Friday, January 31, 2014

Rejected or Accepted...you choose!



"Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance, not in the atmosphere of rejection."




 
 
 
Rejection is hard, and there are so many situations in which we can feel rejected.

Maybe from a parent, a spouse, our children, someone we considered a friend (maybe even a best friend), or a group.

We feel rejected when we are told we didn’t get the job we interviewed for or the promotion we had hoped was coming, or maybe we feel rejected due to a job loss after many years of loyal service.

Maybe we’ve shared a dream or a goal and was made to feel as if we’re incapable of accomplishing anything, let alone something we’ve only been able to dream about.

Although it can be difficult to accept at the time, sometimes rejection can be a good thing and can certainly lead to better things, but let’s focus for a moment on rejection.

After feeling rejected we sometimes label ourselves as just that, a reject.

 


re·ject

noun

\ˈrē-ˌjekt\
 
: something that is not good enough for some purpose : something that cannot be used or accepted

: a person who is not accepted or liked by other people

 
While we may not have used the word reject, we've certainly used the following terms to describe ourselves...
Not good enough.

No purpose.

No use.

Not accepted.

Not liked.


Have you ever felt this way?

Me too.

Want to know something? We’re not alone.

We have a Savior who knows all too well the pain of rejection.

So many of us have rejected Him.

We reject His truth, we reject His word.


We choose to go our own way and do our own things and then when those things go badly we wonder where He was. Where was God?


The greatest commandment is this, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." According to Jesus in Matthew 22:37


He is the ONE who accepts us, loves us, has a purpose for us and a desire to use us in a mighty way, according to His plans!



He thinks we’re more than good enough, so much so that He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be with Him for eternity.


Will you surrender to Him, your plans, your hurts, your heart, and allow Him to restore you, renew you and to give you hope for a future with Him?


He will never reject you, never leave you and will never abandon you.



Will you choose today to reject the lies of the enemy and surrender to the only ONE who can erase all rejection and pain and replace it with a deep agape love that you will never need to earn and can never do anything to lose?


 
ac·cept
verb

\ik-ˈsept, ak- also ek-\

: to receive or take (something offered)

: to take (something) as payment

: to be able or designed to take or hold (something)




Jesus offered His life as payment for our sins, take hold of His gift and no longer be rejected but accepted!


 

 

 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

You Are Not Alone!

I have a confession.

I'm forty six years old and I'm still a little bit afraid of the dark...Ok, let's be real here, if I'm walking up the basement stairs and it's dark I can only get half way up before I'm convinced that something or someone is behind me or under the stairs and I can't stop myself from running the rest of the way up!
There, I said it.
I'm a grown woman and a Christian and I still allow fear to control certain areas of my life.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
 
 
Not only do I know this verse, but I try to encourage others with these words when they struggle with their own fears and I even speak them out loud when I'm fearful but what I most often fail to remember is this...
 
I. Am. Not. Alone.
 
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
 
 
He who lives in me is greater than he who lives in this world. I've accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I've received the Holy Spirit and therefore I am never alone!
 
I don't have to fear, worry, or doubt! I can be confident in God's word.
 
I purposefully do not watch scary movies.
I try to stay aware from anything that clearly goes against God's word and while some things are blatantly satanic, others are subtle, enticing and alluring. I could easily be deceived into believing that they're ok but because I'm not alone I don't have to be deceived. I have a Wonderful Counselor with me always who stirs my spirit and reveals the truth, if I will only listen.
 
You. Are. Not. Alone.
 
Don't give in to the lies of the enemy, don't live according to fear, don't worry or doubt what the future holds, don't live this life thinking that you are all alone because if you've received Jesus as your Savior then you will never be alone!
And if you haven't received Him yet, all it takes are a few simple words...
Jesus I'm sorry please forgive, please come into my heart and please help me to follow you.
 
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that we're not alone in this world, but that we have a constant companion who will never leave us or forsake us.

I needed to remind myself that I don't have to fear, I'm not alone. 
FEARLESS. That's my word for the year, and once I again how I'm choosing to live!

Remember, you're not alone, so don't be afraid, be fearless!


