Goals, dreams, and everything in between. You want to move forward accomplishing what’s in your heart, but may feel stuck. Or maybe you’re not progressing as quickly as you thought. On this week’s Christianity Made Easy Podcast, I share a simple strategy that I use with my life-coaching clients that will help you gain success in every area where you are lacking.

Where Do You Need The Most Help Right Now?

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Whether it’s climbing the career ladder, losing weight, marriage problems or…insert your roadblock here…listen to this episode and you’ll have a simple plan that will help you be more and do more.

People pay big bucks for a life coaching strategy like this. Today you get it as a gift.

Listen below or get the podcast in iTunes.

If you're interested in certified life coaching with me, click here for more information. I'd love to help you be more and do more!

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Why God Hates it When You Trash Talk YOURSELF
Imagine this…You forget to unplug the iron, it falls and burns a big ol’ hole in your ironing board cover. Rats! Thank God, it didn’t catch the house on fire. Still, you feel like an loser.

Or get this, You’re late and your whipping in and out of traffic like Jeff Gordon. All of the sudden your car slows down and it’s not because you let your foot off the accelerator. It’s because your gas tank has gone bone dry. You forgot to get gas this morning. Grrrrrr!….You think, “I’m such a dork!”

Or you bounce a check…again. In fact, it’s the third check you’ve bounced this month. Not intentional. Just happened. You were juggling things – trying to make it all work. Fail. Fail. Fail. What slips out of your mouth? I’m such a failure!

When you goof up, what’s the first thought that races through your mind?

I am so stupid!

Really?

Is that the best you can come up with?

Or try this on for size…

“Gosh, I just can’t get it right.”

“I am so forgetful.”

“I’m an irresponsible dim whit.”

“I’m such a goof!”

“Nice job, bozo!”

“I’m such a fool, will I ever learn?”

“I will never get ahead!”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Wonder how God stomachs all of our insane, self-inflicting comments when we start letting them roll.

Right now, I’m picturing God sitting on His throne, listening to someone tear you, someone He loves, into shreds. Doesn’t matter that the same person who’s spouting off the name-calling is also the recipient. When you start getting down on yourself, you’re hurting someone God loves.

And that’s wrong. Stop.

Know what? God would never call you names. Regardless of your mistakes! And God would never ask you to do anything He doesn’t do himself. If He asks us to think about the good in other people, then He’s thinking about the good things in us too.

Let’s take it a step further. God asks you to think Philippians 4:8 about yourself.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8 (NLT)

What about you is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable?

Think on that! But don’t just think on that, FIX your thoughts on that. In other words, those thoughts about the good in you should consume the majority of your thoughts. When you “fix” something in your mind, your thoughts don’t move. They stay. They stay on the good.

Rather than trash yourself, treasure yourself.

Cause you are good stuff to think about and you’re good stuff talk about.

Let me know if this post has connected with you. Tell me about your struggle and your success in the area of talking about yourself. Pop your thoughts into the comment section! 

 

Tired of those looks? You know the ones I mean. You feel their eyes on you. Cutting you to pieces. Burning holes into your self esteem. The glances from people who think they are the standard of excellence in every area.

Declaring themselves the judge and jury, they’re busy sizing you up on their chart. Nothing slips by their radar. Nothing is out of reach from their inspectful watch. And watch they do. Watching to see if you make a mistake. Watching to see if you are up to par.

Did you say the right thing? Did you handle the situation the right way? Are you living your life they way they deem appropriate? Are you dressing to the standards they think are acceptable? Have you put on a few pounds? Does your hair style fit your face? How bout your kids? Did you enroll them in the right after-school program? According to the judge, are you spiritual enough? Look out, cause there they go again declaring your motive or heart to be anything but right or real.

 Come on, give us a break!

Tired of it?

Want to know how you can turn the tables on them?

Yeah, you heard me. You can make this stop. I’m going to show you how to stop ’em dead in their judgmental tracks. Ready?

Here’s what you have to do:

You have to stop judging too.

You be first to stop the cycle.

What cycle?

The cycle you started in motion.

Huh?

Ok, this may be hard for you to swallow, but the real reason people judge you is because somewhere along the way, you began judging others.

Ouch!

Really?

Yep.

God says so.

Matthew 7:1 & 2, “Don’t judge others, or you will be judged. 2 You will be judged in the same way that you judge others, and the amount you give to others will be given to you.” (NCV)

I love how the Message puts this: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.”

Talk about a boomerang effect!

It’s plain and simple.

The buck stops with you.

You want to live in a judgement-free zone?

Then provide it for others.

It may have started years ago. So long ago, you can’t remember. You began to look at others with an inspectful eye. Maybe it was a defense mechanism. Insecure about some area of your life, you started looking for areas where you could put people down. Why? So you could look better. You need to be better at something, right? So you found a way to out-shine them. Now you look better because there’s a way you make them look bad.

Along with that, you slowly began to believe you knew more in some areas and it gave you the right to declare people “this” or “that”. You evolved into a being that was allowed to say or at least think, your two cents.

Know what? Your two cents aren’t worth crap. Oh, now, don’t get yourself in a tizzy thinking you don’t do this. Just take a look, an honest look. The facts speak for themselves, if you are being judged, then you have judged. It’s the result of your own judging. According to the Bible, you can’t get around this…unless you stop. Stop judging. You stop. Then others will stop. If you succeed, you will turn the tables.

What goes around, comes around. So if you want to stop being judged. Stop the cycle. Stop judging others. It begins with you. And how sweet it will be when it also ENDS with you!

What do you think? Yes, now I am asking for your two cents! Leave us a comment in the box below. Talk to you soon!


Why You Lose When You Compare Yourself to Others & How to STOP

It’s tempting isn’t it? Looking at someone and wondering just how well you measure up to them. Hair, appearance, size, position, talent, wealth, education, intellect, athletic prowess, people skills. The list is deep and it also goes wide. There’s no end when comparing yourself to the girl or guy next door. And if you do, let me tell you, you lose! Read on and I’ll explain. I’ll also show you how you can STOP comparing yourself to others. Let’s go!

When Walt Disney was a young school boy, his teacher saw him drawing pictures of flowers. She said, “They’re very nice Walter but don’t you know, flowers don’t have faces.” He looked up and said, “Mine do.” I love that! Even as a small boy, Walt Disney had the guts to stick up for who he was. He was true to himself. He did his own thing. And that’s probably one

of the reasons why he was so successful. He didn’t let anybody cramp his style.

Oh, but you do let people cramp your style, don’t you? I betcha just recently you were feeling pressured or feeling badly about yourself because you were not like someone else. You were deciding you don’t fit someone else’s image of who you should be. Have I got your number?

When you do either of these two things above, you miss out on who YOU are supposed to be! And that is so dangerous because you get the WRONG IDEA of who you’re supposed to be. You become confused and don’t know who you are.

When you compare yourself to others you get the wrong idea of who you’re supposed to be. You become confused and don’t know who you are.

There’s a story about a farm boy that I read in one of Chuck Swindoll’s books, who found an eagle’s nest with an egg in it. He took the egg from the nest, and when he got home, he put it under a hen along with her other eggs.

Since the eagle’s egg hatched among chicks, the eagle thought he was a chicken. He learned chicken behavior from his “mother” and scratched in the chicken yard along with his “siblings”. He didn’t know any better. And when he sometimes felt strange stirrings within him, thoughts, like hmm, “I think I walk a little different from the rest of the crowd,” or “I seem to have longer wings than everybody else” – he ignored those thoughts. When he began to realize he had different qualities and was different from the rest, he buried those thoughts too. After all, when he looked around him all he saw were chickens, so he thought he must behave like a chicken. Talk about pressure!

