Friday, October 18, 2013

Shh! There is Beauty Hiding in the Ashes!

Ladies, this one is for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2MsId44A4Y

(I hope this link works! We saw this tonight at church and EVERY woman should hear it.)

I have a little secret. Do you want to hear it?

Are  you sure?

Ok. Here is my little secret. Did you know that I think that a.... Are you positive you want to know?

I think that everyone is beautiful. Every single woman has something to be proud of. Every. Single. Woman. Every sincere smile is beautiful. A smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day. It literally lights up your entire face. Your beauty shines through your smile; it comes out your eyes and is radiant.

Now I am sure that you were expecting a more gasp-worthy secret but nope, not this time at least.

We also all struggle and doubt ourselves. We find ourselves listening to the little voice inside our heads that tell us to doubt. That little voice speaks volumes to us. I know that you know exactly what voice I am talking about. It is the loud voice that completely shuts out other sound. It tells us, "you can't do that", "you are ugly, unworthy." "No man is ever going to love you." "You are worthless." That voice makes me so mad!

That voice, ladies, it lies. Not one word it speaks is true. That voice is  meant to deceive. It is meant to keep you in that a low, dark place and never come crawling out of it. That voice means to hurt. It speaks those words that make you disbelieve in yourself, in others, even in Jesus. That is the goal of that voice.

Words cannot express how much I disdain that voice. The words that it spews is filth. Lies. Things that you hear often enough and just at the right time, it tears you apart. It leaves you shredded and crying. It drowns out all the good you KNOW you know.

That voice needs to be silenced. Satan is the great deceiver. Scratch that. I don't want to associate "great" with him, even if it is meant the way it is. "Great" is a good word. Good is not associated with Satan. He is evil, speaks evil and wants to drown you in it.

When that voice speaks, don't listen to it. Now, I know. How do I not listen?! I am right there with you, ladies. You are not alone. When that voice speaks, I wholeheartedly pray that the voice you hear, be the voice of God. Now that is one voice that I love to hear.

God's voice speaks love. It speaks beauty. It speaks truth. Come on ladies! God is love. God is truth. He looks at you and sees beauty. He listens to you and shares your emotions. Those times when you are touched by something (emotionally) and the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck stand up, that is God's hand at work. He wants you to feel loved, cared about, beautiful. When you are sad, the angels cry with you, Jesus is right there with you, crying and still wiping away the tears. When you are happy, the angels rejoice, Jesus right along beside you, holding you close, rejoicing with you. When you are feeling alone? Guess what? You cannot be any closer to God. He is right there. He is just there. Always. He holds you in his strong arms, protecting you. Caring for  you. Loving you. Even if you doubt, or just don't feel His presence, He is right there, waiting on you.

Here are some words that you should focus on. Beauty, for you are beautiful. Strength, because you are stronger than you know. Worthy, because you are worthy of love. Worthy of affection. Worthy of being loved by a God who created the entire world, who loves you so much that He sent His only son to die on that cross, for you. His son, Jesus took on your sin. Every single sin. He took it all and hung it there on that cross, so long ago. You are worthy of the love of a man who cares enough to die for you.

Beauty. Strength. Worthy. Brave. Funny. Strange and unique. Cared for. Loved. You are loved.

We all walk through life. We fly high on the good and crawl like a snail on the bad. We all have fears. We all feel alone at times. We all go through things that we are 1000% positive no one else in the entire world has ever gone through. We are not alone. Somewhere, probably a lot closer than you think, there is someone going through the same thing, or has already gone through it and made it out the other side alive. These are the times when that cruel voice speaks the loudest. These are the times when that voice desperately need a good duct-taping. Permanently!

Have you ever felt so alone, so defeated that you just wanted to give in to that voice telling you those lies? Has life pushed you so hard that you have no clue where to turn, what to pray - how to pray? There is a whisper talking to you. Ignore the loud, obnoxious voice that screams lies and obscenities at you. Focus on that itty, bitty voice. Focus on the words it speaks. For it speaks truth. It speaks love. It speaks compassion. It speaks LIFE. It speaks LIFE. That tiny whisper needs to be heard. You desperately need to hear its words. You desperately need to believe those words. You can believe it. Every single thing that angel-soft whisper says, is life. That is God's own voice.
God wants you to feel beautiful. God wants you to feel love, to be loved and to love. He wants so much for you! You are His creation, His daughter. You are the product of His love. God never lies, never is unfaithful and will never let you down. I know that last part can be hard to believe at times, but have faith.

