THE LORD’S TEMPLE

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain

1 Corinthians 15:58  (NIV)

It’s been awhile since I posted a fitness blog. Let me show you how I bring Jesus into my daily efforts to maintain a proper body posture…something I constantly struggle with. Knowing I’m doing everything for the Lord makes what usually challenges me feel almost effortless.

 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Collosians 3:23  (NIV)

Let’s start with our ankles and feet. We want to stay always grounded in the Lord. We can do this for our body by digging our heals into the floor, which will help to keep our ankles firm, yet flexible.

Traveling up the leg, we want to also keep our thighs strong and sturdy.

They too are grounded in the Lord. This means both the front of our thighs (quadriceps) and the back of our thighs (hamstrings). Strong thigh muscles help us to keep our hips in the correct alignment over the top of our thighs.

This will keep your abductors/hamstrings engaged every time you think about them while sitting….Imagine pushing both the front AND back of the thigh into the seat you are sitting on. As you do this…notice how the muscles in your bottom contract. Just keep thinking…PUSH HAMSTRINGS! PUSH HAMSTRINGS!

Then I count on the Lord to keep my hips strong and in the right alignment. I get my body to go along with the plan by pulling my hip bones UP toward my waistline. This one move will pull our bottom under and make our bottoms very stable.

Read through all my posture cues and tips for keeping the body in right alignment by visiting my October 2020 blog post, HEADS UP – MARY VARGA (mvarga.com)

As we continue to travel up the body, we meet our chest and shoulders. To maintain the right posture, we need to open our chest, starting with the breast bone as our anchor.

This is where I really place Jesus right at the top of all my posture cues & prompts!

Imagine Christ living in the middle of your heart…His light and love illuminating out in all directions. That will get our chests open! Then imagine that radiance extending to everyone you come in contact with.

My biggest posture challenge is keeping my head in line with my chest & shoulders, (not in front of them).

I give my classes continuous cues & prompts. Make a long neck; Pull your ears back over your shoulders; Balance a book on top of your head! Those are my standing cues.

Here’s a couple of simple exercises we can do while lying on our bed.

1. Lay on back pushing the back of our head into the pillow. Tuck the chin back into the throat. Hold that push for 3 seconds. Complete 10 repetitions.

2. Lay prone with chest/shoulders at very edge of the mattress. Contract bottom muscles while pulling the neck and head over the edge of the bed. Hold for 10 seconds. Start with 5 repetitions. Work up tp 10.

These tips and cues will help us to sit and stand in a posture that will benefit us as we move our heads, shoulders, hips and feet. Remember that exercises work more effectively if we hold our body in the right posture.

Remember also that we are the Lord’s holy temple. He lives inside of us and He wants His love for us to radiate from our hearts outward to touch everyone we meet!

Then we can imagine a bright halo over our heads pulling us up toward heaven. That can replace the book we are trying to balance on our head. 

For our posture AND for our relationship with the Lord…

Remember that all things point UP!

 

Dear Lord,

Let us think of You as we go about our daily fitness routines. That includes how we carry ourselves during the day. Inspire us to follow the advice given to us by the experts in physical health.

You made us just as we are. That includes our bodies. Before we go trying different methods to change what You’ve given us…remind us to check in with You first….and perhaps our physical therapist.

 

You can now comment directly on my website! A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts.

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

WHAT TO DO WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2  (NIV)

 

I left Little Rock in 2000, leaving my then 3-month-old son, Andrew with his dad. So many times in the last 23 years, I’ve longed and prayed for him to live in the same town as his Mom. Because of my balance disability, he was better off in Little Rock with an able-bodied parent to care for him. I HATED IT! This was not the life I signed up for! My dreams certainly weren’t coming true.

I had not even grown accustomed to my new, disabled life when I was hit with a divorce and custody battle. Seriously God! What else? I have learned over the years to not ask that question. It was more important for Andrew to have a normal life, surrounded by friends and family who loved him….but not his Mom.

Fast-forward 23 years. Andrew is now living in Louisville with my brother Andrew. Years ago my brother, Andrew decided to change his name (around the family) to Uncle A to eliminate all the confusion when my son was in town about which Andrew was being spoken to.

