Two poems of encouragement when hanging onto His promises through prolonged seasons of pain or confusion.

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Never Give up – encouragement from your Heavenly Father

Never give up, My precious one, never give up,  I say.
There’s raw power in your perseverance,                                                                                    and its molding you as My dear precious “clay”.

Never give up, My precious child, don’t give up,  I tenderly say.
When your mind swirls with doubt and confusion–
forge onward, and continue to pray.

A precious surrender is worked within your waiting,
even in your pain, you become resilient, ever fresh,
Worked within, is a beauty as the golden olive,
which yields its finest oil in the deep crushing “press”.

But never err, thinking I delight in your afflictions,
that I simply do not care!
Nothing could be farther from the truth,
I feel your pain in the deep sufferings that we share.

You see, I do not ask anything of my children,
that My own Son did not bear.
Like Him, you too will overcome the world,
simply cling to Him, and rest in His care.

His grace you will find is sufficient,
He understands, with compassion, your pain,
Let me assure you all His ways are perfect,
There’s blazing glory awaiting you just ‘round the bend.

So, don’t dare believe the enemy who mocks you,
whose lies tempt you toward doubt and fear,
I expertly know what I am doing, my child…
in time it will all be made clear.

So keep pressing forward. Persevere onward.
Fight your fight with faith-filled prayers.
My very answer you are bringing forth,
as you continue onward in bold, steadfast prayer.
~~~
Hebrews 6:11-12
…We want each of you to show the same diligence to the very end, so that your hope may be fully assured. Then you will not be spiritually sluggish, but will imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

James 1:2-4 
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort …  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out perseverance. (endurance and steadfastness and patience.) But let perseverance have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects – mature and complete], lacking in nothing.

Luke 18:1amp
Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to faint, lose heart, and give up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dig Deeper – Tap into the endless Rivers of Living Water — a poem from Heavenly Father

There’s something that I am doing,
the wait forces you to draw ever near.
You have a choice – will you continually choose to trust Me,
or will you give up in utter despair?

The wait forces your roots to forge deeper.
Its a “below the surface” kind of thing.
A work that isn’t readily visible to eyes
that are not perceptive to the mysterious workings of the King.

You see, those called with a mighty purpose,
are often vessels most crushed in the press.
Their foundation must be oh, so sturdy,
or they’d be utterly destroyed, when I massively bless.

Don’t give up on My Promises for you,
keep watering them in prayer.
Let the wait and the process, perfect you,
as you tend My Promises to you with great care.

I don’t waste a single heartache.
I see every hidden tear.
I hear your cries, echoing the very cries of My Son:
My “Father why have you forsaken me” here?

Trust Me, my chosen and precious child,
TRUST is the shiny golden thread.
Though it appears so very flimsy and fragile to you,
its tensile strength is tenacious, unbreakable, and fierce.

Trust me in the furnace.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
I am the fourth man in YOUR furnace of affliction,
TRUST ME, I know just how far with you I must go.

When your carefully timed journey in the kiln is through,
your faith forged strong & refined as pure gold,
your character will be able to sustain the glory that awaits you then…
so My child, keep pressing on in faith, hope, and love.

