there is one thing that i am certain about in my life, and that is that i am blessed.
i love what Gabby Douglas, US Olympian, said, “the glory goes up to God and the blessings fall down on me.”
that couldn’t be more true.
you see, i have been blessed in every circumstance of my life, even the ones that seemed like terrible happenings at the time. through heartbreak, trials, and pain, i have seen the workings of God in my life. i have lost people that were dear to me, and i have been incredibly sick. but, because of God’s amazing plan, i am able to share with people how God has blessed me through these things.
right now, i am seeing the blessings of God in an incredible way. He has blessed me with an incredible family, amazing friends, and a beautiful relationship with my boyfriend. i recently got a house, which i know was His work, and my church family has taken care of me in such an awesome way. God is working in my life through the people He has put in it. there is no way that it could be anything other than God.
what i want everyone to understand is that, in everything, give the glory to God and He will bless you. praise Him in everything because He deserves it. the blessings may come in disguise, and they probably won’t be exactly what you gave. for instance, if you give of your time serving people in the name of Jesus, you won’t get your time back, but you will be blessed by those people. God blesses us through everything.
i found out today that i have a new cousin.
he’s four years old.
his daddy, my uncle, died three years ago at his own hand. when i woke up that morning, i just knew that something was wrong. i didn’t know what was wrong, but something was. when my dad told me that my uncle was dead, i was devastated. we went up to tennessee, where he and my grandparents had lived, and my heart was broken even more as i watched my family suffer.
for a couple of years, i was bitter. i was angry at him for what he had done to my family. the burden that i carried was heavy and hard to bear, but God took that away from me. He healed me and lifted my burden, took away my grief. and, up until last week, it was gone.
then, we found out that my uncle may have a son. if that were true, it would be so great! we would have a little something left of my uncle. but, if it were true, there was the possibility that he could have felt there was a reason to carry on.
but he didn’t know.
and it hit me all over again that he’s really gone. that he wasn’t there to see me graduate high school, he won’t be there for my college graduation or wedding, he will never call me “pumpkin” again. the ache returned when he crossed my mind. the guilt because to this day i don’t know if i told him that i loved him the last time i saw him.
the pain because things could have been different.
but this morning, i was reminded that we can’t live in the “could haves.” we can only live in what we have now. what we’ve been through makes us who we are, and God promises that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. and, even though there is pain, there is joy! a new member is welcomed into my family!
God has shown me that, in the midst of pain, there is much to be thankful about. although i miss my uncle so so so much, i take comfort in knowing that i can help others through their pain. God truly uses all things for our good, and we can count on that.
no more could haves, only the now from now on.
(in loving memory of my uncle, Chris Adams)
if you didn’t already know this, let me just say that i am a Christian.
according to dictionary.com, the meaning of the word “Christian,” when used as a noun, is “a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Jesus Christ.” so, in order to be a true Christian, one must know the teachings of Jesus Christ - and, more importantly, Jesus Christ Himself.
notice that being a Christian does NOT mean that i think that i am better than anyone, nor does it mean that i hate anyone who has a different belief system. i don’t look down upon people who like others of the same sex because i think they are all going to Hell (hate the sin, not the sinner). no, i don’t judge people because of who they were in the past. i don’t believe i’m perfect because i believe in God.
i know the truth. i am no better than anyone else because Romans says that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and i am part of that “all.” i look at people as God’s creation that He loves deeply and for whom He has called me into the ministry of reconciliation. i choose not to hold the past against anyone because i know that i am just as much a sinner as the next person.
you see, being a Christian is about showing God’s love to the people around us. when God made the world, including the people, He said that it was VERY GOOD. it was only after adam and eve sinned that good was shadowed by evil. then, when He died upon the cross, Jesus reconciled the world to God through Himself. when we accept His invitation to have Him change us, we also accept the calling into the reconciliation of creation. being Christians does not make us better than anyone; it makes us sharers of the Good News.
are you up for it?
i have three cats: thelma (the oldest), crybaby (the middle), and isi [izzy] (the youngest). the oldest one is pretty normal; she doesn’t do anything that is too weird. the younger two, however, are just odd, even for cats. isi loves the computer and lays on the keyboard when people are trying to type. and crybaby…well, let me explain.
99% of the time, crybaby wants attention. if one of us is sitting on the couch, crybaby will come over and hop up on our laps, then sit there and stare at us until we pet her. she follows people everywhere, meowing until she gets attention. and she also does this thing where she will jump up on top of me while i am sleeping and start to tap me with her cold little paw until i wake up. the entire time this is going on, she will meow. if i try to put the covers over my head, she will start to take them off. if she thinks that it’s gone on too long, she will start to lick and gently bite me. all to get my attention.
she is relentless.
this morning, she started doing it again. trying to get my attention. at first, i was annoyed. “go away!” i said (or mumbled). and yet, no matter how many times i tried to push her away or get away from her, she would come right back. then i realized that crybaby does the exact same thing that God does.
you see, God wants our attention. in this world, with our phones and computers and tablets, the focus is on us. what we want. but God still wants our attention. sometimes He shows that to us in the small things, like showing us a rainbow after the rain, or a beautiful sunset at the end of a long, hard day. sometimes, He uses bigger things, like a breakup (in my case) to show us that He wants our full attention. God wants us, so He relentlessly seeks us, showing us that He is there and that He wants to be the most important thing in our lives.
on the other hand, we should also relentlessly be seeking God. when we give our lives fully to Him, we are saying that we love and trust Him, and that we want Him to be number one. and the only way to ensure that He does fill that top spot is to read His Word and spend time in prayer, seeking His will and His way in our lives.
we serve a God who knows and loves each of us individually, and He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants our attention. the question is, are we going to give it to Him?
Today is my mommy and daddy’s 24th wedding anniversary! :)
routine: a customary or regular course of procedure; commonplace; habitual.
i said to someone this morning, “i have a routine…and i CAN’T break it!” i am just as bad (if not worse) as the next person when it comes to getting caught up in my routine. i have a routine for getting ready for the day, a routine for going through the day, a routine for getting ready and going to bed. i am a creature of habit. and when i break that routine, i get uncomfortable.
i know i’m not alone in this. i know that there are other people out there that get caught up in what “needs” to be done in their day-to-day lives. things that wehaveto do. we use up all our energy and more trying to chase after the things that are habitual. when we break routine, we feel weird. uncomfortable.
but when did God say that we would ever be comfortable?
when we surrender our lives to Christ wholly, we kinda give up the “right” to be comfortable. God has a way of pushing us out of our comfort zones. maybe it’s seeing someone at the grocery store and listening to God’s call to go pray for them, even though you don’t know them. and it breaks your routine.
maybe it’s creating a time to spend alone in the Word. that may mean adjusting your routine accordingly. in fact, it may mean changing your routine completely. because we were made to be extraordinary.
God needs and wants to be the first and foremost person in our lives. it is my prayer for you (and for me) that we will be wiling to give up our routine, where we get so lost in ourselves, and focus on loving God and the people around us. don’t be afraid to break that routine. you may be uncomfortable, but you will soon find that giving up the good things of life can lead to the great things of God.