Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What Are You Saying?

I was thinking about how words can truly affect lives. Back in the day I'm ashamed to admit that I could tear someone to shreds in an instant with my words and I was actually proud of it. I thought, "If they want to come after me or my family...they deserve it, they are asking for it...and I'm just the one to give it to them. They messed with the wrong person!"

I'd persistently look for vulnerable areas by poking, poking and poking until I'd find it, then I'd dig in, my words inflicting pain and causing damage. But truthfully..it was a cover up, hiding the hurt, pain and "less than" areas inside my heart. I put a bandaid over it and as the scripture says, "...For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."~Matthew 6:45 
My words reflected the lacking in my heart. 
I'm so thankful that GOD took the "gift" of words HE gave me, Healing every hurt so that I could be used for the very Purpose HE created me for...pointing people to JESUS, lifting up instead of tearing down... "The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing."~Proverbs 12:18

Friends, words are powerful. Let's truly think about what we say to others. Let's pray for help to be encouragers instead of discouragers. Join me today in asking JESUS to heal all areas that may be causing us to lash out, hurt, retaliate, or gossip. 

LORD, please help us to be the people you created us to be. Fill us with more of YOU...YOUR Words, YOUR Heart, YOUR Love. Remove the bitterness, pain and/or anger that causes us to say hurtful things. Help us speak words of life, reflecting YOUR Redeeming Grace, causing people to bloom. Guide our walk through each day looking for ways to lift one another up to YOUR Glory; pointing people toward YOUR Ever-Ready, Loving Embrace. In YOUR Name we pray JESUS, Amen. 

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit."~Proverbs 18:21
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."~Ephesians 4:29
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."~Psalm 19:14

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Are You Hiding Sparse Areas?

I have a very important tradition every year that drives my family crazy...I have to find the *perfect* Christmas tree. This year our hunt was way behind schedule due to our trip to the Packers game. So this afternoon, I got up out of my sick bed so we could find it. As we pulled up to our normal lot it looked like they were tearing it down. The man said, "All trees are $20.00 and you have until sundown, we're closing shop." Woah...we just made it! As I went through row by row of the tiny, sparsely branched trees, I became discouraged, asking one of the workers, "Do you have any large trees left hidden in the back or something?" "No, this is about it," he replied. I continued back and forth, having my son, little Josh, grab one just in case I couldn't find anything better. I finally narrowed it down to three best of the worst, giving in to the tallest one. Once we got home it looked even worse than I anticipated. The hubby tried to console me when he noticed the dismayed look on my face by saying, "It'll look better once we get it decorated." But there were too many bare spots to try to hide. So we rotated it to camouflage the worst parts and shoved it up against the wall. 

Friends, my poor empty branched tree reminded me of what I'd done for years in my own life. I tried to fix the outside while camouflaging the empty areas in my heart and soul that were in dire need of mending and growth. Year after year I put up a great front, but inside I was wilting. All my hiding began to become very apparent to those closest to me. I needed to make some big changes. 
So today because of this reminder I'm choosing to be thankful for this less than perfect tree! I'm thankful that when I decided to stop trying to hide, opening up my emptiness to JESUS, giving HIM access to all of my brokenness, I no longer felt the need to hide my flaws. HE took my less than and filled me with more of HIS Love and Forgiveness, causing growth in every area of weakness..the very things HE already knew I was lacking.

Friends, are you hiding sparse areas? Join me in continually taking it all to The LORD in prayer. We don't need to attempt to conceal...HE already knows. Let's expose those flaws to the Unconditional, Restoring Love and Light of CHRIST. 
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."~John 15:5

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?