So now I have lost 33 of my goal of 50 pounds (it is amazing how I did not feel so overweight at the time except for my low energy). But even not at my goal weight, still 17 pounds left, 33 is a lot of weight. It is 3 sizes down. And all in a short amount of time, three months. And did you know that one person of many I see every week noticed at church and said “Looks like you’re losing weight.” And yesterday, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while gave me all kinds of encouragement. She was not a Christian, though I am praying for her and am working on that.
Thr point is, when did encouragement fall by a Christian’s wayside? Are we not in a body of Christ to edify Christ and encourage and strengthen each other? Why do we not do our jobs?
So, I started this encouragement agenda for myself. I would keep encouraging and do so even more openly. Not flattery, hate that, but a strengthening truth when it is due or needed. I will be the first around me to encourage believers. Maybe it will catch on and someone will get it and get out of their own selfishness. The church is not “What have you done for me lately?” The church should say, “What can I do for Jesus and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ.” The real church loves people to Jesus and loves each other, including encouragement.❤
Much recent contemplations and reading and closeness with Jesus and His lead and persuasion in my life has gotten me to a point of change and acceptance. Some very profound and inspiring and educationally wise truth has now been accepted by my brain. Took 44 years to get here (I used to believe I was fast and smart Lol.) Some people get this lesson intrinsically or easily or much faster, but we all have our own strengths and weaknesses and I firmly believe this one is harder to overcome when well-modelled and very wounded. Well, here is this truth… I am responsible for every word, decision, action and lack thereof I have ever made. I am responsible for me. Not only that, but as a wife, I am responsible to be a good wife (whether it is reciprocated or not); as a parent, I am responsible for being a good parent and teaching my children to be godly, useful and moral adults and parents; as a doctor, I am responsible for my patient’s care; as a Christian, I am responsible to represent Jesus to the world; and so on. And we all are responsible for ourselves and our roles we serve. That is how it is. As soon as we assign blame for inadequacies, even if legitimate, we devalue our growth and development and miss out on our full capacity. How freeing is this truth! How powerful it is for I own it. And sobering. Because of course, I/we need God’s help in all of it, so bonus that we draw closer to Him in the process! I just wanted to share that. ❤
Our rose bush and periwinkles were at death’s door. I heard a gardener speak of Epsom salt, so I added about a cup to each dying, spindly plant, along with coffee grounds, ground up egg shells and 10-10-6 fertilizer. And here is about 2 weeks later. From one rose and one flower at the end of long legs we get this. And this is proof that grass grows greener where it is cared for. Never give up. And I of course mean this for every aspect of life and not just plants. They are nice and beautiful but so can be your relationships, your walk with God, your music, your work, your hobbies, whatever. Do your best and allow time to do the rest. Do not give up ever!❤
It never ceases to amaze me how much life changes. In love, out of love, in love and married, disaster hits, divorce, in love and married, changing times. And that is just one topic.
Maturing physically then maturing spiritually then blowing both and restarting and in and out of churches and roles in them and that is just one more topic.
No kids then one kid then another comes along and they grow then I am homeschooling them and have them 24/7 as they keep growing and changing and that is just one topic.
It goes on and on and these things and growing and maturing and changing goes on all at the same time. And in the middle somewhere is trying hard not to just survive but to also do music and write and heal and share faith as gifted to allow God to work through me as He made me to do. And the new reality of life looks so very different than it did even three years ago. Just so different. People come and go from life- key people you thought were staples of existence- just leave. New people arrive and old relationships are restored. Forgiveness happens. Amazingly, God keeps up with all the changes and keeps loving and helping and protecting us all. Incredible. And I am realizing the greatness applied from God is so very real in this skin, in this home, in this church, in this city. And God is not a powerful entity far from us in space somewhere, moody and irrational and distant unless we do exactly what He demands. He is right here, right now, loving and pulling us to Him for rest and comfort and peace and safety and never surprised by anything but ever eager for our choice to be to love Him back. How I love Him! ❤
Many years of my life are hard for me to remember. I believe the psychologists of the day (yes, I had to study psychology while working toward my doctorate in the science of audiology) would say that I repressed or blocked memories too difficult to remember during times of extreme stress. And stress, I am afraid, has been a constant companion of mine much of my life. It is a wonder I am alive really, seeing how they are blaming stress for every illness known to man. Anywho, as God has healed my deep depression relatively recently, He is bringing back the memories I had forgotten in order for me to know the truth and forgive to free me. This process is surprising and beautiful. He reminds me of this good memory or this hurtful one to forgive or this one of me bad I have to ask forgiveness for, etc. And He is bringing them to me in bits I can handle calmly and remaining in peace and joy. And He is through this process drawing me closer to His presence. It is peaceful, joyful, beautiful, even the bad stuff. I am not bragging, I am observing and showing you what can happen if you pray all the time, fast, throw away all social media and addictions/distractions, and read your Bible. Draw close to God and really humbly pull toward Him and He rewards you with what you want… closeness to Him. And it is making me incredibly homesick for my best friend, friends and family. But I know God will comfort me until I can see them. Oh how I love and trust Him. Not really anyone else, but Jesus is my blessed Champion and Lord and oh how I love Him!❤
Matthew 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”
These verses emphasize the vast emphasis on focus. Focusing on God and this day we are living here is the key to not worrying or sinning against God. Focus. Deliberate thought on God and Truth and what is right is our goal. We must be intentional. We must be focused. Or cares of this world/worry will overtake us. Focus on God forces us to build our faith. God reveals Himself to us the more time we intentionally spend with Him and faith grows. This is His immediate reward to us, He is such a master of rewards. The biggest, most important ones are non-monetary. (I mention that because a lot of people get that wrong.) ❤
I think maturity is acceptance. I think we who strive to mature wisely (and I have found it is a purposeful decision) must push toward acceptance of all things. Yes, we may want to change things and yes, when asked (for that is the only time it is ever accepted) we must speak truth and wisdom learned from life to others headed toward wrong/detrimental decisions. But we strive for acceptance. Acceptance that we are not in control oft anything but ourselves and we need God for even that. Acceptance that others have every right in the world to ignore all wisdom and logic. Acceptance that we may be alone with God for long periods of time and that is ok. Acceptance that when walking with God, we will be attacked more than those from other religions even because God is alive and so is His enemy (and His enemy can’t hurt God so tries to hurt His children). Acceptance that I must walk in humble prayer all the time, constantly. Acceptance that there is always a new lesson and annul ways something to do but rest is a part of that too. Acceptance that nothing is perfect or fair until Heaven.❤