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I Don’t Have Time

I don’t have time.

 

I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. I don’t have time to get adequate rest.

 

I get it. Believe me, I really do. If anyone is short on time, it’s me. I have a tribe of five over here ages 11-2, a husband that works a gazillion hours a week, I work in ministry and my spiritual gift is exhortation so I just HAVE to make time to share a word of encouragement. Most of our family activity: school, work, church, recreation is 30 minutes one-way from our home. I get it. If anyone doesn’t have time it’s me.

 

But let me pull out one of my old hats for a minute. I used to be a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey’s What Matters Most. In this workshop participants acquire skills for effective time management, improved relationships and peace of mind. And what I learned from applying these principles is this: we are all given the SAME amount of time; we CHOOSE how we’ll use it.

 

Well the Word says something about utilizing our time:

 

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.”

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17 NKJV

 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Ephesians 5:11-17 The Message

 

So I venture to say we don’t have a time issue but a time management issue. I will go on to say as the scripture says, walk as WISE and redeem the time because the days are evil.  The time robbers are all around us: electronics, busyness, lack of focus, and the like.  You know them because they’ve crept up on you a time or two.  They tried to rob me too, but I resolve to redeem the time.

 

Time for devotions

Time for building relationships

Time for love and laughter

Time for exercise

Time for rest

Time for preparing healthy meals

 

I dare you, the next time you are watching TV, are on social media, watching a movie or talking on the phone, set a timer. If you do, you’ll find that you DO in fact have some time. Yes preparing healthy meals will take more time than microwaving a hot pocket or toaster strudel, but the investment in yourself is worth the time. Do I have hours to spend working out? No. But at a minimum I try to get in at least 30 minutes a day (except Sundays).

 

And if we don’t take the time now to foster those things that matter most, they’ll be at the mercy of that which matters least. If we don’t take the time now, relationships will wither. If we don’t take the time now to eat right and exercise we can put ourselves in a position of spending more time in the Dr.’s office and pharmacy line.

 

Time invested on the front end will yield huge dividends in the long run. Your relationships will be the better for it as well as your health. Your overall mind, body and spirit will be properly nourished with your investment of time.

 

My plea friends is to encourage not to discourage, to inspire not condemn.

 

In what areas do you need to redeem the time?

 

Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing some ways you can redeem the time in your kitchen so stay tuned. If you aren’t currently receiving these posts in your email inbox, please subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing.

 

Here’s an extra little nugget on redeeming the time.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy today to be connecting with friends @

Missional Women

Equipping Godly Women

 

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Whose Arms Are You Lifting?

Four faithful companions. How long did they travel to set their friend at the Master’s feet? Did their arms burn after carrying their amigo an untold number of miles, then waiting an untold number of minutes, then hoisting him atop the roof, then peeling the ceiling apart to finally lower the paralytic down to Jesus. Isn’t this a great illustration for what the Word calls us to do: help the weak, show mercy, bear one another’s burdens, comfort, show care and concern and help in times of trouble?

Perhaps these friends had their own requests for the Master. Imagine finally getting a chance to see the long sought after Messiah! Indeed he was back in Capernum and they wouldn’t miss him this time. Perhaps they too had afflictions: a disabled child, a sick relative, out of work. But for now, their issues were of no consequence. Self-interests and comforts were set aside to assist.

 

How free are we to minister to the hearts of the hurting if we are TOO consumed with our own issues?

 

Whose arms are you lifting?

When the Amalekites attacked the Israelites, as long as Moses had his staff raised they won the battle. But such is life, we get weary, we get tired. It is in those troubling times that God sends the arm lifters, the burden bearers. Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses, propped him on a rock and held up his hands until sunset and they were victorious.

Again I ask, whose arms are you lifting?

While we are called to comfort, bear, and encourage one another the only one capable of entirely removing the heavy burden is Jesus himself. The companions of the paralytic did their due diligence in carrying their compadre before the Master but once there, the paralytic himself needed to trust and rely on Jesus not on friends for his healing. And it was his faith in Jesus not in his friends that ensured his healing.

That paralytic’s weight; physical, mental or otherwise was so burdensome it held him to his pallet. Like the gravity keeping you pinned to the steel cage on the Zero Gravity (aka Round Up) ride at the amusement park, His back clung to the pallet, only being delivered by the most powerful force, a word from the Master. O the thrill to get on my favorite ride at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, the Round Up. The ride begins by spinning until the centrifugal force is enough to push you against the wall. By then, the friction between your back and the wall holds you there.

