The Truest Heart!

Red hearts, red tissue paper, red-covered boxes of chocolates, and store lined with red valentine cards. Yep, its that time of year when men are stressed what to get their sweetheart, singles feel left out, and the merchants are laughing all the way to the bank.

I am not a fan of Valentines. It can be a sad day, an extremely pressured time for what could have been or longing for any kind of love.  (now don’t get me wrong, it can be fun.)

When I was a single mom, I made sure my girls and I did something fun. We ate food that was red, wore red, I gave them a little gift, and we made heart shaped cookies together.  I loved my girls with everything in my being and I wanted to make sure they knew it wasn’t only the 14th of February but for 365 days of the year.

Everyone is looking for love.  We all want a sense of security, acceptance, and intimacy.  People try Night clubs, speed dating, one-night stands, and going to parties in hopes that somehow, somewhere true love will be found. Great News…you don’t have to go any further…

True love…. It’s God.

He created real Love and has the Truest Heart. From the beginning of time, He has the most perfect and truest love.

He showed us true love by sending Jesus as a loving and perfect sacrifice to take our place of eternal death so we could have eternal life. Isn’t that amazing!  If you don’t know what I am talking about, check out: www.allaboutgod.com

God’s love is unchangeable when:

  • You feel unloved
  • You feel like a failure because of an ex- spouse
  • You feel like your heart will never stop aching
  • You desperately want another chance at love
  • You need wisdom and strength to raise your kids and show them love

God’s Bible is full of His love stories. He loves the underdog, the unclean, the rejected, the wealthy, the lonely, the poor, the sick, the children, people in high places, people in low places, and the single parents!

This Valentines you can be encouraged about God’s love for you and your kids. February 14th is just a day, but God’s love is 365 days a year.

You can know the greatest love… the Love of God. He is the Best Valentine EVER!

God’s Valentine card to you is words from His book which says,

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.  I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord! Romans 8:37-39 (CEV)

Trust in the goodness and love of what He did for you on the Cross.

Happy Love Day! …. you are Loved!

 

 

 

WHEN YOU FEEL YOU JUST CAN’T

There are times in people’s lives, and I am sure yours, when you just can’t.

You feel you just can’t:

-believe you have the ability to move ahead

-believe that good will come out of what you are going through

-believe that God is on your side

-believe that you will have strength for another day

-believe that things will get better

I don’t think I’m the only one that feels they just can’t.  That is why there are hotlines for people to call and bear their hearts, websites to sign in and have a mentor listen and pray with them, counselling centers to book an appointment, and support groups to encourage each other.  Because, sometimes… we just can’t.

It can be easy to put on a happy face and say things are fine, but sometimes it isn’t possible. We are human and life is tough. Pat answers don’t do anything to help, do they?  Find a trusted person that will listen and be supportive.  That is a priceless gift.

Here are some links if you feel you would like to reach out:

www.thelife.com You can ask for a mentor to chat through email.

Focus on the Family: https://www.faithfulcounseling.com/start/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=Search_PPC_c&utm_term=%2Bfocus+%2Bon+%2Bthe+%2Bfamily+%2Bcounseling_b&utm_content=78531569643&network=g&placement=&target=&matchtype=b&utm_campaign=907586780&ad_type=text&adposition=1t1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImsrvz4mY5wIVDvDACh02AgJPEAAYASAAEgLHPvD_BwE&not_found=1&gor=start&go=true

Find a counselor: http://www.findchristiancounselor.com/

Each of these groups may suggest other organizations to help you as well.   Taking the first step can be a road to victory.  You are worth it.

Maybe you feel God is silent.  I have found that I need to keep asking Him for help with some direction and answers even when things feel hopeless.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

When you just can’t, reach out and ask for help because we all need hope to move through life….you and me both.

When you just can’t….REACH….

