Tag Archives: acceptance

Stuck in an Insanity Pattern

John 13:34-35  

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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This morning I did my usual ritual as sad as it may be…woke up, checked Facebook and Timehop…two things for some reason I do everyday.  It’s like a trap I am stuck in of looking at the here and now updates and then checking on the past just to see if anything has really changed.  What did I discover today?  A pattern.  A cycle of insanity.  A never ending loop.  A story of start and restart which has been going on for years.  It seems like every year about this time I begin to get serious about my weight, for like a month, then it’s over until spring of the following year.  What is wrong with me?  Why can I not stick to a regiment and follow it through?

Well, I have a few ideas:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Winter in Michigan (haha)
  • The change does not come quickly enough
  • I CANNOT give up ice cream for the whole summer
  • I am too hard on myself
  • I do not see the worth in it
  • It’s too much discipline

I am sure there are a billion other  reasons I could come up with but I don’t want to bore you with the details. Let’s just say it’s been a struggle.  I am over 200 pounds right now and have been for awhile.  My husband and I just had a discussion in the car the other day about this subject and he asked me one startling question:

“If this was how you were to look for the rest of your life would you be happy?”

Nope!  That was my answer and I can barely type this blog through the tears right now.  Why would I not be happy?  God created me this way.  He loves me why can’t I?  I have changed my eating habits drastically in the last two years.  I have been soda free for over a year.  I drink one cup of decaf coffee in the morning (used to drink pots of regular) and the rest of the day I only drink water.  I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I am not much of a snacker unless you count my handful of peanut butter M&M’s.  I mainly eat veggies and chicken, not a fan of red meat.  I have done slimfast in the morning and at lunch for a few months now with no real change.  I have pushed myself to just get 8,000 steps in a day and get 3 days of 15 minutes of exercise.  I have done all I know to do with no results.  I know this has to be a life change and I also know that counting calories is not something I will do for the rest of my life.

I do struggle with my thyroid which my medication just recently changed.  I had a partial hysterectomy and removal of a pound and half fibroid and lost 7 pounds in a week.  So medically speaking there have been some struggles, however,  I know I need to get more active.  Yet somewhere inside my very soul I hear a voice speaking to me, “But I love you just the way you are.  You are beautiful no matter what size you are.  You don’t need to stress yourself out about this.  Just rest in Me.”  Wow!  How can you ignore the sweetest voice of love speaking to you?

The picture posted with this blog is me just plain.  No makeup.  Hair just combed.  No angled shot to make me look thinner.  Just me.  Just the way God created me.  Now, why do I not love her?  Why can I not accept her just as she is?  Why do I spend several minutes a day putting make up on and fixing my hair just right?  Why do I not love the image in the mirror like God does?

Now I will admit part of the make up, hair and clothes is how I am wired.  God walked me through a healing in this area about a year ago.  I love dressing up and looking my best but the problem lies within me of not ever wanting to go into public without makeup.  I even wear make up to the gym.  There are very few people who have seen me in all my plain glory and I kinda want to keep it that way…but why?

In John chapter 13 Jesus us tells us to love one another as He loves us.  Sounds simple.  However, in order to love one another we first need to learn how to accept and love ourselves.  If we do not begin to love within ourselves what good are we to others who are in the same condition?  Hate breeds hate and loves produces love.  Make sense?  So if I hate the way I am then how can I ever fully love someone else for how they are?

So what am I going to do to break the cycle I am in?  Nothing but listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said when He left this world He was sending the Comforter and I am calling on Him for wisdom and direction.  I will eat what I feel is right.  I will walk when I feel prompted.  I will live according to God’s plan not mine.  I could try (and have) another diet and exercise program.  I could (and have) read another book on diet and exercise.  I could follow the next fad in diet control.  I could stress myself out in this underlying completion to be thin but I won’t.

My blood pressure is perfect.  My heart is healthy.  My lungs are clear.  My muscles are good.  Medically I am just fine, so here again why am I pushing so hard to get to a size which may not be even possible?  I choose today to just be who I am.  I choose to accept me for who I am.  I choose to listen to the Holy Spirit direction.  I choose to believe I am beautiful.

I choose to believe I am accepted and loved just as I am.

Sure was easy to type those things above, now the true test is walking this out and trusting the Holy Spirit and the plan God has for me.  Who knows, I might make it to a size 10 and weigh 150 pounds by fall, BUT, if I don’t I am going to be okay because I will be found resting in His arms safe, loved and accepted no matter what size it says on the tags of my clothes.

