Imperfect me

This past weekend, I was meditating on this scripture:

2 Cor: 12:9.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me

One of the things that stood out to me was that He said ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness’.

I got to thinking… so many people try to be perfect in every little thing that they do. But perfection on our own leaves very little room for God’s grace to work. That is, if we were perfect people, if our lives were so perfect, why would we need God’s grace? Think about it. If you had the perfect life, the perfect body, the perfect everything, would you need God?

In fact, it’s when we are trying to be perfect that God says “Okay. Do your thing. You clearly don’t need me.” And He backs off. He doesn’t leave you. But He just lets you do what you want with your perfect self.

But really what God wants is for us to come to Him daily, saying “Daddy I need  your grace. I am not perfect and today I am sure that’s going to be made clear in one way or the other.

It’s in that moment, that God can work in our lives. He can release grace to get us through today.

I pray today that you realize that you are not perfect. And God doesn’t want you to be. Instead He wants you to come to Him daily recognizing that His strength is perfect when you are not. And where you are lacking, He can and will provide grace.

 

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Change your perspective

Where I am from, people have a custom. Every three months or so, a woman would change around the layout of her house. In fact, it wouldn’t be that simple. She would do what is called ‘put away’ her house. This means that she would literally stack all of the furniture and carpets and everything in the living room to one corner of the house, clean the house from top to bottom and then put everything back… in a new layout. I suppose this is some extreme form of Spring cleaning. But I think it also has a lot to do with the fact, that when you change  around the layout of your furniture, it makes the whole place look new all over again.

Well, although I am living in Canada now, I find that since I’ve been off work (some 4 months now- pray for me!), I’ve been changing the layout of my house quite often. I would say every 2 weeks. At first I thought, “I must be depressed” and so I began to seek the Lord on what is with my obsessive compulsive behaviour of wanting to clean the house and change it around so often. Well, I believe the Lord finally spoke to me with these words.

When you are in a place where you can’t change where you are, change the way you look about where you are.

Don’t get me wrong. I really like my apartment. There are a host of things I wish I had, but I know eventually I will get there. But coming home from a stressful 9 hours of sitting in the ER  or after a day of physiotherapy with my son, I get overwhelmed. I know that this is part of the process to strengthen me for the next step, so I can’t change it. But what I can do is change what I see. Changing what I see reminds me that what I am going through will not be the same forever.

Are you in a place where you feel like you’re stuck. Or you wish you could get out of , but you know God has you there for a reason? It could be your job. It could be a financial situation. It could even be a relationship. Don’t be frustrated about where you are. Change how you look at the situation. Change how you look at where you are, knowing that the ‘layout’ is subject to change.

 

Happy weekend.

 

Reaching out

Today , before I run off to the next appointment, I wanted to challenge my readers to think and answer this question:

Why are you here?

Have you ever given much thought about why you are here on this earth? At such a time as this?

A friend of a friend (let’s call her Lady X) took her own life the other day, leaving behind 2 children. Lady X’s relationship with her husband was rocky and there was talk of getting a divorce. I am not quite sure why she took her life although I know it had to do with all of the pressures surrounding her and her family. No matter what she was facing, or how serious or non serious it may appear to the rest of the world, it should be pointed out that it was serious enough to her to want to take her own life. What bothered me the most, was that she was not even 30 years old.

As I thought about her and what she was going through, I couldn’t help but think- where were her friends and family? We are quick to judge why people don’t talk to others. Perhaps she was not the best person in the world, I don’t know, but I have to wonder what role did those around her play to encourage and support her so that the enemy didn’t whisper words of suicide in her ear. Others might not have been able to do anything. But could they have done or said something that could have swayed her thinking?

Now, I’ve got a few different types of people surrounding me. I’ve got people who go to church regularly and spend time with their families all time, I’ve got people who have no close family but spend time going out and celebrating in one form or the other every weekend. I’ve got people who work hard and are trying to pay off their debt, and I’ve got people who work hard, have no debt, so they just spend their money on ‘stuff’. I’m not judging anyone for where they are or what they do, but I feel sometimes we can get so caught up within our comfort zones and circles that we totally miss some of the hurt that is going on right up under our noses. I honestly find that there are so many people concerned about what they are personally going through, that they totally miss the fact that there are others around them struggling, hurting, going through financial difficulties and honestly need help.

I have to say this: If we are solely concerned about ourselves and what is going on with our own lives, our relationships or even our wardrobe, you have missed the boat totally. God did not put you on this earth for yourself. There are people out there who also have issues with their lives, with their relationships and who have less than two pieces of clothing. They need our ministry.

If our comfort zone is only being around those that are in our immediate circles, we’ve also missed the boat. There are some 6 billion people on this earth… As individuals we might not be able to reach all of them, but we should seriously seek God for discernment and ask Him to reveal to us how we can reach out to others or bless others.

