Finding Happiness

What will make you happy? What do you really want?

More of __________________________.

Less of ___________________________.

And how much more or less will be the indicator of your supposed happiness?

If that which is outside us could fulfill and bring us joy, it would be evident in those who have so much and are so happy. No, we see a world filled with an excess of things and yet empty of joy.

The only true source of joy is found within. It’s found in the quiet place of our heart that doesn’t have to run from the pain or noise of this life.

Peace is what’s lacking.

We will scratch and claw our way through life, blaming others and ranting about injustice until our hearts find this place of peace.

I don’t believe it can be found until we rest in the love of the One who created us.

When we find Him in our loneliness and experience that He is enough, we will have touched the eternal.

It’s not a process, it’s not a physical place, it’s not a person and it’s not a church or group.

It’s Him.

When we believe that we are loved and have been put on this earth for a reason, even without fully understanding that reason, we begin a journey that is evidenced by peace and then joy.

The question is not “what” will make us happy, but “who” will make us happy?

It’s the One who left the stones on the ground and embraced the rambunctious children.
It’s the One who never promised an easy road but promised to walk the stormy journey with us.
It’s the One who walked away from the righteous to embrace the mess of humanity.

It’s the One who loves you. Yes you, mess and all.

Why does life have to change?

This is from the message I shared at our last Praise and Coffee Night. It was a wonderful evening!!! So many women from all over the area coming together…it was beautiful.

Our next Praise and Coffee Night is June 18th at the Plainwell Coffee Mill.
************

We can’t get around it, life changes.
Situations that take our comfort away.

Change SHAKES us up!!

Here are some of the things that shaking does:

1. Shaking can bring us down to our foundation.
Much like an earthquake- picture people wandering around dazzed and confused among the rubble left by an earthquake. Everything was shaken to it’s foundations. They’re walking around like…where did everything go?

Have you ever felt like that? I’ve been there!

Suddenly, everything that we knew as normal and comfortable has crashed down around us and we are left grasping for something to hold onto.

It’s times like that –that this verse is a life line.
Ps 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
NLT

Because we have this promise:
Mal 3:6
6 “I the LORD do not change.
NIV

Your life may have just crashed around you.

***You may have just found out that your husband is into pornography…or a loved one an alcoholic.

***Your husband may have come home and said…the company is closing I’m out of a job- we may lose the house.

***Whatever the change is…the LORD does not change.

Heb 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
NIV

He Wants to walk you through this-will you let Him??

2. Shaking (caused by change) can also mix us up.

When I bake cookies I bring a whole bunch of ingredients together that…if left alone would not taste very good, but when you mix them all together and bake them- choc chip cookies!

Sometimes shaking (from a change) causes us to mix up with people around us more.
It can bring families and old friends together.

Change in our life can greatly affect our circle of friends.
Our circle may look quite different after a shaking in our life.

Sometimes the people we thought would be there forever are no more…
Anyone ever felt lonely?

I have gone through some changes that left me very lonely.

But, those are the times that my relationship with the Lord became so precious to me.
He truly became my All in All during those times.

Goodbye is a necessary life skill.

It may not be forever, but healthy people understand that relationships go through seasons.

3. Sometimes change that brings a shaking exposes the parts of us that we have hidden away- or weren’t even aware were there.
Could be a weakness or a treasure.

Just like after an earthquake, people wander around and find people’s belongings exposed.
Shaking can expose parts of us that may have been hidden, but are suddenly un-earthed.
But- know that if it is un-earthedit is because the Lord wants it to be.

He wants you to bring that weakness or treasure to Him and ask Him what He wants done with it.

Personally, one of these big changes in my life …took away my
identity.
Suddenly I was left reeling with the thought “Who AM I??”

Eventually, I realized that the Lord didn’t want my identity wrapped up in what I DID…He wants my identity to be “His child.”

4. One more thing that shaking does is causes us to grab on to something.

What do you run to when life starts shaking and change is happening?

Psalms 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
NIV

My heart breaks for those searching for hope and happiness but looking under rocks to find it.

We are far too easily satisfied.

It’s like drinking from a mud puddle when there is a beautiful flowing creek just over the hill, but instead we hang out in the mud puddle.
*** Help is not at the bottom of a bottle.
*** Help is not “being in a different relationship.”
*** Help is not in finding a new hobby.
*** Help is not found anywhere but the Lord.
How long will it take before we recognize that the God who created us,
longs for us,
longs to fill us,
to give us hope and joy?
No one will ever love you like He does. He created you for the pleasure of KNOWING you.

Sometimes we are struggling and miserable because we are trying to ignore His voice.
Give it up.

Fall at His feet.

Heb 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
NIV

Let go of that thing you’re holding on to…
Jonah 2:8
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
NIV

And what if God wants you to change someone’s life? What if you have something that someone else needs and it will be life changing to them?

What if God is shaking you up to raise you up
for the plan He has for your life?

What is in your heart?
What opportunities have the new changes in your life made for you?
Do you have a dream that will change a life?
Now may be the time!


Will you be a woman that changes the world?
Or at least the world around
you?

It might just be time to embrace this change instead of resisting it.

How do you embrace change?
By asking yourself; what can I learn from this situation?
Asking, how can I use this for Your glory God?
Praying…Heal the hurts in my heart Lord, so that I can use this shaking to bring peace to hurting hearts.

That is why Jesus came; to heal our hearts and bring relationship between us and the God who made us.

He loves you more than you could ever imagine! Give your life to Him…bring Him your change and let Him do a mighty work in you!!

When Life Changes

We can’t get around it, life changes.
Situations that take our comfort away.

Change SHAKES us up!!

Here are some of the things that shaking does:

1. Shaking can bring us down to our foundation.
Much like an earthquake- picture people wandering around dazzed and confused among the rubble left by an earthquake. Everything was shaken to it’s foundations. They’re walking around like…where did everything go?

Have you ever felt like that? I’ve been there!

Suddenly, everything that we knew as normal and comfortable has crashed down around us and we are left grasping for something to hold onto.

It’s times like that –that this verse is a life line.
Ps 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
NLT

Because we have this promise:
Mal 3:6
6 “I the LORD do not change.
NIV

Your life may have just crashed around you.

***You may have just found out that your husband is into pornography…or a loved one an alcoholic.

***Your husband may have come home and said…the company is closing I’m out of a job- we may lose the house.

***Whatever the change is…the LORD does not change.

Heb 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
NIV

He Wants to walk you through this-will you let Him??

2. Shaking (caused by change) can also mix us up.

When I bake cookies I bring a whole bunch of ingredients together that…if left alone would not taste very good, but when you mix them all together and bake them- choc chip cookies!

Sometimes shaking (from a change) causes us to mix up with people around us more.
It can bring families and old friends together.

Change in our life can greatly affect our circle of friends.
Our circle may look quite different after a shaking in our life.

Sometimes the people we thought would be there forever are no more…
Anyone ever felt lonely?

I have gone through some changes that left me very lonely.

But, those are the times that my relationship with the Lord became so precious to me.
He truly became my All in All during those times.

Goodbye is a necessary life skill.

It may not be forever, but healthy people understand that relationships go through seasons.

3. Sometimes change that brings a shaking exposes the parts of us that we have hidden away- or weren’t even aware were there.
Could be a weakness or a treasure.

Just like after an earthquake, people wander around and find people’s belongings exposed.
Shaking can expose parts of us that may have been hidden, but are suddenly un-earthed.
But- know that if it is un-earthedit is because the Lord wants it to be.

He wants you to bring that weakness or treasure to Him and ask Him what He wants done with it.

Personally, one of these big changes in my life …took away my
identity.
Suddenly I was left reeling with the thought “Who AM I??”

Eventually, I realized that the Lord didn’t want my identity wrapped up in what I DID…He wants my identity to be “His child.”

4. One more thing that shaking does is causes us to grab on to something.

What do you run to when life starts shaking and change is happening?

Psalms 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
NIV
My heart breaks for those searching for hope and happiness but looking under rocks to find it.

We are far too easily satisfied.

It’s like drinking from a mud puddle when there is a beautiful flowing creek just over the hill, but instead we hang out in the mud puddle.
*** Help is not at the bottom of a bottle.
*** Help is not “being in a different relationship.”
*** Help is not in finding a new hobby.
*** Help is not found anywhere but the Lord.
How long will it take before we recognize that the God who created us,
longs for us,
longs to fill us,
to give us hope and joy?
No one will ever love you like He does. He created you for the pleasure of KNOWING you.

Sometimes we are struggling and miserable because we are trying to ignore His voice.
Give it up.

Fall at His feet.

Heb 4:14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
NIV

Let go of that thing you’re holding on to…
Jonah 2:8
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
NIV

And what if God wants you to change someone’s life? What if you have something that someone else needs and it will be life changing to them?

What if God is shaking you up to raise you up
for the plan He has for your life?

What is in your heart?
What opportunities have the new changes in your life made for you?
Do you have a dream that will change a life?
Now may be the time!

It might just be time to embrace this change instead of resisting it.

How do you embrace change?
By asking yourself; what can I learn from this situation?
Asking, how can I use this for Your glory God?
Praying…Heal the hurts in my heart Lord, so that I can use this shaking to bring peace to hurting hearts.

That is why Jesus came; to heal our hearts and bring relationship between us and the God who made us.

He loves you more than you could ever imagine! Give your life to Him…bring Him your change and let Him do a mighty work in you!!

Will you be a woman that changes the world?
Or at least the world around
you?

Change!

Are you tired of that word yet?
It is the “it” word of the day. Change.
From the White house to my own house, our nation is in a state of change right now.

I feel pretty safe in assuming that many of you are also in a season of change.

Some changes are huge- moving, major job changes, marriage, divorce, children. Others are smaller, yet meaningful changes. Some changes are internal such as attitudes and dreams.

I believe that the body of Christ is going through changes also. There seems to be a common thread in the conversations that I have with Christians lately. It is a sense that the Lord is calling us closer to Him and that things are starting to shift and shake within our churches.
Some of the changes are painful, yet necessary for us to become the “spotless bride” that He will ultimately return for.

One thing is for certain…we’re being taking out of our comfort zones! The Lord is calling us upwards and onwards and it’s rattling our cages a bit! Don’t get the wrong idea, I am not some hyped up person talking about how God is ‘bringing us higher in Him’ and yelling a whole lot of empty promises at you.

My “comfort zone” …

To read the rest of this article, hop on over to the Internet Cafe’ and I would love to hear your input also!!!

Our hope is in Him,
Sue

Changing plans~ changing seasons…

My Son Is Coming Home!

It has been a long couple of months, and it is a long story but here’s the condensed version.

After 3 weeks in Security Forces training, my son developed back pain. It did not get better and the Air Force has determined that it was an old injury that is irritated. (He had a dirtbike accident a year ago and broke his collar bone and his pelvis in 2 places.)

They said that he had broken vertebrae from the former injury (though we were never told this) and that it would not get better so they decided to discharge him.

At first we were all heartbroken that he was leaving the Air Force. We hoped and prayed that he could stay or be re-assigned to a different, less physical unit. This didn’t happen and after being very upset and concerned about his future, the Lord impressed on my heart that He had His hand on this. (No kidding Sue!)

I felt that the Lord had him there for a reason and a season. He had things to teach him and those things have been accomplished.

Ok. I trust you Lord! Italy is not YOUR plan!

I will spare you all the horrible details of this situation. I have purposely not posted what is going on because I have struggled with my attitude about it. I have had to trust that the Lord was doing a work in my son and let the process happen.
However, when it got really ugly and we felt almost abusive- we did get our Congressman involved and wow- did thing speed up.

NOW….it has been several weeks and I am SOOOOO ready for my boy (ahem…man) to come home!!!

He will re-enter college after the 1st of the year and we will trust the Lord to lead him in the rest of His plans.

Ps 33:11
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,the purposes of his heart through all generations.
NIV

Prov 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course,but the LORD determines his steps.
NIV

Jer 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
NIV

Have any of your plans ever been totally turned upside-down?

You wondered what was going on- didn’t GOD tell you to do this or that?

Sometimes the season is not as long as we think!

This songs has always been a favorite- every time it gets to the springtime and she says the line “and everything that’s new”- I burst into tears! I kid you not! There have been so many times of the bleak cold winter seasons that I am overcome with the joy that God brings after them!

Enjoy.



Looks like he will be flying home on Friday, I think I’ll make him his favorite, tacos!

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