Do you see love as a fairytale?

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How do you view love? Do you imagine a prince riding up on a white horse and saving you? It’s such a pretty picture but it’s also a fairytale.

Now I’m not against a good fairytale but it’s so important to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

It seems to me we are doing a great disservice in making marriage seem like one big fairytale. Somehow believing every day will be sunshine and roses. Have we become so enthralled in creating the perfect wedding we forget the marriage is where our focus needs to be?

So many of our youth are growing up thinking love is just a feeling. That it comes and goes as easily as changing a hairstyle. Our throw-away society has trickled down into our marriages and families.

Love is a choice. Love is an action.

Love with actions

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

Even in those moments where we’re not “feeling” it doesn’t mean love isn’t there. It means we have to hang on to what is true and not just an emotion.

How is it possible for our weak human flesh to ever love the way God intended? It’s only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

love because he loved us

We love each other because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19

We need to grab hold of how deeply God loves us first so we can then turn around and love deeply as well. I find the best way to do this is to thank God daily for how much He loves me. It’s amazing what an attitude of gratitude will do to shift our thinking.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says it like this – “The divine love stamped love upon our souls; may the Lord still and further direct our hearts into the love of God!”

What is love?

Love is patient and kind.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done. I agree! Patience doesn’t come naturally for me and as such kindness can go out the window with it. But, God clearly says this is exactly what love is. So when I’m feeling my fuse getting short I whisper a quick prayer to God. It’s rarely fancy – just an honest plea to help me show patience and kindness even if I’m not feeling it.

Love isn’t rude, arrogant or insists on it’s own way.

Do you have the need to always be right in a disagreement? Some things are worth standing up for, no doubt. My grandma told me early in my marriage, “If it won’t matter in 5 years, let it go. If it will hash it out.” But we can do it without being rude or arrogant. I believe when we always keep love in the front seat of our marriages we can look at both sides through the lens of love.

Love is not irritable or resentful.

How many of us would raise our hands if asked if we’ve ever held a grudge against someone we love? Right there with you. In the past I struggled so much with this and could be very resentful over every offense. So hard on a marriage! It’s so important to ask God for help in releasing past offenses and letting go of irritability and resentment.

Love rejoices with truth!

Love takes no pleasure in hurting others. So often when we’re hurt by those we love, even if inadvertently, our natural reaction is to hurt back. It’s only fair right? Wounding those we love as a way of revenge only perpetuates the cycle. At some point we must choose to stop it. Love delights in the well being of others!

 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Our marriages are worth fighting for. Our families are worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

 

How to Fight the Storm of Fear

“Hurry, load ‘em up!” I hollered over the wind as my young niece and nephew brought their horses to the trailer.

The temperature had dropped as the wind seemed to come up instantaneously. Everyone at the rodeo was desperately trying to get horses and kids rounded up and to safety.

I was just out of high school and was going to the town an hour north of us each week for the women’s and kids’ rodeo. It was a fun evening to look forward to each week. It also gave me an excuse to have my niece and nephew come stay with me for the weekends. It was also a way of getting them out of the situation they were in even if was just temporary.

I had always been a completely fearless person. Often not even exercising enough self caution to prevent way to many injuries to count. Then that storm rolled in and changed everything.

“Grab your ropes and get in the pickup,” I said hurriedly, “I think we can get ahead of this storm and outrun it.”

The sirens were going off in town and I knew there must have been a tornado warning issued. It was so dark the only way to see any of the sky was as the lightning sparked and illuminated it all. As far as I could tell there was nothing on the horizon so plenty of time to get out of there before it got worse.

My niece was concerned but had spent her whole young life with me and snuggled up beside me trusting my decision. It was short lived!

As we rounded the corner out of town the rain started coming down in sheets followed by hail pelting us in full force. Visibility was almost nonexistent at that point.

My poor niece was terrified. I was fighting my own fear welling up in me to calm her down. I was just trying to stay on the road as we inched along.

It came up so fast I didn’t have any time to react. I never saw it coming just the wind hitting us with such ferocity that fear completely overtook me.

