Tag Archives: faith

The Untruth of Ostrich Syndrome

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When life has its’ ups and downs and twists and sometimes drop-offs, where are we looking?  Are we focused on what happened in the past?  Are we gazing upon the disaster right in front of us?  Or are we fixed on Jesus?  For many of us we live staring blankly at the past or try to close our eyes from the messy places we are currently standing in.

For me I used to believe in the untruth of Ostrich Syndrome.  Never heard of it?  Well it’s the syndrome you get when there is so much fear in your life you panic and do the only logical thing you can think of:  bury your head in the sand like an ostrich.

In my first marriage I did a lot of closing my eyes and hoping things would go away or change.  When fear got really bad I just buried my head in the sand because not only could I not SEE the disaster, I couldn’t HEAR it either.  I often got caught up in believing nothing would ever change and that I was stuck in a spin cycle of turmoil and the washing machine was never going to stop.

I ignored bills I could not pay which usually resulted in a garnishment which in turn cut my finances every two weeks for months which caused us to have utilities shut off which drove us to bad eating habits and turned into poor nutrition and that led to sickness…ugh!  Do you see the spin cycle?  If only I had called the collection places instead of hiding and ignoring phone calls.  It’s not like they don’t give you enough chances, but I did not see a way of getting out of the cycle.

So today I was hit in face with a bill.  The amount is not huge BUT it is coming smack dab in the middle of a home remodel.  I have three things to do right now in this moment:

  1.  Do not stick my head in the sand

  2. Do not look at my current financial circumstances

  3. Trust God.  Put my gaze upon the One who is my Provider.

So the question at hand is how did I arrive today to be calm and keep my eyes open?  Wisdom and learning has a lot to do with it.  As I was preparing to speak to a group of women last year I did some research on ostriches and do you know what I discovered?  The don’t actually bury their heads in the sand.  Hmmmm imagine that!  There was a lie I had believed as a truth which meant the fear wasn’t going anywhere and as soon as I lifted my head the disaster would still be there in front of me completely unchanged.

We have to learn how to take life one step at a time with our eyes wide open on Jesus.  We make mistakes small, big and HUGE, however God already knows we will do that.  He already knows He has a plan to help us, we just need to come to a place of trust.  His Word tells us Who He is and it says He is faithful and our Provider, why do we doubt?

We doubt because the author of fear whispers in our ears, “Where is your God now?  This is your fault.  You will never get past this.”  We need to choose to stop listening to the enemy and believing who God really is.  We need to keep our focus on Jesus and stay the course set before us.  Our future has nothing to do with the whisperer of lies but has EVERYTHING to do with our Heavenly Father.

Hebrews 12:1

1 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…

Dear Lord,

Today I choose to believe what the Bible says about Who You are.  I choose to stop listening to lies.  I choose today to focus on the good things and not the past.  I thank You in advance for everything you are doing on my behalf.  Thank You Jesus!

Amen

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The Trap of Disappointment

IMG_9746.JPGA question was posed in my last Bible Study group and I was the one with the opposite answer. Of course some of you who know me could have guessed that!

“Are you more disappointed when you disappoint someone else or when you yourself is disappointed?”

Everyone but me said they are more disappointed when they disappoint someone else.  Hmmm wierd huh?  How would you answer this question?  As I sat in class that night wondering why I answered the way I did I felt the answer come to me.  I answered the question with full honesty from a very broken place.

I am not the type of person who needs to get ahead in life.  Even though as a leader I often end up in a leadership role, it is not my drive in life.  In fact if I could just be a follower I would be perfectly happy, however, that is not the way God intended me to live. (which means I probably wouldn’t be truly happy lol)

I am also the type of person who goes with the flow very well.  Good or bad I just go with it.  I accept things for what they are and move onward.  Take for instance my house right now.  It is torn apart at the seams, literally, as we are  in the middle of a massive overhaul.  One day the bedrooms walls were gone, then the carpet and now today it is a shell of a house with no walls at all.  But, I’m okay.  I am learning to look past the debris and disruption to see that this house will be a beautiful home once it is finished.

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I can be labeled also as a person who gets disappointed.  Like the ONE thing I wanted in the house is not going to happen.  I really wanted a tub and it’s been a see-saw kind of decision from the get go.  When it finally came down to that we can only fit a shower in, I lost it.  Literally sat at work and cried as I let my husband gently know I wanted nothing to do with the shopping for a shower.  Matter of fact as I type this now my eyes are brimming with tears because of that disappointment…HOWEVER…I also know when God says no He has something much better in mind and I find my peace in that.

