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A compilation of thoughts and questions I have as I walk out this walk of faith.

Updated: 2018-02-14T18:17:53.113-05:00


I think I'm a partially lit tree!


(Can you see the bright light I see - mid-bottom, left?)Our partially lit Christmas tree is standing before me. I've taken down the decorations and yet the tree remains standing with lights on. This year, maybe due to pregnancy or maybe due to the return of joy to me, I have delayed the taking down of the decorations. I don't want Christmas to end. "Just one more day, I'll take it all down in one more day." Here we are on the 9th of January and my decorations are finally down, but the tree remains.So I sit here, looking at the Rubbermaid tubs waiting to be closed and put away, but all I can see is this single glaring light in my eyes. I never noticed it before, with all the decorations on the tree, but now it is all I can see. I realize my noticing this light is mostly due to the positioning of the single light bulb, but it is also due to my position. If I move - the light becomes hidden by a branch or the angle I see from seems more dim.Another thing I notice is the tree is really partially lit. We have one, if not two strands of lights that have gone out. So I look at this tree and one light outshines the rest and other spots are dim. It makes me think of how we are supposed to be salt and light. Now that I've clearly noticed the brightly shining light on my tree - I can't help but see it above the rest. It is unavoidable to my eyes now.One last thing I consider as I look at this tree, it will be down tomorrow, is the fact that it is partially lit. I know there are areas of my life where I believe I may shine for Him, but there are other areas where I know MUCH work is still needed. I look at this tree and see me. Maybe I have one hot spot of light that can't be ignored, while the rest of me is lit - just not outstanding. Yes there are areas that are not lit at all because I'm either resistant to growing in that area of my life or I'm clueless that there is no light there yet. It's still hidden from me.It's interesting how this tree is bare and yet seems to reveal so much. Maybe that's how I am - so bare (feel so exposed and raw at times) and yet being authentic and genuine does not allow me to hide that. At times I feel there is nowhere to hide because of this unshakable authenticity; I can not even pretend the things I want to pretend. I am so obvious in my disapproval and in my pain and in my joy - it is not something I can control. At times I want to control it all so much, to be mysterious and private but no matter how much I want to hold back the truth - it comes pouring out in my face, body language or my words because it is a flood overtaking me. "I'm FREE!!!! I'm sad! I'm HAPPY!!!! I'm mad! I'm disappointed! I'm HOPEFUL!!!!!" Whatever IT is - it comes out. Not in a way that I take it out on others, but in a way where I want to keep that to myself but can't bare hiding.I guess that's good and it can be bad too. Some don't appreciate that trait and are very uncomfortable with such raw emotion, but I'm learning to find where I'm embraced and received with gladness and let the rest go their way. No apologies because God made me me! No apologies because, if I am out of line or if I do need correcting, God is definitely gonna show me! I'm a work in progress and I'm LOVING the journey now versus trying to control and purpose things! I'm just me! Shining, dim, bright, totally off, or a beacon. Whatever I am, I am me! This 'tree' is partially lit - there are bright spots, spots that blend in and are not noticed, and a few shaded spots (where the lights are out). I'm not perfect and yet I can still shine in my flawed state. There are still areas where I'm light even when I do not realize it!I think when we are least aware of our influence and our potential is when we make the biggest impact for Him! May I never know when and where my light shines for Him! May I be clueless to this fact so that I can remain useful for HIS plan. When we 'see' a plan and/or 'way' we can be used is when we have an agenda and a plan and are least flexible. It is when we are flying blind - when we d[...]

