Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How do you fnd forgiveness when the pain is so deep?

Some of the most hurt in your life can come from the people you call family.  Dysfunction in families can leave scars on your heart and bitterness in your soul.  Some of the closest people in your lives can be the ones to reject and hurt you the most.

What do you do?  How do you keep bitterness from your heart and anger from your soul?  How do you find forgiveness when the pain can be so deep? 

First it’s not easy.  Honestly, the only way to get through it is with God and the Holy Spirit.  God will begin to work in your life to show you areas in your own heart that needs mending and healing. We can’t change anyone else, but we can allow God to change us.  It takes time and it’s hard.  No matter how deep the wound is there is always a lesson to learn about ourselves.  With each lesson, we grow closer to God. 

As God heals you, He shows you the heart of others.  Their actions may be mean but when you see past all of that junk, you know they are just deeply broken and just don’t know it.  Instead of turning and giving their hurts to Christ, they lash out with all that is stored up in their heart.  You can’t take it personally. God showed me years ago, someone can only hurt you by their words and actions, if you yourself believe it to be true.  Even Christ was rejected from his own family and crucified by the people He came to save and yet he still loved and forgave. 

Read the story of Joseph in the Bible.  You will find one messed up family with jealously and pride at the root of the relationships between the brothers.  Despite how Joseph was mistreated and rejected.  He found forgiveness in his heart, continued to move forward and kept his eye on God.   Joseph learned to rely on God and prosper where he was planted despite the pain and at the end God was glorified when peace, forgiveness and redemption was brought to this family. 

I don’t know if the people in your life will allow God to heal your relationships.  I do know this that if you allow God to heal you, learn from the situation you are in and find forgiveness in your heart, you will grow closer to Him and have the joy and peace that so many people are searching for….

Friday, July 26, 2013

Learning this one skill could improve your business, ministry or marriage from failing.

If someone were to ask you the question, “what is one of the biggest reasons for failed businesses, ministries, friendships and marriages, what would you say?”   Now of course there is not just one right answer.  However, there is one skill that the majority of people never take time to learn.  If they did, they would see major changes in their professional and personal lives.   The answer is learning more about people and how to communicate.  I’m not some big time financial or business expert nor am I some scholar at some fancy university.  However, I am a wife, mother and entrepreneur who have taken the time to learn about myself and the people around me! 

I love people but my people skills were not always the best and still to this day it’s something I work on.  I would be so focused on my wants, needs and thoughts not taking the time to listen to where the person I was in relationship was in their life, I would puke all over them!! When these same people saw me coming they would run the other way! 

Christians make this mistake all the time!  They have the right intentions; however many Christians want to prove how spiritual they are in their Christian walk forgetting about what Paul says about meeting people where they are in their life.  Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Corinthians 9: 19.  “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gosepel, that I may share in the blessings.”  1 Corinthians 9:23

This is the reason our mission trip to Haiti was so successful.  We were with a group of people who understood how important this was.  We were not there to prove to each other or to the Haitian people we were superior.  We took the time to listen, learn and love each other exactly where we were at in our lives.  Because of that we were the hands and feet of Christ! 

Today, begin to learn more about yourself and the people around you. What are the dreams, wants and struggles of the people God has brought in your life.   Taking the time to learn and listen more about people,  has transformed my life both professionally and personally.  My relationship with my husband and my children are so successful because of taking the time to learn this one skill. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What will be the future of our Country?

One night after everyone was asleep, Mark climbed on the roof of the Orphanage to hang out with his new friend Fredrique.  Fredrique was one of the translators and lifelong friend of the founder and director of Gradec Orphanage.  He was newly married, father and loves the Lord.  Just a young guy but filled with so much wisdom and works so hard. 

Mark shared some of their conversations with me.  He said, the difference between the United States and Haiti is one was founded on Godly principles and the other demonic.  One country turned to God and the other turned away.   Our new friend has hope for his country and believes God is using him and this orphanage to help raise up Godly leaders who can get Haiti back on the right track.  The country itself is beautiful and there is opportunity.  However, the mindset and faith of the people need to change.  It’s not the government’s job but the spirit of the people.

I’m not a politician and this isn’t about liberal, conservatism, democrat or republican.  Even though the poverty in Haiti is much worse than anything we have ever experienced, we have many similarities.  Unfortunately, if we the people continue to rely on the government to do the work that we ourselves are supposed to do push God out of the picture and rely on our own strength, one day Haiti will become our country’s new reality. 

I believe we were born in this amazing country we call the United States for a bigger purpose than to just consume and entertain ourselves to death.  We have been born and given opportunity that most people would die for.  We just can’t sit around and wait for someone else to do the work we are called to do.  We need to become successful in all areas in our lives and go after those dreams and better ourselves so we can than better our families, influence people and countries around us.  We can only do this when we the people begin to come together and turn back to God. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seeing the Beauty Behind all the Destruction

As my husband and I packed our bags to leave the comfort and convenience of our home to head to a third world country, never in a million years did we think  nor prepare ourselves for what we would see, experience and ultimately how our hearts would be changed forever. 