Back to the question and the answer I felt I received.  I tend to be more disappointed when things do not go my way because I have already accepted the fact that I am a disappointment to others so when I let people down I feel they knew it was coming.  There has been a running, infected wound in my life which runs around telling me lies in every situation I encounter.

i am not good enough and i cannot do anything right

I have battled this my entire life and Jesus is working hard to heal me.  It’s just a day by day process.  Things I am plagued with:  Why write? No one wants to read it.  Why take pictures?  Who wants to see them?  My books are not any good.  My photos are not up to par.  How do I keep my job?  How do I keep friends?  Why work out?  The scale hasn’t moved.

I could go on and on with dumb questions and it would just frustrate the people in my life who see me differently.  The point of all of this is that disappointment is different for everyone.  These are just the things which bother me.  Disappointment is a trap and often we set the trap up ourselves.  We EXPECT reactions from people before they even get a chance to express how they really feel.  When we are feeling the pain of disappointment it hurts in ways we can’t often express to others.  Some of you might be wondering why not getting a tub is so important.  I can’t really tell you, it was just something I really wanted.

I am fully aware of how disappointment affects me and I am finding more and more that I no longer get my hopes up.  I often don’t trust things will go in my favor.  I am afraid to dream.  I am held tight in a trap that doesn’t have any wiggle room.  Is this right?  No!  this is not living the victorious life God has given to us.

where is the disconnect?

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.
Reread that verse.  It is our faith not our gold which will display His victory.  We have to life this life from a place of great faith, trusting God the ENTIRE way not just in certain circumstances.  We need to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt He has our BEST interest in mind.  If He called me to write then I must write.  If He gave me a passion to take photos then I must run with my camera.  If He called me to be an encourager, then I must encourage those in my fitness group with all that is within me no matter what the scale says.
I am a conquer through my faith in God.  That’s it.  There is the disconnect.  We do not trust God enough to see past our current circumstances.  We cannot see past the muck and disarray to grasp the vision of what is to come.  We serve a God who has our best interest at heart and this my friends is where our faith has to come from.  We have to give God the opportunity to take what we find as disappointment and turn it into something better.  We have the begin to trust “Father knows best” for everything in our lives.
Dear Lord,
I choose today to trust you completely in every area of my life.  Help me to trust the process and to spring free from the entrapment of disappointment.   Show me again the path of peace so my faith will become huge.  Let me lay these lies at the foot of Jesus and rest in Your goodness.
In Jesus Name
AMEN

Into the Fog

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How many of us entered into a new relationship and felt like we were headed into uncharted territory?  Venturing into a place we were unsure of?  It’s like walking into a familiar place but there is a fog which is covering up the usual sight we see, yet, we just keep walking into it.  As we get closer and closer to the what we know to be there it becomes clear and we feel safe, but on the way there we could encounter several bumps and bruises as we lose our way sometimes in the fogginess. New relationships can be very unsafe waters sometimes, especially if we have not dealt with our past issues and pain.

Sometimes we dive head first into a new romance thinking we are healed and ready to just bounce back into love.  Some of us get lucky but for some as we begin to unpack our old baggage into a new relationship we begin to see just how unhealed we really are.  Sometimes relationships can be just cruising along like a well taken care of Mustang.  Smooth and speeding right through the curves and bumpiness of the road unfolding in front of them.  While other times it’s like you are in a rusted out car caught in a hurricane and being torn apart piece by piece until all that’s left is a battered heart.

What I would like to talk about today is intimacy. I want to address the things no one ever talks about.  I want to expose the weapons of the enemy.  I want you to leave refreshed and hopeful not beaten down and empty.

I really don’t know where to begin or even how to convey what I am trying to say but I want to give you a mental picture.  When we are growing up and fantasizing about marriage we often dream of a fairy tale experience.  Everything is always perfect.  There are no screaming matches or rejection or disappointment…just roses and fancy parties the rest of your life.  When it comes to intimacy, here again this is no bed of roses.  Many of us enter into relationships with so much covered up brokenness we don’t even know how to be real with the person we are married to.  Some come to the altar from divorces.  Some couples are together after several failed relationships.  Many couples come from a childhood of sexual abuse or molestation.  Everybody’s story is different yet the result is usually the same.   Running in two different directions avoiding the pain.

Below is a photo I feel represents what we think intimacy should look like.  It’s all beautiful and calm and spectacular in color.  It’s what the fantasy romance looks like.  You can’t see the pain or discomfort.  You can’t see the hurt or the wanting to run away.  You can’t feel the emptiness.  You don’t see the erupting volcano of unforgiveness or rejection.

