You Are Enough by Sonya

This New Year I desire that each of us would know “You are enough.”  I struggled last year to realize that. I found myself looking in all the wrong places to find my identity through relationships with family and friends, and especially my husband. I would strive so hard to be the best wife and mom and felt like I always fell short. I relied on my husband’s words and what he thought of me to find my identity and would try so hard to get his approval, that in the end I was always hurt. I had it all wrong.  I was trying to find my self worth in others and not in who God. I am a people-pleaser at heart so it is difficult to not look to others and try to make everyone happy. Being the oldest in my family, I just took the role of taking care of my family at an early age and worked hard to make sure everyone was happy and doing well. I found my identity in my family and it was hard to break that when I got older. ​

Don’t get me wrong, family is important and there is nothing wrong in serving your family and loving them well, but if it is your main focus and where you find your self worth, then you have it wrong. I found that out and realized I need to know who I am in Christ and not in others. I am enough with just Christ and all He wants is my heart and not my works! ​

This New Year my focus is on being enough in Christ because we can never be good enough apart from Christ, and our need for a Savior is essential. He gave it all to us and we are more than enough in His eyes. We don’t have to second-guess if we are doing things right because God wants us just as we are. Our strengths, our weaknesses, He wants it all because He made us. We are enough because God made us in His image and His likeness and we are to celebrate our individual uniqueness and realize, “We are enough!” Can you take this challenge with me in this New Year and be reminded you are enough?  My dear friend gave me this necklace that said, “You are enough,” and not only will that be my reminder, but let’s remind each other together that we are enough and Christ is enough for each of us! You are worthy through the blood of Jesus and don’t ever forget that!

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A Heart of Gratitude by Trish

Perhaps it is just how I view life as I mature with age, but I’m amazed at the overwhelming amount of selfishness and lack of gratitude in our society.  That is not to say that all of society is ungrateful but it is evident nonetheless.

A culture of entitlement, pride and self- deserved behavior has replaced humility, gratitude and benefits due to hard work and consistency. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a home where we were rewarded for hard work and good behavior. Nothing was given just because. Or maybe it was because there were many Christmas holidays when nothing was under the tree other than my little brother looking up admiring the lights. There was no expectation or demand for a Christmas wish list to be fulfilled. We focused on what mattered most and poured our attention and energy in our relationships not things.

Today, I’m appalled when I see and hear children making demands of their parents and further astonished when this same behavior is demonstrated among grown adults.

We’ve fostered a culture where everyone is a winner and everyone deserves a trophy. So now when a reward is given, it is received with an attitude of what is owedto them and not a spirit of gratitude or even accomplishment for a job well done.

I truly believe the more we soften or hearts and become less self-absorbed the more opportunities are automatically open to us to receive the very best in life.

When we set our affections on Jesus and are grateful for what He has done for us it causes our hearts to be filled with sincerity and gratitude.  I believe gratitude attracts the greater things in life. When we are found faithful over the small things we are given, we are provided the opportunity to receive and be a steward of even greater things.

The next time we are tempted to be selfish and demanding of what we think we should have, let us be mindful of those who would give anything for a clean cup of water, a warm shower, nice bed and a hot meal. I don’t say this to diminish having our desires met or wanting nice things. It’s all about priorities and maintaining a pure heart and most importantly saying “thank you” to the One who gives to us to freely. It all belongs to Him and the least we can do is share with others and have a heart of gratitude.

Photo Credit: By Sutlafk / Freepik

 

Immeasurably More Love by Sonya

“Through Christ may you know the love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”Ephesians 3:19-21​

This Christmas season I want you to take these verses to heart and believe them. These verses really help to understand Christ’s love for us, and how deep God’s love is for us, to have His son born on Christmas to show us that. There is nothing we can do or say that will keep us from Christ’s love or make Him loves us more no matter what. Knowing Christ’s love for each of us will help you understand how Great God’s love is and it is so much greater than what we could ever imagine. This can be hard to comprehend, and I am in that season where it is difficult to think how God can love us so much just as we are. I mess up all the time and have a hard time loving myself and so my vision is blurred from how God sees me.  But when I look through God’s lens, and He tells me I am His daughter, His masterpiece, and His love is unconditional, I see that nothing I do or say will make Him view me any differently. Wow, that is mind blowing and as humans we have a hard time understanding that. Our flesh gets in the way of truly believing how much God loves us. ​

Understand God’s love through His Son this Christmas by realizing God loves us first and He loves you more than anyone else. Also God’s love is eternal and will last forever and His love is unconditional no matter what you do. Lastly His love is immeasurable.  We can’t ever put into words or describe the love He has for us because it is so remarkable. So remarkable in a way that God sent Christ to come to earth on Christmas, so He could die for us and that we could have everlasting life with Him. How amazing is this and I want to understand that kind of love this Christmas. Who is with me? Our identity needs to be rooted in Christ and fully understanding His love will set us free. Are we ready to receive the greatest Christmas gift? God’s love is immeasurably more than what we could ask for with no strings attached. ​

I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore continued my faithfulness to you.”Jeremiah 31:3​

Now that you receive the love, go out and spread His love to those around you and let the Christmas spirit spread everywhere you go! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Photo Credit: Free Pik

This Is 40 by Bombi

Recently I celebrated a life milestone, I turned 40. From the moment I turned 39 I began to spend most every day in reflection of my life. I was taking inventory of my life and thinking on all of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. When I was younger, there were so many things I thought I knew about people, faith, or just life in general. I came to find that I knew so little, I’m still learning. What struck me was how sure I was about everything when I first became an adult. I was sure that I would be safe at all times in all situations. I was sure of who my friends were and would always be. I was sure that my family would all stay the same people. I was sure about so much. Little did I know how unsure life would be. How many funerals I’d attend, how many friends I’d never see again. There were years that I was sure I would never really laugh or smile again. Times in life that I thought that I would never find true love. So many ups and downs, so, so many of them.

I guess I’m at the so called “mid-point” or “middle” in life. If there’s anything I can say for sure it’s this, nearly everything and everyone changes. Jobs will come and go. Your pant size will fluctuate. Fashion, music, and celebrities will change throughout the times. Gas prices will fluctuate and more than likely go up. Presidents and political agendas will come and go. Homes and the place you call home will more than likely change.  Children will grow up and change, parents will too. Your life perspectives will change. The ones you considered friends and circles of friends will come and go as well. Everything and everyone will more than likely change in one way shape or form. Everyone except for one, Jesus. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:6 that, “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” There are so many promises that we have in Jesus and what’s awesome is that they will and do come to pass. I am so blessed to have Him in my life, I couldn’t imagine a moment without Him. He’ll never betray me, gossip about me, trick me, leave me, He’ll never do any of that. He’ll never stop being my friend. All He does and will keep on doing is being who He is. I praise Him forever for that. I pray that I can live out the second half of my life through Him in a greater way than I have up to this point. Maybe one day, when I’m fully grown, I can be more like Him.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)

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