I love how with a change in the year brings in such a new hope. We all get to the end and think awe, it's a new year I can start over, I can do better, I can be better.
But you know whats great with God every moment is a new moment. When you need to do better, or start over do it moment by moment. His mercies are new every morning.
With 2009 I hope each day I get out of the bed with a sense of new with god. Nothing will take me from his love, from his grip. I have however let many things take me from his peace.
I want to know him more tody, tomorrow and all year long.
Ethan's room quickly became a wrestling world! That little wresting ring has made video games a thing of the past (for now). Santa delivered to Ethan a Lego castle, and I am sure that darn Santa had no idea there was 1000 pieces to that thing. But since I had to wait for the feeling to return to my thumbs I got the credit for that one, (take that elves)
See I forgot
I forgot that some are not worried about presents under the tree, but rather worried about food on the table.
I forgot that seventeen families in my area are on a homeless shelter waiting list.
I forgot how many of our senior citizens will be in nursing homes with no visitors on christmas day.
I forgot about the hospital full of patients too sick to be home for christmas.
I forgot about the ones who just watched their homes get taken by the bank
I forgot about the mom whose baby went to be with the Lord this year
I forgot about the husband whose spending his first christmas without his bride in over fifty years.
I forgot that God had a different idea of christams all along
He never intended his Boys birthday to stress us out. He never intended for us to build a debt to add to our material collection.
He never intended us to look more forward to what we can get black friday, then the gift he gave us.
So slow down, and do what you can and let go when you can do no more.
Find the spirit of Christmas and pass it along
I tend to think that they do it because they feel judged. Unfortunately the church has done a good job at making others feel that way. Portraying Christians as the world Judges. Whats the point of being there for someone if they do not feel like they can come to us as they are. I even heard one girl say when I clean up I may go to church with you. First of all I do not invite anyone to church, I think if that is going to be something they need in their life that door will open for them. (in fact I only go to church once in a while) I would rather hang out with them or help them with something they need. I wish we could start the image of Christianity over......You dont go to the hospital when you are well, or out to eat when you are full and you should not go to church only when your "cleaned up"
Jesus was a man who got out and got dirty and found the ones that everyone else cast aside. He loved and his only agenda was for them to be loved. For the lost to find hope, for the sick to be healed, for the broken hearted to find peace. He did not say clean up then come to me, or quit your cussing then come to me, he just said come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. I hope when we are praying for our lost loved ones and friends we will just pray that they let themselves, as messed up as they may be, they'll just be loved. You don't have to fit into anyones idea of what a christian should be. Being in church three times a week does not make you better than the man who has not been to a church in thirty years.
And just so you know I am not anti church but I am anti-four walls defining Christianity. The lost do not need another building and another doctrine, or another board of deacons, the lost need to know that they are loved, that they are wanted. That Jesus does not want a better you, he just wants you. Anywhoo....that's whats on my mind today
Well, he and I are working on that second chance. God is amazing in his ability to make all things new. Because even though I was married to this man for seven years every time he calls me baby it feels like those first giddy days of a new romance. And every bit of bitterness I thought I would have, is not there at all. I look at him and reflect on choices I wish I would have made, and thankful for choices I now get to make. Nothing is taken for granted and a huge amount of gratitude and respect goes into this second chance.
We are taking everything really slow and keeping the kids in the dark for now. I know life does not grant you many do overs, so I am so invested in really living up to the responsibility that God is trusting me with.
The 20 year old that fell for Harry and this 31 year old who is falling again are such different people. She had no idea how her choice of words could cause such discord. She had no idea that the only way to silence insecurities is to speak them out loud. She had no idea how freeing it is to need someone. Or how whole she could feel in his arms. She was obsessed with control and with changing him to be what she thought he should be. She cared too much what everyone else thought they should be. She was jealous of him. She never shut up long enough to hear him, and she always had to be right. She made his dreams small and eventually silent.
I want to build him up, I want his dreams to run wild in our conversations. I want to say what I feel and trust him with those feelings. I want him to be who he is all the time, we might not agree but we'll both have that security of knowing we can be ourselves. And I want his arms to hold me as often as they can.
here is the whole story if u dont know it
What do you think walking in Gods shadow feels like?
