Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Way He Chooses

As we celebrate another year coming to an end and a new one waiting patiently just beyond the horizon, I have been doing some reflecting.

I entered the Christmas season anticipating a miracle. We needed a financial miracle! Life has a way of handing out super-sized doozies with a cherry on top, right? I didn't realize it at the time, but that wasn't the only miracle we were in need of. 

A message over our Christmas vacation reminded me that, just as Jesus came to earth long ago in an unexpected way, our miracle might come that way too. Indeed, it might not be wrapped in the perfect little package I had manufactured in my mind as the "perfect" way. Why, even Mary probably didn't envision the birth of her first child to take place in the manner that it happened. What mother in her right mind would want her child to be born in such an environment?! Jesus could have been born in a palace, without the lowing of cattle, but He didn't choose to have it happen that way. 

So, if we've been searching for a miracle to come wrapped in a certain package...we might not find it there at all. Yet, let's still be encouraged...that doesn't mean a miracle isn't happening in the midst of the stink of a manger. 

Although I can't quite see the financial miracle I was waiting for; I received what I did not anticipate and was greatly blessed. And...in God's time, He will provide the other miracle wrapped up just the way He chooses. He could have had it arrive at Christmas time like I had anticipated, but He knows best. He could have wrapped it exactly like I was expecting, but He chose not to. He could have. No doubt about His ability; I know nothing is impossible for Him. He didn't choose to though.

My friend, as we enter 2017, don't lose your focus on those hopes and dreams which weren't visually fulfilled this year. Keep the faith, knowing that God will come through at just the right time. He's never made a mistake and I don't imagine He'll start making them now. 

Let's remember, it might not always happen or look like what we anticipate. The miracle might not look like a king...it might look like a normal baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. It might not look like a palace. Instead, it might be a manger. Our miracle could be handed to us on a silver platter, but He might not choose to deliver it so. Nevertheless...the miracle will be approved and provided by the Miracle Maker...in just the way He chooses.

Keep looking, keep hoping!  My beautiful Grands!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Color Palette of Your Season

So, this will probably be my final post for 2016. I plan to shut the computer down and enjoy family time and focus on my Christmas. Will the words stop bobbing around in my head? In my heart? Probably not, but I'll try to file them away to share at a later date after the first of a new year. Until then...



While traveling home from North Georgia with my husband early this morning, I began to look out the window and think. At first, I could barely see (yes, we had to get an early start, uugh! Did I mention I'm so NOT a morning person? Anyway...) for the sun hadn't yet risen over the dark, silent mountain peaks. I watched quietly as we continued to drive The wintry world came alive before my eyes. The beautiful, colorful fall hues I had previously enjoyed and written about only a month before were now erased. Gone. A new color palette had been used to paint the beginning of this morning's splendor.

As the morning sun brightened, I noticed the new color scheme which painted the world around me consisted of different hues of grays, blacks, browns, greens and whites. Not spectacular to say the very least as far as beautiful colors go. Yet as I continued my watching and pondering, I began to notice beautiful, white, crispy, frost blanketing fields, trees and homes. There was such a heavy frost it looked as if it had snowed. Gorgeous! Leafless trees stood at attention in their dark, black suits while the evergreens showed off their emerald outfits proudly. As we traveled the S-shaped, mountain roads; I realized that, even in this cold, bleak, season there were still elements of beauty.

Then I thought to myself, it's just the same as the seasons we have in our own lives. We're each in a different season, experiencing our lives a little bit differently from our neighbor. No matter where we may find ourselves, our God has provided an element of beauty in EVERY season. It's there, my friend, we just have to look through new lenses. From a different perspective. With fresh vision.

New buds burst forth in springtime, sparkling, lemonade on the hot blistering days of summer , the crackling of dying leaves underfoot on a path during the fall, and the bleakness of winter that allows the holly berries to stand out so brilliantly. 

