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The Principle of Happiness 

This is a statue honoring George Mason that I discovered whilst wandering in D.C.. Despite being a lover of history, I had no idea who George Mason was, but I have quoted (or misquoted) him on occasion.

You may have also.

So here’s a quick top 10 on the other George..

10. He has a university named after him. George Mason University… obviously.

9. One of the founders of Alexandria, Virginia.

8. He said: “Don’t wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy, and do it. Because everything else is all just background noise.

7. George and his wife, Ann, had many children. Nine of which survived to adulthood.

6. He grew up as a neighbor of George Washington.

5. Was one of three who helped draft the US Constitution at the US Constitutional Convention in 1787. But was not happy with the amount of power the government had, and thought it needed edits. He said, I would sooner chop off my right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands.” He stood his ground with 2 other dissenters, and never signed it.

4. Drafted the Virginia State Constitution. Other states used his draft to draft their state constitution.

3. Leader in Virginia during the Revolutionary War.

2. George was a driving force behind the Bill Of Rights, and died about a year after it was ratified.

1. He said: All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.

Point to ponder while you wander…. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give life and life abundant. Sounds a lot like the right to pursue happiness. Doesn’t it?

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Maybe a Fence

What do you think of when you see this picture?

Do you think of home? Family? Protection? Style? Curb appeal?

I took photo this yesterday because it reminded me of wisdom passed on to me…

Don’t build walls. Build a fence.

If you’ve ever read Ezra and Nehemiah you might remember that the bulk of it is about rebuilding the defensive walls. Defensive walls for a city are a good thing. Defensive walls around a person, not so much.

If you build walls and isolate yourself, you may be protected from hurt, but you’re also not living an abundant life nor are you growing.

Tear down the walls, and build a fence instead. A fence is like a healthy boundary.

The gate in your fence allows you to participate. It allows you to communicate. And it allows you to let people in, some will be in the yard, some in the house, and some won’t be allowed past the gate. That’s why the gate opens, closes, and locks.

Only Jesus should be allowed access to every part of you. He has top secret clearance and need to know.

Everyone else has a varying degree of clearance and need to know. You need boundaries in every relationship.

Healthy boundaries foster your growth.

But walls so high they block out the sun, stunt your growth.

There have been times in my life that my walls were so high and so thick that I missed opportunities that God Himself provided for me. I simply was not open to anyone or anything.

I trusted no one. Not even God.

Truth is I was alive but not living. And I was miserable. But I stayed there far too long because I felt safe in the little world I made for myself.

It took time. It took effort. It took counseling. But I slowly began opening up to trusting others.

It isn’t always easy. You will make mistakes. I did! You’ll probably fall and fail a time or two. I do! Sometimes you will trust the wrong person. But you’ll learn and grow, just like I am.

Point to ponder while you wander…

Life is both miraculous and brief. So…

Maybe replace you walls with a fence and open the gate a bit.

Come out to play.

Be open to new adventures.

Trust God.

John 10:10… “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” NKJV

Isaiah 53:18-19… “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” NKJV

Psalm 91:2… “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.‘” NKJV

Okay..so I’m in NY

I’ve been having conversations lately about living vs existing with Jesus, my roommate, and several others. I need to fully LIVE this life and I haven’t been. 

John 10:10 is really on my heart…Jesus came to give us life…abundant life. But we need to choose to receive that gift and really life every day as an adventure.  I was beginning to just sit in a rut of work and Netflix. (11. Seasons of Criminal Minds, Stranger Things,  and the like) And that is NOT who I am. Not even a little bit. So this trip I am on is me returning to me.

What trip? On Thursday I decided to go to a women’s conference in NYC. I flew out on Friday. And now I am in NYC for the weekend. Yesterday I started exploring a little bit and I started to feel alive again for the first time in a while.

Maybe my rut came from me being in grief. Maybe from fear. Maybe from the weariness of waiting. I don’t know. But I stopped exploring and being spontaneous. I love exploring my Michigan and her cities.And I just stopped. 

I just sorta checked out.

So if you’re in a rut too, get out and explore today. LIVE! Do something spontaneous. 

YES!  Jesus died to reconcile and reconnect you to God. 

YES! Jesus died to take your sin and shame and for your healing, body, soul, and spirit. 

YES! Jesus died so you could be free from the weight of sin and death. 

BUT He also was RESURRECTED so you can LIVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE! And He sent Holy Spirit to EMPOWER you to be bold and courageous.  

So dooooooo it! Get out there. Go after what makes you feel alive. 

Point to ponder while you wander…your time on Earth is short…even at Moses’s 120 years…in comparison to eternity. So take some time and ask yourself what makes you feel alive? What really wakes up your soul and makes your spirit do flips in your belly?

Then partner with Jesus and go doooooo it!

You may not be living your dream life right this second…but that doesn’t mean you can’t fully live right where you are! 

PS Want to change? Change your perspective my friends…because true change begins with a changed mindset. You we were given a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Use it. Declare it. Tell fear to go back from whence it came! 😉

Fear is in the Slave Trade

​Fear holds you captive. It enslaves you to live a smaller and/or lesser life than the full and abundant life God intended for you to live. Fear allows you to exist but not actually live.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15 NIV

Fear paralyzes you. It invites you to hide and avoid risk, rather than believing God.

Even when there was no reason to hope, Abraham kept hoping- believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead-and so was Sarah’s womb. 

Abraham never waivered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” Romans 4:18-23 NLT

Point to ponder while you wander… You can choose to live abundantly in constant awe of your awesome God. In hope. In faith. In belief.

                                OR

You can choose to cower and let fear enslave you, paralyze you, and turn your abundant life into just blah ol’ existence. 

The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

Life is For Living

This morning I was praying about what encouragement to send out today and I heard Romans 8:10. This is the verse:

Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.” Romans 8:10

Jesus came to give us life. Not so that we could just exist or barely make it, but so that we would really live full and abundant lives!! In other words, life is for living!!!

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP

We are spirit. We have a soul (mind, will and emotions). And we live in an earthly body. That body will die. Because, here on earth, death is inevitable.

But death here is not the end.

We are spirit. Spirit doesn’t die like the body. So when we leave this world it’s not the end of life, but the beginning of eternity with Jesus.

For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 NIV

So live this first life fully, but there’s no reason to fear death. To leave here means we will be with our Savior, Jesus.

Point to ponder while you wander. . . We were given freedom so that we could be free. (Galatians 5:1) We were loved first, so that we can love. (1 John 4:19) And we were given life to live!! (John 10:10) #hope #lovewon #lifeisforliving

Clutter Piles and God’s Glory

I’m feeling random today.  Prepare yourself.

I guess it’s because I spent a day and a half cleaning my room.  This means that my body was occupied but my mind was left to wander all over the place. My wandering mind can find shenanigans too easily.

And yes, I actually spent a full day and a half cleaning my bedroom.  A full day and a half!  You see, when I get upset or have a lot of change I start piling things around my bed.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it until one day I walk into my room and I can no longer see the floor.  I call it “nesting.”  I’m literally building a protective nest around my bed.  It’s one of those unconscious things I do when I can’t deal with all the things.

And I’ll be honest…I’m struggling to deal with all the things.

Even though all the things are good.

  1.  New place to live.  Inexpensive.  Great Roommates.  I have the biggest room, mostly because I have the most stuff.  Most of the stuff is books and art supplies, and a 5 foot stuffed alligator that a really dreamy friend won for me in England during a study abroad.  Good times bringing that home on the airplane.
  2. New job.  First full time job in over a year.  Pays well.  Benefits.  Good coworkers, including a dreamy one who is the just the sweetest.  Interesting work, most days.  I learn every day, because it’s completely different than anything I’ve ever done.  And I get to organize things in spreadsheets! (Don’t mock me I like organizing things, and I like spreadsheets.)
  3. New car.  2 years old but new to me with low miles.  It’s the color of Yoda and gets like 35 miles to the gallon.  I LOVE IT!
  4. New church.  Well not exactly new, I’ve been there for conferences and to visit friends, but now it’s my church.  The people are fabulous and the word is good.  But for some reason I cannot settle in there.  I don’t know why.  It’s been a battle.  God confirmed that it’s my church.  I have peace about it.  And yet I don’t want to go.  So weird.

