Ever have one of those conversations that replays in your mind?  Wish you could have added something different that would change the direction of the conversation and the outcome?  Sometimes, they are recent conversations and sometimes, they are conversations that took place long ago.

Often they aren’t conversations, but actions.  Actions that you’ve done or actions that have been done to you.  I know through my own life, I’ve been on both sides.  I wish sometimes that I could relive parts of my life and do them better.  Arguments or accusations that I would take back.  Hurtful actions that were done to me.  Times that I acted indifferent to situations or didn’t follow through on thoughts.  I don’t think that there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t like to have a do over on certain situations.  

Our history and people in our lives have molded our personality and our outlook toward many things.  Situations have inhibited us or freed us up to go forward.  Life is constantly moving and growing us.  I know I’m different because of the people that have come and gone in my life.  People whose life has intertwined with mine.

I am a better person for each individual that touched and influenced me.  God’s love has been so evident in so many different conversations and actions.

I’ll even give credit to the teacher that I student taught with because I learned how I never wanted to be as an instructor.  

My friends, who daily, display God’s love in the form of friendship, sisterly and brotherly love, and acceptance.  Laughter and compassion abounds in their counsel and I call myself blessed because of them in my life.  They stepped in and filled the hole left by John.

My great Grannie that showed me the beauty of God’s love through her positive words, her walk with God, work ethic, and laughter.  Her willingness to see the best in people made an enormous impact on me as I grew into adulthood.

John influenced me more than any person I’ve ever known with his strength, love, and sense of humor.  He strived to be a good husband, a great dad, and a mentor to church youth.  His family showered their love on me and thinking about them makes me smile.

Cameron influences me with tenacity and his positive attitude toward all that has been given to him in his young life.  He constantly reminds me of the blessings that I’ve been given in the form of a son.

Recognizing God as my strength has brought me peace and joy.  He is my true comforter.

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Illustrated by D. Nevins

This month at church, our sermons have been over Joseph.  I wonder if he ever replayed conversations or actions with his brothers, his dad, or any of the people he met in Egypt and wished he could have changed anything?  He was human, so I bet he thought about it.  

The beautiful blessings Joseph received was because of his faith in God.  He lived and worked for God despite the circumstances of his life.  He didn’t whine and talk endlessly of how good he had it with his dad or while living in Potiphar’s house.  According to his brothers, he did give them reasons to dislike him.  Did he do it out of pride or enthusiasm because he was a favorite?  It really doesn’t matter because God had already written his history.  God knew every low and high that he was going to experience.  Joseph accepted his situations and was blessed because he loved God.  The book of Joseph is about God’s sovereignty, not about Joseph’s difficult life.  

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

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Today, I don’t think there isn’t a person that hasn’t heard that song from Frozen, ‘Let It Go.’   There have been parodies made and once the song is heard, forever circles in the brain.

Let it go, let it go

 And I’ll rise like the break of dawn

Let it go, let it go

That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand

In the light of day

Let the storm rage on

I love this part….

It’s funny how some distance

Makes everything seem small

And the fears that once controlled me

Can’t get to me at all

Whatever, the situation….sing “Let it go, let it go…”   What if there was a better way?

What we should be saying is, “God take this.  I’m giving it to you.”  Now I’m Letting it go!

I went to a ladies retreat a few years back where we lifted our hands together, palms cupped up, and then parted our hands and brought our hands back down.  It was a reminder to “Give our situation to God, and then don’t continue to worry about things”  because He handles whatever problem seems too large to us.  

Screen shot 2016-05-19 at 6.06.00 PMMy friend, Sally and I, still do that gesture to each other whenever we need reminded to let things go.  Whether, it is work related or in our personal life.  It makes me smile and stops the complaining or worrying.  I can’t change how people see me or interpret what I do or say.  I have no control over others.  I can’t change my past.  I can only hope that I do better in the future.  

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.                                        Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Haven’t you ever thought a person was one way when you didn’t really know them, but after you’ve been around them for a while, you have a totally different perspective?  I have also been on both sides of this with my friends, Kimber and Robbi.  One thought I was rude and I thought the other was scary.  Now both thoughts make me laugh because I can’t imagine not knowing these two terrific friends.  Because I work with these two, thankfully, we’ve had years to get to know what we are really like as people.   Spending time with one another, we get to learn each others’ hearts.

Which brings me to my next thought.  When we interact with people briefly, do they see our true heart?  I know it’s been said a thousand times, but do they see Jesus in me?  Hopefully, I am His reflection.  Sadly, I know that sometimes when situations don’t go my way, that too reflects, but not Jesus.  Right now, I’m picturing moments that I regret.  I could have been more pleasant, patient, and kind.  There’s no changing that past either.

 Luckily, God gives me many moments to show how a Christian acts both with people briefly and long term.  In my moments with family, friends, students, coworkers, and strangers; I hope to shine with His light.  I’m sure that I’ll replay conversations and actions and wish that I had handled myself differently.  I’m just as sure that God is using me for the good of His purpose.  I have to keep putting Him first and die to myself, which, as a human I struggle to do this everyday.  I often fail, but sometimes, I am successful.  

Each day….. I’m lifting it up.  I’m giving my failures and successes to God.

I’m letting it go and finding joy…..