To The Little Girl

To the little girl in the photo:

Life will give you many twists and turns. The ride will sometimes be smooth and other times will be bumpy. You will face things that you never expected. You’ll learn that not everyone is who they appear. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll scream. You’ll stand up and stand firm. You will make mistakes. Lots of them. You’ll be shown mercy. Lots of it. God will be the one constant. He will be the only ONE who will never let you down. He’s the only ONE capable of that for anyone. You will face fears and you’ll face things that some will never know about. You’ll love big. You will be blessed so much. God will give you so many gifts. Life will reveal things that you never imagined. You will realize again and again that you are never the ONE that is in control. You will have moments of frustration. You will experience depression and anxiety. You will think it’s a secret to keep. You will speak up and be transparent. You will realize that life throws the twists and turns and that sometimes you will struggle. You’ll speak up and be bold. You will share pieces of your testimony at the right times. The times that God leads you to do so. You’ll share your struggles because you know the things you experience can help someone else. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll soar. You’ll fly. You will struggle with the deep thoughts and you’ll keep sharing. This is why you are here. Little girl. You keep going. Keep striving. Keep leaning. Keep standing. Your FATHER is always by your side.

Love,

Me

The ME God Sees

Nya didn't think she was worthy. But JESUS loves her and she came to believe that on this day.
Nya didn’t think she was worthy. But JESUS loves her and she came to believe that on this day.

When did I grow up? I’m pretty sure that I still think I’m like 20 something. Until I look in the mirror. Or wake up with an ache. Or somebody that must be not much younger than me says “Mrs. Heather” or “yes ma’am.” Maybe it’s because in my 40s (41 to be exact), I’m learning to like me. Learning to slow down. Learning to breathe.

Maybe it’s because 41 is honestly better feeling than 25 or 29 or even 35. I’m okay with the bad hair days. I’m okay with the lines .. Well, I’m better than I was at 38 about them. I’m good with whatever you think of me now. More so than I was in my 20s or 30s. I have gained wisdom and life experiences by the grace of God. I’m realizing the beauty of God’s love. I have experienced HIS grace and that is beautiful. I have experienced raw grief and felt HIS LOVE so strong. A love that truly did and does the same for me as HE did for David in the Psalms. A love that lifts me out of the miry pit. A love that restores, renews, and refreshes.

I’m learning to love me because Jesus does.

It’s a process. Learning to embrace ME. The ME God sees.   I mean think about it. {Insert yourself into the ME statements.}

JESUS knows me. The REAL me. AND. HE still loves me!

How awesome is that?!?! Pretty awesome if you ask me. I mean come on. I know I am hard to love at times. Aren’t we all? You know what? That same love that HE has for me, HE has for you. He loves you, the real you, the you that HE created you to be.

He loves you just the way that you are. You don’t have to get all fixed up in order to impress HIM. He made you. God knows exactly what you are capable of through JESUS. In fact, you can’t fix yourself up in your own strength without him. He already knows every single thing about you. AND He loves you still.

His love is deep. His love is wide. His love is grace-filled. Grace upon grace upon even more grace. His love never ends. His love never fails. His love never runs out. His mercies are abundant. He loves you and me more than we could ever even fathom. It is a miraculous love. A true love. A love without borders. One that cannot be matched by any other.

  If you are feeling sad or unworthy or unloved, think for a moment about “The ME GOD sees”. Stop focusing on the negative. And then, believe that YOU are worth it.

You ARE loved. (Read that again.)

20121214-205458.jpg HE loved you so much that HE willingly went to the cross. For you and for me.

It says that even in our sins, he loved us.

Enough so that he let them wrongly accuse him, mock him, call him names, beat him, spit on him, strip him of his clothes, publicly humiliate him,make him carry a heavy cross, hammer very large nails into his body, and hang him up on that cross.

Then, those moments of complete separation from God the Father before he died. ( You can read about it in Matthew 26 and Matthew 27) And then…oh praise GOD! Three days later HE AROSE! HE IS RISEN. HE lives. HE loves, and HE will come again.

But that’s not all. HE didn’t just go to HEAVEN and leave us. HE lives in each one who follows him and believes in HIM. Sound like a fairy-tale? It’s not. The love of JESUS is evident in those who are HIS. In those who are surrendered to HIM. (John 14:1-4,6 see below in Relevant Scripture)

Through HIM alone, we are able to love others. God is love. Period.

heatherdawkins.com
heatherdawkins.com

                                                                                    REFLECTION

Oh friends, I have to ask…

DO you know HIM? Does HE know YOU?