Do you see anything bad in this list?  No.  Me either.  And yet I’m struggling to get into any sort of routine in this newness.  And I’ve been lacking in the joy area lately.  No joy=No strength.  I’ve been trying to figure it out, and  I realized two things:

1.  I’m struggling because after the past few years of reoccurring unemployment, having my car repossessed, having my house auctioned, and my credit sliding into the 500’s, I simply do not know how to not struggle.  I keep waiting for my job to go away or some other trauma or drama to occur.

God used these crappy years to show me His faithfulness and provision.  He used this to show me that I don’t have to be afraid.  In feast or famine He’s there.  He never leaves.  He didn’t cause my issues, but he used them to teach me and turn things around for my good.

Despite learning all of this and coming out of it with a new perspective, I cannot settle into my new life.  I think that’s part of the other reason my room was a disaster, I wasn’t unpacking or getting comfortable here because I was waiting for it to turn ugly with my roommates, or to be kicked out or something.

I’m not a low expectations kind of gal.  I’m a dreamer with a big imagination.  If I don’t keep tabs on my thought life…I can be caught rehearsing my best original screenplay Oscar speech.  Seriously.

I’m so frustrated with myself about the expectation of calamity and drama.  I know that we receive what we expect and believe.  If I expend all my energy being afraid and worrying, I’m actually agreeing with the Enemy’s plan for my life.  His plan is to steal from me, to kill my dreams and bring sickness my way, and to destroy my joy and peace.

But Jesus came to give me life and an abundant life at that!  (John 10:10)

So what is my deal?  Why am I building a security nest?  Why am I sad?

Am I not believing God?  Do I doubt Him?  Am I ungrateful?

No.  No.  And no.  I believe God will do all He said He would do.  He just does it in His perfect timing (Which is not my timing, clearly.)  I’m so thankful for my job and home and car and everything else that I’ve been blessed with.  God is good to me!

So again what is my deal?  Or as David puts it, “Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise Him again-my Savior and my God.”  Psalm 42:11

This is where my second realization comes into play:

2. My new life isn’t what I expected.

Aw crap.  There’s that expectation word again.

I had a similar breakdown when I turned 25.  My life isn’t what I expected and I’m not where I expected to be at 40, and I’m sad about it.  Some of that has to do with me feeling like I’m failing and like I’ve missed opportunities. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time dealing with my issues that I’ve not been doing anything beneficial for the kingdom.  I feel like a failure.  I feel worthless.

I know that these are lies.  I know that I am valued by God.  I know that I cannot fail unless I quit.  I know that preparation time is not wasted time.  But I’m still struggling with it.

Some of it has to do with God’s timing.  I feel like expired milk.  I feel like Mary and Martha telling Jesus that if He’d have gotten there sooner, Lazarus wouldn’t have died.  Except that I’m saying, “Well Jesus, If you’d only given me what you promised in my 20’s then I wouldn’t have to be starting over again at 40.”

But I know Jesus is good.  I know He doesn’t withhold good gifts.  So why all the waiting?

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”  So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.  Finally, he said to his disciples,“Let’s go back to Judea.”John 11:4-6 NLT

The first point of this passage is that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  And I know that Jesus loves me just as much.  The second point of this passage is that when the situation looks absolutely hopeless from a human point of view, when there’s nothing more that can be done, that’s when miracles happen.  That’s when God shows up and displays His glory for the world to see.

Points to ponder while you wander… You are loved.  It’s never too late.  The bigger the problem the greater display of God’s glory.

PS  If you’re so inclined, read Lazarus’s story in John chapter 4.  It’s an amazing story!