Are you a Magnum Opus?

YES you are!!!!

To God you are “His Magnum Opus!”  

mag·num o·pus
noun
1.) a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.
2.) a great workespecially :the greatest achievement of an artist or writer
No doubt a writer or artist has a deep passion for what they do. They have an end goal when they start on their work of art. They work on precisely carrying out their plan so someday they fulfill their end goal. Allowing their work to reach its sole purpose.  It takes time, sometimes years…But they move forward, don’t give up and keep focused.
You can read stories written from the heart of an author and you can see artwork from an artist that reflects their passion, dedication and commitment to their work. They strive for the ultimate Magnum Opus.  Each of them have important and even great works, but they strive for and work diligently towards their “greatest achievement.”
When I was much younger, my mom told me “You are God’s Magnum Opus” “You are one of Gods greatest accomplishments” “His most important work.”  That analogy and profound statement has always stuck with me. 
God himself, not only planned me, but he had a sole purpose for my life when he uniquely designed me. He did the same for you. He started working on that beautiful masterpiece in my mother’s womb and is still carrying it out to completion. He is precisely planning on my behalf and working things for my good. He has created each and every life with the same heart and deep passion. He strives for excellence in us.  But he accepts the mistakes and the do-overs that we may need. He never gives up on us. He works diligently on our behalf, as our lives and his masterpiece, continues to unfold. 
Look at your self today with God’s eyes. In your failures, your self-doubt, your disappointments and trials. Remember through all of it, God does not see them the same as we do.  He sees the beautiful in the midst of your ugly and he already knows the  outcome of what he started in you.  He sees you as one of his greatest joys, a prize possession, a work of art…and one of his greatest masterpieces. Embrace that!
Let others know who created you and how special, miraculous and beautiful all life really is.  And then, let YOUR life reflect the wonderful “Magnum Opus” that you are. 

Whats your kind of Resolution?

I’m not really a “resolution kind of girl.” Maybe it’s because in years past I didn’t end up keeping them. They were either too farfetched, I changed them mid-year, or I never really meant them to begin with.

I don’t really know when I changed. But I did. And it works for me. I stopped setting a “New Year’s resolution.” Well, i no longer put full effort into accomplishing ONE particular thing before the years end. To me, “my kind of resolution” is bigger and last much longer.

Making this personal change has proven to work for me. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Nor do I frown upon any “New Year” positive resolution that’s made. But I challenge you to try it differently. Reaching daily goals and learning to live in each moment has been beneficial to me and my family in so many ways. I accomplish more, and do better on a “short term” (daily) basis, as opposed to setting my goals on a “year’s term”. 

I make goals often. Some of them may seem trivial or even silly to others. God’s word offers me a great source for “self-pep talks” on my way to achieving them. His word encourages me to remain steadfast and determined.

I want to live a life of Joy, Grace and of complete fulfillment in Him. And I want it on a daily and momentarily basis.

Life’s way too short and can change too suddenly. My plans become altered. My goals often shift. Life can have set backs and come at us with many twists and turns. We have all experienced failed attempts and less than great moments, as we strive to achieve our goals or just doing life.

But…Just as suddenly, life can bring great triumphs, unexpected victories, and positive results from our perseverance, and eternal rewards from our experiences and encounters.

So, I face each moment, each day, each test, trial, triumph, and New Year…the same way.

With One focus.

And One goal.

To be better than I was yesterday. To be kinder, wiser, more compassionate, more selfless, more giving. To be a better wife, a better mom and a better person. My “lifetime resolution” is to be more like Christ. Every moment is a lesson I can learn from. Every connection made is a gift to practice being more like Him. Every opportunity given, is an opportunity that I never want to miss…sharing His love. Every breath I take…is a gift.

So, maybe I am a “resolution kind of girl” after all. It’s just that my resolution doesn’t come forth only at the New Year.  I want to live with a resolution (with intention, a plan, a conscious decision, with aim, a commitment, and a promise) Every. Single. Day.

