Saturday, March 31, 2012

Scars Don't Still Hurt




This is a very short but powerful message from Beth Moore. And here's my confession: I can relate to what Beth shares in the video 100% percent. I'm not proud of this but if I'm going to be an honest writer, I must admit that I've done some pretty stupid things in my past when I felt rejected or when I learned that I was deceived by a disingenuous person who I thought loved and cared about me. Truth be told, rejection hurts. It shreds your heart into a million tiny pieces. It's awful and can provoke us to do dumb things that we later regret deeply. And here's what I've learned when I've been deeply hurt and wounded: You have to give yourself time, space and grace when you're doing soul work and you must absolutely be kind to yourself on practicing good self-care during times of emotional healing. 

Healing can be a very messy process. There are so many emotions involved. For the most part, when the wound is fresh, we feel small and fragile and we're always seconds away from crying. Can anyone relate to this??? We don't feel very strong or courageous or confident when we're wounded. In fact, we feel joy-less and every day looks gray even if the sun is shining. And yet if we are going to heal and move on, I have learned that healing is for the courageous at heart. It takes real courage and true guts to fight through staying stuck in the pain and rising above. It's hard and gutsy work. Healing is possible and you don't have to do it alone. God will help you if you let Him in.

I've also learned that forgiving those who hurt us is absolutely essential to God healing our wounds. Forgiving them doesn't mean that you condone what they did. In fact it has less to do with the person who hurt us and has everything to do with letting go and liberating ourselves. It's about accepting that the past could have been any different. It's about moving on. I've learned that when we make the decision to forgive someone, it's an act of obedience to God and God meets us in the pain and delivers us from hurting. It doesn't happen over night, but it does happen. 

I've also learned that God is our only true healer, our only true tear dryer and heart mender. Beloved reader, if you're in a season of emotional healing, please be kind to yourself. Please give yourself time, grace and space. Please be patient. Healing will come. It takes time and until it does, I hope these words will bless you and encourage you. 


Wishing you peace and wholeness today and always.


Until next time, 


xx, Ruthie 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. ~ Psalm 46:1-2

God never wastes a hurt if we let Him write our story.  ~ Steve Saint

What's your replenishment strategy?


* Please scroll to the bottom of the blog to pause or mute the music (Playlist).

Above you will find a video I watched this morning. The speaker is my pastor, Bill Hybels. I so needed to hear this message today because the pace and pressure of my life during the week seems incredibly relentless and I'm experimenting and re-learning how to replenish and recharge in new ways. This message today reminded me how important self-leadership is. It's a message for leaders and non-leaders alike. If you're a leader, I'm confident this message will speak to you and bless you. And if you're not a leader, there's a message for you here too and I think it will bless you as well. 

When I was listening to this message, it made me think about busy married and single moms raising and caring for their children. Mothers are leaders too in case you hadn't noticed. And many married moms feel like single parents because their husbands either travel too much or because they're emotionally checked out. And while their responsibilities don't include increasing market share or profit margins or reading P&L statements, their responsibilities are vastly different on a daily basis and incredibly important because they influence the lives of little and young children who will impact our future. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to dismiss or down play the importance of a career, or work outside of the home or running a business but let's face it; a great company is great because of its people. People are a company's greatest asset. People are the visionaries, creators, builders, leaders, sustainers and supporters who pour out their time and energy each day to keep a company in business. And while both parents play a very important role in shaping their children's lives, what came to my mind today was married and single mothers, probably because I've heard their stories and probably because I've lived the story. These moms are not only nurturers but they're responsible and spend more time leading intentionally, responsibly and by example and contribute to shaping the moral character and compass of their children's lives often times because their husbands or ex-husbands do not have the luxury to spend as much time with their children. Yes, mothers are leaders too. Mothers coach and mentor, manage and influence their children. They're responsible for influencing their children to become flourishing, respectful and responsible adults who will become great contributors to society and great leaders in society exhibiting great integrity. It's no small thing, no small task. So if you're a mama, remember that you're a leader too and you need to practice self-care and should have a replenish strategy.  

