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It’s okay. I promise.

It’s okay to Just Be you. No matter what size. No matter what shape. No matter what color. No matter what nationality. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God your Creator accepts you and loves you. If something needs to change in you ALLOW Him to do it because all this trying to figure it out and doing it on your own will just stress you out. -Brenda M. Czarniak

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2 Shoes

choose to believe

Today started out with all the classic signs of a bladder infection.  Woke up in pain and kinda of connected the dots over the past few days and decided to call the doctor after praying about the pain.  I just had a partial hysterectomy a week ago so it is hard to decipher what is normal pain after a surgery and what’s not.  I had a one and half pound fibroid removed as well so one cannot quite discern what pain is what.  I know at this point the title may seem a bit off topic, however, hang in there I promise you God has turned this day into joy rather than pain.

After calling the doctor she directed me to go to the nearest lab and be tested, to which my beloved husband said, “Okay, let’s get this day started.”  After guzzling like 20 ounces of water we started on our journey.  First stop was the gas station (after all I did not feel the need to go just yet as it had only been 15 minutes since I got the direction to go to the lab) where we got a snack and much needed coffee (decaf of course).  While there we had the usual chat about the weather outside and then the attendant asked if he wanted any lottery tickets to which he declined BUT clearly stated she could always up-sell a car wash to him in the future.  This led to a conversation with the manager who gave us 2 free car wash passes.  Here is evidence of the firstDouble Blessing.

After following the direction to go to the nearest lab to give them a urine specimen, I noticed my hubby was getting a little frustrated with how the day was going.  Being off for two weeks with no short term disability to back us up, things are a bit tight.  While in the parking lot still we discussed our recent blessings:  phone bill was much less than expected and a few other things where he had actual over saved to make ends meet.  Then we received the text from the pharmacy  the medication to numb my bladder until we find out the results of the test was ready and the kicker was it was $40.  Ikes!  I quickly reminded my husband about our conversation a few moments ago after I freaked about the cost.

As we were driving to the pharmacy we have to pass this expanse of highway with beautiful river flats where I often look in the trees to see birds and what do my wondering eyes see whilst I am in mid conversation??  Two eagles on a tree branch watching the rising sun!  This caused my heart to leap with great joy because I knew God was already all over this day.  This was DoubleBlessing number two.

We get to the pharmacy and the girl says she is even nervous to tell us about my prescription so right away fear arises BUT then she says she can’t allow us to pay $40 for a prescription when the same thing can be bought over the counter for $3.  What? Jesus is so good!  Praise God that whether she is a believer or not, the Holy Spirit convicted her heart in our favor.  Even though we were in the drive thru she went to the aisle and retrieved the medicine for us.  She came bearing two boxes because they were buy one get one half off (of course they were Jesus) and the kicker was the total of $5.07.  Five is the number for Grace and Seven is for Completion.  So here is Double Blessing number Three!

As we drove away we prayed for God to bless her just as He had blessed us.  Next up on the agenda was getting my husbands tags for his car done.  In our city we travel to other places to get things from the Secretary of State because there is usually a long wait, so we drove about 30 minutes to do so.  During the drive many internal things came up in conversation including some from personal issues I have with intimacy.  I firmly believe when God does a physical healing there is always an internal one to coincide with it.  A friend of mine who promotes essential oils sent me what a fibroid represents in the spiritual aspect of things and I had not really dealt with seeking God about it. In the car ride I revisited it after my husband said a few things which had reminded me of the text she had sent me.

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Wow!  Here was Double Blessing number four.  God not only removed the physical thing which was causing much unnecessary pain, He was also leading me into a time of inner healing.  In a simple conversation with my husband He was revealing the next steps to my healing as I fought back tears knowing it was not going to be an easy.  I am just as excited about walking this out as I was about seeing the eagles.  Yes I will have to face the past.  Yes it will be painful.  Yes I will have to look at things about me internally that I have buried.  AND Yes God will be with me every step of the way as He has been throughout my entire journey with Him.

Okay the final Double Blessing, blessing number five and the reason for the title of this blog.  Sometimes we expect God to just bless us and other times He does it just because He can.  To go back to the beginning of the day during the conversation about finances we began to thank God and let go of our worries.  It was in that moment of time that God grabbed our worries out of our hands and sent us on a day of Double Blessing which we will not soon forget.  Like my husband so wisely put it, “How do you feel when someone is thankful for what you have done for them?  You are willing to bless them even more.  Willing to give them abundance because they are so thankful.”  Well friends that is the God we serve and His word is always true.

