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.

What Can Moms Do About Bullying

Maranda had an excellent program this weekend on “Where You Live” about bullying.

I encourage all moms to check out her blog, she has some great insights from parents, kids and professionals.

One of the girls on that show said something so eye opening about the core of the pain these kids feel. Her name was Karleigh and she said: “when you feel worthless, all you want to do is die”

And I thought, THAT is the heart of what these kids are feeling when they are bullied, they feel worthless and de-valued. And I’m not a professional but as a MOM, I can help my child feel worth. I can show them that they have value.
I can validate them by encouraging them, praising them for accomplishments, telling our little girls that they are beautiful.

Our youngest daughter was adopted from China and she was born with a cleft lip and palate and her scar is very obvious and her little nose is flatter and kids say things to her that break her heart. I talked about it in this post: No One Else Looks Like Me

So we continually tell her she’s beautiful and how precious she is to us and to God, and I see that lift her countenance. It really makes a difference.

Our kids need us to fill their tanks.They need to know that they are an important part not only of our family but of the world. That they have a place, and they have a purpose. They are not here by accident.

And on the other side of this, we can talk to our kids about how we are all different and just like we encourage our kids- that the other kids in their school have a purpose too- and teach our kids to be sensitive to the differences in all of us.

It’s as simple as:
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Real moms can make a difference when we show our children their value and worth.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio: STAR 105.7

And visit Tommy and Brook at:
STAR 105.7
STAR 105.7 on Facebook
@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

If the Shoes Don’t Fit, They Might Not Be Your Shoes

I have huge feet.
There I said it.
I’m 5’9″ tall and wear a size 11 shoe. I’ve always been so embarrassed by the size of my feet. When I was little I was in ballet class (they were attempting to teach me some grace) and they had to place a special order for my ballet slippers because of course they did not carry my size.
I desperately wanted to be petite, but couldn’t even come close. I was a knobby-kneed Olive Oil.

The school put on a play about the circus and I was cast as the “tall lady.” I didn’t realize circus’ put tall people in the same categorie as lions, bears and bearded ladies, apparently they did.

Did I mention my teeth? You know how sharks have several rows of teeth and they’re all over the place? It was worse than that.

I wished that I could be someone else, just for a day…a small “normal” sized person with cute hair and a pretty smile.

I just wanted to wear my friend’s shoes, but heaven knows, they would not have fit. Even today I don’t have a girlfriend that I could exchange shoes with. If I tried, I’d look ridiculous and be very uncomfortable. I’d walk funny and be miserable by the end of the day. The only shoes that work for me are my own.

Just like walking around in shoes that don’t fit, I’ve tried walking around in someone else’s calling, and guess what? It doesn’t fit me. I see someone doing something that I think looks really exciting and I assume that I could step right into those shoes and do it too, only to find out that it’s uncomfortable, and awkward and doesn’t fit me at all. And at the end of the day, I’m pretty miserable.

What about you? Are you trying to walk around in someone else’s shoes?


God has uniquely called each one of us. We were created by Him, to have relationship with Him and reflect His love in this world.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It’s taken me many years to come to the place of being comfortable in my own skin. Not only physically but also my identity. Who am I….where am I going…what is my calling??

Identity is a complex thing. Am I what I do? Am I the hats I wear? Oh I hope not! They are what I do, but they don’t define who I am.


My bio says “wife, mom, speaker, writer and coffee drinker who loves the Lord.” The things that I do help others figure out who I might be…but truly, who I am is not a bunch of titles- thank God! Because what happens is, when life changes and the titles are gone (and I guarantee, titles will change or disappear) we’re left struggling to “find ourselves.”

I’ve been there. It’s a lonely scary place to be.

It forced me to search for who I am. In my searching I realized that I will never find my identity in a title or position, no matter how noble the cause. But now I’m content to know that I am first His daughter, the rest we can figure out together. I will walk the road God has in front of me and let Him handle the “why” and “how” of things.

Her shoes are not your shoes.
So, if the shoes you are wearing don’t fit, they might not be your shoes. Slide your feet and whole self into Him. Start with a simple prayer, just have a conversation with God. He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him. Start “finding yourself” by settling into His love for you. Dare to believe that you are completely accepted and loved by Him and go from there…in your own shoes.

Feeling left out of the cool girl circles

So any other girlfriends here willing to raise their hand to this question…

Who else feels left out of the cool-girl circles sometimes?

Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Crazy isn’t it?
We get thinking about how we feel outside of a certain circle of gals…all the while overlooking the circles that God has put us in.

What if God has us right where He wants us?
What if maybe the circle we think we belong in, would not be beneficial to us at all.

Maybe, just maybe the Lord wants us to be thankful for the people that He’s put in our little sphere of the world and quit trying to belong somewhere else.

Proverbs 25:13 says:
Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

Instead of worrying about what circle that we DO NOT belong to, let’s try being this kind of friend to those in our life.

Be refreshing! Like an ice-cold mocha latte’!

I’m pretty sure that if we took this approach, we would deal less with rejection, loneliness and feelings of self-pity.

And besides that, in my book you are all so super cool and you can be a part of Praise and Coffee’s circle any day!
So, carry on and coffee up!

What are you running from?

I’m over at the cafe today, stop by and see me and leave a note on the table!