Bills message also made me think about people who are addicted to adrenaline who are "perpetual motion," (that's what I call them) who would benefit from slowing down and taking more periodic breaks to care for themselves in new and fresh ways. I hope this message blesses you in both big and small ways and gets you thinking about self-care. 

Below you will find another video, shorter in duration, approximately eight minutes in length that will tell you more about who Bill Hybels is. Because of Bill Hybels vision, I came to faith back in June 1999. Thank you Bill for listening and acting on that God whisper. And thank you God for whispering to Bill. Bill's approach in reaching lost and broken and irreligious people spoke clearly to me and helped me hear the gospel message like I had never heard it before. It just made sense! And it still does. I don't consider myself a religious person. And I'm far from being perfect or exempt from problems. I consider myself someone who needs and wants God in her life, who loves God and who is grateful for the gift of grace because of Jesus. And because of my relationship with a living God, my desire to love and help people seems natural and I like that. Take a listen.  Until next time ... xx, Ruthie





Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grace

I love this quote (the one in the picture about grace) by Anne Lamott and wanted to share it with my readers today. I hope it blesses you. 

There is someone I met a year ago, well almost a year ago and this person that I met almost a year ago has experienced one very difficult year. Today is a very special day for her. I've thought about her on-and-off all day today. I prayed that today was richer, lighter and happier than what it felt like a year ago today. I hoped and prayed that she celebrated life and the extraordinary and beautiful woman that she is. I prayed that she felt super celebrated and loved and that her day was filled with gladness and beauty and indelible moments. If this special someone is reading this today, I want you to know that I have been praying for you. And if your days or if some days still feel difficult and heavy, don't believe the lie that it will feel like this always. Please believe in a better tomorrow despite how things might look and feel. Please remain hopeful and believe that God see's you, and hears you and wants to heal you. 

I trust and pray that you have been carried by my many prayers and that your days are filled with lightness and not darkness. Sometimes things happen for reasons we may not always understand and yes, these life-hurts will cause us to feel angry in our pain. Please choose better and not bitter. Bitter will kill you, it will cause you to feel dead inside and better will heal you. It's okay to be angry, just don't park yourself there. Allow me to share with you that you are never far from God or His heart or His healing touch. He loves you extraordinarily and if you seek Him and lean on Him, He will help you and strengthen you and heal you fully, totally and completely and in a beautiful and super-natural way. He will walk with you and guide you and help you see and understand in ways that will amaze you. 

My wish for you today, on your very special day is for God to bless you with the desires of your heart. I wish and pray that you will live and move and breathe with the knowledge that you are deeply loved by a holy God. I pray that you can feel His love in your inner-being. May God bless you in wild and extraordinary ways. 

Until then, remain hopeful. Keep on keeping on. Hope-fully. Seek-fully. Trust-fully so you can live-fully to experience joy, peace, truth and love as you have never experienced before. It can happen. God is way bigger than your pain. Release it, release it all to Him. He can handle it. A better and brighter tomorrow awaits you lovely lady because God specializes and delights in creating beauty out the ashes in our lives. Allow Him to do that for you. He waits for you, patiently, lovingly and with open arms, arms stretched wide. Blessings. 

Until next time ... wishing you peace and wholeness and a life time of happy days.

xx, Ruthie


Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meet Daphne at 31 Bits

Daphne is not a person, a place but a thing. And the thing Daphne represents is a bracelet, a style of bracelet. But it’s no ordinary bracelet. It’s special in a way that will make you feel good inside if you purchase one or some. I purchased several tonight in several different colors and yes, this purchase made me feel good inside.

I learned about 31 Bits over the weekend through a note Shauna Niequist posted on Facebook. I also learned that every purchase we make helps. It makes a difference.

31 Bits is a business based out of Orange County, California using fashion and design to empower women in Northern Uganda to rise above poverty. Empowering women is a topic that speaks to my soul. I'm all in when it comes to that. 

These lovely women at 31 Bits believe that business is one of the most powerful and sustainable approaches to turning scarcity into abundance, and eventually, alleviating poverty completely. And it all started with Kallie who is quite the visionary. 

Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, getting a first- hand look at life in Northern Uganda. While she was there, she met women making paper beads but who lacked a plan to market and sell them. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities to her new friends. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis. Since then, they have grown to 108 women in Gulu, Uganda; each with a unique story of suffering that has been overcome with joy and liberation.

To learn more about the programs they offer these women in Uganda, click here

To learn more about the teams in Uganda and the U.S., click on the word: Team.

To shop, click on this link. 

Please consider supporting these women in their mission. The women at 31 bits believe that true economic sustainability is a result of holistic care enabling a person financially, spiritually, mentally and physically. Their mission gives women an opportunity to enter into a program and after 4 years in the program a woman has an education, a career, confidence and a voice. She is empowered to rise above poverty. 

It made my heart feel big and full tonight knowing that I've played a small part in contributing to the joy, empowerment and liberation of these women in Northern Uganda. And I hope it does the same for you as well. Business is a powerful force bringing change in the lives of these women. Together, we can truly make a difference. Please consider joining the movement by creating change through your purchase. 

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie 

... Oh! And before I forget, watch this video below to learn more. Together we can give and restore hope in the lives of these women.    






Friday, March 16, 2012

New fave thing: Stripe Hand Towels from West Elm

I love talking about favorite things but never ever blog about it. Well until today that is. When I talk with people about their favorite things I ask questions like: When did you first start using the product and why do you love it so much? We talk about products that range from skin care, make-up, hair products, shoes, food, technology and houseware items. 

Today I want to share my new favorite thing. Pictures are posted below. My new favorite thing are these darling striped hand towels from West Elm. Aren't they fun??? What makes them so fun are the stripes for sure, wouldn't you agree? And the tassles are a fabulous touch. I absolutely love them! 

I purchased a couple last week for the guest bath and ta-da they arrived this morning. Made my little heart oh-so happy. My only regret: not purchasing more! I wanted to purchase more; really I did but the conservative in me screamed: "but what if you're not happy with the quality"? Ha! Love the quality! The quality totally exceeds my expectation. And between you and me, I think I'm going to buy some more this weekend. [ insert smile here ]

Happy weekend everyone! As always, thanks for dropping by.

Until next time,

xx, Ruthie



I purchased the light blue striped towel on the left.



Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Can Only Imagine


This is the song that was on my heart this morning. It's been one of my faves for over ten years. I'm not a singer, seriously, I'm not. I can barely carry a note but when I hear this song, I can hardly resist and MUST sing along. I sing along, like every single time. I have a theory and my theory is this: If you sing from your heart it sounds perfect and lovely and beautiful in God's ears. Yes, like every single time. I'm pretty certain of that. I hope you enjoy it as much as me. It's called: I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. 

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Chicago. Oh how I love the sun / Son ... 

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie

My new favorite quote

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.’ ~ Erma Bombeck

Isn't this a lovely thought?  I could not have said it better. I super love this quote. Yes indeed, this is my hearts desire ... 

Happy weekend!

xx, Ruthie

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What my parents divorce taught me

Joe & Tina, Circa 1963
Meet Mom and Dad. Most people know them as Joe and Tina or Jose y Tina but I know them as Mami and Papi, pronounced: mommy and poppy. Aren't they lovely in this photo? It's so vintage looking and one of my faves. 

This is who I came from, who I'm bonded to, who I came to love first. Sadly, my parents are no longer married, but if they were, they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this month. 

