There’s Nothing More Beautiful Than…
It takes just seeing and believing.
You are seen, Beautiful!
It’s time to receive and just be.
You are so beautiful…
Until next time…
It takes just seeing and believing.
You are seen, Beautiful!
It’s time to receive and just be.
You are so beautiful…
Until next time…
Many of you have asked why and how I organized and developed the qualifying criteria for the board of directors of Blameless, my charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. Besides a calling, we may not always understand the ways of our Lord.
I sure didn’t understand the big picture seven years ago why, being a chaplain, the Lord was asking me to work with the youth ministry at Bridgeway Christian Church along with pursuing my degrees. Thankfully I was obedient working with FUEL.
While working with the sophomore girls, I met this beautiful beloved whom I bonded to instantly named Miss Chloe Long. She had just come back to youth group that evening after a long absence. The Lord asked me to pull her aside and see if she would share her story with me. We connected.
Precious Chloe and I get each other. We are mirror images. We’re embracing our imperfections and painful journeys as something that God has allowed in order to awaken and arouse the beautiful beloveds we are underneath all the layers of heartache and projected images. We’re no longer bound by this power controlling our lives, telling us we have to look, act or be a certain way in order to be seen, belong, loved and accepted.
We are prayerfully living and practicing each day recognizing that we do not have to conform or perform to others’ expectations in order to be loved. Accepting we will make mistakes as no one is perfect, we are walking out our faith and lives acknowledging the royal blood running through our veins as we are God’s treasured daughters that He loves and even designed in His likeness.
Oh, if we all would only quit running from our imperfections and embrace our uniqueness!
We’re choosing to embrace and celebrate who we are. We refuse to waste another precious minute going through life feeling like we’re all alone in our messes and that we rebuke the lies of the enemy telling us we don’t belong or are not good enough.
We believe you’re strong, authentic and courageous if you step out and share your life with others; that creates intimacy we all crave. Through every word shared and tear shed, you’re relinquishing the power it has over you and you’re helping others to do so also. Fear locks us in from the inside. You’re only weak if you hide behind your veils of shame and stay shackled to your thoughts in your cells of hell. We are loved just the way we are.
Be encouraged by reading Chloe’s unedited testimony and biography for Blameless. Be drawn into her rawness, her candor and transparency. You will see why this petite powerhouse is a valuable asset and integral force for Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and why she holds the officer position of secretary for the board of directors.
Her heart is not in serving for her own glory and magnification. She is a board member and team member because she’s advocating for the lives of precious children and the youth while running after God’s own heart. She wants to share what Jesus has done for her personally in order to help and build others up!
Chloe’s life and testimony is proof how God is constantly working behind the scenes preparing the way for our future challenges and life’s blessings.
When certain scenes of our stories are painful, our faith encourages us to walk with God through this frame knowing it’s just a part of a bigger picture ahead. Every day is but one frame of a million frames revealing a grander picture. This leading enables us to walk in power and freedom that could never have been imagined or realized. God is indeed omniscient.
Meet Miss Chloe Long…
Hello there! My name is Chloe Long and I am 21 years old. I am a lover of cats, pizza, movies, books, and most of all, helping others.
Now if you quickly scroll right now, you’re probably going to sigh and say this is too much to read and believe me I feel the same! Hahaha. So in a nutshell here’s my story: Lived in a Christian household but didn’t understand or recognize what God’s love meant for me till I was in my mid teens. God has helped me overcome anorexia, body dysmorphia, depression, anxiety, getting out of an abusive relationship, and is currently helping me with my family situation. He has helped me through speaking to me through mentors I’ve had over the years, including the wonderful Miss Tammy, friends, and even therapists, which inspired me to one day become a Child Psychologist, to be the help I need when I was younger. I have learned that God works on his own time and that makes me frustrated at times (a lot of the time actually), but I know it’s good thing because His way is always better than any other way I could possibly imagine. The Bible verse Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn,” has been placed on my heart to be a kind person to everyone no matter their status, race, beliefs, sexual orientation/gender identity, etc. and with it has brought me all of the various careers I have at this moment starting as a secretary for Blameless, a youth counselor at a foster home, a behavior technician for an ABA therapy company (helping children who have autism), and being a child care provider. I have a heart to help others and feel especially drawn towards youth and I can’t wait to see where God will take me next.
Now if that intrigued you to read a more in-depth testimony, keep reading. If you’re done, well let me just say that I welcome ya to our organization and hope that you’ll feel as drawn to helping others as we do!
Although I may be a very young woman in my 20s, it feels as though I’ve lived a very long life with everything God has done to bring me on this path of being called to help others.
I’ll admit that I have lived a very privileged life by being raised in a middle class suburb and never having to face any economic hardships of my own, so when I say that “growing up was tough,” I’m not considering the obvious privileges that I had. I say it because the unconditional love that’s needed in fulfilling healthy family relationships was lacking in my household.
Since my parents were considerably older than the parents of my friends, they raised me with lessons from when they were young, which brought up a bit of outdated values. A main one that unfortunately brought some damage onto me was that I (a young female) was put here to satisfy a man and that I would not be valued unless a man was by my side. I looked at myself and thought that I was worthless unless I had someone. It didn’t help that I was encouraged to lose weight since that would make me more desirable. A dark era occurred where I would try not to eat (purge if I did), eventually become so depressed that I would stay in bed for days, and never stop comparing myself to others; I was only 13. I eventually gained a boyfriend, but nothing good came of it. I was introduced to a whole new world of sexual gratification, but I knew deep down I wasn’t ready and I wasn’t comfortable with it either.
When I was sexually assaulted, that’s when thoughts of “this is what you deserve… this is your future…” plagued my mind and I felt trapped. It went on for three years because I was desperate to be valued; I thought this was my only option. My anorexia worsened and it got to a point that after my 15th birthday, I landed in the hospital because my organs were shutting down and I also had a pregnancy scare; not ideal for your 15th birthday I might add. It was there in that hospital bed, with an IV in both arms, that I started crying and wondering why did things get this far and feeling absolutely devastated that no matter how much I would message my boyfriend (at that time), he never once responded to me being in the hospital. I was furious, sorrowful, and numb all at once and I asked God why.
I remember eventually getting a gut feeling saying that now is the time to start over and that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t really know if God was truly real or not before then, but after that feeling, I knew what my new answer would be.
I was raised in a Christian household but I didn’t know what that meant till I was older, even after my hospital experience. I never knew that God loved me just the way I was until I was in my adolescence, despite going to church all of my life. It made me realize that saying you’re a Christian and living like a Christian were two very different things. After my time in the hospital, the more I went to youth groups, summer camps, and other fellowship activities, the more I was able to experience unconditional love. I thought recommitting to God every chance I could would keep my bases covered and that now that I no longer feel depressed or actually feel comfortable eating, nothing could go wrong, right?
A dear friend of mine started cutting herself about a few months after I was better (note how I did not say healed; I believe God is STILL healing me even though it’s been 5+ years. Everyday is a battle). I immediately thought to myself about the miracle healings Jesus had done in the Bible, so I called up the prayer team at my church and scheduled a meeting after my youth group ended so I could bring my friend and that she would be healed radically. I prayed everyday until then because I thought that THAT would do the trick. I brought her in, some people prayed over her, and presto! Nothing changed. Instead I felt embarrassed and angry that nothing had happened. Though it did not happen immediately, this experience humbled me into realizing and remembering that God works on his own time and no matter how much I could hope or pray, nothing can change God’s plan. What did happen however was a bitter season which included me falling out of the church and falling back into my depression. I knew I needed help.
I eventually headed into therapy, thanks to my father and his access to healthcare. My mother adamantly told me that mental illnesses don’t exist and that if I was actively experiencing something of that nature that it’s my fault and it’s because I wasn’t close enough to God. Despite my mother’s comments, I knew this was the right thing to do. Therapy definitely helped me. It helped me understand that it was okay to be angry sometimes, that it was okay to cry it all out, that it was okay to not be perfect or in my case to not fit into my mother’s standards.
About a year later I stopped going into therapy because I thought I was okay and could fight my own battles. Boy oh boy was I wrong. What ultimately kept destroying me was this lesson about understanding that God knows better than I do. That his time and plans for me often look quite differently from mine. Through my abusive relationship, through my eating disorder, through my dear friend’s experience, through those that God had called to come home with Him and pass away from this planet, and through my newest challenge of living with an alcoholic brother who physically assaulted me and my parents who have become increasingly distant from the church, God knows what he’s doing even though some days I really question if He does.
This has brought me back to therapy and has humbled me yet again. It’s okay to ask for help and I am proud to call myself a mess. I am a work in progress, I am loved, and I am called to love others.
Through it all, I have come to understand that putting my complete faith and trust in God will not result in a walk in the park, more often than not a very bumpy ride, but still having the comfort that I’m not alone and that God still manages to answer our prayers gives me the courage to keep hanging on. Maybe it might not be in the way that we want, but God does hear and does answer.
Until next time…
For all of my amazing homeless beloveds I call family! I started Blameless and Forever Free Ministries “A Beautiful You” event to engage with you while pouring out love through food and the instruction flowing from the Word of God. After all, that’s what my nonprofit organization stands for, being God’s hands and feet because I have personally encountered and witnessed how His Great Love Changes Everything!
As I preached rather fervently a few weeks ago, Blameless was organized so you could see for yourself what God can do. Up until this point, you’ve seen what only you can do. John 1:39 tells us “to come and see.” And since God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20), it’s time to claim His promises.
So… I love you more than you will ever imagine. But it’s time you guys remove your veils of shame, own up to your own bad behaviors and decisions, and take a leap of faith to see what all God can and will do. There are many excuses being made which I am now holding you accountable for.
Carl’s Jr. is hiring on Douglas and Sierra College Blvd. You are allowed to have felonies on your record. All shifts are available, along with job titles of cashier and cook. I personally spoke with the assistant manager and he gave me applications. I will have them Wednesday for you, but hopefully you’ll move on your own accord beforehand.
Carl’s Jr. is hiring. Domino’s Pizza is hiring. PetsMart is hiring. Chick ‘fil A is hiring. WalMart is hiring. Bev ‘n Mo is hiring. Sprouts Grocery is hiring. In ‘N Out Burger is hiring starting with high pay. Just a few places I encountered today running errands and being with clients. My eyes were opened to many job opportunities.
Not being able to take a shower before an interview is no longer an excuse. I will get you to a shower, even if it has to be using my own club house’s pool shower. You can shower with a bathing suit or shorts on. I will make arrangements to get you showered. I have told a few of you I will drive you personally to the interview itself. That offer still stands.
Let’s get moving. It’s up to you now what you do with the tools and gifts God has given you as you take a leap of faith towards blessings. Embrace it and move forward! God has delivered other homeless beloveds into their own homes. You can read about one such beloved who moved into his own home named Trev here.
I will see you Wednesday evening at our “A Beautiful You“ event in Roseville. Please spread the word to come because I have an important announcement that I am making. McDonald’s is graciously donating dinner for you guys along with dessert from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. See you then.
Until next time…
We’ve all experienced rejection! Rejection often hurts like hell! Rejection develops insecurities leading to impurities. Impurities lead into isolation. Isolation leads to depression. Some of us even wallow in rejection and remain hollow. Some bolt and revolt.
But when was the last time we stopped long enough to realize that maybe, just maybe, this rejection we’re encountering is nothing short of God redirecting our lives?
Has fought a thousand battles,
But is still standing…
Has cried a thousand tears. Probably closer to a million,
But is still smiling…
Has been broken and left unspoken…
Has been betrayed and left afraid…
Has been abandoned and left branded…
Has been orphaned and left without fortune…
Has been abused and bruised…
Has been rejected and redirected…
Still walks proud while wearing her crown…
Insists on being different…
Laughs loud reaching into the clouds…
Lives without fear and loves to cheer…
Loves without doubt…
This woman is beautiful…
This woman is humble and ready to rumble…
This woman is courageous and it’s often contagious…
This woman is a treasure at every measure…
Change takes Courage…
Courage over Comfort…
Courage breeds Confidence…
Confidence takes Chances…
Chances offer Celebrations…
Celebrations deliver Connection…
Connection contributes to Comfort!
Communities who connect, contribute and celebrate extend Comfort!
May we never forget that once upon a time what we once perceived as being rejected might very well have been God’s way for ushering change while grabbing us by the bit to redirect our stubborn fits!!!
Can I hear an Amen along with the ahem?
Take a moment, Treasured Beloved, to look into our Beautiful Jesus’ tear-stained face. In all your distress, He too was distressed. And in His Great Love and tender mercy, He redeemed you. Now that’s love worth receiving!
Until next time…
Dreams… Is there such a place where dreams do come true?
Oh wait, isn’t that Disneyland?
No, that’s just a theme…
We ALL need dreams to thrive and not just survive. They’re beautiful reminders of what could be, right?
What happens when a little D.I.R.T. is poured into our dreams? Does that suffocate them?
Would God really consider D.I.R.T. to be a blessing in disguise that ushers us to the Promised Land?
Well, seeds of love often require D.I.R.T. acting as soil that will help initiate the growth and blossoming, so…
D = Disappointment
I = Insecurity
R = Rejection
T = Trouble
We all know the dreaded D.I.R.T. Sometimes Disappointment arrives needing more than ointment. Insecurity develops robbing us of our security. Good ‘ole Rejection then rolls through starving us of that much-needed affection. And then Trouble rears its ugly head arriving as a strong tower threatening to burst more than our bubble.
Living life homeless is an understatement than the acronym D.I.R.T. defines. The pictures below are but a glimpse of what homelessness is like under the umbrella of inhumane conditions. Many homeless just sleep directly on the cement sidewalks.
The amazing thing about our Jesus is, when seeds of love are sprinkled about, new life suddenly appears. And when this new life sprouts up towards the light, it is given a second chance for life by reaching up and grabbing ahold of the hand that is extended. All because of L-O-V-E.
Seeds of love, mixed with tears of compassion, and nourishment filled with interaction and engagement, grew into this young man named Trev. I am honored and bouncing like a Mexican jelly bean in excitement to relate that Trev WAS A HOMELESS man.
Through many amazing people and resources that I am blessed to surround my life with, Trev now has his own legal residential address and is being given a second chance at life. He grabbed the hand that was being utilized as God’s hands and feet.
He wants to do something in the veterinarian genre, so hopefully he will be able to give back to the homeless community with all the animals that accompany the homeless.
You see, I want to be different. I want to radiate LOVE. I see these homeless beloveds as our Beautiful Jesus does; treasured family. I want the fire living inside of me to effect everyone. I refuse to be stuck in the typical pattern of society’s egotism and blindness.
Trev gave me permission to write about him. He is one of a few beloveds that I will follow closely throughout their lives because relationships were made and they’re a reminder of how God’s Great Love Changes Everything…
I refer to Trev as my chocolate son. He is an amazing young man who made a few mistakes leading to bad decisions that led him to a homeless lifestyle. It does not mean that his life doesn’t matter!
Living on skid row down in Sacramento is the pit of hell. It is violent and dangerous. But LOVE diffuses more than crime. It encourages second chances through the offering of the olive branch.
With over a million-plus in total homeless population, 24% of that total number residing right here in California, highlighting the 28% increase in homelessness in my own backyard, Roseville, something has to be done. Time to take off our blinders.
I understand that serving the homeless isn’t for everyone. I spent many months guarding my own heart for fear that I was not cut out for it. It’s not glamorous. But as the picture reflects, I was crying big time, but they were tears of joy that Trev trusted me enough to engage in and share his life and the many broken pieces that led him to be a part of the homelessness. This relationship and trust took over four months of weekly contact to develop the nurturing and guidance. With God, all things are possible!
It takes a village of people to stabilize this epidemic of homelessness. Action is needed, not lip service! It takes everyone coming together to attack it through time, money, resources, commitment and dedication! One reason why I started Blameless…
Without my amazing resources and special team that are involved in this homeless epidemic in varying aspects; like Stacia, for opening up the gates of heaven with her angelic voice that draws others in as she is singing; Laura, for her commitment in loving on the homeless and being connected to one amazing county resource who places homeless people in HUD-owned properties; Becky, who works all day in the streets full of crime looking for those who she can place within county guidelines and budget; Eric, who loves ALL and will give you the shirt off of his back if you need it; and Dan for listening to me cry, grieve and bitch that enough is not being done quick enough when we’re driving away after another day…
Cheers! Here’s to you, Trev. We love you, are so proud of you, and are excited to see what all the Lord is doing through you and your life! Your life matters! Thank you for allowing me to sojourn with you!
Come be different with me… It’s a beautiful life radiating the love of Christ!
Until next time…
It’s harvest time. We will never know how far our seeds of love and commitment will reach or what it will look like until we plant it and watch it grow.
We all have dormant seeds laying inside of us. Lord knows, I had no idea that at my golden age, I could possibly have anything left laying dormant inside of me. Boy, was I wrong!
Sweet friend, I don’t know about you, but I was tired of living my life being told what I can’t be while living another person’s dream.
Breaking free from all the weeds that were threatening to choke the very life out of me all due to fears and insecurities is empowering and full of rewards. I stopped believing the lies of the enemy that told me what I could or could not be.
We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience what the kingdom of God is like and the power available to us this side of heaven. After all, Jesus brought heaven down for us.
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field (Matthew 13:24-43). The kingdom has small beginnings, like our seeds of love, but it will grow and produce amazing results.
Sowing seeds of love will eventually be reaped. We can never grow weary of that promise.
Now this rejuvenated and confident beloved is living each moment who God designed me to be.
What a treasured daughter I am! And I’m so loved, even valued, just the way I am…
When we get in the right atmosphere and spread seeds of His Great Love, we start turning into powerful and magnetic beloveds no one has ever seen before. Especially ourselves!
Getting stuck in performance and doing what others expect because that is the ruling “condition” upon being loved is suffocating. But once we’re awakened to who God says we are and were created to be, mastering the unforced rhythms of grace is easy-breezy.
