Tag Archive | thankful

Don’t Look Back

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”  Exodus 16:2-3 (ESV)

Just as the Israelites did, continuing to live in the past can hold us back.  What the Israelites had in the past kept them in fear and they never made it to the promise land.  They forgot how God provided for them: escape from slavery in Egypt, a path, food, water and directions.

gaze

We all have a past.  If I could, I would go back and change some things. Many things.  I would also love the opportunity to apologize to a few people, but unfortunately I can not.

Glance back at your past ONLY to appreciate how the LORD provided for you and got you through.  Stay there only long enough to thank Him for His provisions.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for guiding me and showing me how my past has shaped me.  Please forgive me for wasting so much time on things from my past that I’m unable to change.  Please forgive me for not being grateful for how You protected me during that time and how You provided for me.  Holy Spirit, please help me to forget the painful and sinful moments of my past, and please remind me not to linger when my mind wanders to my past.  Thank You, for releasing me from bondage and for a new start each day!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

No Bake Cookies and Christian Love

  It was 34 years ago that I first tried a No Bake Cookie.

 

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I was single, overseas, and living in Air Force barracks. When a coworker’s wife made them for him to share at work, I asked for the recipe. It was the first recipe that someone ever wrote out for me. This couple also happened to be some of the first true Christians I met.

From the ages of 15 to 21, I could have been called a “wild child”. Even though I ran and worked out, I also smoked cigarettes and drank heavily. Very heavily. I lived a very wicked lifestyle and everyone I worked with knew it.

One professing Christian told me that women shouldn’t be in the military. He also told me how his wife stayed home, never wore pants, and only listened to the radio. Sure — like that was going to give me a desire to become a Christian.

Thankfully, God continued to put nonjudgmental people in my path who shared His love in kind and thoughtful ways. They did not put down my sinful lifestyle. They didn’t comment on my filthy language. They showed me Christ’s love in caring actions and the way that they lived their lives.

 I’ve used that cookie recipe numerous times. I’ve made them for my own family. I’ve made multiple batches for youth group events. I’ve taken plates of them to new neighbors, sick friends, and new moms. I make them for the kids I work with at school.

I rewrote that recipe on a card because the original became wrinkled and stained from use.  Every time I take the recipe card out, I think of that loving Christian wife who made cookies for her husband’s coworkers, how the LORD used those cookies to soften my heart, and I thank Him for that loving act so many years ago.  As I made a batch of  No Bake Cookies tonight, I thanked the LORD for allowing me to serve Him and will do so every time I make them.    

Choose to remember the good

mosaic heart

 

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Mother’s Day has been a difficult holiday for me since my mom left this world almost 13 years ago. We often didn’t see eye-to-eye and my rebellion of my parent’s extreme strictness didn’t help our relationship. My mother could also be very manipulative, which I didn’t understand until after she passed away — a few years ago I started having long telephone conversations with my aunt about my mom.  I have slowly gained an understanding as to why Mom acted the way she did and why she often said hurtful things to me.

Mom got married at 17, divorced about a year later, went into the Air Force, and then was discharged from the Air Force in 1957 because she was unmarried and pregnant. Mom then married a despicable man, my biological father. I realize now that Mom didn’t want me to make the same mistakes she had, and that the things she said and did were done out of love and concern, not out of anger or hatred.

Instead of remembering the bad times, I choose to remember the good. One of my favorite childhood memories is when Mom would take us to Jones Beach during summer break. We’d go so early in the morning that the crews would still be combing the sands to make it pretty for a new day. I remember wonderful days of swimming in the ocean, searching for perfect sea shells and beautiful beach glass, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, taking in the wonderful aromas of coconut tanning lotion, and then going home exhausted with lots of extra sand in our car (and in our bathing suits).

Yesterday I attended an Eagle Scout award ceremony for a young man in our town. My heart broke for him because neither of his parents were there for his very important achievement.  I was thankful, though, that over a dozen school staff and their families chose to attend. I have never heard this young man say anything negative about his parents — an excellent reminder that we ALL need to be thankful and choose to focus on the good.

If your own mother was absent from your life due to drug or alcohol abuse, choose to remember the good. If your mother has already left this Earth, whether through death or a devastating illness such as Alzheimer’s, choose to remember the good times you have shared. If you never had a mother at all, or yours was just totally lacking in any maternal skills, choose to be thankful that she chose life!

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

Please don’t allow Satan to steal your joy. If you had a bad relationship with your Mom, pray that God shows you the good times you shared. The Holy Spirit is inspiring me to make one wise choice after another and I do believe that these are sustainable disciplines. To God be the glory!!