Being The Gift

Learning to be the woman God created.

The Gift Connected

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

 

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, those ones were everything that can go wrong does go wrong, that unexpected bill, the baby gets sick, somebody says the wrong thing, one or all of the above. It’s just not your day, month, week or year. Yet you press on and frantically work to keep everything and everyone together as the loosely woven threads of your sanity slowly unravel.

For me it’s usually somewhere around this time that I that turn to God in frustration and desperation and cry out, “I can’t do this anymore”! I can’t be the mother, the wife, the sister the friend the woman you want me to be. I can’t manage house, children, marriage, job, church and everything else I’m expected to do. It’s too much, I’m done.

Then from somewhere deep within the recesses of my mind the still small voice of God pierces through the fog of my self-pity and defeat and clearly states “I never asked or expected you to do any of that. I’ve only ever asked you to do one thing. Come to me”.

·Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

·But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33  (NIV)

·Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7  (NIV)

·For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:13  (NKJV) 

“Oh what needless pains we bear,

All because we do not carry,

Everything to God in prayer”

 

How often do we needlessly burden ourselves with worries and cares that were never meant for us to carry? Our effectiveness and ability to be the gift we have been called to be is solely dependent on our constant communication and connection to the Gift giver. God has promised us perfect peace even on those days when the world around us seems to fall apart. The stipulation is, even in the mist of all the confusion and chaos, if we wish to have perfect peace we must keep our eyes and mind focused on Him.

How do I stay connected? How do I stay focused? I am learning that my only hope to maintain my sanity let alone walk in my Gift, is to remember to take the time at the start of my day, in the mist of my day and at the end of my day, to heed the call of God “Come to me”, “Seek me first”, “Give me your worries and your cares”, “Trust me your God, hold my hand, don’t worry I will take care of you” and believe his promises.

To be an effective gift I must stay connected to the gift giver.

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Walking In The Gift of Promise

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

An intricate part of learning to be the gift you are created to be, is realizing and accepting that you have been called to a purpose.

Isaiah 49:1 (NIV) Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.

When God speaks there is an origination, establishment, formation, a creation that takes places as a result and He has spoken your name. God has spoken into your life a unique, individualized and distinctive purpose. A purpose which He has called you to by name.

Being the gift you were created to be requires a realization and understanding of that purpose. This can only be accomplished through a consistent, and consecrated, personal relationship with Christ. In you there is a book that only you can write, a business that only you can run, a testimony only you can give. What has God called you to? What has God spoken into your life?

You are the gift He created for this purpose.

If God has called you to this purpose, no matter how impossible or unlikely it may seem according to your faith He can bring it to pass. So often we are aware of our calling or we have that vision but are deterred by the unanswered questions that prey on our fears and doubts.

Your purpose is powered by your faith in God’s promises.

Every promise of God to you, through Christ Jesus is yes. Yes, you can do the impossible, “For with God all things are possible”. Yes, I have the power to accomplish my goals, “God is my strength and power”. Often the hardest part of walking in your purpose is believing God would choose you. The truth is God did chose you and when you walk in the gift of His promises by faith you are empowered to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose for you life.

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It’s Not Marriage It’s Me

I was reading an article all about the the truth of marriage. Marriage is hard, it takes work,and commitment, it is not easy. I was all set to share the article, because I agreed with the idea the writer was seeking to share, when a thought accosted me.

“Marriage is only as hard as I am hard headed.”

Marriage is not hard. Me learning to yield my will to the will of God is extremely difficult. The transformation of my character is hard. I’m selfish. I don’t like having to put the needs or wants of someone else above my own. Learning to control my tongue is hard. Being humble when I’m right and I’ve been right the whole time and you just wouldn’t listen to me, is hard. I don’t like having  to depend on or wait on someone else to do the things I want to do or get the things I want to get. That’s not marriage, that’s me.
Marriage is simply a method chosen by God to bring about the transfermation of my character to what is needed to be able to stand blameless in the presence of a Holy God.


“As I yield my will to the work of the Holy Spirit the work of marriage becomes less exhausting, less wearying, less frustrating.”  

