Cross-stitch is a beautiful piece of work when completed.
The hours spent pulling different colors of thread through a fabric, in X shaped stitches to create a scene, patterns, phrases, flowers, people, and so many other things are a skilled piece of artwork. The beauty of the finished product is stunning for all to behold.
The hidden backside of it, though, is a complete mess. Thread going from one spot to another, in a gridded pattern, using different stiching patterens at times, that ends up looking like a bowl of spaghetti. A complete disaster that is often hidden and unseen when completed, and so different than what the finished piece is seen by others.
People are much like a cross-stitch piece. We see the beauty and outward appearance of a seemingly happy and wonderful human being. What we mostly do not see is the mess and turmoil deep inside, that is hidden from the world.
The distress of everyday life that causes chaos deep within. The smile and the persona that hides all of the inward battles and is projected in a beautiful smile, a kind action or word.
However; there is the cleaner version of cross-stitch. The version that took more time and work to make the front a work of art and the back cleaned up and neat.
People are exactly like that, and go through that same transformation when they work on their inner self. A cleaned up and better projected inner version that is amazing for themselves and for the world to see.
All it takes is a little work, dedication, faith, belief, effort, and a willingness to make ourselves beautiful inside and out, leaving a masterpiece for all to see.
Be the cross-stitch master piece in life.
1 Peter 3:4 NIV Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Weakness is a trait that everyone has in some form or fashion. It covers different facets of our lives.
It may be in the form of a physical lack of strength, good health, firmness, vigor, or feebleness.
It may be a lack of effort, energy, enthusiasm, or a feeling of an inadequate or defective quality in a person’s character.
It might be a self-indulgent liking or special fondness of something or an object of special desire; something very difficult to resist, like chocolates, candy, soft drinks, tv, hobbies, etc.
Then there are those weaknesses of addictions, habits, drinking, gambling, smoking, self-loathing, and so forth.
No weakness is greater than another. They are all as hard as the next and everyone has their own struggles with them.
How we handle them, seek help for them, and work on getting through and past them that matters. Prayer, counseling, the ear of a friend, self-help, and even groups can help.
Never consider a weakness as a failure; it is a part of life that we face, and from our weaknesses come our strengths, and our best qualities arise for all to see.
Your weakness is your super power.
Isaiah 40:29 NIV He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Practice is used in everything in life. It is said that practice makes perfect.
Though it may or may not make things perfect, it does make things and us far better in so many ways.
Practice is not just reserved for sports, athletics, musical instruments, singing, and so on. Practicing having a good mental attitude, being polite, helping others, praising all, respecting people, encouragement, self-improvement, and the list goes on.
Practice being the best that you can possibly be, doing the best in everything you do, and treating others the best that you can is the best practice that you could ever do.
Practice makes us as perfect as we possibly can be; if we are only willing to do it.
Romans 12:13 NIV Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Celebrate life at the start of each and every day that you wake up. Sing praises and count your blessings for the health you have, the breath you take, the steps you walk, the food you have, a place to live, transportation, money, employment, family, friends, and everything else that we take for granted.
Enjoy the life you have and the journey that you are on, no matter if you are in the valley or the mountain tops, and be grateful for it all.
Spread love, hope, and a positive attitude to everyone. Help all you can, anytime you can and be the example for others to follow. Tell people that you love them often and how important they are to you and to others. Forgive those that hurt you with words and actions and show them kindness and love.
Make your life, your family and friends more important than work and other things that may rob you of your joy.
Praise the Lord for all that He provides for you.
Celebrate the life that you have been blessed with.
Focus! How many times have you heard that in your life?
It is such a simple term, something that seems so easy to do, but can be lost in an instant. We start fine, our mind trained on what we need to do, then poof, just like that we are thinking of something else.
We have that “Squirrel Effect”. We can’t decide which way to go and we find ourselves stuck in the middle of the road with oncoming traffic. Our minds drift to other things and we lose sight of what we are doing. We think we have it; we call it multitasking or too many tabs open. But we keep loading things onto our plates, filling them to the brim, burying what we were working on, and shifting our focus all over the place and to other things. Before we know it, we have lost track of the original thought pattern and what we were focused on, scrambling to get back to what we needed to get done.
Keeping your focus takes work, determination, and a mindset that is void of detractions. Putting on the blinders to block out all things around, saying no to oncoming things, or setting them aside for later. It takes a lot of effort, willpower, and a desire to finish a task at hand before taking on another. Like a set of binoculars, when it becomes out of focus, everything blurs together, making it hard to see.
Remind yourself to focus on what is at hand when other things fill your mind. Do not let distractions, people, events, work, and other things take away from what you are trying to get done. Prioritize what needs to come first and work on it, then move to the next when completed. Take a step back, relax, take a deep breath, pray, remove the confusion, stress, and anguish created by a lack of focus, and turn it into a positive outlook and accomplishment.
Focus on your focus. Remain steadfast and make room for the peace that is rewarded at the end.
Isaiah 26:3 NIV You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Have you ever really thought about who is truly in your corner when you need someone? Who is there to help you fight your battles? Is it someone, is it God, or is it both?
Boxers always have people in their corner when they need them. The manager to give advice and throw in the towel when he knows it is time for their safety. A cut man to patch them up during the bouts, and a physician in case one is needed. They rely on them at all times.
We like boxers, need that help too. We all have friends that are willing to help with things when we need them, but having those or that one person that is in your corner is a different story.
It is a story of trust, confidence, reliability, dependability, faith, hope, being humble, and acceptance of help. Knowing that someone is there that has your back in every situation, no matter what (withstanding something that breaks the law). The comfort that someone is really there for you night and day, 365 days a year for anything you need, both physically, mentally and spiritually.
Knowing that no matter what it is, that they are in your corner without expectations, and that everything will be completely confidential and will never let you down there. That person that cares for you enough to help in every way they can and will never leave your corner.
Do you know who is in your corner? Are you in someones corner? Are you willing to be there for someone and be in their corner? Is Christ in your corner?
Be that peace of mind for someone and be in their corner. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you had someone in your corner? Who is the cornerstone of your life?
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”