This Is Me

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

“That’s why I refuse to believe that there are ‘special people’ in this world. I think that everybody has special value. Our problem is that we don’t have enough time to find out what is too often hidden.” —Carl Lentz, Own The Moment, pg. 74

What top three words would you use to describe how YOU see YOURSELF?

When asking myself this question, I have come up with a few sets of answers that are dependant on which perspective I am looking through. If I am considering how I would describe myself through the lens of Jesus Christ, I may use words such as: loved, forgiven, and free. When looking at myself through the bare eyes of my own heart, my answers are much different.

When we accept Jesus as our personal saviour He hands us the most precious gift: a pair of corrective lenses. These lenses give us the ability to see us as He sees us. The unfortunate part is that the majority of us don’t use these lenses at all. We have full access to them, but we choose to keep looking through the blind eyes we were born with.

Of the twenty people I invited to take my survey, the following are their responses.

Failure, organized, caring, optimist, nice, short, strong, caring, peaceful, strong, beautiful, spiritual, dedicated, loving, uncertain, thoughtful, generous, compassionate, struggling, trying, confused, brave, strong, fun, encourager, Jesus-follower, servant, confident, dependable, honest, redeemed, loved, valued, strong-willed, determined, broken, passionate, busy, loving, compassionate, loyal, independent, christian, father, grandfather, courteous, impulsive, busy, head-strong, traditional, reserved, overweight, shy, unfashionable.

As you can see I have bolded three of the fifty-seven words that came in. Of the twenty people surveyed, only ONE person responded with words intentionally describing who they are through the lens of Jesus Christ. (My personal answers: creative, insecure, trustworthy). For the most part the words my friends used to describe themselves are great words. There is nothing wrong with being generous, loving, loyal or caring—those are all really great things. However, if the words we choose to BEST describe who we are are not viewed through those corrective lenses…then we will offer nothing more than who we were before Christ to our lives and the people around us. It is important to know who we are in Christ and then live that way.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” —1 Peter 2:9

Some of my very favourite Christian heroes are those who are confident in who they are in Christ. These people believe that because of Christ, above all else, they are redeemed, forgiven, loved, valued and free. They live their lives this way…knowing that along the way their imperfect human nature will cause them to stumble sometimes—but their stumbling will not define who they are. Their position in Christ remains the source of their identity. They have found the gold, they have uncovered what so many of us keep hidden. Their example pushes me to want a better way of thinking for myself…and it makes me want to be that same example for those people in my life.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” —Romans 15:7

Let’s work on living our lives they way Jesus intended.

It’s About Who We Are

Written by: Conny Varga

A few weeks ago, I was standing at the graveside of my mom, who lost her battle against cancer at the young age of 60. While remembering her God-honouring life and grieving her passing, this resolve began to form in me: “I want my life to count!”

At no other time are we confronted with the brevity – and purpose – of life than in the face of death. Ecclesiastes sums it up this way: “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” (Eccl. 7:2) So if there is wisdom in acknowledging that all of us must face death sooner or later, the logical conclusion would be that it should motivate us to action. Just what action will I take? What is the purpose of my life supposed to be? Is it to make my life as comfortable as possible, to travel the world, amass wealth, and focus on my happiness? Or is it to be philanthropic, spending my life for others to the suffering of my own body? Am I to make great discoveries and inventions to the benefit of mankind?

The answer is, none of these options will fulfill the purpose of our lives. Not unless our focus is bigger than this life, bigger than humanity, and bigger than the universe. So what then is the solution to this dilemma? The answer is surprisingly simple: Jesus! He is the difference between what counts for eternity and what doesn’t. During His time on earth 2 millennia ago, He radically turned the worldviews and beliefs of humanity upside down.

Jesus made it clear that it’s about identity, not about actions.

It’s about who we are, and not about what we do.

Have I fully and whole-heartedly surrendered my life to God and accepted Christ’s sacrifice on my behalf? Have I allowed God to adopt me into His family and embraced the freedom He has purchased for me as His daughter? Then everything about me has changed – my dreams and desires, my motives and passions, my outlook and worldview, even my citizenship and name. In short, I HAVE A NEW IDENTITY! And here is the amazing part: We do not have to feel pressured to come up with great plans on how to make our lives count – God will give them to us. If we choose to listen to Him, He will give us the right perspective, right plans and purpose, and He will be the One accomplishing it all through us. All we are required to do is fix our eyes on Jesus, and out of love for Him, seek to imitate and obey Him faithfully, whatever He tells us to do, and wherever He commands us to go. This may mean wiping noses and changing diapers, or telling people about the hope that is within us. Sometimes, it’s as simple as an encouraging smile, and other times, it’s as glorious as helping someone become a child of God. It’s buying groceries for the young mom whose husband just left her, and caring for the orphaned and needy by taking them into our homes. If God places the need before us, then it will count for eternity, and it will impact and change the lives of those we choose to help.