Say goodbye to the old people-pleasing trait, you know, the exhausted performance-driven beloved. You are enough, just the way you are!
Time to embrace the treasure that’s been buried deep below every shovel full of shame and insecurities fearing that the beautiful you was not enough.
You. Are. Enough. And. Highly. Prized.
We never find out who we are because we’re so busy living someone else’s dream!
Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you (Isaiah 60:1). It’s time to cultivate. It’s time to harvest. It’s time we believe and live out the truths that dreams can and do come true.
Spreading seeds of love directs us toward an area where we can cultivate and harvest what God has planted deep inside of us.
How many times can you say you found love out in the open field?
Until next time…
Coming from an experienced beloved who’s walked through her fair share of messes, when we go through great pain and trials, it seems easier to just stay bound and wrapped up in captivity, entangled around comforts of familiarity.
Being a prisoner of fear, it seems every step we take to break free, the paralyzing torment only enhances the strength of our cells of hell.
Traumatic attacks are hard to survive and heal from when our focus is solely based on being bailed out. That includes also the loss of failed expectations, physical pain, emotional scars, and even financial destruction.
I was asked how I comfortably share the torments of abuse and the shame that lingers while breaking free from that controlling link.
Admittedly, there are times when I get overwhelmed reliving it because it feels like another beloved’s trauma. It’s empowering to share, though, because it’s a reminder how freedom has taken back the power of my voice that was once stilled and lost.
I try to emphasize that there is no shame in our game; Jesus is His name! There really is power in the name of Jesus when we release the blood stains caused from those fears of judgment and condemnation.
Maybe that’s why my heart burns with desire in being an advocate for those who have lost their voice because I get it. I’ve walked that path. I not only survived, but it made me courageous and confident enough to start a nonprofit organization helping others.
Change requires a lifetime pursuit understanding and applying what 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 (MSG) talks about. God “comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
I met a beloved once at one of our W.E.A.V.E. support groups. I had only learned of W.E.A.V.E.’s existence after escaping exactly what the acronym defines: Women Escaping A Violent Environment. I was not an advocate then. I was attending these meetings because I had found myself a victim of a creepy stalker.
Stalkers want what they cannot have…
Even though I had broken free from the chains of physical and emotional abuse, I was still imprisoned with identity and insecurity depravities that needed some fine tuning with the Lord’s direct intervention.
Our Beautiful Jesus brings healing to our lives usually one step at a time!
I’ve learned now to approach the testing of trials with more peace, confidence and clarity as my faith has deepened. Trials are now perceived as opportunities to learn tools that will help equip me with what might be brewing in the future; for example, hope, trust, peace, perseverance, patience, courage, you name it.
The development of my character became profound after I left my violent environment. Kind of funny how God orchestrates situations at times. Here I had broken free from the cycles of abuse and the Lord introduces me to a woman who I would help break free from her own violent environment.
God uses my mess and message to walk alongside of others who are tired of being told what they cannot be and live out who God created them to be.
Genesis 50:20 (NIV) perfectly announces to the enemy our authority claiming victory, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Pondering the power that Genesis 50:20 foretells will remind us that our trials are not meant to torment us or even keep us on our knees. They’re intended to launch us to a completely different atmosphere where we recognize our messes are our messages.
Keeping our messes to ourselves robs others of the blessings that our testimonies offer.
Our momentary troubles are not meant to be gone through alone, much less swept underneath the rug. They’re oftentimes meant to strengthen us.
Conflict births opportunities. It’s possible our tests have come because they’re going to be a part of our testimony.
God wants us alive and present, available to be His powerful and courageous vessels!
I’m going to be brave enough to try and seize every moment of my trials so I can learn wisdom that will help me get through the next mess quicker and stronger.
Max Lucado’s Declaration of Faith is worthy of being proclaimed:
Until next time…
Happy Easter, Beautiful! I pray you’re able to abide in and grasp the Power of the Resurrection today.
Oh my, talk about life-sustaining L-O-V-E!!!
That’s the definition of unconditional love, life-sustaining love.
Breathe it in…
Rest in it…
That’s the beauty of the Cross…
Our Beautiful Jesus invites us to dine with Him,
From now through all eternity.
Believe in the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost,
And dine with Jesus as your host.
To live in Heaven eternally,
All you must do is…
Believe and R.S.V.P.
Until next time…
Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is excited to announce A Beautiful You event every Wednesday, starting Wednesday, March 28, 2018, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Royer Park, 190 Park Drive in Roseville, California.
Because Blameless believes God’s Love changes everything, with the 28% increase in homelessness for Placer County alone, predominantly in Roseville, a whole lot of His Love is needed.
Since Blameless loves being God’s hands and feet, we will be serving the homeless with food for their hearts, soul, body and minds, while fulfilling their request for church also. So come on out and join us celebrating the love of Christ and each member of His Body!
Better yet, if you would like to volunteer and help serve being God’s hands and feet by loving on the homeless, fill their plates with food and radiate sunshine, have great vocals and/or can play an instrument, we would love to be blessed with your gifts. Just show up! The more the merrier!
Looking for new friendships? There’s never been a better way to meet amazing people than getting to know others who serve the homeless. Talk about beautiful beloveds with hearts full of hidden treasures. That’s the best fuel for friendships (BFF)…
If you have any questions or need more information about events, you can visit Blamelessandforeverfreeministries.org or you may contact Tammy Ingram at email@example.com.
I can’t change you and you can’t change me, but together we can work to change the world. ~ Vironika Tugaleva
Celebrating one life at a time! Together we can and W.I.L.L. do amazing things, because God’s Great Love changes everything.
An adorable puppy was found left on the side of a Sacramento freeway with his skull bashed in. It was clear he had been abused.
It made news headlines.
People were knocking each other out to contribute financially for his needed care!
What kind of monster would smash the head in of a two-month-old puppy with a hammer?
Then again, what sick person would take a military-style weapon into an elementary school and start taking their aggression and deep hurts out by shooting and killing innocent children?
When more value is placed on the Animal Kingdom than Mankind, we need to revisit our priorities!
Combing through all these tangles and snags of deception is brutal. We’ve obviously viewed these tragedies blinded while they laid dormant awaiting a spark to ignite the wick of mania explosion.
We need what only a miraculous Divine intervention can offer now.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God (Romans 15:7).
I thought we united as a society where all lives matter! Was that just a trend and it fizzled?
If we appreciate and celebrate each others’ lives, then why are our pocketbooks overflowing when it comes to injured animals, but we become bankrupt and blind when it’s regarding our forsaken homeless?
Thank God He never forsakes us…
If we are accepted and celebrated, why is man’s best friend more valuable than a beloved that God created and designed in His own image?
I love animals and love to rescue. It’s beautiful so many people had compassionate hearts and donated money to give life to this puppy. But why are our pocketbooks or belongings sealed up tight when donations are solicited for homelessness?
Homeless people should be considered more valuable than a puppy. Homeless beloveds have the same needs as puppies; they need love, nurturing, guidance and patience to learn behaviors that will equip them with tools to make better decisions.
I know what it’s like to be rejected and orphaned by those who were supposed to nurture, love and protect while providing a loving environment to learn and grow from.
When you’ve been abandoned, you often make decisions and choices that are not in the best interest of anyone. Bad choices follow you around like the plague, waiting to kill, steal and destroy.
Every single one of the drops of blood Jesus shed had a name written in it!
Jesus died for us, our sins, and was resurrected to eternal life so He could take hopeless situations and flood them with His Love and hope. Beautiful Jesus takes our many broken pieces and turns them into peace.
These precious and homeless souls need to be shepherded to Him for healing. Jesus Is the reason in every season and has Risen!
As Vironika Tugaleva states, “I can’t change you and you can’t change me, but together we can work to change the world.”
Inspiring just ONE person ALREADY changed the world.
We all need affirmations and validation that will tear down the cement barriers surrounding our tattered and bleeding hearts in need of Jesus’ healing.
Changed lives change Cities!
Since the depth of our past reveals the height of our future (thank God I’m almost six feet tall), are our heads too far up our pasts to see that we are putting more value on animals than mankind?
God’s love is not based on performance. Jesus became Love. Before Jesus ever performed any miracle, He had the validation of God’s love speaking from Heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love…” (Matthew 17:5).
God does not validate like we do. We validate based on what people do for us and how they make us feel. If our actions validate and bring value to what that individual needs, they in turn love. God validates based on relationship and that relationship requires intimacy.
Every single one of those drops of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross was for me and for you. Each drop had our names on them.
We can be 100% certain, even if we don’t have any further direction for our lives, that being and becoming LOVE is always God’s will for us. Giving love away is easy, but it requires action. The only thing it costs is ourselves, our time and action.
That includes when there’s traffic…
When we’re waiting in long lines…
When the doctor is an hour behind…
When our in-loves (in-laws) are moving in…
When we feel we’re accepted and loved, our self-esteem and confidence is boosted and it helps us make better choices and decisions. We start trusting others. And where Love radiates, our Beautiful Jesus heals.
I know this personally, because though my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord received me graciously (Psalm 27:10) with new life.
It’s amazing what His Love does for us. The alchemy of transformation is nothing short of miraculous!
When Good Friday comes upon us and Easter, let’s be awakened to the beauty that every tear and drop of blood Jesus shed suffering His unconscionable crucifixion on the Cross had a name written in it as He Became Love Himself.
I don’t know about you, but my name was in one of those bloody droplets along with many homeless people’s names. Now that’s Love!
Until next time…
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).
Freezing temperatures are rampant. While most take for granted the comforts of our safe-havens that provide warmth and comfort, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were over 566,000 counted homeless people in the United States in 2016. Predominantly in western states.
America’s homeless population is rapidly rising. I’m sure it’s over a million now. There are miles and miles of homeless camps/cities.
I don’t have all the answers for solving this epidemic, but I do have hands-on experience witnessing what is working. Delivering love, care, concern and patience brings healing and change.
Attacking this problem proactively is essential. Takes unity! We can no longer turn a blind eye to God’s precious children, nor brush it off onto others to deal with.
We have a responsibility, our “humane responsibility,” to do something. Anything!
Turning our backs on those who are less fortunate due to oppression of various forms, whether it’s through bad choices and decisions, addiction, abandonment, mental illness or having a criminal record and just wanting to escape from society (hey, we’ve all felt this way one time or another) turns into being held captive with no way out. They need help getting back on their feet!
Love and acceptance takes patience!
There are homeless veterans who had no problem fighting for your freedom, so…
What’s wrong with that picture?
Why are we not fighting for their lives?
Love/action can do a lot being God’s hands and feet…
I took the image below last week because I never wanted to lose sight of this frame of despair that exists to blow up our pretentious suburbia lifestyles.
This. Is. Real.
Oh, and it’s spreading and moving into our suburbia communities…
Actually, it’s already here…
This is a beautiful homeless beloved named Gigi. Gigi is laying on the freezing cold cement in 27-degree weather with only two blankets. Weighing only 83 pounds, I might add. No meat for heat!
I’m reorganizing my nonprofit organization called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries to include and incorporate more on bridging this huge gap between church and state for homeless needs. It’s challenging, but the Lord has placed a heavy burden on my heart to love on these precious souls.
My insecurities initially buried my passion. Fear cost me both time and money with now having to refile and reorganize. Homelessness was once something I feared to get involved with because lives are messy and it’s definitely not glamorous (being honest).
Everything changed after buying dinner and spending a Friday evening with a homeless man named Fred Carlisson (no longer homeless and success documented by KCRA-3 News) in Granite Bay. Talk about assaulting stares, but his one eye saw everything.
As Fred devoured his food and appreciated the comforts of a warm place, his story changed my life! He didn’t want money, he wanted a job. And he was fully equipped with resumes, too!
The key that opens doors of trust: Engagement and caring equates Love!
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Blameless is partnering with Hope for the Homeless. We spend every weekend ministering to the needs of the homeless in Sacramento, rain or shine. Blameless is making plans to extend this same grace into the growing homeless population in Roseville.
Using music, food, prayer, the Word of God, and the constancy of presence from dedicated beloveds with open arms and tender hearts are vital instruments in sharing the love of Christ. Trust takes time. Embracing this grace encourages opportunities for change through guidance and second chances.
Blankets are golden treasures right now. It’s cold! Please, can you look underneath your beds and linen closets for extra blankets occupying space and donate them? They don’t have to be in perfect condition, they just need to be a token of warmth and comfort.
If everyone donates one blanket, the warmth delivered will change lives!
Once the homeless are wet, they have nowhere to warm up and end up in a hypothermia state. This costs us all money in the long run through taxes paying for their medical services, etc.
We are out serving the homeless rain or shine. Last weekend we got rather wet and it was a chill that bit. It cuts right to the bone. It’s hard to warm up enough in our vehicles with the heater blasting to thaw out and continue to serve. The homeless don’t have access to this simple luxury.
Your donations are greatly appreciated. If you live in Placer County or Sacramento, please email me here and I will arrange to have someone pick up the blankets.
Leaving laundered blankets outside of your front door is easy and quite the treasure, knowing you have warmed and comforted a beloved in need.
If you’re in other areas across the U.S., please take your new or used blankets to any church offering homeless services, your local food bank or homeless shelters.
Thank you for your generosity. Together we are changing the world, one life at a time!
Until next time…
I sigh heavily being disarmed in the face of accountability. Crocodile tears stream down my cheeks. It’s hard to prioritize during change. My frustrations are better kept under lock and key, similar to my writings called Leftovers of Love and Insecure-Gram. These are posts written in their most vulnerable and rawest state, but have been concealed due to judgment. One hundred and ninety-five of them to be exact, awaiting the final editing when courage arises.
When I get a thought that lingers in my mind and starts to torment, making me uncomfortable, the old me would go smoke a cigarette and have a cocktail to diffuse whatever was taunting me. Now I just open my Bible or laptop and start typing.
What pours out of my heart unhindered is liberating. Most of the time, it’s full of rawness and pain. This complete exposure is hard to share because it ushers in judgment and ridicule from others instead of support while being transparent.
Why do we do that?
I’m still shackled with remnants of the funky flu, along with a compromised immune system. Oh, I may smile energetically while praising my Lord because that is where my heart and life resides, but it does not mean behind that joyful exterior is no suffering.
The pain I encounter every step of the way resembles more of an electrifying jolt striking every joint, nerve and blood vessel in my body.
The words that flow from my mouth are no longer eloquent. They are often jumbled and make absolutely no sense. I may laugh nervously because I’m scared about losing my capability to engage and function with vitality like I am accustomed to.
Frustration makes me want to run, hide and cry! I attempt to shrug it off like it’s nothing, honestly. Mainly exhaustion. Here my body is shutting down and I do not know how to slow down and practice self-compassion. Frowning and drowning in my tears is not a solution here when others are suffering.
I’m just trying to be the change I wish to see in the world.
This can be a heavy burden at times, especially when you don’t feel good.
Please pray for me…
Where is all of this coming from?
I have this passionate pursuit to make a difference in our world called leaving a legacy of love.
With epidemics of war, homelessness and disease, how does one start utilizing their depleted time in being a part of the solution, especially when we’re not healthy?
Do I spend time watching TV, checking social media or serving real life human needs?
I strive and thrive to be the hands and feet of God which makes me alive. That’s why I’m developing a nonprofit organization; to embrace God’s grace! Oftentimes this passion comes at a great cost and pain that I don’t share with the world.
Just because I don’t wail out relentless complaints does not mean I’m not hurting. It just means I’m applying that energy to making a difference and not focusing on my indiscretions and discouragements.
My heart has been heavy since my beautiful girlfriend knocked on my door unexpectedly with concerns. Her beautiful care package was filled with goodies and her precious time was invaluable in sharing her heart regarding my overwhelmed schedule.
Respecting and valuing my beliefs that life is about bringing love to others, whether it’s through time, service and/or relationships, this kindness and generosity extended spills over into all of our relationships when they’re chaperoned by our words and actions.
What a beautiful legacy than to have a life characterized by love and kindness!
Her words stung when confronting me about prioritizing and obedience. Not wanting to admit I’m suffering and slowing down is only exacerbating matters. All because of pride, perfectionism and deep love.
She shared, “I have been watching you. I do not understand why a woman who is ailing continues to present herself to a world in such a relentless manner while suffering more than those she is trying to love on and care for.”
Why would anyone give up the comforts of an accomplished life in order to live, love and serve those who have been rejected?
Please forgive me for my shallowness and deceit in leading you to believe that I live a pain-free life. I never meant to present myself with imagery that was anything but brutally honest. It’s just called walking through each day with F-A-I-T-H, knowing God has my back and that this shall soon pass!
I get this emotional and spiritual charge out of helping and loving others, especially the homeless and rejected. Talk about rejuvenation through release.
May I share something?
This is just a glimpse of what we encounter. This is our reality…
Let me introduce you to Gigi. Gigi is that beautiful heap of skin and bones consisting of 83 pounds laying underneath those two blankets in 27-degree weather. She’s literally laying on the freezing cold cement sidewalk in the worst possible area of Sacramento.
Once our worship music started, she came to life. Heaven opens those pearly gates once Stacia starts singing and we loudly proclaim God’s Love through time, engagement, comfort, food and prayers.
One life at a time…
Since Jesus refuses to relent, shouldn’t we?
Until next time…
Thank You For Being Beautiful You!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).
Hello Beautiful! I pray you’re having a blessed week so far and are enjoying being a member of the H-O-T Club; you know, doing life together with other Beautiful Beloveds that operate under the conviction of being honest, open, and transparent. Talk about building community!
Oh, how our Lord smiles with great joy knowing His Beautiful Beloveds are coming together to connect, celebrate and contribute while being honest, open and transparent.
It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays…
With all the raging storms filled with heartbreaking tragedies affecting our world today, it’s challenging to keep our minds focused on the beauty, life and peace that our Beautiful Jesus offers us.