Jason Upton- "Under the Shadow"- Live in Albany


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Verse 1

I've Been Running Trying To Find Me Refuge
Never Stopping Long Enough To See
All The While You Were Right There Waiting
To Hide Me In The Shadow Of Your Wings


Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow Of Your Wings
I Will Find My Rest
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow Of Your Wings
I Will Find My Rest

Verse 2

I Get So Thirsty Trying To Find Your Presence
That I Forget To Stop And Take A Drink
All The While You Are Right There Wanting
To Pour Your Healing Water Over Me


Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow Of Your Wings
I Will Find My Rest
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow
Under The Shadow Of Your Wings
I Will Find My Rest
In You


It's Only In You
It's Only In You Lord

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I've been thinking about how Thanksgiving is ONE of my favorite days each year, but the truth is it is my MOST favorite holiday!!! The thing I love about Thanksgiving is that it is not about giving/getting anything. It is about gratitude. It is a time to take a fresh look at our lives and say 'WOW, life is good!'. Sure, sometimes life is not all we want it to be - there are times of disappointment but.... amazingly to me - even in the bad times of life I can see how God has preserved us and it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. It's a time to appreciate God's grace on our lives!

It's also a time to remember what we DO HAVE. This world we live in presses us to the next thing all the time. The newest, latest, greatest thing to have is ever pressing upon us with a 'you must buy me' mantra in tow. But at Thanksgiving we can look at what we DO have versus what we do not have. We can be thankful for our truly bountiful blessings. Our homes, our vehicles, our washer and dryer, our dishwasher, our refrigerator and stove and beds and on and on. Such simple things we forget to think about. Our washer and dryer is a bit dated and at times I think of what it would be like to have the front loader, but then today as I was loading the washer I thought "I'm so thankful that our washer and dryer is working well. No problems with either of them." Sure, they sound like they are working hard when in use, with all the squeaking and such but... PRAISE GOD THEY WORK!!!!

It's also a time to be thankful for the people God has brought into our lives, family and friends. Sure, we all have those difficult relationships in our lives but.... I see those people as the relationships I learn the most from. They are NOT easy and those relationships often offer me the best they know how to give me today. Maybe it is due to a bias against me or maybe they are in such pain they cannot see how they are so hard to love, or maybe there is a mutually known conflict, whatever the case... I'm not mad at what they cannot give - I'm thankful they are prospering in their lives and that is enough. I don't want to look at what they are not - I do not expect anything more than what they offer. That is enough and that is how I can manage to show thanks for even the difficult people in my life. (And yes, at times, I know that I am the problem in some difficult relationships; but until God reveals that to me I usually do not see clearly either. Until He reveals that I have to approach the difficult relationships as I mention above.)

It's a time to stop and think 'WOW God - I don't know why you blessed me but you have blessed me indeed and for that I give you THANKS!' There is no 'gimmee gimmee gimmee' it is 'thank you, thank you, thank you'. He has done great things for us!

SO HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL! I pray your Thanksgiving is a true day of rest to you and your loved ones, that you are able to taste and see that the Lord, He is good!!

Jesus Culture 09 All I Need - Kim Walker)


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Verse 1:
I left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak, You won't let go
Fall to my knees, as I lift my hands to pray
Got every reason to be here again
Father's heart that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord, is You, Lord
All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord, is You, Lord

Verse 2:
One more day, and it's not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Savior once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

