to myself, yes that’s a great idea God. I’m going to do that! However, the next day my feelings have totally changed or I have an even better idea or plan.Or I feel that maybe my idea from yesterday is just not possible.

During my prayer time the other day, I ran across a verse that has opened my eyes and given me insight to God’s plan and will for me.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise, the simple.   ~Psalm 19:7

There are 3 very important truths in this verse about God’s plan for us

What God wants of me is good and perfect for me.

Doubt can be one of my biggest enemies. But this verse reassures us that God made me with a plan that is uplifting to my soul and refreshing to my spirit. It’s not going to make me feel weighted down and burdened. Jesus says My yoke is easy and my burden light.

I can trust Him.

I can have complete faith knowing that God loves me. He is for me. And His plans are best for me.

God’s plan is simple, wise and uncomplicated.

It’s me who make it complicated. If you are trying to do something that is very complicated and you continually are running into closed doors and road blocks, then that may not be what God wants you to do or maybe it’s not something He wants you to do right now. I’m not saying that some things we are called to do are not hard but God opens doors and makes the way for us.

In the book, Design for Discipleship, Dwight Pentecost says “The word of God claims absolute authority over your life.” And the bible tells us everything we need to know about who God is and who we are in Christ. He wants whats best for you. You can trust Him. It’s just that simple. Look around and think what is the most simple, easy thing I can do where I’m at in life right now. He has placed you there….on purpose.

 

 

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Real Love And Rainbows

I have seen it all over Facebook and social media along with everyone else; opinions exuberant or angry over the supreme court ruling on marriage yesterday. People practically shouting about God’s judgement while others joyously displaying rainbows shouting back equality with hashtags such as “#lovewins”. DSC_0915

And I believe deeply with every thing in me that love did win, but not in the way you might think. See, for me love won on the cross when Jesus laid down His life for the ones shouting hell and judgement. For the ones shouting equality. For my enemies. For the ones I love most dearly. For all. For me. John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. One of the most quoted verses in the Bible does not say “whoever believes unless” it says who. ever. believes.

The gospel of Jesus has not changed. It is the same today as it was yesterday. It is that love, that sacrifice that we need to be sharing with the world as Christians. Leading everyone to the cross. Leading everyone to Jesus. I am a follower of Christ because I believe He died and arose again. I believe He is the picture of unconditional perfect love; a picture of God’s love in the flesh.

I love how the pastor of Newspring Church described it in a post:  “Amidst the protest signs, yelling crowds, and political referendums, the simple message of Jesus’ love for you is often drowned out. Never doubt that Jesus loves you more than you could ever know. Jesus doesn’t just love a future version of you; He loves you exactly as you are right now. Jesus’ love for you has no prerequisites or requirements. Even if you hate Him, Jesus loves you and wants what is best for you. Love is at the core of everything Jesus taught. Unfortunately His message of love has been conveniently left out by many who would rather make a point than make a difference  (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10; Romans 5:8; Psalm 86:15).”

As I wrote about in my last post, I did take that step of faith toward a speaking ministry. In my message I shared that sometimes you just have to let go and let God be God. Shouldn’t we be leading others to the Cross and not trying to pick and choose what sin we think someone else needs freedom from? Lead them to Jesus and let Him cleanse their hearts from whatever He deems unclean. It is with deep conviction that I say rather than voicing opinions that we simply lead “all who are thirsty” to the only One who can quench that thirst through grace, love, and mercy.

Social media and all over has been lit up with rainbows. I love a quote I saw posted on Instagram by Jackie Hill Perry written by John MacArthur. “Every time you see a rainbow, listen to me, it represents the victory of grace over judgment. What does this world deserve? Judgment. What does it get? Grace because this is the age when God has hung up His bow. The triumph of mercy over wrath, this is the age for us to go to the ends of the earth and tell them of God and His mercy, God and His grace.DSC_0915

When You Try to Help Someone And They Won’t Let You

19973Last Sunday night, myself, my teen daughter, and my youngest son stopped to do the grocery shopping for the week. My husband and I both hate grocery shopping and I guess we both tend to procrastinate about it. So, anxious to get it done, I ushered the kids inside. It was crazy busy. I guess the whole community had procrastinated as well. We went from aisle to aisle from vegetables to toilet paper and everything in between. Finally we were finished and I eagerly pushed the heavy cart toward the check out lane. My children worked diligently on helping me load the groceries on the conveyor belt with surprisingly little bickering (which to me was an added perk).

