3 Attributes of the Truly Wealthy – Write 31:Day 31

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A Generous heart will yield infinitely greater riches than those given. The gift you will receive is far more valuable than anything you could ever desire. {Ecclesiastes 11:1}

I want to be rich

You too?  I thought so. Who doesn’t?

Did you know that you have everything you need to become very wealthy? You came equipped with all that is necessary, a never ending supply of exactly what you need.

Reaching for that goal only requires these 3 things:

a Heart for others

Time to give of yourself

Words of encouragement 

How, you may ask, will those 3 things make me rich, and what do you mean I have a never ending supply?

The kind of wealthy that I am talking about is not the type that fills your pockets and bank accounts with unlimited resources, although that is sometimes a by-product. I am talking about the kind of generosity that is so immensely fulfilling that you can’t help but feel as though you have been given everything you could ever want.

Truly Rich

If you asked anyone who knows me, they would probably tell you that I am generous; with time, talents and even sometimes my resources.  But I often wonder if I am being lavish with the type of open-handedness that God offers? Or instead, am I expecting something in return? A payback maybe?

  • Praise?
  • Recognition?
  • A donation receipt?

It’s not that I think these things are bad. There is nothing wrong with someone being grateful for a ride that you have offered them, or with receiving recognition for going the extra mile at church.  And having those extra deductions at the end of the year? -Definitely helps to our bottom line.

But is that all there is?

Has the receiving become something expected?

I often wonder if my motives are as pure as I would like them to be.  There are almost always kudos as a result of giving, but it all comes down to the expectations that we hold in our hearts as we take up the call to give generously.

Cultivating a generous life takes us from self, and gives us to others. It reminds us of the joy that we can impart and as a result grow the joy within our own hearts. It is the difference between living a full life, and living life full.

Generous living shows the immense love that God has – for us and them. His love becomes real as we offer hope in their circumstance. They see His heart when we speak encouraging words into their life. They will know of His provision when we offer a portion of our own.

The result? For us and them…

Lavish love

Abundant blessing

And a heart teeming with life

You can’t out give God.

I won’t promise that your bank account will grow as your giving does, but I can promise you the abundant wealth of joy, love and all the riches of a life of GENEROSITY.

2generousDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. The winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the GENEROUS picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

 

 

The Wisdom of the Elves – Write 31:Day 30

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If you Listen closely, you can hear the whisper of your soul. That is the voice of God speaking to you. Pay attention – His words are life! {Deuteronomy 13:4}

The world is changed

I feel it in the water

I feel it in the earth

I smell it in the air

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

Okay – my geek is showing 🙂 I just returned from a Lord of the Rings Marathon, and I am filled with the melodies of its amazing soundtracks. As I thought this morning about what I was going to write for the word LISTEN, Galadriel came most readily to mind. Her prologue into this amazing story is not only haunting, but intuitive., and full of wisdom. (watch the short video clip above if you don’t know what I am talking about – all of you who have managed to avoid the power of the one ring 😉 She listens to the sounds of the earth and the reverberations of her spirit. She listens closely – and therefore sees and hears and feels what many others do not.

Are you listening?

If you listen closely you can hear the whisper of your soul – the murmur of your spirit.

The “voice” of God can manifest itself in so many ways. It can be through the words of a friend or scripture, a particularly memorable dream, or even a great movie or song.

God chooses His delivery creatively through the means that most speak to you.  I am particularly alert in the midst of story and music.  I love to find the deeper meanings hidden within them, draw parallels to my own life and experiences. They are a conduit for me to hear, especially with music, because it is then that my inner ear is most tuned to something beyond the noise happening around me. Sometimes when I need to quiet the talking within, I don some headphones and plug into meaningful music, preferably something without lyrics so that God’s words can enter in between the notes, full and gentle. Caressing my mind and filling my soul.

The prophet Elijah knew this intimately. He was a man prone to highs and lows. Experiencing the presence of God one moment, only to be plunged into fear the next. Does that sound familiar to you at all?  It does me.

