30 Days of Gratitude – Day 21 Grateful I Can Change

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Today I’m grateful that I can change with the help of God.

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Max Lucado puts it well in, “Grace for the Moment: A 365 Day Journaling Devotional” in January 21st entry called, “A Heart Like His”.

God wants us to be just like Jesus.  Isn’t that good news?  You aren’t stuck with today’s personality.  You aren’t condemned to “grumpydom.”  You are tweak able.  Even if you’ve worried each day of your life, you needn’t worry the rest of your life.  So what if you were born a bigot?  You don’t have to die one.

Where did we get the idea we can’t change?  From whence come statements such as, “It’s just my nature to worry.” or, “I’ll always be pessimistic. I’m just that way.”…Who says?  Would we make similar statements about our bodies?  “It’s just my nature to have a broken leg.  I can’t do anything about it.”  Of course not.  If our bodies malfunction, we seek help.  Shouldn’t we do the same with our hearts?  Shouldn’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes?  Can’t we request treatment for our selfish tirades?  Of course we can.  Jesus can change our hearts.  He wants us to have a heart like his.

What a blessing it is to know that change is possible.  If we are living with the cancer of bitterness we needn’t die with it.  Jesus can give us a heart of love and forgiveness that will kill the cancer of bitterness.  If we are hanging on to things of the past Jesus can help us to live in the present and let loose of the past that only hurts and interferes with our todays.  As the poem says, you won’t find God in the past He isn’t, I was, and don’t look for Him in the future He isn’t, I will be, look for Him in the present because His name is, I Am.

I’m so grateful for where God has brought me from already and I look forward to where He is going to bring me to in my journey to become more and more like Jesus.

Let Jesus do the work He has in store for you to bring you into His likeness.  We all must remember our place at the wheel.  We are the clay and He is the potter, longing to mold and make us in His likeness.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 9

Today I’m grateful for gratitude!  I find the longer I do this the more I find to be grateful for.  The more I find to be grateful for the happier person I am.

I think that if I practiced this for the rest of my life as a daily act of worship, my whole life would change radically.  Now I’m not saying that I will no longer strugglewith Bi-polar disorder or even GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), since these are chemical mishaps in my brain.  What I am saying is that I could very well live a much happier and if not happy, grateful life if I decided to make this a daily practice even on my bad days.

That’s the challenge being consistent and doing it no matter how I feel.  Looking at what to be grateful for will at the least help to regulate my chemicals some in my mind.  The challenge is when you’re not feeling well choosing gratitude in the face of depression.

As the picture above says choosing my thoughts and choosing gratitude to be the forefront could make a radical difference in the way I live my life and the attitude that I have.  Not just around myself and other people but my attitude towards God and all that He has done and is capable of doing.

I truly think that an attitude of gratitude would stretch my faith and isn’t that always a good thing?  May I encourage you to try it with me?   Let’s not just make this a 30 day deal.  Let’s practice this in our lives as an act of worship on a daily basis.  Then let us see where it takes us.  Please comment back to me and let me know the journey God takes you on.  I promise to keep you posted past November on the journey God takes me on and in thatway we can be of an encouragement to one another.  Isn’t that what the body of Christ is all about anyway?

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

God Trusts You, Do You Trust God?

God trusts you, do you trust God?

I’ve been a Christian for a long time and there have been times that have felt like a dry spell, times of refreshment, desert times, and honeymoon times, but through it all God has taught me one constant, that no matter how it feels He is always there and all I need to do is trust Him through whatever time I’m going through.  Just as Mother Teresa has said there are times when, “I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!”  But none the less God is faithful and He knows what is best despite our lack of faith and trust.

He will pray to God, and God will delight in him.  That man will behold His face with a shout of joy.  –  Job 33:26

Now if ever there was a man who was familiar with difficulties it was Job but look at the promise God gives him for his faithfulness to God.  God delights in our prayers, there is an awesome thought.  That alone should get me on my knees more often.  And if that weren’t enough we will behold His face one day the later seems to me like a well duh moment, of course we’ll shout for joy!  What we’ve been imagining for all so long we will no longer have to imagine, we will actually be in the presence of our God. Hurrah! Hallelujah! And Amen!!

But on the way to getting to that place God calls us to grow in Christ.  To become more and more like Him each day.