Over 400 people came to bid their last fare-wells to my mom. People whose lives had been touched in one tangible way or another by her love for Jesus. People who, sometimes for the first time, took Jesus seriously because of her. My mom grew up in poverty, had no formal education past grade 8, and lived the majority of her life in a country that was not her own by birth. And yet, God used her for His glory in innumerable ways. I am resolved to become a woman like that! I want Jesus to shine through everything I do and every word I speak. I want the rest of my life to count for the glory of God! Will you join me?

Anticipation

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Daughters, I have a confession to make, one that will not be a huge surprise to those of you who know me well — I absolutely love Netflix!

So much variety in viewing with no commercials. A great escape at the end of a workweek. The indulgence of the famed “Netflix Binge.” A time to spend with the family exploring movies; old and new alike. The chance to sink my teeth into an informative documentary or catch up on my favourite 90’s sitcoms.

I love it all!

I particularly enjoy finding a great series and viewing it full tilt from start to finish. I get so into the stories and characters with intrigue that before I know it I have consumed every season available to me, only to be left bereft when I realize the next season won’t be out for another six months. Six long months! And when the time comes for the new season I have to watch the last few episodes from the prior season just to be ready to go again!

The anticipation builds as the countdown begins for the long awaited day that my beloved series returns! I even supplement this long awaited return with additional web surfing looking for interesting tidbits of information to whet my appetite of its immanent return. If I find someone who equally loves the series as much as I do, we theorize about how the upcoming season will play out.

If you have and love Netflix as I do, you know full well what I am writing about!

I think my confession to you is in direct response to the sermon I heard this past Sunday in church on the soon return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. All who listened were challenged to be alert, to anticipate and to be active in watching for the Day of our Lord. In illustration, the Pastor even named our culture’s obsession with Netflix, as I have penned above, to juxtapose the church’s lack of anticipation for His return with our appetite for worldly desires.

Ouch!

I know in my heart that Jesus will return for me, and no doubt I am ready to go with Him, but when have I sat in longing anticipation for that day? When was the last time I uttered the words, “It could be today!” Am I fully alert to the signs pointing to His coming on the clouds for His church? Have I been active in watching for Him and calling all who will hear to watch for Him too? Or have I been too distracted watching “The Crown” or “Food, Inc.” or “Fuller House” to give it any further thought?

In and of itself, Netflix is not bad. Nor is reading fiction or fishing or going to the gym or anything we find pleasure in passing the time with. But, it becomes an issue when it lulls us into a place of false anticipation in temporal things and not in the one thing that ensures our place in eternity with God…Anticipation of the return of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Lord Jesus, Please forgive me today for placing my anticipation in the things of this world and not in matters of eternal importance. Help me to wake each morning recognizing that this day may be my last on earth and my first with you in Heaven. Birth in me a renewed anticipation for your victorious return and may I be active in my watching for that day and in my recruiting others to join you. I love you Lord Jesus and may I ever be ready to meet you in the clouds! Amen.

Scrolling Zone

Written by: Jody Mugford

Social media can be an amazing platform for sharing and reaching out to others.  Our world has become so small in the past 10-20 years, it’s mindboggling.  What other avenue allows you to spread the good news of Jesus, share prayer requests, and connect with others all over the globe in mere seconds!?  God is certainly not out of touch or “behind the times”.  He knows how to best use technology to help others and do good for His Kingdom.  I must add, however, that I think the enemy also loves social media.   The internet, in general, is a tool Satan can use with expertise and I think social media is one of his favorite components.  I was contemplating this the other day and felt the Holy Spirit sprinkling seeds of awareness in my heart.