If only we could keep our minds focused on our Beautiful Jesus and be grateful, we would sojourn this side of heaven knowing:
We’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG).
Life is all about our Heavenly Father, you know, and the glory we bring to His amazing name. That requires being grateful and not lives filled with groans and grumblings.
This weekly challenge should be fairly easy to do, but it will require some dedication and determination, especially if life has brought on unexpected challenges or tragedies due to the effects from natural disasters, disease, or even the tragic death of a loved one.
We can always find items we’re grateful for that deliver the blessings that a cheerful heart being great medicine offers so our crushed spirits won’t dry up our bones (Proverbs 17:22).
Writing down items that we are grateful for in our journals or on a piece of paper (journal wall) and posting it to our refrigerators where we frequent often, even taping it to the bathroom mirror or better yet, copy it to the wallpaper on our cellphones (♥♥) , as a great reminder and a gentle way to help transform our hearts and minds to a place that transcends all understanding.
Being grateful is powerful medicine and a great healer. Also, it’s great medicine for our souls, you know, the antidote that keeps our attitudes in check that acts similar to an accountability partner.
Weekly challenge: Write down seven items each day on your journal wall that you’re grateful for daily for seven consecutive days. They cannot be repeated again once you’ve listed them as an item you’re grateful for.
At the conclusion of this challenge, you will have a tangible reminder of forty-nine reasons to be grateful for and it will help rejuvenate your downcast soul.
Come to the Grateful Wall and start documenting your items by listing what you’re grateful for. Remember, give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1).
Sweet friend, one thing our tender hearts must never lose sight of: We are not here by mistake. There is a plan for our lives and we are woven together to radiate our Papa God’s light this side of heaven.
If we believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our future, which is our eternal destiny, is built on the most amazing and solid foundation that can never be shaken, destroyed or taken away from us (Hebrews 12:28).
James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
That means… We have a lot to be grateful for!!!
Until next time…
“My daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week, shot nine times on the third floor,” said Andrew Pollack. Father of one of the 17 victims in Florida’s school shooting massacre.
He continues, “This shouldn’t happen. We go to the airport, I can’t get on the plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a classroom and shoot our children.”
The remnants of another tragic school shooting massacre. It’s time the voices of the victims be heard and not muted. Prayer is needed for protection and guidance.
We cannot merely leave it at prayer, though. We must come back together in unity and work proactively! Trauma interrupts routine. Prayer initiates C-H-A-N-G-E!
Since Jesus loves the little children of the world, shouldn’t we? With another violent school shooting, it’s time that WE ALL COME TOGETHER IN AGREEMENT and begin PRAYING for the angel armies to lead and build a hedge of protection surrounding our schools, the precious children, teachers, the staff, and the surrounding grounds.
There is already enough crime infiltrating and infecting our schools today through drugs and bullying. We have taken for granted that our schools are safe environments. Hurt people hurt others and sadly, our kids are not exempt. That’s generally where the pain originates.
Coming together interlinked with empowerment delivers the awareness and education that our children need to help keep them safe. Understanding we can no longer shelter them by sequestration is vital. All that is doing is instilling fear and leaving them vulnerable to attack when they leave their nests, their safe-havens.
Let’s introduce them to the outpouring of L-O-V-E Himself that is very much alive!
Living in an evil world where the enemy roams around looking for someone to devour, we need to get back to the basics by bringing God back into our lives and schools! It’s sad how we continue to shake our fists at the Lord when we’ve completely rejected and removed Him from our lives.
Jesus is our Great Advocate and it is our responsibility to know our role here in bringing justice and implementing it in our society. That takes a village with many eyes and ears to keep watch.
Protection and peace!
Since Perfect Love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), a beautiful solution to the problem is to take one or two minutes a day as we’re dropping our kids off at school, or even those precious grandbabies, by praying a quick prayer that the hedge of protection surrounds each and every child, the school grounds, the teachers, staff members and the surrounding areas.
Even when you pass by a school bus, just lifting that precious cargo up to the Lord in a quick prayer will keep them protected. Prayers need not be dissertations. God knows our hearts.
God wants to hear us proclaiming:
God, you’re our refuge. We trust in you and are safe!
This includes our precious children and grandchildren.
You rescue us from hidden traps and shield us from deadly hazards.
Your huge outstretched arms protect us – under them we’re perfectly safe; Your arms fend off all harm.
We shall fear nothing – not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows (or bullets) in the day, nor the disaster that erupts at high noon ( emphasized Psalm 91).
Strength and Beauty comes from Community!
If you’re walking your child to school, what an opportunity this is to witness and teach your child the importance of prayer. Explain to them that you will be hanging out for an extra couple of minutes to pray silently over the school.
Who knows, kids are bright and they want nothing more than to mirror their parents’ actions, so they may want to start praying with you.
Before you know it, their friends will see you all praying and the domino effect proclaiming our dependence on God through prayer will be glorified. You will even meet new people.
This seed that you sowed will bloom into a protective community filled with many parents and children coming together before school to pray, all because you walked out your faith with prayer.
What a huge testimony and witness!
It’s a different world out there today, so we need to incorporate daily the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18) while instilling the Biblical values and protection daily with our kids. They need to be prepared and equipped; not sheltered and naive about what is happening in society today!
Kids watch and will follow our lead. It’s up to ALL OF US to be great examples as parents, grandparents, teachers, family members, and even mentors! How about just caring as a member of your community; remembering everyone affects others; good or bad.
Those babies have a long road ahead of them! We need to help teach them and guide them by letting them know they’re not alone in this and they need not fear.
Jesus intercedes on our behalf; shouldn’t we do the same for others? This is yet another way to be the hands and feet of God; and we all want and need to protect the purity and innocence of our children! ♥♥
Until next time…
I was hungry and you fed me…
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink…
I was homeless and you gave me your room…
I was shivering and you gave me clothes…
I was sick and you stopped to visit…
I was in prison and you came to me…
All Because His Great Love Changes Everything!
Caring for the poor, the sick, the homeless, and the oppressed is the central tenet of our beautiful gospel and a sampling of the rippling effects of LOVE in Matthew 25:35-36.
We all crave it and need it to thrive and survive the grave!
Love is such a simple word, used often so frivolously, without knowing the costly meaning. Love isn’t a feeling. Oh sure, love does tap into our feel-good dopamine receptors while wrapping our bodies with excitement. But love moves us into selfless action.
This small act of love creates a ripple that doesn’t cripple. This rippling effect grows from the core of love that soars above like a dove. Higher and higher!
We may never see the effects from these tokens of love, but we will hear of their life. When we deposit tokens of love, kindness or even laughter into another, life begins anew and new growth breaks through.
Living with intention and purpose is synonymous with the cause and effect of Jesus’ beautiful words in John 15:12, “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.”
Every single one of our selfless acts of kindness, loving and cheerful thoughts ushers us into the presence of love. Where LOVE blooms, it looms!
When we have been touched by the love of God, our lives are equipped with an endless supply of golden tokens. Living under the umbrella of Love Himself radiates endless grace.
Each token of kindness deposited through love continues to grow and grow in size and touches others until you can no longer see its border.
Dropping tokens of love through praise and cheer into an overwhelmed and rude hostess, the rippling effect reaches others. Because this encouragement of love diffused her stressed-out nature, she was able to be present and loving towards her children after a hard day.
Her children, being filled with the comforts of love and contentment, sleep well. This blesses their teacher and other students with consolation and instruction that pours into others who are leaning towards destruction.
Smiling at the person who had cut us off earlier instead of exhibiting road rage with the typical extension of middle finger wage confuses the anxious offender.
Stunned and focused on our love reaction, they intuitively react the same; allowing another distressed driver space to escape.
Unbeknownst to us that car needing space was transporting a delirious woman in labor and preparing to give birth in the backseat.
That newborn baby’s life was extended by being delivered safely into a sterile E.R. environment instead of the filthy backseat barrel.
The umbilical cord tied around his neck, depriving him of oxygen, would have delivered death without the rippling effects of LOVE which gave him breath.
All Because of His Great Love…
Who knows what will become of that newborn (future loving president?) all because a simple act of kindness was received through the token of LOVE.
We’ll probably never know Love’s rippling effects that continue to grow and grow, nor the power delivered behind its borders, but being a part of it is transforming.
Love is the answer to all of our problems. We can never love enough. Love is kind. Love does not anger easily. Love forgives. It covers over all wrongs. When we reciprocate our love like God, it changes us and those in our sphere of influence. It causes us to do amazing, selfless acts that we would otherwise not do.
His Great Love changes everything…
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40 MSG)
Weekly Challenge: Let’s open our hearts by initiating a tsunami of love that will reach beyond all borders. After all, love is in the air with Valentine’s Day.
Sojourning with Jesus, hearing his words of love whispered to our hearts, “Be Mine, Sunshine. I love you,” while getting drunk on God’s Love trumps champagne and chocolates, and deposits huge amounts of love into the overdrawn bank accounts of others.
When you’ve been embraced and loved through His amazing grace, you know it’s because His Great Love Changes Everything.
Enjoy the lyrics of Your Love Changes Everything while clicking on the song below.
Lord, you spoke those words.
You spoke so tenderly.
Now I choose to believe
You love me, you love me, you love me!
You’re taking me by the hand again,
Giving me strength to dance again
Cuz your love changes everything.
Your love changes everything!
When my heart is frail
And when I’m incomplete,
I will choose to receive
You love me, you love me, you love me!
Oh, you never fail
When I look at you.
You never fail,
And I trust in you.
And Lord, you never let go.
You never let go of me.
You never let go!
Until next time…
Hi Beautiful! I hope you received the many prayers offered up last week asking Beautiful Jesus to cover us with undeniable peace and joy. What a way to open the floodgates of compassion. After all, that is the gift of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives! It’s that time again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!
I don’t know about you, but I have been held captive and bed-bound by that funky flu. I’ve never held onto a high fever for more than a couple of days and felt every joint in my body scream for more than ice cream!
Being sick sucks, especially when you have to miss out on a Jesus Culture concert and conference, along with doing life with peeps you just love to eternity. Too many days being blue with the flu!
I have been crying out like a baby, Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony (Psalm 6:2).
How many times have we all been blue with the flu or down with another ailment like insecurities, anxiety or depression and feel rejected and unloved because our presence wasn’t acknowledged being absent and no one seemed too concerned to reach out and inquire as to why?
I admit, I’m a beloved who has a hard time being receptive to this special kind of love because I’m the one who is generally taking care of others and I don’t want to be a burden.
Oftentimes, I find myself pushing away these treasured tokens of love subconsciously that others are trying to bless me with, like picking up prescriptions, juice, soup, you name it, all due to not wanting to impose.
Time is Treasure!
Being graced multiple times during this flu bout in having some sugar poured out on me was a true gift. They not only acknowledged I was missing in action and being pretty quiet, but they were concerned enough to reach out and call to find out.
The blessings found through the valuable couple of minutes deposited a treasure chest overflowing with L-O-V-E!
Power of Prayer!
The most valuable and precious gift that helped me receive this outpouring of love was the intimate blessings delivered during prayers.
Prayers bond us intimately to others. They sustain us and they open the door to the vulnerability knocking. There’s also power in numbers, so bring the prayer chain and warriors on.
There’s a reason our Lord arms us with His strength to press through sickness and disease by equipping us with the gift of friendships that will help carry our load. He doesn’t want His beloveds discouraged and defeated, defenseless to any dreaded disease.
Our lives are often full of battles, filled with stresses and anxieties. Add sickness to the list and it makes life hard to show up and get loved on. Phone calls and prayers cure all, keeps others protected from the cesspool of funky flu drool, and sprinkles life with love through prayers. They are rare, but they show we care!
God gave us courage-infusing and peace-giving passages that all of us need to boldly proclaim warrior status for good reason. For instance, Proverbs 12:25 expresses, “An anxious heart weights a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”
A. Kind. Word. Cheers. Him. Up.
A quick call to see what is needed and prayer (not the time to purge your junk) cheers us beloveds up because it shows someone cares.
I become weakened when I suffer through sickness, emotionally and spiritually. When I suffer, I fret and worry and find myself parked in the wrong hood (mindset) because I’m sick and sulking and can’t show up to be encouraged and supported.
Weekly Challenge: Let’s be beloveds that reach out in being God’s hands and feet this week. Let’s radiate His love and spread sunshine to those who have been living under cloudy skies.
If we haven’t connected with an old friend for a while due to schedule conflicts or have noticed that a brother or sister is missing in action at church, let’s be beloveds that reach out and pour love into their lives while inquiring about their absence.
What an amazing way to show another they’re loved, their life matters, they’re affirmed and they’re missed! Talk about an antidote that cures all.
Until next time…
Henry David Thoreau
I walked into the high-rise building wearing my superhero attitude and high-heeled boots relishing sanguine expectations. “Enthusiasm can help you find the new doors, but it takes passion to open them. If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.”
Thank you, Roy T. Bennett, for blessing me with words to live by!
The panel started taking their seats as I was ushered to mine, center stage. Sitting before me in an interrogation manner was a panel of 13 peers. With laser-beam eyes penetrating straight through my heart and into my soul, I felt exposed and naked. Talk about uncomfortable. And I had nowhere to run and hide.
I had this overwhelming sense of dread. Similar to what the adulterous woman in the Bible must have felt who was literally caught in the act. Here she was being carried away and rushed towards judgment and death without the other participating party. She was in shock and thrown forcibly to the ground; bound to meet her demise being stoned to death by her peers (John 8:1-11).
Fear is dreadful!
I was surrounded by 13 chairs (yes, lucky 13) in a semi-circle manner. A few members of the panel were even outside of my peripheral vision.
Rule Number 1, always know where your enemy is.
My eyes quickly scanned the room for an emergency exit. That is one of the first things you’re taught in the academy. Naturally, this exit was too far to flee quickly.
Oh, vanity! That deceitful empowerment I get when wearing those high-heeled boots…
A graceful exit?
More like a bruised ego!
As I took a deep breath, my mind inquires how and why I’m here? I don’t need a job. Lord knows, I need sleep! Maybe a few donors and monetary partners for the nonprofit’s setup and homeless needs, but…
Suddenly, loud proclamations interrupt…
I’m creating an extraordinary life to make a difference in the world.
The sweat from my pits only enhances my nervous ditz as I try and take control of a heart rate that begins to frustrate!
“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
Thank you, Steve Maraboli.
I looked up and forgot for a magical moment, you know those unforced rhythms of grace, that I was being scrutinized and examined by my peers.
Their silence was eerie. You could literally hear a pin drop.
Due to the lengthy silence, my heart had given way to shallow idling and a cottonmouth that would take a big-rig mechanic’s pliers to pry open.
They just sat there comatose, dead silent, while offering nothing but suggesting a super-size distress signal…
Between their laser-beam eyes looking up and down, a few nods of affirmation and a whole lot of rejection rolls of the eyes sizing me up, nothing was said.
Can I hear awkward?
Then it happened, after 4.33 bloody minutes (their timer) of the torturing silence, their blackout awakened. Out of nowhere, a helium-sucking voice muttered, “What’s your secret sauce?”
I lost it!
When I say “I cracked,” I am talking about an uncontrolled heckling mirroring a laughing hyena.
My children can vouch how I’ve had to hide under a table or two due to the uncontrolled release of toxins and stressors conducted through laughing. They may laugh, but it’s more of an embarrassment at my cost.
With my cheeks flaming with humiliation, the burn intensified from their piercing eyes and disgusted mannerisms. They found absolutely no humor in the aforementioned.
What’s a girl supposed to do now?
What is my focus?
Not happening right now.
What is my passion? My gifts?
Hot ooey-gooey molasses of shame coated my royal veins as thousands upon thousands of unwanted adornment, beads of sweat, bounced off and found their way dripping down my face.
Now that’s attractive!
Forget the pits of the ditz!
This river of sweat marshaled my anxiety right into hyperventilation.
Calling all angel armies to the rescue!
I’m trying to remember that I’m creating an extraordinary life to make a difference in the world. And that means it’s all about the journey, not the end result!
What’s my secret sauce?
My gift of enthusiasm is what breathes life and energy into my weary bones to accomplish great things that will glorify my Lord.
So this means when we have enthusiasm, the yoke carried from the weight of fear, rejection and doubt loses its power over our lives (Matthew 11:29-30), right?
I want to master the unforced rhythms of grace.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of secret sauce is “an element, quality, ability, or practice that makes something or someone successful or distinctive.”
Since my gift of “enthusiasm” fits the bill, remembering that enthusiasm comes from two Greek words: en + theos is God, which is literally God within us, but theos also means inspired, God-inspired.
When we put them together, it relates to God’s enthusiasm, the secret sauce, needed to create an extraordinary life that makes a difference.
That’s called a Legacy of Love!
Until next time…
Words filled with hate and torturing venom penetrate into the girl’s heart and soul. The beautiful beloved gasps for air as she digests and searches for comfort between her regurgitated fears and her tear-stained cheeks flaming with humiliation.
She ponders her worth and self-esteem after every assault and affair. “I’m not enough! I don’t belong here. I’m a failure. Why won’t he love me?”
I picked up and allowed bad behaviors to infect and direct my life while learning coping mechanisms that provided nothing besides locking myself up in my own self-constructed cell of hell. I employed protection from the hard hats; construction crews of fear. This crew of fear built barriers around my heart that further wrapped me in emotional isolation and insecurities.
My choices reflected my fears, not my hopes!
That was before I knew God…
I never understood self-love and what self-compassion entailed. I lived out learned behaviors that dictated even if both of my legs were broken (or back), I kept going. No healing going on here…
Fake it until you make it, baby!
The enemy uses whatever weakness and temptation he can to derail us. When insecurities are loud, we become easily depressed and discouraged. Talk about distraction at its finest.
We even desire to live out Nelson Mandela’s wisdom, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
But how do we live that out?
