What’s a Man’s Life Worth to you?

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There are things that I do not enjoy writing about. Like death, murder, riots and protests; in other words “what’s happening in our streets these days”. On the other hand, I know that it is necessary! So allow me to share my thoughts with you.  

My heart was so broken to see “George Floyd” killed by a police officer over the color of his skin. As I saw the horrific video, all I could think of was: How can someone be so evil as to kill another person in broad daylight; with people watching.. Not worried about the outcome of his actions! Nothing stopped this officer. A couple of days later, we see even more wickedness sweep across the country; as vile gangs took advantage of the situation to hurt people and spread more fear and anger.    

You know, I think everyone is shocked by the outcome because we all expect something better from ourselves and from others. We expect a certain level of decency and moral behavior. But God is never shocked by our actions! He knows what we are like, and what we are capable of doing; even the best of us. Don’t get offended  by my words, at least not yet! Hear me out!   

This has been happening for a long time, since early on. Racism, murder, rebellion… We’ve just become more modernized in the way we do things. Listen to these words that were written about 835 B.C.. God spoke these words against the people of Israel at that time to condemn their actions. Look at what He said in Amos 8: 1,6,

“Hear this, you who trample the needy… So as to buy the helpless with money and the needy for a pair of sandals…”

God was infuriated because the rich used to buy and sell the poor in exchange for a pair of sandals!! God was outraged. He was like, What is a man’s life worth to you? A sandal! 

What is a man’s life worth to us these days, that a man should die on the street for NO reason. What’s a man’s life worth to us, that a man should be hit with a brick on the head so a bunch of criminals can rob a shoe store!! What is life worth to you and me?

Let me tell you what the true worth of life is. A man’s life is so priceless that God Himself took on human form, become a man so that He could carry your sins and mine on the cross -though He knew NO sin. He did that so whoever believes in Him will not be judged for their sins, but have eternal life in His name. That’s what a man’s life is worth. That’s what your life is worth.  It’s worth the blood of Jesus Christ. God the Almighty, the unfathomable, the creator of every living thing said, I give myself in your place to save YOUR life! He died and rose from the dead because you are so precious in His sight.  

And until our society and the world learns that important truth, nothing is going to stop them from taking a life , or robbing a store, or burning a church, or vandalizing a street… Until we, as a nation and as individuals, experience the LOVE of God and realize our true worth in Him, we will continue to suffer and treat others unjustly, because that’s who we are without God! 

But before we worry about our nation, let’s start with us, you and me! Have you found your true worth in Jesus Christ? Oh how I  hope that you would! I wish for you to encounter the savior, allow Him to wash your sins, and show you how loved, and highly-esteemed you are in His sight.

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad.

Want to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Click on the link below to subscribe http://michalhaddad.com/newsletter/ and add me to your contact list.

A Friendship That Lives On and On…

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When you love someone truly, you find yourself loving everything and everyone related to them. Growing up, my dad used to take me with him to work on Saturdays. For the longest time, my dad and uncle owned a grocery store in a small town in Lebanon. It was often that one of their acquaintances would walk into the store and see me (a little girl) sitting behind the register and they would ask “whose girl is this?”. My dad would then so proudly introduce me to them: This is my youngest “Michal”. Instantly, those people would get so excited to meet me. I could see their eyes light up. Even as a child I would realize right then that these folks must be good friends of my dad and that’s why they were thrilled to meet me!  I’m saying that so I could take you back to the times of King David. The Bible tells us that God loved David so dearly. The Lord openly announced that He found “David” a man after His own Heart, who does God’s will. It was such a special relationship between David (the shepherd/warrior/king) and the author of life. Such a special friendship that God promised to always keep an heir of David on the throne.

However, after David died, his son Solomon ruled. He started off following God like his father, but as time went by he chose to marry numerous women who did not believe in God. Eventually, Solomon began to worship other gods as well. Because of Solomon’s disobedience,  God chose to tear the kingdom into two. From that moment on things changed completely. However, God stood by His promises to David and He kept one of the twelve tribes for David’s son to govern. God could’ve ripped the whole Kingdom from Solomon’s hands because of his poor choices, but the Lord refused to do so.  

” But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.”   