~~~

Isaiah 41:9b-10
I have chosen you and not rejected you.  Fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

~~~

Its as if I hear your heavenly Father saying to you — Trust Me, my precious and dearly beloved child.  I gave My very life for you. I will not abandon you. I will complete the good work I began. It will be worth it. Hang on.  I love you.

For more hope and encouragement, check out:

http://www.facebook.com/WonderfullyLoved

http://PeacewithGod.net;  http://Godlife.com

Questions?  Feel free to contact me:  LovedChildofGod@yahoo.com

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Going Through Hardship? Let Patience do its Work.

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To any going through hardship or difficulties, and you’re tempted to lose hope, or feel you are fast losing the stamina to hang in there….  I thought I’d share what I am learning on patience, because I know it is a lesson that God teaches all of us at various points of our lives.

I hope it will bring encouragement that God has definite purpose behind the things we endure — It’s also reassuring to me, that He is not submitting us to any training that His own Son Jesus didn’t Himself have to undergo. Because Jesus was successful in His training, we can be too!  In fact, we have the Overcomer living on the inside of us, to help us do the same!

Here’s a bit of the back story that prompted this blog post. (pun intended. ha!) I have experienced a year and a half of ongoing levels of back pain, with it being the worst since March of this year. (to the point that it frequently would crescendo to a searing 8-9/10 severity in back pain radiating down whenever I rode in a car, or sat for a prolonged periods.)  I recently had back surgery to correct the issue of a huge herniated disc.  After smooth progression for weeks after surgery, I have experienced a post-surgical flare-up that is not quickly resolving.  And because the pain (and accompanying temptation toward fear/anxiety) has been going on much longer than I anticipated after surgery, a friend of mine was sharing some good swing thoughts re: choosing to keep my eyes on Jesus, not giving in to fear/anxiety, but looking to God in total TRUST & inviting God to work His PATIENCE in me, in the process.

God really highlighted the word “Patience” to me during my conversation with my friend, so I looked up the definition, and was amazed at what patience fully means.

As I began to study the definition, it seems to me that developing patience is a perfect and necessary work that God performs in us, if we are to look like Jesus. (and isn’t that the ultimate goal for us as Christians?  To be able to represent Him well?  The bible confirms that  we are “destined to be conformed to His image,” so Lord, give us grace to cooperate!)

DEFINITION OF PATIENCE: (the actual definition is in caps, in parenthesis are  adjectives to further flesh out aspects of the definition that I underlined. wow. eye opening.)

BEARING MISFORTUNE, DELAY, HARDSHIP, PROVOCATION, OR PAIN (physical suffering, distress/extreme anxiety, sorrow, state of physical strain or exhaustion; hardship/severe suffering or privation/loss or absence of a quality or attribute that is normally present, caused by illness or injury; mental suffering)

WITHOUT COMPLAINT (i.e.statements which say a situation is unacceptable)

OR IRRITATION, (impatience, annoyance, or anger)

& WITH FORTITUDE (mental and emotional strength)

AND CALM, (tranquility, freedom from agitation/state of anxiety)

QUIETLY, & STEADILY (not faltering or wavering)

PERSEVERING
(continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty, or with little or NO prospect of success! )
~~~~
MAN ALIVE! Now I see why people say not to pray for patience. Ha!

The first descriptive of Love in 1 Corinthians 13:4 is “Love is patient.”and 1 John 4:8 says “God IS love.” God is patient.

Jesus is our supreme example and role model…

He displayed His exquisitely developed patience as he endured all the hardship, slander, threats on his life, betrayal, etc. throughout His years of ministry.  In His final week of passion to fulfill His mission to rescue us, He went through the ultimate testing of patience in enduring the severe pain of being  scourged, beaten, then made to carry His cross along the long painful trail to Golgatha where He was finally brutally hung by nails to the Cross.

He patiently endured and completely fulfilled His mission.  In fact, He is the epitome of patience, fleshing out the very definition of patience, in that He “bore pain, without complaint, but with fortitude, and steady perseverance.”  What a Savior!

It just highlights to me that developing patience is such a supreme work of the Lord, that can only truly be done with reliance on the Holy Spirit. No one wants pain, hardship, trial, distress….but it DOES do a perfect work in us, if we cooperate with God.

The hardships that “patience training” involves certainly will, as James 1:2-4 says, “test our faith” and if we cooperate with God, it will “produce perseverance” which will “finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

WOW. The end is worth it, if we hang in there, persevere and allow difficulties to refine us and let Patience have its way in the midst.

Thank God for our Holy Spirit who aids us, helps us, comforts us even as God is doing a perfect work through the trials He allows. It IS making us mature and complete, not lacking anything!

My prayer for all of us is that we will cooperate well with the Lord in this “patience training.’

Lord, help us look like You.

p.s. for any who would like to find out more about Jesus, the One who gives power to endure life’s hardships with hope and peace, and Who is the One Who secures an eternal destiny with Him in heavenly bliss – check out: PeaceWithGod.net and Godlife.com!

To remind yourself how LOVED you are, check out:  http://www.facebook.com/WonderfullyLoved

If you have questions and would like to dialogue about anything you’ve read here, feel free to email me at lovedchildofGod@yahoo.com. God bless you!

