Grateful Heart

Good Morning Everyone!

I’m not quite sure if today I will be able to continue blogging my notes from the sermon series I have been listening to, it may have to be tomorrow. It would seem today is leading me down a different path; I seem to have woke up with a message on my heart, so we’ll see how it unfolds. I’m sure God is leading me to this message for a reason, so it’s likely something to offer peace and comfort to all of us in some form. ❤ Wherever He leads, I’ll go!

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I woke up this morning with an urgency to discuss gratefulness. Many of us, like myself, would say they’d consider themselves to be a rather grateful person; always doing their best daily to thank God for the blessings in their lives. Honestly, some days it seems I give thanks constantly because I am filled with an unexplainable joy. Good times seem to cultivate more joy and without much effort. What of the not-so-good days? How can we remain grateful, with that same unexplainable joy when our days aren’t going well or our life has taken some unexpected sharp turn?

I know I may seem wise, but I don’t have all the answers 😉 I will, however use personal experiences to give my best opinion/views on the matter. I also love using Bible scriptures as a reference because the Bible is our cheat sheet…it has all the answers to any question we will ever have, we only need to look.

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Most of us would say, I have a grateful heart. I wake up each morning, thank God for the gift of life and for the health and contentment of myself and my family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario; it’s ideal! We should be thanking God as soon as we wake up because He is the reason we do. But, we have all had those times in our lives when we have gotten so deep down in our trials that we wonder if we even want to wake to face another day. Of course, to me, this is a form of bitterness; something has gone wrong in our lives and we are a bit bitter and confused. We think things we don’t mean wholeheartedly because we feel pain, hurt and sadness. We want to know why. Why God is something like this happening to me? Am I not a good person? Am I not worthy?

A simple fact of life is, bad things can happen to the “best” of people just as they can to the “worst” of people. We are all human and no matter how good we are, we are never immune to the bad experiences in life. There is ALWAYS a reason, very evident or not, for why we are assigned specific mountains at certain times. In any circumstance, I can guarantee that a gift is hidden in the darkest of times. You’re being equipped to help someone else who will need you or your words. We can all appreciate and be thankful for people in our lives who give us great words and express care during our tough times, but in all honesty, don’t we wonder how they know how we feel when they haven’t been in our situation? We feel their heart is in the right place, they’re saying all the right things, but in a way their words are empty to us because we don’t believe they can relate. So, whose words can hold meaning to us most? Yes! The ones who have endured things we are going through. Someone who has personally been where we are at and made it to the other side! I believe any bad we go through gives us this unique ability to be someone else’s hope and light in their time of darkness. I know I sound repetitive with that statement, but it’s so true. Think of how many more people you can reach on a personal level, when you have been through some of the same situations they have. That is the beauty in our pain. That is where our gratefulness can come from in our darkest hours. We can thank Him for allowing us to go through this terrible time, because we know He has much bigger things in store for us. Trust me, in those hours, I KNOW it can be difficult and almost near impossible for us to think that way. It’s in our nature to question why something is happening to us, but remember we have tunnel vision and God has that panoramic view; He sees the whole picture, while our focus is what’s right in front of us at this moment.

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One of my most difficult times with maintaining a grateful heart during a hard time was when I endured the loss of my pregnancy in 2014. January 16th, 2014 to be exact; one never forgets. My husband and I had our oldest son at the time, he was approaching 2 years old, yet we were so excited to be expecting another child. We love babies and they’re an amazing miracle from God! Unfortunately, our baby wasn’t to be here on this Earth with us…we were unaware we had conceived a real angel. I feel we often forget that our babies are a true gift from God and they’re His before they are ever ours. Even with that knowledge, the pain didn’t seem to subside any. I was about 7-8 weeks when we lost our pregnancy. Some would say an insignificant amount of time to have such a tremendous reaction to, but no matter the size of the baby or the amount of time you carry your baby…it was still a part of you. You had plans for this baby that went years into the future; it was already a part of your life because it was a part of you. I remember going to the hospital because I had to leave work early that day because I started bleeding. Of course, some bleeding can be considered normal in the beginning of pregnancies, I however was not convinced. I guess I just knew in my heart where this was leading at that point. I passed some clots prior to leaving for the hospital and all I could do was cry. I do remember telling my father through my tears that if I’m losing my baby, it’s what God thinks is best for my baby and I. Still sadness was ever-present. There I sat in the hospital waiting room…waiting and waiting and all the while still bleeding. I felt like I’m losing my baby and no one is trying to help me. It’s an emergency! I’m in a hospital, I’m pregnant and bleeding and I can’t save my own baby and no one is coming to help; I must wait. What a sick and devastating feeling, especially as a mother, knowing what’s happening to your baby and yet you cannot do one thing to stop the process…all you can do is witness the unfolding of events. After waiting in the waiting room, being called back for blood work, then sent back to the waiting room, then called back to lay in a hospital bed in the middle of a crowded hallway and given an IV, I was finally seen. By the time they administered an ultrasound, there was no sign of pregnancy; like my baby never even existed. It was heartbreaking. At some point from leaving our home to waiting in the hospital, we had lost our baby. I had lost our baby. Guilt weighed heavy on me, as I felt I had failed at my job as a mother. I felt I had failed to keep my child safe and protected. They gave me a discharge paper which read in big, bold print: Miscarriage; then they sent us on our way. My husband and I got to the car and as we were leaving we just stopped the vehicle and held each other crying. It was such a long day, yet it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. It’s a sadness and pain I would never wish on anyone. I struggled with seeing pregnant women or babies. I am a person who has always loved children and babies and pregnancy etc, yet I developed this aversion to them. I worked in a grocery store so it’s not like I could escape them. I remember crying because I missed being pregnant and knowing I was having another baby, yet I also cried because I didn’t want to be that kind of person. I didn’t want to feel that feeling of avoidance when encountering pregnant women, babies and children. I knew miscarriage was a common occurrence but we never imagine it could happen to us until it does. I’m not going to say I did not struggle and still don’t shed tears for our angel baby, but I chose a grateful heart instead of accepting a bitter one. I thanked God for the short time I had with our baby and I chose to talk openly about it to not only help my healing process, but to bring honor to the life we had made. I chose to name our baby, although gender was unknown, I went with Uriel, which means “God is my light.” It was confusing and one of our toughest times, but I told others I would be open about it because God will use me to help others going through the same circumstances and that He did! I have be able to help several people since and was able to give them comfort, peace and hope that no one else could.

