Tag Archives: #joy

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.

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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!

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Just Because…

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Just Because…

I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:3-6).

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful!  I pray you enjoyed the festivities celebrating and sharing your respect for our Fallen Heroes and their families.  Such selfless acts of valor and courage, all in the name of freedom!  I have to say, what an honor it is for me to be sojourning this side of heaven with y’all as we walk faithfully through each day radiating that Beautiful You!

I only hope that the many prayers that went out last week asking that our Lord would cover you with an outbreak of undeniable peace and joy that changes the atmosphere became obvious as you noticed all the beauty and wonder surrounding your presence.  Being highly favored is a gift!  It’s that time again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!

God created His Beautiful Beloveds to glorify Him.  After all, He calls us His works of art and His masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10).  Oh, what love!  Sadly, though, I’m hearing and witnessing a lot of beat-up Beloveds in our communities who need a lot of Love, His Great Love, to be poured into and have their souls nourished with support and encouragement.

Being the hands and feet of God can and should be relatively easy, especially with the many gifts the Lord has blessed each of us with.  Let’s tap into this creative gift by writing notes of praise and gratitude encouraging one another to keep pressing through while affirming the blessings that their lives have graced us with. 

I’m going for the handwritten card, you know, writing out a short affirmation of love and encouragement expressing how much their life and friendship has blessed me with.  I don’t know about you, but what a grand diversion and huge golden nugget to forever hold onto and tuck away in the fold of our hearts seeing words of love and appreciation when picking up and going through our mail. 

Seeing words of affirmation saying, “I see you, Beautiful.  You’re such a Brilliant and Magnetic Light.  I love you and thank you for blessing me with the gift of friendship”; or to the single parent, “You’re doing a great job.  Keep loving those babies,” etc.  Not going to share all my ideas.  Ha!  You get the point!

What a great way to also model to our children and grandchildren how being God’s hands and feet is fun and rewarding while blessing others.  There are many military personnel, cancer patients and even teachers who would thrive and bloom with some summer love. 

God wants His children to serve one another and that does not mean inclusive of the four walls where we worship at.  Get out, move out!  Move outside those four walls!  There is a whole world in need of His Great Love. 

When we serve out of His Love, the kindness and gentleness of our gratitude for the alchemy given through our salvation will be illuminated without seeking to please ourselves.  A refreshing sprinkling of love that nurtures and sustains!

Being the hands and feet of God has never been more gratifying!

Weekly Challenge:  Pick seven special people, and it does not necessarily have to be family and/or friends, that you want to pour love into, honor and acknowledge.  This includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, waitresses, law enforcement, first responders, pastors, you name it!  Write them a short message sharing that they’re not only enough, but that you appreciate them for their valuable contribution and wanted to let them know that their lives radiate love and how you can’t thank them enough for being a part of your life sojourning this side of heaven. 

This could be in the format of a handwritten card, an email, a letter, text (please don’t ♥♥♥) or even a social networking posting!  We all love seeing it in words to go back and ponder and be encouraged.  This will be a token of love they will forever carry in their heart. 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

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I’ve Been Caught!

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I’ve Been Caught!

Now What?

I’ve been caught!  Now what?  What’s a girl supposed to do?  Should I apologize?  What for, I didn’t ask for this disregard.  Should I just keep quiet to cover over the offense of another?  Now why would I do that, especially given the fact that statistics show the perpetrator will continue?  Should I run away with my tail between my legs or should I stand firm, tall, and roar like an angry lion does announcing his forewarning?

Ha!  I know what I would like to do!  If we’re being honest here, I know most of us would like to see revenge occur when others devalue us, especially when one’s heart has been hurt and violated, right?

That’s when my very own advocate, Jesus Christ, convicts my heart and reminds me that His ways of Love and justice, not to mention vindication (revenge, yes!), will be accomplished completely different than anything I could ever conjure up.

My initial attempts at confronting through Love will be honored, while those who devalued my life and time will be instructed in how to better handle these situations in the future because Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

Honestly, after hearing those beautiful words from my best friend, the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, I had about a three-second sense of peace and contentment; but then the decay stemming from the bitter root inside of my heart wanted out and her revenge didn’t want it accomplished through God’s Love or His ways of justice.  I am just being totally honest here because I’m far from a saint.  I have feelings and they run deeper than any roots or any circumference of the cedars of Lebanon.  Sadly, there are times I’m ready and able to devour and feast on my prey that I’ve been lying in wait for.

It’s a beautiful thing my good, good Father knows me and loves me just the way I am, because right after I completed my Tammy Tantrum at her finest, my Lord reminded me of my beliefs; that every affliction that comes my way and brings God glory through reaching and teaching others is well worth any vindication my mind could dare conjure up because I have seen firsthand the destruction that pride and hate promotes.  Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12). 

My Lord reminded me to focus on matters worthy of my attention; that I have quite a challenge before me that will consume all my energy and to let Him take care of this.  Isn’t that what a loving daddy does; gently reminds us what to release, where to keep our focus, and to trust Him for the outcome while He blesses us with peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7).  How else are we going to make it through another day without it?  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I am so grateful I have the freedom to press into His Word through intimacy and memorize scripture that I cling to for dear life because it’s at these moments when I’m ready to attack by fighting back that my heart and soul gently leads me to quiet pastures in order to regroup and calm down.  Sometimes that even requires grabbing me by the bit.  It’s better than ripping someone’s head off through words that could easily spew out of my mouth or of the pouring myself a glass of wine just to temporarily calm down which leads into several along with a headache the next day.

Since I’ve been declared innocent and righteous, it only makes sense then to extend that grace to those that have harmed me through Love.  It does not mean they will not suffer any subsequent repercussions of their actions, it just helps me to release the sting and be healed.  This will require being completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in Love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called (Ephesians 4:2-4). 

You might be saying, “Can you really let God have vengeance?”  Oh, it was hard at first.  That’s when I get to share that after you’ve been caught and touched by my Lord and realize how pursued and chosen you are, abiding in His Love and ways is amazing.  The freedom from the bondage and pain that those handcuffs caused releases a little snicker underneath your breath once your spirit (your BFF, best friend forever) reminds you, In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you (Proverbs 25:22).

Now that’s worth a happy dance!  And my heart gets to leap with joy knowing that through loving crazily while being kind to those I encounter that are hard and messy this side of heaven, pours more than hot coals onto their heads.  My God, my Lord, claims vindication in the only way that could reap lasting results; Love!  I’m really not that kind, it’s just a byproduct of the fruit of the Spirit; Love!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!