We aren’t promised the next breath..much less, tomorrow. If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, what are you waiting for? I don’t care what you have been told or led to believe. JESUS CHRIST loves you and desires a real relationship with you. It isn’t complicated. If HE is whispering to you..If you feel a pull or a curiosity and want to know more, please don’t wait. There is freedom and peace and a joy like you have never known that can only be found in a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking that you aren’t worthy of the love that Jesus so freely offers you.

He loves you. God sees you. He sees the YOU that HE created.

To my friends who do know HIM:

Are you living like you believe that HE LOVES YOU? He does.

The ME (you) God sees. That ME (you) is loved. Treasured. Precious. Worthy. 

heatherdawkins.com
heatherdawkins.com

                                                                              RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

John 14:1-4 (NIV) ~ “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:6 (NIV) ~ Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

1 John 4:10 (NIV) ~ This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Psalm 40:2 (NLT) ~ He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

1 John 4:19 (NLT) ~ We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:8 (NLT) ~ But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.


LINKING UP with 3-D Lessons for Life on Thought-Provoking Thursday

Until Next Time,

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Hidden Away No Longer

Hidden Away No Longer

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{Let me preface this post with this…I originally wrote the main part of this post 2 days before God spoke to me through the obedient vessels who are my sweet sisters in Christ. (they know who they are). If you don’t believe that God still speaks to you through others and by The power of The Holy Spirit, well that’s your opinion. Because I’m here to tell ya that HE STILL DOES. AND, the very SAME POWER that conquered the grave lives in those who know HIM personally. HE still speaks. HE still moves. GOD still answers prayers. HE is the same today as HE was yesterday and tomorrow HE WILL NOT CHANGE. }

I have these dreams. I allow myself to believe that I can achieve them. Then I allow myself to believe that I cannot achieve them.

It’s crazy really.

I have faith. Then I let doubt take over.

I profess that “I’m really gonna do ____ ”
Then I hide the dreams calling. Hidden away for a little bit longer.

And then there’s the things that I don’t know the answers to yet that puzzle me. They freeze me in my tracks at times. When I don’t know exactly what is next and I want to know. What do I do next? I do the next right thing. I do. I go. That is what we are called to do. The next right thing that brings God glory. Doesn’t have to be big. Doesn’t have to stand out.

The thing is, I’m not promised tomorrow. You aren’t either..and if you’ve lost a loved one you know this truth all too well. And if I don’t start acting I may miss out on a blessing that comes with obedience. Not only that, I may miss out on allowing God to use me to be a blessing to someone else. Same goes for you too.

The dreams aren’t really all that far-fetched. I’ve even spoken them out loud. I’ve had others ask when I’m going to _____…

I know I’m supposed to. I know the steps to take.

What’s stopping me?

Me. Just me. I’m stopping me.

AND IT IS TIME TO STOP.


 HIDDEN AWAY NO LONGER

 If I don’t step out in faith and do whatever HE asks of me then I will grieve HIM.  When we know what we are supposed to do and we choose to not obey, we are being disobedient or rebellious. That is sin. Sin grieves The Holy Spirit. I don’t want to grieve him. Grief is a terrible feeling. I want my life to look radical, obedient, and for others to see Jesus when they look at me. {don’t let me fool ya…it is scary just typing that sentence out.}

That is a prayer that I have prayed for many years now. Some days I fail HIM. His mercy remains through it all.

Jesus suffered. Jesus was selfless. Jesus was a servant. So if you choose to pray the same prayer as me, remember what you are praying for and adjust your attitude accordingly. {because I sure have to adjust mine as well}

I long to walk in the path that HE has called me to. I know that HE is calling. He has used sisters in Christ to give me HIS message. There is really nothing more beautiful than being prayed over and feeling The Holy Spirit and hearing HIS message through the obedience of Godly women. 

It really is a true picture of just how much Jesus loves us. That HE cares enough to speak to us if we will just open ourselves up to it. It is a picture of grace and mercy and patience in the way that God will give you the SAME message from more than one person. How generous and patient my God is. He knows I’m a hardheaded soul. But HE loves me. He loves you too.

