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Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Musical Monday: Because You Loved Me

Today I want to honor those who loved me into who I am today with
Because You Loved Me

This is the theme song for the movie Up Close and Personal. I viewed it as a romantic lovey type song until my friend chose it for her Daddy/Daughter song at her wedding. Then I heard it with new ears. Since then I’ve heard it as a general song of gratitude for my core people. Mom. Dad. Nana and Papa. NaNa and Boppie. Mentors. Pastors. Siblings. And certainly my friends! All the people who loved me at my worst and loved me into the woman I am now. To those people I say thank you!

But the last time I heard this song the only One I could think of was Jesus.

Sigh.

The way He loves us is so hard to describe or explain. But I am oh so grateful for it. This song is a decent start…feel free to cry in gratitude. I did.

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

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Hope is a Perspective Shift

When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.” Proverbs 13:12 TPT

This verse… Oh man. This verse…

The first part has been my truth for many years now. Fighting to keep believing. Seeking Jesus. Worshipping in the darkest parts of depression, when I’d rather stay in bed and sleep my life away. Or escape to a place I’d rather be in movies or books.

I even painted the first part of the verse in the ugliest manner possible…

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About a year and and some months later God encouraged me to paint the second half of the verse. I used the exact same colors.

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Looks totally different, doesn’t it? Perspective matters. What you believe becomes reality.

Remind yourself daily that God is for you not against you. Remind yourself you are unconditionally loved. Remind yourself that God is working things out for good for those who love Him.

Because, let’s be honest, the world can be an asshole who sucks the joy and peace right out of you.

Point to ponder while you wander…Not all dreams come true when we are young, so don’t let the frustrations of the day to day steal your joy. Keep dreaming. Keep believing.

Musical Monday: Thank you

A plane flew over head while I was on the beach in Miami recently. I started singing the Golden Girls Theme Song immediately. I could not stop myself. I love this song and that show is still one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.

GG Trivia for you…

-They are over 100 cheesecakes over their 7 year run. Bea Arthur  (Dorothy) actually hated cheesecake.

-Not one thing Rose says in “Norwegian” is real. It’s mostly gibberish and usually adds to the humor when seen as a subtitle. However in her accent and pronunciation, it comes off as genuine.

-Estelle Getty (Sophia) is 1 year, 2 months and 12 days younger than Bea Arthur (Dorothy), even though Sophia is Dorothy’s mother. It took 45 minutes to make her look older.

-The first episode of The Golden Girls attracted more than 25 million viewers and was the #1 show that week, beating out the NBC powerhouse, The Cosby Show.

Emotional Love

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Most people look at love as an emotion….something you feel or sense. But this kind of love is like writing love in the sand. It looks like good and you think it will last…until…

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…the initial high starts to wane. Maybe it’s a good thing…like a red flag telling you to look deeper Dah-ling, this person isn’t who they appear to be. More typically though it’s a first disagreement or a discovery that the object of your affection isn’t  actually perfect. Anyway…the feeling lessens…

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You move along and start to settle into a rhythm and routine then….

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…over time…

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Then something serious happens or you meet another “more perfect” person for you and…

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You say…”It’s not you, it’s me.” or “I just don’t love you anymore.”

That my friends is not what love is.

In dating relationships it’s okay to let people go who aren’t heading in the same direction as you or just aren’t someone you can build a life with. By all means…let those people go. Or people who make you feel lesser than or bad about yourself.

But love in marriage, long term, and family relationships. Love is not an emotion, my friend. It’s a CHOICE.

It’s a decision you make to be kind when you’d rather cut them down to size or prove you’re better or smarter.

It’s being patient when you are frustrated.

It’s not saying I told you so with your chest puffed out when you’re right.

It’s choosing to stay focused on the current situation and not bringing up every error that person has ever made.

It’s choosing to be happy for and celebrate one another’s victory…even when we’ve not had a victory in a while.

Love is holding someone’s hand and saying don’t be afraid, I’ll be right here with you.

Love is bending down and pulling someone out of the muck they’re in and helping them to clean up. Cheering them on. Believing in them.

I always want to guard and protect those I love but sometimes love is letting someone do what they want to even when you know it will probably end badly. Letting someone learn the hard way is sometimes the only way. Love steps back and allows people to make their own choices. But is willing to help after the person crashes and burns WITHOUT judgment and “I told you so.”

Love tells the truth even when it’s difficult and uncomfortable.

The reason I value my Mom so much is that she gave me boundaries as a kid with consequences but didn’t hover over me as an adult.  She let me fall, but was there for me to love me when I did. Her love never quit.

The reason I love Jesus so much is that He never gave up on me, and let me figure out for myself who I wanted to be. His love never fails.

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3

I’m learning to love people better even those I completely disagree with. Some days I do better at it than others.

Point to ponder while you wander… God is love. And love is…
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Let There Be Water

Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” – Genesis 1:6

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Point to ponder while you wander…God’s an artist. There’s beauty in everything He made. Especially you.

One Small Caveat

Mark 11. It challenges me. Calls me higher. And inspires me.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:22-25 NLT

This passage has a simple message…just ask, believe, and you’ll receive.

But a life of faith isn’t lived in a plastic bubble. Life gets hard and messy ad complicated. We get all tangled up in emotion.

That is where this one small caveat comes in. Verse 25…“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

Unforgiveness. A seemingly small thing that can actually taint you and imprison you in in the past, and simultaneously blocking you from receiving from God.

God takes this forgiving thing seriously. Not as a judgmental law thing, but as an I love you thing. Choosing to forgive releases you from the bondage of the past. It allows you to move forward and be healed. This forgiveness is the very thing Jesus was talking about in Mark 11 and Matthew 6.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Point to ponder while you wander…If you hold on to this anger and hurt it becomes unforgiveness, and that becomes bitterness! That’s why you are required to forgive others. Not as a law…but as an invitation to be free from bondage. And the added bonus…forgiveness aligns you to be able to receive from God.