Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Towels in the Washer

caution speed bump

Let me set the scene for this blog:

Busy day at work. Phones ringing.  Orders coming in.  Got behind.  Having company over for dinner.  Need a roasting pan for the chicken.  Go to Walmart.  Husband asked to have money put on our debit card.  Wait in line for 20  minutes.  Get home and prepare chicken.  Won’t be done until 9 pm.  Go to lie down before company comes over.  Husband asks for the laundry to be moved from the washer to the dryer.  GROAN!  Just sat down.  Feet hurt from 5 mile walk from day before.  Contacts are dry.  Slight headache from work day.  HANGRY.  Open lid to washer and find towels in with the regular clothes.

TICKING TIME BOMB EXPLODES AND HUSBAND IS THE NEAREST VICTIM!

How often do the most innocent persons in our lives get the brunt of our bad days?  I am not sure that I have ever gone off on my husband like I did yesterday.  Words I usually do not spew out were flying like missiles aimed directly at him with intent to harm.  I did not care in that moment what I said I was just so angry I let everything I said become like a personal attack on an innocent bystander.  I quickly apologized after I cooled down and it is a good thing my husband knows my heart enough to realize I meant nothing I said in those heated minutes of World War III happening right before his eyes.  I mean today I can at least laugh about it.  The look of bewilderment and surprise on his face was truly priceless, poor guy.

Well that was just a precursor to today’s volcanic eruption.  I got a good night sleep and we even slept in, however, something was still off with me.  I noticed my left shoulder was aching and this usually only means one thing…rejection was trying to rear it’s ugly head.  I had my husband pray over me before we started our day.

Kinda wish I would have just left it alone.

 

After returning home from our morning coffee and a drive before hubby went off to work, I went inside to get my camera and a bite to eat.  I don’t want to get into too many details but you will need a little background story to understand what happened next.  We live with my 86 year old father because he is unable to live alone.  He gets around okay and can still take care of himself but he can’t do laundry and upkeep on the house.  Besides on the occasion when we do leave for a few days he gets fearful and something usually arises.  Anyways, dad is very protective of the refrigerator for some reason (we are guessing fear of some kind)  and things are not to be kept in there for very long and must be put into the smallest container possible.  So for the last 5 years there has been an ongoing frustration with what and how we keep things in the frig.

When I went into the kitchen the first thing dad said from his chair in the living room was “What are you going to do with the chicken from last night?”  I replied with an I don’t know at the moment, perhaps make chicken soup tomorrow.  This response was not what he was hoping for and me having my own agenda for the day already planned out, this simple situation turned into World War IV.  I cringe to even relive the live action warfare which conspired again.  I apparently touched a live wire somewhere in my brain and again here I was spewing words (to my own father) that should never have been released from my mouth.  In anger I took the chicken and threw it in the garbage dumpster outside, grabbed my purse and my camera and left.

I immediately called my husband in tears and frustration.  What was happening to me?  I was a wreck.  Acting out of character.  Using unsavory language at people I loved.  Of course he reminds we prayed for God to come in and heal whatever was causing the pain in my shoulder.  And then he said, “Resentment.  You are dealing with resentments from your past.  And maybe it has something to do with it being Mother’s Day tomorrow.  I don’t know, but let Daddy to heal you.”

So with a heavy heart I started seeking God in what to do.  I took my camera out and visited several of my favorite spots which is how I connect with God the best.  I captured birds, turtles, flowers, geese and their babies and even a muskrat only to discover on my journey that God had me stop and ponder at a tree.  A tree with a strip missing like a fresh wound.  He said this pain was from a fresh wound, yet it was an old pain which had been ripped open by life’s circumstances.

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He told me to keep walking there was something else He wanted to show me.  On my way back to my car I used the same path so I saw things going back that I had not seen on the first time through.  I stumbled upon this tree which had been abused my woodpeckers.