With faith we can move mountains. With faith, impossible becomes possible through Jesus. There is nothing that is impossible for Him. He was sent down from Heaven to take on our sins because of God's love for us. The sky turned dark when Jesus died on that cross. Many people truly believed that that was it. The Savior who they waited so long for, was dead. Impossible became possible, which became truth. God said that three days later, the savior would rise again, the living Savior. He would once again walk among the living. Three days later, Jesus got up, left his grave clothes behind and walked out of that tomb. Impossible becoming possible, became truth.

God loves you. He sees you and He loves you. Think on that for a minute. God loves you. He loves you. He looks at you and sees beauty. He sees strength. He looks at you and sees a person who is so worthy of His love.

I want you to remember - I know it's hard - in those dark, lonely times, God loves you. God is with you, whispering the TRUTH, the true words that you need to hear. He has his arms wrapped around you, crying with you. Lean on Him. Let your body speak the words that your mind doesn't know to pray. Let the Holy Spirit inside you be your voice. I want you to remember that you are worthy. You are loved and you are cherished! You are worthy.

Abba, (that's Papa by the way),
Abba, I am on my knees before you with my heart in my hand. My heart breaks over the pain that Satan has caused - and is causing - so many women. His cruel words shatter even the strongest souls. Father, I ask that your voice be the voice that we women hear. I pray that your words be heard and that it drowns out the lies that Satan speaks. Fill these women, Abba, with your love. Open them to feel that love. Open them to the fact that they are worthy, priceless. Open them to your truth, Abba. Some women right now are crying out for help, for love, for compassion. Let them seek you and find you. Wrap your arms around them tightly, Abba, let them feel your arms, your strength, your love. Fill their minds with LIFE, Lord. Fill them with feeling of strength, of courage. When they look in that a mirror the next time, show them the beauty that you see in them. Give us a heart like your heart, Abba. Fill us with your love to overflowing. Let it overflow and spill and completely fill someone's heart with your love. Abba, Papa, I have crawled this earth when I should have let you carry me. I have turned to others when I should have turned to you. I make mistakes, constantly, and yet, you still love me. Let us feel that love, let us share that love. I pray that God works the miracle that each and every one of you ladies needs in your lives. I pray that your eyes will be opened to the good inside you, the beauty inside you and that it comes spilling out so you cannot help but notice it. Abba, silence the wicked voice in our heads. Drown out the death it speaks and instead fill us with love, life and truth.
Abba, thank you for your love. I love you.
In Jesus' name, AMEN!

I am honestly not sure about how much  of this post will actually make sense since it is midnight and I am writing it, but I had this on my heart to share with you. Please, please, please remember that you are more worthy and loved than words can express. You are beautiful, inside and out, ladies. I really do hope this makes sense and isn't too "rambling" but these are the rambles that are my thoughts. Good or bad. ;-)

May God bless your lives, ladies, bringing you the answers to your prayers. Even if those answers do not come in our time or in our "wants", He always answers.

Have a great week, my friends. God bless and love you lots!
~Karen

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Giving Up is Not the Answer

Good morning! What a morning this is. Though it is cloudy, it is still a brand new day, with brand new chances to right some wrongs, begin anew, reach out your hands and just say, "Thank you, God, for this new day. It WILL be a good day because you have blessed me with this new day. In Jesus' name, Amen." It may be cloudy outside, the sun may be hidden from my view, but it is shining brightly in my heart.

Okay, last night I was troubled. A friend of mine was THISCLOSE or probably more precisely, TCHLIOSSE (if you can't read that, it is this close, interchanged) to giving in and giving up. She said that she did not want prayers. Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I will be praying anyway. She sounded completely overwhelmed with her life, and just had gotten horrendous news affecting her family, not once, not twice, but three times yesterday. Now I know that you are thinking how can people think about giving up. You are wondering what can be so bad to make them give up. I know, I was thinking it too.