1st Kings 11:36

Throughout the generations, as kings ruled, died and passed the government onto their successors, God still kept that promise. How amazing is that?! How precious was that friendship?! That just proves that God’s goodness and His faithfulness outlives us.  I think about my parents here and how my mom and dad spent every single day the past years praying for me and my siblings. There were times when some of us drifted away in the world for a time and got into trouble. But I can see how God was faithful to all the prayers that had been stacked up, kind of archived in our favor because we have parents that were willing to hold God’s hand and never let go. 

When you and I invest in a relationship with God, when we choose to honor Him and love Him, God honors our commitment. You will find that your whole world is blessed and touched by the goodness of God. Talk about a good investment!  When a president of a nation honors God, his nation prospers friends!!! When a teacher obeys God’s word, her classroom becomes a place for children to thrive and see the goodness of God. When a single woman/man follow God diligently, He honors their faith and leads them to the right person. When parents live an honorable, godly life before their kids placing God first, God blesses their family. At the end of the day my friend, you and I were made in the image of God. And so just as we yearn for a good kind of friendship, His heart (though complete and fulfilled on His own) yearns for the simplicity of a good trusting relationship with us!  LUCKY US!!! Even more, He yearns to be good to you and to show faithfulness to you and to your loved ones because you took the time to stop, listen, and obey.  

What an awesome friend we have in Jesus!


For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad

Becoming a Risk Taker

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Hello friends,
I don’t want to write to you this time. I want to speak to you in person! 

The other day,  a question/thought kept me awake. I lay in my bed wondering and conversing with God, and my eyes were opened to things I never noticed in a Bible story that I had read hundreds of times.

So here I am sharing these thoughts with you, and I hope you get as inspired and excited as well as motivated as I was that morning. 



For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad

Crazy Instructions From a Good Friend

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I’ve been thinking about relationships lately. How each one of us has various types of relationships with the people in their life. You may have a friend, for example; whom you see once every blue moon, and whenever you get together, you end up discussing the weather. And another friend with whom you discuss almost every detail of your day. (You just thought of someone as you read that, didn’t you?) With one you discuss deep, buried thoughts that no one knows about; with the other you keep the conversations limited. To be quite frank, those deep connections that we have with people we love are the ones that leave us with a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Don’t you think? 

Let me tell you how I got to thinking about that. See, I’ve been reading the book of 1st Kings recently, and reached the story about king Ahab. King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, were so vicious that they terminated every person who did not comply with their agenda. To top that off, they turned the hearts of the people away from worshiping the One true God. During their era lived a prophet called Elijah, who had the guts to confront Ahab, look him in the eye, and tell him, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” 1st Kings 17:1. 

Because of that announcement, the whole land suffered to find water and food. But God kept providing for Elijah. One time, the Lord instructed him to go to a brook of water and stay there. God then promised that He will send ravens to feed Elijah. 

Okay, so let me tell you my problem with this passage. Truth is I’ve read these words countless times in the past. However, I have to admit that this time, I kind of chuckled a bit as I read. God has a sense of humor. Here’s why I say that: Up to the moment when God ordered Elijah to go to a brook and wait for the ravens, Elijah probably had been trying to find food and get by like everybody else in the land. Plus, he was living as a fugitive, because Jezebel was after him to kill him like she killed hundreds of God’s prophets. And now God tells Elijah, I will send ravens (birds) to feed you. Is this a Joke, Lord? Seriously, a bird lord!!! After everything I’ve been through FOR YOU you want me to trust that a bird will bring me my food on a DAILY basis! Oh, now I’m confident. Now, I’m at peace because my life rests in a raven’s claws!  

Nevertheless, you won’t find any where in the Bible that Elijah complained, or responded in disbelief. I would have, if I were in his shoes! On the contrary, he simply obeyed. And God did exactly as He promised. Elijah was able to drink from the brook, and ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day. That just shows me that Elijah had such a close relationship with the Lord, that being fed by a raven did not sound too crazy for him. He was a raven-fed kind of guy. The fact that the instructions were too unconventional did not cause him to doubt God’s provision and His word, because he knew God well. He had experienced him in so many ways. 