Before leaving,  people were so kind offering words of encouragement.  The one comment we would hear from many was how we would be such a blessing to the people of Haiti.  As great as this sounds and can make someone feel, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Reality is the children and people we met through Gradec Orphanage are the ones who had so much more to offer us even though you couldn’t see it by looking at just the circumstances and appearances from the outside. 

As Mark and I traveled through the city of port du prince Haiti, we have never been surrounded by so much poverty.  The roads, buildings, homes were nothing like we have ever witnessed before with our own two eyes.  Garbage was everywhere and the destruction from the earthquake that hit this county just a few years ago, looked like it just happened yesterday wiping out everything in sight.  The orphanage we stayed at only had electricity when the government felt like giving it to them.   The majority of cooking was done over charcoal, laundry and dishes were done by hand.  Showers were taken by pouring water from a large bucket over your body.   We slept outside on air mattresses under our mosquito nets.  It was like extreme camping however never ending.  This is their life 7 days a week.   Even having to go to the store was difficult making it and all day event.  Daily living is  much harder  something my husband and I take for granted.

See, if we would have focused on the problems and the how things look on the outside, we would have missed the heart of the Haitian people who eventually become family to us.  Despite their daily struggles, they are filled with joy and gratitude reminding me that if we focus on our circumstances we will never see the hand of God working in and through our lives.   I never met people who love and know Jesus like they do.  Even though the world says they have nothing they actually have more than most people I know and that is hope and love in Jesus Christ.    We have never experienced conditions like we did but from the moment we wrapped our arms around those kids and saw the heart of the people who founded this little orphanage all we could see was love.  It was just a reminder to me that God doesn’t see what the world see’s, He only see’s our heart. 

“The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted.  The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.  Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled.  The merciful are blessed, for they will show mercy.  The pure in heart are blessed for they will see God.  The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.”  Matthew 5: 3-9

Monday, July 22, 2013

Purpose behind the Passion

Before leaving for our mission trip to Haiti, God was preparing our hearts.  We both knew that God wants us to be successful in all areas in our lives including our finances.  He wants that, not for our own selfish reasons, but to gain influence and to further God's kingdom.   However, until we stepped foot in Haiti, we were letting our own fears and comfort stop us from allowing God to use us in much bigger ways. 

Haiti, for us, was the missing link to our passion.  It has given purpose behind our passion.  It has strengthened our marriage and bonded us together in much deeper ways.  We both know there is no turning back now.  It has allowed us to lead our children by example, and to bring them along on this incredible journey God has our family on.

PhotoHere's what I'd like to tell you from what I've learned-- say yes to God!  Allow yourself to face your fears and step out of your comfort zone.  You will never be alone.  God will be with you every step of the way.  He will bring people into your life that will help carry you when you are weak, and encourage you, even when everyone else tells you it's not possible.  Don't doubt God.  He is so big, and with Him anything is possible. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

One of the biggest obstacles standing in your way.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle standing between you and your dream is wanting to have all the answers right now.  At least I find this to be  true for me trying to figure out what it’s supposed to look like or  how it will all play out.  Now, it's important to have a plan and goals or we will just find ourselves 10 years down the road pretty much in the same situation we are in right now.  Maybe the scenery will look different but at the root will remain the same problems same old story.  However, when the vision or life goals are so big many times we get overwhelmed and do nothing.  There is a verse found in the greatest book ever written that says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”- psalm 119:105. God gives  and shines the light  enough for you to take a few steps.   He doesn't want it to be about all about us and our plans.  He wants you and me to trust and follow Him.  After we do, the lamp will continue to light which way to go next.  God knows we can’t handle it all at once.  We think we can but if we knew everything, it still would never be enough.   If we did know exactly what that bigger picture looked like it  may cause pride, maybe not work as hard , quit  or forget about enjoying the journey not realizing the beautiful blessings He places right in front of you at this very moment.

Today, block out all the distractions except the light that is shining at your feet and take the next step.  He is waiting. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bare Naked!

Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to start my day and as I was putting my makeup on I could hear Mark and the kids saying, " why do you wear make up?  you look so beautiful without it?"  Although, I didn't agree nor did I see what they saw I decided to listen and give it a chance and allowed my face to be completely bare and free!  At first, I looked and wanted to scream!  All I could see was my blemishes, scars, freckles, sun spots basically every imperfection was magnified 100 times.  My eyes refused to see the beauty.  However, as time has passed I've began to embrace the new look and little by little see what God and my family have seen all along!

So, this had me thinking at a deeper level about how people try to disguise themselves not allowing someone to see what they are afraid to face themselves?  How many people try to cover themselves or hide behind money, possessions, food, alcohol, drugs, work or even their own children? How many people hide behind social media?  How many people try to stay busy or run from job to job  relationship to relationship not allowing anyone to truly love  them because if they really saw you and all your implications and failures they would immediately reject you?

It's time to stop.  It's time to stop covering ourselves up and trying to be something or someone we are not.  It's time to stop trying to impress the world. It's time to look in the mirror and begin to see your inner beauty.  God only cares about your heart.  When you give it to him and allow him to take away all your idols and allow your self to be naked from the world and be in his presence is when you will begin to appreciate and love yourself the way God has always intended. 

Please click here, if you would like to follow!