The Value of Creative Work

It seems as though lately tons of things have been added to my plate, some of which I didn’t see coming. I’m so thankful God did, however, and that He works all things for our good. The following is an excellent reminder of the significance of our creative work. While our identity is so much more than our work, the gifts we use in our creative work are valuable and significant to God.

Excerpt from Jesus the Creator, Carpenter, Gardener, & King, this week’s devotion from my church. Just a little reminder and encouragement that our creative work has purpose and value. 
Blessings.

Your friend,

Tiffany

Before God tells us He is love, before He tells us He is holy, before He tells us He is Savior, God wants you and I to know that He is a creative, productive, working God.

This idea of a God who works is unique in the long list of stories of the origin of the world. Every other religion claims that the gods created human beings to work and serve the gods. None would dare to say that God Himself works—much less introduce that fact in the first breath of the story.

This truth carries the utmost significance for the work we do today. Work is not a fringe thing or a meaningless means to an end. Work is central to who God is, and thus, central to who we are as His image bearers. That’s one of the great meanings of this first revelation of Jesus Christ.

And it’s not just any work that God does. It’s creative work—the work of taking risks to create new things for the good of others. It’s the work of entrepreneurs and artists, storytellers and sales executives, marketers and mothers. And as we will see tomorrow, it’s the type of work Jesus did when he came to earth to be born into the home of a carpenter.

Perspectives

Perspective is a very interesting thing. We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.
~Benny Perez

Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof.

~Richard Sibbes



Hope lives under the cloud of impending good. It’s up to you to choose your perspective. How you look at tomorrow directly impacts the way you live today.

~Katherine Walden

It is so easy for me to “get stuck” in seeing circumstances from my viewpoint. However, my view is so limited. All the while the Holy Spirit is high above all the circumstances capturing the entire, enormous beautiful picture. He sees the vast expanse of all of the good and the bad and how it fits together to make a magnificent masterpiece in the end. The storms don’t discourage, rattle, and upset him the way they often affect me. Yet He understands my humanity and is with me always to comfort, guide, counsel, and encourage. The following devotion is from Discover the God of More, Benny Perez on the topic of Holy Spirit Perspective. I pray it is an encouragement to you, also.

Your friend,

Tiffany


Holy Spirit Perspective

When we are facing battles, navigating the storms, and walking through the valleys, we must seek the Holy Spirit’s perspective. Getting a revelation of His perspective of our circumstances has the power to change what’s happening on the inside of us, which changes what’s happening on the outside of us. 

Perspective is a very interesting thing. We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are. Depending on how you are, you may not see something the way it really is. How you process what’s happening in your life depends on where you are at in your life. 

You need to know that regardless of your upbringing, by God’s Word and grace, you can begin to look at life the way the God of More wants you to look at life. That ancient Greek word used for ‘transform’ in the original text is metamorphosis—the same word that is used to describe the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Our perspective needs to transform from a natural view to a supernatural view. 

If we want to see things from a Holy Spirit perspective, then we need to be spending time reading and studying the Word of God. If God has spoken a dream into your heart, the Holy Spirit will remind you of it when you are in the middle of a storm. If you are frustrated and discouraged because you cannot see the fulfillment of a dream yet, the Holy Spirit will give you the strength and wisdom to endure. 

We must view our storms and valleys from the perspective that God is above them. And if God is above it, and you are in Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwells within you, then you will surely arise from it and get to the other side. 

The Holy Spirit is above all things, so we need to get the same perspective the Holy Spirit has over the situation, rather than the perspective that I have over the situation. No matter what voids are there, what darkness is there, what the enemy is trying to do in your life— the Holy Spirit is hovering above your situation. The God of More is about ready to turn it around on your behalf!

The Hope Plant

“It’s always something, to know you’ve done the most you could. But, don’t leave off hoping, or it’s of no use doing anything. Hope, hope to the last!”

~Charles Dickens

“Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” 

~Gilbert Keith G. K. Chesterton

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

~Romans 5:3-5

The Hope Plant is the title of my first book. Somehow I totally forget that I ever wrote it. I seriously forgot! Quite honestly, it’s probably because it’s about one of the hardest times in my life. I guess in some ways I’d rather forget. I’m glad I remembered today though.

