2 Practical Steps to Encourage Yourself on Valentine’s Day!

loveI normally treat Valentine’s Day like any other day of the week and I will do the same this year. Aside from being a silly tween girl (I’m 27 now), I’ve never really given the day much attention. But a few days before this heart-shaped holiday, I am stirred to write a post on relationships. I think a lot of mixed emotions come around this time of year:

  • Some are joyful, celebrating a long and healthy relationship…
  • Others are weary, right on the edge of divorce or learning how to cope with a divorce.
  • Some are free-spirited, experiencing a new relationship for the first time…
  • While others are grieving the loss of someone they loved deeply…
  • Some accept Valentine’s Day as singles awareness day and feel desperate to be in a relationship again…
  • And then you have people like me, who see the day like every other day in the week, and it doesn’t really have any true effect on them.

Where do your thoughts go on this heart-shaped holiday?

Joyful. Romantic. Angry. Bitter. Cold. Nostalgic. Loved. Broken. Hopeful. Apathetic… ?

Wherever you fall, I want you to know that God will meet you right where you are today. You do not have to bring yourself to God put together… and complete. Bring God your pieces and He will bring you pieces of heaven. Like that show Fixer Upper on HGTV, God is the ultimate renovator of cycling hearts, hearts that may just cycle through a thousand different thoughts and emotions in one day like today.

But let me tell you something, God can handle how you’re made. God can handle your tears. God can handle your anger. You are not too much for Him, ya’ know. You are enough in His eyes and He empathizes with your weaknesses and comforts your sorrows.

A healing process isn’t linear- it is very sideways, up and down, and back and forth. You shouldn’t fall in love in one day and you won’t necessarily find your way back to normalcy in one day either. It’s okay to not be okay today. But when tomorrow comes, I want you to do something for me. Because you cannot stay in darkness forever, I want you to go help someone who needs love. Go do an act of love for someone. And when you’re done, write a letter to God that expresses your gratitude for His agape, unconditional, never-changing love. Write God a letter or say a prayer of gratitude for the love that God gives you every single day.

It is okay to struggle today and I validate your pain but, you must get back up.

Although this particular day doesn’t have much of an impact on me, I do know what pain, sorrow, and weeping feels like.

We must teach our hearts how to survive the punches and knock out the pain.

I believe generosity and gratitude are healing tools that can bring us into greater depths of wholeness and healing.

So, know that God is not surprised by your reactions on this day. He is not worried or taken off guard by your thoughts. Instead, His love is so thick over you today, that this same love will carry you through tomorrow. And as God lifts you up into the grace-filled hope of today, be thinking about your act of love and act of gratitude!

Two practical steps, a random act of kindness and a meditation on what you are grateful for, can lift your spirit a little higher! But until you’re ready, know that messy kitchens are a sign that a chef is working and something glorious is being prepared. You will taste and see that the Lord is good!

And it’s the same with your heart, give God your mess, break into the security of His arms and He’ll break you free. He’ll breakthrough the cycles of today, the regrets of yesterday, and the anxiety of tomorrow. You can do this. I believe in you.

And maybe I’ll add one more practical step before I go: ask God to express His perfect love to you today! You will be surprised by the way He knows exactly what your heart needs today! Ask Him for what you need! You fellowship with a God of intimacy!

For those who are grieving the loss of someone they love, I pray that you receive encouragement today and become a prisoner of hope! I pray for joyful memories to flood your mind and instead of despair, a bit of sweet is discovered in the bitter of life. For life is at times, bittersweet!

You are loved, chosen, cherished, and special in His eyes! Happy Valentines Day!

With Love,

Cynthia

cynthiainspires.com

God Recycles! You Are Brand New!

allEvery day people wake up in “emotional prisons,” when God already opened the door and supplied the key to freedom. Will you say yes to amazing love and amazing grace?

No mistake will ever erase the measure of God’s infinite grace.

God is the expert at recycling stories. God loves to recycle a messy past for a glorious future. Just like plastic is recycled for a new purpose, God will take the toxic waste in your life and recycle the pain into His promise. You must hold onto the hope that God so freely gives to those who profess the name of Jesus Christ.

Put your faith in a love that will never fail you. You have a Cross that will always redeem you. You are worthy of a new beginning. You are worthy of a new story. In fact, remember that life is more of a book with various chapters. No matter what chapter or season you find yourself in, the end of the story is victorious. You serve a God who wants to give you beauty for ashes and a glorious ending. When you see doubt, God sees faith. When you see the worst in you, God sees the best in you. When you see flaws, God sees grace. When you want to give up, God will give you the extra push to persevere. All of the junk in your life is recyclable. As scripture says, He can do a new thing through you! Do you not perceive it? He can make streams in those wastelands. Let God plant a fountain of hope in the middle of your desert place.

