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Unconditional

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading in its hope; it can outlast anything. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:7-8

This is the definition of unconditional love, that His love never fails.

And I’m grateful because I haven’t been His easiest child to train up. I fight against Him when He’s trying to teach and heal me. I have refused to receive His love. I have begrudgingly obeyed when I didn’t want to do things He’s asked me to do.

Yep. Hard headed all the way.

That’s why the Old Testament gives me hope. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the desert because they couldn’t shake the slave mentality off and believe their God.

I am 40. And I relate to the nomadic desert experience more than I care to admit. But I want to be different.

So here’s to shaking off the shackles of the past and walking into a new day of not only believing in God but believing that He is for me and not against me! Here’s to trusting His timing and not rushing and crashing around like a bull in a China shop! Here’s to believing that I am loved completely and accepted fully!

Point to ponder while you wander… “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT

You Move His Heart

You are loved!!!!

“I call you My dove. My cherishing love is upon you. You will never be able to say, “I am unloved,” for My love is set upon you. My Son was wounded so that you will be Mine. Though others ignore and resist you, you have moved My heart.” -Abba

Taken from The Passion Translation’s I Hear His Whisper Devotional by Brian Simmons and is based on Song of Songs.

Why I Loved Him

One of the most beautiful moments of my life was also one of my most heart wrenching.

My sister and I went to the assisted living center where our Boppie (Grandpa) had been living. We knew he only had hours left but being there in that moment made my heart ache and my eyes fill.

When my sister left the room, I asked him if I could pray with him and he nodded. I prayed that he would be at peace and know that He made a difference in our lives. And truly understand our lives were better because he was in them. I prayed he would know how much we loved him.

When I opened my eyes I saw tears streaming down his face. I didn’t realize then what a gift it was. I didn’t know my voice telling him I loved him and his life mattered were the last things he would ever hear on this side of heaven.

But I know now.

I know now that those few moments with him were a precious gift. The value of that time with Boppie was made really clear to me when my sister called to tell me our Dad had died.

I had been trying to get a hold of him for over a week. But I wasn’t worried about it because I was going up there and would see him that next weekend. But that next weekend was 3 days too late.

Thankfully the last time I talked to him I did tell him I loved him. But I wish I would have told him why I loved him and that he mattered.

So in honor of my Daddy I’m going to tell you why I loved him.

I loved him because he had compassion for people. I understand the compassion of Jesus better because I saw it displayed in my Dad.

I loved him because he took me ice fishing.

I loved him because he never judged me when I did something. Laugh at me, yes absolutely, never judgment. 😄

I loved him because he grilled year round. I can still see standing out in the snow; wearing cut off shorts, a t-shirt, winter boots & a flannel shirt. No one can grill a perfect steak like my Dad.

I loved him because he was always proud of me, even when my life was not going well.

I loved him because he could build and fix stuff, and finish pretty much every crossword.

I loved him because he was Grampie Vampire to his grand kids. They were his favorite people.

I loved him because he was all in when telling a tall tale; even to the point of dumping Raisinettes on the ground and eating them to convince my cousin deer poop tasted like chocolate covered raisins. But only if it was fresh.

I loved him because he accepted me as his own when I was a toddler. And even after he and my mom divorced, he still claimed me as his own. He never once referred to me as his step-daughter. Step didn’t exist with him or with his Dad (AKA Boppie who technically was Dad’s step-father).

And I will love him forever simply because he is my Daddy and I am his daughter.

I’m gonna stop here because I’m crying now and I also want to make a suggestion. Please tell your people you love them AND tell them why you love them. They may not realize how special and important they truly are.

Point to ponder while you wander… “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life.” Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT

What Love Looks Like

I’m getting ready to move out of the house I’ve owned since 2007. Moving isn’t really new to me, I’ve moved close to 20+ times in my life. No big deal really.

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But when I was packing my kitchen today my eyes got teary at this sight. To you it’s just spices in a cabinet. But to me it’s the cabinet my Nana painted and lined for me when I first moved into the house. In fact she painted my entire kitchen. The walls. The ceiling.  And every cabinet inside and out. To me this photo is my Nana showing me she loves me. To me this is what love looks like.

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This photo is of my weathered mailbox. The mailbox that has been hit and knocked down sooo many times that I stopped putting it back up and got a P.O Box. Then one day I look out my window and there’s  my Papa out there digging a hole in my front yard. He was at Home Depot and decided to buy me a mailbox post and install it for me just because. He’s not a big talker, my Pops, but that mailbox spoke volumes. To me that’s what love looks like.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:18 NIV

Something to ponder while you wander…love isn’t just an emotion to be felt, it’s an action to be shown. That’s why to me love looks like this cabinet and mailbox post.

You ARE His Delightful Child

You are His delightful child!

And have you forgotten His encouraging words spoken to you as His children? He said, ‘My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God. Or get depressed when He has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of His faithful love and when He draws you to Himself it proves you are HIS DELIGHTFUL CHILD.‘” Hebrews 12:5-6 TPT

Something to ponder while you wander–difficult circumstances do not mean God has left you or loves you less. He has loved you since the foundation of the world, nothing you can do will change that. In the midst of the tough stuff remember that you are loved and you are His delightful child.

Vintage Beauty

I was waiting in line the other day, when I noticed the woman being waited on was vintage. Late 1920’s or early 1930’s vintage. After she finished, she gathered her things, and moved to the table directly across from me to reorganize her bag.

When I saw her face I though, “Wow, I bet she was stunning when she was young.”