Bridge 1:
All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You

Bridge 2:
You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold, You hold

Warfare and Beauty


The fight - the fight to hide out and keep myself from pain versus being fully and wholly me. It seems to be THE battle I've fought all my life, and continue to face from time to time. To hide is to keep a guard over pieces of me. To keep my heart bottled up in a dark hidden place where no one can hurt me and no one can evaluate me and no one can tear me to bits. Sounds good at the start but it never satisfies.The more hidden my heart becomes the less of me I am free to be. I feel contrived and less authentic. I feel like I CAN'T be me during those times - like it isn't allowed or welcomed. As if to be me is a HUGE mistake for everyone to see.I'm re-reading 'Captivating' by John and Stasi Eldredge with a few friends. This week we are reading about being romanced and about the beauty to unveil. That as women we ache to be romanced and we ARE beautiful.The scripture shared was 1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit."Not saying that we can't or shouldn't wear beautiful things nor is it saying we should all be gentle and quiet. God makes us all unique and different. The inner beauty rises up from a heart at rest. Striving to BE beautiful is often not beautiful at all. It is only when we are at rest with our selves and who GOD says we are and what HE sees in us is when our beauty flawlessly rises up.An excerpt from the book "God, in his faithfulness, is changing me. But I remain an extrovert. In fact, instead of making me into someone else, he is make me more me. And that is one of the beautiful things about him. That the more his we become, the more ourselves we become; more our true selves. So it is a good thing that I misunderstood the Scripture. Peter doesn't mean that beautiful women rarely speak above a whisper, if they speak at all. No. To have a gentle and quiet spirit is to have a heart of faith, a heart that trusts in God, a spirit that has been quieted by his love and filled with his peace. Not a heart that is striving and restless."I know for me, my romance with God has done just that! I feel the most at rest with myself than ever before. I still war out the knowing of that and the resting in that from time to time. Just put me in a situation where I feel unsure about my surroundings or myself and BAM - my restless self rises back up! My striving to hide or be enough self rises up.The most precious thing of all is that having found this rest with God has led me to quickly see when I'm fighting the urge to be at rest in a situation. And rather than get lost in a cycle of hiding out, He is quick to shine His light of loving truth on the matter and bring me back to where He wants me to be. At rest in Him, not striving to be enough in the room. I'm thankful my striving has become a more rare choice for me these days but when it does rise up - I feel so disappointed in myself for losing my rest in Him. It is never worth losing for anyone or anyplace! My rest in Him is priceless it is painless. It is my Shalom! Why in the world would I leave my very own Shalom to hide myself?I love feeling like myself! There is no joy in playing guard over my own heart. It is natural to do that from time to time but I do not want to live there ever again. I've been freed from that job years ago and I get so frustrated when I see I've fallen back into that trap again - leaning on myself instead of resting in Him. I have to look at the fact that I am quick to return to Him, I don't stay there long but it sure feels like I'm falling none the less. I'm victorious in this anyway because back in the day I would take 1 step forward in my walk with Him and about 50 backwards. Now, the steps seem more like 20 steps forward and 2 steps backward. Who can complain with those odds?! I know the only way I'm no[...]

God's Grace in Nineveh


Have you ever felt like the journey you were on was detoured towards Nineveh while you weren't looking?! Last night I had a few things on my mind and it hit me - this journey feels like I'm headed to Nineveh. When did that happen?

I am no Jonah, this is for sure, but I can totally relate to that "I don't want to go there feeling. Anywhere but there!" All the while seeing that this may just be where God has been bringing me all along, a full circle moment of sorts. {sigh} Steve and I have found God's favor comes when you least expect it. The favor of God is usually a joyful experience, until it is in Nineveh.

Knowing you have God's favor involves things being quite easy and a fast pace forward all of a sudden. There is peace and ease and a sense of awe that leaves you feeling "What just happened? Really? This is happening to us.... now?! Wow! This sort of thing never happens!" It is a sudden fast track that comes from a divine moment perfectly orchestrated by The One Who spoke the world into existence. I have recently found myself sad about God's favor because it isn't in the place I was hoping it would be. It is in the place He knows has more impact and more purpose than I can see.

Unlike Jonah, I find myself right in the middle of this Nineveh instead of the belly of the whale. But I realized last night that I am in the place physically but my heart is not fully engaged. This was when I began to cry saying 'Why here? Why this place? Why?' and with tears streaming the thought came rushing into my head 'It feels like Nineveh and I don't wanna go!' Clearly I'm there but I didn't want to fully engage - arms distance please.... no closer... nothing to see here - move along. But that's when it became evident that God's favor is surrounding this place and we must engage. We must and I must surrender my hopes/plans/expectations so that I can be someone He can fully mold into His image.

He LOVES the people of Nineveh, I have to press in and release my opinions and see what He sees. He sees what matters and I see a limited view of something that makes me sad. Nineveh received what God sent Jonah to share - they were eager to repent and seek His face. I have to trust that if God sends us to a seeming Nineveh to me; then He has a receptive audience waiting to receive what He sends us to share. God's favor is such a unique and beautiful thing but it can also be a hard thing to walk in. My plans are not His plans - seems like a reoccurring theme in the Bible and in my life. I've got to yield my plans daily so that His plans may fully be fulfilled and His purposes will be accomplished. His favor may be hard to walk in at times, but the reward is always sweet at the end. Even sweeter when you grow in the midst of your favor. He never promised it would be easy but His grace, to walk in the hard places, is always sufficient!