I’m stepping out of that box sister. You told me that I had to because God told you. I’m stepping out. Trusting HIM to hold my hand and the walls are torn down my sweet friends. Thank you for your obedience. God is so good.

FAITH >FEARS


REFLECTION

What about you?

Have any dreams?

Anything that you feel that you should be doing in order for God to receive the glory?

What’s stopping you?

Do you know Jesus and does HE know you?

Is it time to take that next step of faith?

Is your faith bigger than your fears? 


RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

Luke 11:28 ~ Jesus replied. “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

 

Ephesians 3:20 ~ Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Hebrews 3:19 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


Until Next Time,

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Thankful Thursdays ~ October 18th

Do I have some things to share with you!! 🙂

You know that book that I was telling you about last Thursday? One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp… Well, it has truly inspired me to be even more thankful.

Thankful..Grateful..for even the not so good things. It’s becoming a habit..a positive change by choice, to count it all joy. Sometimes it takes longer, but I eventually get around to it.

 

 Like…on my gratitude list..

#32 clean sheets for when the puppy decided to tinkle on Alden’s sheets

#77 being able to be honest with God about my feelings (when I am not loving a situation, etc..when I don’t feel like joy is possible..)

#58 not losing my temper when Marleigh (the puppy) chewed my daughter’s bottom retainer.

#59 only the bottom retainer was chewed up

#60 if the bottom retainer is too expensive to replace right now, at least it is the bottom retainer.. 🙂

 

Those are all things that I would have gotten angry and frustrated about before. Yet, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS and looking for JOY in every single thing is changing me. Changing me for the good!

 

Every GOOD thing comes from GOD.

 

James 1:17 (NLT) ~ Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

 

GOD is good. God is love.

 

AND...the truth is, that good can be found in everything that God created. Every single day is a gift. The yuck..it can even be made into something good and useful..to glorify God.

 

Romans 8:28 (NLT) ~ And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

 

 Will you choose to see the beauty in everything with me? Will you try to count it all joy? Will you begin..right now..by naming just THREE things that you are thankful for today. In this moment. Look around and be thankful.

 

 Philippians 4:4 (NLT) ~ Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!

 

Deuteronomy 28 :47,48 ~ If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything.

 Will you?

 

For me..right now in this very moment, I am thankful for:

1) Coming home from the gym and finding a card from my husband that expressed his love for me. AND, he shared the beginning of his list of 1000 gifts with me.

 

2) A clean and organized laundry room..Thanks to a selfless best friend that gave of herself…

 

 

 

 

3) memories…that I can remember times gone by..good and bad ones..because it is important to remember. To grow and be thankful and move forward..

     

   

 

 

 

 

 ( The thing is..I don’t even know if I  realized at the time..that these were moments to be counted all joy.. these memories..time flies, slow down and count them ALL..All of the moments count.)

 

 

 

Thankful for each one of you!

 

Until Next Time,

 

 

HE Is Holding My Hand

 

 

Sometimes, I regress.

There are days that I find myself crawling back to my little comfort zone. The one that wants to just hide out from the rest of the world. The one that held me captive for many years.

The place where I am safe from rejection. Safe from criticism. Safe from being uncomfortable.

 And, I wonder:  WHY do I do this? 

Then, it hits me. That is just the enemy trying to pull me down.

I remember that moment when God called me to surrender. To start living completely for Him and to quit allowing myself to feel like I am not capable.

See, THE same power that conquered death on the cross, lives IN ME.

I forget that sometimes. That HE is holding my hand.

I have JESUS with me at all times. So, I rest in the fact that even on the days that I don’t feel capable. Even on the days when I feel defeated..that The Holy Spirit…Jesus..God..is with me. He never leaves. He never gives up. His love never changes. He can’t love me any more or any less than HE already does. That, my friends is FACT. That, my friends is HOPE.

 

 Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

 So, I ask you… Are you hiding out? Are you living in chains?

   That’s not really living, by the way. 

There is freedom in stepping out of your comfort zone.

There is true freedom and peace in resting in THE ONE who always loves “the same”.

There is peace in realizing that you don’t have to “fit in” with everybody else.

When you realize that you don’t have to live your life “pleasing” people, the chains fall off. When you are able to rest in the fact that pleasing God is of most importance…self starts to take a back seat and the insecurities stop mattering so much. (Face it..we all have insecurities.) Our insecurities can’t be an excuse for our disobedience. Not if we are authentic Christians. 