It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be ‘freed’ from the pinning gravity of the Round Up.

Your friends can carry you, they lighten the weight of your burden but the next step is up to you.

 

Cast your cares on Him for he cares for you.

 

Take His yoke upon you.

 

Trade with Him a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.

 

Your heavenly Father is waiting. He is your burden bearer. Unload your baggage, lighten up and experience His rest.

Back to our paralytic friend for a minute. The scriptures says he saw THEIR faith, not just the faith of the paralytic but that of his friends as well. While he only spoke to the paralytic directly, he may have rewarded the friends as well for their demonstration of faith. (Mark 2:1-12)

Thoughts to ponder…

Have you made yourself available to be a burden bearer?

Are you casting your cares on Him?

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Being Strong In Spirit

Sunday at church I joined the congregation in high praise singing:

 

Be glorified in the Heavens

Be glorified in the earth

Be glorified in this temple

 

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

 

Worship the Lord in the earth

Worship the Lord in this temple

 

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

 

And as I sung, “Be glorified in this temple”, I knew the Lord was talking about my physical temple, my body as opposed to the physical church building.

 

My temple, this body of mine…presented as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God.

 

The spirit of the living God takes up residence in this temple and whatsoever I do to my physical body, because my spirit, body and soul are one, impacts another part. To neglect my body, is to neglect my spirit, is to neglect my mind because after all they are one…three yet one.

 

The veil was torn. Jesus gave himself up. He was faithful to send the Advocate who now resides in you. You are the sanctuary that houses the spirit of God living in you.

 

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

 

After service, as I looked out at the sea of the congregants, I thought to myself “Are we as a body glorifying Him in our temples?”

 

And my answer to myself was no. It was and is so grievous to me that the body of Christ isn’t radiating as the salt and light of the earth when it comes to our health. I am nearly in tears as I type this. God has given me a tremendous burden to encourage his people to OBEY Him. I was speaking with Dr. Celeste Owens, Author, Certified Natural Health Professional and friend about the mandate God has given me to call his people to obey. I want to shout from the rooftop “OBEY YE THE WORD OF THE LORD!” And my friend, the good Dr. Celeste said to me, “Tyra in what area are we (the body of Christ) most disobedient? In our health and no one is really confronting it head on.”

 

Oh saints, we’ve got to do better. Oh how I weep for the body of Christ right now. I trust that the Lord has been whispering, nudging, prodding you to honor your temple. I implore you to harden not your heart and obey his voice.

 

Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Deuteronomy 6:3

 

Those who love him, obey him. For those who have begun making incremental changes, I rejoice with you for each victory and I cheer you on as making the decision to choose well when it comes to consuming whole, nourishing foods is not easy. But by the power of the spirit that resides and works in you, you are more than a conqueror so stay the course.

 

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.  But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

 

We will purpose to eat well. We will eat in moderation. We will enjoy tasty, nourishing foods yet we will be mindful that the Bread of Life is our unfailing source of nourishment.

 

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21

 

Even if you feel like you “eat right” the mental hold that food has over us can be great. Our fixation to have certain foods at certain times can also be a stronghold. I love, love, love Lindt’s Lindor Truffles, small round decadent individually wrapped balls of chocolate. I’d only eat one a night. Because I exercised moderation in eating just one I thought I was doing good until this one night. I was preparing to go to bed and I needed, just had to have that one Lindor ball. So as I proceeded to make that long walk downstairs to my kitchen, the Lord whispered, “You don’t need that.” To which I replied, ”Um, but I really want it.” He whispered, “Not tonight.” To which I replied, “It’s just one.” To which he responded, “Do you want the candy more than you want me? Find comfort and solace in me.”

 

OUCH! That one nightly piece of candy had become a source of comfort, joy and peace that I treasured and my attachment to it became unhealthy. Not too damaging to my body but interfering with my spirit. Needless to say, I haven’t had my beloved Lindor Truffles in over a year.

 

Our physical appetites warrant as much self-control as our appetites for lust, anger, and greed. We hear preaching from the pulpit on those topics but very little about our relationship with food.

 

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

 

And food is so deeply rooted in church culture. Even the word fellowship has been watered down and has become synonymous with food. Sunday afternoons across America can find congregants gathering over hams, fried chicken, meat slathered in gravy, biscuits and baked goods galore.

