He Chose Me

May 15, 2017 I received my master’s degree, and all I can say is:

He chose me.

The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:10:

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

In other words, I can’t take the credit.  Everything I am is only because of His grace.

He chose me.

On the day of my graduation, the Lord reminded me that I could not even attribute my success to my intellect, as I had the same intellectual ability when I was making some very stupid decisions.  I don’t have my master’s degree because I’m so smart.  Nope, not at all.  I have my master’s degree because of His grace.

He chose me.

Some people have life stories that allow them to make the mistake of attributing their success to factors outside of God.  Even then it’s a mistake, but I do understand.  They think they’re successful because they’ve made all the right decisions, or because of their family background.  Well, personally I have no opportunity to take the credit for anything.  I know where I’ve come from.  I know where I started.  I know where I was going before I accepted Jesus into my heart, and I can see what He has done with me.  

He chose me.

I can’t boast of success because even with a master’s degree I know I have not arrived.  I know I am still being perfected in His sight.  My master’s degree has to stay in its place when it comes to my life, and I will not exalt it higher than I will exalt the One who blessed me with it.  A master’s degree is an applaudable accomplishment, but it doesn’t come close to knowing Jesus in an intimate way.  I praise Him and thank Him for allowing me to obtain such a degree while living my life on His earth. It’s all because of Him.

He chose me.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  – Philippians 3:13-14

He chose me.

Margo

Dear Momma,

You were the one.

You were the one I called momma.  The one that took me as your own when my own couldn’t be there.  

You were the one.

You were the one who called me Margie and bought me my own my size Barbie.

You were the one.

You were the one who took me an ice cold bath when my temperature was too hot.

You were the one who made me hot tea when my lymph nodes were too fat.

You were the one.

You were the one who gave me stability, security, and protection from many things.

You were apart of the reason why I never felt unloved or unwanted growing up.

You loved me.

You were the one.

You were the one who told me to have my own child when I felt so left out.

You were the one who came and took care of Maraya when I went back to work.

It was you.

You were the one.

You were the one who sacrificed and gave to ensure that I didn’t lack.

You were the one who got me roller blades, stereos, and even my first car.

You did that.

You were the one.

You were the one who always told me to get an education.  No one else- only you.

You were the one.

You were the one who listened to me, laughed with me, and always accepted me being me.

You were the one.

Doris Ann Blue, I love you.  May you rest in peace and love.

You were the one.

I Love My Husband.  I Love Our Marriage.

Where do I start?  I thank God for marriage.  It’s such a beautiful thing.  I thank God for the man that He has blessed me with.  There is no other man that I adore the way I adore him.  Next to Jesus, he is it.

Why?

I know without a doubt that God blessed me with him.  I encourage women desiring a husband to diligently seek the Lord for His confirmation before saying “I do”.  I sought the Lord, I said I do, and I have felt the blessing of the Lord over our marriage from day 1.

I love my husband because he is who he is.  He doesn’t impress, he doesn’t fake, he is who he is.  He feels no pressure to be like those around him.  He is secure in who he is.  He encourages others to also be themselves.  He’s not moved by outward appearances.

I love my husband because he loves the Lord.  He loves the Lord, seeks the Lord, trusts the Lord, and is content in the Lord. He hears from the Lord, and for a wife there is no better feeling.  Before saying I do, be certain that he hears from the Lord.

I love my husband because he loves me.  He really loves me.  His love is genuine, sincere, never wavering, and not based on anything I do.  It’s not even based on how I look.  Can you believe that?  When we first met I remember him telling me that he loves the Jesus in me.  

I love my husband because he is faithful.  A faithful man who can find?  (Proverb 20:6) If you find yourself a faithful man consider yourself blessed.  There is no better feeling than walking in confidence, knowing that your husband is faithful to you.  I’m so grateful.

I love my husband because he is my best friend and my partner.  We support each other, we learn from each other, we encourage one another, we want the best for one another.  We are one.

I love my husband because he is strong.  Yes, he’s physically strong, but more importantly he’s spiritually strong.  When troubles comes our way I worry not about him being able to handle it.  I have a fighter in him, I know together that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Marriage is a beautiful thing and I thank God for the marriage that he has blessed us with.  He has used our marriage to bless us in more ways than one.  Our marriage is sound, secure, and solid because our foundation is Jesus Christ.  Our marriage is a blessing to our children because they are covered.  Our marriage is a ministry because we allow God to use us to show His love to those around us.  Our marriage is sincere, honest, and safe.  Our marriage is our safe place.

I love my husband.  I love my marriage.  Marriage is a beautiful thing.  Thank you God for our marriage.

Margo

Diplomatically Disagree

As I watch the inauguration events, I’m humbled and encouraged by the diplomatic engagement between former President Obama and current President Trump.  I’m forced to look within and ask myself: 

Am I capable of diplomatically disagreeing?

I believe that this is a question that all of us should ask ourselves.  So many marriages dissolve because of the inability to diplomatically disagree.  Friendships end, violence erupts, people hate and even kill all because they disagree.  This should not be so.

