Tag Archive | Purpose

Happy Birthday To Me!

Dear God,

I am so thankful for me!

The way that you have created me

The family that you have given me

How I look when you look at me

The things that I love to do

and the things I hate to do.

The things that bring tears to my eyes

and the things that bring life to my eyes!

All of these things are a part of who I am and who you have made me to be.

YOU have molded me and shaped me into who I am today….

Right now………in this place in time.

I want to thank you God

For the life I’ve lived thus far

For the good times and the not so good

For the things that have made me laugh to the things that have scared my heart.

I may not be perfect but I am……… perfectly broken just for you

You’ve taken all my pieces and your placing them right where you want them to be

Your turning me into who you’ve always wanted me to be

rather than who I’ve tried to be.

So today Lord

As I celebrate the gift of life

I want to thank you for

Creating me,

Loving me

and Most of all NEVER giving up on me.

I don’t have any Birthday wishes this year.   My only request is that if your going to say Happy Birthday please tell me something I’ve said or done that has touched your heart.

What do you think of….. when you think of me?

What is it that would remind you of me…… if I were to die tomorrow?

Please don’t wait till I’m gone to say the things you wish you’d said when I was alive.

Don’t save the best for last……..because it may never be heard.

And if you don’t know me then do this for someone you do know……..someone you love.

Don’t assume that they already know…….what if they don’t?

The greatest gift you can give someone on their Birthday is the knowledge that they are valuable, appreciated and loved for who they are.

Once a year everyone needs a little reminding of what it is that makes them special.

Anyone can say Happy Birthday! But only a friend can tell you what it is about you that cannot be replaced by another.

Remind them of their value and purpose, that is beyond what they can see.Birthday Quotes 1

So lets tell one another what it is that we enjoy about each other rather than assuming they know!

Why am I living?

Today has been rough for me, I’m exhausted and my heart aches inside.

I’m sitting here with my computer listening to the drizzle of the rain outside my window.  Yesterday I watched as another casket was lowered into the ground. I listened as they gave a 21 gun salute for a man who was there on D-Day to served our country.   Five funerals….. that’s how many I counted off the top of my head as I stood there. Five funerals in the last 2 years.  That’s a lot!

Tomorrow is my Birthday and I really don’t want to celebrate.  A friend asked me why yesterday and all I could think of was “why celebrate?”  To me its just another year of blood, sweat and tears gone by, another year closer to the day I die,

Really? What am I celebrating?

I suppose I’m celebrating life.  The opportunity to live rather than die. But what does that mean?

So I wonder am I really living and what am I living for?

I know what I’m supposed to say and supposed to think………but what is the truth?

What am I really living for?

Are my reason’s selfish?

Perhaps they are….am I living for my kids?  To give them a better life than I had and to teach them about God.

Is that really why I’m living?  Well it’s not enough…… at least not for me.  I can think of several people in my mind who could do a better job than I could at raising my kids. So what exactly am I living for?

It’s been 2 years since I first started this post.

I can now honestly say that I have an answer to that question and its not simply what I know I should say…. it IS what I am truly living for. It is the purpose that keeps me going when everything else falls through.

I used to believe that being a Christian meant that I would be persecuted and that I would face trials. While this is true I also believed that it wasn’t until I reached heaven that would experience true joy, love, peace and happiness. I didn’t see these things as things I could count on obtaining here on earth.

What I now believe to be true is that believing in God means that I have the power to claim his promises for joy, love, peace and happiness here on earth while I’m still living. I don’t have to wait till I get to heaven. I have the power now to change my circumstances and I have a Father who loves me even in my brokenness.  I am his cherished beloved daughter and with that comes the ability to stand before him and claim his blessings. I’ve seen God move mountains for me when I pray and I’ve witnessed first hand how I can speak things into existence with faith in a God who desires to give me all good things NOW not later.
All he asks of me is to trust him with the knowledge that he knows what is good for me and be patient with his timing knowing it will be perfect.
This is where I discovered my propose for living. To have a relationship with a God who loves me more than I can comprehend which enables me to have the opportunity to see other broken people in this world and speak life into them. This brings change and freedom to those who are trapped in this massive web of lies our culture endorses.

