Honestly Speaking

 

God is my strength and power

 

 

Honesty

A recent conversation with my daughter went something like this:

“Seriously Mom, thank you for not thinking awful things of me when I express how I’m really feeling and it’s not good.”

She also thanked me for allowing her just to “vent” about everything and the emotions she was going through, especially since some pain in her heart was front and center – rearing it’s ugly head and taking over much of the day.

I assured her that no matter what she ever said or even did that I would always love her.

I then took the time to remind her that isn’t it wonderful that we can come to God and pour out the hurts that are killing us, pour out the anger that is eating at us and pour out the many other emotions that can seem to be so overwhelming that we can’t think, see or even feel anything but what is running through our heart at that very moment.

Often when we pray we “clean up” our prayers and “nicely” come to God asking for help through our situations.  May I remind you that God knows what you are screaming in your heart?

God KNOWS and even better than that – HE CARES and loves us anyway!

Be real with the Lord.

July and August 2013 were the beginning of some awful months in my world.  After a wonderful event – an answer to a lifelong prayer, several horrid & unexpected events took place.  The tears were streaming daily, deep awful sobs of pain escaped from my heart daily and then, in a weekend of a moment of peace, I called a friend (friend of over 25 years) after seeing her on Facebook.  We chatted, caught up and had a great time laughing. I needed that more than she knew.  Did we discuss my problems? No.  We laughed.  We discussed what she was doing and how our kids were and how crazy it was that we were parents of adults.  We made plans for dinner for the following week and hung up.

My heart was refreshed during a difficult time of pain.

Then it happened.  A few days later, I get the message that my friend had just had a massive stroke and died.  Did I hear that right? That was it.  Even though I never mask my feelings with God and we have some “very frank” conversations I was in shock kept thinking/praying “Seriously Lord???” This on top of everything else?  I was devastated even further.  The only thing I could keep praying is:

God, I don’t understand – but I trust you

Over and over I prayed.  and then I reached out.  Nothing specific, just reached out and was comforted by the prayers that I knew was being poured out on my behalf.

 

life hurts right now

 

We don’t always understand and that is ok.

We don’t always come to God with poetic prayers and that is ok.

Sometimes we come to God with “Where are YOU?? I NEED YOU” and that is ok.

Satan would have us fear that God gets angry with this kind of prayer but He doesn’t.  David, in the Psalms, over and over cried out “How LONG Lord?”

It’s ok to come to God and just pour out all of your hurts that have you broken at your very core.  He knows and He cares.

It’s ok to be completely honest with God.  He knows in your heart you are screaming and the pain is killing you physically and emotionally.

It’s ok to do nothing and say nothing more than “God I need you” and then rest in Him.  Let him refresh you just like Elijah had to do.

Don’t let guilt move you from the Lords presence. 

Be honest with the Lord and watch how he refreshes you. Your trials and situation may not change in an instant, but God’s grace will be sufficient and carry you through.

Things WILL get better.  Seasons DO Change.  The tears will slow down and stop. God IS Faithful!

 

Your turn.  Who or what has God used to refresh you during a difficult time in your life?

What verses do you turn to for comfort?

 

Thank you for leaving your comments below! Thank you for encouraging others in their walk of faith! 

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

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He Knows

 

Ps. 139:1  Oh, Lord, thou hast searched me and known me….

 

I’m often amazed at the thought that even though the Lord knows me, that HE still chooses to love me.   Me….. a little ole nobody with fearful tendencies and so far from child like faith, it’s scary.   

 

He knows when I’m discouraged, when I feel alone, defeated and depressed.

 

He knows when I’m at a loss of words to pray and when I can’t even cry out to Him.

 

He knows when confusion has darkened the path and I can’t even begin to see a flicker of light.

 

He knows when I can’t lift my head and even utter, help me Lord.

 

He knows when I want to spend a day saying thank you for my many blessings, but I end up crying through the tears, thank you for being there Lord.

 

He knows when my heart is screaming I need wisdom, direction and peace and I wonder when it will come.

 

He knows when I can’t take “it” anymore and He waits for me to leave it at HIS feet.

 

He knows….

 

So, I wonder, why do I not leave “it” there?  Why do I carry these burdens, doubts and fears?  Why, when I know that HE will carry the burdens and ME too.