The next thing I knew we were being picked up off the road and moved like a little matchbox car to the opposite ditch.

Something died inside of me that night. That fearless girl who believed she was completely invincible realized her own mortality. Fear had set in and the devil was trying to destroy me in new ways since his old ones had failed.

If there was so much as a cloud in the sky while I was outside, my heart would race uncontrollably. I would make every excuse in the world to those around me on why we needed to immediately go in the house. As rancher’s we work outside for a living and this presented a huge problem over the years.

It was especially bad if we were in a vehicle and crippling if I was the one driving.

It may sound like a logical fear but unfortunately it was a foothold for satan to gain ground in other areas of my life. New fears started growing and morphed into daily worries. I became the epitome of a worry wart.

One day, many years later, I was driving home by myself pulling a camper when a storm rolled in fast. My heart felt like it was going to explode it was racing so fast. Rationale was fleeing. Then I remembered a verse I’d chosen to repeat while I was in labor with my first son.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I started repeating it to myself as a way to calm my heart. Also to help turn my focus back on Jesus who had always wanted to heal me of this fear.

The fear started to subside. I was fighting back finally and the devil knew he was in trouble. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I was taking ground back that had been stolen all those years earlier.

You know what, the storm didn’t subside. The wind blew hard and it rained and hailed on me for a good part of the way home. It was dark and scary on the outside but my heart had found firm footing inside and there was no way I was going back!

I love what Kelly Balarie reminds us in her book Fear Fighting – “What didn’t kill you yesterday has no real power to kill you today.”

Unfortunately, I had let fear rob me of the power Jesus had made available to me all those years. So, I exhaled all the fear and inhaled life back into those dry bones.

Does that mean fear never tries to rear it’s ugly head in my life? Of course not, but now I know that where the Spirit is – there is freedom!

~I would love it if you’d visit Fear Fighting Writers Contest and vote for me if this post has encouraged you. Go to the bottom of the page and enter 32 in the comments. Thank you!

If you want to learn more about Kelly Balarie you can visit www.purposefulfaith.com or to order the book go to www.fearfightingbook.com.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Perspectives shift in the light of Jesus

When I was young I used to ride a giant of a horse. My dad would saddle him for me and I would shimmy up his leg until I could reach the stirrup. From there I would continue the climb to the top of that mountain I called “Butch”.

Then Butch, my sister and I would head out across the deepest ravine on God’s green earth. It was every bit as wide as it was long. Rough around the edges and full of crevices throughout it. I was sure there were snakes all through the bottom so my sister and I would race as fast as we could through it.

My youngest son with his horse, Spades.

It rocked my world when my dad told me that the horse I had rode when I was 4, 5 and 6 and was sure was over 17 hands tall was a mere 14 hands. What!?! No way.

And that huge ravine, which was deeper than most oceans, you could easily drive a pickup across.

The funny thing is…those mountains that seemed so big when I was little weren’t nearly so big as I grew up.

My perspective changed.

How often are we so focused on the mountain we see in our life we don’t really see the truth of it’s size? We focus on our problem so much that it grows and grows, completely out of proportion to what it is in reality.

We chip away at the situation in our strength somehow believing it will make the mountain smaller. When it reality, God is already SO much bigger than any mountain we see in front of us.  

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24 (NLT)

Now I’m not downplaying the size of many of the problems in our lives. They can be very real and loom large.

But, when we keep our focus on Jesus our perspective changes. You see, our God is still on the throne and no problem or situation escapes Him. We can trust Him to help us speak life into our situations.

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:14 (NLT)

As our spiritual maturity grows our perspective changes.

Just as when I was little and Butch looked like the biggest mountain I could climb so were my problems when I didn’t have the maturity to focus on God.

As I grow in my walk and get closer to Jesus the problems are still there. I wish I could tell you they weren’t but they are. But now it’s different because I don’t focus on my problems. I look up at the One who puts all things in perspective. He wants to help us realize that nothing we face in life is bigger than the God we serve.

