Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS

 

Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS - Are you a morning person? If not, you may want to read this to discover how to appreciate each new day. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Have you ever met a morning person?

No matter how early, a morning person is always cheerful and ready to meet the day with vim and vigor.  This person sings, “Hello” to everyone she encounters and bounces across the room like a child running off to play.

It truly is disgusting!

As you may have guessed, I am NOT a morning person.  It takes me quite a while each day to get moving and when I do, I really do not mind if no one says, “Good morning” to me or even speaks to me at all.  The only things I desire in the morning are

COFFEE

&

SILENCE

Regardless of my aversion to mornings, I am grateful for each one.  Mornings are a gift.  They offer each of us a fresh start, a new beginning.  Yesterday is, well, yesterday.  The mistakes we made, the hardships we faced, the messes we created, these are all in the past.

In fact, each day is like our own personal “do-over” granted to us by God Himself! With each ray of sunlight that peeks over the horizon, God is saying, “Here you go.  Let’s try this again!”

Now that ought to make us SMILE!

Oh, sure, the troubles from yesterday may still continue.  We made the mess; we have to clean it up.  But each new day gives us the opportunity to make better choices, to rid ourselves of bad habits, to repair broken relationships, to do whatever was left undone yesterday.

I may not be a morning person but I thank God for the mercies He gives to me with each new day.  And as I drink my coffee in silence this morning, I cannot help but SMILE at the endless possibilities this day has to offer.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)  

 

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The Hope of Christmas

The Hope of Christmas | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

 

Unto us a Child is born,

unto us a Son is given,

and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace,

JESUS

for He will save his people from their sins.

 

Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬; Matthew‬ ‭1:21‬‬‬

 

May each of you enjoy the blessings of Christmas and find the Hope, Joy, Peace, Comfort and Love that is wrapped in the gift of God’s Son.

Merry Christmas!

Hold On

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God put into motion a wonderful plan for you long before you were even a sparkle in your mother’s eye and you can be sure that God always finishes what He begins.  (Philippians 1:6)
Remember that what you are going through right now – the heartache, the stress, the disappointment, the pain – is only temporary. Do your best not to focus on your struggles. Instead, focus on the everlasting and unchanging love of God for you.  (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Wait patiently for Him. Find hope in the promise that He is working in, on and through you for your ultimate good.  (Psalm 37:7; Psalm 130:5; Isaiah 30:18; Romans 8:28)
God hasn’t abandoned you.
He IS working.
And when he is finished,
your weeping will turn to

JOY!

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬b ‭NLT‬‬

Breathe

Breathe 2

A couple of months ago, a Facebook friend was struggling with the death of a cherished friend and mentor.  His emotions were wreaking havoc with his mind and thoughts and the turmoil that ensued within was almost more than he could stand.  Post after post on his timeline told of his questions, his lack of understanding and his battle to find meaning in it all.  After weeks of wrestling with his grief and pain, one word began to premeate his thoughts –

“BREATHE”

He finally penned these words:

When you feel as if you can’t go on,
BREATHE.
When the storms of life cover you,
BREATHE.
When you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning,
BREATHE.
When you struggle with your emotions,
BREATHE.
When you feel as all is for naught,
BREATHE.
When you need a refreshing start,
BREATHE.
There are always going to be times when you feel choked off.  But know that the fresh breath of Oxygen will always be there to give you sustainable life.
– Ben Ford 4/8/18

Life can be overwhelming and if we aren’t careful, if we forget that we aren’t meant to do life alone, we can find ourselves suffocating under the weight of our burdens and cares.

In those desperate moments of grief, heartache, sorrow, uncertainty and helplessness, we must remember to breathe.

There is life-giving hope and strength in the surrender to our need to breathe.

There is rest and rejuvenation in each breath.

There is peace in the stillness that falls upon our souls.

Don’t allow life’s difficulties to smother you. Remember to breathe and in the quietness of each breath, talk to your Heavenly Father. Give Him your burdens, your troubles, your pain and your unanswered questions. Allow Him to breathe new life within you.

You can find peace in the midst of your turmoil today –

Just remember to

BREATHE.

 


*** The heartfelt words written by my friend not only reminded me of my need to stop, be still and breathe when overwhelmed with life, they also inspired me to WRITE A SONG! I hope to be able to share it with you very soon. So keep an ear out! ***

Pray Anyway

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Though you can’t see an end to your struggle,

Though your heart stings from familiar hurt,

Though your hope has been crushed and your trust has been broken,

Pray anyway.

 

Though you fear nothing will ever change,

Though you worry your cries won’t be heard,

Though your faith has vanished and you’ve nothing on which to cling,

Pray anyway.

 

Though your world, so dear, has stopped turning,

Though you can’t fathom the reasons why,

Though you feel abandoned and your life is in pieces,

Pray anyway.

 

Prayer is more about Gods presence than it is about our problems.

It’s more about who we become while spending time with Him.