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God started explaining to me what I was looking at.  On the surface you can clearly see there has been damage and an entry way into the inner most part of the tree.  On closer inspection one could see cobwebs where something else had taken up residency.  Then looking even deeper you would see the wound itself was torn to shreds.  The top hole appears to have no ending, yet there is a light which shines through the darkness of it.

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This is what so many of us deal with day after day.  We get wounded at some point in our lives and people keep attacking it, over and over and over again until we are empty inside.  Then, when we allow God to tend to our brokenness  He shines His light within us and begins to heal that which has hurt us for so long.  The key here is allowing God in.  So many times we want to fix it all on our own.  We don’t want anyone’s help.  We often feel that it was our fault in the first place that we are hurting.  We didn’t do something right.  We were not good enough at some point.  We deserved the abuse.

I am still not quite sure what I am dealing with but I do feel more at peace after spending some time with the Lord today.  I still am trying to process the loss of my mom two months ago today and there is a lot of pain with that wound.  The tape which plays over and over again that “I am not good enough” and “I can’t do anything right” taunts me even when I try to just close my eyes and ignore it.  

In conclusion, don’t you wish sometimes that life came with warning signs so we would know when to brace ourselves?  Speed Bump.  Road Impassable.  Water May Go Over Road.  Bridge Might be Icy.  Dead End.  No Outlet. Watch for Emergency Vehicles.  Do Not Enter.  One Way.  Caution Pedestrians.  Road Construction Next 20 Miles.  Railroad Crossing.  Yield.  Stop.  Frequent High Wind.  Narrow Bridge.  Pavement Ends.  Deer Crossing.  If only life could send us signs along the way we could prepare ourselves for what is coming up next.  We could be on guard for any mishap which may happen along life’s journey.  Sometimes things just come out of nowhere and we are blindsided, that is where God needs to come in and redirect our steps.  We need to trust Him enough to know the road ahead of us and let Him send the Holy Spirit to give us the warning signs to keep us on track.

Dear God, Be near me today and expose that which You want to heal in me.  Teach me to trust You with littlest of things to the great big ordeals.  I thank You for healing me from my deepest wounds.  I trust you with them.  Shine Your light on my innermost being so that I may be lead in the right direction.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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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

Play Nice

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Ever have one of those intense days at work when one minute everything seems to be going well and then all of a sudden you are in the middle of chaos and there is nothing you can do to stop it?  It’s like one thing happens and you shrug it off and push forward and then something else goes wrong and you try to fix it but while you are fixing that situation a worse one pops up and soon you have a snowball of messes that cannot be untangled.  Well, that very thing happened to me just the other day.  I will keep the details vague because I don’t need to name names or be specific about the issues.

So I work in fast food.  Five days a week.  45 hours.  And for the most part I love my job.  But in the 29 years that I have worked in this industry I have noticed that the crew work ethic has changed and so have the customers.  It is getting more difficult to work in this environment and I really don’t understand why except to say that we live in a different world now.  With restaurants offering more and more options it makes the crews job more difficult and can at times be confusing and frustrating.  What keeps me here you may ask, well it’s my love for people in general and that’s why this particular day was so sad.

It was a normal busy Saturday.  Crew were preparing for the day.  Customers were trickling in.  Things were going smooth and it was business as usual, until someone was an hour late.  We started to get very busy and being one person short just put us behind the game very quickly.  As we began to run out of product and the lines were building, my frustration was growing.  Considering that fact that my back was hurting  from a previous injury, I was not really myself and at one point I lost it and began speaking firmly and loudly about product not being made properly.  Of course a customer over heard the commotion and I had to personally deal with that later.

We just kept getting busier and busier.  Probably could have used one or two more persons but with limited availability there was no one to call.  So we just pressed in and did our best.  Finally things began to turn around and we had a break in the rush to catch up, but not for long because the lines began to grow again.  In the middle of all of this, a customer approached the counter asking to speak with a manager.  Now mind you I was frustrated, in pain and still busy as I confronted this customer.

