Image

April 19, 2017: Bible Verse of The Day and a Prayer for Today

During my study time today I was reading in Colossians and came across this verse in Chapter 3.  One particular thought has been ringing in my heart all day: 

“Remember that you have been forgiven”

I’m sharing it here along with another powerful prayer from my one of my favorite prayer books/websites, Prayers that Availeth Much.

I’m going to do my best to keep up with posting a verse and prayer each day, but please pray my strength.  Wedding planning is kicking into high gear (the countdown is almost at the single digits– and I take my matron of honor duties VERY seriously! 🙂 ).

You all are always in my thoughts and prayers– even when there’s not a post! ❤ ❤ ❤


Bible Verse of the Day

17934644_293246637797665_7857200642882797568_n

Colossians 3:12-13  New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.


A Prayer For Today*

 

Father, I am Your child, and I commit to walk in the God kind of love. I endure long, am patient, and kind. I am never envious and never boil over with jealousy. I am not boastful or vainglorious, and I do not display myself haughtily. I am not rude and unmannerly and I do not act unbecomingly.

I do not insist on my own rights or my own way for I am not self-seeking, touchy, fretful or resentful. I take no account of an evil done to me and pay no attention to a suffered wrong. I do not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but I rejoice when right and truth prevail.

I bear up under anything and everything that comes. I am ever ready to believe the best of others. My hopes are fadeless under all circumstances. I endure everything without weakening because my love never fails.

Father, I bless and pray for those who persecute me – who are cruel in their attitude toward me. I bless them and do not curse them. Therefore, my love abounds yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment. I approve things that are excellent. I am sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. I am filled with the fruits of righteousness.

Everywhere I go I commit to plant seeds of love. I thank You, Father, for preparing hearts ahead of time to receive this love. I know that these seeds will produce Your love in the hearts to whom they are given.

Father, I thank You that as I flow in Your love and wisdom, people are being blessed by my life and ministry. Father, You make me to find favor, compassion, and loving kindness with others (name them).

I am rooted deep in love and founded securely on love knowing that You are on my side, and nothing is able to separate me from Your love, Father, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. Thank You, Father, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

*For more prayers visit, Prayers.org


Scriptures for Additional Reading

Romans 5:5

Philippians 1:9-11

I John 2:5

John 13:34

I John 4:18

I Corinthians 3:6

One-Sided Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about love this week. I’ve always been a thinker and I know I promised to get back to sharing my thoughts with you all (aside from the many product reviews) so here we are! 😀

My husband knows that I feel very deeply. At some point before beginning our dating relationship, we were joking about something and I recall saying to him, “I’m mean, I am anti-social, and I don’t like people.” To which he quickly replied, “No you’re not.  You really love people, but you’ve been hurt a lot.”  We’d been friends for about a month, but he had been paying attention!

Since my husband’s grandfather passed, some of my friends have checked on me every day. There are others who I haven’t heard from at all. These others are the same people who often call or text when they need encouragement, words of prayer, are in a crisis, etc. — so yeah.  That’s not a good feeling.

I’ve experienced this feeling before, but this week I really worked on trying to process the frustration that I experienced along with it (I alluded to this in my previous blog post).

It really comes down to this: I realize that there are some people who do not love me the way that I love them or return to me the type of love that they expect from me — It’s a one-sided love. They often ask me to be present for events or for prayer/support/encouragement, but don’t offer me those same courtesies.

I wondered if they ever stop to consider if I needed those things too (because I do). Having studied the 5 Love Languages, I understand that not everyone expresses love in the same ways, but I still become puzzled when dealing with individuals who can receive love/acts of love, but who consistently fall short in returning it to those they receive it from (In other words, why do I always get the short end of the stick from the same people?).

I share this, not to put anyone on blast, but because I think we all have moments when we feel this way and this can lead to feelings of anger or bitterness if we don’t process and release those feelings in a constructive way.  For me, that release comes through prayer journaling. Much of my “lack of weeding” has been due to the fact that I’ve slacked on my journaling routine.

I was writing in my prayer journal today and ultimately, my prayer is that my heart would not become bitter or jaded towards these individuals. I even challenged myself to go a step further. I wondered how many times I made God feel as if my love was one-sided. 

I considered the number of times I’d prayed, only to ask for one thing or another– never to just thank Him or ask how His heart felt with the many crises going on in the world or how I could be His hands and feet in the Earth that day. That gave me some real perspective.

I cannot concern myself with the actions and behaviors of others. The truth is– I don’t know what they are going through or what challenges they may be facing. We all have struggles- we all deal with grief, disappointment, etc. and we all juggle competing demands. 

There are only so many hours in a day– Maybe they intended to reach out and the day slipped away from them. Maybe they never thought of me. Either alternative is ok because I know I am on the heart and mind of God (and so are you).

What I can do is change my expectation. I can only accept people by their actions. I know who I can look to for support in hard times– I have seen those individuals that will lift me up without being asked and I thank God for them.  I don’t know why those who aren’t present choose to behave that way.  I can, however, continue to walk in love and extend grace and keep my heart pure.