When I can’t do this, when I can’t take another step, when I can’t stop the tears or see the light – HE KNOWS and he chooses to love me anyway, wait for me anyway and pour mercy and grace out on me so that the JOY of the LORD can be my strength.  (Neh. 8:10)

He has created me to be exactly who I am.  He has worked all things together for good for me in the past and will continue to do so.

 

I will continue to be in awe that even though he KNOWS me, He LOVES me.

How about you?

HE knows you and chooses to love you.

 

That is awesome! Don’t you think?

 

 

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

learned from walter

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

After a few long weeks of chaos, busyness and not enough time with the Mr, we decided to have a date “day.”

This consisted of using some gift cards, lunch, movie, more shopping, coffee, dinner and a trip to the bookstore.  Side note: No date is complete without a trip to the book store.

Not knowing what was playing, I briefly viewed the comments about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and thought it looked like a good movie, and besides, who doesn’t like a little day dreaming? Ok – another side note – that small statement just cause a brief moment of song “I like dreaming….dreaming can make you mine…”  (Does anyone else have that issue where random words and phrases will just cause them to break out in song? Surely I can’t be the only one.)

ANYWAY…..

Without ever seeing previews or anything about the movie, we start out on our date.  Movie time rolls around and Ben Stiller – I must tell you young man, I was completely impressed.  Not to many movies resonate with me like this one did….but then again, you might be surprised to know that I’m a horror flick chick, so we are ALL thankful that horror, shoot-‘em up movies DON’T resonate with me….mostly….usually.

Again… ANYWAY…. (sorry…sorry back on track)

This is an awesome movie that simply encourages you to LIVE.

Many people have the bucket lists, but what are you doing to work on it? Are you saving some for that big trip? Are you exploring some states around you so that you can enjoy adventures in all 50 of the United States?  What are you doing to reach those goals?

Here are 10 things that I took from the movie:

  • Live.  Simple hmm? Do something that you love doing today.
  • Love.  Gosh – simple too? Let those that you love know it!
  • Explore – You don’t have to travel to Greenland or Iceland like Walter did, unless you want to – but explore! Every one of us have “historical” areas near us – Go…explore…have fun!
  • See.  Seriously – do we really see the beauty that is right around us?  Walter was completely surprised by the photo on the negative.  Open your Eyes!
  • Think of Others – Yep, that was there too! Walter brought back a skateboard for a friend from his journey.  Talk about Spreading Joy! He was thinking of others while he was on the mission to find the negative
  • Inspire. You never know who you will inspire.  Walter would have never been able to get into the helicopter with a drunken pilot if it weren’t for some kind words. A simple thank you inspired me to give a name to what I love doing – Spreading Joy.  Inspire Others!
  • About Courage. Courage comes when you need it, if you just take the first step.  Step out. go ahead… you’ll be just fine.
  • About Fear. If you think you are the only one that battles this beast – you’d be dead wrong.  We are all fearful. Be Bold!
  • About Assumptions. Don’t assume.  What you think you know or just saw, might not be what the actual truth of the situation is. Don’t assume.
  • About The Moment. Sometimes we need to just “enjoy” the moment. Don’t capture it with a photo, don’t record it – just ENJOY it.

 

Those were just a few things.  You may have seen different things and if you did, I hope you’ll share. Go see the movie or rent it when it comes out.

 

Quote:

“Beautiful things don’t seek attention”

(My memory is horrible, I need to watch it again and add some of my favorite quotes to this page. Will likely do that – what were yours?)

 

 

Disclaimer: this is in NO way a Movie review.  Ben Stiller didn’t ask that I do this, and I haven’t received any kind of compensation for this article on his movie.  This is just a summary of a movie I saw with the Mr. on a random date and the things that I took from the movie.  You are free to leave your comments about the movie – good or bad, just keep it nice.  Everyone sees things differently.  I’d like to see how YOU see things.  Did I miss something?

What did you see? What was your favorite quote/quotes?

JOYn the conversation.  Do you have an actual review to this movie? You can feel free to leave the link in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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Taking Hope and Joy Back to School

 Always do a little more than the BasicsI love that there are people out there who will do a little more, sacrifice for others and truly love making a difference.

We were able to provide some basic school supplies for these kids, but even greater than that – we were able to give them some of what they LOVE!

Reese’s Cups, Gummies & Snack Crackers!

So simple – yet so amazing!