I was thinking about that tonight and remembering some of our very best moments and countless hours spent at our kitchen table, eating, talking, laughing, storytelling and drinking coffee. Gosh, those were good times. Our house was like a revolving door. Someone was always coming or going or visiting and I loved that about the home I grew up in. I'm incredibly grateful for the fond memories I have but I would be lying if I told you that I didn't miss that. Truth be told, I still miss it. Not in a way that's consuming but when I think about our family, and those fond memories, I miss "us." I miss the old times, the connectedness, the laughter, the traditions and that we were a family with parents who were still married to each other. I'm one of four, the oldest of the girls and we have one brother. When my parents announced that they would be divorcing, everything changed. And I mean everything. It was one of the most painful experiences in my life, in my family's life. Nothing prepared us for that moment. We were utterly shocked, confused and dismayed. And nothing about that season or that process was subtle or peaceful or made any sense. Their divorce had a ripple effect on our entire family. 

I was thirty-one when my parents announced the divorce and so-o far from God at that point. During that time in my life and for most of my life, I had compartmentalized God. I put God in a pretty little box and only tapped into the box when I needed Him, when I needed help, when I was hurting. The news of the divorce wrecked me, it did for many years. I lived with a pervasive ache and sadness. Deep inside, there was always sadness. On the outside, I looked put-together but my insides would tell you a completely different story. During that season, I learned to smile when I felt sad and forced myself to keep going when everything inside of me wanted to scream: stop! PLEASE STOP! I wanted life to stop just long enough so I could breathe, really breathe and process what was taking place in our lives. During that season, my heart hurt ... like all the time. When the divorce was final, my father moved away and we lost touch and I missed him terribly. Oh my gosh ... did I ever miss him. Little girls always need their daddy's, even if the little girl is 31. He first moved to another state, then he left the U.S. altogether. We were now separated by a large body of water. What we knew as tradition and what we came to know as family needed to be redefined. We struggled as a family to find new meaning and to create new traditions. The divorce left us baffled and with a hole in our hearts, a hole that took years to heal. The hole penetrated our hearts in November 1998, one week before Thanksgiving Day and the divorce was final in the spring of 2000. The month was May. Thirty-eight years of marriage had come to an end. It was especially painful because my father announced that he had fallen in love with someone else, someone who was 19 years younger than him, who he eventually married. And because we had such a difficult time processing his decision, he decided it was best to stay away. We had no address, no phone number and lost all contact with him. Sadly, when he divorced my mother, we felt like he divorced us too and it hurt like heck. But today, things are different, different in a really good way. I'm happy to report that for the most part, we're all in a much better place emotionally and most of us have healed from the experience. It took more than ten years for that to take place and it took alot of praying and patience and a determination to keep going, to choose not to fall apart.  

A few years ago, we reconnected with my father and he's now a part of our life again. I remember the day he called me. The day was Sunday. It was a beautiful and sunny August morning. In fact, he called all of his children that morning. Our hearts were so glad that day. Joy felt palpable again in a way I hadn't experienced before. In our hearts, we had already forgiven him and we were ready to embrace him and start a new journey with our father again. I love that we responded with such grace. This took place four months after my father's second wife had left him. I had mixed emotions. On one hand, I felt sad for my father because in a weird way, I could feel his sadness. But on the other hand, I felt happy. I felt happy to have my daddy back in my life again because I needed him. I don't think he ever realized how much I needed him through the years. It feels good to have him back in our lives. It felt right then and it still feels right today. 

Most recently, I learned that my parents spoke to each other again for the very first time in twelve years, something I wasn't sure I would see happen this soon. I learned that it was a good conversation, one where they were able to really dialogue and kid and laugh together like old friends do. When I learned about my parents' conversation, I was reminded that God still answers prayers and that he's still in the business of healing hearts. 

I share this very intimate story with you because I hope and I trust that it will encourage you in small or big ways. I'm not sure what hard thing you've had to live through or if you're living through a hard thing right now. And I'm not sure how many times you've cried yourself to sleep because your heart hurt so much you could hardly breathe or how many times you've cried out to God with your fist up in the air because you felt cheated and desperate for answers and for the pain to go away. If you've ever gone through any of that or if you're going through something really hard right now, please allow me to encourage you to hang in there, to remain hopeful and to pray and remain prayerful. Never stop believing that life can be different in really good ways because God delights in the impossible. 