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Unless we confront head on those things which are preventing us from having freedom in our relationship we will forever feel like slaves.  We will perform and do things out of obligation rather than love and true intimacy.  We can go back to the beginning of time and see God created us for intimacy.  He created us with relationship in mind.  What happened?  Where is the disconnect? Simple.  Satan has slipped in here and there in our lives and made a mess of things.  A mess which clearly can only be healed by seeking God and being truthful about our feelings.

I was molested when I was 5 years old.  I have gone through counseling.  I have forgiven the person.  I have let go and let go and let go, yet there is still I discomfort I have that just won’t go away.  In the five years I have been married to my current husband there has been a disconnect.  I just couldn’t figure it out.  I tried to understand but nothing was changing.  I felt as if Satan had me pinned down and I couldn’t see what was causing me to feel this way.  It all stayed the same until God in His perfect time showed me a very simple thing.  He showed to me what a real touch was like.  A gentle loving touch.  One that was not uncomfortable and enabled me to feel love.  To experience what love was suppose to feel like.  He showed this to me through my husband simply holding my hand.

In that moment I felt safe.  I felt loved.  I saw a glimpse of the colors of true intimacy.  The fog began to dissipate.

When I shared this revelation to my husband it opened up a whole new world for us to explore.  It was super hard for me to even talk about, however, we invited Jesus into the middle of our intimacy and we are looking forward to what He is going to do in our marriage.  When couples try as hard as they can to please their mates in all aspects of a relationship on their own, often there is no real evidence of anything changing.  Why?  Because the healing we need to have a viable marriage has to come from Jesus.  Only He knows our inner most pain.  Only Jesus knows what steps we need to take.  Only Jesus can take the deepest of pain and heal it.  We often try to fix ourselves or our mates and just make matters worse.

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As we move forward into this new level of intimacy we are excited that God is going to do a new thing in our marriage.  He will take the dry deserts in our hearts and make them waterways.  Waterways into places of intimacy and grace.  Paths to undiscovered love.  I anticipate great things in this new adventure.  I am expecting doors to the past to close.  I am looking forward to no longer being a slave to this.  I know God has a much better plan to heal me than I could ever come up with.

 

Dear God,  I thank You for loving us just where we are.  I invite you into the wounded parts of our hearts.  I surrender all of the past emotions and pain to You knowing You will take care of it all, I just have to trust You in the process.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

Who Took My Blankie?

My very own

Just recently I had a passionate conversation and I wished I had recorded it, however, I will do my best to repeat the magnitude of what was said.

We are born.  Not by our own choice, but God’s.  We come into this world very unaware of our surroundings.  No clue perhaps in those first few moments of taking our first breaths.  Then as if out of nowhere there is a cutting.  A sudden revelation of a separation takes place.  The life line which you had been connected to for nine or so months suddenly is gone.

Now of course in those early stages of life we don’t actually have those thoughts running through our heads as birthing is a natural process which has been happening in this earth for a very long time.  For those who have anxiety at the moment you can probably close your eyes and imagine that whole beginning scene.  Those with separation issues could also relate.  What you once knew as comfort and connection is suddenly gone. Taken away.

So let’s take this to the next level.  As children we often cling to things such as stuffed animals, dolls or the ever so popular blankie.  These items become very important to us in early life.  You share EVERYTHING with this object, things you probably never told anyone else except for maybe your imaginary friend if you had one around.  I remember my son had a favorite teddy bear.  He went every where my son went.  If it was time for Teddy to have a bath, my son would stand by the washer and dryer until the whole process was complete.  He was clearly attached.

For the purposes of this discussion I am going to use the representation of the Blankie as I move through this next phase.  The Blankie is going to represent things we cling to in life as a comfort: food, family, friends, secret sins, drugs, alcohol and the likes.  Anything which we choose to go to instead of God.  As with the Blankie, we develop a relationship with our source of comfort.  It’s the one thing we know that will never let us down, it does not have the ability to.  We know when no one else understands us, our Blankie will.  It will comfort us.  Keep us close.  Never rejecting us.  Always a true friend and confidante.

What happens when God asks us to let go of the Blankie so that He can be our comfort, our true friend and confidante?  Of course!  We panic.  We cling all the tighter to our Blankie because a fear rises up in us.  How can we trust anyone else with our Blankie?  It knows us inside and out and would never hurt us or reject us or leave us hanging.  How do we know we will find comfort after we let go of the Blankie?

