hand it to you

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When I used to get something I loved, I had the overwhelming desire to keep it to myself.

Like a hoarder, but of blessings.

As a newborn follower, I needed God to teach me that every blessing comes from Him not only to bless me, but in turn for me to be able to bless others.

When your grip is too tight, it hinder the blessing from its full impact.

When hubby and I moved into our first apartment after getting married, we rarely had company over. Because we felt awkward with the fact our apartment was three rooms all accessible from a common main hallway our landlady used quite regularly.

Instead of sharing that blessing, we kept it mostly to ourselves, and I have often wondered what blessing God could have had for us had we had more open arms and shared the gift of space we had with others.

When we moved to our next apartment, we began to invite others over to share the blessing of space we enjoyed. As many of our friends were still single and living at home or rooming, they enjoyed the hospitality God was stirring up within us.

When we became pregnant with our son, we felt led to move out of my hubby’s childhood stomping grounds to my hometown during my teenaged years.

And we were blessed to be able to rent a townhouse.

So we kept filling it. Friends, family and our neighbors came over regularly, and somehow the space always seemed large enough.

We learned a home is not the size of your space, but the size of your heart.

A few years later, we were blessed to be able to buy our current home. It may be small in size, but it has be used to bless dozens of kids and most of our family and close friends over the years.

We continued the tradition of our house is your house.

Sometimes our blessing means more to us when we have someone to share it with, and becomes all the sweeter because we used it to bless others.

I also regularly donate food to the food bank, and clothes to organizations whose mandate it is to not only bless others with necessities, but give them a hand up and skills to move forward into a new season.

Letting go of what we hold onto so tightly can be just what another has been waiting for.

The same becomes true when we let go of our past, sins and baggage which has been holding us back.

When we take our hands off, He can move His hands in freedom, restoration and blessing.

When we receive all He has for us from His hands with a grateful hand, we can extend the other to those whom through us, He intends us to bless.

Whether it is a physical gift or a spiritual blessing, this holds true.

When we accept His forgiveness, we are able to extend it to others.

Substitute love, grace, peace, joy…for forgiveness, and it remains the same.

We were meant to hold one hand up to receive what He has for us in praise and thanksgiving for all He has given to us, and extend the other hand out to one another to share what we have been given.

The gifts, the blessings He gives us are designed for community.

What God blesses us with is always deeper than we can see on the surface, and part of His plan for us.

When we share His blessing with others, the blessing becomes doubled in a way we cannot fathom on earth, but fulfills the mandate of this Kingdom.

For all we have comes from His loving hands.

And all we do and offer Him back is because of His great love.

Take a moment, and ask Him what you may be holding on too tightly to today. Ask Him to show you how to take the blessings He has given you and offer them as blessings to the community about you. It may be a physical offering of goods, time or use of a gift or talent. It may be an emotional one, by supporting a cause dear to you heart & His. It may be a spiritual offering, coming alongside someone struggling in an area He has set you free from.

In all things, with thanksgiving and praise, we offer all You have given us back to You. For Your Kingdom come for Your will be done, for Your glory, forever and ever.

always something there to remind me

There is always something there to remind me.

Every day,
something reminds me of how much
I have to be thankful for.

Thank-full.
Full of thanks.

Most of us have moments we might otherwise pass by, and never notice the gift we were given in that very moment.

Friday I decided to juice fast until lunch for a few days.

Food- the simple chicken, snap peas and carrots- never tasted so good as it did when I got hungry.

Saturday, my kids and I had to walk somewhere unexpectedly due to a change in Hubby’s work day. One vehicle going in the opposite direction= 3 walkers. As a result, we saw a plant none of us have never seen before, and had some great conversations as we walked together- which we would have likely missed in a quick car ride.
We also amped up our walking for the day, and are thankful to be able to walk.

Today, I got a few compliments on how nice my children are. They are my best gifts yet, after my hubby, that God has chosen to bless me with.

I got to use my voice as part of a worship team this morning. I am so thankful to be able to sing for His joy and glory every day.

The weather today was just right for an outdoor BBQ this afternoon, having cooled perfectly for sitting outside by my garden and reading tonight.

Simple pleasures maybe to you.

Gifts I am thankful for
thank-full for as I count them
every day.

There is always, always, something to be thankful for.

Count your blessings
list the gifts
you have seen, received
each day.

Training ourselves to daily notice all we have to be thankful can help you through the harder days by reminding you He is the giver of all good things.

He even gave His son to show me just how much He loves me.

The best gift yet to be thankful for
because it will live on
in my heart
for all eternity!

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mirror the joy

Joy is at the heart of God. Joy is a command. Joy is strength and its absence will create weakness. God is the happiest being in the universe. And God’s intent was that his creation would mirror his joy.

– John Ortberg

We were meant to mirror His joy.

Joy can be found no matter what your circumstance, because joy is a choice.

Choosing to accept God is for you, even if you can’t see it right now.

Because truth is not related to your perspective. It is solid, dependable and lives forever.

Truth is part of the heart of God.
As is His joy.

God delights in us as His.

And that fact alone should bring you joy.

And if we are being joyful, God is too.

For He loves when His kids appreciate His gifts.

The more we acknowledge and name the gifts He has given and is giving us, the more joy we will experience.

I don’t know about you, but I can use more joy on a daily basis.

If we are experiencing being loved, and keeping track of the blessings God is directing your way, the joy will begin to puddle up, pool together and flow beyond anything you can imagine.

Its time for immeasurable joy.