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

Picture Perfect

Can I speak bluntly for a moment?

Women need to stop wearing masks and stop assuming that everyone else has it all together. We need to be real and transparent and share the good the bad and the ugly. (No, I don’t mean to rant or tell all.. Face it, nobody wants to hear it all) I’m saying share the real you, not just the “highlight reel” or the “photoshopped version”. And we also need to quit comparing what we assume others are to how we think of ourselves.

None of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. Just because we have a great photo that looks like we do..doesn’t mean it’s real. Or maybe it is at that moment. What about after? Is it always picture perfect?

And I’m not saying that a great photoshopped photo is bad! Trust me.. I love them. I’m just saying that if we want to reach other women for Christ, then we might need to let them see that we don’t have it all together all of the time either.

How can one relate to someone that pretends to be perfect? Nobody is perfect. Nobody has it all together. Why do women,especially, believe the lies that we tell ourselves? Why do we compare our wrong thoughts about ourselves to what we assume to be real about another woman?

What if instead of assuming, and comparing, and being prideful, that we were real?

It is a pride issue ladies.

Call it what it is.

You can’t pull a weed from the top and expect it not to grow back. You have to dig deep and pull the weed out at the root.

And I’m not saying that we should vomit negativity. I’m saying that we need to deal with ourselves. Deep digging. Get real with the root. Take off the masks. Stop assuming. Quit comparing. Walk in faith.

Walk in belief.

The belief that God is enough and that he doesn’t make junk.

The belief that not every other woman has it all together.

Yet, if they do have it more together, then what is their secret?

I’ll tell you the secret. It’s found in Philippians. The secret to contentment is belief and faith in Jesus.

Paul found the secret to being content.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)

The truth is that we are all dealing with our own insecurities. Yet, we don’t have to be in bondage to those insecurities. God doesn’t talk to us the way we talk to ourselves. Why do we?!

Faith is the secret.

Faith that Jesus is enough. That Jesus provides all that we need and at just the right time.

And honestly, we as women, need each other.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NLT)

Maybe, just maybe, if we would stop assuming and take off the masks, we would see that we are not all that different.

To me picture perfect is showing the real you.

The real you (or ME) that messes up. Fails daily. That Desperately needs Jesus every single second of every day.

Love,

Heather

How Will It Ever Stop

IMG_5084

Ever been the NEW person?

The only person in the room who doesn’t know anybody?

Ever felt like everyone was staring at you? Judging you?

Ever judged anyone?

Ever been judged?

Fairly or Unfairly?

I think it’s safe to say YES to all the above.

There’s a difference in judging and being wise and making wise choices. We MUST judge situations that we are in and weigh them against THE WORD. We must be wise…But we CAN’T play GOD!

To judge another person based on our opinions is wrong. To judge someone based on our feelings is wrong. To judge someone based on the opinions of others is wrong. To judge someone and label them before we have even given them a chance to show us who they are is wrong.

Matthew 7:2 (NLT) ~ For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

When are we going to stop? Stop judging whether someone is CAPABLE or WORTHY,  in our opinion. How will it ever stop?

It starts with you. It starts with me. One person can make a difference.

The difference between a weed and a flower is what? Perspective and JUDGEMENT.

IMG_1284

Until Next Time,

banner[1] (3)

An Empty Package

What if you got a gift bag and you filled it with pretty tissue paper and put a beautiful bow on the outside?  BUT…you didn’t actually put a present inside the bag. It sure is pretty. Decorated just gorgeous. BUT..it’s empty.

Pretty much a waste isn’t it? What’s the point of it? Would you want that gift?

Now..

In life, we all pretty much do the same thing sometimes. Sure, we look like we have it all together. Hair fixed. Decent outfit. A home with manicured yards (with my house being the exception.. 🙂 ). We all may look like we have it all together.

Five Bibles in the house. “Praying” before each meal. Going to church. You know..doing the “right” things. To look good.

How’s the inside look? See..God looks on the inward appearance.