 

Dear Lord,

I have seen the tough spot I am in with this cycle of insanity.  I choose today to take one baby step in the direction of accepting the girl in the mirror just like you do.  Thank You for the work You are about to do in me.  I thank You and praise You for being my healer.  I trust now in Your plan.  Lead me.  Guide me.  Show me. 

In Jesus Name  Amen

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Will You Meet Me in the Stable?

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Can you imagine for just one moment what it would have been like to gaze into the eyes of Jesus as a newborn infant?  What would it have felt like to hold him?  What if you were the one who could soothe is crying for just a moment?  Suppose you had traveled days to be in his very presence?  What would be your anticipation level as you ponder the thoughts of holding the New Born King in your arms?

When Jesus was born all heaven and earth rejoiced at the birth.  Many came from miles and miles away just to get one peek at this wonder.  Can you imagine if you were in that stable gazing upon the infant child who was going to save the world and Mary picked you out of the crowd and asked you to hold him?  The sheer excitement of the moment…

UNTIL THIS HAPPENS:

What if I accidentally drop him?

What if he screams the moment I take him?

Am I even worthy of this?

Am I good enough to hold this precious child?

Suddenly like a flood you are filled with a bazillion insecurities and instead of responding to Mary with great joy and excitement you wonder why she even picked you to hold him in the first place.  Because of the circumstances of your life you feel so inadequate in the moment.  So defeated by your own malicious thoughts that you begin to believe that the King of the world would want nothing to do with you.

So many of us have this defeated mentality when it comes to Jesus.  We often shy away from opportunities of intimacy with God because we feel unworthy, unloved, unwanted, undesired and unable to connect.  God created us for worship.  He created us for an intimate relationship.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect?  The very being who will accept us for who were are is the very one we run from because of our insecurities and wounds.

Well friends, Jesus came to take all of that away.  He came to wipe every tear.  He arrived in a quiet intimate setting as an invitation to those who felt unworthy.  His very presence in that lowly stable invited even the humblest person to seek Him.  He was not born in a palace where rules and regulations would have kept many from even seeing Him.  No, He was born in a place where there was an open invitation from the heavens.

Will you meet me in the stable this year?  Will you come witness the most intimate birth in the history of the world?  Will you allow yourself to feel worthy, loved, accepted and wanted just long enough for the Newborn King to smile at you and let you feel safe?

Dear Lord,  Will You help each of us to visualize ourselves at the foot of the manger.  Help us to see the love and acceptance in that tiny humble stable setting.  We thank you for loving us all right where we are with no reservations.  We invite you into our insecurities and wounds so we may have a true intimate relationship with You.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen

A Tiny Key

Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”
restoration
I cannot pretend to understand the love between a father and son, as I am a mother, however I can comprehend love.  It would stand to reason that when a father sees his son for the first time it brings upon the man a flood of emotions.  Suddenly here is this child dependent upon him for love, attention and guidance as he grows up.  Maybe for some it seems like the most impossible task, only because of how they view who they are.  All I know is that a father’s love is not only needed but it is strong desire in each of as we learn and grow into the things of this world and its relationships.
Tragedy can strike any time.  Separations happen.  Divorce is ugly.  Love can be tainted.  Relationships can be torn.  Life can throw a multitude of failures at us.  Yet, we push through.  We survive the jungle of lies and traps as we grow closer into a relationship with God.  For those who have been raised without a father in their lives, no matter the circumstances, they may have a distorted picture of who God really is. Depending on the picture our fathers painted in our lives, we may see God as angry or distant or too busy or unloving or uncaring or just not there.  Some may feel abandoned or unwanted.  Others may feel rejected and misunderstood.  There is a multitude of different ways to see God, and many of the perceptions of the broken among us is wrong.
Today, right before my eyes I witnessed God in His most elaborate form, fatherly love.  My husband crossed a bridge to a whole new level of God in the matter of minutes.  Being reunited with his father after several years of absence and false emotions, I saw the love a father has for his son brimming in the eyes of a very broken man.  I do not have all the details of the past, but today was what was relevant.  In a moment of pure forgiveness, God melted the hearts of two men and has begun a restoration in them both.  For my husband it was seeing God in a whole new light as a loving, caring Father who has hopes and dreams for His beloved children.  For John’s dad, hope was restored,along with a good dose of acceptance.
Healing has begun.  In just one moment of time, forgiveness, a tiny key, opened a doorway to new love.  A doorway down a path of restoration and new revelation.  Our God is a God of restoration.  I do not have enough words to describe the restoration process in my life, let alone what He is doing in my husbands’ life.  I encourage you to spend some time with God and seek Him and His love.  Let Him reveal Himself to you as the loving Father that He is.  If you think God is mad at you for your failures, you are wrong.  If you think He can’t possible love you, you have a misconception about Him.  If you think you have to fix everything in your life before you can return to Him, the devil has you deceived.  Choose right now to see Him in a different light.  Let go of the hurt.  Forgive yourself.  See Him for the love He has for you.  It’s not too late.  He is waiting for you.