So now Uncle A is employing my son Andrew at his own company AND has invited him to live in his home. Uncle A is a marketing consultant. His purpose for having Andrew live and work with him was to help him grow up and take responsibility for his life’s direction. With that newfound confidence, my son could either flourish in a new career or complete his college degree…OR BOTH!

I’ve seen Andrew’s confidence level increase since he’s been here. He seems truly happy being able to accomplish tasks he never even tried before. He’s meeting new people and learning a whole new city. My prayer now is for him to develop some friendships to make Louisville feel like a real home.

It almost seems surreal to have Andrew living right here in Louisville. My first thought was of his father. He actually encouraged Andrew to move here. They are so close!!…yet he prompted him to move here in hopes of giving him a new purpose and direction in his life. What a totally unselfish love he showed for his son. Being in Andrew’s company so much now makes me realize what his dad sacrificed in hopes of giving him a brighter future.

One of the gifts that Andrew inherited from his dad was his passion and talent for cooking. Now my son cooks for me! My idea of cooking is constructing a good, healthy salad and microwaving leftovers that someone else made. Home cooking is a new and novel experience in my kitchen.

Am I happy that my dream has come true? I thank God every day for giving me an opportunity to be more than a long-distance mom. I’m keenly aware though that this is not about me. As ecstatic as I am to have my son here, he needs to feel that what he’s doing is making a difference for him, and for others. I want him to experience that sense of purpose and accomplishment that comes from doing the best thing.

I know that God sent this blessing to me! In typical Mary fashion though, I’ve worried about what I might do to mess it up. Don’t we all do that in some ways? We can’t believe it happened. We didn’t deserve it!

 

“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Luke 1:25 (NIV)

Why can’t we just let God be God…and love us like He wants to?

It’s human nature to magnify the negative things that have happened to us. We keep looking for the other shoe to fall. We tend to look over the countless blessings we have in our life. We need to remember our special gifts and talents; our relationships and that we live in a free country!

Most importantly, we need to remember we have a heavenly Father who adores us! We didn’t do anything to deserve it either. He loves us because He created us in His own image. We are His family!

We can thank God by being the best version of ourselves. We can pray and surrender not just our worries, but all the people we love to His loving care. Trust our God to know the best way to mold others….then leave it alone! He knows much better than us which way a person should go.

If we truly believe that we are God’s beloved, then we can also believe that He will send us gifts/blessings to show that precious love. So pray for…and then EXPECT the blessings to come…in God’s timing of course. That’s the hard part. Pray for a healthy dose of patience too!

When I think about it, God has not only made my dream come true. He’s also showing his love and favor for Andrew, his father, Uncle A and all those who are enjoying this current change in Andrew’s geography.

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:26  (NIV) 

 

Dear Lord,

You continuously surprise us with Your blessings. Help us to just relax and enjoy Your favor. We know that You work everything together for all of our good. Show us the good You want us to do in response to Your kindness to us! 

 

You can now comment directly on my website! A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts.

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

RISE!

This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:14  (NIV)

 

Easter was last Sunday, but we are still in the middle of the Easter season of the church. Easter denotes various things to us. It can mean the beginning of Spring time with the blooming of eye-catching dogwood trees and tulips. It may make us think of baskets filled with multicolored eggs, sweet treats and chocolate Easter bunnies.

Of course we all know the Christian meaning of Easter is to celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday after He was crucified for us on Friday. That resurrection makes it possible for us to live with Him for eternity.

Jesus Christ has called us all to a resurrection life with Him. He wants us to embrace a new, more fruitful way of living. We have to identify HOW to make our life more pleasing to God and more joyful for us.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Romans 6:4  (NIV)

God desires for all of us to RISE! How do we discover our resurrection life? What do we do routinely that gives us a feeling of joy…of excellence? Let’s identify those opportunities where we feel our very best…as if God were directing our steps.

 It could be when we see the results of our words or actions as they affect an ongoing project for the better. We just know in our heart that what we did…or said made a difference!

It may be when we attain a new level in our physical, mental or scholastic progress. Just ask a new college graduate or a recent marathon competitor if their accomplishment makes them feel as though they can conquer the world.

