Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Lies Ahead~










 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

God Alone~









 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, February 23, 2015

♪♫ If You're Happy and You Know It ♪♫

 It's happened to me more than once.

More than twice.

Actually, to be totally honest, it has happened to me more times than I can count on both hands, (and probably feet!)

Has it ever happened to you?

Maybe you were at a shopping mall, the grocery store, a sporting event or a restaurant when someone you didn't know casually made a comment that left you asking yourself, "How did they know?"

Several years ago, my husband and I were at a sandwich shop. As we stood in line, waiting for our turn to order, an older woman my husband knew from a previous job, joined us in line. As we waited, we found our self sharing in a casual conversation with this woman. My husband inquired as to whether or not she was still working at the same job where he met her. She was and informed us she was starting her 22nd year with this particular company. Then, we talked about the weather and how big our town was growing. Just normal chit-chat between hungry customers.

When it was finally our turn to order, my husband invited this elderly lady to go ahead of us. She graciously took him up on the offer and soon was paying for her meal and heading out the door. Before she left, however, she came over to where my husband and I were standing and gave us each a hug.

As she was embracing me, in a voice that sounded as though she was pleading with me, she said, "Please, dear. Have a good time. Be happy. Enjoy your life." Then she squeezed me tight, patted my back, smiled and walked out the door.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a poker player, because I definitely must not have the face for it. What did she see in my face that made her assume I wasn't enjoying my life?

Her words haunted me for months.

Then, there was the time we were assembling all of the students in our school for a special program. As we were arranging little ones in front, and older ones in the back, one of the adults helping came over to where I was standing, gently rubbed my back, and said "relax". Then, she squeezed my arm, and walked away.

Again, I was caught totally off guard, completely baffled by their reaction to (or at least what I thought to be) my calm, pleasant and happy demeanor.

Lord, what's the deal?
Why do people look at me and assume I'm stressed out?
Why do they feel the need to tell me to enjoy my life?

Enter Proverbs 15:
13A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance.

There is was in black and white!
I didn't have a cheerful countenance because I didn't have a glad heart.

30The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others.

There was no light in my eyes because there was no joy in my heart, and others could tell.

The problem, I soon discovered, had absolutely nothing to do with my face,
and everything to do with my heart.
And my heart, for all accounts, was sad.
Sad about who I was.

You see,
I have always, always, always compared myself to others.
I have always, always, always tried to be who I thought others thought I should be.
I have always, always, always judged and scrutinized myself under the most powerful lens of self-criticism I could find.
I have always, always, always felt the pressure of being me.

And this pressure, this trying to be everyone else but me, was stealing the life and the joy right out of me.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

Joy
{Photo Credit}
Lord, I. want. joy.

I want a true, genuine joy,
a joy that bubbles incessantly from the bottom of my heart.

I want joy,
real joy,
never-ending,
face-radiating joy!

Enter the Holy Spirit

As I read the pages of God's Word, I saw truth I had never seen before.

I discovered a me I had never known before.

I was created by the Lord of all creation. He molded me and made me in HIS own image, and in the way that was perfectly suited for me. He created me with a plan and a purpose. I was HIS daughter and He rejoiced over me with singing. As this truth began to settle into my heart, I, too, began to sing. I found myself feeling lighter and more care-free. The pressure of being me melted into the delight of being who God created me to be.

JOY

My eyes were no longer fixed on me, but on my Saviour. He became the joy of my heart.


I hate to pry, but what is your face saying about you?

And, since I'm already stepping on your toes,
let me go one step further and ask,
is your heart happy?

I pray it is. If is isn't, I know the source of true happiness. His name is Jesus and He will fill your heart to overflowing with a deep, down, joy.

He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

It is He who knit you together in your mother's womb.
It is He who chose your eye color,
defined the shape of your nose,
and placed within you your unique personality.
It is HE who has gifted you with talents and abilities and everything that makes YOU you!
He loves you and you make His heart smile.

Remember the song we sang as children?
♪♫ If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you're happy and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. ♪♫

I've always, always, always been clapping,
but now,
now my face is showing it!

How can it not?
When you have the joy of the Lord, it can't help but show on your face.

Yes, it has happened to me more than once, but praise God, it hasn't happened to me since....
not since God turned my life (and my view of me!) completely around and put a new song in my heart!

Care to sing along?...........

♪♫ I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
down in my heart,
down in my heart,♪♫
♪♫ I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,
DOWN. IN. MY. HEART. TO. STAY~ ♪♫







 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, February 22, 2015

In the Waiting~









 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Difference Maker~









Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
 If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Heart of God~

The other day, when I arrived home from work, I popped into my bathroom to throw some water on my face and "freshen up" after a long day. After splashing my face, I reached for my towel and then, out of habit, I looked straight ahead at my reflection in my mirror. Only today, my reflection was framed by a paper heart.

Evidently, after I had left for work, my husband had cut a heart out of a piece of paper. Then, he strategically placed the original paper - minus the heart - on my mirror in the hope that when I looked at my reflection, I would see my face "inside" this heart. As special as this was, it didn't compare to the words he had written on the border of the paper frame. It simply said....."Look How Beautiful".

