Rejoice, always.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Am I reading this correctly? Rejoice always, at all times, no matter what. What about when the car breaks down, it seems I have more bills than money, I put myself in a bad situation, a family member is sick, I have a disagreement with my spouse or friend? What about the unexplainable: the child born with a defect, stories of rape and sexual abuse, natural disasters, or senseless acts of violence, what about all that has happened to me? “Always be full of joy in the Lord…”

Not joy in the tv, the lovely nap, the car you just bought, fresh baked cookies, new clothes, or the flowers you received, but joy in the Lord. Paul is saying this because he knows things/people/experiences can bring happiness, but only God brings joy. Eventually, you have to cut the tv off, wake up, park the car, eat the cookies, etc. But God; He is unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever. His character, love, abounding grace, righteousness, and peace remain. This may sound a bit harsh, but your joy should not be hindered by circumstances or afflictions.

How is it possible to have joy and be strong in the Lord? It’s simple, BE in His presence.

“In His presence there is fullness of joy…”

Joy is a natural outcome of fellowship with God. Joy is permanent, full, weighty, joy enhances, joy trumps sorrow and suffering. Joy also strengthens. Nehemiah said “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” [Neh 8:10]. Rejoicing in God and serving Him with a thankful heart will give strength to your mind and body to perform your duties, stand firm, and oppose the enemies schemes. The more you understand God’s word, the more comfort you find in it.

When I fellowship with God, I like to sing. Which is neat because my middle name, Rena, is Hebrew for joyous melody/song and peace. I’ve been told I’m a walking jukebox or musical. Every moment I spend with the Lord is not the same. Sometimes, I simply sit before Him, lay out, listen intently, journal, dance, cry, read, listen to music, reflect on His goodness, what He has done, His promises, or a combination of those. It doesn’t matter, I’m just desperate to get in His presence. Honestly, I don’t always “feel” different after being with Him. That’s why you can’t trust feelings; they’re too fickle. When I don’t have joy afterward I ask myself “why” because I want to be on the same page as God. What am I holding onto, what lie do I believe? I’m completely honest and real about what I’m feeling or thinking, no matter how silly it seems. When you have that expectation you are allowing God to completely shift your perspective to His. It’s extremely important to be in His presence. If you can shift your perspective, your emotions will line up correctly and you will have the renewed strength of the Lord to help you through anything.

“He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
Job 8:21

Enjoy! “Trading my Sorrow” by Israel Hougton

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD9sNVyu-gE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Advertisements

Let’s Celebrate!

Today I drove through the Dundee area on my way home. I completed my client’s organizing project a day earlier than expected and wanted to celebrate with a jump, skip, scream, hug or…fresh flowers!

20120912-134634.jpg

I saw the floral shop to my right and decided I may as well pop in. Ask for what you want right?  I had an idea to use the flowers for a pressed floral project or make some potpourri.

I’d never been to this shop before so this was a real treat. I went in and asked the owner if he’d be willing to give some flowers away. He said he just threw some away the day before and didn’t have any to give. ” Aww, I just missed you,” I exclaimed. He looked at me for a second, then I watched him walk to the fridge and pull out three roses. “Try these.”  I wanted to hug him! The roses smell delicious and were the perfect gift to celebrate my new business and journey to a new city.

20120912-135037.jpg

-Candi
What’s your something beautiful?

20120912-135129.jpg

Waiting for dinner

20120911-212719.jpg

As a child I used to sit in the kitchen and watch my mother cook. She was meticulous; taking her time to ensure she followed the recipe while also adding her own flair. The spices seasoned the air and greatly increased my anticipation for what she was preparing. I would become so full of excitement and impatience that I literally would have hunger pains! (I’ve always been a bit dramatic)
This annoyed my mother and she would make me leave the kitchen until dinner was served, which only seemed to make the wait longer. I can laugh at it now but that used to make me so upset. After a few times of this I came to realize the awesome power of snacks!