You see, there's beauty hidden somewhere in each season.

 

God does that just for His children. Just because He can and so we won't grow weary of the journey. If you've been in a certain season for quite a while, be encouraged that it won't last always. Seasons change. If it's winter in your heart,there's hope in knowing that spring is just ahead. But...while you're in this certain season, enjoy the beauties of it. God's hidden away little nuggets all along our paths - for our enjoyment - even in the seasons we don't care for. 

Grab a warm blanket and cuddle up beside the hearth. Let's warm ourselves by the crackling fire with cup of hot tea or cocoa. Let's invite someone to join us in our season. Maybe they can help point out some of the beauty we might be overlooking. Perhaps together, even in the coldness of December, winter months, we can share how God shows up in each and every day. Because, my friend, if I haven't learned anything else this year, I've learned that He does indeed do that...in every season. 

So, what season do you find yourself in? He's colored every season of our lives with just the right amount of beauty. He always shows up with just the right color palette for your season too...and He's promised that seasons change if we'll just hang in there and trust Him in the meantime.

Merry Christmas from me to you. God bless you! Prayers for the best Christmas ever...because we've remembered to look for Him in it no matter what season it may be in our hearts.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Intangible Gifts

It is with a grateful heart that I'm sitting here writing this soggy, December day. Mind you, there's only six days until Christmas morning to be exact, and one tiny (major to me) detail on my wish list has been fulfilled. Oh my goodness! Happy, thankful, girl here!

It's so amazing how God cares for AND takes care of us; He truly never ceases to amaze me. He hears each desperate cry of our heart, every time. As a loving Father, even our slightest whimper never goes unnoticed. And He answers. It might not always be how we might expect, but He's faithful to do it just the same. Besides, He usually does it up better than what we could have ever imagined or expected in the first place, right?


Actually, the longer I sit here and write, I'm realizing that another - and yet another - component of my Christmas list has already been answered. And, yes...all those grown-up Christmas wishes I've received so far have been intangible ones.  (With the exception of a giant hug. Oh, how delightful those are!) I think that's my "theme" for the season - intangible

Recognizing the beauty and being thankful in the quiet, untouchable, things of life.


Consider this, words whispered quietly between the melody of holiday songs, thoughtful text messages and sweet photos delivered on my mobile phone, love and support, unexpected surprises, the sentiments behind a handwritten note, noticing smiles and the twinkle seen in the eyes of those closest to you...these are a few of my favorite things - all precious gifts to me. (A special thanks to all who have been a part of my Christmas already, I am indeed blessed.)

I wonder how often we overlook some of the truest and best gifts we receive because we're waiting for the "big ones" we can touch, those we can unwrap. Sure, the brightly colored ribbons and bows make unwrapping a gift from under the tree extra exciting...but what about holding another hand in your own? How about the gift of looking someone in the eye and knowing or reminding them that they're "your people", that they have your back or you have theirs, knowing that you're loved or what about that blessed bit of encouragement delivered straight from the wisdom of an old-timer? There are so many, many gifts we miss, don't we? All priceless.

Again, we're only six days away...there's still time to make a difference that will last for eternity. Someone said to me, "those other things (the things we can hold) will all fade away" but,  there are things we can give one another this holiday season which will last an eternity. Which would you rather have? Which would be more meaningful? It's something to think about. We each have something only we can give, because that's how God designed it to be. 

What can we give that will outlast the 25th of December? 


Toys break. Flowers fade. Crock pots quit working. Hammers go missing. Yummy prizes spoil. You know, the touchables...

Sure, it's fun to give and receive those types of gifts too. I'm not implying anything different. The satisfaction of seeing the look on the receiver's face when they open their gift can be gratifying. However, the truest treasures are those given from heart to heart. Those that can't be taken away, broken or spoiled. Yes. You guessed it. Intangibles. 

