Everyone’s Crazies

The holidays always bring with them interesting family dynamics and semantics.

For some, it’s just simply dealing with the edges of uncomfortable scenarios and conversations, but nothing real out of the way.

No harm. No foul.

For others, it’s complete removal from the dysfunction and toxic environment which accompanies family, celebrations and traditions.

Survival of the Fittest or Crabs in a Barrel.

For most, it can just be learning to navigate between the two extremes.

The Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Wherever you find yourself during your yearly festivities, strive to do better.

Better yet, don’t just strive to survive.

Learn to thrive!

Your thriving isn’t going to look like another’s.

So, do what you can do to succeed.

Their crazies aren’t yours, and yours aren’t theirs.

They don’t have to understand.

Happy Crazy Holidays.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider thatthe longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they doalso the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know thisbeforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:14-18

Be Good To You

Too often, we work so hard to be kind to others that we forget to be kind to ourselves.

Sometimes, our focus is so laser set on what everyone else needs that shut our eyes to our own.

Frequently, we are so set to serve and fulfill everyone else’s wants, that we deny all of our desires.

Many times, we are so overly in tune with everyone else’s demands that we simply ignore as our body, our mind, or even our family is crying out to wake us from our oblivious yes.

Be good to you doesn’t mean you have to be selfish.

It doesn’t translate into having to be rude.

It doesn’t even suggest a response to be petty, mean and self-centered.

It only interprets and communicates:

“I am a person of value and worth just as much as you.”

Speak kindly to yourself. Balance it with truth.

Be honest with yourself. Balance it with compassion for all things broken.

Respond with the overwhelming grace that only He can bring.

Listen attentively.

Watch conscientiously.

React respectfully.

Both for you and for them.

And above all, let Christ rule and reign in your heart, in your mind, in your soul.

And let His will become yours.

Let His heart consume yours.

Let His eyes and ears become yours.

Let His voice speak through yours.

And only then, can your world become the peaceful paradise it was meant to be.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father beglory forever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:19-20

Survival Guides Were Meant for Sharing

*I do not own or have rights to this pic.
Google search/Fb repost*

You weren’t made to stay in the valley.

You weren’t made to remain stuck in the mire.

We all feel pain.

We all have heartache.

We all experience tragedy.

The brokenness of life was never meant to be a trophy we wear nor a badge we frame for the wall.

The hardship didn’t come for you to create a fortress around and hail the crisis as king.

We all feel the rain.

We all have tornadic seasons.

We all experience death, sorrow and grief.

You weren’t made to linger in the basin of despair.

You weren’t made to hover in canyon of defeat.

Look up. Cry for help. Claw your way out.

Write your survival guide and pass it along to the next to-be survivor.

Your destiny is waiting, and your little ones are watching.

Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.

Isaiah 45:1-4

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter where you are today,

No matter who’s around,

No matter what you’re eating,

Your thanks can abound!

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of gratitude.

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of praise.

No matter who your mama is,

No matter what your family endowed,

No matter where your future is headed,

Your thanks should be loud!

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of gratitude.

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of praise.

Don’t withhold it today.

Take a Pulse

Take a pulse today.

Are you surviving or thriving?

If you’re only surviving, think it through.

Don’t accept it as normal.

Seek for change. Seek for a difference.

Fight for it.

Start thriving.

You can do this!

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Philippians 3:15-16

Fight For It

Too often, we lie down in the muck and more of what life has given us, and we choose to wallow in it.

If you are going to be more than what is behind you and beyond what is around you, you must step up, step out, and make a new path for yourself.

No one said it was going to be easy.

In fact, there will be moments when you have to fight, and kick, and claw your way out of the mud and quicksand that threatens to overtake you.

But I promise you.

If you will struggle, you will advance.

If you will resist, you will move forward.

If you will fight, you will become.

As I heard a wise man say once, “If you won’t fight for it, you don’t deserve it.”

Brawl, grapple, wrestle, clash and attack.

Survive and then thrive.

It will be well worth it.

And your children and those who love you will thank you.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:7-8

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Magic or Madness

Sometimes, a self evaluation is in order.