There are days that I am so certain of His presence, so sure of His anointing. The highs climb to unfathomable heights. But it doesn’t take much for the enemy to plant a little seed of doubt within me. And sometimes I listen to those as well.

But when I hear the faint whisperings in my heart, like a gentle wind on a mountain top,  I stop and LISTEN. Like Elijah, I look for the presence of God, and when I  hear His whispers, His words of love and presence, HOPE finds a place in my heart.

2listenDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. The winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the LISTEN picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

When your Mountain Tops look more like a Foothill – Write 31:Day 29

believeclick on this picture to download this free pdf

Sometimes it is difficult to believe, but if you ask for help and truly seek with all your heart, you will see the truth clearly. {Mark 9:24}

I am a writer

I am an artist

I am a creative

I can do this

These are the things that I tell myself every morning.

I have to.

If I don’t, the realities of the day can take me from a place of belief to the pits of skepticism in a blink. Life seems to have a way of eroding my resolve as though it were sand on a shoreline. It is my primary reason for getting up at the butt-crack of dawn; to do the things that are most important to me. They have to be done early. Otherwise, I can almost guarantee they won’t happen.

As daily tasks weary my brain and weaken my resolve, I begin to falter in my belief that I can do what I was created to do.  I’ve been given gifts. You’ve been given gifts. Good and perfect gifts from above. BELIEVE it! These things that we have been gifted with should not be taken lightly. They are what will propel us to great heights – to Mountain Top experiences.

But most days, I feel like I am wandering among the foothills instead, unable to find my way past the rocky outcroppings. Life can keep us in those foothills. It can keep us from seeing a way around the rocks. Our own feelings of inadequacy only serve to keep us there wandering.

But if we believe that we have gifts, if we believe that we were made for greatness, if we only BELIEVE that all things are possible through the Giver of those perfect gifts – then those foothills will break way toward the top, taking us ever higher with each step of faith that we take.

I’m ready. How about you?  

I don’t know what kind of gifts God has given you. Maybe you are a writer or an artist like me? Or possibly He has gifted you with a message, encouragement, hospitality or generosity. Whatever it is that has been placed in your life and on your heart, take hold of it. Cultivate it and find the time to share it with the world.

As your foothills break away toward the sloping path

your belief will flourish

and hope will rise

2believeDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the BELIEVE picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

 

The HOSPITALITY of HOPE – Write 31:Day 28

hospitalityclick on this picture to download the free pdf

Hospitality is about sharing your life with someone else. It involves investing time, effort, and yes – sometimes money to help make someone else’s life a bit more beautiful. {James 2:14}

Whenever I imagine  hospitality, I picture food, and tables, and people. Smiling. Giving. Sharing. But never have I thought about what the one who is giving, receives. That in that giving, what is accepted in return is a sense of wholeness, contentment, and hope that gives pause to days that would otherwise consist of self.

I’ve spent time with a friend over the last year and a half, learning what it is to hope. Seeing evidence of true gratitude and love. How it works, the living in tandem with pain and ultimate sacrifice. Her journey with cancer has shown me what hospitality is all about and how that exists between the true guest and host.

You see, I feel like a guest in her life’s journey; an outsider that is receiving but a glimpse of something that I might not ever experience otherwise.

I hear the stories of both family past and present, the love they have shared and do share, and the sacrifices that each is willing to make through the everyday experiences. Not only in the face of this pain and this trial that has become their reality, but also the setting aside of self in order to make the dreams and realities of the other just a little bit easier.

And I feel gratitude for the hospitality of this HOPE that she has imparted to me. This learning that I have been witness to, for it is with a generosity that she shares what truly belongs to only her: pain, love, truth, dreams, and hope…always hope.

I am thankful to have been a guest within the authenticity of her life and to have been witness to all the things that we, “the healthy” often miss in our busyness.  Sometimes we need to be derailed in order to hear and see and feel what we have been missing all along – the HOPE that HOSPITALITY can offer.

2hospitalityDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the HOSPITALITY picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

you ARE a Creative- Write 31:Day 27

faithFaith is just about knowing something unknowable. It is acting upon that belief to affect the outcome of each and every moment of your life. {2 Peter 1:5-6}

I love beautiful things

I’ll bet you do too

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be an artist, to create beauty in my little corner of creation. My younger self had no problem saying it: I want to be an artist.  But as I “grew up” the expectations of others squelched that desire; that dream.

Reflecting back now, I see that everything I chose to do from raising kids,  day jobs, hobbies and even holidays, was filled with creativity. That longing to be an artist that I thought I left behind?  It simply manifested itself in other ways.

Creativity is foundational to life. We are made in the Creator’s image – it is who we are.

This means you too!

Painting a picture may not be your thing, or sculpting, or any of those other “artsy” activities that people relate with being an artist.

But I’ll bet you have had to stretch time creatively in order to spend an extra moment with a friend. Or maybe you have had to be creative with the budget or groceries in your cabinet just to make ends meet and feed your family.  You can even creatively manage your to-do list so that the most important things in life don’t get left in the dust.

Whether you realize it or not,

you ARE a creative

I’ll bet you’re saying: “But today’s picture is about Faith. What does that have to do with creativity?”

FAITH is about knowing something unknowable.

But it isn’t just that. It is acting upon that belief. Taking it from knowing to doing. You can have faith in an unseen God, but until you step out the door and discover something about what He has created, you will never really know His heart.

As you put feet to the floor every morning, the reality of His creativity is all around you.

Everything you touch.

Everything you see.

All that you encounter with each step forward.

 

It is all a window into seeing the heart of God – experiencing His goodness: all that He has prepared for you to see and touch and do.

Thinking creatively about faith is about exploring the heart of God, stepping into His process of forming beauty, and then loving what has come from it. He created you, and me, and life, and all the beauty that we see in the world. And it is there, that beauty. Can you see it?

It can be difficult I admit. But it is a choice that we each have to make. The process of seeing beauty in everything connects us to the heart of the Creator. It brings us closer to seeing what He sees, and loving what He loves. It is in that precise moment, the moment that you see beauty in something otherwise not, that His heart is revealed.

Then you will see HOPE.

Then you will see love.

Then you will see a FAITH that is bound by something real and knowable.

Do you want to affect each and every moment of your life? Start by looking at your FAITH creatively. Do something new. Take a picture of anything, and find the beauty in it. Step out of your door and explore the world created for you, and respond with your own form of creativity.

I’ll be walking too.

And hopefully, one day, we will meet along that path to share what we have learned with each other.

2faithDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the CHOICES picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

When a CHOICE looks a whole lot like pain – Write 31:Day 26

choicesclick on the picture to download this free coloring page

The Choices that we face each day are boundless. God sets before us the good and bad, the moral and immoral. It is up to us to use wisdom in all of our decisions. {Deuteronomy 30:19-20}

A migraine greeted my weary brain this morning.

It doesn’t happen a lot, but often enough that I shrink back into myself knowing what I will face the remainder of the day. Pain. My hearing is acute in those moments. Every sound amplified as though a clanging cymbal. And I hear puppy whines.

I choose retreat. RETREAT!

But retreat only means temporary relief, and then only if I am able to fall back asleep. Attending to their little puppy needs this morning will be hard at first, but ultimately they will settle, and I can go back to feeling sorry for myself J This I reason with myself, eyes half closed and head slowly emerging from beneath the covers.

Sighing resolutely, my feet find carpet and I begin the long trek down with nothing more than a HOPE that the clanging symbols would resume their quiet countenance. After a flurry of activity I finally fling my body down into a chair like a wrung out rag drained of everything that gives life. Too early to be feeling this way, but I had made my choice.

Every moment of every day comes with choices.

Some are insignificant and don’t require a whole lot of thought, like waking up in the morning.  (Unless of course it is with a migraine 🙂 But others can require wisdom- and often the kind that we are not readily privy to, or don’t consider when making those choices. Each season comes with its own challenges, some physical, but more so emotional/spiritual.

