How Can I Encourage You Today?

Sometimes when I start writing these posts I have no idea where they will take me. This is my third try today. I ask God, what do you want me to write about? Many times, when I think I have this great idea, it turns out that I can't finish it. It sort of dies on the vine, so to speak. Sometimes, the ideas are very clear and without distraction I can write as though the idea is already formed in my head. It is just that easy. Most of the time, however, I write hesitantly, wondering if anything I put on this Faith page makes a difference in anyone's life. But, that is not for me to know or to worry about. My goal is to be obedient to what God wants me to do. So what exactly does that look like?

Photo credit  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to write and with my writing to encourage people, more specifically women. I know many women, my age who are struggling to figure out who they are and what their purpose is. For many of us, we are no longer raising children. In fact, many of us are now faced with having very little control in our adult children's lives or in the lives of their children. Our precious grand babies! Many of us work jobs, some that bring us great satisfaction and others out of necessity. Believe me I would much rather be a full time writer earning an income than working retail. But this is where I am at and this is the path God has put me on.

I know many women who are going through really hard stuff. Things like divorce, children with addictions, spouses with mental disorders, parents with extra needs and financial burdens, and illness. These are just a few on a long list of concerns that women are dealing with. As women we are expected to work, take care of our homes, our families and maintain some semblance of emotional control. I don't know about you, but once in a while, this just gets hard! 

For me, I know when life gets hard, what I really want, is to be encouraged. I want someone to give me a hug. I want a friend to call me and listen when I rant and then say, "Can I pray with you?" I would like my spouse to listen to me as I struggle with life without interjecting advice on how to fix it. And just so you know, my husband is much better at this than he used to be. Ha, ha. Once in a while I would like someone to rescue me! Unfortunately, everyone is busy. Everyone has their own issues that they are dealing with. Everyone needs to be encouraged.

Pixabay

Pixabay

So today, right here, in this little blog, that is what I want to do. I want to tell you some things that are true about you and I want you to believe them with all your heart. 

1. You are beautiful! I don't care what color your skin is, how old your are or how much you weigh. I don't care how you dress or what visible scars or deformities you have. You are beautiful. You know how I know this, because God said so!

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
— Genesis 1:26-31 (NASB)

What I want you to pay attention to is that very last line, "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good." God's word doesn't say, "...it was okay," or "...it needed to be tweaked," but that it was very good. 

2. You are intelligent! We can refer back to the same passage for confirmation on this one. "Let us make man in Our likeness..." How awesome is that? We are made in the image of a holy, awesome being. A being who created us out of dust. 

3. You are strong! Once again I must refer to scripture here. 

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
— Philippians 4:13

Because you are intelligent you can figure this one out. You are strong because He is strong, the He being Jesus. I have found in my life, when I strive in my own strength I get awfully tired. When I rely on Him to get me out of bed in the morning, do the tasks I need to do, even when I am overwhelmed, He is my strength. He keeps me going. 

4. You are valuable! 

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
— Matthew 6:26 (NASB)

I love this! I love to watch birds. My mother always had a bird feeder hanging from a pine tree next to our house when I was growing up. We loved to see the birds flitting back and forth as they enjoyed nuts and seeds from the feeder. My mom and I liked to see how many different types of birds  we could see throughout the year. My 90 year old mom outlived the pine tree so she had to get a different type of feeder, but she still enjoys her birds. The point being, if a great God can care for those little tiny birds, providing food for them in the winter, giving them instincts to fly south for those that do, blessing them with feathers and down, how much more valuable are we to Him? We are the crown of creation.

Pixabay

Pixabay

5. You are loved! Don't let circumstances or people make you feel unloved. 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
— John 3:16 (NASB)
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
— John 15:9 (NASB)
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
— John 16:27 (NASB)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
— Romans 5:8 (NASB)

The list could go on. God the Father loves you. Jesus the Son loves you. His Spirit loves you. 

I hope that you will hold these thoughts close to your heart today. Maybe you are struggling. Maybe you just needed to be reminded. I hope this helped.

Let Go!

What do we do when our faith is rattled? When something happens that shakes us to the core? When life just doesn't change for the better? When the small rock slide turns into an earth shaking avalanche?

Let go!

Usually we think hanging on would be better; hanging on means we still have some control, but we don't. Hanging on implies it has to get better, but it might not. Hanging on inevitably leaves me with sore hands and bleeding fingers.

Let go!

Photo credit  Ashley Knedler  on StockSnap.

Photo credit Ashley Knedler on StockSnap.

I know what you are thinking. I have been on the edge of that precipice looking down. I have clung with everything in me to that thing that was keeping me from falling to my death; that belief, that person, that job, that.......

Let go!

How does a baby bird learn to fly? He's literally pushed out of the nest. Perhaps he saw how far down the ground was and thought he wasn't ready. Maybe he liked the nest; it's cozy and he's getting free meals. But no! Mom knew when he was ready. Catch that? Mom knew. He didn't. One, two, three...shove!

Let go!

So, here you are. Free fall! Funny thing, you don't have a parachute. But God gave you wings. Spread them. His Spirit will buoy you up. He created the wind to lift you higher. Trust Him. He knew you were ready. Catch that? He knew. You didn't. One, two, three....shove!

Let go!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28 (NASB)

We really need to pay attention to the words in that verse. Let's dissect it a bit.

"And we know..." We know....knowledge is important.  Knowing something means I am familiar with it. In this case is is God.

"...that God..." Our knowledge is of God. We know Him. We know His ways.

"...causes all things...." Just how can God orchestrate all things? Well, He is God after all. He created the world. He wrote the music. He can conduct the orchestra.

"...to work together for good...." I am sure that means the bad stuff too.

"...to those who love God..." Do you? Do you love Him? Do you even know who He is? Do you acknowledge His existence, or do you think it is all smoke and mirrors?

"...to those who are called according to His purpose." It may sound egocentric, but God is all about God. Our purpose has to do with bringing glory to Him. 

Photo credit  Amber Wolfe  on StockSnap.

Photo credit Amber Wolfe on StockSnap.

Let's go back to that bird. The bird, typically, is a mirror image of it's parent. A cardinal looks like a cardinal. A bald eagle looks like a bald eagle. You know what they are the minute you see them, because even if you aren't a bird person, you know what a cardinal and a bald eagle are. So we are to be mirror images of Christ. We don't look like Him, the moment we are born again, but gradually over time we can grow to look more like Him. God in His goodness and great love for you has pushed you out of the nest. No, it is not comfortable, but it is necessary for you to become an adult bird.

Let go!