The Squirrels and Birds of life: Some Take A Little More

Have you ever been ticked off about something that you know really isn’t a big deal? I mean, it’s really gotten under your skin, but to even acknowledge it out loud would show just how ridiculous it really is…well, you’re not alone! Allow me to share my ridiculousness! Hahah!

 

While playing in the backyard with our children one day, the bird feeder that my husband had filled the night before was being burglarized by two fury tailed thieves! Yes, they were grey and cute, but the point was, they were taking the birdseed of the gorgeous red cardinals! I grew up in California and did not see cardinals—ever. So, when I would gasp out loud and call my husband to the window to see them in one of our first moves to the southern parts of America, he would just chuckle under his breath each time he would hurry to see the familiar southern sight. He had grown up in the deep south of America and cardinals were a very common sight there—like doves, pheasants and magpies in Northern California. But for me, it was something truly special to see such bright red plumage contrasted by a mighty oak. Anyway…back to the bird feeder! 

 

While getting very ticked off that these squirrels were taking the food of the cardinals in our tree, the Lord taught me a lesson about the people in my life and the need to “share the seed”. Allow me to explain.

 

Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated at the squirrels for repeatedly taking the birdseed from the feeder and not leaving much of any for the colorful birds. Yet, may we remember, there is enough for all. And there will be people in our lives (like squirrels) who require a “little bit more” from us—more time, more effort and more energy than say…the “birds” in our lives.

 

Yet, rather than getting frustrated with those who need more attention, more instruction and take more “seed” of encouragement and resources than the average seed consumer…pray for God to open your eyes to see things as He does (Ephesians 3:16).

 

Jesus told a parable about how each bird of the field is taken care of by God and they do not store up for themselves what is needed for tomorrow—rather, they trust in God to provide for their needs each day. Not a single bird falls from the sky without the careful notice of the Lord. Jesus then added that if God takes such detailed care of the birds, how much MORE does He take care of our needs? (Matthew 10:29-31).

 

We will all experience times of “needing a little extra” in our lives—more time, more encouragement, more guidance…you get the point. But the reality is, regardless of the season we are in, God will supply our needs over and above our expectations.

 

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)

 

When you don’t know how you will have the strength to do another sleepless night with your little one, or another heavy flu season, or another long series of “but why?” questions…may you be encouraged to DIG DEEP into the promises of God.

 

Before we come to a close, may I encourage you to whip out a good old fashion piece of paper and a trusty pen…and actually look up these following verses. If you do not have a Bible, no sweat. I love and highly recommend Biblehub.com as a fantastic online resource that is great for quick access to multiple Bible translations, commentaries and even Hebrew and Greek! So, with that said, allow us to actually pause (contrary to the pace of our modern culture) and actually STEEP OUR MINDS in the beautiful truths of God’s Word regarding those moments when you just need a serious reminder that you are not in this alone:

 

  • Deuteronomy 31:6_________________________________________________________________

  • Deuteronomy 31:8_________________________________________________________________

  • Isaiah 41:10_________________________________________________________________________

  • Isaiah 43:2___________________________________________________________________________

  • Isaiah 52:12__________________________________________________________________________

 

I am convinced that parenthood was created to bring us to the end of ourselves—in order to realize, that in our great love for our children, we MUST reach out to the Lord for daily guidance, moment by moment instruction and wisdom that only can be supplied by the Almighty God who loves us with an unyielding zeal—and whose compassion, mercy and grace are endless (Hebrews 4:16). Be encouraged that you are not on this journey called motherhood alone—I’m also asking the Lord Jesus Christ for daily guidance! And if I could give a praise to wrap this up, He is faithful to address each and every one of my husband and I’s questions, concerns and need for guidance both in parenting as well as within married life—because the Lord Jesus is just THAT good (Nahum 1:7).

 

If you do not already believe on the perfect life, innocent death and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ to have eternal right standing before Almighty God, this is your moment to add the greatest asset to your family life—as well as your eternal life—being the one and only Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ.

 

[a]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [b]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [c]resulting in salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)

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The Allure of Forbidden Fruit

 

Oh, just one more time…who will notice? No one is looking. Just one more lie…who will know? I know this isn’t the way God wanted for me, but this is much better than what He had in store for my life. Besides, God must not have had all the facts before He made His rules. It’s not that big of a deal anyway, right?

 

Have you ever thought these things, ladies? I know I have. And unfortunately, I can speak from experience that better does not wait on the other side of disobedience. Whether big or small, disobedience is offensive to the Lord—like left overs that you find months later in the back of your frig…it reaks and must be dealt with.

 

During my undergrad, I went through dating relationship after dating relationship, convinced that I was going to prove something by making a mess of a man’s heart. I had so much hatred pent up in my heart as a result of my parent’s divorce—and I was not about to let someone get near to me again to cause similar destruction. Yet, I still wanted the attention and affection. I did not believe that I was of great value. I did not hold fast to the scriptures that state how precious life is to God (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 5:6-7 and 1 John 4:9). I was convinced that I could trust God, but not men. This was a major area that the Lord had to heal within my own heart before I would meet my husband a few years later.

 

I began to wonder if God had forgotten me. If God really had a plan and purpose for my life, where was He in the midst of my struggle? I knew the answer—He was walking beside me, encouraging me to let go of my own hatred and rebellion and return to the Lord. Yet, my calloused heart was not ready to give up the heat of my anger and rage. I had begun to take pleasure in attention from lustful eyes and starving myself from the food my body craved. I was a shell of who I once was. And as I looked into the mirror, I realized that I no longer knew the face staring back at me. What had I become?