Today, I am positive that there are things that you and I need. As the world rages and erupts on so many levels, I know that there are issues on your mind, problems that you don’t know how to deal with. With that said, I would like to put our relationship with God under a microscope. Maybe we should be asking ourselves: Do we have that kind of closeness with Jesus?  Are we so near to God’s heart that when God gives us instructions that don’t make any sense; promising that He will step in when our issues seem to be beyond repair. Do we rest and surrender to Him no matter how crazy impossible it may sound? Do we take Him at His word, no questions asked?

It’s kind of like this. If my car broke down on the high way, on a stormy night and a stranger passed by and promised to go and get help. That would be nice, but I’m not very confident that he/she will  face that storm and come back for me. However, if my husband passed by, saw me and made that same promise; I will take him at his word. I know he loves me. He will do everything it takes , go above and beyond. I know him too well. He’s no stranger. Same, with God!

The closer you and I are to God, the more confident we become in His ways. He provides food in famine, water in drought, laughter in the midst of disaster, and peace amid confusion. He can make something beautiful out of nothing, and bring restoration when the situation seems like a complicated ordeal. He does that. If He assigned a raven to fill in as a butler and provide food for Elijah, He can intervene in His own creative, miraculous way in your life. 

I’ve been reminding myself lately, whenever my problems seem too big. I’ve been reminding myself that I worship an awesome God , I want to be a raven-fed kind of person!  How about you take on that challenge as well?

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad

Find it online on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Christianbook.com… I hope you find within its pages the truths that your heart needs to hear.

Birthday Girl and the Check List

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The other day was my birthday! Oh how I wish I could send you a piece of my birthday cake! Guys, it was something. My husband wanted to get me a cake like we usually do, but this time around I wanted to bake my very favorite “Banana Chocolate Cake”. And it was AMAZING!! I can still taste the walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips in my mouth! Oh wait I’m having cake right now, that’s why!

Anyway, Let’s step away from the cake for a minute!

Every birthday I take time to think about what happened throughout the year; whether I accomplished some of the things that I had wished to accomplish. Kind of like a mental checklist. As I got to the “check list” moment this year around, I realized something. First of all: What a year it has been?!  Second, I remembered all the blessing that God has placed in my life, the wonderful people he has surrounded me with, and opportunities that I would’ve never had if He didn’t intervene.

However, I couldn’t help but think about several events that I felt were thrown at me. Things that I had no control over, and no say in whatsoever. Things like the Corona virus , back problems, the loss of people I knew and cared about, and then finally the bomb explosion that hit Lebanon (my home country) which shook the lives of everyone I love over there… As I thought this through, I realized that so often we’re impacted the most by things that we have no control over. And perhaps that’s why a lot of us live in fear.  

I speak for myself when I say, the older I get the more I tend to develop fear as a response to everything that happens around me. Perhaps because I’m afraid of what could hit me unexpectedly. I think you probably know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you fear for yourself or your loved ones of getting sick. For your kids; how will school look like this fall? Maybe you have fears that don’t make sense. Or perhaps you’re like me, you imagine the worst case scenario. 

Let’s face it folks, we’ve been terrorized emotionally by the many things that are taking place all around us. But while we’re being attacked by all these fears (cause it truly is an attack- a war on your mind), it is vital that we remember what’s true and what’s not. Let me tell you what I mean…

A lot of things scare us although they do NOT have authority over us. One time Jesus spoke these words, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” Matthew 10: 28,29.

We’re really giving fear more authority than it truly has. Listen to this: You’re not alive right now because you escaped death by some sort of luck. It’s not because you were so good at wearing your mask and social distancing. You don’t have the job that you have or the family that you have because of your intelligence or good looks. Of course it’s important to do/have all those things, but that’s not why you made it so far or why you’ll ever make it.  That’s not why I made it to this point in life either. That I know for sure!

Back in 2008 I survived an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. That day started like any other day, yet around 4:18 pm. – a few minutes before I left the Library that I worked in – a car bomb exploded under that building. To make a long story short; after everything calmed down, I stood at my desk at the Library in utter shock and fear. I grabbed my bag, my cellphone and wanted to rush out of the door (although there was no door left). That moment I saw a little book that I had been cataloguing, right there close to me on the desk titled “Kept For the Master’s Use”. Ever since, those words stayed with me. I’m here until God says that my work is finished. I’m here until His work in my life is accomplished. I’m here because He says so. You’re here because He says so! And everything in your life holds together in Jesus because He says so! Jesus Christ has the authority, He has the final say in every situation, once you place your entire life in His hands. Trust Him with it. He’s awesome. I can testify to that! 