And I heard the Lord say, “Look again.”

So I did.

I saw that while she was thin, she wasn’t frail. I saw her face, wrinkled and crinkled with smile and laugh lines. I saw her well-loved tan sweater over a lovely, feminine button up shirt. I started to see she was one who lived her life intentionally, she wasn’t just floating through.

I was admiring her wide-brimmed straw gardening hat when she looked up.

I saw light and wisdom radiating from her eyes. I instantly wanted to have tea with her, and listen to her story.

I smiled at her. She smiled back.

I realized in that moment she wasn’t only a beauty then, she IS a stunning beauty now.

This got me thinking….Outside of the true narcissistic few, most of us dismiss our own beauty. We see our flaws, and areas of our body we want to shrink, grow, or change. But we don’t see our own beauty.

I know I don’t. I see the beauty in sunsets and nature but not in myself.

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Truth is not all of us will be super models or grace the covers of magazines, but all of us are beautiful. That’s how God made us and how Jesus sees us.

This is from Song of Songs chapter 1 in the Passion Translation:

The Shulamite Woman: “In this twilight darkness, I know I am so unworthy–so in need.

The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely.

The Shulamite Woman: “I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents of the wandering nomads.

The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely–like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.

Jesus is our Shepherd King and He calls us lovely.

In Genesis 16 Hagar was a runaway maid, pregnant by her boss’s husband. She was in the desert, alone. Desperate.

She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, You’re the God who sees me! Yes! He saw me and I saw Him!” Genesis 16:13 MSG

The one who spoke to her was no mere angel, it was Jesus, Himself. And He saw her.

Something to ponder while you wander…Just like He told me to look again at the vintage beauty, take another look at yourself. See you how Jesus sees you. Because Jesus sees you clearly, and He calls you lovely.

PS Give a fellow human a genuine compliment today. They need to be reminded of their beauty too. ❤

Nothing More Powerful

Nothing is more powerful than the Love of God! Nothing!

There is no power above or beneath us–no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” Romans 8:39 TPT

-His love reveals itself in patient endurance, waiting for us to come to Him. “So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.” Isaiah 30:18 NLT

-His love reveals itself in choosing to send Jesus to us while we were far from him. “For God has proved His love by giving us His greatest treasure, the gift of His Son. And God freely offered Him up as the sacrifice for us all, He certainly won’t withhold from us anything else He has to give.” Romans 8:32 TPT

-His love reveals itself in believing in us, and speaking His truth over us. We say “I know I am so unworthy–so in need.” He says, “Yet you are so lovely.” Song of Songs 2:5 TPT 

-His love reveals itself by never leaving us nor forsaking us. He’s as close as the air we breathe, every single day. He doesn’t walk away or tell us “You made your bed now lie in it. “…you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t He promised you, ‘I will never leave you alone, never!” Hebrews 13:5 TPT

Something to ponder while you wander…His love is unfailing so even your mistakes, bad choices, failures & indecision can’t stop God from loving you. “I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love, with unfailing love I’ve drawn you to Myself.” -Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

John 3:20 Fear, Shame and Control

“So the wicked hate the Light and try to hide from it, for their lives are fully exposed in the light.” John 3:20 TPT

In my experience the most horrible humans I’ve encountered are filled to the brim with shame and fear. Fear, not hate, is the true opposite of love. (I John 4) Just because someone isn’t shaking with nervousness, wringing their hands, or anxiously pacing doesn’t mean they’re not afraid.

The violent ones, the cruel ones, the bitter ones, and even the selfish ones are all so full of fear that they do everything in their power to control and dominate. They fear the light of exposure of their shame and their broken places. They fear being hurt. They fear being found inadequate or are terrified of failure. The selfish ones often fear lack and poverty.

Many people think by controlling everything and everyone they are safe. But really they’re just spreading fear.

Trusting God and receiving His love is the only true way to conquer fear. And depending upon the amount of fear the process may be longer than you want it to be. It was for me!

And the first step in that process is allowing the Light to expose what’s  really going on inside your hear and mind.

Something to ponder while you wander…Shame and fear bring out the absolute worst in people. Hurting people hurt people. So being a light will sometimes draw wrath from people, love them anyway. That’s what Jesus did.

PS Loving people doesn’t not mean that you need to endure abuse. No one has the right to verbally, physically, or emotionally beat you up! NO ONE! If a “friend,” boss, spouse, parent, sibling, child or anyone else is harming you please seek help immediately. No matter what you’ve said or done, no one deserves abuse! NO ONE!

Musical Monday Good Good Father

Today’s Musical Monday is Good Good Father by Housefires. This has been one of my go to songs for quite a while now.

It’s a great song about identity and how we see ourselves and Papa God. He’s a Good Good Father it’s who He is. And we are loved by Him, that’s who we are!

If you prefer seeing the lyrics, here’s Bethel’s version with the lyrics.

Something to ponder (and declare outloud) while you wander…The Great I AM is Love and I am His beloved.

John 3:19 Choosing Darkness

“And here is the basis of their judgment: The Light of God has now come into the world, but the hearts of people love their darkness more than Light, because they want the darkness to conceal their evil.” John 3:19 TPT

It’s sad that a majority of the people in this world have no comprehension that they are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Something to ponder while you wander…Those who don’t know and don’t feel loved will display the worst they have to offer. They will choose darkness & judgment over Love. Be compassionate to those in darkness, Jesus Himself said, “Father forgive them. They know not what they’re doing.”