Are You Finished?

Completely in Love

Morning tea

Maybe you’re not quite finished, but according to Jesus, It is finished.

Thought #2 of 101: True love is complete

“Love covers a multitude of sins”… is what I had on my mind for the longest time.

“Are you sure?” I asked.” You must not have seen it all yet God.” As if He didn’t know who or what He was working with.  It took a while for me to absorb the truth. I just couldn’t see it or grasp it. The idea that all that I did or was in the past being completely finished seemed like it should require so much more. Especially since I still felt quite undone.

Well, if this sounds familiar to you and one of the main thoughts that will often travel across your mind is… “a love that is complete…is something I will probably never see for myself,” then I’d like to clarify something for you, just in case you’re feeling undone about finding love or you are done and lost in your search for it…

God’s love is unlike anything you have seen before and like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else. If you are searching for something familiar then you’ll be searching forever. It is unique because it existed without and before you, but was and is always there for you. To further explain: God wanted you and me, before we ever wanted him or anything really. He gave his life so we could be set free, while we continued to reject him. There is nothing more final than His death or more astounding than His resurrection.

God did both so that we could move on and continue on. He died to rid us of what He never wanted us to have, our sin and He rose from the dead, so that we could receive everything He always had for us. Through these two acts, I have been presented with gift of love that withstands all of the hurt and rejection and a hope for love that goes beyond the grave.

His love is so complete that he thought enough of you and me to know we would question just how much he completely wants us… even after He paid the ultimate price.

Have you gained the understanding yet that His love goes above and beyond any and everything. So… even in times when I have doubt in His love because I am uncertain of myself, my ability, my strength, my wisdom, my future….. My hope and faith rests in His word. It says, I can look forward to the end of every day and every tomorrow….

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

The point I am getting to at the end of this night is …. He leaves nothing He loves undone. He finishes everything He starts. He has enough love for His work and creation to keep working until all the “heart” work is done.

So… I am complete in love, with Him.

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Love Under Cover

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I’m sorry, I know there’s been a lull in the conversation but I haven’t been lying down on the job. I just had to put a few things to rest. After some reflection of my past confessions over morning fruit; alongside tabletop topics about all that’s on my plate while in sup with the king; with present company, I think it only natural to progress to pillow talk over tea.

“You made your bed, now lie in it.”

I have said it before. It’s a phrase I kind of used to live by (if you could call it living). The phrase emphasizes that you and I are stuck with having to deal with our own poor choices. When speaking to myself, crying over spilled milk as I ate my humble pie… I would say “You’ve been served exactly what you’ve been cooking” meaning whatever I got was a result of exactly what I put into it. Which, unfortunately for me, didn’t turn out to be very much or very good, on more than one occasion. This left me somewhat bitter, mostly at myself. The end result was a sour outlook on past, present and future love for myself. As for the love I had for others… let’s just say it was nothing more than uhhh…tense. (Pun intended)

As I think about tomorrow… gratefully looking forward to a restful night of sleep,  I can’t help but recall how I used to spend night after night rest-less because the only thing I could think of was everything I didn’t have. I was stressed to the max over lack. What I was missing was the covering of God, but instead of seeking cover… like the song by Johnny Lee says, I was  “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places”  thinking I could find what I needed elsewhere. It’s expected and some might say it’s even wise for us to search for what’s missing. I mean how else would we expect to get it. But where love is concerned, focusing on what you don’t have can prevent you from receiving what’s already there.

God reminded me that being in relationship with Him means I can be rest assured about one thing when my head hits the pillow: as long as I am with Him… I can count on being covered. This differs from what I have been accustomed to. What I am talking about is more than what is happening between my sheets… of paper… because what is already written about the subject opens up a new chapter.

The Covering Concept

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

His love covers everything? In my immature understanding, my first thought is of all the unsightly areas that I would be relieved to have covered and kept from the rest of the world. However, God sees it all, whether or not we are trying to be revealing and what’s there is not as much good as bad and ugly, which made me think (and perhaps you too), how can He still love us. It is His covering that makes the muck and mire, already seen, still worth dying for.

