Living the Sweet Life: The Best Gift Ever

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and

Hey Sweet Lifers! I’m guessing that most of you celebrated the holidays and got to spend time with those you love – hope so anyway! I have been asking my littles coming in for their visits what their best gift ever was that they got for Christmas, and I have been getting a lot of,  let’s say, very interesting responses. Children, as we all know, can be so funny and attach themselves to the most random things. One toddler was delighted to get a large red gummy bear, and another was very excited to describe to me a toy he had been “wanting for a whole year” and did not hesitate to remind me that he had been very good so he could get it! That got me to thinking about my gifts as well and what were my own favorites?

As for me I think that my favorite gift was a devotional journal entitled hello God…it’s me by Ellie Claire. It is a delightfully unique daily journal incorporating scriptures and conversation prompts to have with God. One of the biggest take away’s that I have had from starting my journey in seminary is the importance of living in the presence of God constantly. Tony Evans is a pastor who I really enjoy said it simply: “Satan does not mind if you are in church every single Sunday. He just doesn’t want you talking to God.” Nothing could be more truthful. Having conversations with God draws us closer to Him, and the closer we are, the more He reveals to us His plan for our lives. I have certainly witnessed this in my own life.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” We know that God is the giver of this gift, and as such having come from Him, Christ is the best gift ever. We also know that God is compassionate and kind and shows grace, as well as desires us to be in intimate conversations at all times with Him. The gift, is a perfect one as James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

God only gives good gifts. Jesus came to fix the mess of disconnection between us and God. This world is swimming in sin, and up until Jesus showed up, there was death with zero redemption. Christ through his resurrection paid for us in advance the opportunity to inherit our place in the Kingdom with Him. We have only to believe in Him. We have only to put our faith in Him. We have in doing so  the assurance that our souls will live forever.

As you can imagine, I have been spending a lot of time talking to God. I don’t mean the praying “talk” that I was taught before meals and at bedtime to do each day, but rather a conversation that occurs in the background and foreground of my mind all the time. I have written for years on self talk and mindfulness and other psychological types of talking and thinking we humans do. However, what I am coming to realize is this: The only in your head talking you should be doing is with the good Lord himself, and He’s up for all the conversations you can muster. My Daddy used to call me a “motor mouth,” not particularly enthused by my conversational skills, but my God digs this. He listens, He answers and He’s my Best Friend. I invite you to start talking to Him all the time, and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

Take care of YOU and stay “sweet!”