 

 Who are you trying to please? What do you need to release? 

 Galatians 1: 10 (NLT) ~ Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

 

 Until Next Time,

PEACE In The Midst Of A Storm

 

 

Peace in the midst of a storm.

Sounds impossible. A storm is anything but peaceful. Storms rage.

Yet, PEACE, gives feelings of calm. So, how in the world can you really be at peace in the midst of a storm? Maybe you are in a storm right now and you don’t feel the peace that I am referring to. Maybe you do feel it.

It IS possible. I am here to tell you. That PEACE comes from having a real relationship with Father God.

Storms are a fact of life. We ALL face hard times. We all go through difficult circumstances. Some are caused by poor choices. Some are a result of someone elses poor choices. Then there are those difficult things that we have NO idea why they happen…they JUST happen.

God is there. He is available in the storm. He is the life-preserver that we have to hold on to. He is the ONLY source of true PEACE.

I have been in the midst of many different storms. Some have been little. Some have been very large. Some lasted only for a minute. Others lasted a lot longer. None of them were pleasant. I won’t pretend that I like the difficult times. I won’t pretend that I have always understood the reasons behind them, either.

News flash! There will be more difficult times…

I do know this….God brought GOOD out of every single storm that He allowed in my life. ALL of the difficult times “grew me“..made me more mature in my spiritual walk. All of the tough times taught me something. Every single experience brought me closer to my Heavenly Father. If not for the storms, I wouldn’t be me. You wouldn’t be you.

We are each responsible for the way we react to the storms of life. We get to choose God. We get to choose to bridle our tongue and guard our actions or (reactions). We get to choose Peace.

When you are walking with God, not in front of Him..but, WITH HIM….that is when you feel that Peace that is referred to in Scripture.

Philippians 4:6,7 (ESV) ~ do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 57 :1 (ESV) ~ Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

 

 

I hope you…whoever you are, reading this post…know Jesus. Really and truly Know Him. I hope you know that awesome feeling that is referred to in Philippians 4:6 & 7. It really is possible.

I have missed getting to sit down and share with you all. I hope you know that even when I am not actually writing…I am writing in my head. 🙂 I believe that God allows me the time to write..when He wants me to share something with you all. Sure, I could easily just write something every single day..if this blog was for me. It’s not for me though..I hope each post brings God glory and each one of you a bit of comfort or even conviction. Blessings and of course..Peace is my wish for you..

Until Next Time,

 

MAKING IT THROUGH THE FOG

Fog in the mountains of Maine

  Here in South Georgia, it was an extremely foggy morning! I could barely see two car lengths in front of me as I was driving this morning. I had to really focus on the road and also on my surroundings.

   It’s not that I don’t normally focus on the road, but because I could only see what was right in front of me…  I had to be even more focused.

   I didn’t pull off on the side of the road and wait for the fog to lift.

   I didn’t drive as fast as I normally would.

   I didn’t freak out because I could barely see.

   I kept going. Slower than I normally would. Bright lights on. Radio off. Focusing on what was right in front of me.

   Aware. Intentional. Focused.

   Life is filled with foggy times. Those are the times when we can choose to FOCUS on GOD or freak out and shut down.

   Isaiah 12:2 (NIV) ~ Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

 

   God is always available. HE is always present. We have the choice to truly look to Him as our Sustainer and our Provider. He never changes. God never moves away from us. Even when it is so foggy that we can barely see what is in front of us, HE is there.

   Psalm 46:1 (NIV) ~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

 

   Sometimes we just have to look a little harder. Change our focus. Quiet our minds. Remove distractions.

   Realizing that when we stand firm and remain focused and keep going…that we can make it through the fog. Discovering that it isn’t as bad as we thought and that it is clearer on the other side of it. We have to keep moving forward though. We can’t stand still and freeze up out of fear. We have to trust that God IS who He says He is. Provider. Sustainer. Mighty God. Prince of Peace. Sovereign.

   Nahum 1:7 (NIV) ~ The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

   We can’t grow if we are standing in the same place. We can only grow when we trust God and take those steps even when we are scared to death. We can only make it through the fog if we are focused on God. I know because I have been there..I have been in the fog before. The truth is this: Whatever we are focused on is magnified.

   Blessings to you all! May you find comfort in these words.

   Until Next Time,