What if that was our attitude towards the world, towards the non believer. Too often Christians find themselves in a world of judgement, a right that God never handed down to us. He alone holds that right. Jesus set things up fairly easy for us, He did the work, and the holy spirit continues that work, our job is really to love and to have compassion. To always remember every unbeliever, every hurting person, every lost soul is a son or daughter that God still believes in. Each and everyone of them is a soul that God himself created and loves, and that he is so very fond of, just as he is of you. I spent a lot of years at a church where the sinner was not loved, in fact over and over they were removed from the church. When did it become okay to replace love with judgement? Who of us can see into the heart of another. Who of us can see what plan God has for the very man you cast a side. Who knew Paul would teach Christians after killing so many. Who knew David would be the man after Gods own heart, after the sin he got caught up in. And who of us has "arrived" enough to even consider judging another? How many men and woman have walked out of prison, or away from addiction, or out of a gang, or ran from abuse, to turn out to be a pathway to God for countless others, because God will not stop believing in them. And we love the happy ending, but what has our part been throughout the story. I want my write up to be that I did my best to show compassion and that they felt love for their soul, not love of the sin, but love for the sinner. That they knew I was someone they could go to for help and for love. I want to be the same in the beginning of the story as I am in the ending. Christians are going to have to work really hard to gain back a reputation of trust and compassion. Our doors have been closed to the world, we have cast judgement and deemed people unworthy. We have taken a power away from God by not believing in the least of these. It is time to give God his place back, it is time to let God love his children and if he will, love them with our arms. So while your neighbor, co-worker, friend, child, spouse may say they do not believe in God, remember God still believes in them.
So much is going on right now, and so many people are hurting and just waiting for help. I think many times in suffering all you can do is wait, wait for help. Those folks who lost everything to a storm, they are waiting for help. Hati, all those suffering there are waiting for help. On the grand scale it is overwhelming, the pain that is apperant in just one thiry minute segemant of the news. Then we localize it, and our friend whose husband left her, or the freinds who are having a hard time paying the bills. Theirs a friend whose mom has cancer, someones child is sick, someone lost a job, someone is just depressed......suffering.......waiting.........
I think the most effective tactic satan has is turn our eyes to ourselves, and not look past our own issues to help others. This past week or so I have been so guilty of that. With gas prices going up and me having to work less hours, due to the kids needs, and this and that....I have just allowed my self to get in a box and just worry about me and just feel sorry for me. I tell you, watching a documenrty on poverity (real Poverity) broke that box into a million pieces. I was sitting there with my bottled water, watching the information on what clean drinking water would do for this villiage.
It still does not make times any less hard, there are still bills to be paid, but prospcetive it so gives. All of our problems are real for us, we just have to be careful not to allow our hardtimes to close our eyes to the hard times of others.
I really want to do all I can to be their for others. Sometimes all we can do is pray for them (which is huge) but sometimes we can meet the need, sometimes we are what they have been praying for. There is a lot of pain, and the work that can be done in their lives if we will just love them without an agenda, love them the way Jesus teaches us to love. It's not about how many pews we can fill in church, becuse the church can be at over capicity and no one feel loved. I think sometimes our goal in wittenising to to get them church... Let your life and your love get them to Jesus, he can do the rest.
Another thing on my mind, since I have not blogged in a while I might as well get it all out. Someone was having a heated political discussion. And yall I am so into this election for many reason. But they said something that really got me thinking about our belief in Gods power. They are die hard Republicans, the real deal here and their argument was why would anyone vote for someone who may turn out to be a Muslim (don't even go there). So while I am not saying who I will vote for I would ask them why not. If America elects an atheist, what does that mean.. Well do we want an atheist in charge, I would tell them if an atheist is president God is still in charge. Now believe me I understand the "value vote" and I want so many things to be different is our great country, my only point is God loves Obama and McCain the same, And he'll be the same God no matter who wins...And oh what a powerful God he is. The commander in chief has nothing on the creator of heaven and earth. And for some Christians taking the approaches they are taking is just hurting our reputation. If our only way to prove our point is to tare someone down then we missed the point entirely
How many times do we as women get jealous over other people’s relationships. Everyone knows that one person that everyone seems to be drawn to, the girl everyone wants to be friends with. It’s funny that in our pursuit to be that girls friend, we pass up a lot of girls that are wanting to be our friend.
We have got to get out of the popularity and clique mentality. I would like my prayers to be, let me be a friend to someone, let me be someone somebody needs. Often we see who we want to see and seek what we want to seek, our motives are not always bad, but not always right either.
In the movie “hope Floats” Sandra Bullock’s character was talking about how she knew she losing her husband, how at his functions she never fit in, how the women there were always surveying the room looking for someone better to talk to. Man, I have felt that so many times in my life, I still have times of great insecurity where I just know I do not fit in, the difference for me is I have come to a place of getting my security form God not from man. But I also get to use those feeling to make sure I do not survey the room for someone better to talk to. That is an ugly side to us that needs to be worked out. We are jealous that we are not part of certain circles, but how many are we rejecting out of ours. We are mad, so in so did not invite us to whatever, but who did we invite or who did we leave out. What about the ones you exclude, when you are thinking about how hurt your feelings are over not being included, are you thinking of anyone else who feels that way, maybe even who you have made feel that way. Sometimes the way God fixes our hurts is to point out what we can change in us. Especially in the area of friendship, I just can not image a good fix to that hurt being you getting “the one” to be all about you. It would make more sense for God to use that to help you and sister “really forgotten” to meet and be to each other what you both seek, a friend. But she is not what you are seeking, she may not be someone you think is not dare I say good enough. Granted we would never say that, but we feel it in that hidden place. So we have to get our idea of good enough aligned with Gods idea, and we have to take our focus off ourselves and on to him. We have to leave the pity party and rise to a new challenge. Someone is hurting worse than you and they would relish in the fact that you include them and care about them.