I want to do my best to remember this truth when the going gets rough, and I encourage you to keep it tucked in your heart and thoughts daily. 

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad

Find it online on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Christianbook.com… I hope you find within its pages the truths that your heart needs to hear.

3 Steps to Take in Troubling Times

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Let me start with something light. My husband gave our seven-year-old a hair cut lately, and it came out really cool. Our son has been so excited about the way his hair looks. And since he’s fascinated by cars, and aerodynamics (yes, he can explain that word to you), he truly believes that he can run faster now because of his new hairstyle!! So he’s spent the past couple of days running from one room to the other in order to prove his theory. Ahh.. the sweetness and innocence of children.

Okay now let’s talk about the not-so-innocent events that are taking place. These days I’m honestly torn between the two countries that I call home. I look around me here within the united States – the country that’s been my home for the past 8 years – and I see Chaos, and evil embedded in every single thing that’s been taking place. In the name of “preserving the innocent”, the streets of New York were ransacked and taken over by gangs at one point. We’ve reached a time where police officers have no authority to defend themselves when a bunch of bandits throw liquor bottles repeatedly and purposefully at law enforcement vehicles. On the other hand, I listen to the news from Lebanon – the country I grew up in – and I see so much brokenness. A country that’s devastated by political corruption, and has now reached the point of complete bankruptcy. Its currency has lost its value, the people are struggling to provide the very basic needs for their families, to the extent that some have resorted to suicide.

What happening to the world??

Are you asking yourself that question as well? Lots of things are happening and COVID-19 is not the only thing on the list anymore. As I thought about all of this the past week, I was left with one question: What are we doing in the midst of this? What Am I doing? Am I just going with the flow, let it take me wherever it wants? Listen my friend, we’ve got to be alert. Here are some steps that I think are crucial for us to take during these chaotic times:

First, find out where you stand.

There are ONLY two teams here. Don’t be fooled by the many political parties you see or hear about in the news. It’s not about Democrats, Republicans, Socialists or any other party … These are just names, but in reality you can either be on God’s team or you’re not. You’re either following God’s lead, or you’re following people. This is the time to determine where you’re heart truly is. Because the truth is people in politics and out of politics, they talk and fill our head with different kind of rhetoric that sounds good; but in many situations their words go against everything that God stands for. So get yourself situated, make up your mind. You don’t really have a lot of teams to pick from. Pick God and let Him lead your choices.

Be a voice in the midst of the noise .

Being a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that you should be oblivious to what’s happening in the world. On the contrary, as a believer in Christ, you and I should have a word to say to the people that are hurting, to those who are lost and are following their own earthly wisdom. You have power within you that the world so desperately needs. You have the spirit of God leading you, use that power, speak up! But don’t repeat people’s words, be the voice that speaks peace and truth into every situation.

Do your best work in secret!

Truth is, the toughest battles are won in secret; when you and I -the people of God- get on our knees and pray. Jesus himself said, “When you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” Matthew 6: 6. How does that win a battle? Let me tell you. When Corona strikes, protests fill our streets, the power goes out in every home on a hot summer day, politicians device evil, and sin runs rampant, there’s war here that is beyond you and me. There’s a war that requires the Author of life to intervene. Therefore, when we humble ourselves and ask God to do something in the situation, we are going to the highest source of power who promised to answer our prayers “if we abide in Him” John 15:7.

Prayer is often kept as a last resort. When nothing else works, we pray. But that’s just wrong. Prayer is IT! It’s The solution. Prayer should always be the first thing we do. The first thing that comes to mind in any situation. Imagine how awesome it is to have the privilege to approach the throne of the God of the universe, and ask something of Him, as a child would ask of their Father. All it takes is a person: a man , a woman or even a child to come humbly before God, with faith and a sincere heart. A person that is willing to actually pray for the country, for the leaders, for every person in office.

So let us go back there. Let us discover the true power of prayer. Something that our world needs.  Find where you stand, it’s not time to hesitate. You can make a difference by being the voice of God in your community.