So, to sum it up briefly, the way this book came about was through some pretty horrific health problems I faced during and after the birth of my third child. I intended to write a full length book about it, but life happened, Landon was diagnosed with autism, and the chaotic life has not stopped yet. (Yes this is an excuse about why I didn’t write the long version of the book, but it is definitely true.)

However, I have an uncle who really, really wanted me to write a book. So, as a 60th birthday present for him, I wrote a much shorter version of The Hope Plant using a site called StoryJumper. My daughter used StoryJumper for several years to write her stories and encouraged me to use it too.

I didn’t use any kind of formal structure or method to write this book, I just kinda wrote it. 😊 It is written like a children’s book in that the plant is personified, and it glosses over the health problems for the most part. The overall theme of hope and the simplicity of the plant is somewhat childlike. It does mention miscarriage/death in part of the story, so that part is more adult themed. (So I obviously did not have a clear picture of who the audience would be other than my uncle at the time I wrote this version.)

All of that to say, I think at times God wants us to look back and remember how far we’ve come. I felt like the Holy Spirit nudged me today reminding me of the book and said ”Look, remember this hard time, you got through this, and you’ll make it through the difficulties you are facing now. Trust me.” What better way to remember than reading a written reminder of how God used a plant to help me have hope.

I’m not sure if this link to my book will work. I am very technologically challenged at times. 😊 The link can be copied and pasted if it doesn’t work or if you’d like to look up The Hope Plant (Tiffany Vaughn Guy) at storyjumper.com. (A funny, little caveat…some of the books listed under my name on the site are books my daughter wrote several years ago. She has always been so creative and quite the little author. 😊)

https://www.storyjumper.com/book/read/87364535/The-Hope-Plant

Today I pray you have hope and never lose it, no matter how dark circumstances may be in your life. We are not promised an easy, problem-free life, and often we find ourselves in difficulties that seem to almost drown us. When the storm clears and the difficulty subsides, we can look back and see (sometimes even read) of how God helped us endure. Through it all, the most comforting, reassurance of all is that Jesus never lets go of us. We can always trust in that. He is our Hope.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
~Romans 15:4

Your friend,

Tiffany

Setbacks

Life is moving so fast it’s hard to keep up lately. I’m so thankful that we are over all the sickness at our house, but ready or not life is at full throttle now. With co-op/homeschool classes for the oldest child, homeschool for the middle one, and the youngest in public school, (not to mention 2 dogs, the husband’s busy work schedule, and basic day to day stuff) it can be a wild ride! 

Unfortunately, lately Landon (our child with autism), has had some setbacks. His aggression at school is ramping up despite taking a combination of five different medications. It has taken us literally years and suffering through multiple trial and error attempts to get the right combination of meds that help him the most. Unfortunately, his symptoms and behaviors are curbed only for a short time before he grows, his body becomes accustomed to the meds, and things have to be tweaked or changed completely. 

I really can’t adequately describe the helpless feeling I have when I get a note home about him hitting other students and teachers, having multiple crying spells, not staying dressed due to his sensory issues, etc. I don’t know what to do other than reach out to his doctor, make her aware of the situation and pray. At home he is not necessarily aggressive, but extremely hyperactive. To me, it seems the hyperactivity and sensory issues are what cause him to hit, etc., it isn’t necessarily anger. Those factors combined with the fact that he is primarily non-verbal contribute to his difficult behaviors….and boy are they seriously difficult!

I don’t remember what it feels like not to be bone tired. I wake up tired, push through the day tired, and go to bed exhausted. Despite all of this, I like to find the good in each day and consciously remind myself that God sees it all and is in control.

Friend, if you are struggling with an extremely hard situation, please know that you are not alone in your circumstances whatever they may be. Let this be your reminder that God sees you and is with you. He is reaching down to you and is aware of everything going on in your life. He has the hairs on your head numbered and promises to work all things for your good. The setbacks aren’t forever even if it feels that way. I truly believe God has a plan and purpose for everything in life. However, I know how hard it can be to find the positive parts of life when it feels like wave after wave of negatives come crashing in. So today, I chose to think about some positives instead of worrying about the not so good aspects. Here are a few pics of “good” from the last few days.  What are the positive snapshots from your life lately?

Blessings.

