Christmas PAST

I found myself reflecting on Christmas memories as I hung up the stockings, fought with those crazy strings of lights, and looked over recipes that I hope to bake…and EAT!

Growing up as a kid, our family had little money for extras but I never felt cheated out of Christmas because of their love and their many homemade gifts. There was a lot of family celebrations with cousins and other relatives skating on the pond and playing games. Oh yes, and lots of yummy food!

When I became a single mom, money was super tight and I had to share the holidays with my ex.  From past experiences, I knew it wasn’t about the gifts but about making special memories with my girls that I still keep tucked in my heart to this day. Believe me there were some years I just wanted to skip Christmas.

For some of you, Christmas time can be very painful.  Memories of your childhood, of your marriage and family break up, and constant financial burdens can be downright overwhelming to say the least.  Getting together with the extended family can be stressful.  Someone drinks too much, yelling matches of past issues that they just won’t let die, and gift expectations from some. Sure makes for anything but fun. Your ex has the kids this year and it is going to feel lonely. Fa la la. Believe me, I bet you are saying you want to skip Christmas.

A couple thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph struggled with “Christmas”. Angels came to them to tell them that the virgin Mary was to give birth to God’s son, Joseph was engaged to her and wondering what to do, and the Shepherds and Wise Men were visited by angels telling of a coming Messiah. And yet there in a non-assuming stable, The Saviour was born. I am so glad that God choose not to skip Christmas!

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:20-23 (NIV)

Whenever I become perplexed, stressed or sad over Christmas issues, those verses give me hope that this PAST event will trump any past that I have. Because of Jesus’ birth, His saving power to forgive my sins, and His help for today and tomorrow gives me His ultimate peace. I can rest in Him, I can work through the past, I can accept that I can’t change the past and then work toward how I will deal with this Christmas.

Want to skip Christmas?  I get that.  Would you like to try and work through some positive Christmas steps? That would be awesome. Are you glad God didn’t skip Christmas?  I can say without a doubt, YES! YES! YES!

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

 

 

 

Open your gift:

  • Be thankful for that Christmas Past over 2000 years ago.
  • Reflect on Jesus’ birth, His sinless life and His ultimate Sacrifice for you.
  • When painful Christmas situations come up, know you are not alone. Jesus’ is there.
  • Begin to prepare and work through some past issues so you can face today and tomorrow.
  • Create a new Christmas memory with your kids.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

NEXT TIME: Christmas Present

 

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Freedom, TRUE Freedom

We recently had a day to remember our country’s freedom.  How grateful I am for those veterans that fought and sacrificed their lives so we could live in the ‘land of the free’.

Lately, I was thinking about another type of freedom.  It is freedom from things in life that seem to trap me from living a more victorious life.  It involves the worries of this world, the pressures that seem endless and the past scars and hurts that like to surface again and again.

Do you struggle with the same?  What makes you feel defeated and pressing down on your heart while walking in imaginary cement shoes?

I have heard some share

  • It is the words from their past that they aren’t good enough or never will be
  • That dreams are only for daydreamers
  • Life will never change.
  • Some that feel because their marriage broke down, it was ALL their fault and they live in that guilt.
  • Others share that co-workers are cruel
  • Fair-weather friends have left them feeling hurt and abandoned
  • Those that were an example and in leadership have failed them
  • Do you worry a lot and can’t seem to let it go? That worry feels like a chain around your neck, your ankles and your heart? It can be debilitating.

Truth is, we are all human, we make mistakes and life hurts sometimes.

GOOD NEWS! DON’T STOP READING. The great and awesome news is that God can break those chains. He wants to give us TRUE freedom despite what is going on around us and in our hearts.

Jesus’ sacrificial life made it possible to be free from bondage’s in our life.   Sadly, I don’t reflect on that as much as I should. It needs to be a continual Remembrance Day for me.

True freedom is allowing God to show us His Truth and help us work through each step of our past, our present situation, all while moving toward the future.

Jesus said, “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.”  John 10:10 (CEV)

Maybe you don’t even know where to begin. How about grabbing a notebook and begin to list bondage issues, worry issues, and scary unknowns. Many share they are dealing with pornography and want to break the chains.  Others have no boundaries in their life and are walked on by others. Some have anger issues, others  spending issues, while others continue to spread gossip. You have your list. Begin to pray that God would help you heal. That is a beginning to start your way to Freedom.