So I’m going under cover in this search for love for myself, in hopes to get a closer look at what’s been there all along.  If you don’t get where I am coming from you may need to go back to where I’ve been and where you got your first glance of me or revisit the fruit of my first love, where I got nothing but nuts. Being completely covered is a new concept of love for me… so under cover is where my investigation must start.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

 

 

Going Bananas for Love

A True Love Appeal

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It feels like forever…. 

Dear God,

Please let me know… “When will it be time to grow?” Your word says…

1 Corinthians: 3. 7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

So… how long must I wait to grow fruitful in love?

Waiting on your plus one?

Waiting for the love of your life to arrive can sometimes make anyone feel like they are going bananas! As prayers remain unanswered and the period of silence begins to feel like a life sentence of waiting, one can start to question in doubt. Especially if the wants and needs lists gets ever longer the more time marches on … This has led me (and maybe you too) to ponder the question …

“Am I asking too much?”

When others come to me for advice because they are struggling with doubt that God is going to move their mountain, I’m always in 100% belief that God is going to respond to their need. When they’re discouraged because they’ve been patiently pursuing to no avail, I remind them to just keep praying.  “Ask and you shall receive!” I am quick to tell THEM. When it comes to my own unanswered questions though… I am quick to question myself more than Him. I tell myself “In God’s time, the answer will come.” However… I tend to wonder if there is a possibility that the love I am seeking is too appealing for me to ever receive.

“What am I waiting for?”

Let me explain to avoid confusion. What leads me to ask this is my experience thus far. I am made ever aware that God sees, hears and knows all. He also attends to every detail. He knows every need… and most important of all… He knows what he is doing. On more than one ocassion, the thought of whether it’s worth the wait has crossed my mind mostly because, as I ask for him to shine his light on my issue… I seem to be reaching for the tissues due to being prone to being examined more closely. As I appeal for a love that is deep and relationships that do more than skim the surface… He begins to peel back the layers in my own heart and life. Maybe the love He plans to give me is a little more uh… peeling than I bargained far. I’m feeling a little too exposed.

So… to end the suspense… my true love appeal seems to be turning into a true look at what’s already written on the walls of my own heart. With each step further in my journey to find a love for my own self, the real in this reveal is, I am no authority on the subject – We need to take a closer look at what’s already written on the subject of love by the one who pens the pages to prepare for what’s coming. It might take you a second or three but when you’re ready… come hungry….

I have a feeling God’s already got the meals ahead planned.

 

Second Guessing the Guests

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When is it too early to talk about betrayal? Do we have to wait until after supper?

Still open? Trust that I am not trying to close the door on any extended invitations but we have been on a getting to know one another basis for almost two months now and I am not one to wait until all the guests have had their fill to bring out what’s best for all at the table. So, let me just say; I keep trying to put this behind me but from where I am sitting betrayal is not a thing of the past.

The question of the day; when I know I have let go of what I lost and I have put the circumstantial evidence of how it was lost in its place (the past) why does the betrayal remain? Is the one who betrayed me still seated at the table or worse… on the throne of my heart?

Break it down…Who betrayed who?

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“I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart” as Michael Corleone plainly put it in the movie “The Godfather”….

….It was not God, The Father

We all want love that is true, right? The first step to discovering the truth about love is to reveal who the liar is. When dealing with betrayal the concern most of us immediately address in our mind is “who done it.”

When someone has done me wrong I want to pin point where the fault lies so I can put more than my finger on them. (cough-cough) When I discover who did the dirty deed, with an extended index finger I bring it to my attention to make sure I don’t forget. However, when pointing out the fault of another, there are three other fingers pointing right back at me.

Know this…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

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As a result, I feel exposed, busted and disgusted with the thought that the real culprit is me. The questions that follow go something like this. “How could I be so naive? Where did I go wrong?” and finally, “What did I do to deserve this?”  The last question made the list by popular demand.

When wanting to learn more about love, questions are good, but the most important question of them all  (I’ve had to ask myself) “Who are you asking?” When inquiring within… who am I expecting to get the answer from… me or Him?

Let me just put it all out on the table.

True story… if you’ve already had the misfortune of experiencing betrayal, like I have… it’s near impossible to reverse it. Whether you were betrayed by yourself or by another, it will be constantly in the rear view. Anytime you reflect, it’s right there to skew your view of love for yourself, others and God in the future. So how do we see past it? We have to remember two things: Who prepared the table we sit at and where they are seated.

Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart…”

Knowing someone is capable of betrayal is inescapable, each and every one of us is. Our own hearts tell us we can never trust ourselves again, much less anyone else. It’s a lie meant to decieve us into believing there is no hope. What I am trying to get the answer to is….how do we protect ourselves from the enemy that lies… if already inside the gates? Here is the whole truth…

Jeremiah 17:10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know…

Getting back to the bread about to be broken… God knows what is about to be served. If we are able to recognize that we need to feast on what he has for us alone… He can handle everything else,  liars and thieves will get their just dessert!

Just trust who is on the throne of your heart. Jesus, the chosen gatekeeper, is seated at the table with us… right in the place we have given Him. He knows us and our guests better than anyone. No need to worry. If you have invited Him… there is no second guessing!

 

Abridged or Unabridged?

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How we get where we’re going…

Which version would you like? The truth or the lie? How many factors are required to make the decision? Does it depend on the book, the subject interest or lack there of… the author?

What if it was the book of love?

Or Life…???

In a fiction world, I’m an unabridged type of girl. I want to soak in all the sordid details. But when reality sets in… I admit that there are days, seasons, spans of time and definitely subjects where I just want to cut to the chase and skip to the final chapter already. However, the true story about finding love in life that lasts is… there are no short cuts.

Bridging the Gap… crossing state lines!

As I sit and get consumed in my mid-day lunch hour, I begin to digest the issue on my plate. Staying engaged in my love story is always hardest when I feel like I am on a bridge over troubled water to nowhere. Going from point A to B is not hard, (map please)… it’s connecting each D-O-T and making sense of where I am, in relation to where God says I will be in the end, that I struggle with. The inner child of God in me is whining from the back seat, in agony with stomping feet… crying out “Are we there yet?!” Then suddenly…

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

1 Corinthians 13:4

Turning the page, I’m on the other side “you’re not in the same place you used to be…” says He. I suddenly see… there was more than just water under that bridge. I used to get myself in deep trouble being in such a hurry. Let’s just say… lesson learned… gates exist for a reason. Me being eager to get somewhere… avoiding the gate and crossing the bridge at the unappointed time caused me to wind up on board whatever vessel happened to be passing through. Can you say detour to the deep end of the emotional ocean? Now… patience is a virtue that this “virtuous woman” hopeful is definitely working on.

Skipping to the final chapter…

Perhaps the problem has always been that I’m still a prepper at heart. Sometimes I can think so far ahead that I completely miss the fact that in traveling the distance over the bridge, I cross over into a different state.

Don’t burn that bridge!

Occasionally, I have to look back at the road I’ve traveled to remind myself how far I have come. That’s why the bridge is there. It’s not there for you to go back… it’s meant to give evidence that you’re in a new place and there is something that separates where you are now from where you once were.

In the end… we all want to know what’s coming but focusing only on the destination means you can miss out on all the details. Sometimes, the very chapter we are stuck in, is where the plot thickens and the truth and beauty of all there is to love is revealed.

My revelation… in the story of my life, I know… the truth about love is not written by me. 

If I stop and plan to jump in the middle of the bridge, the chance of surviving the fall are slim to none. I must wait and trust the author, for He has the final word.

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This is just a taste of the love that makes up… His-story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old School Love

Back to School

Rock and Rule!

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I’m sorry for the break but we had to get ready for school.

Are you ready to rock this school year?

Ready or not… the bus is here. It’s time to get back to class, hit the books & earn more from the teacher than dirty looks. Some think school rules. They love the challenge and welcome the change of facing another school year. While others feel it’s totally lame and to them going back to school is like going against the grain.

 

So, what goes through your mind when thinking about heading back to school?

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Are you the “ho-hum” summer daze dreamer saying “I March to my own drum and don’t want the end of summer to come.”… just wishing that, with one giant exhale, you could wish the present a few more months away?

 

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Maybe you are the “hi-ho” personality type ‘A’… that’s saying “Carpe Diem! I have waited all summer for the chance to seize the first day…” and you’re staring at the vision board of every achievement ahead already hanging on your bedroom wall.

 

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Or perhaps you’re the “oh-no” which way will I go type, saying “I can’t go back but don’t want to see what’s next… now I’m stuck on this emotional roller coaster track…” and you’re flinching with every step you take in fear that it’s not what’s best.