She began to explain a situation which had happened hours prior to her coming to speak with me.  To save time, it was an incident where she felt her daughter was being teased by one of my employees for they way they reacted to a situation in the lobby.  I began to apologize and she interrupted me and said I should be apologizing to the daughter, so I started again only to be interrupted once more for the mother to tell me I was scolding her daughter instead of apologizing.  In that moment I realized I was not going to be right no matter how I approached this so I just became quiet.

What happened next was the lesson for the whole day.  The lady began to tell me that no matter what the situation is that we all just need to be nice to one another.  She further explained that everyone has different things going on in their lives and we need to be sensitive to that fact.  I agreed with her and tried to smooth things over the best I could and then she said to me so matter of factually, “I just found out last week I have cancer.”

What do you say in a situation such as this?  My heart filled with compassion and I wanted to just sit her down and pray with her.  She was hurting and all she wanted to do was protect her daughter,  It really wasn’t about what happened early, it was simply the fact that she wanted us all to be nice to each other.  At the end of the day what do we remember?  Did I pause to reflect on how busy we were?  No I prayed for this woman who had come into my restaurant pleading for someone to be nice to her daughter.  This was a large lesson in humility and compassion.  A lesson I will not soon forget.

Dear Lord, Please help us to be aware of those hurting around us.  Teach us to be nice no matter where we go or whatever we are doing.  Help us to see the good in others and be able to respond rather than react in everyday situations.  Lord forgive us for the times we are ungrateful and unfriendly towards those around us.  We thank you for the Holy Spirit who guides into right thoughts.  In Jesus Name Amen

The Pop Bottle Paper Towel Theory

2 Corinthians 13:5-9

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise. We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.
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Ever just been in a moment where you have exhausted every idea possible and you still don’t have a solution?  You have called 5 different friends asking for advice and followed through with some of their ideas.  You have Google searched for every answer possible and still nothing seems to be working on your issue?
Well just recently we have water leaking into our bedroom in the basement and EVERYTHING is getting soaked.  Just when we thought it was done, 2 am rude awakening when you step upon squishy carpet on your way to the bathroom.   GRRRRRR…you just want to scream, yet you know there is more to this story than just some flood running rapid in the basement!
Today I decided after we had the 15 foot snow pile removed from the side of the house and the water company had ruled it was not a burst or frozen pipe issue that I was going to find an answer to this.  After MANY loads of spinning out towels and drying them only to place them right back on the floor to soak up the water, I sought some answers.
Someone suggested a  pump but because it is not actual standing water but rather just a slow seepage of water, this would not work.  Someone suggested some plastic and duct tape…seemed doable…not so much.  See the problem is you can’t just put  a bucket under the hole in the wall where the water line comes in because it is just dripping down the wall.  So what does a girl with faith do?   She prays.
Lord, I thank you for the towels and the washer.  I thank you for the dryer and the clean basement floor.  I thank you that this is more than a physical thing but also a spiritual awakening.  I thank you for the flood of blessings that I cannot contain.  I thank you for the patience to ring out towel after towel.  Now, I ask the Holy Spirit to ignite my imagination with a solution to catch the running water.  Lord, you promised no more floods and I also know that you will replace 100 fold what the enemy destroys.  In faith I wait on you Lord.  AMEN
Within minutes I saw an image of a baggie and some duct tape along with a paper towel.  Hmmmmm..seemed strange but worth a shot.  I gathered my supplies and applied this apparatus to the wall…no luck.  I thought for a moment thinking I must have gotten the image wrong so I prayed again..waiting on the Holy Spirit…OH!  a plastic pop bottle.  I went upstairs and retrieved a 20 oz bottle and began to cut it to fit around the pipe.  Did not work.  Added the paper towel and to my amazement the water flowed right into the plastic pan I had to catch the water.
Now, water still is going on the floor but much less than before, 90% of the water is going into the pan.  Praise God!   I knew where there is a will there would be a way and it was because I waited on God.  Everyday we have to have this same faith.  We have to believe that God has a plan for every situation.  Yes, EVERY situation.  I may be battling this mess for awhile but God has made it easier to manage. What in your life would be easier to manage if you allowed God to fix the problem?