Consider this: Do you need to consider counselling?  Do you need to begin to dream again and start the steps to make that come true? Do you need to forgive in your heart those that hurt you and don’t want you to succeed? Do you need to have a more positive attitude and tell Winnie the Pooh’s, Eeyore, to take a hike?

I struggle with issues that trap me from having Freedom. It is important for me to acknowledge those chains and release them to God….and yes sometimes a lot! When I do work with God, I begin to know an inner freedom that only He can give. Pretty amazing!

From experience, when a situation comes up; take it directly to God.  Ask Him to control your mind, your thoughts, and remember He wants us to live life to the fullest. If you have a good supportive friend reach out and ask for prayer and encouragement.  Crack open the Word of God and let His words comfort and empower you.  Take that list of yours and begin to make small steps.

Don’t give up, there is freedom….true freedom.

OPEN YOUR TOOLBOX:

  • Do you feel a lack of freedom in life? Make a list.
  • What positive steps can you take with this list?
  • Reach out to those that you feel you can trust to walk alongside you.
  • Let God help you gain True Freedom. He is only a prayer away.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

 

Sharing A Bit of My Journey on Radio

If anyone is interested in hearing a bit of my past journey it is on Saturday at 1pm and 7pm (Ontario time) at http://www.am700thelight.com . Mountain Standard Time is 11am and 5pm.
It is a radio station out of Calgary, AB. If your internet is like ours, it took a few minutes to download on my laptop. May you be encouraged.

How to Start a Morning Routine of Positivity

A friend and Author wrote this on her blog. I thought it so inspiring, so practical, and so prevalent for today. I was given permission to share this with you. Check out Debbie Macomber’s blog. (see below) There is always good treasures to take from it. I added a couple of pictures to her article and voila….hope you have a wonderful start of your day!

How to Start a Morning Routine of Positivity

April 27, 2018

A how to guide for starting your morning in a positive way!

My grandparents were farmers who woke before dawn to work the fields.  Whatever gene that is, I inherited, not that I’m out tilling the soil.  I wake up early, really early, and happy.  When Wayne and I were first married he used to grumble, “Do you have to shine so bright in the mornings?”

“Yup.”  I do and I immediately tear into my day with gusto.

There are a few things that really help get my day off to a positive start.

First things first.  Coffee. When you read the mugs and shirts that say, “But first, coffee” it is the truth! Enjoying hot coffee while thinking about what is to come with my day really gets me off to a good start.

I start my day with my ‘alone time’.  I’m not really alone, as this is the part of my day that I spend with God, centering myself.  I begin by reading a series of devotionals and finish with my Bible.  I’ve read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation each year for probably the last 20 years.  I give my day to God, and set my schedule for the day.

Mapping out a plan for my day.

I’m a great list maker and I open my planner and make a list of what I hope to accomplish that day.  Each Monday, I set weekly goals and check to see if I’m on target.  My list might include 1.  Writing goals.  2.  Exercise goals or steps for each day.  3.  Working on a knitting project.  4.  Something extra (this generally means something above and beyond the norm like sorting out a drawer, connecting with a friend.)

Taking my time to Journal.

From the time I learned how to write I’ve kept journals.  I still have my journal from high school and the early years of my marriage and writing career.  I have three distinct journals.  My day to day journal and yes, I write in it every day.  My Gratitude Journal.  Listing five things for which I’m grateful—that’s a great way to start my day on a positive note.  And lastly my Prayer Journal.  Having a written list of my prayers is a great way to keep track of God’s faithfulness.  Whenever a prayer is answered I mark it with a star so that when I’m discouraged or feeling blue, I can open my prayer journal and be reminded that God does indeed answer prayer.  I’m fairly organized when it comes to prayer.  Mondays I pray for our oldest daughter and her family. Tuesdays belong to Adele and her family.  Wednesdays are for friends and my office staff. Thursday is for Ted and his family and Fridays are for our son Dale’s wife and two sons.  Saturdays are for Wayne and me.  And Sunday is a day of rest.

