Happy Thanksgiving-Looking Forward as We Count Our Blessings

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Hello, friends!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. I love gathering with my family and friends to celebrate life and remember all the good God has done throughout the year. Enjoying yummy food is an awesome plus!

I wish I could share a meal with each and every one of you. And hear what you’re thankful for this year. As I reflect on all that I’m thankful for, I can say that year and year again, I am thankful for the people in my life. The last few months have been challenging and my faith has been tested and continues to be tested. Having the right people by my side has made all the difference.

As we move forward, and press on to finish strong in 2016, I want to share something that I was reflecting on today. Counting our blessings can be difficult, even when things are going well. It may seem like everything is all jumbled up. It’s hard to count our blessings when life is busy or when it’s a season of waiting. But, we should really take the time to do it anyway. Write them down and actually, number all the good God has done.

And let’s not stop there. Looking back is great but moving forward is even greater. Use your recorded blessings to remind you that if God did it before, if He was faithful before, if He did the impossible before, He surely will do it again. And then, take the steps of faith, take the risks needed to reach the dreams God has put on the inside of you.

See, it’s not enough to look back one day out of the year and be thankful for a moment. When we are truly grateful, it spills into our future. Causing us to do things with courage and expectation because gratefulness reminds us of just how good God has been and will CONTINUE to be.

I pray you have an amazing Thanksgiving and that we take the time to count our blessings. May our Lord Jesus, continue to take us from glory to glory as we honor him and give Him thanks.


christmascollection20163311P.S. Are you doing any Holiday shopping this weekend? Would you consider Shopping Small? R.S.V.P to the Styld by Grace Small Business Saturday Event, to read why it’s great to shop small and receive a 35% coupon code. Happy Shopping!

The Satisfied Heart: Realigning our Want for More

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My heart says, “I want more, now!” I live for tomorrow more than I live for the moment. Can you relate? I know I have a tendency to be impatient with the processes of life, but I didn’t know it was so evident to the people around me. The other night my husband and I were jokingly talking about being patient. And I asked him to be honest with me, all joking aside, if I was impatient. What he said next really made my heart sink. He said, “You’re patient with small things, but you’re impatient with life. It’s hard for you to wait.” I felt God nudge at my heart and I had nothing to say, because I knew he was right. It’s hard for me to wait because my desire for more sometimes gets in the way.

A few years back there was a very popular commercial for a telecommunications company that wanted to promote the idea that “more is better”. More coverage is better. (I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it and seen spoofs of it). It takes place in a classroom, where there are children sitting in a circle being asked “Who thinks more is better than less”? All the kids raised their hands and one adorable little girl said, “We want more, we want more, like, you really like it, you want more”. The commercial finished with a voice over that says, “It’s not complicated, more is better”.

Is more better? I believe it depends what we want more of. Sometimes wanting more things, and becoming impatient, is not a good or healthy more. Sometimes, more can be complicated. Sometimes, more can make you bankrupt, both financially and spiritually. On the other hand, more can be a blessing. More can be the fruit of the time spent harvesting. More can signify that God is moving in our lives.

Our desire, our longing for more, whether it’s a better job, a larger home, more financial security, more children, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I would submit that our worry, anxiety and the (often) extreme measures we take to obtain more, could be bad for our souls.

An unhealthy and out of control desire for more, can lead to an unrighteous and corrupt path. If we have to lie, cheat, or hurt someone to get what we want, that means our desire for more has become unhealthy. Making unsound financial decisions like over spending when we know we can’t, or going into debt just to have what someone else has, may also be a sign that our want for more, can be taking over us. Perhaps being impatient, while waiting for God to answer a prayer, and taking matter into our own hands, can also be a sign of an unhealthy desire for more. I have realized that when I can’t enjoy what I have at the moment, when I’m looking for the next best thing, I have lost sight of where my true satisfaction and fulfillment comes from.

As a newlywed, I desire to make my apartment look and feel like a home. That means furnishing our home and purchasing decor. I must admit I have been tempted to purchase more things than we can afford. It’s like this little monster that wants to come out of me, that tells me I have to have things NOW. On one of those particular days when the monster decided to peek out, I told my husband I felt really sad that I couldn’t make our home look like I wanted it to yet. I complained and complained until he felt guilty and responsible for not making it happen. And I realized that just wasn’t right. Something deeper must be going on inside my heart. A house, a home, and the stuff inside it, or the lack thereof, shouldn’t make me feel upset and it definitely shouldn’t take me to a place where I put the blame on someone else for it.

Furnishing my home is a practical example. But maybe today you’re not struggling with being financially smart. Maybe today you’re waiting for a loved one to be healed or you’re waiting to hear back on a job interview. Maybe you’ve been unemployed for a while and someone else got that job you wanted. Be encouraged today by knowing that God will answer your prayers. You don’t have to take short cuts, settle for less, or become anxious. He hears your prayers and He is working on your behalf.

God’s word tells us to live content when we have need and when we have plenty. It tells us to not worry about what we will eat or wear tomorrow. Yes I know, ladies. It’s hard enough not to think about what we will wear a month from today, let alone tomorrow. The bible even tells us to be satisfied with the job or career we have. This doesn’t mean, in anyway, that we should settle or live mediocre lives. It’s actually an encouragement to live a day at time, knowing God cares for our needs and wants. The best part is that God’s word tells us how we can achieve contentment. God tells us through His word that if we seek Him, trust Him, and seek His kingdom, our desire for more will be satisfied. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything on our “more list” will be met, but rather, we can trust that in seeking Him we will have deeply fulfilled hearts.

In seeking God for fulfillment, our desire for more can become uncomplicated. Spending time with God continually, will set us up to have a thankful and content heart. More and more can be good when we seek more and more of God. When God becomes what we desire most, everything else pales in comparison. And when everything else pales in comparison to God, we don’t hold on to things so tightly. The Lord knows that when our hearts are full of Him, we learn to see our world differently. Being wise and taking care of what He has blessed us with, becomes a priority. When our hearts are full of God, we learn to see God in everything and we learn to appreciate today’s blessings. God’s plan is that out of the overflow from seeking Him, we will reap a harvest. That harvest will give us the resources (financial, emotional and spiritual) to do more than what we could’ve ever imagined for our families, our friends, and those who are in need. If our desire for more aligns with God’s will for us, and we are living to seek Him, we should have faith that all our needs and even our wants will be met.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give your the desires of your heart” -Psalm 37:4


Reflect:
What can you do today to start or continue living a life filled with more of God?

Are there any areas in your life you should hand over to God, so He can be first in your heart?

Which specific blessings have you realized are a result of being satisfied and content in God? 


Bible references:
Matthew 6:25-26, Matthew 6:32-33, Philippians 4:12-13, Psalm 37:3-4, Ecclesiastes 3:13