Want to Get Rid of Fear?  Then T.O.S.S. it!

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Have you encountered life circumstances that created the opportunity for fear and anxiety to crash like ocean breakers over your heart and mind?  There may be times when we are caught off guard by life circumstances, experiences, illness, you name it….and find ourselves amazed at the sheer velocity and quantity of fearful thoughts that threaten to wash us out like a huge Tsunami.

During one such season in my own life,  I took my weary heart and mind to Him, and asked God to help me deal with the onslaught of anxiety and fear I was experiencing.  

As clear as day, in my mind, I saw the words “TOSS” it.  I asked my heavenly Father, what does that mean?  Below I will share the flow of thoughts I began to journal.

What God gave me has tremendously helped me.  I hope it will help you too, whenever you are faced with fear or anxiety!  You don’t have to live with it.  TOSS it!

✨💖✨

Here is my journaling:

Lord, thank you that you hear my prayers….thank you that You are my compassionate and good Father, and will train me in how to overcome fear with faith and trust in You.
My precious heavenly Father spoke these words to my heart, using a clear thought that came to my mind: “To deal with fear: TOSS it!”

I asked Him what that meant, and the acrostic “T.O.S.S.” spontaneously came to me:

TRUST. OBEY. SURRENDER. SING (His praise!)

And thus began my adventure in journaling the thoughts I believe He continued to inspire, to expound upon what the above meant:

✨☀️🌈💛✨

TRUST – 

When fear-inducing thoughts strike, God challenged me to confess this: 

I believe that you are my good and compassionate Father. I trust your power, wisdom, and goodness toward me. I trust your nature. YOU are the answer to everything I seek. No matter what problem or question, the answer/solution is always YOU! You are enough for me! No matter what!

I believe Your Word which says, “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.” (Jeremiah 29:11) and “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

OBEY – 

God lovingly challenged me to take to heart His Word, which carries “the power of life in it” (John 6:63, Proverbs 18:21) 

Therefore, I told Him, I will choose to obey Your Word and cast ALL my cares upon you once and for all.

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I refuse anxiety about anything and instead turn my worries into prayers, praying from a thankful expectant heart. 

I align my heart with the scripture found in Philippians 4:6-9,

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state… being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I choose to obey Your Word which tells me what to think on:

“whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and lovable, kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]….and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.” ~ Philippians 4:8

I confess out loud that You “have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7  Therefore, I choose NOT to be anxious, but to share my concerns with You, Papa God, and pray with thanksgiving, and trust– then I will experience Your glorious peace, which guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

I choose to obey Your two greatest commandments which are to LOVE YOU, and LOVE OTHERS. I will obey your call to live an other-centered life. 
Therefore, God, let every trial in my life, only serve to remind me to pray for others going through similar things.  Help me to “count it all joy” because any trials I experience are “developing patient endurance and steadfastness and making me mature and complete! ” ( see James 1:2-4)
Thank You, God, that You are the “Father of compassion and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in ALL our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
With Your help, God, I choose to “capture every thought and bring it into obedience to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:5

SURRENDER
You are God. I am not. I do not control outcomes. I yield to you. I make my requests known, but trust ultimately in your wisdom, power, and goodness…. so I release, surrender and yield my life and my concerns to You.
I turn my will and the entire care of my life over to You, asking only for the knowledge of your will and the power to carry it out.

SING (I choose to praise You)

I practice thanksgiving, praise and worship, flowing from my grateful heart.       I choose to worship You. 

(Definition of Worship: Focusing all of my mind’s attention and heart’s affection on you!)

I choose a lifestyle of worship, which is what I am created for – a relationship of loving adoration  and mutual intimacy, which fills me with joy and total satisfaction!  In You, “I am complete”! (Colossians 2:10)
I CRUSH FEAR with my songs of deliverance, thanksgiving and praise. 
Since no person can think two thoughts at the same time, I choose thoughts of praise and thanksgiving, which honors You.   I don’t praise You in order to feel better (to get rid of anxious thoughts….that is a byproduct) I choose to praise You, my KING, for who are….no more. no less. 

My sole desire is to love, adore, and honor You, my King.

~~~✨💛✨~~~

Lord thank you, that by the power of your Holy Spirit living in me, you have given me the authority and power to t.o.s.s. fear forever. I bless Your holy name. You are the God of faith, hope, love, truth & every good thing!
and Your “perfect love casts out all my fear!”  ~ 1 John 4:18

Now, precious one reading this, may I say a prayer for you?  💛🙏💛

Dear Lord, I pray that you will fill this dear one reading this with such a revelation in their hearts of your love for them, that they will become “rooted and established in love…filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17)  May your love CAST out fear as they choose to T.O.S.S. it!  May their victory be sure and lasting, in Jesus mighty name!

P.S. For encouragement on how LOVED you are, visit:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

Release What You Cannot Control

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No person can forecast the future or outcomes… so do not try. Trust that you have a heavenly Father Who is perfectly caring for you…He’s doing the “busy work” of caring for you affectionately and watchfully.

We can choose to live as loved children, one day at a time. Our loving heavenly Father is perfect in power, wisdom and goodness! We can trust Him with every detail of our lives!

~~~✨💖✨~~~

“Cast the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

1 Peter 5:7 Amp

~~~

For encouragement on how LOVED you are, visit:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

http://www.PeacewithGod.net/

http://www.Godlife.com/

INTIMACY with God; HEARING His Voice

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Enjoying deeper intimacy & companionship with God is as simple as changing your approach from thinking ABOUT God, to talking WITH God.

Our spiritual ears are created to hear God. He said so in His Word. As our Good Shepherd, He said, “my sheep hear My voice.”

God speaks through scripture (have you had certain passages just “jump off the page” as you read them, as they spoke directly to your heart and gave you insight into yourself, others, &/or direction to a situation you are facing? Your heart was suddenly buoyed with hope, peace, love….etc.)

He also speaks by placing His thoughts in your mind. You get more confident in hearing Him this way with practice. Some find it helpful to journal what He tells you, and check it with the Word. God, our Father, is very good about confirming His Word. Your heart will leap when He told you something, you journalled it, and then within that very day or two, you will hear similar words/counsel through a friend, the radio, the Bible, etc…. God gets very creative with making sure you know you are hearing him! He will make His heart clear to you. But the only way you will “see” these evidences and confirmations are if you are intentional about hearing Him and remembering what He says & looking for His confirmations! 😊

A hallmark to know if it is God speaking is this:
The thoughts He gives will never contradict the Word of God or Biblical principles.
His words spoken to you in your thoughts will be CLEAR, and produce increased FAITH, HOPE, LOVE and/or PEACE…never discouragement or condemnation.
Sure, He may convict us of needful changes, but they are ALWAYS buoyed up with HOPE, and assurances of His POWER for change.

In his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Timothy Keller states, “just as a baby learns how to speak, and learns language by being spoken to, and by being immersed in a sea of language….so, we too, gain more confidence in our ability to hear and speak “God’s language” by immersing ourselves in the Word of God, and by spending time listening for His still, small voice. We must be intentional, for the clamor of busy lives will often drown out His voice through our inattention to it.”

ENJOY your companionship with your heavenly Father. He is always speaking to us….its just we who need to slow down to listen…. and we will be oh so glad we did! Life goes smoother, when we let Him speak and lovingly lead us! Our hearts were created for the JOY of this companionship and LOVE.

Okay, now that you’ve read about hearing God, I have a fun application assignment for you to try!

Here it is!:

During this upcoming week, take some time to sit alone with God. Bring a notebook and pencil. Quiet your heart.  Ask God to help you focus, and to block any thoughts coming to you that are not from Him…then, as a beginning exercise, simply ask God to tell you what He LOVES about you.

Journal what He tells you. *** Do not analyze, critique, or modify what is coming to your mind — Just write it down exactly as it comes. You can re-read & evaluate after you are completely done receiving His words to you (coming in the form of His thoughts flowing into your mind). Lastly, evaluate and reflect. (Use criteria from “Hallmark to know if it is God” to evaluate what you have received) 🙂

You can have CONFIDENCE to hear Him, because Jesus said you can hear Him! (and He doesn’t lie!) Don’t stress or try too hard. Stay relaxed and just let His words flow to you. They will often sound like your own thoughts in your head…just write them down. 🙂 Notice how you feel afterwards. Did they produce peace? Sense of being loved?

If your first attempts don’t produce much, don’t give up!  Keep pressing in. God is an excellent communicator and teacher.   We can trust His teaching ability more than our learning ablity. ha!   EVERYONE can learn how to hear God. He will train  you to hear Him, if you don’t give up!

John 10:27-28
My sheep hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and …no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.

* I would love to hear your feedback. What did you think about this experiment? What did God speak to you?

3/1/15 – update:  I came across another helpful article on this subject.  Check it out:

http://www.elijahlist.com/words/html/textonly-030115-Virkler.html

p.s.  For encouragement about just how loved and special you are, please visit my other links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

YouTube-enter in search bar: “That you might KNOW you are loved!”  Http://youtu.be/zyDHmQ3JfKk  (browse my channel “Heart to Heart” to enjoy hope & encouragement)

Love Your Body ❤️  Restoring Healthy Body Image

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I recently submitted my completed questionnaire to Prevention Magazine in order to be considered for an upcoming feature re: healthy body image. (I have yet to know if I will be ultimately selected or not, but I thought I would go ahead and share my answers here as well, in an effort to encourage others toward healthy body-image and celebrating all that our beautiful bodies do for us each day.)

I will preface this blog by saying the below answers are honest, “raw”, and very transparent…. but I feel we must risk sharing from these places, so others may benefit, by not feeling “alone” in oftentimes very similar thoughts and feelings. My ultimate desire is that  others will be set free to a more holistic, healthy mindset!

God bless you!

~~~~~✨❤️✨~~~~~

Prevention Magazine – If you want to be featured in an upcoming issue of Prevention magazine and spread the message of self-love/body confidence, please answer these questions:

1) Describe yourself in three to five sentences!

I am a passionate, energetic woman, fully engaged in life and in loving God, self, and others! I am an RN, Certified Fitness Trainer, wife, mom of two beautiful sons. I am passionately involved in life – thankful to be a breast cancer overcomer – celebrating health, life and LOVE!

2) Have you ever been a person who did lots of self-body shaming? Did you waste energy and years of your life focusing on your body’s “flaws?” When did this negative self-talk start and why? How did it affect your life and make you feel? Please share details.

Sadly, it was at the age of twelve, that I discovered my fathers porn addiction (magazine and book stash) which severely damaged my self-esteem. Since my father was distant emotionally, and I always felt somewhat “invisible” to him — the fact that he had stacks of magazines that apparently had captured his eye, and the fact that he gave his attention to the “flawless” women, I think I subconsciously received the message, that I had to be physically perfect to warrant my fathers (or any man’s, for that matter) attention. I equated worth with bodily perfection.

Sadly, this warped view contributed, I believe, to my development of an eating disorder in my late teens and early twenties – bulimia – in my quest for the perfect body. This over-emphasis on bodily perfection stole alot of my focus and energy, which had become directed toward a never-ending pursuit of the thin and ‘perfect” ideal.

It also shaped my view of my worth so narrowly. I thought my “value” to a man, to myself, and ultimately to anyone, had to do with my outward packaging. Sadly, I deeply devalued and didn’t see the beauty of my total person, because I had defined myself by such narrow margins!

3) What did you have to overcome, or what changed in your life, to help you get to this place of self-love/body confidence?

Two life events dramatically healed my warped view on worth and body-image:

The first was at the age of 25, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I learned that God loved me unconditionally. That as the Bible says, “God doesn’t look at what man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

I came to understand that God was my perfect heavenly father, that I am the “apple of His eye.” He constantly and affectionately watches over every detail of my life, and in fact, knows the exact number of the hairs on my head! Nothing escapes His loving attention and care over my heart and life.

I was still somewhat “tainted” by messages of worth equating with body perfection, in fact I was obsessively training and whipping my body into shape as I considered entering a figure competition. All that obsession changed when I discovered I had breast cancer.

