God Has Not Forgotten You by Bombi

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Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you? Maybe you won’t say it with your mouth, but you have had thoughts creep into your head here and there. You think about friends and family and it seems like they’ve had their prayers answered, they’ve got it all. But there you are, struggling to smile, forcing to get yourself out of bed and be there for your spouse, or kids, or even yourself.

I want you to know you are not alone. Years ago I found myself jobless, facing homelessness, and about to become a single mother. The pain and pressure I was under seemed unbearable. In an effort to find employment and better my and my daughter’s future, I made a decision to move to another state and start all over. There I was with no immediate family around and no best pals around. I felt like I was on my own, alone, figuring it out all by myself. A couple of months after I had gotten there, I thought I needed to turn around and try to go back. A gal I met sat me down and asked me to wait just a bit. She asked me if I had ever heard of an organization called World Vision. I had never heard of this place before, but I applied online anyhow. Within weeks I was hired. It was after the fact that I researched World Vision and realized that it is one of the largest non-profit relief organizations in the world. God knew just what He was doing!

The first day of training, our trainer opened up with prayer. She then began to tell the new hired team that it was no coincidence we were hired. “God handpicks people to be here,” she said. They receive hundreds of applications weekly just to work in their call center. I thought perhaps she was being a little zealous, I soon realized she was right. Part of the training is to become aware of the needs around the world. Each day a new world unfolded in front of me as I learned of the desperation for things I had an abundance of like food and water. I learned that many people die from things we in America never do, like diarrhea. I also learned how women are treated in developing countries, and how dangerous it is to be a woman and a mother.

As the days went by in that training class, I knew God was speaking to me. He was telling me that I didn’t have it as bad as I thought I did. He was showing me that I was blessed so that I could bless others. I wasn’t a lost cause or alone. He showed me how I could help other women, other mothers, and people in far greater need than I was by being a voice for them in that call center. He gave me purpose in a time when I felt like I had lost my purpose.

My 4 years working for World Vision were some of the most blessed years of my life. God sent co-workers who turned into lifelong friends to come along side me and love me through my journey. Every Wednesday I was blessed to hear the word of God at work Chapel. Every day I stepped foot at work I saw the hand of God on my life, and I knew I had not been forgotten. God did more than answer my prayers to help me; He renewed my hope in Him.

Sometimes you pray and prepare yourself for a journey you feel sure of, and then a bomb goes off, demolishing the road in front of you. Although you stand there shell shocked, God is not surprised, scared, or worried. He knows the path He has for you. He’s also not a man to lie to you and whisper sweet nothings in your ear and make you wander around lost. He’ll provide for you in ways you never even thought of. I remember my old pastor telling the congregation, “God plus nothing equals everything.” I came to learn from experience just what that means. So here I am telling you, that you are not a lost cause, God is not finished with you, He has not left you or forgotten you. Instead of listening to negative thoughts telling you you’re done, He wants to tell you this; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

 

Photo Credit:© Ingadudkina | Dreamstime.com – Beautiful Girl Sitting Photo

 

The Only Stranger Here Is You by Kenika

 

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I am fully aware of how seasons continually change. Whatever location or atmosphere we have previously been in can eventually be traded or upgraded. It really doesn’t matter what it is. With this understanding you would think that I would be much better at accepting and dealing with people changing as well. I know that I have changed tremendously over the years! I often wonder what the current version of me would say to a younger version of me if given the chance. I know I would be full of advice, but most of all I would let her know that she will come to a place of change, that she won’t always be the same.

I’m sure the adjustments I’ve made, and you’ve made, over the years have to do with age, maturity, and experiences.   However, sometimes I forget that this is the reality of life. What I mean by that is every few years or so as I learn, evolve and change, I seem to always forget that some people might not have done the same. Then all of sudden I am walking around like, “What the heck is wrong with everybody?” What’s his deal? What’s her problem? These are questions I find myself asking and then becoming suspicious that certain people are starting to show their true colors or have changed for the worse. The truth of the matter is they haven’t changed I have.

