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Do you ever get angry with yourself for caring?  I know I have felt this way quite a bit. Especially if you really like someone and the feelings are not reciprocated.  You might say to yourself, "See, this is why I do not like to take chances with my heart- because I always end up disappointed."  Honestly speaking, I think a lot of us are looking to be disappointed.  Some of you may be saying to yourself right now, "No, that is not me," but I have to say that we have probably all been in this place, although we may not have recognized it at the time  If you have ever taken a chance on someone, and knew that there was a possibility that they would "mess up" and they did, and then you said to yourself, "I knew this would happen" (in some shape or form), then you have been there.  

You may even get upset or angry with yourself, not understanding why you are so disappointed and annoyed with that person, those people, or that situation.  You might get a little heated, and it takes everything in you to stay calm, but you are really fighting the fury stirring within.  

It may be something that has happened before and it bothered you, but this one time you just could not take it anymore.  

You may not even want to acknowledge your anger because you do not want to give the situation any power. 

I have been in a place where I did not even realize the level of frustration or disappointment and it paralyzed me, leaving me unresponsive because it took over my mind and body like a drug.  It truly silenced my voice within and I would shut down.  I have even done this in the midst of people I love, and they did not do anything to me but something as simple as their presence triggered a negative response.  When this happens, we like to blame them for our hurt and pain, but what we really need to do is take a look within.  

People can upset us and even do something deliberately and intentionally to hurt us, but I am not talking about those people; I am talking about the people or circumstances where the result of you caring and opening your heart has left you feeling like you made a mistake in doing so.  You do not know what to say to the person, how to be around them or even how to communicate effectively.  I have found that when it gets this bad, I am harboring some feelings towards them that are reflecting my past, and their existence in my life has pulled the fire alarm on an area that has been festering with the bacteria of years and years of hurt, depravity, disappointment, and pain.

Being vulnerable sometimes reminds me of my discomforts. When I feel that I can not control the level of intimacy that I want to share in a friendship or any type of relationship, it makes me uncomfortable.  When people do not respond the way I want, assume, or think that they should respond it feels as if I have no grasp on my life.  

At one time, being affectionate and going out of my way to give someone I know, loved, and cared for a hug was difficult for me. Now, at times it still is, but God is working.  I am learning that genuine intimacy and affection means that you have to step outside of yourself and we do not always want to do that. We do not want to inconvenience ourselves in any way for others.

Most of the time, when we are disappointed it is because it is something personal, important, and valuable to us that another may take for granted. We give to them, hoping to get the same in return and when someone does not respond to us in the same manner, our actions, attitude,  and behavior all  show the heart of our giving.  

Did we give because we were looking to receive something? Did we give because we want someone to do the same for us? If so, this means our focus is on us rather than giving and sharing the way Christ has called us to do. He gives to us so that we can be a blessing to others and I am not just talking about with material things.

If we grow up in a family or environment where someone said "I love you" through things rather than a relationship or intimacy, we may be looking for the same in return.  We do this with God as well and it can become a counterfeit way of saying I love you. We get disappointed because we did the right thing and now we want a return on our investment. Who are we but servants to want to be rewarded for what God told us to do and has done for us. If we know we are to apologize because God told us to do so, then do it without expecting an apology in return.

I am not saying this is easy, but often He tells us to do things and we refuse to do what He asks. Rather, we only do the things we feel like doing that are important to us. How selfish is that? Then, we wonder why we are disappointed. God help us.  

Harboring disappointment and hurt can harden our hearts and keep us away from God and the ones who truly love us. We can be deceived by our own hearts and it can lead us to a life of lies and deception. We must be careful.

"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief,"(‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭12-19‬ English Standard Version).

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About the Author :

Francine E. Ott is truly thankful to have a relationship with God and is seeking Him daily for guidance and any opportunities to walk closer with Him in truth and love. Francine is a choreographer/dancer, teacher, and soon to be counselor who has a heart to see God's transforming power, renew, restore, and heal the minds, souls, and bodies of people's lives.

I think all of us as women (and men) struggle with insecurity on some level or another; questioning and doubting ourselves. We tend to look outwardly for acceptance and affirmation to somehow establish some sort of identity. When we can't find it in others we just fake it until we make it, hiding behind the attractive facade we've created with the hopes that no one will see the insecure and broken woman behind that mask.

Insecurity is defined as, uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence; self-doubt; worry; unease.

I have battled with insecurities all my life, and if there is one thing I know for sure it is that if you are struggling with insecurity, you are struggling with other issues and when we get down to the nitty gritty of it all—it's root cause is rejection.   

