Overcoming the Paralysis of Fear (Guess Blogger

I am Sharon Fletcher, and I am so grateful that you took the time to stop by and fellowship with me!  I am a sinner saved by His grace.  I am a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   I am a wife to a courageous, loving and selfless man, a mother to 3 bright and beautiful children.  I am a pharmacist. I love helping and encouraging people, and all things pretty (home decor) somewhere in between.  I hope that in sharing my journey, others may be inspired and encouraged, find rest in the word of God, and experience times of refreshing.

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So…I have noticed from talking to my sister friends and from statuses on my timeline that an old unwanted “friend” (enemy) has been hanging out a lot these days.  And he is rearing his head as fear and anxiety.

Constant anxiety about bills.  Insurmountable debt.  Definitely more going out than coming in.

Constant fear of losing another loved one, or yet another family member becoming ill.

Constant anxiety from an overwhelming amount to tasks to accomplish in what seems like not enough time to accomplish them.

Strained and difficult relationships.  Fear that someone will take more from you than what you have to give:  Your peace,  your joy,  your sanity.

Fear of not being good enough.  Or, that you will never measure up to someone else’s expectations.

Fear of the unknown.  What’s going to happen as a result of my actions, reactions, or decisions?

All of these fears.  All of this anxiety.  It was all created to stop you.

To paralyze you .

To keep you in bondage and to stop you from moving forward.

To keep you from living and being effective.

To keep you from raising children of destiny.

To keep you from being a warrior.

Sometimes, he goes as far as to tell you that you would be better off dead.

The truth is, YOU are a mighty weapon.  And satan wants to do everything in his power to stop  YOU from stopping HIM in his tracks.

That’s right, you have a very real enemy.  And his job is to make everything look so big, so impossible, so insurmountable, so unachievable that you feel like it is useless for you to even try.

So you become paralyzed.

We see this as the Israelites were about to cross over into the Promised Land.

In the bible, while Moses and the Israelites were in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses and told him to send a group of men to explore the land that He had promised them.  The land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey.

So, leaders from each tribe went to explore the land for 40 days.  At the end of that period, they gave a report.

“The people are too powerful!  The cities are fortified and large!  There are even giants in the land!  We can’t attack those people: they are stronger than we are!  We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them!”  (Numbers 13th and 14th chapters).

This is exactly how our fear and anxiety speaks to us.   “It’s too big!  I can’t do that!  It’s too hard! What if it doesn’t work?  I couldn’t possibly get that done!  The report from the doctor was not good, I won’t be able to bounce back from this!”

The more we think on it, the more we focus on it, the more we believe it instead of the promises of God, the bigger it gets.  And the bigger it gets, the more it keeps eating away at our peace, our joy, and our sanity.  It makes the issues look like giants and us feel like grasshoppers.  And the bigger it gets, the more we forget about God’s promises and provision.  And we become paralyzed.

We won’t move because we believe our fears more than we believe God.  We shrink back.  We become prisoners in our own mind.  We become hostages to our own thoughts.  At that point, the enemy has done a might fine job of keeping us from being all that God has created us to be.

The Israelites grumbled and complained.  They would rather stay in the wilderness or go back to slavery than walk into the abundance that was promised to them by God.  They did not want to move forward.  All because of fear.

But there is an anecdote.   It may not happen overnight.  It will take some effort.  But, just like in every other situation, if you consistently apply it, it will work.

That anecdote is rehearsing the Word of God, and praying with confidence that He hears your prayers.  It is our greatest weapon against the enemy, who works so hard to make your fears and anxieties look so much bigger than your God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.””

— PHILLIPIANS 4:6-9

I am going to share with you some key points that may help in overcoming the paralysis of fear and anxiety.