*** The Nineveh I share as 'my Nineveh' is not a corrupt awful place - it is just a place that is not appealing to me. I only came up with the Nineveh example as I feel God showed me how I resist wanting to plug in where He is nudging me to do so. It isn't referring to a bad thing just the fact that like Jonah - I want to go another way instead of the way God was showing me. It was just an example God used to show me my heart regarding this. Just in case someone may try to 'understand' what I may mean - it's just an analogy.

Knowing Who You Are


Lately, I've come to see the value of knowing our true identity, if you don't have a strong knowing of who you are then someone can convince you that you are who they say you are. This is an important thing to know in our daily walk of life. If we waiver in our identity then we are easily swayed with the events of the day. There is no stability in our lives when we are unclear as to who we are.I have been pondering this thought for sometime now. "Who do I think I am, really?" versus "Who do people think I am?" versus "Who does God say that I am?" It is easy to see who we are with a few labels: I am Morning Song on my blog, I am Melodye in my every day life. Who is Melodye? Well, the obvious answers are "I am the oldest of 4 in my family, a Daughter and Granddaughter of faith filled parents/grandparents, wife of my husband, mother of my children, believer in The One True God, lover of Bible Studies, constant learner, teacher to my children (we home school), friend to many, etc., etc. The list could go on and on. "Who do I think I am?" I have come to learn that my identity, as comes from my perspective, is surprisingly skewed. I am a perfectionist, when left to my own vices, and so my perspective of myself is often way off. I see a big mess, someone who just can't quite say it right, someone who could have said that/done that/known better. Ever-achieving for better.... the elusive pinnacle of perfect, and yet I know better! I am not perfect, I don't even see myself as perfect but I strive for that. I want to do whatever I do 'THE right way'. I don't want to be slothful or inefficient. I want to be a doer and to do things well."Who do they say think I am?" I have little idea of what my friends see when they see me. I hope they see a considerate and kind friend who cares for them. Someone they can lean on and depend on. Someone who loves them and cares for them and wants the best for them. But, no matter what, my mistakes in relationships often overshadow the good reports in my mind (no matter how few and far between they are). This could be the same answer for my family members too.I hope my kids see a Mom who loves them dearly and a Mom who guards their hearts and teaches them the ways of the Lord. But I often feel failed in this task too because I often mess up and feel like a dog for the bad days, when my temper leads me instead of my prayer life. I hope my husband sees a loving wife who is there for him when he needs me, the wife he needs me to be, the true help that God has called me to be and not off on my own agenda neglecting my role. The truth is, I mess that up too. I look at the things that don't matter at times and neglect what does.So who am I? Which answer is right? My 'hope to' answer or the perspective of the many 'they's' in my life? Neither! I've come to see how important it is to see and know who I am in Christ. Because 'in Melodye' I am a mess; but 'in Christ' I am victorious. In Christ I am the apple of His eye, in Christ I am a delight to Him, in Christ I am strong, in Christ I am cherished and valued, in Christ I am a conqueror, in Christ I am given supernatural favor. But the key is to stay IN CHRIST! That takes diligence and purposed seeking of Him. In my own strength I am weak, in my own strength I am tired. In Him I am strong, in Him I am renewed when I feel weak.When I don't know who I am - I am easy to influence by the opinion of another. The only opinion that matters is HIS. If He sees me as beautiful.... I'm beautiful. If He sees me as well pleasing to Him.... then I'm well pleasing, even when another might find my acts to be less than pleasing. If He sees me as strong...... then I am strong, no matter how scared and weak I feel. If He sees me as able.... then no matter how much I feel this is beyond me, I am able. The key is hearing and seeing HIS report of who I am.Lately there has been[...]