As a young child my father cheated and then left my mother. He didn't come around a lot or made plans to see my sister and me, but never followed through. It left me feeling rejected. When it came to men and dating, I was extremely insecure. "Will he leave me too?" "Maybe, if I do this or that he will stay with me." You see that cycle?

Fast forward some years, and married, my husband had an affair a few months into our marriage. Although I had forgiven him, he was not sure he wanted to continue with the marriage. How does one get over such a betrayal, right? I was left feeling rejected, yet again, and insecurity followed not to far behind.

I can go on and on about the different stages in my life where my insecurities were a stronghold, not only in my relationships with men, but also with friends and even my own family. 

But the fact is, we cannot base our security on our spouses or boyfriends, being faithful to us, or our girlfriends being loyal to us, or our parents being present in our lives. What if they died tomorrow? 

You have to know that God is your security, that he does not change even when everyone else has.

So, how do we battle insecurity?

With your identity. Who are you? Who are you in Christ? If you are dealing with insecurity, most likely you have no idea who you are in Christ, you forgot somewhere along the way and need a little reminder:
  • You are complete in Jesus. And you are complete in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. Colossians 2:10
  • You are an Heir with Jesus. and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:17
  • You are alive in Jesus. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:5
  • You have been set apart. 'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. Leviticus 20:26
  • You are a daughter of the Lord. “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
Stop comparing. Theodore Roosevelt said it best: "Comparison is the thief of joy." And since Jesus is the giver of joy, that's where we should be looking. So much of why we struggle with insecurity is because we are comparing our private lives to everyone else's public presentation of perfection. I promise you their life is not perfect! Even the most beautiful of women have insecurities and wish they looked like someone else.

You don't need to question and compare yourself. You are where God wants you to be, and you are who God wants you to be, so stop telling Him he made a mistake. God doesn't make mistakes. He loves you just the way you are. Every facet of you was made in His image. It doesn't matter how you dress, how you look, what car you drive, or how big your house is...Jesus loves you no matter what. Recognize that you can never compare to anyone else and no one can ever compare to you. He didn't design us that way. He created us in our own unique and beautiful way. Embrace it and work on being content with your portion.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. This is it. I didn't make this the first one, because I wanted to save the best for last. Instead of looking around you to people or the temporal things of this world to make you feel happy and secure—Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. Your Healer. Your Comforter. Your Abba Father. When we take our eyes off of Jesus the world spoils our mind by telling us how we should look, or how we should dress to be accepted. But Jesus was rejected on the cross so that we could be accepted. When we keep our eyes, heart, and mind fixed on Christ we experience His presence in our lives. A presence that brings us unsurpassing peace, love, hope, grace, freedom, and finally true and genuine security.

How do you battle your feelings of insecurities? Do you have a favorite verse that helps you combat those feelings when they do arise?

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About the Author :

Carmen Miller is happily married mother of 5 and wife to Jarrad. As Founder of Whole Magazine, and Co-Founder of God Over Porn; Carmen's heart's passion is to see broken women made whole through the power of Jesus Christ.

Have you ever encountered a person who rubbed you the wrong way? You’ve tried your best to be kind to them but still there is seemingly no progress, their attitudes remain rude, argumentative, and condescending. This person could be your boss, neighbor, or even your family member. You’ve wrecked your brain trying to come up with scenarios to make interactions with this person even slightly agreeable and you’ve come up short. What can we do as Christians to deal with these types of people in our lives?

The first thing we should do is refer to our life manual-the Bible. As people we sometimes skip referring to our Bibles for advice, thinking that an issue we are dealing with is modern and couldn’t possibly be mentioned there. Instead, we must get into the habit of going there first because it eliminates our dependence on ourselves, or others for advice. We should seek out the word of God to lead us in every area of our lives because doing so places our reliance on God’s advice. Don’t get me wrong, the people we love can most times offer us pretty sound advice based on their life experiences which is helpful. However, seeking our answers first from God’s word allows God to speak to us specifically. God knows us personally and is with us every step of our lives, and thus can offer the best advice and wisdom for our lives.

The Bible teaches us to love whenever we encounter criticism. Proverbs 15:1 says, “...a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” When you encounter people who remain disgruntled no matter your inviting attitude, you must remain steadfast in the word of Christ and resist the urge to indulge in any sort of tit-for-tat behavior. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 states, “Ignorant arguments only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.”  When I read God's word on this issue, I was taken aback and I realized how the proper way to handle this issue was certainly not my natural reaction. Naturally, we want to be right and prove our points and extinguish the agitator. This is not what God calls us to do. Although this is not easy, it is extremely necessary for our spiritual growth.