I’ve discovered that having the opportunity and ability to witness God work his miracles in other peoples lives so that they can be free and experience the joy I have……Is Priceless!

Before I go…
I don’t want to be misleading…… but just so you understand my life is not all roses and I do still experience persecution and trials. I still feel pain and I still bleed but the difference is…….. now I have HOPE.

Hope that with Christ I can overcome, change and rise above anything that comes my way. If I’m still breathing than there is purpose because I have found a hope that can never be stolen.  I have a peace that passes all understanding and a love for others that the world cannot recognize.

A love that never runs out…….

“You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” - Rick Warren: “You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” - Rick Warren

Father’s Day

Mother's Day 005

        Father’s Day for me, is a bittersweet day. I think most people, if they stopped long enough to think about it, would agree with me. Whether you’re young or old I think that life’s experiences have made this day a bittersweet reminder of the father in our life.

There are many different Fathers honored on this day which is why I believe it to be bittersweet. There are those Fathers who have passed on and have left a family saddened by the loss. While others are embracing the new role of fatherhood for the very first time.

Then there are those who never had the opportunity to know their Father for any number of reasons, some good and some bad.

But there is a Father who is often time overlooked and the memories of whom brings great pain. These Father’s often times live a life of regrets for the mistakes they’ve made with their children. They painfully watch as their children limp through life with the wounds they themselves inflicted. They often struggle with the guilt wishing they could somehow fix what they’ve done. Their children want to pretend that their Father was a “good” Father and so they set off for the card aisle at the store only to pick up one after another that just doesn’t seem to fit. They want to be honest but they also want to be loving and that seems to be impossible to find.

So this Father’s day no matter what kind of Father you are I want you to know that YOU are a PERFECT FATHER!

You were made by a God who does not make mistakes.

Yes! I know you may have made mistakes and if you haven’t made any yet, the day will come. When that day does come and you’re looking at your children wondering what did you do?

I want you to remember that YOU are FORGIVEN!

God will fix the mistakes you’ve made and use them for his glory.  Every time you mess up is an opportunity for God to show off his mighty power. God is our ultimate perfect Father. If you were perfect your children would not need God.

In case you’re wondering……Yes!

        My earthly Father did hurt me and scar my heart.  But because of his mistakes God was able to reach down from heaven and reveal his great love for me. He is healing my wounds so that I can be the person he created me to be.  So this Father’s Day I want to honor my Father not just for all the good things he’s done in my life but also the bad.  I wouldn’t change it and I want him to know that I forgive him. I hope he carries no guilt and can forgive himself for the mistakes of his past.   My desire is that he will look to the future and see how God’s grace is there for EVERYONE who accepts it.

I wrote the following poem as I struggled to figure out who God was as my Father.

Daddy

Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Keep me safe, Hold me please
Wrap your arms around me, till the world all fades away
Speak your words of wisdom, wrapped in Love and Grace,
Hurry please! Before I run, for fear of your embrace
I’ve tried escaping here on earth
But every time I turn around I see you standing there
Your arms are open wide
But the question in my mind is are you full of love and grace, Or are you full of condemnation?
I know I have done wrong and forgiveness is supposedly for me
But trusting you,
Somehow
Seems wrong to me
My hearts been stolen many times, But you still claim your innocence
I’ve picked the locks a hundred times while you possess the keys
You promise me unending mercy for the imperfection of my heart
You promise healing from my journey, making me a reflection of your heart

Mother's Day 014
So Daddy Please
You’re the one I want
Your love embracing me, your love chasing me, your love protecting me
Daddy it’s you I desire to please
Fill me with your peace so I can rest my soul
For you alone will make me whole
Daddy it’s your Love,
Your unending perfect love that sets me free.
November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving

 

Beautiful MaumeeThanksgiving…….

A time to look around

A time to take note of where we’ve been……. and where we are.

A time to look at what we have……… and not at what we don’t have.

A time to acknowledge what matters most.

So what matters most?

 

 

Is it how the Turkey is cooked?

Is it the words spoken over the table?

Is it who is sitting at the other end of that table?

 

 

This year I was blessed with three Thanksgiving meals:

 

The first was with my extended family.

