Categories
Hope

The Lesson

I learned an old lesson today
Love is fragile not dismal.
I learned not to take love for granted.
Love comes easily to us all.

I learned to take one day at a time.
Don’t throw caution out the door.
I learned to take my time and love myself.
No one else will love me more.

I learned not to walk too quickly
To slow down and enjoy the view
To appreciate the simple things in life
Don’t rush to do more than I am able to do.

I learned to live my life at peace with myself
To stroke and nurture my inner image.
I am lovable, worthy, a child of God.
I deserve the best life I can manage.

I learned to smile at myself,
To give myself a treat.
I learned life goes on, no matter what
And with God in my heart, I can be happy and complete.

“When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘You’re either going to love yourself or hate yourself.’ And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things.”

Queen Latifah
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/love_yourself_2.html

mamas-rosesSong of Solomon 4:7 ESV 

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

Categories
Bible Verses Devotional Hope Inspiration

Uncluttered Part 4: Exchanging Worry for Joy

It took me almost twenty years to learn to trust God in all circumstances. I was a worrier. I would look at my circumstances and wonder how I would get through.

When I became a widow at thirty years old, I felt sorry for myself and my children for almost a year. I worried about not paying enough attention to my children. I worried about their safety. I worried about their emotional well-being after losing their father. I worried about having enough money to clothe and feed them. I worried about their happiness. I worried about pleasing God with my parenting style. I worried about so much.

God taught me to trust Him by showing me over and over again that He had our lives in His hands. I learned in 1 Peter 2:3 that God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. When I latched onto that verse, my attitude about difficulty and worry transformed from walking in despair to rejoicing.  I let go of worry and allowed joy to penetrate my heart and soul.  I learned how to live a joyful life. I have joy deep in my heart and I can smile and praise the Lord no matter what is going on around me. Here are the three most important lessons I learned about joy:

  1. Joy is based on being at peace with who I am,
  2. Joy comes from being confident of God’s provision, and
  3. Joy is fueled by knowing that I am pleasing in His eyes not because of what I do, but because He created me and I have faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Joy and happiness are both emotions, but happiness can fade when we are tired, overworked, or overwhelmed. Joy prevails throughout the hard times.

If you don’t know how to stop worrying, I invite you to take a faith class from Hebrews 11. The people spotlighted in Hebrews 11 were not people without trouble or blemish. They all had one thing in common–they had faith in God. Their faith is what makes them role models for us today thousands of years after they died.

When you learn to have faith in God, worry will disappear and you will find yourself being joyful in all things.

What are you worried about today? What are you afraid of? What is stealing your joy?

Psalm 3:8 Living Bible (TLB) For salvation comes from God. What joys he gives to all his people.

Categories
Devotional Encouragement garden Hope Inspiration Love Poetry

Words are Flowers

 

Words are flowers planted in the heart.
They take root deep within the soul.
As they grow they become who we are,
How we think--the backbone of our goals.

They must be cultivated and nurtured daily.
The words we speak become reality as each blossom unfolds.
Our words give life and health to our bodies.
If carefully planted, such beauty each flower holds.
hybiscus
May your thoughts be filled with flowering words 
That you release each day.
May they spread cheer and encouragement 
And help someone along the way.

May your words be filled with the fragrance of hope
May they release positive energy and light.
May all who encounter you
Experience something wonderful and bright.



Categories
Bible Verses Devotional Hope Inspiration Poetry Ready to Move Forward

It’s Time for a Change

We walk through our daily lives
On the same ole paths of me, myself, and I.
Seeing only what affects us
Getting all we can before we die.

It’s time for a change!

Children are being neglected and abused.
They are killing each other and defacing their lives.
They are showing us they need us
But we just keep walking fast with distracted eyes.

It’s time for a change!

We have closed our ears to God’s call
And failed to pray and seek His face.
Our land needs healing from its present condition
But the healing won’t start until we stop this pace.

It’s time for a change!

Peter sternly reminds us in his first Epistle
We are called to bless not neglect.
It’s time we changed our focus from ourselves
And give our neighbor his due respect.

It’s time for a change!

God is calling us back to Him.
He is calling us to prayer.
He wants to show us
How to show our children we care.

It’s time for a change!

We can turn a deaf ear to the human cry.
We can pretend our brother is only acting strange.
But the Lord is boldly showing us
It’s time for a change.

So listen up, my sisters, my brothers
Hear and believe what the Word says
It’s time to be humble, pray and seek God’s face.
He will heal and forgive us our sins if we change ways.

It’s time for a change!

I was reading one of my journals recently and found this poem I wrote on January 21, 1993. It was inspired by one of my favorite scriptures. I thought it was appropriate for this time of transition.

The Word of God lives forever.
2chronicles-7-14

Categories
Bible Verses Devotional Hope Inspiration Ministry and Inspiration Poetry Ready to Move Forward

Uncluttered Part 3: Release the Praise

On my mission to get more organized,  I am setting up a studio/office for my new business venture. The room I chose to set up is already a designated office and library. I call it a library because there are well over one hundred books from every genre from Christian Living to Higher Education textbooks with numerous fictions, science fiction, and children’s books in between.

My friend Martha has me on a search for a book that she can only remember the color and topic. She assures me I probably have it. Yesterday, I found a book written by Roxanne Brant that distracted me from my search and organization project. I’m like that. I will start on a project and run into something that captures my attention. If I want to get something finished, I have to put on music and force myself not to stop. I stopped for this distraction because the title caught my attention.

Ministering to the Lord: A vision, a search, a discovery was published in 1973 and taught me so much about worship. I want to share a few quotes from this book and I will share the entire book with the first person who completes and submits the form below.