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
 
 
I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart series on Wednesdays, or go to holleygerth.com please join us! Click HERE or go to www.holleygerth.com for more encouraging words!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't be afraid to fail...



Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.”
John Maxwell
, Failing Forward
 
 
 
It's so easy to look back now and see the times that I've failed and realize that they were all part of the plan, His plan, to mold me and shape me into the woman I am today.
I'm also fully aware that He isn't done yet, still shaping and molding, but I can clearly see some of the things that had to fall apart so that doors could be opened and opportunities presented, to bring me where I am now.
 
I have a lengthy list of failing forward... 
I worked in the clerical department for an insurance company
I was a bank teller
A data entry clerk for a banking corporation
A chiropractic assistant
A daycare provider
An administrative assistant to my former pastor
An office manager for a custom home builder
An artist and a muralist (owning and operating my own decorative painting business)

A receptionist
A licensed stylist (working in a few different salons) 

A call center representative
There were even a few home based businesses that I tried too!
 
I've worked in a lot of different positions in my forty-six years on this earth and each time I left, regardless of the reasons, I couldn't help but feel as though I had failed.
 
I had always been a runner, never feeling like I was good enough so I would leave before anyone noticed that I truly wasn't. The term "fake it til you make it" was certainly how I lived except that I never really felt like I could "make it" so instead, I would run.

I was focusing so much on trying to be something that I wasn't (and would never be) that I almost missed it, almost missed the failing forward part...

Those things had to fall apart so that I could fully rely on God and begin to believe that He created me for something entirely different, something uniquely me. I had to stop believing the lies of who I wasn't and start believing the truth of who I was!
I have a different job now, I'm the assistant Publicist for a Christian Publishing Group but I'm more than that...
I'm a Jesus follower, a wife, a mom, a writer, a storyteller, an artist and anything else that God says I am.
 
 
Don't be afraid to fail. Let go of the things that aren't working and trust in God to open the right doors and lead you into the positions and the plan that He has for you. Don't let pride rob you of the blessings that God desires to give you!!!



“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hiding Our Hurts






"In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others."


 
Recently I was in my kitchen preparing to boil some eggs and as I reached into the cupboard a plastic bowl fell from the shelf and landed on top of the closed egg carton. I was sure that at least some of the eggs would be damaged and useless but to my surprise when I opened the carton, none of them appeared to be broken, not even cracked from what I could see.
Once the water started to boil I ever so gently placed the eggs one by one into the water. I was puzzled to see that a couple of the eggs had small cracks, invisible on the surface but once placed in the hot water became visible as they began spilling some of their contents. They had been damaged, broken after all.
Immediately I thought, isn’t that just like some of our hearts? Most of us seem as though we have it all together on the surface but once we’re placed in hot water (difficult circumstances) our brokeness becomes apparent as the cracks give way and we spill out our hurts onto others.
When I encounter a situation with someone who is hurtful towards me for no apparent reason, I try to remember the saying, hurting people hurt people.
Maybe on the surface there are no visible signs to explain their behavior because they’ve hidden their hurts so that no one can see and masked their pain so that no one will know, but they can’t stay hidden or masked forever.
They are in need of grace, just as much as we are!
God has poured out His great love for us by sending His Son to die for us, giving up His life so that we might have an abudant life and an eternity with Him.
 
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3


None of us are broken beyond repair. We have a Healer- Restorer- Redeemer who wants to heal all our wounds and use us to help reconcile others to Him.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.
Isaiah 61:1
 
 
So let’s be men and women of grace, not forgetting the amazing grace that God has poured out for us and let’s try to encourage those who may be broken and hurting and in need of a Savior, even if the surface doesn’t show it.
 
 "To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means."



 
 

 
 

 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You Are Beautiful!


For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.




Ivan Panin

 



As a teenager, one of my best friends was a tall, gorgeous blonde with beautiful blue eyes, a pearly white smile and perfect skin.
Everyone loved her.



All the girls wanted to be her friend and the boys all wanted to be her boyfriend.

And then there was me…shy, awkward, and insecure.

