We are quickly coming to the close of yet another year and as we do so, I do not want us to bypass the opportunity we do have to consider what it means for us to finish strong so that we can thrive in the year to come. This is the time of the year where many are hustling and bustling about in stores buying gifts, in church planning the Christmas pageant, at work closing out the year, and in our homes decorating, reminiscing, and even stressing about upcoming gatherings with family and friends. It has been said that it is the most wonderful time of the year! And it can be that if we keep in mind that JESUS is the reason for this season!
Now there are many stories that are told around this time of the year, especially on TV. Friends, I will admit that I am a sucker for a good Lifetime, Hallmark or ABC Family Christmas movie. And I really love the ones that end with a man and woman coming together in true love or an estranged family coming together in spite of past rifts that kept them apart. I absolutely LOVE the Christmas movies on TV during this time of the year! And I am really "geeked" [lol] that I can catch them on YouTube throughout the entire year. I do not have to wait until after Thanksgiving to watch a good Christmas movie. I can just search for one on YouTube and watch the story unfold.
These stories have made me laugh and cry, smile with approval or sigh in disbelief at the decisions that these characters have made. But in the end, I will also admit, that with as many of these made for TV movies that I have watched, I pretty much know how it will end up even before the plot thickens; yet, I watch them anyway. I like a good story. Actually, my friends, it reminds me of how my family reads the Luke version of the birth story of Christ every year at our Christmas Eve dinner. I know how the story will end as recorded in that passage but I love to hear it anyway and celebrate its significance in my life. But on today, the other story that I hope we would all celebrate collectively and individually, is our personal story - the story that you are writing with your life, every day.
Now, I know that there are some of you who are very pleased with how your personal story is unfolding right now and there are others of you who wish that you could rewrite parts of your story that you feel that you cannot get over or get around so that you can move forward. Then there are others of you who, like me, feel a little bit of both. I celebrate my story but there are probably a few moments that I would rather not have as a part of my memory. But all in all it is my story. And I just believe that in all of our personal stories, God is working EVERYTHING together for our good! Its just that there are times when we have to WAIT for God to work it before we can see the good or before we realize that it is already good.
Friends, we THRIVE when we can celebrate our own story. YOU THRIVE when you can celebrate every part of you that makes you, you. And even if there is room for improvement, which there usually is in us all, well, then you acknowledge it, own it, and move forward to enhance it. Beloved, you are a wonderful, gifted, purpose-filled creation of the Almighty and YOUR story is part of the God story that connects us all! You are God's choice! And God loves you so very much! Actually, God loves you so much more than you can imagine and is able to do things in and through your life that exceed and are abundantly above all that you could ever ask, think, or imagine for yourself!
So, BlogFam, CELEBRATE YOUR STORY - the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. Do not take your life for granted and do not waste the precious days that you have left on this earth doing anything that will not help you to THRIVE!
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. [Ephesians 5:15-17]
On this day, I pray that you would look in the mirror and THANK GOD that you are still here! I pray that you would give thanks to God for all of the potential and promise God has placed inside of you and for the ways God has, is, and will use you to fulfill God's story. I pray that you would pursue every opportunity in alignment with God's word, will, and way and that as you pursue righteousness, that you would experience shalom, nothing missing and nothing broken in your life. I pray that you would THRIVE physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I pray that if there is anything or anyone in your life that needs to be removed or reassigned or revived, that you would have the courage to do so. I pray that you would not be unwise or foolish but that you would make the most of every opportunity and understand what the Lord's will is for your life. In the Name of the ONE who Celebrates YOU and YOUR STORY... AMEN!
THRIVE, my friend! And celebrate your own story!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings! Glory! And Sunshine!