  1. Please realize that EVERYTHING BEGINS IN YOUR MIND.  This is such an important concept to grasp.  If the enemy can speak to your thoughts words that are opposite of what God says and get you to not only meditate, regurgitate, ruminate, and rehearse these lies, but also to believe them, then he has a leg up in the battle.  Instead, meditate, regurgitate, ruminate, and rehearse the Word of God.  My pastor always says that the devil with tell you a lie about the truth.  So, whatever comes into your mind that is negative, that is condemning, that is demeaning to yourselves or others, quickly combat that thought with a thought that is opposite.  Be intentional about your thoughts and what you allow yourself to dwell upon.
  2. Pray with confidence, knowing that He hears you, and that you can cast your cares on Him. When praying, it is so important to believe that He hears us and will answer our prayers, according to His will.  We have to believe that His word is true, and that He is a promise keeper.  He is not like one of our friends or family members.  He WANTS us to cast our cares upon Him.  He WANTS you to tell Him about all of your worries and troubles.  He doesn’t get tired of us calling on him, sis. (1 Peter 5:7).  It is amazing how much peace you experience just by doing this.  The situation may not change immediately.  It may not change at all.  But, oh the peace that you experience and the grace that He gives you to go through it is PRICELESS! And you will find in the end, that YOU will be changed.  And through this, you will find the strength to make it, and the courage to take another step.
  3. Know that you are in a battle, and know WHO your REAL enemy is.   It is not your spouse or ex-spouse.  It is not your boss or co-worker.  It is not your child.  It is not that mom.  It’s not your sister or brother.  It is not your bank account.  Your REAL enemy is satan.  And he is out to steal your peace, your joy, and your sanity.  He is out to keep you paralyzed, so that you will not move forward.  So that you won’t take that job. So that you will stay in that toxic relationship or friendship.  So that you won’t take on that project.  So that you won’t do what God has called you to do.   Don’t let him take anything from you sis!  And if he has already stolen it from you, then take it back!  The best weapons that you have are prayer and the Word of God.  At the end of the post, you will find Scriptures to meditate on and to help combat your enemy against fear and anxiety.

You’ve got this!  Be strong and courageous!  Walk in your God given authority!  It may look too big.  It may seem too hard.  It may look like it will never work.  But one thing is for sure, it won’t work unless you do.

You have to take step.  At least one.  And then take another.  One step at a time.  And each step will get easier and easier.

Fight for you!  Fight for your peace!  Fight for your joy!

There is so much in you.  Fear and anxiety have dimmed your light for too long.  It’s time to take action.  Rise my sister!  Awaken the Warrior!  You’ve got this!  Take the job!  Open the business!  Start that ministry!  Mend those relationships!  Be that awesome wife and mom!  Whatever it is that He has put in your hands to do, do it!

He has given us all the tools and weapons that we need.  It is up to us to use them.  You are an overcomer!  Nothing can stop you, not even fear and anxiety…unless you allow it.

Love you all with the love of Christ.

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Another Jewel In Heaven (Guess Blogger)

I Like to introduce to all of you Jennifer Wagner:  Today, I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, binge watching Netflix, drinking caramel coffee, or snuggling our two cats, Basil and Mocha Rose! Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!

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After the loss of our sweet babies in April, J and I were hopeful to try again. After just a few months, we were excited that our dream may be coming true. The cravings and mood swings were in full force. I was sleepy, nauseous, hungry, hormonal, bloated, and I had to pee about every two hours. It seemed like a wonderfully miserable time.

And then the bleeding started. We were bummed, but thought we’d just wait another month… Until the night I called J into the bathroom. The pain, blood, and contractions were clear. We had also lost this sweet baby. The loss of this child was such a shock. After all, we weren’t quite sure yet if I was even pregnant.

This baby was supposed to be our rainbow baby, but yet we’ve collected another jewel in Heaven. Lucy Grace, Arden Micah, and Orion Sage. Three….. three babies in Heaven. Our little family.

It’s been just over a week since the loss of our child. The raw emptiness still takes my breath away, as I sob and gasp for air. J still holds me as I drift off into space, not really knowing what to do with myself. Getting out of bed, eating, and connecting with people have become chores in and of themselves. J and I go through the motions. We laugh and talk, work and visit, but inside we both feel numb, empty… like something crucial is missing. We’ve lost our joy. We’ve lost our confidence and security. We’ve lost the excitement of trying to have a family.

Our first miscarriage four months ago broke our hearts. This time, it carries fear and doubt, alongside the pain and shock. Do we dare try again? How can we continue to hope, after this?