But then one day an eagle flew over the farm. The chicken yard eagle looked up and saw him. In that moment, he realized he had the same kind of stuff that that eagle did. He wanted to fly high. He wanted to go to the mountain peaks he saw in the distance. So he spread his wings, which were much larger and stronger than those of his siblings. Suddenly he understood that he was different. He was an eagle. He was meant to fly.

Though he had never flown before, he possessed the instinct and the capabilities. He spread his wings once more and he took off. He soared high…because he stopped looking around him. He finally discovered his true self.

How sad it would have been for him to continue comparing himself to the other chickens, never measuring up. And why would that be sad?

Because he wasn’t a chicken. He could never measure up and wasn’t supposed to!

He couldn’t walk like the chickens, he couldn’t cluck like the chickens. Hello? It’s because he wasn’t a chicken! And that could have left him down and discouraged thinking he wasn’t good enough.

You may be going through life comparing yourself to others. You’re feeling worthless and not good enough because you don’t walk like others, talk like others, and do things like others. Look, you’re not supposed to be like others.

You can’t fly like an eagle if your stuck on the ground trying to be like the other chickens! So, here’s how to get off the ground:

1. Make a List of Your Greatest Attributes & Abilities

This may sound silly, even cocky if you don’t know where I’m coming from with this, but reserve judgment till you get what I’m about to share with you. I remember driving down the road when I was 16 years old, listing all of my greatness. Now, don’t let that fool you. I wasn’t conceited or stuck on myself or anything like that. After giving myself a honest evaluation, I made a mental list of my good stuff. Great stuff. Because inside of everyone of us is great stuff. God made us with great stuff. You have greatness in you just like I do. You just have to see it. And when you do, you can make a list of your greatness too!

2. When you come up against thoughts of comparing – knock em down!

Resist the urge to measure yourself up against someone you see or that comes to mind. If you encounter Carey, an acquaintance in the shoe department at Macy’s, quit inspecting her outfit and trying to discover if those shoes are real Gucci stilettos. If they are, so what? You have bigger fish in your own frying pan. Look deep. Greatness is there. If you walk by Bill in the break room, don’t think, “If I were only as tall as him.” Stop it! Don’t let your mind go there! Let it go here: back to your list of your Greatest Attributes & Abilities. 

Focus on your Greatness. Soon you will see you have no reason to compare.

The more you see the great attributes and abilities that God has built into you, the less you will have need to measure them against someone elses.

Galations 6:4 says this:

“Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done, and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.”

List your greatness and you’ll no longer need to compare! 

Did this hit home with you? Do you have any input or advice to add? Leave a reply. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this post, check out some related posts by clicking on this link: Are You Weird in a Good Way?

 

What a JERK!!! It’s not fair…being wronged, being treated unkindly. Ripped off. Ripped up. Your dignity stripped away. Yep, that’s you there getting the royal treatment from a first class jerk.

Now what? Take a deep breath. Help is on the way. I’m going to show you how to handle the jerks in your life and get your sweet revenge too!

1st Step: Measure It

Measure what they took from you. Measure?! Yes, figure out how much they stole from you. Was it your reputation? How much? Was it your spot in line? How much longer did you then have to wait? Was it money? How long will it take for you to make that amount up? Was it an idea they took credit for? How much effort will it take to come up with something new and just as brilliant? What was it? Figure out what you lost, because they OWE YOU big time!

2nd Step: Cancel It

Knowing exactly what you lost…let it go. Huh?! Yes, release it. It’s gone anyway. Now you need to accept that it is gone and it can’t be replaced. Even if they tried to make it up to you, it will never be replaced with the same exact thing. So what choice do you have? They incurred a debt with you. One they will never be able to repay. So your only option is to cancel the debt. This is called forgiveness. Yes, it’s the hardest on the list. But the most important. Forgiving gives you the freedom to move on. Don’t let the jerk keep you tied up. Let em loose! Don’t be bound; you have places to go and things to do!

