Five Things to Tell Yourself Every Morning

I don’t know about you, but I don’t spring out of bed in the morning with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. My body hurts. I’m still tired. I don’t want to sweep the kitchen again and find spatters on the mirror that I washed yesterday. I need to hit the shower and grab breakfast.

The thing I need most each morning is to start my day affirming who I am, why I’m here, and how much God loves me.

Why? Because every day untrue messages about our identity and purpose inundate our mind, soul, and spirit. For instance,

  • You’re not enough.
  • Your purpose is to be good, do good, and just keep on swimming.
  • If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
  • Money, sex, and power are the keys to happiness.
  • Revenge is sweet.
  • You can never really trust someone’s love.
  • In order to be worth it you need to (fill in the blank).

The only truth we can ever rely on is God’s truth. He alone is unchanging, all-knowing, and forgave every sin and mess we would ever create before we took our first breath. We are incapable of understanding His love for us. In a messed up, broken world, He alone is LOVE we can rely upon in our darkest moments.

  1. I am limitlessly, exuberantly, endlessly loved by God.

God’s love gives me purpose. He chooses to partner with His children to bring purpose from chaos in the world. We are His disciples, the light of the world. When I get up ever morning, I know that my words and actions set into motion eternal ripples of cause and effect.  Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

2. God gives me a purpose for and in every second of my life–especially in moments when I can’t see it.

God has a plan for your life. He created you with a purpose. One of the most important purposes we can fulfill is one we often overlook and take for granted: God created us to enjoy an intimate relationship with us. We enter into that relationship by believing in Jesus. The Bible tells us that if we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father (God).

Having a close relationship with God is like any other relationship. We need to spend time with Him. We need to talk to Him in prayer. We need to read His love letter to us–the Bible–to help us better see and understand His profound love for us.

We are also created to glorify God in all we do and say; to praise Him; to grow in the fruits of the Spirit; to use our gifts and talents for Him, and to share what God has done for us with others.

3. I am enough because I am God’s daughter.

God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters. He created me and orchestrates every atom in the universe. No one can diminish my value. God willingly gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice for my sins. God loved me more than the love that has ever filled the hearts of mankind. He says I am enough and I am His.

4. The most truthful things about me is that I am who God says I am: beautiful, chosen, forgiven, and free from shame.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe,

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

I am free. I am forgiven. I am chosen. I am God’s beautiful child.

5. I am free to love even my enemies as freely as God loves me.

We find true freedom when we forgive our enemies as God forgave us. Of course, this is not actually possible. We do not possess God’s capacity for forgiveness. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to love our enemies and those who spitefully use us.

This is perhaps the most difficult affirmation to claim–especially when we watch others abuse our loved ones. Forgiveness does not mean “off the hook” or forgetting about consequences. Forgiveness means to pardon or cancel a debt. That individual no longer owes you anything. They may owe a penalty to the law or an institution or someone else, but you free them from bondage to your anger.

I challenge you to begin your morning for one month with these five affirmations. Say them out loud as you look into a mirror, and use your name as you speak them. Write them on a card and carry them with you through the day. Then observe how the Spirit of God works in your life.

–Shelly

Love Notes from God’s Heart: #1 I See and Know You

god-heart

On June 1st, Love Letters from the Edge releases. Over the next ten days, Wanda and I will be posting notes to the brokenhearted from God taken from Love Letters.

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Have you ever wondered where God is when all the horrible things in life happen to you?

Have you ever felt abandoned and alone? Have you ever prayed a thousand times for the torture of your life to stop until your prayers seemed to stick in your throat?

If you’re like most people I know, the answer is Yes.

Here’s God’s love note to you.

My Beloved Child,

I understand why the world doesn’t make sense to you, and I understand your rage and pain. As you come to know me better, you will recognize that trying to understand answers beyond your comprehension is less important than trusting my character.

Rescue is not always about taking out and taking away. Rescue also comes in gifts of presence, endurance, and purpose.

You didn’t see me. You didn’t heart me. And you didn’t feel me in your pain. But I was beside you, holding you close to my heart, loving you, and wiping away every tear. I came for you, and I have never left your side. –Your Loving Father

Photo Credit: TweenyRandall.com

Daddy Love

My best friend, who is single, often shares her puzzlement over the way parents behave.

dirtychildFor instance, she can’t understand why moms and dad choose to take whiny, sticky-faced, bickering kids on vacation or out to dinner. She can’t understand how a mom can look past streaks of grime to plant a kiss on a cheek or snuggle into a sweaty hug from an eight-year-old after a ball game. She can’t fathom why dads volunteer to get up at 4am to sit in a boat beside their sons and daughters, just to dangle a fishing pole into the water.

But I have an answer. God wove his image into our hearts. When we see the love of a mother or father so driven by devotion that even sticky fingers and sweaty hugs are pure joy, we are seeing a glimpse of God’s love for us.

No matter how imperfect we may be, he wants to be with you and with me for the joy we bring to his heart.

How can I not be changed by a love like that?

Photo Credit: holidaytripper.com

The Look of Love

My son Nate and his precious son Gabriel

I’m glad to announce that I can finally claim a new, longed-for title: Grandma.

My son Nate and his wife Allison welcomed their first child, Gabriel Daniel, into their home in June. Can I just say that I adore my precious grandson? And it takes every ounce of self-control not to devote all of my Facebook space to telling the world how beautiful he is.

I can’t help but be reminded that my husband Dan’s and my love for baby Gabe is but a glimmer of God’s great love for us. As Dan and I sit ogling over pictures of our grand baby, looking for opportunities to flash his precious face in front of someone, I know we reflect God’s heart for each of us as His children.

We can’t imagine the love of God the Father as He communicates His affection for us to Jesus, His Son. And I know that God longs for nothing more than to draw us close to Him and have us look into his face with the trust and openness of a father holding his own precious child.

Ponder that today as you think of God’s great and precious and very intimate love for you.