Like everything it life, God doesn’t just hand THE RESURRECTION LIFE to us! It comes from lots of practice, repetition, and often-time failures. But how sweet it is when we finally get it right!

It may be when we build someone up with our encouragement. That’s what Christ commands us to do and I think He was really on to something! Don’t we get a real sense of joy and accomplishment when we make a point of helping someone else on their journey? Especially if we don’t seek any credit for it!

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Acts 20:24  (NIV)

 

Let’s look for ways that we can RISE in our daily lives. We may not be graduating OR competing in an athletic competition…but we can still rise above ourselves by striving to obtain a worthy goal or feel excitement in helping someone else achieve theirs.

How do we impact the lives of those around us? God asks us to strive to make others’ lives easier and more productive for His kingdom. We can live a resurrection life by assisting others in achieving their own God-given dreams.

My disabled life does not give me a free pass either. I may not be able to physically help, but I can offer a listening ear or use my wisdom or influence to put others in touch with those who can make a difference. Most importantly, I can bring my prayers for others to the Lord who heals and restores!

I say this knowing that I fall short in this area many times. Now that I’ve written it down in a blog, I’m committed to help others find their resurrection life. In doing so, I’ll be rising in my own daily life.

We give glory to God by simply stepping outside the norm and giving Him the credit for our words and actions. Let’s not think about what others say or think….but keep our minds set on living the Lord’s will for our lives. Let’s all make a concerted effort to rise to meet our Lord’s expectation in how we live our life.

 

Dear Lord,

As we continue our celebration of Easter, help us to live our very own resurrection life as we look to all You have done for us through Your death and resurrection.

Remind us that Your resurrection was not possible without the pain and agony of the cross. As we attempt a new and restored life in You, there will be difficulty…maybe even rejection or isolation.

Help us to keep our eyes on You to show us the choicest and the finest actions and motives for our lives.

SHOW US HOW WE CAN RISE!

 

You can now comment directly on my website! A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts.

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

 

 

 

 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

James 3:17

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Romans 6:4

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

THE POWER OF PERSEVERANCE

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Hebrews 12:1  (NIV)

God has a special purpose for each one of our lives. He will place opportunities (and sometimes challenges) in our path to lead us to where He wants us to go. We need to pray for His direction and wait with expectant hope.

Like most worthy things, we will need to remain steadfast to fulfill our dreams of a better life or a specific outcome. This will require diligence and PERSEVERANCE.

Webster defines perseverance as… continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition .

The opposite of perseverance is reasoning, excuse-making  and future promises.

“It won’t hurt to skip one day.” “This was a killer day at the office!” “ I will double my efforts tomorrow.”

Gritting our teeth to stand up against an uncomfortable thing (person?) will leave us feeling stronger! “I didn’t want to do it…but now I feel victorious that I didn’t let it get the better of me.”

I was very lucky to learn about perseverance in my 20s as a distance runner. I learned how to hang on when it would be much easier to quit. I discovered the triumph of overcoming being uncomfortable for an extended period of time.

See my past blog https://mvarga.com/life-inspiration/uncomfortable/   Are we willing to step out and act or think in a way that’s different from how we’ve always done things?

It’s not only in athletic pursuits, but in every area of our lives that we need to develop determination and perseverance and perhaps embrace a new way of looking at life.

Think of our marriages, our careers, our social lives, our children….What areas do we need to seek God to know how to persevere through the tough times? What exactly is He expecting us to do?

God never promised us a life free of difficulties. However, He does promise to stay right beside us to show us the way to go through any obstacle we face. With Him by our side, we can learn how to make lemonade out of our lemons.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12  (NIV)


The Lord has promised all of us the rewards of His kingdom if we would just trust in His directives for our lives. Anticipate His guidance through both His word and the circumstances that present themselves in our lives.

God wants us to be the best person we can be…even with all the challenges we are facing. It’s those very challenges that prompt us to grow and redefine what is truly important in our lives. These adversities, much as we don’t like or desire them in our lives…can be the stepping stones to helping others with their own struggles.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10  (NIV)

No matter what we have to endure…knowing that our reactions and behavior can inspire and be a role model for others…will ultimately have us seeing our challenges not as something being inflicted on us, but as a blessing to help others in their afflictions.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:4  (NIV)

Dear Lord,

 Please show us how to push on through the uncomfortable things we need to endure in life to follow Your will for us. More importantly, give us the wisdom to discern what is Your will…and not just what we want to see happen.

