Do You Ever Wonder?

Time changes your thought processes, as I age, I often find myself asking, “I wonder why God trusts me enough to allow me to be used as a vessel for Him.” What I mean is, I no longer question God as to why he allows me to go through the things that I do, but as to what message He wants me share with other people along the way.  I am honored and humbled now by the ability to share my life experiences with others. I am always looking for the purpose or “lesson”behind the situation. No matter what the experience, whether good or bad, I learned a long time ago, there is no embarrassment, or shame if it is a less than desirable experience, but as a true opportunity to help others down the road that they will travel. God does not bring a person through something, for that person to keep it all to themselves. Compassion and empathy are truly God’s greatest gifts that we can receive. It is revealed to me daily, as I receive his infinite gift of Grace and Mercy. God tells us that if and when we ask for wisdom, He will give it to us.

James 1: 5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

So when you feel like you are in a stagnant place, sit quietly and pray for wisdom, but also that your purpose is revealed so that you can turn your circumstances into a solution for someone else’s problem.

 

 

What Are You Doing With Your Story?

Sometimes when things get tough and we are challenged, it is good to remember that God  will use our pain to help another person. Whether that person is currently going through something similar to what we have experienced now, or unbeknownst to us, in the future, it is comforting to know that we will or have helped another person a long the way.

That is one of the reasons why I love God so much because I have seen it not only in my life, through numerous testimonies and conversations people have shared with me . God, does not waste one single tear or miss one unheard cry…. He uses it all, all of them, to help another hurting soul. There is no way that I would have survived the loss of my brother fourteen years ago without the stories and heart to heart conversations people shared with me, not from a textbook, or something they saw on television, but true everyday people who mysteriously crossed my path, that helped me along the way in my journey. I think life is a journey, a conscious, ever-changing process that is always changing, where time never stands still. Even though a person will meet thousands of people, have millions of interactions with others, it is all one systematic process that comes full circle.  I read somewhere, “we come into the world naked with our fists bawled up, and leave this world naked with our fists bawled up!

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[b] among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (Romans 8:28-30, NLT).

If you think about it, what would be the point of experiencing a trial in your life, if you thought there was no way out, nothing to believe in, and nobody to help? I know that there are some people who unfortunately believe that, I think as humans, we all can temporarily get caught up in that thinking, but it is nice to know there is a God. A real God that not to be clique,  will “make a way out of no way.” He really and truly does!

I can read research studies, and statistics about how people deal with life’s adversities, and that is good information to know, but I would rather have a friend put their hand on my shoulder and say, “Hey, I know, I have been there.” I do not believe there is any shame in sharing with others traumatic, tragic things that have happened to us in our lives. God warned us in His Word that trials would come to us.  What the real shame would be is when God brings you through something and you don’t share it with another person to help them along their way.

It is so amazing to know that we have a God that knows everything about us! From the number of hairs on our heads to our most inner being, he knows it all… I love Jeremiah 29:11-13,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Whatever your story is, share it! My mother has a cousin named Karen Perry who lost her oldest son to a drug overdose. I am sure that some would have tried to cover up that their child got “caught up in life” and unfortunately lost his life at a very young age, but she didn’t. Karen took her pain to the world and to the schools, law enforcement agencies and now operates full-time NOPE Task Force, (Narcotic Overdose Prevention & Education) http://www.nopetaskforce.org.  NOPE is in the schools, law enforcement agencies, churches, community educating and preventing other parents from having to bury their children and other loved ones.

 

I ask myself daily, and I recommend you do the same, “What am I doing with my story?”

 

Blessings,

Traci

For more information on NOPE Task Force and drug education and prevention, please visit http://www.nopetaskforce.org

 

nope mission
nope mural

 

How Well Do You Know A Person?

Blessed......

I have been thinking about this today. We are all here for a short time, and have many interactions with other people on a daily basis, but how well do you really know a person that you proclaim to be close too? I know that there are some people that I think I know better than others, but  do I really know them as well as I think I do? I know that people share with me what they want me to know about them, and I do the same but to know someone’s most inner thoughts and likes and dislikes is what true relationships are all about.  I think that is why I write, because I can write what I am feeling at the time and share my inner most thoughts without fear of judgement or negative feedback that often slows the art of communicating with others.  I often forget what I write though and then wonder what my readers will think when they read it.

I guess that is being a part of being transparent and honest. If I want others to share with me then it is only fair I am transparent with them.

I hope that something you read along the way in my blog touches a part of you that you can relate too! Let me know your thoughts!

You Know That Feeling?

your life message

Remember when you were a kid and you were waiting for something exciting to happen? Whether it was a birthday, Christmas, package in the mail, anything and everything that was exciting and that you were waiting upon its arrival. You remember that feeling of excitement and anticipation of knowing something good was coming, and you watched your anticipation and excitement grow as the days went on. I know I remember that feeling! It was always so awesome, right up until just after you received whatever it was that you were waiting for! I don’t know about you, but for me, it was almost like a let down right after I received whatever it was that I was so impatiently waiting for. It was almost like okay now what, until the next happy moment came about.

