Category Archives: Blessings

Great Joy

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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

Joy.  That was part of this morning’s devotional around our Advent wreath.

advent wreath 2012

Joy.

When Joseph and Mary held Jesus, they were like any other set of parents….. their hearts were bursting with joy.

nativity cake

I can remember falling in love all over again the moment my two children were placed in my arms for the first time.  That kind of love mixed with joy can not be explained only experienced.

Joy.

We sing carols exclaiming the joy of the world during this time of the year.  We celebrate that joy.  We capture it and give it to others.

god's hug

Joy.

Joy isn’t only involved in wondrously treasured moments.  Joy can be found in the underlining of every sorrow.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…. James 1:2

As Mary held her baby, she didn’t focus on how God’s plan of salvation would occur.  She focused on the joy that this baby will bring to anyone who possesses grace.

mary

Jesus found joy in the outcome of His death, not the agony He would face.

advent wreath cross 2012

Joy.

Honestly, I never realized that underneath my pain, sorrow and anguish; joy resides.  Joy.  I reflect on trials today….. I want to peel back all that dark unpleasant affliction and find Jesus’ joy.

candles 6

My miscarriage…… heartbreaking and painful.  And underneath it is joy because that sweet life was born in heaven and into the arms of Jesus.  Joy because what if something was life threatening and painfully wrong…..my baby never had to suffer.

Mary found it.  Her heart broke under the heavy weight of Jesus’ agonizing death.  Under the confusion and grieving, she found joy in knowing that God’s plan was underway.  She touched the joy when Jesus approached her at the tomb.  She understood the joy knowing that Jesus was alive and at the right side of God.

Joy.  Sweet Joy.

lent candles wk 5

 

wild flower 7

 

maundy thursday meal c

What ever you are experiencing right now that is bringing you such agony…. peel back all the yuck and find the joy.  It is there.  Jesus saw it in His trial and death.  If it was there for Him, it is there for us to embrace.

love

Find it.  Embrace that JOY!

Home Made

Ann is right……”Houses are built, bought, or borrowed; but, homes can only be made.”

Bits and pieces of love sewn.

Pinches and dashes of love cooked.

Blessings with love dust, wash, and put away.

Love pinned to soak up sunshine.

 

Love gathered and celebrated.

 

Words of love read and studied.

Homes of love are truly homemade.

God bless…..

Thoughts of Food

My mind struggles.  There’s a battle over my mind, my actions, and in my thoughts.

It is hard to make sense of it all.  The battle.  The thoughts.  The never ending tugs. Then Anger.  Anger over my actions.  Anger over the battle.  It is all just a blur.  I just want silence.  I want peace of mind.

Read Psalms.  A simple suggestion.  From start to finish.

As I began, I felt compelled to replace “enemies” and “evil” with “thoughts of food.”

David’s struggle, or battle if you will, was with men….. evil men.  Mine are thoughts. Thousands of years span between us, yet….. our battles are alike.

I found comfort and strength, followed by inspiration,  in doing this simple edit.

May I suggest the same to you.  Whatever you are struggling with…. a person, a thought, an addiction….. edit Psalms and see what happens.  You will be amazed in the difference it makes.

God bless……

Justifiably So.

I must confess.  It has been said that confession is good for the soul……AND my mother always said that things done in secret are rarely good.  So…..I must confess.

Yesterday, I quit.

I justified myself right into a resignation.

1.  My Made to Crave small group is over.

2.  Lent is over.

3.  One package of Cherry Sours won’t hurt me.

4.  It has been 40 days since I have tasted toffee peanuts.

5.  I can have them now that Lent is over.

I stood right there in Dollar General with the item I needed in my hand and talked myself right into quitting.  I made the decision to purchase two items that I know I didn’t need.  And then, I ate them.

By the time I finished the last sweet morsel, guilt had already come knocking at my heart’s door.  As soon as I got home, I texted my accountability partner and confessed.  I knew if I had kept the secret, the guilt would eventually turn into a food craving.

I didn’t expect her reaction.  ”I’ll be over in a few.  We are having a ‘Come to Jesus’ talk.”

My stomach flipped.  I hated the idea of being scolded.  Tears formed and I prayed.  I felt like I did when I broke Mom’s lamp.  By the time I heard her car pull in my drive, I had already pulled up my big girl britches and walked out to face a dear friend.

“Regina, we can not do this alone.”

“Why didn’t you call me?”

Immediately, I began to justify.  No cell phone reception in the store.  Lent is over.

She wouldn’t hear of it.

“Why didn’t you call on Jesus?”

My heart sank.  I didn’t have an answer.  She was dead on right!

She made me repeat my plan.  And we added a few new branches to it.  She’s right, ya know.  I can’t do this alone.

We made the decision that I would begin again that very moment.  I made a mistake.  Made a poor decision.  Now, tie a rope around those big girl britches and move on.

So, today, I confess.  Yes it is good for the soul.  The birds are singing.  The sunshine is bright.  And at this moment…… a new day is dawning.

Praise God.

Cheerful Morning

I woke praying this morning.  My cat purred away as my spaniel nudged my hand for his morning belly scratch.

Thank You, God.

I laid there listening to the early birds sing to the new morning.  My big boy labs barking and alarm clocks sounding throughout the house.  Shaking us all awake from our sleep.

Thank You, God.

My heart has grown grateful over the past few weeks.  I arose knowing that today, from the ashes, a new me has been freed.

Today, Ash Wednesday, I am anointed to seek a “right spirit” and to leave the distractions behind.  Those distractions clearly have prevented me to be truly free.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Thank You, God.

The lighting of one single candle within the 40 seems so dim.  Alone.  Afraid.  Like my heart.  As the days of Lent unfold,  I trust and thirst hard for God.  Lighting more and more candles….. strengthening the light to burn brighter.

Like my faith, my soul, my fragile heart….. Christ’s light burning brighter within me.

Thank You, God.