Of course that example was one of many. Whether it’s my anxiety disorder, depression, struggles with self harm/ suicidal thoughts and tendencies and all that I have experienced, the same gift has come from all of it…the gift of light. In those times I often wondered the meaning and purpose of it all, but as time went by I had my “ah-ha!” moments. I realized God had better plans for my life. He might say yes, no, wait or simply not right now, but trust me when I say better is around the corner. ❤

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I sit here typing this to you at 30 weeks pregnant today with our 4th baby (3rd earthly baby). God is good 🙌 Nothing is impossible with Him! I know He cares for my Uriel until I am reunited with him/her later in life. I am still blessed in many ways! I am very blessed to be able to speak from a personal place to all of you as well! I pray my words always help someone who needs it! Let’s all be grateful in the good and bad times because we know God is for us, not against us!

Much Love and God Bless! ❤

Lordship In Our Life: Part 2

I believe, by now, you all understand where my messages are coming from and there is no need to keep reiterating!  I’ll just dive right in!

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ALL things were created through Him and for Him! Not a few things, not certain things, but ALL things. As I blogged in my last entry, Lordship is giving God the place He deserves in our lives; 1st place. God should take 1st place in EVERYTHING in our lives…everything meaning ALL! God is the one who holds all things together and if He is the center of our lives, we have a solid foundation; if He’s not given His true place in our lives, then our foundation is cracking and shifting and therefore compromised!

Lordship can be the greatest challenge facing the church today, but Lordship is “The Main Thing.” The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing 😜 It’s okay to re-read and repeat that! Simply put, Lordship is the main thing and we know Lordship is the act of putting God first in every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s in our marriage, church, family, work or finances, God should always come before all else.

Lordship is rooted in love and true love is not just receiving love but reciprocating it! We shouldn’t just be content with collecting God’s love, we should also be offering our true love back to God. In Mark 12:28-30 we read that Jesus had been involved in some debating and He was answering all His questions superbly (no surprise there) and one of the teachers of the law came and offered up his question. His question (as seen below) was “Of ALL the commandments, which is the most important?” And again you can see below what Jesus’ reply was…to love God with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength.

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If we love Him, He will have first place in our lives! We tend to offer up higher priority to other people and things we deem more worthy…intentionally and unintentionally. Speaking as a mom, when mothers get sick and then our children also get sick, we put our sickness aside and prioritize our kid’s needs before our own. Lordship is similar to that of a parent’s love in that it should be just as easy for us to put our personal feelings aside and make God the top priority in all aspects of our lives.

 

In those verses above, we can see that we can show our love by doing what needs to be done and obeying God’s commandments. When we start to do that, we become not only better believers but better people all around.

Lordship also involves accountability. This is where it can become more challenging and uncomfortable. We must ask ourselves, what are we doing with the second chance God has given all of us as believers? What are we doing with the time He has given us here on Earth? What are we doing with the unique abilities or gifts He has specifically given to us? How are we blessing others with what we are given?

God entrusts us with His blessings. Every blessing is from God and although God loves us all the same, we are not all blessed the same! We are blessed in accordance to our ability/abilities and maturity levels. God illustrates this concept through a parable in Matthew 25:14-30.

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God is essentially the man setting out for a long journey and we, as Christians, are his servants entrusted with different blessings. What we do with those blessings determines what we will be entrusted with later and to what degree! His blessings provide opportunities to us to be gifted with even more blessings. Many people say they don’t have any talents or abilities because they often are looking at everyone else and comparing themselves to everyone around them. When we stop looking outward and start looking inward, we will realize all of us have a unique talent or ability God has entrusted us with and we must recognize them and decide how we can use them to bring glory to God and bless others! As we see in verse 19 of Matthew 25 the man returned to account for his money. We will ALL have to account for how we have used our blessings that were gifted to us. We all want to hear “well done” when we stand before God and He asks for us account for all He had trusted us with! Being accountable leads to God’s favor, promotion and blessing! As we see in the last verses of the parable in Matthew 25, The man was full of praise towards 2 of the men, the ones who took action and put to use what he had entrusted them with. Since they were faithful and able to handle what was given to them, they were entrusted with even more responsibilities and the man wanted them to come celebrate with him! But the 3rd servant wasn’t faithful. His fear clouded his judgement and he played it safe; he stayed within his comfort zone and therefore did not get any return on the blessings he was left. He would not be blessed with more if he was not accountable for less. Remember, in this parable, we are the servants and God is the man. We can’t expect our lives to be full of blessings if we are not using the blessings we are already given to better ourselves and the lives of others around us.

I pray that we all continue to work on Lordship in our lives and start looking at ourselves and determining what gifts/talents/abilities God has blessed us with. I also pray that as we start to recognize and acknowledge those blessings, that we ask ourselves how we are using or how we will use them to help and better ourselves and others…always giving honor and glory to God! God has invested in all of us, so let’s work on giving Him a return on those investments!

Much Love and God Bless 💚