Sadly, a majority of my choices in the past reflected my fears and not my hopes. Had I only known that in order to be a woman, I had to learn to love myself first. And that required knowing who God said I was.
God teaches us magnificently who we are and how to love a man; and others, for that matter.
I grow weary of wearing other people’s insecurities. Don’t you?
Their insecurities don’t fit. They’re either too restrictive, too heavy, expose way too much or uncomfortable! They itch, they inflame, and they inject pain in each layer. Plus talk about heavy baggage!
Time to dress myself in confidence instead. Confidence fits. It’s lighter. Confidence compliments and enhances our beauty!
What a concept!
I love confidence… the way it feels… the comfort… the ease… and how it radiates and enhances who I am! It makes me feel…
“A girl becomes a woman when she learns to love herself more than she loves a man” does not mean that we teach our daughters and granddaughters to be selfish Brides of Frankenstein.
Isn’t that called a Bridezilla?
I’ll say it, sometimes the reflection scares the ugly right out of me…
If we learn to put the Lord first, we will be able to love ourselves and others. We will learn how to set boundaries through communication and confidence. We won’t be easily angered. We will be patient and kind. Not rude. We will keep no record of wrongs…
Do I hear forgiving?
We will also know to run to our Papa God when our love tanks are low in order to get fueled up.
You know, when PMS strikes or those hot flashes are no match for those crocodile tears and manic ricocheting daggers because of our lack of hormones and escalated emotional needs!!!
Embracing Jesus to fill up our love tanks, He reminds us of our worth and value. Then we’re able to love others and not be needy beloveds.
There’s nothing more frightening than a needy beloved!
Before Christ, I ran after unhealthy relationships. I was so busy allowing people to assault and abuse me, being controlled by their dangling of performance-based love and manipulation, I became an angry doormat instead of a confident beloved.
There was never any time or ROOM for healthy relationships. I was too busy covering up and sweeping other people’s junk underneath the rug instead of exposing it and walking away, while hiding underneath my veil of shame.
When you don’t know what real love is like, you become desperate for any sort of attention and affection, negative or otherwise! Love isn’t supposed to hurt! But… loving a girl who hasn’t learned to love herself first is one of the hardest things to do!
Human love is considered an intimate affair. Beautifully so. Song of Songs 8:6-7 relates love as strong as death and jealousy (passion) as intense as the grave.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
Being God’s treasured daughter affords self-love and self-compassion. Us girls need to learn to love ourselves first before we can possibly love another man. In order to love ourselves, we need to experience daily the love of our Father and that requires engaging in a relationship with Him. What a beautiful endearment!
Until next time…
Hi Beautiful! I pray you were able to tap into our amazing God of Encouragement and Endurance this past week while stamping other beloveds “approved” with joy. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.
As I write this weekly challenge, my heart is heavily burdened. This is the result of another “be-careful-what-you-pray-for” as tears pour down my face hearing the testimonies of many homeless beloveds from this past weekend.
You see, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes to see what He sees and His ears to hear what only He knows. God’s answer:
Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people care or even dare to acknowledge.
Jesus’ words in John 3:17 are fixed to my heart, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
I’ve recently become honored to be a part of an amazing team that ministers every week to providing the homeless love through nutritious meals, rain or shine. This love includes even a worship band with vocals that open the gates of heaven and the homeless are drawn in. Traveling evangelism with nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind.
I’m talking hundreds of homeless individuals receive hope, love, HUGS and nourishment from these amazing selfless beloveds that I’m honored to call my friends. This blessed nonprofit is called Hope for Homeless.
I have met, served and continue to be blessed by the homeless population. Yes, you read that right, the homeless continue to bless me! When I look them in their eyes, I see a reflection of who lives inside of me; Love Himself, Jesus Christ!
I can relate with many of these precious loved ones and their stories. I was a single mom working two jobs and know full well what it’s like to be a paycheck away from being homeless. Frightening! And fear paralyzes us to move forward. I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation. Talk about a shame-filled life without any hope.
Where’s God’s extension of love and human kindness in nursing the homeless?
There’s more love depicted in this photograph than sadly the supply of milk. These pets offer more love and comfort than one could illustrate. Without them, the emotional distress would be unconscionable.
There’s a reason many homeless beloveds have animals; it’s called unconditional love. It’s a source of stability and comfort that helps them facilitate hope. Plus the animals provide a source of heat. Do you know what it feels like to live in freezing conditions? It’s a silent killer.
This photograph illustrates the best of conditions in homeless suburbia. If I showed you skid row where they’re all lined up on the cold, dark cement sidewalks of Sacramento, hundreds with very few tents, huddled together for warmth and protection from the elements, it would, or should, break your heart!
A simple token of kindness can make a huge difference. We can do this by acknowledging the need of the homeless by donating time, blankets, socks, money, food, you name it.
What a blessing and honor to witness how a simple gesture of human kindness and love can heal wounds that otherwise would bleed out.
As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
Weekly Challenge: I understand most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but we can pitch in and help one homeless person. This weekly challenge is to donate time or monetary resources, preferably both ♥, to local Christian nonprofit organizations like Hope for Homeless. Blankets and socks are golden treasures right now.
These organizations cater to more than just the physical needs of the homeless. They operate under the authority of the powerful words that offer healing that Jesus declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Together we’re beautiful and withdrawing or acting blind to others’ needs will not help solve any problem. I pray the Lord will open your eyes and heart to the many beloveds who are homeless. After all, “the best vitamin for a Christian is to B1.” Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).
Until next time…
Should you ever find yourself the victim of another’s bitterness, their smallness, or even their insecurities, remember… things could be worse… you could be them!
No, thank you! I’ve had my fill of the angry birds and abusers for a lifetime.
Today I was reminded of God’s amazing love and His protection in guarding my heart when a family member attacked and belittled me.
Abusers are a part of my DNA. Lord knows I’ve learned from the best! But one thing I have learned and am so grateful for is, Greater is He that lives in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
The beauty of transformation. Thank you, Jesus!
And I don’t take “my DNA” lightly. The blood that runs through my veins now is kingdom-filled and full of life flowing with God’s Love, not hate and spite of the enemy that comes to kill, steal and destroy!
Am I upset?
It’s time to break through the mold and thank Jesus for His life and freedom in being beautiful beloveds who are dearly loved, imperfect and yet, His magnificent works of art, right?
I want to be free of all these deeply-seated wounds and the broken pieces that are hindering me from my God-given identity and purpose.
How about you?
When another belittles or tries to pretend we’re a bad person so they don’t feel guilty about the things they did personally to us or said about us, running from confrontation and any accountability whatsoever, we are most like Christ when we remain silent under attack.
And let me be brutally honest here…
It is sooooo freakin’ stinkin’ hard to remember this when being assaulted. People can be savage!
Belittle may be defined as to “make (someone or something) seem unimportant,” but that’s an understatement. People are cruel. Even family members. This is their way of projecting their insecurities onto others and what they wished they actually were.
So when walking through another’s assault that deems my life as “worthless,” the sole blame for their problems, it is near impossible to be quiet.
Where’s my voice, Lord?
Gag me with peace!
How can my breastplate be shielding my heart when I can still feel pain ricocheting off my shield?
This breastplate of righteousness is what protects and guards our heart which is the very seat of our emotions, you know, our self-worth and trust factor.
Thank God I’ve been touched by my Beautiful Jesus who loves me and I can run to Him for refuge knowing He’ll never forsake me.
When you’ve been completely rejected and abandoned, you need tender coddling and assurance to deal with persecution and courage to walk through life confident and strong.
Sweet friends, the piercing of our hearts requires immediate healing so the pain will not attach and fester into a venomous bitter root. When stuffed down, it will eventually mirror the aggressor’s ugly actions with death rolling from our tongues!
This reiterates why James talks about the tongue being a small but powerful member that destroys everyone and everything in its path (James 3:1-12). Who needs to fear a nuclear war when our mouths are more destructive?
Forgive me for the profanity below, but it speaks to my carnality as it releases toxins from the sting incurred from an embittered person’s assaults.
Just being transparent…
It’s hard to pray for those who hurt us, but loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us is brutally challenging. Not to mention blessing those who curse us is even harder (Luke 6:27-29).
I’m still a work in progress, but it can be done when we’re filled with God’s Love.
Remembering to be on guard equipped with our shields of faith when assaults come out of nowhere takes practice. We lose our focus easily. Guarding our hearts and minds requires being grounded daily in God’s Word. This helps thwart the attacks from distracting us and subtracting our worth.
Words hurt. They sting. They rob us and can leave us depleted!
Belittling is flat-out cruel and a form of emotional abuse. The best rebuttal is to love and respond with a blessing. That takes a BIG heart of courage! Any fool can retaliate; just saying…
God wants His Beautiful Beloveds building others up because we know what it’s like to be torn down and ripped to shreds.
“Never let anyone belittle you. Their unkind words are a reflection of their insecurities and what they wish for you to be.” Trust in yourself and believe in who God says you are:
Until next time...
Hi Beautiful, I pray you enjoyed last week’s challenge in radiating that beautiful smile of yours while changing the atmosphere everywhere your feet walked.
I know for myself, smiling helped cure a lot of other ailments I was suffering from when others reciprocated my joy.
Thank you for spreading the love of our Lord. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!
I don’t know about you, but 2017 was probably the hardest year I have endured physically, emotionally and spiritually. Even though 2018 promises great blessings with prosperity, I’ve been having a hard time acclimating, keeping my balance. I just cannot seem to scurry up enough strength to walk that straight line without losing my focus.
What do we do when we can’t pass a sobriety test?
And here my liquid courage has been nothing but lemonade made from all those lemons. Okay, so there may be a hint of freshly grated ginger root in there, but…
And I thought being drunk on silliness and refraining from being so serious was the answer.
Can you walk a straight line sober?
I sure can’t. I can’t even dance on point anymore. My balance and gait seem to be off. Each time I take a step forward, I seem to get distracted and never make my destination. And there’s really not a whole lot going on.
I wish I looked as cute and remained playful with the tenacity to keep trying to walk the plank until I got it right like this adorable puppy.
I need others to help me stay balanced. Talk about discouraging when we can’t accomplish simple tasks because our past failures keep haunting us. You know those voices, the ones that say you’re not good enough, it’s all your fault, you give up too quickly, nobody cares, what are you smoking, etc.
The great news is that our Beautiful Jesus knows our insecurities and every single one of our shortcomings. And the amazing thing about His Great Love is that He is a God of Endurance and a God of Encouragement. He has stamped us APPROVED!
Many beloveds seem to be surrounded by and facing a sea of problems with no relief in sight.
Speaking for myself, without others throwing out a lifeline or two or three, I would have sunk underneath the weight of the trials and tragedies of last year. Good riddance 2017!
Without my amazing support system, the circumstances that once looked treacherous ahead would have drowned me. I was able to face those crashing waves that were once threatening to sink me because God worked miracles through others as they helped sustain and encourage me.
Emulating Paul’s thoughts in Colossians 2:2-3, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The Body of Christ should be encouraging, full of endurance, unified communities that are established and committed to carrying out Christ’s work no matter our differences.
We all fear rejection, so why can’t we throw out and change the rejected stamp to approved only?
Let’s face it, the closer we are to the shepherd, our Beautiful Jesus, the safer we are from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Let’s leave the wolves howling approved…
“The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.”
Weekly challenge: We are beautiful when we come together!!! This week let’s be beloveds who offer words of encouragement and endurance to help others let go of past failures. Let’s stamp each other approved and not rejected by loving one another in thought and deed, especially those whose traditions and ceremonies differ from ours.
Being beloveds who mirror our Beautiful Jesus help others believe their lives are stamped with approval and that their pasts do not define them. Instead, we encourage them to realize they are stronger and more powerful for having walked through, and survived, their pasts.
More importantly, let’s remind them that it’s going to take some time, maybe even a lifetime, before they can walk a straight line. And it’s okay, because we are already stamped approved.
Until next time…
I may not know you personally, but one thing I do know: You have been badly hurt in your life. You have heard words that have assaulted and stung. Words that are lies that you just can’t shake off. People have done mean and damaging things to you. However, your past does not define you.
My heart pours into yours being a sister in Christ with compassion and understanding. You may not hear just how beautiful you are, but I want you to know you are beautiful. Your life does matter and the world needs your unique qualities. I value and appreciate you more than you will ever understand or hear.
Never forget how valuable and precious your life is.
As I turned the corner, our eyes met up; yours filled with shame, mine filled with joy and delight. You see, God answered my prayers. Your life means more to me than we dare to understand. I get you because I’ve been there, felt that!
God doesn’t want you crawling back into your shell. God wants to pour love into you. Our paths crossed so you will know you’re not alone and can receive warmth and understanding from a heart filled with compassion.
I understand it’s hard to trust others when you’ve been rejected, but grab a hold of the loving hand extended.
I may have never been homeless living on the streets, but I was just a paycheck away from it. We relate because I have lived through the tragedies and decisions leading up to your homelessness.
Understanding what hopelessness and paralyzing fear does to a beloved through attacking thoughts of not being enough and the shame that accompanies those lies is intense.
Sweet friend, there’s no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! Nothing you did cannot be forgiven. Forgiveness should not be seen as a weakness, but rather as a strength.
When we embraced, I could feel your desperate hold due to fear that turned cold. You shivered and hung onto me like an addict needing her fix. You grasped for air as your face was buried into my chest with tears that drowned and overwhelmed your soul. I am forever dressed in your tears that permeated my soul.
Your hopelessness mirrors the darkness that exists due to some bad choices and decisions. We all make mistakes. God will turn your ashes (pain and mistakes) into beauty if you will let go and learn from Him through them.
God wants us to run this race victoriously all the way to and through the finish line. He fights for us by sending support from others who will speak words of life, love and courage. Our new family! ♥♥♥
God’s amazing grace offers us hope by guiding us out of the darkness with His strength. You don’t have to go at it alone. That’s why He crosses our paths with other beloveds. That’s the light that will help guide you out of your darkness!
I want to love and emulate what Mother Teresa said about giving: “It is not about how much we give, but about how much love we put into giving.”
Why are we so reluctant to reach out and extend a helping hand to those who are in need?
I admit, there are times when I encounter others in need and I act like I’m blinded to it. I either don’t want to be inconvenienced or feel what little I have to offer would not help much. That’s a sinful act of omission; failing to reach out and do good by helping another.
Jesus commanded us to be on the lookout for such needs by showing compassion and pity without expecting anything in return. 1 John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”
I wish we could bottle up all the love and grace that is extended to us before it disappears, but time doesn’t stand still. I’m praying others will experience the kingdom of God this side of heaven through my love and actions.
We are called to serve God without reserve, which is easier said than done.
Living out what Roy T. Bennett beautifully articulated is a challenging reminder:
“Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
When we help others, we live like Winston Churchill shared, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
God’s Word promises us help if only we will just believe and grab a hold of His hand extending down from heaven. Psalm 91:14-16 says:
Because they love me, says the Lord, I will rescue them;
I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.
They will call upon me, and I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble, I will deliver them and honor them.
With long life will I satisfy them and show them my salvation.
Until next time…
Hi Beautiful, Happy New Year! I pray this new year is raining down many affirmations of love reminding you how highly favored and blessed you are. Oh, and can we say, downright gorgeous, too! It’s that time again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!
Since we’re all in this crazy life together and contributing to the beauty of the world with our own unique colors, cultures and valuable styles, let’s try and embrace this weekly Tammy Tangent Tuesdays challenge with what Proverbs 15:13 reminds us of: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”
So… what’s the worse thing that could happen if we embrace 2018 sharing our natural radiance that the Lord blessed us Beautiful Beloveds with? Our cheeks may hurt from the constant smiling, but what a great way to get an instant lift.
If we think about it, I know of no better way to spread cheer and life to others than to find a smile and by laughing with joy. After all, “our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. For the Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:2-3).
It’s time to make peace with that beautiful smile of yours again and work it, girlfriend!
Did you know the more you smile, the better you will feel; and smiling creates an inviting, magnetic and interactive force that will draw others to you while changing the atmosphere?
You will be surprised at how this natural quality of yours attracts blessings to your life, like a magnet, so let’s do it again and again! It costs nothing and smiles will make even the grumpiest person happy and alive.
Now that you realize how to use your natural and inner beauty while bringing blessings to others just by being Beautiful You, your challenge for the week is to go back out into your community and smile, Beautiful! Our communities desperately need some cheer right now!
Since Proverbs 15:13 reiterates how a happy heart makes the face cheerful, let’s work this most important curve on our bodies. Whether or not you feel cheerful, smile. You’ll feel better in no time, especially when you go outside of your comfort zone and smile at others and the other person reciprocates! It’s a given, it’s contagious!!!
You’re so amazing and beautiful, it’s time to fall in love with and embrace your greatest asset and curve! Don’t believe me, take a look in the mirror and see how you’re transformed when you smile. Simply radiant, darling!
Let’s get this party started by sharing this throughout social media and sharing the good news with all your friends. Start a domino effect in making people smile.
The world needs to see what the kingdom of God is like through our actions being His hands and feet and SMILE! Together we can change the world through being our beautiful selves! We can and will change the atmosphere with our smiles.
A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body. So work it, girlfriend!
Weekly challenge: Make it a point to smile several times a day (at least 10), especially to those who need to be touched by the love of Jesus as you become His hands and feet (you know, those grumpy looking people or even the homeless; they need love too ♥♥).
You will see how it changes not only how you feel, but you will find others complimenting you on your new vibrant look and your sense of confidence!!!
Plus, you’re radiating love and joy that will bring about blessings across the world! That is what is called love in action that 1 John 3:18 talks about, being the hands and feet of God! Pay it forward!
Until next time…
Death and decay reek. The woman draws in closer. She obviously feels her exchange of banter is needed. A breath mint might just grant her!
Between the abominable breath causing imminent death, who needs to worry about dilapidated conditions or suspicions.
Oh, I hear her all right. Mix a Xanax with her cheese, please!