3rd Step: Get Praying

Pray for the jerk. Yuck! I know, I don’t like praying for people who mess with me either. I don’t want to pray for the jerks in my life because that will help them, and heck, even bless them. Why would I want to be good to someone who messed with me? Consider this little known secret: it empowers you to make a difference in their life. You get to be their game-changer. Didn’t know you were signing up for that, did ya? You can actually be the one to jerk them out of jerk mode! Get praying.

4th Step: Give Love

Love the jerk. Excuse me?! Hard to swallow, huh? But look, there’s something in it for you. God says over and over again that if you’re really mature, you will love everyone unconditionally. Now here’s the rub – unconditionally means even when they screw you over. Having a jerk is the only way to see if you have love. You love them when they are unlovable. Yes, I know, sounds like you are getting the shaft again. But passing the love test makes you more like Christ. And looking more like Christ means you’re going to receive the blessings He’s got for you. That would involve a crown, a mansion, and tons of cool stuff here on earth. I’d say loving the jerk is worth it, wouldn’t you? Love the jerk; it does you good!

5th Step: Look Good

With your eyes, get searching for some good in the jerk. Now, it’s going to take a willingness to accept that this person has some good. And ahhhh, that’s tough. You are so focused on their ugly spot, you convince yourself there are no beauty spots. Look hard my friend. You did? Look again. The beauty is there, it just takes a willing eye. Once you find it, thank God for it. I’m sure you’re wondering, ” Are you outta your mind!?” Try it, it will put you in a better mood. There’s no way you can stay mad when you are grateful.

6th Step: Shut Up

Refuse to talk badly about them. I know you really want to rake them over the coals. And yes, it seems the whole world needs to know about their jerky side. But there is an advantage to controlling your tongue. When you speak poorly of others, subconsciously people think bad of you. Negative tongue wagging lands you in a sad category according to others. Think about it, it’s true. Let it not be you!

7th Step: Pay Back

REVENGE! Now we’re talking! But here’s what you need to know: You probably can’t do as good a job at stickin it back to them as God can, so why not let God do it? He’ll blow you away with His masterfully crafted plan to make them reap what they sow. Romans 12:19 says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”says the Lord.”

So, leave it to God, He always does a better job at pay-backs than you do, and it’s less work for you. You’ve got a guaranteed win-win here. Go get a Starbucks and prop your feet up. Let God give the hit and watch the jerk squirm, sweet deal, eh?!

There you go. You’ve learned how to handle the jerks in your life. If you pull this off, you will see that having a jerk in your life can really benefit you indeed!

Let me know if this helps. Comment below!


Why We Need to Sweat the Small Stuff If We Want the Big Stuff
How can great leaders come out of nowhere? Ready? It’s because they have been hidden, plugging away at the small things first. Let that sink in. See, you don’t usually SEE a great leader in the making because you don’t SEE them taking care of the small stuff. The stuff behind the scenes. So when they finally do emerge, it’s like, “Hey, where did this chick come from?” “Does anyone know this guy? He seems to have come out of nowhere.” That’s right. They did come out of nowhere. They were busy taking care of the small stuff when all of a sudden heaven opened a door and BAM! They came into bigger things.

Small stuff is the stuff kings are made out of

Like King David, they’ve busied themselves for decades on the backside of a pasture, tending sheep, ankle-deep in manure, swatting flies, sweat dripping off their brow, and developing yucky yellow sweat st ains under their armpits. Then something shifts. They are given a throne. Prior they had anointing, but no crown. Now they have both. It’s because they paid the price. Majoring in the menial led to the magnificent! That small stuff is the stuff of kings.

My scary, ugly thought

I had a thought that scared the snot out of me one time. I was sitting on my back porch having a talk with God. I was tired of looking over my life and unfulfilled dreams. I actually said to God, “How come I’m more faithful to you than you are to me?!”  Whoa, I couldn’t believe I actually thought that. As soon as it shot out of my thinker, I repented. How brazen a thought! For a moment I actually believed that throughout the years, all of the ways I have been faithful, were more than how much God has been faithful to me. Yikes! How dare I think such a thing? After asking God for forgiveness, I wondered where that thought came from. Was I tired? Exhausted? Had I totally lost my mind? That’s not the right one to have! I was shocked at what was going on in my head.