Many times in our lives, we are told to “Tell someone off” because, after all, “Who do they think they are?!" I admit, in the past I would have been the first person to start yelling, being rude, and evening up the score. But in order to follow Christ we have to die to ourselves, our old way of thinking, and our old ways of handling our problems. God calls us to patience, empathy, and love. It’s hard to love those who are not kind to us and embrace us. Yet, that is what we are called to do as Christians. In order to combat these strong personalities, we need to be grounded in God’s word in order to emerge unscathed spiritually.

Here are some tips to remain in accordance with God’s word in these situations:

  1. Keep a quiet time with God daily. In keeping a quiet prayer time with God daily, we welcome His instruction into our lives.
  2. Review as many scriptures as you can find on dealing with difficult people. Keep them on hand or commit them to memory so that you can use them when you need them.
  3. Pray for the person who is causing you the pain.
  4. Avoid engaging this person in any combative conversation. Instead, remove yourself if possible and if you cannot, simply tell them that you are not willing to have the discussion at the present time because you feel that it is not a good time.
  5. Keep an even tone, keep eye contact, and resist the urge to have your own anger outburst.
  6. Ask God to give you strength.

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About the Author :

Cortnee is a 26 year old TV Host, for her television show, City Savvy based in Philadelphia. She enjoys going to the beach, cooking, shopping, traveling, and visiting with her family that lives out-of state. Cortnee is best described as bubbly and outgoing. She works by day as a substitute teacher. Jesus is her best friend who provides for and protects her.

Let's face it, being a wife and a mom isn’t always the most glamorous of jobs. In fact, when you’re walking around with spit up on your clothes, pulling sippy cups out your purse, wearing the same yoga pants three days in a row and underwear sniffing before throwing in another load you soon begin to realize your life truly isn’t your own. And not only that but on the surface of it all, who in their right mind would consider themselves “called” to something like that? 

Many of our deeds go unnoticed. Our milkshake now brings toddlers to the yard, which by the way you’ll be thoroughly cleaning up later. We’re not necessarily the forefront of the mission field although if you’ve been a mom just for a couple days you’ll soon find its as mission field as mission field gets.

A friend of mine, who’s much more of a mentor and spiritual mom to me as she’s older than me and has gone before me, would tell me again and again, “Your house comes first. It is your first ministry.” I knew this and I understood this. And then God began to work in me and reveal more and more to me about the importance of motherhood and being a wife in His great plan for the universe. You see, when we look at the mundane day to day things sometimes its frustrating and sometimes other “bigger” opportunities seem more enticing. But I want to take the time to highlight why the call of a mother and the call of a wife is probably one of the most critically important callings in God's plan. 

Shaping Society

Marriage is the first institution God ordained on this Earth. And He saw it as good! He then told man and woman to be fruitful and multiply. We see God's order for the world—the Master architect constructing civilization, starting with the home. It's God's will to create healthy marriages, which produce healthy families and so all of society is built on the institution of the family. Really think about it. One household at a time, as a body we are the foundation of society. The way we manage our homes and our families becomes a pillar that plays a bigger role in our world. CEO’s, Civilians, Teachers, Medical Professionals, Entertainers, Humanitarians, etc, every role fulfilled by humanity branches out from the heart of the home. 

If our families are out of order our society goes with it. We already have seen what the result of a generation of men absent from the home looks like. And ever since then, beginning with the fall, the enemy has done everything he could to tear that down. Getting into the families is always the core. But God has laid out a perfect plan since the beginning. And it starts with each one of us women deciding today to play our role. It begins with making intentional choices to be the women God has called us to be to help build a better world by starting with our homes. We have enough bad examples, who will be a good one? You are shaping society. You have a divine assignment.

Shaping the next generation

That child you’re raising up. Yeah the one that makes you question, “What in the world did I sign up for?” That precious child is the next generation. And there is a call on their life. Your pregnancy may have even been unexpected for you, but its no accident to God. They will go out into the world as an example in their schools, jobs and in society. As a body, we are raising up an entire generation and every mother plays their role, because a generation is made up of individuals first.

Its our job to bring structure and lay the foundation in their lives so that they do not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) The teaching and discipline you’re instilling in the lives of your children on a day to day basis are not in vain (no matter how frustrating). Over the course of time it will produce fruit in their lives which will plant seeds in our world. You are shaping the next generation. You have a divine assignment.