Grab a new vision of your future. Take the dust of worry and surrender your burdens at the Cross. Shake the debris of sadness off your heart. God will carry you through the storm. Form an intimate bond with your Savior and picture the Lord holding you in His lap. Imagine Jesus consoling you with love. You are His chosen one. Before the foundations of the earth, God put your heartbeat into existence. Underneath the chains that grip you is a tambourine of praise that wants to celebrate how far you’ve come.

How deep and wide is the Fathers love for you! Nothing will separate you from the love of God. The Fathers love will sustain you when daily cares try to entangle you. His love will save you when tragedy makes you feel like you’re drowning. If God can walk on top of the waters, He can rescue you from the bottom and pull you up from the pit. Instead of submitting to sadness, submit your cares to God. God will recycle your toxic waste into diamonds.

Take your pain and hurt out of the dumpster. God never wastes anything! Hand God the test and He will hand you the testimony. God transforms darkness into light, mourning into dancing, and tears into living waters! When you think you have nothing left, God recycles!

Beyond the Clouds… Beauty from Pain

sunrisingHave you ever been through a difficult season of grief?

I know what it is like to go after your dream with a part of your heart missing from the equation. Do you know what loss does? Loss makes you feel like a piece of your heart is missing. I want to help you process your painful time. I want to share a vision God gave to me about the sky.

God is able and capable of creating the sky and He is more than capable of creating a positive outcome out of a negative situation.

As I watched enormous clouds decorate the sky, it was difficult to imagine anything beautiful. The clouds were dark and I thought a storm would come through. I sat there for at least 30 minutes, reading and eating a snack.

Eventually, the dark clouds swung sideways like a curtain and moved from my view to reveal an elegant dark blue. In fact, God mixed some green in with the blue and my heart leaped at His design.

You might wonder what all of this means. Well, depression is similar to a few dark clouds. When you battle pain, all you can see is the dark clouds. You never expect hope and joy to reveal itself beyond your pain. Negative emotions put your life and memories in a fog… Food doesn’t taste like it used to, activities no longer bring you pleasure, and a cloud of darkness hangs over your head. This dark cloud, my friends, is the power of grief and pain.

Although life is tough, you serve a greater power that has preeminence over heaven and earth. The power from Jesus Christ will break every chain over your heart.  Don’t judge your life by the cloud you’re in. Wait for the storm to pass and you will see your situation for what it truly is. Analyzing your problem under the fog of negative memories will increase your pain. For example, it’s the same as going under water without your goggles. How can you choose a wise direction with poor eyesight? It’s difficult to swim with clarity. You have to wait for God to pull back the curtain of darkness that hangs over your soul. Once the curtain falls, and the storm clouds pass, you’ll be amazed at His glory, your story, and the beauty He can birth from pain.

Be encouraged! God will paint a mural of radiant colors behind your dark clouds! Do not fear. He is with you. He knows you by name and He will birth your hope right out of your pain. Despite the pain you are up against, I want you to have a dream. Despite the barriers that come, I want you to praise! See, your moment of grief is the best opening for God to show up and show out in your life! Your moment of grief is God’s opportunity to reveal how miraculous He truly is. God weaves rainbows out of the rain! In fact, let your spirit sing! Sing like the sunrise and step out of your clouds. You will rise again!

This song by Britt Nicole, titled: The Sun Is Rising… is a great encouragement! Listen and reflect on hope!  What are some of your favorite songs, scriptures, or quotes that encourage hope during difficult times? Leave a comment and let me know!

What Are Dreams Made Of?

Don't Quit Your Day Dream.

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream.

What makes you come alive? Some people don’t wait until the grave to die. For their hearts have already been worn out on the inside. But there are those who push the limits and refuse to accept mediocrity, complacency, and apathy. There are people who not only write and speak beautifully but live what they speak and live what they write.

They live out words so that life itself becomes beautiful and love is found. I want to live out my words. I want to live out the conqueror inside of me. What do you speak about all the time that needs to be lived out? You may talk about your passion in conversation, in prayer or in your thought life. Do you think it’s time to start living what you speak about?

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? In fact, what would you do if you knew you had to fail a few times before you succeeded? It’s impossible to go through life without some form of failure along the way. Failure is unavoidable. Yet, success is inevitable if you stay the course and refuse to give up.

Maybe the reason many have yet to accept the callings or purposes within them is because they are scared or lack confidence.

Well, fear is put in you so you can defy it. Fear is a part of every persons journey towards their passion. Your most important task is to refuse to let the fear consume you. Acknowledge your fears. Don’t succumb to them.

Don’t give your fear all the power. Fear is a bully you can’t help acknowledging or noticing. Nevertheless, one of the best things you can do to a bully is ignore them shortly after. Your fears are false evidence appearing real. Your faith is what deserves the power.

