An Expectant Heart

 

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I am learning to live a life of expectancy.  Living life in a space where I not only hope for good things, but I boldly expect them to happen.

I haven’t always been this bold, however.  Several years ago, 3 ½ to be exact, I was consumed by fear.  Afraid of my future and my now.  Feeling conflicted, confused, and disoriented, not knowing whether to look left or to look right, I became tired of being tired.  In my darkest moments, I asked God to help me and to show me, and that’s when I began to look up.

I made a conscious decision to keep my eyes fixed above and I surrendered everything. I began to trust at a deeper level, embracing the idea to expect the good each day.

At first, my shift was gradual.  I was expecting good things some days, but then others my focus was off.  But slowly, each day I began to transform from the inside out, within my soul and my heart.   In time, I came to the epiphany that surrendering was the key, and I was elated I had found it!

I’ve learned so much about navigating through difficulties since then.  So much so, that today, like the “Monday morning quarterback”, I attempt to offer hindsight solutions to my old problems.  A lot of good that does now.

Today,  I just keep moving, following the trail set before me, trusting even when I cannot see, and keeping my eyes on the prize with an expectant heart.

 

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I Am Called To Trust

 

“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;

You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

 Psalm 30:11

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What a beautiful promise from God!  He will wipe every tear from our eyes and bless us with joy, once again.  Troubles may come our way, but we shall dance once more.

When I’m relying on my feelings or not trusting like I should, time after time God reminds me that we are to walk by faith, not by our feelings.  I am called to trust and then hold tight to God’s promises. Even when in the natural things seem unlikely to change, I am called to trust and believe in God.

Believe that He loves me.

Believe that He is good.

Believe that He will help me.

And believe that He has the power to turn things around.

 

When It Rains It Pours

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Pouring down rain is what’s been going on around me lately.  I don’t mean it literally of course.  The winters here in Florida are picture perfect.  Cooler breeze blowing all day and the sun peeking out just enough to warm my soul.

But to say this past week has been rough would be an understatement. So, with everything that has taken place, the famous expression, “when it rains, it pours,” came to mind. Not only was I scheduled for a medical procedure and was super busy getting ready for that, but just as I was preparing, I was stopped in my tracks by none other than the flu.  NO joke!

Now I’m aware that perhaps you might be thinking . . . first world problems, and maybe so.  But to give you some background knowledge, this all came on the heels of several other difficult trials we’ve endured the past year and a half.  And so, truthfully, I’m exhausted!

Then last night as I lay in my room, I must admit, feeling sorry for myself, I remembered that God doesn’t promise us a life without trials.  He doesn’t promise an easy life full of skittles and rainbows.  But what God does promise is that even in seasons of disappointments and trials, He is with us.  God walks right alongside us on our individual journey, taking every step with us. And when we surrender, I mean truly surrender, He will guide us through it all.

Today, I want you to remember, as I had to remind myself last night, that whatever unfair circumstance you find yourself in.  Whatever curveball life has thrown you recently, find comfort and encouragement in the knowledge that God has not left you to do it alone. He is one prayer away; all we must do is ask.

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Not Even Now . . .

In those times when your future seems uncertain.

And when life surprises you with great unknowns.

Not even now are you defeated,

Not even now are you alone.

In those times when victory seems impossible,

And things don’t seem to go your way.

Not even now are you abandoned,

Not even now are you ignored.

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In those times when life seems too hard to bear,

And you feel your world is caving in.

Not even now does God not see me,

Not even now does He not know.

 

 

What It Takes To Give

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To give forgiveness takes humility,

To give empathy takes understanding,

To give thanks takes gratefulness,

To give advice takes sincerity,

To give love takes vulnerability,

To give of your time takes patience,

To give joy takes peace,

To give of yourself takes trust,

Learn to give more than you take,

For your life is measured not by what you take, but by what you are willing to give.

 

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

In the 1994 movie, “Forest Gump” the lead character played by Tom Hanks sat on a park bench and says, “My momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” 

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I’ve received AND bought many boxes of assorted chocolates through the years.  And if you’re like me, there are some chocolates you like, and others you don’t. You have preferences. You open your box of chocolates choosing to eat only the ones you like, while leaving the ones you don’t. Without even tasting all the options, you make up your mind they don’t taste good and so they sit in the box, untouched.

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Where am I going with this you ask?  Allow me to explain.

I believe that life is much like this.  Many of us spend our lives in our own little box expecting things to go exactly the way we “like” them to go.  Each season in our life we expect to like the way things turn out.  We expect to go to the college of our choice, we expect to get the first job we apply for, we expect to meet “the one” person that will sweep us off our feet and make life great, and so on.