It all comes down to trust.  A trust beyond all thinking.  A trust so strong you have no choice but to cling to it instead of your false comforts.  For you see, a Blankie is just a false representation of love and trust.  In the end, you can’t take it with you.  It will be burned up with the things of the past.  You will step into heaven and God will be there.  Not your Blankie,–your false comfort.

God is calling us to trust Him with EVERYTHING.  Just like we shared our entire early stages of life with said Blankie, God wants you to choose to trust Him.  He wants to be your comfort.  Your security.  You source of Acceptance.

Some of us are still clinging to our Blankies.  We are at a point in our adult lives where we are afraid of being hurt and disappointed.  We don’t want to give up the very thing which has been there all along.  Drugs, alcohol, secret sins, food, bad relationships and various other addictions are not our security.  They are not our comfort.  They are not to be trusted.  Only God. God is the only one who will never let you down.  He will be there from the beginning until the end.  You can take Him where ever you go.  You can share every secret with Him.

One final thought.  In the beginning, we are not the ones who get to choose who cuts the cord.  When it comes to our false comforts we don’t have to do anything but trust God to take them and heal us from the aftermath.  We run around this big earth thinking we have to do more.  Thinking we are the ones who have to fix ourselves before we can go to God.  Those are lies.  God will take your Blankie.  All you have to do is believe.

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Dear Lord, Help me today to trust you with my Blankie.  I choose today to trust you with my Blankie.  I believe You can be trusted.  I believe You are my source of comfort and security.  Lord let me learn that the past is behind me and You are right in front of me, waiting to heal me.  I thank You Lord for removing those things in my life which are not of You.  I pray for all those who feel stuck in their sin or addictions that they made find true comfort in You alone and be healed from their wounds.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

I am Seed

just be

Just recently I have realized how much easier life is when I just sit and stay.  Like a dog learning new tricks I am.  To be still and quiet.   To be content with just slowing down.  Smelling the roses.  Picking up pretty rocks.  Exploring new paths.  Waiting for the sunset.  Reading a book.  Painting a picture.  Slow walks along the beach. Taking 1,000 pictures of a cricket or flowers or water.   Just the simple elegant things of life.

So many times in my life I have been way too busy with other things to even notice that God was trying to keep up with me.  Sometimes I have so many projects going at one time that nothing ever gets completed.  I get so dang excited about ideas I sometimes want to dive right in even though I still have other things in the works already.

Psalm 1:3 in the Message Bible says:

Psalm 1:3 The Message (MSG)

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

When I first read this, I felt such an excitement with it and then I realized we were discussing a tree here.  Something which is non-mobile.  It is a seed planted meant to just be.  To just sway in the wind.  To allow the soil to house its’ roots.  To just grow and produce leaves and sometimes grow fruit.  To just be and depend on God to feed and water it.  To just be dependent  on God to shelter and protect it in all stages of growth from the seed to full maturity.

It is only when we slow down that we can truly depend on God.  It is in the slow moments we are reminded that God is in control.  It is in the slow times we see just how good God truly is and how He really does take care of our every need.  He feeds us with the Word.  He waters us with His Presence.  He protects us from all weather conditions life throws at us.

When we stop to just be, all fear dissolves.  After we have discontinued our pursuit of taking care of our own needs, God shows up in all of His splendor and we can be content with just being.  

At some point we need to come to the realization that we are merely the seed.  We have nothing else to do but just be.  Think of seed planted in the ground.  It sits.  It waits.  It is broken.  Then it beings to grow.  It grows both above ground and underground.  We don’t see the roots as they grow and often that is how we are as humans, we hide the roots, yet above the surface everything looks good.  Our trunks our sturdy and our leaves look just right yet underneath it all, buried deep inside are roots some good some bad.

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I encourage us all today to just be.  Take some time to just sit.  Stay.  Marinate.  Accept God is in control.  Be content in the stillness of God.  Begin to know that He meant it when He said, Be Still and KNOW I am God.

Dear Lord, I thank You for taking care of all of my needs.  I thank You that I can really just be.  I desire to get to know You better.  I look forward to just being more in Your presence.  I thank You for allowing me to just be.  Lord, I also thank You that You will begin to show others what it really means to just be so they too can find peace in just being still.  AMEN

Getting to the Track is the Easy Part

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When life knocks you right of the track you are on, get back up and head toward the track.  Yup!  I know it sounds simple, and I also know it’s not easy.  Falling is never an easy place to rise up from yet it puts you in the perfect position for the greatness of God.  It places you in a vulnerable spot on which  great victory can occur.  When we feel defeated to the core then it’s time to sing praises.  It’s time to rejoice!  It’s time for joy to bubble up from within because God is about to do something so great your mind can’t even wrap itself around the miracle.