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) ~ But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man look at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Everybody sees our outward appearance. Only God and (me or you) can see what is on the inside.

Will you take a look on the inside with me? Will you look within..like I am doing..and see what may need to improve with the attitude of the heart?

Otherwise, we are just nicely decorated..empty packages.

I don’t want to be an empty package that just looks like it should. I want to glorify HIM in ALL things. HE sees the inward appearance. We can’t fool HIM.

 

“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

 

 

Questions for you and for me:

1) What are some changes that you may need to make? 

2) How’s your attitude?

3) Do you realize that we can’t fool our God?

 

 

Until Next Time,

Objects In Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

You probably are wondering why in the world I chose the title above. Truth is, I didn’t. In fact, I woke up around 3 A.M. and God gave me this title. So, here we go.

Never say never. The “objects” that you are seeing occur in other people’s lives can very easily occur in yours as well. I had a vision of a mirror with many different words written on it. Picture it with me:

SIN. LOSS. BETRAYAL. HURT. FEAR.

SIN…ADDICTION…IDOLATRY…GREED..GOSSIP…HATRED…SLANDER

ADDICTION…LUST, EXCESSIVE SPENDING, OVEREATING, ALCOHOL ADDICTION, DRUG ADDICTION, PORNOGRAPHY, ADULTERY and the list goes on and on.

The objects in the mirror can be closer than they appear.

 

 

Closer than they appear to you. Closer than they appear to others.

They all are a part of the battle we are in..against Flesh. SPIRITUAL WARFARE. Satan wants us to fail. He wants us to be separated from God.

 

Ephesians 6:11 ~ Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 

Never say never my friends. Always be on guard against the Devil and his schemes. Your mirror may appear to be clean..but is it really?

If there is SIN in your life that you think is “HIDDEN”, you are mistaken. Forgive me for speaking so boldly. It isn’t meant to sound judgemental in any way, shape, or form. I say these things because I truly care. I know what it is to be truly surrendered to God. AND… I know what it is to not be surrendered.

You can say, “Oh, I HAVE surrendered to GOD.” Your actions will prove it though. You know. God knows.

James 2:17 (NIV) ~ In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

 

When you face a trial, do you have true and complete peace in knowing that God really is enough? Do you truly feel that you are filled with Joy that can’t be explained any other way? Are you able to smile when the “world” would tell you to hide and fall apart?

There is a difference. In the way you handle life’s awful storms. When you finally…truly…SURRENDER ALL.

There’s a peace…an Anchor, if you will. To be able to smile and have hope…when before you might have done the opposite. It’s the result of full Surrender.

”  Oh, nobody knows about my “little” sin. ” “It doesn’t hurt anybody but me.” ” I still love God.” ” I am saved, so I can do it and just ask Him to forgive me..I mean..it says He forgives when I ask.”  AND here’s a huge one.. ” I am just too weak.”

Those are all lies. Satan wants you and me to believe those things. The fact is, SIN is anything that separates us from God. Separated.

Separated…think about it. To be apart from…cut off…

I don’t ever want that. I need my Father God. Every minute of every single day.

It is a conscious CHOICE. There is that word again that I seem to use a lot in my posts.

The moment you decide to follow God, the Holy Spirit comes to guide you. Sin that you don’t get rid of is like a wall of heavy stones. The stones are stacked one on top of the other. With each stone the wall gets higher and higher. Each time you CHOOSE sin over righteousness, picture that wall being built that separates you from God. Leaving you miserable and ineffective for His calling on your life. Ineffective only until you SURRENDER to God fully. When you do, you’ll be able to resist the temptations and even laugh at them.. Not because YOU are resisting, but because YOU are allowing God to finally fight your battles!

 

 

Ephesians 5:11 (NIV) ~ Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of the darkness, but rather expose them.

 

Honestly, I would like to write out the entire portion of Ephesians 5…but, instead…just read it if you will..

