Clean Your House. Lesson 33 of 40

Have you noticed that it can be difficult to concentrate and be productive if your house isn’t clean? For today’s lesson, I have learned that cleaning my house is important. A clean and organized home helps to improve my mood. I understand that we have different seasons of life and things may not always look the way we want it to. I get it, I encourage you to not get discouraged but do what you can. There are 8 of us that live in our house and I sometimes wonder how on earth someone with such a tiny body can make a tornado of a mess. Even though my house is not always picture perfect, I have learned that I must make it a priority to try to keep things in order. I try to be mindful of how much time I WASTE on my phone or being idle. I may not be able to keep the entire house looking sparkling clean each day, but I try to be intentional with the little things such as daily making my bed and doing some laundry each day. God is a God of order and I realize that He is also concerned about the ways in which I keep my surroundings. I want to honor Him in all I do, nothing is off limit. I would love to hear from you, what are some things you do to maintain a tidy home? Do you struggle in this area?

Proverbs 31:27
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

No Sugar & Alternatives. My Diet Matters. Lesson 32 of 40

I have been known to have sweet teeth.  Yes, you read that correctly, I did not say teeth, not tooth. I had a serious addiction to sugar and was convicted about it on more than one occasion.  In the past, when I was overwhelmed, I would run to get something sweet before I would go and pray.  Sugar had become an idol, it often took the place of God in my life.

God made it plain to me a few years ago that I was to eliminate sugar from my diet.  When I acted like I didn’t understand what He was saying, He made it CRYSTAL CLEAR TO ME.  I started having ailments in my body whenever I ate processed sugar.  I wasn’t too fond of being bloated, feeling dizzy, having cramped and swollen joints so I decided it was time to obey.  I am so grateful because I have been able to find these two natural alternatives to replace processed sugars.

The lesson I have learned for today is that my diet does matter. When I eat like I should, I have clarity of thought and more energy and I am better prepared to fulfill my purpose.    My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I have to treat it as such.  God is concerned about us holistically so what we put on our plates matter.   I want to encourage you to not only ask God about your gifts and purpose but to also ask Him what you should eat.  When He responds, I encourage you to obey because what you eat does matter.

Be Blessed,

Anika

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

 

3 John 1:2  Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

 

 

What I “Eat” For Entertainment Matters. Lesson 31 of 40

Don’t kid yourself, your choice of entertainment matters. God tells us to have times of refreshing.  However, we must be careful that the entertainment we feed ourselves during those times don’t become counterproductive and leave us “burdened” instead of refreshed.

I have learned that even though I am “good and grown” I must still be mindful of the kind of entertainment I feed my spirit.  I can’t be naïve and think that it doesn’t matter because it does. The enemy has an agenda and a lot of the stuff that is labeled as entertainment is contrary to the word of God. Sometimes we are struggling in certain areas and it’s because we have opened the door to the enemy through the things we watch and listen to.  We can also greatly compromise our ability to operate in our gifts because of our choice of entertainment.  All areas of our lives but be submitted to the Holy Spirit, and that includes our choice of entertainment.   Is choosing the right entertainment an area of struggle for you?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Psalm 101: 3-4  I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.

 

Release The Offense. Lesson 30 of 40

People will offend us.  That is a byproduct of living in a fallen world.  However,  I have a choice in how I will to respond to the offense.

For today’s lesson, I have learned that I must choose to release offenses.  Holding on to them and refusing to forgive can create sickness in our bodies and spirit. Furthermore, God makes it clear that if we do not forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven.  Here is the truth of the matter, we all stand in the need of forgiveness…ALL OF US!  We shouldn’t be hypocrites and ask of the Lord the very thing we withhold from others.

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to release an offense and forgive.  I have spent a lot of time in prayer asking the Lord to heal wounds that were caused by an offense and to help me to choose to forgive. On some occasions, I had to pray more than once because the wound went deep.  I am not proud to admit it but sometimes after praying, I would then go and share the offense with someone else.  I felt justified. That was extremely counterproductive.  The constant rehearsing of an offense was a great way to undo my prayers.

God has provided a blueprint in His word on how we are to handle offenses.  No amount of “justified” anger is worth my soul.  I have made it a habit to continuously pray and ask the Lord to make the choice to release offenses.  How about you? Is it difficult for you to forgive others and release the offense?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Mathew 6:14-15  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

Redefine Success. Lesson 29 of 40

I have learned to redefine success and ditch what the world told me.  This lesson has really hit home for me the last few years.  I reflect on my life and it did not go as planned. It would be easy for me to say it hasn’t been successful.  However, that’s just not the truth.  My life is successful because I am doing what God has called me to do.  That’s as simple as it gets for a definition, but it can be a challenge to live out. Truth is, when you say yes to God, that yes leads you to carrying your cross. 

That yes leads you to a place of death

Death to self

Death to your own agenda

Death to things you could have done that would have caused the world to applaud you and call you successful.

I also realize if I am not careful, I can abort what God has told me to do if it doesn’t become a “success” in my prescribed time frame. If I don’t guard my heart, the response of others can make me second guess if I am truly successful.

I have been a stay at home mom for the last 14 years.  My duties can be summed up to tending to my husband, children, and house.  Nothing glamorous about that.  However, I have had to remind myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and look to Him to define true success.  How about you?  Are you struggling with this truth? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Use Your Gifts. Lesson 28 of 40

How would you feel if you gave someone a well thought out gift, only to find out that they didn’t think much of it.  If they used it, it wasn’t  very often and they didn’t take good care of it.  You wouldn’t be too happy would you?  Here is the thing, God has given each of us gifts, and He expects us to use it and for His glory.

I have learned that I shouldn’t take my gifts for granted. I must work on perfecting them, and one of the best ways to do so, is to use them often and according to God’s leading. I must also look for ways to develop my gifts. I should never get to the point of thinking I know it all because there is always room for growth.

Additionally, God has shown me that I can’t turn my gifts “on “and “off” based on my feelings or the setting that I am in. Sometimes, we are placed in certain situations that we think is beneath us, so we choose not to share our gifts in that setting, and if we do, it is not with the spirit of excellence. WRONG ANSWER! We take orders from God, not our feelings or ego. We shouldn’t wait for the “big stage” to turn “on” our gifts. We must start now and do so with all our heart. If teaching is your gift and you have been asked to teach a Sunday School class with only two half-awake students; I encourage you to prepare to teach those two students in the same way you would if you were called to teach an audience of a million people and all the cameras were on you. It is also important to note here that sometimes we don’t operate in our gifts because we don’t see the value in them. Instead, we are too busy coveting another’s gift that seem bigger and shinier than ours. We’ve missed the point all together when we have this mindset.

It is my desire to be a good steward of the gifts God has given me. I want Him to be pleased with the way that I used them to be a blessing to others. In the end I want to hear, “well done good and faithful servant, enter the joy of the Lord.” How about you? What have you been doing with your gifts? Are you using them for His glory or have you hid them and only take them out when its convenient for you? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

1 Peter 4:10-11  God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.