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Warmed and Filled

 

warmth, beach, sun, Son, God, empty, Psalms 23
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I like to go to the beach to feel refreshed.  I love watching the ripple of the water hitting the rocks, feeling the breeze, and placing my feet just so in the sand, and reflecting on God’s creation, along with taking a few minutes to just breathe.

 

When we are sitting in “The Son”,

Getting our warmth from “The One”.

Whose burdens are light,

When we surrender our fight.

He’ll fill that empty void.

With his power, sin destroyed.

Running our cups on overflow, 

His name is Jesus, don’t you know?

There is nobody like our Wonderful Saviour Jesus!  We can rest in him when we feel the temptation to get filled up by all the other things in this life that will leave us feeling more empty and void of joy!

What are some of the things that you do in order to feel refreshed during the day?  Feel free to comment below.   Be blessed!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalms 23:5

Oh, the Pain of Waiting

It can be rough when we have to wait on God for his promises to come to pass.  I know myself, there have been times when I went ahead, and did my plan B, instead of waiting for God’s plan A, and then had to suffer terrible consequences.  God later helped o remedy my situation.  Oh, but the painful consequences in not trusting in God’s word, and knowing that it is enough.  God can still bless us when we circumvent his order of things.  However, his way is always the best way to go.  It saves us a lot of extra heartache, pain, and disappointment.  Plus, we are able to enjoy his blessings even more!

Sarah, Abraham, waiting on God, impatient, devotion, reflections, encouragement for the soul
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We are waiting, we are waiting, for our son don’t you see,

Name is Isaac, it means laughter, waiting for the fam of three.

We are waiting, we are waiting for a boy to arrive.

We’ve been waiting, way too long, will we still be alive?

What you think, my dear Abe, should we wait any longer?

Getting wrinkled, getting old, can’t ignore this baby hunger.

Take my handmaid, my dear Hagar, she will make our dreams come true.

Oh the opposite, with her Ishmael, she will make your heart so blue.

Oh, but God, kept his word, even in all this mess, 

Here’s dear Isaac, here’s your son, you are now extremely blessed.

Hagar’s mean, I can’t stand her, just can’t take it any longer.

I despise her, will deny her, kick them out and make them hunger.

Oh dear Abe put them out, sent them packing in the desert.

Oh but God, he provided, brought them springs in this mess o’ hurt.

Just in case you get tired from God’s promise when you wait,

Think of Abe, little Isaac, and then Sarah, his dear mate.

Feel free to share in the comments below of a time that you wished that you had waited on God, and you took matters into your own hands.

Have a blessed weekend!

Isaiah 40:31 King James Version (KJV)

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

Devotion: Got One up on You

The story of Leah and Rachel is one that we can all relate to in life: the comparison trap.  Their trap probably started at a young age, and unfortunately went into adulthood.  Sometimes as parents we have to be extra careful not to be the catalyst for this type of thing happening.  The sad reality of their family dysfunction showed that they were filled with constant thoughts of “let me see how I can one up you.” Round one began with “I’ll take your man”.  Round two began with, ” I can have more kids than you”.  This trap affects both men and women alike, and it ruins families, friendships, and work relationships.  The comparison trap has several things that lie at the root.  The three that God has spoken to me about are rejection, self-worth, and contentment. 

comparison, devotion, Rachel and Leah, prayer, rejection, God, weak eye, Laban, Jacob
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When we read the story of Leah and Rachel, there are several things that we can directly and indirectly perceive.  The first thing perceived is that beauty and popularity won hearts.  People often shy away from us when we don’t fit into their standard for beauty, dress, hairstyle, etc.   If this is our area of brokenness, not fitting into someone else’s standards could lead to insecurity and internalization as rejection.  There are two sections of verses that tell us that one of Leah’s issues was rejection.  Here is the first:

Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.  Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.  Genesis 29:16-17, NIV

The second section of scripture tells us about why Leah became fruitful right away:

30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

31 And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. Genesis 29:30-31, NIV

We see that self-worth comes into play because Leah mentions on more than one occasion that her husband would love her now that God had opened her womb.  We see how the phrase, “Oh, but he will love me since I’m pregnant with his child” worked out even then.  She said nothing about God loving her, and his love for her being enough.  

comparison, devotion, Rachel and Leah, prayer, rejection, God, weak eye, Laban, Jacob
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32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.

Genesis 29: 32, 34, KJV

In verse 35 of Genesis, it seems as though Leah has finally resolved to be content in the state that she was in:

35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.  Genesis 29: 35, KJV

So we thought.  Unfortunately this was Leah’s and Rachel’s stronghold.  Right after Leah’s place of contentment, her sister Rachel can’t stand the fact that insists that Jacob sleeps with her handmaid so that she could have children, and since Leah had left child bearing, she followed suit in doing the same:

Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won!” So she named him Naphtali [My Struggle].

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife.

Genesis 30: 8-9, GW

The vicious cycle of rejection, no self-worth, and discontentment started up again:

13 Leah said, “I’ve been blessed! Women will call me blessed.” So she named him Asher [Blessing]. Genesis 30:13, KJV

20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. Genesis 30:20, KJV

Strongholds are hard to get rid of.  Like Leah, I was born with a weak eye.  I had to wear a patch over my other eye in order for my brain to train my weak eye to use itself, and prevent blindness.  I remember the whole process as being quite traumatic:  siting in doctor’s offices for 5 to 6 hours, eye exams, a patch, more eye exams, and then eye dilation, and leaving the doctor’s office.  I felt helpless as I was walking across the street with my mom, while holding her hand to wait for the bus.