I looked different than my friends with my dark, almost black hair, olive skin and dark almond shaped eyes .
I looked so different that at times I was mistaken for an exchange student.
I wasn’t athletic or smart (or so I believed).
Even my name was different. Oh how I wished it was Theresa, or Shelly, or Kim, or Lisa, or Wendy, anything but Lanette.
I felt like an outcast. I certainly didn’t feel special and I definitely did not feel beautiful!
Unfortunately for me and those who attempted to love me, those feelings followed me throughout my life.
It didn’t matter what anyone said, I didn’t see beauty when I looked in the mirror, only disappointment.
 
How many times have you looked in the mirror only to be disappointed at the image you see?
We think if only my nose were smaller, my teeth straighter or a bazillion other if only’s.
So often we are more critical when it comes to our own appearance than our worst enemy! Truthfully we are our own worst enemy!
 
We compare ourselves to others and think, if I could just look like her... it could be a friend, an acquaintance, or just someone we see in passing.
 
It becomes a dangerous game when we begin comparing ourselves to models and television and movie stars as we are constantly bombarded with images we fear
that we’ll never measure up to and most likely won’t, as many of them are airbrushed and altered to be more aesthetically pleasing.
 
 
The truth about those pictures we see of the flawless models has been exposed within minutes in videos that have been posted online and seen on different entertainment television news shows.

Although we’re all smart enough to know the truth about those pictures, we still attempt to alter our own appearance with the newest diet and exercise fads, pills, creams (how many infomercials do we see in a day?) and surgeries all in hopes of obtaining the same perfection.
Now if you’re one of the millions of people who have tried any or all of these things please don’t feel that I’m judging you, I’ve tried some too.
The problem isn’t with dieting and exercising or trying new things.
We should all strive to eat healthy and incorporate exercise into our daily habits and routines and we should care for our bodies and our appearance.
 
However, the way that we view ourselves and our appearance sometimes becomes so distorted that it develops into a full blown obsession and that’s when we cross the line.
And sadly some fall into the deep abyss of eating disorders and other dangerous phobias and addictions as the idea of perfection is always just out of reach.
All for the sake of beauty and acceptance.


It becomes more of a struggle as youth fades and is replaced by lines in our faces, silver streaks in our hair and the other changes that inevitably come as we begin to show our age.
We make the cliche' comments that we intend to grow old gracefully but who are we kidding? For many of us there is no grace involved. It’s a battle that we most often feel we’re losing! But we fight anyway, by coloring the unwanted gray highlighting our thinning tresses, we apply creams and lotions and do anything else we can to hold onto to the beauty that we struggled to believe was there to begin with.
 
What a vicious cycle.

But what if we looked past the imperfections?

Is it possible that our true beauty is in the imperfections, the very things that make us who He created us to be?
What if each time we glanced in the mirror we looked for the beauty God knitted in us? Would we see Him, our Creator, there?
 
Psalm 139:14
The Message (MSG)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.



What if we began to look for the qualities that make us so wonderfully and beautifully unique and began speaking positive affirmations to the beauty found there.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and since God calls us His Beloved, then our beauty is transformed by the eyes that behold it. 
 
And maybe, just maybe, by seeing Him and spending time in His presence, we'll see our transformation through His eyes as the reflection in the mirror becomes more and more a reflection of Him.




Will you join me in asking God to help us see our true beauty, the beauty He sees in us, the next time we look in our mirrors and attempt to be critical of what we see?


"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty."
-Steve Maraboli





We were created by God, to be loved by Him and to love Him,


and in His eyes we are more than beautiful!

You. Are. Beautiful.







 

I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart series on Wednesdays, or go to holleygerth.com please join us! Click HERE or go to www.holleygerth.com for more encouraging words!








 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You Are Loved!





"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken."

 
 
Sometimes all it takes are a few harsh words spoken from one person (especially someone we love) to convince us that we’re incapable of being loved.



Especially if those words are I don’t love you anymore.

Just one sentence from one person and we ask ourselves "What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough? Why can’t I be loved?"
Often times there are no words spoken, only actions that prove once again that we’re not loveable.

Rejection from a spouse or a parent can leave us searching for a love and acceptance that we may never find, at least not this side of Heaven.

Sometimes the choices we’ve made in life make us question if it’s even possible for God to love us.

How could He, after all I’ve done?

