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Monday, February 9, 2015

God's Grace

So many things I could be thinking about. But Gods grace..... It's just amazing. As I sat in church listening to testimony from a sister who's been in the church for decades, I just kept hearing Gods grace. How He changed her, how He made her better, etc. And then it brought me back to this past Thursday when I just had to tell a mom that her two girls are just amazing. I love love love watching them worship and dance and come to the altar, watching them pray for other women. They have even prayed for me. They are such beauties inside and out, and they are so young! But they've already decided that they want God in their life. What grace! And I got to witness that! In fact I've witnessed it 2-3 times a week over the past 5 years. Their mom gave all the glory to God, again, what grace! She took no credit for herself even when I tried to say it starts with an example at home. I know God made that happen but He worked though a willing vessel, her. Now in my life, I am always in awe at what God has done. I used to drink and hang out at clubs and bars. I used to swear like a trucker, I told dirty jokes, laughed at people's misery, even created misery for some people. I was rude, unlady-like, selfish, mean, angry, judgmental, and blamed God and everyone else for all of my mistakes and short comings. I hated people, I picked on people, I belittled people. I never cared who it hurt. But then.....Gods grace. We started going to church and hearing THE TRUTH. Although it was never directed towards me, because how could our pastor know what I was like with us being brand new, the message was always for me. It was constant; repent and be baptized. Every service for weeks this went on. So I spoke to the pastor after service one day and the next week my husband and I were both baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sin. Just like that, I was given grace. It didn't matter what I did in the past, it didn't matter who I blamed, it didn't matter how many broken promises I made to change if God would just help me through the current situation. None of that mattered. It was all erased. Not just forgiven, but forgotten, gone, it never happened. My favorite line in a song says, "Imagine God whispering in your ear letting you know that everything that has happened, is now....gone!" Every time I hear that, I tear up. It's true, it's gone. Don't think that He doesn't know every single thing you've done in the dark or in secret. He sees everything! But His grace can make it go away, all that pain and hurt. No one and nothing on this earth can make that go away, not a bottle, not a drug, not a good deed. They may help temporarily, but not forever. The devil is always quick to remind us of our past, but we don't live there anymore once we are baptized. He just wants to remind you of who you WERE and tries to make you believe that God hasn't forgotten, but I assure you He has. I've done terrible things in my lifetime. Yet God has blessed my marriage, my children, and my life. I know that I wouldn't be with my husband today if it weren't for grace. My girls, although still wouldn't be as bad as the teens nowadays, definitely wouldn't be where they are. My kids are a living testimony of what God can do. They all are good students, great Christians, just great people. Beautiful inside and out, trustworthy, modest, and they make good choices. I wish I could see my life if I never went to church. God isn't done with me yet. I fail Him daily, but there's that grace I keep mentioning. He knows my heart, He knows when I'm truly sorry for mistakes I make. Don't think that just because you're a Christian and you go to church every week, that you are all set. It's not just somewhere to hang out Sunday's so you can feel good about yourself. You have to want to change, and be sensitive to what you are commanded to do. No one will have the same journey as you, so don't be a judging Christian. Maybe God delivered you from a foul mouth but not your brother or sister in the next row. So what! That's between them and God. He doesn't expect you to come out of the waters of baptism and poof, you're perfect! You just need a willing heart. Willing to change and accept conviction. I know I'm all over the place but that's how my brain works. I also realize that I've started a lot of sentences with "and" or "but", which as a grammar freak, I hate!! I write what's on my heart when it's there. There is no time for editing. I'm not writing for my SATs. 

In closing, I will leave you with a piece of my favorite Kirk Franklin song.....

This song is dedicated to people like me.

Those that struggle with insecurities, acceptance and even self-esteem.
You've never felt good enough, you've never felt pretty enough
But imagine God whispering in your ear letting you know that everything that has happened is now...

...gone, gone, it's gone, all gone

(It's all gone, every sadness)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(Every mistake, every failure, it's all gone)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(Depression, gone, bad faith, it's gone)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(Low self-esteem, Hallelujah, it's gone, it's all gone)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(It's gone, all my scars, all my pain)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(It's in the past, it's yesterday, it's all gone, ah)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(I can't believe it's gone)
(Gone, what you mother did, what your father did, Hallelujah)
Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone
(It's gone)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'll Think of A Title Later...Maybe

My mind often wanders throughout the day. Tonight was no exception. While playing my new app obsession "1010!", I started thinking about one question. If I could be better off financially and not have to worry about paying bills etc, would I be happier and would I trade my current life in for that? My heart already knows the answer is no but I wanted to think of WHY I feel that way. I love my husband with everything I have to give. I've never known complete happiness until I knew him. He isn't perfect, and neither am I. Not by a long shot. Trust me, my husband is a saint haha! That's a whole other blog post. My point is, he is perfect to me. I could never give him up. Many times I have thought about if I lost him and it literally makes me cry. Not just teary, I'm talking sobbing, puffy face, can't get it together crying. I don't know what's wrong with me. Actually I do, I'm in love with him. I've been through so much heartache that I can truly appreciate the godly man he is. I don't have enough time in the day to explain everything I love about him. He makes me laugh, he loves me truly for me, I can trust him totally, he's smart, he's handsome, and he is ALWAYS thinking of me and my feelings. He is so unselfish. I just love him very deeply. There's so much more to add to the list but there's no way I could name every reason. Anyways, I tried to think of anyone I consider a thorn in my side or anyone I'm not too fond of, and if they hit the lottery for example, would I really be happy for them, or be angry because they got what I perceive to be an "undeserved blessing". That's a tough question to answer, especially with a particular person. Then I started thinking, they still couldn't possibly have what I have been blessed with. They might have earthly blessings. They may even be continually blessed with things that I feel I deserve more. However, who am I to discount someone else's blessing simply because they got it and I didn't? My treasures are in heaven. There is nothing this world can give me that would make me want to trade places with someone who seems better off than me. A nice car (one that doesn't have constant issues lately), a big house, no bills, no worries, no struggles..... Those are temporary. They are so very temporary. One day I hope to be in heaven with my king. There, I will have my treasures. Nothing on earth will matter. So you see, if someone around you is catching every break there is, while you just can't seem to get ahead, remember that God works in strange ways. He uses things in ways we can NEVER even begin to comprehend. Your blessing is coming. Besides, in reality, if you have a place to sleep that's indoors and away from this bitter cold weather we are having, if you have clothes on your back, if you can open a bible and read it without being murdered, if you having running water nearby, if you are breathing and moving.....be thankful. Those are blessings. I know it's cliché to say "someone is always worse off that you" but it is the truth. You're mad because you got fired? Be thankful that you can even work. You're upset because your hot water heater broke? Be thankful that you even have water, some places in the world have to walk miles daily to get water. You're feeling down because you only have a few outfits to wear? God has given you clothes, period! Be thankful. Does it suck? Yes! That's life. We are all going to die someday and when we do, that fancy car and big house and fat bank account will not matter in the slightest. It won't fit in your coffin, and soon enough, you will be nothing more than rotten flesh and bones. Stop worrying about what everyone else has and take a second to look around you. If you can't name at least 20 blessings of your own, then you really need to look inside yourself and examine your heart. I know I need to take my own advice too. I hope I can try to be more grateful, more often, going forward. I would like to try to see the good in every situation. I guess this post was really for me. With that, I shall save the rest of my mind ramblings for another day.....