Let's all try to pick out one gift for each person on our "giving" list...and touch their lives in an intangible way. No standing in line, no out-of-stock items, no fighting the crowd...let's just open our hearts and give. That's the true meaning of Christmas after all~





Friday, December 16, 2016

The Struggle is Necessary


So, if you've been keeping up with my posts recently...welcome back...and to a new day. Aren't we thankful that God's mercies are new each and every day?

Pastor mentioned this past week that God was going to bring back a forgotten prayer to our minds. I thought about it at the time and asked God to bring something to my mind...then I forgot all about it. Until...this morning. 

Remember yesterday I told you about feeling like I wasn't gaining any ground? Well, I realized this morning while talking to a sweet friend that this certain thought has continuously kept rattling around in my head. Clang. Clang. Clang. Except...I might not have been paying much attention to it. (OK, I said it! That felt good!) Yeah, the Lord has been trying to remind me of something after all. I just had to recognize it first. 

A couple years ago, there was a prophesy for my husband and myself. Like I said, it had been forgotten...until this week. When I finally stopped and opened the door for it to enter into my spirit, my heart was immediately filled with hope. I believe it can be applied to your life too. So, for myself and anyone out there who may be struggling with life, let me share:

First, let me start by just saying this -


THE STRUGGLE IS NECESSARY!

 

Eww! I know, it caught me off guard too. However, remember stories of the caterpillar spending time in a cocoon? How it would be slowly transformed and then would eventually struggle to free itself? Ironically, without the struggle, a butterfly would never fly, it would never be strong, and it would never be beautiful. In the prophecy, my husband and I were told that we would indeed struggle to get out of the cocoon but when we did a beautiful butterfly would emerge. 

What a perspective change! When you begin to look at life from that angle.  Life's problems, whether they be relational, financial, or health issues, they are working for our good.

  "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..."  2 Corinthians 4:17

Our struggle, our affliction, the pressure, is working to bring beauty in our lives. It's a gift. Remember, God's growth charts look quite differently from what we're accustomed to. His ways are high above our ways. The struggles we find ourselves in right now, if we'll continue to be faithful to Him, will bring about a beauty that will be undeniable and we'll be transformed in the process. What hope!

And...as I write this post, my internet is cut off. Perfect timing, huh? So, I will post this as soon as I am able. 

What I want you (and myself) to remember, is not to be overwhelmed by the process. It might not be anything we're doing wrong. There might not even be a "problem." In due season...we WILL reap our rewards. 

What testimony and inspiration we will be able to share with others along the way! In the meantime, know that we're in the prepping stage, the transformation is progressing....let's prepare to spread our beautiful wings, prepare to be strong...and fly. 

Enjoy this gift of hope sent from my heart to yours.  Blessings~

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ornaments & Meltdowns



The countdown is on.... ___ days until Christmas!

Oh my, for those of us out here that like to have everything planned, in order and...well, perfect - this time of the year can be quite stressful. Can I get an "amen!" 

You know how those ornaments near the bottom of the tree become askew after the mischievous, family pet has embarked upon a discovery adventure? Doesn't that drive you nuts? That's the way my holiday season (heart) has been thus far. On Sunday, I might have everything in order, including my emotions. Then, Monday or Tuesday comes around and I might discover that, out of nowhere, the invisible, furry, animal has come in and wreaked havoc. Everything that little imp can reach will be left in disarray. Enter tears and meltdown moments. Then, with the help of my Counselor, I'll regroup and straighten up those ornaments again and start fresh. 

Goodness...sometimes I feel like I'm on a teeter-totter. Aren't you glad that we don't have to have it all together? I am! Even though I don't give myself the grace to be so at times. Lord, help me!

Isn't it a privilege to be a mess and it be OK?


I was spending time with the Lord this morning. As I poured my heart out to Him and told Him how hopeless I felt, how that every time I thought I was gaining ground, it seems like I backtrack and I wonder if I ever really gained any ground in the first place...I suddenly felt His reassuring presence surround me like He came and wrapped His warm arms around me....right there in the middle of my piles of tissue. I melted...but it was good! The truth is, we don't gain ground...we gain experience, we gain maturity. 

