Something very important in my daily life is to be persistent and responsible in what I do. This helps me to be prepared for the commitments I have with my family, friends, my projects, the church and with myself. However, it is not something I can achieve every day due to a condition that still affects my body and with which I struggle daily. I pray and believe for my healing daily. I believe it will happen in God's perfect timing. Some days are better than others. After the remorse of seeing how behind my projects are, I ask God to fill me with His grace. God has no qualms. He is abundant in all that He gives us. I'm the problem. I am the one who needs to give myself grace and love me for who I am. There are days that are very difficult since my body may only respond to 70% which enables me to move. The pain is there but much less than days before so I begin to move and do things about not taking into account the consequences. Why is it that we as women want to be like Wonder Woman and go to extremes? Simple. I have learned that I really do not know my limits and want to do more than I am able to. I am usually very hard on myself. I get frustrated easily. Then my daughter's voice begins to ring in my ears, “Mom, give yourself grace. Not because you feel a little better, do you want to do everything.” 🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️ It is then that I take a break and treat myself with some grace and love. It is the time when the Holy Spirit also confronts me. He whispers that my body is His temple. I need to take care of it. I ask for His forgiveness and I ask Him to fill me with His grace.
But what is the grace of God? God's grace is the sum of the blessings that He showers upon us even when we don't deserve it. It is free. The Word of God says in Ephesians 2: 8 - 9, “God saved them by his grace when they believed. You have no merit in that; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done… ”
I thank God constantly for His infinite love. I am forever grateful that He sent and sacrificed His only son, Jesus Christ, so that we can have eternal life. So if God, being God loves me, forgives my sins and in the middle of everything fills me with His grace, why is it then that I cannot forgive myself and give myself grace? Well, I just need to make the decision to do it, love myself and recognize my limitations. This way I avoid frustration, comparison and unnecessary pain. I am transformed by the grace of God. We all are when He pours His unlimited grace upon us. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)
I have learned to deal with chronic pain by doing specific things in my daily life. I want to share some with you. I hope they serve you personally. Please share them with someone you know who suffers from chronic pain.
Remember God constantly fills you with His grace. He loves you unconditionally. Your blessings are not just for you but to share with others. Give others and yourself grace.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial
because, having stood the test,
that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord
has promised to those who love him.
- James 1:12, NIV
This verse fills me with joy and peace knowing God is faithful with His promises.☺️
Now, tell me about yourself. Are you giving yourself grace when you fail or don't achieve something that you had in your agenda on a particular day?
There are those whose birthday arrives and see it as an ordinary day. Oh, but it is not by any means just another day. You see, we were created at the exact moment God thought of us. We were not an ephemeral thought but a very defined one with unique specifications. We were created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26) We are not anything. We have God’s DNA, perfect, almighty, majestic, wonderful, kind, merciful, loving and compassionate among many other excellent things. We are created beings with details and a perfect love. Do not let anyone tell you the opposite of your existence. Do not minimize your life. Celebrate every moment, especially the day of your birthday.
I recently celebrated my birthday with my daughter, family and friends. I laughed, danced and enjoyed every minute of it. I also celebrated spending time with God, meditating on everything that has happened in my life up to this point. It is a time where my tears reflect sadness, pain, regrets on taking wrong turns or poorly made decisions and at the same time joy, blessings of family, beautiful people in my life, achievements and gratefulness for God's hand upon my life. The years I have lived seem like a long life for many, but for me time is still evolving. I still have a lot that I want to achieve. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to continue walking even for the moments that I wobble and falter for health reasons, painting and weaving the threads that are part of the tapestry of my life.
Celebrate your life and value every minute. God is and will always be greater than any circumstance you may go through. Remember that you were created with love in the divine mind of God. Do not let anyone or the situation by which you came into the world make you believe otherwise. You carry God ‘s DNA. His Holy Spirit flows through your being. Celebrate and enjoy your life in the love of God. You were created with and for a purpose.
I will love to know how you celebrate your birthday? Share it with me.
Entering a new year and being able to live each day is a privilege. We tend to take days for granted but the truth is things can change from one minute to another. This is why it is vital we see each day as a blessing and an opportunity to do our best and live with joy. Yet with the hustle of work or activities we are part of, we can project onto others and our children the complete opposite. Our daily lives can be contemplated as difficult, stressful, lacking joy and hope. We make our situations difficult to handle as if solutions are way out of our control. We allow the small things affect us causing not only our temper but that of others around us to rise.
I was at the supermarket earlier. After having gone to two other places before looking for a particular ingredient I was missing. I could not find it. I got discouraged and found myself in a bind because the menu I had planned for the dinner of the Three Kings Day had to change. I was like, “Oh, no, what am I going to do now? I already sent out the invitation to my family stating the menu.” My mind went blank and all of a sudden I began to get nervous. I just could not think. I called my sister-in-law and she gave me options right away. They were so simple. I began to breathe. I could not believe I let myself get frazzled over something there was another solution to it. Still, it is the way many of us react when we have our minds set on how things should be.
I am grateful to God for each day and another year He has given me. I thank Him for a second opportunity to make things right and to be able to reflect on how I can be a better person, be a blessing to my family and others.
We are blessed to enter this 2020 looking ahead to the new opportunities God has in store for us. Each day is an opportunity for us to show our children that life is worth living. Let us share with them our difficult moments and the importance of daily reflection so the next day can be better. Let us be models of joy in the midst of obstacles, hope when things look gloomy and faith believing in the fulfillment of God’s promises for each of our lives. God’s promises are not for some but for all. I am excited and expectant looking ahead and not to the past.