For the past two months I have been feeling like that little girl waiting for dinner. Each day becoming more and more excited for the meal to be served. Two weeks ago I would have been on the road to Chicago, but I was delayed or better yet, I gained an extended stay…at least two or three more weeks. I was disappointed but I also knew it wasn’t time for me to leave.

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

Take your eyes off the clock…
The disappointment disappeared quickly as I was reminded of a principle. With the extended stay, more has been added to my life surpassing even my highest expectations! I call it the Ephesians 3:20 blessing. Can you imagine what we miss out on when we’re anxious? I suppose that’s why we’re told to pursue peace. Patience can make the difference between good, better, and best. It takes courage to be patient. And with your courage you need to take action; feed your faith by devouring the Word until you see His promises come to pass. Similar to me snacking before dinner. Remember, God always wants to position you to receive the most favorable outcome. He will never leave you behind or move ahead of you.

Find joy in hope…
Hope sustains, prospers, comforts, and strengthens your heart. Hope enables you to overcome the challenges on the journey. The meal I’m waiting for hasn’t been served, but I’m feeding my hunger until the plate is on the table.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”Psalm 24:8

Detour

The route I took today was not the route I intended to take. I had the right to be frustrated; there were closed roads everywhere I turned and it was hot! Instead of getting frustrated, I kept it cool and eventually got on the right track which led me to a beautiful surprise.

20120911-160944.jpg

20120911-161114.jpg

I love it when this happens!

Meet m. giron. He is the visual artist painting this beautiful mural of hops in front of Jake’s Cigars and Spirits. He started working on it last Friday and is expected to be finished sometime this week. Check in with me again to see the finished product.

In the meantime visit http://www.mikegiron.com to see more of his art. If you live in Omaha, do yourself a favor and visit the mural (6206 Maple Street) and other art he’s created around the city.

Candi
What’s your something beautiful?

Delicious Eggless Pancakes

I had a craving for pancakes this morning, so naturally I searched online for a quick recipe. My favorites are the ones that don’t require a long list of ingredients and require little prep time. vegetarian.lovetoknow.com came out on top today. This recipe yielded 5 medium sized fluffy pancakes and was absolutely delicious! Try it and let me know what you think.

What you’ll need:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of soy milk or rice milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

Put the sugar, baking powder and flour in a mixing bowl and stir.
Pour in the milk and oil, continuing to stir rapidly.
Put a griddle on the stove and set the burner to medium.
Spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray or lightly coat with oil.
Pour the batter onto the griddle to form four-inch circles.
Flip the pancakes when the edges start to turn a golden brown.
Flip until both sides are golden brown.
Remove from the heat.

I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe:
-Used Vanilla Almond Milk
-Butter instead of vegetable oil
-Fried with Trader Joes coconut oil
-Added coconut flakes to the second batch
-Topped with Agave Nectar in place of syrup

The recipe was perfect! This was my first time frying anything with coconut oil and I loved it! Next time (maybe tomorrow) I plan to use a butter substitute and add fruit toppings!

I so love good food!

**The site also has a Whole Wheat Eggless recipe.**

20120902-203906.jpg

20120902-203928.jpg

6 Word Stories

A fellow blogger, ouijella, recently posted a blog about 6 word stories. It’s a writing exercise she found on another blog, thewritespace.com
The goal is to create a short story using only six words. After reading hers, I was hooked and readily accepted the challenge to write my own. Please don’t take them too serious-they are based on random thoughts and oddities, conversations, the news, movies, etc. Feel free to comment and also leave your own short stories!
Follow this Fly mom: ouijella

Epiphany
She realized love was always hers.

Grandma
Loved… her legacy alive through me.

Repent
Stop…back to my original mindset.

Lovemaking
Our words…our touch…our bed.”

Jealously
I hate myself…Death by comparison.

Rihanna
Forgiveness doesn’t mean weak or victim.

Confidence
Accepting me for who I am.

Unfaithful
He loves me! He loves me??

Dance
LEAP! Time and heart stop. Mesmerized.

Born this way?
Born a girl, GaGa for girls.

Enough
Fist to face. Vows-Never again.