The ability to disagree diplomatically displays a high level of maturity.  It also displays a high level of emotional intelligence and self-control.  It takes intention, and I’m certain a lot of practice, in order to engage respectfully with those that we absolutely disagree with.

Lately, I’ve been focused on love.  Not the world’s definition of love, but rather the love of God that is unconditional and sacrificial.  Me learning myself, I know that in order for me to disagree diplomatically I will need to focus on love.  Walk in love, separating the person from their ideas as well as their actions.

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love…” – Ephesians 5:1-2

We must first have a love for humankind and then we can disagree with someone and not hate them.  Secondly, we must figure out what we individually have to do in order to be able to diplomatically disagree.  Manage our anger, deal with our insecurities, get comfortable expressing ourselves?  We have to figure that part out on our own.

Now, I’m not oblivious to the fact that we all have our passions and our irritations.  That’s okay, that’s what makes us unique.  I’m also not suggesting that we throw all of our values to the wayside.  I’m suggesting just the opposite, that we still hold on to what we value while we also diplomatically deal with those that disagree with us.

What do you think?  Do you disagree?

Margo

I Remember When…

I remember when my main 2 concerns in life were my Maraya and my money.  I had Maraya at a time in my life when real, consistent love was scarce.  All I wanted to do was love and provide for her.  Now, my life has come so far.

Today, my most important priority is Jesus Christ.  When I’m right with Him, everything else is right.  He has blessed me with a God-serving, faithful husband who loves me and two more beautiful daughters.  Now there is love all around me!

I have come to realize that we all have a story & where we started has less weight than where we can end up.  No matter how we start, as long as we lose the victim mentality, we don’t have to stay there.  Don’t blame and cry about your situation- Work to change it.

Let me clarify that work is only one aspect of change.  We must first have faith.  

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  – Hebrews 11:1

You must believe, without wavering, that a change is possible for you.  If you don’t yet believe that then you must spend some time with our Heavenly Father.  Quiet time with Him and in His Word is mind-changing, life-changing.  Let Him speak the words to You that you have never heard.  

He will tell you things such as: I will never leave you nor forsake you, nothing can separate my love from you, I knew you before you were in the womb, you are more than a conquerer through Christ Jesus, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Hear things like that long enough and you’ll start to believe that YOU are worthy of a change.

I encourage you to take some time today to look at yourself, your life and determine what needs to change.  I’m certain you will consider changing aspects of your situation, which is good, but remember for that to change YOU must change.

With Love,

Margo 

16 Lessons from 2016

Another year is coming to a close.  Before I enter into the new, I must reflect on what I’ve learned this past year.  

Here goes…

1. Take care of yourself.  There is always something to do but we can only offer what we have to give.  Replenish, refresh, rest and restore yourself.

2. Don’t lose yourself.  Before you are anything else, you are you.  Always remember that.

3. It’s all about the heart.  We must get deep and pay attention to the heart issues.  The heart, not our actions or appearances, will tell us everything we need to know.

4. Just apologize.  No explanations or counter-arguments.  Just apologize.  Admit your wrong and that you can and will do better.  Oh, and mean it.

5. Pray about everything.  Everything.  And believe.  Don’t worry.

6. Open up.  Our life is only as full and meaningful as we allow.  Open up to experience the fullness of it.  Be wise, though.

7. Listen to learn.  Don’t listen to talk, rebuttal, impress, or any other reason.  Truly listen to learn and respond when necessary.  If you don’t have something to say, don’t make up something.  Just listen.

8. There is so much you don’t know!  This year I learned so much that I was truly humbled and realized how much more there is to learn.  Don’t get arrogant about anything.  There is so much that we don’t know.

9. Mind your own business.  I’ve learned that when you’re overly concerned with other people’s business you are missing something of your own.  It will all come out, so it’s best to tend to your own business.  We all have enough to focus on.

10. It’s not that serious.  So many things really bugged me this year.  Ok, ok so many things made me so mad this year but then I later realized that it wasn’t as serious as I made it.  I’m learning that most things aren’t as serious as we sometimes make them.

11. Everything will work out.  No matter how bad it seems, as long as we keep our heart right and keep our faith then everything will work out.  God works out everything for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  I believe that & this year I learned it through so many real situations.

12. Church is necessary!  Whoa.  We don’t always realize how church strengthens us, protects us, prepares us, and equips us.  Without regular church attendance we are vulnerable and spiritually weak.

13. Love through the imperfections.  We must learn to love, truly love, through the imperfections.

14. There is more wrong with us than we think.  

15. Everything comes with a cost.

16. True friendship withstands.

I am so thankful for everything that I’ve learned during 2016 and especially thankful for those that I was able to learn alongside.  Every lesson we learn impacts our relationships so we must remember that as we grow so will our relationships.

Thank you for reading.  I’m looking forward to continuing my living & learning journey in 2017…

With Love,

Margo