Tag Archives: friends

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!

seeklove

Ever been so fed up with who you are you just want to scream at the mirror:  Liar, Liar pants on fire!”?  There have been times in my life where I was representing to the world only half of who I was really was.  I masked my face every morning with eyeliner, cover-up and eye shadow to hide all of my supposed flaws.  Day after day I worked at perfecting me in the mirror while night after night I contemplated who I really was.  At what point in my life would I be able to represent to the world who I truly was?  When would the revealing come to pass of my true identity.  Would I ever be able to show the world the girl behind the mirror?

I grew up in an ordinary neighborhood.  I was raised by adoptive parents, one was an alcoholic and the other was over bearing, yet I knew love.  My parents may not have had it all together but how many of us really do?  I accepted the fact of adoption, yet I sought out answers as to why I was given up.  I struggled with rejection, had a tough time keeping friends, was bullied in elementary school and just tried my best to be myself.  

As I entered junior high I began to seek out how I could be accepted and found smoking to be a great entry ticket into friendships.  This later turned into drinking with this same group of friends and I began to finally feel like I fit in, however, something about it just was not right.  Even though I was accepted by this group of people, I myself didn’t accept me.  What a tricky place to be in.  I was afraid to be naked in front of these people. Scared to expose who I really was because I figured they would run in the other direction.  All I ever wanted was to be myself in a world that seemed to put restrictions on who I was meant to be.

When adulthood arrived for me I married the first person who truly seemed to accept me as I was, yet I still had to put my face on every morning, dress a certain way and find my identity at that point in being a trophy wife.  I had to hide so much of myself in that relationship.  As drinking and drug addictions began to filtrate into my marriage I really lost all sense of who I was.  Everyday was a never ending merry-go-round.  It made me so dizzy.  I begged and pleaded to get off the ride of chaos but I just seemed to be trapped day after day.

Then one day, after eighteen years of riding the carousel, it just stopped.  As I began to stabilize from the dizziness I looked at the shattered pieces of my heart and realized that I was more than what my life had defined me to be.  I suddenly felt I had worth.  I sensed a value I had not known before.  Something arose in my inner being and was ready to fight…for me.

Slowly, one day at a time I began to find freedom.  My life started to change right before my eyes.  As I learned to say to the face in the mirror, “I love you just as you are”, I saw a new me.  Years of mental abuse had brought me to a place where no make-up could cover the emotional scars anymore.  It was time to just reveal me to myself.

How many of us have just been beaten emotionally to the point of no return?  We blame ourselves for the actions of others and begin to own a life we did not create.  Suddenly there comes a point where enough is enough and you take a good long look in the mirror and say:  “I am worth more than this!”  If you are in front of that mirror right now I encourage you to speak to the inner you.  Tell yourself that you love you.  Tell yourself you have worth.  Tell yourself that you are valuable.  It is love that opens the door to loving who you are, the real you.

The world will keep spinning on its axis, everyday.  The sun will still rise in the morning and the stars will shine at night.  Somethings will never have the opportunity to change, but we do.  We have a chance every day to be in love. In love with who we truly are.  We can come to terms with who we were created to be.  It is when we arrive to this understanding that we become a light in the darkness of this world.  As soon as we see ourselves in a different light we have truly found life and become free of the lies we previously told ourselves just to get through the day.

Today, choose love.  Choose life.  Choose to be you!

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A Safe Hiding Spot

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Some days I just want to play a good game of hide and seek and never be found.  The demands of life sometimes can weigh a person down to the point when everything seems to be like a tornado rather than victorious living.  Day after day of work going the wrong direction or employees who just don’t understand the value of what we do.  Everyday normalcies like eating and sleeping and bathing.  Checking in on family and friends.  Reorganizing the house.  Mowing the grass.  Going to the store for supplies.  Sigh!  The list is ginormous!!!

Can I just rest?  Can I just lay here and breathe?  Perhaps I can just be like a chameleon, so that I can just blend in and no one sees me for a minute.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love life, but there are times when disconnecting is the best thing I can do:  no phone, no computer…no point of contact.  Just a moment or two with no commitments. Just enough time to rest and re-energize.

These are the times when I know I can climb in my Daddy’s lap and rest.  Times when He is calling me to Him.  Moments of my day when I can just stop and appreciate that He loves me no matter what and He is taking care of all the things of my day.  I remember as a kid climbing up on the couch next to my dad and feeling so safe, so loved, so comfortable…it is the same with God.

Tonight as I was driving home from a meeting I was being wooed by God Himself.  I live within minutes of beautiful Lake Michigan and I was driving the opposite direction to go home and first the cloud structures caught my eye in my mirrors.  Then I began to see streams of color.  For a minute I was going to turn around but it has been a long day and home was calling my name, then the whole view in my mirror got so intense I could no longer ignore it.

As I found a place to change directions I was thinking several things:  I am tired, its getting dark, I am low on gas.  I will miss the sunset anyways.  These thoughts were quietly interrupted by these simple words, “But I just want to show you something.  I long to spend time with you.”  I knew in that moment God was calling me into His lap, so I turned up my worship music and headed towards the lake in search of my surprise.

I did not get far when a deer appeared on the side of the road just as if it was waiting for me to see it before he ran off.  God knows how excited I get when I see deer.  I turn into a five year old on their first visit to the zoo!  As I continued on my journey I saw five more deer who were just standing there long enough for my to take a few photos.  I was pretty excited at what God was showing me.

I arrived at the shores of Lake Michigan just in time to see a thin red line spread across the top of the water, I had missed the sunset, but what I got to see was so much better!  I got to spend some quality quiet time with my Daddy and it was amazing.

 As I drove past the lake the waves were violently crashing as a storm had just gone through and God said, “I will protect you from the crashing of waves and so much more.  Stay with Me here and nothing will touch you.”

Prayer:  Dear Lord, Thank you for the time we get to spend together.  Help me to seek you more rather than hiding from You.  Allow me to feel Your peace all around me.  Allow me to we wooed by You.  Let me be content in the small things you show me.  I love you Lord and the attention to detail You provide in my life.  Thank You for loving me.  Thank You for keeping me safe.  In Jesus Name  AMEN.

Reeeeejeeected!!!!!!

 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.Colossians 3:13 MSG

??????????Ever feel the sting of rejection?  It’s like those rocks in the quarry.  You pick one up, inspect it and throw it back down.  You may do this all day long until you find that one perfect stone you want to keep.   Sometimes we may pick up the rock we think we want just to toss it back into the pile before we go.  Often times we pick up treasured rocks and then just put them away for later or forget about them all together.

Sometimes this is how we are as humans looking for that perfect person to spend our life’s deepest secrets with.  Maybe we do it when we are seeking friendship.  What if the marriage or the friendship doesn’t work out like we wanted it to? What happens to those “rocks”?  They get thrown aside or just plain forgotten about.

I myself have felt rejection right from the get go.  Never thought I was meant to be born. Hardly had any friends in school.  I was teased and picked on.  Friends rejected me in all areas of my life even just recently.  So how do I deal with this injustice?  Here is my simple true answer:  Jesus.

Do you know that God hand picked you?  He chose you out of a pile of rubble and inspected you.  Yes He saw your flaws.  Yes He was well aware of your faults.  He even knew you were not qualified for the purposes He had for you life.  Nevertheless He picked you up, dusted you off and you became His treasure.  My eyes brim with tears as I picture Him in the quarry choosing His stones.

We are not what we see ourselves and no matter how many times rejection has come into our lives, He always chooses us.  He picks us up and holds us close to His heart.  He begins to polish us and clean off our ugliness.  He takes time and is patient in His work because He loves us with all of His heart.

I want you right now to stop what you are doing.  Close your eyes after you read this.  Imagine God standing in a quarry of stones.  He is looking for one to use for His purposes.  He may pass over the shiny one.  He might even have to move some rocks around until He finds you, the one He has been searching for all this time.  You are the chosen one. Chosen by God for a specific purpose.  Just marinate in this picture for a moment until you feel the love of God permeating your every fiber.  Friends, this is how much He loves you.

Going Out on a Limb

Matthew 28:16-20

The Message (MSG)

16-17 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

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What have we done lately that was extra ordinary to reach the lost?  I heard a most awesome sermon this weekend while visiting a church and something was said that just hit home…hard!  Our mission is not done until ALL of the sheep are located.  Wow!  So that means a church should not stop inviting people when the space in the pews gets sparse?  Um, we should still be asking friends to church every Sunday?  We shouldn’t stop sharing our testimonies?

I think sometimes we as Christians get it in our heads that we are saved and now we go to church as usual and we hope someone finds all the lost sheep before Jesus comes.  Let’s take a peek at the story of the lost sheep with a different eye.  Now mind you this is only my idea, not to be thought as ultimate truth.  The shepherd left the 99 (already saved) sheep to find the lost.  What do you think those sheep were thinking while the shepherd was gone?  “Man, hope they find him.”  “What’s for dinner?”  “Should we go help?” “What if the Shepard does not come back?”  

 

There are a million responses to this one plot, however, if the 99 represent the saved in the church, shouldn’t we have been the ones seeking the lost?  Just food for thought.  Our job as Christians is not to stop until all are found.  Don’t turn the church into a resort, let’s make them into healing and equipping stations.  Let’s go search for the lost and let the Shepard do the healing.  Let’s go out on every limb to bring people to know out Jesus.  

Lose the Ugly

James 1:19

Listening and Doing ] Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
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Can we all agree that life is not all about smooth sailing?  There are storms which arise and sometimes we lose our direction.  We lose sight of where we were going and get lost in the destruction of the storm.  We feel like the purpose of our voyage has changed a bit and we are unclear of how to get back on track or change directions.  I have been feeling lately like things are just being tossed about in my life.  I am happy and secure in my life at the moment yet there is this constant storm off in the distance.  I feel at times that in any given moment of time my boat might just tip over and I will be left on my own to swim.
Now, I, not being a swimmer am fearful of this word “swim”.  This thought process puts me in a place of unease at times.  Where am I at this point if I know God is in control?  How is there any shred of doubt within me?  I really don’t have an answer at this point.  God has moved so swiftly lately in my life it is almost like when the disciples were in the midst of their storm at sea and God just calmed everything down and they were at their destination in the blink of an eye.
I look back past the last huge storm in my life and I wonder how I ever survived.  Now I am on dry land and safe, yet there are aspects to my life that just don’t make any sense.  I know who I am in Christ and I cling tight to that mentality.  I push away the lies of the enemy but how do I deal with the losses which came from leaving the storm behind?  Was what was lost for a reason?  Were the people that once were good friends just for a season?  All of this brings me to one major question:  Who am I to question what God is doing right now?”
So here I am, swimming in uncharted waters.  I am leaving my boat right now and diving into the waters that I know are safe because He has me right were I need to be.  No matter what others around me are thinking, I am secure in my relationship with God and nothing is going to shake that foundation.  God loves each of us individually and He knows our every struggle. He will give us daily the strength we need to refocus and push forward.  Within all of this, we still have to follow after Jesus and adhere to the principles He has set forth in the Bible…sometimes that is really hard to do.
It feels good to know God is in control even when my flesh is concerned with so many different struggles.  I don’t want to go through the changes sometimes that it takes to make me into the woman of God He has destined for me, yet I know I need to lose the ugly before the beauty of God can break through.

Maneuvered by Love

2 Corinthians 3:18
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.

Change is all around us.  Changes in the atmosphere.  Changes in attitudes.  Changes in appearances.  Change in jobs.  Change in friends.  Change of style.  Change of location. Change of mind.  Change of direction.  Change of seasons.  Change, change, change, change…..it’s enough to drive the normal person insane.  Perhaps we should look at it from a different angle, God’s view.  As there is a theme of change in the earth, so is there with our Heavenly Father.

God changes hearts, mindset, directions, attitudes, atmospheres and locations in our very lives.  He has the power to set change in motion, often without our even being aware of it happening.  Suddenly we find ourselves far from what we had originally set out for, yet we feel at peace because God decided the change for us.  God is determined that none shall perish and so daily He seeks to change the hearts of those who know Him not.  He often changes us and where we are headed to accomplish this.  Does that make any sense?

Maybe we were set out for a really nice dinner and we had a destination in mind only to arrive to find it closed, relocated or being renovated.  We instantly become disappointed and perhaps a little angry, but if we change our mindset, we will anticipate what God really has in store for us.  He may send us to several locations before we reach our final destination, yet when we are secure in Him and surrender our wills, a blessing will happen.

What if the next person who needed Jesus was at the new place you arrived at to eat?  You did not have any idea there was someone who needed some compassion, however, God did and He made a way for you to bring Light into that persons life.  How amazing is that?  I know, not many of us like change especially when we think we have it all together.  We get frustrated when things don’t quite go as planned, but this is where the changing of the mindset comes in.  Do all things as if we were honoring the King.  Think and react as a child of God on a mission to accomplish His true desire, saving the lost.

Embracing change is never easy.  We get comfortable where we are at and begin to become set in our ways, refusing to see things at times any differently.  Friends, I tell you this, we are not here for us.  We are here because God wants a relationship with each and everyone of us that He has created and His desire is to change us from the inside out so that we can lead others to Him.  What an honor it should be to serve the King. What a privileged to win souls for the Kingdom of Heaven.  We are empowered by a God who loves us so much He sent His own Son to a cross to die for us.

So surrendered I will remain.  Let God change my plans.  Let God move me.  Let God change EVERYTHING in me that does not represent Him.  I want to be a light for the lost.  I want to be maneuvered by the love of God Yes, I am embracing change.  Change is good. Change is wonderful.  Change is what I have been longing for all this time.

One Driver

Jeremiah 29:11

New Living Translation (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

How many times do we have several persons in the car at one time and each one has a different way of getting where you are going?  How frustrated do you become as the driver as each person’s gives their valid opinion on which way you should take on your journey?  Is it not near impossible to focus or get a defined direction to go?  This happens every day in life as we seek out answers to our life’s dilemmas.
We ask for directions from several sources and then there are the “people in the car” who just feel the need to tell you where to go even without asking.  We get so wrapped up in needing answers to all of life’s questions and we feel like we need them on demand.  When will we ever stop and ask God first?  When will be begin to stop doubting the things God is doing in our lives?

Stubborn as I may be, I am learning very quickly that my only source for answers should be God.  I know when I hear His voice.  I know I when receive His direction for my life.  I am fully aware of when I am strolling off in the wrong direction; I feel it in my gut.  Until recently I would seek out a bazillion people for answers to my situation and what I discovered was that everyone comes from various walks of life.  Everyone has a different answer through their own hurts and doubts.  I may have been searching for help but really I was just tainting my mind with all sorts of altered directions.  By the time I was done asking for everyone’s directions I was so lost I could not see straight.

As God began a work in me I finally realized it was all about Him and Him alone.  He has already planned out my life and He is the only direction I need.  By diving into the Word of God and seeking His face at church and revival meetings I have learned to zone in on how God gives me directions and lean less on the opinions of others.  I get caught up in Him and nothing else begins to matter.  I value my friends and I know they also hear from God, however, as I am drawing ever closer to God I am depending more and more on my inner spirit to guide me.  As I begin to see what God is unfolding before my eyes, I know beyond the shadow of doubt that I am headed towards my destiny.

So my lesson in all of this is simple.  There needs to be one driver and one driver only in our lives and it needs to be God.  Sure it’s okay to seek friends for confirmation but the main map needs to be straight from God.  Remember that He has your life planned out already and who better to get directions from?  Let Him lead.  Let Him be your roadmap.  Trust in His way for your life.