After a rough week of falling away from each other in our grief, it became clear that now more than ever, we need to lean on our Savior and each other… And so we talked. We held each other, as poured our hearts out to the Lord and to each other. We named our child, Lucy Grace. We went on a spontaneous date. We came together and asked the Lord for help. It’s still fresh and raw. I still don’t know what to do with myself. I still fell numb and broken and empty and vulnerable. I still break out in sobbing tears. My hormones and baby belly are still reminders of what was. But through it all, the Lord is putting us back together again…

15 Scriptures to lean on after miscarriage, when the grief seems unbearable and all seems gone…

  1. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
    I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
  2. Job 11:13-19
    Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.
  3. Jeremiah 29:11-12
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
  4. Romans 12:12
    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  5. Exodus 23:25-26
    Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
  6. Judges 13:2-3, 24
    A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. … The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him.
  7. Matthew 5:4
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  8. Genesis 8:11-14
    Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
  9. Luke 1:7, 13-15
    But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
  10. Psalm 37:4
    Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
  11. John 16:22-24
    So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Very truly I tell you, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
  12. Psalm 119:49-50
    Remember your word to your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
  13. Hebrews 10:35-36
    So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
  14. Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
  15. 2 Thessalonians 1:11
    With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

 

Thank you Jennifer for your blog post, you can also find more from Jennifer at The Newlywed Chronicles.com

 

 

 

Simple (Having An Expectant Heart) (Guess Blogger)

I would like to take a moment and introduce to you my guess blogger Bethany:

Welcome! I’m Bethany E. Donham and I love my life! I’m also in love with a man who is not my husband. But it’s ok, my husband knows all about it and encourages the affair. In fact we often talk about Him casually over the dinner table and His name comes up in our pillow talk on a regular basis. His name is Jesus. Have you met Him?

It’s because of this love affair that I started this blog. A lot of times I find myself  lost in thought over something Jesus is trying to teach me. Or I just can’t seem to understand something without writing it down. So this is more for me than anyone else. If you like what I have to say, great! If not, that’s ok too. These are true stories inspired by my daily struggles as a wife, mother of two girls, and Preschool Minister.

I treasure life, laughter, and above all else, love!  So, check it out. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts too.

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I’ve always believed that less is more. Fewer activities. Smaller houses. Closer friends.

So, why is it a surprise then, when God shows up in the most humble ways?

Lately I have been amazed at how God has been responding to me. And if you are in a place where you feel like God has forgotten your hurt, maybe it’s time to get back to basics.

My heart hurts a lot. I know a lot of people who are hurting and God has wired me to practically feel physical pain when those that I love share their hurt with me. I’ll be honest and say that can become quite burdensome if I don’t keep it in check. I retreat a lot. I go off by myself a lot. I am not at all uncomfortable spending an entire day in solitude.

It’s during those times when I am still that I can hear God the loudest. Notice I did not say that He speaks the loudest when I am still. I believe He is always there waiting to say something, I can just hear him better when I am still. I draw up on Psalm 46:10 a lot. I have to.

Because when I am still I notice. I notice when He answers me.

I have two teenage daughters. (Prayers are always welcome on my behalf). They are loud, busy and always moving girls. They are always playing music too loud, running off somewhere or engrossed in the latest YouTube craze. Each one has a flair for the dramatic and have their own theater and dance outlets. They are priceless beauties and I am losing my grip on them more and more each day. As it should be.

Imagine a typical evening at my house when each one in their separate rooms have on their own favorite song. I don’t know about you, but if my favorite song is on, it ain’t at a low volume.

So it is with my girls.

What happens if I call to them? Do you think they would hear me? Do you think they would notice my voice?

Of course not. They continue dancing in their bedrooms or (and I have no idea how she does this with her music on let alone in the quiet) continue to work her Pre-Calculus homework.
I have to go directly to each one of my children, tell her to turn the music down so I they can hear me.

Do you need to turn your music down?

God’s not going to yell to get your attention. He’s just not. He’s a still small voice that speaks whispers into the hearts of those who are listening for it. He’s working every single moment of every single day and He delights in giving you your hearts desire.

But, can you hear Him? Do you see Him working?

What is so cool about God is that He’s God, but He doesn’t boast about it. He’s so complex but so very simple. He could move mountains. He can heal the sick. He can mend broken hearts. But He’s not going to be obvious about it. He’s a bit of a seek and find kinda guy. You gotta be looking for His handiwork in the every day.

