Experiencing This Change

Experiencing This Change

Today is a new day.

I have spent nearly the past year of my life (at least!) living in the belief that past mistakes must dictate my actions for the new day. For the last twelve months especially, I have held things against myself – and my family, too, really struggling with being able to forgive, to let go and exhibit grace. It’s been a bumpy journey, trying to figure out why I’ve felt like this for so long.

The day I realized I was shackled to these sins was the day I could let them go.

I have prayed about this problem often, and now I can see that on my hardest day, at my lowest point, the Lord was still there for me. I’m always unable to see His hand at work until I take a step back – and what I can now see is absolutely breathtaking.

He is able to use every problem, sin, mistake, and shortcoming to lead me back to where I need to be – and He already has.

He has taught me about grace, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and love.

For the past year of my life, I was too focused on taking care of me, of dealing with my own issues … and I no longer took the time necessary to nurture the beautiful relationships I had with my family. I left them behind in my own despair … and even then, nothing changed. The friendships I had with them were going downhill, as well as my self-esteem – and self-control. Focusing on “taking care” of myself didn’t help at all.

Because I wasn’t looking to the right Person.

The moment I laid all of this baggage, these burdens and worries and past mistakes, all down at the feet of my Lord and Savior, I felt a release. A literal weight was off my shoulders as He took them onto His own.

I had been carrying them for too long.

The pit of despair will take quite a bit of time to get myself out of … but I now know that the Lord and my family are waiting for me at the top. I know that they all long for the moment of my return, when I can finally be the loving person I once was, the caring person I often am, but can definitely be at all times. I’ll no longer have anger, impatience, and problems with forgiveness; they have all shown me the important thing I had left behind these past twelve months.

LOVE.

Love for my family, love for the Lord, and very importantly, love for myself. When I stop judging myself and give it all to Him, it is then that I’m able to love and care for others – not before.

It starts here – in my heart. And the new days that come, including today, will not continue to carry yesterday’s burdens.

I am learning to give, to let go, to learn, and to love.

Today is a new day.

— Maggie

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

Hi, guys 🙂 I hope you’re all having a great day so far.

For a while now, I have been writing the posts in this series set up as weekly recaps, in order to summarize how my week went, and how I felt over the course of each day. Now, however, I’m going to turn Making the Change into a monthly wrap-up, as you probably already saw in the title, hehe. 💕 I may very well do a week recap post again at some point, but for now, it will be a once-a-month type of post. 🙂

This month’s will be broken up into two sections; one for the month that has ended, and another for the month that is coming up! For the past month part, I’m going to reflect on the improvements I made, as well as what I could have done better on. For the upcoming month, I will list what I’d like to focus on improving, the quotes and Bible verses that inspire me for the weeks ahead, and any other thoughts that I have on it.

For anyone new following along, or if you simply need a refresher, you can visit the first post in this series, where I explain what it is all about. Basically, it’s a reminder for me to focus on spreading more kindness in my life as I overcome anger. I have definitely improved since I started making the change back in April … but I know that I still have a ways to go. The encouragement from my family, you guys, and the Lord is what has kept me going – I am so thankful for all of you!

Let’s jump right into this. ❤

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (May-June 2017)

The Past Month: May 2017

Improvements: I worked on finding different activities to do with my 5-year-old brother, Samuel, things that we could both have fun doing together. I reached out to my 13-year-old brother, Joshua, by trying new games with him that he primarily enjoyed more than I did. I was more conscious of how I look and sound when I respond to situations I’m not happy with, and I did my best to be more gentle.

Next Time: I need to go through more with playing pretend with Samuel. I also ended up sounding harsher than I would’ve liked many times, in different situations. I need to pay further attention to how I sound; I need to be gentle and understanding. Instead of responding instantly when I’m upset about something, I need to think through what I’m about to say … I don’t want to have many more of these regrets.

The Upcoming Month: June 2017

Focuses:

  • Gentleness. In how I sound, act, and think. ❤
  • Forgiveness. Both things unintentional and intentional, for if I desire to be forgiven, I need to do the same for others (Mark 11:25).
  • Patience. This is definitely one that I need improving on. Both with myself, as well as my interactions with others, I need to learn to slow down. It kind of goes along with patience, but is slightly different. I know than I can (and will!) learn to slow down. ❤
  • Grace. This trait has been defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement.” I need help in this area like I need air to breathe hahaha
  • Self-Control. I will feel upset sometimes … but I do not have to act on those negative feelings.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

  • “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way.”
  • “We rise by lifting others.”
  • “Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.” ~ [derived from] Micah 6:8
  • “Patience with family is love, patience with others is respect, patience with self is confidence and patience with God is faith.”
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
  • “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” ~ Proverbs 10:12 ESV
  • “Everything that God allows to come our way is always with a purpose. He uses even the greatest error and deepest pain to mold us into a better person.”
  • “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”
  • If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?”

“If you can’t be kind, be quiet.”

“See the light in others,
and treat them as if that is all you see.”

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~ 1 Peter 4:8-9

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Thank you for reading and following along, everyone. 💖 God bless!

How about you?

What do YOU desire to focus on in June?

— Maggie

 

We Can Be The Change

We Can Be The Change

There have been a lot of very negative things going on in the world recently … but I’ve realized what the best step for all of us to take is. There is something we can all be doing to make this world a better place, even if that difference is significantly small. By taking on one small random act of kindness at a time, we can do so much in the ways of being the change we wish to see in the world. ❤ Please keep reading to learn more.

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When times of terror greatly affect us and cause us to fear for our protection, anxiety begins to take root within us. It’s the natural reaction; it is frightening to know what people are capable of, and how we might one day be personally affected by this hatred and evil. The thought of our own safety, as well as those that we love, being put at risk is really a frightening thought.

But what I’ve realized while reading the news lately, and by seeing how everyone is reacting to all of what has been going on this past week, it has really affected me emotionally. I’ve seen how everyone is coming together, reaching out to one another, and spreading positivity and love. We’re grasping hands and making stronger bonds instead of using our power to hurt others. This has caused many of us to remember what we really should be doing: caring for one another.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whenever there is something bad going on that we cannot control, whether we’re personally witnessing it or we read articles online, we are often struck by the realization that we must do something – but then it is heartbreaking when we realize that we can’t.

However, I have just recently realized that we are capable of doing more than we ever thought possible.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” — Howard Zinn

No, we can’t bring comfort to everyone in pain, nor can we assist every person in need … but we can give a smile to every individual we meet, reach out to others who need our love, exhibit kindness to our friends and family, read that new blogger’s blog posts … by doing things that are so small, we can change the lives of everyone around us!

Spread kindness like wildfire. Be conscious of others’ feelings. Go out of your way to love people. Aim to make everyone that you meet happier than when they first met you. Be a light in the darkness! ❤

Do for one what you wish you could do for millions.

We cannot let the terror that is going on affect or weaken us. We are strong, bright, intelligent people. The negativity around us is definitely heartbreaking sometimes, but by doing what we’re capable of doing – which is sooo much! – we can – and will – change the world.

Changing the world always needs volunteers.

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If you would like, it would bless me if you would reblog this post, for the sake of getting this message out. We need to spread the positivity, pray for and take care of each other, and strengthen the bonds that we have with all of our friends and every member of our families. Love always wins over hate ❤

I hope that this post has inspired you. How about you?

What can YOU do to change the world?

— Maggie