You’re modeling the gospel to those around you

When you have a family you find yourself loving the unlovable, forgiving the seemingly unforgivable and laying down your life over and over again. And when you really think about it, is that not the heart of the gospel?

When Christ is the center of our homes and we’re being the wife and mother He’s called us to be, not only is it an example to our husband's and children, but those around you who are a witness to your life. I believe the best way we spread the gospel is by our lives being an active witness. Believe it or not, you are embodying and furthering the heart of the gospel by managing your family as the heart of your household. Marriage is designed as a direct parallel of Christ and His bride, the church. What a beautiful understanding the world can gain of this by fulfilling your divine purpose as a mom or wife.

Proverbs 31:25-30 
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

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About the Author :

Brittney Moses is happy wife to Jonnese and mother to Austin. In June 2012, she founded Unashamed Impact, a worldwide organization uniting young believers in Christ to rise to their calling and gather to take action in their cities through evangelism and community outreach.

The beginning of a new year typically causes most people to feel hopeful. Everyone is so excited about new opportunities and the fresh start a new year brings. But for many, the end of a year can evoke a different set of emotions. As they look back over the year and ponder over things undone, and unaccomplished, it can cause feelings of hopelessness.  

As we have entered into the last quarter of this year, those of you who may have had some unexpected disappointments or disappointments because the expected was not realized, please stay focused on the God who is able. 

His ability does not end when the calendar year winds down. Your year is not over yet. He's still able. His plans for you have not changed. Don't forget who He is. You have to see Him as able. 

He's the God for whom nothing is impossible. For with God nothing will be impossible, (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭37‬ NKJV).

He is able to perform and carry out everything He promised in your life. He is not limited to a 365 day time frame. 

We sing a song at my church called. "He's Able". It's a good song with a powerful message that reminds us of the ability and power of our God. 

When we really grasp the truth of the fact that He's able, it will absolutely change our perspective of our circumstances. The fact that God is able must become more than just a song to us. Able defines who our God is.

The three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood on this truth. They refused to bow down and worship the idol King Nebuchadnezzar erected. So, as a result, they were ordered to appear before the king. And as they stood before the king, he gave them another opportunity to bow down and worship his idol. And, if they chose not to, they would be immediately thrown into a fiery furnace. 

The young men had a response for the king's threats. I'm sure it was not what he was expecting. 

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up,(‭Daniel‬ ‭3‬:‭17-18‬ NLT).

The truth that their God was able to deliver empowered them to stand in faith. Their failure to bow down and worship the idol caused them to be thrown in the furnace. But, because they trusted in the God who is able to deliver, they were not put to shame. (Read the rest in Daniel 3.) God never lets those who put their trust in Him be put to shame. Look at the following scriptures. 

"No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause,"
(‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭3‬ NIV).

"Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame," (‭Psalm‬ ‭34‬:‭5‬ NIV).

My sister, God will fulfill every promise and perform every word in your life. He will show Himself as the God who is able on your behalf. You will not be put to shame. Hold on to this truth. 

Trust in His ability. Trust His timing. He never disappoints. Maybe you were hoping to see something  He promised you manifest in your life this year. But, as of yet, it has not. God does not adhere to our calendars and clocks. It's going to happen at God's appointed time. Believe it. Don't throw in the towel and allow feelings of disappointment to overwhelm you. Continue to prepare and make room for the promises you are expecting. 

Let your life of faith in this hour say to God, "Lord, I believe!"

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About the Author :

Pastor Pamela Bell is a passionate, lover of God, who desires to see God's people walk in the knowledge of who they are in Christ. She resides in Mobile, AL and serves as an Elder at her church, Gulf Coast Christian Center. Pastor Pamela enjoys reading, spending time with friends and all things chocolate.

“God, please make my mommy nice. I’m sorry I mess everything up and I don’t listen. I don’t know why I always do this. Please God, make my mommy nicer to me, and make her a better mommy. I’m sorry.”

Gut-wrenching truth. This prayer nearly drowned out by sobs and the heaving breath of my four year old daughter as she lay crumpled in a corner of her room, crying out to her Heavenly Father when her earthly mother’s harsh words wounded her heart.

To be honest with you, I don’t even remember what set me off that day. It could have been having to repeat myself and ask my 3 and 4 year old for the hundredth time to not chase each other through the house. Maybe it was the infamous missing right shoe for the millionth time, while we were already late for work and school in the morning. I don’t even remember the words I spoke to her, it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t the words I spoke, but the manner in which I spoke them to my family.

