Sunday, December 30, 2012

Because of You

What I've learned from you cannot be expressed in mear words and my heart can't adequately describe for you the gift you've been.
I've grown, changed and will never be the same because of you.

You've changed the way I think, the way I see things, and the way I love.
You've changed how I pray, how I teach and how I learn.
You've changed how I trust, how I commit and how I act.
You've changed the way I approach each and every day.

Thank you.

You've shared tears of joy, agony of pain and laughter of love.
You've shared new adventures, new problems and new solutions.
You've shared milestones, memories and a peek into the heart of tomorrow.

Thank you.

You've brought new treasures, secured old treasures and allowed painful memories to turn into smiles.
You've brought great questions as well as answers that I would have never even imagined.
You've brought great joy and hope as well as the reminder of a brighter tomorrow.

Thank you.

You've made me adaptable, determined and curious for what awaits me.
You've made me enthusiastic, optimistic and anxiously anticipating more!
You've made me resourceful, realistic and practical!

Thank you.

You've showed me just how great life can be and at the same time, made me realize just how quickly pain, sorrow and tears can flood my heart.
I'll forever treasure you 2012 as you have been the most wonderful gift ever.
And somehow I know the same awaits me next year!

How has 2012 forever changed you?  

Please feel free to share your comments and/or a link about a similar article in the comment section below.

Have fun Spreading JOY!

Friday, December 28, 2012

One Thing


As another year comes to a close and talks of resolutions swirl around, my mind and heart considers what this upcoming year will hold.

I don’t typically make resolutions but do set some goals to work towards or try to spend time really enjoying the beauty that the ordinary day brings.

This year is no different.  Instead of setting myself up for failure with a list of resolutions that would likely be long forgotten about mid February, I've decided that one thing is needed.

Just one.

Becoming a woman of prayer.

While I pray daily and often, I want to be closer to the Lord more than ever.  I want to boldly speak for Him and of Him.  I want to know that everything I do, any direction I take and each path I explore is exactly where HE wants me to be.

E.M. Bounds said “Prayer that costs nothing gets nothing.” And that is not the kind of Christian I want to be.  I want to schooch in close to the Lord so that before one tear lands on my cheek, my heart is already whispering in prayer; before one thank you can be uttered, my heart is already praising HIM for His mercy and grace.

Speaking of Paul and Silas E.M. Bounds said “Their joy in Jesus was so profound that it expressed itself happily and sweetly in praise and prayer under extremely painful and depressing conditions.”

We’ve faced some hard times and will continue to do so I’m sure but in the end, I want MY JOY in Jesus to be expressed sweetly in praise and prayer.  I want my faith to be built on the foundation of prayer, I want my praise to be continual, no matter what.

One thing is all that I’m focusing on this year.  Just one. 

What are your goals for the New Year?  Do you have a list or will you focus on one or two things?

If you’ve written an article on your goals for the New Year, please feel free to share it below.  If you haven’t but would like to list out some of your goals, please do so and encourage all those who stop by and read this.

E.M. Bounds has several books about prayer; I encourage you to get them.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from him:

Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. 

Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions and questionable piety.  To be little with God is to be little for God.  To cut short our praying makes our whole Christian character short, small, improvised and careless.

Persevering prayer always wins.

Prayer can do anything that God can do. Pity is that we do not believe this as we ought, and we do not put it to the test.

Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love Continues

Let Brotherly Love Continue – Hebrews 13:1

I love sisters and how God has blessed me with a real one that I adore and love to torment….I mean treasure.  I am also blessed with brothers that I adore and I know that I can call and ask anything of them and they will come to my rescue.  

I’m also blessed with many, MANY brothers and sisters in Christ that simply amaze me as well!  Letting brotherly love continue is a way of life for them and I’m thankful to be surrounded by some of the greatest family around.

I was given the honor of doing a devotional for our Secret Sisters group at Christmas time.  Our theme was centered on Candy Canes.  Candy Canes are such sweet treats all by themselves, but maybe the following devotion will help you to remember just how easy it is to….

Let brotherly love continue
  • The Candy Cane looks like a staff:  Let it remind you to steady your sister.
    • More often than not, when I’m out with my sister, something happens and I will trip.  It could be the imaginary hump in the floor, a dip in the sidewalk or even a tiny rock.  There have been times that NOTHING was there to steady me and I hit the ground, looking up wondering what just happened.  (yes…we both laughed and I’ll wait till you are done laughing to continue.) There are those times that it happened and something was close by that I could steady myself with and boy was I thankful.  Sometimes, just being right there to provide a little security and steadiness is all it takes to help them through the day or even through the tears.  Love continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like cane – Let your sister lean on you.
    • We are so independent and hate to have to lean on others, but sometimes we simply can’t make it without some extra help.  A cane, while such a simple thing is such a huge tool for strength.  Being able to lean on our sister can take a horrible situation and make it easier.  Through the trials of cancer, time of other horrid illness that seem to have no end and the pain of loss, being able to lean on others without worry is pure love. Love continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like a hook – Hang a reminder of them in front of you.
    • If you know someone is going through a rough trial, hard time physically or even emotionally, set yourself some reminders.  Put sticky notes on your computer, in your Bible or devotional book to remind yourself to pray for them, send them a card or even a text or email.  Love continues.
    • Also – With the hook – don’t get hung up on the past.  Instead of letting your past define you, let it drive you.  You can’t change past decisions, past actions, past mistakes but you can determine that you’ll learn from them, grow from them and use your past to help define a better future for you and those that are close to you.  Love Continues.
  • The Candy Cane looks like a “J” – Be Jesus to them.
    • Matthew 5:16 says Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  We need to live a life of love, joy, hope and goodness knowing that all the while we are a light for Him.  Others will see this light in their time of darkness and in the end, God is glorified. Don’t give a second thought to how bright you think your light for the Lord is, because even a teeny tiny flicker in the pitch black dark can been seen from a great distance.  Shine for Him! Show them the JOY of the Lord is your strength!  Love Continues.
  • A “pair” of Candy Canes looks like heart – Show great love to your sister.
    • Showing love is easy and the fact is, it will last a life time! Showing love doesn’t have to be done in some huge way, often the tiniest, purest acts of love are the greatest. Here are some easy ways to show some love.   Love Continues.
One last thought - Let Brotherly love continue…. It’s not a suggestion. 

We’d like to hear from you! If you have an article on this verse, please share it below in the comments so that others can easily find it and be encouraged.

Spreading Joy is as simple as sharing your thoughts on this verse, sharing the link to this article on twitter, facebook, linked in and google+. 

You Matter! 

Have fun Spreading JOY!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tears are Healing

I honestly believe that laughter is the best medicine!

Nothing like friends getting together, laughing and having a blast to lift the mullygrubs, remove the cloud of discouragement or to bring comfort during times of depression.

As the quote in the photo says, I also believe tears ARE healing.

I’ve never in my life understood why people say “stop crying, it doesn’t make you feel better” when sometimes it actually does.

Don’t get me wrong, if it’s a 2 year old pitching a fit, that is completely unreasonable and the parent needs to stop it before they have to endure the “fits” of a bratty teenager.

We, especially men, often feel guilty for crying.  Many think it is a sign of weakness, but I disagree.

I think it shows great strength to expose a heart that is ripped apart so much so that the tears are flowing. 

It takes great courage to show the side of you that is vulnerable while you are enduring great pain. 

It is a courageous thing to allow tears to start the healing process.

There is something cleansing about allowing the flood gates of tears to just go.  I can’t explain it, but I can tell you how I feel after allowing my heart and soul to release those emotions that have been pinned up inside.

Sometimes there are things that we simply can’t control and they often drive us to tears.  Instead of fighting to hold them in, let them go and let the healing process start to take effect.  Once you release those feelings and the pressures of what weighs you down, you will be able to see clearer, feel better and can start taking the necessary steps to move forward.

Besides…your tears are very precious.  Don’t believe me, check this out.  Psalm 56:8 

When we empty our heart of hurt, God can take what is tattered, torn and in a million pieces and make it better than we ever imagined.

What are your personal thoughts about the healing property of tears?

Have you written an article on this topic? If so, please share that link in the comment sections so others can leave here and find you easily.

Spreading Joy is as easy as sharing this on twitter, facebook, linked in, and google+
Have fun Spreading JOY!

While laughter is the best medicine, often times, tears are completely healing. 

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