Silence is obviously not a known science…
Oh wait, isn’t this where my fav Achmed comes to the rescue?
After all, grief has a way of screaming…
The pearls and pitfalls of the cover girl. The tendency to turn my pain into another’s gain. The sounds that hit the ground take more than grace to run this race with a bitter sister from another mother.
Gotta love us women at times when we turn into more than extra-grace required children.
This beloved means well, but her breath isn’t my only bone. I have chosen to sit in this waiting room alone. I need space for this race, unoccupied by this banter which is nothing but epic ranter.
I don’t know about you, but I need peace to see every crease of my soul. That’s why my head is down in my Bible so I won’t dread what’s ahead. I am choosing to feel every single pain; physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually.
Let me cry, as foreign as that may be. Let me grieve, which is foreign to me. Let me just be!
I’m 51 percent introvert and 49 percent extrovert. Many disagree, but do they really know me? I require space so I don’t disgrace!
Try being a chaplain; it’s a long walk to talk…
Have you ever wondered why waiting rooms tend to be colder than ice? And I’m being nice…
Time stands still. Life requires more than a will. Love requires being filled from above.
Waiting rooms contain inevitable frustration and tidal waves of depression.
My new friend goes for the jugular, “So… do you still feel God loves you? All that time you spend reading your Bible, what good is it now?”
Love from above…
Pause… one, two, three, four… before reacting. My cast-iron horns were fully emerged and the flaming arrows were deployed to surge.
Space occupied by the enemy who comes solely to kill, steal and destroy has no place here. Then again, maybe her breath mirrors the death inside my own heart.
The lies of the enemy penetrate my heart, but my shield fends off the affliction. I’m left feeling naked instead. My soul will be exposed if I don’t stay controlled and posed.
So my venom leads me down to the ER room, emergency relief room, to pray.
My mind ventures back and hangs onto what the amazing Ann Voskamp spoke earlier to my heart:
Is Jesus merely useful to you — or is He ultimately beautiful to you?
When Jesus is useful to me, I’m looking for a genie in a bottle, to give me the life I want.
When Jesus is beautiful to me, I’m looking for His face in my life, to give Him the love I feel.
When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world.
So herein lies my convicted heart. That’s the beauty of the cross, there’s no shame in our game, judgment or condemnation. Instead, there is love and conviction in this affliction.
This consoles my soul because I know the decay in this hallway needs removed today. I choose to see my beautiful Lord’s face in my space.
My heart remembers Lamentations 3:22-26:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
No wonder the Lord tells us to be ready in and out of season because this season of frying my heart crisp burns through all the lying. The enemy may be able to burn our tender hearts, but he won’t take us down with his assaulting darts.
World War III is fully equipped with grace and that’s key.
Waiting rooms are hard and filled with refinement opportunities; whether it’s medical, financial, legal or relational. When conditions look dilapidated and our lives and hearts become castrated due to these afflictions, it helps to remember the words of John Wesley:
My heart and faith is constantly tested during such periods in being weak and scared. The one thing I cleave to is that God loves me enough to take note of every tear I shed in the waiting room.
Psalm 56:8 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Leaving a trail of tears as we sojourn down a path of heartache is inevitable this side of heaven, so we would bode well to keep the depth of our relationship with the Lord constant.
Always in my heart…
Until next time…
The words paralyzing her heart matched the lyrics of the song playing, Love Hurts. “Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds and marks any heart not tough or strong enough to take a lot of pain. Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain. Love hurts. Love is like a flame, it burns you when it’s hot. Love hurts…”
Oooooh, love hurts!
As we took a break from cleaning up the holiday’s festivities, I noticed how there was a common theme to the music playing. Even though I was singing along intuitively while tidying up, I forgot how amazing the good ‘ole music from the ’70s and ’80s was.
Talk about living in an era that knew how to write music, especially songs about broken hearts and the power that love distributes and locks up; good and bad.
We’ve all had our hearts broken a time or two. I am no exception to that kind of pain. The lyrics mirrored some of the pain I lived through with the abuse, adultery, abandonment and rejection. Deep scarring pain…
As my sweet friend sheds a few tears being blue about the lies that came from her game called love, we reminisce about days past laughing our assets off. We were quickly reminded how the Lord knows our hearts, loves us and grieves right alongside of us.
Since He created us free-spirited, wild and crazy girls who just want to have fun, that means He has one amazing personality because we are made in His image, you know (Genesis 1:27).
Ha, the spoiled brat I am! Daddy’s little girl…
No sooner than we started giggling, B-52’s song called the Love Shack came on and we were quickly reminded that God is such a good, good father to His treasured daughters. He cares and hears our longings through loneliness. He replaced my sweet friend’s discouragement and despair into singing, laughing and lots of dancing.
We repeated this song at least a dozen times; no kidding…
My mind stills and turns reflective as I sit for a moment of rest. As I offer praises of gratitude for God’s direct intervention and His perfect timing, I hear His gentle whispers speaking to my heart, “You are my bride. I want you to receive more of my love. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Live more deeply in My Love for 2018.”
My heart’s desire yearns, “Show me more love, Lord. Show me how to live and go deeper in your Great Love.”
Being a bride of my Lord, I want to go deeper and do it right. Failed marriages have left nothing but a trail of tears filled with heartache and pain. Fears heighten inadequacies and shackle us making it hard to trust when we’re wrapped tightly around the enemy’s lies.
What is love anyways? The Lord can show us what His Great Love offers. His love is unconditional, full of protection, pursuit, serenading, secure, full of honor, support and LIFE!
What beloved does not want to be pursued and serenaded? Hello…
God’s outpouring of Love is not like mankind’s. His Love is not conditional on ANYTHING! He loves us despite what He knows about us, you know, our deceiving and ugly hearts at times (John 13:27-38).
Can I hear amazing grace? Hello…
2018 offers a fresh start with new beginnings. New life. New opportunities. New hopes and dreams. An outpouring of Love so great, you’ll never be the same again.
The Lord plants His seeds of love, care and affection meticulously. Like many beautiful rose gardens, our lives will grow and bloom (blossom, baby) right where we’re planted.
Oh, and God loves to show off so be prepared…
God intercedes in His perfect timing, but we have to be open and receptive to His Love. That takes a relationship. He works through such fun and amazing ways. Like turning on the B-52’s Love Shack at the perfect moment.
He cares and is concerned about EVERYTHING, our daily mundane tasks to the health of our hearts. After all, God is love. Love doesn’t have to hurt. Perfect Love heals. Love is a beautiful thing that God offers, whether we deserve it or not. That’s why having a relationship with Him is so satisfying and magical.
We all get lonely now and then and fall apart. We tire to listening to the sounds of our own tears. We feel nervous and anxious about our futures because years go by without our desires being fulfilled. This terrifies us.
But when we need God and need to be held and coddled, He is there. He will never forsake us. He’s always right alongside of us holding our hand. God is telling us to turn around, bright eyes. You’re beautiful!
Until next time…
If that doesn’t make you laugh your assets off, I question whether you have a pulse!!!
Happy New Year, Beautiful! You’ve started the new year off right, laughing your assets off and radiating that beautiful smile of yours!
Cheers to the Lord who will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing (Job 8:21). Let Jesus be that “perfect man.”
I’m praying your beauty continues to shine throughout 2018 and you change the atmosphere everywhere you go as you radiate His Great Love living inside of you.
Until next time…
Are you like me and suffer from Obsessive Christmas Disorder? You know our type, we live to experience all the romance stimulated from the idealized Christmas images that are only found in fantasies.
Like the warmth from the dancing flames twinkling in the fire as we roast our chestnuts to the secrets below the snow offering warmth to those who know!
Talk about delivering Christmas with an endless supply of love and peace without all the stress and mess.
Get behind me, Sister. If that exists, I will take you down to get it first.
This year for the first time EVER, this Obsessive Christmas Decorator and Entertainer is putting away the Martha Stewart and Pinterest Perfections. No gold and red placemats underlaying the striking gold chargers, layered with multiple white gold-leaf etching plates that resemble more of a pyramid with matching gold silverware. These beauties won’t find their respective spots on my table this year.
This year Christmas dinner and decor is simple, classy and easy to put together. The no hustle-and-bustle challenge, enjoying and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, will be accomplished. My desire to spend quality time being present and connecting with loved ones is blessing me with the true gift of generosity that God gave us some 2,000 years ago.
The birth of Jesus Christ is the reason for this season in celebrating and initiating a time for giving to others through love. Jesus is Love. Love is an action I am choosing to emulate instead of hyperventilate.
We have lost what Jesus represents. The meaning now projects selfishness with our commercialization; not to mention our fantasies. Hello!!!
We deplete our bank accounts, spend countless hours putting up lights and moving out of our own homes just to accommodate all the Christmas cheer and decorations.
Oh, I’m guilty as charged…
I’m not saying I’m not decorating. I’m saying you can’t land a 747 on my roof this year because you won’t be able to see it 30,000 feet in the air.
It’s important to decorate and glorify the birth of Christ, but there is more awareness of Santa than Jesus. Where is the time to connect, be present emotionally without being stressed out and living in the wrong hood (mindset), to love and be loved on with all those voices screaming to do more and BUY MORE???
Can I tell you a secret?
There is nothing worse than a hostess who is exhausted and peppers her guests with unwanted complaints leaking through her exhaustion about all the work she’s had to go through to put on this GRAND spread!
These intentions may have been gracious initially, but with this perfectionism in full force, her attitude, nerves, sighs and ughs wipe out the blessings and gifts intended with coming together, loving one another, and celebrating the life of Christ that Christmas illuminates in meaning.
I admit, there have been times I was that woman above. I didn’t know my leaking would turn into peaking.
This Christmas I’m holding my first Christmas Open House called Christmas Love. 1 John 3:18, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth, and serving PEACE!!!
This year my dish will be to spread the love of Jesus Christ by serving love, joy, peace and hope! I am trying to mirror Jesus by leaving a legacy of love, but I am not willing to literally lay down my life for all y’all, so…
That is something only Jesus can do!
We can only give with our beautiful hearts because God graciously gave to us first with the life of Christ (John 3:16). God reminds us not to fear through His gifting, “I bring you good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Without Jesus, we could not love. “Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us” (Acts 15:11).
My Christmas dinners emphasize the gift of generosity which consists of two cups of love, one cup of friendship, one cup of encouragement, three cups of honesty, one cup of joy, one and one-half cups of peace, a spoonful of understanding, three tablespoons of respect, and sprinkled with patience and a pinch of salt and myrrh.
Mix friendship, love and kindness all together in a large bowl. Slowly add a few drops of understanding and peace. Stir in honesty and encouragement for a firm dough that is pliable. Sprinkle half of the respect and joy and mix well. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes with patience or until it rises with glory. Remove from oven and sprinkle the rest of respect and goodness and a pinch of myrrh and salt to preserve its beauty.
Serve this love to all. Make peace with your purpose in life and smile, Beautiful. Your life is the icing on the cake. You are Christ’s Bride, after all…
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I pray we’re able to take the time to love our Lord for all He is and has done for us by giving Him our hearts. After all, He Loves us when we’re unlovable. We are able to come to Him and be loved just the way we are. His birth is worthy of all celebration.
Until next time…
He holds me tight as He covers and comforts all of my many fears and sorrows. My heart pours out grief while the unknowns and heartache for the days ahead open up the floodgates of Noah’s Flood. He knows what I’m up against. He’s still working on me, day and night, never giving up on me, EVER!
As He wipes away my tears, He tells me I’m more than enough…
What a concept, I’m more than enough! Words worth repeating, I’m-more-than-enough!
After all, I am His Masterpiece. And since He’s started something beautiful, I’m definitely going to believe it and walk it out celebrating those truths as He completes it. I’m just a girl who’s unfinished and a work-in progress. That’s called transformation.
The Lord spoke love into my bleeding heart this morning during my prayer time with: “I am speaking in the depths of your being. Be still, so that you can hear My voice. I speak in the language of Love. My words fill you with Life and Peace, Joy and Hope.” L-I-F-E and H-O-P-E!
I have chosen to celebrate Christmas for the first time EVER stress- and worry-free by filling each day with as much of God’s Love my heart can possibly contain with awareness of His presence instead of the hustle and bustle.
God’s presence continued throughout the day and during my hike with this display of a singular heart-shaped leaf. In disbelief, I had to bend down and touch it because it looked fake, purposely laid out, even to the childlike heart looking back at it.
Sadly, the lens on my phone was a bit dirty, but… Tell me that’s not a heart! What a way to romance a girl; heart-shaped leaves. I’m such a spoiled brat!
As I continued on my hike giggling, God continued sprinkling the pavement leading towards the ravine with His Love in the form of heart-shaped leaves. The pictures don’t reflect the beauty and majestic blessings these leaves delivered that were scattered all over the road, but my soul kept rejoicing, “Here’s my heart, Lord. Take more of it. Consume me with Your Wonder.”
There’s something about my Lord and this ravine. God delights my soul here. Even without my goats, I’m still entertained. This is the ravine where I encountered my bouquet of blue butterflies as I helped one escape the mud.
I am so grateful for God’s amazing patience and His relentless chase and pursuit after my heart. I’m not an easy girl to deal with at times, bull-headed I am. Knowing that God gives, God gave us Jesus just so we could engage in a relationship with Him and be reconciled through Jesus’ blood and grace, provides me with peace and assurance to waltz through life filled with love trusting my leader and teacher.
After encountering these many gifts JUST FOR ME, my body felt rejuvenated and loaded with energy and skip back into my step. I praised God and thanked Him for His deep and tender mercies and cranked up the tunes. Between Sia, Mandisa, Bruno Mars and Pistol Annie’s Hush-Hush, I was boogying along instead of hiking.
My gliding was delightfully interrupted with Miss Molly’s excited presence. This golden retriever squirms underneath her wrought-iron gate somehow when she sees or senses me coming for some love. Once my love tank was full, I put her back into her backyard and started praying again.
Just as I finished asking the Lord with a sincere heart to search my heart and show me the truths about myself so I can continue to follow Him closely, Casting Crown’s Here’s My Heart started playing.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Speak what is true!
Be blessed with the lyrics…
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Speak what is true!
I am found, I am Yours.
I am loved, I’m made pure.
I have life, I can breathe.
I am healed, I am free!
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Speak what is true!
Cause I am found, I am Yours.
I am loved, I’m made pure.
I have life, I can breathe.
I am healed, I am free.
‘Cause You are strong, You are sure.
You are life, You endure.
You are good, always true.
You are light breaking through!
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Speak what is true!
Here’s my life, Lord.
Here’s my life, Lord.
Here’s my life, Lord.
Speak what is true!
‘Cause you are more than enough.
You are here.
You are love.
You are hope.
You are grace.
You’re all I have, You’re everything!
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Here’s my heart, Lord.
Speak what is true!
Here’s my life, Lord.
Here’s my life, Lord.
Here’s my life, Lord.
Speak what is true!
Until next time…
Sadly, the majority of us must be naughty because we’re all running around trying to find that “perfect gift.” What is the perfect gift anyways?
What are we running towards and trying to prove in our quest for the perfect gift? Is it the best price? To be the first in line? Our image sweetened?
Is it a byproduct of guilt and conflict that we are somehow trying to soothe over through our purchases, hoping it will bring about the needed peace towards love and restoration?
If we’re honest, isn’t all that debt we incur and have to face eventually as we scramble about in pursuit of the perfect gift a reminder deep down that it’s already been purchased and paid in full?
If Jesus is the Reason for this Season, why are we spending countless hours in long lines offering forced smiles when, really, underneath it all, we’re just trying to hide under all the guilt and shame of the many hats we wear?
That’s what I call retail therapy, baby! ♥♥ You know, These boots are made for walking…
I remember in seasons past where shopping was experienced with anger brewing about by my pathetic attempts to secure peace as I became burdened with the thought of overextending myself through the daggers of debt. Yet, for whatever reason, it didn’t cease the spending.
It reminds me of the painful tug-of-war this side of heaven presents for that needed diffusion that only perfect peace can offer.
What I have learned personally myself is that all this expectation and debt and dashing about grows from my own root of discomfort caused from a lack of peace that needs cultivated and nurtured. We naively feel we can buy the recognition, love and affirmation we all crave for in finding that perfect gift.
We don’t have to buy love. It has already been purchased and paid for, at a high price I might add, which is the true and ultimate meaning of Christmas: L-O-V-E!
The perfect gift is something that was purchased only through Love; free to be received with no expectations or demands. A present is often known for having some sort of strings attached, being nice, or returnable if you’re naughty.
How does a Beloved who is a professed deliverer from Obsessive Christmas Disorder shop, decorate and celebrate when expectations placed from prior years’ performance rule? Who or what am I really trying to buy, impress, prove and strive for with my purchases?
What a humble teaching about myself…
I don’t have to buy anyone’s love. I’ve already been paid in full with Love that is not only fulfilling and rewarding, but satisfying to both the heart and soul.
The perfect gift prepares my heart for what this sacrificial Gift ♥ delivers and that Christmas promises; the Love given from my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
That perfect gift that we all search for is talked about in John 14:27 that says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Isn’t that the Perfect Gift that we are all searching for and one in which only our Savior could purchase and bless us with?
Jesus paid significantly for our salvation and reconciliation, to say the least; but in today’s world, isn’t peace the greatest commodity valued in a world full of conflict and we would do almost anything to acquire it?
Even though Mary did not know that her baby boy would one day save our sons and daughters, she pondered in her heart what the angel told her in Luke 1:26-38. She took the time required being still so she could reflect and celebrate all the amazing things that the Lord God Almighty was entrusting her with so she would have peace while being scorned and ridiculed.
She moved forward with all the discomforts, challenges and fears because she was filled, literally, with both Perfect Gifts, peace and Jesus Himself. That expresses “God with us” perfectly and the meaning of Immanuel.