Being diagnosed with Cancer was the second life event that sharply cut away my warped view on body image. Cancer caused me to stop dead in my tracks, and consider the weighty issues of life and death, and what really matters. My cancer journey ultimately involved undergoing bilateral mastectomies. Two things in that post op journey really sealed my healing on body image.

1. I came to a realization, through the persons that reached out to me after my diagnosis and visited me in the hospital, that I could CARE LESS about their outward physical appearance. It didn’t matter a hill of beans whether they were heavy or thin, or what the world, in its own bias would consider beautiful or less attractive — What glaringly stood out and impacted me MOST was their LOVE!!! This is what I FELT and EXPERIENCED, and was all that mattered! It was their caring “being” – who they WERE, and the love they SHARED that mattered! I was then able to transfer that perspective upon myself! What matters most, is the love I have to offer to others….not how “perfect” (or not) my outward “shell” is!

2. when I was sitting face to face with my husband in a t-shirt, which now hung loosely and completely FLAT against my chest, after my bilateral mastectomies….and he held me tenderly, and told me how deeply he LOVED me. WOW. It hit me like a pleasant “ton of bricks”. It didn’t matter if I was missing a couple pounds of flesh. He loved my HEART. He was married to the real ME, not just my physical “packaging” or “outer shell” — talk about healing my body image!!!!! oh….what a beautiful husband I am married to!!!!!

4.) What role did/does exercise play in helping you to appreciate and love your body? Please be specific. Tell us about how working out makes you feel and how that translates into better body confidence/self love.

I LOVE to exercise. I exercise about 5 days a week. It makes me feel strong and confident. I LOVE the feeling of health – the energy, the stamina, the confidence. During a workout, I love to breathe hard. to sweat. to have that pleasant feel of peaceful tiredness after a nice workout. I love that my body in all its predisposition, height, bone structure, etc… is what GOD chose for me. He designed it, and I’m happy with His design!
It feels self-honoring to take care of my body: feed it healthy foods. Give it the movement and exercise it needs. It makes me holistically feel better about my total person! I am actively participating in being the best I can be, with what I have been given! 🙂

5.) What do you love about your body now and why? It’s okay to think about how your body looks—if you love your killer arms or strong legs, tell us!—but go beyond that too. What does your body do for you or how does your body make you feel?

I’m grateful that my body is naturally wired for strength. I love that! But now, instead of narrowly working for some narrow definition of body-celebration, I celebrate my body in broad strokes: I approach healthy body esteem from the standpoint of celebrating everything my body CAN and DOES do for me on a daily basis!

This body bore two beautiful sons. This body carries my heart & my hands that reach out in love to others. This body carries me about, to my tasks at work, or play, or ministering to the needs of others. I view my body, and LIFE itself, as a precious treasure, which I care for.

I look at health as “stewardship” — Learning to honor and take care of this precious body that God has given me. It’s not about some goal of “perfection”, but of “HEALTH.” I’ve made peace with my thighs. ha! They will never be model thin. I will not be picture perfect, but I am healthy and feel great! I have energy to do the things that really matter — love others!

In a nutshell, what this whole body image journey has taught me, is that I am most proud of my “being”….my HEART – my love for God, family, friends, others, myself.

My body is the vehicle that carries around my true self. I don’t dismiss my body, but I keep it in proper perspective…. I honor it for the God-given vessel that it is….but I know that ultimately it is my HEART (and the HEARTS of others!) that matters most.

Freedom From Chains that Bind: Choose to live a Life of Purpose & Joy! ✨🌈💛

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Chains that bind the soul and spirit can actually be the most crippling of all. Chains of hopelessness, despair or a negative mindset can leave one paralyzed, tormented and feeling emotionally handicapped in life.

Christ came to set captives free. He gave us His very life and His promises, so that we can have a renewed mind full of life and hope anchored in Him. He offers the reality that we can experience an overcoming and fulfilling life no matter what the outward circumstance.

I have a friend who is paralyzed from the neck down, but I don’t think of him as disabled or limited. Because of his choice to live courageously optimistic, fueled by his relationship with Christ — he is one of the most expansive, growing, hope-filled and encouraging people I know.  Instead of lying in a bed of self-pity, he’s chosen to start a blog that now encourages thousands. He has been interviewed on TV, and is currently considering writing a book!  The feedback he has received has been enormous. His example of an overcoming life has encouraged and inspired thousands to choose, like him, to rise up with hope and newfound purpose, not letting anything hold them back.