This tug I’ve been sensing in my spirit lately revolves around social media but primarily regarding the amount of time I spend on it.  In full transparency, my life can often look something like this: after a hectic day at work or home, and the evening busyness of supper, baths, and bedtime, I desperately want some relaxing time.  I exit the girls’ room and stop in the kitchen to survey the mess.  As I’m standing there, I open my phone to social media and start scrolling.  My kitchen is still in turmoil, I have projects I want to complete and lunches need to be packed, but I just made 20 minutes of precious time disappear simply by scrolling.  When I come out of my “scrolling zone”, I realize it’s already getting late and I have lots left to do.  Later in the evening, my husband and I will try to sit together and watch a television show, if we can.  After the episode finishes, I find myself still on the couch mindlessly scrolling through social media.  I don’t even remember picking up my phone!  Another bit of valuable time wasted…time I could have better used by going to bed and reading my bible, spending some time in prayer or having a nice chat with my husband.  Sound familiar to anyone?

I’m not sure if others struggle with this like I do, but I have definitely been hearing God remind me that my time is valuable, not only to me but to Him!  There is much He wants me to do for my family, my friends, my church and my community.  And, above all, I need to prioritize my relationship with Him.  My time with my Heavenly Father should be nonnegotiable to me.  So many days we say we don’t have time but God has been causing me to stop and take stock of what I’m doing at that moment.  Is this activity the wisest use of my time or reflective of His set of priorities for my life?

He’s also trying to get me to realize that when I spend my spare time “scrolling”, I leave very little space for mental silence.  Even during downtime, my mind is constantly being bombarded with images, slogans, and the “top 10 lists” of social media.  These aren’t necessarily wrong but I’ve come to recognize that if my mind never rests, I become less aware of God’s presence.  If there is no time for quiet, I become saturated with the instant gratification of technology.  Over time, the God-shaped void that aches in our spirits when we are distant from Him becomes so full of other things, we don’t even recognize the emptiness is still there.  We’ve filled it with worldly things that will never satisfy and we wonder why we feel discontent, unsettled and discouraged.  This is a key trick of the enemy!  If he can consume us with constant stimulation (social media or otherwise!), we never stop and let our minds rest.  We don’t recognize that God is calling to each and every one of us.  We miss the opportunity to evaluate ourselves, to search for Him and to know Him…simply because we never stop long enough to listen.

In today’s information-obsessed culture, these are important questions to ask.  Lord, are you trying to speak to me but I can’t hear you over all the other noise?  How should I spend my time?  Can I reprioritize?  They may be small changes or they may be big revelations, but any direction He gives us will undoubtedly improve our relationships, our priorities and our closeness with Him.  Please hear my heart!  Social media can be a great resource (I certainly use it!) but it will be even better if we let God in to guide us.  He knows how to best use these tools, for our good and for His purposes.  Let’s take some time to ask Him and listen…

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  Ephesians 5:15-17

“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”  Colossians 3:2

Love and blessings,

Jody

RESPONSIBILITY & BENEFITS

Written by: Christianne Williams

I came home from work to find my house in a mess.  It was one of those messes where you think, “Qui ck, call the cops we’ve been robbed!” But after looking around a bit you realize it was only a ransacking.  I noticed that while I was standing there having what was a close relative to an anxiety attack, everyone else was sitting in the living room.  Quietly.  Eyes fixed on technology.  It became blazingly clear this was an inside job.  I will admit, that after a difficult day, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with all of that, and it may have led to tears.

Was I angry with my children? A bit.  Did I feel like my feelings weren’t being considered?  You bet!  Did I want everyone else to understand how taken for granted I felt?  You wanna believe it!  But do you know what happened?  After I stood there explaining, they all just looked at me, like I was overreacting, and then went about their business.  That didn’t sit well.  If I was insulted before, I was over the top now.  In my head I began to think about all of the times I had selflessly given to them, foregoing things that I really wanted or looked forward to so they could do or have something they really wanted.

This went on for a while.  I was getting resentful, more hurt, and determined that from now on I’d be like Frank Sinatra and do it my way.  You know what?  They started putting things away, cleaning things up, getting out supper.  What was worse, they gave me hugs.  Now what was I to do?  These people who had not moments before had me ready to run for the hills had now melted my heart.  And you know what else?  I was feeling terribly sorry for my attitude toward them.

We are a family.  My children are blessings from the Father.   Parents give selflessly for their kids, we teach them how to love and give selflessly for others.  Their young minds are not focused on the things that make their mama happy, not because they don’t love me, but because they are kids.  We as family work together to make things easier for each other, we give up things sometimes for the benefit of all.  While we are each unique, we lay aside our individualism to become a part of something bigger and better than being alone.  We share in the responsibility and we share in the benefits.

