Joy Comes in the Morning…

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Joy.

I have joy down in my heart.

Not because I have my life figured out. Not because my life is where it needs to be. And not because anything has changed.

But I have joy, because of Love.

God’s Love.

A love that never fails. A love that never gives up. A love that never runs out.

Even though I still make mistakes and there are still mountains in front of me to overcome. Even though I ran away and feel like I am in the eye of the storm.

I don’t have to be afraid.

Because I know that my Father loves me and nothing can separate me from the love of God.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38

In the midst of my trial and pain, when I am too weak to fight –

My God fights for me.

He is fighting on my behalf and working to ensure that all things work together for my good.

God takes my sin and failures.

He takes the things that could destroy my life and He works them all together for my good and for His glory.

How can that not bring Joy?

I am covered and protected –

By the power of my Father’s great Love.

I have spent the last few months in darkness. I was lost and wandering. I got tired of waiting on God and grew impatient. I took my life into my own hands and made a mess of things.

Today, I realize, that although I felt lost and alone, God knew right where I was the whole time. He was watching after me. He was picking up after me like a loving Father does. He has been patiently waiting for me to come back to Him.

Waiting for me to run back  into His open arms.

And so today I run.

I run into His arms where I met by His love. And surrounded by His love I find…

Joy.

Inspiring People #2

Mark & Rhonda

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Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. Ephesians 5:25-28

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I don’t even know where to begin describing how inspirational this couple has been for me, so I will just jump in…

I love the way Mark loves his wife. He is undeniably crazy about her, and I love it. I cannot wait until I find “my Mark.”

I love that Rhonda is such a strong woman who has started a successful non-profit, is a published author, and an amazing mom. Her commitment and dedication has tangibly changed lives. Mark comes in right along side her and unconditionally supports and changes lives, too.

Mark has a servant’s heart and can single-handedly whip up an amazing dinner for a crowd…and it is tasty too!

They fiercely love their children and grandchildren.

They work hard and take time to play hard.

They have been transformed by the love of God and are not afraid to share their story to inspire others.

I am thankful that I have been blessed with the opportunity to see a glimpse into their relationship. Watching them interact with each other, their community, and their family has inspired me more than words could say.  They have been through the worst of times, but they stand firm on the promises of God and live life on purpose and for a purpose. The encouragement Rhonda has given me and Mark’s joyful spirit have truly impacted my life and gives me something to look forward to. Thanks Mark and Rhonda!

Snow Day!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

No matter how old I get, I still LOVE snow.

There is just something about those tiny, glistening, white snowflakes that get me excited the same way it did when I was a child.

One of my co-workers who just moved here from Florida and who has not seen snow since she was a little girl sent me a text message that read: Everything is all white and pretty. It’s like all nice and brand-new.

Maybe part of the excitement of snow is that it makes everything look brand-new. I love looking out over a field after it has just snowed and is covered with a fresh blanket of flawless beauty.  It makes me think of – New Beginnings. Purity. Possibilities.

As I was reminiscing this morning about my childhood snow-days and how excited I got (and still do) this thought occurred to me: What would happen if people got just as excited about Jesus as they do about snow?

What if people prepared for Jesus coming, the same way they prepare for the threat of possible snow?

Snow can teach us a lot about Jesus. The blood of Jesus makes us new again. It makes us flawless and pure. The blood of Jesus erases our mistakes and brings new beginnings. With Jesus anything is possible. The realization of who Jesus is and what He can do is something to get truly get excited about. Unlike snow that melts away, Jesus is always there to cleanse us, forgive us, and make us new. His love never changes.

I am reminded of a song this morning that says:

I hear the Savior say, Thy strength indeed is small;

Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.

‘Cause Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone,

Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Thank-you Jesus for dying on the cross for me so that I could become spotless. Thank you for forgiving me so that I can experience what it feels like to be free from my past and have a spotless, clean slate as I move forward. Thank you for bearing the weight of my sin so that I can experience peace. Thank you for the snow that reminds me of how great your love is. I praise you, Jesus, for paying my debt and making me as white as snow.

Finding Purpose in Singleness

I read a blog today titled, Singled Out.  The author wrote something that made me smile with a new realization.

 “When I meet another single Christian woman in her 30s, I automatically envision how God has used her singleness to teach her wisdom, selflessness, self-control, joy, patience, and faith because that’s what God has done in my own life.”

I love this! I don’t think many people automatically envision these qualities. And, I sometimes forget, that is exactly what being single has taught me.

While singleness has of course at times brought about feelings of loneliness, what I have learned and how I have grown during this season has been invaluable.

Our society often views singleness as a curse.  I can sometimes sense the pity from others when they find out I am single, but I can honestly say that I am content. I know that God has used this time in my life to shape me into a stronger and better woman. During this season of my life my relationship with my Savior has grown and He has been preparing me to be a better wife for the man I will one day marry.

Thank you Jesus for being with me every step of the way. For comforting me in my pain, reassuring me in my doubt, and using this time in my life to make me a better woman. Thank you for helping me become a woman with:

Wisdom. Selflessness. Self-Control. Joy. Patience. Faith.

Beyond Measure

Day: Wednesday, September 28th
Time: 9:00pm
Place: In Beautiful Green Country  
Mood: loved, loved, loved
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Love.

It came at me from all angles today.

From various locations. In various forms. From various people.

Chai Lattes.
Phone Calls.
Text Messages.
Facebook.
Hugs.
Smiles.
Advice.
Provision.
Whispers from God.

Unexpected. Inspiring. Encouraging. Motivating.

Love.

PURE. TRUE. Love.

I have to take a moment to be thankful for the love that I have been blessed with. It can be easy to reflect on the hard, the emotional, and the thought provoking things.

But, today was a day worth noting simply because it was full of love.

The kind of love that goes

Beyond Measure

Dear Jesus,
thank you for loving me. thank you for the friendships that so richly bless my life. thank you for reminding me of the power of love.
Amen.
 

~

AnD nOw ThEsE tHrEe ReMaIn
Faith.
Hope.
and
Love.
BuT ThE GrEaTeSt Of ThEsE is
Love
1 Corinthians 13:13