Tell yourself- “I am stronger than my fears.” Because You Are. When you know whose you are, a daughter or son of Christ, you can retrieve your

confidence from Christ. I was thinking, perhaps you are fearfully and wonderfully made, made before the foundations of the earth and set apart to do good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do. Be confident. God wouldn’t have given you the ability if He didn’t think you were capable. God Himself anointed and equipped you for every task. You are capable because God is able. I would hate for you to reach the end of your life and try to begin something that should have been started a long time ago.

Some people think the best dreams are the ones we’ve already seen accomplished by athletes, Olympic medalists, doctors, teachers, musicians, and many others. Although successful people have been heroes to many and inspirational to all, I believe some of the greatest dreams are left at the grave site. Some of the greatest dreams were never lived out for fear of what others might think, for fear in their own hearts, lack of confidence or doubt.

I want to challenge you to be exactly who you are, quirks, imperfections and all. God will even use your imperfections to move the hearts, minds, and souls of many and reveal His glory. Don’t let the imperfections stop you from your passion. Let your obstacles fuel you to reach higher and go harder for what you are most passionate about.

Many in this world are “sleeping” every day. They go through the motions of each day without really asking questions about why they are put on this earth and what they are born for. Wake up. You’ve been asleep for too long. This world needs you because everything in this life is connected. Every purpose is woven into other peoples purposes. That’s why chefs need restaurant owners, teachers need students, athletes need coaches, photographers need models, radio hosts need listeners, and the list goes on.

We all need eachother. In a society where we celebrate independence, some dependence is necessary in order to move towards a mission that is bigger then yourself. We can do small things alone and we can do great things together. We need eachother. We need a team. So, what makes you come alive? What do you do that leaves you feeling more energized after your done? And how can you pursue your goal while keeping others in mind, since every dream is a team effort?

Go into the world and be who you are, scars and all. The suffering will become part of your message when you reach your dream. Rest assured that nothing is wasted, not even your fears. God will use every bit of your story if you let Him. So, all the warriors- stand up and jump into your passion, your dream will catch you. Who you become on the way to the dream is most important to God, your character, your values, your virtue! I warn you- don’t gain the world and lose your soul in the process. Many people reach their dream and by the time they receive it, they don’t know who they are and they are so unhappy they can’t even enjoy its benefits. So, be the real you. Stop going through the motions and wake up. This world needs you!

#Don’t Quit Your Day Dream!

What Is the Lord Capable Of?

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What Is the Lord Capable Of?

By: Cynthia Giles

I read the phrase: “turn your scars into stars” from Kimberly Pothier. This phrase is a testimony of what Christ is capable of.

Ephesians 3:20

The Lord is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we dare to ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.

Are you broken?

The Lord comforts and saves the heart crushed in spirit.

Are you lacking money or resources?

The Lord makes you a royal heir, with access to wisdom which is worth more than rubies.

Are you depressed?

The Lord offers exceeding joy as a recipe for strength.

Are you fatherless?

The Lord will adopt you as a daughter or son. The Lord will grant you double for your losses.

Are you lonely?

Neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation can separate you from the love of God and his omnipotent presence. Seek friendship through prayer.

Are you abused?

Be strong and courageous. The Lord is your advocate and redeemer. The darkness is light to you.

Are you tempted?

Do not fear. The Lord will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear and he will provide a way out.

Are you sick?

The Lord brings deliverance and his power is made perfect in weakness.

Are you oppressed?

The Lord is your refuge and relief from despair. You serve the Lord of the breakthrough. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

Are you a widow?

The Lord is your bridegroom, defender, romance, and best friend.

Are you anxious or part of a stressful situation?

The Lord is faithful. Do not be discouraged. He goes before you. The Holy Spirit is a counselor.

Are you forgotten? 

The Lord accepts you as a chosen one, set apart to do good works.

Are you insecure? 

The Lord transforms timidity into a spirit of power, love, and self-control.

Are you under the weight of shame?

The past doesn’t define you, it refines you. The Lord makes all things new. You’re pure.

Did you make poor decisions leading to irreversible mistakes?

The Lord keeps no records of wrongs and remembers your sins no more.

Are you lacking love?

The Lord is love. He rejoices and delights in how he created you. His love endures forever.

I hope your need was listed with an answer. What do you need today? Write a list and pray. Ask God to reveal the answer to your need. God wants to be there for every bit of your story, the good, bad, pretty, and ugly. God wants you to ask hard questions. The Lord knows we are prone to doubt so release the guilt and ask. You’re going to be okay.

The Lord desires the best for you when it’s difficult to accept his answer. If you misunderstand or wrestle with the Lords answer, ask another question. Trust his character. Maybe theirs part of the story you can’t see yet. Be strong, take heart, and wait on the Lord.

The Lord holds the answers to the questions in your heart.

Philippians 4:19
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

God wants to meet your need. Ask for the answer. God wants to hear you ask.