”I’ve been there. Something or a bunch of “somethings” start happening and before you know it all you can think of is “Get ME Out of Here!!!”

Maybe it’s a literal move, or just pulling out of a situation. But you just know that you are -SO over- the present situation.

If you’re experiencing this right now, let me ask you…what are you running FROM? Or even, what are you afraid of?”

Here’s a direct link to the article…
What are you running from?

If the Shoes Don’t Fit, They Might Not Be Your Shoes

I have huge feet.
There I said it.
I’m 5’9″ tall and wear a size 11 shoe. I’ve always been so embarrassed by the size of my feet. When I was little I was in ballet class (they were attempting to teach me some grace) and they had to place a special order for my ballet slippers because of course they did not carry my size.
I desperately wanted to be petite, but couldn’t even come close. I was the personification of Olive Oil. Tall, skinny and clumsy.

The school put on a play about the circus and I was cast as the “tall lady.” I didn’t realize circus’ put tall people in the same categorie as lions, bears and bearded ladies. But apparently they did.

Did I mention my teeth, oh let’s just not go there today.

I wished that I could be someone else, just for a day…a small “normal” sized person with cute hair and a pretty smile.

I just wanted to wear my friend’s shoes, but heaven knows, they would not have fit. Even today I don’t have a girlfriend that I could exchange shoes with. If I tried, I’d look ridiculous and be very uncomfortable. I’d walk funny and be miserable by the end of the day. The only shoes that work for me are my own.

Just like walking around in shoes that don’t fit, I’ve tried walking around in someone else’s calling, and guess what? It doesn’t fit me. I see someone doing something that I think looks really exciting and I assume that I could step right into those shoes and do it too, only to find out that it’s uncomfortable, and awkward and doesn’t fit me at all. And at the end of the day, I’m pretty miserable.

What about you? Are you trying to walk around in someone else’s shoes?


God has uniquely called each one of us. We were created by Him, for Him, to bring Him glory and reflect His love in this world.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It’s taken me many years to come to the place of being comfortable in my own skin. Not only physically but also my identity. Who am I….where am I going…what is my calling??

I still don’t have it all figured out, but I am content. I will walk the road God has in front of me and let Him figure out the “why” and “how” of things.

Identity is a complex thing. Am I what I do? Am I the hats I wear? Oh I hope not! These ARE all things that I do, but they don’t define who I am.


My bio says “wife, mom, speaker, writer and coffee drinker who loves the Lord.” The things that I do help others figure out who I might be…but truly, who I am is not a bunch of titles- thank God! Because what happens is, when life changes and the titles are gone (and I guarantee, titles will change or disappear) we’re left struggling to “find ourselves.”

I’ve been there. It’s a lonely scary place to be.

It forced me to search for who I was. In my searching I realized that I will never find my identity in a title or position, no matter how noble the cause.

Until I laid my life completely before Him and surrendered my will to His, I walked around as if in shoes that didn’t fit.

Colossians 3:1
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

To get comfortable in this world, I had to hide my life in His and see my life in a much bigger perspective than I had been. I saw the small picture, He sees the big one. His is more accurate!

So, if the shoes you are wearing don’t fit, they might not be your shoes. Slide your feet and whole self into Him. Start with prayer, He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him. Start “finding yourself” by settling into His love for you, dare to believe that you are completely accepted and loved by Him and go from there. He has a wonderful plan for your life.

********

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One more thing….the winner of the November Praise and Coffee is:
Debbie at Love the Decor blog!!!
Stop over and see her super-cute blog!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!! Your comments make my day :)

Is Insecurity Hurting Your Marriage?

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So ladies, who fills your cup?
Who or what dictates what kind of day you are going to have?

I spent a few years allowing the emotions of my day to be hinged on how my husband talked to me and treated me.
If I felt loved and accepted by him, it was a good day.
But if I felt I had let him down or he was angry or disappointed with me about something, it was a bad day.

I lived my life through his eyes. My security came from him alone.

I struggled with this until I learned that my esteem and security were supposed to come from my God. In fact, the way that I was living was putting a huge strain on my husband and our relationship.

I put him in a position that God never intended him to be…my all in all, my everything.

I found out that God wanted to be My Everything, and in fact it was wrong to put any person in that position in my life.

I let him and others dictate the mood and atmosphere of my life and home.
One negative look or comment could send my emotions spiraling down.

Thankfully, I was in a Bible study that set me on the right track. God’s Word taught me that my joy needed to come from my relationship with Him and that nothing and no one could take THAT joy away.

I learned to walk close to God and let His Word be my barometer.

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
NIV

I was God’s child, His precious daughter. He loved me enough to send His Son to die for me. The more I learned about the Lord, the more I loved Him and understood His love for me.

This very insecure woman found security in God her Father. He became my All in All…and continues to make that so real to me everyday.


However, I still have days when I need to remind myself that my joy
comes from the Lord and nothing or no one can take that away. I choose to walk this life…it won’t happen by accident.

I need to fill my cup with the Lord and His goodness so that I am not draining my husband and friends…wanting them to fill me. Blaming them for my bad days.

Lord, help us to find our joy and security in You and You alone. The other relationships in our life are so meaningful and rewarding, but they are not what sustains us, that is reserved for You.
Help us to run to you first Lord, fill us, and let us pour Your love into our families as it overflows from out hearts.

I’m praying for our marriages,

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