somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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It’s Not All About Me

There was a long time in my life, where I was searching for my “purpose,” and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Day by day life was sometimes a struggle for me, and I constantly compared myself to what the world deems as important, or successful.

Since I lived a simple life, and chose to be a wife, mother, and homemaker, versus a successful business woman or rocket scientist, I was lead to believe that somehow I was a failure as a woman.  That I was a let down to the feminists of this culture…who seem to thrive on the “me first” philosophy of life, and the idea that children or family should never hold a woman back from the glory that she is…or should be.

I was being pulled in two opposite directions.  The world was pulling me in the direction of finding what “I” needed to be happy, and my heart was pulling me in the direction of striving to find ways to make my family happy.

Searching…

This constant battle in my heart and mind caused discontent and confusion.  I had no idea what it was that I needed, and certainly did not know who this elusive “me” was.   Down deep, I knew that there was much to learn about myself, and knew that it would not be an easy thing…to find my true purpose, and to feel comfortable in my own skin.

My main struggle was that I honestly believed that I needed to be perfect…look perfect, act perfect, and have a perfect family who lived in a perfectly clean home in order to be even close to the level of anyone  else in the world.  So I tried day after day, week after week, month after month, and then year after year, to look like all was good.

Except that I knew I could never be perfect in any area of my life, and so I could never be “ok.”  It was a conundrum.  And I went round and round, searching for who I really was, and what I was doing on this planet.

Even though I wasn’t yet aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, he lead me to the first steps of reading self help books, and then to therapy.  Book after book, and each therapy session  taught me one tidbit after another, teaching me to love myself and not to be afraid of asking, and sometimes demanding, what I needed to be happy.

When I found my “power,” I realized that I was ok the way I was, and everyone else needed to know what “I” needed to be happy.  It was a time of selfishness…it was all about me.  In the midst of this process, I learned to accept and love myself unconditionally…both my strengths and weaknesses.

When I learned to accept and love myself, somehow I was transformed.

Without conscious effort, I began to accept both the strengths and weaknesses of my family, my friends, and the people who were placed in my daily life.  I learned to focus on the good, and overlook the bad in others.  Miraculously, my happiness level rose exponentially.

It seems to me that Jesus was there every step of the way, leading me to continue learning  one more thing after another  that would ultimately bring me closer to the power of Love…to Him.

I started out as feeling inferior and empty, and then realized that I am a  child of God, with unique gifts.  The error that I made (and the same one I am seeing over and over in others) was to think that my happiness is the most important thing in this life. That I needed to focus on myself, and in that way, would find happiness.

That was a deception.

True joy and happiness is realized through reaching out and helping other people.  It is opening our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, and asking Him to fill us with himself.  It is looking for ways to be a blessing to others, and to be humble in our dealings with those who hurt us or cause us to be uncomfortable.  When filled with the Spirit of God, it becomes easier to see through hurtful words and actions, and see the hurting heart that lies beneath.

In knowing your true worth…that you are loved totally and unconditionally by God…it is easier to stand your ground in a more loving way.  Without anger, jealousy, or bitterness.

I now know that I “found myself” when I learned that my true identity lies in the Lord.  His love surrounds me and fills my heart.  This love begs to be shared!

It’s not all about me.  It is all about Him… that lives within me.  And my purpose is where He leads me.

 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1:12-13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 


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Welcome to Our World!

Brayden1

Yesterday our first grandchild was born, and our little world was once again changed in a way we could not imagine.    Little sweet Brayden opened his eyes after a very long labor, to finally break through into the sights, sounds and feel  of this world.

I thought I already loved my son and daughter in law as much as humanly possible.  I thought wrong.  After sharing in their experience long distance,  the intensity and scope of pain that  my daughter in law, Melissa endured, and watching my son, Joe, being there for her, my heart is just overflowing in love for them and for this sweet baby who will change their hearts and lives forever.  The struggle and pain of the labor that Melissa suffered through was evident.  However, sometimes, we are never fully aware of the pain and helplessness that is felt when one  is called to watch a loved one suffer.  Joe was there to support and help to make his wife as comfortable as possible, however, he was unable to take away or lessen her pain.