Fast forward some years later, like Leah, I dealt with the feelings of rejection due to abandonment by my father, and then feelings of rejection due to the comment that another teenage girl made in response to my physical appearance.  I internalized this comment, and it was used as a tool to produce no self-worth, leading to seeking approval through high achievement in school, through others, and my ex-husband.  It also led to years of being in an emotionally abusive marriage, where I sought him for a good portion of my self-worth.  

Getting caught up in shopping and other things in order to improve my appearance, and feel like I could qualify to compete, only kept the cycle going.  There will always be someone who’s prettier, smarter, and dresses better.  We have to be safe and secure in who we are in Christ, knowing that this brings true contentment and self-worth, no matter what other people are saying or thinking.  We are all broken individuals in need of a Savior, and God loves us much more than anyone else ever could.

Dear God,

We thank you in advance for rescuing us from the comparison trap.  We also thank you that only in you, are we enough.  Otherwise, we might become filled with self-pride, criticism, and judgment.  Please help us to break free of this stronghold.

In the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen

 

Self-Worth

One of the main things that the enemy uses against people is self-worth.  His tool is a cycle of our brokenness, insecurities, and self-condemnation to continually run to people and things to fulfill us, instead of running to God.  He blocks out the knowledge that these things will only give us a temporary high, and lead to more emptiness if we are not being filled by God, our Living Water.  He makes us forget that our dependence on these things and people lead us right into the never ending game of idolatry. 

self-worth, approval, God, enough, portrait, grace
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The Source of Self-Worth

We all want to attain it,

From people and things we know.

Forgetting your death has sealed it,

Some thousands of years ago.

 

When we look to an “other” to fulfill it,

Makes us lonely, empty, insatiate.

When we look to the one who revealed it,

Makes us joyful, peaceful, gratiate.

 

All the people and all the things,

Become blessings with two wings.

As we worship the true King,

Giving everlasting springs.

 

Devotional: Enough for Everybody

Background on the “Enough”

About a year ago, I was looking out of the kitchen window, and I thought that what I was witnessing was a bird fight.  Instead of it being a fight, it was more like bullying.  Bullying among two birds.  One robin decided that he wanted the other robin to leave the grass. (Granted there was more than enough room for both of them.) The second robin(victim) tried to stay there. 

However, the first robin(victim), continued to peck him.  The second robin went over to the bird bath to relax there.  And what do you know?  Mr. Bully came over there and pecked him until he left that area.  Eventually the second robin flew into the happy face tree(someone literally drew a happy face on the tree itself), and stayed there for a while.  This made the bully very happy.

 

 

brown and beige short beak claw foot bird on bird house
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Reflection on Enough

Last week, I saw several birds in the backyard after it rained.  No one had the bullying and victim title.  They were all scavenging for food after it rained.  They knew that there was more than enough to go around.

God revealed something to me in that very moment.  Sometimes we are like the two birds from a year ago.  We feel that we are not satisfied until we are the only star.  We feel that there will not be enough of God’s grace, goodness, and mercy to go around.  We think we have to fight in order to get the blessings, or there won’t be enough.

Other times, we are like the birds from last week, realizing that there is more than enough, God is the one who owns it all, and is running it all. 

The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalms 24:1, KJV

Even with whatever talent it is that he has blessed us with, he has to tell the door to open and to close.  Some of us will be blessed with a lot, and some of us will be blessed with little. 

birds, God, victim, enough, bully, ducks, tree
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“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.

But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

11 I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.

13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.” Psalms 50:7-15, NLT

However, when we realize that there is more than enough for everybody, then we can look to God, rather than other people to receive the blessing.

Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.

17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. 

Proverbs 15:16-17, KJV

Dear God,

We thank you for the gifts that you have blessed us with.  We pray that you will help us to realize that we don’t have to worry about being threatened by anyone else, because you have blessed all of us with different gifts/talents that are unique to us.  Please help us not to compete, but to work together for your glory.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Well of Life from Perfectionism and Approval

We have all been found guilty of idols in our life.  Some of these surface idols cover up deeper issues.  Because of the trauma and rejection that was placed on me at an early age, my surface idol showed up as striving/ overachievement/perfectionism.  My deeper idol was to get approval from others.  It has taken me a long time to realize this.  When we lay our idols as Jesus’ feet, he quenches our thirst every single time.  Satan makes it his business to make us think that Christ isn’t enough.  The truth of the matter is, we aren’t enough without him.  Daily, we have to go to the tree of life, who is the only one who will fulfill us.  Be blessed!

rocks, reflection, wellness, inspiration, poetry, prayer
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The Quench

Lord, I want their approval.

My child, you’re filled with fear and doubt.

Just come to the well.

Drink from my everlasting spout.

 

 

Lord, I want their approval.

Don’t you see me on the hill?

With the woman at the well.

Her jar left quite unfilled.

 

 

Lord, I want their approval.

Oh my child, can’t you see?

They’re all broken and insecure…

Need some fixin’ at the tree. 

 

 

Lord, I need your approval.

Oh dear child, you can see.

All your striving and perfecting,

Doesn’t mean a thing to me.

 

 

It’s by grace that you’re saved.

Not by works.

You can’t boast.

And I love you.

Yes, I love you.

Oh, I’m loving you the most.