“Mom, am I your favorite child?” whispered my daughter softly.  My son overheard, “No, we don’t even need to discuss it, I am her favorite!”

It’s an age-old problem, isn’t it?  Comparing ourselves to others, wanting to be better, wanting to be someone’s favorite, wanting to be significant, wanting to be valuable, wanting to be loved.

There are times, I can look at others and their successes and feel envious, and wish I had experienced success in a similar way.  However, God has been showing me a different way of looking at others and others’ successes.  He also has been redefining the word, “Success”.

God has taken me to the scriptures that talk about how we are a part of His body, and we all have a different role to play in His body. (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12)  How silly it would be, if in my body, my eye was jealous of my hand, or my hand was jealous of my foot.  

When I need to accomplish a task–like gardening–I am grateful that my entire  body “obeys’ my will and does what I want it to do.  I use my entire body to accomplish many different tasks. 

When I have done something and done it well, and others comment on it, they don’t say–”Wow, your hands really did a great job there.”  No, they say, “You did a great job.”

That is how it is with God’s body, when the hands of God’s body do a great job, that reveals who He is—and that is why His hands did what they did–to reveal Him. Glorifying God is Revealing God.

When a part of God’s body does something amazing or is something amazing, we can all take joy in that.  We are connected to each other.

God has been showing me that as I am obedient to Him, and do what He is calling me to do–I am successful, even if in the eyes of the world–I fail; even if I don’t see the results of my obedience, in my lifetime—I am successful in God’s eyes. 

God defines our success—and it is not necessarily in doing mighty feats, but it is in loving God, and in loving each other—these are God’s great commandments for all of us–no matter where we are placed in His body, and what gifts He bestows on us.

God is flipping my thinking—instead of a me vs. them mentality, instead of a competitive mindset, He is showing me a body mindset. First and foremost this means, I just need to listen to God and do what He tells me to do. That means I need to spend time with Him in His Word, and in prayer–listening and talking to Him.

God has directed me to do things I never thought I could do—to help others in crisis. And I have seen Him direct others to help me and my family when we have been in crisis. The body of Christ working and loving and serving others is one of the most beautiful and magnificent things to behold.

So—I hope you can wrap your mind around what I am saying—because— this is really, really important to God that we understand this— we are all loved and valuable, we are all significant, we all belong to each other, we are a Royal Priesthood, and the inheritance of God, Himself!!

So Let Us Be Encouraged!!

The Cool Kids

I spent time with my sister today, and she was telling me about her class reunion that she recently attended.  She told me some of the news of her classmates, and who she talked with, and what happened.  It sounded like so much fun!  My sister is only one year older than I am, and I knew many of her classmates.

It brought back many memories from High School.  I remember trying out for cheerleading in High School.  I had been a cheerleader in Junior High, but I did not make the cheerleading squad in High School.  All my sisters were cheerleaders in High School.  My best friends were cheerleaders.  I was not.

I wanted to be a cheerleader, because I wanted to be “in” with the popular crowd.  I had friends who were “in” with the popular crowd, but I was not really “in”.

This desire to belong, and be consider “cool” has cropped up in my life from time to time.  I remember in High School, I tried to figure out the formula for being “cool”–was it being pretty, being a cheerleader, wearing nice clothes, having a funny personality, living in a certain neighborhood?   What would make others notice me and want to be my friend?

I noticed that my son Sean, had no problems being the “cool” kid, in whatever group of kids he was in.  He was funny, he was witty, he was attractive.  However, he just didn’t seem to care if anyone liked him or not.  He was himself–whoever he was with.   To me, it seemed that his self-confidence was grounded in his relationship with God.  He knew His God and knew God’s love and acceptance for him.  (….the people who know their God will display strength and take action. Daniel 11:32) Sean was not trying to fill himself up with other people, He was already filled up with God.  Thus, Sean loved others with the love he was filled up with.

Of course, this is my perspective as Sean’s mom.  I think it is based in reality because of what others have communicated to me about Sean, but I don’t know if this is what Sean felt inside himself, only what his actions seemed to indicate he was feeling.

I also know the way kids reacted to Sean.  They wanted to be around him.  They laughed with him.  They played with him.  My husband and I joked because no one texted as much as Sean.  He had so many streams of conversations going.  Our cell phone guy said he’d never seen anything like it–and he’d seen a lot. 🙂  

So, to answer the age old question, “How is one popular?”  I think it doesn’t really matter, if one is popular with the masses.   I think what matters is accepting that we are loved and accepted by the One who calls us His own.  Then we can love others out of the fulness of our relationship to God.   I am grateful to God for giving me an example of what this looks like, in the life of my son, Sean.

May We Be Encouraged!!

Lies We Believe

Lie:  Everybody else has it all together except for me.


Rom 3:23:  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

1Co 10:13:  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience….

Lie:  There is no hope for me.  I will never change.


Eph 2:10:  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

 Phl 1:6:  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Rom 12:1:  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

 Rom 12:2:  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

When we look at these scriptures, we can see, that we are God’s work–but we are not His puppets—He wants us to respond to Him and what He is doing in and through our lives, by trusting Him, and offering our lives to Him.  This is when we really start to see the transformative work of God in our lives.  This is when Hope is born.