I am battling with my weight at the moment and am getting really frustrated.  I am on the right track.  I am moving forward but the train just has not picked up any speed.  The train I am on lacks motivation.  It lags behind the rest hoping at some point to catch up and get ahead of the game.  I may never get ahead of the rest and that is exactly where I need to be to have  peace within my soul.  I need to believe that I am on the right track and at least moving forward in the right direction.  I need to believe God is directing the train and His ways are greater than mine will ever be.

Today I posted a blog in my Sparkpeople app which brought me to tears right in my office.  In one simple moment of time I felt the presence of God in my life in a powerful Father-Loving way.  He accepts me.  He loves me.  He is my strength.  He is my rescuer when I fall.  He is the only One who can pick me up, dust me off and set me in the right direction, any other voices are just distractions.

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Today, choose the let Him pick you up, dust off the dirt and set you on the path towards the right track.  He does not require us to return to where we once began the journey, however, He let’s us start right where we fell.  There are no do overs with God, just continuations towards the right way.  You are good enough for God to save you.  You have not failed to the point where He forgets about you.  You are created for a plan and purpose.

Begin today to believe in you.  Believe in love.  Believe in faith.  Believe God is who He says He is.  Allow Him to set you on the right track.  If you fall off again, choose to know it is okay, He will pick you up right where you are.  You do not have to seek help, He will come to you.  Before you even ask He knows your distress and help is already on the way. He has everything you need to stay on track, no need for inventing schemes or great plans for survival.  He alone has the answers.  He alone knows your every need.  He alone is the maker of the track you are to be on.

 

Dear God, Today I pray for all of us who are struggling in any area of our lives.  I know You are sending help already, you won’t leave us in the dust, broken and battered.  I pray peace to come today.  I pray You will heal our wounds and set us on the right track towards the plan you have for our lives.  Thank You for the work you are doing on our behalf.  Thank You for the healing that is coming.  Thank You for accepting us just as we are.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Lost between Diamonds, Makeup and Hairspray

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Today, if you were to check my Facebook page, I had a to do list all mapped out.  Well, somehow I got lost between posting that this morning bright and early and doting on myself.  I went from wanting to knock things off my list to spending some me time in a matter of minutes.  Will I get my list done today? Perhaps.

In life we get so caught up in pleasing those around us that we forget sometimes that we are just as important.  We need to take time for us before we are broken and battered and of no use to others.  I enjoy spending time with me.  I like to see what magic I can do with my hair and make up.  I like trying on clothes.  I like decorating myself with diamonds just for fun.  I guess what I am trying to say is simple:  I like me.

Now, I did not arrive to this position about myself overnight and the older I get the more I like myself and who I have become.  I have allowed God to change me from the inside.  The more I believe what His Word says about me, the more I am happy to focus on me so that I can encourage others to do the same!

My husband asked me this morning why I was so good to him.  Silly man, because I love you.  But I can honestly say that I am as confident in who I am today because of his love.  I was broken from a past relationship and it has taken time and a lot of healing for me to even say I like myself.  God used my husband to love me back together.  He picked up the broken pieces of my heart and gently and patiently helped me heal.  I wrote him this Facebook post today:

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God has used my husband to teach me the principle of loving myself.  When I do not feel good about who I am, then I am not very easily persuaded to help anyone else feel good either.  However, when I am confident in who I am, I can boldly help someone in need of a love tap.  I can lovingly tell someone who is down and out and beating themselves up that they are worthy of love and mean it.

So how do we begin the journey of falling in love with who we are so that we can be a blessing to others?  One step at a time.  One Bible verse at a time.  One minute for ourselves. One moment of encouragement can do a whole lot of good.  Sometimes I wish I could start my career over and just become a motivator, then I think about the people I may have impacted and perhaps I already have done that.

Last point:  the definition of love is an intense feeling of affection and the definition of yourself is you personally.  Put these two together and you get this:  Feeling intensely affectionate for you personally.  I know that sounds a bit strange but let’s look at it from God’s perspective:

God feels intensely affectionate for you personally because God is love.


Wow! How powerful is that statement?  Let that permeate through you right now.  Allow that to just sink right in.  When you realize the God of the universe is in love with who you are, it’s the first step to beginning to love you!

Dear God, I stand before you today with the knowledge that you love me personally.  Help me to receive that into my spirit.  Help me to see who I really am.  Let the love process begin in me today.  Show me something about who I am that I can love.  Thank You for accepting me just as I am, a work in progress.  I thank you for the revelation to come.  In Jesus Name Amen