“Our first obligation in our relationship to God is LOVE.”

We love Him because of who He is, and because He first loved us. God longs for our love and ministry to Him; but too often, we have only gone to him to receive things from Him and to ask favors of Him.” 

“The Bible is clear that the first obligation of a Christian is ministry to the Lord.”

“When you praise God you are blessing and commending and boasting of Him.”

“We do not have to minister to the Lord in any specific way. But there are certainly a rich variety of ways to express our praise and worship to Him as we are led by the Holy Spirit.”

You are My Praise (by Cindy Mosley)

Lord, thou art lovely and wondrous!
No matter where I go, what I do
You are there for me.

Your love has brightened my life.
Your light outshines the darkness.
Your strength is great and your works are mighty.

Thank You for considering me and loving me all the same.

I hope your new year is off to a great start. Don’t forget to stop and give God the glory for your successes and thank Him for picking you up and dusting you off when you fail.

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.” Psalms 150

wp-1484537872837.jpg

 

Categories
Bible Verses Devotional Hope Inspiration Poetry Ready to Move Forward

Uncluttered Part 2: Negative Self-Talk

I told myself, ‘You’re wonderful’
But I didn’t believe it at first.
I kept comparing myself to others
All I could see was the worst.

I wanted to think I was good enough
To believe I had something to give.
But doubt kept blocking my path
I was afraid to live.

One day I heard someone say
“If you think it, you can do it.”
I was skeptical, but made a plan
To get a hold of my mind…to renew it.

I stopped thinking about my limits.
I refused to hide anymore.
I began to speak life to myself
To force myself to open the door.

I allowed myself to believe.
I taught myself to hope.
I began to smile at myself.
I forbade myself to mope.

Now that the negative is gone.
I am free to enjoy each day
Free from the clutter in my mind.
The negative self-talk has gone away.

As you are setting your pace at the beginning of 2017, I hope that you are pursuing your dreams. If you’re stuck and find yourself blocked by a brick wall that just won’t yield, don’t let your fears and negative self-talk keep you from moving forward. I hope you find inspiration in the video I am sharing today.

Daring Faith: Daring To Imagine with Rick Warren

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2

Be blessed and be a blessing in 2017!

Categories
Bible Verses Devotional Hope Inspiration Ready to Move Forward

Uncluttered Part 1: A Fresh Start

I love listening to my online radio stations. I’m not convinced yet to spend money to get commercial free radio. I’m glad, because I get to listen to different commercials and hear about different programs and products that I might miss if I upgrade. Over the weekend I heard a Lowe’s advertisement about getting organized. In the ad there is a statement that goes something like this, “This is the year my house will be de-cluttered!” I get tickled every time because we have a utility drawer in our kitchen that is loaded with items that have nothing to do with cooking or eating.

There are other advertisements that address setting goals and ideas about how to reach the goals. Setting goals for the new year is a wonderful way to put our lives on a new path. But there are times when no matter how many goals we set, we don’t follow through because of some things that are cluttering our lives. Let’s take a few days to look at the clutter that could hinder our growth.

The first item I present is unforgiveness. I know, right? Unforgiveness is an emotion we may feel entitled to have. We have been hurt, deceived, or treated poorly by people we thought loved us. Or we have made mistakes that we revisit and uses a weapon to beat ourselves up with.

What is unforgiveness? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says it is being unable or unwilling to forgive; or having or making no allowance for error or weakness. The definitions imply that there is a choice in the matter of forgiving. I can think of a number of reasons for withholding forgiveness, but in keeping with “INSCRIBING HOPE” I want to look at why we should forgive.

Forgiveness makes me think of a clinched fist. If you close your fist and refuse to open your hands, it is very hard to receive anything. Imagine receiving a gift with closed hands. It would be very hard to open the gift. When someone hurts us we can often feel a fist close around our hearts squeezing it so tightly that we may close ourselves off to love. When we make mistakes that hurt other people, we can feel the same affect.

As I thought about this topic I was reminded of a scene on the Cosby Show  from the 1980’s. Sandra and Elvin used to drive the Huxtable family crazy with arguing about everything a young couple with opposite views about gender roles could have. Finally, one day Dr. Huxtable taught Elvin to just raise his open palms to let things go.

Today, that is the advice I would give to those who are holding on to past hurts, grudges, and embarrassments. Let them go. Unclinch your fists and  release that which will keep you from receiving peace and joy.

Release yourself to love again.

Release yourself to dream again.

Release yourself to move forward.

I know this post only touches the surface of some of your issues with unforgiveness. Some of you may have already discovered ways to walk in forgiveness. Reply with things you have done to overcome unforgiveness or post suggestions. There are hurting people out there that need to hear what you have to say.

If you are stuck, click on the link below to watch a short video about the science involved with forgiveness.

I also suggest reading a book or completing a forgiveness workbook. I wanted to recommend some, but when you Google books about forgiveness, there is a page full of wonderful suggestions. Here is a link to the page

https://goo.gl/eBnoEA

Begin your journey to a fresh start with forgiveness.

“Judge not, and you will not be judge, condemn not, and you will  not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven”  Luke 6:37

 

Categories
Bible Verses Hope Inspiration Poetry Ready to Move Forward

Every Journey

Every journey has a beginning.
Every journey has an end.
Every journey makes us wiser than before we began.

Every journey has a path.
Every journey has a view.
Every journey takes us to places we never knew.

Every journey has bumpsroad-trip-collage
Every journey has curves.
Every journey maneuvers us through obstacles that test our nerves.

Every journey has laughs.
Every journey has tears.
Every journey leaves us with memories we can share for years.

Every journey is worthwhile
Even the ones without smiles.
We gain so much more from every journey than miles.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps.