How To Start Your Day – Lessons From A Four Year Old

Morning people, I don’t get them. How is it that they can get up everyday and start their day with no problem? Where as people like me struggle to get out of bed daily. When it comes the hour for me to get up, all I want to do is roll over again. Uggh!

My husband and I are a blended family. He has three sons. I have one son and two daughters. His oldest son has made us grandparents. Twice. He and his wife blessed us with two beautiful grandchildren: Angela and Antonio (Antonio, the youngest of the two, has gone to be with the Lord). Yep! I’m still trying to wrap my mind around being a thirty-something-year-old grandmother. Yet with the blessing that this little girl has been to me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. She is the reason for my post today.

 

 

angela

 

 

During the past couple of times, Angela has stayed over at our house, upon waking up the next day, I started to notice that she has this little routine that she follows. I noticed it because, as I am trying to lay in the bed to get some extra sleep, she’s running down her list of questions, according to this routine, that demand that I need get up. Even today, because we kept her for another night after Service on Sunday, she came into our room asking these same questions according to her little routine.

Through my observation of her little routine, I have concluded that Angela, at the tender age of four, can teach us all how to start our day. She is teaching me. Here, according to her questions, is how she starts her day.

Angela gets up early. 

She’s four. Of course, she gets up early. I don’t know about you. But I need much prayer in this area. In fact, it wasn’t until just recent that I can say that I have been intentionally doing my best to make this a part of my daily routine. I can still use help in this area. I have to beg God for His strength on this one. Are you an early bird like Angela?

Angela gets dressed. (First question)

“Am I gonna get dre’ essed! (in her country accent that I have no idea where she got it from). I’m a very slow moving person; like a turtle (snail). At times, it may take me after I get up, until noon to get dressed. This, too, is another thing that I have been working on. In fact, I know that I’ve made some improvement because my husband stated to me one time that he didn’t want to mess up my routine. Do you struggle with getting dressed too? Or are you more like my little Angela?

Angela makes her bed. (Second question)

Are you gonna fix the be’eeed? (I’m still trying to figure out that country accent she has) By now I’m sure these are all things that she observes her parents doing in her home. She has taken notice to implement them herself. That speaks volume. I contemplated once doing a post about how I start my day. I was going to include bed making. Honestly, for me, there is a peace that comes to my heart and mind when I know that my bed is made. Sometimes, I don’t get to make it up as soon as I get up because my husband is still resting. It depends on how long he rests. But sooner or later, no matter what time of day it is, I’m making the bed if he hasn’t beaten me to it. Is this a must for you too?

Angela eats breakfast. (Third question)

“Are you gonna cook break’ faaast?” Most people that I know are not breakfast eaters. But according to numerous health studies, breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. I do my best to try to eat breakfast every morning by 7:00 am and before 9:00 am. Yet, because I struggle to get up in the mornings, that doesn’t always happen. By the grace of God, I am getting better, though. How about you? Are you a breakfast person like Angela? Or are you of the most that are not?

 

 

angela2
Making her silly face 🙂

 

 

It’s quite the routine my little Angela has huh? I’m impressed with it actually. I myself am going to add spend time with God. However, Angela’s routine tells me something. It tells me that there is structure going on where she lives. It tells me that she is paying close attention. It tells me that it’s something she wants. Not only wants but expects. And rightly, at her age, I think she should. For her, it is training her at a young age. Imagine that this routine sticks with her throughout the rest of her lifetime here on earth. She will be the very example of Proverbs 22:6.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 

 

signature

Making Room For What Matters Most Comes When I Surrender

wp-1465198706900

 

Finally, I’ve got it.

I’ve grasped what God really wants and expects from me. All this time, He’s been gently screaming these words at me, and I have been ignoring Him.

Hey! I’ve been busy…. honestly….. busy doing all but this. What have I been busy doing?

I’ve been busy trying to build a name for myself.

I’ve been busy trying to build a career for myself.

I’ve been busy neglecting people and things that should be most important.

I’ve been busy ignoring God (ugh,  that’s hard to say, but it’s true).

I’ve been doing everything but, making room for what really matters the most. That would probably  (not probably, it does) explain my discontentment. I have truly been focused on the wrong things. I can’t help but to think to myself, How many times will I continue to go around this mountain before I finally get it?

You’ve been traveling around this mountain long enough. Head north. ~Deuteronomy 2:3, CEB

Well, I get it. I sooooooo get it! I have been there way too many times; always ending up at the same place. It’s torment, I tell you. It has robbed me of God’s precious peace. Not anymore, though. I’m taking my peace back. It’s mine. I don’t deserve it. Yet, God made me worthy of it. He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross so that I could have peace. Jesus, Himself, promised me this peace.

 

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. ~John 14:27, NASB

 

So here’s what I’ve finally gotten. It’s the one thing that I must honestly say I have not truly done. Yet, I know that God has been asking me to do it.

SURRENDER.

 

inspirational-pictures-quote_14523-1

Do you remember the time that I blogged about relinquishing my throne? Well, it turns out that I didn’t. I had every intention to. Honestly. The truth of the matter is that I don’t want to be there. It’s not my place. I know that. Moving out of the way has been hard. I have triiiieeeeeeed (though maybe not hard enough)! Stepping down. Stepping up. Stepping back down. Stepping back up. I just have not learned how to be in my rightful place. I have not learned how to get out of God’s way. Thankfully, that stops today. Because………

d843690e559784ebf8982261949b31b4-1

I’m done with getting in God’s way. It’s clear that I do not know what’s best for my life, family, career, or ministry more than He does. He knows all things.

 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. ~Isaiah 55:8, NASB

 

What I am glad for is that when I make a mess of things, because I’m human, God is merciful and compassionate enough to clean up the mess that I make. He causes all things, even when I’ve made the mess, to work out for my good. In knowing and accepting this divine truth……..

I surrender.

I surrender my life. 

I surrender my marriage.

I surrender my family.

I surrender my career.

I surrender my health.

I …………..surrender…………….. all. 

It’s in surrender that I learn to make room in life for what matters most. It’s in surrender that I keep the peace Jesus Christ gave me. It’s in surrender that every area of my life will finally resemble the One who gave me life in the first place. It’s in surrender that God will truly get what belongs to Him. Glory.

I get it. I finally get it.

 

“Making room for what matters the most comes when I surrender.” 

 

signature

Compassion is Looking for You – Get Involved

compassionu

 

“There are 400 million children living in poverty. Put your love into action to impact real change.”

~Compassion International

Hey, Everyone!

Stopping through to let you know about a couple of ways that you can get involved in helping to raise the awareness of children in poverty or to become a child sponsor at Compassion.

 

index

 

Compassion Sunday – Compassion Sunday is a nationwide event involving thousands of sponsors and churches across the country. It allows individuals such as you and me to share our hearts for children in poverty with the members of our church families. The official date for Compassion Sunday 2016 is April 24th. However, you can also choose a date that is best for you. Just order the free Planning Guide and you will be on your way to helping give children hope.

I am blessed to be the member of a church, whose head family is heavily involved in missions already. My pastor and his family actually used to live in Africa for a season of his young life. His father and mother founded a missions organization. Today, though the parents are no longer here, the children continue on in their legacy.

act-for_brazil-brothers-1
The Assis Brothers

Act for Compassion – Act for Compassion is a new way to empower the Compassion community to be a voice for children. Their current focus is Brazil, helping to release them from poverty and fight off diseases such as the Zika Virus. The way to get involved with Acts for Compassion is to: get inspired, create your fundraiser, and put your love into action. There are currently 97 acts for compassion that have been started; raising a total of $14, 160. Praise God for that.

For a month or so now, I have been searching my heart and wrecking my brain for ways that I can produce the income to help sponsor at least one child. I can not help it. It’s in my blood. And to come across this, has really lit a fire under me and inspired me so much. At first, I couldn’t see the way to do it. But now, the way is clear. I just needed a little more push of inspiration.

What about you? Have you been inspired in any way to get involved helping free children from poverty? How about this post informing you about and asking you to become a partner with one or both of these endeavors? If not what would it take? Would the Word of God suffice?

Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.” ~Zechariah 7:8-10

I get excited thinking about being or becoming a part of something that’s greater than you and me. Family and Friends, we have a chance to do something with our resources. I hope that you will consider looking further into these two great events. Maybe after much prayer and meditation, you’ll comment below to tell me that you did. You signed up to make a difference.

signature

 

 

#CompassionBloggers

Dear God

Dear God,

2d42e87b-69e4-4cb3-be5f-f9817dde9fa0Thank You for this life in which you’ve given me. It is through the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that I’m even able to obtain it.

