12.17.17 Sunday Message

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Today is a very sweet day in our household. We celebrate Jessica’s 30th birthday, my grandson Little Stephen turns 4 tomorrow and we bid farewell to our son Matthew this afternoon as he embarks on a two-year church mission teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the state of Michigan. Hard to let my youngest boy go as he enters the real world to learn to be a man. We miss him sooooo much already!!! 😚 (Love you, my son, and am so proud of you!!!) ☺️

We have much to be grateful for, don’t we? We have so many reasons to celebrate! 🎉 While it ‘Tis the season to be jolly, others' happy moments can also serve as a painful reminder that for some, ‘Tis also the season to battle the holiday blues. Been there!!!

How about spreading our holiday cheer even more to support good causes? Perhaps, reaching out to the broken 💔 hearted, or to those battling: health issues, financial woes, homelessness, loneliness, loss of a loved one, job loss or severe depression, etc...

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Today, I would like to pay tribute to one of my heroes, who has lifted my soul recently and when I needed it the most. She is Elizabeth, my sweet friend, who is Hero Bands on Facebook and @hero_bands on Instagram. 

Elizabeth first brightened me up during one of my darkest moments with a simple bracelet that read “Michael”. It was when I lost my son. Elizabeth is a unique woman who I admire greatly. She suffered severe forms of abuse as a child, battles traumas from them and like I did, suffers from postpartum depression. What’s truly amazing about her is that even though she is facing these unpleasant challenges, my dear friend finds strength in uplifting others through her inspirational bracelets. She made one for my Abi when she was going through middle school with the inscription, “Strong.” Once again, Elizabeth gifted me with a bracelet this week that said, “Not Today, Scratch!” It lifted my soul because I had told her just two weeks ago about something my Mom had said to me. 

I was around 18 and very agitated about some things going on and I expressed to my Mother how much I abhorred Satan and all the darts he kept throwing at me… She replied, “Don’t you ever say his name. He’s not worthy of any kind of recognition. His only desire is to tear people down, discourage and destroy. Don’t give him any power or waste your thoughts on him because he’s nothing more than an obnoxious irritant to our lives—like something you have to constantly itch or scratch”. And then, like a light bulb went off in her head, she turned to me and said with wide eyes, “That’s it! That’s what I’ll call him from now on... ‘Scratch,’ because he’s nothing more than just a blistery, messy rash who delights in spreading contention and causing terror and self-destruction!” 😳👎

From that day on, my Mom and I would brush off stressful times in our lives, and we’d say, “Oh it’s just Scratch at it again, trying to irritate us… its not worth giving him any power. Let it go and let God take control!!! 😊♥️

Thanks, for the bracelet, Elizabeth! Here is her amazing story of survival:

👉https://herobands.com/pages/my-story

You can order one of her bracelets online for $20 if you’d like, in which a portion of the proceeds benefit charity. 

👉https://herobands.com/

When we sincerely rely on our Savior’s atonement, Christ gives us strength and relief to end our desire to scratch. 😊 We can then reach out to others helping them get through their darkesr times or unbearable trials as well. Others trust you because they see you have found the courage and strength and they can too. We become to each other the balm in Gilead—healing our souls and wounds. 

To my friends around the world, thank you for your sweet love, continued inspiration, warmth and kindness throughout the years. No matter what holiday you may celebrate or which faith (or lack thereof) you belong to... here’s wishing you the loveliest Holiday Season and may the New Year bring you even greater success and the best of health. I’m signing off now until next year as we are headed abroad for Christmas. During the holidays, may we all reach out and touch a silent HERO or SHERO and may we bless their lives… for I know the Lord will also bless ours in the process, as we ring in the New Year! 🎊 Have a Happy Sunday, a joyous Christmas, and I’ll see you next year! 🎄🎁🎉🤭😘💋