As I stood there, smiling from my lips all the way down to my heart, I was reminded once again of the "heart game" my husband and I play with each other. I wrote about it back in March 2009 and just had to share it with you again. I hope you don't mind. Our game never grows old and neither does God's love for us. Truly, Jesus is the Lover of our soul.

**************************

Yesterday morning, before I left for work, I lovingly placed a small, red plastic heart in the coffeemaker. Yes, you read that right.....the coffeemaker. I pulled out the container normally reserved for the filter and the coffee, and placed "my heart" there instead. As I walked away from the kitchen and headed out the door, I couldn't help but smile as I thought of the surprised look sure to be on my husband's face when he made coffee later that morning.

Before the coffeemaker, the red heart had been spotted when, one evening, I returned home from work to find a beautiful flowering potted plant sitting on our bathroom window sill. The heart was propped up against the purple pot, in plain sight for all to see.

Before the plant, the red heart had surprised my husband one morning when he bent down to pick up the newspaper. Both the heart and the morning news were waiting to greet him on the sidewalk leading to our home.

Before this, I had discovered the heart in the refrigerator, atop a container of leftovers I had planned to take for my lunch that day.

The heart exchange is something my husband and I do on a regular basis. It was never discussed or planned, it just happened. We have been doing it for so long, I'm not sure how it actually got started, but it has yet to lose it's "magic". The heart is a symbol of our love for each other, and I'm not sure which is more rewarding - leaving the heart to be found, or discovering it!
 
As I tucked the heart into the coffeemaker, I thought about God and the beautiful and faithful way He, too, tucks reminders of His love into each of our days. Sometimes, God's love is seen in the obvious, like the beautiful flowering plant, showcasing His love for all to see. Other times, however, His heart may be tucked into the mundane, day to day places of our lives like the refrigerator or the coffeemaker.

In every situation, and in every place, God's love is waiting to be discovered.


In a beautiful sunrise.
In a baby's laugh.
In a promotion.
In a good meal.


These are the obvious places.
God's love is also found in the not so obvious.


In the dark of night.
In the tears of suffering.
In failure.
In times of desperation.


In the refrigerator times of life,
when all seems cold,
and we are shaking with fear, God's love is there.


In the coffeemaker times of life,
when the stress and demands of day to day living
cause us to percolate and steep in the heat of the battle, God's love is there.


God's love is even waiting for us when we receive news that leaves us uncertain of the future. If we just look, we will see His heart.


Last night, with a wink and a smile, my husband informed me his morning coffee was the best he had ever had. That was my intention, to sweeten his day with a reminder of my love for him. Today, keep your eyes open for reminders of God's love for you, and this day just might turn out to be the best today you've ever had!~♥






 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saying Adios to Rose-Colored Glasses~

Lately, the Lord has been revealing to me, the real me.

Minus a sugar coating to sweeten each revelation, these new insights have been pretty hard to swallow.

It's easy for me to fool myself into thinking I am something (or someone) I'm not. Especially, when I look at other people and then compare my behavior in light of theirs.

"Sure, I'm hopping mad, but at least my temper isn't as bad as his!"

"Wow, I can't believe how critical she is. I would never judge someone else like that!"

I hear you laughing. You know exactly what I'm talking about because you, too, have said or thought the exact same thing! We humans are funny creatures, aren't we? And yet, there's nothing like catching our reflection in the actions of someone else to steal the chuckle right out of us!

Why is it that we have such a hard time seeing the real us? Good or bad. Those with a chip on their shoulder often see in themselves qualities, gifts, and talents the rest of us can't quite see, while those with a poor self-image have trouble spotting that which is so obvious to everyone else.

I think it is because we tend to look at our self and others through human eyes.
But God, He sees our heart.
And, it is the ugliness in my heart that has been popping up in the least likely places.

I really shouldn't be surprised, though.

A few weeks ago, I decided to pray the same prayer David prayed.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
~Psalms 139:23-24, NLT

The great I am, the Lover of my Soul, my faithful Shepherd is He.
And, mercifully, tenderly and often painfully, He is revealing to me ... ME.
The real me.
Not my reputation, but my character.
Not who I think I am, but who I really am.

And...it hasn't been pretty.

But, it's exactly what I needed.

Unless we come face to face with real us,
we will never come face to face with our need for a Saviour.

The closer I get to God,
the more I realize just how wretched I am.
The more I learn of His spotless character,
the more I discover the sinfulness and filthiness of my own.
The deeper I fall in love with my Savior,
the more I humbly bow before my God and thank Him for
the gift of Jesus,
the gift of salvation,
the gift of redemption,
the gift of re-creation.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT

Slowly, but surely, one revelation at a time, God is remaking me into His image.



At times it is painful, embarrassing, and down right humiliating, not to mention, depressing.
But, I am learning to let God search me and try me, and then, to miraculously change me.

Nope!
Upon Godly inspection, I am definitely not who I thought I was.
But, hallelujah,
thanks to Godly sanctification,
I'm not who I used to be either!~♥







 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
 Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Poured Out, Given to God~








 
Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address below.
If you don't receive a verification email, please check your spam folder.
Sometimes, it is sent there in error.


Delivered by FeedBurner