I cannot fathom the hardships, loneliness and complete abandonment Mary was subjected to, but we do know that she gleaned her strength in order to abandon all expectations as to how this King would be born.
I don’t know about you, call me high maintenance, but if I was going to bear the responsibility in giving birth to a king, I would expect at least silk sheets and cashmere blankets, not to mention a five-star hotel to begin with.
Because of this Perfect Gift, the world can now tap into and experience the peace that Immanuel offers: God with us. Now that’s the Perfect Gift and worthy of celebration!
Never forget, Beautiful Beloved, you are an amazing gift to the world from God Himself. You are precious, pursued and prized just the way you are! Time to just receive and be.
Until next time…
My mind has been fixated on two particular songs this Christmas season that announce a tug of war going on between pain and gain; Mary Did You Know and Labor of Love. One speaks of being highly favored in carrying the King of all kings and all its glory, while the other speaks to the pain and suffering surrounding the inhumane conditions and environment during the birth of Jesus.
Mary is known for being the mother of Jesus Christ and for sojourning through life with influence being “highly favored.” This pronouncement of grace delivered by the angel named Gabriel confuses her deserved respect to mere idolatry today (Luke 1:28).
I don’t know about you, but the planting of that miraculous seed developing right before my very eyes, both figuratively and literally, would open the doorway of vulnerability for enemy attacks, assaults and accusations. I would have absolutely no time to prepare or be on guard for the automatic deployment of the flaming arrows that would confuse this “gift” being highly favored.
When God speaks, we oftentimes forget there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
Do I hear an Amen before the ahem?
Worshiping a sinful woman who suffered immensely beyond all comprehension destroys her deep faith and amazing testimony. She should definitely be respected and praised, but not idolized and sought after for prayer, deliverance, you name it. Her life is an example to follow!
Mary was a woman of faith and discipline. When Jesus referred to Mary as “Woman” in John 2:4 during the wedding, that should have initiated an automatic reactionary backhand.
Though we don’t know all the details, Mary’s faith was built on trust and delivered through tragedy and heartache.
As I focus on the words of both songs and understand what all it cost Mary being Jesus’ mother, it reminds me of my own grief and losses as a parent. My faith recalls my own refinement process and the molding and shaping that occurred during my school of pain. My children will receive their gifting, but some qualities are delayed, others cost dearly, and many can only be learned through pain and suffering.
Absent of Mary’s labeling, she didn’t know her baby boy would calm violent storms with His precious hands. That He would give sight to the blind. That He would walk where angels trod. And each time she leaned in to kiss her baby boy, she had no idea she was kissing the face of God.
She never knew that her son would be Lord of all creation and would one day rule all the nations. How could she? Nor that her baby boy would be crucified and tortured right before her very eyes just to save our sons and daughters.
Moms, that’s excruciating pain…
The thought that this precious baby cooing and looking back at you as he nurses off of your breasts has come to make you new, and this child that you delivered will soon deliver you because He is the Great I Am is unimaginable!
Forget the glamorous depiction of a cleaned-up baby Jesus with white skin and blue eyes. That’s an illusion. Jesus was most probably dark skinned. He was born in filth, disease and decay. Mary may have delivered and brought down heaven, but it was not in conditions that were indicative of any kingdom affluence and/or privilege.
“It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground. You could hear a woman cry in the alley late at night. And the stable was not clean, and the cobblestones were cold, little Mary full of grace with the tears upon her face with no mother’s hand to hold…”
It was nothing short of a Labor of Love.
Mary knew Jesus was unlike any other, yet she went through questionable behaviors and unknowns just like we do regarding what her child would become. Being the mother of Jesus required more than mastering the skills needed to raise an extra-grace required child.
She pondered and treasured the words in her heart that the angel Gabriel delivered, the words of Elizabeth, the shepherds’ pronouncements, and the prophetic words of the Old Testament. She kept tapping into these treasures deep in her heart along with her faith and trust in God.
These treasures Mary held near to her heart are what kept her brave and strong. This radiance is what both held and lit the way during darkness. We may not understand everything, but we can love and support while believing in others because Jesus radiates within our souls.
If we are beloveds who delight in the gift of Jesus’ presence, we become imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Jesus is the Labor of Love!
Until next time…
We’ve all been here. We see a hot guy coming and our desire and need to be loved is so strong, so intense, it overwhelms what love actually looks like. We become delusional, even fanatical, of what Love really is. Our actions start mirroring conduct more similar to the Energizer bunny that demands, “Love me, love me, love me.”
Can I hear awkward?
We become so desperate for love, that we get right in its face and proclaim, “What about me? I need to be acknowledged, to be seen, to be desired, TO BE LOVED!
To be or not to be, that is the question. Literally! Is love a feeling or action?
Our egotistical nature says love is a selfish feeling, not a selfless act. But in truth, love is a decision to act! God gave, so…
What happens when Romeo is on the horizon and you have lived in your head for so long watching “your script,” that the frames of reality don’t match up with the projection you see?
Here your moment finally shines TO BE, but you blind him with all your preconceived fanatics as to how love is supposed to be. That delectable fantasy where you’re expecting to be seen, to be embraced, to be swept literally off of your feet as you’re twirled about and kissed passionately being ever-so-desired is nowhere to be found.
That’s when he runs right past you without even as much as a hint of a raised eyebrow or the infamous nod saying, “What’s up?”
Can I hear Rejection with a capital R?
You sulk and pout as you engage in your pity party for ONE! No one is invited to be a part of your toddler tantrums and pathetic fits wrapped around your gallon of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Butterfinger shavings. That’s a Blizzard, baby!
The punch-drunk slobbers from your chasers of To-Kill-Ya (Tequila) and lime along with your emotions to be loved glue your focus to Netflix’s marathon of High Fidelity, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, and finally in realizing, He’s Just Not That Into You!
Suddenly the nausea from the Tequila and sugar fix regurgitates loud reminders of Truths. You wanted truth. This Truth will set you free:
I have hung a love lock or two in my lifetime, but only one remains. Knowing that someone was willing to die JUST TO KNOW ME, well, that is the one Who holds my key and where my heart is devoted. The One who will never LEAVE ME nor FORSAKE ME!
Think about that, how can we lock up love if it is fluid; always flowing and changing?
Love is an action, not a feeling. Love is TO BE! TO BE that “love.” To be is an action.
When Love is to be, Love will never fail (1 Corinthians 13:8). Love never fails!
Have we romanticized love so much in our egotistical society that we forgot love is an action and not a feeling?
When I start demanding I need to be loved, that is my trigger screaming I am lacking intimacy with my Lord. God designed us to be loved, but primarily by Him meeting our every need. We are much better spouses and friends when we know and walk in His Great Love.
I’m the first to admit that I’m needy for love; God’s love! After all, you can’t become high maintenance without a need, right?
I need to hide myself in my Lord’s Love often so my love tank can be full. After all, like Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Now, that’s liquid courage and LOVE to start each day!
Love is a hard thing to do. I lean into passages that remind me personally how loved I am that will hold me back from falling into the pits of depression, doubt and discouragement. And when others assault and reject, the words of Rick Warren remind me, “God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”
So I pray… “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).
And since my faith tells me “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished” (Luke 1:45), I can embrace each day knowing I am loved more than I will ever know by someone who died to know “just me.” And that’s a shot of confidence and boost of courage to face each and every day.
Whenever we are feeling unloved, insecure, devalued or just don’t belong, we can remember to Whom we belong and Who died just to have a relationship with us. Jesus is the only Love worth searching for.
Until next time…
She took a few hard steps forward, slammed the car door shut with her left leg exposing the knee-high boots underneath her sweater. Talk about announcing her presence! She inhaled confidence and exhaled grace as she strutted up to the doorstep looking just as good as her attitude…
One teeny-weeny secret about me: I love boots, especially high-heeled ones. There is just something powerful about high heeled boots that make me feel beautiful and playful. You know that confidence that exudes a radiant beloved who is one polished and refined mama! Ha!
How about you, is there something in your wardrobe that makes you feel especially beautiful and gives you that extra skip in your step resembling power and even playtime? Please tell me I’m not alone.
I love my cowboy boots as they offer sass to go along with the class, but they lack spunk with the funk. I find myself wanting to line dance more often than not instead of walking along, and with life being a dance (hush-hush)…
I end up looking more like (hush-hush)…
Talk about fellowship that won’t soon be forgotten! Enough said…
The flat heeled kind, that’s what I predominantly wear for comfort and practicality, along with keeping my height under six feet. They keep me subdued, somewhat restrained, with an ease to hide behind my clothes and feelings. Do I hear bloating and PMS?
But throw in a pair of high-heeled boots that extend over the knee, can I hear a great big Hallelujah!
What us poor girls go through just to look and feel beautiful. We even go so far as to tape up our second two toes together or we wear these orthotics to somehow or another trick our brain into thinking that the pain caused from the six-inch heal isn’t really harming us.
Okay. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here with my visualization, but…
Those feet are caused from hours of hard work to bring us the beauty and grace of dance.
Why is it we can have great hair days, plenty of rest (what’s that?), glowing skin and plenty of Jesus time before we walk out of our mad houses where we feel good about ourselves, but there’s something extra special about a new outfit or perceived image we project.
Does God want us wearing high-heeled boots over our knees just to feel lovely and confident enough? No. He wants us to walk out our faith knowing we’re beautiful and our boots are made for walking. We are clothed in splendor and grace. Righteousness is our fashion along with the unique qualities and characteristics that only WE HAVE (yay baby!).
So what are our motives for bringing pain just in order to look good?
No, I’m not drinking. I’m just sharing how ludicrous even I am willing to go to feel beautiful at times. And since I’m sulking under ice, I’ll let you laugh right alongside of me.
So Fridays are generally my shopping days. Retail therapy helps soothe the pain from the loss of expectations and the problems my son has found himself in being housed in county jail.
I leave behind a piece of my tattered and bleeding heart each time I say goodbye to our weekly “video visitation” sessions. There’s something about a mother’s love; it is relentless and unconditional no matter what… well, at least that’s unconditional love like God’s Great Love… but there are times you wonder how your heart can keep beating when you’re wearing it on your sleeve instead.
I generally pray something like this before shopping:
Father God, I pray you will grant me the grace to shop wisely and not extravagantly to cover and wrap up my depleted heart so I may be focused instead on the many beloveds in need of your Great Love!
I’m not that selfless either!
So we happened to be shopping with a purpose: For wedding shoes. Trying to find the perfect high heels to wear for a wedding can spell trouble with a capital T.
The pain in my heart alerted me to an exciting pair of boots that were not only forbidden, but not on the agenda both financially or time well spent. And of course, I just happened to fall in love with a pair of boots that only a woman 30 years younger could and should wear, and only for a few minutes I might add.
Remember what Master of Destruction looks like? Deception…
No pain, no gain, right? Is that what vanity has done to us, we must go through pain in order to have worldly gain, instead of being naturally beautiful?
To conclude my pathetic opening line… She took a few hard steps forward, slammed the car door shut with her left leg exposing the knee-high boots underneath her sweater. Talk about announcing her presence! She inhaled confidence and exhaled grace as she strutted up to the doorstep looking just as good as her attitude until…
… She came tumbling down delivering the knock notice. My ankles were much too weak to carry this 5’10” frame on six-inch stick heels.
Daring gravity and decay was way out of my league. My suede pair with chunky heels are hot enough.
Until next time…
Who would have known that the feared and ferocious lion who roams around looking for someone to devour would have a tender, gentler side enough to extend an embrace (hug) with his cub. Hugs are not dangerous, though. Hugs offer safety while developing trust that can only be delivered through God’s Love.
I was blessed to be a recipient of God’s Great Love that permeated all the way through from a hug. This hug somehow or another wrapped itself tightly around my tender heart last week. My pastor’s gentle, yet firm, unrushed hug revealed the distance between our two hearts… NONE!!! She may be a tiny thing, but her love was a supernatural outpour!
Amazingly, she loves and engages with every single member of our congregation. You won’t find our pastors running from their flock and responsibility because Janice and Doug Bird’s leadership style and devotion is why I call Abundant Life Fellowship my home. Now that I am firmly planted, I have room to bloom and grow!
Coming from a person who hugs ALL THE TIME, I have never received such a deep hug that wrapped itself all the way around my tender heart from just a simple hug. It was beautiful and it forever bonded my heart to hers. Knowing I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, I felt God’s love and touch through Janice’s beautiful outreach which revealed two like-minded hearts.
I feel blessed when I get to share the love of my Lord and my heart through a smile, a hug, a listening ear, some time and engagement. I’m not always gentle and nice either. Cross me a few times and I admit, my claws become hyper-extended and I’m ready to ponce and go for the jugular. You too?
I’m undeniably a big hugger and I believe we need more love expressed through this simple act that offers free treatment for many ailments in today’s society. Unless it’s in a strictly professional environment, like a courtroom setting, I will extend a hug rather than a handshake any day. But even then…
Last week I was initially perplexed by the Girl Scouts announcement issuing a warning to parents cautioning them “not to force their daughters” to give family members a hug or kiss this holiday season as a token of gratitude. Though, I do support and value this encouragement in hopes it will open communication.
Initially, being a h-u-g-g-e-r, I was appalled through my own confusion in understanding their recommendation. With sexual harassment and consent being heightened, this advisal was a nudge to help parents navigate through social settings within the family dynamics regarding affection. This directive was merely suggesting that the girls not be “pushed” or “forced” to hug as a token of payment for gratitude and/or appreciation.
Honestly, this would have been a helpful tool for me knowing that a simple “thank you” or a “high five” was all that was necessary or “owed” in being polite and respectful. Not the entitlement that my body belonged as payment for acknowledgement of familial status and/or gratitude.
Being a beloved with an uncle whose hands resembled more like worms squirming through dirt, I am grateful for this awareness about physical affection and consent in familial gatherings. This will help us teach our children tools that will equip them with boundaries and authority later in life.
This knowledge would have empowered me with courage to stand up and say “no” with authority and made sure it wasn’t swept underneath the rug and treated as acceptable behavior.
The Girl Scouts is offering guidance for these highly sensitive matters and it will equip these precious girls with developmental tools they will need to enhance their beautiful character, to be courageous, brave and confident in deciding what is appropriate with their own bodies.
Most children love to hug naturally. This was an encouragement to allow these girls the freedom to decide whether or not to hug and be comfortable while not “expecting” or “forcing” them to oblige.
But… Hugs offered freely through love towards another beloved offer proven healing and blessings that only take 20 seconds and are priceless and free. We cannot lose sight of these miraculous benefits.
It has been shown that hugs release the powerful oxytocin hormone which is known to heal loneliness and dispel anger while providing feelings of trust and safety through social bonding. Hugs increase the serotonin levels which create happiness. Hugs strengthen the immune system, boots self-esteem, and they even balance out the nervous system.
Sounds like a powerful drug-free antidepressant or even Xanax and Valium diffuser, maybe?
I’m praying for those who feel rejected or lonely. I’ve been there! Hugs are way better than drugs. Hugs offer lasting love, acceptance and healing powers. Hug someone today because you cannot put your arms around a memory.
I am praying 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 over all of us, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts…”
Until next time…
This weekend at church, we did our Cardboard Testimonies production which was similar to the Tammy Tangent Tuesdays Cardboard Testimonies post I wrote awhile back regarding homelessness. I was so grateful and honored to be a part of these unique testimonies declaring what all God had delivered each beloved from. Talk about celebrating!
This emulates how I feel the Body of Christ, our churches, were intended to function: Mirroring the life of Christ. After receiving this amazing grace through salvation which transforms our lives into such a beautiful alchemy, that we pay it forward by ushering and extending grace into others. Nothing short of miraculous! That’s gratitude right there.
During the rehearsals and group gatherings, I was asked, “How do you keep your love tank and life so full of joy and happiness?”
I get asked this often and it startles me each time because I don’t realize how happy and joyful I am, even during the hard times. I’m generally referred to as Miss Barnabas because God blessed me with the gift of encouragement, but…
In my belief system, we always have plenty of reasons to be grateful. Gratitude is a choice; like intentionally choosing to focus on the positive. It’s not a don’t-worry, be-happy mindset; it’s more like be grateful and you will become happy! I choose to be grateful and appreciate every moment I’m given, even when it’s painful. The abundance of God’s Love and light pouring in and through my life makes me appreciate each moment.
Being receptive to this kind of Love was hard at first to receive, but once I embraced it, I was able to realize that I don’t have to perform and conform or change anything. I just have to be and receive. That’s Love worthy of praise!
How we imagine happiness is where we differ from one another. Once I changed my thinking and got rid of the toxic poison injected from past hurts and from not forgiving others, I started living life through the freedom of who God says I am. I started being grateful for simple things that most take for granted, like God’s presence and peace. Talk about a supernatural gift!
Oddly enough, I then became eternally grateful for the hard times that transformed my life. I may not want to endure them again, but I am grateful for the blessings of strength, courage and perseverance they equipped me with.
This opened my eyes to the gifts God lays out for us everyday hoping we’ll acknowledge them by picking them up and opening them. No hoarding allowed! Like the gift of warmth encountered from the sunlight. The colorful bouquets of flowers, or the beautiful bouquet of blue butterflies. The swaying trees dancing to their own beat while offering an umbrella of protection from the elements as they adorn leaves changing colors.
How often are we grateful for the hard, even formidable, events that cross our paths that make us stronger, kinder, even smarter? Just because we’re assaulted with bleeding hearts does not entitle us to infect others!
The annoying neighbor/friend that taught us to implement boundaries. The simplicity of laughter echoing from an innocent child that filled our ears with delight. The comfort that comes from our tear-stained pillows. Our favorite blanket that offers more comfort than warmth.
Are we grateful for the kindness extended from others? The smiles that set our hearts on fire. The hugs that found themselves somehow wrapped around our tender hearts. The power of a touch. An honest compliment. A listening ear. Letting go of the things that were never intended for us to have. Finding the strength to push through when the easiest thing to do was to give up.
