THE REAL DEAL

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THE REAL DEAL, is it luck or love?

Just to keep it real… I am putting a spin on what’s really on the table this Thanksgiving holiday.

Ah… November… there are so many great things to say about it because it’s always a month to remember. Of all the days in this month can you guess which one I love the most? Coming from this natural born foodie, you may assume Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite because it’s the day we purposefully plan to give thanks for everything we are blessed to have loaded up on our plates but in truth, for me the greatest day of all is always the day after Thanksgiving. Not because of the big black Friday deals, but because of all that is leftover after spending a day of giving thanks for and with all that you love.

Of course, I relish the opportunity to revisit every thing I have been previously blessed to enjoy upon my plate each year but there is something amongst this year’s leftovers that I never considered giving thanks for… what life actually dished out.

Chips and Dips

Recent events have caused me to lean in a little closer to get a real look at what I hold in hand and with all the chips on the table, I realized in my past love-life, I have more dips that have been dished out than I would like to choose from. Suddenly, looking at the hand I have been dealt, I am faced with two very important questions.

#1 Am I really, truly grateful for it all?

AND…

#2 Am I still in?

Take a look at your cards because it’s time to ante up. You may be sitting there, with a straight laced poker face, wondering how we ended up at a card table this year to give thanks… WELL… let me explain.

Earlier this month, on a trip to a lovely little chapel in Vegas, I had the honor of witnessing my sister make a vow to love a man not just for the rest of her life, but for the rest of his and into eternity. Now to be in love is one thing but to be “ALL IN”…. in love… is quite another altogether. You see, my sister had already spent more than 30 years enjoying all life had to offer with this man… so, in a heart to heart conversation with her I had to ask “Why now?” Without skipping a beat, she explained how she made him a promise a long time ago to love and take care of him for the rest of her life and since he asked… she couldn’t refuse. During their spoken vows, my sister now being well over the age of 50 and him being 79, I thought about the words they were agreeing to and what they really meant. And I believe this is the real reason people cry at weddings…. “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, I promise to honor and cherish you all the days of my life”. Saying I do, with the latter part of their lives together ahead, the reality hit me that they were promising to continue to love when all that life has to offer could start to lack it’s luster. In short… she was going all in.

With all the cards laid out on the table, in a moments time, I considered the hand I have been dealt and deliberated the good and the bad. Then I thought how it’s easy to give thanks and joyfully jump in when I know I am looking forward to partaking in all I favor and savor. Now, after I have had my fill on all that has been dished out and what is leftover is all that remains… am I just as eager or am I ready to fold? In other words do I count the joy in dealing with  the times I am presented with the dirty dishes as much as I do the filled ones?

The gamble in choosing to love

With all the ups and downs in life and love, realistically speaking, once you’re over the hill luck has little to do with it. You can count on seeing more of the valley than the mountain top, unless you’re committed to always look up!

For an enduring love, consider this…

James 1: 2-4

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Again… revisiting what is leftover today, I will wrap up my thoughts on whether true joy in life comes from luck or love, with a statement made by the mister that married my sister in Vegas. He said “to anyone thinking about asking me if I like to gamble… I don’t have to gamble because I hit the jackpot already!”

The short trip I took down the aisle in that little chaple in Las Vegas revealed more than just the things worth revisiting on memory lane. It reminded me that without a doubt, there’s no such thing as luck in my “loved-life”… and that is a glorious discovery.

The real deal is… the greatest truth  in the pursuit for love and happiness is that neither come from the hand you are dealt, they come from the hand you are holding. “Say what?” you may retort, “Isn’t that the same thing?” To which I say…

My love… it’s not the same thing at all.

Though on love #13:

Choosing to love all the time, in good times and bad is not easy but the reward in doing so is a joy that helps you through all the storms your love will endure.

The joy of my salvation… is knowing true love!

Something In The Air

 

 A LIL’ MORE THAN HOT AIR

 

 

The other day, in conversation, a friend apologized for having what they thought was bad breath.

“I’m so sorry” she said, guarding her mouth with her hand.

“For what?” I replied.

“My breath!”

She immediately explained that what she ate for breakfast had so much fresh garlic, cilantro and onions in it that it seemed to be lingering and ruminating in the air and between her and I, though she brushed and did all she could to prevent it from having that effect, she was embarrassed that it was affecting me. But it wasn’t. I wondered if I made a face or gesture that triggered her concern but in the end she said it must only be her that smells it or I am just too nice to say that it’s putting me off. I thought to myself, I love the smell of those three things, so I am not sure it would have put me off anyways, but I didn’t smell anything still.

We laughed it off together, and I did my best to try to reassure her that the evident experience she was having, as a result of her morning choices, was in no way impacting me the same. However, she remained self-concious about it afterward and still continued to cover her mouth and apologized with explanation again as another approached to join our coversation.

This made me think…

How often am I hyper sensitive to the lingering effects of my prior choices? And… how much does it affect my interaction with others and most important of all, my interaction with my most significant other… God?