Sticking with small stuff leads to the bigger better stuff

After I regrouped, I rediscovered once again, that it’s really the small things that are the big things. You may have heard of the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”. Great title. But for our purposes here, we really do need to sweat the small stuff. Sweating the small stuff is a guaranteed lead to the big stuff.

How do I know? The Bible tells me so. A scripture in Matthew 25 says: “You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much.” Cool! If I work my butt off taking care of the things I’d rather not, I will eventually get to do what I’d rather do! (Well, right motives and good attitude do play an important part here too, so don’t leave that out.) All this to say…playing the part that no one else sees or gives a rip about is a lead-in to something greater. There are no short cuts, so quit looking for them.

God’s watching and smiling

Allow me to toss a little something to you from the book of Zachariah. It’s found in chapter 4, verse 10: “Do not despise the day of small beginnings. The Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

This verse helps us reframe our manure filled pasture moments. It shows us that God is not only watching, but rejoicing. He’s got his eye on you, me, and all the others as we busy ourselves with the stuff of our pre-king seasons. Let’s keep it up. Our crowns are on order and they are just about ready for wear if we will stay at it long enough.

Soon someone will see you and say, “Hey, where did YOU come from?”

Have you found this to be true? Share your comment or story below.


If You Want to Feel Better – Go Ahead, Cry! Feel the Pain!
If You Want to Feel Better – Go Ahead, Cry! Feel the Pain!
by Linda Travelute, Ph.D.

“Do I have to be strong when I hurt so much?” This is a common question when someone has endured a traumatic situation or has just lost a loved one.

Finding the courage to be strong when your world has been blown apart seems like a great idea. There’s such a temptation to be a rock and hold back the tears. That’s the noble, nice thing to do. After all, it would make it easier on your family and loved ones. They wouldn’t see you in pain and then they wouldn’t feel as bad as they try to sympathize and comfort you. Actually, it seems like a grand idea to just ignore the sting of hurt or loss hoping it just might go away. Wrong! You can push away the pain and pretend it doesn’t hurt but doing so will endanger your health and your emotional well-being.

God was so smart creating us with the ability to cry. Crying is a valve that releases pain. When tears flow harmful toxins in our bodies are able to escape. Have you noticed that after a good cry you feel so much better? That’s because you’ve let some of the junk seep out. Yes, you may feel tired and drained from sobbing and weeping but no doubt you feel relieved.

Think back. Maybe as a kid, you had a crying spell and a parent or grown up looked at you and said: “Stop crying!” Yes, they meant well, but that’s why there are people who do not know how to release their emotions. Those words come back to haunt them the moment they feel a tear form in the corner of their eye. They shut it down. And as result, shut down a way that God gave us to heal the pain.

I say…”Go ahead and cry!” When I officiate a funeral one of the first things I do is gather the grieving family and loved ones together and let them know it’s ok to cry.  I even ask them to give each other permission to cry. When people in my office start to cry I don’t rush to hand them a tissue. Some may think this is rude, but usually when you hand someone a tissue, they take it as a signal to stop crying. I’ll let people get a good sob going before I hand them a tissue to wipe their face. I want them to cry and feel the tears trickle down their cheeks.

One reason we don’t like to see people cry is because it makes us feel bad. One day my youngest child, Tiffany, was boo hooing over a situation. She was really going at it, holding nothing back. My oldest child, Tyler, tried to comfort her. Yet he secretly had an ulterior motive. His desire was for her to stop her tears. I said, “Tyler, it’s ok for her to cry; she feels bad right now.” He responded, “I don’t like it when she cries because it makes me sad.” There it is! That’s why we don’t want people crying in our presence. Because it causes us discomfort. We would rather cheer people up and brighten their day and ours. What this does though, is deny the hurt person the opportunity to feel and get over their pain. That’s why the Bible says, “Don’t sing songs to a heavy heart.” Forget trying to cheer them up; it won’t make the pain go away. Contrary to what we believe, it can cause them to bury it. God wants them to release their tears which will help restore their torn lives.