When I fail…and I do. I get back up, I refocus, I stay close to His word and cling to His promises. I choose Joy in the hard times, and claim His strengths in my weaknesses. I thank Him often and praise Him for each day that He’s given. I choose to move forward, when life at times, can seem at a standstill.

No matter your struggle, or your current situation, you can do the saimg_7629-1me. Make a resolution. Maybe, make it differently…

Choose one focus.

Choose one goal.

Choose to live a life as a reflection of Him.

Do it daily!

With this kind of resolution, I have experienced the most success as I have grown in Him.

And I will continue with this kind of intent, as long as I have breath.

I Have Been Inspired

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I have been inspired and therefore, I want to live as an inspiration to others.

I don’t want to fear life’s challenges, I want them to build me up and make me stronger.

I’m over trying to be perfect, it means much more for others to see how I deal with my imperfections.

I don’t want to live my life ordinarily, I seek God daily to use me extraordinarily.

I know the things I hold in my hands are temporary and what I hold in my heart is forever.

I’m thankful to be filled with Gods peace and joy, I want others to trust God and have hope as I do.

I embrace my story, because I know it’s been written for me to share with others.

Life is better when I am happy, but it’s the greatest when those around me are even happier.

Some of the smallest steps I’ve taken in the right direction, have been my life’s biggest moments.

The absolute hardest times in my life have strengthened my relationship with the Lord, they did not break me.

My greatest challenges were those out of my comfort zone, where I’ve had to fully rely on Him.

I will forever be grateful for Gods amazing gift of mercy and grace, for I have been saved by them both.

I know today will never come again, so I choose to be of encouragement to others, a friend and a blessing.

I struggle with insecurities, but I’m thankful to personally know who holds me securely.

I want to live my life today to change someone else’s tomorrow.

I have been inspired and therefore, I want to live as an inspiration to others.

If a door opens…make sure to use a door stopper!

Have you ever encountered a door that opened up for you right in the midst of searching or praying for one?  What about a door that opened in a direction that you had never thought of going? Sometimes…God clearly opens them…just for us!

If a door opens…make sure to use a door stopper!  It’s important not to walk through or shut a door prematurely. Take the time to examine the source of who opened it. Carefully evaluate if it’s in your best interest before you step forward. Sometimes it only appears to be.

Doors can open easily if we are too anxious and looking for ANY opportunity. And sometimes, we just want to flee our current situation. Be careful not to move too quickly, it may not be according to Gods plan.

door

The great news is…God truly does open doors for us! He also gives us wisdom on which ones we should quickly close. The easiest way to determine what to do when a door has opened, is to use a door stopper…and pray!

If you weren’t praying before the door opened, you should surely be praying when it does. You don’t want to step in a direction that is unknown, before seeking the Lord.

I have walked through opened doors in my past without using a door stopper. I was anxiously looking for the next best thing, or an answer to something, but I wasn’t seeking the Lord in my current circumstance. Those are the doors that I can look back on now, and see where I stumbled. I fell through them unprepared and without evaluating what was ahead of me. I just jumped through…ready for whatever was next. And what was next…took me in directions and places I shouldn’t have been.

My greatest moments in life (kingdom building and life changing opportunities) have been through the doors that were opened directly by Him. Just because they were opened by Him doesn’t mean I didn’t step through them cautiously. Some have totally been out of my comfort zone and have pushed me to places I had never imagined. But knowing that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” has motivated me to move through doors I may not have on my own. The most effective doors I’ve walked through, have been the ones I was uncertain about. I moved through them out of obedience to Him. Knowing that when “The Lord opens the door, no one is able to shut it.”  These kind of doors bring the greatest rewards. So, pray for them…

I am there once again…A door has recently crept open for me. I hadn’t been praying for this one. So, I have used a door stopper. I am praying and searching again now, for His direction. He has never failed me. I’m pretty sure I’ll know when and how to step, as long as I continue to seek Him.

Is there a door you need opened in your current situation? Have you been praying for God’s direction? If not, I suggest you seek Him first. And then, use a door stopper before you walk through. I guarantee that your greatest life moments, will be through the doors that He has prepared for you!