Melissa was the chosen one for this particular labor of love.  She was the one who said yes when she received the news of pregnancy.  She was the one Brayden3who chose to be more aware than usual of what she ate, drank and participated in during her pregnancy.  She was the one who sacrificed each day…to assist God with the miracle growing inside of her.

She said yes to this divine purpose for her life at this time.    Joe said yes to being her husband; to being there always to love, honor, respect, and protect her and this new baby, in any way that it took.  And yesterday, that meant saying yes to being helpless as he watched his wife suffer so much pain.

Little Brayden has already started the change that will occur in all the lives he touches.  When my husband and I look at the pictures of our new grandson, we see a miracle.  It is almost overwhelming that our son now has a son.  We also know how the Lord will use this little one to mold and teach all of us…but most of all, his parents.  They will learn love in a way they never thought possible.  They will learn what it truly means to be selfless.  They will experience joy like never before, but will also experience doubts, confusion, frustration, and the ups and downs that life brings.Brayden2

Each one of us has a unique purpose, and must journey down the individual road that God has paved for us.  We all have our own vocations and gifts.  For Joe and Melissa their journey is starting with their newborn son that God blessed them with.  For others it might be a different path.  However, the path that the Lord paves for all of us is in love and through love…and is meant to draw us closer to Him. 

Will we choose to say yes?

Welcome to our world and to our family, baby Brayden!  We thank God for you and look forward to being a part of your life, watching you grow, and learning from your innocence and wide-eyed wonder!

 


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Wait on the Lord

As I look outside from my desk at work, my eyes are drawn to the small tree in my line of vision.  To tell you the truth, this tree, through each of the four seasons, helps to keep me grounded and calms my spirit.  The wind connects with the leaves either allowing them to ripple and shimmer gently in the breeze, or overwhelming them in a forceful way…causing the branches and leaves to sway and snap back and forth with each new gust.

God communicates with me through the character of this little tree.   Today, I feel the complete stillness of the branches and leaves.  Complete calmness.  There is a storm waiting to unleash; heavy dark clouds are hanging in the sky…blocking the warmth of the sun.

That is exactly how I feel this morning.

In the last three weeks there have been little storms and bigger ones in our life.  To name a few – our sump pump and hot water heater gave out and needed replaced, our two year old car had an issue that of course was not covered by warranty and was a sizable chunk of money, our air conditioner gave out and the system needs to be replaced, and the most current and threatening storm is my mom’s health.  My mother will be eighty eight next month, and she has been living with my husband and me for eleven years.  Lately, she has become noticeably weaker, and it is hard to watch her struggle to walk a short distance.

I feel powerless.

Like that motionless, still tree, I am called to wait…and trust in the Lord as the storms are brewing.  Although, being human, I feel stressed and sometimes very confused as to where our path will lead in the future, I put my full faith and trust in the Lord.  He knows all of our struggles, and holds us in His loving care as we weather those storms.

He works all toward good for those that love Him.  And we love Him!  Alleluia!

 

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.  Psalm 27:14

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

 


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True Purpose

These words were given to me this morning.  Maybe they are meant for you…as they are  for me:

How much more time will you waste feeling inadequate, and waiting for the revelation of God’s real purpose for your life?  How long will you continue to pray for the Lord to reveal your true calling, as though He hasn’t already?

Have you ever considered that each person and sometimes ‘mundane’ circumstances in your daily life, are all intricate parts of His Divine Plan?  That maybe those people that you pass by or communicate with in such a nonchalant way, are an important part of your mission and purpose?  Sometimes, they are those that you push aside and away from you.  The ones who are so unlike you, or make you feel uncomfortable.

Have you ever wondered about the blessings you have been blocking in the lives of the ones you cast aside? Or the blessings blocked in your own life due to those decisions?

Maybe we only need to open our eyes to the opportunities God is placing right in front of our noses…the opportunities given to share His love with those in need.  When we take the step forward to live and love for Christ, we will notice more and more the people God entrusts to us, and we will realize it is through these acts of love that we grow as people. 