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

When a Momma Encourages Her Kids

Do these situations sound familiar?  You have stood, in the pouring rain, at your kid’s school field day cheering them on.  Proudly took pictures of the ballerina performances and music recitals.  Do you remember watching in horror as your child got flattened on the soccer field and you reach for your phone ready to call 911?  It’s was the time when you wiped the tears from your face as they head off to prom, or you found yourself on your knees in prayer watching them leave the driveway alone for the first time.  It’s watching them graduate from college as proud as punch, or clinching a tissue watching them say their wedding vows hoping and praying things will be just fine.

The scenarios are endless, but as parents we would give our right arm to encourage our kids to be the best they can be. Some children may never say thank you, some won’t ever understand the impact, and others will be very grateful.

Whatever the situations, encouragement is so important to every child.  It is important to understand that giving true praise is not making our kids prideful.  It is helping them see their giftedness and giving them confidence so when things come up in life they are able to handle it better.  Encouragement isn’t about the dollar amount, the size of the home, or the latest fashion sense.  It’s about the heart condition and making our kids realize their important worth.

I hear adults saying how a school teacher said that could be anything they wanted to be, or momma’s (and dad’s too!) being so proud of their kids and telling them they are so special. I can still remember the positive words spoken to me. They are tucked in a part of my heart that beats for part of who I am today.

Raising my girls, I wanted them to know they were important. By no means was I perfect. In retrospect, I missed some important discussion times, timely hugs, and there were times I gave more advice when I should have just listened.  However, they knew I loved them and we were a Team.

How can we encourage our kids? Here are some suggestions that I try and implement.

  1. Learn about each child’s dreams and aspirations. Help them to define it and ask them all kinds of questions. Engage in who they are. Why not work together to research and communicate about those dreams?  As they kids grow older their dreams will change and their life passions will become more defined.  Not every girl will want to become a princess or every boy a transformer! Ha Ha
  2. Commit to praying for your individual children and their passions for life. (Don’t forget to pray for their possible spouse as well!) Share Jesus with them.  Help them understand the wonderful eternal journey they can have and let them know that God is the author of dreams and goals!
  3. If they fall, let them know you are there. Keep encouraging them for the next chapter in their life. Sometimes, we can only stand at the sidelines feeling like our hands tied. Truth may be that kids don’t want help, so respect that. Assure them you are always there so they know. That is a hard thing for Mommas to do. So…. go back to #2.
  4. Keep on giving words of encouragement. Technology is wonderful so we can talk back and forth instantly. My one daughter is overseas right now and I am very grateful for the tools to not only talk but see her wonderful face and hear her laugh.

Encouragement is a precious gift we can give our children.  We all need it.  It helps us move ahead, to help define who we are, and can give us the push to be all we can be.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • If you are able, check in with your child and give them a word of encouragement
  • Pray for each of your children to grow into who they were created to be
  • Help your kids to dream
  • If your children are not speaking with you, pray for them. Ask God to open doors so you can encourage them in small ways.  Pray for truth.
  • Understand your encouragement is a wonderful gift to give each of your children

YOU CAN DO THIS!

(re-posted)

A Timeless Story of Truth

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:8-20

May you find His peace and His joy during this Season.  See you in the new year!

Linda

Thankful Despite…

Have you taken a few minutes lately to breathe and reflect on being thankful? It is good from time to time to make a mental list of things in our lives we can be grateful for. I know sometimes it is a challenge. There are been times I have had to really think hard.

Here are a few:

  • Money for the rent or mortgage
  • Food to fill the tummy
  • Good friends
  • Good health
  • An adoptive or maternal family
  • Hobbies that help our creative juices flow
  • A pet that unconditionally loves us

Sometimes life situations go sideways and we are feeling far from thankful. It can quickly turn to discouragement and questioning WHY this is happening. Many times, our faith can be tested.

Isaac Carree has a song called, In the Middle.  He says when we are in the middle of a hard life situation, we still need to praise God. (google it!)

Hard to do? Yes, because human nature dictates it. I know many people who live in bitterness and anger because life hasn’t been easy. Some people seem to get a free ride in life but not the case for others. I wish I had an easy solution, but I don’t.  I hate being discouraged and feeling like I have been kicked in the preverbal teeth.