I have to be reminded that some people have always been that way, but I never noticed because I was a different person back then too. There are behaviors that I readily tolerated before, but now that I am a little bit older (not much) I don’t have the patience for it anymore. I always say, “everyone has a limit,” which means everyone has a breaking point, a place of no return or a moment where they reach the end of the road. For some reason the same things we’ve dealt with for weeks, months, or even years all of sudden need to go and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Again, this is all a part of life. The best thing to do is to prepare and know that this will happen ever so often. For me it’s like every two to three years. Remember it, embrace it, and have patience with those you love and care for realizing that they are going through the exact same process dealing with you.

 

Photo Credit:© Prudkov | Dreamstime.com – Elegant Lady Standing Beside Old Tree Photo

 

Proper Alignment by Trish

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Earlier this year I injured my back causing excruciating pain and discomfort beyond belief. My body would find creative ways of movement to avoid the pain of what felt like something not properly aligned.

 

How many times in life do we succumb to pain and discomfort because schedules, priorities and our purpose is not properly aligned? We can only go for so long without proper boundaries in place before our life and perhaps the lives of those around us suffer due to lack of order and alignment.

 

As women especially, we oftentimes feel like the hero of the day in saying yes to all who call needing our attention. Our calendars are filled very easily with to-do lists and appointments that have the potential to control our lives if we don’t set proper boundaries.

 

While it’s true that we need to be productive and hard working, we also need to learn the value of a tiny, but powerful word we refer to as “no.” My telling you “no” now means I recognize that when I am in a position to provide a “yes” to your request, you’ll get the best possible productivity level from me because I’ve counted the cost before giving you a response. Only that which I’m able to fully commit to and complete in excellence will be allowed room on my calendar.

 

God has given us a precious gift called LIFE. His Word tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This indicates that there is a powerful lesson to be learned in how to properly care for your own life. If I don’t care for myself correctly, I’m not in a position to love you fully. We only have one life here on earth and one body. God desires that we maintain a life of balance so that we can fulfill our purpose according to His plan and not the agenda of those around us.

 

How can make sure we are properly aligned?

 

  • Maintain daily fellowship with Jesus

He truly is my “power source.” Just like my cell phone is of no use once the battery is depleted, so is my life when I’m empty of His daily mercies! I need to stay connected to Him to remain charged and full of life! There is no greater appointment on my day than the honor of sitting in His presence allowing His love to fill my life. Anything I do on empty or of my own strength has the potential to be of more harm than help. I need his grace, wisdom and love to guide my life so I can be affective for His kingdom. How can one make a withdrawal if deposits are not made? The more time I spend with Jesus, deposits are made in my heart providing me a surplus of resources (strength, wisdom, patience, etc.) whatever is needed for the purpose He’s called me to achieve.

 

 

  • Take care of you

Nothing speaks love to your soul like taking good care of yourself. Thinking of you is not selfish, it’s wise. How can I be my best for others if I’m not in good condition myself? Somehow we’ve gotten things twisted that a selfless person is someone who puts everyone’s needs above their own at all times. If I care for myself correctly then I serve and love others rightly. Eat good foods, work out your body and get proper rest. Take time to care for the gift God has given you- your life!

 

  • Focus on what is important; not just what’s urgent

Learn to develop a habit of routine. Where there is no structure there is opportunity for an unbalanced life. Structure provides boundaries that maintain order. Not every request requires your “yes.” When you lose sight of what’s important, like your relationship with Jesus, your family, your health, you create opportunities for “urgency” regarding these matters when they have been repeatedly neglected. If you must, write your list of priorities of what is most important and be courageous enough to let go of what is not needed.

 

Life was given to us to enjoy. There is no shame in ENJOYING life. I believe it is God’s plan for us to serve Him and others with JOY. If the level of my serving is stealing my joy and depleting my strength, I have to reevaluate my commitments.

 

I encourage you to look at your calendar right now. Does God have priority in your day? Does your family have QUALITY time with you, and have you blocked out a timeframe just for you? Let your priorities readjust your life and keep you properly aligned.

 

 

 

Photo Credit:© Pressmaster | Dreamstime.com – Peaceful Moments Photo