I was living in a constant and desperate state of being overwhelmed.  I was sinking and I didn’t want to let anyone know it. I’d succumbed to the idea that as a working mom I had to be able to do it all. Balancing every forty plus hour work week with finishing my degree, to every church commitment, supporting my husband in his ministry, to working out and preparing healthy and delicious home cooked meals, to keeping my house spotless, all the while caring for a three and four year old.

Drowning. I couldn’t let anyone know, I wouldn’t ask for help, not even God. So I took these unrealistic burdens upon myself. And I failed. If you notice the above to do list, nowhere on it does it prioritize time in God’s word, in his presence, meditating and resting in Him. Enter my very short fuse with my children and my harsh response to being normal kids.

It’s so much easier for us to fall apart behind closed doors and to leave a path of destruction for those closest to us. Maybe you can relate? Maybe you’ve been there and under the pressure to keep up appearances you unleash your wrath on your family. Maybe it isn’t your kids, maybe it’s your spouse.  

In that moment of revelation, that moment of hearing the aching heart of my daughter and her most heartfelt prayer, I heard God speaking to me. Have I not given both Grace and Mercy to you Annette? When you stray, when you falter, when you disappoint, and disobey?  Utter shame filled my heart.  In that moment I repented. I fell to my knees and prayed with my daughter, I asked her forgiveness.  I asked forgiveness from my Heavenly Father and asked His hand to be present in every word spoken to my children. That I would use words that would uplift and edify and that His spirit renew and refresh my heart and mind when I felt weary. That I would rely in His spirit and direction when speaking to my family.  That I would reflect His grace and mercy in my life, in all areas, not just outside of the walls of my home.

So how can we practically extend grace to those around us?
•             Speak words that build up, not tear down

•             Forgive
•             Apologize
•             Show kindness

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29

I mediate on this verse constantly. I have it hanging on my refrigerator as a daily reminder. The kitchen seems to be one of the places I want to lose my cool more than any other area in the house, oddly enough.

Friends, when life gets overwhelming and our “to do’s” seem to go on forever, we must always remember that God’s spirit dwells within us.  These moments are opportunities not only to extend grace and mercy, but to teach it to our children.  So let’s love our children well.

There is freedom in grace. Be free.

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About the Author :

Annette Ceniceros is married to an impossibly handsome man named Daniel. She is blessed to have two children, one boy and one girl. She is the founder of Hope Yoga, a Christian yoga practice anchored in Jesus.

How close are you and God right now? What is your relationship like? Are you on fire and feel closer to the Lord than you ever have before? Or, are you already cringing as you read this because, well, you’ve been struggling in your relationship with God? 

If you’re not as close with God as you would like and know you should be don’t stop reading this. I understand because I was there recently. And I have no doubt hundreds, if not thousands of other Christians have been where you are and are currently experiencing the same thing.

I’ve noticed a pattern in my own personal walk with God. When I am close with the Lord I am eager to grow and be challenged spiritually. I want every part of my heart exposed for the Lord to fix. I want Him to mold me despite how painful it may be. But when I am distant from the Lord, I am hesitant to read spiritual growth books and devotional books. I am scared for God to see every nook and cranny of my heart even though I already know He does see it.

When you are distant from Jesus it doesn’t just affect you. It also affects those around you. When you are not immersing yourself in Jesus, you are immersing yourself in the world. The world has plenty of self-absorbed unloving and non- compassionate women. What the world needs are women who are tenderhearted, compassionate, Christ-focused, and who put others before themselves. That is what happens when you bathe yourself in the presence of Almighty God; you become more like Him and less like the world. 

Is there something between you and the Lord? 1 John 1:9 says,

 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 We serve a merciful God. The Psalms shout God’s mercy from its pages. Psalm 103: 8-11 says, 

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” 

Ladies, you are loved by the Creator of the stars. The Lord does not want anything to stand between you two– not even your sin. That is why His son, Jesus, paid the penalty for all of your sins (past and present) and died an excruciating death on a cross. If you were the only human alive, Jesus would still have died for you. That is how much God desires a relationship with you. 

What is keeping you from running into your Abba’s arms? James 4:8 says, 

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded.” 

If you draw near to God He will draw near to you. The Lord wants to shower you with love and blessings. He cannot do this if you keep pushing Him away.

