17 December 2014

Who deserves kindness?

One more week until Christmas and it's filled with last minute shopping, wrapping paper strewn all about and finishing up the last few details for the family get-togethers (at least that's what it's like around here). I don't know about you but I feel like I'm in slow motion watching everyone rushing through the stores. It can definitely make you forget to slow down and show some kindness and I'm raising both my hands up high calling myself out on this. I found the saying below and was so in love with the idea behind it's meaning that I wanted to share it with you.
I'll be the first to say it's hard to show kindness to those who "don't seem to deserve it" and when I write that it sounds so silly. Who am I to pick and choose who I'm going to show kindness to today? If that's what God would've done when He sent His son to be born in a manger I would've been last on the list to receive the love and sacrifice He gave.  He didn't choose to do what He did because of my good days. He gave it all in spite of who I am.

No matter how wrong I believe a situation is or how rude I think someone may be, I have to remember what I'm on this earth for. It's not to decide on who gets to experience God's love and kindness through me but, it's to share the love, the compassion, the story of Him. It's to share the same grace and forgiveness I receive over a thousand times a day. Take a moment to read the selfless story of the birth of Jesus below and don't forget to show someone the same kindness you receive daily.

Luke 2:1-20 KJV
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

11 December 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Peace

I'm very excited to share with you the first week of Thankful Thursdays! As a busy nursing student planning a wedding I felt like I was losing out on the simple blessings of every day. In busy schedules you forget to pause and be thankful and see the beauty around you. So every thursday I'm going to share something I am thankful for; something that I may have realized, something that got me through the week, something I've been encouraged by. Take this moment with me to reflect on life, decisions, failures, accomplishments, etc. I hope you find joy through this, too! 

Peace. I've never been more thankful for peace than I have been this week. It's one of those weeks where your flesh is just exhausted but somehow your faith is still holding on by a thread saying, "Just hang in there. I've got you. You're gonna make it through this." But in my head I'm thinking, "When is this gonna end!?" Have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, or months? You're just trying to hold your head above the water but the waves keep on crashing. Jesus never said we wouldn't get weary on this journey but, He did say we can have peace in Him to overcome. 

John 16:26
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. but take heart; I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Are you weary? Are your waves in life encompassing you? Have you ever truly experienced that "peace that passes all understanding"? Be thankful today: Your faith extends to where your flesh ends

I'm really looking forward to this! Do you want to join in on Thankful Thursdays with me? Grab the code below and share it on your blog with your post. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at: wildgrapesblog@gmail.com
Refining the Wild Grapes

08 December 2014

You're Worth It

December is here once again! This is my favorite time of year. Through all the decorations & lights & presents, it's a reminder that Jesus was born to save me & you. 

Not everybody feels this is the most wonderful time of the year though. There may be some out there who are lonely, who are struggling with the loss of someone close to them, or some who may not be able to find that peace & joy that is so appropriately advertised throughout this season. Since I've started Nursing school (8 months til graduation!), I've met so many wonderful people. I've met people who made my day better, people who just wanted to talk about life and families, people who just wanted someone to laugh with them, cry with them, or just sit with them, and people who didn't feel like living another day. I learned through experience that this time of year isn't always wonderful for some.

I want to share with someone that YOU ARE WORTH IT. No matter what season/situation you find yourself in, whether good or bad, you are worth it and God is still God. He'll never leave & He'll never change. Allow your faith to run wild & know Him in a deeper way. 
I'm reminded of one of my absolute favorite stories of faith & redemption in the Bible, found in Joshua 2. It's the short story of Rahab who took in the two spies to protect them. She was considered a harlot, someone who was "living in sin" yet, God sent the spies to her house. He chose her. The moment she opened her door, her faith would be forever changed. The beauty of this story is seeing how Rahab's past had been redeemed in order for God's plan to be fulfilled in her future. He saw that she was worth so much more than she believed herself. 

Hebrews 11:31
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Where are you at right now? Are you lonely this season? Are you filled with an abundance of family and love? Are you fighting the same battle that's already been won? 
Are you low on faith and deep in sin?
Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Don't let this season pass you by again. You are worth it!