I really think it all comes from insecurity and jealousy, which are both real damage makers in girl world.
I posted a while back on wanting to be someone else or have what someone else has. Again I just want to say if we want to be them we are asking for all their, hard times, sad times, times of conviction, times of depression, times of sin, times of repentance, all the times that got them whatever blessing you are wanting to steal. And I bet it is hard to be on the receiving side of jealousy, I think if you are a person who has to hear how great it is to be you, I think it begins to rob you of the freedom to walk in Gods blessing. No one should be made to feel bad for what God has done for them. A pastor I heard once spoke about that, how so many people came against her because she had a nice house and nice things, she finally asked them “well have you ever bought someone a house, cause I have”. The point is we really don’t know what a person has been through, or what kind of obedience has been required to get them to where they are, and simply wanting their “good Life” is just asking for a short cut in our own life. A short cut will not lead to Gods fullness in your life .
I think we do that to others because we have that spirit of second best, that never quite good enough, that forgotten mentality. Well, If that is true God could lift you to place of having everything sister sue has and you would be left still feeling not good enough, nothing man has, no amount of money, no husband, no kid, no job, no ministry, no talent nothing is going to get you there…..That is a place of peace and knowledge that only comes form God the father. And he loves to give good gifts and friend Knowing God loves you and knowing you are wanted, knowing you are good enough, is a real good gift.
So let the greatest Friend you seek Be God, and let him lead you to the rest.
It's been passed around a lot lately how the world is turned off of church often because of how they are treated or judged at church. Even in our awesome time this weekend there was at least one person who felt let down, felt left out. And I think it is okay and sometimes helpful to feel that. Don't get me wrong we have to be sure to do our part to be there for people and to reach out when a need is presented. But to that person who feels let down, God can speak volumes to that place. He is the one who will not let you down. He is the one who longs for you, and who delights in your searching for him. He see YOU in a room of 10,000 people, in a world of millions, he sees YOU. He wants you, and only he can fill that place in you, that desperate place for love and acceptance. Man will not fill it, man will more than likely break it further. God loves you so much and if you will just learn who you are in God as Beth said you will no longer walk in a room with your head down. Because belonging to that love, what can man do to you!
Wow what a weekend. I along with Jeanne, natalie and Jill flew to Texas to attended a Beth Moore conference, and meet with fellow siesta's from Beth's Blog. Fun started right away with a plane trip full of turbulance and skip bow. We landed (roughly) and had just enough time to freshen up and get to the first night of the conference. It is always exciting to see what Fresh Word God has given Beth. I am not ready to post on her word yet, it was deep and I am still taking it in. After the confernce we were hungry so we pretty much went to the first resturant we saw "steers and beers". I got a big ole texas steak...
Anywho after a night of no sleep we got to the morning conference...more worship and more of an amazing word. A life changing word. And the first day I went ahead and got brave and chased down a lady that I was so excited to meet Ang, And thank goodness God set that up because after the first day I could not find her again. (Ang that was not enough time with you)
For every event I tried to do my hair and as soon as I would step outside That darn texas humidity had it's own plan. After the conference on Saturday we had a chance to take a picture with Beth had her daughters then had a question and answer time. First my girl Jill got to ask Beth a question, she talked to BETH MOORE, and Beth called her precious....(and she so is)
Jeanne and I kept trying to get a turn at the mic but that did not happen.
After all that we went to mall, and then did a little sight seeing. That night Jill and I attended a party with the other bloggers. I must admit I was nervous about that, I like the blog because I am free to write it all day and not have to do the person to person stuff, and now it was time for the two worlds to collide. Jill was the first to find a seat, and I followed her, God must have lead her to that seat, because all the nerves I had were diminished by the ladies there. Two of the ladies were from texas (heart of service and mocha with Linda) and man they were funny and sweet. And the other lady there was Racheal. Now let me tell you it takes me a long time to warm up to person enough to really be myself, well it was like I had known Racheal my entire life. I just can not explain how much having her there meant to me. I just like her so much. All of the ladies there were awesome, Kim and Patty who put the whole thing together were just as nice as I thought they would be. Fran was as welcoming as I thought she would be, and the same of melinda. Lisa was one of those people who really listen to you and who cares so deeply, love her. Boo and Big were amazing. Nesha was so sweet. Emily made me cry and she is just beautiful. Everyone kept telling me someone was looking for me but they could not remember who and I was looking for Emmy, it was almost time to go when we literally bumped into each other,(thanks to mom to 11) she was the one looking for me, but she was looking for me with long hair. Everyone said that about my hair, but I never thought I would meet these peeps, so I wanted my best shot on my profile! (but I changed it girls) Finding Emma topped off a perfect evening.
