Tag Archives: hope

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.

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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:

for john

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

Drunk Man in the Basement

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Sometimes when God is trying to get a point across He chooses to do it in the most dramatic way possible so that we do not forget the point of the story. He does this quite often in my life, perhaps because I am such a vivid person and the more color something has to it the more likely I am to remember it.

Let me preface this story a little before I get into the meat of it. My husband and I live in the basement of my 83 year old father’s house because we take care of his basic needs. We therefore, have a house full of items in a tiny space. Like, 2 dressers, two nightstands, a big chair, a big bed, a vanity, two large bookcases plus the washer and dryer, furnace and hot water heater, not to mention the hanging clothes since there is no closet and some shoes. We coexist very well in our small living corners…until…we decide to rearrange the many items we have.

I recently started my own Mary Kay business and I needed an office corner so to speak and that’s what started the whole mess. As we began to clean and reorganize it became a cluttered mess. We had boxes here, shoes over there and dressers right in the middle of everything. And after the third broken candle we were getting pretty frustrated. I am going to be very open about our relationship from this point on so you may want to buckle up! John is a very organized, simple man, not fond of clutter. His truck is always clean and there are no extra of anything laying around. Me? Well let’s just say being the creative person that I am, I hang out in the opposite end of the spectrum. I came into the marriage with stuff. Sentimental things of value to me. I have a hard time letting things go because I KNOW that I will need it later for something.

So here we were busy rearranging and cleaning and moving when the bickering began. I would be busy doing my own area and he would need me to take care of something where he was, immediately. Then came the all too common “You have too many clothes” comment which I retaliated with “I just gave away 5 boxes of clothes to our friends and 8 pairs of jeans to my daughter.” Then it was just like an explosion when off in our basement and there was no containing the words which flew. Then we would calm each other down from our frustrations and keep moving forward until the tension built again and another eruption would follow.

Then came the moment when everything was out of place and my husband could not see the vision of the finished project when I could clearly see it in my minds eye and I lashed out in a authoritative way. I said these words to him as he wanted to just give up:

“So what you are saying is this, if this basement was a drunk guy in need of Jesus that you would just give up on him? Are you saying he has no hope? Do you believe he is broken beyond repair?”

Dead silence filled the basement. As we began to realize that our mess was fixable. We knew in that moment that we could not give up hope. We were willing to do what it took to regain order.

Isn’t this how we should be with the broken people in our lives? No one is beyond repair. No one is worth giving up on. Everyone has a purpose and we need to be willing to give someone our best shot. We need to let them know that there is always hope.

There was one point towards the end of “project basement overhaul” that I was ready to be done and my husband looked at me with his wonderful smile and said, “So now you’re ready to give up on the drunk guy?” I will never forget that day in the basement. God used something as simple as rearrange our living space to teach us a powerful lesson on how to never give up on people and to always remember there is hope for everyone!

Dear Lord, Thank you for your grace and mercy. Help us to remember that above all else in life that we all have worth and no matter how bad off we think someone is, Your grace is there. Help us to have patience with one another in all of life’s circumstances. Continue to use ordinary life situations to teach us lessons on how we can be a beacon of hope for someone else. In Jesus Name Amen

Treasurable Love

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Today my life is good.  The heart ache is gone and has been replaced with pure, treasurable love.  My life once again has purpose and meaning.  I finally feel like I have been placed on the right path which will propel me into my destiny.  Life has not always been easy and even now there are steps I still am hesitant to take.  I have come to this place where I trust God and I go where He says to go.  Like Jesus mirrored in His ministry, he only did what He saw the Father doing, anything else would have been man’s doing,

How did I get from point A to point B without losing myself?  I am not sure except there came this one day when my life was crashing all around me and I chose to stop running.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around some of the things God calls us to do, and often they make absolutely no sense to the human thought process, yet I know beyond the shadow of a doubt it’s the way of God working in my life.

What caused me to write today about treasure? My husband.  He left yesterday for a 2 day road trip.  For most married couples that is no big deal, in fact often welcomed.  Not me.  Within the hour of him leaving I felt a loss.  Not that I can’t be without him, I didn’t WANT to be without him.  My husband is not what I asked for at all.  I really had no choice when he dropped onto the radar of my life.  For you see, I had this in-depth conversation with God in which I clearly stated that I did not want another man in my life after my divorce.  Sometimes I am glad God does not listen to our pleas only because He has something so much better to offer us.