Going back to school is usually filled with so many emotions for children as well as parents.  Thanks to YOU, being the hero that you are, there are 250 kids going back to school that will not have to face ridicule, teasing and laughter because they were using left over or hand-me-down school supplies.

Many parents are breathing a sigh of relief because they can purchase a few more articles of clothing or other things the school deems necessary because YOU, being the hero that you are, gave their children the basic but necessary items to waltz back to school with a little pride and joy in their step.

Take a look at what YOU provided this year:

  • 250 Brand NEW backpacks were given out
  • 220 of them were filled with the following item:
    • 1 pack of notebook filler paper
    • 1 package of pens
    • 1 package of pencils
    • 1 box of crayons
    • 1 box of colored pencils
    • 3 spiral notebooks
    • Glue
    • Package of snack crackers
    • Package of gummy snacks
    • Package of Reese’s Cups
    • Many of them had composition notebooks in them
    • Many of them had highlighters
    • Some of them had pocket folders

Even though we didn’t have enough “items” to completely fill all 250 backpacks, we still gave away each and everything we collected!  Some of the backpacks were only lacking the paper.

LOVE spreading joy by providing Backpacks for kids!

It was an amazing event and thanks to YOU – being the hero that you are, you also provided the following:

  • LOVE – their backpacks were just oozing with great love! Children are smarter than we give them credit for and they KNOW that someone loved them enough to help provide this for them! Yes – YOU Gave LOVE!
  • HOPE – Sometimes when “thing” after “thing” goes wrong, all hope seems to be lost.  YOU helped to restore hope in their hearts and minds.
  • JOY – While many kids dread going back to school just because summer is over, there is NOTHING like the smell of a new box of crayons, or the brand new pencil that was just sharpened or putting your name in the front of that notebook.  Not to mention the goodies that we were able to provide, all because YOU CARED, that brought JOY! Kids love crackers, gummies and Reese’s Cups so this was great joy all by itself!
  • KINDNESS – Spreading JOY is contagious and I believe that when a classmate has lost their pencil, that because these kids received an entire pack, they WILL SHARE!
  • POWER – Your gift empowered these children to face their dreams head on and take the next step towards doing amazing things!
  • PEACE – The peace from knowing they at least have much of the basics is such a priceless gift!  Yeah, YOU did this!

spreading joy with some school supplies

 

Your gifts, voice, love and prayers will fill this new School Year full of these things and so many more things!

Thank you for having a heart for others!

Thank you for spreading JOY to these kids!

Thank you for your monthly gifts that enable us to keep spreading JOY!

it's the little things that are so JOYful!

Thank you…..

YOU are a hero!

YOU MATTER

 

 

 

Because of YOU

 

 

What I’ve learned from you cannot be expressed in mear words and my heart can’t adequately describe for you the gift you’ve been.

.

I’ve grown, changed and will never be the same because of you.

 

You’ve changed the way I think, the way I see things, and the way I love.

You’ve changed how I pray, how I teach and how I learn.

You’ve changed how I trust, how I commit and how I act.

You’ve changed the way I approach each and every day.

 

Thank you.

 

You’ve shared tears of joy, agony of pain and laughter of love.

You’ve shared new adventures, new problems and new solutions.

You’ve shared milestones, memories and a peek into the heart of tomorrow.

 

Thank you.

 

 

You’ve brought new treasures, secured old treasures and allowed painful memories to turn into smiles.

You’ve brought great questions as well as answers that I would have never even imagined.

You’ve brought great joy and hope as well as the reminder of a brighter tomorrow.

 

Thank you.

 

You’ve made me adaptable, determined and curious for what awaits me.

You’ve made me enthusiastic, optimistic and anxiously anticipating more!

You’ve made me resourceful, realistic and practical!

 

Thank you.

 

You’ve showed me just how great life can be and at the same time, made me realize just how quickly pain, sorrow and tears can flood my heart.

I’ll forever treasure you 2012 as you have been the most wonderful gift ever.

And somehow I know the same awaits me next year!

 

How has 2012 forever changed you?  

Please feel free to share your comments and/or a link about a similar article in the comment section below.

Have fun Spreading JOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming

Becoming…

I came across this quote some time ago and realized at that point that we live in tomorrow so much.  I do too.  I’m always looking forward to my next beach trip, the next Christmas or when things will simply just get better.

There is nothing wrong with that.  It’s healthy and pretty awesome to dream of what will be.  I dream of doing great things, having really nice things and making a huge impact in the hearts of others.

