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Someone I Can Identify With 

Today is Sunday?! Wow, it doesn’t feel like a Sunday!

Cub 3 made this statement earlier this week, and the truth is, our Sundays haven’t really felt like our normal Sundays since Poppa Bear’s (PB) sabbatical began at the beginning of this month. We haven’t seen our church family in about three weeks, but it feels like three YEARS!!

The summer months do cause us to lose sight of what day of the week it is at times. Most of this sabbatical feels like any other summer except that PB gets to participate in all of our summer activities without having to work around his church schedule.

Like most families, we take more trips during the summer than any other time of year. When I know that we’ll be around a big crowd of people, I make sure to dress the girl cubs alike. It’s easier to pick them out in a crowd and if they were to get lost, I would be able to describe them easier (yes, that’s how the worrier’s brain works). I used to do the same with Cubs 1 and 2 until they no longer wanted to dress alike. So, Cubs 3 and 4 have many matching outfits just because of summer outings that help me to identify them as my girl cubs.

So, I’ve been thinking about this identity thing. Our identity is everything, right? We can be identified in SO many different ways – some good, some bad. I can be identified as a woman or an African American or a mama bear or a preacher’s wife or as being short or a friend, an aunt, or a sister. However THE most important one is a child of God. 

Being a part of God’s family comes with many perks because identifying with Jesus means that I am all that and a bag of salt n’ vinegar potato chips to him!! My cubs may have features and behaviors that identify them as our cubs, however our love for them doesn’t even come close to how much they are loved by our Creator as a part of his family.

He loves us…ALL of us so much!  Don’t pay any attention to the negative identities that the enemy wants us to focus on.  We are God’s children and that means…

…we are a part of God’s family; an heir.  Romans 8:16

…we are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10

…we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

…we were set apart before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5. 

…we’ve been called out of darkness (those negative identities) into His marvelous light. 1Peter 2:9

…we are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7

I love being identified with Him!

Mama Bear

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Lip Service Love

I am loved!

I’ve spent the past few months training for my very first 5k.  Additionally, it wasn’t just a normal 5k race.  It was a virtual 5k with pastor’s wives and women in ministry from all over the world.  We all ran yesterday and posted pictures all over social media about it.  If you are on any of the main social media “giants”,  just search #leadingandlovingit or #themovement5k to see some great pictures.

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Yesterday was a busy day.  I got up early to run my 5k because we had to be at church early for a mission project.  The sun wasn’t quite up yet, but I knew that I wouldn’t feel like running after a full day of other activities.

Here’s how I know that I am loved.

Our neighborhood is made up of about 20 houses.  It’s one main street with two culdesac streets.  If you had a bird’s eye view of our neighborhood, it would look like the capital letter “F” – not big at all and I felt very comfortable about running around (and around and around) our little neighborhood before the sun was up.  At 5:30 a.m., I began my warm-up walk around our culdesac, out towards the second culdesac, and back down the main street only to find PB standing at the end of the driveway.  As I passed by, I reminded him that he needed to get everyone up and dressed and couldn’t stay outside watching me.  Again, I went around our culdesac, out towards the second culdesac, and back down the main street this time to find Cub 1 at the end of the drive way on his bike!  He rode behind me – around our culdesac, out towards the second culdesac, and back down the main street.  I convinced him that I was okay and that he needed to go in and eat breakfast, but he could come back out and take some pictures for me.  I like to think that I was moving so fast that the camera couldn’t keep up with my speed (he hee).

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Even after taking pictures, Cub 1 just hung out around our culdesac until I finished.  He played with my camera.

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He brought our Shih Tzu out to use the bathroom (and that’s not even one of his morning chores).  Cub 1 had to make sure his Momma Bear was okay.  I have to admit that I smiled every time I came down the main street  back towards our culdesac when I found him standing around waiting for me.  That’s how I know I’m loved.  Oh!  It was also his 14th birthday!

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I am blessed to live in a house and to be a part of a family where “I love you” is not just lip service.  We say it, we mean it, and we show it.  It started with PB and me.  It’s evident that it’s overflowing to our cubs and that makes my heart happy!  I am so grateful!  Here’s one of my favorite scriptures about love:

Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut. Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,”  Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 1 Cor. 4-7 (MSG)

Pay attention to the “I love you’s” that you receive this week that are NOT just lip service, then thank God for the joy they bring!

Intentionally yours!