 

Let us embracing being strong in spirit by being strong in body through consuming foods that honor the temple. For assistance in choosing well, check out these posts:

 

In order for us to have optimal wellness, our minds, bodies and spirits must be nurtured and tended; any one area left unkempt tips the scales. Can we truly embrace being strong in spirit yet neglect the body? I venture to say no. So what are we to do?

 

Consume foods that add to not detract from our health

 

Eat appropriate portions

 

Obey the Spirit’s guidance as to what an optimal diet is for you. As my friend Dr. Celeste says, God has a tailor made diet for each individual.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Honored to be connecting today with my friends at Missional Women

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Lost That Loving Feeling?

Flowers wilting, balloons losing air, candy’s been eaten and stores have Valentine’s items on clearance. Is your marriage reflective of the post-Valentine’s current situation?

What do you do when your marriage has lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoo ooh?

 

Well, first grant yourself some grace and know that you are not alone. The happily ever after romanticized love we see on TV and in movies is just that…a fairy tale. Rest assured, the feeling of being ‘in love’ will wax and wane. I think many people come into marriage believing that the amorous feeling of being ‘in love’ will last always and when those feelings are gone, they think they can walk out of their marriages. I think married people, counselors, friends, pastors, whomever is giving advice needs to paint a more accurate picture of the cycles and rhythms of the marital union.

 

This is not to say that I am not madly in love with my husband. He is my hubs, my boo, my sunshine. The dude still brings a smile to my face when I think of him. He is fun, flirty, humorous, lively, and seeks to make me happy. I often visualize us at 70, walking hand and hand in white linen on the beaches of Bora Bora and Tahiti. In fact, today I love him far deeper than I did when we first got married. But there are days….I tell you, Mmm, when the lovely dovey feelings aren’t there. Maybe he’s gotten on my nerves or made a decision I don’t agree with. What do I do on those days? How do you believe in the union when you aren’t feeling it?

 

Well, I recognize that the loving feeling is a chemical reaction. Over time you get used to it and it dulls. Recent studies show that when people are falling in love the brain releases a cocktail of chemicals including dopamine and serotonin that stimulate the brain’s pleasure center. That same research also indicates that period is just a phase and generally lasts from one to three years. When that phase is over, then what? When Eros, romantic love ebbs, here is where we have an opportunity to demonstrate agape, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. For more on agape love click here and here.

 

It makes me think of these lyrics by Earth, Wind and Fire, “Something happened along the way, what used to be happy is sad.”

 

Eros can come and go but agape is here to stay.

 

When Eros ebbs, don’t anguish over it. Remember that it is indeed just a feeling. But TRUE LOVE runs deeper than feeling. TRUE LOVE is action, not just feeling. TRUE LOVE demands honesty, forgiveness, selflessness, maturity, compassion, trust, understanding, empathy and the yielding of rights.

 

Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

 

Marriage is something that is living and breathing and needs to be fed and watered daily. What happens to a plant when it is denied sunlight and water? It shrivels and dies. Even if the plant has sufficient sunlight and water, salt, fungus and bacteria can leech in and impact its health. When the issues of life: money, children, extended family, trust, hobbies and other issues distract or detract from the marriage, how do you keep it healthy and vibrant?

 

Brick by brick you erect a love that is built to last.

 

Intimacy

And I’m not just talking about physical intimacy here. Intimate face to face dialogue. Truly caring about what has happened throughout their day. By the time my husband gets home from work I am truly spent but I try to stay up and listen attentively as he shares what’s happened in his day. We also have short phone conversations and text throughout the day.  Physical touch is impact for us too. I find that it increases my amorous feelings for my husband. He is better at initiating this than I am. When I am cooking at the stove, he slow comes up behind me and places one arm around my waist. It is a small gesture but is filled with love and tenderness.

 

Personality

It is so vitally important to understand how your mate is wired. You need to KNOW what makes them tick, why they say the things they do and make the decisions they make. You can have a better grasp on this by knowing their personality type. For more on personalities, please visit Personality Expert, Karen Ward by clicking here.

 

Communication

Keep the lines open. Lend a listening ear. Create an environment safe for sharing by not making judgements, being critical and  doing half as much talking. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. This is one area I have to be diligent in practicing as I am prone to JUMP IN when my husband is speaking. This principle is articulated so well in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Seek first to understand then to be understood.