Halfway through the cashier ringing up our goods, I noticed the old man waiting behind us in line. He had a frozen pizza, a peppermint patty and a green pepper that were half hidden behind my mounds of groceries still left on the conveyor belt. I looked at his patient face and felt convicted that in my rush and self-absorption, I had not let him go in front of me while we were unloading our items. As the cashier bagged the last few items, I felt God speak to my heart nudging me to pay for his groceries and so I spoke up and asked the cashier to please add them onto my bill.

The man looked at me and emphatically refused, almost seemed insulted. “Ma’am I’m not going to let you do that! I have enough money to pay for my own food.” Oh wow! That’s not the response I expected. Blushing and trying to recover, I said, “Of course sir and so do I, although barely sometimes week to week but I saw you standing so patiently waiting for her to finish my full cart and I’m so sorry I didn’t even offer to let you go ahead. The least I can do is pay for your pizza!” His face softened and thanking me several times, he continued to deny me the pleasure of paying for his groceries. So, I finished my transaction and began to leave. The cashier kept telling me how kind and sweet it was for me to offer with a rather shocked expression. Somewhat embarrassed, I grabbed my full cart, gathered my kids and headed for the door.19973

Walking to the car, I felt dejected and regretful for even offering. This was actually not the first time I had offered to help at this store and turned down. I could not stop thinking how in this day and age, people seem to have become so wrapped up in themselves or so unaccustomed to genuine love and care that we can no longer carry out simple acts of kindness!

We loaded the car and got in. As I reached for the ignition, my daughter grabbed my hand and with misty eyes said, “I am so so glad that God picked you to be my mom!” This coming from my teen who at every turn I seem to embarrass. It warmed my heart beyond words.

As I contemplated later on these things, it came to mind that I was focused on the wrong thing. I was focused on the man and felt a bit put off that God would have me offer knowing I would be rejected. I didn’t think about what kind of example I was showing for all the rest around me. It really opened my eyes to such a greater picture of God’s amazing plan. My obedience to the Lord might not have been for the old gentleman, but rather a witness of God’s love to my children and to the cashier and others of which I might not even be aware.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

A friend of mine recently reminded me of these words: “To love is to serve.” God’s great commandment is to love one another and to show that by serving others. It is sometimes so hard to do when we are rejected or don’t understand why God is asking us to do certain things for Him. As the scripture said, we must trust Him that he has a plan even when we don’t understand, even when we are rejected. Love and serve anyway. There is no better place to start than in your family and those closest to you.19973

Redemption and Reasons

deep bloom oceanA friend of mine shared the above quote on Instagram and it really touched my soul. I have been feeling discouraged lately. Maybe I should give up on writing. I have this soul deep need to share with others who have gone through divorce, others who may have been abused, others who are trying to put the post-divorce pieces of life back together in the form of a blended family that there is hope in God the Father. His Son didn’t just die for the “perfect family” that has a mom and dad who never divorced and kids that attend church every Sunday and have memorized all the books of the Bible. But maybe no one wants or needs to hear that. This has been the vicious thought spiral swirling around in my head.

Sometimes the judgement and ridicule that has been thrown at me mostly by other Christians for being divorced twice brings on acute feelings of shame and defeat. I find myself questioning am I willing to endure these prejudices, comments and whispers by those that believe a divorced woman shouldn’t be used or called by God?

Every single time I start thinking I might quit, God thinks differently. He reveals this in so many ways that it is astounding, dazzlingly so to me. He reminds my heart that I am who I am for a reason. He reminds me that I need only be obedient and share honestly what He has done in my life. Psalms 107:2 NLT “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.”

I want you to know if you have been discouraged, defeated, or ashamed it is not what God wants for you. He puts us at different places in our lives for a purpose.

Thank you for your redemption Heavenly Father. Thank you for your endless grace. Thank you for Your guidance. And most importantly, thank you that for every reason I have to want to quit sharing what You have done for me in my life, You give me twice as many reasons not to. Psalms 32:2,8 “Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,whose lives are lived in complete honesty! The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.I will advise you and watch over you.”

 

Testimony Tuesday: Accountability

Today’s post is from a beautiful woman inside and out as well as a friend. She is a private person but was kind enough to share her heart. Here are her thoughts on “Accountability”.