Growth charts look quite different than charts of checking off miles we've covered on the journey. 


So, even when those ornaments (or our hearts) are askew, when we're in the middle of a holiday meltdown, when we're wondering just how we got in this shape...God is right there to help us pull it all back together. He never tires of us not-getting-it. He knows our weaknesses and is willing to see us through to what He knows we CAN be.

Here's a secret I'm learning:  He doesn't expect perfection.


No matter what we may be experiencing today, or any other day for that matter...we can be assured that if we're on the teeter-totter, there's Someone on the other side too. If it is Christmas time and things don't look "just right" or what were expecting, there's Someone there taking inventory and looking out for us. If we feel we're back-tracking, He also knows the true GPS and ETA. 

He came to earth as a baby to give us hope, to wrap us up in His love, and see us through to completion - the person He planned for us to be when He formed us in our mother's womb. 

And, my friend, that's worth melting for~

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sing the Season


The dark, night sky lit up with heavenly beings singing Glory To God In the Highest. Yes, even the angels knew the importance of singing the season on that night long ago when a lowly manger welcomed the tiny babe who was also King of Kings. What a night!

I suppose David knew it too...there is something exciting about being able to sing...especially in the darkness of night. He had learned and experienced the thrill of singing and could testify of its effectiveness. He wrote many songs about the seasons in his life.

Carolers go about door to door, singing in the darkness of night. Can you hear them singing the season? Joy To the World. Silent Night. We Three Kings. We peep out of frosted window panes or open our doors a bit to enjoy the joyous melodies sung on our behalf. 

What a great blessing it is to sing the season! 


This time of year carries with it all kinds of memories and traditions. Some of them are joyful, some aren't. We may feel many emotions ebb and flow as we go about the holiday season. The trick is not to get hung up on the low moments. (Uhmm...note to self!) It can happen before we know it though. 

Comparison can steal our song; as can the urge to "keep up with the Jones's." The hustle and bustle of shopping can drain our energy and leave us physically drained. The absence of loved ones can quieten our song too. Waiting in slow, seemingly-endless lines or trying to snag that coveted, front, parking space might attempt to muffle our songs. Dysfunctional families. Lack of finances. On and on we could go...

So, what's the answer during these dark moments we might unexpectedly bump into this season? SING! It's simple praise. Yes, we can sing too! Grab the hand of a friend, spouse, family member, neighbor or even a stranger - and break out in a song. No matter which song you choose...sing it out, sing it loud, sing it expecting...because Jesus is the real reason for this season and He can give a song like no other...even a song in the night or the dark seasons of your life.

There's no night so dark that a bit of singing can't brighten. Sing the season!


It might look dark for a moment...but those are the best times to sing. Sing on, friends~





Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Hope

 
 
Christmas...the night when Hope was born.
It didn't happen or look quite like anyone expected,
but all was bright in spite of that. A silent, holy
night for sure, a new beginning - all was right.

Christmas...the time when we celebrate hope.
Often it doesn't happen or look quite like we
may be expecting either, but in spite of all of that, it can
be holy, right  - a new beginning for each of us.

Christmas...the moment in time when our years
worth of life might lay like a jumbled, tangled, pile
of twine at our feet. It's also the moment in time
when Hope heals and helps us see such darkness bright.

Christmas...a season of re-winding and renewing,
because Hope makes all things new in spite of how it looks.
Silent, holy, blessed and right - as we begin anew.
Another hope-filled year all because we have Hope.

Merry Christmas, aren't we glad we have hope
and Hope has us?
 
 
Please do not use photo nor writing without consent.
Contact me @ stephruss73@yahoo.com 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Miracles

It's the most wonderful time of the year...then, BAM! 
And, my dear, what do you have to say about it now?