We have to choose what to believe, who to listen to, how to react. And it isn’t always easy –these choices. Sometimes doing what’s right is the hardest thing you will ever do. The thing is, life is full of difficult choices.  One’s that we don’t necessarily want to make because we know that they will be painful.

Are they the right ones? That can only be decided by you and God.

Making these choices alone certainly eases the burden we can feel to do what is right, we simply follow our emotions. But in doing that, there will always be a question mark at the end. Did I make the right decision?

Trusting how we feel about something can be dangerous

– for me anyway.

My red-headedness has gotten me into trouble more than once, and I have learned way too many lessons the hard way. So – being determined to stop having to learn them, I don’t trust my emotions any longer.

I ask for help.

The God of infinite wisdom sees the result of every choice before they have even been made. He knows what will happen from the beginning to the end, and He can clearly see the best pathway to take. Asking to see through His worldwide lens gives us the best perspective. One that sees through the ages.

And you certainly can’t argue with that!

2choicesDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the CHOICES picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!

It’s a Bittersweet Symphony -this LIFE Write 31:Day 25

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links at the bottom

Joy is often the result of a difficult experience. Without adversity, would we truly know the goodness of God? {Psalm 51:8}

My ankle throbs as it sits upon a pillow.

This rude interruption of life

I glance at a list sitting on the side table and shake my head. Nope, not today.  And I sigh. I had so many plans, things that needed to get done, orders that had to be sent out. All the things that I had procrastinated about now shifted to the back burner. Now there is a different plan, one that includes a sore butt to go with the sore ankle.

Consider it pure joy

I roll my eyes as the words flash quickly through my inner vision. Joy and pain. Do they really exist in tandem? My heart catches on the word consider. Consider. Not: it is, or you must – simply:consider it.

A little word research reveals this:

Think carefully about, typically before making a decision

Think about and be drawn toward a course of action

Regard something as having a specified quality

It isn’t demanding. Consider is a verb, a course of action. Something that we have a choice about and must decide which way to take.

Pain

Joy

Given just the two words I would choose joy, but the joy cannot be given, in this instance, without the pain.

They come as a package deal.

And doesn’t so much of life?  Our first instinct is to only feel the pain, but it is in the midst of pain that we can choose the response, to choose differently than the rest of the world. To set ourselves apart from the thrum of society, that takes and dishes, moans and complains and gnashes their teeth. We can choose to live in the immediate hell, or the joy of a Holy God before us.

We can choose the way of Jesus.

Joy is pure emotion – and aren’t we emotional beings?

A bit more word search tells me that it is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

What if the joy that James was talking about is something that is available to us? Not a demand, but a request to seek what you desire instead of wallowing in what you’ve been given. To seek well-being, success, good fortune. We all have desires, but will they come to anything if we choose instead misery?

Trials will come. Jesus said it – but did He even need to?  I don’t know about you but I feel it. Sometimes every day. And there are times that I wallow in that misery. But all that accomplishes is to make everyone else around me miserable (misery loves company – yes?) And then their misery makes me even more so. Do you see the pattern?

JOY on the other hand, has the power to uplift and inspire HOPE.

James knew what he was talking about when his request was to consider joy. A trial faced with an attitude of joy encourages perseverance which will ultimately lead to fullness of life. The waves will still crash, but our heads will stay above the waterline. Life is found above those waves, and in their breaking, so are we. And what is left is what we should have looked for all along.

But it all begins with considering JOY, and then living it through.

2joyDid you like this post? Please consider sharing it with a friend.  Post it on your facebook page, twitter feed, pinterest, or post your colored picture on instagram…where ever you think someone can use a little HOPE.

As a little added bonus: All comments on the write 31 days posts will be entered to win all of the colored cards for this series. These are colored by hand (by me :)and ready to give. Winner will be announced in November. Good luck 🙂

Don’t forget to click on the picture at the top of the page to download the pdf version of the JOY picture.  Color it and share, or enjoy for yourself.

God bless your day!