Melissa D post picAs a single mom for almost 4 years then remarrying and having another child, I have learned a lot about what makes me who I am. I am naturally an observer and watch people’s interactions with each other and the people around them. The most difficult people to observe, without wanting to jump in and say or do something, are the ones that affect children without even realizing.

I fully understand the effort it takes to raise a child/children and the mental toll it takes on us all. I know that tending to the constant needs, crying, tired, whining, and often interruptions, children can exhaust and unnerve the best of us. Frazzled nerves. Sleepless nights. Financial Stresses. All these add to the pressures of daily life. They may push us over the edge, as we find ourselves forgetting to mind out tongues and manners, without regard to the little eyes that are watching and the little ears that are listening. We are always seen and heard even when we think we are alone.

Even so, harsh or careless words, words spoken out of frustration, fear, or anxiety, can and do hurt. God holds us accountable for words like that. One of God’s Old Testament names, El Roi, means “the God who sees.” He sees and hears every careless word, every action spawned by angry impatience. Flippant remarks, thoughtless actions, and loveless reactions reveal a less than Christian-like attitude in us. Under duress, our guard can be diminished. Our filters disengaged. We spit out things we normally wouldn’t say. I am reminded of song lyrics that speak of a child using a 4-letter word in the back seat of the car when the father slams on brakes and causes the child to spill his drink and fries. When the father asks the child where he learned to talk like that, the child responds “I’ve been watching you dad.” (Rodney Atkins – Watching You).

These type of behaviors are a glimpse of what we are really like inside. This is the side of us that we attempt to keep hidden from God and everyone else, but these actions spill out for everyone to see. Scripture warns, “So then everyone of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). Furthermore, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). I shudder to myself as I think of all the times I have let careless words and actions slip.

I cannot correct this problem alone. I need someone to intercede on my behalf. And I have one- in Christ. Christ has made himself accountable for MY sins on Calvary’s cross. Amazing Grace!!!

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)

Testimony Tuesday

I’m am so excited about a series of new posts called Testimony Tuesday.  This is where other blendermoms and stepmoms share a scripture and what God has done for them in their lives.  I am also very excited and honored that my first guest post today is by Christy Garrett.  She is the founder of upliftingfamilies.com as well as the primary writer for the site.  Here is what Christy had to say.

Life is full of twists and turns. People are going to disappoint you, things aren’t going to go your way, you won’t get the job that you have been dreaming for all your life, and the list goes on and on. In my own life, I have dealt with similar situations and I often wondered why things didn’t go my way. I could easily get mad at God but over the last several years I have had to trust in Him and his ways. I know that he has my best interest at heart and as selfish as I am, I can’t see the bigger picture. If we get made at the things God chooses not to give us, we may miss out on the blessing or something even better for you.

If you are struggling in your situation, remember what God says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” He already knows your every need. So instead of complaining, follow and trust in His ways and he will keep you on the right path. He will make sure you have the strength to get through whatever you are going through and provide for all your needs.

After a divorce in 2003, I didn’t realize that dating and finding a loving relationship was going to be such a struggle for me. I had two children from my previous marriage and I know that it is a lot of baggage for some men to handle. It wasn’t until I gave my life and relationships to God. I let him guide and direct my paths. It wasn’t until I fully let go of my hurtful past and learn to live in joy before I finally met my amazing husband.

I am so thankful that I met a loving man who would accept me and my two children and care for them as his own. We were also blessed with a son in 2010 and I am amazed with the bond between him and his older siblings. We will be celebrating our six year anniversary at the end of the month and our marriage is filled with love. As a family we are constantly serving in our church, even my older children are involved in serving others in the church and other ministries in the church.

When life throws you a curve ball, who are you going to trust? Are you going to trust in your ways or follow God’s path and his ways?

393736_2824907621975_1097786626_nAuthor Bio: Christy Garrett is married to her best friend and has three children. She enjoys spending time helping others, learning about social media, spending time with her kids. When she isn’t busy with the kids, she enjoys writing and sharing her experiences with others at http://www.upliftingfamilies.com

But Sunday Is Coming!!

Easter is almost here.  It’s such a special time for Christians.  It’s such a precious time for me.  Here is one of my favorite sermon excerpts from SM Lockridge.

