We can never give enough, do enough good, help enough people to deserve God’s grace and favor. Every day we wake up is blessing. We can not do anything in our own strength. We have no control over our heart pumping blood through our body. We can’t control the air in our lungs. We exist because God allows it. Every day we experience God’s unmerited and undeserved favor, let’s not take it for granted.
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The knowing isn’t the hard part. It’s the “be still” part that gets me every time. I’ve got things to do on my “to-do” list. There is a mound of laundry. The kitchen needs a once over. The bathroom needs to be cleaned. The kids need something. My mother needs something. I’m being pulled in multiple directions. How can I possibly “ be still.” In order to “be still,” you have to make a deliberate effort to give God time. You have to give God time to be acknowledged, to be praised, and to speak. When we are still, we can hear God. We can acknowledge the small still voice that says, “rest in me.” We can cry out because we can’t do everything in our own strength. When we are still, we can have peace with things being undone. We can know that God will never put more on us than we can bear. Most of know that we can cast our cares on God, but we aren’t still enough to hear the encouragement. We miss the peace of God when we aren’t still. Mute the distractions around you and focus. Be still and know….I am God.
Today is my mother's 70th birthday. Despite everything my mother has endured, she is here. Life is a gift that is meant to be celebrated daily. It's easy to get distracted by headlines and hashtags. It's easy to take life for granted. It's easy to forget the daily blessings God continues to provide. If you woke up this morning, you're blessed. If you have clothes on your back and food to eat, you're blessed. If you have a roof over your head, you're blessed. If you have a job and money in your pocket, you're blessed. If you have a degree of health, you're blessed. Be blessed and know that today is a blessing.
quick·en (ˈkwikən) verb
make or become faster or quicker.
spring to life; become animated.
Sometimes, our lives need to shaken up. Sometimes, we need to be a little uncomfortable. Sometimes, we need to be quickened. We need to be resurrected from our pain and our suffering. We need to be resurrected from our doubt and unbelief. We need new life. We need new perspective. We need newness. The book of Psalms encourages us to ask God to quicken our souls towards God's righteousness and lovingkindness.
Good. Better. Best. I can admit that I have settled for good. I've been content with better, and yearned for more. Best is God's more. Most of us are happy with our good lives. We have good jobs, good cars, and good kids. Most of us are grateful for better jobs, better homes, and better opportunities. But, there's more. What if we were our best selves? What if we maximized every opportunity? What if we didn't settle? What would we look like living our best lives? Now, is the time to be great. Now, is the time to do our best and be our best.
Today is my 36th birthday, and I can admit that 36 does not look the way I thought it would. In my mind, I thought I would have done more, been more, have more. It's amazing how we can be so critical of ourselves. The truth is I do have more. I am happily married to a man I adore. I have two beautiful daughters. I quit a job I hated. I am happy. I have more love, more peace, more time, more freedom, and more joy. Today is a great day because I am not defined by my accomplishments. I am discovering that who I am is defined by the more I have yet to become. There's more. 36 is good, but 37 will be great. Here's to greatness....
"There are two great days in a person's life, the day we are born and the day we discover why." -William Barclay