It is through these acts of unselfish love that we are brought closer to Jesus, and our true personality and spirit are revealed.

So as you go through your day today, pay special attention to those around you…and make the decision to love.  You may find that is your true purpose.


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Trusting the Winds of Change

Most of my friends know that I don’t like wind. There are a few reasons for my displeasure, but suffice to say, wind is not my favorite thing.

So what do you think happens every time I go for a walk? It could be the most still of days when I venture outside for my daily walk, I’ll be on my way for about 5 minutes, and then BOOM, the wind hits me with a rage. I’m not talking a gentle breeze, but almost a whirlwind!

I’ve come to realize, that the Lord is definitely communicating with me and teaching me through these winds.

You see, I am a person who has always sought peace and the calming comfort of routine. This need and quest for peace in my life stemmed from childhood, when I used to stick my head in a book at a very young age, and would create my own world. I would literally make my surroundings disappear, and would not even be aware of the craziness happening in the house around me.

This quest for peace directed my life, and I continually headed in the direction of my interpretation of “peace and quiet”. Many times, because of this internal guidance system that was on autopilot, I passed up countless opportunities for growth and even missed out on many joys because I was looking for a “safe” place to be. I had built myself into a cozy little box, and was not even aware that the real motive behind my self- imprisonment was fear. There, I said it…it was fear.

Back to the wind…or should I say the winds of change.

As my relationship with Jesus becomes more intimate, he is guiding and teaching me through his outpouring of grace and love. I am learning to TRUST God and his purpose for me. This trust cannot be forged when I shelter myself from all that I deem uncomfortable or a threat to my peaceful existence.

I am learning to open my heart and soul up to the Lord, and offer him all that I am. AS IS.  Although I am always striving to align myself closer to Jesus and his ways, I trust that he is working in me and through me, bringing me and those lives he touches through me, closer to him.

This involves great TRUST.

Trust, when winds come straight at me, and throw me off my usual course and way of thinking.

Trust, when I choose to not only listen to the whispers of the Spirit in my heart, but HEAR them and act on them.

Trust, that through the winds of change, I will be strengthened and ready for any storm that may come my way, or into the path of those around me.

As I sit, at this moment, I am feeling an extreme calmness of spirit. At the same time, I feel the intense energy and total love of Jesus through my entire being.

I am looking out the window, watching the trees and leaves that are momentarily motionless, as they patiently wait on the Lord to move them in his direction.

And I also wait on the Lord, for he is my all, and is my source of joy, happiness, and true peace.

I wait for the blessings that will be poured over all of his children, through the winds of change.

May God bless you and keep you in his care, as you wait on him and his direction for your life’s purpose.

 

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.   Psalms 27:14

 

 

 

 


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Why Me?

All I can say is “wow”.

This post is a reblog from “Unshakable Hope”….I know it will affect you as it did me.

The last few weeks have been stressful due to many different struggles, and I was starting to feel closed in and filled with anxiety.  After reading this amazing faith testament, my perspective has been adjusted.  Thank you, Bill!!!

Why Me? I’ve become convinced that for a Christian to retain hope in the midst of a trial, he or she must believe that God allowed the trial for a purpose; a purpose greater than what Christ would have been able to accomplish in and through that person apart from the trial.

“…even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

They might phrase it differently, but I think every Christian that goes through a difficult trial will eventually ask “Why me?” But I’ve learned that our motive behind asking this seemingly simple question tells a lot about how we view God and how we view ourselves.

The first man asks the question like this: “Why me; out of over 6 billion people in the world, why did I get ALS (or whatever)?” He’s really asking, “Why didn’t God put this on one of the other 6 billion people?” This man has a warped view of God and an exalted view of himself. He views his trial as pointless and thought that he was somehow exempt from the suffering of humanity.

I know what I said about this first man sounds harsh and judgmental, but I know this man well; in a spiritual and emotional sense, I wrestled with him for several months after being diagnosed with ALS. Thankfully, with the help of God’s word, wise counsel from Christian friends and a well-timed conversation with our then non-Christian next-door neighbors, I began to see that there was a purpose behind my trial and I defeated that “woe is me” man that was trying to get into my head. (More about our next-door neighbors further down).

