Archive for September, 2014

Day 36

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Peg“The problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.” ~ Paul Collins. Have you ever tried to fit into an area where, in the pit of your stomach, you knew you did not belong? I know I have. Like many others, I grew up listening to, reading, and watching “fairy tales” that had “happy endings,” that defined what the world around us considered a happy ending. Often those happy endings had little to do with reality, but in my quest to find happiness I often chased rainbows that faded or imploded. I began to realize that I was created for a purpose and that I was destroying my peg. I don’t have to force myself to fit in. I am becoming the best me that I can be. The once jagged edges of my peg are being restored to their original shape – a shape that fits me perfectly. It’s not forced. It’s natural. And therein lies my joy.

Day 35

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Joy3“God never wastes pain… You’ve never cried a casual tear.” ~ Bishop David G. Evans. What a comforting revelation! I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve cried my share of tears and, at times, I’ve felt like I’ve had more than my share of pain. One of the more devastating events in my life is when I moved to New Jersey only knowing one person. Two months later, I was in my own place and feeling very alone. What turned my life around is when I found my church home, Bethany Baptist Church. That was more than 20 years ago. My new church family embraced me and encouraged me and they continue to do so. It is not a light statement when I say I love my church family! And therein lies my joy.

Day 34

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Faith of a Mustard Seed“Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.” ~ Dan Rather. I knew what I wanted to do. But I had never seen it done before. That doesn’t mean it’s never been done, just that I’ve never seen it done. What I’ve seen and what I haven’t seen is often my reality. It reminds me of the old adage, “seeing is believing.” You see, it’s a faith thing. Or, a lack-of-faith thing. I want to believe that it can be done, but everything around me says otherwise. Walking by faith can be lonely. But, I’m not really alone, am I? Your Word says that You’ll never leave me alone. You’re right here with me. I can’t see you. At times I can’t hear you. But I know that I know that just as I cannot see the air that sustains me, I know the air is there and I know that You are there. And therein lies my joy.

Day 32

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Holy Spirit“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson. Where would I be without the Holy Spirit to guide me? Some people call it a conscience. Others call it that small voice within. Whether it’s acknowledged as the Holy Spirit or not, we are guided and directed by that voice within. I was saved at the age of 12, but I was well into adulthood before I learned about the Holy Spirit. But, I knew I had a small voice within. I didn’t know what that voice was or where that voice came from. What I did know is that whenever I listened to that voice and followed the voice’s instruction, I was never led astray. Additionally, I began to realize that everyone didn’t have that voice – or if they did, they didn’t listen to it. I thank God that even in my ignorance of who He is, He will lead and guide us. He is patient as He waits for us to realize who He is. In an excerpt of a poem I wrote:

“He waited until I knew

Who He Was

He waited until I knew

That through Him is Eternal Life

He waited until I knew

That He could and would erase my deepest sins.

He waited until I could rejoice and praise Him

Not for what He has done

But simply because of Who He Is.

~~

He lived for me.

He died for me.

He did it all

To set me free.”

…and therein lies my joy…

Day 31

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Chosen“I am not perfect. I am Chosen.” This phrase is from a song that our Dance Ministry performed to. These words lifted my spirit. I’m not depressed. I just realize that I’m not perfect. I will fail. I will pick myself up, and I will try again. In the end, I will win because I am chosen. What’s important for me to remember is that I cannot quit. Changing course is not quitting. If a path appears to be blocked, I pray for guidance and I wait. While I am waiting, I continue to work. The answer will come. I know I am not alone. I know God is with me and He will guide me. My answer and directive will come. How do I know this? Because I am not perfect. I am Chosen. And therein lies my joy.

Day 30

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Joy2“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” ~ Unknown. It took me a while to realize this truth. As a matter of fact, I had to lose most of my material possessions in order to realize that things brought me no joy. Don’t get me wrong. Having things is good. Having more things is better. However, I began to idolize those things. I worked long hours to acquire and maintain those things, leaving very little time to honor the Lord of my life for those things. I lost perspective and I began to lose some of my things. Today I have fewer material things than I had many years ago, but my joy in the Lord is overflowing. My joy is not based on things. It’s based on relationship. It’s based on the joy of the Lord, and therein lies my joy.

Day 29

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Joy“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it is your responsibility to love it or change it.” ~ Chuck Palahniuk. I try to live by these words. There’s a reason why I was often nicknamed the Pollyanna. No matter how bad the situation is, there is always a way to find something good in the situation – even if the situation dictates that it’s time to move on. How many times have you been “pushed” to move on because of a difficult situation, only to find yourself in a better place. Would you have moved on without the push? There are times when it’s difficult to find the bright side of a situation. There have been times when I haven’t been able to find the bright side until I’ve gone through the situation. These are the time when I draw on Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” (KJV-Authorized) And therein lies my joy.

Day 28

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Patience“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (NKJV). Have you ever petitioned the Lord and expected a response from Him immediately? After all, we have seen many examples in the Bible and in our lives where the answer from the Lord came “immediately.” But, we also know that we must wait on the Lord. We cannot go on without Him. And, in our waiting, we must be patient. I realize that our time is not God’s time. What feels like an eternity to us is but a moment to God. In my waiting, I am not discouraged and I work while I’m waiting. I know that He heard my plea. In God’s time and in God’s way, my heart’s desires will be fulfilled. And therein lies my joy.

Day 27

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Mom“A hundred hearts would be too few To carry all my love for you.” ~ Author Unknown. I found this quote in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers & Daughters.” Just the title alone immediately took my thoughts to the relationship between my mother and I. I was raised to be independent, so it was no surprise when – although I loved my mother from here to eternity, as soon as I became 21, I moved from home so that I could exercise my independence. The wonderful and unexpected side effect of that move is that the relationship between my mother and I transitioned from mother and daughter to a very special friendship. We were best friends for more than 40 years until she passed away in 2010. That friendship based on unconditional love is something that I can carry in my heart for the rest of my days. Those special times that we had give me strength and encouragement as I continue to draw on her words of wisdom. Today I am thankful for that special relationship and therein lies my joy.

Day 26

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

DREAMS3“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ~ Gabriel García Márquez. Don’t allow your dream to die. It’s so easy to place your dreams on the back burner – especially when life presents challenges and distractions. Fulfilling one’s dream is not easy. It often means late nights because if the dream is given attention at all, it’s often at the end of the day when everything that we’ve deemed to be more important than our dream has taken place. The dream is addressed when the body and mind are fatigued with all of the daily activities. But, I have found that when I’m giving attention to my passion, my mind, body, and spirit are rejuvenated. I’m pumped with energy and my mind is overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm. Everything may not be in place to allow me to live my dream. But, dreams are realized one step at a time. Today I’m closer to realizing my dream than I was yesterday. And therein lies my joy.