Rise Up and Shine!

Helloooooooooooo!

It’s time! Time to get up and move, that is!  Time to dance, time to walk, run, laugh, sing, rejoice, praise!!!

Yes, it’s time to rise up from wherever you are and shine!!!

I’ll supply the words, and you supply the tune, the beat, the drum, piano, screaming guitar, etc!! In other words, dance to the beat of your own drum 🙂

And as we dance, here’s a question to ponder:  Do you like to fly under the radar; live simply, don’t make waves, see everything in black and white terms? Do you feel your life is boring or not meaningful?

Well…here are the words to a great song – ponder them in your heart as you sing and dance today!

Colors
Let the oceans roar
Let the earth cry out
The Lord is real
 Yeah yeah
Let my voice raise high
Let my heart cry out
This love I feel
(repeat)
For You came to me
In a whitewashed time
Nothing was real,
Nothing worth a dime
Went through my days
Just getting by
Nothing to show
Or testify
 
Nothing to testify.
 
But then I heard You say,
“I made you, you are Mine,
Rise up and shine”
“Open your eyes and see
The colors I have made to be,
Change your white to bright
And make a difference
 
Yeah, change your white to bright
and go make a difference”
 
So, let the oceans roar
Let the earth cry out
The Lord is real
 Yeah yeah
Let my voice raise high
Let my heart cry out
This joy I feel
 
So yeah, I opened my eyes
And looked around me,
Wow! 
 Now I see, God,
You are real
And all around me
 
I have a call
A difference to make
A purpose to fill
And not for my sake
 
So, yeah, I changed my white to bright
And now my heart can see
The colors you made
And purpose for me
Yeah, a purpose for me
and victory 
 
I changed my white to bright
And now I see
The difference you made
The difference for me
 
 So, let the oceans roar
Let the earth cry out
The Lord is real
 
Let my voice raise high
Let my heart cry out
This love I feel
 
So, let the oceans roar
Let the earth cry out
This love is real
 
The Lord is real
And now I feel
I was meant to be
To make a difference,
 
Yeah, to make a difference
To make a difference…
 You see?
“I made you, you are Mine,
Rise up and shine”

MIndy with TLW Girls Heart comp

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…”
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn (made) you with lovingkindness.”
Isaiah 41:3 – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine!”
 John 8:32 – “…and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
 Jeremiah 29:11 – “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.”
Have you changed your white to bright?  Do you wanna make a difference? Let’s do it! Now’s the time! 
 
Let’s live in the difference!!
Poster collage

Memorial Day Remembrance

Memorial Day     In the United States, Memorial Day, is a day set aside to remember those who have died while serving in our Country’s military.  Originally, this day was called Decoration Day, after the Civil War in 1868, when an organization of Union veterans (the Grand Army of the Rebublic), established it as a time to honor those who died in the war by decorating their graves with flowers. The Confederate veterans had a competing tradition honoring their fallen, but by the 20th century, the two traditions merged, and Memorial Day became a day to honor ALL Americans who died while in military service.

     Today, as we reflect on the tremendous number of fellow Americans who have died while in service to (our) Country, let us all also merge our hearts, as a country, as a people, just as the Union and Confederate Veterans did.  Let’s take today to honor these men and women and their families who gave so much.  Without the sacrifice each of them gave, our Great America would not be Great and we would not remain a free People. 

Their sacrifice has made living in the United States of America better for every single one of us.

To all our Fallen Military

We remember and honor you today.

May God bless each of you and your families,

And May God bless our United States of America!

<3

Heroes never die pic

#Goodness

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-14

             Because I believe and know this deeply within my heart – that I am fearfully and wonderfully made – I also know that I am ok; I have good in me; my body, my soul, my spirit – all that makes up who I inherently am – is good, is right, is wonderful.  The very basis for who I am is good, right, and wonderful.  Because I was made – I was created that way, from the beginning, and with love.  By You. Baby Tommy for Blog

 “I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

 Jeremiah 31:3

             I will dwell on this, I will recite this, I will ingrain this FACT, this knowledge into my brain, my heart, into the whole fabric that is me.  Until I believe wholeheartedly, with all of my heart, soul, and spirit, without hesitation, that I was in the very beginning – good!  My basis is GOOD! (Not bad, wrong, off, by mistake, flawed, evil, in error, etc.)

             And if my BASIS is good, no matter the circumstances of my conception and/or birth, if my beginning is GOOD, then I can always go back to that beginning good.  I can always choose to tap back into that good that has always been there inside of me since the beginning.  I can claim it and drag it out!  Yep, I can drag it out, pour it over my head and let it wash all down and over me, washing off all the years of grit and grime I have wallowed and covered myself in! Oh yes I can!