It’s funny how we can tend to focus on all the wrong things and do so often in our relationships. Especially, the most important ones; the one with God, our spouses or significant other and ourselves.

Dale Carnegie, one of the leaders and experts on relationships, in his amazing book “How to win Friends and Influence People” speaks a lot on the topic of focusing on what’s positive in our interaction with others. His very first principle is actually “Don’t criticize,  condemn or complain” and it is first for a reason.

God knows and apparently Dale Carnegie does too; it’s extremely hard not to focus on the negative but whether we do or not has the greatest effect on us and everyone we interact with. We are easily drawn to the negative and are critical and offer complaint more often than anything else in our relationship with Him, as well as ourselves and others.

So on this Sunday morning, as I prepare to go to His house, where I hope to meet with Him and am looking forward to Him speaking to me… I’m thinking of what, if anything, will have an affect that may hinder our conversation.

Will it be what He is focusing on or what I am? He already knows all that’s on my plate and what I have to put out on the prayer table this morning. I think He is preparing me for what He has cooking.

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Just a little food for thought this morning. Hope you enjoy what is served up enough to join me again!

Lord!! Help me in my prayers and praise to you. That what I bring before you focuses on all that you are doing that is good. May it fill your house with a pleasant aroma that revives you’re spirit in me. In every sense, REVIVAL is what I need!

Thought on love #12:

If you are spoken for….

Reviving your love takes more than just focusing on what you are doing in love. It involves focusing on what the one who truly loves us all has done, is doing and has promised to do.

His love is good, all the time. All the time, His love is good! I AM Spoken for.

True Loves Truths

TRUTH IS…

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What you want is far from what you need

TRUTH IS…

Seeing growth requires more than just the planted seed

TRUTH IS…

For some… feeling only exists where there is pain

TRUTH IS…

To see the rainbow… you must withstand the rain

TRUTH IS…

There must be darkness for you to see the light

TRUTH IS…

Great joy comes the morning after surviving the longest night

TRUTH IS…

Deep love hurts deeply… but He did dive in none the less

TRUTH IS…

True love is worth the cost, I know cause’ He paid my unparalleled debt

TRUTH IS…

The scars that remain are the proof of love’s perfect sacrifice

TRUTH IS…

You don’t care but to do it again and again… He doesn’t even think twice.

TRUTH IS…

He knows you have been holding back because you don’t want to start feeling again

TRUTH IS…

Truth hurts therefore the truest of love will give cause enough to endure the greatest pain ’til the end.

ME in the mirror.

Thought on love #11:

True love can truly be a pain but what comes out in the wash is worth withstanding all the rain.

Keeping the Faith

GROUNDED

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“Good evening folks… this is your captain speaking….” statically coming over the loudspeaker.

As the flight crew pauses from their routine, he continues “We have some adverse conditions currently that are causing some delay of our on-time take off.”

“Just great!” Exclaims the man in the seat behind me. “Excuse me, do we know exactly how long this delay will be?” Asks another. “I have a connecting flight!!! This is going to make me miss everything!” A disgruntled voice yells from across the aisle.

Not going anywhere for a while?

Sometimes there are times we must weather events that cause great delay in us getting where we planned to go. Usually, we focus on all the wrong things during these times… and those things result in us really going nowhere.

We can tend to focus on the event, saying… “Why is THIS happening?”

Or we can start to examine our past and present faults and failures exclaiming “Why me?” And “Of course…this was bound to happen to me!” As if the line up of your evident errors in your circumstantial past has led to this subsequent event preventing you from reaching your final destination because everthing is all about YOU. I’m guilty!!!!

But in reality the time spent focusing on why this is happening or who caused it to happen just takes away from the experience of what is actually going on.  The subsequent event may be just what is supposed to be happening. If you are not careful… you will miss it entirely!

Staying grounded in the stormy times

We are in a love-hate relationship with everything in life. When adverse conditions hit us and we are faced with dealing with a stormy outlook, we make decisions with the flip of a coin as if there are only two outcomes to our present situation. Good or bad. And we usually don’t lean toward the good. However, there are eight-sides to every coin. If you never knew that… they are:

The right side, wrong side, left side, up side, down side, in-side, out-side and the ever unrecognized “be”side. We’ll get into all of this in more depth later as we take a look at change in our perspective of all that we wholly love and hate in life, but the point I’m trying to make here is: there is more to what you’re experiencing than just what you’re choosing to look at.

I say all of that to say this… my beloved,

Thought on love #10 

complete and true love is fully experienced through an entire course of events. The take-off and arrival to your desired destination is such a small part of it all. Don’t get stuck where those two alone are stalled.

You need to be present in every moment that you are in. I read somewhere that the present is “pre-sent”. It’s an opportune time for you to take advantage of the time you are suddenly afforded. Know who God is and who and what you are in Him, then look around to see who you are with and “Be” what you are meant to be with and for them in the moment.

You are where you are for a reason

When you’re in a place where you have nowhere to go… flip your perspective to a brighter side! Make your decision on how to be by considering every side of the situation, not just the side you’re standing on. You may need to change your view by looking at what’s right, wrong, left, up, down, in and out in this moment. You may find you are beside yourself when you see how God uses that time to change things with you in it.