Our salvation is not for us. Our salvation is not to say oh well “I’m saved and I know that I am. God touched us so that we can touch others who don’t want to be touched by Him. S

Sometimes we are the only light that others around us can see. That neighbour who we don’t even say hi to in the mornings. S/he might be going through something that they don’t know who to talk to. That person with two kids in the grocery store who is paying for her groceries but is wondering if she can even afford to get all the stuff in her cart. All she wants is someone to actually just say, can I pay for your groceries today!

Sounds surreal. But we need to think of ways to bless others. We need to stop saying to others,  “oh I will pray for you.” when we know very well that we don’t even set the time of day to pray for others. We end up on facebook, on whatsapp, on twitter, watching reality shows…, browsing the shopping channel.  We will do everything but pray. Meanwhile, we have people who need us.

It’s not good enough to say, well I don’t want to get involved. What if they don’t want to hear what I have to say or want my help. You will never know until you go there. GET INVOLVED!

It’s not good enough to say, well I don’t want to lend family or friends money because the relationship will go south. That is not true! We don’t want to lend because we think we worked hard for our money and so we deserve to spend it on ourselves. And while God wants us to be wise about our finances, there are times we spend on things we don’t really need when there are others who actually are in need.

It’s not good to say or think that because we believe people are strong and have it all together, that they actually are. That’s far from the truth most of the time. People put on faces daily!
But what good is life, if we are so focused on ourselves that we totally miss the person sitting next to us who is hurting or wondering how they will provide for their families? If his relationship will last for another four days.

I believe that we have to step up to the plate. As believers in Christ, we have to do better. We have to do what God has called us to do. CARE!

So my challenge to you today, is to think about how you can be a blessing to someone else. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment. Sometimes He will show us people in our comfort zones, sometimes He will show us people that we really don’t think we need to help. But I believe there is a blessing for those who will reach out to bless someone else.

 

May God give us grace to be His light on this earth.

 

Be grateful

I’m still here!

Spent the last few days in the hospital with my son running diagnostics and trying to understand some things. While I was there, I had the opportunity to sit next to a few people and their children. Many of whom were complaining about things. I’d like to say these things were ‘First World problems’ 🙂 Stuff such as ‘why are they taking so long, I have a hair appointment!’. One woman exclaimed to another who appeared to be her sister, ‘He never does the dishes! It bothers me!’…. Yeah First World problems.

But one of the things that really stood out to me was this woman scolding her son (probably) 2 year old son because he kept running around the sitting area in circles. She was not impressed and appeared to be very impatient. Now I’m all for discipline. But I couldn’t help but think about my own child and his issues. Every time he reaches a milestone, I am so excited that I take photos and videos, I message my best friends to let them know. Even after 15 months, he still isn’t walking on his own. But as he cruises around the house and as he uses his little choo-choo walker toy, I’m amazed and I am grateful because 15 months ago, even 7 months ago, the reports about his health were not promising. Every single day I am grateful that he is alive and getting stronger.

Flash forward to my mom, who has diabetes and suffered a stroke at 48, and can hardly walk until this day, I have to be grateful for the fact that I can walk and run and dance in circles if I want to. You see, on one hand, my little Man, is fighting to prove to everyone and himself that he can walk and so each day we take baby steps together. My mom, 58+ years old, has lost her motor function, and to be honest, she walks at the same level of my son.

When I thought of that this morning, I began to just make up songs of gratitude because even though there are things around me that aren’t ok, I am grateful for the little things that I am able to do.

Walking, sitting, standing, jumping in the car, putting on makeup, tapping buttons on our smartphones….

Let’s move on to some unrelated things, like thanking God for the things that we do have. Like friends and family who care, food in our house, the benefits of living in Canada…

You see for every complaint you can possibly make, there is also something that you can be grateful for.

My encouragement to you today is therefore, to really just think on the things that you do have instead of what you don’t, and think of the things that you can do instead of what you can’t. And be grateful for those things. Don’t let the devil influence you to focus on the negatives. Every time you feel you will open up your mouth to complain about something, just say “thank you Lord”. Trust me, something will come to you that you can be grateful for. And giving thanks to God really shifts the atmosphere and allows him to work in our lives.

 

Be blessed and have a great grateful weekend.

Tis really sweet to trust in Jesus

Last night while doing dishes, I found myself humming an old hymn that I learned way back in the 9os.

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

    • Refrain:
      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.

Louisa M. R. Stead, 1882

As complicated as life is, we sometimes forget how simple faith in God is. 

All that God requires is that we look to Him for our every need.