I needed God to show up today. I needed a reminder that He’s still here even after a long week. I headed to my quiet space and told Him that.

And this is how He responded. This is the whisper into my heart.
Why do you need me to show up if I am always there?

It was so simple. And I was reminded of the beauty of that truth. He is always there. In everything He created.

So, then I just wanted a simple reminder and confirmation. And you know what the Creator of the Universe did? He sent me a tiny bird to dance and dazzle me in the treetops.

Simple right?

But I was looking for it. My heart was expectant.

I think sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because we don’t expect God to follow through.

Why wouldn’t He?

Why would your Father give you a snake instead of what your heart desires? (Luke 11:11)

We aren’t looking for it. We are too busy on our devices or we’ve got our music too loud. Or our calendar is too full to just be still.

How many blessings have I missed because I wasn’t expecting the simple but looking for the extravagent?

Follow on Twitter @BEDONHAM

 

Be Uniquely You (Guess Blogger)

Let us all welcome Sharon today to Quiet Moments With God Blog.

Hey you!!!!  Thanks so much for coming to join me!  I am so honored to have you here!

I wanted to take this time to introduce myself and tell you what this blog is all about.

My name is Sharon Fletcher.  I am the wife to an amazing husband, mommy to 3 uniquely gifted, precious children, and a part-time pharmacist.  I am a lover of coffee, new experiences, being a tourist in my own town, and all things pretty!

Most of all, and I am lover of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  My heart is sold out to Him.

This blog was birthed from my trials and triumphs, tribulations and victories. It is my prayer that as I share my journey, others with be inspired and refreshed.  My purpose is to point others to Christ.

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Hey Hey Hey!!!  Rise and Shine!!!!  Rise to the occasion!  Shine on to greatness!!  God gave You a light that is unique to YOU and only YOU, and there is someone out there that needs you to let that light shine!

And that is what this blog post is about today.

I am a transparent person, a bit of an open book.  This is almost to a fault.  So I share a lot of my struggles, past and present, in hopes that the lessons learned from them will help someone else.  So, with that being said..

Growing up and into adulthood, I struggled with identity.  I wanted to be like my friends, my cousins, my siblings.  I wanted privileges that others had that I, at the time, was not afforded.  I wanted to go where they went and do what they did.  I had the mindset that what I had was not good enough.

I tried hard to be like my friends, especially the ones that everyone liked.  The beautiful and popular ones.  This was because I didn’t realize the precious jewel that I had within MYSELF, the jewel that He placed in me.  I never thought I was good enough. I never thought people would like who I was, but I desperately needed their validation.

Then Christ took me on a journey.

As I began to study Psalm 139, I learned how precious I was to God.  How He took the time to knit me in my mother’s womb.  That in itself makes me special.  Not more special than anyone else…just special.

I learned that He knew all of my words before they were formed on my tongue.  I learned that there is no where that I can go that He will not be.

I learned that my frame was not hidden from him.  My body. He shaped it.  My eyes, the way I talk, my teeth, the way I walk, my hair… He created it all.

I learned that His thoughts toward me are AMAZING, and I couldn’t number them if I tried.

I learned that His works are wonderful… and that includes me.

Through studying this Psalm, I learned that God took his time and carefully fashioned me.  He created me to be exactly how He wanted me to be.  And I am fine just the way that I am.

He did not create clones of Himself or others.  Although we are made in His image, He created unique beings that, together, form one great body.

I don’t have to parent like my friends that I admire.  God put something in ME that is unique to what my children need.

I don’t have to speak or act like my friends that I admire in hopes that others will like me.  He gave me my own special sauce and flavor that only I can add to the mix.  Validation from others is no longer needed or relevant.

I don’t have to look like the next woman, look how she looks in a bathing suit, or wear my hair the way she does to make me beautiful.  I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.  I have a certain finesse, style, and class that He gave only to me.  That makes me beautiful.  And I love it.

He gave each of us specific strengths, gifts, and talents that are unique to share with the others.

He put a special Light in you, that will ultimately draw others to HIM.

So I challenge you today, my dear sister!  Embrace your uniqueness!  Allow God to cultivate it!

Cherish yourself as much as He cherishes you!

