I was a woman of courage a few days ago! I decided to brave the crowds, search endlessly for that perfect parking spot and see for myself if there were really any great deals that I couldn't resist. Although I found a few here and there, what I kept noticing was the mass of amounts of people who seemed to be returning or exchanging gifts they had received.
As I stood in line to ring up what I considered to be my gem of a find, I could not help but overhear the lady in front of me telling the sales associate that she would like to exchange the beautiful watch she had received, but simply did not need, for a pair of small earrings, and to please put the remaining balance on a gift card that she could give to someone else.
She finished up and was smiling big as she walked away! I watched her take the earrings out of the bag and proudly put them on before she even left the store. I saw the watch sitting there that she had exchanged, and I knew the monetary value of it. I was in awe of that lady at that moment. I thought she had just made a great exchange! And it had nothing to do with the gift! She seemed more than happy to give up that big, flashy, expensive watch for a small, simple pair of earrings and a gift card that she could pay forward. She was content!
I couldn't stop thinking about that woman and her willingness to exchange the big for the small...or what the world would view as such. I thought about what would I be willing to exchange or replace to have that contentment and peace that I saw her walk away with. Maybe it wasn't a material item that I would need to exchange, but instead an exchange in my heart.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way.--Psalm 139:23-24
When is the last time you got down on your knees and ask God to help you examine your heart and maybe do a little exchanging to get rid of that heaviness that is weighing you down? What would set you free and bring you that peace and contentment? Perhaps bitterness for forgiveness, anger for gladness, hate for love, acceptance for judgement, or sorrow for joy. Whatever it is, ask your Heavenly Father to help you let it go, to help you make that exchange.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
As I continue to clean out or make exchanges in my own heart I feel so much more of God's love filling in the vacant spaces where pain used to live. A heart filled with God's love beats the strongest!
Start today by making one heart exchange. Ask God to help remove those things that take up the space where He longs to be. Free yourself from the bondage of whatever it is that keeps you from being happy, whole, and healed. He is waiting to take that burden from you right now.
"A clean heart is a happy heart...." Mother Teresa
I pray God blesses you all beyond measure in the upcoming year. Thank you for your continued love, support and encouragement for me and my family.