Tuesday, June 30, 2015

True Love Isn't Afraid to Speak the Truth

 by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Life Lesson #9

The women's leadership team sat in our pastor's living room, and his wife asked us to go around the room and let each other know what we loved about one another.

When she got to me, she said, "You know what I love about you? I love that I can take a baseball bat to you and you keep coming back for more."

In other words, I'm teachable. I have a desire to learn. I'm correctable, even if I make the same mistake 50 times before I get it right.

See, I know that I don't know it all. I know that my knowledge is limited. I know that I am not always right. But I refuse to remain stuck in my lack of knowledge.

I refuse to deny that I need to be corrected when someone else sees me erring.

Because I recognize that I can always learn something new. I can always change my way of thinking, so long as it lines up with the word of God. Learning is a lifetime adventure.

And I'm not afraid of the truth. I desire it. Long for it. Seek it out.

I also recognize that LOVE corrects wrong. God's Holy Spirit brings conviction, alerting us to our sinful ways. Revealing our wrong thinking.

Friends sharpen me when they come against my fault. Iron sharpens iron. And for that I am thankful - not angry.

So the next time someone takes the time to point out in love (I'm not talking jealous condemnation here...) that you are in error, rather than lashing out at them in defense, consider what they are saying and take it to the One who desires to change you into His image and likeness.

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:10-12

Tweetable:

True Love Isn't Afraid to Speak the Truth (and why you shouldn't ignore it) {Click to Tweet}

Only fools despise correction. #LifeLessons via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday in Focus ~ The Gift Within

By Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales 
 
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you ... 
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:6-7

What's that thing deep inside of you that you've put on a shelf because you don't have the time, money, or ability to pursue it? Or maybe you know you've got a talent, but you've shelved it because you don't believe you're good enough for it to matter.

Don't let your gifts lay dormant. God has given them to you for a purpose. Stir them up.

I recently read an interesting post by Seth Godin. Basically, he states it isn't the why or the how that trips us up from doing something we know we're supposed to do. It's the what. It's the fear that we don't know enough, aren't trained enough, don't have the perfect audience yet, don't have the finances yet, and any other fear-based excuse we can come up with that keeps us from stepping out in faith and allowing God to work in our weakness.

There's a gift inside of you that's meant to be given to others as the Holy Spirit prompts you to use it. What would happen if you didn't do so? Who would be missing out on the goodness of God because you are too afraid to open your mouth, write that novel, or serve at that homeless shelter?

Don't let fear stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Let God's power, love, and a sound mind (right-thinking) lead you as you step out in faith in your gifts.

Tweetable:

What is holding you back from using the gift God has given you? {Click to Tweet}

Is your talent laying on a shelf? Pick it up and use it! #NoFear {Click to Tweet}

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm Not Perfect and Neither Are You

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Life Lesson #8

This one's all about grace.

Being a perfectionist, I tend to expect more of myself, which also makes me expect more of others. Which, unfortunately, can lead to judging others. Which I really try hard not to do.

Because if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's this:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Are You Really a Christian? Or Is It Just a Label?

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Identity - Part II

My husband sat down with our boys one evening while I was out with our daughter. He handed each of them a sheet of paper and asked them to write down five things they considered to be part of their identity.

Before you read the rest of this post, I encourage you to do the same. Then, click on "read more" and finish reading this post.

Monday, June 15, 2015

If You Think You're Ugly, You Probably Are

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Identity: Part I

You are what you think and what you speak. Why? Because from the abundance of your heart, the mouth speaks. And when you open your mouth and say you're ugly, worthless, unlovable, and all those other degrading things, you believe it in your heart.

Sure, others say bad things about us, and we tend to believe them after hearing it for so long, but we don't have to. It's a choice we make. Every time.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday in Focus ~ The Narrow Path

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27

My husband and I love to hike. We will travel an hour or two to hit some of the "local" trails, we love it so much. Thankfully God has placed us in the vicinity of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, where trails, rivers, and waterfalls are plenty.

As I considered this verse this morning, I thought about how narrow the hiking trails we love tend to be. It's the narrow ones that are surrounded by

Monday, June 8, 2015

Don't Be Another Statistic. Be a Success.

by Alycia W. Morales
@Alycia Morales

Life Lesson #7

Here's a real simple concept: If you're not willing to work hard to make a marriage work, don't get married in the first place.

Marriage is something that takes work. I've been married 17 years this October. The first 5 years of my marriage were hell. The next 5 were a little better but still involved a lot of disagreement and many arguments. While it's gotten better every year, it's only been in the past few that it's really started to feel like we're walking in unity and understanding.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It's Okay to Want to Escape

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Life Lesson #6

I think my kids were still knee-height when a close sister-friend of mine mentioned that she couldn't wait for her kids to grow up and move on in their lives. I think my jaw dropped and I stared stunned.

I feel that way too.

It was nice to know I am not the only one. I'm not alone. I'm not crazy. Others think the same things I do.

But let me clarify: we're not wishing our children's lives away. No. We value and treasure the time we are blessed with their presence in our homes.

But we also have hopes and dreams for what life will be like when we have an empty nest.

Because sometimes life is overwhelming and we really need sight of the future in order to make it through today.

And sometimes, we just need an immediate escape route ... for a short time. Like locking ourselves in the bathroom and counting to ten or whispering a quick prayer for patience and the ability to push on. Or taking our chosen summer reading and heading to the back porch. Or putting on headphones and tuning out the noise.

Because if we don't take time for ourselves every once in awhile, we'll eventually crash. Melt down. Fall apart. Ugly cry.

And that doesn't do well for our children, our husbands, our friends, mothers, sisters, or us.

So hear me today: It's okay to want to escape. You're not alone. Breathe deep. Take a time out. And find some semblance of peace so that you can move forward. No one will hold it against you. At least not me. Or any other woman out there who knows exactly what you're going through.

Tweetables:

It's Okay to Want to Escape - Life Lessons via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

Sometimes life is overwhelming. What do you do to escape? {Click to Tweet}