You see, my friend has a lot going on in her life. Her family has health issues, an assorted array of them, money issues like many people among other things. She is a strong person who was being attacked at a crucial time. Satan was on her with more than she thought she could handle. On her own, she could not. But, she isn't, and wasn't on her own. Jesus is right there by her side, through it all. The problem, I believe, was that she couldn't feel him through all that Satan was throwing at her. He was giving it hard and fast. Get your mind out of the gutter, people, didn't mean it that way.

When my friend was on her knees, completely broken, Satan was on her in that instant and taking her down. She felt like giving up, giving in and honestly thought that she would. Jesus has other plans for her. Better plans. Happy plans. Life gives us many struggles, and yes, God does let them happen. There are things that we need to learn and remember. At times, suffering has to be endured to learn - sometimes again - that we need Him. We cannot get through life without him. We are to lean on him.

God will never give us more than we can handle without Him. I know that this is often misquoted and used completely in the wrong way. Think about it. How much can we handle on our own, without God? Our God loves us so much that He sacrificed his own son, his only son to save our eternal life. God knows exactly how much we can handle on our own. He knows our breaking points. I can tell you that it is higher than we think it is. He has created each and every one of us. He knows us inside and out, much better than we do. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses. He is on our side, people!

The God who created us with purpose, and ON purpose. He makes no mistakes, has no misconceptions about us and who we are. He wants so much for us, so much good for us. He never gives up on us, but we do give up on ourselves. There are times when we are so lost, so afraid, so alone, thinking that there is no one to understand. Thinking that God doesn't care about us because he didn't/doesn't/won't answer our prayers. We tend to forget that our time is completely different than God's time. We forget that he knows what we need, when we need it and he does answer our prayers.

Think about your answered prayers. I know you have them. Dig deep is you need to. God does and will answer our prayers in the way we NEED them to be answered, not necessarily how we want them to be. God has given me answered prayer. How do I know that he's answered my prayers? This is a simple one really. I am alive still. See, simple.

Anyway, back to my friend. I did what she did not want, by praying. I just NEEDED to be praying for her. I felt it to my core. She needed prayer. She needed to know that God was there, caring for her, was holding her tight.  I know that I am not, was not the only one praying for her. I believe that all her friends were praying for her. She may have wanted to give up, but her friends were not giving up on her. God was not giving up on her, nor was he going to let her give up on herself.

Last night was a Valley that she was walking in, staggering in probably. God was right there with her, but she was blinded to him, completely blinded and felt alone. Everything she could see and hear was from and of Satan. He forced her to focus on him instead of God, like she desperately needed. He is such a trickster, a deceiver, that Satan is. He feeds our minds with lies and misconstrued thoughts. He finds our weaknesses and uses them to keep us blinded and feeling alone.

This morning, my friend was ok. Life is still going to be tough. It will be filled with struggles and joy. For all the joyful and happy times, we have to get through the struggles and hard times to truly enjoy them. Otherwise, those joys are felt less, not appreciated as much, or at times, at all. My friend, I believe is feeling God's hand in her life. She is feeling his arms holding her, not letting her fall. She has blown Satan's mind with her strength. She has God on her side, fighting for her. What else could she need? She has friends who love and care enough to not give up on her. We are here to remind each other that God is with us.

 
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me...."
Psalm 23
 
Remember that God is always with us, he is for us and wants the best for us. He won't ever, ever give up on us. Your friends will not give up on you. To all my friends out there reading this, if you are struggling, remember that you ARE loved, you ARE worthy of God's love. You ARE stronger than you think you are and if you need to, yell, holler and scream. Get the frustrations out. Then, pray. Pray again. Once you are done praying, pray again. Even if you don't know what to say, just tell God, "Abba (dad), I have no words. I don't know how to pray. Listen to my heart. Hear the words I don't know how to say. In Jesus' name, Amen." When we don't have the words, or even coherent thoughts, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, prays for us. God always listens. No matter the time, he never sleeps. His ears are always open. He is just waiting on us. The ball is in our court and it is up to us now. What are you going to do?