Help us to magnify You in all of our thoughts and actions.

 

You can now comment directly on my website! A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts.

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

Whatsoever You Do…

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27   (NIV)

Whenever we would be discussing whether or not I should or shouldn’t do something, I can remember my brother Andrew would encourage (and sometimes admonish me) with three familiar words…’Whatsoever you do’.

That was the opening stanza of one of our beloved church hymns. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers…that you do unto me.” Sometimes Andrew would even sing it. He was always a musical kind of fellow!

Of course neither Andrew nor I or any of us can make all of our decisions based on those words. Only Jesus could do that. It can sure change the way we look at the situations in our life though. It also reminds us of God’s command for all of us to love and treat others as we want to be treated.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:35-36   (NIV)

 

How can we love someone the way that we would want to be loved? We could become involved in one of the many ministries that cater to the personal and spiritual needs of others. (Prisoners, homebound…)

In our stand-offish, don’t get involved society, sometimes it can be as simples as noticing someone else’s actions. Don’t we like it when someone else notices us? It can encourage us that we are doing something good. Perhaps it will prompt us to stay the course…or even do more to help.

We just never know what’s going to happen when we start noticing others! Maybe we’ll make a new friend. Certainly we can all use more friends! Maybe others can give us tips to make our actions even more helpful. That’s what we call working together.

If we are feeling lonely or isolated, having someone notice us will help us remember…even if momentarily…that we are not alone in this life. AND if we are off in our own little world, being noticed will help us remember that others ARE watching us. They’re watching more than our words and actions. They’re also seeing our attitude and demeanor. Let’s be sure to give them a good impression!

God ask all of us to follow the golden rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. 

 Matthew 7:12  (NIV)

Following this decree of the Lord will not only help others, but make us feel pretty darn good about ourselves! We’ll feel virtuous, upstanding and worthy of God’s love. Just like a father, God loves us regardless of what we do (or don’t do). How good it is to feel deserving of that love though!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Colossians 3:23  (NIV)

I speak these words to myself as I walk into teach my class each morning. That way I feel like my message is coming from the Lord, and not from me. Then I am assured that I will receive as much good from the class as my students do!

Remembering the Lord as we go about our day can really give us a boost. It can help us get our mind off of ourselves and put it on other people. Then we can really feel some happiness.

‘Whatsoever you do’….

 

Dear Lord,

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own little world, with all its’ responsibilities. You ask us though to put others above ourselves.

Sometimes not an easy task…but doing it for You makes our efforts so fulfilling! And it brings us closer to You.

 

Yay!!! 

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

EXPECTANT FAITH

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3  (NIV)

 

Just as an expectant mother waits eagerly for the birth of her child…so must we wait with hope for our sovereign God to fulfill His plan for our life. We all know that waiting is never easy. We want to see God’s plan NOW.

A mother-to-be prepares her child’s nursery, his/her nourishment, education, and the people that will be the examples for his/her life.  They get goose bumps thinking about the precious child being brought into this world.

Just like the name of this blog….LIFE HAPPENS! When we look forward with happy expectation…we must also prepare our hearts & minds for how we’ll respond when things don’t go as we planned. Bad things will happen along with the good. That’s a part of life. How are we going to respond?

Using our new baby example…our child will get sick, cry incessantly. We’ll spend money on necessities we never had to before. (formula, baby food, babysitters, doctor’s appointments.) Maybe our child will have a chronic illness or disability? That means MORE healthcare cost.

We won’t love them any less! Yes, we’ll be disappointed, but LIFE HAPPENS. We’ll spend our time trying to figure out the best ways to give them a joyful life and make them feel important despite the burdens they have to live with.