While most people are bustling about buying gifts and celebrating the season...we're busy looking for Christmas miracles. Well, we should all actually be looking for Christmas miracles. It's quite possible we could all be looking for the same thing while it may actually look quite different. Christmas miracles.

The babe in a manger looked quite different than expected. If you're suffering from disease, you may be looking for healing. If you're suffering from financial woes or longing to see relational tensions ease, that's an entirely different department too. If you have a missing loved one, or a loved one who won't be home this Christmas, you may be hoping for the miracle of an opening door. See? There's all types of Christmas miracles we might be looking for.

A dear friend has pounded this into my head repeatedly. Now, it comes to mind without much effort as I've learned to exercise the thinking pattern. "There's always someone worse off than we are. Without a doubt, thing could be worse than they are," she says sweetly when I've been overwhelmed at life (you know, only a time or two... or 79!) and needed some encouragement.

So, when our vehicle was wrecked twice in a single day earlier this week, I laughed hysterically at the situation instead of letting it get the best of me. I even looked up at the sky and said, "Alright God, it's your turn. What are you going to do about this? How are you going to fix it? We need a Christmas miracle!" (Yeah, I'm learning to talk to God that way.) What are the odds of having two separate claims on a single vehicle in one day? Hello! Instead of a single deductible giant, we were blessed with two giants. Merry Christmas to us! 

Can you imagine the Christmas miracle we need? Guess what? I'm not the only one who needs that type of miracle. My friend also needs a vehicle-fixing miracle, on three cars. Yep, we're all looking for miracles. And that''s the beauty of it all and what Christmas is all about. We're looking for hope! Our hearts are exploding with the need for our Hope to make something beautiful, to write another chapter to make the last one better, to turn our situations into wonderful testimonies we can share with others.

Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a special time when we can look to our Maker to bring hope into our hopeless situations, to bring light into darkness, to remind us that He is in control of it all and that He's writing us into new chapters which will bring Him glory. What better time than at Christmas?! So, I'm not looking for gifts under the tree this year, that looks a little bit different too, doesn't it? I am looking for hope. Isn't that what the wise men were looking for on that night long ago when they followed a single, shining star to that manger?

My friend, whatever miracle you find yourself looking for this holiday season, know that nothing is impossible when we serve God. He is our hope! Let's encourage each other to find the best in every situation, let's be there for each other - that's a miracle in and of itself. Let's encourage one another to look for the simple ways God moves and shows Himself in our every day - while we're waiting on that big miracle to come to pass. Let's join together, hand in hand, and look for our unique Christmas miracles together.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year...prepare to share your gift of hope.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Be a Bell Ringer!

I was sitting in my car this beautiful December afternoon, windows down, soaking up some Vitamin D...I was actually sitting in the Walmart parking lot waiting on my daughter to "run in real quick." (Turned into a 35 minute run. Had to let you know that!) Today had been "one of those days" when nothing seemed to be going quite right. My car had been backed into and the back fender was a sight, I ran into a piece of furniture and bummed my knee, and I just didn't feel quite up to par. I was surviving however - and with a good attitude too; for that I was thankful. Yes, God is still good and faithful even on our not-so-good days.

As I sat there enjoying the moment, I listened to the Salvation Army man that stood outside the Walmart entrance ringing his bell. The sound usually gets annoying to me in only a few short minutes. However, today was a different story. The gentleman at the door not only rang his bell but he was singing carols too...and keeping beat with the little golden bell he held. It was quite comical but neat all the same. He was different.

"Joy to the world..." he sang. Ding. Ding. Ding went his bell. I sat there in the car for about ten minutes or so enjoying being secretly serenaded. He'd finish one song, then begin another and I found myself smiling and humming along. A welcome break from my crazy day. I suddenly started gathering all the coins I could find from the little nook in my console, jumped out of the car, and headed his way. I dropped my donation in the little red bucket and smiled at him, "Don't ever quit singing!", I said. He grinned real big and looked back up at me as I turned and walked back to my car.