Sometimes I look at the amount of things that are going on in my life and it can get very overwhelming. Like yesterday, someone bumped my car which was parked outside my house and left a huge ding in the side! No note, no nothing. It was one of those things that I just don’t need to happen right now. And thinking about it can be so overwhelming.

It was for that reason that I began to sing that song last night. There’s nothing I can do to address the damage. I will never be able to track that person down to fix the dent. I don’t know who it is. I also can’t afford to pay for it now. But what I can do is trust God.

Are there times in your life when you feel that there’s nothing you can do to fix a situation? That’s when you need to trust in Jesus. You need to rest upon His promises and just take from Him, a sense of joy and peace.

 

 

Good things come to those who wait

This morning, I felt led to say this to you:

Good things come to those who wait.

Many times we look at the things others around us have and we wish our circumstances could be different. We wish we could have as much shoes as they do, or the house that they have, or the relationship that they have. Many of us single women, crave to be married as we look at all the  friends around us who are getting hitched (tis that season, so guard your heart).

Somewhere in the midst of looking at what others have, we compare ourselves to them. “Well if that could happen for her, why can’t it happen for me?” or “Well so and so got this and they make the same amount that I make, so I can get that too. We don’t realize this, but looking at others and comparing ourselves to them, discourages our faith and hope.

Don’t ever base your faith or hope on what others have. Your faith and hope should be based entirely on who you know God to be and what you know He can do for you. What God has for you, will be given to you in His appointed time. All you have to do is look to Him and trust him. And wait. Just wait on His appointed time.

…in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. – Phil 4:6

Live in the moment

It has become a (bad) habit of mine to always think about what will happen tomorrow. I think it started about a year ago when I found out that the love of my life (i.e my child) was born with a few health challenges. After discovering one challenge, another popped up, and then another and then another and it’s been that way for over a year. As I said, I will get to that part of my life later. There is a story there but I need to pray about how and when I will unfold it and the lessons that I am learning from it. But as I said before, I think that somewhere along the line, I developed the habit of always worrying what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’ve spent so much time preparing for what will/could happen, what surgery needs to take place, what tests need to be run, that I’m afraid that I might not have fully enjoyed the little moments watching this Little Blessing grow and develop.

I suppose that in a sense, there is nothing wrong with thinking about tomorrow. I mean, we all need to make plans for the future in a responsible manner. But I think when it gets to a point where we are constantly worrying about what is to come next or how are we going to handle what happens tomorrow, we miss out on something. We miss out on living in the present moment that we are in.

For many, it might not be a situation like mine. But it might be that you are not enjoying your marriage/relationship because you wonder if it will be around tomorrow. You might be thinking about whether or not you can afford where you live in the future. You might be thinking about your health and if you will be able to make it to another day

When you are in that place, you need to ask yourself “Am I still trusting God”. The truth is if we really are trusting God…I mean totally trusting Him, we will hold fast to the understanding that come what may, God’s got us. He really does. He knows exactly if your relationship isn’t going to work out, if you’re going to get ill, or if you are going to lose your job. Nothing can take Him by surprise. And because of that, He always has a plan. A backup plan, a contingency plan, a plan B. He’s got a full handle on your situation.

With that in mind, you might be able to see why it’s not necessary to worry about tomorrow. In fact, your best bet is to live for today. Live in the moment that you are in. Savour each part of it with the people that you love. Always remember, tomorrow will always come, but today won’t last forever. 

So if this blog reminds you about you, i encourage you to join me in continually reminding yourself:

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matt 6:34.

Live in this very moment.

 

Let it Go.

Let it go.

A few weeks ago. I had a Winners/Marshalls moment.

If you are familiar with these two stores you probably know what I’m talking about. It’s that moment when you see something that you really like in the store and you opt to go home and think about it instead of getting it right away.

Well, I had one of those moments.

There it was. This beautiful picture frame written with the words ‘let it go’. I so wanted to get it but it was not budgeted for  So I needed to go home and think about which budget I would pull the funds from.

After a couple days, I went back to get this piece I so badly wanted, but it was gone!! Gone!!!

<insert disappointed look here>

Despite the fact that I didn’t get my piece of art, the words ‘Let it Go’ are what I confess everyday and I want to encourage you to do the same.

Many times, we hold on to things that people have said or not said, done or not done to us. It’s so sad. We could hold on to these things for days, weeks or years. Sometimes the things that we are holding on to are so little and frivolous that the person who supposedly offended us are not even aware that they offended us. And they are going about their lives while we are DAILY stewing and spewing  about what they did or didn’t do.

Get this and get it fast: holding on to things or wrongs that other people have done to you hurt YOU more than it hurts them. LET IT GO.