             No matter what I have done, no matter how unloved, unworthy, or unlovable I am feeling, I can go back – back to that good.  I can dress myself in that good.  I can walk in that good.  I can make that beginning good in me a real thing – once again.  And again.  And again.  I can allow that goodness within me to take over my mind, my heart, my body – covering over all the hurt, the betrayal, the negative.  I can allow it to mend, to heal, to relieve all the regret, the brokenness, the pain.  I can allow myself to feel that goodness within me!  I can become that goodness in me – I can BE  that GOODNESS – again!  Yes, once AGAIN 

 I CAN!

YOU can!!

Just #Believe

           …#Believe you have that goodness within you and that it’s been there since the day of your conception! Go look for it –dig down in there if you have to – find it! Take it out, dust it off and put it on!  Yay!!!  And then #Commit to allowing #goodness, #love, and #mercy into your heart, allowing them to reign over all else in your life.  #Commit to being and doing #good for yourself.  #Commit to being and doing good for others.  #Commit to #love, patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofall

 And if you don’t know what this love is, here are some fun explanations:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=MSG

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=NASB

            This is what’s on my mind and heart today.  As I did this morning, I hope you will too, take this truth and push it deeply within your heart and soul, soothing your scarred and torn self-worth and shoring up your strength to start each day with GOOD!  Because you were intended for this!

 #Peace and #Goodness to you ❤

 If you don’t know what the #greatestlovestoryofall is, you can find out here: https://www.biblegateway.com/

           If you don’t believe this man is who this book says he is, then try to see it this way: the story of him, his life, and his love is still a perfect template to trace and model in our own lives.

 Here’s to living out #Goodness in 2015!

#Commit to #goodness, #love, and #mercy, allowing them to reign over all else in your life. #Commit to a #love patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofalltime.   

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to You!

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to you all!

In reflection today of those in my family, and those from around our Country who have served, and yet serve, and in thinking particularly of the changes that serving can and does make in our troops and their family’s lives, I came across this song Stand With Me by the band Downhere. It carries the message I wish to say to each of these faithful, serving in our Armed Forces –

I will stand with you!

May our entire Country stand with each of you, today, and always – God bless you and your families, and thank you for putting yourself out there for your Country and each of us. I appreciate each one of you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0yOzDptjWs#t=15

Tiff and Chris in Uniform

Welcome Home Son-in-Law

Richard Aaron in Uniform

Brave Nephew

Chas

Brave Neice

Nikki

Brave Niece

Billy, Mindy, Cyndi in Terminal

Welcome Home Brother

Dad in Uniform

My Korean Veteran Dad

Billy in Guard Uniform

Hero Brother

Billy in Navy Blues

Awesome Brother

Honor Guard at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard

Salute at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard Salute at Dad’s Funeral

  Billy Taking Navy Oath

The Most Beautiful Gift

Good invigoratingly cool Fall Sunday morning to YOU!!!!

     And on this invigorating morning, let’s have an invigorating conversation: I’ll start with asking you this:

How is your faith this morning? On a scale of 1 -10, with 1 being non-existent and 10 being unshakable, where would you rate your faith? Hmmm….go ahead and give this some real thought for a few moments.  No judgement here – just personal introspection 🙂  Would you say you are:

  •  A non-believer – you don’t believe there is a God out there who created all things. (1)
  •  Neutral – you don’t believe or disbelieve there is a God out there.  (1+)
  •  A God-believer – you think or you know there is probably a big God out there who created and watches over stuff. (1-3)
  •  A God-follower – you know there is a God out there, Creator of all, who watches over all, who you interact with regularly. (4-7) 
  • How about a God-lover – you KNOW God is real, you love Him and do your best every day to talk to Him and ask Him to lead your life, and you truly try to do what you think He wants you to do. (8-10)
  • And then there’s the God fanatic – you KNOW God is real and AWESOME and you live EVERY moment to please and worship Him and tell everyone you can about Him. (10+)

     I will happily admit that I probably reside in the God-lover category, with tendencies toward the God fanatic. Though I don’t go beating people over the head trying to convert them 🙂 Hehe.  So, where do you reside? Are you happy there?

     Well, I haven’t always believed in God; truly I struggled with having “faith.”  Throughout my less than perfect childhood, especially after a frightening experience in an over-zealous church, I mostly just tried to get through each day however possible.  But one day that all changed.

     In reality, I was probably just a normal girl, with normal issues, but one day found myself at the end of my rope in the midst of emotional trauma, and with nowhere else to turn, I asked God if He in fact was real.  And that if He was really out there, would He please show me, and help me believe that He was real and that He cared enough to help me with stuff going on in my life.

