The Picture Of My Life Where God Reacts!

I felt surprised at the likes my recent profile picture earned on Facebook. My eyebrows rose when I saw I got 300+ likes on my picture (which is the first time in history). And I thought to myself….Wow! That’s something cool, this many people liked my picture? Hmm…I must be someone important…and I was loving the comments I received from my FB friends that my picture with my kids was cute, beautiful, lovely etc. and here I found myself celebrating, getting happy, feeling a sense of achievement and even a little bit puffed up with pride over the social media applause!

But the picture which I posted wasn’t the only picture I took on Christmas. It was one among 5 similar pictures. This one I chose thinking that it had all the features fit to be my profile picture; all smiling faces, Asher posing well, Jennie isn’t jerking but is a bit calm and awake on my lap and I am looking a perfect & happy mum to them:)

The social media has become more of a performing platform. It has certain criteria to be accepted and applauded. All of us wants to post the best pictures, the best moments, the showing off events, the filtered and edited selfies of ourselves because the more filtered and attractive the picture, the more likes, reactions and acceptance it gets. It has become competitive between friends, spouses, family members and co-workers to see who gets more likes & comments for their pics. Many times impressive pics are uploaded just to make others feel covetous. In fact, not everyone who reacts to your pictures with likes and hearts necessarily mean it. They might even want to frown inside seeing your pictures of parties, promotions or holidays fun!! Do you agree?

We might feel happy to see the growing numbers of thumbs up & heart signs on our pics. But often, however, the reality is covered up with the “put togetherness” of a contrived picture. There is more about our life which is concealed under our perfect pictures on social media.

I wonder if God was to use a FB account, which picture of my life would He actually like or react to?

The picture where I am caring for my kids without complaining, or feeling frustrated about the parenting challenges I have or the picture where I am trying to show I am a perfect & happy mum of two well-cared for kids but just for a minute for that one perfect click?

The picture where my husband & I are posing to show how content and loving  couple we are or the picture where we are actually well-bounded in our hearts and love each other despite our flaws & egos?

The picture where we eat dinner at a grand hotel at the beachside or the picture where we also share a meal with a hungry kid at the roadside?

The picture where all the family members are smiling hard just to pose for the perfect family picture of the year or the picture where everyone remains together by choosing forgiveness and love over their misunderstandings and hurts?

The picture which I take with the guests that come to my home, or the picture where I am offering good hospitality to them without feeling upset or burdened over their unexpected arrival?

The picture where I am showing the large amount of work I do daily or the picture where I am doing the work faithfully even when no one watches, notices or appreciates me?

The picture where I stand with a bunch of my friends and have a hash tag #Friends forever# moment or the picture where I am the first one to reach with help when one of them is in need or crisis?

In a world which approves appearance, we often shift our focus from “being” to “appearing”. But God doesn’t see the appearance, He see our hearts, our motives and our inner longings for acceptance. He is pleased with our inside out performance.

As we are nearing the New Year, a new beginning and yet another New Year’s Resolution and plans for our lives, shall we make a resolution to have more pictures of our lives which will be liked by God? In the midst of growing craze of social media gratification, shall we have pictures which aren’t just for gaining applause on social media but genuine pictures & moments of our lives which will gain the approval from God? Pictures where God reacts with a heart emoji and comments

God: Hey! That’s a lovely picture!!

Wishing you a very meaningful & God-centered New Year – 2019

Hope Is Born For Us!

Christmas brings many memories to me with its arrival and the special ones are the childhood memories off course. As a little girl, Christmas was the most awaited time of the year for me and I am sure for all the kids it’s exciting. It’s all because of the carols, new dress ( matching clips & bangles:) ), Christmas tree & decorations, church functions, dance, games, prizes, helping mom to make special dishes, snacks & sweets to distribute and it was all fun almost for an entire month of December. Even though we didn’t have any rich or grand celebration but my parents made sure that all their kids are happy during the festival within the limited resources which they could provide.