 

Love Language

I stated earlier that love is action. Dr. Gary Chapman has identified 5 ways in which we feel the love: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. My love language is acts of service. Run an errand for me, help me with the laundry, and I feel the love. Yet my husband likes to give me gifts. One time in fact, he was so happy to have purchased me a really nice gift.  He called and said, “Ooo, I got you something very special.”  I responded, “I hope you didn’t buy me something stupid like a Coach bag.”  Well, that was exactly what he had purchased.  OUCH!  It turned into a big argument.  He was just trying to make me happy and I had snatched all the wind out of his sail.  We’ve had to learn from each other and adapt in this area. It was a growing process but after 15 years of marriage, I think we’ve hit our stride there. For more on the 5 Love Languages, click here.

 

Commitment

You have to be resolved to go the distance. My husband has helped me to embrace this truth. I used to think marriage was filled with only blissful days (ok, I generally walk around with rose colored lenses). My husband would tell me, there are going to be hard times and when they come we will weather them together. And sure enough the hard days came. My first thought was, “Uh un, I don’t have to deal with this.” But my husband reminded me, I told you this was coming. He said, ” We are going to deal with it. You aren’t going anywhere. Now let’s figure it out together.” Praise God for his resolve.

 

Trustworthy

Are you sowing seeds of trust or distrust in your marriage? Are you lending even the slightest appearance of sketchy behavior? If something even gives the appearance of being shady, remove it. Have a baseline that’s agreed upon by both of you for what is healthy and permissible i.e. who should befriend/not friend on social media.

 

Forgiveness

You will both make mistakes. Do not deadbolt the door of your heart. Open it to forgive. Love forgives.

 

Maturity

Some days you may just want to have a temper tantrum. They did this, so I have a right to act like a brat. Waa-waa-waa. Not fair. Ok now! At least one of you has to take the high road of maturity. Feel like you are always the one taking the high road? Well you may be. That’s why you are with that one, because God knew you were capable of taking the high road. Someone has to do it. Why not you?

 

Surrender Your Rights

Love demands that you yield your rights; your right to be right, your right to have what you want, to say what you want, to do what you want. Even if you are indeed correct about a situation, there are times you will need to give up your right to BE RIGHT. True love is not puffed up so remove some leaven, be humble and back off your need to show that you are right.

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

I pray that you make decisions on purpose that will positively contribute to the health and vitality of your marriage.  For my singles, carefully consider these sayings of mine and save them in the event you too join the ranks of us married folk.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News #LifeGivingLinkup

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What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

In the 1966 hit record, What Becomes of The Brokenhearted, Jimmy Ruffin sings:

The fruits of love grow all around

But for me they come a tumblin’ down

Every day heartaches grow a little stronger

I can’t stand this pain much longer

I walk in shadows

Searching for light

Cold and alone

No comfort in sight

Hoping and praying for someone to care

Always moving and goin’ to where

 

Jesus was sent to heal the brokenhearted. He opened the scroll and read of himself saying:

 

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because the Lord has anointed Me

To preach good tidings to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” Isaiah 61:1

 

Jesus doesn’t want you living the above lyrics to the song. He gave his life that you might do the opposite. He wants you to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that give fruit and are prosperous. He’s come to heal your heartache. He wants you to come out of the shadows and into his marvelous light. He is a comforter. He cares for you and wants you to cast your cares on him. He wants to lead you in paths of righteousness for his namesake. Line for line, Jesus is the answer to what becomes of the brokenhearted.

 

What becomes of the brokenhearted?

 

When their hearts are opened, they are healed.

 

I had a gaping whole in my heart. A space carved out with my mother’s name on it. I tried to fill that space with many things but they never quite seemed to fit: too big, too small, wide angles, sharp corners. They just didn’t fit. But thanks be to God he is a father to the fatherless and a mother to the motherless.

 

What does he want you to do in order to heal your broken heart?

 

RECEIVE

 

Open the door to your heart so that you can be healed, whole and loved.

 

Walking into a grocery store with my 4 year old was torture as the Valentine’s ‘eye noise’ was unbearable. He asked me, “Mommy why do they have Valentine’s Day everything? Mommy it’s too much cookies and candy and balloons.” I told him he was right that I love him and his siblings and his daddy so much everyday that we didn’t need to buy pink cookies to let them know we love them.

 

And the Father loves you more than that. He doesn’t have to dangle trinkets in front of your face that you’ll eventually discard. But every day he sees you, chooses you, knows you and calls you. Today, respond to him. He’s wooing you. His love is magnetic; it just draws you in. Don’t try to repel it, but like the strength of a neodymium magnet, be drawn in and fused together.