It’s about the spark that is reignited,

The faith that is rekindled,

The hope that is reborn.

The resolve that is strengthened,

The healing that takes place,

The rest that is given,

And the peace that floods our souls.

 

The power of prayer is experiencing of the power of God,

Discovering that He is greater than our problems,

That our problems cannot change His promises,

That His grace is always sufficient,

That His love is never failing and

That we don’t have to do life alone.

 

So no matter your circumstances,

No matter your lack of faith,

Never stop praying.

Never stop seeking His Face.

 

Pray anyway.

 

 

 

Don’t Cry Over Uncooked Chicken

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Bad days. We all have them. Even me – the chick who’s always talking about happiness. And this past week has been filled with them. One, especially, was a doozy! It began badly and escalated into something even worse. By the time I made it home after work that day, all I wanted to do was vent to my husband and curl up in my bed. But one of my husband’s co-workers was at the house. Venting was out of the question. So I ended up in the kitchen with a new recipe in front of me and a determination to cook away my problems.

I’ve said this before: it is so very strange that I find solace in cooking since I have no idea what I’m doing! It could be that the challenge of learning (and conquering!) something new creates a distraction from the worries of life. Or the appeal may be the creativity involved – gathering all the separate ingredients and putting everything together to produce something wonderful in the end. No matter the reason, cooking has become my emotional outlet.

So with the weight of the day on my shoulders, I set out to cook a chicken, bacon and ranch casserole. I prepared the ingredients as instructed – cut up the chicken into cubes, cut up the broccoli, cooked and crumbled the bacon and mixed it all together with cream cheese, ranch dressing and shredded cheddar. Then I checked the last bit of instructions to see how long the casserole was to cook:

“Bake until hot about 35 minutes.”

Until hot? Wait. That seemed like very strange wording for cooking instructions. I scrolled back to the top of the recipe to see if I had missed something. And there it was – the very first ingredient on the list:

“1.5 lb. cooked chicken, cubed”

COOKED? Really?

I looked at my casserole dish filled with the gooey combination of raw cubes of chicken, ranch dressing, cream cheese and all the other fixings. I almost lost it. I had just spent over an hour thawing out the chicken (cause I never remember to take the meat out of the freezer), cutting the raw chicken into small chunks (which really grosses me out and almost causes me to never eat chicken again), thawing and cooking the bacon (cause I like crispy bacon) and figuring out if I could substitute ranch dressing for the mayo and spices the recipe called for (Why not just call for ranch dressing in a chicken, bacon and ranch casserole?). It was all I could do to hold back the tears.

This cooking therapy session was doing me no good at all!

My initial response was to throw the whole thing out and order a pizza. Actually, throwing it across the room was my first impulse but then I would’ve had to clean up the mess. I certainly didn’t want to do that! So I decided to fish out all the pieces of uncooked chicken and brown them in a skillet. (I may have been able to cook the casserole as it was but I didn’t want to take any chances with chicken.) After the chicken was cooked, I mixed up the casserole a second time and put it in the oven. The finished product was delicious.

We ate. The family was satisfied. My bad day still loomed.

bad days

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

It bothers me to stress over my bad days. I know that there are so many who have worse problems than I. But there are times when the bad seems to latch on and not let go. I went to bed troubled and praying.

The next morning I awoke with a song in my heart:

“Oh, my soul,
You are not alone.
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.
One more day, He will make a way.
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone.”¹

God is good, isn’t He? He is always with us, even on the bad days. He walks right beside us and He’ll even carry our burdens – if we let Him. He is big enough to handle every problem, every worry, every sorrow, every question, every fear, everything.

You see, God is pretty creative, too. And just like gathering all the ingredients of a recipe and combining them into something wonderfully delicious, He has no problem gathering all the pieces of our lives, the good days and bad, the triumphs and failures, the joys and sorrows, and fashioning these pieces into something wonderful. It may take some adjustments to the recipe – fishing out what is wrong, reworking it or even throwing it out altogether – but in the end, the results of God’s handiwork are always beyond compare.

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Have you found yourself crying over uncooked chicken lately? Have you experienced any bad days? Maybe you’re experiencing a string of bad days. If you are, please remember, you don’t walk through these bad days alone. God is with you and He is waiting for you to hand Him your burdens. So, go ahead, hand ’em over and watch God’s creativity at work.

¹”Oh, My Soul” by Casting Crowns

No One

No matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve run, you’re never too far gone that the love and mercy of God cannot reach you.

He will forgive you.

He will break the chains that bind you.

He will heal your brokenness.

He will restore you.

He will love you.

He already loves you.

That is why he seeks you.

So don’t give up hope. Don’t believe what others may say about you.

No one is beyond God’s reach. No one.

God is reaching out for you today. Will you reach out and take His hand?

Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there your hand will lead me;
your right hand will hold on to me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light around me will be night”—
even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night shines like the day;
darkness and light are alike to you.

Psalm 139:7-11