 

“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 4:5-6 (NIV)

 

As I was willing to confess my sinful and rebellious lifestyle to the Lord, it was as if something broke inside my heart. The desire and ability to follow the Lord had returned to my heart once more—and a passionate desire to follow close to the will of the Lord resulted. In that time, God taught me many things about myself and others. I learned how to accept love from a man in a pure way and not feel obligated to do something in return for his affection or attention. Perhaps you too can relate.

 

Maybe you have always felt like an outcast, but are now receiving attention that you have desired all of your life. What do you do with this new found attention or attractive men sending texts, messages or gifts? May I encourage you, ground yourself in what the Lord says about you before entering into a physical relationship with a man. If you do not know who you are in Jesus Christ, you will be easily persuaded to rebellion and wind up acting on emotions that will lead you into trouble or worse (James 1:13-15). Tell the Lord about each situation and/or individual you are feeling tempted to act shady with. God will always provide a way out from our temptations and struggles (James 1:5). God is faithful and you are declared as eternally beautiful and precious before the God of all creation through the finished work of Jesus Christ. You are not stuck in your situation, girlfriend. Allow Him to cleanse you and give you the victory over wrong choices that is found in Jesus Christ alone. You are worth it. Walk in truth.

 

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

1 Corinthians 15:57 (HCSB)

The Italian Vase “Worth More Than Your Life”: What to do when the darts of deception affect your internal image

A few months back, I stood in line to order some beautiful flowers—imported from Holland. It was a weekend and our children were happily playing with my husband. Thus, I was having a nice time, enjoying the wide array of flowers of every color, fragrance and description—packed into this tiny florist shop. Each bouquet handed to customers before me looked like they had been taken right off the pages of a magazine. Those behind the florist counter were obviously talented at their work. I began to look around to select the flowers I desired within my own bouquet. As I did, my attention was taken to a different place.

The man in front of me was obviously frustrated with the selection of the flowers, the speed in which his order was being completed and the overall quality of the order. As he critiqued each bouquet created, others helped him wheel in a large trolley of black, latched containers. With his suit coat open, he quickly checked his watch again as he shouted at the men guarding the black containers not to let them fall off the trolley.

As he slowly took the vases out of the velvet-lined containers, he shouted at those assembling his order not to hurt the vases. Each vase that he brought into the tiny florist shop looked to be a genuine piece of art. It was apparent that these arrangements were going to an elaborate event. Whatever the occasion, each component was obviously top-of-the-line!

The man before me sighed repeatedly as he watched the assembly of each decadent bouquet and posh arrangements come to life before his eyes. Precise care and acute attention to each bouquet was undeniable from this gentleman. I was intrigued.

These vases were exquisite to be sure. Each work of art was etched with various patterns and astounding detail. I could not help but notice the beauty of these vases as the ordered arrangements were now being reassembled within the stunning glassware.

I looked at the man in a formal suit and said with a smile, “What beautiful vases they are.”

In near disgust, the man turned around slowly and looked me in the eyes before preceded to scale my body with his eyes. With a smirk and tilt of his head, the man quickly replied, “They are from Italy. They are worth more than your life.”

The man’s order was finished in that moment and he impatiently directed the employees of the shop in how to transfer the vases to the waiting transport outside.

As the man left, pushing past all others to get out of the shop and continuing to direct with great impatience, I was completely shocked and very hurt.

I selected the flowers from my own bouquet and tried to shake off what had been said by the complete stranger. Yet, as the breath taking bouquet was handed to me, I was still wearing the negative comments of a man I had never before seen in my entire life.

12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15 (NASB)

We are to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, love and the peace of Christ—not the comments of others. The Bible assures us that ALL will pass away—including harsh or unfounded criticism—but that the Word of God will stand forever (Ps. 119:89, Is. 51:6, Mt. 24:35, Mk. 13:31 & Lk. 21:33).

Just because someone says something about you it does not mean that it is truth. Possibly far from it!

Ladies, may we be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). May we be a generation of young women who KNOW what the Bible says FOR OURSELVES…and walk in the beautiful and powerful truths there within!

Ladies, Jesus Christ showed your worth, my worth, and each person on this earth’s worth—as He went to the Cross of Calvary (also called Golgotha) and paid for the rude, nasty and deceptive things that each and every single one of us commits in our lives (Romans 5:8). Praise God that through His victorious resurrection from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), each soul drawing a breath within the story of humanity has one glaring word that can describe them. What is that word, you ask? Priceless.

Regardless of what Hollywood may try to create as the next idea of romance, or what the media may highlight as courageous stories for us to champion as a culture—the fact remains the same—the ultimate story of unabashed romance and unwavering courage is told through the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the Holy Bible.

Praise God for His zealous love for the very essence of who we are and the ultimate price that He was willing to pay to ransom all of humanity from a just punishment for our actions.

5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NASB)

Ladies, take this to heart—regardless of what infomercials, pop-up adds or even those within your circles of friends tout—hold fast to the fact that it is not flawless make-up, a chiseled body, personal zip code or bank account that defines your worth. Praise God that your worth has already been declared priceless by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

Ladies, if you have not given the ultimate gentleman and lover of soul the opportunity to speak to you directly and share what He thinks of you—I encourage you to do so now! Take this very moment to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. Entrusting your eternal destiny, your future and the acknowledgment of your worth into the hands of the Author of Creation. God does not make mistakes! He has designed you, in your very essence, to desire to hear that you are beautiful and have worth. And ladies, read the Holy Bible for yourself—you do.

*This article is featured on Wonderfully Made’s Official Blog Site. Click the title in teal below to view.

Italian Vase: “Worth More Than Your Life”