(If you want to check out his blog, it is: http://flatonmyback.com/)

To share my own testimony….I remember when I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I did not know what my “path” would look like. Would I die, or would I go on living this earthly life for a bit more years?

When cancer suddenly caused me to face the reality of my mortality, I uncovered through reflection, and the removal of life’s distractions, the rock of solid assurance upon which I stand —  the reality that whether I lived or died – I WIN!

If I in fact, lived on – it would be an unspeakable blessing to continue to love and enjoy my family, friends, and the life I have been so graciously given. But if I died, I would be in the very presence of Christ for eternity! Bottom line: I recognized a reality that day — that either way, I can’t lose!

Though the thought of leaving behind my family would be tremendously heartbreaking…the unshakable knowledge that the separation would only be temporary, was a reality that anchored my soul, and therefore nothing could steal my joy and hope! (My husband, sons, and extended family members all have accepted Christ as their Savior, and we will spend our eternity together!)

I had made a decision from the outset of that cancer journey, that no matter what the road ahead, I would keep praising God, and share His hope and love with those whose paths I crossed, throughout my remaining days, whether they be many or few.

I wanted to demonstrate through my life, that with Jesus you can experience an unshakable hope in the midst of any of life’s uncertainties. Time on earth is short.  Eternity is forever.  When you settle the rock bottom issues of life, you can enter into a rest that remains no matter what.  You can live free from temporal chains that bind and choose to live a life of freedom and purpose through Christ!

If you have questions about how to begin a relationship with Christ, or would like to share any thoughts, concerns, prayer needs, etc…feel free to contact me at prayingwithfaith@yahoo.com. I will offer you a listening ear and a praying heart.

For hope and encouragement, check out these links:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved

http://www.twitter.com/@Jesusreigns

http://www.findingmyhope.org/

Calling Out the Gold in One Another

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Studies show it takes 8-10 compliments to counterbalance one criticism!

Let’s be sure to give positive “deposits” in one another in order to keep a surplus in other’s emotional bank accounts!