Oh!  The shoes!  I almost forgot….My hubby has needed new work shoes for some time now but just not on our priority list, however, it was on God’s and today (not sure of the details) he received a free pair (two) of work shoes in his exact size…tell me God did not do that for him?

Dear Heavenly Father,  We come to you today with a Thankful Heart.  We thank You even when we don’t see it coming or the full view of what is happening You are right there ready to shower us with blessings.  As we seek Your face in our lives we praise You and Thank You ahead of time for blessings.  We Thank You for turning our pain into joy.  We Thank You for healing our bodies and our souls at the same time.  In Jesus Name we pray.  AMEN

Perspectively Speaking

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When it comes to perspective we have to have the right filter on in order to see clearly what God is doing in our lives.  For example you get stopped at a red light when you need to be somewhere in a hurry or get stuck behind a slow driver with no way to pass.  You get frustrated and maybe a little road rage erupts, however, WHAT IF God was protecting you from an accident?  I could spend all night sharing instances of us having the wrong perspective but I would like to share a story with you that is happening in my life right now.  A story which will demand me having the correct prospective.

So long story short without too many gory details, I have been experiencing off and on several female issues in the past 5 or 6 years.  I went for a physical recently and my blood work showed I had an hemoglobin (iron) level of 8.7 when it is suppose to be a 12.  So now doctor wants some answers…more blood work (only to show the level is now 8.3)  **no cause for panic yet..it’s at 7 when a blood transfusion is needed**.  Now there is a trip to the OBGYN for an ultra sound and biopsy because things are a little more serious than I was seeing.  A trip to the colon doctor for a colonoscopy just to rule out where I am losing iron.  How do I feel at this point? I guess a little nervous but surely wanting answers.

Now I do need to let you in on a little back story, I will keep it short, I am recently remarried as of five years ago and we had decided kids were not something we wanted as I was in my 40s and my husband in his 20s (yes God did a wonderful thing while my perspective was not to get remarried but that’s a blog for another day) and we were good with that.  Well until a prophet said to us one day ” The Lord will make a way for you two to have a child physically (my tubes are tied) and financially if you come back to this alter in agreement.  God did a change of heart in both of us, yet I do not recall us actually going back to the altar in agreement, so it’s been about 3 years since this new development in our life.

Okay, current day…we visit with the OBGYN and she remembers our conversation from 2 years ago in which we discussed options for getting pregnant and then explains I have a 8 cm fibroid which is pushing on my uterus causing most of my issues.  It is not cancerous but just basically a large muscle which has developed over time.  Before she gave us our options she asks about getting pregnant and in a nutshell my husband spoke up and said, “In all reality I am really jealous for my wife’s time and I like that we can just pick up and go at any time, so let’s do what is best for my wife.” (yes there were tears all around)  Getting that topic of discussion out of the way, on to the topic at hand…what to do next.  How do I feel at this point?  Maybe some relief of the pressure of trying to get pregnant these last three years.  A little nervous still about the plan ahead.

She explained a procedure where I could get injections every three months to perhaps shrink the fibroid and stop my periods but that would only last a year.  Next option is partial hysterectomy to which my husband asked why not the whole thing?  Because, says the doctor, “We don’t her to become cranky, irritable and experience hot flashes right after surgery.”  To which my husband replied , “Let’s keep the ovaries in there!”

So how am I feeling at this point?  A surgeon is about to extract a major part of my body, yet I am at peace.  I could be freaked out and panicked yet I know God is in this and is guiding all of the events ahead of me.  In one surgery many issues that I have been dealing with for years will be taken away along with unnecessary pain.  I guess what really brought me to this perspective was reading a devotion with my husband where there quoted Psalm 103 in which it said God will remove my enemies.  In that moment I thought, wow, God is allowing this to happen because He is protecting me from an attack of the enemy.  I was just flooded with peace at that moment.

Now of course I can look at the funny side of this too, I had asked Him to help me lose weight..never thought removing an organ would be the answer.  Plus I was just saying I needed a vacation and this requires 2 weeks off.  Well play God, however this only brings us to a deeper realm of faith as I have no short term disability.  We will have to trust God to provide during that time which I know He will as He has done in the past.  If I had the wrong perspective about this my husband and I would just be worried about how things were going to get paid, where can we pinch more out of our budget, can we get hours in at work before the surgery and on and on and on.

The wrong perspective can riddle our daily lives with unnecessary work and needless agony.  When our perspective is out of whack we should turn to God in prayer and ask Him for His perspective. When we view things through the correct lens we see peace in the situation instead of a need for performance on our part.  God is our provider.  He is our Healer.  He is our all in all.  I was talking with a friend to day about us asking God to remove things from our lives and I said we have the wrong perspective.

We are not the surgeon, God is.  He is the one Who decides what needs to be removed from our lives to keep us from harm.  He is our protector and always knows what is best for us.  It would be like me going to the surgeon and telling them to give me a hysterectomy because I thought that would heal me, however the surgeon using wisdom may have a different option all together.  Same thing with God.  Sometimes we ask to be delivered from something yet God knows we may need to keep that in our lives to help us learn a lesson or receive revelation.  We need to allow Him to be the surgeon.  We need to let Him perform the necessary procedures to bring us into the fullness of revelation.

 

Underachiever Award Goes to: Brenda Czarniak 47th Year in a Row

2018

I am not one to set new year resolutions because I only find myself on the floor the eve of a new year making the same old promises to myself and God, knowing in the back of my head it is all just talk.  Empty, worthless drivel.  Goals I will not set incude:

  • I will not exercise more in the new year.
  • I will not take more walks then the year before.
  • I will not be any more organized than what I am at this very moment.
  • I will still wait for the last minute to do things.
  • I will not push myself to write.
  • I will not make all the right choices when it comes to healthy eating.
  • I will not stop coloring my hair and embracing the gray.
  • I refuse to set goals and ambitions for the new year only because I am afraid of failure and the mentally of “I can’t do anything right” haunts me year after year.  It is my wound and I have been protecting it all this time.  I cannot fail if I don’s set goals.  My wound cannot get any worse if I choose not to set things in motion for the new year.

There.  Now that I have established everything I am NOT  going to do in 2018 I feel so much relief.  No expectations to fulfill.  No standards to keep up with.  No commitments.  No chance of failure or not doing something right.  If I write, I write.  If I exercise, I exercise.  If I choose cake over carrots may the cake be chocolate.  If I get my desk organized then I will celebrate probably with ice cream.  No pressure. No problem.

EXCEPT

Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

 

As deep cries out to deep, God calls us to higher and higher levels in Him.  He wants us to have everything He has destined for us to achieve.  He wants us to be healthy but it does not need to control our every thought.  I am sure He would like us to be organized simply to help keep us focused on His next step for us.  He wants us to be happy in our own skin and if something needs to change, He will lead us in that direction. At times I feel like such a mess almost as if I was an unraveled ball of yarn that someone took apart and then just left in a pile on the floor.  In and of myself I cannot put myself back into shape, I will need to trust the Creator to do this.  With that being said, if I spend 2018 just seeking Him, He will guide me in the right direction.

By me setting up goals and standards for the new year I am almost saying, “Don’t worry God, I got this! See You in 2019 and I will be ready to move forward with what you have for me.”

So what am I going to do in 2018?  Just be.  Just be in an attitude of gratitude.  Just be thankful for where I am at the moment.  Just be in an atmosphere of continual praise and worship.  Just be silent in His presence so I can hear the next step.  Just be content with what I have knowing God has some much more for me.  I am just going the be me and see what God does in and through me.  Romans 8:18 seems to be the verse for the year for our family.

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My prayer this year for all of you reading this is for you to see making a new years resolution in a whole new light.  Let God into your goals.  Let God into any resolutions you feel you may need to make.  Just let God be in your life.  Just be in His presence.  Just be who He created you be.  You will discover in a very short time that His desires for your life are nothing like the standards of the world we so easily measure ourselves against.

Happy New Year! 

May 2018 show up in all it’s intended glory and show you who God really is.  May you be able to Just Be and pursue that which God desires for you to follow after.  May you find peace and joy in resting rather than working harder.  May you be blessed and highly favored as you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the world.  Most of all, I pray that you can Just Be.

Is He Worthy of It All?

WORSHIP

They say it came upon a midnight clear on a silent night, a holy night.  It happened in the little town of Bethlehem and brought great joy to the world.  The first noel from angels we have heard on high sang as the shepherds asked those around them, “Do your hear what I hear?”. 

“Hark!  The herald angels sing, ” they said to the people everywhere.  For away in a manger lay sweet little Jesus boy causing many people to wonder what child is this and asking Mary, “Did you know?” Many traveled for miles, saying along the way, “O come let us a adore Him and proclaiming, “God rest ye gentlemen, for the King of the world has come!”  As three wise men followed the beautiful star of Bethlehem we are willing in our hearts to go tell it on the mountain for peace has come to earth.

Year after year we sing the traditional Christmas Carols mostly from memory not meaning.  Many of us learned these songs when we were very little along with Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town.  So this year I am pausing to reflect if these songs really have any meaning for me.  I love to worship.  I love to sing songs to the One who created us for this very thing.  Nothing brings me into the courts of His Presence like worship.  So today I ponder what all the fuss is about Christmas Carols.

In a way I feel like we should sing them all year round as a witnessing tool, after all they proclaim the birth of Jesus and what He came to do.  And personally do we even really know for certain December 25th is actually Jesus’ birthday?  But, let’s put all of that aside and truly focus on what Christmas really is.  Webster’s dictionary defines Christmas like this:

Christ·mas
noun
  1. 1.
    the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church.

In the description of Christmas it says celebration which means to me a happy, joyous time, yet so many spend the holidays depressed and unable to enter into the celebrations.  Many are wounded and are pushing Jesus away rather than bringing themselves into His presence and allowing Him to heal them.  Jesus came to save us from sin and in that moment on the cross he bore every sickness and disease.  To me this is cause for continual celebration, more than just a season of songs.

It matters not to God which song we choose to sing when we come into His presence it is all about the heart and a song which comes from a  place a gratitude and thankfulness.  It’s not about the tune or the lyrics, it’s about the attitude and motive. If we are just worshiping out of obligation or it’s just what we do on Sunday mornings our hearts may not be in it.  Worship is a continual succession of praise to God.  A moment to moment intimacy with God Himself.

So this Christmas season as we pour out our worship to God let’s remember His amazing grace and sing praises to His name.  Let us sing here I am Lord, come abide with me.  Sing to Him how great thou art and great is Your faithfulness.  Let Him know it is well with your soul and crown Him with many crowns.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus and sing holy, holy, holy.  Surrender  it all and sing hosanna!  Just tell Him that He is worthy of it all.

Dear Lord, it is with a humble heart we come to You asking You to show us what true worship is.  We thank you and praise you for creating us to worship and we long for a deeper intimacy with you.  Show us how to enter your courts with thanksgiving.  Teach us how to praise You.  We open our hearts to a deeper intimacy with You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Will You Meet Me in the Stable?

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Can you imagine for just one moment what it would have been like to gaze into the eyes of Jesus as a newborn infant?  What would it have felt like to hold him?  What if you were the one who could soothe is crying for just a moment?  Suppose you had traveled days to be in his very presence?  What would be your anticipation level as you ponder the thoughts of holding the New Born King in your arms?

When Jesus was born all heaven and earth rejoiced at the birth.  Many came from miles and miles away just to get one peek at this wonder.  Can you imagine if you were in that stable gazing upon the infant child who was going to save the world and Mary picked you out of the crowd and asked you to hold him?  The sheer excitement of the moment…

UNTIL THIS HAPPENS:

What if I accidentally drop him?

What if he screams the moment I take him?

Am I even worthy of this?

Am I good enough to hold this precious child?

Suddenly like a flood you are filled with a bazillion insecurities and instead of responding to Mary with great joy and excitement you wonder why she even picked you to hold him in the first place.  Because of the circumstances of your life you feel so inadequate in the moment.  So defeated by your own malicious thoughts that you begin to believe that the King of the world would want nothing to do with you.

So many of us have this defeated mentality when it comes to Jesus.  We often shy away from opportunities of intimacy with God because we feel unworthy, unloved, unwanted, undesired and unable to connect.  God created us for worship.  He created us for an intimate relationship.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect?  The very being who will accept us for who were are is the very one we run from because of our insecurities and wounds.

Well friends, Jesus came to take all of that away.  He came to wipe every tear.  He arrived in a quiet intimate setting as an invitation to those who felt unworthy.  His very presence in that lowly stable invited even the humblest person to seek Him.  He was not born in a palace where rules and regulations would have kept many from even seeing Him.  No, He was born in a place where there was an open invitation from the heavens.

Will you meet me in the stable this year?  Will you come witness the most intimate birth in the history of the world?  Will you allow yourself to feel worthy, loved, accepted and wanted just long enough for the Newborn King to smile at you and let you feel safe?

Dear Lord,  Will You help each of us to visualize ourselves at the foot of the manger.  Help us to see the love and acceptance in that tiny humble stable setting.  We thank you for loving us all right where we are with no reservations.  We invite you into our insecurities and wounds so we may have a true intimate relationship with You.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen

Thankful for FORGIVENESS

Thankful for FORGIVENESS:
Sometimes you just gotta say out loud “Jesus You love them because right now I can’t”
And remember forgiveness is your gift not theirs BUT in forgiving you are ALLOWING God to do What HE WANTS to do in their lives!!  Holding back forgiveness is really not trusting God to handle the offense.
 So often  we want to fight our own battles when the Word clears says that vengeance  is God’s!
Choose  today to trust  God with your offenses  and let it go. He is preparing a  table in the presence of your enemies!