Embrace what He has put in you!  You strengths, weaknesses, talents, flaws, charisma, and quirkiness.  Embrace it all!  It all makes you beautiful.

Be your own kind of Beautiful!  Own the finesse, style, and class that He gave YOU!

And the things about you that you know are not of God, submit it to Him to place on the Potter’s Wheel.  He makes all things new. You don’t have to try to do that in your own strength.

Rise and SHINE!!!  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden!  God did not give you that light to be put under a bushel, but on a candlestick to give light to others! (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thanks Sharon, you can find her site at www. refreshingmomentswithsharon.com

The Science of Shhh! (Guess Blogger)

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I was thinking I had read something about saying Shhh! in Hebrew that had spiritual implications, almost like the shofar and driving off the enemy. As of writing this, I have been unable to find it, and for that I apologize.

Shhh! It is a very common way of asking people to be quiet, usually, with finger to the lips, it is a common and worldwide term, understood by most people. While the word,  “chasaah “, is Hebrew for silent, the word, “sheket “, is usually, hush.  “Sheket, yeled. “, is a way parents may tell their children to politely or not so politely, to shut up.

I think the Lord, though He gets angry, and is firm, thankfully, it only lasts a moment, has a soft touch about Him, the calm, stillness, rest, being undisturbed. His ” Sheket, yeled, “, is more of a hush child. Shhh is said to be a variation from the Middle Ages, of hush. There are lullabies with the world hush. Shhh is definitely a word for children and babies. But aren’t we His children? Sometimes, we just need the rest and quiet that draws His peace.

The ” Be still and know, I am God. ” of Psalm 46:10, has the implication of silence, the literal meaning is to sink low. It is like a bending, kneeling, a deliberate letting go of cares, there is healing in this verse as well. Can you really be that still, sure you can.

While Old Testament word, ” charash ” with the k sound means to plow or engrave, as the stripes on His back or being engraved on His palms or wrists, it also is used for deaf, and silent. Jesus was in the lonely places, the quiet or silent, place. He prayed quietly, and did not listen to the mocking or accusation, and did not address all of them, He knew what the Father told Him.

While Psalm 22:2 speaks of not rest, others like Psalm 39:2 and 61:1 use the feminine word , ” dumiyah “, a waiting or repose, the words, help my peace, indicates quiet and still.

Whether or not shhh runs off the devil or not, the rest, the quiet and peace that Jesus offers us does give us the calm, the peace, that  brings us strength and victory. The shaloam or shabbat shaloam, we all need. Also, the word pictures for the letter sheen in Hebrew. like our sh, is teeth or flames of fire.  Maybe, it is the quiet, that kind of shhh, that breaks the devils teeth or sends him to the lake of fire. We could all use a little hushing, and then shhh is nice for a while everyday. That may be the science of shhh, after all. Rebecca Jones / public domain

  • It occurred to me that I heard of a woman, a Pentecostal, I think, who used a certain term in prayer, it may have been a prayer language.  That may be what I am remembering, the exact phrase, I could not say, but the shhh sound was in it. And it made reference to the wicked one, we all need to run him off.

 

Thank you Rebecca, here a little information about Rebecca, I’m a writer, Christian, I love music and art. I am hoping to encourage women to follow their dreams and trust Jesus. I am always working on improving my blog, keeping with the theme of teaching women to rest and be the beloved, may multiply our grace, all for His glory.

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He Calls Me Beautiful (Guess Blogger)

Today I would like to welcome Jennifer: Today, I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, binge watching Netflix, drinking caramel coffee, or snuggling our two cats, Basil and Mocha Rose!
Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!

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Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running and keep it ad-free! Please check out my disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
“You are beautiful. I know, because I created you.” – God.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in the everyday of our lives. I get so focused on the here and now… on my curves and rolls, on the unmade dishes, on our current situation in life… that I forget to step back and remember just what a miracle this life is. It’s easy to thank the Lord for the obvious blessings in our lives. I thank him daily for an amazing husband. I thank Him for J’s job and our home. I thank Him for our kitty. I thank Him for what He gives, but I rarely thank Him for the miracle of life that He gave me or for the amazing relationship I can have with Him. The fact that the Lord of the universe wants to love and care for me deeply and intimately still overwhelms me to this day. I’ve never deserved His love and grace, and I never will, yet He still offers it. he still pursues me. He still wants me and calls me His beautiful one.