Walking Through Pain


When we restrict our hearts from God, we injure ourselves. We basically say 'God, I can't trust You, or anyone, with that part of my heart. So I will guard that place in my heart. No thanks, I don't need Your help. I'll take it from here.' But how can we truly guard our heart effectively? The only thing we can do is build up a wall around that injured area. Sadly there is no ointment of truth being applied and no surgery by the Master Physician in that area, so that area remains toxic - but toxic behind the isolated, self-made wall.What happens next is that we either let NO ONE in that piece of our hearts or.... after much testing of someone - we find someone we are willing to open up to in that area. Since that area has never been tended to and is not healed - it is a matter of time before that someone will bump us in that spot and we don't just respond with "That hurt me, don't do that." But rather it is another time someone has hurt us there so we try to build an even more sturdy wall around that wound than before. It will now be a LONG time before we trust someone with that piece of us ever again!We then become so walled up in that area that no one is allowed in that dark recess of our heart. That wound is nurtured, but not towards healing, it is nurtured with vows of 'I'll never.' "I'll never trust anyone again. I'll never open up in that area again. I'll never.... I'll never..... I'll never!" We are not bringing healing to our hearts but reinforcing a wall of lies. The lie is that we think we are able to properly care for ourselves in that area. To some that area could be unthinkable abuse, to others it could be neglect... whatever the cause of that wound - the wound has now not been cared for behind the wall self built, but it has been given toxic ointment that has now made this original pain (no matter how large or small it was in the beginning) become infected with additional issues.We now have reinforced our pain with more pain in that area. All along God wanted us to trust Him with that spot of pain - He made us to ache for Him. So that idea of what a 'true' such and such would be like is that part of our hearts that KNOWS we were made for someone to honor us and cherish us. That someone is HIM. He made us with an ache within that can only be filled by Him and the exciting thing about that is.... there is a piece of His heart that aches for us. There is a spot in God's heart that is all mine and if I reject Him, He cannot fill that spot without me. It's not like He can fill the Melodye spot of His heart with Samantha. It's MY spot! That's the same with our hearts. There is a God spot that cries out for the true expression of love, the true value of who we are, the true loving tender care we long for.But when we begin looking for that spot to be filled by our family or friends or children... we become more empty because our family/friends AND children combined can never fill the God spot within us. So when we reinforce the 'I don't need a God who would let x-thing happen to me.' we are now toxic in our place of injury by another AND we have a heart ache that can NEVER be filled until we say yes to God. So there we are, walled in our wall of protection, not letting anyone in and not letting God tend to our aching heart. The heart that was made for love now has a wall in the middle of it. This wall surrounds a gaping, aching, toxic, neglected wound that longs to be healed AND a spot that God wants to mend for us.It is only when we willingly trust Him to see our pain and we willingly trust Him to apply ointment and we willingly allow Him to bandage us up.... that is when healing begins. The tender, aching, throbbing wound still hurts to the touch. It hurts to the simple glance towards it even. But as truth is applied to that spot daily, the heart begins to mend little by little. And before y[...]

