Getting Filled Up from Something Empty

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This is a week I want my “insides” to smile as I reflect on the event we will celebrate on Sunday. It’s not a day to celebrate the Easter Bunny coming to town, but it’s a day to celebrate and remember that the perfect man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came to earth to live. He chose to die the most gruesome and cruel death imaginable. His broken body was put in a tomb to decay, but He was gloriously raised from the dead so all who put their faith in Him could really live.

What does the empty tomb mean to me?

  • Even though my life was once empty, it is now filled up with abundant goodness that came when I put my trust and faith in Jesus Christ. John 10:10 says Jesus came so we could have an abundant life.
  • Even though I get knocked down a lot, I get back up because Jesus is fighting for me. He helps me dust myself off and get moving again in the right direction.
  • Even though my earthly body is wasting away and life as I know it now will one day come to a halt, I will be made new and escorted into heaven where I will live forever with the One who loves me so.
  • Even though I mess up miserably, I am perfectly loved, restored, and forgiven by Jesus.
  • Even though I will never live a perfect life, I know I am further along in life than I was a year ago and even a month ago.

I do not have to “do” anything to ensure all of these blessings will continue. These blessings are mine because of Jesus’ blood that drained from His perfect body. The cross that brought death and the resurrection that brought life show the greatness of the love of God for all mankind. Let us truly live out this full and spiritually rich life that is ours because of perfect love that shows Himself to us in every breath we take. He is alive!

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Five God Given Gifts That Bring Serenity

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Being a Transformational Life Coach brings me great joy! I get to see how God is already at work in the lives of those I coach. I leave sessions in a greater awe of who God is and Who He is in the life of the person being coached. To see a person made in the image of God discover how to move forward in those areas where he or she desires growth – what an opportunity! Coaching empowers them to live in a way that brings more life satisfaction and ultimately more joy.

A few weeks ago, I came away with something new. The person I coached shared with me an excellent way of refocusing on those days when we’re in need of a “soul lift”. It’s a way of “grounding” ourselves in those moments where we may feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just in the pit. It’s a way to find relief using gifts that God has given to all of us. The gifts are our five senses: hearing, feeling, tasting, seeing, and smelling. It’s tuning in to all of these senses within the same moment of time.

I am practicing being more mindful of the good things that come from harnessing those senses.

This morning the taste of vanilla coffee, the warmth felt from our gas logs, the scent of peach lotion on my hands, the satisfaction my eyes received from my made up bed, hearing my husband’s voice all bring me to a serene place. They are gifts I will thank God for and know they will be there for me another day.

Today let’s discover, through tuning into our senses, the places we can find tranquility. Why not take out a pen and paper and get creative! Using the last paragraph as an example, practice this right now. How can you use your five senses, hearing, feeling, tasting, seeing, and smelling to create a place of serenity?

Let me know what you discover. Your comments are invaluable!

 

 

Ten Important Questions for 2016

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Last week I had time to read quite a few blogs on New Year’s Resolutions. Some bloggers believe it’s good to make them, and others say no. Michael Hyatt says that 25% of those who make New Year’s Resolutions will give up in just a week. Fewer than half will still be making progress by summer and only 8% will be successful. Follow through is hard work.

I really don’t like the word resolution. However, I do like one of its synonyms. It’s the word intention. The dictionary definition says that intention is an aim that guides. It’s something that’s done with purpose. I know there are things that I want to be more intentional about in 2016. As a Life Coach I came up with some questions for myself that I wanted answered. I spent two hours one afternoon last week putting together a plan that is already helping me move forward in areas of my life that are the most important: spiritual, physical, relational, ministry, and work related. I asked:

  • What do I need to change?
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What do I need to keep?
  • Who do I want to get to know better and how can I make that happen?
  • What can I do to help those who are in need?
  • What can I do to make sure I get the needed amount of sleep?
  • What do I need to do to stay consistent in exercise?
  • How can I eat healthier?
  • What plan can I make that will help me learn more about the things in which I’m most passionate?
  • What can I do to laugh more?