When John came in to my life I was broken.  My heart had been shattered into a bazillion pieces and I had no desire to put them back together or be loved again, BUT God softened my heart.  He renewed my thinking.  As He did this, John became a true treasure in my life.  The more I tried to say I did not deserve his love, the more God moved.  Now, I would not trade my husband for anything in the world because I know how much he means to me and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt this is God’s plan for my life.

So what is your treasure?  Is there something God has given to you that perhaps you did not understand?  I encourage you to seek God for what your treausrable love is.  Sometimes His ways do not make sense to us, but He is our loving Father and He desires to give us the best of everything.  My best gift was love.  The love of my children.  The love of my husband.  The love of dear friends.  And most importantly the love of God which He has poured into my life even in the moments where I felt less than deserving of anything.  Be still right now and KNOW that God is at work on your behalf and He will never leave you or forsake you.

mytreasure

No Cart Necessary

Ephesians 2:8-10

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
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Ever been in that one situation where it just seems impossible to give grace?  In the grocery store.  At the pharmacy.  On the roadways.  At the emergency room.  At the gas station.  Well…almost anywhere springs forth opportunities to not be of God for just a moment.  You know those moments where you try to cover up your Jesus Freak T-shirt just so you can be unchristian for just a second.  It’s okay right?  We are covered by a grace which abounds to the ends of the earth so if we mess up and say what is on our minds the majority of the time it’s okay.  Well,I feel that if we are freely given grace by our loving Savior then we too should aspire to live a life of giving grace.  Is it easy? Nope.  Are we going to slip up?  Yup.  But on a Christian level we should be headed towards giving grace more often rather than just spitting out what the world spits at us.
Here is a perfect example from my life just the other day.  I went to the local convenient store to get five things:  A gallon of milk, a gallon of fruit punch, 2 plastic containers of non-dairy creamer and 2 D sized batteries for my dad.  Being the strong woman I am (lol) I decide no cart is necessary and I gathered my items and headed towards the register.  Now of course all five patrons in the store decide to check out at the same time. Here are the customers:  a grandmother with a teenage grandkid who wants a scarf which is not tagged, an older man with just a bottle of cough syrup, another grandmother with her grandson with a cart filled with a variety of items, myself and a mysterious cart just around the corner which I cannot see.
Now, by nature I am pretty patient in settings such as this.  The grandmother who was ahead of me tried to let me go ahead of her, however I denied the opportunity, knowing they would just have to open another lane.  Now while you are reading this, please remember the lesson is grace.  So as the first customer is almost checked out, another lane is opened. As everyone moves forward I attempt to head towards it when the mysterious cart pushes through navigated by a woman about my same age loudly proclaiming, “Excuse me please,” as she whizzes by me to get behind the man with the cough syrup.  I stood there in amazement holding my now very heavy items.
This is where grace can get ugly.  As I watched her unload her cart of canned goods and many other items I begin to feel bitterness rise up in me.  I felt slighted and wronged.  How dare she just push through like that.  Didn’t she see I had my arms full?  Right when I felt I was just going to give into rejection the grandmother in front of me had just emptied her cart and gave it to me so I could put my items in it.  Grace. Twice. Right in front of me.  So I began to pray for the other woman and asked God to bless her, forgiving her for cutting in front of me.
Round two.  So just when I thought my flesh was calm and I had blessed her, she completes her shopping and begins to push past me to get to the door and loudly says, “EXCUSE, ME!”  And I bit my tongue at a retort I was about to spew.  Why?  Because I knew God was about to use me, for you see I had already begun a conversation with the clerk.  She was having one of those days and when I asked her how she was she replied with, “It’s one of those day that you don’t want to ask me that, it’s a loaded question.”  In that one moment even with the distractions around me I could see her need for Jesus.  I simply looked at her and said, “Well,no matter what kind of day you are having, Jesus wants you to know He loves you and that’s all that matters.”
That’s all I had to say and she was filled with hope right before my eyes. Refreshed with hope.  Now looking back if I had reacted negatively towards the other woman I would not have been a very good witness.  If I had gotten in the other lane, I would have missed an opportunity for Jesus to show up.  This is what the reality of grace is.  It is undeserved but freely given so that hope can be restored to those around us.