Choose Life.... Choose Blessings


Thinking about the curses side of the table, it does seem harsh for a curse to be passed down through generations at all. When I think of it that way it is a bit sad but I see the scripture states the curse in Exodus 20: 4-6 refers to those who hate God. It isn't like they are unsure of what they think of God but they hate God. They hate what He stands for and they hate His ways no matter what. Hate is defined as to dislike intensely or passionately. Synonyms for hate are loathe, despise, or detest. There are many more but this isn't a simple "I don't understand you God therefore I say no to you." This is an active agenda of hate.I think that is the kind of hate that exists in an extreme few. Maybe I'm naive but I think the number of people who hate God with that kind of venom and agenda are few. I think the average person who says no to God may not hate Him, they may just not understand Him. I think God is not so harsh with those who simply cannot come to a decision, although consequences occur for not choosing. You must choose God or you will not be saved. It does require a decision. But to those who actively pursue hatred towards Him, to those there is a generational curse that is involved.I think of the racists out there as an example to use. For those involved in extreme hate groups against one race or another - they often pass their agenda of hate onto their children. They are not passive in their desire to influence their children in their opinion. They are active and it is clear that if a child is raised in that naive single view of the world - they too will manifest that same racism. If they somehow have other influences in their lives that have enough influence to counter that agenda of hate... that child may form his own opinion and not adopt the hate of their father. It may take a few generations for the truth to pierce into a family. Just look at how long this nation took for a generation to look past color and to the individual. It is still a battle that some fight - they are seen as a race first in some peoples eyes versus being seen as a person who matters. Over 40 years to begin seeing a glimpse of hope in that area. Racism is an example that makes it so it is easy to see how a generation can be influenced to adopt a toxic view of the world.I think those extreme examples, although that is not the only way people show hate towards God, show how some are never willing - there entire life - to see beyond their small view of truth. That extreme person will never say yes to God and will never let go of their agenda, unless God performs a miracle in their life. That is totally possible but considering a generational curse made me wonder what it would take for God to decide to allow that curse to remain for more than a single generation and I see now how a family can choose to reject truth as long as they choose to. God's choice would be that they see Him in truth and receive Him. But they do have a choice to reject Him - God doesn't force Himself on us. He wants us to choose Him. God prefers to bless but we actually choose the curse when we reject Him.(Just wanted to note that I know Job didn't sin and had hardship/trials that were not warranted and were a test of his faith. There are times that hardships are purposed beyond us and come into our lives as a way to glorify God. Not saying that never happens but I am strictly speaking to the incidents where we do bring a curse upon ourselves by rejecting God's truth in specific areas. "Idols on our heart block worship, idols are there because we believe lies." Idol worship of any kind brings a curse upon our lives, no matter how small it may seem. A curse produces death in your life - it limits you. A blessings produces life in your life - it opens you up to more life.)It is hard to imagine God allowing curses on u[...]

More on Blessings and Curses


I am amazed that I would have anything else to say on the Blessing and Curses matter but I woke up with this thought 'How amazing of God to limit the curse on us but offer a limitless blessing!' I mean, if someone HATES God - deliberately worships another god - that curse upon that family for rejecting God is over within 3 or 4 generations. Meaning by the 3rd or 4th generation - God allows the eyes of that generation to be open to Him.How cool is that!?! So, if my grandparent's parents rejected God and chose an idol as their god alone and if they HATED God.... then by the time I came along the curse would be removed and I would have eyes to see and ears to hear. The only thing left would be for my heart to seek after God and choose to trust God and ask for His forgiveness and for me to receive Christ as my Savior. In my situation, there are still two living generations before me and so it is quite possible for them to see my choice and it is quite possible for them to choose to turn to God as well. There is an end to the curse.But the blessing..... OH! WOW! The blessings are unending! The choice to worship God and to seek Him brings blessing for 1000 generations. That is immeasurable! That is beyond what I could imagine! That is beyond the realm of my influence! That is a merciful and compassionate God!I know I related the scripture of Exodus 20: 4-6 with 'seeing and hearing' and that is not a direct interpretation of that scripture but I do see how living under the umbrella of a distorted truth versus living under the umbrella of THE Truth is a form of a curse in our lives. Distorted truth limits us, distorted truth binds us up in areas of our lives, distorted truths keep us from full freedom in Christ. The umbrella of Christ, THE Truth, provides real freedom in all areas of our lives.A mindset can be a curse of sorts because it blocks us from seeing who God really is. It blinds us to understanding the heart of God. We all have mindsets that block us from seeing God truly. I know I've seen a few distorted truths shown under The Light of Truth recently, via prayer, and the great thing is once you see The Truth in the matter at hand - all it takes is for you to repent for believing the lie (distorted truth), renounce agreement with that lie, acknowledge the truth and accept The Truth and you are now free to live under The Truth umbrella in that area. No more leaning on a lie as your foundation. It's that simple. Then you must live your life by The Truth and stop your mind from wandering in the circles of thinking the old way, you must set your mind on your new found freedom.I am sure I'm not finished seeing lies exposed in my own life. I'm not done revealing distorted truths, because they are often these little twists on The Truth and until God reveals them to you and until you have eyes to see and ears to hear.... you just may not be willing to accept your 'facts' are lies. God is so kind and generous to allow us to take one truth at a time, so that our lives become more stabilized on HIM versus giving it all to us at once and leaving us with our heads spinning. We can become free and strong in one area, live it out - time to adjust our living to Truth before revealing the next lie we are bound up in. Can you imagine if He exposed it all to us at once - how overwhelming to try to correct ALL our distorted truths at once.Removing lies and building on His Truth in our lives IS the Christian walk. We don't just accept Christ as our Savior, repent of our sinful ways and go on. We must ask Him daily, seek Him daily to open our eyes to see anew and offer our ears to hear His voice. It takes a willing heart to walk it out. We can walk out our faith without seeking for more, but that is not living a victorious life. That's living a forgiven life - and believ[...]

