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!

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!

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!

The Love Trip

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Bags packed and ready to go?! As we are on board for love to take flight, I have to know…

You need something good to chew on?

As I aim toward a higher destination in my relationships… there is one thing that can trip me up more often than I’d like to admit. That is what I choose to feed on along the way.

The truth of the matter is, where we are at and see ourselves going in our love life is often ruled by what we put in our own mouth. We can bring life or death to anything with the words we speak about it… to include our relationships.

Whether we are talking about what we have, want or plan in love and life… what we are, do and get is impacted by the very words we are consumed by in our mind about them and our ability to achieve them.

So how then, in a world full of people, situations and circumstances… that are negative 87% of the time and building walls to protect what we love… HOW do we reach new heights in our love for life rather than get dragged down? I believe listening to the words of love from the creator of life and taking them to heart is the best place to start. Afterall, who knows how to love every bit of life better than He who created it?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Thought on Love #8

For a fruitful love life to take flight,  be mindful of what is on the tip of your tip of your tongue because it can kill more than just your appetite.

Real good love is thoughtful and thought of on a completely different level.

Roman 12:2 King James Version (KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Mmm…mmm…good love….

Worth taking a trip to the table!

Letting Love Fly

A New Love Takes Flight

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In all my travels…I have never been where I am…today!  

No greater time to seize the day.

Carpe Diem! 

ME in the Mirror

Wondering what’s new? A fresh perspective of what is behind for a greater vision of what lies ahead. God reminds that it’s not just a new day we are in… it’s a new place… and I want to put it on the map so that you can find the way too!

God says to be on the look out… no matter where you are right now.

Isaiah 43:19 Behold! I will do a new thing. Shall you not know it? I will make a way in the wilderness and a river in the desert.

You could call that my pilot verse… because it’s no surprise to me that God can do what seems impossible. I have been blessed to witness him faithfully move mountains for many. However, it’s not what has been moved in or out of my life that is giving me a new found love for the future. It is the fact that He remains unmovable in it that is taking my heart to unbelievable heights in this new year! In my loves past I have been through some pretty dark times (perhaps you have too). I look back at long desert days, spent wondering how I would survive and many mornings where I woke up still “in the woods”,  only to wander aimlessly, stuck in my circumstances.  For a good while, every time I looked at where I’d been I resented the time wasted and the investment lost from everything I gathered in effort to find my way. Today though, I have a new appreciation for where I have been because He has shown me that He was always there through all of it, I was just focused on where I’d been rather than Him, which meant I couldn’t see where love was leading the way. I am in a different place now, but today I know, no matter my location, He remains.

This past year, the best thing I learned to help me on this journey is how to travel light and let go of excess baggage. As I think about going the distance for love,  my past decisions and experiences certainly carry some weight but I now know the final destination I hope to reach requires nothing outside of what is secured in my heart today.

Thought on Love # 7

Let love lead the way, check your baggage and let it take flight today!

 

Apple of His Eye

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The Apple of His Eye

Today’s topic on the table is aimed at revealing more about what’s good for us in love. I’ve been spending the last few weeks deep under cover and learned, scientifically speaking, most great discoveries start with a question. One of my goals is to get healthy love choices down to a science, which means I must start with a question to get an answer. So, in regards to love; what are you really looking for? I have to admit that in my selfish nature my need for love can be a little demanding… I want it all, and then some. What I mean to say is, in relationship to finding true love for myself, I have an overwhelming need to know more about the God that pursues and loves ME alone. I know that “He so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” as it says in John 3:16, and I share what I know about His love because I want the world to know that He has enough love to last an eternity for every one of us.  However, there are days when the world has taken it’s toll on me and I am only interested in a love I can call my own. In His sensitive way, He gracefully and immediately responds to my need to help me (and maybe you too) get the message about his true love.

Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nation’s which spoiled you: for he that touched you touched the apple of his eye.

He’s so sensitive 

Have you ever accidentally poked your eye or had something suddenly get in your eye? In one blink of time, something in the eye can change everything. I have experienced both and the effect of each one incites an immediate response. It also affects more than just your sight. When something touches or gets in your eye, no matter how small… even a speck of dust, it’s pretty hard to ignore. It’s like everything in the world cannot move forward until what ever “it” is… is removed.

In Zechariah 2:8 the words “the apple of his eye” help to paint a picture that reveals how sensitive God is toward us. He says “He who touched you, touched the apple of His eye.” Defined, the apple of the eye, used as an anatomical term, refers to the central part of the eye also known as the pupil. This is the most sensitive part of the eye. So, if He regards us as “the apple of His eye” that means there is a heightened level of sensitivity to every little thing that touches us and gets in or on us. Anything He senses that does not belong has an affect and can and will trigger a response. After all, His aim is to protect and defend against anything that spoils us.

Sensitivity makes sense

In my search of the meaning behind the phrase “You are the apple of my eye”, on http://www.theidioms.com/apple-of-eye/ I read that the expression is often used to reference someone cherished above all others or someone or something that is very precious. Suddenly, it all began to make more sense.  It should be common knowledge that every action spurs a reaction. A speck of dust floating in the air to the eye is like the impending ripple effect of the dropped pebble into a pond, one touch can create waves of reaction that reach farther and do more than we ever intended it would. This makes it easier to understand why God is so sensitive and has laws and instructions in His word to warn us about every thing that could harm us. Whether you know or not, we are individually cherished and very precious to him and He knows what gets in or on us can impact more than what’s seen with the naked eye; way more than just our vision.

The Vision of Love

Hindsight is 20/20 and God sees beyond that. That’s the naked truth that has been revealed to me about my vision of His love in the past.  We have our sight set on love but more often than not, our sight is limited by what is right in front of us and we usually don’t see the whole picture until things are behind us. Frankly, some of us (me included) have a tendency to stay stuck staring at the past, frozen in our faith and hope for love,  still trying to figure out how to get what’s blocking our vision behind us. We can control what we focus and feast our eyes upon but we are often overwhelmed and paralyzed by what we cannot see… all that is waiting on the other side. Thank God that He is all knowing and sees what we need at all times. As we search under his cover, He is revealing exactly what’s needed to have a loved life that’s worth living.

Proverbs 7:2

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

There it is, plain and simple. He has put some basic things in place to help me live, and you too. His laws are laid out in love. Some things, like whatever has blindsided me or you in love past, can make us lose focus on the love He has already given us. In His love, He reminds us that He is sensitive to everything we need and says for a very precious, true love that will be cherished above all others, we need to be attentive to what he commands first.

Thought 6 of 101 on love:

If you sense that love is demanding, it is…. True love commands a response