 

If you are brokenhearted for whatever reason, it will hamper your ability to love unconditionally. For more on agape love click here. Your capacity to love agape is only unleashed when you’ve 1st received from Him who loved you 1st. You cannot give that which you do not have. So Jesus is simply waiting for you to say yes. Perhaps you’ve said yes to let Him be your savior but have you said yes to receive his unconditional love for you? He is down, on bended knee. Imagine him as he was when he washed the disciples’ feet. He was modeling for us humility, servant hood and above all love.

 

If we are to experience the fullness of his resurrection power in our lives, we must accept that we are loved by him. We have been crucified with him yes. Now we have new life all because he loved us and freely gave himself for us.

 

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

 

If you receive his love for you, won’t you tell him today. Below in the comments you can write your response to receiving his love. If you have challenges receiving his love, you can share that too so I can pray for you. If all the Valentine’s hoopla causes you more pain than joy, share that too so I can pray for you. In fact, right now I reach out to you with a big virtual hug. Can you feel it? The Lord’s got a hug waiting for you too.

 

 

In The Secrets of the Secret Place, Bob Sorge says this of our communion with the Lord:

He initiates, we respond

He gives, we receive

He impregnates, we bring to birth

He leads, we follow

He loves, we reciprocate

He rules, we reign with Him

 

Lord, I say yes. I open the door to my heart. I come running to you. I love you Lord.

 

To God be the glory for all that he has done.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Connecting Today With:
Missional WomenMissional Women

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Answer The Call

Hours on the phone, messages on social media, text, text and more text; such are the activities of many who are IN LOVE.

 

Do you remember the days before cell phones and social media? When you needed to connect with someone, you had to call on the home phone. And if it was your special someone, you just waited for them to call you. Then you’d talk on the phone for hours.  The heart palpitating, pulse racing excitement of a lover’s call.

 

Jesus longs to connect with you in the same way. He sees you, chooses you, knows you, loves you and now calls out to you. But unlike a love interest calling to get to know you, Jesus is already intimately acquainted with every detail of your life. No need to front or put on your ‘best self’ for him because he loves and accepts you just the way you are.

 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27

 

Because he 1st knew you and cared for you so deeply, it would only be fitting that he call you to join into a relationship with him. You are his chosen of course. His favored one. His beloved.

 

“I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.” Isaiah 42:6

 

He’s not just randomly calling people out. Because his love for us is unique and personal to each individual, he calls us by name.

 

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

 

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. In this love relationship there is no fear of infidelity. You have the Master’s absolute trust. I attest that you can look back over your life and see evidence of his faithfulness time and time again.

 

And when you answer the call, your act of obedience has a ripple effect, reaching even to your children.

 

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39

 

I thank you Jesus for calling me into a love relationship. If you haven’t done so, answer the call. You know how you can be when you see an unfamiliar number show up on your phone, you may give pause or even tell someone close by, “I don’t know who that is. Don’t answer it.” Well Jesus is calling. Don’t avert your eyes. He beckons you to come. He’s drawing even closer.

 

How will you respond?

 

All week we’ll be talking about Embracing Everlasting Love. For Part 1 on being Seen & Chosen click here. For Part 2 on being Known, click here and Pt 3 on being Loved click here. I pray you join me all week as we embrace a love so pure, a love that expects nothing in return, a love that is complete, a love that can only be found in Jesus.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

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How Do You Know You Are Loved

“Of all the hard times I’ve endured, ain’t nothing that real love can’t cure. Of all the hard times that I feel, ain’t nothing that real love can’t heal.”

 

This is how I know he loves me!

 

When I write God gives me things in pieces. So I had this list of scriptures of God confirming time and again that indeed he loves me.

 

But I paused. I said to myself, “Lord I know that I know these scriptures in my head. How do I move them from my head to my heart? How do I really know for myself that you love me?”

 

How do you know you are loved?

 

How do I know my husband loves me? Well it’s evident in his actions. He works tirelessly to provide for me. He fiercely protects me. He supports and encourages my dreams. He gives me the green light to pursue my interests. He is physically affectionate and doting. I have no doubt the dude loves me.