No, you don’t have to be strong when you’re in pain. Neither do I. Let’s get comfortable allowing people to cry in our presence and even get to the place where we will allow ourselves to cry in the presence of others. It’s a great gift we can give ourselves and those we love. Let’s go ahead and cry. It will do our bodies good!


Want to Get In Shape? Here’s How to – Just Do It!
I’ve been providing an exercise boot camp for someone who is near and dear to my heart this week. Struggling with getting into a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits, she said, “I just need a boot camp!” At first I thought she was joking. But when she said it twice, I sprang into action. “Ok, you want a boot camp? Come stay with me for a week and I will give you a “Get Fit” boot camp! I’m no Jillian Michaels, but I bet I can help boot you into shape.”

So every morning this week, I have had her up at 4:30 a.m. for an hour work out. Along with eating healthy, we included a bonus workout in the evening, goal setting strategy sessions, and a good night’s sleep. Happy to say, she is doing great with this little kick start. I am especially proud of her. She has pushed beyond where she thought she could go!

Obviously, not everybody can come stay with me for a week. But those who have heard about it are intrigued. People ask if I have any tips that will help them get in shape. So let me offer one here and we’ll see where this goes. I might begin to blog some “getting fit” ideas regularly. So stay tuned.

I love the Nike slogan, “Just Do It!” It has become my motto. When it comes to exercise there are no excuses. If you want to get fit, exercise is no longer an option. You JUST DO IT!

My preferred workout a few years back was swimming. I used to swim every morning. Yes, EVERY morning. I swam in the rain. I swam in the hail. I swam in the cold.  I would take the plunge even when it was 20 degrees and frost covered the roof and ground. (Don’t laugh; it does get somewhat cold in Florida 😉 ) I swam even when I didn’t feel like it. Nothing stopped me. Every morning at 5am I would stand at the edge of the pool and dive in. Sometimes it would take me 20 minutes after I got out to stop shivering. It was so exhilarating and what a rush! My daughter asked me one time, “Mom, how do you do it?” My answer was: I just don’t think about it! If you think about how cold it’s going to be, you won’t do it. So don’t think, don’t debate, just jump in. In other words…JUST DO IT!

I have decided that exercise is not an option, that’s how I “Just Do It”. Do you see exercise as optional? If so, you might be having trouble getting up early in the mornings to work out. Put a plan in place. Before you go to bed put out your exercise clothes and decide what kind of workout you are going to do in the morning. Then when the alarm goes off you won’t be lying in bed wasting time debating what you are going to do. If you’re working out at night, make sure you don’t let the evening get away from you. Just Do It! Even if it’s hard getting started, you will always feel better after you are done.

So if YOU want to get fit, remember:

  • Exercise is NOT an option
  • Put a plan in place
  • Just Do It!

Paul says in I Corinthians 9:26 (The Message): “I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition…” Here’s a guy who too, lived by the motto: JUST DO IT! You can too!


Are You Weird in a Good Way?
As a kid, I thought I was kind of uncool. Looking at the people around me I thought, “I am just not normal!” Since then I’ve learned that just about everyone on the planet has felt that way too. Glad I’m not alone! Yeah, you too? 🙂 Little secret…I still think I’m weird. But weird in a good way. I walk differently, I talk differently, and I do life differently from most people. But that’s ok. I put honey in my coffee, I hate watching TV, I prefer listening over talking, and I wake up at 4:30 in the morning by choice. I was in a store not long ago and the clerk looked at me and said, “Lady, you’ve got crazy hair!” I didn’t know whether to thank him or slap him! Yep, I’ve got weird hair, go figure. I will say though, that one of the greatest moments of my life was the day I realized, “I am different and it’s a good thing!” I’m weird – but weird in a good way!

