Tag Archives: #gratitude

Gratitude: A Glimpse Through The Lens Of Images…

 

Gratitude: A Glimpse Through The Lens Of Images…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family!  I just wanted to share rather quickly how grateful I am for you, your life, and your heart to sojourn alongside of me through this crazy journey called life. 

I’m sharing with all y’all an excerpt of an email I sent out to all my nonprofit’s financial partners and the invaluable volunteers who make up Blameless in being God’s hands and feet.

So on behalf of myself, and Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, Happy Thanksgiving!  We are grateful for you and are blessed to hear and witness all the amazing stories and testimonials that God created and designed for His purpose and destiny.  Talk about amazing grace!

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving upon us, we are eternally grateful that you are a part of the Blameless family.

Your support not only fuels our work, but it inspires us to create a much more compassionate and loving world.  This encouragement enables us to be a part of stabilizing the homeless epidemic and now transitioning into re-entry programs for the incarcerated.  It’s an honor to be able to serve our communities through a sprinkling of God’s Great Love..

We’re pleased to share with you a few pictures illustrating our work throughout the year. 

Thank you for supporting us and being with us on Thanksgiving, over the hectic holidays, and throughout each year.
 
 
 

Feeding hundreds of food-insecure beloveds and friends in need (homeless)!

 

Erin, homeless veteran, and single mother…

No longer homeless!

 

Tammy and Dave, no longer homeless!

Tammy is employed with

the founder’s son’s company.

 

Martin, stage four cancer, found family.

No longer homeless!

 

And many more no longer homeless!

 

Gypsy homeless, helping clean up Roseville (top left photo)!

 

Suits 4 Homeless Event!

 

Just Because… Event!

 

#GivingTuesday Event!

 

 

Blameless is now transitioning into re-entry programs for the incarcerated! 
 
Blameless believes generous hearts meet the offenders right where they’re at because one day they will become our neighbors.

 

With Gratitude,

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries

 
Until next time…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hug Them Today…

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…Because You Cannot Put Your Arms Around A Memory!

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!

Blameless Hugs reveal the distance between two hearts... NONE 1

Hugs Reveal The Distance Between Two Hearts…

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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 jugularYou 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.

Blameless Hugging Says You Matter

Hugs Offer Powerful Healing

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?

After all, if we’re to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:20), that means to embrace one another with love, and a hug is a perfect way to mirror that conduct.

Blameless Hugs Are Better Than Drugs 1.2

Hugs Are Way Better Than Drugs

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…

Blameless Beautiful You

Every Day Is A Gift! Unwrap It With Joy And Gratitude!

 

Gratitude Offers Happiness!

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.

Blameless Grateful 2

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.

Blameless Light Of Your Love

Lord, the light of your Love shines on me continually…

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!!!

A Grateful Heart Is A Magnet For Miracles!

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…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You and Happy Thanksgiving!

Blameless Every Day Is A Gift 2