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad

Find it online on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Christianbook.com… I hope you find within its pages the truths that your heart needs to hear.

Paper Airplanes, Arrows and You!

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I was watching my two boys play tonight with an airplane that was made out of foam. It’s kind of like paper airplanes, you throw it in the air and watch it fly. My youngest took the plane in his hand and slammed it on the floor, expecting it to fly. But, of course, it crashed on the carpet floor by his feet. Then my 7 year old took that same plane, and because he’s older and has had more experience flying this type of planes, he aimed up toward the ceiling and off it went flying for a few seconds and landed a couple of feet away from us. As I observed that, it hit me! What truly matters is not the airplane itself, but the hand that holds the airplane. That’s what makes all the difference. And that’s exactly what our life is like. 

In so many ways, we’re like those foam/paper airplanes. We’re designed for a purpose. We’re made to soar. God has created you to do amazing things in the lives of those around you. He has a plan, despite what’s going on around you now; despite your age; despite your background. Nothing about you can make you less important to God. Nothing about you can change the plans God has for you, because, listen to this: It’s not really about you! It’s about the hand that’s holding your life together.

Who’s directing your “paper airplane”?  

The Bible says, “In the shadow of His (God’s) hand He has concealed me, and He has also made me a select arrow; He has hidden me in His quiver” Isaiah 49:2. Not anyone my friend can shoot an arrow and hit the right target. It takes a pro, a warrior, someone experienced. It’s really not about the arrow though, just like it’s not about the airplane itself; it’s about the hand holding it. 

I understand that these days when you think about life, it’s hard to find a purpose, or even hope. I know how so many plans have been ruined because of this pandemic, so many jobs have been lost, so many wedding plans (even of people I know and love) have been altered or canceled. And aside from this virus you can probably find a hundred reasons that make you feel like a plane that’s crashed on the floor, unable to soar. Like you’re being tossed by the waves without purpose or hope. Whether it’s an illness, a broken relationship, even singleness and loneliness..  But remember my friend, it’s never about the plane.. It’s never about you! It’s about the hand that’s holding your entire world together. 

Who’s holding the plans of your life today? Who’s in charge? Is it worry, doubt, self-satisfaction, pride, fear? Have you taken the matter into your own hands, and you’re making decisions for your own life out of anxiety instead of trusting God’s plan? Who’s aiming that arrow? Cause the hand that holds it, plays a huge role.

If you want your life to matter, you want it to count?  Place everything that you are in the hands of Him who loves you unconditionally and is capable of making something out of nothing. He’s not disctracted or blindsided by pandemics, or trouble, or depression. He doesn’t lose His focus. There’s no chance that He’ll be like “Oh, I’m sorry, I really had a great plan for your life, but then that thing came up …” No way! He’s not surprised by circumstances. He’s God. Circumstances bow before Him. And “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28.

Know that I am praying for you as you read this. Whether you’ve known Jesus Christ for years, or you’ve never heard about Him before; I pray that you would entrust Him with your life, your plans, your hopes, your problems. I pray that you would allow Him to be the hand that holds your life together, and teach you to soar through the rough terranes of life.  


For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad
Want to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Click on the link below to subscribe http://michalhaddad.com/newsletter/ and add me to your contact list


A Dad For Every Stage of Life

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So yesterday was Father’s Day. I hope you got something nice for your Dad. I personally love Father’s Day, perhaps because my dad has always been such a sweet, loving, and caring person, who puts his family first at the expense of his own comfort. And now that I have a family of my own, I get to watch my husband be the wonderful father that he is to our two little munchkins. It’s inspiring. I’m telling you, moms are awesome, but sometimes we disregard dads and the huge role they play in our lives.

I mean think about this, how awesome it is that God, the Creator of the universe, the Author of life, wants us to call Him “Father”! That’s big.  I think that’s mind-blowing guys. 

Around 700 B.C., God announced the coming of Jesus Christ through Isaiah the prophet into the world. And in one breath-taking verse God described some of the many different roles that He plays. It’s a popular verse that we often see around Christmas time, it says:   

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”
   

Isaiah 9:6.