Your friend,

Tiffany


Personality, Purpose, and “More”

I love studying personality types. I know there are a variety of personality typing systems- MBTI, DISC, Enneagram- but my favorite is probably MBTI. I know this topic is soooo boring to some, but I find it truly fascinating especially because I have legitimately seen my personality type shift over the years. I was always an ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judge)…like every time I took the test. (I know, I know some of you may be thinking why in the world would you take tests like that, but I enjoy understanding humans- myself and others- what can I say?) So autism enters my life and my “J” quickly became a “P.” My “S” became more “N.” I will always be an Introvert (think 90%) and a Feeler (about 85%)…but my personality type is INFP now. My point in saying all this is to say life circumstances really can change you. I don’t stress now if plans change! 😂 I almost expect them to.

I totally planned to post recently but with things being a little chaotic at home lately, I haven’t had the chance. Unfortunately I succumbed to the stomach virus which lasted several days. 🥴🥴🥴 If I have learned anything in this life, especially since my son with autism has been in our lives it is the following

~Go with the flow

When things change, I just adapt and go with it. I don’t stress about the change. I just ride the waves of life now. Enter “perceiver” component of my personality and goodbye “judger/planner/organizer.”

~Take one day at a time. 

Now I rarely plan beyond a day or two. I mean I might tentatively plan things, but I am fully aware of the very real possibility of a long term plan changing so I’m ready for it! I’m totally ready for plans to change in a moment! 😂

~Have faith in the future and what I can’t see. 

I guess before autism entered my world I relied more on myself and life was honestly pretty perfect or I guess I should say pretty perfect in the “normal” sense. But when something enters your life that you have no power to change, to control, sometimes to even understand, you have to rely on what you can’t see. You have to trust that an unseen God is truly omniscient (all knowing) omnipotent (all powerful) omnipresent (present everywhere) and has a plan and purpose for the difficult circumstances that enter our life. I have to believe and dream and just know there is purpose in everything I face. I totally believe in this universe and beyond in the future in all that isn’t seen in the here in now, there is a much larger plan at work! So enter “Intuitive” or N into my personality type. 😊

I read the following today, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s an excerpt from Brian Houston’s “There is More.”

Today’s Scripture (Ephesians 3:14-21) is the same as on Day 1 because the promise that is embedded within this passage is so important in daily causing us to lift our eyes higher and dream bigger and go deeper into the unending capacity of the one who saved us and set us free.

No matter what you have experienced or are experiencing, I want to declare to you…

On the other side of this triumph, there is more.

On the other side of that failure, there is more.

On the other side of this sickness, there is more.

On the other side of your mountain, there is more.

On the other side of this heartache, there is more.

On the other side of this earth, there is so much more. 

Nothing gets lost. If you feel unsure or unsteady, lost or overlooked, or you simply need to be reminded again, let me be the one to do that. He sees you. He knows you—better than you could know yourself—and He waits with open arms, available with anything you need. Today, let me assure you that you are adopted into the family of God and an heir to an unending throne and an inheritance that will outlast space and time. Your portion is exceedingly, abundantly above anything you can think, ask, or imagine. 

So here’s the challenge. Live with expectancy. Steep yourself in His promises and travel the road of obedience to Christ with your eyes wide open to every facet of His faithfulness. Make more room for others, make more space for God, and watch Him make more of your dreams—the ones you dared to pray and the ones you never have—come to life.

Thank you for the privilege of speaking into your life these past five days. I pray that as you go on from here you will feel encouraged and victorious. That you will be more aware of God’s deep love for you and the adventure that is life with Christ. There is immeasurable potential within—plans and purposes beyond your wildest dreams. There is more.

Today, how are you going to make room for God’s more in your life?

Obviously one personality type is not better than the other. We all have strengths, weaknesses, and always grow and change. Hopefully we grow and change for the better. Be gentle with yourself as you grow. Remember God totally understands that we are human and imperfect and that we live in a very imperfect world full of viruses and even disabilities. However never lose sight of the fact that there is a much bigger plan at work. We are just a tiny part of the gigantic puzzle that will all make sense one day. If we go missing even as a seemingly tiny insignificant piece, the puzzle won’t be complete. 

In this sometimes crazy world you are needed and seen…whatever your personality type, no matter your life’s circumstance. There is more. Blessings today and every day.