 

How do my children know I love them? Well I directly asked them that question and here’s how they responded:

~You always encourage me to do my best and you correct me when I do something wrong. T. Age 10

~You cook for me everyday and make me eat healthy food. S. Age 9

~You hug me and kiss me and call me sweet girl. A. Age 6

~Blank stare. Momm-meee! Then he rubs the back of my arm as he’s done since he was an infant E. Age 4

~No words, just a BIG kiss. Muah! J. Age 2

 

From this we can see love is a verb. There is action when there is love. So when I look over my life, I can clearly see the Father’s love action active in my life. His hand guiding me, his arms protecting and his embrace comforting me.

 

Can you look over the course of your life and find evidence of his unfailing love for you?

 

I can turn the pages in my life story and see his love:

~In the awkward, peculiar way my parents met and went on to create me

~Having very little supervision as a young child yet being protected and shielded

~Giving me a cousin that looked out for me

~Learning how to care for myself at a young age (right down to having to scrounge up loose coins to buy food)

~Ordering my steps so that I did well in school

~Covering me while I made stupid decisions in college

~Allowing me to meet my husband

 

And I could go on and on.

 

And some may think well if he loves us so much, why does he allow us to go through painful things? I don’t know that I have an exact answer as each of us has different paths that we must traverse but I do know that all the difficulties I’ve experienced have enabled me to handle and navigate life better. My pain and hurt has aided me in being able to adapt quickly, not take things so personally, a wider perspective on life situations, greater empathy, high tolerance and the ability to withstand storms. I know that he causes all things to work together for my good.

 

“Of all the hard times I’ve endured, ain’t nothing that real love can’t cure. Of all the hard times that I feel, ain’t nothing that real love can’t heal.”

These words are sung by an artist named Speech, one of the members of Arrested Development, a hip-hop group popular in the early 90’s. Yes, I know he loves me because his love has cured all my sickness and disease. His love has healed my hurt and my pain. His love gives me hope. His love mobilizes me to love stronger, try harder, and keeps me moving forward.

 

Since he IS love, he can’t help but to love you. He created you after all. Have you ever admired something you created and looked upon it with wonder and amazement?

 

After pushing my 1st born out of my body, I quickly pulled her up and laid her on my chest. After the nurses toweled her off, I pulled her back so I could look her over. In awe, I stared at this little human that I had a hand in creating. We stared into each other’s eyes and it was love at first sight. This is what the Lord feels when He looks at you and me.

 

God does not merely love, he IS love. And since his nature is that of love, he consistently demonstrates his love for us. Jesus is a love song.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

 

He has shown himself to me. My spiritual eyes have been opened and I can SEE his hand at work in my life.

 

 

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21

 

 

He loves us in a way that is absolute. COMPLETE.

 

He Sees You. He Chooses You. He Knows You. He Loves You.

 

He loves you with an agape love, a love that is selfless, self-sacrificing, and unconditional expecting nothing in return.

 

How will you respond to his love today?

 

All week we’ll be talking about Embracing Everlasting Love. For Part 1 on being Seen & Chosen click here. For Part 2 on being Known, click here. I pray you join me all week as we embrace a love so pure, a love that expects nothing in return, a love that is complete, a love that can only be found in Jesus.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments

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Do You Ever Really KNOW A Person?

“Even if you were the only one entered in a ____________contest, you would come in second”. More than one husband said beauty, thinking their wives would concur. Come on guys, did you really expect these ladies to say they’re ugly? So much for knowing each other very well because they ALL got that one wrong.

 

That question was posed on The Newlywed Game, a popular, long-running game show that pits newly married couples against each other see how well the spouses really know each other.

 

Do you ever really know a person? I am so glad that God knows me better than anyone ever could.

 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

 

He knew the exact moment and manner into which you and I would join his masterful creation know as existence.

 

Today as I washed and styled my hair, quite a few strands came out in my comb and I watched several float to the floor. As I looked at these hairs, I sat for a moment in awe thinking, “Wow God, you see me right now and you even see these hairs. And not only do you see me but you KNOW me.” Even though I tried, I couldn’t wrap my head around the magnitude of it. For more about being SEEN and CHOSEN by God, click here.

 

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

 

Not only does he know me, he knows my thoughts beforehand. I often share with people the simple yet miraculous thing God has done for me. When I am confronted with a situation, God open my visual perception of the situation. The window of opportunity in which I can respond widens. It’s like I come outside of myself and get a few extra seconds to assess the situation. I believe, “God freezes the frame” for me. I think I’ve been afforded this vantage point because he sees my thoughts afar off and provides me with an increased opportunity to choose.

