Thursday, July 7, 2022

40 & Fabulous!

Forty is a big number; and an important one. It's a Biblical number; showing up 146 times in scripture. Think about some of the most notable mentions of it. The world was flooded for 40 days and nights (and we remember that time every time we see GOD'S RAINBOW of His promise and faithfulness to us). There's also the wandering in the wilderness of the Israelites. Jesus' days of temptation also come to mind. "The number 40 generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation...the number forty can also represent a generation of man."   

Maybe that's why people say, "life begins at 40." I definitely feel this to be true for me as I reflect back on four decades of life. I've grown; and not just in height or girth lol. I've grown where it counts; in faith and love. I have definitely had storms, desert wanderings, and many temptations and failures. But, I've also experienced God's great redemption and favor as He continues to show Himself faithful even when I haven't been. His promises are always true; and I'm so thankful for that!

Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My mind and heart has matured; and will continue to do so for the rest of my days. I don't want to think or behave in the frequent foolish ways of a child, but I do want to have the pure heart and faith of a child like Jesus mentions (Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17). I want discernment, discipline, and humility to be continually cultivated in me; and without losing the joy, wonder, fun, and creativity that are those good childlike things that we should hang onto. I want to learn from the past reflections, and look prophetically forward to what I can't see (but can see "in part"). In fact, there are probably nuggets from my past that still aren't "fully known" yet either! But, there will come a day (ultimately in heaven) where everything is clear and "fully known". It's the three things (faith, hope, and love) that "remain" with us throughout this earthly life that give us a picture of what we will "fully know" in eternal life. 

The pictures you are beholding now are a few snapshots of the past; as well as my Rainbow Brite birthday dress of today and my special makeup/accessories lol. That's right, I have no shame. I am unapologetically "extra"....and it's FUN! I have always loved rainbows (and obviously Rainbow Brite). I have also always liked unicorns, Strawberry Shortcake, and all things princess, sparkly, etc. At different stages of life, I've lost my own "sparkle", but have always been restored through Christ. Just like the time Rainbow Brite had to restore colors that were destroyed by the Monstromurk, God has brought back all the hues of beauty back to my life every time the enemy has tried to crumble my world and turn everything to gray and ash. As goofy as 80's cartoons can be (though STILL superior to the junk or remakes/makeovers of her and other favorite 80's characters), I can always see the spiritual truth at the heart of it. Is life always sunshine, rainbows, and sparkles? No. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world; but assured us of the GOOD NEWS that HE has overcome it (John 16:33). We live in a fallen world because of sin, but that brokenness is NOT our final condition! We can STILL have sunshine, sparkles, and rainbows (and spread all that around!) if we CHOOSE to; if we CHOSE HIM and abide in Him (John 15:5)! He who believes HAS eternal life (both NOW and LATER as John 3:16-17 says). THAT'S why I "smile all the time". That's why people call me "sunshine", "mermaid", "smiley", etc. I have that joy NOW, in part, and will have it FULLY in eternity! I'm excited for that day when all things will be permanently bright and beautiful. No more sin. No more death. No more crumbling world, pain, or darkness. There will be a day; and it's coming....SOON!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Birthday or no birthday, this is a month of turning points, breakthrough, and celebration! I am excited for all God has, is, and will continue to do! Pray, fast, and persevere! It's time for the Deborahs to arise (she served 40 years as a judge, by the way). It's the "until" moment. Insert your name in her words, "Until I, Melissa, arose!" RISE UP, for such a time as this! Take your place! I definitely feel like I'm rising up in my destiny more and more as the final days draw near! Praise God! Amen! 

*SIDE NOTE* I'm collecting 40 items (at least!) for The Salvation Army food & diaper pantry for my birthday this month! See list below for most needed items. Or, if you would like to donate to the "mermaid hair fund" (so I can continue being a "blue beacon" for others and connect/minister/pray with them) you can Cash App $MKCunning and make a note of it. If you don't live in the area and can't bring physical items, you can also make note of it and do a Cash App donation and I'll buy the items and donate them. Thank you in advance for investing in God's Kingdom!

  • Diapers (Size 7 ONLY; this is a highly requested size that we rarely get....and my birthday is 7/7, so it fits lol).
  • Baby Wipes
  • Toiletries: Shampoo, Conditioner, Bar Soap, Hand Soap, Deodorant, Razors, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Feminie Hygiene
  • Laundry & Cleaning Products: Detergent, Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets, Cleaning Sprays
  • Breakfast Foods: Cereal, Oatmeal, Pancake Mix, & Syrup
  • Pasta: Noodles, Ramen, Mac & Cheese, Chef Boyardee, Pasta Sauce
  • Baking Items & Mixes: Flour, Sugar, Oil, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Frosting, etc.
  • Beverages: Coffee, Tea, Juice
  • Canned Meats: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Tuna
  • Misc.: Peanut Butter, Jelly, Soup, Condiments, Snack Foods

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