You see, fatherhood is an acquired skill. So often we see a bachelor turn into a loving caring family man , day by day, starting with the moment he welcomes his first child into the world. It’s something that he has to learn on-the-go. And that’s beautiful. As for God, He is an Eternal Father meaning, that’s who He’s always been and that’s whom He will always be and He’s proud of it. He didn’t get the title by surprise. God didn’t have to learn how to be a father. He didn’t become a dad the day you were born. He was your Father before you ever existed and while you’re here, He enjoys you! He longs to allow you to know the depth and breadth of this kind of relationship with Him. And He gives you the amount and type of care that you need at each stage in life.   

The other day, my husband, our two boys and  I went hiking on a beautiful trail near our area. On the way back from our hike, our two year old son found a little pile of  dirt and pebbles, stood on it and said, “Mom, Mom! It’s a mountain!” He looked so excited to be standing on what seemed to him, as a mountain, even though it was nothing close to a mountain. However, compared to his size and his experience, that pile looked too big for him. In life, we go through different moments and experiences , stages that may seem too big for us at the moment. However, our Heavenly Father is always there with His hand stretched out to help us navigate through life. He understands the feelings that each situation brings, and sweetly listens to our thoughts when we’re overwhelmed by our own “mountains”. To Him these piles of rocks that we climb on, are never too big! He knows the way down.  Isaiah 40: 11 describes that beautifully saying,     

“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” 

  Whether it’s a young lamb, or an older nursing sheep, a shepherd knows how to care for each. And your Awesome, Eternal Father knows how to care for you too no matter where you are right now ; whatever stage, whatever heap you’ve landed on. He’s a Dad. An Eternal One. It’s in His nature to love you and care for you. The question is, will you let Him? Will you come near to Him and allow Him to be so involved in your life, so that He can actually play the role of a Father in every situation you’re in. 

These mountains will soon seem much smaller and less significant, but it makes all the difference in the world when your Father is walking you through it all.

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad.

Want to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Click on the link below to subscribe http://michalhaddad.com/newsletter/ and add me to your contact list.

Surviving Quarantine With Your Spouse

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I’ve seen all sorts of jokes by now about couples being stuck together during the quarantine. Some of those are truly funny.

If you think about it, this quarantine is like a true love test. You, your spouse, your kids, or any family members you live with have been stuck together for over two months. So it is not unusual for people to get agitated, and easily angered by one another. It makes sense. It’s like rubbing two rocks together constantly. It most likely will cause a spark, eventually. So before we burn down the house, let’s talk about this! How do we make this this experience a good one, instead of a stressful time? I have a few suggestions that may help:

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1) Look for fun things to do together: (shoving your spouse into the ocean should NOT be on your fun list). Seriously now, grown ups don’t have fun any more, we left all the fun for kids. Let’s look for ways to enjoy our time as a family or as a couple.

*Find a game that you all enjoy: For instance, in my house we love to play good old fashioned charades- Bible charades actually- where one of us acts out a Bible story or character and others have to guess.

*Record home videos. You are living in historic times you know. Record special moments with your loved ones, you’ll enjoy watching them when things get better!

*Take time to look up. Lay on the grass, or sit on your porch and take a look at the sky, watch the shape of the clouds, the trees… When was the last time you did that with someone you love? Let’s enjoy the simple wonders of life again!

2)Allow room for frustrations without taking offense. If your spouse/family member is having a bad day, or feeling the weight of the quarantine; be there to listen. However, when you sense that your listening ears and hugs are not being received well, step back graciously. Don’t take offense. Don’t turn it into a fight. Remember you may have your “not-so-happy” moments on other days. Be wise enough to step aside when the people you love are not in a mood to talk.

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3)Keep your eyes on the ball! It is so easy during this time to get mixed feelings. To be angered by little things, and it may seem like nothing is going well. But that’s not true! Being stuck indoors, with all  this uncertainty around us can give us that sense of loss.  A lot is happening around you, but as long as it doesn’t seep into your heart, you’re fine!

Listen to this verse, it has kept me alive and afloat during various struggles. At times when I was afraid for my family, and for my loved ones, I clung to this promise, “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace” Isaiah 26:3. A steadfast mind, is a mind that remains unchanged, no matter what happens. If you’ve entrusted God with your life, then do not be shaken by what’s going on around you. Set your thoughts on God and stay focused on Him.

