A New Beginning

I could not ever come close to imagining the joy and excitement that Mary felt when she was carrying baby Jesus and anticipating His birth at any moment late in her pregnancy.  I know how I felt when I was pregnant with my two little miracles from above and how anxiously we all waited for their arrival.   I have been reminded of all of this leading up to Christmas day and the anticipation and excitement felt by those around me.

AND …

Now I have experienced it through my oldest daughter.   She has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a little baby on her dad’s side of the family.   This little baby boy was due to arrive in late December, possibly early January.  They were just discussing on Christmas day how they wished the little one would make an appearance soon, and low and behold if her water didn’t break on Christmas night!    Early in the morning hours, Mom was rushed to the hospital by Dad and a few hours later, this precious little baby boy made his way kicking and screaming into this world.   What a  Christmas gift!!

I just had to stop to reflect a moment on the gift of a little tiny baby.   Oh the joy that fills our souls with the birth of a new little one.    All is right in the world the moment they lay your little baby in your arms for the very first time.  Instantly you know that you would do any thing for this little one – any thing!   They are your heart and soul, the air you breathe … they give new meaning to your life.  You get to experience a renewal – in your purpose in life - your whole world shifts when this baby comes into this world.

And so it was with the birth of baby Jesus.    In this case, He proved that He would do any thing for us.  He bore all of our sins on the cross.  When we give our hearts to Jesus, we should experience a transformation in our hearts and souls as HE is now the air we breathe, and He gives meaning to our lives.   You know, without a shadow of a doubt, that your life does have meaning and purpose.  You are here for a very special reason in this world, in this life.

A new baby brings about a new beginning for us … it is so with the birth of the new baby in my daughter’s extended family.  It is so with the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago.   It is so when you ask Jesus to come into your heart and life.   All of the sins you have committed up until that point are wiped away when you ask for forgiveness - you are washed white as snow.   We do nothing to deserve it, but God provides grace and mercy for us all.

As we are approaching the ending of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, do you feel that you need a renewal of some sort?    A new year is full of new opportunities for growth!  You do not have to stay in the rut that you may feel that you’ve been in for so long.  You can choose to do things differently.   If you need a renewal for your spirit, dig into God’s word.  Reveal the promises that He has for each of us tucked away in His word.   Meditate on scriptures, cling to verses that provide you great comfort in hard times.   Begin and end the day in prayer – pray all throughout the day if you’d like – you don’t necessarily have to pray some lengthy prayer with proper words or do some great ritual every single time you go to pray.  Just talk to God.  Invite Him to be a part of your day and be in each and every thing that you lay your hands on that day.  Allow God to be a part of your day.  Let Him be your constant companion and guide.   Begin 2014 with a relationship with God.  If you’ve never had one before, if you felt like you were just going through the motions, I invite you to begin again.   With purpose this time.   Just as any relationship requires you to pour into it, to nurture it, the same is so with your relationship with Jesus and God above!

As you go into the new year, do you have specific weight loss goals that you’d like to set?   Or an exercise program that you would like to begin and stick to this time?  If so, pray over it.   Allow God to lead you in this.   You can try to do this alone, but you will have more success if you invite God in.   Also, consider an accountability partner.  Or, my personal favorite, have someone commit to doing this with you if you can, that way you two can lean on each other in those hard times in addition to God above!   Think you can’t?  Oh I know you can!!  God says it in His word, also!  Nothing is impossible with God.   You can set a goal and work toward it daily.  You can pray over it, and you can reward yourself for little milestones that you reach along the way.  You and your accomplishments deserve to be celebrated!  Do so in healthy ways, though.   If you comfort yourself with food or a cigarette, pray over this and give it to God.  Allow Him to be your strength!   When you feel the urge to reach for comfort food or the comfort found in a cigarette, focus your attention on comforting yourself in other ways – take a long bubble bath, light some candles, play your favorite song, recite a bible verse that means everything to you, pray, lift up your hands and begin praising God.   The point is to turn your focus away from comforting with food or cigarettes or whatever habit you’re trying to break and instead focus on something good to take its place to comfort you.

Don’t feel good about yourself?  Feel that others are talking bad about you and tearing you down?   I heard something tonight that I’d like to pass along to you.  Donna Partow said,

You live your life before an audience of one – God!

Ultimately it does not matter what any one else thinks about you or says about you, or what you think in your mind that they are thinking or saying about you.  The only approval you need is already given by God above!!  This leads me into another quote that I absolutely love by Joyce Meyer:

True freedom never comes until we fully realize that we don’t need to struggle to get from man what God freely gives us: love, acceptance, approval, security, worth, and value.

Last, but not least, here is another quote that says a whole lot.  It spoke to my heart, and I hope it will speak to yours also.  It is by Lysa TerKeurst:

God gave us emotions so we could experience life not destroy it.

Do you feel at times that your emotions rule you?   Do you allow yourself to get so carried away in and with your emotions that you almost feel as if you’re a tornado that is spinning out of control threatening to destroy all things in its path?

I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers in this department at all, but I know the one who does – God!  Yes, it all leads back to God.  It’s all about His Light, His Love, and His Hope.    Let the light of God fill you and wash over you.  Allow the light of God to shatter the darkness in your life, in your negative thoughts, and in your out of control emotions.   You simply cannot do this alone.  No one can.  We need God, plain and simple.

Will you consider turning it all over to God in 2014?  Will you consider no longer trying to be in control of things that you have absolutely no control over to begin with?   None of us do!  We try so hard to control the uncontrollable.  We think we have so much power when in reality, we do not control any one or any thing.  God does!

You are being given the gift of another new year.    What will you do with it?

Out with the old, in with the new!  Here’s to a new beginning in 2014!

Blessings to you and yours!

~Shirley

Light, Love, Hope

Live In Such A Way

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