Am I bringing out the best or worst in you?

Sometimes, a friend evaluation is in order.

Are you drawing out the magic or the madness from me?

The answers to these questions should reveal truth and reality in a way that causes our hearts to long for perfection.

Too often, we are seeking comfort of sedation so much that we settle for chaos and pain.

If I am creating turmoil and injury for your heart, I need to change or leave to bring the calm.

If you are stirring turbulence and tumult for my soul, you need to halt or be removed to bring rest.

Too often, we search for a cease fire when we should be waging war or removing ourselves from the battleground.

Peace is more important than popularity.

Stability is more important than the spotlight.

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. 6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.

Deuteronomy 23:5-6

Sometimes, You Just Walk

Relationships can be so complicated.

Sometimes, we stay so long, receiving abuse, pain and turmoil until we are beat to a pulp.

But we stay because we need love.

Sometimes, we remain in a tornado of split personalities, control and narcissism until we feel insane instead of calm.

But we stay because we need comfort.

Sometimes, we maintain the friendship, believing one day it will change, or worse, we’ve become blinded by the toxic norm.

But we stay because we need acceptance.

Yet, once our eyes behold truth…

There’s no backing up from reality.

There’s no returning to what was.

There’s no retreat from the withdrawal.

Sometimes, to be truly free, you must walk.

And never look back.

Seeing truth is discernment.

Knowing truth is wisdom.

Doing truth is courage.

Enduring truth is faith.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 10:35-39

Monday Train Wrecks

Just a little funny mixed with truth on a Monday morning…

We need to “block out” more perfection seeking and get back to reality.

Yet, we need to seek a bit more perfection and not be “so real.”

You may be sitting there reading and think these statements are in such contradiction that they can’t possibly survive the same sentence.

But I tell you, they can thrive!

Too often in our modern culture, we are seeking such fake perfection that we lose sight of who we are and who we are meant to be.

If we could only grasp reality and allow authenticity to shine through, the outcome would be unimaginably beautiful.

Too often in our “get real” society, we are searching for such a realism that we forget that it’s sometimes kind to not leave our emotions, demands and opinions as a burden for someone else to carry.

If we could only grasp perfection in a way that allows love, faith and hope to thrive, the results would be absolutely infallible.

Why don’t we start here on this Monday morn?

Why don’t we start right here with you and me?

We can make a difference if we’d just try.

We could transform our world if we’d just begin.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13

A Charcuterie of Feelings

Charcuterie boards seem to be all the rave right now. If you’re throwing a party and want to have crowd applause, it seems you should set up at least one, or maybe two, three, five, ten of these varieties.

For those who aren’t “up to speed” in the trendy world: a charcuterie board is an appetizer typically served on a wooden board or stone slab, either eaten straight from the board itself or portioned onto flatware. It features a selection of preserved foods, especially cured meats or pâtés, as well as cheeses and crackers or bread.

Personally, I think these boards are pretty cool, when done right, but I also honestly think they are a pressure cooker of ideas, time and money that could really be put to better, more long lasting use. I know. Don’t shoot me for being “plain Jane.”

It’s not that I’ve never made one; I’ve created my fair share, and some have been fun, while a few others, I really wanted to pick up the whole thing and toss it across the room before the guests showed up.

But I do wonder sometimes, maybe more often than not, if we all live on a charcuterie board of feelings in our little worlds…

We’ve got the smooth, delicious days of promise and the mild days of mediocrity.

We have the tangy moments of adventure and the spicy moments of suspicion.

We find the bitter years of grief and the sour months of disappointment.

We discover the indulgent minutes of success and the sweet minutes of victory.

We even stumble upon the meatier times of learning, strengthening and reproving.

All the feels are contained within our small orbit of influence and experience, and unless we jump across the planes of comfort, culture and civilization, we never embark on a different charcuterie board of emotions.

Be challenged to break off from the norm.

Distance yourself from the expected and plunge just once into the unknown, the unexpected.

And I guarantee you.

The flavors of life will explode before and within you!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 19:11

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26