So friends, that is my morning routine. If you create a morning routine that you stick to and devote your mind and time to starting each day in a positive way, big exciting things will happen and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Used with permission.

https://blog.debbiemacomber.com/how-to-start-a-morning-routine-of-positivity/

 

 

Changing Leaves, Changing Lives

I would have to say that Autumn is my most favourite time of year.  I live where there are four distinct seasons with weather changes to match. I enjoy this one the best.

Autumn seems so short and before I know it the cold wintry weather is here. I often sit and view the splash of hundreds of coloured leaves that look like a gorgeous patchwork quilt.  A strong wind will come up leaving naked branches!  So I take the time to walk through the crunchy leaves, take pictures of the scenery, and realize that change is coming.

As much as I wish the patchwork view would stay, I know that another season is coming which I can’t stop or change.

The fact remains, change is always inevitable. Sometimes we change, other times change makes us change.

I like the challenge of change most times.  It is refreshing like a cool autumn breeze.

Over the years

  • I have sat in an evening class and cracked open my new textbook ready to learn
  • I was given a new job description at work and was pumped for it
  • A new tradition began for my family and I was all over it
  • After being a alone as a single mom for 12 years, I was proposed to and given a second chance at marriage during the Autumn season

However, there has been some changes in my life that hit me sideways and keeping my balance was difficult.

  • Suddenly became a single mom
  • A heavy financial bill that needed to be fixed quickly
  • Downsizing in the workplace and found myself in the unemployment line
  • People that said they would be there…weren’t
  • My adult girls grew up and moved away (even though it was exciting it was hard on me!)
  • Aging has brought changes in my body…and that isn’t funny!

I am sure you have your own list of changes that you have no control over. The good thing is that Jesus Christ never changes.

Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:5 (CEV)

When life is continually changing, we can count and trust on Him to be our constant. He will be our stability.

Accepting that changes will happen will go a long way in moving forward in your life.  Some will be positive while others not so much. Asking God for direction understanding He never changes will give confidence that He is there to help and listen.

Autumn is here and with that changes are coming.  Good news is that it can be a very rewarding season for some positive changes.  When faced with unexpected and tough changes, we can reach to God for help and guidance to make wise and right choices.

OPEN YOUR TOOLBOX:

  • Believe you can face changes head-on.
  • What do you feel would be a good positive change in your life?
  • Have a positive plan of action.
  • Remember God never changes and He is always constant.
  • Grab your camera, and take a walk through the leaves.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

THE THINKING CAP

I hate wearing hats!  Some people look amazing in any kind of head-wear, but me….not so much!  If necessity calls I will sacrifice and get a bad hair day.

There is another kind of hat or cap we need to wear every day.  It’s called The Thinking Cap.

Each week, there are many decisions to make as a parent. Then there are stressors in the workplace, numerous relationship issues, and financial burdens to calculate in our mind.  If I didn’t have the Lord to help me process things and calm me down, I am not sure where I would be today.

Life hands all of us decisions and a many we have no control over.  God is willing to filter His true wisdom and guidance in our life. For me, that is always the first place I need to go with decisions whether large or small.

With God’s wisdom we can have confidence in wearing our Thinking Cap.  Unfortunately, some say, “I do myself” and run ahead of God and later regret their decision.  If we can remember that God is good all the time, it will give us a secure foundation to trust Him with life.  As single parents, needing wisdom is part of the journey. Sometimes that Thinking Cap needs to look like a hard hat to handle some of life knocks!

But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.  James 3:17 (CEV)

There were times when all I could say to God was, “I have no idea what to do. I need help”.  Sure enough, He came through.  Sometimes He brought a person to help, sometimes the problem was solved on its own, and other times I had to be brave to stand up for what was right and true.

Being a parent doesn’t always make us popular with our children, but if we ask God to help us keep  this Thinking Cap on so we can make choices like James 3:17 said… pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.

What are you facing today? This week? Grab your Thinking Cap, put it on securely and ask God to guide you, as James said,

If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you.  God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. James 1:5 (CEV)

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Do you have your Thinking Cap on?
  • Ask God for wisdom as you make decisions this week.
  • Write out James 3:17 and keep it close by.

YOU CAN DO THIS!