Our kids learn through example and through doing, that by helping each other we get things done faster,  we accomplish more, and we have more time to spend doing things we enjoy.  But, the same responsibility shouldn’t fall on kids as it does on adults.

I love how the family of God works in the same manner.  God has created us as unique beings and yet we were never meant to be on our own.  He created us to work better in a family, using our uniqueness to benefit all.  There’s a huge cry for freedom, not from the things that keep us bound, but from fellowship together.  How can we be separate from each other and still function as the body?  1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.  So it is with the body of Christ.”

Just as our family experiences, there will be disagreements, disappointments, and hurts, but there will also be joy, excitement, breaking new ground, and victories to share together.  Working though differences and forging ahead, not always agreeing but still loving, so that we can effectively be the Bride of Christ.

 

Dear Bride-To-Be

Written by: Cindy Morrone

When he asked me to marry him, I instantly knew what it felt like to be chosen.  Chosen to be loved for a lifetime.

It was a cold winter night and the planned proposal was thrown aside.  He could no longer wait.  As we talked about our future with a pine-tree lined driveway, a white picket fence and two children playing in the yard, he reached for the ring and popped the question!

After a long engagement, I graduated from university and we were married in that same year.  That was over 20 years ago!

As I reflect on our marriage, I have some things I’d like to share.

Dear Bride-To-Be,

When we were first married and for some time afterwards, I misdirected my dependence on my husband.

I looked to him to fix everything—my broken-down car, house repairs, finances and my emotional well-being.

I looked to him to have a good time, to take away my fears and heal my hurts.

He, being my main squeeze was my everything.

And it was for a time in newlywed bliss.

I blame it on ignorance.  I blame it on relationships depicted in the movies.  I blame it on remaining childhood hurts.

I blame it on not knowing how God intended marriage.

Blame aside, through these 20 plus years, I’ve learned that my wonderful, amazing, passionate husband cannot and is not meant to fix my everything.

I misdirected my dependence on him.

As a result, I placed undue burden on him and our marriage and was still left unfixed.

It isn’t his place; it is God’s place.

As awesome as he is (and he is!); God is The Awesome One!!

I was (and this is a word we no longer use very often) idolizing my hubster.

This Truth goes way back to the 10 commandments (again, not considered as often) shared with the Israelites; God’s chosen people in their journey to freedom from slavery.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Exodus 20:4

We have learned that when we go to the Lord instead of depending on each other, we become healthier and stronger as individuals and in our marriage.

When we can listen, hold a hand and wipe a tear and then bring each other’s requests to God in prayer that our marriage stays strong.

When we follow the greatest commandment, Jesus replied:”’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37 our marriage thrives in unity.

I am so happy for you Bride-To-Be!!! This is such an exciting time in your life.  It is amazing that someone has chosen you to love for a lifetime!! Enjoy the moment and hold onto the promises made.  Let God be your first; your everything and He will bless you and your Groom-To-Be beyond anything told in a fairytale.

Sincerely, Dependent on Him; not him

The Diagnosis and the Journey

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

In the last three weeks Psalms 139 keeps showing up in my life. In my social media feed, in staff devotions, blogs I follow. It’s obvious to me that God has been trying to get my attention. Like He is trying to plant a seed of truth deep in my heart.

Psalm 139:13,14 You made all the delicate, innermost parts of my body, and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous…how well I know it.

I’ve needed this reminder because I have felt insecure about who I am, about how God made me. I have not felt wonderfully made.   At times I have wanted to cry and be critical. All I have seen when I look in the mirror are all the imperfections.

I was 21 years old when I was diagnosed; when I learned the truth. Those bumps on my body…they now had a name. There was nothing that could change it. No special pill I could take that would make them disappear. Or dissolve. Things were not going to improve. In fact over time it would increasingly get worse. Neurofibromatosis.

The news penetrated my heart. It devastated me. I remember crying in the car on the way home. I felt hideous. I was a freak; a monster. It didn’t help matters any when a good friend said, ” I hope you never plan on having kids.” She went on to tell me that that child would have a fifty percent chance of having it too. And I knew that. I definitely didn’t need the reminder. I also knew how badly I wanted a family. Her careless words crushed me.

That was a long time ago. Over twenty -five years have passed.  Half a life time ago. Countless times I have prayed and cried and begged the Lord to take it. Over the years it has progressed.  Especially in recent months. I have to believe that there is a reason for it. I may never know that reason this side of heaven.  I do know though that I will have my healing there for sure!  I am believing that somehow God can use it for His glory…to bring honour to Him, and who knows maybe even to draw others to Him.

