You put yourself out there; you laid it all down
But your heart, defenseless, was left on the ground.
Now you’ve resigned to believe what’s untrue –
That you aren’t enough to have someone love you.
You’ve attempted and failed – the times you can’t count.
You’ve heard “no”, been rejected. Now you have doubts
That it’s even worth all the heartache and pain
To reach for a dream you will never attain.
You’ve accepted your fate; you’ve given up hope
But before you reach the end of your rope,
Let me offer this truth you must understand:
Never let anyone make you feel less than -
Less than enough to walk by their side,
Less than enough to bring joy to this life,
Less than enough to be loved and accepted,
Less than enough to feel warm and protected.
You are a force with which no one can reckon!
Your presence is purposed; so forget imperfections.
Don’t listen to insults and shade cast your way.
Haters speak loudest when they are afraid -
Afraid of what might shine a light on their flaws
And expose their dark secrets in closets of halls
That display their accolades, trophies and bling -
Meaningless trinkets, all temporary things.
Look. Life will make you feel lost and alone.
Betrayal and heartache will call your soul home
And those you hold dearest may all disappear
But you’ll be okay and this is why, my dear:
You are not less than; you are more than enough
To rebound, to stand, to fight back, to be tough,
To shake dust from your shoes and shine like a star -
You are more than!
Yes, that’s what you are!
Tag Archives: encouragement
Because We All Need It
Don’t let today pass you by.
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Send a text, an email, a tweet, a shoutout on Facebook.
Give a hug, a fist bump or a pat on the back.
Say a kind word; give a compliment; share a laugh!
Or simply share a smile.
I say it over and over but it is often the smallest actions that make the biggest impact in our lives.
Who will you encourage TODAY?
When the SMILES Don’t Come
Some days I’m tired – tired of trying to make up for the past and all of its mistakes.
Some days I’m overwhelmed – overwhelmed by all that it takes to simply live, to simply survive.
Some days I’m sad – saddened by what I’ve thrown away, what I’ll never have.
Some days I’m weak – so weak that it’s all I can do to get out of bed.
Most days I’m ashamed –
ashamed that I don’t have it all together,
ashamed because I know I need to get it together,
ashamed because I don’t know how to pull it together.
As it turns out, I’m human.
In this life, there are going to be seasons when the SMILES seem far away. There are going to be times when darkness seems to overcome, drowning out even the smallest ray of light. There are going to be moments that grab us so tightly that all of our hopes seem to fall lifeless in each crushing grip.
These times are merely seasons, moments that may stay awhile but that also leave just as quickly as they come.
Seasons of doubt give way to seasons of hope.
Seasons of trouble transition into seasons of peace.
Seasons of despair and sadness are replaced with seasons of Joy.
We are promised that it comes with each new morning and if we look hard enough, I know we’ll see morning’s light peeking through!
Have you ever been to the dentist? What a traumatic experience it can be! You’re lying back in the dentist’s chair with mouth open wide. You have no where to go. You can’t speak and your discomfort is certainly not being eased by the dentist’s off-key rendition of Broadway show tunes. You could close your eyes and imagine a gentle brook babbling in the midst of a lush green field but the thought of sharp metallic instruments prodding your teeth and gums encourages an alertness like you’ve never experienced. You have nothing to do but look up.
There are many times in life when we find ourselves in the dentist’s chair – vulnerable and helpless while being prodded by the antics of the world. We search for escape but the realities of the situation seem to hold us hostage with no where to go and no where to look … but up.
What better direction to look!
Look up to the One who already knows our troubles and needs.
Look up to the One who can give us comfort and relieve our pain in times of distress.
Look up to the One who holds tomorrow and all of life in the palm of His hand. He is our answer. He is our help.
So when you find yourself in the dentist’s chair of life,
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
John 16:33 – “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.” – Jesus
Reason to SMILE #375
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m praying for you”?
What a comfort these four words can bring! When we’re at the moment of breaking, when we’re facing the toughest decisions of our lives or when we’re waiting on those dreaded test results, knowing someone is lifting us up in prayer is one of the most encouraging feelings. And it may be the only thing that keeps us from giving up.
So as the world continues to throw curve balls our way, I hope you are praying for those around you. I hope you are lifting up your friends, family and even strangers, asking for God’s grace, provision, mercy, protection, healing and comfort.
And I hope you are saying those four powerful words, “I’m praying for you,” to those who need to hear it most. Better yet, say, “I’m praying WITH you!” Because just knowing someone is concerned enough to pray can lighten the heaviest of loads and lead the way to a much needed SMILE.
When I Trust Him
When I trust Him,
My steps become a little lighter;
My breathing becomes a bit easier;
My thinking becomes a bit clearer.
When I trust Him,
I can let go of my burdens;
I can find peace in the midst of my storms;
I can meet uncertainty with courage.
When I trust Him,
I learn to face my fears with boldness;
I learn to rely on His strength to sustain me;
I learn to believe in the impossible.
When I trust Him,
I don’t have to live in shame;
I don’t have to be bound by my failures and regrets;
I don’t have to be constrained by the expectations of others.
When I trust Him,
I begin to love myself;
I begin to see beauty in my weaknesses;
I begin to find acceptance and self-worth.
