November 13, 2018

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Thought to share: Thankfulness is a shield that protects your heart and mind from despair. When you choose to be thankful in every situation, you’ll find that joy rises to the surface. As you express gratitude in the middle of stressful circumstances, you’ll feel MY peace envelop you. While you are giving thanks, you realize MY continued faithfulness. Embrace thankfulness and you’ll discover hope soars!

1Thessalonians 5:18 (Amp) in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 69:30 (Amp) I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

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October 23, 2018

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Thought to share: why do you let the things of the world annoy you? Why do you let the drama of government or workplace politics suck you into its vortex? Why do you allow the behavior of people to push your buttons? Why do you allow society to consume you?Don’t waste your thoughts or energy. Instead, invest your attention in ME. Give ME all of your thoughts and I will help you sort through the barrage of things life is hurling at you. I will give you clarity and show you where to spend your emotions and energy – what to embrace and what to let go of. Together, we will journey into the center of peace and you will know rest.

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!

Psalm 20:7 (Amp) Some trust in chariots and some in horses, But we will remember and trust in the name of the LORD our God. another way to say this is: some trust in (look to) the government or people to resolve the world’s problems, but we choose to trust in (look to) God because He is the answer. That’s a better way!

Hebrews 12:2 (TPT) We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.

Matthew 11:28 (TPT) Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.

July 3, 2017

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Thought to share: Be encouraged! You lack nothing – you have everything! You have peace. You have joy. You have strength. You have victory. You have hope. You have all of these things and so much more because you have ME. You don’t have to wait for them. You don’t have to earn them. You don’t have to qualify for them.  In ME, they are yours in abundance. They belong to you. Choose to apply them.

Romans 8:37 (TPT) Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and His demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything!

John 16:33 (TPT) And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in Me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in Me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”

Matthew 12:21 (NLT) And His [Jesus] name shall be the hope of all the world.

Psalm 30:11 (NLT) Then He turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.

Psalm 46:1 (NLT) God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. 

June 12, 2018

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Thought to share: I invite you to come live in ME. To make ME your home. To live, move and have your being from within ME.  I offer you more than just a place of escape, or a place to hide. I give you a place to reside. A place of habitation. A residence fully supplied with everything you need. And, when you live in ME, you will find rest. You will find refuge and safety. You will have shelter, protection and peace.

Acts 17:28 (Amp)  For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

Psalm 91 (NLT) Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the LORDHe alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,  nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.  If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,  no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.  For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras;  you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on Me, I will answer;  I will be with them in trouble.  I will rescue and honor them.  I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

May 22, 2018

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Thought to share: Let go of the chaos swirling around in your mind and let ME be the center of your thoughts. I know it’s difficult when so many questions need answers and dozens of problems need solutions. But, if you’ll intentionally place ME in the center of your thoughts, the chaos will subside and you can hear MY voice in the stillness. You will hear ME whisper words of encouragement and comfort as I assure you I have everything you need.

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You,  all whose thoughts are fixed on You!

Philippians 4:6-7 (TPT) Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.

May 8, 2018

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Thought to share: There is no equivalent to MY peace. Nothing can match it or stand against it. There isn’t a bottle that can take off the edge and calm your heart like MY peace can. No substance that can give you rest like MY peace does. No human who can silence anxiety like MY peace will. MY peace has the ability to cocoon you, sheltering you from the most violent of storms. It is not fragile or delicate, but is like an impenetrable fortress, keeping you secure. It runs deep and wide, swallowing your greatest fears and worries whole. And it is MY gift to you. You need only receive.

John 14:27 (NLT) I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. ~ Jesus

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)  Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I love old movies. Those classics from the 20th century where someone bursts into a song and dance. Where the boy always gets the girl. Where there’s a happily-ever-after. Betty Grable. Fred & Ginger. Judy Garland.

Sigh.

The romance. The innocence. It’s purely fluff and fantasy, but some days, it’s a nice diversion.

I’ve also seen one or two classics that are just the opposite. Real. Raw. Gritty. That’s how I’d classify the iconic movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The main character is Holly Golightly. She’s a young, beautiful, fashionista who appears to have the world by the tail. Beautiful clothing, parties, famous people, money, and men seem to be the staples of her life. Independent, self-supporting, and free, she lives life on her own terms. She answers to no one and does as she pleases. She thrives on adventure, making a point to do things she’s never done in the past for no other reasons than she’s never done it. Her favorite activity: having breakfast at Tiffany’s, the world renown jewelry store on 5th Ave in New York City.