The problem comes in when we “live there” in tomorrow and forget about today.

Have you considered that:

  • Everything we do today, prepares us for tomorrow
  • Everything we experience today, prepares us for tomorrow
  • Every single trial we face today makes us stronger for tomorrow
  • Every single mistake we make today makes us wiser for tomorrow
  • Every act of joy, kindness and love makes us more compassionate for tomorrow
  • Every single tear that falls today allows us to treasure the joy of tomorrow.

When things are easy and we are “becoming” it’s not so bad, but when the days are tearful, fearful and difficult….”becoming” doesn’t seem so great, but that is so far from the truth.

You wonder why or “what did I do to deserve that?”

You wonder “how did I not see that coming? “

You wonder how could I have been so stupid, how will I ever make it and even wonder how you can take another day of “this?”

Because of the pain, tears and unknown you never in a million years think to ask….”What am I becoming?”

 

You may become cowardly…but you can also become courageous!

You may become down and out…but you can still rise to the top!

You may become a million different things, but truthfully, the choice is up to you.

We’d like to hear from you!  What are you becoming?

I know it’s difficult sometimes, but the bottom line is you ARE becoming amazing!

 

 

And, I imagine that you ALREADY are!

 

 

Spreading joy is as easy as posting this article to facebook, twitter, linked in and pinning it to pinterest. 

Do you have an article on this topic? I invite you to leave it below in the comment sections so others can easily find MORE encouragement and thank you for doing so!

Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY

Shine for HIM

We are reflecting God’s amazing light and HE has equipped us to shine so brightly that it can be seen, even in the darkest night.

Nations may rise and fall but our light will last forever.

We can and will forever impact hearts and with Social Media that impact can extend further than our minds can even imagine.

We can reach the world for the Lord without even leaving our home.

We need to realize that we are always reflecting God if we are a Christian.  We need to use our talents for the Lord. We need to help others grow and mature with their knowledge of the Lord.  We need to encourage others to keep taking one step at a time…for the LORD.

People will think things of the Lord, based on what they see and think of us.  May they always see great things about Christ in me.

When I feel grumpy – shine

When I feel sad – shine

When I feel hopeless – shine

When I feel lost – shine

When I feel like God doesn’t hear – shine

When I feel alone – Shine

When I feel defeated – shine

Regardless of how I “feel” – those emotions will pass, but the light I give off will last.

While I want to reflect God’s love, greatness and mercy, I also want to be authentically me.  When things are rough, admit it and tell others that I’m relying on the Lord’s strength to carry me through.  When I’m grumpy, own it and apologize if I’ve hurt someone in the process.

I am responsible for the light I give. 

Reminder:  

We are a reflection of God’s light.  We do not need to fear the darkness as God will turn it into light.

Psalm 18:28 You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

Father, help us to remember that we are a light, regardless of our feelings or how dark our world may be.  Help us to remember that even if we flicker a tiny bit, that we will help to rid the darkness of its power. May we always shine for you, in Jesus name we ask…Amen

 

Spreading Joy is as simple as posting on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google + as well as pinning on Pinterest.

Do you have an article on this topic? I invite you to leave it below in the comment sections so others can easily find MORE encouragement and thank you for doing so!

Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY

He Loves the Worst in Us

I’m often in awe that Jesus loves the worst in me.  The very worst.  He didn’t come to socialize with the best of the best.  He sought after the very worst the world had to offer and loved them.  He looked for the unlovable, the outcast and those that were often shunned by society.

Not only did our Lord Jesus look for the worst of us, but he also USED the worst.  They only had to be willing to go.  They only had to be willing to trust Him.  He didn’t require them to clean themselves up, get better and walk the straight and narrow first.  He simply loved them and cleaned them from the inside.

We, need to be like Jesus and quit looking for the best of the best to hang out with.  Quit looking for the high and mighty and start caring for the least of these.

Take the time to offer His love and then watch what His power will do in His time.

Love like He loves

Give like He gives

Go like He goes

Be like He IS…..

Remember…. He loves the worst in you too.

1 Thessalonians 3:12
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

{{HUGS}}

@spreadingJOY

 

 

Jesus Friend of Sinners

Psalm 25:8
Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

Matthew 9:11
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

 

Jesus Messiah

Psalm 40:16
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Psalm 116:1
love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.