If you want to truly follow God, you have to make a choice to pick Him over that temptation. God knows we aren’t perfect…and He knows we can’t do life alone. We need HIM. He doesn’t NEED us.

It’s a DAILY CHOICE…minute by minute…second by second… A Daily Walk.

 

Galatians 5:16 ~ So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

 

   I leave you with this last passage of Scripture. Read it …soak on it..and believe it. His Word is Truth..His Word is Alive.

 

1 Peter 5:7-11 ~ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

   Standing Firm!

   Until Next Time,

 

  

 

  

Forgiveness…Even Without An Apology?

   There is a topic that I know we can all relate to. It is one that we all have experienced. Something that is unpleasant at times.

   I have written about it many times. In many different contexts. I don’t know that I have blogged about this aspect of it, though.

   Forgiveness…even without an apology.

   How in the world do you forgive someone if they haven’t apologized?

   How do you do that? Is it even possible?

   Do you have to?

   The answer to “Do you have to?” is …NO. You don’t HAVE to do anything. You can hold a grudge. Be bitter. Let unforgiveness take residence in your mind and soul. OR, you can do for others just as God does for you. YOU CAN FORGIVE. EVERYTHING. ANYTHING.

   HOW?

   Only through having a relationship with GOD. A real one. A consistent one. Praying. Listening to God.

   And then. It is still sometimes difficult. This I know, it can’t be done on your own. It takes the strength that comes from God.

   WHAT IF….?

   Face it. Life isn’t fair. Unfortunately, even Christians hold onto something called PRIDE. Even Christians don’t always do what God calls us to do. Forgive. Pray for those who persecute us. Love your “enemy”. Turn the other cheek. Admit our faults.

   So, how can we really and truly forgive and move on…when the one who hurt us, doesn’t see it? How can we get better when we are holding on to the hurt?

   I can tell you this. God IS the ONLY TRUE SOURCE of PEACE and COMFORT. He IS Forgiveness. He IS Love.

   I can’t tell you that you truly ever quit hurting completely. You may and you may not.  I suppose that is because we struggle with trusting God fully…unfortunately. We just do. We want things “our way”. Or atleast..I know that I do..

   There comes a time when we have to choose to move on. Move on whether or not there is mutual forgiveness. Move on even if the other person NEVER apologizes. Really. Leaving it all in the hands of God. Trusting Him fully. Even when we just don’t understand. Trusting that HIS timing is way different than ours. His ways are completely different than ours…THANK GOODNESS!! 🙂

 

   Ephesians 4:31,32 (NIV) ~ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

   As long as you have truly done what is right in God’s eyes…you can move on. Notice that I didn’t say “what is right in your own eyes”.

 

   Hosea 14:9 (NIV) ~ Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

 

   It really is possible to forgive even when the other person doesn’t. It really is possible to forgive and move forward even when the one who hurt you doesn’t seem to care. See, God does care. He does know the outcome. We simply have to trust Him and do what is right on our end. That is all we can really do.

   In God’s Word, He specifically calls us to forgive. Not just the ones WE want to forgive. (Colossians 3:13)

   There is no better feeling than forgiveness. Think about the times you have hurt others and hurt God…and how you were forgiven by others and God. It is a feeling of relief…right?  That feeling of being forgiven. That feeling of peace.

   It is possible to forgive when you are walking closely with God. It is possible to love others just like Jesus does.

 

   Colossians 3:12 – 14 (NIV) ~ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

   I hope that as we end the year, that we all take a long, hard look within. Is there bitterness we are holding on to? Unforgiveness? Pride? Resentment? Hurt?

  We have to place all of our hope in God. He never lets us down.

   He always forgives. He always forgets.

   We should too.

   What a gift it is…Forgiveness.

   What a gift Jesus was and is…Redeemer..Savior..The Forgiver of our sins..

   What a gift to give someone as the year comes to an end….a wrong being made right. An apology. With no expectations, except to make things right. And, to show them JESUS.