Conversation got a bit too personal……. and was quickly followed with the accusation.   Then I heard it…..it only took them two years to dig in with this one so here it is….. when I am I going to start dating?  I’m quite sure I am not the only person out there with family members  who like to ask too many questions with the excuse of “we only ask because we care.”

 

The second was joining a friend with her family.

I didn’t know everyone but that was okay.  I was quickly introduced not that I remember all the names but I can remember their faces.  It was a bit awkward ……but the food was good and it was nice to not be alone.

 

The third was with my children.

A turkey that I prepared along with mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls and pie.

We all squished around a table that was too small, with me sitting on broken chair and my daughter on a footstool.

There was no fancy dishware or wine to share…….. But the memory we’ll share.

The thing that mattered most in all of these was not what was served………… or what was talked about,………. but who was there and the love that was shared…..That is what I am thankful for!

Thankful for the opportunity to be graced with the presence of others even if it is sometimes uncomfortable.

Even if…….. sometimes the conversations hurt.

Even if…….. its with someone I may not ever see again.

Even if…… its under humble circumstances.

So this year I looked around

I saw where I was and where I had been.

I could see what I had……… not what I didn’t have, and I am choosing to acknowledge what matters most.

Love……

Love matters most…..

Love is all encompassing….it makes the world go round.

Without it there is no meaning, no purpose, no hope.

Love is, Love does and Love will always be what matters most.

So this Thanksgiving if you have Love open your hearts and your arms wide.

Give freely of what matters most.

Love holding nothing back.

Galations 5:14

The entire law is summed up in a single command;  Love your neighbor as yourself.

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now theses three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the GREATEST of these is LOVE.

 

 

 

What if I was Jesus?

What if the blind man could see the stars in the sky but fail to see the hands that painted it?

What if the deaf man could hear the sound of whispers yet miss the calls of a loving Father?

What if the paralytic could feel ground but never the arms of a loving Father?

What if the lame could walk on water yet never make it home?

What if the man who could taste the richest of foods could not taste the sweetest of honey?

What if the man who lived the longest was the first to see his death?

What if the strongest man could lift a car but not his own heart?

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho a large crowd of people followed them. There were 2 blind men on the roadside just outside the city gates. They heard that Jesus was going by and cried out “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us! The crowd turned to the blind men rebuking them and telling them to be quiet. It was wrong for them to call out to the Messiah for help. Wrong of them to ask for what they so desperately needed. They were not worthy of Jesus’s time. That is what the crowd was saying to these blind men. The 2 blind men wouldn’t listen to the crowd of people instead they shouted louder and louder until they were screaming “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us!” Jesus stopped and called back to them saying “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” they answered “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and he touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him.

How many times have I walked past the city gates and seen the blind, the deaf, the paralytic, the adulteress, the prostitute, the orphans……….How many times have I tossed my coin and kept on walking? How many times have I said to myself “that’s all I am called to do.” How many times have not given it another thought? How many times have I inflated my ego by their misfortune?

Too many! That’s how many.

God showed me a very important message in this small passage.

What does this look like today, in our society? We don’t exactly have city gates, we do have those beggars on street corners with their card board signs. I’m not sure that is the same thing so hear me out on this. What if this little passage was more than just Jesus healing two blind men? What if it is an example of something far more important but shown in a physical way so that we might understand.

What if Jesus was showing us how we as Christians can reach out and touch someone? And no I’m not talking about calling them on the phone, but then again maybe I am. Maybe it is all about “reaching out and touching someone” not in the physical sense as Jesus did but in a relational sense.

Look around you and open your eyes. What do you see? I see a world of broken people. People who are hurting and wounded inside. Many of whom are blind and deaf, but don’t even know it. Some though are blind and deaf but do know it and are crying out for healing. They are even crying out for Jesus to heal them just like those two blind men. What if in order to experience healing they need to experience the touch of Jesus? How does that happen? I’ve been told by so many fellow believers that we are the hands and feet of Christ. If that is true then don’t we have the ability to reach out and touch the hurting? We can’t just touch them where we feel comfortable touching them. Jesus didn’t touch the blind men on the arm or simply shake their hands. He touched their EYES. He touched them in their wounds, where their deepest pain was. He didn’t tip toe around it either. He went straight for the heart of the pain and didn’t waste time.