So for me Christmas was all about excitement and a lots of fun as a little girl and even as I was growing up I had the same concept for Christmas, like it’s a Christian festival and I never went on to search for a true or deeper meaning of Christmas until one Christmas night I had no happiness or any kind of celebration around me but only my extremely sick one year old daughter in my hands who was having continuous seizures attacks. Alone in my room, I wondered why I had to go through such trial while the world out there celebrates the birth of Jesus and has all kinds of parties & fun going on. Why would I have this pain of seeing my child suffer, and I don’t even get to have any celebration or any family gathering or any enjoyment? And all I could do was cry and feel sorry for myself….

But as I was deeply thinking about my feelings, I realized that Christmas wasn’t all about festivity and fun but it was all about celebrating Jesus who was born for me this day to bring me hope, comfort and peace right in the midst of my sufferings, who was born to trade my sorrows with His joy. HE HAS COME and it should be the biggest reason for me to celebrate.

Life is all about good times and difficult ones.  Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a challenging season unexpectedly. But the good news is even if the seasons of our lives change, God doesn’t. He continuously provides His abundant grace upon our lives in the good seasons and the difficult ones.

What’s most important is that we must have the joy of Christmas inside of us knowing that our savior was born for us, to take away our burdens, to wipe our tears, to accept us and to love us unconditionally. The joy which isn’t centered on all the festive glitters & shines but is based on knowing that the best gift for you and me is sent to us this day.

I don’t know which hard season you are facing right now. Maybe you are feeling disheartened, broken and miserable. Maybe your loved ones aren’t with you, or you have lost someone close to you, or you are dealing with a scary diagnosis, or someone you love is battling for life in the hospital or you can name it.

But don’t let the absence of “celebration” rob you of celebrating the true reason of celebration and its Jesus.

You can joyfully celebrate His birth, His promise, His hope and His grace in your life. Let Christmas be the beautiful reminder to you and me that we can be more than a conqueror in Him who has conquered the darkness with His light. Jesus is born to give us HOPE in the midst of life’s uncertainties and storms, He came to sacrifice His life on the Cross, He was forsaken and He went through agony so we will have life and have it in abundance!

Let’s celebrate Jesus “our Hope” which is born for us this day!

I wish you a joyous and blessed Christmas!

When Your Gift Seems Small!

I tried to make a video message for Christmas and had multiple attempts to make it the best that I could but all I could say to myself was –it’s not going to work… I may not make it…the words aren’t flowing. I even wondered if my Christmas message would be significant enough in the midst of hundreds of great messages streaming through social media at Christmas? I did not feel skilled enough to try something new and creative.

As I was ready to quit my plan of making a video message for Christmas, a story from the Bible which I had read a few days back during my devotion time caught hold of my thoughts and served as a great encouragement to my heart.

It’s the story of a widow who offers her two very small copper coins to the temple treasury. It’s a very familiar story for all of us.

Mark 12: 41-44

41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

I am sure, before putting her two small copper coins into the temple treasury, this widow might have felt hesitant as all the people around her were giving big amounts. Perhaps, she wished that no one would notice her small offering. But this small offering which she gave, was heard in heaven. Even if no one took notice of her small gift, Jesus did – because she had given out of her poverty; all she had to live on. She had given out of her devotion to God.

Have you ever felt you have very little to offer to God? Whether it’s your talents, your assets, your time, your skills or anything – you name it!

You may be wondering if your gift is going to make any difference. You may be thinking that others might undermine your offering.

Many times, our small attempts, our small beginnings can serve a big purpose in the kingdom of God. Like this poor widow’s story which became a great example to follow by many generations. We may feel what we do for God is insignificant compared to what others do for Him. But what seems small for us is noticed by God. He sees our heart and not the size of our gift. He doesn’t measure our giving like the world does. He simply delights in the gifts we offer out our love and devotion to Him.

As you prepare your heart for the Christmas season, what gift will you offer to the Baby born in the manger?

Dear Father! Thank you for delighting in the gift which I offer to you out of my love & devotion. Thank you for seeing my heart and not the size of my gift. Help me not to belittle my small offering but see it the way you do. I pray, it will be used for your glory. In Jesus name, amen!