When I trust Him,
I know that I am never alone;
I know that I always have someone to depend on;
I know that I always have arms to run to for shelter, rest, comfort, encouragement.
When I trust Him,
My sins are forgiven;
My hope is restored;
My life is forever changed.
When I trust Him…
Yes, I trust Him…
Lord, give me strength to trust you…
I don’t want to be the same.
Unmask the SMILES!
To wear a mask or not to wear a mask. That is the question.
And that is an ongoing debate that I choose not to join.
Whether we choose to wear a mask or not, masks have become a part of our daily lives. Some don’t have a choice in the matter – their “powers that be” have mandated wearing masks in public. Some wear masks because they are protecting loved ones who are at risk. Some wear them in consideration of the fears of others. And most of us mask up out of necessity when we really need a gallon of milk and the store requires a mask for entry!
After all these months enduring this pandemic, I still find it strange seeing all the masked faces. It’s even a little unsettling when you work at a bank where the rule of thumb is: if a person enters the bank in a mask, duck under your desk quickly and call 911. You’re about to get robbed! I’d love to tell you that I’m getting used to this whole mask wearing thing.
But I’m not.
Recently, a Facebook friend posted that what he misses the most in this new mask-wearing world is seeing SMILES on people’s faces. And it made me realize, well, it actually reinforced what I have always believed to be true about a SMILE – there is nothing on earth quite as powerful!
But it does seem our SMILES are disappearing behind the masks. The truth of the matter is the SMILES are disappearing, period. And it’s not just the coverings on our faces that mask the SMILES. So many things in life steal our joy and ultimately our SMLES. Fears, financial struggles, sickness, loss, disappointments, fatigue, stress, toxic relationships, divorce, and so many other “germs” in life strip us of our hope and happiness.
So, what can we do to keep the SMILES from disappearing? How do we keep our SMILES visible in this new mask-wearing world? How do we stir up the joy inside of each other? How do we prove that nothing can stop the power of a SMILE?
We keep smiling – even behind the masks.
We wave big or bump elbows when we see each other.
We speak encouraging words, kind words, hope-filled words.
We laugh with each other – big and loud and annoying laughs!!
We pray with one another and hold each other up when the SMILES are hard to find.
We spread SMILES – little joys, ordinary moments we often take for granted, simple feats we might otherwise ignore, silly thoughts and cheerful hopes.
We don’t spread germs – negativity, hatred, discouragement, angry comments, ugly words.
Well, my friends, I’ve decided to do my part in “unmasking” the SMILES. So, get ready. More of my daily – uhm, maybe every other day or possibly bi-weekly! 😉 – SMILES are coming your way. Some are new; some are old. Some are silly; some are serious. Some will come with commentary and some will stand on their own. But the SMILES are back and it is my hope that you will find one when you need it for yourself or to share with those around you.
I believe the power of a SMILE can’t be vanquished by the “masks” in this world. Though sorrows, fears and struggles may temporarily dampen it’s glow, the power of true joy comes deep down from your toes! And sometimes, that joy just needs a little boost to shine on through.
I choose to give that joy a boost. I choose to spread SMILES – not germs.
How ‘bout you? What are you doing to spread SMILES? I’d love to hear your stories so I can SMILE right along with you. 🙂
Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Words are such a powerful tool in this life. Songs, poetry, prayers, sermons, news articles, novels, blog posts and so much more have the power to sway our opinions, to move us to action and to inspire us to change. Even little things like comments on a social media page have a huge impact on our moods, our self-worths, and our views of the world around us.
Words are power. And we’ve all been gifted with the ability to wield it.
Oh, but as Aunt May so wisely warned Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. (Mom of boys here. My references are limited! 😉 )
Think about the words you’ve spoken over the last 24 hours. (*Oh, you had to go there, KJ?!?* Hey, I hear ya but God really convicted me this past week about this. I’m just looking for anyone else out there who’s flubbed up, too! 😉 )
Ask yourself these questions about your recent comments or conversations:
- Did my words build up others or tear them down?
- Did my words encourage or discourage?
- Did my words bring joy or did my words bring sadness and pain?
- Were my words truthful or were they lies?
- Did my words emphasize the good in others, the world and our current situation or did my words add to the negativity, the darkness and the hopelessness?
- If my every word that I have spoken was read aloud for the world to hear, would I be proud or ashamed of myself?
- Has my every word glorified God and pointed others to Him?
(Do your toes hurt? Cuz God is really doing a number on mine! Ouch!)
The responsibility to use our words wisely should not be taken lightly. Our words, like our actions, have consequences – both good and bad. And if any of us cannot handle the responsibility, it’s best we heed the advice of every grandma everywhere in the world:
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”
So, as we go about our week, let’s remember the great power we’ve been given and ask God to help us wield it. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all used our Word Power for good and not evil?
I’d like that kind of world, wouldn’t you?
“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, Lord,
my rock and my Redeemer.”
**Looking for more Biblical references about the power of our words and how we should use it? Check out Colossians 4:6 , Proverbs 15:1, Ephesians 4:25 & 29, James 3:5, Proverbs 10:19, Colossians 3:8, Matthew 15:18 and there are so many more!
There are a multitude of reasons to be anxious these days. And more and more people are stressed beyond what they can bear. So remember –
Your kindness can make all the difference.