How many times have I avoided a topic of conversation with a friend simply because their pain made me feel uncomfortable? Or maybe I wasn’t willing to be that person they needed me to be, because I was still hurting. Maybe I am too afraid of experiencing the pain they are in, as if it were contagious. How many times have treated someone like a leper? I know I am guilty just as much as I know I have been treated the same. So this brings me back to the main point. How much suffering is going on in the world around us because we as Christians are unwilling to be the hands and feet of Christ where it really matters? Giving of our hearts and sharing the joy and love we experience within the body of Christ with those that are wounded and hurting.

There are some things in my life that I have never experienced and there are areas of my heart that are deeply wounded. I have cried out in frustration and it seems as if the only response I get is the rebuke of the crowd so I wonder to myself “are they right???? or do I just scream louder?” The two blind men screamed louder but I wonder how long I will have to wait for the hands of Jesus to touch my pain so I might find healing. I always thought that if I prayed for healing for an emotional pain that it should be instantaneous, if I ask for forgiveness I should be able to snap my fingers and move on. I don’t believe it works that way. I believe God brings healing through people who are willing to be used to reach out and “touch” us where we need it. If we are hurt in a relationship it will be a relationship that brings us healing. It might even be a reconciliation of the same relationship or it could be a totally different person filling the same role that brings healing to the soul. I also think that sometimes it takes time because we are all human and we don’t always do what we are told, when we are told to do it.

Wow! That reminds me of obedience.

Moving on to that last little line in the story. Actually it’s not even a line it’s more like a phrase. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him! So if I take the time and the risk, to touch a wounded heart where it is the ugliest….. Healing could be immediate AND they could see the same Jesus that I see and follow me home to our Fathers house.

So now in the words of my Pastor “you think about that!”

The One Thing

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I was sitting at my kitchen table eating dinner with my youngest daughter who is now eight years old.  She is the youngest of my four kids and on this particular night we were on our own since the other three were off with extra curricular activities.  As I sat there watching her eat I began to wonder if I was doing what I needed to with her.  Was I teaching her the most important thing?  I have been so busy in her little life with her siblings that I really haven’t had the time I wish I had.  I have ten years left with her and then she is off to college.

What is the one thing I want to her to know when she leaves?  What is the one thing I would want her to know if I died tomorrow?  What is the one thing I would like her to achieve?  I know these are deep questions to ask yourself over dinner with a little girl but they are questions I think every parent should ask themselves at some point before it’s too late.

I sat there pondering my own questions.  The one thing that I would like her to know before she goes off to college is that God loves her, faults included and will never leave her because he gives her more grace than she could possibly need to cover any mistakes she may make.

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The one thing I would want her to know if I were to die tomorrow…..

That I loved God more than anything in this world and to know that I had an intimate relationship with my Savior.

The one thing I would like to see her achieve…..

I long to see her develop a personal relationship with God that will carry her through life’s worst trials.

Nothing else really matters.

If she goes to college or goes to work.  Does she get married or have kids?  Or how about the harder things like does she drink, smoke or do drugs?  What if she screws up and gets arrested or even pregnant.  It doesn’t really matter because I know that God will use the negative to draw her closer to him and the positive to bless her.

I hear of how some parents have a very difficult time “letting go” of their children. Letting go was something I had to do when I had my first child nearly 17 yrs ago.  I remember that night clearly as if it were yesterday.  It was my first night home from the hospital and I was up feeding her in the middle of the night.  As I sat there looking down upon her tiny little hands, listening to the sweet sound of her breathing I began to wonder what on earth was I thinking?  I had wanted her so badly and now that she was here, I wanted her to die.  The thought mortified me at the time but it made perfect sense…..Here was this baby that I waited in anticipation for nine months and now I had fallen in love with her more than I could have ever imagined.  I wanted her to be safe and I knew that the world was not safe.  In fact I knew that it was a guarantee that she would suffer.  I would not be able to protect her and I loved her so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of watching her in pain.  I prayed that night and asked God to please take her home before anything could happen to her.  I didn’t want her to suffer and I was willing to lose her if that meant she would go to heaven.

God answered my prayer that night.  It was not the answer I wanted but it was an answer.