These are also instances when I am reminded that we are to trust God and seek refuge in Him above all else. NOT friends, NOT spouses, NOT family, NOT our pastors, counselors, etc. Man will always fail us in some way, shape, or form. God has given us these various people as resources, but they are not THE SOURCE.

I pray this is an encouragement for you this evening.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, please know that you are not alone and God is faithful to carry you through.  His love is never one sided and we should work diligently to ensure that we follow His example.

Scriptures to Meditate On:

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT) There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Matthew 7: 15-20 (NLT) The Tree and Its Fruit “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Weeding My Garden

This has been a hard, long, week. Filled with lots of emotional highs and lows. The biggest low being the loss of my husband’s grandfather.

I didn’t know him as long as others were blessed to, but I got the chance to experience a grandfather as an adult and that in itself was a special gift from God.

He wasn’t just my husband’s grandfather. He was my Grandpa Sterling.

Those who really know me know that my grandmothers meant the world to me. My dad’s mom passed away when I was in grade school. My mom’s mom passed when I was in undergrad (a year before I graduated).

Having a grandfather was a foreign experience for me. My dad’s dad passed away not long after I was born.  I’m told I was the last grand-baby he held. I was named after he and my dad. (Francinia is my mom’s nod to Frank).

All my life, my dad told me how much his dad loved me. My dad frequently tells the story of how his dad held me for the first time and looked at me and told him and my mom that, “This ‘red baby’ is going to be something else.”

Among many things, that was always a driver for me and it pushed me to keep going because I knew my Grandpa believed in me and my strong-willed self from day one.

In the brief time that I knew my husband’s grandfather, I felt that same love and encouragement and support from him. That’s the thing about love and true relationships and bonds. They BUILD you up. They help you to GROW beyond what you can comprehend. Even when there are rough patches, the LOVE ENDURES.

Here lately, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve spent entirely too much time dealing with and allowing my emotions to be occupied with those who do not love or even care about me. Their words show it. Their actions (or lack thereof) show it.

Then, I was forced to ask myself. Why have I not weeded this out already?

I thought a bit further and realized, it’s not always about physically weeding out the negative people in our lives. It’s actually more important to weed out the impact of their negative actions (i.e, our reactions, our reactive thoughts, our reactive comments, etc.– especially when those reactions are negative).

I am doing this activity in the spiritual as well as in the natural. As a gardener, I know I need to select a good tool when it comes to weeding and pruning my garden beds. This week, I’ll be reviewing my new Titanium Pruning Shears By Haus & Garten which inspired this post.

 

I also know that I have to turn over my garden beds and do a continuous “refresh and reset” or the weeds and overgrowth will drown out all the new blooms and, instead of having something beautiful to look at, I will end up dealing with a disorganized mess.

The same can be said for our spiritual selves.

We have to push the rest button whenever negative thoughts start to cloud our mind. They’re like the weeds and overgrown shrubs in a garden that keep fresh, new flowers from growing.

Take time to renew your mind, DAILY. Take other extended periods where you refresh and/or intentionally release things for a few months or weeks at a time.  I do this every year (several times a year) and it NEVER fails me.

My garden beds aren’t as beautiful as they once were, but I am committed to doing the work to getting them back into shape– and keeping them there. My peace isn’t where it once was, but I know God is doing a greater work and I’m committed to the process. #iPress

Understand that the “weeds” will always try to grow.  It’s a natural part of the garden of life. The impact of allowing them to grow is that they will choke out the beautiful flowers and greenery that God wants to bloom in your life. Cutting out the weeds will take work– and it won’t be a one time work– but it is worth it.

My rose garden has the same potential today that it had before. I know something beautiful can bloom. The weeds are only temporary. Let’s get to work!

Close up of Henry Rose

Philippians 4:8  (KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Matthew 12:33-37 (NIV) “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.  You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

More Marriage Meditations

In honor of “Marriage Monday” I decided to share some thoughts from a recent conversation with one of my single friends….

My friend asked for some dating/relationship advice and I thought this part of my response was worth sharing:

Marriage is work, but it’s interesting to consider comparing your dating interactions to a job.

We all work some grunt jobs along the way, but a career is the ultimate goal.

Marriage is a CAREER, not a job. You want your marriage to be successful, to last. You may shift from job to job (dating relationship to dating relationship), but you want your marriage to be the fulfilling work you do until your dying day. You want to build something that will go from this generation, to the next, and the next and so on after that.

If you’re the person doing the “hiring” and you already see you have someone that’s not interested in doing the “work”, it seems to me that you’d want to keep that position open for a person with the same long term vision.

Don’t settle for a temporary person– one who has openly expressed that he/she is only looking for a short term position and not a long term tenure.

Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t cheapen your requirements. Hold the position open for THE BEST candidate.

In the end, you’ll thank yourself. I’m speaking from experience here.

image