The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
A number of years ago, the Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas realized that Odalisque in Red by Henri Matisse had been stolen several years prior. For more than four years, no one realized the theft had occurred because a counterfeit replaced it in it’s original frame. Amazingly, looking at the original and the counterfeit side by side exposes the obvious counterfeit; yet it passed even the most discerning eyes – from museum staff to President Hugo Chavez.
I fear an all – out war on your identity and purpose would like to leave you a perfect replica instead of an original, imperfect you. My prayer is that you find a way to be yourself. Who wants a copy when you can have an original? The value of the original of anything is always greater than the counterfeit. Remember the greatest part of living free is being ok with who you are.
The “who you are’ is who God uses most. It’s not about a position we’re entitled to, but being positioned to sue what we’ve been entrusted with.
I so believe in you, my friend, and so does God. Imagine with me the rippling effect of what will happen in your life when you grasp the truth that you don’t have to be stolen from any longer. Not only can you take back your peace, joy, and confidence, but you can also use it to bring hope to someone else!
That rippling effect gives me goosebumps. (OR is could be the fifth cup of coffee…)
Because your deficiency is the perfect starting point for a miracle.
Praying for you friend, that you find your true authentic self, stop hustling for acceptance and be the YOU God created you to be.
That’s who we need at the table, the imperfect filled with confidence you that knows He is your source.
Hey friend, let’s grow together. I think you may have some amazing advice on what we can do to be real and authentic. Share with us what has been the best thing you’ve discovered to do that!
* Excerpt from The Power of Not Yet – Living a Life of Endless Possibilities” available on Amazon. (page 85)
* Image: Pinterest
I love the following excerpt from the book Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, because it’s an in-your-face challenge to not settle but instead look deeper at the glorious possibility God has place in us:
I chose the specialty of surgery because of Matron, that steady presence during my boyhood and adolescence. “What is the hardest thing you can possibly do?” She said when I went to her for advice on the darkest day of the first half of my life. I squirmed. How easily Matron probed the gap between ambition and expediency. “Why must I do what’s hardest?”
“Because Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don’t leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for ‘Three Blind Mice’ when you can play the ‘Gloria’?
How unfair of Matron to evoke that soaring chorale which always made me feel that I stood with every mortal creature looking up to the heavens in dumb wonder. She understood my unformed character.
“But Matron, I can’t dream of playing Bach, the ‘Gloria’ I said under my breath. I’d never played a string or wind instrument; I couldn’t read music.
“No, Marion,” she said, her gaze soft, reaching for me, her gnarled hands rough on my cheeks. “Not Bach’s ‘Gloria’! Yours! Your ‘Gloria’ lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.”
Here’s the thing many of us miss as we settle to play our own tired, Three Blind Mice; God himself has entrusted us with our own Gloria.
Each of us.
And until we realize what has been entrusted to us and paid for in full by Christ, we will always live feeling like we are entitled to more, while the little rat song continues to run our lives.
You are a trust fund baby with potential and purpose. There’s more value inside you than what you could ever imagine. Your life has big purpose; one that involves others – not just you.
Don’t ignore what God made possible in you my friend.
God can do anything you know; far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
I believe in you and so does God…praying for your Gloria! We all need what you bring to the table!
Hey friend…have you perhaps settled for Three Blind Mice when God has made so much more possible in you? Leave a comment to let me know how I can be praying for you!
* Excerpt from The Power of Not Yet, Living a Life of Endless Possibilities, pages 22,23 – available on Amazon.
* Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – page 7
* Image: Pinterest.
But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.
2 Timothy 4:17
We weren’t that big honestly.
But every blast of wind that billowed around us buffeted our young bodies threatening to blow us over. As little fourth graders when we left school that day we could hardly contain ourselves, so excited to be heading into the beginning of a long anticipated Christmas break.
As my friend and I were navigating our way home, the winter storm we faced proved to be more tenacious than we realized. As we labored through the wind, my friend yelled above the din of the storm, “Let’s stand together so we don’t fall over!” Just knowing she was standing next to me added strength as the storm howled on into the evening.
But what about when the Creator of the universe, who hung stars in the sky, painted the landscape around you and knows every single detail about your life.
What about when He stands with you?
There ain’t no gale force wind big enough and no devil in hell strong enough to withstand His strength. And even if you did fall over, He doesn’t leave or forget you.
HE is still there. RIGHT. BY. YOUR. SIDE.
Hand outstretched, grace extended.
Peace on you friend…praying for you!
Have you ever been in a storm? Or maybe right now? Lets grow together, share with us what you’re doing to navigate the journey to keep going?
“Do I look like I need your help?”
Hiking through Rock Creek Park always feels like soul food for this city girl. It’s the much longed for breathing space in the midst of a full and fast paced life. I love the smell of nature, the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet and the wonder of the sunlight kissing the trees in the slight breeze.
As I was wandering through the woods a few days ago, I came upon frail looking, elderly woman with a cane, struggling up the hill. My immediate reaction was to help her on the path that obviously had become an obstacle with her handicap.
As I reached out to help her, she whipped around and shook her cane at me vehemently protesting any inkling I had of assisting her ascent.
“I don’t need your help or anyone else’s, do I look like I need your help?” she shouted.
Ha…well apparently NOT.
As I turned to leave her to struggle on, I heard God whisper, “Hey, sometimes that’s you. I see your struggle as you look at the obstacle in front of you. What you consider a handicap or an impossibility is the very place that is actually an invitation for me to show you my strength.”
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become”
2 Corinthians 12
Perhaps like me you’ve thought “Once I get this together then I can get moving towards the dream.” The problem is that if we don’t invite God into the process we are only putting band aids on something that only God can heal, restore and redeem!
For me the daily invitation into my weakness sets me up for a win.
So then I quit focusing on the handicap and begin to appreciate the gift of discovering his strength when I’m weak.
Imagine with me what it would look like in your life if every time you encountered an impossibility, you realized it was actually a doorway to invite God in to show off his strength?
Wow…what we could actually accomplish would be mind boggling! Praying for you friend today, that you discover throw off the shame of the weakness and invite God into your ‘handicap”.
Lets grow together! Share with us how you’ve invited God into your impossibilities and handicaps?
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock
I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Jesus called Peter a rock long before he was stable and mature. Profound right?!
One of the most difficult things for me to wrap my head around is that God leads us by calling out what he sees, not by calling out our failures.
Perhaps like me you’ve become an expert on wearing the lens that only sees the imperfections. No matter the size, they all seem to be on repeat at a louder decibel than hearing what God is saying.
“You blew that project at work.”
“You don’t have what it takes to succeed.”
“Way to go at destroying that parenting moment, you’re just not that great at this.”
“You’ll never get in shape and lose that weight.”
“Your voice doesn’t matter, you don’t have anything to say.”
And on and on it drones.
That condemnation and shame you’re listening to are ninja thoughts attempting to stall your purpose and potential.
It’s up to you friend, but if I were you, I’d tell those thoughts to go back to hell where they came from.
And I wouldn’t waste another minute, go ahead and do it right now, right where you are. Perhaps sitting in your favorite chair, drinking that cup of joe. It’s as simple as turning an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one.
Then repeat back to God who he already knows you to be. It’s an investment into your daily routine that has infinite dividends to set you up with success in life. You have to believe what he says to see it.
YOU are a rock, you can do all things, you are a masterpiece, you have the brave you need, you have the mind of Christ, You are an overcomer who is stronger than you think and can tackle whatever you face today.
Remember we win.
Can you think of a few labels you’ve put on yourself through your past failures and current imperfections? Why not share in the comments some of the things you’re doing to change it to what God says about you.