I Don’t Care, but ya Know I do….

God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd.
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Ever get to this point in life where you just don’t care anymore, almost as if your care button is broken?  In ministry no matter what you are called to, you are commanded Biblically to love others. Sometimes this is very hard to do when the people you are trying to love just don’t seem to care enough to make it worth it.  This is my struggle.  I work hard.  I try to separate home from work and it seems no matter what I do to get to this place, something is always seeping in.
I love my job most days, yet there are times when I have just had enough and we go back to that ostrich syndrome that I spoke of a few blogs back, I just want to bury my head in the sand and hope it all goes away.  Am I being selfish? Do I really not care? No and no.  We all need a healthy separation from things. So what is really bothering me?  Why don’t I want to care anymore?  Here are the things I discovered as I sought God:
1.  Not everyone has the same passion
2.  Nobody has the same drive to do things
3.  People are motivated by different things
4.  For some people, YES this is just a means to an end purpose
So, now what does this all boil down to?  Do I get to choose to stop caring because it appears as those others don’t care?  Do I become a people pleaser?  Do I just do what I need to do and not worry how it is affecting others? Nope. Respect is the answer.  There needs to a revelation on respecting each others purposes.
When I chose Jesus into my life, I chose to love. I chose to care.  I chose to help people.
So I guess the answer is simple..keep calm and keep caring.  I choose in this moment of time to keep caring, to keep helping others find who they are.  I will continue but perhaps with a different approach.  Instead of thinking they don’t care, maybe I could view it as they are doing their best in their situation.  We often have to stop and carefully consider where  a person has been and what they have been through.  For years in my previous marriage I had to try and separate the wreckage of home life and my job.  I am thankful for understanding bosses who understood what I was dealing with.  I need to have that same heart and compassion for the people I know.
Life with Jesus is challenging sometimes but only because it was easier when we did not care.

Hole Perspective

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 NLT

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Raise your hand if you have every been picked on in your lifetime.  I can pretty much see by the show of hands that we have all been there before.  Lies and rumors and hurtful names can cut at you worse than actually being stabbed with a sharpened knife.  Kids tease and parents ridicule.  We get told we are not good enough or that we will not amount to anything.  We are bombarded with comments about our weight and overall appearance.  These are truly Satan’s attacks on our lives, especially since most of it occurs when we are very young and once the rejection sets in we begin to believe it to be true because it is all we know.

I was teased a lot in elementary school and it really destroyed me as a person until I got to high school.  I was called names and teased for my clothes.  My parents were not financially blessed but they did their best.  My mom shopped at Goodwill when it wasn’t cool, it was considered a place where you went when you were poor.  The other piece to the destruction to my self image was my dad at times would call me chubby and it quickly became who I was and I struggled in junior high to get rid of that feeling.  I ended up staying skinny but it wasn’t because I had healthy eating habits.  I still struggle sometimes today about my appearance but because I have learned to see myself as Jesus does, the pain is not there.

Just like a tree that has been pecked at over and over by the woodpecker, our souls begin to get holes in them.  The more we get teased, the more holes we accumulate and then pretty soon part of us begins to die and sometimes no matter how much someone tries to pour life back into us it just seeps out the holes.  We just no longer know how to receive anything good about ourselves, we have accepted all of those crazy lies and we have no idea how to stop the pain.  Just like in my blog the other day, we have to expose the roots and start forgiving those who have hurt us.

For me, it took forgiving a lot of people in my life and finally accepting myself for how God saw me.  I had to read His promises for my life to fill in the holes from the enemy and it was the only way for life to begin again in my soul.  If we dwell so much on what others say about us we will never see what God made us for.  We will never be able to experience love and acceptance.

Today, choose to forgive those who have put holes in your soul.  Begin today to see yourself as God does.  Let those who truly love you, pour into your soul and help you heal. Allow God to show you how He sees you.  Give yourself another chance to be a living member of society knowing where you stand with God.  You are a Son or Daughter of the Most High and He delights in everything about you!  