It was just too great and I loved every minute of it.
I love that I shared it with great friends! So thank you Jeanne, natalie and Jill for going with me.
Many of our churches today are distracted from it's purpose, many Christians are distracted from their purpose. Jesus died for the sins of this world, he's trying to get us to see the sick, the hurting the lost. As a christian at some point you have to stop looking to be
fed(Hebrews 5:11-14) and look for who you can feed. No one is going to find a perfect church, or a perfect pastor. If I am not perfect I should not seek perfection in others. I would rather be a part of a church that understands inperfection and that understands the need for God's grace.
Satan wants to distract us, and he does a good job most days. If he can get the church and it's core members to fight, then he has distracted them from the extended family God wants to bring to that church, you are distracted from adopting the hurting, you are not offering a place that offers love and forgiveness. If he can convince you it is you job to tell everyone what is wrong with them, satan is getting use out of that not God. Our purpose as a christian is not to keep the "me" in front. I am not to constantly bicker about what is not making me happy and about ways to better satisfy me. The character of christian is what can I do for you God? Who can I love who can I help, how can I serve you, how can I bring peace to this situation? WHO can I cover? Who can I tell about The love of Jesus, who can I love?
As a woman I really do get why Paul would tell the women in the church to be quiet. We tend to be the ones to stir up trouble, and to talk behind someones back. I am not saying men are not guilty of that too, I just know in my corner of the world it tends to be more towards the women. I guess if we searched hard enough it all circles back to insecurity. And that can be a source not an excuse. Girls we have got to fight to get past jealously, insecurity, gossiping, we have got to put off our former self, and be made new in Christ. I remember when the WWJD (what would Jesus do) phenomenon broke out, and while I am not suggesting you strap on your WWJD bracelet, the concept should not be lost. It's not always obvious how our "small sins" are actually big ones that are taring down the body of Christ. If satan played easy to get or fair, he would not catch many of us in his traps. But he is tricky and deceitful and distracting. I know I fall into some of the same traps daily. I am noticing more and more how I tend to what to know everything, not so I can pray about it, I just want to know. If I listen to gossip I am guilty of gossip, therefor guilty of tarring someone down, the one I am listening to and the one I am listening about.
Ephesians 5:21 says submit to one another out of reverence to for Christ.
Paul knew our own will was not going to always be one of peace so if you can not get along naturally do it out of respect for God.
And to start doing better I would just study the word and obey even if you don't "feel" like it.
Ephesians 4 Unity in the Body of Christ
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Today would have been my ten year anniversary, if things had turned out different. I have thought about that a lot today as I watched and listened to couples around me. I wish sometimes I could tell people, that they are chipping away at their chances of staying together, with the way they treat each other. Spouses snap too quickly at each other. Your Friend can tell you something and you act one way your spouse says the same thing and your attitude shifts. Why is that? What allows simple respect to escape our communication with one another.
I love the show John and kate plus eight, But every time I watch it I get nervous that John is going to tell kate it's over, because of the way she talks to him. Often her biggest complaint is not that Jon did not do something but that he did not do it her way. I remember those days of being mad my ex did not help around the house, then when he did I'd go behind him doing most things over again. Why do we do that? I just hope if I can pass on any lessons learned, it would be to really examine how much respect you give your husband. I would encourage you to focus on building him up, and not allowing your self to become so comfortable with him that you think you have the right to talk down or harshly to him. Because the fact of the matter is, that marring him did not give you that right. I know you are gonna fight, I just ask you examine the language you choose to let out.
When a believer gets married Satan would love nothing more than to turn that marriage into a distraction from God. And for satan if he can use one believer to tare down another, I bet he delights in that. You are your husbands best weapon for being a better man of God, if you can love him and build him up.
And you single gals out there, don't let satan use that fact to distract you from God either. God can do great things in you now and you are not "waiting" for Gods will to begin it has begun, live it to the fullest.
Love never fails.
So I have thought about those words everyday since. Am I rendered powerless?
Here are a few definitions of rendered
to transmit to another : deliver : give up, yield to give in return or retribution give back, to give in acknowledgment of dependence or obligation :
: devoid of strength or resources
: lacking the authority or capacity to act
Have I given up authority on something, or do I need to give up something?
About a month ago I was on my face before God and I felt prompted to sit at the computer with a blank page and just ask God to speak to me, I would type whatever I felt and when I was done I had to read it because I really could not remember what I had typed. This is what He spoke to me that night
I am worth it, I am for you. You need to worship me, I want you at any time to be able to worship me, I can not be hidden in your life. I can not live in a place that does not want all of me all the time. I can not heal you if you don’t let me, I can not give you rest or peace until I have all of you. I am all you need , I am. You are loved with me, you are safe with me, you are all you need to be, you! I am like your tears, you fight so hard to not cry, and you fight to not let me shine in you. I will use you, I will move in you, you are not only good enough, you are chosen . I have already choose you, and I am waiting on you to choose me. I want you
Sometimes the world and life hits us so hard we often begin to loose sight of the fact the God is powerful and full of ideas for our lives, full of paths for us to be on at just the right time, paths that will lead us to be used for him, chosen for such a moment.