If you need to renew your relationship with the Lord, do so before you pillow your head tonight. Go before the throne of your Father and pour your heart out to Him. Every moment your relationship with God is broken is another moment of victory for Satan. Satan will fight to keep you from drawing near to God. He will whisper excuses to you. He will tell you that you are too far away from God. He will throw every distraction in your way just to make sure you don’t spend time with the Lord. Don’t listen to Satan’s lies. Listen to God’s truths – He loves you, forgives you, and wants a relationship with you.

It’s a new day with new mercies. Don’t let another day go by that could be a day spent at your Savior’s feet in sweet communion. 

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About the Author :

Leah Marie is an Army wife and Graphic Designer. Her desire is to share with others what the Lord has been teaching her, whether through writing or building relationships. Leah thoroughly enjoys writing letters, knitting, staying active, and cherishing every moment with her wonderful husband.

Let’s start out by defining the word, “fixation.”  

Fixation: An obsessive interest in or feeling about someone or something.  The action of making something firm or stable.  A fixation occurs when an issue or conflict remains unresolved, leaving the individual focused on this stage and unable to move onto the next. 

The latter definition really hits home for me and I believe for many others as well.  We tend to fixate on things that are seemingly unresolved and we stay stuck and stagnant in that particular stage because of our inability to fix our gaze elsewhere.  The bottom line is, the change all starts from within ourselves and where we fix our eyes, mind and heart.

I recently came across a Ted talk by author Robert Greene that asked this question: “Why do we fixate on the things we can see immediately when we crave change?”  

 “We humans tend to fixate on what we can see with our eyes, it is the most animal part of our nature.  When we look at the changes and transformations in other people’s lives we see the good luck that someone had in meeting the right person with the right connections and funding, we see the book or the project that brings the money and the attention.  In other words we see the visible signs of opportunity and success and we want that change in our own lives but we are grasping at an illusion.  What really allows for such dramatic changes are the things that occur on the inside of a person and are completely invisible, the slow accumulation of knowledge and skills, the small incremental improvements in work habits and the ability to withstand criticism.  Any change in people’s fortune is merely the visible manifestation of all of that deep preparation over time.  By essentially ignoring this internal aspect we fail to change anything fundamental within ourselves and so in a few years’ time we reach our limits yet again, we grow frustrated, we crave change, we gravitate at something quick and superficial and we remain prisoners forever of these recurring patterns in our lives.  The answer, the key to the ability to transform ourselves is actually insanely simple, to reverse this perspective   Stop fixating on what other people are saying and doing; on the money, the connections, the outward appearance of things.  Instead, look inward. Focus on the smaller internal changes that lay the groundwork for a much larger change in fortune. It is the difference between grasping at an illusion and immersing yourself in reality and reality is what will liberate and transform you.” –Robert Greene

It left me thinking about what we fix our eyes on daily and how often times if it’s not on the right things we are left discouraged, frustrated and weary.

We tend to fixate on:
-Our wills
-Our circumstances
-Other people
-Our fears
-Our failures
-Our wants and desires
-On the “whys
-On the “what ifs”
-The regrets
-The money or lack of money
-Being seen or appreciated

Where should we be fixing our eyes?

The Bible is very clear on where we should fix our eyes.

*On what is unseen.  Not grasping at an illusion.  We should be looking with spiritual eyes.  

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

*On Jesus.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Hebrews 12:2).

*On what is in front of you. 

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you,” (Proverbs 4:25-27).

 How do you fix your eyes on Jesus?
*Pray.  Pray for spiritual eyes and direction.  Pray for spiritual checks and discernment when you are fixating on the wrong things.  

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye, (Psalm 32:8).

*Stay in the word.  In order to remain clear on where your eyes, heart and mind should be you need to dig into the ultimate instruction manual; the Bible.  It also goes hand and hand with praying as it teaches and guides you to what you should be praying about as well as how to pray.  

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).                                                                      

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” (Psalm 119:105).

*Praise and Worship.  Praise and worship automatically re-focuses on Jesus.  It instantly changes your perspective, attitude and heart. Throw on the worship music and dance and sing.                                                                                                                                                                

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens,” (Psalm 96:1-9).

Remember that when your eyes become fixated on The Lord, everything else seems to become less important and less stressful.

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About the Author :

Leilani is a single mom to a beautiful 4 year old little girl. She is in love with the Creator of the stars. Her mission is simple yet so big, to encourage and bring Jesus to all in need. To bring hope by loving people, writing, photography, music, poetry/spoken word and meeting people right where they are. Gods Grace is her air.