Knit Together
It is easy to forget that we are not here by accident. There was no explosion of atoms that suddenly became you. You did not suddenly decide one day to walk upright and speak intelligently. You were not a mere accident, an “oops” resulting from an unplanned moment of intimacy. The Heavenly Father was diligently at work, setting forth a plan for your life. In Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord declares that He knew you before He created you, and He set you apart for a very special purpose. Before you were even conceived, much thought and planning went into who you would be. In Psalm 139:13-14, the author reveals that the Lord knit him together, a carefully crafted being. He praises the Lord for being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The word fearfully here does not mean timidly. The Hebrew word used here for fearfully, yare’, means reverently or awe inspiringly. Like an artist, He lovingly designed every intricate aspect of you down to the finest of details, including the tilt of your nose, the slope of your eyes, and the arc of your arch. He wove together your DNA to create the unique and beautiful woman you are today.

The idea of being delicately knit together is one that resonates with me. The planning and design going into each creation is critical. What type of fibers do I use? How much fiber to use? What color combinations? Will my project be practical or merely decorative? How long will it take to complete? Do I need a pattern? I don’t know how many times I have had to tear apart my knitting and start all over again, wondering why I’m even attempting something so complicated, because of a single dropped stitch along the way. God definitely does not need a pattern and absolutely does not make mistakes. He certainly does not drop stitches! The thing about knitted items is they are made from one single strand fiber, looped together in an intricate pattern, to create a something greater than itself. That strand by itself is weak, but once knit into a beautiful design, it is suddenly quite strong. It is durable. It stretches and adapts. It is versatile. It can be made of the most basic wool fiber, rustic and tough, or as airy and soft as mohair. When it comes to the Lord’s knitting, no pattern is ever the same. We are as distinct as the snowflakes. Like Psalm 139:14 declares, His works are wonderful!

Masterpiece
Have you ever looked at something so breathtakingly beautiful and wondered how it can possibly exist? The first time I experienced the Northern Lights, in my Midwestern backyard, I was dumbstruck. Those dancing green lights in the sky were unlike anything I had ever beheld. In that moment, reverence and awe filled my heart for the Creator and reminded me once again, just how big the universe really is and just how minuscule I am in it. Over and over again, the Scriptures reveal the masterpiece that is the Lord’s creation. He Himself proclaims His creation as “good.” This is the same God who spoke the cosmos into existence, who numbered the stars in the sky and knows them all by name. He is the same God who feeds the sparrows and waters the lilies of the valley. He makes all things beautiful in His time. (Eccl. 3:11) His creations sing His praises and give Him glory, yet it is Man that He set apart, distinct from all other creatures. It is Man that is made in His image. Man is His ultimate masterpiece. How can the God who speaks complete solar systems into existence love someone as small and insignificant as me?

King David also pondered this question. In Psalm 8:3-4, he asks, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” The Hebrew word for mindful is zakar, meaning to remember, to mention, or to think on. It is easy to get caught up in this life and forget that the Lord not only made us, but takes the time to dwell with us, and more profoundly, dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. David used the Hebrew word paqad, “to visit”, implying more than the polite occasional guest, but to seek, to want, and to enjoin to. We are set apart, above all of creation, to be companions to the Living God. Isaiah 43:7 declares, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” He goes out of His way to pursue us. He showers us with blessings and shows us His love and His thoughts for us. “How great are your works, oh Lord, how profound are your thoughts.” (Psalm 92:5) Like a groom thinking on his bride, the Lord’s thoughts are always turned back to us.