Rom 5:5:  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Offering ourselves to God is an act of faith, just as beginning a relationship with Him is an act of Faith.    Faith can be expressed through prayer.  If you want God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, you can ask Him to do this.   Here is a link to click on that will explain more about being filled with God’s Spirit.

As always, May We Be Encouraged!

The Feast

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a peanut butter sandwich.  It had a few ants in it, and there were a few smudges of dirt on it.  However, it was her sandwich–and in her mind–it was the thing that was standing between her and starvation.

While she was sitting there with her sandwich, hanging unto it, but not really eating it, she was approached by the King of her country.  He told her that she was invited to a fabulous feast. He described the delicious, well-crafted food at the feast.  It all sounded so, so very very good.  

However, the King told the girl that she had to give Him her sandwich.  If she gave Him her sandwich, then she could go into the feast.

The girl thought and thought, she wanted to eat the feast, but she was afraid to give up her sandwich.  She had the sandwich, the feast was still a promise.  Did she have enough faith to let go of the sandwich and walk into the feast?

I think in many ways, I am that girl and I’m holding unto the sandwich because I’m afraid to let go and walk into the feast.

This story is an illustration of faith.  It is an illustration of God promising us His feast, but first we have to let go.  We have to let go of the things we turn to for comfort—and everything we think will feed us–and turn to Him—-our true comfort, and our Feast, our Food—the bread of life.

Let me further illustrate with a story from my life.  I have turned to food for comfort for most of my life.  I remember when I was 9 years old, and a package arrived for me in the mail.  It was a present from a favorite Aunt.  I was hoping it was a box of chocolates.  Instead, she had heard me talk about how my older siblings had a baby book, but I didn’t–so she bought me a baby book, so I would have one too.  Presently, I treasure that baby book, and the thoughtfulness of my Aunt in thinking of me.  However, at the time, I was disappointed that it was not a box of chocolates.  I tell this story to illustrate my problem with sugar.

One might even say that I even have an addiction to sugar—it is what I turn to for comfort, and it is what I crave.    For a long time, the Lord has been speaking to me about this issue, He has asked me to give this addiction to Him.   I ignored Him.

I gained weight, and could not lose it.  I developed a problem with my sugar levels.   Finally, I turned to Him, and gave Him my “sandwich” so to speak.  And My King has given me a feast.

It has not been easy to hand over my “sandwich”, in fact, it seems like each day, and many moments a day, I am faced with a decision to hand over that sandwich.

There are some verses from Romans 12 that have helped me so much:  Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 In offering my life to God, I have seen God transform me.  Physically, I have lost weight, and my blood sugar levels are good.  Mentally, my mind seems clearer.  Spiritually, I am seeing the truth more and more about who God is, and who I truly am in Him.   

Just as a baby grows to be able to walk and talk, but that growth is a process, so too, my growth and faith have been and will continue to be a process.   However, God’s love remains constant each step of the way.  

May we be encouraged!!

Focus and Breathe

When I was pregnant with my first child, I went to a Lamaze class, and one of the things the nurse taught us, was to have something to focus on, during one’s contractions.   I chose a verse–Hebrews 12: 1,2.   Was that helpful?  Yes, it was really, really helpful.  The class also taught us not to give in to the fear of the unknown, but to breathe and focus throughout labor.  Was this helpful–yes, it was really, really helpful.  (In fact after our first child was born, my husband turned to me and said, “That wasn’t as bad, as I thought it was going to be.”)

What is the point of this story?   Right now, many people are feeling very, very anxious.  We just came through a pandemic, with shut downs and quarantines.  We have seen gas prices more than double in the past year.  We are seeing food prices rise, and are being told that we could see massive inflation by the fall.   There is good reason to be anxious.

So what can we do—we can focus our thoughts, and we can breathe.   Why?  Because it really, really helps.

We can focus our thoughts on the truth.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on one truth in particular:

2Co 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

What does this mean?  In Romans Chapter 6—It spells out what this means—I am going to paraphrase it for you—it says that when Jesus died on the cross–our sin natures were crucified with Him.  So our sin natures are dead, and we are new creatures in God’s eyes.  He sees us as His children, without sin before Him.

Now–we don’t ‘feel’ without sin, we in fact still give in the temptation to sin.  But God says–sin actually has no power over us–anymore–in fact–we are dead to sin, and alive to Christ.

We are to present ourselves to God, and He will give us the power to turn away from sin.  He sees us as a new creature—the old creature is dead in His eyes.  He wants me and He wants you to see ourselves in this way too.  

The new creature wants to obey Him.  The new creature wants to please Him.  The new creature wants to walk with Him.  The new creature loves God and loves others.  The new creature forgives.  The new creature gives grace and kindness to others.

So—when I am aware that I am acting like the old person that has passed away, I say to myself, “That is not me.  That is not who God has made me to be.  I am a new creature.  This old person is dead, and has no power over the new creature.  I surrender to you Lord, so that I can live out Your truth–that I am a new creature.”

The new creature is not afraid.  The new creature is not anxious.  The new creature knows her God, and trusts in His love and provision.  

The new creature focuses on the truth, and the new creature breathes in the truth.

Will this help during these trying times?   Yes, I promise you, this will really, really help!!

May We Be Encouraged!!