Your friend,

Tiffany

An Encouraging Thought

I originally posted the following blog a little over two years ago. Lately, I’ve been thinking a good bit about purpose…probably because of the new year, discussions about resolutions, etc. There have been times when I struggled with purpose and understanding the “whys“ of life. The thought came to mind more than once lately of how much I’m encouraged and even inspired by those who share their stories, struggles, and how they’ve made it through hard circumstances with God’s help. I’ve been blown away at times by others sharing how something I’ve shared has encouraged them! It’s totally God’s hand at work-nothing I’ve accomplished alone.

Today I want to encourage you, yes you, to continue to share your story- in writing or otherwise. While you are doing so, look for the little ways God reveals He is at work in your life. You may be shocked at just how real and ever present He is. Don’t worry if you are in a season like Frodo where he ”wished the Ring had never come to him.” We don’t always get to choose the situations that come to us in this life, but God promises to use the hardest of circumstances for His glory, if we will allow Him to! I hope you enjoy the following and pray you experience God’s presence continually no matter the circumstance. Blessings!

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

My husband and two older kids were watching Lord of the Rings recently, and this quote caught my attention, again. I remember it making an impression on me the first time I watched The Fellowship of the Ring, and this time I stopped again when I heard it and reflected on the meaning. We don’t get to choose what circumstances life throws at us at times. It reminds me of a cross stitched quote my mother had hanging in her bedroom years ago. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If you’re like me, just thinking of that makes you nervous! How will we know what to accept and what to change? The answer is in trust.

We often don’t get to decide what cards we are dealt in life. Sometimes the game of life seems to deal us good cards, and sometimes it feels like we get only the bad. We want to fix everything, to make everything right, but that is not always possible. Some things cannot be changed no matter what we do. If we’ve prayed about it, and are following God’s leading, really all we can do is trust God and keep moving forward.  We don’t have to worry about deciding what will and won’t happen in our lives, we can leave it up to God! Let Him decide that, let Him allow the things He wants to happen in your life. All we have to do is use the time, talents, and treasures He has given us. Is it easy? No! Do we always understand? No! Did God allow the circumstances that are happening in your life right now? Yes! All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Time. Sometimes it feels like it’s dragging and flying at the same time. It’s what our lives are made of. We only have a limited amount- say 100 years if we’re lucky. Not to sound all gloom and doom, but life goes by faster than we think and we really don’t know how much time we have here.

All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us”.

That makes me not want to waste time doing unimportant things. It makes me want to be kinder, to love and give more. To not worry as much. To make sure I’m fulfilling God’s purpose in my life.

I love the way Sam, Frodo’s friend, stays with Frodo throughout his journey with the ring. Whether Frodo fully realizes Sam’s devotion or not, it is obvious to the viewer that Sam is a true and loyal friend. I think Sam is a reminder that God sends encouragement when we need it and He makes sure we know we aren’t ever alone.

The situation we find ourselves in that we have no control over was meant to happen. Remembering that brings us peace. It will all make sense eventually, if not in this life, in the one to come!

There is hope and joy in simply knowing you are living out your purpose. It was hard for Frodo to see the hope and joy in his situation when he was carrying the heavy burden of the ring. We all have a burden of some sort. Think about what burden you “wish had never come to you”.

All the human emotions you feel are normal. But remember, there are other forces at work besides the bad ones, there is good at work, too! God is in control of our lives if we’ve put our trust in Him. Our “burden” didn’t catch Him off guard or take him by surprise. He’s working when we can’t even see it and “that is an encouraging thought”.  

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” 

Your friend,

Tiffany

An Old Chandelier

The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].
~John 1:5

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.

– Francis Bacon 

A beam of God’s countenance is enough to fill the heart of a believer to overflowing. It is enough to light up the pale cheek of a dying saint with seraphic brightness, and make the heart of the lone widow sing for joy.

– Robert Murray McCheyne

Let us not ask of the Lord deceitful riches, nor the good things of this world, nor transitory honors; but let us ask for light.

Assorted Authors

The fundamental principle of Christianity is to be what God is, and he is light.

– John Hagee

Christ cannot light a single spark in the heart of an individual, without that little tiny spark being for God. He gives the light, and has ordained that every ray of it is to reflect something for God.