What I am talking about is the things that make us happy, most often for the time being. It is a roller coaster ride of emotions and plateaus the build from moment to moment, event to event. Every once in a while, I would feel that same “rush” of euphoria, if you will, but not because of something that I was anticipating to happen or receive, but just simply what I would term as “Joy.”  Joy for me comes for no clear reason or object, but simply for the pleasure of just living, experiencing life and all that it entails. Embracing the opportunity to love one another, grow with each passing moments, and ultimately bringing  Glory to God.

Joy in this way of living life, loving, and bringing Glory to God  is my goal to attain daily. It is the little pleasure’s in life that I experience, and enjoy most now, especially the older I get. I don’t strive to be happy, because to be happy is to experience an emotion. Emotions are unreliable and often depend on your circumstances of what is going on around you. I do not want my “center” my “aura” , my “joy” to depend on any other person, situation, material possession, time or place. I want it to just exist because it merely exists, and flows as consistent as time does each day. I want it in my being, I want it to be a part of who I am as a person.

We all can have joy, it is all there for us to have equally. God wants what is good for us and He is ready to give us His precious gifts, but you will not know how to receive His gift, if you do not know Him personally.

Treasuring God’s Gifts~ Each Other!

 

 

Sitting here looking out the window I have reflected on the awesomeness of God. Not only is He full of immeasurable love, goodness, truth, grace and mercy but so many other characteristics that cannot be measured in one lifetime!  God is a life giver,  not referring to when He gives life to a baby taking the very first breath, but  when He gives life or renewal to our minds and circumstances. He is a healer and restorer of not only our physical health, but our emotional and spiritual health as well. The ability to take a fresh new perspective about the way we view ourselves, other people, and the way we live our lives.

My husband recently went to school in another state, and during this time, we both experienced tremendous growth. The best part of this was the realization that marriage is a gift! It is an ongoing process that is never based on feelings or actions, but to be successful , it must be based on God’s love.  God is the restorer and can take any situation and turn the circumstances around, changing the outcome. While my husband was there, I flew out for a couple of days and was blessed to be able to spend a few days together just the two of us. It did not take much planning or expense, but for us was a life changing progression in our marriage to the next phase in our lives.  I recently had an older woman ask me, “What are you going to do and talk about with your husband, when the kids are all out of the house, and it is just the two of you?” What a question, if you look deeply into it, at the end of the day, when all other factors and people are removed from your relationship, what will it be like? Do you even know one another? What are your common interests? It was amazing to fall in love with my husband all over again, and that is exactly what happened!

Marriage is not like Junior High School when you tell everyone your “going out with so and so”, and then three days later like someone else. It is a life long commitment that three people make, you, your spouse, and God!  There is no such thing as falling out of love, or not feeling like being in a committed relationship any longer? You do not base your love on feelings, they are unreliable and deceitful! I am sure there have been many times when my husband and I  didn’t feel like being married. My last point is this, as long as it is about you, (your feelings, your thoughts, your love) and your eyes are not on God, it will not be as stable, loving, and committed as it could be! Put your focus back on Jesus, have faith, and trust that HE will do what He said He would do in your life, and see what wonderful opportunities you will have to be used as a vessel for God!!!

 

 

The Importance of Making Good Decisions

2 Timothy 3:1-7

New International Version (NIV)

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents,ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Beth Moore ‘s Breaking Free Study is definitely a study if you havent already participated in, is one to surely do in the future. She is down to earth, and honest and has an amazing ability in getting to the heart of the matter regarding women’s issues. As I watched her session ten video today, I thought of a few things that she covered. One thing we do know is that the “End times” are certainly coming. All the prophecies of the Bible that have been fulfilled align with the one’s that have not been fulfilled yet, and will equal as they say in math terms, “the total sum of the Bible”. We are encouraged to be ready for the time that Jesus returns to get his people, as well as the events that will happen in history both before and after.

I say all of this to say that the message in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 is clear, descriptive, and of the truth. God’s Words never are to fall on deaf ears, but to be mediated and applied in your life. Ok, I am getting to the point, quoting Beth, “What will most remarkably define the times as terrible (verse one) will be social phenomena rather than natural or environmental. ” Isn’t that scary? It saddens me that we already live in a secular world that is so hateful and cruel to people, but to know that it is going to get worse! We will have to be prepared to fight, the Sword of protection that we are given is the very Word of God. If you do not know it, how are you going to be able to protect yourself? We are to know the Word now, in this lifetime when we are dealing with people, relationships and experiences; the best “How to do” is not you tube, or google, but the Word of God.

One of the things I was thinking about today was the portion of the Breaking Free video that talked about how God is a God of Progression. God created us in His image, and wrote the Word of Life for us to live by, over a fifteen hundred year period, the key point is this, “If anything is worse something it will take time.” Why do we allow ourselves to get involved in unhealthy relationships, destructive friendships with people who although we say “just met”? Why do not value ourselves enough to take the time to decide if someone is healthy for us? We take the time to ensure that the products we buy, or the food that we eat are good, so why wouldn’t we want the same for our spiritual and emotional being? I urge you to take a good assessment of the people who you bring to your spirit, for we truly are in God’s image.