As you celebrate the 4th of July think of the many freedoms you have and why you have them.

Thank you to all the men & women who have served our country in so many different ways: in the military, as a firefighter (Lord be with the families of those 19 men who were killed earlier this week near Prescott, AZ), as a police officer, border patrol officer, for the doctors & nurses who give so much to help others in their time of need.  Thank you to our friends and family who have loved us, supported us and blessed us over the past 38 years…we are free today to live the life we choose, to share our love for each other and to surround us with people in any way we choose.

Thank you Lord for the choice of free will and being able to choose to follow You.  Thank you for sending your Son to give his life for us, for me, for doing something for me that I so do not deserve.  Thank you for loving me through the good times and bad, the easy times and hard times, for the blessings of my children and grandchildren.
Thank you Abba Father!!!

This past month I have been struggling with making time for God.  Last night I could just not shut my brain off to go to sleep.  I was in bed shortly after 9 p.m. but my eyes were wide open after midnight.   I prayed, I read, I wrote out lists and I prayed again.  My final prayer shortly after midnight was “Lord forgive me for not doing my part in our relationship.  Lord I know myself…I need the quiet of the early morning to spend time with You…there is just something about sitting on the couch in the early morning with no distractions or the light of day so I ask Lord for you to wake me before the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. so I can have time with you.”  
And  He did. 
I woke at 5:27.  
It would have been so easy to go back to sleep for another half hour and then I remembered my prayer so I got out of bed and came into the living room and gathered my things for a time with God.

And once again He met me right where I am, right where I have been struggling.  And encouraged me right here, right now.

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

And the first six words jumped out at me: 
Therefore we do not lose heart.

Therefore, just because do not lose heart, do not give up, if you have stumbled, just get up and start again!!

Moving on: the them in my daily devotions for July is

and immediately I heard this little voice ‘You need to forgive yourself for failing this past month in your relationship with the Lord.  Yep, I messed up, yep I was lazy, yep I let other things get in the way of my relationship with God…But inspite of my failing, GOD LOVES ME!!!
And so I spent some time asking God to forgive me for my selfish behavior and thanked him for this new day, to start fresh again in my relationship with him and for answering my prayer to wake me a little earlier today.
And because I know I can be a little stubborn, yes me!!  God continued talking to me by telling me in 2 Corinthians 7:12-18
If I can humble myself, pray, stop sinning and do what I know I need to do ~ do my part then God will do his part.

God’s word tells me to seek him, build my relationship with me and he will never leave me.  I just need to show up!!  And He will meet my every need, hear my every cry, rejoice with me during the good times.

And the same is true with getting healthy:  IF I make good food choices, IF I take 20 to 30 minutes each day and exercise…going for a nice walk, swimming laps in the pool  THEN my body will do its part…lose weight and get healthier.

Pretty simple right…I do my part and God will do his part.
I do my part and my body will respond in a healthy manner.

Simple as that!!!

And then my mind screams…
why is it so dang hard to do what is right???
Definitely something to think about.

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