“I can’t wait until Christmas is over.”
Sound familiar? We all feel the pressure. Seeking the perfect present. Wrapping the gifts just right. Setting an impeccable table. No wonder we feel stressful over the season.
What about changing how we think? What about instead of, I have to … say, I get to …?
Instead of I have to buy the perfect present, say I get to buy a present? So many people are all alone during the holidays. Consider what they’d give to spend a few hours with family members no longer near. And many people struggle with monthly bills and can’t afford the tiniest gift.
Last Thursday was supposed to be the season where families got together; celebrated their special closeness.
How’d you do?
Know it wasn’t an accident you were placed with your family. God’s plan put you there. With that in mind, let me ask again. How’d you do?
Did you hang on to your old mantra:
“I don’t want to be hurt anymore.” “You don’t know what they did to me.” “We have nothing in common; it’s best we just keep our distance and live our lives apart.”
Sorry, I think God calls shenanigans.
Tomorrow’s the day many of us have been waiting for—waiting for the end of political commercials and the tension that seems to engulf campaigning.
It doesn’t matter if you lean right or left … or live straight down the middle. Tuesday’s choices are enormous, but Wednesday’s actions can have the power to impact heaven. Let our response to Tuesday’s election speak louder than any words we could ever say.
Thanks, Brandon, for reminding us to remember who we are—sons and daughters of The King. And thanks for putting in front of us the challenge to act like we are.
Still struggling? Visit scripture … Isaiah 40 offers a powerful picture of who we worship. It reads, in part (verses 21-24):
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
I’ve seen been reminded twice today that we need to appreciate our scars.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Maybe you may need to hear that, too. Check out Sheila Walsh’s post. Don’t lose hope.
You may feel like you’re done. Like you want to give up. But please know, Jesus is working on your behalf–right now–pleading your case. And remember … your scars are reminders of God’s faithfulness.
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34 NIV
Writing isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. There are long hours with no promise of success. You sweat. Dream. You claw your way from one page onto another. You pull words and together then delete others. It can be a challenging process.
Now try writing after suffering TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
That’s what Martin Johnson does. Read his guest post on Almost an Author, Writing with a Disability. You’ll want to cry. Then cheer. But one way or another, you’ll see the writing process differently. Thanks, Martin for sharing your journey. You can follow Martin on Twitter at
Some blogs are so profound they touch your heart. Other blogs stay with you because of their simplicity and honesty.
Cory Lebovitz’s post falls into the category of the latter when writing about serving others.
Thank you, Cory, for reminding us that service isn’t for the lofty. It’s for us all.
Check out Cory’s post.
Here’s a challenge for all bloggers: Look through your first blog post.
After you finish giggling and rolling your eyes, think about what you just read. Think about the person who wrote it. Think about how life has changed since then. now, congratulate yourself for sticking with it!
For complete transparency, I’ve included my first post from December 2010, and this is what I found:
- I am still trying to publish a book—a different one this time, but a book, nonetheless.
- While my speaking ministry has progressed, there are times I still question my ability to tell others of God’s great mercy and grace for us.
- I still realize I am nothing without Christ. My comfort has nothing to do with how good God is in my life. And the scripture still rings true. His plans are still etched in stone.
The cool air stirred and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we walked the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eyes, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
Have you ever just talked with someone and thought, “I want that they have”? That was my experience when I chatted with my guest blogger, Lauren Reeves. You can find her on Facebook or follow the podcast she offers with Tammy Whitehurst (another inspiring friend) at JoyfortheJourneyPodcast,
I’m not always as strong as I project to be. Sometimes I shut down. I become emotionally paralyzed and can’t move forward. The what-if’s spiral in my mind and harden my heart, leading me to a complete standstill.
It’s all because of fear.
Here I am, inspirational speaker and author, sharing God’s plans for us, yet I struggle with fear primarily in two areas of my life: 1) believing I am loved, and 2) finding the courage to face my calling.
At times, the fear of not being love feels like a war raging within me. I’d always known logically that I am loved, but phrases like, “They only love you because they don’t know you,” or “You’re just a novelty. Give it time and you’ll see their affection wasn’t real at all,” taunted me, allowing fear to get a foothold on my heart, freezing me in my tracks.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV
Never has a phase brought more comfort.
Try to think of something not included. Fear of not having enough money? Covered.
Upset with what others are saying about you? Don’t let it get between you and your Heavenly Father. That’s covered, too.
Maybe you’re fretting over (yes, I’m going there) the political climate of the day. While it may hurt your heart and make you sad to see people fighting over commentaries on either side of the aisle, know for a fact that all their chest-pounding or fear-mongering does not have the power to separate you from God’s love. So take a deep breath and know God’s already fought your battle and won!
If you’re not feeling all that confident, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk about it.