One time I took my kids and my cousin, ages then ranging from age from 7 to 14, on a little adventure. We were making waffles late at night and we needed more syrup. We were all dressed comfy in our pajamas and none of us felt like changing so I had this crazy idea – let’s just go to Super Target in our pajamas and bedroom slippers! They were shocked but grinning from ear to ear screaming, “really?!” So there we were going down the isles at Target singing, “It’s Pajama Day at Targét!” How whacked is that? Yes, we got some looks and overheard some comments like, “Can you believe THAT Mom?” “Do they always go out in public in their nightwear?” Guess what? I didn’t give a flip. We were having a blast! It’s a moment my kids and younger cousin will always remember! It was worth every smirk and smart remark!

In my world, there’s “weird”, and then there’s “weird in a good way”. There’s even weird in a God sort of way…so how does one get there? How about by realizing that what you’ve got ought to be so unique and different that you stand out. Cause it’s just you. You being odd, but odd in a good way. I think we shy away from being oddly ourselves when we begin to compare.

Comparing is when we place someone beside someone else for the purpose of emphasizing the differences or showing the likenesses. We tend to compare ourselves with others and we tend to compare others with others. What for? When we compare ourselves with others, one of two things happen: 1) we get smug and a false sense of worth from estimating that our strengths outweigh theirs or 2) we feel insecure and unequal because we think they have what we don’t. Then we mistakenly think they are better than us. What a lie. We think we don’t measure up.

Why not come to total acceptance of who we are? Accept ourselves, people, places, and things EXACTLY as they are? That would be maturity. And how about this – accepting people’s differences and uniqueness-es as enthusiastically as God forgives our wrongs. When love flows, acceptance grows. Then they can be weird, we can be weird, and then weird is OK.

 

When my daughter was a wee little girl I was looking for a way to explain the amount of love I had in my heart for her. Tucking her into bed one night I whispered, “Tiff, do you know how much I love you?” She said, “How much mommy?” Wrapping my arms around her I said, “Listen, I love you to the moon and back.” Her little eyes brightened and she said, “Really? That’s a lot of love!” So as the years passed I would occasionally ask her, “Tiff, do you know how much I love you?” Always smiling, she’d say, “to the moon and back.” Then I’d add: “to the moon and back – and back – and back!!!” She would say, “Wow Mom, that’s sooo much love”!

It was the coolest thing knowing that my daughter would go off to sleep savoring that nugget of truth. She’d be thinking about it and mulling it over in her little girl’s mind. And when I’d go out of town on business, I’d call her right before bedtime and before we’d hang up I’d always ask: “Tiff, do you know how much I love you?” She’d say so confidently: “you love me to the moon – and back – and back – and back!”

Amazed that she was wrapped so securely in my love, I once asked, “Well, how do you know that I love you that much?” She said, “because I heard you say it mom, and I know -that I know – that I know – that you love me that much.”

How is it that my now, adolescent daughter is so confident and secure in her Mom’s love? Because from the first time she heard me say it, she LISTENED with her ears wide open. She TOOK it in. She RECIEVED it. She’d THINK about it. She’d REVISIT it. She’d SAY it. She’d REPEAT it until she had great trust and BELIEF in it.

It dawned on me that there was a formula here in learning how to believe in something. I found it confirmed in God’s Word. Reading from Prov. 22:17 (AMP), the steps go like this:
“Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them. So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord…”

If we break it down, look at how this formula unfolds.
1. Listen (hear what God says about you.)
2. Think about his words of wisdom (turn it over and over again in your mind).
3. Then you will begin to believe.
4. At last, you speak them (your lips get accustomed to confessing them – speaking them out loud.)
5. Wallah! You begin to trust what God says about you and your life. You grow more and more confident in what He says about you.

Listen, God’s whispering: “I love you so much, I sent my son to die for you and give you eternal life. I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. I, (God) take great delight in you. Come away with me and read all about it. I wrote it all down just for you. The love letter is waiting to be opened and read and received by you. I love you to the moon and back!”

My advice to you, READ it, SPEAK it, BELIEVE it!