Case in point, I recently discovered that a friend of mine stopped talking to me. My life these days doesn’t really allow for me to make contact with people a lot, so it didn’t really dawn on me for a while that we had not spoken for probably 3 months. So I messaged her to check in. When I did, she didn’t respond. With technology the way it was, I knew she had ‘seen’ my message. I gave her a few days and then I messaged again. Soon after she deleted/blocked me from contacting her. I began to wonder what I could have done to offend her. But what bothered me even more was that for about 3 months she was upset with me and I didn’t even know. I was going about my own business for 3 months  and she was upset…for 3 months. In famous text language —‘smh’.

She probably thought she was hurting me but in fact, she was hurting herself.

Can you relate? Can you think of a situation where you held on to something that someone did? Listen, you need to either talk to that person if you value that friendship or relationship or let it go! Drop it. Put it down somewhere and forget about it.

Every morning, I say and pray this: I choose to let go of any hurt or upset caused by anyone the day before.

I encourage you to do the same. Let that venom go. Don’t know what you are upset about or if you are upset? It’s that very thing you keep thinking about whenever you connect with that particular person.

Do yourself a favour. Don’t hold on to things. Let it go.

“Forgetting those things which are behind, I press forward towards the mark of the high calling”. Phil3:13

I’m doing the best I can

“It’s been over a year since I’ve written a blog”- Confessions of a frequent blogger turned mom (more on that story later).

It really has been a long time since I’ve blogged anything. Such a long time, that I’m really not sure how to write, what to write and if I’m suppose to even write again. But lately, I’ve been feeling a gentle tug in my heart to ‘get back to it’, and within  the last few days, I think there’s something on my heart that needs to be said.

If I’ve learned anything in the last year and something, it’s that Life happens. It just does. You can be driving in your own lane, minding your own business, and Life will just drive up beside you and say “hey, I’m going to throw some rocks at you now!” Sometimes, it doesn’t even give you warning, it just throws the rocks anyway. And when it does, you have no other choice but to deal with it.

Becoming fully aware of this fact, I think there is a tendency to feel like there’s something wrong with you when Life throws its curveballs. You might be having a party one day for instance, and then the next, you discover that you’ve lost a loved one or your loved one no longer wants anything to do with you. Or that you’ve been diagnosed with something. Or that you’ve been laid off. These might be upsetting. But the reality is this is Life…happening. When stuff hits the ceiling (or the floor- whatever works for you), the enemy will creep in to condemn you. To make you feel like a failure- a failure for letting the situation happen in the first place and a failure for not dealing/coping with it better than you are. Funny how that works.

No doubt, Life will happen a lot. But it’s not so much what is happening or why it’s happening that I want to drive home to day. But more so, how you deal with Life as it happens. When Life happens, it usually happens at the most inconvenient time- such as when you have no money, lost your job, Ladies- when your hormones are already strung, when your kids are acting up.  Something always happens when you already have something else going on. It’s as though two life events must occur together  in order for one to have a serious impact.

A strategy I’ve learned over the last year, is always to realize that I am doing the best I can. There are some things that I have no control over. They will just happen because of the nature of Life. But when they do, I cannot sit in a chair and wallow about how and why it’s happening. I cannot let the enemy feed me with lies to make me feel as if I am a failure.  I’ve got to keep moving. I’ve got to keep dealing with whatever comes and do it to the best of my ability with the strength that Christ has given me.

So my encouragement to you today is to encourage yourself. When life happens, deal with it the best way you can. And continually remind yourself that “I am doing the best I can”.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

2014: Lessons Learned Pt 5.

Over the last few days, I’ve been sharing some practical tidbits of what I felt God wanted me to take away from 2014. I don’t know about you, but 2014 was a year in which I did not anticipate a lot of stuff. I had a grand plan for how it would play out. But I feel God looked at my plan and laughed. The year was…let’s just say it was a lot of things. And it’s one that I am happy to see end. But I think the greatest lesson to take away from it, is that God is a God of sovereign grace. What do I mean by that? I mean that God is faithful to be God despite how much we plan. His ways are just not our ways. It means that God is sovereignty is so in keeping with His grace, that even when we have made a mess of our lives, His sovereignty coincides with His compassion and His unmerited favour and picks us up and dusts us off and sets us on a proper path. He’s God enough to do that. He’s God enough to see us through any circumstances.

So for me 2014 is over. I won’t look back at it and lament on it. But as Paul says in Phillipians 3:13-14.

…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

2014 may have been awful or it may have been okay or it may have been great, but here comes 2015. And for me, 2015 has glorious things in it for all of us! And we cannot afford to base it on the things of 2014.

One more thing… We should make plans, but we should be ready for God to turn our plans into fried plan-tains and to do what He sees best knowing that He alone is God and that He has our backs through everything.

Prepare to fight, laugh, cry, dance, sing, learn and change in 2015! Happy New Year Everyone!