The character of Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, became the symbol of style, sophistication, and independence that many women hoped to achieve. As we look at the iconic photograph of her standing in front of Tiffany’s, pencil thin in the perfect little black dress and perfectly coiffed hair, most of us have sighed and whispered, “if only”. If only I looked like her. If only I had her style and sophistication. If only I had her wardrobe and money. If only I had her carefree life. Her friends. Admirers. Independence. This woman – this character – the look of Audrey Hepburn – is the woman that many women dream of being.

However, the reality is, most of us are more like Holly Golightly than we know.

Though iconic and trend-setting, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is really a story of brokenness. Holly is a deeply wounded woman, having suffered abandonment and rejection in childhood. To cope with heartache, she creates walls and hides behind those stylish sunglasses. Self-medicating with shopping and booze, she develops a new persona by moving across the country, changing her name, and pretending to be something she is not. She lives a shallow life and keeps people at arm’s length to prevent them from seeing that she is lonely, insecure, fearful, and unstable. She often experiences what she calls the ‘mean reds’, which is intense anxiety and fear. And, when overwhelmed by the mean reds, she gazes into the windows of Tiffany’s and dreams, pretends, and fantasizes, lying to herself, imagining that this is not really her life until she is able to push fear and anxiety into the background.

She’s so afraid of commitment, of loving and being loved, that she refuses to name a homeless cat that lives with her, simply calling it “Cat” because a name would make their relationship seem too real- too permanent. She fears relationships will cage her and, like a bird, she’d be trapped and unable to fly freely.

What she’s failed to realize is that all the steps she’s taken to keep herself protected and remain free have done the exact opposite. The walls she’s built, the shallow-phony persona, the care-free existence, the drinking, shopping, and lying to herself have caged her and limited her in the worst way. They have kept her heart from substance and truly experiencing real freedom.

Holly spent her life looking for help, healing, and wholeness in all the wrong places.

Doesn’t that sound like many of us?

I think every woman can identify with some of Holly’s choices. So many of us have built walls to protect our self, to keep others out, to prevent others from seeing into our wounded-ness, to hide our brokenness. We’ve utilized society’s tools of money, alcohol, pills, shopping, sex, and attention to cope with our pain. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people only to keep them at arm’s length, because we’re afraid of transparency. We live with fear and anxiety, at times being overwhelmed by them. We pretend to be something we are not, performing for acceptance and love. We lie to ourselves to help us deal with the stress of life. We’re looking for help in all the wrong places.

And, like Holly, we don’t even see it. We don’t realize we’re broken. We can’t see we aren’t free. We can’t see we aren’t whole. We think this is how life is supposed to be. That this is how it works. That this is normal.

It’s not until someone says to Holly: “You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing”, but you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” that she realizes how wrong she’s gotten it.

The honesty of those words sinks into her heart and expose her life for the sham that it is.

Those words are very similar to what Holy Spirit whispers with love into our hearts. He gently points out the reality of our circumstances, revealing the lie that our self-declared freedom is really bondage. That our independence is actually crippling us. That our self-medication is only masking the pain and adding to the chains that bind us. That our self-created person is just a sham, hiding the beautiful creation He designed us to be.

It’s at this point that He reveals that Jesus stands ready and willing to set us free from the cage that imprisons us and the chains that bind us. He stands ready but waiting on us to respond. Will we let the Truth of His words impact us, sinking deep into our heart and the revelation wash over us? Will we come clean and confess we’ve had it all wrong and we don’t know what we’re doing? Will we accept His invitation to freedom and let Him tear down the walls and unravel the fake persona to reveal our true identity? Will we let Him do all the magnificent things He’s planned for us so that we can truly soar, and become the woman He created us to be?

Or, will we let the fear of transparency and pain of authenticity stifle us and keep us imprisoned in the cage that holds us back and limits us? Will we live in the chains that weigh us down and produce fear and anxiety? Will we stay bound by a false identity, trapped behind prison walls we built?

The “wow” in the story of Holly Golightly is not in the clothes or lifestyle. It’s not the supposed care-free life and glamour. It’s that in the end, (at least in the movie) she chose love. She chose to let love in. It’s that she realized her life had no value without love. None of the things she had could give her what authentic relationship could give her.

If you really want to be like the iconic Holly Golightly – let go of those things that bind you, restrain and cage you in and choose LOVE (1John 4:8). Choose to let Abba Father in and allow Him to heal your brokenness and give you beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and garments of praise in exchange for the cloak of heaviness, despair, and anxiety you wear (Isaiah 61:3). It is only in Him that you can experience the care-free life (1Peter 5:7) of true adventure and live the life you were always meant to live – one that is fulfilled and content (John 10:10).

 

 

*taken from a message shared at a women’s event.