A true gift

I’m reposting this now that it is the season of gift giving!

I was having a bad day, wrestling with a tough decision, and then you knocked on my door and were holding a gift. I love gifts! It is beautifully wrapped and layered with colorful tissue paper.

giftBut as I open your “gift” I see it is full of things I don’t want or need. I lift the first layer of tissue paper and find doubt. The next layer contains fear. As I continue to search for something I need or desperately hoped for, all I see is more of the same….my unworthiness, guilt, and selfish ways. I carefully place the items back in the box, smile, and say, “Thank you.” As you leave I feel terrible. I place the gift on the table and try to ignore it. All day my eyes and thoughts wander back to it. Unable to concentrate all day, I return to the gift. I open it again and hold all the items, one at a time. As I think carefully about each item, I feel a relief was over me and can’t help but smile as I place the items back in the box. What you don’t know is that I already have a wonderful gift; the gift of God’s love.

My mom taught me to always write a thank you note, so here it is:

Dear Satan,

Thank you for stopping by today with an unexpected gift. Unfortunately I must return it, as I will not be needing the items you so carefully wrapped. I have received a much nicer gift from God. He shows me love every day and warned me about you. So please don’t come by again anytime soon.

Sincerely,

God’s daughter

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Phillipians 4:6-7 (NLT)

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)

On being thankful

As my family and I are preparing food for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, the smell of the pie in the oven, and cranberries on the stove make me feel happy.PAULA_DEEN_BOURBON_PECAN_PIE_H2.jpg

I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving and think of it as   a stress-free kick off to the holiday season. We welcome friends and family over and laugh, talk, and enjoy each others company for an entire day. It’s like time stops. What other day do we do this?

Each year at this time I think of the things that I’m most thankful for. My list is probably a lot like your list: my family, my church, my friends, a comfortable home, plenty of food and water, oh, and coffee. But this year I am going to add something else to my list. I am thankful for the struggles that I have endured. This seems strange to say, but I realize that if I hadn’t had the life that I’ve had, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share my story and help others.

 

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Feeling blessed

I had an amazing book launch party on Sunday! As I was surrounded by family and friends, I realized how blessed I am. I pray that my little book will reach all who need it and pray that others will find my journey of faith and forgiveness inspiring. Here are a few pictures of my special day!

 

 

Becoming your best self

Isn’t it great how God puts certain people in your path? 81d952b36933b6f71b26a34dd785d660Have you ever met someone and you know that you met them for a reason? My friend Lisa and I met on this blog and immediately we had a connection.

She has a beautiful blog and a gift for inspiring others.

Becoming Your Best Self Blog

I’m excited to be with her today to share how forgiveness can help us all become our best selves. I hope you’ll join us!

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Fear of rejection

We all fear rejection, it’s human nature. Fear that we won’t fit in (remember middle school?), fear that we won’t get the job, fear that we won’t make a good impression. Being rejected makes us feel unworthy.

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When writing a book, every author worries about rejection. Will anyone read it? What will critics say? After all the time spent on edits, re-writes, and drafts, it is difficult to take rejection lightly.

I was full of fear when I asked for a professional review of my book. It took several weeks, so I waited. During the waiting, I realized that there was nothing else that I could do. I prayed (a lot!) and found comfort in this verse (Isaiah 41:10):

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

The moment finally came and I received my first real review for my book. God was right, I didn’t need to be worried. My faith in my writing and in God’s love for me was stronger than my fear of rejection.

What is your fear holding you back from? 

To read the review of my book, Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: A Story of Faith and Forgiveness After Child Abuse, click here. The book launches on Monday!

Unveiled and Revealed

I am excited to be over at Unveiled and Revealed today with Brianna L. George. Unveiled and Revealed is a ministry resource for encouraging women to discover and live out of their new nature in Christ. Inspiring them to claim the identity Christ gifts them by grace and rest through himself.

Check it out and get a preview of my book Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: A Story of Faith and Forgiveness After Child Abuse, which is being released on Monday!!

http://unveiledandrevealed.com/

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Cherished Everyday

Today I’m happy to host Cherished Magazine on my blog!

Hi! I’m Sheryl Siler, Editor-in-Chief of Cherished Magazine. I first want to give a great big virtual hug to Tracey for having Cherished Magazine over to Grace as part of our Cherished Everyday Fall Tour Extravaganza.

Cherished Magazine November 2015 - A Christian Woman Magazine

Today was the kind of day that I haven’t had in awhile. It was one of those days that from the minute I started to wake from the night’s rest that my mind clicked from the off position to the full-throttle on position . In a matter a few seconds my mind was racing with a myriad of thoughts.

Thoughts of my appointments, thoughts of unfinished “To-Do’s” and reminders of what items should be on the To-Do list that I had forgotten to jot down.

Then it spiraled out of control and started going there…the dark place. The place of the should haves and could haves and why didn’t you’s.

I could feel my tension rising to a panic. I had not been there in a long time…pray..yes pray.

So with all of my might I shoved the ramblings of the to do list and the poking of a past that could not changed out of my mind and began to have a conversation with God.

I think subconsciously I thought I would get some sort of message helping me put my list of what should be done in a good and proper order. Instead I hear this:

Just be in the moment. Trust me let me guide your day. I will help you…you are not alone.

The words just sunk in like a weight that had been lifted. I didn’t feel like a failure, which would have been my normal go to feeling. I felt that I had been given a perfect gift.

The reassurance I was not alone and the reminder that I was slipping into “my schedule” and “my To-Do list” instead of including God and His desire for me in
the picture.

Think of the words of Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.Beautiful in its Time

Take each and every minute God gives you and trust Him with it. Let it ring as a reminder to appreciate each beautiful moment as it happens..

So how about you? Is your mind constantly going to something else when you really just need to appreciate exactly where you are now, to just breath and just be in the moment.

Live life cherished everyday!

Sheryl Siler – Author, Speaker and Editor of Cherished Magazine

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PS – I just wanted to let you know that you can now get Cherished Magazine at a special
Cherished Everyday price of just $17/yr. Click here for more information and to see our sample issue.