Do You Trust Me?

Do you have any pets? Maybe you have a dog or a cat, or even an iguana! Well, if you have a pet that you love and are very attached to, we can relate with each other. I have a gorgeous, sassy little dog. She is sugar and spice and everything nice (and I make sure to tell her so every day :-)). Her energy level is usually full throttle – she absolutely has to have supercharged playtime daily. Her toybox (yes, she has a toybox ;-)) overflows with toys of various shapes and colors and she never gets tired of any of them. Yep, this little dog keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. There’s one particular thing she does that’s not only adorable, but is also a way in which God speaks to me quite often. One thing she loves to do is roll over on her back and expose her cute fuzzy tummy with the hope that her tummy will get a rubdown. Seriously, she could be in the middle of running around in circles like she drank an entire pot of coffee (don’t worry, I don’t let her drink my strongly brewed java), yet she will instantly roll over on her back if she thinks there’s a belly rub in store for her. Well, I read somewhere that when a dog rolls over on its back willingly for its owner, that is proof that the dog genuinly trusts its owner because, when a dog is on its back, it has let down its guard. Wow, it makes me feel wonderful that my dog trusts me that much! Well, somtimes when I’ve pondered my dog’s trusting actions, God has spoken to me and reminded me that we, His children, need to trust Him fully and let down our guards. We need to surrender all to Him and trust Him – trust Him with our everything. If my dog can trust me so much that she extinguishes all inhibitions, rolls onto her back, and breathes in deeply the air of peace, knowing at every moment that I will protect and defend her, how much more should we trust the Lord and believe, with utmost certainty, that He is who the Bible says He is and that He does want the best for us? We need to breathe in deeply His peace and stand upon His promises as His beloved children. Please rest assured in your heart today that you are loved and cherished by the Maker of the universe, by the Lord of Lords, and know that when you surrender all to Him, He will bless you with an overflow and abundance of His goodness. Let go and let God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

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Freshly Baked Goodness

Have you ever been to an unbelievably remarkable bakery? I’m talking about the kind of bakery that takes your breath away when you walk inside. The captivating aroma of all the breads, pastries, and sweets gently tickles your nose; the sights and smells make your stomach growl and your mouth water; and the incredible atmosphere of the place seems to wash all your worries away the longer you’re inside. Well, now that we’ve established just what type of bakery I’m talking about, let’s talk about the food! This type of bakery makes each and every scrumptious doughnut, loaf of bread, chocolate-covered pretzel, etc. by hand – everything made at such a bakery is unique, not some assembly line production. Hence, you know that when you and a friend each order a sticky bun, your pastries aren’t exactly the same. Doesn’t the knowledge of your order being hand-made, stamped with the signature of the baker who formed it, make eating it so much more special? Well, as wonderful as that sounds, I have something even more wonderful to fill you in on. The God of the universe hand-made you! He formed you in the secret place of His dwelling, knitted you together perfectly and intricately, and stamped his signature of approval all over you. From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, His fingerprints adorn you. You are absolutely unique. You didn’t ride on an assembly line and get packaged like a box of crackers. NO! God made you precisely the way He, and only He, envisioned. You’re His masterpiece. Sometimes we all feel like we lack something – like we’re not this enough or that enough. But, let me tell you something: You have wonders inside of you. God has placed glorious talents and marvels within you and He wants you to radiate with His divine light. If you feel like your flame is slowly fading or you feel too depressed to even care what it is you’ve been placed on this earth to do, fall at the feet of Jesus. He knows exactly why you’re on this earth and He knows all the beautiful things He has equipped you with. He made you; He knows everything about you. If you’ve fallen down, that’s ok – He knows how to pick you back up. And He wants to pick you back up – He wants to pick you up in His arms and illuminate you with everything He has in store for you (and what He has in store for you is more amazing than you can even fathom!). Please know how valuable you are to the Father’s heart. Know that He loves you and wants the absolute best for you. You are His spectacular creation!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument].”
Jeremiah 1:5

“‘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.'”
Jeremiah 29:11

Rendezvous of Love

Sometimes, when I’m feeling jaded, downcast, restless, or I’m simply in need of an altered perspective, I  step into a gondola and float down the glistening waters of memory. As the water swishes past the sides of my boat underneath the puffy clouds of the past, I recollect and reminisce about various years, events, or even mere moments. I suppose the February dissonance – that time when winter and spring are fighting to reign  –  has been the cause of my recent memory regurgitation. Anywho, since I’m quite the foodie (you probably know that by now ;-)), it’s not surprising that food-related memories often flash through my mind. One certain memory that brings joy to my heart involves my mom (she and I have always been very close and I thank God everyday for my relationship with her). When I was younger, I was involved in sports. After various athletic endeavors, she would routinely take me to the local coffee shop where I would order a vanilla bean shake topped with whipped cream accompanied by a shortbread cookie. It was such a treat after working so hard. I always looked forward to these special rendezvous with her. We talked and talked and just knowing that she made such an effort to arrange these special times together made me feel remarkably loved. So why exactly have I invited you into my gondola and shared this memory with you? Because I want to remind you how important it is to be a blessing to people. My mom could have just picked me up and drove me home, but she chose to make our time together special. She chose to display her love for me in a unique way to let me know how much she cared. I will never forget those trips to the coffee shop and the laughter-filled conversations afterwards. It is incredible how much good one can do by implementing kindness into another person’s life. Because my mom took the time to show kindness to me, I have learned to show kindness to others. She helped me to realize how God wants us to pour love into other people’s lives. By doing so, we are showing people what Christ looks like. My mom has always shown me the face of Christ with her love, her wisdom, her compassion, her grace. Because God’s love illuminates my mom’s heart, I love the Lord also. Surrendering my life to Christ is the best decision I have ever made.  See how much power there is in blessing others? If you have ever thought “What can a kind gesture actually accomplish?” or “Can I really make a difference?”, think again. Please know that you can make a difference. You can shine Christ’s light into someone’s life and that light will guide them to Christ’s loving arms. To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.

“Generous people will be blessed.”
Proverbs 22:9a