The story that comes to mind right now is when Peter along with the rest of Jesus’ disciples were in a boat,  being tormented by a storm. Looking up, they saw Jesus walking on water. Being the impulsive, daring man that he was, Peter said, ” Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water” Matthew 14: 28. That was the time when Peter defied gravity, stepped out and began to walk on water. One thing he had to do though , keep his eyes on JESUS. The instant he looked around at the giant waves, he felt afraid and began to sink.

When your mind and heart are focused on God, it gives you the peace you need to rise above the storm. It even sets the atmosphere within your house. Your relationships are greatly influenced by whether you’re at peace and trusting God, or you’re confused and disturbed by many things.

And so my friend with all of that said, I hope and pray that you and your quarantine-buddies are spending a smooth and wonderful time together! I pray that you’re not too busy rehearsing the negative news you’ve heard, or worrying; but rather setting your thoughts on The Prince of Peace “Jesus Christ” so that He can lead you every single day.

 

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad.

Want to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Click on the link below to subscribe http://michalhaddad.com/newsletter/ and add me to your contact list.

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To The Super Heroes We Call “MOM”

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Mother’s Day is here! This day has always been so dear to my heart, because I love my mom and I always wanted to make her day special. During my college years, I was too broke to buy her a gift, so I would end up writing her a poem for Mother’s Day. I can’t even remember how many poems I’ve written for her over the years. She loved every single one of them; and listened to the words with tears in her eyes. I don’t know whether she was crying because she was touched by my words, or because she realized that I didn’t get her a gift!!! (just kidding.. )
A mom plays a huge role in her children’s lives. She doesn’t receive awards for her sacrifices. She doesn’t get a trophy because she cooked 3 different meals in one day for the picky eaters in her family. No one hangs a poster of her on the highway, because she gave wonderful advice to her teenage kids. Moms don’t receive awards, we receive sentiments, gifts, sweet words, poems, and paintings from our little ones. We hang them on our walls with pride; like badges earned by a warrior.
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As I write this, I don’t have trophies on my walls. I do not have a golden medal in my name. But I have hand-made cards on my wall that say “I love you MOM” (with “love” spelled incorrectly, and I love it). I have heart stamps, and my kids’ handprints hanging so close to my bed. And I’m constantly reminded that being a mom is not easy. Being a mom doesn’t only mean to give birth to a child, but also to leave a positive imprint on their life forever. 

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. I love how the Bible describes a mom; (Proverbs 31: 15-18, 27,28) it’s as if the writer was referring to a super hero. Look at this: 

“She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night…

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

She’s not lazy. She’s smart; dreams big. She’s a go-getter. She’s knowledgeable; knows how to run a business. Manages her household, and makes sure that her children lack nothing. In return, she receives words of affirmation as badges to treasure forever! 

You know these words were written in Bible times, a long time ago. Before the Women’s Right Movement took place; before women could even wear pants! Yet it describes a woman that is so successful inside and outside her home as well. What’s this women’s secret? I mean how is she able to be that kind of person? She’s awesome. I want to be her!! 

If we continue to read on. Her secret is revealed in (verse 30):

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

The fact that she fears (honors) God is what makes her so successful; the fact that she has placed God so high in her life. He gives her the wisdom she needs, the strength she requires, and the PATIENCE she can’t survive without (can I get an Amen, moms?). Being a mom after God’s own heart is what makes you choose your words wisely in tough situations, what makes you brave enough to take on risks, creative enough to find ways to reach the heart of your children and then touch the world around you! 

There are more “successful” women in the world today, than ever before. However, leaving a legacy, a beautiful imprint on the lives of those you love; that’s a different kind of success. That requires a daring woman who entrusts God with her entire life. A woman who spends quality time studying God’s word and praying for her own family relentlessly. This generation aches for a mother that is so strongly rooted in God Himself.

That’s the kind of mom I want to be known for!

So to all the lovely  women reading this (whether a mom or a mother figure), a very happy Mother’s Day to you. God wants to do awesome things through you!

 

For more on love and relationships, check out Your Love is Better than Wine: Letters to Mr. Right by Michal Haddad.

Want to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Click on the link below to subscribe http://michalhaddad.com/newsletter/ and add me to your contact list.

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