flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘life

BRAVE CHOICESOne year ending, a new year beginning. How will I end the old year? How will I start the new year? I could choose to be sad or angry about some things that happened in the year ending or I could choose, instead, to focus on the good and be happy and joyful. I could choose to let sadness or anger carry over to the new year or I could choose to let the happy and joyful carry over instead. Life really is about choices and not just yearly choices. How we look back on our YEAR, I believe, is mostly determined by the choices we make DAILY throughout the year.

You see, every day I am faced with choices to make and so are you, whether you accept the responsibility or not. Admittedly, some choices are because of things I have no control over. Sometimes things happen I certainly didn’t ask for – like sickness or someone else’s behavior or losing a loved one – the fact remains, it is my choice how I deal with what is thrown my way.

Do I always make the correct choice? I’m human, of course not. One thing I have noticed, though, is that since I have asked Jesus to help me recognize when I’m feeling “some kind of way” by my own choice, He has made it easier for me to correct my choice.

This past year, my husband and I made an effort to recognize and write down at least one blessing every day. I’m happy to report that we did it! Sometimes, if a day was really long and we were extra tired, it didn’t get written down in our “Blessing Jar” book until the next morning; but, I’m happy to report, we have an entry for every day of 2017!

I’m also happy to report, as I look back on the listed blessings, the ones at the beginning of the year are pretty much all I remember about those days. We chose to focus on our blessings, so the blessings are what we remember! It was a daily, intentional CHOICE!

Obviously, more recent daily blessings are still ‘tinged’ with things I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to be going through and, yet, it is still my choice how to handle these things. Also, as more days go by, some of those things I can remember now, I won’t remember later – I will only remember the blessings listed.

As most of you know, on December 1st, my Mom was given the diagnosis of cancer and on December 26th (my daughter’s birthday) she was told it is Stage 4 and not curable, but, possibly, treatable. I could choose to be sad about this ‘report’ or I could choose to continue to put my trust in God for her complete healing. I could choose to look at 2018 and think, “this could be the year I lose my Mom” or I could choose to look at 2018 and say, “This could be the year God stuns the medical field once again by totally and completely healing my Mom!” I choose to focus on the miracle coming Mom’s way!

I may have the rudest, meanest, most hateful neighbors (I don’t – LOL) that, in my “humanness”, I could convince myself it is easier to just not like them and treat them the same way they treat me – or I could make the choice to show them love every chance I get and, whether they ever change or not, know that I did all I could to show them Jesus through my actions and words to them.

I can choose to let stress overtake me and blame it on a demanding spouse, children, job or any number of other things. Truth be told – it is my choice to either allow or deny stress in my life. Think about it? Where do you think stress REALLY comes from? The enemy!

Is it easy to make some of these choices? When I first became aware, it most definitely was not easy! However, as I said earlier, since becoming aware and asking God to help me in this area, it has gotten easier over the years. Easier in the sense that I recognize much quicker now when I am making the ‘wrong’ choice. What is the right choice and what is the wrong choice? You can answer that by how you are feeling, sometimes even physically. For instance, if you are feeling stressed, ask yourself why and most likely you will realize it’s because you are choosing to be stressed and allowing other things control in your life that have no business being in control. Give that control back to the Lord and let Him take care of it. He will 😊

Sometimes, in fact, I would even venture to say MOST times, the right choice is the hard choice, at first. We like to feel we have control of everything, when, in reality, probably the only thing we have control of is our choices. Does that make sense?

CHOICES – A word I’ve used quite a bit over the last few years and, yet, He gave it to me in a whole new light a few days ago. I knew it was to be my one word for 2018; however, I couldn’t seem to make myself sit down and capture all the thoughts swirling around in my head.

Then, yesterday, I saw a friend’s post on Facebook asking, “What’s your 2018 WORD?”. So, I commented my word was CHOICES and began reading some of the other comments. In doing so, I saw where my friend had posted a link to a site (Dayspring) and said, “If you don’t have a word, I would be interested to see what you get here”. I decided to click the link and just see what it would give me as my “word”. The word it gave me? BRAVE

2018 - MY WORD

I immediately realized it fit perfectly with the word I already knew I had been given, so my word for 2018 is not only CHOICES – it is BRAVE CHOICES!

So, those hard choices I was talking about a couple paragraphs ago? They are hard; but, they are the BRAVE CHOICES!

I am going into 2018 the same way I have gone in to the last few ‘new years’ – taking it one day at a time. After all, we aren’t promised our next breath, so why try to think of all that could happen over the next 365 days? Let’s just take this one day at a time and, daily, let’s make the BRAVE CHOICES! I’m in. Are you?