Gratitude helps us see what is there instead of what isn’t. I’m grateful for those times when I’ve felt alone and unworthy and my fears were known while being exposed. The usher who hands me a tissue when I’m releasing my issues. Better yet, being grateful for that time when my bladder was about to bust in that long line and someone else offered their spot so I did not combust or disgust. Talk about gratitude!!!
I am eternally grateful for being the one who loved when there was a thousand reasons not to.
Even on our hardest days, we can be grateful for the most beautiful things in life that were never even seen with our eyes, because they were experienced deep within the recesses of our hearts; like a gentle kiss, a tear, or even a prayer.
Every day is a gift. Unwrap it with joy and gratitude. I pray you experience the true blessings of Thanksgiving this year with a heart full of gratitude.
Until next time…
There’s something in the air or it’s that time of year again. Why all this hustle and bustle in early November? Maybe it’s a sense of entitlement or a lack of social etiquette? People are more rude, and they’ve become rather shrewd while loving to feud!
As I was running late to meet with an old friend for a dinner date, I could barely get halfway across the street before these trick-or-treat peeps decided to greet! These special peeps wanted to receive their treats that were more than just sweet; drug candy! Nothing was going to get in their way.
All I can say, there better be a day that I will get to vaycay. Maybe it’s time to wrap up the beach and put it underneath the tree and just be!
All I kept thinking to myself was: “Who let the animals out…”
As I wrapped my mind around this window of chaos and decided to continue across, my cell phone alerted me to a text message. It was my girlfriend canceling one minute before we were supposed to meet up for dinner.
Come on, one minute beforehand? What, you couldn’t have called thirty minutes beforehand when you were supposed to be in the car driving?
And then to text? This technological luxury has become an “out” for absolutely no accountability. What’s next, automatic replies?
I got really angst because this reminded me of this girlfriend that had a tendency to do this repeatedly. One time she called and told me she was deathly ill and had to cancel, so I continued onto my day without much thought.
Then lo and behold, sitting at an intersection, I happened to look over and saw her driving a brand-new vehicle that everyone “but me” told her not to buy. In my heart, she is a big girl and it’s her life, so she can decide whether or not to splurge and buy herself a gift. I can only offer my opinion when asked.
Let me share, she almost had a stroke trying to run from me at that stoplight. I will forever laugh at how shame couldn’t get her from zero to sixty fast enough! Busted!
Something is wrong when we’re too ashamed or embarrassed to share our lives, gifts and blessings. It took her three weeks before she reached out after being busted. Friendships are supposed to celebrate the good times while supporting and helping one another shoulder the tough times, right?
I mean, I’ll jump in the passenger seat and get chauffeured around in your fancy-pants car any time; why be ashamed? No comparison or competition here, only celebration. I’m a beloved who’s had it all and lost it all.
I don’t want that kind of relationship with ANYONE. These comparisons and competitions are robbing us of beautiful friendships and lives full of peace and joy as we celebrate each other. Especially rejoicing with one another the blessings of God!
I don’t want the anxiety and anger that comes from dishonesty and guilt. If I have to prove myself to you, then that’s a relationship that is filled with deceit and betrayal. Where’s the freedom in love in that kind of arrangement?
The Bible exhorts us to “let your gentleness be evident to all…” (Philippians 4:5).
When we sojourn in thriving relationships, we’re not going to be walking in opposite directions. We’re going to be traversing in the same direction. If we are not, then how are we supposed to hear each other and engage in life through intimacy in listening and sharing? Communication is vital to intimacy.
In today’s society, social media presence and “likes” seem to define our time, worth and value. God forbid, we should put our phones down for a couple hours! Are those hundreds of friends there when you’re sick? Do they really know what’s going on inside your bleeding heart that’s on the other side of the screen?
Are you freakin’ stinkin’ kidding me?
Isn’t that how we are with God? We just call upon Him when times are tough and then when that trial period concludes, we don’t think much about Him until the next catastrophe rolls in. Talk about a marriage of convenience! Prayer is not a flippant quickie; it’s a privilege!
The woman who walks with God will ALWAYS reach her destination! She doesn’t walk away from Him once her needs have been met. Since she regularly walks with her Lord, she knows God’s deep mercies and tender heart. In fact, she mirrors His attributes because she walks so closely with Him each step of the way.
God isn’t just a flippant prayer-for-relief line. God is our creator, the lover of our souls, the one who calls us His masterpieces and pursues us as His precious treasured daughters.
Life with God is more than a box of chocolates. It’s a journey where only One gets to carry the key to our lockets. We can radiate His Great Love and peace sojourning towards our destination until we walk through those pearly gates.
With all the beautiful festivities ahead, maybe we can emulate our Lord by spending time supporting and encouraging one another as we celebrate each other with grace and gratitude. We’re all trying to reach the finish line gracefully!
Until next time…
What pushes you to your knees? How about who meets you there when you’re down? And when you’re done confessing your burdened heart, are you met with love and acceptance or judgment and condemnation?
If we’re going to be totally honest here, I’m sure WE WOULD ALL AGREE that when we fess up and own up to our mistakes and less-than-stellar facades, we are met with anything but love. But why is that?
We all need “safe people” that we can shed a layer or two while being fully known and fully loved. At least I do…
The Pope accepts he’s imperfect. He even proclaims he needs forgiveness daily. If Pope Francis admits his hardships and imperfections, being the Bishop of Rome, with ALL power, prestige and influence, why are we so afraid to?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m pushed to my knees, this is where I find my real home, my comfort and my safe refuge. This is where my Lord meets up with every kind of crazed vomiting I could possibly upchuck. And sometimes…
Well, let’s just say projectile vomiting isn’t very attractive. In fact, it’s nasty, but sometimes a girl’s just got to release and purge…
This is where I am fully known and fully loved and accepted. This is the only place where I’m fully known and fully loved without judgment and condemnation. What a beautiful comfort it is. This is why the high maintenance side of me is constantly sitting at the feet of Jesus; I can be nasty!
That’s kind of sad, really… Even tragic. Why can’t we be fully known and fully loved in our own homes and communities?
If I profess with my mouth that there is freedom in exposure because of this Great Love and the confidence I receive while engaging in a relationship with Jesus Christ, why am I getting a sick feeling in knowing now is the time to push aside the preaching and teaching and REALLY start digging up the terror of truths at the bottom of the grave that I dug to keep all the deep hurts buried?
Why are we fearful in sharing our adversities, our tragedies and heartaches when it is here where our relationship with the Lord deepens and where we find where our great riches in life are?
Do you think the Pope gets discouraged by the actions of God’s people, especially those that betray others by acknowledging their beliefs, but not in their practices?
I think he does. I believe that’s why he’s been called to his position today. He appears to love and rule without an iron-fist governance. He can love through action, not judgment and condemnation, and correct without terrifying threats.
Do you think he feels betrayed when his friends (other priests) and family abandon and reject him like we do? Do you think he becomes embittered and immobilized because others mock and jeer him, especially when it comes down to his faith? That is called persecution, after all.
I believe he would pray for the offenders, be grateful for the lean times, the mean times, and any other times that draw him closer to our Lord.
Adversity keeps us on our knees and deepens our trust and relationship with God if we don’t become embittered.
Heartaches are what has kept me close to my Lord. So for that, I am eternally grateful!
These beautiful truths penned by Timothy J. Keller are so fitting and remind us of the freedom and beauty found when we’re vulnerable enough to be fully known and fully loved:
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.
I want to be known and loved so I must continue to allow exposure! I’m a work in progress, as we all are, and I consider myself vulnerable and transparent, but I admit to covering over my deep hurts. I have been healed and have forgiven my violators, but it’s still uncomfortable to share such relentless grief and heartache.
With all the ongoing tragedies, I am sensing God to be calling us outside of our comfort zones by summoning us to unite and connect together to mirror His Love instead of hiding behind our closed doors in fear of being fully known.
God gave me gifts and abilities to use for Him. These gifts may have come from the sprinkling of pain and suffering, but God allowed me to walk through these valleys so I could use these tools to effectively help others. They were given to me as a gift to be utilized for His service. To be a reflection of His Love.
I may not like the suffering I feel going through trials, but once I have walked through it, I can actually say this deepened love I have for the Lord would never have developed had I not had tragedy and heartache.
Until next time…
With all the strife, division, violence and destruction in today’s world, whether you are a part of it or have been effected (all of us), where do we go to seek shelter and refuge for peace?
The threat is real. Not even our congregations, a place of worship, is safe and sacred anymore. Can we really experience God’s perfect peace in turmoil?
I believe we can be steady and stable during the surrounding chaos if our trust is comforted with God’s mighty power and unchanging love. We don’t have to be shaken by all these cataclysmic events.
I loved how the Country Music Awards last night opened their ceremonial procession with singing Amazing Grace and extending words of peace and harmony! It is fitting, timely and full of truths.
The only Truth we can hold onto right now in a world that is full of destruction is God’s amazing grace!
How do we love each other and unite together in a world where people would rather kill than sit down and communicate to express our thoughts and feelings or even agree to disagree?
I’m trying to lean into the Lord myself knowing Jesus wept by putting ALL my trust into Him so I can live in peace. I’m a beloved encountering many tragedies myself. But sometimes with all these worries on my plate, all I want to do is run away to my refuge located at the beach and hide while denying reality.
The beach is my safe spot, my refuge, a place where I experience life-sustaining peace. This is where I get to meet and connect with my Lord freely and uninhibitedly. The presence of each sunset that the Lord magnificently paints just for me brings immeasurable peace as I engage in this period of stillness for rest, reflection and renewal.
I don’t know how my contribution towards “change” is going to look, but I’m not going to allow fear or worry to hinder my moving forward and trust my path. This is going to require God’s perfect peace; peace to hear, to guide and to direct each step.
God’s Love reaches to the depths of our discouragement, our despair, and even death. We are never lost or singled out from His Great Love. Tragically, we have chosen to remove God from our lives and homes and then we wonder where He is when calamity strikes.
I know what the Lord has done for me and what He has done through me. Let me share, His love builds bridges where division has separated and divided.
God’s Love is immeasurable, like the ocean. With its vastness, you realize you’re but one part of many contributors to this magnificent portrait being painted. God’s peace is orchestrated through this opera of brilliant blue-jeweled water as the ocean music soothes with its gentle rippling waves. The air is heavy with ocean spray as the sea song of waves soothe and cleanse the soul.
This reinforces we have power, TOGETHER, with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18).
We wonder why our world is where it is today with all the death, destruction and division when we’ve removed God completely from our lives and homes unless we want to cast blame. I don’t have all the answers, but we can no longer sit back and do nothing.
In order to contribute to change, we need to step out and come together understanding WE EACH MAKE UP and have A PART and responsibility FOR CHANGE through common ground. That takes trust!
Common ground is having 75 courageous women coming together one after another in bringing awareness of the heinous acts against women that Harvey Weinstein violated for decades. It took beloveds who were brave enough to stand up for the rights and justice of others and say enough is enough to initiate change. We can’t let fear and worry paralyze!
Coming Together, Praying Together, and Changing The World Together!
Change can be beautiful. This is where God turns our ashes into beauty. It starts with one bold and determined beloved. Where that bridge is built, others will come. It may initially be awkward, but through Love Himself, all things are possible!
Thoughts and prayers need to be lived out WITH actions! Prayer initiates action, not complacency. This requires peace to trust the One leading. I personally am not going to stop loving the unlovable, nor am I going to stop reaching out extending my heart and hand to those who need to witness the hands and feet of God in action because of fear or worry.
We can have a significant voice in this world. Peace overrides worry and fear. Worry only produces negatives in its darkroom. We can be gentle, firm and confident with peaceful spirits when we live out our lives trusting in the One Who is in control and Who will bring vengeance to those who try to kill, steal and destroy.
Until next time…
Ever notice those parents or grandparents that are squealing with delight and having way too much fun, more so than even the kids appear to be?
Do they know something we don’t?
I admit, there have been many times where I fulfilled the desires of my childlike heart and blamed this free spirit and craziness on the kids and grandkids, but not anymore. We are not guaranteed our tomorrows, and there’s a little girl deep inside that wants to come out and play.
Well, today was no exception…
Maybe that’s why I’m sick now!
Between the excitement from this weekend’s rain that had refreshed my soul with an internal temperature I could not control, well… WE just had to go out and play!
Yes, it was all my idea so I will take credit for all the glares and stares.
Actually, I do declare they were just sentiments of wishful thinking and admiration in that they weren’t out there with us having fun.
Social media checking, television watching or cleaning the house was apparently way more important than playing in the rain and exploring the innocence and beauty of living life today.
Not only did we go out and play and cause quite a commotion, but we were greeted with not one, not two, but three quack-quacks who were more curious than us!
Sojourning with the Lord this side of heaven can be quite an exhilarating ride when we humble ourselves enough to embrace a childlike heart and live life freely for each new day given without worry and apprehension. That can be kind of hard these days with all the tragedy and heartache, but it can be experienced. God’s sprinkling of love is available for us each and every day.
Like this past weekend, it was almost as though the ducks took on our role of experiencing this phenomenon called exploration with a childlike heart filled with joy, curiosity and wonder (inquisition at her finest!). That is, until the wild turkeys had to bombard us with claiming their turf in the surf!
If the turkeys only knew what consisted as part of the main focal point on Thanksgiving, they would have danced alongside of us. Gobble-gobble.
Misery may love company, but us quack-quacks love to play and sing in the rain. At least I do! And sometimes… well, let’s just say the little girl in me comes out to play in a profound way at times. I love a great adventure!
For instance, as my friends can all attest, backseat driving was never more comical than an adventure with me occupying that space. I am the one in the backseat exclaiming during an obnoxious stop light that is sitting idle in red tempting our patience (and my bladder), “In the name of Jesus, turn green so we can go before I go.”
Oh, and it worked, too. What a memory for a carload full of “established” women. The adventures of Tammy in Wonderland. Depends undergarments never looked so good!
You know that old song, Old MacDonald had a farm…
Indulge me here, please, as you sing along!
You know, I am really liking this being me kind of thing… There’s freedom in just being!
I pray that your week ahead is filled with an outpouring of refreshment similar to the cleansing rains we have been blessed with here in Northern California. And with more storms approaching, I pray you will take the time to love much and to sing and dance in the rain as your week is sprinkled with new life and childlike wonder that will restore your soul with God’s amazing grace!
I’ll be singing and dancing somewhere; you know me!
Until next time..
As I sat in the chilling and all-too-familiar courtroom making small talk with the surrounding attorneys, fear of doom ushered me right into a place of needed defibrillation. My broken heart could not restore stable rhythm. These palpitations were caused merely by fear!
I cherish these rare glimpses of his presence. They fill my depleted heart with warmth and comfort that only he can deliver. I couldn’t wait for this sustainable joy to be released throughout the courtroom when his presence entered.
You see, this joystick I was waiting for is packaged in a 6’5″ bundle of sunshine shackled in chains along with a bright orange county jail uniform. Those brief two- to three-second eye contacts with “I love you, mom” mutters had become the norm and the only visualization I would be blessed with each month for 14 straight months.
I became more acquainted with every inch of his blonde hairline and the back of his head that I once cupped and rubbed as I nursed him, along with witnessing his body language displaying defeat and despair. Weekly visits consist of 30-minute video visitations where I try and share the love with matching colors. Blondes do look great in orange!
From the outside, this photograph above that was taken at Disneyland almost 20 years ago portrays a beautiful family happily on a treasured holiday. What you don’t see is the pain behind the facades painted so brightly. We were as tight and challenged as The Three Musketeers, but without the help emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially from a father figure and familial support, the tight rope became weakened and the roles somehow became displaced.
The payback for surviving this labor of love is oftentimes bittersweet. One must undergo grueling pain and hopelessness before the miraculous occurs!
My heart leans into my source of peace and power for the electrical stimulation to jolt my heart back into normal sinus rhythm by remembering the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the book of Genesis. They were basically cast away, cut off, because they threatened the heir with their existence.
As Hagar leaned in and called out to God in her distress, God met her right where she was and comforted her. She called God “El-Roi,” which in the original Hebrew tongue means “The God who sees” (Genesis 16:13).
In this bizarre season of despair and fear the past 14 months just waiting for a court trial date, knowing your son feels unseen, worthless, not understood, nor defended, rips this mother’s heart to the core because there’s nothing I can do anymore except to trust the One who is writing my son’s story and to love and support him all I can.
I can do this because I know the Lord hears my relentless cries and pleas for help similar to how God heard Hagar in Genesis 16. God met Hagar right where she was. God continues to meet me right where I am.
People judge. People ostracize. Family ridicules and forsakes. Church members gossip. People fear you. Friends walk away. People demand YOU SHOULD BE DOING X, Y and Z, but fail to do anything except criticize and point fingers. Families divide.
Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty” and “unconditional love”?
God is meeting my son right where he is. This wilderness is exactly the place where my son is seen by God. Not only seen, but now my son understands, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
He can’t run or hide from God in jail. All he can do is look up and see how much God loves him and accepts him just the way he is. He is finally seeing that there is nothing he has to do to be loved by God. It’s not by belief systems, performance, denomination, works, conformity, you name it. His life matters and is worthy to be loved.
I have walked quite a journey with the Lord; learning to follow Him through Love rather than follow Him out of fear. I have learned the meaning behind God’s attributes; His heart, His grace, His deep mercies and His will over time. He has never forsaken me. I am able to trust Him like a child in His provision.
There is nothing more torturous, more indescribable, than the shame and guilt a mother often feels when her child does something wrong, says the wrong thing, doesn’t act a certain way, or cannot fulfill society’s standard of perfection.
When a mother has to come to terms with the imperfections and the incomprehensible conduct of a world demanding perfection with no shortage of flaming arrows of torture, emotional darts of judgment and/or condemnation, life can be brutal at best.
With so much hate in the world, how does one scurry up enough compassion and devotion when your life feels defeated and hopeless?