Being woke up with words like rendered powerless, could be a chance to let satan talk about our worthlessness, but God has made those words beautiful.
And I love Gods irony rendered powerless, creates power!
Rendered powerless= to give up (give back) authority (power) to God, to admit we need God
I Just have a Scripture on my mind and want to get out some thoughts.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father's nakedness.
I know we have moments where we act as Ham did and moments we act as Shem and Japheth did. I feel a real urging to really check to make sure we are vigilant in covering one another. I wonder if Shem and Japheth encouraged one another to do the right thing, I wonder if Ham had an accountability partner at that moment, would he have chosen different. It is so important in our friendships to spur one another on. It is of no benefit to them or to us to simply listen to the gossip. Or to watch them act out without speaking up. And as a woman I know we got that gossiping mentality in us, we just want to know everything. And we do try to season it with grace by adding at the end of a really great story, "just pray for them". Speaking about so in so is not helping their race and it is slowing ours down.
I work in a place where all the time everyone is talking about someone, and most the time I just listen, sometimes I join in, but lately I have either walked away or even stuck up for the person being talked about. Which is so hard for me, because I cringe at the thought of confrontation. But I want to be effective in my walk with God, so i need them to see more than the fact I don't cuss or that I don't get mad or some other things they point out about me. I need them to know I would not talk about them or listen to others talk about them , and that I would cover them.
So just be on the lookout for not only ways to cover someone but also chances to choose to walk away.. from whatever...
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
2 Let Israel say:
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
10 All the nations surrounded me,
11 They surrounded me on every side,
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
So on the drive home I was telling her you should not react in anger, and just because you do not get your way etc....
I decided since it was Ethan she took it out on I would let Ethan decide her grounding. Now I know growing up if my brother had the chance to ground me I would be left only allowed to breath. So he thought for a minute and announced "well I pick that she is not grounded" Oh the grace that flows from that boy. Elissa then says "I have one thing to say to Ethan, I'm sorry"
Kindness led to repentance.
I am reminded today that the battle is real, and the decision to stay is hard, but it is so worth it to fight. Their are things in my life that I have wrestled with and I have began the battle only to retreat at the first easy way out. I am tired of this fight, I dont want to start over anymore, I want this time to be the time I press on and move on.
For now I would like anyone who reads this to pray for strength and for wisdom for me, I'll tell ya more later
Since I had success with the flip open method last week lets try again.....
Well that just makes a great prayer. The part the really stuck out to me was restore the joy of YOUR salvation. David did not say the joy of "my" salvation. Gods children need to find out what the joy of his salvation offers. we need to go beyond our box, and our idea of relationship, lets go deeper.
God has so joy for us, so many promises to fulfill, so much peace to offer. That takes me to the verse in Matthew 7
11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
God wants and delights in giving good gifts, you are his child, whom he loves....
Bask in some worhip if you have time.... Let God wrap his arms around you, dance with your father for a while.. This song is like 1o minutes long, this is just four minutes of it (and the last minute is black on purpose)
I saw little kids with their hands raised praising God, it was beautiful. God used Heather to love us, and to bless us as we sang to him.
It was actually kind of disappointing when the music stopped. The message was good, but sometimes I fear that we really think we (man) have to be involved and in control for things to transition correctly. At one point it was said that God needs us to take it to the nations, it just kind of bumped me the wrong way. God does not "need" us. We know from the old testament he can use a donkey if he wants to. We know from Paul, he can send an angel, To moses he can use a bush. We should never become so sure of ourselves to say God "needs" us, no friend he wants us, we've been invited, we get to be blessed enough to share a great and mighty gift. Our lives are better because we let God use us where ever he will. God wants you!!!! God chose you!!!
I flipped to 1Corinthians 12:14-30...go ahead and read it, I'll wait.
I think it really goes well with what I posted about us wanting what someone else has. It is again about the pit of insecurity. God never wanted what he led us to be, to become a weapon for the enemy to use, to use to tell us we are not needed, or important. That is not a God given thought pattern, it's a pit and a stronghold that needs to be broken, it is a lie for the one who wants nothing more than to destroy you.
The verse that stuck out the most was 26
It is again about getting to a place where we can truly rejoice for the good in others lives without have a pity party for ourselves. It is a hard battle to defeat that self centered thought life. I know I have not done it well, When I went through my divorce I found it hard to be happy when someone would tell me they were getting married. I have come along from that way of being. But there is another side to that verse. When one suffers we all suffer. I think as a church we have to make sure we are leaving our comfort zone to really be there for others, to lift each others up in prayer. I was thinking about Jesus when he was close to death and he asked his Friends to pray for him, but they kept falling asleep. I know I fall asleep alot when I should be more vigilant in praying for others.