So many times I have been guilty of looking to the world for my worth and value.  Instead of looking to Him.  The One who made me. The One who knows my heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I think of the verse that says “My grace is sufficient” It’s like God whispering these words to my heart. I know they are true.

2 Corinthians 12:8, 9a Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

This is how God made me!   Who am I to criticize his creation and call it ugly when I look in the mirror? Who am I to feel like I don’t measure up? He calls me Wonderfully complex…his workmanship beautiful.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do good things he planned for us long ago..

He calls me his masterpiece!  When He looks at me, He doesn’t see what I see….all the imperfections.  I am His creation and He loves me because He made me!  No one will ever love me more than He does.

Lois Peters is a friend I met recently in a FB group for others with NF.  She says that her mantra is the song Flawless by MercyMe. “No,matter the bumps, no matter the bruises, no matter the scars, still the truth is the cross has made you flawless”  She recently posted something that resonated with me and was yet another confirmation of what God was trying to get through to me. She said, “I am reminded of how when Jesus looks at us, he doesn’t see the scars, or bumps, he sees his daughter whom he loves unconditionally and is proud of. Each day I give my day to Him and I pray that I love myself and others as he loves me. No one is perfect and we all have imperfections, but remember in his eyes we are “Flawless.”

God is good.  All the time. And He loves us because He made us.

Isaiah 62:3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—A splendid crown in the hand of God.

Song of Soloman 4:7 You are all together beautiful, my darling; beautiful in every way.

So that is a little of my journey. And it isn’t over. There are still going to be days where I need reminding of the truths in His Word. I don’t know where you are in your journey and what things you are a little or a lot insecure about when you look in the mirror. Perhaps it’s all the grey hair, or loss of hair, wrinkles, sagging skin.  Perhaps it’s your weight. Maybe when you look in the mirror all you see is the fat girl, or the bean pole staring back at you.. I leave you with the verse I began with.

Psalm 139:13,14 You made all the delicate, innermost parts of my body, and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous…how well I know it.

Move Over, Mrs Jones

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; (1 Timothy 4:4)

When my husband Nathan and I got married I truly believed that if I kept our home clean, cooked him delicious home-cooked meals every night and kept his dress shirts pressed, that those tasks would make me a good wife. While cleaning was never an issue, I truly struggled with the cooking. I burned e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g; even water. Haha. My good intentions often ended in a billow of smoke with a blackened pot as my constellation prize. Failure to excel at these expectations of myself really did a work on my self-confidence.

You see, this failure to meet my own expectations had me doubting I was a good enough wife for Nathan. I grew up with a mom that made cooking delicious meals look SO easy, she served my father very well. Now, here I was, completely insufficient to serve my husband in the same way. There was a period of time in our marriage that was pretty rough because I doubted my ability to be good enough for Nathan and feared he would leave as a result of these insufficiencies.

Over the years I have learned two very powerful truths:

1) Comparing my abilities and/or inabilities to others is not healthy. The only thing I gain from doing this is more insecurities.

2) My worth is not measured by my husband, it is measured by my Heavenly Father. I could do all the dishes on the planet, iron every fibre of linen that was ever spun into existence and cook better than Rachael Ray….but if I do not live a life devoted to loving like Christ first loved me, I have nothing.

So….it is no longer what tasks I can master that makes me good enough for my husband; it’s my willingness to love him like Jesus. And, because of Jesus and His love for me, I am good enough.

Sister, YOU are good enough. Don’t waste hours of precious time to pour out love on your spouse by trying to keep up with Mrs. Jones! Just love like Jesus loves. Be His hands and feet extended. Sacrificially, genuinely, passionately, wholeheartedly, and unconditionally.

Make The Most of Every Opportunity

Written by: Conny Varga

Is it just me, or does life seem to speed up? The older I get, the faster my days seem to slip through my fingers. Add to that the fast-paced lifestyle of the Western world, and we’ve created the perfect storm of stress, worry, hurry, and meaningless activities. We focus so much on tomorrow and what we need to do to get there, that we forget to live “in the moment”. Before we know it, we look back with regret at lost years and missed opportunities.