He said “Monica think about how much you love this child…How much more do you think that I love her?  Do you not think that the one thing I want for her is to come home?  Do you really think that I want to see her suffer?  It is not your right to decide when she comes home.  She is not yours she is mine and I have claimed her from conception just as I have claimed you. I have entrusted you with her for this moment in time and I will protect her because I know you can’t.  I am trusting you with her now so I need you to trust that I know what I’m doing”

That night I let go of all my rights to her and handed them over to God.  I did it with my other three children before they were ever born.  I don’t look at them as my children but as little souls that God has entrusted me with.  I gave all control to God and promised God that I would do my best to do that one thing……To teach them to love God.

So as I sat there at the dinner table with my youngest I was questioning whether I was really doing my best to teach her to love God.  Watching her eat I asked her “Christy who is your best friend?”

She looked at me and nonchalantly said “Elise is Mommy” she paused and said “no! no! she is my second bestest friend”

Curious I was looking at her expecting her to name one of her friends from school.  But she surprised me and said “God is my first best friend!”

I smiled at her and said “your right honey he is the best friend you could possibly have”

I said nothing more.

I may not have had a ton of time to spend with her reading bible stories but what I have done is lived it out for her.  How I have chosen to live my life has had a bigger impact on my children than anything else.  She went to VBS this last week and one of the things the teacher there had her do was write a note telling your Mom what one of her talents are.

I have posted pictures of the little notes I have received from her because they are so much sweeter when you view them in her handwriting.

ImageSimple words that spoke volumes to my heart.

Simple words that told me what her heart sees

Simple words are all it takes!

Finding Purpose

I am determined to find the purpose in all things good and bad.  If I can find purpose in the bad it gets me through the pain of suffering.  So often it is easy to find purpose in the good but when life hurts we simply tell ourselves “God has a purpose” without actually considering the purpose.  I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself that very thing.

  God has a purpose.

  My life is falling a part, I can’t pay the bills, a loved one is sick, I lost my job, my kids are not as good as I think they should be.  I could go on and on with all the things that don’t go our way but honestly we all have them.  Each one is a little different and unique to each one of us.  Every single one of those difficulties molds us into who we are.  If I had not gone through some of the sufferings that I have had, I would not be the person I am today. 

In fact I would not be able to stand today.  I would be crushed under the the burden I currently carry.  I can carry it though because of the what I have been through.  Each one of those struggles have played a part in making me   I can carry today’s struggles because of yesterdays sufferings.  It has made me strong enough to do what God has called me to do and to be who he wants me to be at this point in my life. 

The interesting thing I have been learning through all of this is that the stronger I get the BIGGER the burden I am given to carry.  The BIGGER the burden the easier it is.  I know it doesn’t make sense.  You would think that the bigger the burden the more difficult it would be.  With God though it is different.  With each struggle our faith and trust in God grow making us stronger in turn making ALL trials easier to walk through no matter what the size.

PhiIippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

All I Need

Having a Change in our Concept of Value as we See the Preciousness of Christ - We need to have a change in our concept of value!

          Dear God,

All I really have in this world is you.  You give me purpose and meaning to all that I do.

  Without you I am merely dust and all that I do is meaningless.

I have clung to you for most of my life.

You have warned me before my enemies attacked,

  You prepared me because you knew my life would be nearly stolen from me.

For a brief moment in time I thought I had failed you.

  You sent me help in my time of need.

You picked me up and showed me truth that I had never seen before.

  Now I walk a little bit slower but I am stronger.

I am no longer in a hurry for I know all things shall come to pass.

I live for what you place in front of me, not to chase after the things of this world.

  Your Love is all that I have, all that I need and really all that I am.

  So I guess that makes me like you.

  If you are love and your desire is for me to be like you, then you are turning me and everyone else who believes in you into love.

  You are knitting us together to be one with you because your desire was for companionship.

  You Lord did not want to be alone, so you created us to be the body of Christ.

  You want desperately for us to be united together in your Love.

So when I say all I need is “you”  know that “you”  includes everyone who believes in you

For with out them “you” would not have been able to warn me of my enemy

without them “you” would not have been able to prepare me

Without them “you” would not have been able to rescue me

Without them “you” would not have shown me the lies that held me captive

So please Lord use me

So that “you” can rescue, restore, and redeem others through me