Don’t believe the hype… You’re not alone!

Don’t be fooled… you’re not the only one that feels the way you do about school. After all, we are all learning every day, whether we like it or not. No matter how you approach back to school season …when it comes to learning lessons in love and life no one is absolutely in love with getting schooled, but going back to school can be cool if you know someone who makes the learning meaningful and fun. That’s right! You guessed it!! You are one smart cookie! The key to making learning special is found in relationships.

Whether you’re just jumping in or you’ve done it before and now you’re at it once again… the process of learning something new… even if it’s just about you, is constant and never-ending. If you say you’re a pro and there’s not much you don’t know then you’ll soon have another thing coming. In other words, for you to really rock and rule in school you’re going to need to do more than just look sharp. You need to get sharp and stay sharp!

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

B.I.B.L.E. = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

I don’t mean to take it so far back in time but I always have to go there…  “staying sharp” way back when the bible was written was best achieved with the help of another. That’s some real old school love for you to carry in your backpack on this lifelong journey of learning.

Friends for lifelong learning

I made mention before about the importance of having friends in your life that feed you what’s good… and we’ll be defining “good” food as we get to know each other more but what I am hoping you will chew on today is… we all need someone.

Whether the grade level you’re facing today is…Pre-K, Middle school… or Senior year, always keep in mind that to be at the head of the class it means you will always need the others behind you.

 

Love for All Seasons

Fairweather Friends

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Here we are again! This time to put the whole truth on the table about friends. You’ve had the chance to get know a bit about what I love about some of mine and now it’s time to for us to get to the meat  about which ones we can count on all the time.

Through Sun Showers and Storms

– In case you didn’t know… I live in FLORIDA a.k.a. “The Sunshine State” but this optimist had to learn the hard way… that in reality (where the grown ups live) a sunny state of mind is not determined by location. Especially since the weather can change at any time anywhere one chooses to go.

I found my way to my current state by happen-chance… that means I happened to have the chance to be presented with the decision to relocate. It wasn’t an accident, although to many it may be perceived that way. It was definitely part of a plan because God knew what the forecast ahead was going to be for me.

Becoming a Florida transplant has not been the easiest. The first thing I had to get used to was the change of the seasons. Now Floridians don’t experience the awe and wonder of the seasons the whimsical way the rest may. That is because basically the only seasons that the locals weather around here are hurricane season and non-hurricane season. To survive both… you have to be prepared. Can you imagine living in a need to survive mode all year round? Perhaps you already do. If so, I hope this serves to be true and speaks to you.

Some are storm chasers

There are some people who live for the storm. You know who I am talking about…the ones that plan and prepare in expectation of the storm that’s coming. It’s smart to be ready but is it possible to take the planning too far? I mean I have to admit, that used to be me. Personally speaking, I am prone to be a little over zealous when  it comes to trying to get ready, so I had to go to another source… I mean can we really ever be completely prepared?

Consider the source

Those that have experienced the storms in life are the ones you want in your corner. I’m all for a fair-weather friend… you know the type… they never bring the doom and gloom… It’s a great quality to have. However, when the winds pick up and the lights go out… they freak out. Truth be told, it’s because although they may be lighthearted…in the darkness…they have no real experience with shining their light.

I’m proud to say that when some of the fiercest storms in life came my way… I had the privilege of being hunkered down with a local or two that were not storm chasers but they were expert storm-facers. When seeking help in a time of need… take heed. Where friends can be fantastic at giving friendly advice in life, no matter the reason or season… you must consider the source. You must ask yourself…Are they an expert in the field or just an expert of what they feel?

In life the rainy days will come and storms find their way to everyone… that being said, the best way to ensure you fair through all your days is to have someone who the storms don’t phase.

My best friend proves to stand the test of time. His name is Jesus and He is here to let you know that he has enough in him for more than a friend or two.

The best thing of all is He doesn’t just show you he is there, He teaches us how to be there too. He has shown me how to truly say “Lo… I am with you always.”

In the storms of life, He covers me and gives me a little light that allows me to see the awe and wonder of the changes through the all the seasons.

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“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

Tomorrow is Sunday…. time for more of my favorite time, being fed with the fellowship!