P.S. If you don’t have a word for 2018 (or if you do) and would like to see what word you are given, click here to go to the link I mentioned earlier:

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christmas-every-day-i-wishAfter reading my devotions this morning, as I do every morning, I began to write in my prayer journal. I say it has turned into more of my “thanksgiving journal” than my prayer journal because, most days, I’m simply thanking Him for various things. Lately, most of my actual prayers are not written – for a few different reasons. This morning, however, turned out to be a little different. Oh, it started out the same – my usual “Good morning Father! Thank You for waking me this morning” then I wrote the words “Christmas Eve” and, after that, I really didn’t even know what I was writing until I finished and read back over it. I felt I should share it and I hope it will touch at least one person’s heart and/or life. I am going to simply share exactly what is written in my journal:

Christmas Eve – the day before we celebrate the day of Your earthly birth – when You chose to put aside Your glory and Your Heavenly home to come and dwell among us AS one of us! My mind is hard-pressed to even BEGIN to comprehend the depth of Your love for ME! There are no words and, even if there were, I don’t know that I would be able to get them down on paper. I feel so inadequate and extremely unqualified to even try – so I pray and I ask You to help me live my life in a way that portrays and conveys what there are no words for – a love with no explanation – a love that can not be explained – a love that only You can give! I want my life to be a life that points others to You and honors You in a way no words can and a life that brings glory to Your Name! Without You, I am nothing and worth nothing; but, WITH YOU, I am unstoppable!

Help me to share the TRUE gift of Christmas every minute of my life – every second You give me breath; for I can not even take a breath without You filling my lungs with air! Help me to remember every day I have is a rare and precious gift FROM You and how I choose to use it is my gift TO You. I want to always be able to give You a lovely gift at the end of every day and, without Your help, even that isn’t possible.

My heart is truly overflowing this morning as I look back over this past year and remember all the wonderful “gifts” You have given me:

  • time spent with family & friends
  • growing love from & for my husband
  • a daughter making her way back to You
  • FREEDOM from my fears

and so many more! With You in my life, I truly can have Christmas every day, as can anyone else!

Thank You for all You have spoken to my heart this morning and, for all I have asked this morning, I ask it in the Precious, Holy Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! I love You 🙂

When I left work Tuesday afternoon I was fighting back tears – trying not to give in to the attack that I felt sure the enemy was making on me. I got in my car and noticed there was a bug on my windshield (outside) directly in my field of vision. I thought, “Well, you won’t be there long,” and started on my way. I was too busy trying to figure out why I was being attacked and trying to ‘rationalize’ the attack in my head – you know, ‘Ok. I get it. I understand what’s going on. This is what happened and I’m NOT gonna let it get to me. I am NOT going to cry.’

I got through town and was on the 25 minute stretch headed home. Even though I had let a few tears fall as I was getting through town and heading out, I had it under control now. I was gonna be just fine. Yeah, right! As soon as I thought that, the floodgates opened! LOL I was not just crying – I was sobbing! “Oh poor me! Why does the enemy have to attack me like this? It’s just not fair! I’ve been trying SO hard to do better! Lord, don’t You see? You KNOW I’ve been doing much better and really improved – a LOT! Right? So, why do I feel so awful because I messed up again? Is it because I’m in Celebrate Recovery and trying my best to learn how to deal with all this ‘junk’ from the past? Is it because I finally NAMED my fear and so now it’s being thrown at me from ALL directions? If so, then I don’t know if I want to continue! This is too hard! It hurts too much! Maybe I should just give up!” (All of this while sobbing, uncontrollably)

At this point, I noticed the bug was STILL hanging on to my windshield and it was as if the Lord spoke into my spirit, “See how that bug is hanging on for dear life to your windshield? I want you to hang on to ME like that. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. I’m here for you and I will see you through this. But this is going to be a process and you will HAVE to be willing to hang on to Me just like that bug is hanging on to your windshield. I’ve got you. I’m not gonna let you go.”

WOW! Okay, Father. I’m hanging on but I’m gonna need Your  help. Some days, like today, I feel like the enemy is snatching me away and that I just can’t hold on any longer. But as long as You have me in Your hand, I know I’ll be okay. You will continue to give me strength and help me hold on.

Then about ten minutes away from my house, I was watching the bug and still being amazed at how it was hanging on and then………..it let go! It got THAT close to being home and it let go! It was as if something just snatched it right off the windshield. Again, I felt the Lord whispering to my spirit, “See? Don’t be like that bug. Don’t be SO close to getting ‘home’ with dealing with this fear only to let go and give up and be consumed by it again. Don’t let go. I’ve got you and I’M not letting go of you so don’t you let go of Me either.”

I’m not gonna let go, Father. I want to keep clinging to You! I WANT to learn how to deal with this and still be a shining light for You, whether this ‘thorn’ is ever removed from me or not. Thank You, Father, for reminding me that YOU are with me and that You won’t leave me. As long as I hold on to You, I will make it through this. And thank You for leading me straight to these verses when I got home:

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One. ~ John 10:27-30 (emphasis mine because that is the part that really grabbed me)

So, no matter how hard the enemy may want and try to “snatch” me (or you) from the Father, he can NOT do it! As long as I (or you) hold on, He will not let go of us. CORRECTION: Even IF you or I DO let go of Him, from time to time, HE WILL NEVER LET GO OF US!!!!

What about you? Has there ever been a time when you just felt like letting go and giving up? Would you leave a comment and share what inspired you to keep going and keep holding on? I’d love to hear it.

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