The timeless truth of the Bible prompts us to pause and reprioritize:

Ephesians 5:15-17: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Colossians 4:5-6: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Solomon, at the end of his life, realizing the meaninglessness of the dreams he chased, and the regretful choices he made, stated in his book, Ecclesiastes:

Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun. (Eccl. 9:9)

Why do we have such a hard time slowing down and focusing on what’s truly important? In our daily rat race, we tend to be no different than the priest and the Levite in Jesus’ story, who walked right past the man who was attacked and beaten by robbers on the way to Jericho and left for dead (and whom the Good Samaritan saved). They were in a hurry, they had more important things to do, they didn’t want to “dirty” themselves with the messy task of helping someone in desperate need, and they chose to stay in their own self-centered world instead of finding meaning beyond themselves. Instead of slowing down and “living in the moment”. Instead of “making the most of every opportunity”.

We get so caught up in our little world that we forget to think about what’s truly important. We start taking for granted the loved ones, friends, jobs, and conveniences, and we fail to meet every minute of the day with gratitude and intentionality. We often don’t even think about all the blessings and wonderful people God has placed into our lives, until we no longer have them. We have a tendency to ignore, or even complain about things, situations, or people – until God takes them away. Then, in hindsight, we regret not giving them more attention, not living more intentionally. I think we can all look back at our lives and cringe at some foolish choices we’ve made, opportunities we’ve missed, bridges we’ve burned.

According to the Bible, making the most of every opportunity, and knowing what the Lord’s will is, is considered “wise”. Especially toward those who do not know Jesus personally. According to the Bible, we are also encouraged to slow down and enjoy the people God has placed into our lives. And according to Jesus, He wants to give us “abundant life” (John 10:10), a life so bursting full of joy and fulfillment that it overflows and floods the lives of everyone around us.

May we stop and refocus our lives on what’s truly important. May we live wisely, always making the most of every opportunity, becoming “rivers of living water” to those around us (John 7:38), so we can glorify God through the choices we make, and so we can look back at our lives without regret.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Growing up I was known to my extended family as the princess, Snow White.  I came in to the world with dainty features, a head full of jet black hair, creamy porcelain skin, navy blue eyes and a red rosebud mouth.  Those distinct features didn’t change as I progressed through infancy into childhood and caused me to stand out in the crowd with the contrast between dark and light.  I can thank my Irish roots for my unique colouring and tip my hat to my creator for His imagination in creating each one His masterpieces.

As homage to my family nickname Snow White, and to my late Grandfather who first bestowed the name upon me, I incorporated Snow White into our wedding day.  Snow White, Prince Charming and the Seven Dwarfs topped our cake.  My wedding dress, though white, was styled to echo her attire.  My groom wore a very princely tux with tails.  The colours to accent our fairytale day echoed those you would find in Snow White’s friendly forest.

Through the years I have also been compared to another raven-haired princess due to my feisty personality, deep convictions and drive for justice in life.  I tend to rise to the occasion in crisis and lead others forward into the adventurous unknown.  That dark featured warrior princess I tend to emulate is Wonder Woman and she is my hero!

During my school yard days, pretending to be Wonder Woman was my favourite pastime.  The adventures my friends and I had fighting for truth and justice were epic!  To date, you will find Wonder Woman paraphernalia in my office and the new Wonder Woman movie recently released was my girlish dreams come to life.

I guess you could say I embody the “little but mighty” persona, with a zeal for life, a big imagination and high hopes for good in our world.  These attributes found in both princesses I am compared to.

But, when I look into the mirror each morning, and see the passage of time ever fleeting across my fair face, the one princess I most want my whole life to emulate is the princess of the King Most High.  In fact, I am a daughter of the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.  I am heavenly royalty and co-heir with the Son.  I am fashioned in God’s image and made to lead and love like Christ.  I am a spiritual warrior endowed with the most powerful weapons this world has ever known; the Word of God, His armour and the Presence of the Holy Spirit in me.  I am a force to be reckoned with in the spiritual realm, yet meant to exercise the Fruit of the Spirit with all who cross my path.

You too, Daughters, are heavenly royalty with me!  We, together as princesses of our heavenly Father the King, can love others with all the femininity that makes us distinctly women, but bring down strongholds with our warrior strength!  We are integral to His work here on earth and have a glorious future ahead of us on the other side of life.

So, the next time the mirror beckons you to look, and you ask it, “who is the fairest one of all?”, just know that it is you…and me…and we…TOGETHER!  Let’s truly step out in the full confidence of our heavenly royalty, grasp who we truly are in Christ and change our world for all eternity!

But, I still get to be Wonder Woman!  Na, Na…I called it first!