So, what I'm challenging us to do today is this: We're all uniquely different in our own quirky ways. God made us that way. Don't be afraid to do what your soul is telling you to do today. Listen. Feel. If it is telling you to sing, then do so loudly, even if you think you cannot carry a tune in a bucket. If it tells you to smile at someone, do so. If it tells you to leave a "bigger" tip, do so. We never know how living our lives out fully today might affect someone who might be secretly watching. 

What if you could be the difference for someone today? What if you could bring a smile to someone's face or be the start of a song in someone's heart? Would you pass up the opportunity? There are many hurting people out there, even more so during this holiday season. Don't be afraid to do something out of the ordinary and maybe even bring a little Christmas cheer to someone who's having a not-so-good type of day. Don't be afraid to be yourself, whatever that looks like, you might make a bigger difference than you'll ever realize. Be a bell ringer!

A special thanks to all those in the Salvation Army for doing your part. Let us all be mindful of peace, joy and hope that this holiday was founded upon. Jesus!

Blessings~

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Love Languages at Christmas

I have a question today...do you have any thoughts to share? Comments welcome.

They say love is shown in your deeds, not your words. I understand that we must "show" our love one to another on those scales. Isn't that a love language all its own though? I was thinking about the 5 love languages. One of my top love languages is...words of affirmation. That's the most fulfilling way in which I enjoy expressing my love to others too. Some of us need to hear it more, some of us like to say it more, while others prefer to be shown than told. I completely understand. I suppose it's correct to say then that cleaning the kitchen would be a better way to show love to some than receiving a note that expresses love or perhaps a simple touch. 
We each have our own style of love.
 
So, what happens when you don't love someone the way they need to be loved? In their preferred language. Do they still feel loved? Will they recognize your individual expression as love? God give each of us unique ways to love. Are we supposed to fulfill the role according another's love language or are we supposed to express love to others from our own God-given style? 

I was just thinking about this as I try to take care of my Christmas list. Different people. Different love languages. I remember the saying, "It's the thought that counts." Do people now days still recognize and feel that way? If I write a letter of gratitude expressing my love and appreciation, is that as good as giving a Kitchen Aid or perhaps a lotion set from Bath & Body? In my opinion, if I write, I'm giving part of myself. If I create something, I'm giving part of myself. I can buy something from any store, but on my value scale that would not be near as valuable.And again...that's MY WAY of loving, not the only way.

I understand everyone is not like myself. What a world that would be! And everyone isn't like you. Imagine that! We're each created uniquely as designed by the Lord. So, how do you express your love? Does that line up with the type of gift you'd like to receive? What you would give? What is your primary love language and how will you express your love this Christmas season?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pay to the Order Of

Tonight, my sweet husband began browsing through the mail. The usual junk mail and holiday sales flyers found their way into the trash can, my daughter was handed her mail, and he began opening the remaining mail that belonged to us. I don't remember quite what his exact words were, but the look on his face was priceless and immediately got my attention...and my hopes up.

 He began reading a letter from our electric company. I listened intently, then about fainted in the floor and jumped through the ceiling all at once. I kind of felt like the verse in the Bible about running through a troop and leaping over a wall. Oh yeah! God did it again. My heart was exploding with excitement and thankfulness to the One who knows how to be right on time.

Below the letter was a wonderful, perforated, portion complete with a nice check made out to my hubby. What!? First of all, it was a refund check. "Oh yeah, by the way, you paid too much." Mind you, that would have been amazing enough. However, this check we were being reimbursed for was from 1997 and 1998. Twenty years ago, friends. 