 

1 Peter 3:18 NLT “Christ suffered]for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”

“The devil has convinced so many people that they are worthless.
Each of us needs to stop and remember the cross—at the cross we will discover our true value—
for it is here that we discover the price God was willing to pay for us,
the depth of His love, and how much we are worth to Him.”
[Roy Lessin]

Thank you Heavenly Father that Sunday IS coming!

Do You Bring Blessings or Blow Horns?

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About a week and a half ago, last Tuesday, I was driving to work.  I was talking to my mom as I often do just like any other day.  My mind was filled with memories, Christmas lists, money worries etc……    I noticed a little ways up the road, a woman coming across a bridge up ahead.  Now, because of TV movies and watching too much of the news, I began to slow down my 75mph speed as a precaution in case this was someone who thought it might be fun to throw something off the bridge onto the cars below.  It all happened in a matter of seconds.  This woman had decided that she no longer wanted to live, came over the side and jumped off of that bridge, landing in front of my car on the busy interstate!

I swerved, screaming, trying to articulate to my mom what just happened.  I pulled over a little ways from the scene just to be safe and began jogging back to this nightmare that had just unfolded in my lane in front of me!  A small group had already gathered around her and I was surprised to see that the woman had already re-gained consciousness (after seeing her land like a rag doll and unconscious).  She was trying to fight us to get up while bleeding on the pavement.  I tried to soothe her, telling her that help was coming and that she was hurt.  I asked her if there was any phone numbers I could take down and call for her but she said she did not have anybody.  The paramedics and officers arrived.  They could not believe that this woman was not run over and kept saying it.  They allowed her to sit up as they examined her injured leg and face.  She is going to be just fine with just a scraped up face and broken leg!  As I was standing with the only other witness that cared enough to stop, a kind sweet faced lady on the way to pick up her daughter, we began talking of what we saw.  She did not see the woman jump like I did, only something in the road.  As I was trying to swerve, slow down and pull over she was trying to stop traffic that just kept driving around the woman and blowing the horn.  We could not believe how many just drove by blowing the horn and kept going!

On the morning of Christmas eve, my husband and I took our 3 kids to eat a late breakfast.  I mentioned that there was an elderly man eating alone and how sad that was at Christmas when the place was full of families.  Teen could not even enjoy her food because of it and wanted to go over and ask him to join us but is very shy about such things.  My husband and I wanted to as well but we made excuses such as he probably wanted to be alone or that he probably had a house full of family and wanted some time alone to enjoy his paper.  With a determined look, she went over to the man, wished him a Merry Christmas, and told him there was plenty of room at our table.  He joyfully accepted and for the next hour we were all entertained with stories of this gentleman’s life.  He introduced himself as Jim O’Neal, the “84 yr old Black Irishman”.  He insisted that he pay for our meal but my husband had gladly already paid for his.  We all left the restaurant that morning feeling happy and blessed.

These events got me to thinking about how we live our lives.  Do we stop our hectic pace and self-absorbancy and help those in need or do we just drive by and blow the horn?  Do we go the extra mile to bring a smile to someone’s face or do we make excuses to ease our conscious so we feel better about not going out of our comfort zone?

Christians, myself included, are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).  Let’s not also forget the golden rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).  There is verse after verse where we are to show Christ’s love through serving and loving others.  However, our selfish nature tends to fight with that kind of selfless love.  For this upcoming new year my prayer is that I allow God to continue to use me to bless those around me.  I pray that my children will continue to live out a life of serving God by being kind and loving others and that my husband and I can be an example of that love.  Who knows?  Maybe if we step up and go that extra mile there will be more people who don’t feel so empty and alone enough to jump off a bridge and instead end up sharing stories over a meal with new friends.

Are you someone that in this new year brings blessings or blows horns?

Our Blended Life..The Musical

DSC_2377I have many drafts of posts for my blog but not any that I feel God leading me to publish just yet.  I haven’t posted in a really long time because I’ve been busy writing for other family publications.  I wanted to share an experience I had with my son tonight.

I have been playing the piano “by ear” since I was around four and had to reach up to reach the keys.  I bought a used piano recently and it’s good therapy for me just to sit and play and sing some of the old songs I loved as a kid such as “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, “Rise Again”, and “He Was There all the Time”. 

After dinner tonight I sat down and started playing.  My youngest son who is nine came up and sat down beside me.  After a few times of singing the song he chimed in with his sweet boy voice.  Ya know, the sweet voice that doesn’t know all the perfect notes of the song and hits every few off key but catches back on quickly.