My journey has me on the discovery of past to overcome and move on in the here and now.  I praise God that things that where once just suspicions are now actual memories and I no longer doubt myself but am doing the work I need to do to move on from here.  It isn’t always fun, work rarely is, but it is necessary and freeing.   For that I am so grateful to God.  I’m making progress that I’ve never been able to make before and a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

You have begun to live a new life, in which you are being made new ad are becoming like the One who made you.  –  Colossians 3:10

As you go through the journey that God has in store for you to bring you to the perfect place that He has in mind for you, may I give you some advise to surrender to the Masters hands?  He knows the pattern of the cloth that He is weaving you into.  While you see the underside with all it’s dark threads of depression or deep red threads of pain, there are other threads you are less aware of that when it is finished in the Master Weaver’s hands will make a cloth so beautiful as you could never imagine.  Trust the Master and allow Him entrance into all the areas of your life.

“For I know the plans that I have for you, ” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”  –  Jeremiah 29:11

You see God promises that His plans are for our good.  So you can trust Him.

I have been through the dry spells and the desert times when you feel like you are all alone in what you are going through.  I have cried out to God, “Where are You?” “Don’t You see me?” “Don’t You care?” You want to know a secret? I have even cried out, “I don’t want to die right now cause I don’t want to  see You!  I hate You!  How could you let them institutionalize me!  He won!  If You came down here in the form of a man I would beat You!”  I might have well cried it out it was what was on my heart at the time and God already knew it.  I’m sure the nurses in the psych ward thought I was in the right place.  I misunderstood and thought I’d been institutionalized when it was just another in many psych ward visits.  You see my ex had gotten an attorney to see if he and my mother-in-law could institutionalize me, thus the rant when I thought I was.  But God as always was faithful and saw me through. Another lesson in trust.

He will always be there for me, I know that now.  My moments of doubt still come but they last far shorter than they used to instead of weeks or months they may last days or moments on a good day.  Then I remember all my Father has brought me through and I laugh to myself that I even questioned for a second that He wouldn’t have this covered too.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Enjoy the Journey

Yes we are a work in progress, but do we allow ourselves the pleasure of enjoying the journey?  I don’t know about you but I’m a destination girl.  I decide on a destination and once I get there then is when the fun begins.

But if I live my life the way I take trips I’m in for a miserable time.  God is all about the process or journey if you prefer and I need to learn to enjoy the changes or growth I see along the way and not wait for the day of perfection to be happy.  If I were to do that my life on earth would be one of disappointment and frustration needless to say a lot of anger at myself for being less than.

This is just where the enemy wants me.  Feeling defeated because I’m less than perfect.  When He knows that the only perfect man that ever walked the face of the earth was Jesus Christ and that when he comes again then is when He will be done with His work in us.  As it says in Philippians 1:6

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. –  Philippians 1:6

So I must learn to stop and smell the flowers both in my journeys in travel and in life.  Life is too short to take for granted the growth that you’ve made and to beat yourself up for growth you’ve not yet accomplished.

If God in all His love and mercy and grace is patient enough to wait for the end of the journey, then so must I learn to love myself and be merciful, gracious and patient with myself and enjoy the journey.

I have two choices to be miserable through the journey or to enjoy watching my growth through the journey.  Since God is the One working it to completion it is His job to see it through.  I just need to do as I’m lead to do by Him and leave the rest in His very capable hands.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

When Life May Not Seem Fair

If you’re going through a divorce and in the midst of the fighting and chaos.  Or maybe you are contemplating a divorce or breakup or life just seems unfair.  Let me let you in on a little secret – life is unfair.  The lord of this world is Satan not our Heavenly Father.  The world became unfair when sin came into the world with the eating of the forbidden fruit.

We all sin and that sin keeps us away from God.  But being the loving and just God that He is he made a way to have relationship with Him.  Since He is holy and can’t look on sin, He sent His One and Only Son to pay the penalty that we deserve.  That’s how much He loves us.  All we have to do is to accept the free gift He gave by dying on the cross for our sins and raising from the dead to show that He has power over death.  It’s that simple.  There is nothing that you can do to make yourself worthy.  No deed will ever be enough to pay the price of death.  That’s why Christ chose to pay it for us, willingly.  Just ask Him into your heart, ask Him to forgive your sins and turn from those sins.  What I mean is decide not to do them any longer.  That is what He is waiting for it is that simple.

What has that to do with life not being fair?  Everything, once you have Christ in you life no matter what it is you are going through, it  is easier when you lean on Christ.  He gives you the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you.  When you read His Word and pray and listen to the Holy Spirit it helps you through the hard times.

I have been divorced for over 22 years and during my divorce God brought me through things that I just thought I couldn’t get through.  I faced financial problems and emotional problems that God used Himself and others to bring me through a very difficult time.  I felt that it was unfair but fair or not I’m grateful for all of it because it has matured me into the woman of God that I am today.  It has taught me how to depend on Him and helped me in my journey to trust Him.

I know that as painful as whatever it is you are going through now there are wondrous joys to be had as time marches on.  Take courage and hold on to God’s hand and let Him get you through.

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart