Application

I have been learning so much these past few months. Learning, re-learning and deepening of understanding have been constant.

The Lord has been flooding my life with goodness and light. I have been prying myself open more and more so that I can have more Jesus, as I have never felt such peace and love as I do now. I know it can be so much more then I am capable of comprehending right now. I long for spiritual depth. I feel the transformation and am learning to welcome it rather than push back….yet I do still push back more than I like.

Reflections:

* God loves me no matter what. Even in my lowest places, when I push Him away and am closed up. He loves me just the same. Exactly the same amount of love and grace. Forever. He may be saddened by my actions, but His love is always there.

* There are no coincidences in life. It’s easy to brush things off as coincidence as we walk through life. Easier as a matter of fact. The truth is that God is always at work in each and every momemnt. All things truly work for His glory. My vision is becoming clearer and I find that when I slow down, I can see it more. I blows my mind.

* Life is a continuous journey meant to bring us closer to God. Today is Sunday and I started to feel a bit annoyed that my mini vacation was coming to an end and the phrase “back to reality tomorrow” came to mind. I realized that there really is no beginning a new week per se. The thought I had was a sad one because I’ve had such an amazing few days. Tonight I realized that I need to make the choice to continue forward and not “reset”. I am bringing the amazement and blessings into whatever I do tomorrow and the next day. I choose to be open and move forward with God’s plan.

* God lives in me. I have asked Him to dwell in the center of my being and so He does. I can literally feel Him work in me. I have called Him Reiki for years, bit it is the Holy Spirit. I open more and more and the Spirit flows through me often. It’s quite amazing.

That’s all for now. I wanted to share these few things they have become more and more apparent. Truly words cannot come close to describing the things I have been experiencing. God has been working in our midst and I sit in awe.

I pray that you too experience the amazing works God has planned for your life.

Guilt and Conviction

Guilt is a funny thing. I once thought that it was a good sign, a sign of good conscience. Something to keep me in check. The Spirit has been showing me something completely different.

I have found that guilt is a burden that I am not meant to carry. Jesus has covered my sin and I am free in Him.

Free.

Totally and completely without blame because of what He did on the cross. He took on that burden a long time ago so that I can come to the Father. Guilt is not a good sign, it is not the tool I once thought it to be. Guilt holds me back, brings about doubt where there should be none.

Conviction is something I once viewed as a negative. I never wanted to be convicted of anything. I didn’t want people to call me out on things I maybe doing or not doing. Don’t look to close! I would hate for those around me to see the deeply flawed human that I am.

Conviction is love.

Conviction is way for God to keep me on the path He has set out for me. He works through others to remind me to refocus, to catch me when I begin to wander and to bring me deeper when I am wading in the shallow end of life once again.

Peace, I have found such a sense of peace since I have had my perspective changed in regards to guilt and conviction. I now stand stronger in God’s love and light. I now take conviction and rise up to the challenges God sets forth. I look at guilt as a bond to be broken and to be left behind. Do I feel remorse and sadness in times of conviction, absolutely. The difference is that I don’t wallow in it, I don’t let it change the way I look at life. I don’t let it knock me off my path. I don’t allow it to deter me from doing God’s work.

It has taken me a long time to get to this place and guilt creeps in all the time. I constantly have to give it to God. I have chosen to repent, release and take action when convicted. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just let it go and let God do the work He desires to do in you. It is not easy. It is really hard to go against my nature. It’s harder to continue to do so! Funny that I find it is easier to wallow in guilt and self-pity yet I am choosing not to. The reason is simple, I have never felt a peace in me like I do today.

The more I choose to flip my perceptions and rest in God, the less anxiety I feel from day-to-day. The more I interact with others and the more I expose myself to them and God, the happier I am.

I am struggling to find the words to describe the changes that have taken place in my heart. The very core of my being has been and continues to be shaped and molded in ways I never thought possible.

The more I let go, the more I gain. When I let God fill me up and pour out of me, I am whole. I no longer look for stress and anxiety to be markers for growth in this life. I now see that those are signs that I am focused on the wrong things. I am beginning to stop comparing myself to others and thinking they are “closer to God”. I am not allowing myself to hold back because I am not good enough. I know I am not good enough. I am not worthy, I am imperfect, I know that I need God.

I searched for my spiritual path for a long time. I never thought I would ever label myself as a Christian. I would actually challenge people to tell me why they thought Jesus was so great and then I would tell them why being a Christian is wrong and well just stupid.

I am so glad that I walked into that church 6 years ago and found Jesus. Sure, I fought Him for quite some time and yes, I avoided getting too close to the people in my church as well. I still do to a degree, but honestly, I have never felt more peace, closure, healing or love like I do today.

I have had a rocky past and a lot of abandonment and I allowed that to be the driving force in my life for a long time. Now that I have let God in, He is the driving force and I am in such a better place because of it. I am and will never be perfect. I am not a better person by any means. I am just allowing Jesus to work through me and He has been taking my filth and changing me in ways that allow His will is done through me.

If you have not allowed Jesus in as deeply as He wants to be, then I encourage you to focus on that every minute of every day. Push everything else away, give it all up to Him. You won’t lose yourself, you’ll gain more than you could every imagine.

Let the guilt go. Let God in.

Ripple Effect

God works in ways that are beyond my understanding. I know that He works through us in ways that we can’t even imagine. They make movies depicting the fact that a small, kind gesture by one person can ripple out and bring joy to many. This is something I understand but can never really comprehend the depth and complexity of it all.

I recently had an experience that really showed me how God works through us in ways that we wouldn’t even imagine.

Let’s start with a little back story first :0)

A few years ago a chaplain at work wanted to have inspirational stones for a memorial service but the only ones she could find would cause her to go out of budget. Someone suggested that she make them herself, so she got some smooth stones, a few paint pens and a clear sealant…bam! Custom inspirational stones!

Fast forward to last year’s women’s retreat at Calvary of Southbury. I thought it would be a great idea to make these stones with the fruits of the Spirit on them for the ladies to choose from. They were a hit! Everyone loved sticking their hand in the basket to see what they picked. My daughters loved them as well and we had fun making them at home together that year.

This year I offered to make the stones again. I love to be crafty, love to give and know that they were a blessing to some of the ladies last year. I made quite a few and did not seal them all so there were a few left behind and they landed in our attic after the retreat.

Now fast forward to last week, my family and I are getting ready to go to Thursday night Bible study. My lovely daughter comes downstairs with a USPS box, she wrote in black marker “I Love God” on all four sides, and asks me if she can go in the attic to get the left over stones and bring them t church with us. I completely forgot about them and wasn’t even sure where they were. “They’re upstairs mommy”. “Ok, go get them, but be quick! We have to go!” and off we went.

I was thinking how cute it was that she wanted to bring them and had to remind her to not interrupt people who were engrossed in conversation to pick a stone. I was pretty sure some folks were just sticking their hand in to grab one and be polite because she was so cute offering them up.

Sunday morning I walked into church and was pulled aside by a friend who thought I would like to hear about a gentleman who was touched deeply by a stone he picked out of a box that a little girls was offering on Thursday. I don’t know his story, all I know is that he has been in a place of struggle and experience hard times. My little angel offered up the stones we made and he blindly chose one, when he looked it was one that said “mercy” and apparently that was just what he needed at that moment. He was deeply moved by this message God was bringing him through my daughter.

I was so excited! That was great! I couldn’t wait to tell her! I was laughing at myself too because my almost 2-year-old son got his hands on the remaining rocks the day before and I was finding them in my bed and was not happy about that!

As a Christian I was moved and love to hear the small little nudges a brother or sister receive from God. The little ways that He tells us exactly what we need to hear. So subtle and how easily these messages can be missed if we are not open to them. If we are too busy rushing through this life, imagine all the little things we could be missing. All things work for God’s glory.

As a mom, this was an amazing time for me. I was able to tell my daughter that the stones she offered deeply moved someone. That she was God’s instrument. I was able to tell her that whatever she felt prompting her to gather those stones that night was the Holy Spirit moving in her. That God was talking to her in that moment. Now she knows what that feels like, she was amazed.

As Melissa, I am reminded that God truly works through us in ways that may seem so little to us. A small gesture to me could have a profound effect on someone else. This brings me back to what my Pastor tells us often, God wants to work in us all. We are His instruments so long as we allow ourselves to be. I know that I hold back a lot more than I should. I often feel the urge to do things and then talk myself out of it for a variety of reasons. I tend to worry about how people are going to think or what if I over step boundaries and they think I am crazy. Fear. I fear stepping out of my comfort zone.

Funny that I would be fearful of stepping out of my comfort zone. I am typically pretty open and in your face with general topics and have been known to be a hard ass. No fear. I have been told that I have no fear. This has not been the case in my spiritual life. I fear being to vulnerable to others. I fear stepping out and being emotional and real. I fear digging into those places where raw emotion and healing take place with others. I have been annoyed and have felt burdened by some of the gifts God has given me. As of late I have accepted them and am beginning to be thankful as I am able to bring Him glory when I am using these gifts in the fashion I was meant to. But I still resist. I still stand still and talk myself out of stepping out and offering a healing hand or a soft prayer in fear that it may be perceived as presumptuous or too intimate. I struggle with giving up control. I fear following the Lord’s promptings.

My children are so free and seeing them follow God’s prompting without question os amazing to me. I want that. I want to move through life with purpose and love. I want to be that soul that listens to the Holy Spirit without question. I want Him to break these chains of fear and hesitation. I WANT Jesus to work through me each and every moment I still have breath. I want this for all of us.

Today I pray that God does a mighty work in all of us. That we allow Him in. That we fight to keep our eyes on Jesus and let Him lead the way. That we love and comfort and bring healing to those around us no matter what we think the cost. What could it possible cost? A moment of embarrassment? What are the rewards? Bringing God Glory! Blessing those around us! Being part of His plan! Be the one that tosses the pebble of love that can ripple through the lives of countless people.

 

 

A Gentle Soul

A gentle soul, a thoughtful soul, a positively radiant soul. A soul that shines with God’s will upon her heart.

Recently a person came into my life and have to share that she is absolutely amazing . This soul that I am happy to call friend is a deeply caring and positive person. I am better for knowing her. She reminded me of how God wants us to be. She looks to Him for guidance in all things and praises Him for all she is and has.

Each time I saw her she was full of peace and joy, even when you knew she did not want to be. She is kind, even to those that are not so kind to her.

I feel blessed to have been able to meet her as she has helped me gain perspective.

I was reminded that God wants us to love on each other always, just as He loves us through it all. Each day is a gift and despite everything else, He is with us and working for our favor. Especially when it doesn’t feel like it.

She reminded me that no matter what we have been through and what we have come out of, we can’t let the darkness seep into our inner core. That inner core belongs to God and should be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. She taught me that keeping that place open and full is more important than any earthly treasure. Relationships, truthfulness, hope, faith, love, these are the important things in life.

I am glad to have met her and am glad to have her in my life. She shines through it all and keeps her head up in the midst of the storm. She looked to God for direction, relief and healing through an uncertain time and that is exactly what He asks of us.

Psalm 105:1-5

1Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;

make known among the nations what he has done.

2Sing to him, sing praise to him;

tell of all his wonderful acts.

3Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

4Look to the Lord and his strength;

seek his face always.

5Remember the wonders he has done,

his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

Amen!