After that, I started playing an old song my parents used to sing called “Remind Me Dear Lord”, a song I have sung to him since he was very little.  A song he loves.  He suddenly said, “Mama I want to play that song!”  It never occurred to him that it might take a lot of time for me just to teach him the chords.  Any way, I told him that we should start by learning a C chord.  He quickly picked up on that and I showed him the key progression of C which the C, F, and G chords.  After trying, however, he because frustrated that he could not play the music like I played so I started playing a song I learned as a child:  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”.  A very simple song to play in the key of C.  He caught on quickly and was soon playing a long with me, so I showed him how to put a little more into the rhythm by using his left hand.  That proved to be too difficult for him and becoming quite agitated our music lesson came to a frustrated end.

Later I started thinking about that sweet moment and how thankful I was that God had given me the ability to play so if nothing else I could teach my son about Him through playing and music and to make lasting memories.  How often do we have those precious opportunities with our children in our lives;  to share our gifts and talents at unexpected moments.  It wasn’t a perfect moment.  It wasn’t flawless.  However, that’s life and that’s how life is, isn’t it?  It is our blended family heartsong; those everyday teaching moments that shape us and make us who we are.  Sometimes it’s spontaneous.  Sometimes it’s off-key.  Sometimes it’s difficult, but it is in those precious God-given moments that gives our heartsong a melody!

Colossians 3:16 ESV “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Respect & Marriage Boundaries & Freaks

I’ve talked a lot about marriage, respect, and the marital wheel of bliss in previous blogs and it’s about respecting your husband and your marriage.  I don’t even begin to pretend I am a marriage expert but I have learned from my numerous mistakes!  Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about others respecting the marriage boundaries.  I was speaking with a friend the other day and she was telling me about her ex husband.  She related to me that they were having a lot of problems and that as they were trying to work it out, he began receiving texts from a couple of single gals he worked with.  She felt that was highly inappropriate for a married man.   There may be some who will disagree but I think it is inappropriate too.  I feel that if you have close friendships with the opposite sex it opens a door for trouble ESPECIALLY if you are having problems in your marriage.

Moving on, it got me to thinking about the single girls doing the texting.  It feels as if the enemy is attacking marriages.  Look at the statistics about broken homes, divorce, and remarriage.  Remarriages have a much lower chance of surviving so I personally think there has to be strong boundaries set around your marriage.  Why does it seem that when ladies see a wedding ring on a guy’s finger they see it more of a challenge and not an “off limits” sign?  Does it make them feel better about themselves that they can get a supposedly committed man away from his commitment?  Does it make them feel powerful to get a married man to flirt with them?  It may say a lot about the man involved but it screams a lot about the woman to me.  At any rate, my husband and I had a situation that arose a few years ago from a single gal and I’m going to share the story and how I handled it.

My husband received a message on facebook from a girl he had went to high school with and knew only as an acquaintance.  She was asking him about another girl he had dated.  He showed me the message and we decided he would msg her back and ask why she was asking.  This gal proceeded to respond with how she had a huge crush on my husband back in high school.  How this other girl had gone behind her back and went out with him because she herself wanted him.  She talked about how gorgeous she thought he was then and then went on and on about how gorgeous he was now.  I read the msg and it pissed me off!  This crazy freak lived several states away and it wasn’t  like I was worried in any way but if you are on our facebook page you can easily see that my husband is a family man with pictures of me and our kids plastered all over the page.  Yet, instead of commenting for all to see, she wants to send him private messages of how she is still crushing on him.  He said he would immediately delete her from his friends in which I agreed but I told him to wait first.  I decided to send her a msg on his behalf and this is what I sent.  (note that I did not act like a jealous freak or cuss her out; a fact at which I am prod of seeing as to how angry I was.)

“Why in the world would you say some thing like that to a married man and especially to a married man with children?

Don’t get me wrong! This is not about me being worried about my marriage or anything, it’s just that it is very

inappropriate on your part.

Obviously your lack of respect for marriage and family values would lead me to the conclusionfor blog

that you are also lacking in character.”

I signed my name and hit the send button.  (Hehehe!) I still chuckle about it a little bit.  I can only imagine her face when she read it and surprisingly (I’m being sarcastic) we never received a reply from her!   What could she say really?

I share this to say protect your marriage period!  1Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”