Blessings and Curses


Tonight I was enjoying an unexpected discussion regarding blessings and curses and was challenged to look more into the topic. I recalled a scripture mentioning that the curses were limited to the 3rd or 4th generation but the blessings went much farther. I wanted to say for 1000 generations but that sounded like such a LONG time and I wasn't sure. The conversation led to seeking the scripture out for ourselves to glean more. (All scripture is from the Amplified translation.)When I arrived home I opened my Bible and began the search. I found many scriptures discussing blessings and curses and finally landed on the one I was thinking of. Exodus 20:4-6 "You shall not make yourself any graven image {to worship it} or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, But showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments."Then I read this note: 'Idols on our heart block worship; idols are there because we believe in lies.' So, anything we believe and live by that is opposed to God's truth is an idol. Any idol we bow down to (ie buy into the lie) produces a curse in our lives. Interesting, I love aha moments! As I was reading and flipping through my Bible I saw the following scriptures jump out at me:John 8:32 "And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free."John 8: 36 "So if the Son liberates you, then you are really and unquestionably free."John 8:43 "Why do you misunderstand what I say? It is because you are unable to hear what I am saying. {You cannot bear to listen to My message; your ears are shut to My teaching.}John 8:47 "Whoever is of God listens to God. {Those who belong to God hear the words of God.} This is the reason you do not listen {to those words, to Me}: because you do not belong to God and are not of God or in harmony with Him."So, if we choose to look at, or base our perspective off of, something that is opposed to God's word then we are buying into a lie. The lie produces an idol that blocks us from receiving further truth. But if we welcome His Truth then the Truth will set us free and we are free without doubt! We must choose to seek THE Truth and not be found looking for our truth to be confirmed. If we desire to see Him and what He sees, then we will accept His truth with open arms. His truth can only produce life in our lives. But we do have the choice to truly hear The Truth or reject it.Here is an example of rejecting the truth before their eyes: In these scriptures, the Pharisees did not see Jesus for who He Was but as a sinner. Jesus had just healed the blind man and they were questioning "who is this fellow?". Can't you just hear the tone in that question?!John 9: 29-30 "We know for certain that God spoke with Moses, but as for this Fellow, we know nothing about where He hails from. The man replied, Well, this is astonishing! Here a Man has opened my eyes and yet you do not know where He comes from."John 9:39 "Then Jesus said, I came into this world for judgment {as a Separator, in order that there may be separation between those who believe on Me and those who reject Me}, to make the sightless see and to make those who see become blind."John 9:41 "Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but because you now claim to have sight, your sin remains. {If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but because you insist, We do see clearly, you are unable to escape your guilt.}"John 10:10 "The thief comes only in order to stea[...]

Hear Us From Heaven


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Lord, hear our cry
Come heal our land
Breath life into these dry and thirsty souls
Lord, hear our prayer
Forgive our sin
And as we call on your name
Would you make this a place
For your glory to dwell

Open the blind eyes
Unlock the deaf ears
Come to your people
As we draw near
Hear us from heaven
Touch our generation
We are your people
Crying out in desperation

Hear us from heaven,
Hear us from heaven,
Hear us from heaven (4x)

This is my personal heart cry for our nation right now. Lord, hear our prayer!!!!

Blessed Be Your Name



A friend shared this link on her blog and I thought it was worth passing on. I hope you enjoy it.