God knew the solution to my need because He saw me. In simple words, my son said, “Mom, will you pray for me? I need those prayers!”
The strength found in this umbilical cord that is sustaining and holding together this labor of love is powerful… Power of Prayer!
Ask a mother who’s been pushed to her knees due to a corrupt justice system, excessive force within our correctional facilities, bullying from law enforcement usurping their power and authority, and carrying shame and disgrace from the casting of judgment and condemnation.
I am not going to fear our story, especially when we’re right smack in the middle of it!
Until next time…
I forgive you for not loving, even abhorring, the beautiful beloved God created you to be…
I forgive you for living your life trying to blend in and be accepted where you did not belong…
I forgive you for believing that you had to do anything but “Just Be” to be loved…
I forgive you for trying to look and act like others while burying the uniqueness, the value and the qualities your true self radiates…
I forgive you for giving away your innocence and purity to a boy who was dared and did not care…
I forgive you for hiding underneath your umbrella of protection due to the insecurities built around rejection…
I forgive you for allowing fear to cheat and defeat you…
I forgive you for allowing the lies of the enemy to rule over your life, thereby living in strife…
I forgive you for not prancing through the poppy flower fields and for not dancing everywhere you pleased…
I forgive you for not believing you are enough as you plowed through the rough stuff…
I forgive you for trying to question and destroy the life that God intended as His prized possession…
I forgive you for every slash of your wrist that you could not resist to prove you did exist…
I forgive you for calling down the rapture as you drove yourself off that cliff that God decided to capture…
I forgive you for not living, laughing and loving instead of striving…
I forgive you for not fulfilling your marital vows promising to love until death do you part instead of drilling…
I forgive you for believing you must perform and conform in order to be loved…
I forgive you for allowing your life to be buried and wasted underneath every shovel full of shame and guilt instead of being carried during this game…
I forgive you for believing you were not worthy of unconditional love…
I forgive you for allowing being orphaned to be equated with an abortion…
I forgive you for every assault and violation that you felt you deserved to receive…
I forgive you for not standing up and demanding your voice be heard in objecting to your uncle’s constant hands all over your body that resembled more like worms squirming through dirt…
I forgive you for choosing alcohol, drugs, depression and denial as a vice to numb the pain instead of embracing God’s peace and grace…
I forgive you for having to lay down on the bed just to zip up your jeans…
I forgive you for NEVER wanting to wear those jeans again… (Yep, that’s what it looks like!)
I forgive you for your mistakes and failures and feeling like a disgrace…
I forgive you for not believing that you are chosen, pursued and loved beyond measure that would have ushered God’s favor of healing into motion…
These imperfections, mistakes and failures are what led you to be the beautiful beloved you are; one that is pursued after and one whom is highly favored by our Lord and Savior.
Without these imperfections, choices and decisions, you would have missed out having this relationship with our Lord, not knowing or receiving His grace and tender mercies, much less embracing the beauty derived from the alchemy of transformation that salvation offers.
God gave and forgave much so you could see the strong, joyful, bold and courageous beloved that you are today in being His prized possession!
For that I am grateful!
One last thing: I do forgive you for living a life without God. Now you embrace with grace knowing every decision to live for God will never leave you with regrets!
Until next time…
My brief trip to Tahoe was amazing. Talk about prayers that moved mountains. It was infected, though, with “Christian issues” that I could not get out of my head or heart through prayer requests.
I would love your input and understanding. I hate the evil in the world!
Children are so amazingly trusting and one of the main reasons why our Lord wants us to have a childlike heart engaging in our relationship with Him (Matthew 18). Children love and trust easily because they are not tarnished with adult feelings of shame, guilt or the insecurities that develop because of fear.
God holds us parents accountable for how we affect our child’s ability to trust, whether it’s hindering or influencing. There is no judgment or stone being cast here. I was a single mom working two jobs while raising my kids and let me say, I made my fair share of mistakes.
I did the best that I could do with the tools that I was equipped with! Admittedly, I transplanted my own fears and shame onto my kids.
Sunday at church, there was this beautiful family with lovely children sitting where every person coming into the congregation would pretty much have to walk past. They were sitting basically where they were showcased, right smack in the middle of the church, with no chairs in front of them and a ten-foot open space designed to guide you to your seats.
These children were “perfectly” groomed and “perfectly” acting. Every parent’s dream, right? They were greatly admired and easily acknowledged.
Being Grammy Tammy, I understand now why older folk love to acknowledge precious children. Children bring life through their gifts of innocence, wonder and infectious smiles.
I went up and introduced myself as we commonly do each week; getting to know our body of Christ. As I approached, the children’s eyes lit up. The mother, sadly, became agitated and quite angry with me when I tried to engage in a conversation. She was adamant that her children are NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK TO OR ANSWER STRANGERS!
Talk about shutting me down. I felt assaulted. I’m not used to that kind of reciprocation. My presence was not WELCOMED! Mama hissed and her claws of warning hurt like hell.
I do respect that. I get it our world is unsafe, is getting crazier, and we need protection. I also admit that I am not comfortable with my own grandchildren going into the children’s church unless I know the person teaching. That means I am still transposing my own fears and control.
Churches have always been targets for evil and not a place to let our guards down. There’s just more awareness of it today; thank God! The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Where do we meet in the middle to teach our children that fear has no rule in our lives? The way the mother approached this (yes, I am judging here), she is setting her kids up for failure by sequestering them because of her legitimate fears.
They were sitting in a spot that had eight to ten feet of open space around them to be displayed! Look, but don’t stop and say hi and share the joy?
If she’s really worried about strangers, shouldn’t they be sitting with chairs in front of them as a protective barrier? Just sayin’…
When I was in youth ministry, many of the high schoolers were home schooled. What a gift to give your children, but…
Keeping your children sequestered from the real world until they are 18 and then sent off to college just seems to be another invitation to disaster. How will they fight off the lures and temptations of the world if they’ve never been exposed to it beforehand?
Being a parent is hard, but I believe children need to be exposed to reality gently so they can watch how their parents react to situations and people, how the culture operates, and the peer pressures that are placed in society.
This mom was clearly adamant about her children being “protected” and that is her duty however she chooses to do so, but that anger slayed me right in half. I was overwhelmed with shame. I felt almost like loving on others and engagement were a crime.
So how do we steer children to Christ through our words, our examples and our acts of kindness when we refuse to allow them engagement with the world where we’re present?
As I turned for my chair in a pathetic sulk, I blessed those babies with the biggest smile I could blast and left the mother with a hand gesture:
Don’t I wish!
As I sat down and composed my pout, a young couple sitting in front of me looked, smiled and said hi. They had their three-year-old princess daughter named Alexandria with them. When the worship music began playing, this precious little girl captivated me. She extended both of her arms in the air so angelically as she swayed to the music. She was mirroring her parents’ actions perfectly.
As I praised God for this precious little girl worshiping the Lord freely and uninhibitedly until she left for children’s church, my heart tugged believing we should be instructing and teaching our children to engage in society without fear while protecting them with caution.
The Body of Christ is meant to gather for community, fellowship, to teach and encourage others to emulate the life of Christ that we all make a part of.
How are we emulating our Lord by teaching our children that everyone else is to be feared? Isn’t that developing division instead of building community and unity?
I get both sides, I really do. I am just trying to rise above the division while loving like Jesus in a world that is full of fear and evil.
Until next time…
Seriously… Christians don’t have issues, they have prayer requests???
For whatever reason, I cannot stop laughing my assets off about this comical and engaging statement. You don’t have to walk very far to find humor here.
Sadly, this seems to be the attitude today in the church with all the hypocrisy and facades of some.
For the record, I am a Christian and I have issues. I’m not afraid to admit my imperfections, so…
This just glorifies my Father! I am only as strong as the grace extended and received!
Isn’t that where grace comes into play, anyways, into our issues?
There’s no need to hide from it or stuff it down further. Talk about emphasizing and making our “buts” bigger! But, but, but, but God…
These issues are going to be there until we deal with them or buy new jeans. And buying a new pair of jeans each week is going to cost A LOT MORE than just monetarily! God will eventually tire of our “buts” and put us on a diet.
I’m going to try and pack lighter and clear out the garbage through prayer and application. I’ve been carrying around quite a load that I need to leave in Lake Tahoe. Time to dump and unload. My strength needs to focus on the present, not the funk from past hurts!
Our naivety believes our “image” is safe behind our facades. We need to take a look in the mirror. It follows us like a 5:00 o’clock shadow. What flows from our mouths exposes our hearts, and I want mine to flow out love.
There is freedom to gain when we admit our struggles and release them. This could be carrying around fear, shame, guilt or those horrible insecurities that lead us into actions and behaviors that are contrary to a loved and treasured child of God.
For me, the fear of judgment and condemnation interferes with my trust factor in allowing a sister and brother from another mother to shoulder my pain while holding me accountable. Betrayal issues hinder the blessings intended through community prayer!
That’s the beauty about prayer, we are leaning into God and snuggling in tight. He loves it when we are close enough to hear His heartbeat and gentle whispers. My heart loves and thrives on His heavenly smile.
The accountability partnership is powerful, if only we’ll trust. I want my attention or “issues” to be covered in prayer so I can love and love well while concentrating on emulating my beautiful Lord without tarnishing Him or my own character.
Admittedly, I have “issues” regarding abandonment and rejection due to being orphaned and abused that still gets triggered today even though I have received healing and forgiven my violators.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the assaults against us. But if we let go of the pain of the past, we can lose that weight and give God room to move on our behalf to bring healing to our souls. What a great way to increase our faith while becoming lighter!
And we all want to be lighter, right? I know I do.
No room for all that dirty laundry and heavy baggage to carry around. It stinks in more ways than the obvious.
Life becomes beautiful and more peaceful when we quit talking about the past and making it worse than it actually is/was. Surrendering that bitterness and rage offers a yoke that is easy and the burden light.
This peace delivered is similar to the beauty found in watching a dove fly off towards freedom!
Doves are a symbol of hope, care and purity. Letting forgiveness clean and heal our beautiful hearts is freeing like the dove.
We’re only as powerful as those we do life with! This weekend, this tiny, yet potent, beautiful beloved delivered a sermon about the junk we accumulate through life that weighs us down. Her message was as powerful as her authenticity in being a treasured daughter of our Lord God Almighty.
That’s what I am striving for, being authentic through word and deed as I sojourn this side of heaven.
Thank you, Janice Bird. I want my life to be as powerful and impactful for the kingdom as yours. Talk about an attitude to boot!
I have issues just like everybody else does. I am choosing, though, to work through those in deep prayer while escaping to Lake Tahoe. I just hope the intensity of my prayers doesn’t pull the surrounding mountainous terrain into the lake tomorrow. I plan on moving mountains with my prayers.
Until next time…
She sat all alone with her long brown hair covering her face. At first, it appeared as if she might be praying. But after a few minutes, the presence of her motionless body became awkward. I decided to break through the intensity of the silence by walking up to her and gently touching her hand.
After cutting through the tension, I softly spoke whereas not to scare her. Victims easily startle. “Excuse me, my name is Tammy,” I offered, as I reached out for her hand. That’s when her beautiful tear-stained blue eyes met up with mine. She wasn’t praying, she was hiding behind the facade that she could no longer wear and did not know how to react, much less breathe.
As we began to talk, I quickly gathered this beautiful heart was encountering the fight of her life: Fear vs. Freedom! I remember my own exact moment where my bloody screams for help were not met, nor my pleas to find someone, anyone, to listen to my voice and believe my story as a victim of violence.
My emotions were wrapped up so tightly, the moment anyone even brushed by my person, the unraveling would begin. The power that came from the turbulence unraveling knocked everyone down in its path.
Is that why no one would help? Possibly. Or was it because people were too afraid to get involved in the exposure underlining my veil of shame?
My new friend had no idea that as she vomited out her fears, assaults and desperation right before me, God had already put into place a legal team and safe refuge. Talk about provision! You see, as she was freaking out, God already had all of us into place. Each person brought their own tools of grace and experience. No surprises here!
From the initial contact stemming from a friend about a friend of a friend, the next 37 hours would already be laid out with the right people, provision and plan of attack until the last tear dropped.
With two minutes to spare, this beloved’s greatest needs were being met with Love, kindness, and compassion that only victims of heinous crimes would understand. God knew and that’s why He divinely orchestrated all of us together.
Even if we would have had the time to meticulously and carefully plan everything accordingly to fit into place, including traffic from one courthouse to another, documentation preparation, legal team, court appearances, services conducted at the jail, and medical attention, it would have been chaos and met with resistance.
As I sat there nibbling, even chewing, on some of the words flying off the pages of the legal documents, hearing stories of tragedy and heartache from lost souls who have lost their power to fight and plow through to freedom was all too familiar and chilling.
Offering an extending hand to try and console victims with protection and guidance requires more than a big box of tissues and patience because with their issues, they are so emotionally spent and beat up, it’s hard to stop the blood from pouring out. They have cried so much, their tears are no longer clear. They are blood red.
For these violated beloveds, all they want is for their voice to be heard whether it’s appropriate or not. Now that they know they’re being heard, it’s hard for them to stay on point and quiet down. Someone cares. Someone listens. Someone hears. Someone believes. Someone supports. Someone understands.
Now there is eye contact that comforts instead of shames. Life that is loved and not harmed. New world filled with hope. Justice prevails. Healing begins. Lives restored. New life begins.
Being at the end of our rope does not mean all hope is lost. We’re never lost to God, EVER! We may move away from Him, but He is right there alongside of us. How else would a random stranger whom you’ve never met before be available for you right at this precise moment, an emergency one to boot, who could help you conquer these mounting legal issues along with comfort and understanding?
Isn’t it funny how we may feel at the end of the rope, but when we look up, God is standing there at the end with hope? God’s Love and intervention never fails.
With two minutes to spare, we both looked at each other and smiled and laughed. God took care of the whole traumatic mess. Every “i” was dotted and every “t” was crossed. Not only did we share tears, lives, and bread, but we were blessed with new friendships. We now share a ray of light and hope in each other’s lives as we came together as a team and watched God show off amazingly all because God loves to give!
I have been refined through many trials of suffering. Now I get to marvel and see how God has transformed my own life through the reflection of the beloveds God puts in my life to help bridge the gap between women escaping a violent environment and being assaulted to Beautiful Beloveds living in peace and freedom. When those shackles are removed, there is power knowing their voices will continue to be heard!
We all can be richly blessed in helping others when we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced and our lives to be interrupted with two minutes to spare.
Until next time…
Care to join me? I don’t know about you, but I’m numb, sad, angry, walking and living in smoke-filled ruins all due to the tragedies and heartache that seem to accompany each step sojourned this side of heaven.
Between funerals, our roaring fires in California, the earthquakes in Mexico, to the tragic shootings in Las Vegas, along with the hurricanes that flooded and destroyed the south and surrounding tropical islands, it’s been a rough few months. It hard to see the beauty, walk in the hope and remain joyful.
I have decided that before it’s too late, I’m going to take the time to live, laugh and love by utilizing some self-compassion and kindness on myself. My heart and soul needs to be poured into and restored with a whole lot of sunshine. Abiding in all hope!
Today I’m going to… Take the time to remember that God loves me and He goes before me to prepare the way.
Today I’m going to… Thank my Lord for His protection and provision even when I don’t understand everything as it develops.
Today I’m going to… Take as much time as I need to receive the love and comfort that is being offered and poured into me.
Today I’m going to… Tell someone, anyone, that I love them and that their life matters by pouring the love that is richly sprinkled over me into their lives! What a privilege God gave us to be able to love!
Today I’m going to… Stop and think. Really think. What a concept! To be still in complete silence with absolutely no influence or distractions from TV, internet, or my phone. Now that’s a source of power to plug into!
Today I’m going to… Choose to be happy. That’s a choice that we ourselves make, choose to be happy!
Today I’m going to… Take the time and be okay with, maybe even fall back in love with, who I am and be comfortable in my own skin.
Today I’m going to… Remember that being a people-pleaser robs me of my worth and value along with the boundaries that are meant to hedge in my protection. My life shouldn’t be performed with a “me-focused” striving, it’s about being “Jesus-focused.”
Today I’m going to… Be me! Be beautiful me! There’s power in acceptance.
Today I’m going to… Go outside and play. Unleash the little girl that still exists inside my beating heart. Skipping along while singing a song is said to be the fountain of youth.
Today I’m going to… Laugh out loud, even giggle, until it hurts my belly. It is, after all, music to our souls.
Today I’m going to… Dance in the streets or retail stores and grab someone to join along with me! Now that’s grocery shopping!
Today I’m going to… Read several different books. After all, reading is the fountain of all wisdom.
Today I’m going to… Pray. I want to unleash that power that has been neglected.
Today I’m going to… Be friendly and purposely engage with others to help them achieve a glorious smile. After all, a cheerful heart is great medicine.
Today I’m going to… Give to someone in need. Life’s too short to be selfish. Needs are everywhere we look.
Today I’m going to… Take some time and work. God gave me these gifts for success.
Today I’m going to… Look in the mirror, without makeup and clothes on (hardest one for me), and thank God for creating and molding me, battle scars and all, into His beautiful masterpiece! I can’t love unless I first love myself. And that’s so stinkin’ hard!
Today I’m going to… Cry! Death and destruction surround my life so I must mourn that which is lost.
Today I’m going to acknowledge this amazing hope that we have which is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Talk about reassurance of the love and encouragement that is ours when we find shelter in our Lord.
My prayer is that we take the time to mediate on a few of these self-compassion elements and apply them to our lives. We are imperfect beings living in a world that demands perfection, and it’s hard not to get caught up into those expectations. When we apply kindness, truths, comfort and understanding to ourselves, we are caring for the truly important and beautiful beloveds we are.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain… (Hebrews 6:19). That’s hope that is secure and totally immovable just like the anchor that holds the ship stable in a violent storm.
Until next time…