“For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

Father, I come to You today because I need to remind You of a few things that You have said in Your word about me. Not that You need me to remind You of anything. But as I am a sojourner in this earth, making my way to my eternal home, there are some things that I ask that You will never let me forget.

Never let me forget that………….

1. YOU FASHIONED ME. You shaped me inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. By You, I was molded into form and my very being was established. (Psalm 139)

Never let me forget that…………

2. YOU CREATED ME FOR YOUR GLORY. By You, I was chosen and my name was called. You made me and shaped me for Your profound glory. A special purpose you have given to my life; for me to know You, trust You, and be faithful unto You. (Isaiah 43)

Never let me forget that……….

3. MY BODY IS YOUR TEMPLE. Your spirit dwells within me. I was bought with a price, purchased with the blood of Jesus, and I am not my own. (1 Corinthians 3)

Never let me forget that………..

4. YOU HAVE GIVEN ME A MEASURE OF FAITH. That’s good, I’m going to need it. Because without it, I can’t please you. (Hebrews 11)

Never let me forget that……..

5. YOU CREATED ME UNTO GOOD WORKS. I am Your workmanship created in Christ Jesus. What You have begun in me, You will complete. (Ephesians 2)

Never let me forget that……..

6. YOUR KINGDOM IS WITHIN ME. Through the sealing promise, I now have righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit in the inside of me. (Romans 14)

I don’t want to forget, God. For in those times when I get weary, these reminders will be the portion of strength that keeps me going. (Psalm 73:26)

I don’t want to forget. For when I am persecuted for my faith in You, these reminders will keep me pressing towards the mark of the prize of the high calling. (Philippians 3:14)

I don’t want to forget. For when men fail to love me, these reminders will let me know that there is a Love that I am never separated from. (Romans 8:38,39)

I don’t want to forget. For when I get puffed up to thinking that I can do this on my own, these reminders will point me to the Vine, to whom without a vital connection; to whom without abiding in, I can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)

I need these reminders, God. I need them like I need the air I breathe. Because these reminders show me that You are the Source from which my very being flows. Never let me forget that God.

For Your Glory,

signature

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

One Word for 2016

Compassion started a tradition for their bloggers of focusing on one word every year. It’s one they’ve been faithfully keeping for some years now (since 2009).

 

onewordtradition

 

Each month, as a volunteer compassion blogger, I get a writing prompt. How I missed this one way back last year, I don’t know. But I would have loved to blog about my one word then.  And it’s funny. Because up until, this morning, I thought I knew what that one word was. I thought my one word would have been the same word God gave me back in 2014. Intentional.  I was wrong.

Since I’ve found out about the one-word writing prompt, I’ve been thinking heavily about my word for this year. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gotten away from intentional. I will always strive for that. It is my mission.

Speaking of the word mission, it is my one-word focus this year.

I am on a mission. mission

I am. It’s something that I never want to lose focus of. In fact, my whole purpose for being here on the earth is for the fulfilling and completion of it. And I need to be reminded that, if I’m going to do that, it is NOT ABOUT ME. So what is my mission about? You ask.

First, it’s about bringing glory to my Heavenly Father. Where would I be if it wasn’t for His grace? Second, it’s about being one with my husband. I truly love that man. The way God has blessed my family by making him the head of it (I was a single mom of three when we met) is truly beyond words I can ever use to explain. Third, it’s about me being the God-purposed mother I need to be to the children that were gifted to me. I could into details of my past about the parent I used to be. But, I’d rather talk about the mother God has made to be today (in case you don’t get my reason for the line through my previous words, I’m no longer that mother). That mother wasn’t truly aware of her mission and purpose. This one, however, is.

Fourth, it’s about freely giving unto others what God has freely given me. Compassion. Mercy. Word of my testimony. Love. Jesus. And lastly, it’s about praying without ceasing. I honestly cannot understand how anyone can survive in this world without EEE Eee ever talking to the Father. That is something that is beyond me. Prayer is my lifeline, honey! Haha! I can’t go a day without prayer. I may as well go and sit in a corner and forget about my mission period. I mean, how am I to fulfill it without Him? It will never be possible.

So there you have it! My one-word focus of 2016. Now, I want to hear from you. Have you started the tradition of one word? If so, what is your one word? What events took place to help you decide on your one word? Share with me. Sharing is caring.

 

signature

 

 

#CompassionBloggers