– G.V. Wigram


Our family took a break from technology/social media for a week in October. It was so refreshing and honestly made me want to take more breaks from technology. During that time, Robbie and I began working on restoring an old chandelier that was in my grandparents’ house. It looked awful, but still worked and it had a lot of sentimental value to me. My grandparents passed away years ago and their house (owned by my parents now) is used for a rental.

The chandelier itself has a story behind it. The first house I ever remember living in had a chandelier that was identical to my Nanny’s. It hung over the dining/kitchen table and as a child I really didn’t think too much about it. I took all the sparkling crystals and warm, inviting light it radiated for granted. Most kids don’t think about appreciating all the irreplaceable moments, now memories, of family and friends gathering underneath the chandelier for holidays and birthday parties and meals. Life was sweet and warm and happy and oh so simple back then. 

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Back to my Nanny’s chandelier. Nanny liked the chandelier in our house so much that my parents decided to buy her an identical one for Christmas one year. It hung in the center of her formal living room until just recently for probably going on forty years. Now it was in her “formal” living room but there was nothing formal about it. What-nots and country ducks cluttered a coffee table and shelves along with a candy dish filled with strawberry candy and other treats. Country blue, deer heads, and assorted artwork and a mauve floral and cream-colored sofa and chair filled the room. Brownish rust-colored carpet covered the floor and faux wood paneling covered the walls. It was the first room you entered when you came to the front door. Many times when you came through that door my Papa, a Baptist minister, was sitting in a chair talking on a cream colored rotary dial phone plugged into the wall by that door. At Christmas we all piled into that small “formal” living room and listened to my Papa preach/talk about end times and then we opened a bushel of presents right there underneath the unnoticed chandelier all the while quietly twinkling beautifully and showering us with warm light as we made memories together with family. 

Memories. So precious and irreplaceable. Held forever in my heart. 

After both my Nanny and Papa had passed away, my family and I were cleaning out their house. As we were cleaning, I looked up at the chandelier hanging there. I realized how many precious moments had truly been shared underneath it, and I asked Daddy if I could have the chandelier. Daddy said I could and told me we would need to take it down before he rented Nanny and Papa’s house. Life got busy as it always does and somehow the old chandelier remained in the house and the new renter moved in. The renter happened to be a bachelor who smoked. So dust and a ton of smoke residue coated everything in the house including the chandelier. The chandelier still served it’s purpose as a light source although it became completely covered with layers and layers of dirt. 

Fast forward ten years. The renter unexpectedly passed away. The house was in desperate need of cleaning and repair before it could be rented again. One day my mind went back to the chandelier. Was it still there? Had it been broken and replaced after all this time? If it was there, did it even work? So I asked Daddy about it. He told me it was still there and that I could have it. So the dirty, almost unrecognizable, chandelier was taken down and saved for me. 

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When I saw it, I was overjoyed. Yes, it looked awful and was covered in layers of smoke residue and grime, but it was still so special and valuable in my eyes.  

As I looked at it, I began thinking how the chandelier is symbolic of us and our lives. We start out new, bright, shiny, and perfect, but then life happens. Difficulties come our way- sickness, broken relationships, etc. Sometimes even ongoing seemingly unfixable circumstances spanning decades walk into our lives and settle down for what seems like forever. We become covered with layers of stress, hurt, pain, sadness. We may even become unrecognizable. Pieces of us break off. We age. Life continues and we remain. Yet….we continue to shine. 

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The damage and pain of life while outwardly evident could never stop our inward, true purpose. Our value never decreases despite trials, difficulty, pain that life doled out. In fact, our value has probably increased like a beautiful, classic, antique. The refinery of life through Jesus has increased the value of our inward character. We were uniquely and beautifully created for such a time as this! To shine in this dark world which so desperately needs the light of Hope and Love- whose name is Jesus. Our purpose-our innate value-has never changed. It never will.

Looking at that old chandelier, I feel honored. Despite all the layers of dirt, it still remains purposeful. Nothing could change that. And when it is completely clean and all its crystals are sparkling and bright, it will shine even brighter than it did when it was new. I’ll treasure that chandelier even more because of its history and purpose. On days that I feel overwhelmed with life, it will be a forever reminder that my purpose remains unchanged. It will remind me to let Jesus’ light shine from within me at all times despite the circumstance. The chandelier will be a forever reminder that the light shines even brighter in the darkness.