During one of my daily devotions, I came upon the following excerpt from The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett. I wish to share it with you.
"Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision."
Help me to see You clearly, no matter where I am. In Jesus’ name.
In Christ’s love,
I do not know if you are like me but I love to receive gifts. It is so much fun especially when the gift is something special. You know the person giving you the gift really thought about you and looked hard on getting something meaningful. Well, last Sunday, my beautiful daughter came home from a conference, The Declare Conference; she attended for Christian women bloggers. She brought joy, excitement and bags full of goodies. We sat on her bed while she took each item out giving me all of the info or short story behind it. I was intrigued because of the bulkiness of each bag. All of the items were related to a speaker, a new friend she had made, the women at her table or the connections with the small business represented at the tables outside. She showed me what she got as a keepsake of the event, a cup, tee shirt, books… and every two or three items she took out, one was for me. I am like a little girl waiting for the next thing to jump out of the bag. I felt elated. It was so sweet of her to think of me. It was as if I was part of the event itself. She was at the end of emptying her last bag when she said, “Mom, I wanted to really bring you something special and I got you this!” Wow! It was a cross, medium size, beautifully made with three nails and a paper underneath one of the nails. She went on to give me the story. She bought the cross at one of the vendor tables. The cross is hand made, once completed, the children of Rick and Jackie Drew who founded the ministry, RAD JOY Surrender Cross, pray over each cross. The crosses are a visual reminder of Christ’s love.
Can you imagine my joy! Someone without knowing me had already prayed for me. The best part of the story is that Jackie Drew who was selling the crosses at the event prayed again over each cross (Mari got one for herself). She wrote on a paper the word that stood out in her heart while she prayed over each of our crosses. Yes, when I saw the word on my cross, I started to cry. I was touched by God’s joy and faithfulness. Only God can be in the heart of the RAD JOY Surrender Cross ministry. You see I was supposed to go as well to the conference but was unable to at the last minute. God was taking care of me and wanted me to know how much He loves me. I am praying to be there this year.
I sat down to pray the next day, wrote down my burdens and physically nailed them to the cross. Every time I look at the cross, I am reminded not to worry because I have released my burdens to Jesus. Peace comes upon me. I know my prayers will be answered in God’s perfect moment.
We all have burdens and worries, many times not knowing how to resolve them. Just leave them at the cross and Jesus will take care of them. “For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians1: 13-14 Pray and trust in God. When you do, God will fill you with incredible peace. The prophet, Isaiah describes this peace beautifully in the Bible in the book of Isaiah, “You (God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4
Do you want to have a relationship with Jesus and make Him the Lord of your life?
Go to the top of this page and click on Prayer of Salvation and you will see how your life will be full of the love, joy and peace of Jesus. You will not be the same when you enter into the family of God.
I will love to hear from you. Please leave a comment. I will respond. I also want to invite you to subscribe to my weekly devotional. It is free and it will help you to grow in your relationship with God, His son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all in One.
Until my next post…
In Christ’s love,
It has been a struggle during these past months of physical pain. Staying aligned with God’s love and His promise of healing, and not forsaking me has made me stronger in His love. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:2-3
I will not deny there have been moments of sadness, loneliness and uncertainty as to what is going to happen next? Each time, I have put myself in the only arms that can truly bring me peace, those of Jesus. Meditating on the Word and remembering all Jesus went through for me, would make me say, “I’m sorry Lord, who am I to feel this way, when You, my Jesus, went through such peril so I can have access to heaven and enjoy eternal life!” He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases. Matthew 8:17 Thank you my Jesus.
It is in our troubling times, whatever it is we are going through, be it illness, financial difficulty, loss of a loved one or just living life with its ups and downs that we become aware of who is really there for us. My Church family, friends and those I would not even imagine helping me out have been instrumental in making my days tolerable, joyful and hopeful. We need encouragement and the sense of being loved. Everyone has their own struggles but as Christians we are called to comfort and be with those who are in pain, sick or hurting. Yet many let their busyness stop from truly doing what Christ has called them to. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:8
I am grateful for my Pastors who made sure I had flowers at the hospital and when I came home. Flowers and their beauty always warm my heart. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 I received food gift cards so my daughter did not have to worry about preparing food. The Pastors visited me, prayed for me. Colleagues, my fellow librarians in particular Gay, called, texted, and visited and gave us gift cards as well. My niece, Aury Lis, came from Puerto Rico to take care of me for a week when my daughter began her new job. My dear friend and daughter, Naomi, living in Chicago took a long weekend to come and take care of me so my daughter could rest. Friends like Justina, Sandra, Marilou, Donna, Jan, Melanie, Christina, Carla, Allison and Daisy, Barbara spent hours of their time keeping me company and assisting my daughter. Others have been Prayer Warriors, my Bible study group, Neil, Janet, Rosalie, Tammy, Miguel, Carlos, Pastor April, Connie, MeriLynne, who with their prayers literally lifted me up in the hospital room. Thank you to Carlitos and Dave who visited and made me laugh. Those who visited me at the Hospital, thank you for taking of your time to be with me. I thank God for each of you. There are no words to express how grateful I am. My neighbors as well who have been so attentive. My friends and family from Puerto Rico, California and New Jersey for your prayers, calls and messages. My friends who continue to call and visit with me, thank you. The prayer of faith will make the sick person well; and the Lord will raise them up. James 5:15
Do not take lightly a call, text, visit, sending flowers or a prayer. Be an instrument of God’s love and joy. Look around you. You will find someone needing a smile, prayer or five minutes of your time. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Psalm 112:5
In Christ’s love,