And then…Walk Boldly!

Revelation 3:8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

 

When Storms Come

Have you ever been in the middle of a storm? With it raging all around you? Where there is no clarity or feelings of peace? I have. And guess what? It’s been more than once, even more than twice. Let’s just say, I’ve experienced my share of storms…and so will you.

Sometimes the storms we face come on fast and strong, then seem to quickly pass and fade away. When things clear up, our outlook on life is often brighter and we have learned something from our storm to use in our future. Just be careful not to hang onto that last drop of rain, doubting that the storm has really ended or never learning anything from it.

Then at other times, the storm we are in the midst of, intensifies over a period of time and reaches a climax that seems unbearable to us. As the winds howl and things continue to pour down, we can completely loose our focus and even our footing. We try to make sense of our waves of emotions and we rely too much on ourselves to weather the storm out.

Whether it’s a thunder storm that we’ve anticipated and been able to plan for, or the dreaded torrential down pouring that happens without warning in our life…our God remains the same and He has the power to calm all of them! Our anchor has to be secured through Him alone.

If you happen to be in any kind of storm right now (big or little) Remember, that He is the only anchor that will hold. He is sure, certain and safe. He (our anchor and our hope) is steadfast, firm and reliable.

It is not in our own confidence that anchors our soul, but the sure reality and belief that Gods promises for us are true. This is our anchor. And this is what we are to lay hold of when our feet may begin to stumble or wander within our storm.

When we put our trust in Christ, our eternal hope, we can make it through any storm that may come our way.

How do we lay hold of something, when we are drenched in the middle of uncertainty? 

I too am practicing this…but here are 5 things that have helped me in the midst of the many storms I have faced and am still learning from.

1. Read your bible! You have to know without certainty that your hope is in the eternal presence of God.

2. Pray! Ask God to open your mind and heart to hope in Him alone.

3. Remember how much Christ has suffered for you and your hope. (Wow… what an anchor right?)

4. Praise Him throughout the storm no matter what. Give Him praise for His Faithfulness, Strength, Wisdom, Mercy and Grace.

5. Think about other Christians (family & friends) who have weathered their storms holding onto their hope in Jesus. Lift up and encourage others. Share your testimony of faithfulness during and after your own storms.

May I suggest you start here:

Mathew 7:24-27 -Christ our solid rock

Hebrews 6:19 -Hope an anchor for our soul 

Colossians 2:5 -He is with you

Psalm 107:28-31 and Matthew 8:26 -He calmed the storm

Nahum 1:7 -The Lord is good

 

It is what it is…but it really isn’t!

it is what it is

I have definitely said that at times. And in many cases, it has helped me to process whatever it is that has been presented to me or someone I love…a little better.

The easiest way for me to deal with something out of my control is to think “it is what it is.”   

But guess what?  It really isn’t!

It isn’t what has been presented or what I may see it as.  And it never will be!  

It’s completely fine to think “It is what it is” if in our hearts we can know that “it really isn’t.”

Situations beyond my control become a little more bearable and understandable (I didn’t say they were easier) when I take the next step and fully trust God and cling to His eternal hope.  I have learned to accept that God is the only one who sees what really is.

He is the only one who understands all the details of the masterpiece He is creating with our lives. And God uses every “it is what it is” moment that we face. He uses our every pain and our deepest hurts.

When we look to Him we can make more sense out of something that seems so senseless. We can cling to the promise that His plan is far greater for our lives than we could ever comprehend. We can move forward knowing that everything out of our hands is really in the best hands ever! 

His plan is far too complex for any of our knowledge. It is much too beautiful for our eyes to visualize.  Our broken hearts could never grasp how all the pieces will perfectly be mended together one day. How He works things out for our good will always be far beyond what our minds can understand. 

But He is working!

And what IS really ISN’T.

Learn to trust Him with ALL of lifes moments.

Open your heart, mind and soul to Him.

Remember “It is what it is…but it really isn’t.”