Surviving or Thriving

My husband and I are writing on the same subject today just for fun.  The subject he chose is Surviving or Thriving.  The fun part is that neither of us has talked about the topic nor knows what the other is going to write about.  Wonder what he wrote about ?  Find out here.  I’ll just fill in that little link when I’m done.

Surviving or thriving.  Which one are you doing?  A whole list of things can figure into that question.  Sickness?  Health?  Ease? Difficulties?  Hopeful?  Hopeless?  Encouraged?  Discouraged?  Have enough?  Scraping by?  Plenty or want?  Lots of things play into the whole surviving and thriving mentality.  Yes, I said mentality.  It’s the same word my husband used to say to me.   I have done both.  The difference for me was how I looked at my situation, whether I saw life’s problems as normal challenges or punishments, and that horrible word, attitude! 

We’ve been married almost 23 years.  If we’d been able to look into a crystal ball (I wouldn’t have anyway Deut. 18:10), we would have been too scared to get married!  Like anyone’s life, we’ve had ups and downs, but it seems like it’s been a whole lot of downs.  I know I’ve had a whole lot of downs.  Even in what I now know were good times, I had downs.  Unfortunately, I was always seeing the glass half empty.  I still do sometimes, but I’m getting better about that.  Thank you Jesus! 

I’ve learned a lot the last few years through a whole lot of stressful circumstances.   My mother battled cancer and died.  We sold houses and moved every few years.  We went through lay-offs, starting a business, the business closing, extreme financial problems, and various relationship troubles that resulted from the stress of it all.  Add to this my extremely painful back troubles, other physical ailments, several surgeries for me, and three additional children being born.  The new babies and our oldest son were the best part of it all.  We’ve been doubly blessed to have four.  We’ve had ten really tough years.  As this was all happening, sometimes my faith in God was strong.  Sometimes I just felt like God was punishing us.  What did we have to do to get out of the current mess?  What did God want?  It consumed me.  God is so merciful.  He took us through it all, and He’s taught me that this is life.  At 43 years old, I’ve finally grown up enough to realize that it’s normal to face challenge after challenge.  Everyone faces them.  It’s whether we allow troubles and challenges to drive us away from God and our family or closer to God and our family that really matters.  This brings me to the word I hate.  

Attitude!  I don’t even like the sound of it.  Maybe because as a teenager I was criticized for my attitude.  Maybe  it’s because I’ve heard it from my husband.  Oops, did I say that?  Maybe it’s because I know my attitude has been bad so much.   Perhaps this is one of the hardest parts of  going through hard times.  It’s so easy to complain and about what we need or what we want.  If only we could see it all through God’s eyes.  Looking back, I see that God has actually given us what we truly needed whether we wanted it or not.  The hard times have driven us to Him in desperation.    There have been sins in my life and in my husband’s life that lead to some of these problems.  There  are still consequences we must pay for those sins.  But the guilt has been paid for by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  In it all, I was so desperate for God to help us.  It caused me to focus on Him a lot.   Psalm 34 was enormously helpful to me in this.  Verse 17 says, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”  He has and He still is delivering me daily from all our troubles.  He tends to deliver me through them rather than from them.    It’s a very good thing to be desperate for God.  Though we were consumed with the day to day surviving, God was bringing us to a place of thriving in His love and care.

If you’re surviving or barely surviving, read the Psalms, read Philippians.  They are both so encouraging when you’re fearful.  He loves us so much, He told us not to fear over and over.  He holds our times in His hands.   Seek, knock, ask, He’ll answer.   Trust God to bring you to a place of Thriving in Him.

Lord God, I ask that you would bring hope, peace, and a new attitude to each person who reads this and to me, also.  You CAN do it.  I believe you WILL do it.  Thank you Lord!

Laura

Choosing to Thrive

Go read My Honey’s post here.   It brought a smile to my face.  His attitude really helped pull me through when I was dragging.

What is Salvation?

Someone dear to me sent me a note  and asked me a question the other day.  It was such a simple question, but so important:

What is salvation?

What is salvation?   I’ve been a Christian for  twenty-nine years now.  It’s such an important question, and I care about this person so much that I just couldn’t think how to answer.  So the e-mail has just been sitting in my inbox.  The most important subject in the world, and I couldn’t think what to write!  So, I’m just going to write and hope that the Holy Spirit steps in where I fall short.

The God of the Bible is our Creator.  He loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us.   He doesn’t want us to have a religion; He wants us to know Him and let Him be the Lord, the one in charge, of our lives. 

The problem is that we are sinful people.  Sin doesn’t really need to be defined.  We know when we’ve done wrong.  Our conscience tells us.  God wrote it on our hearts from the beginning.  We spend our lives trying to justify our thoughts and actions.  We keep a running tally in the backs of our minds whether we want to or not.  For me, this lead to bitterness and anger.  All the things I knew I should do and didn’t, and all the things that I knew I shouldn’t do and did, screamed guilt at me. 

Enter Jesus. 

There’s nothing that you or I can do to live up to the holiness and perfection and righteousness of God.  There’s nothing we can do to be good enough for God; because, the first bad thing we did, the first sin separated us from God.  We need a way to get a fresh start with God, a new beginning.  

David said in Psalms 51, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  He later said, in verse 10, “Create in me a new clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The only way we can be cleaned up and get that fresh start, is to receive it from God.  God knew this and had a plan to reconcile us to Himself and to save us both from hell and from a life apart from Him.

That plan was one perfect man given as a sacrifice for the sins of all men; because as Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   The problem was and is that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

God made a way by sending His own son, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with Us, all God and all man, to be our Savior.  There was no other way that this could happen.  Just prior to being crucified on the cross, Jesus, the only sinless man ever to live, prayed. And  He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”  Mark 14:36.   There was and there is no other way to be reconciled to God or to go to Heaven.  It is a narrow way, the only way.

The most quoted verse of Scripture is probably John 3:16. 

“16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ” New King James Version

We have the opportunity to be reconciled to God, to have a relationship to God as our Father in Heaven, to have His Holy Spirt give us a clean heart, a new heart, through the shed blood of Christ Jesus.  

We can be born again.  We can start fresh with all of our sins forgiven, simply by believing  that Jesus’ death and resurrection was the payment for our sins, all of our sins, all we ever did or will do.

9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

We receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts when we receive salvation.

Then we daily read the Word of God, our Bibles, and pray, and ask the Lord to speak to us through His Word.  He will.

I highly recommend you read The Steps to Peace on Billy Graham’s website www.billygraham.org

I’m praying for you that you will choose Jesus, Salvation, the Word of God, and eternal life.

With love,

Laura

FREE for WAHM’s, Cottage Business Owners, Etsy Shop Owners, Cardmakers, Scrapbookers and Wannabes!

Hi Ladies!

We do love FREE, don’t we?  Many of you have followed my blog from the beginning and know about my husband’s work with the Kingdom Business JournalI invite you to join us for what I think is going to be a fun evening with Kristie T. from Web Momz.  She is the author of, “I Love My Life”,  A Mom’s Guide to Working from Home. She makes greeting cards and gets paid for it.  She is a Christian Business Woman and stay at home mom. She loves to teach relationship marketing. 

The topic is sales.  Kristie is going to talk about how sales relates to home based business and relationship marketing.

FREE!

LIVE TELE-SEMINAR

TUESDAY, APRIL 22 AT 7 P.M. Central Time

SIGN UP HERE!   

If you cannot join us, you can click here on Wednesday to listen to the recorded interview.

Kingdom Business Journal is On-Line!

Hi Everyone!

I’m so excited!  I’m officially a published author!  My first article has been published in the Kingdom Business Journal!

It’s called From Laura’s Kitchen. Please check it out; and, let me know what you think!

Look around while you’re there. I think you’ll find some great articles that will inspire you in your Christian walk, in your ministry, and in your business, too. It’s not just for business people; it’s for work at home moms, students, business owners, entrepreneurs, just about anyone interested in extending the Kingdom of God.

www.kingdombusinessjournal.com  

Blessings!
Laura

Happy at Home

Kingdom Business Journal Coming Soon

Hello Friends! 

Kingdom Business Journal.  The website will be up and running soon; the webmaster is just working out some glitches first.  You will be inspired by the wide variety of writings.  I believe work at home moms and stay at home moms will find this to be a helpful journal as well as those folks who are starting up new businesses and who have been in business for awhile. 

I’ve noticed we’re getting quite a few clicks from my blog.  I’ll let you know when it’s up and running.  I do apologize for mentioning the site a little too early.  I’m just excited to spread the news…and to see my name in print!

I promise to let you all just as soon as it’s available.  I think you’ll find it worth the wait!

May God bless you all!!!

Laura

Happy at Home

Article in Kingdom Business Journal

Thank you to the dear friend who told me the link to the Kingdom Business Journal wasn’t working.  The Journal is not live on-line yet.  It will be up and running later this month.  I’ll let you all know when it’s up; so, you can share my excitement at being published! ~big smile~

God bless you all!

Laura

Happy at Home