Love you all, have a blessed, happy day and God bless.
~Karen

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thoughts Become Words Which Become Reality

Wow, we are in October already! Just yesterday it was September. I know, I know. My only excuse is that it is nearly 8 pm.

Anyway..... I have been really made aware of my negativity over the summer. I had been stuck in that rut of feeling sorry for myself and could not seem to shake the negative talk. Things were coming out as thoughts, which turned into words. Words that became my reality. I thought that the day would go bad and basically declared it into being a bad day.

For those of you who heard this "failure" talk, if you will, I sincerely apologize. It is not easy to admit to wrongdoings but I have certainly done that.

I bought a book yesterday. This is also admittedly commonplace. This particular book was purchased for the sole reason of my liking the sample for the Kindle. The one and only line I read was, "You cannot speak defeat and expect victory." Kablam! That was a knock-you-upside-the-head moment. This is exactly what I was doing. I would speak things like, "this day is going to be a bad day because..." or "_______ but I'm not...." and "I don't feel good, I'm sure it will be worse later." etc.

(The book, as I am sure you are probable a little bit curious about is, I DECLARE by Joel Osteen.)

"You cannot speak defeat and expect victory."

That simple thought, that one little line has so much power and truth to it. You, like me, have millions of thoughts. It is so very easy for them to overflow and spill out as words. These words become our reality. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. PROVERBS 18:21 Basically whatever comes out of our mouth will become true.

We will eat what comes from our tongues. I, for one need to stop speaking defeat, death over my life and start speaking victory and life instead. God wants us to enjoy life, and not be unhappy. Life was not made to be easy but it can seem much easier if we remained focused on positives. When you wake up and there is a beautiful sunrise, even when you are so tired and want to be buried under your covers, look at the sunrise. Actually view the sunrise and take notice of the colors. Thank the Lord out loud for the beautiful sunrise, the blessing of another day on earth with your loved ones. If you are beyond words tired of doing dishes, be thankful that you have food to dirty those plates. When your children drive you absolutely bonkers, hug them and tell them how thankful you are that they are in your life to drive you bonkers. Believe me, life is so much better when you have children, to refocus yourself and be thankful - OUT LOUD - of those children that God has blessed you with. Then at the end of the day and they are asleep, watch them for a few minutes. Look at the simple peace on their faces. Remember how they have looked over the years, all the way back to the first moments when you first held them in your arms.

 I encourage you to purposefully find the good things, things that bring you peace, joy and life and say out loud, "Lord, I thank your for all the good that you bless me with. Thank you for ___________ that is _______ right now. Open my eyes, Abba, to the blessing that I miss. Make me aware of the things that are meant for joy and help me to overlook the negative. I lift up all the negative thoughts, attitudes, words that are now /have been filling my life for too long. Help me to remain focused on you, Lord. Help my thoughts to be from you. Guide me, Abba. I I DECLARE that this will be a great day. I DECLARE that speak words of life and not death. I will not bring death to my life. I choose life, Abba. Help me to live it the way that you mean for it to be lived. Thank you for your love, Abba. Thank you for your arms that hold me close, for you constant and unchanging love for me. In Jesus' holy name, AMEN".

Speaking victory over your life - out loud - brings it into being. If you think you will be happy, you will be happy. Mind over matter people. If you think that the day is going to go well, you will have a good day. Force yourself to say one positive thing every 30 minutes. I know that it can be a stretch to come up with something. Even a simple, small positive thought, such as "I am strong. I am blessed. I am loved." can change your attitude and whole being.

Speak victory, not defeat. Think your thoughts but only let the positive out. When it is a rough day, speak the opposite. When it is a good day, be thankful and say so, out loud. Speaking our words out loud helps us to truly hear them. It helps us to focus on those words and they become our reality.

Dear Abba, I thank you for all the things that you have blessed me with. Thank your for my husband, my two sons. Thank you for your love, such a powerful love that sent your own precious son. Thank you for a warm, dry home, food that fills our bellies, clothing that covers us. Thank you for the blessing of family, the friends that become family and protection that you provide for us. Bless us, Abba-God with a great night with peaceful, restful sleep and a good day tomorrow. Even if the sun hides behind the clouds, help us to see the beauty in the day. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

God's blessing to you, my friends.
~Karen