The Trade

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We have Trading Places (the movie), Trading Spaces (a design show), athletes are traded to other teams and stocks are being traded.  It seems as if something or someone is always being traded for something better. 

Today while listening and enjoying the the Israel and the New Breed station on Pandora, a song titled Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans came on.  It’s a catchy little tune and I encourage you to listen if you get the chance.  I’ll share a few of the lyrics with you. 

I’m trading my sorrow
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord


I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord

Chorus:

And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

And his joy’s gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Isaiah 35:10 says, “They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

So, yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord, Amen!  Yes, to everlasting joy!

Is it time for you to make a trade?

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Shrug Therapy

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The other day “(In)Courage” was giving away these cute little cards.  I unfortunately did not win them, but I can still enjoy the message it conveys. 

When I look at this fashion savy woman, I see this scripture.  Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”  She is braving the storms of life and it doesn’t even phase her.  It seems she is exercising the “Shrug Therapy”.  It’s a new technique I learned from Joyce Meyer.  When things happen to you and it is out of your control, you should pray (1 Peter 5:7) and ‘shrug’ it off.
In the recent days, my shoulders have been getting a workout as I have been practicing this simple technique.  I am not saying that I win the battle each time, but at least I am equipped to do what I need to do in order to get through each situation. 
I know one day I will be absolutely free from this bondage and I cannot freaking wait.  This excitement is what keeps me pressing on…the strength to finish the race.

I learned something else last night by watching an episode of Joyce…it seems I learn something everyday…(insert sigh).  She said that if things are not going right with you, it might be the time to ask God what the problem is.  She said to not be afraid of what He might reveal.  Some of those seeds you planted in the past may not be reaping a great harvest…so to speak!

Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

When I was searching for the scripture above, I came across the lyrics to a song that I find fitting for my thoughts.

OH LORD, SEARCH MY HEART (Rev. Gary Davis)

Well Lord said search my heart
Oh Lord now search my heart
Well said search my heart, so I’ll know what’s right and what’s wrong


When I’m in trouble said search my heart
When I’m in trouble said search my heart
Well when I’m in trouble said search my heart, so I’ll know what’s right and what’s wrong


When I’m in misery said search my heart
When I’m in misery said search my heart
When I’m in misery said search my heart, so I’ll know what’s right and what’s wrong


Well Lord said search my heart
Oh Lord now search my heart
Well said search my heart, so I’ll know what’s right and what’s wrong

I hope you find the answer you are looking for and together we can walk in this journey “shrugging” the cares of the world away.

Let Your Light Shine

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Last night I was catching up on some Joyce Meyer “Enjoying Everyday Life” episodes. She was teaching on the importance of being ourselves and how we should stop trying to be like our neighbors.  Some of us are crafty, can grow a garden, can make clothes while some of us demonstrate power, can be heard above others, and our looks are pleasing to others. 

Joyce said that when we try to be like others, that is like insulting God.  My oh my, how I have insulted God over and over.  My insecurities have driven me to not appreciate myself and what God created.  I’m have found myself striving to make improvements and wishing I had qualities like those surrounding me.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  We were created for greatness just as Jeremiah was.  But we cannot be great if we are constantly trying to escape ourselves. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”. ~Marianne Williamson, (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech).

So I ask you, are you shining bright into the world, manifesting God’s glory or constantly trying to escape yourself?

This is the Day

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There is something special about today, I just feel it!  I think it’s due to the fact that I found my joy again.  I want to hold on to this feeling for as long as I possibly can because I know that it can easily slip away. 

When I think of this scripture, my mind flashes back to one day in my classroom.  I think it was during my planning period, because the kids were away and I was enjoying complete silence.  The maintenance man happened to come in and change my air filter.  He was full of joy.  He was whistling “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made….”.  Hopefully you know this one!  “I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it!” It was a nice interruption as it was a chance for me to refocus and get my thoughts where they should have been all along.

As time continues to quickly pass by, I realize that everyday is special.  Jim Evans once said, “If you don’t think every day is a great day try going without one.” 

So what does today have in store for you?  Will you rejoice and be glad in it?

A Perfect Ending

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Today marks the day for my 100th post.  I am amazed that after a year, I still find stuff to write about.  This is a major milestone for me coming from someone who had a great fear in writing and preferred to keep things private.  In reflecting on my writing, I realize that I don’t have to have in depth posts all the time.  Somedays, I can keep it short and simple and still convey a tangible message. 

I borrowed this from a blog titled “Grit and Glory” and it is a quote from Gilda Radnor. 

I think everyone dreams of that perfect ending….the fairy tale of life. We dream of a life absent of heartache, disappointments, and devastation. If you’re like me, you may not have had a very good beginning. But take heart, that you can have a good ending!  Joyce Meyer has said numerous times, “It is not as important how we start (our past), but how we finish.”

Just like the caption in my blog says, “”Forgetting those things which are behind and pressing forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13-14).  I may not know what lies ahead, but I am going to make the most of it!

Those Who Overcome

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I write with a heavy heart today as another school year begins; another year that I am not back in the classroom.  It’s a new year full of possibilities, lives being impacted, children being molded into successful, thriving individuals, but I’m not there to see it unfold.  My sister will now be teaching 5th grade, the grade I once taught.  I was so excited to share all of my resources with her, but sad at the same time because all my stuff is still being stored in a storage room collecting dust.  My dreams are stuffed in boxes and totes just waiting, praying, and hoping for the day to be lived again.  
But, I overcome!  I overcome my sadness because I choose to live each day in hope.  Hope that my dreams are not dead, that they are somewhere idle waiting for an amazing opportunity. 
I recently found out that one of the Principal’s I worked for was removed from her school.  I don’t know any details, but I do know the pain she is going through.  Maybe she made mistakes, maybe she offended others, but the one thing remains is that her heart was always in the right place….that I do know!  Just like myself, she will overcome!  She is a strong, resilient woman who will climb to higher heights and will be forever changed by this experience. 
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung

What does it mean to overcome?  I believe it is to conquer challenges and any other form of difficulty that life throws your way.  It means to stand tall and rise to the occasion.  It means to be thankful to be here even though circumstances would show otherwise. 

Revelation 3:12 (The Message) says, “I’ll make each conqueror a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, a permanent position of honor. Then I’ll write names on you, the pillars: the Name of my God, the Name of God’s City—the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven—and my new Name.”
                                       

How awesome will it be to become a pillar in God’s temple! To be recognized as strength in His eyes and displayed as honor is inconceivable to me, but I find great comfort in knowing that one day I will!

I am not sure of what hardships you have had to endure, but I hope you find rest in the fact that for those of us who do, will not be forgotten.

Psalm 94:14 (KJV) says, “For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. “
 
 

 
 
Helen Keller once said, “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”

Love in Christ,
Nichole