(it's here on my blog scroll down to playlist if u want to)
That song stuck me hard today. It says:
I come into this place
Burning to receive your peace
I come with my own chains
Wars I fought for my own selfish gain
You’re my God and My father
I’ve accepted your son
But my soul feels so empty now
What have I become
Lord come with your fire
Burn my desires
Lord my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
My heart cant see
When I only look at me
My soul cant hear when
I only think of my own fears
They are gone in a moment
You’re forever the same
Why did I ever look away
Wars I fought for my own selfish gain! How many times do we enter into needless battles. How many times does God send us a red flag that we ignore. Today was one of those days where I had the flag and I understood the battle. I really felt like I could see down the road I was thinking of, see some of the pits I would be asking for. So I think it is amazing that there can still be a choice. But around every turn it’s there, there is the straight road and the left turn or the right turn, a temptation to, just for a moment take our eyes off God, and a moment to just give into that selfish desire. Fear seems to lead the way off the road so many times, if it’s not fear to the left, it’s pity to the right. We get down and begin to feel sorry for ourselves, making a turn off the path seem like a quick fix for a broken heart, or a tired soul. Temptation is never going away, actually the closer you get to God the more Satan will throw at you.
I am asking him toady for a boldness for him
Lord I pray you refine me
Or I wish I had a house like Jeanne, or a husband like Aaron, a voice like Jill, talent like Jenny, a job like Deborah…
I know we have all done it, I will admit I have.
The problem is, we are only wishing we had their results, ya know. We want their victories, we don’t want to ever have to go through what Beth Moore had to go through to get to where she is. So you want to be someone else, are you equipped to face what they have faced? God has called you to be you, if you are saying “ya know God if only I could sing like Jennifer, I could do great things for you” It’s the same as telling God you didn’t get it right, The I you created can not do it. Let God use your story and what ever it is YOU have been through, let God take that and do great works. You are good enough just as you are, You can not be better as someone else. I just want to be happy for what God gives my friends, and what God does through great leaders like Beth, I don’t want to live there story, I want my own.
Take in mind that I was joining this world from a life of chaos. College was to be my escape, my chance to be free from any pain that was still lingering. This college was like therapy on steroids. Everything inside of me, just began to swell up. I knew I wanted God and I wanted to feel happy, and I wanted to feel normal, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't. I reached out to certain people there and made some great connections, but I just got burned out on chasing God. Everyday in chapel felt like I was suffocating. Dealing with my need for God veruses my desire to run, was a battleing I wanted out of.
Soon I made new connections outside of school. I began to find easier ways to be happy. I could drink it all away, I could party without a care in the world. So I did. I wanted to fit in anywhere I could, and it was just easier to fit in with the party crowd. I not only fit in I was the life of the party. I had got to the point where I just could not stand who I was, but with alcohol, I was someone different, someone fun, someone who had it all together. I think to, it was easy to be weak because up until that time I had to be strong for everyone else. I did not want to be strong anymore, I did not want to remember sad times, I did not want to seek a God who never answered, I just wanted to be numb. The first semester at college God had began the healing process for me, I just took resisting to a new level. To be healed we have to admit we hurt.
Looking back that time is such a blur, I was so void, so lost, but looking back I was so looked after.
I always had a good sad story ready to be told, and with a few I let them see the broken me. But then I had a good friend tell me, “Lori at some point you just have to get over it“. Get over it, I was still going through it. I wish she could have shown me how to get over it, I wanted to get over it. Of course now I know my friend was just as broken as I was. We all hurt, and we all wear mask, and sometimes we just run slap out of compassion. That’s what I did I ran out of compassion the night my dad hung there from that big oak tree. But my friends words silenced me for a long time. I didn’t want to tell my sad story. I could have more friends if I was just funny and happy.
I wish I would have been able to see that the friends God was sending me at that time were deep friendships that could be what I needed to get through to get free. Some didn’t last but the ones that did are still going today. I think I was around fifteen or sixteen when I met Jeanne. No matter which side of me she sees, no matter how ugly the moment is she loves me anyway. Another life saver God sent me at that time was Lesli. Lesli let me be sad, she used to let me stay with her, and she would sing to me. It’s amazing what music can do to ones soul. It put such a hope in me, that I knew I could love this world again. Music at that time helped me believe in God. God was someone who I knew from a far, I had not yet allowed him to love me, but when Lesli would sing, my connection to God grew bigger. I wonder if she knows what she did for me. I hope I keep learning to really tell people the role they have played in my life.
Looking back now this part of my story, I know this is the part where satan really thought he had me. But it turned out to be what God used to strengthen me, and to bind me to him forever.
The last wedding I went to was my really good friend Deborah’s’. I don’t cry at weddings, but I cried from start to finish in this one. My then husband was on the verge of leaving our marriage. If my daughter had not been her flower girl I would not have gone. They had a beautiful outside wedding. I stood there watching her tell this guy that she’d love him forever and him saying he’d love her forever. I had to either cry or laugh. What a joke forever was to me. I wanted to help them say new vows. How about you tell her you will love her until you run out of love, and maybe you’ll get lucky and never run out. (although now, that the bitterness is gone I look and Deborah and just see a great love story)
I met Harry when I was nineteen. I was going to a bible college and waiting tables at night. I remember when he got hired at the restaurant I worked at. He was a strange one. He’d come in with his big curly hair and his big bag of poetry, most of which were written on napkins. Then one day I gave him a ride home. He is such a talker, so that day he talked about life and all his thoughts on the world. And what he wants out of life. He had such passion. I had never met anyone so full of dreams. It caught me off guard how much I liked him. So we went on a date, and it was the kind of date you see in the movies, it was so perfect. Then the magic really happened when I went to see his band play at some little hole in the wall. He was amazing on stage. I was hooked. I had quit college and moved back home, and stared delivering pizza. One night I was headed to work and just could not stand how much I missed Harry so I drove right past work and went down to see him. Another movie moment, it was pouring rain and lighting was crashing, I knocked on his door drenched from the rain, I think that is when he got really hooked. Two months later we went to the court house and promised forever.
I quickly got Harry in church with me. And we both stared to play the role. I wish I could say for certain what went wrong, or where it went wrong. I know we both made a lot of mistakes. I know I did not let him in fully, and I tried to change him and he tried to be changed. I could never say I am sorry or I was wrong or even thank you. I did not support the very dreams that had once made me fall in love with him. We got lost, we both got so lost. Two kids later, life drained all of the joy from us. We loved our kids and we had a lot to be thankful for. But he and I did not laugh together we did not live in each other we simply existed in the same house. Until one day there was nothing left to fight for. And he walked away. If I had fought as hard as I did at the end, throughout our marriage, then I think we would have made it. I could write an entire book on all the mistakes we made. But they each come down to being real. When I was sad and wanted him to just hold me, I told him by nagging him about being at work too much. When I was jealous and insecure, I handled that by making him feel bad about himself. He was more of the hold it all in type, and when he was tired of holding it in, he shut the door and never came back. He never told me until he left that he was tired of God and tired of living a lie. I was tired of living a lie too. I still wonder why we felt we had to lie in the first place.
So watching Deborah on her wedding day I hoped that she would be real, and Wendell would be real. I hope if you are married and up until now you have not been honest, then you will fix that right now, today. If we could just say what we really want and what we really feel………..things could really be different. Your husband or your wife is the person who gets the all access pass. You should be able to share yours thoughts, your dreams, or insecurities, the best of you and the worst of you. You choose each other, and next to choosing God, that is the most beautiful design of love, the most perfect picture of acceptance. I know as the human race we are by nature a selfish people, but we have got to learn to put the people we love before ourselves. I wish I could have let Harry succeed without my jealousy getting in the way. But I wanted to be important, so to make myself more than I was I used my words to tare him down. It’s so crazy that my biggest fear was him leaving me so I did everything I could to push him away. If I had not lived in that fear I could have just loved him. What if I had told him my fears, maybe he could have calmed them. My ex and I have gotten to a place of friendship, and we really do raise our kids to together, so if you can have a “good” divorce, we do.
Here is my short list of things I wish I had done or not done while married to him.
1. I wish I would have supported his dreams more.
2. I wish I would have said more things to build him up
3. I wish I would not have ever called him names
4. I wish I would have let him be my best friend
5. I wish I would have defended him more
6. I wish I would have shown him the kind of Love that comes from God
7. I wish I would not have kept him from my heart
8. I wish I would have not needed to be right
9. I wish I would have told him when I needed him
10. I wish I would have seen him as a gift.
Now let me tell you it is really hard not to make a list of “I wish he would have”, but that is what God it doing in me. If I can focus on me and do what God leads me to do, then I will be giving God room to do what he wants to do in that other person. And while we have moved on from our relationship I still have to see him how God wants me to so that our kids will do the same. Too often I see bitterness take hold of broken hearts and the kids have to suffer, they hear to much, to many times they hear you talk such harsh words about their parent. If only we could look past our heart to see theirs. Let their dad or their mom still be their hero.
Matthew 13:45 says the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 when he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and brought it.
I bet that merchant had some really great stuff, I bet he looked at some of his things and said man how can I let go of that. But if that's what it takes to have this pearl, I'll do it.