What I know for sure is that my parent's divorce taught me several things. It taught me that I'm stronger than I gave myself credit for. I discovered that my mother was stronger than she realized, stronger than I realized. I'm so-o proud of her courage and her strength and how she leaned on God for strength and healing. That was SO difficult for her. I learned that time and God are great healers and that God really does hear our prayers. And until your prayers are answered, until the healing comes, alot of character building and growth takes place. And with time, I learned to view things differently, with grace and humility and through a new set of lenses. And after a while, I realized that I had a new perspective on life and hard seasons and I learned that I had the capacity to forgive without receiving an apology and I learned to let God be God. But it didn't happen over night and it didn't happen without surrender. I had to surrender dear one. I surrendered all my pain, and all my anger to God. I had to let go of the anger and give it to God because I realized and learned that anger will rot your soul like gorging on candy without ever brushing your teeth will rot your pearly whites. Anger is toxic and will make your soul sick and bitter if you hold on to it long enough and that's no way to live. I had to accept that I'm not perfect and I couldn't expect my father to be perfect either. I had to accept that his decision to divorce my mother wasn't a personal attack on her or our family but something that he felt he needed to do. Sadly, the marriage was over. And as difficult as it was to accept, I had to accept that my father was no longer in love with my mother. It was a harsh reality and one that I had to accept. I also realized that I was not in control. I couldn't make my daddy fall in love again with my mommy and if he did, I wondered if she could ever really forgive him. Her heart was so broken. And I wondered if our family would ever feel whole again. But I learned that if I partnered with God through prayer, things could shift and change and healing could take place. And when the healing arrived, I realized that was the blessing. That was God's blessing in and on our family. God wants all His children healed and whole.That's also when God filled the God shaped hole in my heart. He filled it with His love and such a sweet peace. I felt like I experienced a re-birth. I felt like I was born again.  I learned that new life is possible and available to each of us. I learned that life is filled with seasons and everything has a life cycle. My season of loss and mourning had come to end. It was now time to rejoice, to live with joy and to thank and praise God for the work He did and was doing in me and for helping me see things differently even when things hadn't changed just yet. And that's when I realized that I was more than just a survivor of a really hard thing in life. I realized that I'm a victor and not a victim and that God is really, really real and He loves to heal and restore families. Through this experience, I emerged stronger, wiser, delivered and healed.That's what I learned and that's what I know for sure.    

Thank you for taking the time to read this very intimate story and for hearing my heart through these words. I really hope and pray that this story blesses someone in ways that will fill your heart with hope and that you will walk away believing that with God, ALL things are possible. 

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie

Monday, March 5, 2012

Don’t Wait for a Funeral to Give a Eulogy

I've been giving this concept alot of thought since I read this article on Michael Hyatt's blog. Michael Hyatt is a respected authority on leadership and his blog is read by thousands each day. He's also the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers. The day I read these words, I learned that Michael Smith actually wrote these words. Michael Smith was the guest blogger on Michael Hyatts blog that day and he wrote about honoring people with our words while they're still alive. What a wonderful concept, I totally agree. Click here to read the post. And if you would like to visit Michael Smith's blog, hover over and click on Michael Smith's name above.

My mother will be celebrating her 70th birthday this month. What a perfect day and birthday to honor her with our words. We're taking her out for dinner on Saturday and then we'll celebrate again on her actual birthday, March 14th. I'm looking forward to celebrating and honoring my mother with words for the extraordinary woman that she is. Happy early birthday Mom. We love you so much!

Happy reading ...

Until next time,

xx, Ruthie

P.S. As a side note, I don't believe we should wait for birthday's to honor someone with our words. We should honor the people that mean the most to us every chance we get with words and deeds. I need to practice this more in my life, for sure. What a wonderful reminder ...

