Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is Everything Awesome?

Just wondering...is everything awesome in your world right now?

Whether it is or is not...are you now singing that song in your head?  Awesome!

{Sidebar: I LOVE this song and the movie!!}

I have written quite a bit about struggling lately...but maybe just maybe...things are going really well for you right now. That's wonderful!

Enjoy it!  Celebrate!

Is that hard to do sometimes? Is it hard for you to embrace the good times because you live with a bit of worry that something difficult will surely come along? Or maybe you feel so bad for all of those whose lives are not-so-awesome right now, you can't truly relish your own lovely fortune?

Have you ever struggled with enjoying the good times because you just couldn't shake the worry of "waiting for the other shoe to drop"?

If you are in a good place right now, I really want to encourage you to SAVOR IT! Relax in the goodness of God and rest in the comfort that this time of peace will last as long as it is supposed to last.

Drink it in.   Embrace it.   Delight in it!

Because our Father genuinely delights in You and wants You to bask in the gifts He bestows upon You!

Take joy in your awesome days with thanksgiving in your heart! Push aside the worry of your mind, dance a little jig...sing a little praise...laugh a lot...and do not feel bad for the good in your life!

And just don't worry about that shoe!! If it drops...it drops. If or when it does...then something might change, but for now...marvel...revel...take pleasure in the happiness of your life.

Jesus tells us during His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:34:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (NIV)

So let go of worry about what is to come...be joyful in the good right now!

If you are in a happy place, use some of this blissful spirit to encourage those around you that are in a not-so-happy place. Of course...be careful with this...don't overdo it and rub your happiness in their face...but do try to reach out and give them some love, compassion, and understanding.

Show them there is reason to believe this time of battles will come to an end and offer them hope for a joy-filled future. One of my favorite Bible verses (that I have clung to since my teen years) shares God's encouraging words to His people in Isaiah 40:30-31:

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.  (NIV)

And while you are busy encouraging others...take for yourself these joyful words given to us in Ecclesiastes 3:11-13:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. This is the gift of God.  (NIV)

So...if it is...go ahead and let Everything be Awesome in Your life...because really there's nothing better than to be happy and accept this gift from God!

Today I Celebrate YOU and I hope You Are Happy...because if You are...then Everything is AWESOME! Now sing it with me...
{and I TOTALLY LOVE this song & movie too!!}


Monday, May 19, 2014

It's OK! You are OK!

How are you? Are you in a place of uncertainty? Have you ever felt like you were just a little lost...not sure what direction you should go...not sure if you are completely happy with where you are in life right now?

I have been there. I have struggled with those thoughts several times throughout the different seasons of my life. Are you or someone you know dealing with that right now?

If so, I want to tell you something important.

It's OK. You are OK!

The Lord has already figured it out.

I know...I know...maybe those words don't seem to help that much. But I want you to say them to yourself anyway. Please try it. Just say it!

"It's OK! I am OK!"

You might need to say them to yourself several times...maybe many many more times before they start taking hold in your life. It might takes hours...days... or months...but hopefully over time you will realize that it really is OK and so are YOU!

I don't think we are supposed to always have it all figured out. I don't think that's what God expects of us. As a matter of fact, I think He doesn't want us to think or feel we have to have it all figured out all the time...because if we did...we probably wouldn't rely on Him as much, I'm guessing...

If we always felt on top of everything...like we knew and understood it all...we just might start believing it was all us and not God. And how sad would that be? When we fail to give God the glory for what He has done in our lives, we miss an opportunity to share Him with others. And that is not only super sad, but a great disservice to whoever we are taking that opportunity from as well.

Relying on ourselves is just not the way it's supposed to work. That is not how God designed our lives, and I'm incredibly grateful to Him for that. I know He can do so much more with this life than I can! It is truly wonderful that I do not have to depend only on what I am capable of because I would miss out on so many amazing blessings that God has lovingly bestowed on me in this life.

In the book of 2 Chronicles, there's a story about a King named Asa. He was King of Judah. For the first ten years after taking the throne upon his father's death, King Asa and his people lived peacefully. Nothing exciting or significant happened in his land for ten years. The Bible doesn't tell us what Asa was thinking or feeling during this time, but it does tell us that things were pretty quiet during the first ten years of his reign.

So Asa set about cleaning up the land and preparing his army just in case something might happen. During that time, Asa was driven to rid the land of idolatry. The king relied prayerfully on God, and Judah prospered. Asa was obedient, and God greatly rewarded him and his people.

When a battle finally did arise, King Asa didn't waiver. He knew his people needed God's help and he called out to Him in 2 Chronicles 14:11:

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

With God's help, King Asa's army easily conquered those who tried to overpower them. It was OK. King's Asa people were OK. They relied on God and He saw them through to victory.

Tonight I Celebrate You and want to encourage you with whatever you might feel unsure with at this very moment.

If you are struggling with uncertainty...not sure what direction your focus should be, continue doing the work God has put in front of you, and trust in His plan. Keep moving forward. When doubt arises, remember King Asa, rely on God to see you through to your own victory, and I hope you will let Asa's words be your prayer as well.

"Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you."

If you rely on God, I believe He will give you the peace you need to know it's going to be OK.

You are going to be OK.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May: Celebrating YOU

Happy May! The month of May brings all kinds of interesting days to celebrate. There is May Day, National Day of Prayer, National Scrapbook Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Nurse's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, Military Spouse's Day, Mother's Day, Graduation Days, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day...and so many more.

Looking at that list, I think most of us could find something to celebrate this month. Personally, I have plenty of blessings I can celebrate at any given time in my life...which made it kind of hard to decide what to celebrate this month.

As a matter of fact, it may appear as if I haven't been writing again this month as we are half way through May and I haven't posted anything...but the truth is I have been writing. I have written several different posts...but I just couldn't quite bring myself to post them publicly. I really struggled with what to focus on this month.

And then it hit me...why not Celebrate YOU, my Readers.

Some of you I know personally, there are others that are a friend of a friend, and a few that just came across this blog and became a reader. Whether I know you personally or not, I believe I can Celebrate You because when it comes down to the important parts of life, we can all relate in some way or another.

There are people all around us struggling...working hard...achieving...tackling something huge...going through the same old mundane routines...celebrating...hurting...succeeding...or "just getting by". Wherever you are right now...whatever place (high or low) you are in at this very moment...I want to Celebrate You.

For the rest of this month, I'm going to focus on what my Readers might be going through. Hopefully during these posts you will find some encouragement and comfort in knowing there just might be others out there who understand...been there...good or bad...happy or sad. So whether you are in need of a hug or high five...I hope you will feel celebrated this month.

It is my prayer this could be a time of sweet togetherness for us. I love how Jesus puts it in Matthew 18:20: "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Let's gather this month and celebrate where we are right now and let the words of Jesus be a comfort and encouragement that He is with us.

If you have something specific you would like me to write about, let me know...otherwise I will touch on a few topics I think many of my Readers can relate to in one way or another.

And from my heart...thanks for reading this blog...being an encouragement to me...and sticking with me when I got a little "quiet" these past few weeks.

*Updated*
Here are my May Celebrate You posts:
It's OK! You are OK!
Is Everything Awesome?