Like the box of assorted chocolates, we will encounter a variety of roads. Some we will like, while others we won’t.  Some will come easy, while others will be long and difficult. Each road will be unique and unfamiliar having many twists and turns, ups and downs, and forks along the way.  Each time we may strive to pick the one we like, the one that feels most comfortable, and “feels good.”   All the while resisting and ignoring the ones we don’t like.  Trust me, I’ve BEEN there and DONE that.

But would you believe me if I told you that some of my biggest blessings have come from the twists and turns my life took in which I resisted and pushed away? My greatest joys have come from that one road I thought I didn’t like, but found the courage to walk it anyways. I took the chance and made bold moves and although at first it didn’t necessarily feel good, I still kept going.

We might not like the road we are asked to walk, but try to walk it regardless.

Because sometimes what we believe is happening TO US, is actually happening FOR US!

 

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Signs Everywhere

This past weekend my husband and I, along with our great friends took a long weekend trip up to Nashville.  Last minute plans are usually the best, don’t you think? The idea for this trip came on the heels of hurricane Irma several weeks ago. After enduring several days without power, along with other stressors, it was time for a fun getaway.  And so that’s exactly what we did!

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If you follow my blog, you probably have noticed that I talk quite often about “messages” and “signs.”  I believe when we choose to stay awake and look at our world through spiritual lenses, we will find messages meant exclusively for us.

With that said, I am not suggesting that you will see a message every time you step foot outside your house, nor will everything you see in writing have a “hidden meaning.” All I’m saying is when you commit to living in a space of awareness and perpetual gratitude, you will notice that God sends us messages.  The kind of messages that will not only speak to you and your current situation, but will also let you know that you are not alone.  They will show up when you least expect it, however their timing will be perfect!

So, on the second day of our trip, we decided to leave Nashville and head over to a beautiful vineyard about an hour away from Nashville.  On our way up we took a quick detour to stop in a little quaint town we saw on the side of the road.  Once we parked, we began to walk around in their “downtown” area, which by the way seemed like no bigger than my neighborhood street.  It was super cute and filled with several little stores that we couldn’t pass up.

The store we stumbled upon sold a variety of souvenirs along with some beautiful leather items.  As I began to look around, there to my left I noticed a set of wooden staircases leading up to a second floor.

In the blink of an eye, I found myself standing right in front of the staircase.  And so as I prepare to walk up, there it was staring right at me . . . a message!

And not just any message, but “MY” message.

 

“We know it’s a climb, but it’s worth the effort.”

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My climb! The long and hard climb I’ve been enduring this past year.  The exhausting climb that for a while I wasn’t even sure I could finish.  Yes, it was worth the effort!  Every single step, my sweat, each tear, ALL worth it!  There was absolutely no doubt, this message was for me!  I could feel it in my heart and deep within my soul.  Every word was for me and I received it with an open and grateful heart!  Right in that moment, there was a peaceful feeling that washed over me because I wasn’t alone.  Not in that moment, not today or not last year.

I was never alone, Never!

In life, God doesn’t promise us an easy climb.  He never promised a life without trials either.  What he does promise is to always walk alongside us.  Each step of the way he is there right beside us. He carries us!

With each step we take he wants us to fully trust in him, even when we can’t see the whole staircase!

 

 

YOU MANIFEST WHAT YOU BELIEVE!

You don’t become what you want.  You become what you believe.

 

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The questions is, “What do YOU believe?”

Do you believe that you are worthy of happiness?

Worthy of success, abundance, fulfillment?

Worthy of comfort, joy, peace?

Worthy of love?

Do you know all these things are your BIRTHRIGHT?

Is that what YOU believe?  Or do you believe something else?

TODAY, start believing and have faith that YOU ARE worthy of all these things and much, much more!

Because you will manifest what you believe!

 

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . .  Nothing will be impossible for you.”                                    ~Matthew 17:20

 

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of You . . .

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“If you hand over your fears, I PROMISE I will take care of them!” 

 

It’s what I heard in my dream last night.  The voice was soft, yet firm.  Gentle, but with conviction.

And so, this morning I awoke in search of WHO this message was intended for.

Perhaps it’s for me or one of my family members?

Or perhaps this message could conceivably be for YOU, the person reading this RIGHT NOW.

Either way I wanted to share these powerful words, that gave me hope for my future and courage for today.  I pray it does the same for you! 

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears”