Who God Says I Am

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Being vulnerable may have it’s benefits (see this previous post), but it’s sure scary. Because what if I get hurt? What if someone uses my vulnerability against me? What if someone doesn’t respond well to my “stuff”. What if they don’t say anything at all?

Crush me.

The other day I led a little girls Bible study and did a horrible job. Not really horrible, but it wasn’t good either. The kids were squirrelly and I wasn’t making it very fun. I was tired and distracted and was seriously lacking in confidence. I came home and considered two options: 1. sitting here all night beating myself up for not being awesome OR 2. reflecting on what God thinks about me. I decided on the later as Matthew 25:40 came to mind, “The King will say to them, ‘Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!'”

I may have been hum-ho that night but I was serving Christ. And I know that because I have the Holy Spirit living in me God can still move in great ways despite my weaknesses and inabilities. What an amazing truth. So I thanked God for my failures that night comforted that in my inadequacies He is glorified.

This senario is one I have with myself All. The. Time. So much so that I realized a long time ago I needed truths to combat the voices in my head that beat defeating messages over and over again. So I looked up every verse I could find on what God says about me and who He says I am. These verses below are what I use to fend off the negativity about myself in my brain.

Honestly, there are are so many identity truths in the Bible. He has a lot to say about us! Here are some (many) that I have handy for just that special occasion when someone turns me upside down and the deflating chants begin. Take these and chew on them for a day or so. Then I have a very cool exercise for us to do with them!

I am a new creation in Him!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

I am reconciled in Christ.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18-19

I am righteous and holy.
“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

I am saved by grace as a gift, not because of my performance. 
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8

I am a co-heir with Christ.
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share with His glory.” Romans 8:17

I am chosen and called by God to produce fruit.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

I am not condemned for the wrong I do
There is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1)

I can never be separated from God’s love 
Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.(Romans 8:39)

I have wisdom from God 
Because of what God has done, you belong to Christ Jesus. He has become God’s wisdom for us. He makes us right with God. He makes us holy and sets us free. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

My labor is not in vain
Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I am God’s child and I belong to Him
You are all children of God by believing in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

So he decided long ago to adopt us as his children. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. (Ephesians 1:5)

I have every spiritual blessing
Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

I am forgiven
We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. (Ephesians 1:7)

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)

I am chosen
We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose. (Ephesians 1:11)

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

I am for the praise of his glory
in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:12)

I have been seated in the heavenly realms
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:6)

I’ve been given the incomparable riches of God’s grace
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

I who was once far away have been brought near
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

I am built together as a holy building
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

I may approach God with freedom and confidence
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)

I am strong
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

I am never alone — God will not leave me
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I am a citizen of Heaven
But we are citizens of heaven. And we can hardly wait for a Savior from there. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)

I radiate light wherever I go.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

I shine like a firework in the night.
“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

I am a daughter of Light. 
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”1 Thessalonians 5:5

I am the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13

I am a vessel of Divine Light.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

Beams and light and joy exude from within me. 
“Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.” Psalm 97:11

I am a victor.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

I have a heavenly calling.
“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

I have royalty in my veins and lead with integrity.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

I am designed for good works.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

 

My Favorite Fall Kids Craft EVER

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This has to be the cutest idea ever. I had two kids do this craft in preschool and all the parents were nuts about it. The only problem is that you can’t keep it since it is all organic material, but the pictures of them will last forever.

Each child received a small pumpkin and they had all sorts of food, ribbon and material to decorate with but mostly food. Each child got to pick out what they wanted to use for eyes, a nose, mouth, ears and hair if they wanted. Then the teacher attached them to the pumpkin for the children with corsage pins.

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This is a great idea to do at home and then use as your halloween table decoration!

Decorating with Glitter Pumpkins

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Pumpkins are so much fun! I have tried so many things with them to make them fancier than the typical orange pumpkin sitting on the table. Several years ago I saw this on Martha Stewart’s website and I decided to try it.

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To date it is my favorite pumpkin idea ever. The last two years I painted my pumpkins white, which I still like, but the glitter pumpkin is fabulous.

This year, I think I will combine the two. Some white some all glittery and I think I will look for a silvery glitter. Last time I used an orangish-gold color.

It was really easy and fun to make these glitter pumpkins.

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You will need: pumpkin any size, spray glue, fine glitter.

1. Put down newspaper or a box top. Something that can catch the glitter that falls off.

2. Spray a small area of the pumpkin with the spray glue. Be sure not to spray too long in one area so you get drips. Those will show up as clumps of glitter. You want to get the glue on as evenly as possible.

3. Sprinkle on the glitter. Lots of it will fall off, but you can reuse it.

4. Repeat until the entire pumpkin is done.

So simple!

The glitter comes in many different colors at your local craft store. I used the super fine variety which I thought gave it a very classy look.

Have fun, and please comment with your pumpkin ideas!

Focus on the Beautiful

Some months are so stressful, take September for instance (does anyone out there relate?) that I have to focus on the beauty around me to get me through. I would love to go relax at a beautiful table with good conversation and friends. Ahhhh.

I hope this helps you enjoy your day a little more.

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How to Talk to Your Kids About 9/11 (Or Not)

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You may be thinking, “your a little late aren’t you? I could have used this advice yesterday.”

Hang with me, you’ll see.

My kids weren’t even a thought when 9/11 happened. But once I did have a few kids I wondered how I would ever talk to them about that awful day.

How can you tell your innocent, sweet, precious child about such things? Well, I didn’t think about it long enough to actually come up with a good plan for that day. I guess I hoped it never would.

Silly me!

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One day my husband and I were on our way to a wedding with two of our kids. We were all dressed up looking nice and pretty.  It was Labor Day weekend and the anniversary (I think the 10 year) was coming up in a few days. My husband needed to run into a drug store for something so he left us in the car while he ran in. The three of us were sitting there listening to the radio while we waited quietly. Almost immediately after my husband got out of the car the announcer started talking about the 9/11 anniversary and the events of that fateful day.

Then the questions started coming from the back seat. “What happened, Mommy?” “Were you there?”

I new I had to say something. I could’t change the subject, they were too old for that trick. They were sitting in booster seats now! So like most uncomfortable topics I decided to tackle it head on with enough information that they know the truth and know that I will give them answers and not hide things, but not so much that I tell them more than they need (or want).

So I just started. “Well it was a really scary and sad day…” This, that and some other things were explained and when I got to the part about the men on the 4th plane that took it down before it hurt anyone… I lost it.

I mean, LOST IT.

There I sat talking through my sobs like a child. Eyes pouring tears. Mascara running down my face. Trying to catch my breath. I was a sight.

Then one of the girls (and mind you the OLDEST at the time was only 6) let me off the hook and said, “Mommy it’s OK, please stop crying, you are going to ruin your makeup.”

So I pulled myself together. Quickly. And the conversation was over.

My husband came out of the store and got back in the car.

No one said a word. It was months later before any of us told him what happened that morning in the car. I would have, but I was too embarrassed and I am sure the girls didn’t want to get me started again by saying a word.

They did get a good laugh out of it when we finally broke the silence – months later.

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So yesterday I finally had the opportunity to redeem myself and handle this teaching moment with poise and grace. This time number 2 was asking me questions because it came up in class.

Well, I failed again. I was a little more graceful about it, but not much. OK, maybe not at all. I’m just wishing.

So my advice to you is that you should definitely consult someone who has it all together on this topic because I have no idea what I am doing.

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I can only pray that through my tears they know I will talk to them with transparency about anything; that I am a real person with feelings and that feelings are not only OK, but normal; and that 9/11 was serious and life altering for our country, a piece of history to know and understand; and that they should go ask their dad all about it.

So while I can’t be of much help, I do wish you the best of luck in your conversations!

September Slam

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September hit me like a ton of bricks. During the summer when we were vacationing and taking it slow and easy I signed us up for all sorts of fun stuff come fall. And now we are in it and I’m wondering what was wrong with me. It all sounded so fun back then.

Now every evening is packed with kid activities and trying to fit in Bible study and homework is not easy.

Lesson learned. Next time take on less than you think you can handle.

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I may be crazed and confused, but I have not finished my quest for wholehearted living and true vulnerability. I have much more to say on it, so stick with me!

I have some fun things to share with you soon! I can’t wait.

Until then…

Tuesday Tip

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Hairbrushes!

We are always losing hairbrushes. My two oldest don’t care because they hardly ever brush their hair but number 4 loves to brush.

I find hair brushes in toy bins, car floors, random baskets, under sofas, and in kitchen cabinets but rarely in a bathroom drawer where they belong.

Most of the time someone comes asking me to put their hair in a ponytail and since we are always in a hurry we don’t have time to check all the random places you might find a brush in our home. So I have to try and create a smooth ponytail with “no bumps” magically with my fingers without “hurting” them.

Impossible

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And then there is my brush. I really get frustrated when I go to blow dry my hair, open the drawer and find it empty. Blow dryer in hand and no brush in sight? This may not be a real crisis for you, but I have troubled hair. Hair that needs extra discipline and care. My hair has to be finessed, worked and coddled, not just thrown together. That’s not going to work. It’s touchy. It’s got a ‘tude. It requires extra assistance. So it just won’t do to NOT have MY brush.==

So brushes were the bane of my existence some days.

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Then a friend, whom God alone sent my way, told me this nifty trick. Tie your brushes to the drawer handle with a long piece of ribbon.

How simple, how splendid, how perfectly perfect.

I LOVE IT!

We now have brushes when we need them, where we need them, every time.