Weathering the Storm

Proverbs 10:25

When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
As snow storm after snow storm hits Michigan this winter, I am paused for a moment to reflect on personal storms in my life.  Sometimes they are predictable and we know in advance what to expect while other times the storms just invade without notice of their arrival until we are sucked in and tossed about.  So many times I do not even realize there is a storm until I am drenched is some ugly situation that has gotten out of my control, well that’s the way it used to be before I decided to let God direct my path.
I could get myself in so much trouble before I let God have control of my life that I could make my own head spin.  Now that I allow God to protect me from the storms that He can already see, life seems so much more easier to withstand.  Why had I not let Him be in control before?  Simple, I thought I could handle everything on my own.  I wanted to fight my own battles since usually I was the one who had gotten myself into trouble in the first place.
How many times do we fight unnecessary battles  How many times do we scream at God because the storm in too big when if we would have let go right at the first sign of any clouds we would not have had to endure so much pain.  How do we get to the place where the storms seem to be nothing but a cloud or two passing by in the night?  Surrender.  Total, complete surrender.  Being secure in the knowledge that God follows through on His promises.  He wants us to be at peace.  He wants us to prosper.  Because of the death of His Only Son, we are covered by grace and God can’t even see our sin because of the continual flow of blood.
I think that perhaps I have gotten to this place of peace in my life because I am secure in my God.  I trust Him.  I follow His lead.  I surrender with my eyes focused on Jesus so that I will not be drawn to the storm.  I am at rest in my soul.  I look to Jesus for provision, acceptance, love and peace.  Without Him I would be tossed like a boat in a stormy sea with no direction, wondering why on earth God was even keeping me here..
Are you in a storm right now?  Having trouble finding your way?  Then look up, give up and let God show you the peace He has for you even in the middle of the storm.  Be willing to surrender any issues going on in your life right now.  Be confident in His love for you, after all He did give up His Son so that you could have life and life more abundant!

Receiving, Accepting and Shipping

Proverbs 8:35
For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

How often does God try to enlighten you with wisdom or healing or just a gentle touch to let you know that He is there?  How many times do we not accept His Love because we are broken and feel as though we are unworthy of acceptance even in the presence of our Creator?  Why does it seem to be such a difficult thing to stand in surrender, to cry out to God or place our hope in God as our provider in all circumstances?  What is it that stops us dead in our tracks making it so hard to move forward?  Past woundedness.  Bad choices.  Lack of faith.  No hope left to have. So many things that are not of God which we allow to hinder our walk.  This is exactly where Satan wants us to reside so that we become more lost and farther away from God than ever before.  Well, in this moment let us choose to say, “Satan! Get behind us!”

I have been through many years of loss. Years of my life have been spent in denial.  I was good at hiding the brokenness and pretending like I had everything under control.  I hid myself from God and I knew the moment I had it all figured out I would allow God back into my life.  Tormented by wrong decisions for my life and unbelief, I was not able to receive or accept God’s love which hindered me from setting my ship sailing on the calm waters with Jesus.  Oh how I longed to be in His presence having surrendered it all and resting in peace, yet I could not get past the guilt and shame of my past.  I felt unworthy of any kind of love, especially God’s.

Having been blinded to love for so many years, I find it hard in this moment of time to receive.  I also find it difficult to accept love of any kind.  Amidst my brokenness I found self-blame.  I assumed the responsibility of my wrong actions and I placed a wall up that only God knew was there and He was waiting for me to just let my guard down so that He could love me back together.  He had to wait until I was ready to give up.  He had to wait until I was shattered enough to want to give up.  As I stood in one final surrender just recently, God has allowed my spirit to be filled with a right love, a love like nothing I have ever experienced before.  What did it take for me to overcome?  Surrender.  Grace. Pure love.

If we can only learn to give it up the minute it happens, brokenness can no longer hold us down.  If we would just choose to give it up instead of taking it in, God can work some awesome things into our spirits, allowing us to flow IN Him and be about the Father’s business: sharing the love of His Son.  Oh to reside in this place for the rest of my days, surrendering daily my brokenness so that God can love me back together which will enable me to receive and accept His love, thus giving me the opportunity to ship His love to those who are broken and lost in this world.

Choose in this moment to surrender.  Choose in this moment to give it all up.  Choose in this moment to let God mess up your life!  I did and now I am sailing clear waters.