The first question is the one that took the most time to answer. I knew what needed to be addressed and it was painful. I’d been putting it off. It’s the way I manage my time. I can’t improve in many of the other areas if I’m not managing my time well. I laid out a plan and I’m seeing progress. This year I will get more things done that  bring joy, freedom, fulfillment, and purpose.

Be careful how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. Ephesians 5:15,16

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Noel

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Three years ago, my husband and I got in on our first Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt with our daughter, son-in-law, and their three children. This was our third year – so now it’s a December tradition. We love it! You can find the scavenger hunt at familyfriendlyfrugality.com

The first two years we found everything on our list except for the lighted word NOEL. Yea for us! We found it this year! Even more exciting – it showed up on their street. We got 100% this year!

Lily, our 7 year-old granddaughter asked me what Noel means. Even though I sing the Christmas carol, The First Noel, I didn’t know the origin of Noel. After researching I found that it’s a French word which means Christmas season. The French word is nael and it is derived from the Latin word natalis which means birth. The birth of Christ was truly the beginning of the greatest event in the world’s history – the death and resurrection of Christ. The birth of Christ is not complete without rejoicing in the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection is what truly turned things around in a sick and dark world. His resurrection continues to be the catalyst for turning things around on my messy days.

Here are truths that turn things around for me:

  • I always hope when I am troubled. I have the hope of heaven and the hope of abundant life every day and right now. This hope is there for all who will humble themselves before the One who gave His all for them.
  • I am perfectly loved.
  • I am accepted just as I am.
  • I have a friend who never lets me down. All I have to do is cry “help”. He is there regardless of the time of day.
  • I can be free of any bondage because of the perfect One who has limitless power that he wants to make available to me, if I choose to do things his way.
  • I can have peace because Jesus is peace.
  • I do not lack, because Jesus is enough.
  • I can find strength in exhaustion because he is strength and gives strength to the weary.
  • I can take care of “me” in a way that is right and good because he guides and directs in a way that is best.
  • I can depend on him to give me the aid I need to trust and obey.

Let us not allow ourselves to focus on any “I can’t” declarations for 2016, but add more and more “I cans”, and there are many.

The Most Important Message

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“Stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God.” These were the words Samuel spoke to Saul when the time had arrived for Samuel to let Saul in on the news that he would become king of Israel. Messages in the Old Testament were delivered through prophets of God. What a blessing and privilege it is to live during the time when we have the written Word that speaks to us personally. We don’t have to depend on another person to deliver a concise message to us. It’s a message I can find. It is here. It is easy to find. God’s Word says, “This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach.” Deut. 30:11.

This message is in the most important book ever written: the Bible This book has the message we all need to hear over and over: God loves me. God loves you.

If we have gone to church all of our lives we have probably heard the message “God loves you” so much that it has lost its meaning. Familiarity can bring complacency. Familiarity can steal joy. Familiarity can cause us to take things or people or even God for granted. But, the message God loves you, God loves me is the most important message there is. It’s this message that is central to the Bible.

This is the message of truth that when believed, accepted, and lived out will bless me beyond measure and allow me to be a blessing to others. I will not understand God, the reason He sent Jesus, nor have joy in this life without drinking in the meaning of this perfect love. The truths in Ephesians 1 and Psalm 139 say it all:

  • I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.
  • I am blessed because I am God’s child.
  • I am redeemed.
  • I am forgiven.
  • I am perfectly loved just as I am, flaws and all.
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • I am precious to God.
  • I have purpose.
  • I am cared for by the One who created me.
  • I am important to the One who created me.
  • I am understood by the One who created me.

May we immerse ourselves in these truths over and over until they run through every vein, pumping life into the depths of our soul. There we will find joy, peace, and freedom that we’ve never known before.