We all have a desire to love and to be loved but when it doesn’t happen
whether a love lost or not returned
when we are so broken
so deeply wounded
in those moments when our whole world falls apart
when we feel as if dying of a broken heart is a real possibility…



Our Heavenly Father draws near to us.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
 
He loves us with an agape love.




We can’t do anything to earn it or anything to lose it.

He will never leave us or forsake us.

His love is infallible, and unending.

His love fills every void, conquers every fear.

His love is complete and perfect.




You are perfectly loved by a perfect God in an imperfect world!

"Love is not only something God does; love is something God is. God would have to stop being in order to stop loving. Again, our temptation is to humanize God, because we are limited to understanding love as a verb. With God, love is first a noun. It’s what and who He is.








I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart series on Wednesdays, or go to holleygerth.com please join us! Click HERE or go to www.holleygerth.com for more encouraging words!






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My God-Sized Dream

"A dream is a wish your heart makes
when you're feeling small
Alone, in the night you whisper,
thinking no one can hear you at all"
- Disney’s Cinderella
 
 
My dream?

For the last couple of years I have jokingly asked my husband if I could quit my job and start a blog. I was mimicking a commercial where a husband casually mentions quitting his job to start a blog as his wife quickly says no and of course my husband’s answer was also always no. It wasn’t that he didn’t want me to do something that I loved to do or that he didn’t want me to succeed but realistically I needed to have a full-time paying job.

 

I’ve always had a love of writing and storytelling and all things artsy (which is probably why I still love Disney movies) but to call myself an artist or a writer, well I just couldn’t.

I mean, I didn’t have the right credentials. I didn’t take college classes; I didn’t have a degree to prove that I was either of those things.

 

And yet I continued to paint and write and dream

 

I could imagine myself as an artist sitting in my studio, painting all day or at a gallery opening with my art on display for all to see. I could envision myself as a writer, sitting with my laptop, pouring out my heart through my words as a contributing writer for a well known ministry, getting published and becoming a best selling author.

I could imagine it, I could dream it but could I believe it?


For the longest time the answer to that question was emphatically no!
Of course not!

Who am I?

I’m a nobody, just a small town girl with a painful past.

 

That is until these words spoke to me deep within my heart…

 

Psalm 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

God created me as an artist and a writer, before He formed me in my mother’s womb, as He knit those unique gifts and talents in me!

While I don’t know the plans that God has for me, I do know that He has a plan and it’s to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future!

I will trust Him with my dreams and I will believe that I can do ALL things through Him, especially the BIG God-Sized Dreams!

What about your dream?


I'm linking up with God-Sized Dreamers
http://godsizeddreams.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/GSDlinkupimage.jpg


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Year of Living Fearlessly





 
Most of us at some point in our lives, have had a passion or desire that has gone unfulfilled as we continually allow fear to diffuse our dreams and allow doubts to settle in and sabotage our future.


Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change.

fear

Fear


FEAR

 

It is fear that most often holds us back from doing what God has called us to do.

I’ve struggled with those fears too and over and over again I had doubted that I could be who I desired to be or that I could do what I had always dreamed of doing…until recently.

Something changed.

Something was different.

I wanted it badly enough to push past fear and step out in faith and I was encouraged by others to believe that it was possible.

I had to let go of all the lies that I had believed, of all the doubts that I had held onto and be brave enough to take some risks.


This new year in lieu of a lengthy lists of to do’s and not to do’s, I joined a multitude of others in choosing just ONEWORD, one way to be encouraged to live my life throughout 2014.

My word…

 
FEARLESS

 
fear·less
: not afraid : very brave

:free from fear : brave


One word.

Endless possibilities.

Just one word to remind me to move forward in faith, encouraging me to live fearlessly.

 
en·cour·age
: to make (someone) more determined, hopeful, or confident

: to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope


 
It is my sincere hope that you will live courageously, confident in the gifts that God knit in you, determined not to be afraid.
Be brave.

Be FEARLESS.

 
 
Joshua 1:9

New Living Translation (NLT)

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."






I am linking up today with Holley and joining Coffee for Your Heart – 2014 Encouragement Challenge. Join us each Wednesday as we dish out some love to one another. - See more at: http://therichesofhislove.com/?p=1679#sthash.ZLYbnu5J.dpuf