After my excitement subsided a bit and my brain settled down again, I began to think about how God knows every detail of our lives. How He knew that we would need a blessing this first week of December...2016.  I thought about how He is a Provider who is ALWAYS right on time. I also thought about the fact that only 20 minutes earlier I had been reflecting on my day. I had even asked myself, "How did I see God in my day?" I was looking for something out-of-the-ordinary - and He capped my day off with a spectacular display of His limitless ability.

I went and searched the scriptures for that verse I mentioned earlier and I thought I'd share it with you. Psalm 18:29:

"For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."

His way is perfect. His timing is perfect. His word is perfect. His provision is perfect. Trusting Him is perfect. Living for Him is perfect. PERIOD! PERFECT! What does He have headed your way? God's provisions come in all shapes and sizes and in the most unexpected ways and times. 

God has the perfect "Pay to the order of" complete with your name on it too. You'll find yourself testifying too. Just you wait and see~

Friday, December 2, 2016

Not an Ugly Jacket


"I'm broken."

"I'm worthless."

"I'll never get "it" right."

"There's no way I can amount to anything."


No matter what others might have said about us, or what we might have told ourselves about us (lol, we do it, don't we?), it doesn't define us. Research shows that our positive and negative comments should be at a ratio of 80/20 to maintain a good relationship. However, from the moment one of those ugly-ish, not-so-nice, comments soar through the air waves into our awaiting ear canals, we'll probably never forget it. They often get 100% of our attention and focus. Why is it so? Why does it take ten positive statements to even begin to erase one negative one?  Uugh!

After we hear it, we often rehearse it over and over until eventually we know it backward and forward. Just think about it, someone might be having a bad day and may lash out and say something totally off putting to us. It could be about our character or something we failed at. At first, we're shocked. Then, unless we've trained our brain not to do so, we most likely begin thinking about it. (At least us thinkers do!) "Are they right?" "Am I __________?" Anybody been there?

Eventually, if we don't consciously put it out of our minds, we'll begin to believe it. Is it actually true? Probably not or maybe perhaps it is so. Still, that poor individual might have just been having a bad day. We might have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. We're all prone to spew on occasion if there are enough contributing factors in life to get us off balance. 

How many of us have made statements to our children or family in moments of frustration that we wish we hadn't said? How many times has the tone of voice we used carried an extra punch to cause someone grief? Then there are those times when we say things innocently that might be taken the wrong way. Goodness!

Regardless, our whole life is made up of these types of incidents. How many things have we believed about ourselves which aren't actually true?  How many statements have we lived up to simply because we thought that was how it was supposed to be? How many of us aren't what we could be because we've heard the voices in our head reminding us that we're not (or we are) this or that?

It's possible to just grow into those statements, sort of like putting on a jacket that isn't really our size. What could we possibly be if we didn't hear those un-truths? What could we do if we didn't agree with those statements we've heard about ourselves in the past? The truth is, we don't have to wear that jacket. Nope! In fact, we don't even have to try it on! 

Isn't it freeing to know that we are NOT what we've heard - from ourselves or others? There's only One who can define us and He already has. He says:

"You can be mended."

"You were worth my life."

"You can do all things through Me."

"I have great plans for you."

Let's remember His comments and promises concerning us. It's always the truth! Let's try to make it a practice of trading that ill-fitting jacket for a coat or royalty on a regular basis. I know, words hurt much more than sticks and stones, regardless of what we learned to say in elementary school. Yet, if we can make a conscious effort to listen to the right voice...I'm still trying to get the hang of it. If you have those ugly words about yourself, rattling around in the back of your head. Empty them out today. Give them to Him.

We look so much nicer and will feel so much more comfortable in a tailored coat, fitted personally for us, by the King. 


He sees and knows what nobody else can - and He calls us His own. His possession! Chosen. He has nothing but good to say concerning His precious children. Know your true identity! Don't be conned by the words of any other. What hope!

Be encouraged, and let's be cautious with the words we use each day. Lift someone up this holiday season. Let our words be the reason someone smiles today! 


 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9