I’m praying for you today, friends. If you are in the darkness of a hopeless situation or hard circumstance, know that your value has never, ever changed. It can’t change because it was given to you by your Father and Creator. Your purpose has never wavered despite what the enemy tries to tell you. If you feel lost, uncertain, or far away from God, ask the Lord to help you and reveal Himself to you. He would love nothing more than to meet you right where you are and remind you of your purpose and value. 

When you seek Him you will find him. 

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 

~Jeremiah 29:13

Your friend,

Tiffany

An Encouraging Thought

I originally posted the following blog a little over two years ago. Lately, I’ve been thinking a good bit about purpose…probably because of the new year, discussions about resolutions, etc. There have been times when I struggled with purpose and understanding the “whys“ of life. The thought came to mind more than once lately of how much I’m encouraged and even inspired by those who share their stories, struggles, and how they’ve made it through hard circumstances with God’s help. I’ve been blown away at times by others sharing how something I’ve shared has encouraged them! It’s totally God’s hand at work-nothing I’ve accomplished alone.

Today I want to encourage you, yes you, to continue to share your story- in writing or otherwise. While you are doing so, look for the little ways God reveals He is at work in your life. You may be shocked at just how real and ever present He is. Don’t worry if you are in a season like Frodo where he ”wished the Ring had never come to him.” We don’t always get to choose the situations that come to us in this life, but God promises to use the hardest of circumstances for His glory, if we will allow Him to! I hope you enjoy the following and pray you experience God’s presence continually no matter the circumstance. Blessings!

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

My husband and two older kids were watching Lord of the Rings recently, and this quote caught my attention, again. I remember it making an impression on me the first time I watched The Fellowship of the Ring, and this time I stopped again when I heard it and reflected on the meaning. We don’t get to choose what circumstances life throws at us at times. It reminds me of a cross stitched quote my mother had hanging in her bedroom years ago. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If you’re like me, just thinking of that makes you nervous! How will we know what to accept and what to change? The answer is in trust.

We often don’t get to decide what cards we are dealt in life. Sometimes the game of life seems to deal us good cards, and sometimes it feels like we get only the bad. We want to fix everything, to make everything right, but that is not always possible. Some things cannot be changed no matter what we do. If we’ve prayed about it, and are following God’s leading, really all we can do is trust God and keep moving forward.  We don’t have to worry about deciding what will and won’t happen in our lives, we can leave it up to God! Let Him decide that, let Him allow the things He wants to happen in your life. All we have to do is use the time, talents, and treasures He has given us. Is it easy? No! Do we always understand? No! Did God allow the circumstances that are happening in your life right now? Yes! All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).

Time. Sometimes it feels like it’s dragging and flying at the same time. It’s what our lives are made of. We only have a limited amount- say 100 years if we’re lucky. Not to sound all gloom and doom, but life goes by faster than we think and we really don’t know how much time we have here.

All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us”.

That makes me not want to waste time doing unimportant things. It makes me want to be kinder, to love and give more. To not worry as much. To make sure I’m fulfilling God’s purpose in my life.

I love the way Sam, Frodo’s friend, stays with Frodo throughout his journey with the ring. Whether Frodo fully realizes Sam’s devotion or not, it is obvious to the viewer that Sam is a true and loyal friend. I think Sam is a reminder that God sends encouragement when we need it and He makes sure we know we aren’t ever alone.

The situation we find ourselves in that we have no control over was meant to happen. Remembering that brings us peace. It will all make sense eventually, if not in this life, in the one to come!

There is hope and joy in simply knowing you are living out your purpose. It was hard for Frodo to see the hope and joy in his situation when he was carrying the heavy burden of the ring. We all have a burden of some sort. Think about what burden you “wish had never come to you”.

All the human emotions you feel are normal. But remember, there are other forces at work besides the bad ones, there is good at work, too! God is in control of our lives if we’ve put our trust in Him. Our “burden” didn’t catch Him off guard or take him by surprise. He’s working when we can’t even see it and “that is an encouraging thought”.  

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” 

Your friend,

Tiffany