So, in my own struggles over the years, I have had a choice to make. Believe me, I am a work in progress. God never changes and we are told in Scripture to praise God anyway and be thankful despite….

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEV)

It’s easy to be very thankful when things are going my way and justice is served.  Paul says in chapter 5 to be thankful whatever happens. If you read his life, he was not just preaching it, he lived it. Jesus Christ gave Him a life worth living, just as He has offered the same to us.

I am working on it. It is tough work, hard work, but the best work. People hurt us, justice doesn’t happen when we want, doing life isn’t a cake walk and life can be unfair.  However, there are good things happening in our life whether big or small if we choose to find it.

For what it is worth, from my heart to yours, we can work at being thankful despite…and thank God that He is in control, He is worthy of our praise and thankfulness, and thankful we can without a doubt trust Him.

Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory, honor and praise.  Revelations 4:11 (CEV)

Would you care to join me this week on being thankful despite?? Take a few minutes and make a list. You will be pleasantly surprised and it sure beats the feelings of being mad and bitter.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Grab a piece of paper and pen and write out 3 things to be thankful for.
  • Work through 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and the words, Whatever Happens.
  • Jesus Christ can help you with being thankful. He gave us the opportunity for eternal life!
  • For all you living in the USA…Happy Thanksgiving!

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life on a Trampoline

Our neighbours have a trampoline with a tall net surrounding the edges where their kids spend endless hours. (they gave me permission to take this picture).

Many times, as I drive by, I see them jumping and doing flips. Thank goodness for that safety net! I think if I tried what they did, a 911 call would have to be made! Oh, to be young!

That trampoline reminds me of emotions.  Some days we are up, other days we are lying face down wondering what happened, and more realistically, life is a bit of both.

Doing life isn’t always in a neat little package tied with a bow. We face struggles but we also have exciting moments that make us jump for joy.

For me, living as a single parent for a number of years certainly had good and bad times, but years later I jumped for joy when I published my first book for single parents. I realized that life is like a trampoline. Ups and downs are a part of life. (See I used to jump on one and survived!)

I am so glad for the safety net that Jesus surrounds me with. How about you? He is ready to surround and protect us when we are jumping up and down doing life.

Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful. Then you will say to the Lord, “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.” The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps and deadly diseases. He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure. His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall. Psalm 91:1-4 (CEV)

As you face this week and feel like you are living on a trampoline, call out to the God Most High.  He is the true place of safety.

Open Your Tool Box:

  • What emotions are you feeling right now?
  • Be comforted that God is your place of safety and you can rest in the shadows of His wings.
  • You are not alone, ups and downs means doing life.
  • Reach out to someone so you can jump together and be encouraged.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

The Littlest of Trees

The trees on our property have taught me some great lessons this past Autumn.  We have had some brilliant colours splashed on our trees this year. The Fall winds are beginning to make some of our trees bare but along our driveway I found the littlest of a Maple tree.

Surrounded by all the dead leaves and stuck on rocky ground stands such a bright and colourful little tree made up of 4 leaves. I see it every time I walk our path.

Isn’t that what the Apostle Paul shared in Scripture.

 Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news of Christ.  Philippians 1:17

I know it can be hard sometimes to bloom bright in a world where things are so opposite of what God teaches. Sometimes it feels very lonely to stand up for what is God-honouring.

Everyday, we have choices as a parent, an employer, student, and whether married or single.  It may mean ridicule or rejection from those in our circle of life.

The Apostle Paul had the same struggles as he served the Living God. He continued his encouraging letter by saying,

Whether I live or die, I always want to be as brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ. Philippians 1:20b

We can rest in the fact that God will honour us and fill us with His peace. As Christ-followers, He will help us to bloom bright even like the littlest of trees just where we are planted. He will help us to be brave and in doing so will bring honour to Him.

 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:7

OPEN YOU TOOL BOX:

  • Remember even as the littlest of trees, you can bloom bright
  • Pick one of those Scriptures verses and memorize this week.
  • When you are struggling with standing brave, ask God for His peace.
  • Bloom bright because….

You Can Do this!