That’s what our heavenly Father expects us to do with OUR life.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11  (NIV)

 He knows that we will face problems and unexpected hurdles. God knows our life will not go as we planned. We need to lean into Him, expecting Him to open a way for us to go. If we wait patiently, the Lord will show us which path to follow.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:25   (NIV)

Waiting is so hard! What if we go the wrong way? Surely our loving Father will get us back on the right track. Think about what we have accomplished in our life. Usually it takes us several attempts before we get it right. The God who loves us will not throw in the towel regardless of our failed attempts. He just asks us to keep seeking…keep knocking.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7  (NIV)

I have been asking, seeking, knocking to find what the Lord wants me to do with my disabled life since I had my brain injury in 1997. I have started a fitness business, published two books, and started this blog, Life Happens. I have felt His leading every step of the way. Now I want something new! Isn’t that how we all are? So I’ll just keep knocking!

Let’s all keep expecting God to show us new roads…new opportunities. Remember that with our expectant faith, all things are possible!

 

Dear Lord,

Help us all live with the faith of an expectant mother. We will have concerns and problems, but You remind us that every good gift comes with sacrifices. It also comes from You.

Let us follow Your lead, whether we see that in circumstances, other people or Your word.

May we live with the expectant faith of a child, believing that You put the gift in our path…or in our heart.

 

Yay!!! 

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

WHERE DO WE DWELL?

WHERE DO WE DWELL?

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their

Revelation 21:3  (NIV)

 

When we were children, our parents or our church taught us prayers to memorize. As we got older we learned the true meaning and value of those prayers.

Many of our lives include daily routines and regiments. I know mine sure does! So prayer becomes part of our daily routine. Isn’t that a good thing? It is unless our prayers get so regimented that we don’t really pay attention to what we are praying.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12 (NIV)

What it we are faithful in prayer? Do we believe God is really paying attention to us? I have found it most beneficial to just keep the Lord continuously in the back of my mind. Isn’t that what prayer warriors call ‘Abiding in Him’?

When I do that, I actually see Him showing up with answers to some of the things I’m thinking about. Where did that idea come from?!…I believe those nudges come from the Holy Spirit.

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:22  (NIV)

 

Specific personal prayer time is uplifting for all of us! The more we pray, the closer we feel to God.

Keeping Him and His will for our lives continuously in our heart makes our life a continuous prayer. If you’re a rule follower like me…this will help you obey His command to pray without ceasing.

We all want our lives to ‘bear good fruit’. It may not show up exactly when we want it. (That usually means, ‘Right now’!) Just believe that God IS listening. His timing is not our timing. That fruit will come as we continue to dwell in the Lord.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 

Dear Lord,

 Praying is just like talking to You…a trusted friend. Help us to remember that You are just a thought or a heartbeat away.

Set apart, private time with You is important and sometimes life-changing in our thoughts and attitude. Let us feel we’re in constant communion with You as we abide in You all day long.

 

Yay!!! 

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 15:4

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

MARY, DID YOU KNOW?

Mary’s Song

 “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”

Luke 1: 46-49  (NIV)

Over the years, I’ve had many different favorite Christmas songs. None have touched my heart though as much as Mary, Did You Know? And not just because that’s my name too!

Here are the lyrics….

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will calm the storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You kiss the face of God

Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great, I Am

 

The reason it moves me so is that it speaks directly to a mother’s heart. We all know what it’s like to love, be excited for and proud of our children.

 That wasn’t what Mary felt though. She knew from the moment her son was conceived by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was a treasured gift from God. The Lord had chosen and magnified Mary to be the mother of His precious son.

We all think our children are special and pray that they will grow up to make a real impact on the world. We treasure memories of times we saw them succeed; saw them learn valuable lessons, and most importantly, saw them be loved and reach out to love others.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19  (NIV)

With the exception of his infancy, my brain injury robbed me of the gift of raising my son, Andrew. Now that he’s 25 years old, it’s amazing to see how our bond of love has erased all of those missing years. Now I have a whole new set of memories to ponder and treasure in my heart.

So at this special time of year, let’s try to forget about all that’s not right in our world…and our families…and take time to treasure all the unique and highly valued moments we have from our past…from today. Always believe that God has something extraordinary planned for each of our tomorrows!

A happy and joyous Christmas to all of you!

See you in 2023.

 

Yay!!! 

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

BE AN INSPIRATION!