Speak up. Celebrate the people around you. It's the right thing to do.
~ Michael Smith


Sunday, March 4, 2012

When a Woman Trusts God

Can I share something with you? I just love Sheila Walsh. She's such a lovely woman. And what makes her most beautiful is how she loves God. I've attended many Women of Faith conferences through the years and have had the pleasure to hear her speak about God's love for us in ways that cause me to draw closer to Him. She's incredibly gifted as a speaker, author, evangelist, talk-show host, singer and songwriter. I found the video below today on youtube and wanted to share this with you today. The video talks about trusting God and her book that is mentioned is called: Beautiful things happen when a woman trusts God. Hope this blesses you today .... xx, Ruthie



Priority One

So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God.             ~ Joshua 23:11 (NASB)

Love me. That’s what I want. Joshua understood this. That’s why, when he gave his farewell speech, he reminded my people to be diligent about loving me.

That seems like an odd juxtaposition of words, doesn’t it?  But I know human nature, and how loving me can sometimes fall to the wayside. How even my own sons and daughters can take my blessings for granted.

I don’t want you to do that, my child. Take heed to love me. Remember to love me. When I am your top priority, everything else in your life will fall into place. When you love me, your mind will be focused on what really matters.

You are always at the forefront of my mind. Let me be at the forefront of yours.

Love,

God

Prayer:

Lord, I love you. Always. Forever. Help me to be diligent in loving you.

Excerpt from Heaven Calling. A devotional book written to help readers hear God’s voice every day of the year. I’m not sure who wrote these words as the book was written by a team of 14 contributors. But it’s lovely, isn’t it? I hope it blesses you.

Until next time, happy Sunday!

xx, Ruthie

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I had a dream ...


I had a dream, a wonderful dream. And in my dream, you came for me. You assured me of your love. You told me you loved me. And in that moment, eternity began.  ~Ruthie

The above words have nothing to do with romance or a man or romantic love for that matter. In fact, I really didn't have a dream. These are the words that were swirling in my head this morning when I woke up. I asked myself several times what these words might mean. And after awhile, I asked God. I got nothing. Yes, nothing. So I continued to ponder what it might mean and after pondering this for a while, this is what I've concluded: I think these words have everything to do with God and His love for us. He comes for all of us. He assures us of His love through His word and people and experiences and communicates His love for us many times over through life experiences, His word and people.

As a woman who believes in life after death, I believe in eternity. Life as I know it will end. This body that I have will end. It will not last forever but my spirit will go on to live forever and in a much better place, free of pain, and traffic jams and calorie counting. In June 1999, I came to know God and His love for me in a way that changed me on so many levels and in a very deep way. In that moment that summer, I received the gift of eternity with God forever. That moment was a moment of complete surrender. I gave God all my junk because it was too difficult to carry on my own. I confessed, I repented and made a decision to ask God into my life and heart. In return, God forgave me, cleansed me and removed feelings of shame and guilt and blessed me with a pure heart and the gift of salvation. From that moment on, I developed a sensitivity that allows me to see God everywhere. This sensitivity allows me to see people and circumstances through a new lens, a new set of eyes. He blessed me with spiritual insight and a heart insight. I see and hear things differently now. When you surrender your heart to God, it's easier to hear from God. I haven't lived a perfect life, not before June 1999 nor after but the difference is that I'm better in so many ways since June 1999 because of God's love for me. Love changes everything. It always does and yet I didn't become better over night. God is such a patient God. I'm thankful for that. "Better" has been a process, one that will continue until my time is up. God is always shaping who we are because He created us with purpose and because He desires His best for us. 


