Friday, February 26, 2010

Peace Among the Pieces

"The Lord will give strength unto his people;
the Lord will bless his people with peace."
- Psalm 29:11

What is this peace? The Hebrew, Shalom translates as safe, that is (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is health, prosperity, peace: to be well wholly. Love it!

My thoughts today are drawn to the desire for peace. Psalm 34:14 counsels us to "seek peace, and pursue it!" Again, the Hebrew for pursue is Radaph - to run after, chase, or hunt. THIS I can relate to! I totally know what it is to pursue peace with a passion!! I am familiar with difficult situations and circumstances where fear bombards my thoughts and leaves me with the choice to seek hard after peace or to stay stuck in worry and doubt. We've known the pain of financial struggle - no income, bills to pay. Like many of you, we too have felt the sting of broken relationships, gossip, and betrayal. Recently, we have even come to know the heartache of a child being victimized in most unthinkable ways. We know that in this life, there Will Be pain and seasons of trial; so, where do we focus during these times? Where do we look for peace?

I heard a friend recently struggling to find security. She was looking to "man and the world" for a sense of knowing - a stable income, home ownership, roots. As she shared her desire and journey, I became aware of her Real search for peace. I have come to understand that often times when we seek security, we look to man for the solution, and forever seem unsatisfied. Conversely, when we seek peace and look to the One who promises an endless supply, our internal struggle with fear subsides. I am convinced that as long as we choose to dance with fear, doubt, and worry; we miss out on the opportunity to know peace, joy, and love!!

I am grateful for my relationship with a Heavenly Father that is the source of endless peace in ALL circumstances. I have heard the knock of our loving Savior who stands ready. I have considered the depth of the Atonement that covers not only the offense, the pain of being offended, as well as the offender! God knows the intent of the Adversary to "kill, steal, and destroy" and has so paved a way for us to follow!

I know that God moves among the pieces!! God stands ready and able to assist us in putting the pieces of life together peacefully! Choosing to Trust God has been one of the most difficult and rewarding decisions I make on a daily basis!! Looking to God as my source and security is an act of faith that ALWAYS brings peace!! Trusting that I am not alone in my journey to discern the pieces of life brings peace! Enjoying the Divinely appointed friendships in my life, brings peace and encouragement!

I also know that if I can find peace among my pieces, so can you! Trust God, look to him as the author and finisher of your faith! I pray that we will be encouraged in our journey to seek peace, and pursue it with renewed energy!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Season of Reflection and Preparation

Yesterday was "Ash Wednesday", typically a Catholic tradition which begins a season of reflection called Lent; and, although I am not Catholic, I can relate to the value of reflecting on the life I'm leading and how it may or may not reflect the life of the Savior and draw me closer to Him. Traditionally, this time of Lent begins a 40 day journey, ending with the celebration of Easter. For many, this is a time of letting go of habits that distract us. Again, I know and understand the value of letting go of bad habits and distractions!! Often times, this is also a season of fasting, prayer, and study; a time to remember the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior. What a great idea!!! I've noticed in my life, the times when I've recognized a bad habit or distraction, the Only way to let go is by invoking the powers of heaven to assist me! I am grateful to know that God IS Faithful! I have also come to know Jesus as my Savior, Intercessor, and Friend. He is my best friend who knows Everything about me, and SO desires for me to succeed in Every area of my life! He is the one I am totally transparent with, who loves me in spite of myself! He is the one whom I can trust to always see me through the loving eyes of our Father. He knows my heart and He knows where my distractions are, He also knows an easier way!

I was thinking of my other Very Best Friend and Sweetheart, Jeff. We have been married now for more than half of my life. He knows me intimately, and often times can recognize things about me that I just don't see. He also loves me enough to be open and honest in his feedback. Now, for many years I resented this fact! I spent a lot of time hearing his loving support as critical judgments, Totally unfounded in truth. I found myself being defensive, defiant, disrespectful, disgusted, and eventually disloyal. What a dangerous road to choose!!! In my self-righteous pride, I had taken the love and support offered me and watered it down to the point of holding No value. On top of that, I found myself complaining that I didn't feel loved. I then decided to wallow in self-pity and even enrolled others to join me. I was quite the hostess at this incredible Pity Party!! I had spared no expense! I found myself feeling alone, empty, and hurting; when in reality, I was being offered abundant love and support. How had I gotten so confused? Why would I resist such an offer? It took me a Long time of reflecting and letting go to see this resistance as a distraction, one of the Adversary's greatest tactics. If Satan can get us distracted and believing the lies He tells, then He wins! The Scriptures are full of wise counsel to stay focused, and on purpose!! I am grateful for Love that corrects and forgives! I am grateful for the power of Grace, Mercy, and Redemption!!! I am grateful for new beginnings!! This time of year also happens during Spring, a time of new beginnings! A time when the earth wakes up, dusts itself off, and starts all over again! Isn't it exciting that we too have this opportunity? I invite you to spend this next 40 days reflecting. I encourage you to be willing to be open and honest about where you might be distracted. Where have you replaced love and support with food, medication, etc.? Where has your self-righteous pride interfered with relationships and blessings? I even dare you to consider your own relationship with Jesus Christ.

I can promise you that this journey, however uncomfortable it may be, will be worth it! I KNOW and have experienced the power of receiving the grace and mercy to let go, and redemption to to begin again! You can start fresh, with new wisdom, new habits, new choices. God wants to bless you with Peace, Joy, Prosperity, Health, Wisdom, Understanding, Forgiveness and Love. Let this be the year when you decide to break free from the distractions of this world and set your sights on the Savior!! Be ferocious in your quest for freedom! Be Unwavering in your faith! Be Bold in moving forward!! Be Open to receive ALL that you desire and deserve!! Be Courageous in seeking Salvation.

I believe that God has Great things in store for those that love and trust Him!! I know that We choose if will be our Best of Times or Worst of Times! Please don't be like me and waist precious time wallowing! I am passionate about the joy of letting go, and being on purpose!! I know God will do miraculous things with our willing hearts!! This season, I pray that we choose to "Let our Lifesong Sing"!!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day

Today, I am honored to remember George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as Men of Valor - Courageous and Faithful!!

How did you "celebrate" this day? Did you take time to reflect? Did you offer a prayer of gratitude for our freedom and rich heritage as Americans? Let us not miss such a moment and may we always be "One Nation Under God"!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Celebrating 20 Years!!!

Love is always bestowed as a gift freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.

Leo F. Buscaglia

20 years ago today, Jeff & I said I DO!! What an amazing journey it has been!! I am SO blessed by this covenant relationship!!! I am blessed for my testimony that God values this covenant for us and walks with us as we two become one!! I have experienced the joy of the Atonement in my marriage. I know the power of restoration that exists when we simply ask and willingly receive ALL that God has for us. I am SO blessed to share this amazing journey with my Best Friend, Lover, Protector, and Partner!!!