Friday, January 17, 2014

"lemonade life"

Before the start of the New Year I went shopping with my sister-in-law at a book store.  While there I wasn't really finding any books that I "felt" I was supposed to read, until I saw this book titled "Choose Joy" by Kay Warren.  Almost immediately I began to dread that HE was going to tell me to buy this book, as I knew that this could very well be the next season of growing for me, and well to be quite honest, I was really wiped out from this last season of growing.  However, knowing just how much HE loves and cares for me, I knew that sooner or later HE would win, and it was just better that I obey right then.  So, that's just what I did, and I bought the book.  I came home that day and placed it in our office, and there it sat, that its until late last night where after a day of bible study, and journaling, and not blogging, and pure frustration on my part as I didn't hear anything from HIM yesterday.

From the moment I walked out of the store with this book, and my sister-in-law asked me what I bought, I said it with clenched teeth, "Choosing Joy," which then became her saying to me "Wow Heather, you seem so excited about that!"  Last night when I opened the book,  I knew I was in for a life change, and I couldn't have even begun to imagine just how much even one sentence would rock my world.

HIS Daily Teachings late last night, and early this morning has been about choosing JOY when life hands you lemons.  It has all been centered around that saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."  So there it is, choosing to live a "lemonade life," I'm almost cringing at what HE is going to reveal to me about myself throughout this season of growing.

As always, HE is revealing to me that when everything is going great, it is so easy for me to be happy, however, when things don't play out in my favor, and life gets hard, and I struggle, well lets just say I allow myself to become completely wiped out.  I really struggle with that saying about life and lemons, and well honestly, sometimes in my humanness, I choose to be self wallowing, and just want to throw my pity party!

HE is wanting me to know that through all of the heartaches, bitterness, unfulfilled longings, broken promises, disappointments, and grief, HE has been there, and will continue to be.  However, through most of those times, I  have failed to see HIM there, and I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, and once again HE is revealing to me that in choosing NOT to seek HIM and HIS joy during these times, I allow Satan and his demons to wipe away my very existence.

HE is showing me that in my past whenever life has gotten really hard, my attitude and thinking has gone straight to negative.  Almost instantly I begin to beat myself up about how stupid or foolish I have been.  I begin to repeat the heart changing lies that I hear inside my head.  I make agreement upon agreements about how I do NOT deserve the life that I am living.   I begin to agree with the thought that my family, my husband, my children would be so much better off without me.

HE is wanting me to know that the HE knows of the bondage and agreements that I made with Satan so long ago, and HE is wanting me to know that HIS good news is that I can have true freedom from all of that.  I am learning that even when I "think" I have grown so much, and begin to get a big head, and soar with confidence that "HEY GOD thanks for everything, but I've got this now..." well as always, HE will bring me right back down to earth, aka REALITY, and  HE will show me just exactly how much I don't know anything about what I "think" I know.

HE is wanting me to know that in HIM there is always JOY to be found, therefore when life hands me lemons, I must choose to make lemonade, that way I will be able to live a "lemonade life."   The more HE is telling me about this, the more I am struggling, as life is sometimes just down right hard, and "when it rains, well it pours." 

HE is showing me that I have been handed many lemons in my life, and HE is wanting me to know that through it all, HE has been there, and HE will continue to be there, all I have to do is seek HIM, and I will find HIM. HE is wanting me to know that it is time to break my life pattern of cruising along, growing in my faith, becoming stronger the more I seek HIM, and get to know HIM, only to be completely wiped out from one moment of despair.

Just thinking about that makes me cringe, as that is what I usually do.  Sadly HE is revealing to me that all it takes is one moment of despair that leads to my total "self destruction."  Thankfully even when I self destruct, it is no where near as bad as my "darkest hours," however, it usually takes me messing up a few times for me to know that all I need to be free from my self-destruction is HIM.  It's hard for me to think about and to know that  through my "self destruction" I allow myself to be crushed by the lemons, and I come undone, and I am left feeling broken, sad, and alone, and completely wiped out.