     Have you ever been in that place?  Well, here’s my story:

     One Sunday morning when I was 18, I was visiting my mother in Oklahoma (I had been living in Ohio with my Dad).  She asked me to attend a church service with her that morning, so I did.  During the final prayer time I bowed my head with everyone else, but I wasn’t really praying.  I didn’t know how for starters, and second, I didn’t really believe that God was there or cared about me.  Truthfully, I was thinking about getting home, changing into my little pink bikini and laying out back to soak up the sun’s rays, soothing my troubles away.  But as I secretly looked around me, seeing  all these people with heads bowed in prayer, I wondered why they were praying and how they thought doing so would help anything.

Little did I know that this day, and one person in the church service this day, would change my life forever.

     While the Pastor was praying up front and I had my head down, I felt a hand touch my shoulder.  Startled, I looked up and saw the Pastor’s wife standing there next to me.  She looked into my eyes and said, “You’re having trouble with faith, aren’t you?” Woah – what? How did she know I was thinking about that? At first I was scared, but then she said something like “You don’t know how to believe in God, do you?”  Ummm…no, I really don’t.  But, again, how does she know that – she doesn’t even know me?  A little freaky!  

     But then this Pastor’s wife smiled at me and said, “That’s ok.”  Wow, I have to say I felt a little less freaked out and maybe a little relieved when she said that.  But somehow at the same time I began to feel this little tugging going on inside me – this little yearning to know and understand what she was talking about, this beginning desire to know and have faith – to believe that there really was this God out there somewhere in my crazy world. But what she said was right – I didn’t know how.

     And then she asked me if she could pray with me.  I was nervous, but I nodded and bowed my head.  And she prayed, quietly, personally, right there with me, she whispered a prayer for me, simply asking God to give me faith.  And from somewhere deep within me, I realized, yes, I really wanted to have that faith!

     Then the service was over and I went home.  I really didn’t feel any different, and I went about my day.  Later that afternoon I was in the kitchen, bent over the sink washing my hair.  All of a sudden I felt this feeling on the top of my head, then it began to spread down into my head, my neck, my chest, and into my heart.  Like something had been put on top of my head, and then was pushed inside my head and then traveled down into my heart.  I mean, I could literally feel it!  Imagine my startled wonderment.  But interestingly, I wasn’t afraid.  And as soon as I felt this – whatever it was – hit my heart, I somehow just knew that it was faith – that somehow I now felt faith.  That somehow, some way, that something I felt on my head was a rock of faith being inserted into my head, pushed through me and instilled into my heart.  Oh my gosh!! Faith! The knowledge that somehow God is real.  I knew – I just knew that there was a God, a real God, living and being.  Who saw me and knew me.  All of a sudden I felt like I had known that my entire life.  It was as if I had never doubted.  I just knew God is.  I believed!

And so I had my faith.  God answered the softly whispered prayer of a humble Salvation Army Captain’s wife, for a troubled teen to have faith.  The beautiful gift of faith – became mine.

     That was many years and many life crises ago.  But my faith has never wavered since.  Yes, I have questioned “why” on some things and I have been angry and hurt at God for some things.  In fact, I have railed at Him a few times.  (Which incidentally has brought me closer to Him, not farther away.)  But my belief that He is there, and my trust in Him has not wavered. And it is this belief and trust that carried me through, and yet carries me through each storm in my life.

     Yes, this surprising gift of faith has turned out to be the most beautiful, life-changing gift I have ever received.  And it can certainly be yours too if you want it. I won’t tell you that having faith will make your life easy, nothing will do that.  But it will carry you through the deep waters of life – which we all have – knowing you are not alone, and that He is there helping you every step of the way.  Just ask.

Just ask Him.  A softly whispered prayer or a desperate cry for help – whatever your situation – in all sincerity, just ask Him to give you faith.  Ask Him to help you believe.  He is there – waiting.  

For you are His Beloved.  

He knows you.  He created you.  He wants you to know Him.  He wants you to have the peace that believing in Him brings.

“This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve  revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!  

John 16:23-24 (The Message)

Morning Grace

Good Morning!

Morning Grace Cropped

What are you thankful for today?

…I know, some days it seems very hard to pinpoint even just one thing to be thankful for.  But for today – I am so thankful and grateful for each and every person in my life who grants and gives me so much wonderful love, unconditionally and always, whenever I need it.  I am blessed far beyond what I deserve!

So, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart – each one of you – for loving and supporting me – I am truly thankful ❤

Mindy