As I learn to love and deal with my spouse the way God loves and interacts with me, every word, every reaction, every thought of and response to my spouse, comes from a place of unselfish, self sacrificing, Godly love and marriage becomes a breeze.
The intense intimacy, love and unity God seeks for me to possess in and through my relationship with Him, He desires for me to experience in my marriage .

Proverbs 27:17(NIV) As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.

My prayer is that I will allow the Holy Spirit to transform my heart and mind through the ministry of marriage, that I may know continually  the heaven on earth that God intended Marriage to be.

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The Best Laid Plans

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I’ve always got a plan. If everybody would just get on board with my plan everything would work out perfectly. Our finances would be on track, our marriage would be more harmonius, we would be on track to meeting all of our goals…… at least in my head that’s how it works out.

The problem is my plan doesn’t always take into consideration the the inevitable speed bumps of every day life. Often it doesn’t take into consideration the feelings or wants of anyone else because I  know what has to to happen in order for my plan to succeed.

As I write this I am struck with the true flaw of my plan, me. The main issue is that in order for my plan to work, I have to be in control.

God says you can’t control anything,  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” you can’t see the full picture, you don’t have enough information to be in control. “lean not to your own understanding” Before you start making plans or figuring out how things must go, come to Me. Throw your  plan out the window and get on board with mine. ” In all your way acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

If things are leaning to my understanding they are sure to eventually fall.

The truth is, no matter how much better I think things would be if they were done my way, the only way to insure the best plans for my marriage, my family, my life, is to follow God’s plan.

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Make the Effort

  • Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
    2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Did I make every effort? I’m thinking back to the most resent argument or  disagreement with my husband and I ask myself did I make ever effort keep a Spirit of unity or to protect the bonds of peace?

I really don’t have to think that hard I already know the answer. A resounding NO. If I had made EVERY effort to be humble, to be gentle, to be patient there never would have been an argument.

If I made every effort to be humble I would have chosen to pray for the right words to speak to the Priest of my home. If I made every effort to be patient I would listen to understand his point of view and not listen just to defend mine. If I made every effort to be gentle … well you get the point.

The best marital advice I received before I got married was “I set the tone of my home. I decied if there will be peace or if there will be discord. I decide because I get to choose how I will respond or react to what is going on in my home”.  This has proven to be invaluable advice.

What I have learned is my walk with God decides the tone of my home.

When I am prayed up and connected in my spiritual life I am willing and mindful to make every effort to keep a Spirit of unity.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

I guess the real question is am I making every effort  to be the wife the woman, the person, God is calling me to be. God requires I surrender EVERYTHING  to Him because only then will I truly make every effort to keep a Spirit of unity and maintain a bond of peace in my relationship.

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Pride or Praise

“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
I read this quote and immediately thought of the verse:
Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
How often have I said or you said, “ I’m not apologizing because I didn’t do anything” or “He got upset over something so stupid” or “He took what I said the wrong way” whatever the excuse, and this bible verse deems each of these responses as just that, it doesn’t matter.

If I want my worship, my praise my offering to God to be accepted and not offered in vain I don’t get to decide I’m tired of always being the one to give in first. I don’t get to decide he’s being childish or that he is upset for no reason. God says if I know there is an issue it is on me to address it and make it right.
If he feels I disrespected him, ignored or hurt his feelings, I don’t get to decide I didn’t. My job is not to defend myself but to acknowledge his feelings and address the issue accordingly. I of course am looking at this verse in the context of marriage but as we know this verse applies to any and every one we come in contact with. However, I am a firm believer that if I cannot live according to the word of God in my home then a Christian walk outside of my home is in vain.
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
What I do get to decide is whether my Pride is worth my Praise.

Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

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A New Mind

Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

So I have decided this year to love my spouse on purpose. To be purposeful about my words and deeds of graditude and appreciation.

Along with the ladies of The Wives Brunch  I started a 30 day marriage challenge. 30 days of doing and saying nice and thoughtful things for my husband. Today I got up early and made him breakfast. He has to be to work at 8:00 I don’t have to be to work until 10:00 and I am not a morning person. This was a big deal for me. I do not like to get up early for any reason.

 While I was feeling proud of myself for putting my need for sleep aside to do something nice for my sweet hubby, I thought about the verse I’m committing to memory this week.

Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Christ loves, he blesses and he gives because to do so is who He is. To have the mind of Christ is to have my needs met through meeting the needs of others.

What if I had the mindset of Christ? A mindset that always saw the needs of others as a priority, especially the needs and wants of my husband. A mindset that sees the needs  of my spouse, not as just another thing for me to have to take care of but as another opportunity to fulfill my hearts desire to be a blessing to him.

So this next 30 days has become a challenge to myself to develop a mindset a Christ like mindset.

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Locked Up Tight

Ephesians 4: 26-27
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

So my first thought was, if he makes me mad at night do I at least get until the next evening to be angry. Sometimes you just need a minute or two to be angry and by a minute or two I mean a few days so that he can know he was wrong and that I don’t appreciate what he said or did.

Then there is that pesky little verse 27
“and do not give the devil a foothold”. What doors to my marriage am I opening to the enemy by choosing anger over forgiveness and communication.

If I’m angry and I am sharing that discontent with others then I am opening the door to my marriage to outside influences.

If I’m angry and not communicating with my spouse (by communicating I mean speaking and listening with the intent to come to a mutual understanding and resolution, not fussing and fighting) I open the door to resentment and alienation.

If I’m going to bed angry then there is probably little else happening in the bedroom that night. This could open the door to pornography or unfaithfulness. No this is not an excuse and yes he still has to make the choice to go down that road, but what we are talking about is a foothold. Opening the door just wide enough for Satan to get his foot in the door.

Ephesians 4
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

My prayer is to be a gift. The Gift God intended me to be for my husband and my family. I never want to be the cause of the enemy getting even the slightest foothold in my marriage or home.
To me this verse takes the saying choose your battles to a whole new level.

Just like you walk around your home before you go to bed every night, making sure all the doors and widows are locked do the same with your marriage.
Guard well the doors and windows and seal up any cracks to your marriage with love.

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Ears To Hear

Ephesians 4:30-32

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Is it a sin to disrespect my husband?

So, I’m sitting here planning the next The Wives Brunch and this thought pops into my head. My immediate response to my own self is a resounding No!
I then went on to remind myself (with much attitude,) that he is not God by any stretch of the imagination and while disrespecting him may not be right and I might need to work on that, saying it’s a sin is taking this respect thing just a little to far.
For those of you that know me the look on my face and the tone in voice you may have imagined is correct.

Once I finished my little rant. I then hear the gentle voice of God say, the question is ilrelevant. The sin is in rejecting me.
Me: “Uuuumm excuse me. Lord when did that happen.”

When you choose to disregard that still small voice that says, don’t say that, don’t do that, or ignore My voice saying peace be quite. The sin is in rejecting the Holy Spirit and choosing to be lead by anger, bitterness, rage and malice. The sin is rejecting Me and choosing self.

Which brings me to my verse this week:

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)

My only argument was ” Lord I promise I didn’t hear anything right before I said what I said or did what I did.”
His response: “That’s because you haven’t made a habit of listening”.

The Holy Spirit would never lead me to disrespect the Priest of my home.

My responce to my spouse, friend or family member can not be dictated by
what is happening in that relationship at the time but must always be guided by how I  choose to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me.

” Lord, let there be none of me and all of you”.

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No More Bags

James 5:16 – Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I was recently told by a friend of mine that I am a bagger. What is a bagger you ask? (So did I ). Per her definition, someone who holds things in. Someone who bags there feelings.
I had to agree but in my defense I stated I only do that to keep the peace. If I feel like it’s going to be a big deal or disrupt the flow of my home or the vibe I have with my husband at the time, I bag it.

She then informed me that, that was selfish. At this point I begin to question our friend ship. 🙂 I later realized that what she saying was true. At some point that bag becomes full and what my wonderful and loving husband gets is a bag of issues dumped on him because in the name of peace I bagged them instead of dealing with them at that moment and throwing them away.

That brings me to this verse. James 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.

How does bagging verses confessing impact the effectiveness of my prayers.
For one if I have not dealt with the issues I have bagged yet I am praying for my relationship to get better how effective is that prayer going to be if I am the hold up for issue to be fixed.

So to all my fellow baggers remember, with confession comes healing.

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