Ultimately… He is the master planner behind the scenes and when we feel like our plans are thrown of course, often we are suddenly right where we need to be for His plan to take course.

Psalm: 46. 10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

You may be halted so He can be exalted!

Loving the TSA

MADE MY CONNECTION

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Ready to get on board? Need to make that one last connection before take off? How about this one…

“The TSA rules”

“Take off your shoes, hat, jacket, and belt or anything with metal on it and place them in a bin. Put all of your personal items in a separate bin and place your bag on the belt.” He says, as another points me in the direction I must go. After successfully passing through the body scanner, I head over to the conveyer belt to retrieve my carry on and find it being pulled aside for further inspection. Putting on sterile gloves and unzipping my bag,  the TSA agent asks “Do you have anything in here that is sharp or could be considered hazardous or harmful material?” With pierced lips “I hope not” I say.

Everyone loves the TSA, right?

Well, I don’t get to fly the friendly skies everyday but when I do, I know the process. To successfully get on board I must follow the TSA guidelines. Before I can hope to take flight, I will have to check in first. I have to abide the rules and listen to instruction. For my safety and the safety of others.

As I begin boarding I can’t help but recognize…. isn’t getting on board to go anywhere in life just the same? No matter where, when or how you travel in life, there will always be a some things you are required to have, bring or do and a longer list of things that you shouldn’t bring because they are potentially hazardous or harmful to more than just you. But what those requirements are depends upon the appointed governing authority.

Keep calm and “Carry-on”

What you choose to bring along can prevent you from carrying on. When the TSA agent asked me to declare anything I knew of, in my bag, that would be of potentential harm, there was nothing I thought would be, but the fact that he asked prior to his search made me realize that the governing authority thinks I should know. I mean I should know, right? The guidelines were provided so I would.

This made me think about an acronym I have heard mentioned a time or two for the B-I-B-L-E. It’s …..

basic instructions before leaving earth. 

This “good book” is filled with guidelines to help me throughout all my travels alone or with others and so the question is… how well do I know those guidelines? Who makes the rules wherever I go? Me or the “TSA” and…. how well do I follow what that governing authority advises?

Proverbs: 4. 1. Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 13. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

The TSA of my life’s travels, better known to me as the “true sovereign authority” is Jesus and He is the author and finisher of more than that book chock full of instructions for life.

Just some pre-flight food for thought.

CARRY ON!

 

 

 

Good to Go

 

Stepping out without breathing in…  taking that first step, where it all begins

To go without, one searches within… needing more than him, feels like a sin

Bags packed, hat tipped at the brim… Painstaking thoughts come on a whim.

No looking back, no other option… Found the path to my destination.

Knowing this chapter has to end…  Where everything else begins.

HIS-STORY IN THE MAKING!

 

Getting Your Wings

It’s Heart to Wait

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Look! In the sky…

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

No wait… it’s just a man?!

“No ordinary man has the strength to wait soooo long for love… but His love endures and goes to great lengths; my Lord, He is extraordinary”

ME IN THE MIRROR

Okay kids… I may only be one single woman but my aim is to get us to lift-off and let love take flight. So I’m going to save this day by sharing the power of a love that uh….waits.

Let’s face it… even with the shedding of excess baggage from our past experiences, our strength to carry on for the long haul of true love is easily weakened by the weight of the wait.

It’s easy to feel and share the love during times that you see the mountains moving and feel the ground shaking beneath your feet. I’m sure you can think back to one or two of those times. However, perhaps today you lack the strength because you feel like you have been waiting forever to see something move.

It’s times like this that we have to remind ourselves of the sweet benefits of waiting or as the bible perfectly describes it “long-suffering”. In our undercover search for love, we touched on the power of this super love secret before and now it’s time to tap in to the source of this”super” fruit of the spirit.

Finding the strength in the power of the word… “WAIT”

The bible is filled with great examples of believers, like Abraham, Job and Joseph, who waited and held on firmly in their faith, even when it seemed that God had forgotten them. You may say… that old testament stuff is history and I boldly agree. Respectively… if you take a good look at “His” story, you’ll find that it has a way of repeating itself. That’s because just like every child… the children of God (you and me) need to be told some things more than once to see the need to apply it. It’s called the book of life and truth for a reason, and through the stories of the lives revealed in it, we are also encouraged to hold on.

“Wait for the Lord; be of good courage and He shall stengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

If you’re a believer or wanna be and are struggling with the strength to believe… remember christianity is nothing without the weight of the wait. So…

when you catch yourself saying… “it is taking forever” or “God,  I feel like I’ve been waiting a thousand years for the answer to my prayers…” He has not forgotten you..

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

Keep looking up!  When you lift your eyes in long suffering as you wait, with firm expectation, on the Lord. You can trust that He will give you the strength to rise!

Isaiah 30:18 – “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

Today is the day of salvation!

Thought on Love #9:

The true power of love lies at the heart of what you do when you just don’t feel the love at all.

Just wait and see!