It’s all part of the process of the growing and we should expect our perspective to change as the world grows dimmer because our focus is on the light and hope of the world.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love

I shared my Christmas story of Jesus’ love for each of us over at Crystal Stine’s this week and would like to share it with you as well. Please check out Crystal’s page for many more Christmas stories from talented authors this month.

Do you like to celebrate? How about decorating?

Oh my goodness how I love to celebrate and decorate! I’m quite drawn to shiny objects. My kids always joke if I was a fish I’d be the first one caught since I’d be so drawn to the shiny lure.

So you can see why Christmas is right up my alley.

My family has always gone all out for Christmas. I know what you’re thinking. We must have had tons of gifts, thousands of decorations and went to loads of parties. But, not really.

We always had some gifts, decorated a little and got together with friends and family but we had SO much more.  Continue reading “Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love”

Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All

I’m excited to be sharing the following post over at www.wearehisdaughters.com

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:8-10 (ESV)

The good news of Jesus’ birth came to the shepherd’s first. Maybe this seems like something completely insignificant but nothing with God is without purpose.

I probably relate to this piece of information more than most as I am a shepherd. Not in the same exact way as the shepherds from the Bible, but still a shepherd. Thankfully I don’t need to live with them 24 hours a day but my whole livelihood is dependent on the animals we raise. It’s not a hobby I do on the side, ranching is our sole source of income.  Continue reading “Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All”

The Ties that Bind

We all have different burdens to carry as we go through life. There are times in life when we feel like the burden is so great and we’re all alone. Other times we can feel the load lighten as we’re lifted up by those who love us.

Often we choose to forge on ahead by ourselves thinking we’re strong enough on our own to get up that mountain. But, why?

I’ve been so blessed to have many loved ones who have helped point me back to the great Counselor whenever I get off track. I have to be honest, that’s been more often in my past than I care to admit. Continue reading “The Ties that Bind”

5 Ways to Pray for a Loved Ones Salvation


Have you been praying for a loved one’s salvation?


I get it, it’s hard to keep praying day after day when we don’t see results. At least in our timing anyway. But, God is big enough to handle it! He loves our loved ones even more than we do. Of course He wants them to come to know Him.

I have been known to badger, pester, maybe even harass a “little” the people I love and would like them to come to know the Lord in my time. Just like so many other things with God, we learn it isn’t about our timing. I’m not gonna lie, I would still love it to be in my timing, but I’ve learned to trust Him. Continue reading “5 Ways to Pray for a Loved Ones Salvation”

Truths for transition + Announcement (Giveaway)

 Over the last two weeks we’ve dug into how moving into a new season of life can make us feel as well as ways to deal with it. Today I want to share some truth nuggets we can plant deep in our hearts as we move forward.
 
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
 
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 (ESV)
 

Continue reading “Truths for transition + Announcement (Giveaway)”

Empty Nest Part 2

In my previous post we discussed how it can feel as enter into this new phase of life called empty nest. So, what can we do to make the this transition easier?


First, acknowledge your feelings. We’re often told to just move on, let go and be happy. So if we don’t feel that way immediately shame has a way of isolating us even more.

The enemy wants to go unnoticed. He gets you separated from where you’re supposed to be through subtle coincidences.

Trust God. I know this sounds like an oversimplified Christianize answer but hear me out. Every day wake up and be honest with God. Talk to Him. Don’t try to hide your feelings from Him. Hint, He already knows anyway.

Trust Him to meet you wherever you are in the process and walk alongside you. You don’t have to clean up first. Come as you are! Continue reading “Empty Nest Part 2”

Empty Nest Part 1

That time God asked me to …
                                               Put down the idol of motherhood.
 

Maybe I missed all the discussions about empty nest before I headed into this new territory. Or could it be we simply don’t discuss it very much?

Since venturing into these new waters I’ve asked for advice but most people either just tell me to be happy about it or keep busy so I don’t have to deal with it.


Can I be real honest for a minute? I did NOT handle it real well in the beginning. My life had been filled with so many of my kids’ sports and events I felt completely isolated when it all came to end. Continue reading “Empty Nest Part 1”