HIS Daily Teachings has been to let me know that when it seems as if though I am receiving NOTHING but lemons, I must choose to seek HIM and HIS JOY for my life.  I know that I must do that because HE has proven to me time and again that HIS plans, and HIS purpose for my life are what is best for me.  I am learning that I must get my mind focused, and my heart set on living a "lemonade life."

In order to live a "lemonade life," I am learning that I must let go of feeling sad, angry, and cheated.  I must ask HIM to create in my a new mindset and heart that is thankful for my struggles, as they are opportunities that are designed specifically for me, perfectly for me, so that I will grown, and my faith with strengthen in HIM.

This morning HE is taking me back to my most grievous of times, and HE is revealing to me that even in those times HIS JOY was there to be found, even when I couldn't see it HIS JOY was there, and this morning HE has revealed that JOY to be HIS freedom, my freedom to live a truly blessed life.  Once again HE is showing me that in my times of struggle, and pain HE is using it all for my good, HIS good, and through my writings, and you being able to read this will bring HIS hope, HIS peace, HIS grace, HIS joy, and HIS promise, that NEVER will HE leave you and NEVER will HE forsake you.

HE is telling me that from this day forward that when my life gets hard, I must see that during my times of struggle that is all opportunities for me to be able to choose HIS JOY.  Therefore, I must choose HIS JOY, and I must choose to live a "lemonade life," as I know that HIS plans are always going to be awesome for my life.

HE is wanting me to know and understand that it isn't just merely choosing moments of joy, but rather choosing to live a life-long authentic life that is only obtained by choosing HIS joy, and choosing to live a "lemonade life."  HE is telling me that the JOY that I must be seeking is one of which no matter how many lemons I am being given, I must choose to live a "lemonade life," and I must be sure that HE is glorified in every single situation I find myself in.

I am learning that in order to live a "lemonade life" then I must forget about being practical, and logical as the world tells me I am supposed to be.  I must hold onto HIS promise as it is written, that only HE knows the plans for my life.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

HIS very words have been written on my heart, and it is in those moments of despair that I am thankful that I have learned them, declared them, and speak them so that I am not overcome by life lemons, and I am able to choose to live a "lemonade life."

In choosing to live a "lemonade life," HE is wanting me to know that it does not mean a life full of fear and worry.  HE is wanting me to know that choose to live a "lemonade life," means that I am choosing to live with HIS peace which comes from HIS grace, and HIS grace is the gift of everyday that I wake up and am given a fresh start to do things the right way, HIS way.  Today I am so thankful for HIS peace, from HIS grace, which is my do-over.

HE is wanting me to understand that in order for me to grow spiritually and mature, I must choose to seek HIS JOY in everything.   I am learning that until I seek HIS JOY in everything HE can't possible teach me, or lead me, or guide me through my next steps of my journey.  Once again, I am learning that I must die unto myself and I must choose to pick up my cross and follow HIM, and seek HIS JOY in everything.   Today I am learning that until I choose to truly live a "lemonade life," HE won't be able to take me to my steps of my journey.

If I have learned anything over the past nine months it's this:  I need HIM, every hour of every day, of every minute, of every single second.  I need HIM to teach, lead, and guide me so that I will be able to live a truly blessed life, that can only come from my freedom in HIM, as HE is the one WHO holds the keys to unlock my own prison, and I know that I can only be set free when I choose to seek  HIS JOY even when my whole worlds seems to crumble.  I am learning that the past nine months have been leading up to this moment to where I am truly able to fully understand and grasp the importance of living a "lemonade life." 

I pray today that if you too are being overwhelmed by life's lemons, that you will know that HE is there, all you have to do is seek HIM, and you will find HIM.  I pray that when you seek HIM, HE will reveal HIMSELF to you, and show you the plans HE has for your life.  I pray that you will receive HIS freedom in your life, so that you too will be able to live a "lemonade life." 


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