 

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2

 

Not only does he know my thoughts, but also he shares with me his thoughts.

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

And it gets better. Not only does he know my thoughts and share with me his thoughts, he also takes notice and pays attention. He’s intimately involved in the affairs of my life.

 

What is man that you take notice of him, or the son of man that you pay attention to him? Psalm 8:4

 

My husband knows me pretty well. Even though he knows me, he doesn’t always act in accordance with that knowledge. For example, he ought to know that acts of service is my love language. I’ve told him time and time again. Yet, he buys me things. Early in our marriage this was a BIG issue. Even in the last few years, it’s been somewhat of an issue still (I am learning to give him space to bless me in a way that makes him feel good). But time and time again I’ve told him, you should know me by now. PLEASE don’t buy me anything. If you want to do something for me, just ask and I’ll let you know. You can start by unloading the dishwasher and folding that load of laundry. NOPE. He hands me a bag with what he’s purchased. I’m learning to say thank you with a smile.

 

I’d like to say I know my children very well. I consider myself a student of my children. I spend lots of time observing them. I know their tendencies, personalities and little quirks. Even though I generally know what they’re going to do beforehand, I sometimes get frustrated when I see certain behaviors. But really, it came as no surprise because I know how they are.

 

But God. Oh how grateful I am that KNOWING what he does, he loves me still.

 

In fact, he knows me so well that we are on a 1st name basis. He is Yahweh, Elohim, el-Roi, el-Shaddai, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Rapha, Emmanuel, The Alpha and Omega. And he knows my name is Tyra. One day as I was driving I was worshipping to a song by Yolanda Adams called That Name. As I approached my exit off the highway, I heard his voice clearly speak, “Tyra, I Know Your Name”. I was a babe in Christ at the time and that encounter shook me so deeply. In fact, I nearly went into the trees as I was coming off the exit in a sharp turn. I was filled with such an overwhelming sense of love. I was seen and known by the creator of the universe. Out of the people that were, are and will be he knows me!

 

Even in knowing I would: stumble, fall, err, judge, covet, hate, harbor bitterness, hold grudges and more he chose me, knows me and loves me still.

 

Not only does he know me, he acts in accordance with what he knows about me and what he knows is best for me.

 

He knows I’ll step out of bounds so he erects guardrails

He knows I’ll get hurt so he provides the balm

He knows all my mess and loves me still

He knows everything about me and calls me friend

 

And he knows all about you too. And in that knowing, he loves you with an everlasting love.

 

Won’t you pray with me…Lord; you are high and lifted up above all the earth. From your seat in the heavenlies, you gaze over all creation and see me. Not only do you see me but you know me better than anyone ever can or will. Lord I stumble but you are right there to catch me. Forgive me Father. Thank you for working to bring together your love for me and what you know about me to see me through to the future and hope you have planned for my life. Lord, let me know myself; the true me that you fearfully and wonderfully fashioned. Let me spend time getting to know others so that I can love them more completely. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

All week we’ll be talking about Embracing Everlasting Love. For Part 1 on being Seen & Chosen click here. I pray you join me all week as we embrace a love so pure, a love that expects nothing in return, a love that is complete, a love that can only be found in Jesus.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

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The One Who Sees

He said it was the pink linen suit.

 

The thing that drew him to me.

 

A hand me down from my cousin. A 3-piece linen pantsuit with shoulder pads made for a linebacker. Yup…that’s what got his attention.

 

His neon orange vest, Bo Jackson Nikes, fresh temple taper haircut and smooth DC swag. Yup…that’s what got my attention.

 

March 1993. Best Friends. He saw me, I saw him and this year we celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss.

 

Just as my sweet husband saw me all those years ago, God sees us right now.

 

Oh the reassurance of this truth.

 

He is indeed el-Roi, the God Who Sees.

 

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

 

Have you ever felt invisible? Have you ever felt as if people haven’t SEEN you? As a child, I was intimately acquainted with feeling invisible. My mother was present but ‘unavailable’. I needed her but there were times she didn’t see me. And it is only after embarking on a personal healing journey in 2014 that I have fully dealt with those feelings.