   Life is so short …this life here on this earth. We aren’t promised tomorrow or even the next second. It’s never too late to make a fresh start.

   With others and with God. AND, if it is in HIS plans..reconciliation may be an extra bonus for your relationship with the one who hurt you or the one you hurt…

   Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Wishing peace and joy to you and your family…and a fresh start. Because…it IS possible.

 

   UNTIL NEXT TIME,

 

  

 

 

 

My Family November 2011 ~ photography by my precious friend who is like a sister to me..Becky Platt

Pay Attention To The Little Things

 

 

  Do you ever feel like everywhere you turn you are hearing the same message? Maybe through a devotion, a song, a friend, a book, or a message at church. Have you ever stopped to think that it could be God speaking to you? More than likely it is.

   Being still with God is a whole lot harder than I thought. I pray and talk to God all the time. I talk. I even listen sometimes. Apparently I have some work to do in the being still part. I wonder what He is thinking as I just talk and won’t hush my mouth and be still. I suppose that is why He has to use other ways to make us “get it”..like books, devotions, blogs, songs and other people. Little things that we can so easily miss or mistake for just coincidence.

   If only we would just be still and let Him be who He is anyways!

   I’m going to be transparent with you. I have a bad habit of interrupting my sweet husband when he is trying to tell a story. This is partly because he is so slow in his storytelling and I tend to want him to hurry up and get to the point. Bless his heart. He probably gets so frustrated with my impatience. Convicted. Ouch. Apparently I do the same thing with my sweet Savior too.  As I sat and tried to just “Be still”, I caught myself trying to start a conversation with God in my head. (like He needed me to initiate the conversation??) I couldn’t even hush in my head! That is when I felt like God was saying..”Heather, be quiet….and just be still..give me a chance to speak.”

   Now, I am by no means saying that I heard an audible voice. I am not saying that I hear voices either! 🙂 I am saying that when I finally quieted my spirit and my soul..that I could feel His presence more. I even had a random thought that could only be from Him come to my mind. I even thought..”okay..well why did that thought just pop into my head?”

   It’s harder than you think to just be still with Jesus. Especially since we are normally in a state of motion..making plans, running errands, taking care of things. Guess what though?? It is possible! I am a person that has a hard time just sitting ..unless I am doing something else while I am sitting. I am a multi-tasker. If I can do it…you can too! I promise you will be blessed.

   Pay attention to those thoughts that come to mind when you actually give that time to God, and are still and quiet with no distractions. Start with 5 or 10 minutes..and see where it leads. Don’t give up after the first few minutes of noise that is hard to quiet in your head. You can do it!  Time with Jesus is never wasted time.  He will bless you. He will speak to you. You just have to learn how to be still and pay attention to the little things. (by the way, that is what I felt Him say to me in my quiet time today..and I didn’t really know why until now…but the random thought was “pay attention to the little things, that it’s all important“)

   If a recurring theme or message keeps smacking you in the face, pay attention because more than likely there is a reason. It’s up to us to slow down and be still and let Him be God. He IS GOD anyways…He is God of ALL.

   Here are some verses from His word, that relate to the topic of BEING STILL and LISTENING :

   Psalm 37:7a (ESV) ~ Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him

   Psalm 46:10a ~ “Be still, and know that I am God.”

   John 10:27 (NIV) ~ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  ( See, Jesus is referred to as our Shepherd and we are referred to as sheep)

   Revelation 3:20 (NIV)~ Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.  (Jesus desires a relationship with us. He is patient and He is persistent. He tries to talk with us..we have to open up the door though.)

 

    I leave you with a challenge. Try just being still with Jesus. Don’t give up..because it’s going to be harder than you think..keep trying. I would love to hear back from you of how you have been blessed by this time with Jesus. Leave me a comment if you would like. If you are not signed up (subscribing) to my blog..please do! I promise that you only receive an email when I publish a new post. 🙂 You can LIKE my Simple Truths Facebook page as well. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! Blessings to you all!

 

 

 

   Until Next Time!