Calling out the gold in one another inspires and calls people higher. Devaluing others through negative comments creates defensiveness, isolation, and despair.

~~~😊✨🌈💛~~~

For encouragement on just how special and loved you are, please visit my other links:

Facebook Page: “You Are Loved” — http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyDHmQ3JfKk  Browse my channel “Heart to Heart” to enjoy more hope and encouragement!

http://www.twitter.com/@Jesusreigns

Contact me: prayingwithfaith@yahoo.com

For Any Who Find Their Hearts are Hurting…..

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Heartache’s Resolve by Sue J.

For any who find their hearts hurting….God understands, heals, and wants to fill your heart with His Peace….

I sat down to the piano and played this last night.  My heart was down and needed a touch from God, and this song is what flowed out.

I pray that as you listen, you will receive a deep knowledge of just how much God loves you, and that His love, comfort and peace will flood your heart – washing away all hurt, despair, hopelessness, bitterness, weariness…whatever is weighing you down…

God desires to lift your burden and your heart into His love.

God is so tender, loving and kind.  He can reach down in our hearts where no human can go and release just what we need to bring His Peace.

Never forget:  You are loved.  Your life matters.  When we surrender our hearts completely to God, we discover  a true rest for our souls.

Please email me, if you need prayer or encouragement:  LovedChildofGod@yahoo.com

Or check out http://PeaceWithGod.net/ if you want to grab hold of a peace that will never let you go. ❤️

Turn Your Dreams into Reality: Maximize this One Key Ingredient!

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imageThere’s a difference between interest and commitment.  When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re COMMITTED to something you accept no excuses, only results ~ Art Turock

Whether your dream is to have a better marriage, get healthier, change careers, grow intellectually or spiritually – you name it — there will come a time when you need to shift from mere “wishbone” to developing the “backbone” required to see your dreams become reality.  To enable this shift, change your dream into a measurable GOAL, and then add this one key ingredient — COMMITMENT.

True commitment is serious and it is powerful. Dreams do not cost you, but when you turn that dream of yours into a committed goal – it will cost you something to achieve it in terms of time, energy, and resources.

Commitment is not just SAYING you will do it. Commitment is DOING it. True commitment is not conditional. Commitment moves beyond what is convenient or comfortable into the realm of actively doing what is NECESSARY.

Commitment makes sacrifices.  It may very well require adjustments and tradeoffs to uphold it.  Commitment doesn’t live in the land of “wishful thinking.”  Commitment requires realistic assessment of where you are, and what you have to work with, and then DOES the work to get to the intended result.

Commitment is not for the weak. It requires tenaciousness.  The good news is, this “stick to it grit” can be learned, developed and then harnessed into a force that will not back down or run away at the first sign of trouble. Commitment perseveres until the goal is reached. Commitment does not waste time and energy with whining, complaining or seeking to find blame. Commitment adjusts to reality and moves forward.

Goals worth achieving rarely come without serious effort expended to achieve them. Real, solid commitment is real work. And well worth it. The evidence is overwhelming – it gets results like nothing else can.

For instance, there was a time in mine and my husband’s life where we dreamed about running a marathon.  At the time, we were what I would refer to as “recreational runners.”  In fact, at that particular time, I had only been involved in a steady running routine for about a year and a half.  My longest run at that point was just 3 miles!  But, spurred on by my brother-in-law’s love of running, and his inspirational example of running one marathon per year for 12 consecutive years(!), my husband and I began to dream about what an amazing challenge and accomplishment it would be to complete a marathon. What intrigued me most was answering the question “do I have what it takes to do the distance – to run a whopping 26.2 miles?!”

It was enjoyable to “dream about it”, but then I remember the day, when I said, “I WILL do it!”  My husband jumped right in!  There was no more wishing.  Experiencing the spark of commitment set us on a path to completion.  We then began to gather the resources to achieve that goal.  I read a book about the physical training, the nutrition, the mental grit that achieving this goal would require.  We assessed our readiness and availability to commit to the 9 months of graduated training that would prepare us for the eventual long stretch toward the finish line.  After assessing, discussing, and examining this dream, we made the mental “turn” from dreaming to voracious commitment.

I must say, those months of training required  a deep resolve, tenacity, and bulldog commitment that just wouldn’t give up in the face of muscle strains, blisters, busy family and work schedules.  But achieving that goal forged something in our character that has enriched us forever.  We realized things about ourselves through that journey of achievement that are priceless.  That is what achieving goals will do.  You will realize the “can do” spirit that you have within you, and you will taste of the satisfaction of achieving your worthy goal.

So, are you just “dreaming” about a goal, or will you cross over to COMMITMENT?  If you’re committed, you’ll get rid of EXCUSES. You will think outside of the “box” and not let your critics take you down.  There will always be plenty of naysayers & those who will doubt your goals.  Surround yourself with other like-minded individuals who are working proactively toward their own goals, and who will be more than willing to cheer you on, and share some of their success strategies.

Don’t get stuck in the  “dreaming” stage about goals that are important to you.  Just “dreaming” that things were different is like a ship that is forever out at sea, constantly being turned and tossed by the ever-changing winds and tides, and never reaching its destination.

Instead, COMMIT to your goal.  Do what is necessary to make it happen. Make your goal doable and measurable.  It’s okay to take “baby steps.”  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  But with each step achieved, you will gain increasing confidence and momentum…small attainable goals will form the stepping-stones to get you to your intended result.  Line those stones up along the sure path of COMMITTED resolve, and watch your dreams become reality.

Believe in Yourself!  NO MORE EXCUSES!  I’m rooting for you! And remember, with God, ALL things are possible!

~~~

For excellent guidance on setting and achieving goals, check out:http://www.goalsontrack.com/blog/2012/01/03/5-secrets-to-successful-goal-setting/

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I also invite you to visit http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved. “LIKE” this page, and you will receive DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT regarding just how SPECIAL and LOVED you are!

Follow me on Twitter: Twitter.com/@Jesusreigns

Contact me: Sue – prayingwithfaith@yahoo.com