 

Even today I need the reassurance that HE sees me. I have an affectionate, doting, caring husband. I have friends who love, encourage and support me. Even my earthly father still showers me with words of affirmation. But THE ONE WHO SEES, is the one whom I need to be seen by. When I am bony weary from carry out all that he’s task to my hands. When I’ve poured out my last drop in service to him, I am comforted in knowing he sees me. Just as he saw Hagar, sitting in desperation in the desert, he sees me. And because he sees me, he’s acquainted with my concerns, joy, pain, strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He sees and he cares. And because he cares, he wants me to cast my cares on him so he can help me. He is truly a very present help in the time of trouble.

 

Not only does he see me, but he chose me.

 

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Ephesians 1:4

 

 

Who did he choose? Me. And He chose you too. From the time you were created, you were engrafted with a desire to be in relationship with a faithful, loving, serving partner. From the time you were created, the desire was placed in you to hunger after a love relationship, a relationship with the Lord. But there have been times that I misappropriate that need for love. I sought that love from people and things yet it was never satiated. How about you?

 

There is a love space in our hearts that’s custom made and ONLY Jesus fits the exact proportions.

 

Only He can fill that space in our hearts.

 

So even after we have been unfaithful, he still seeks a relationship with us. He still unwaveringly, tenaciously pursues us. He pursues and reminds us to draw near to him and he will draw even closer to us. He reminds us to seek him first and all other things will be added onto us. He reminds us that he is our friend. He reminds us that he loves us with an everlasting love. After all we do, or don’t do for that matter, he still chooses us.

 

He sees us. He chooses us. Not an accident, happenstance or mistake but intentionally out of his unfailing love for us, he chooses us.

 

How will your heart respond today?

 

When that handsome young man saw me and chose me all those years ago, at first I dismissed it. I though it was yet another person with some ulterior motive. But that young man had vision. He says he KNEW I would be his wife. I’ve never really been the visionary type. I’m more of the realistic, right now in the present, focused on all the little details type that doesn’t cast a vision or see the ‘big picture’. Well, he saw it and it has come to pass.

 

Jesus sees the BIG PICTURE of your life. He’s the only one who knows all the finite details. He’s THE ONE WHO SEES your beginning from your end.

 

He’s gazing at you from across the distance.

 

He’s approaching…

 

Join me in prayer….Thank you Lord for being an ever loving, patient and kind God. Thank you for seeing me and choosing me. Just as you saw Hagar in the desert, you see me. And before the foundation of the world you chose me. You love me with an everlasting love. Give me eyes to see and the mind of Christ that I may choose well. Open the eyes of my heart that I may see you. Above people and things let me choose you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

All week we’ll be talking about Embracing Everlasting Love. I pray you join me as we embrace a love so pure, a love that expects nothing in return, a love that is complete, a love that can only be found in Jesus.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Healthy Eating On The Go

Running at a frenzied pace.

 

Out the door.

 

In the car.

 

Drop 3 at school.

 

Drop 1 at preschool.

 

Back in the car.

 

Errands. Errands. Errands.

 

Do it all again in reverse.

 

Boy Scouts, Church, Robotics.

 

In and out and in and out.

 

How about you?

 

Home, to work, to the gym, to the dry cleaner then back home again? In between all the GOING and DOING we can get a little hungry. So what do we eat when we’re on the go? How do you stick to your commitment to eat better when short on time or in a hurry? How do you prevent from falling into the quick and easy junk food trap?

 

How do you not succumb to pulling into the drivethrough?

 

What the formula to ensure healthy eating on the go? By always keep some healthy snacks on hand, that’s how you do it.

 

At a minimum I keep snack sized ziplock bags and dried fruit in the car.

 

Healthy Eating On The Go:

 

~Grapes (wash & dry them as soon as you get them home from the grocery and      store them in snack sized ziplock bags

~bananas

~Clementine oranges

~Apples & Almond Butter

snack 2

(Not a prize winning photo but real time eating on the go from my passenger seat)

~Nuts

~Popcorn

~carrot sticks

~Smoothie/Juice made the day before

2014-10-28 08.59.16

~Water (sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst to this is my 1st go to)

~Raw Revolution Bars (I buy these rarely to have on hand in a pinch)

Raw-Revolution-Organic-Live-Food-Bar-Heavenly2

As I often say, Proper Preparation Prevents Pitfalls. It is the first week of February.  If you made some health goals for this year, stick with them.  If you’ve fallen down while trying, that’s ok.  Pick yourself up and try again.  It’s one small decision at a time that secures the victory.  Now go and prepare those healthy snacks and  throw them in your bag so you’ll be prepared the next time hunger strikes.

 

Tell me some of your tips for healthy eating when you’re on the go.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!