I won't deny that I've experienced seasons in my life where I drifted and faded away from God. Those were tough seasons because I rarely make wise decisions without His counsel. When I try to live life my way instead of God's way, life feels harder. There are many reasons why those seasons took place and I suspect they happen to many of us. I've learned that when I turn my back on God, nothing good is produced. I've learned the hard way alot in life and some of those times were seasons filled with incredibly painful lessons, so painful that I haven't repeated the behavior. And I hope I never do. And what I love so much about my Christian faith is that we're saved through God's grace. I love grace because it means I don't have to do good deeds to earn my entry into heaven. That would be an exhausting way to live life. Wouldn't you agree? Beloved reader, we could never do enough good to earn our way into heaven. The Bibles tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and when you hear the gospel message and believe it, and accept Jesus into your heart, you are justified by Christ and saved. Salvation takes place when we believe and confess with our mouth that we are sinners in need of our Savior, Jesus. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to pay our sin debt. He did that for you and me and for all of humanity. That is what you call grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor. Grace is kindness from God that we don't deserve. And yet God knows we're going to be tempted and make mistakes from time to time but he does expect us to do better when we know better. And when we confess our sins and turn away from our sins, God forgives us. The Bible is pretty clear on that. He's the God of second chances who forgives every time we are sincere about our confession and repentance. When we stray, God always honors u-turns. When we're sincere about our confession and our repentance, to repent means to turn away, that honors God and in return, God honors us with His favor and His blessings. It's a matter of the heart and our intentions. God can't be fooled. He knows whether we're sincere or not. And that's why I love God so much. He doesn't expect perfection but obedience and a relationship with us. My walk with God is not about religion but about a relationship with Him. And because of His love and mercy, my desire to love Him and others and to do good feels natural and right and I like that. I like that alot.

Until next time,

xx, Ruthie

A whisper. It’s spoken softly in quiet tones. It’s hard to hear and easy to miss. And it’s often how God communicates with us. ~ Author Unknown

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Living with Gratitude

Can you believe it's March already??? Whoa ... I can't. The days continue to fly by so quickly. Is it me or is everyone experiencing an extremely busy season??? 2011 for me ended on a busy note and 2012 has been ridiculously and relentlessly busy. Don't get me wrong, I love busy. In fact I thrive on busy but I DO NOT LIKE crazy, I can't catch my breath, did I forget to turn off the iron this morning busy. Seriously, it feels maddening sometimes. 

And as fast as March arrived, I'm glad it's here. March reminds me that spring is around the corner, such a delightful thought, isn't it? And as I ponder that thought, I find myself taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly. Spring makes my heart feel happy and hopeful because it marks a new season filled with beauty, new-life, expectation and new energy. As I sat quietly for a few minutes tonight before I came to blog, I found myself thanking God for such a wonderful winter. We've experienced an extremely mild winter here, unseasonably warm for Chicago, the warmest winter we've experienced in 80 years in fact. The mild winter helps me to appreciate the sunshine and warmer weather when I'm out and about running errands during the noon hour. It's during the noon hour that I can escape for a bit into the elements, catch my breath, drink in the sunshine and relish the warm winter air. I thank God for blessing a girl like me with the ability to appreciate little things we sometimes take for granted because we get wrapped up in busyness. Tonight, I also thanked God for blessing me with the ability to get through such a busy season. I feel so carried by Him and in ways I can't articulate with words. It's an "only God" thing. Truly, only God.

Tonight my heart is brimming with gratitude and I trust and hope that I will continue to live with spirit-filled gratitude no matter how busy or trying days might feel because life as I know it is still filled with richness and relishable moments and lovely people and a God who loves me. In fact, He loves all His children. I'm especially thankful for my relationship with a living God who gets me, who walks with me and who blesses me with super-natural strength for my journey. And for that dear one, I'm thankful. 

Today is a Thursday filled with much thankfulness, no doubt. And tomorrow is fabulous Friday. Hurrah! I absolutely heart Fridays. I love the energy I feel in the air on Friday's. People seem happier and tend to be more thankful on Fridays. And I love that. 

Until next time, may all your days be filled with things, experiences and people to be thankful for. Wishing you and yours a fantastic day and weekend.

xx, Ruthie

P.S. Below you'll find some photos I found on Pinterest this evening that compliment my spirit of gratitude. Enjoy ...






I heart this quote ...