 

Because HE First Loved Me

Lord,

I love you when the path is clear and easy,

I love you when I can hardly see.

I love you when I feel unlovable,

because you first loved me

Power of a Simple Smile

I love when someone that I don’t know flashes me a smile!

I love when someone that I love and adore flashes me a smile from across the room.

I love when someone is spilling their heart of hurt, then looks up and smiles and says…but it will all be ok, I just know it.

I think smiles are among the most powerful things ever.

Hugs are neck and neck with just how powerful a simple gesture can be.

Think about it with me for a moment will you?  You can never smile at the wrong person and regardless of who you are, what circumstances you face or financial situation you are in, you have smiles that are ready in an instant.

You simply choose when to smile and to whom you smile. Easy!

Let’s take a deeper look at just how powerful a simple smile is!

  1.  A smile will calm the deepest fear – You’ve been there before. So fearful that you feel you can’t move and then someone smiles, extends a hand and immediately your heart is reassured and the fear starts to diminish.
  2. A smile will ease the pain of hurt – Regardless of what kind of pain you are dealing with…it hurts! Pain is pain and it all hurts.  Sometimes pain is noticeable and when we smile, we help acknowledge their hurt.  The most powerful one is when we smile, acknowledging and have no clue just how deep the hurt runs.
  3. A smile will destroy anger – Anger can be very controlling.  We get caught up in its choke hold and find that we can’t wiggle our way out.  Sometimes smiling is the only way, other than walking away.  My son was very angry at some unfortunate events.  He had “had enough” and was telling me about it.  I was listening intently to the reasons he was so angry and then right in the middle he stopped and said.  “Just stop it.” I shook my head and said stop what?  He then replied – “stop smiling because I can’t be angry when you are smiling at me.”  I wasn’t smiling to diminish his feelings in anyway, I was smiling because I love him and I wanted to help him because he was hurting.
  4. A smile will help to dry tears – I know this could easily fit under the pain of hurt, but some hurts don’t bring tears, while others do.  Sometimes we just cry…just because.  Sometimes we carry the weight of the world and it reduces us to tears.  Sometimes tears of joy fall and even though they are joyful, they are still tears.  A smile at someone who is tearful will be huge to them.
  5.  A smile will encourage – Sometimes we all need a little encouragement.  All of us.  Sometimes we need a gentle nudge that reminds us to take the next step.  Sometimes a smile is all that we need.  Such Power!
  6. A smile instantly displays kindness – Kindness is almost a forgotten thing these days.  We are busy, we are always behind and are rarely understanding.  When there are 15 people in ONE check-out line, the tension is always thick and kindness is nowhere to be found.  ONE smile from you can change that.  Chatter will start and people will enjoy the wait a lot more just because you displayed some unexpected kindness.
  7. A smile is reassuring – You’ve been there before, we all have.  You completely blew it and blew it big time.  You wonder what in the world you were thinking and wish you could just be swallowed up by the ocean or have the mountain fall down on you.  What if right in the middle of all of this, someone stopped and smiled?  You’ve admitted to your mistake, you are fixing it to the best you can and then…the smile comes.  Your heart is eased and your mind is reassured.
  8. A smile is extraordinary in the middle of the ordinary – We all love the early morning hours don’t we? WHAT?!? You don’t? ohhh baaah humbug.  *smiling* I’m a night person and not much of a morning person, but for whatever reason, I’m generally very perky in the morning.  (Just not after a nap…read here next) Many people are slow to “get going” and your bright smile will help to get the mundane morning off to a great start.  Try it sometime.  A HUGE smile and warm Good morning….powerful!
  9. A smile is pure JOY in the middle of the ickiness – You’ve had one of “those days” before.  No need to recount it here, BUT, that person that smiled at you right out of nowhere brought you more joy than they realized didn’t they?  So, let me challenge you! Right smack in the middle of your icky day… SMILE! It’s Powerful!
  10. A smile is the same in any language – I don’t always have the opportunity to speak with people that don’t speak English, but when I do, I smile HUGE first.  We all speak that language and it means the same, regardless of where you are from.  It speaks volumes before the first word has been spoken.

 

Every single one of us has something POWERFUL, yet we don’t use it nearly enough.

Use your smile daily!

It’s more powerful than you know!

What is your story of a powerful smile? Share with us below. 

 

HUGS are just as powerful…read more here