In fact, you are cherished…. yes, YOU are cherished by the Creator of the universe, who delicately placed each individual star in the cosmos. You were chosen, sought after, and called. You were bought with a price, the blood of His perfect Lamb. You are His precious child, adopted into the Royal Priesthood, not a step, foster, or half child, but a full heir with His Holy Son, Jesus, and a daughter of the Most High King. You are dearly loved, unconditionally, beyond any human comprehension, a love from which you cannot be separated. You are His beloved, and He takes joy in you. You were made in His image, meticulously knit together in the womb, and anointed, set aside for a holy purpose. You are God’s workmanship. He calls you holy, righteous, and blameless. He adorns you in His robes. You are broken, yet He transforms you and makes you into a new creation. You are complete in Him. You are His servant, His bride, and His temple. By His grace, you are justified and sanctified. You are not merely an unworthy dust speck in the vast cosmos. He calls you His friend, for you are His.

https://thenewlywedchronicles.com/he-calls-me-beautiful/

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Being Part of The Herd (Guess Blogger)

Hi, my name is Laurie, sometimes I go by the nick-name Lulu. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and proud of it, yup, I am a Jesus girl. I am married to my first husband, Richard. Richard is an amazing man and father and has been putting up with me since we tied the knot in 1994. We have two amazing boys that are wonderfully amazing young men that have been a pure joy to raise thus far. We also have two fur babies. Ike is a handsome Chawiener (half long hair chiwawa and half wiener dog) and Stella is the sweetest cat I have ever had, she loves kisses and snuggles under the covers with us. I live in the Mid-West where I enjoy 3 of the 4 seasons, I could really be fine with skipping summer. In my spare time I am a writer, reader, quilter, student and employee. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, please leave me comments, my love language is Words of Affirmation and I am not ashamed to beg! Welcome Laurie

Being Part of the Herd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
I grew up learning, memorizing and reciting this Psalm. If I had to guess, this is probably one of the most memorized passage in the Bible.
As we continue in our “Little Golden Book” series, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at Psalm 23, and if you have not memorized it yet, I challenge you to do so.

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As a child I remember this Psalm bringing me so much comfort and a feeling of God’s protection over me. I would recite it anytime I was anxious or worried about things. I would dream of walking beside Jesus in a meadow of flowers and resting near a pretty stream. I could imagine Him catching me when I fell, and I could feel His presence with me as I would pray this Psalm.
I never once thought about what it would cost me to be one of His sheep or what it meant to be part of the herd. These thoughts didn’t occur to me until I was an adult.
So, what does it mean to be part of His herd? Why does God repeatedly refer to us as His sheep? Let’s start by looking at what it means to be one of His sheep and why we need Him as our Shepherd:

First, sheep are conformists. They enjoy being in a herd. They find protection in numbers. Sheep are good this way, but people often are not. (Nathan Tabor)
So let’s learn a little more about sheep and how we may be like them. Like sheep, we are a bit dense. While researching sheep I found a story about a sheep that fell off a cliff and the other 400 sheep in the herd followed him to their death. We tend to follow the herd people! Think about it and I bet you can find at least a dozen examples in your life where you followed the herd. We need a shepherd!
Sheep are defenseless. They cannot fend for themselves and they cannot fight off the attacks of other animals. They are the wooly snack food of the wild. Ok, I know what you are thinking right now….YOU are not defenseless. Hmmmm….are you sure? Can you really handle ANYTHING that comes your way?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
But the most dangerous thing sheep do is wander. And they tend to wander off for no good reason. They can have everything they need right where they are but they still wander off.
We as a human race are prone to wander too. The bible is full of examples of people, cities and nations who wander away from God. It has been that way since the beginning, Adam and Eve wander over to the tree of Knowledge. The whole human race wandered so far from God that a flood came and took over the earth.
You see, we are prone to wander in our faith and that is the greatest tragedy we could suffer. I am so thankful that I have a good shepherd who will leave the 99 and rescue me!

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4
I think that it is obvious that we are in desperate need of a Shepherd, someone who will watch over us and protect us from ourselves. Someone who spends all of his time with us, His sheep. Someone whose voice we will be able to discern above all other voices.

“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.” John 10:27
So what does it mean to be part of the herd? It means life, it means freedom from death, it means assurance that we are loved and looked after. It means experiencing goodness and mercy all the days of our life and finally, it means that we will dwell in the house of the Lets end our time now by praying through Psalm 23:
Lord our shepherd, you leave me wanting for nothing. I walk with you through green pastures and lie with you by the still waters. You restore my soul and lead me in the path of righteousness. Your protection is with me as I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. When the enemy attacks, you prepare a table before me and anoint my head with oil. My cup is running over with your goodness and mercy and I delight in you as I dwell in your house forever. Amen

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