The second man asks the question like this: “Why me; what’s God’s purpose behind allowing this horrible trial?” This man has the correct view of God and of his place in the world. As a Christian who knows the Bible, this man knows that God wouldn’t have allowed this trial unless He had a purpose.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

That verse can only be true if we have an eternal (“Big Picture”) view of our trial. God still heals and performs miracles, and I believe that we should always pray for that result. But regardless of the outcome, God can bring about eternal good from every trial. In a hundred years, the eternal good that came from our trial will be the only thing that matters.

Trials cause the person going through the trial and those that are close to that person, to focus more on the spiritual and the eternal things because, by comparison, the temporal and the material things begin to look more and more insignificant.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Back to our next-door neighbors: Mike and Lorraine were not followers of Christ when we met them. We did our Christian duty and invited them to church and tried to share the “Good news” with them; even our girls (then 4 and 7) invited them to church, but all to no avail. (They later told us that they mocked us in private. I could relate; I once mocked Christians too. Let’s be honest: making fun of Christians is so easy).

But after I was diagnosed, they began to reexamine the faith that was sustaining our family through this trial. Lorraine told me; “…When you were diagnosed with ALS I began to see a man who held no anger with the God that ‘allowed’ this to happen. Then you began to demonstrate trust in God’s plan, I saw your faith and I saw 2 little girls accept what God was doing in your lives and I began to wonder how such young children could love God unconditionally. I opened my heart first to the possibility that this might be good thing for me as well. Then I finally got it and allowed my brain to accept the basic truth that God is only good, loving and faithful…”

Mike and Lorraine committed to following Christ and now faithfully attend church and share their faith with others. (Now people probably make fun of them). Would they have committed to following Christ if we had not gone through this trial? Only God knows the answer to questions like that. The only thing I know for sure is that this trial has strengthened my faith and given me more confidence for sharing that faith.

But I admit that trials can sometimes feel like you’re serving a prison sentence; especially when you have ALS and you’re imprisoned in your own body. But the Apostle Paul wrote much of the New Testament while imprisoned and many of his fellow prisoners and the guards that observed Paul became followers of Christ. Only Jesus can spread a message of hope through a prisoner!

“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14)

via Why Me?.


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New Eyes

I love to go for walks during my lunch break at work.  It is a wonderful time to pray the rosary and meditate.  There is a beautiful, quiet open space toward the back of the building, and I usually feel drawn to that area.

For many months, while walking, I heard the words “Open your eyes and you will see”.  I knew the words came from God, however, I did not know what they meant.

While at a prayer meeting, the words were made crystal clear to me.  One of the women there spoke a prophecy…and I knew it was directed at me.  I actually got goose bumps. She said “There is someone here who is looking to see with new eyes.  I am telling you to stop praying in the old way.  Pray in me and through me.”  I understood that meant for me to stop praying to a God that is “out there somewhere” and start praying in Him and through Him…in and through my own heart and soul.  He is as close as my own heart. Isn’t that amazing?  I never thought of it like that…

Fast forward a few weeks…it was a beautiful Spring day…about 80 degrees, and I just HAD to go outside in the sunshine!!!  While on my walk, at my favorite place, I received a new message – “Are you ready to see?”

Up until today, I believed that the Lord was guiding me to open my eyes to the need around me.  I still believe that, and am working on being aware and keeping my eyes and heart open to see the opportunities of each day…and to show love in any way I can.  But I believe it goes further…

I believe that He is reminding me to be prepared.  As in “Are you READY to see”?  Hmm…am I ready to be used for God’s purpose?  That can only be achieved by becoming closer to Him, through scriptures, prayer, and meditation.  So I am really working on the preparation, so the Lord can use me, according to His Divine Plan.

Each one of us plays an important part of His plan, to share the Gospel of Christ and build His kingdom.  Are you feeling Him drawing you closer?

I am trusting that God  will complete what He has begun in me, and have chosen to turn my life over to Him.  “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to His word”.

Luke 1:38   And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 6:11-18