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:3  (NIV)

Every year for the last 20 years, the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky (BIAK) has hosted a big gala and fundraiser called the Brain Ball. I have the honor each year of presenting the Mary Varga Award to another brain injury survivor who has reached out beyond the challenges of their particular brain injury to help others.

Why in the world did they name the award after me? MY brain injury inspired my family to create a fundraising party to benefit others in Kentucky living with the same (or similar) challenges that I live with.

This year’s winner, Maddie became an Occupational Therapy Assistant to show her own patients how to perform the daily activities necessary for living a normal life. Boy can she speak to her patients on a personal level…from living with her own challenges … and showing them the best ways to cope with theirs!

God has given us ALL the ability to inspire others. They watch us as we try to navigate our life WITH our particular challenge. If we do so in a positive way, it can inspire others to be a better version of themselves.

We usually inspire others when we’re trying to do something difficult or unnatural for us. What if things don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if we REALLY tried and we still couldn’t do it? We need to remember to react with a smile on our face. Complainers can’t move others to look on the bright side or inspire others to be more like them.

When I googled inspirational people…it told me they are those who can set a goal and do everything in their power to achieve it. I believe that inspiring others is more than just goal setting. What if we can’t do it? I think our inspiring comes from our ability to make others want to try too! We let them see the value in what we’re attempting to do.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10  (NIV)

How can we provoke a desire in others to take action and do something that they may have previously thought was bigger than them? We can do this by caring about others and challenging them to do their best. Show enthusiasm! Who doesn’t want to do more when they see the positive influence they have on others?

Most importantly, remember our opening Bible verse and where that inspiration comes from…

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonions 1:3  (NIV)

 

God wants us all to be the best version of ourselves. He also wants to have us lead others to Him by our example…by our own efforts. So let’s be our very best while we inspire others to do the same!

 

Dear Lord,

May we always remember that we have the ability to inspire others or even turn them off by our own daily actions and outlook. May we always put our best foot forward regardless of our mood or circumstances.

Help us to lead others to You as they watch us navigate our lives.

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29 (11-13) NIV

We make plans for everything in our life. Life literally revolves around the plans we make…from the time we wake up in the morning. We plan how (or if) we’ll nourish our body, what we’ll wear to work, what time we need to leave to be on time, and how we’ll get there. Those are just a few of the plans we make every day in the first hour after we rise.

I’m single, so I just need to make those plans for one person. If we’re married with children at home, then our schedule needs to coordinate with one or more other sets of plans. I grew up in a family of six children. God bless my mother! I don’t know how she did it.

After we take care of our daily plans, we can move on to plans that will achieve our goals and dreams for our future and our family’s future. That’s the time to remember that God’s WILL for our life trumps any specific plan we may have.

We can make the most educated preparations. We can use our common sense and listen to the advice of family and friends. However, we’d be well-advised to take it to the One who loves us most of all.

 

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  (NIV)

 

Following God’s plan for our life is the way to ensure it will be successful. Make a habit of asking before every decision…”Is this what the Lord would want me to do?” Then follow that plan! Still no clear answer? Then keep asking until your heart feels God’s approval of the plan. He’ll honor the fact that we consulted Him…even if our plan is a little off base. Just keep the communication line open!

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV)

 We shouldn’t just pray for the Lord to change our circumstances…our problems and challenges. Let’s pray that God will change US to make us better equipped to navigate our challenges. We could all benefit from an instant miracle. Perhaps the Lord is showing us a way to live an extraordinary life despite our circumstances.

Let’s lean into the Lord as we try to determine His plans for our life. His plan is usually not immediate, but slow, resolute and determined. It will require faith and trust on our part.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Believe that God has a specific plan for our life. That will always include assisting others on their life journey…and that’s what makes the journey so rewarding!

 

Dear Lord,

 Remind us to check in with You on all of our plans and goals. We know that You have an incredible plan for us to bring Your love to others, while still accomplishing our goals and dreams.

Yay!!! 

A friend showed me how to eliminate robo comments and still allow my subscribers to comment on my blog posts. So you can once again comment directly on my website!

Once you are on mvarga.com, you can subscribe to receive future blog posts, read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!

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