My years at that church taught me a lot. The biggest lesson I walked away with, is we are all human and we all screw it up. Deep down we all want to be good and kind, but we are selfish and a jealous people. We all lie to each other, weather it is about our own sin or our own struggle, we all lie. We want everyone to see us for what we want to be but never for who we are. I wanted to be so important there, and I never was. Looking back I can see why I was there, I was there to learn but not to live. I was there to meet people who would change my life, and I was there to understand that playing church is not enough.
I fought over where to start this journey. Do I start where my husband walked out on me, do I start where my dad tried to kill himself, or maybe I should start where I joined the army. Nah, lets do the typical thing and start at the beginning.
I was born in a small town…… ok maybe that is too far back. Fast forward six years. I was six years old the day my mom sat me down and explained to me about being adopted. I already knew I was adopted, I guess I always knew. But I remember being six when I finally got to talk about it, and even was allowed the chance to ask questions. I was so excited, I had all sorts of questions, like can I meet my birth mom, which turned out to be the end of the conversation. That question sent mom to tears. So that was the big adoption talk. From there on I dealt with adoption in my own head. I wish mom could have seen my question as me dealing with rejection not me rejecting her. I get it now as an adult, I was her baby and she loved me, and the thought of me wanting to know about the woman who gave birth to me, put fear of loosing me in her. I get it now, but boy growing up that was a great, weapon for low self esteem. At six I started feeling disconnected and different. It didn’t affect me to the point anyone would have known, I was a happy kid, almost every day. I think the next time I dealt with it was ninth grade biology, when we had to write our family history for a genetics study. My genetics were a secret. And I secretly felt like an alien in that class, and everyone could tell I was different, like they could see that my genetics were missing. Being adopted was my excuse to listen to the enemy tell me I am not good enough. But if I had not been adopted I know I would have found another excuse. So what would I say to that six year old or that ninth grader.
Dear adopted Lori
Okay first of all you are adopted, get over it. You are here, and that is a good thing. You were born to a mom that loved you, she did not reject you, she loved you. And she gave you to a mom that can not only love but also take care of you. Something that at sixteen she could not do. When you feel like you don’t belong or you feel different from everyone around you, know that adoption is not the reason for that. You are in this world as a guest to meet and greet as many people as you can before God calls you to come home. Sweet girl you are not rejected you are chosen.
I guess this is a good place to finish out the adoption story. By the time I was eighteen I had done enough snooping in my moms stuff to know the name and number of the adoption agency who had my records. So October 21, 1997 I made the call. I was not ready to make that call. And I could not tell anyone cause then mom may find out and I would make her feel bad again. So I sat in my room dialing all but one number for about two hours. Then I pushed the last number and the woman on the other end was on her game cause she answered before I could hang up. So I preceded to tell her my name. Now I really thought I would make the call and get on some two year waiting list. But wouldn’t you know God was ready that day to end the eighteen year rejection mindset. The woman on the other end said she couldn’t believe I was calling, because my birth mom had just called yesterday and she had all of her information sitting right in front of her. It was unbelievable and very overwhelming. The agency had me write Tina (that’s my birth mom) a letter and they would send it to her. A letter, a letter to my birth mom. Now I could really ask questions. I felt like a salesman trying to show why this product is worth having. It was hard, I had so many emotions at that time in my life. I was dealing with a lot, and I just wanted to feel good inside and I thought finding Tina would be the key. So I wrote the letter and the postal service must have been on sonic speed cause like five days later I had a letter from her in my hands. Tina was everything you think you would want a birth mom to be. She was very ready to meet me, said she had thought about me everyday for eighteen years. She never had more kids, so that put even more excitement in her to meet me. I really think I would have done better if she had not wanted anything to do with me. I already dealt with her not wanting me, I lived very well in my own self pity. That sense of rejection had taken hold and help define who I was. But I was not ready to handle her loving me and wanting me. At eighteen I had already become a “hard” person, I didn’t like to be hugged or to say I love you, I never wanted to need anyone or even be needed. But Tina did not read my manual, cause she needed me, she needed me to say I love you and to hug her and to take the pain of not having me away. She needed our reunion to bring us both peace and bring us together. I wish I could start over and meet Tina for the first time again. I did not do it well the first time. I saw her twice over the next two years, then waited until my daughter , Elissa, was three to see her again. She has never seen my son, Ethan. I know now even though it has taken me too long to get it together it is not too late. As an eighteen year old I would not look outside myself, but as a thirty year old I want to be Tina’s friend, and give her as much of me as I can. I want to do it for her and for me. I do love her. My Friends Nattile and Ryan just adopted twins, and they really got to know the birth mom. Watching their story unfold, has really woke me up to what an amazing thing Tina did. Looking back I wish I would have taken myself out of the picture. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see how selfish we are and actually change. I wish I could have dealt with my issue’s on my own but still be there for Tina. I wish I could have made her feel wanted. I wish I would have had the kind of reunion that you’d see on Oprah. But now when I meet someone from either side of adoption I have so much compassion for them and I get to understand how they feel.