And Baby Makes 5


We are finally expecting baby number 3! It has been almost 3 years of wanting another baby but the long delay seems like nothing since we now have our good news. The fun part of this is that our kids are both old enough to care. They ask me if they can see if my belly is fat now. They are excited and can't wait to meet their new sibling.

It has been fun to see this experience through their eyes and with their fun questions. I bought a pregnancy journal yesterday and began filling in the pages of our experience thus far. After filling in the first few pages I decided to pull out the journals from my first 2 pregnancies to reminisce.

Pregnancy 1 was full of details and the tone of the journal was more of a diary to me. I shared things I was going through personally. There were many entries and not all were about the pregnancy. Some details about what was going on in life as well as many details about the pregnancy. So many details I've now forgotten. I had no idea that my pregnancy with Pumpkin began with heartburn and this third pregnancy did too. MUCH heartburn actually!

With Buddy's journal there were fewer details about life in general. Life was full of a distracting toddler so my entries were almost every other week and the life details were omitted. Fewer personal details and written more to Buddy and less as a diary for me.

Journal three was well on it's way before reading the first two and I see how it is a mix of both. It is written to me and to baby, mostly pregnancy details with some personal life details. I cannot wait to see how things move along. A little comparison thus far shows:

Pregnancy 1 - began with heartburn
Pregnancy 2 - began with nausea and no appetite
Pregnancy 3 - heartburn

Should I guess that I may be having another girl? Too soon to tell but so far that would be a good assumption. Who knows - every pregnancy is as different as every child from what I hear. We are just so excited and are looking forward to see how this sweet baby will add to our family. We are full of joy and enjoying every day along the way.

His Grace IS Sufficient!!


The puzzle pieces of my life are coming together lately. Many 'aha' moments. This morning I read the following in an email: "My grace is sufficient for the demands of today. Take one moment at a time and one step at a time and trust Me with all of your heart. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."As I read this email and the scripture it jumped out at me again. "God's sufficiency in the midst of insufficiency." If you've read my last two posts you will easily notice what I saw. I will explain the connection but first I must add another detail to this whole story.There was a time in my life where I felt I had done things as I should. I was that girl. The one who obeyed all the rules and didn't notice how much of a gift that was to myself. I had my eyes focused on other things as an indicator for a successful life. I saw the fun my friends had, I saw how they lacked the guilt meter within their head that kept me from the 'fun' I saw them readily enjoying. I wanted to be brave enough to live it up too. I wanted to stop feeling like life was passing me by while I sat on the side lines watching all the fun. I didn't see how this gift of keeping myself from these sort of pleasures was truly a gift to myself. Shoulda, coulda, woulda told that girl to keep on keepin' on but... my eyes were off course and I followed the fun.While on my trip down 'fun' lane, God began chasing me down. What happened was every.single.time I turned on the TV or radio or anything really - there would be a Pastor on TV preaching on the scripture passage of Matthew 6:33-34. It wasn't like every channel had it on but it would not fail that if I couldn't find something to watch on TV, my channel flipping would find a Pastor reading that scripture at the moment I 'tuned in'. It took several instances of this before I began to stop and listen, out of curiosity that EVERY Pastor was preaching on this scripture. The thing is I knew God all my life and I KNEW that this wasn't a coincidence. I finally began listening when I was channel flipping.After some time I went home to visit my parents and I agreed to attend a church service with them. I grew up going to church but went my own way for about 3 years before this chase surfaced. I had a friend from high school call me and tell me of nightmares she was having about me and many other weird things. So, I go to church with my parents and on my way to church (I drove separate b/c they were in choir and Sunday School so I went alone) my tire went flat. I drove on my rim for too long because I knew I had no one to call to help me. All my connections were in my new community and I lost all contact back home. So I drove as far as I felt I could and then walked to church. I had this overwhelming fear come over me and I began to have anxiety as I almost ran to church. My Mom saw me walk in the door from the choir loft - she saw the panic on my face and came to see if I was OK.Would you believe..... the Pastor got on stage and he said "Would you open your Bible's to Matthew 6:33-36?". O.M.G.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I knew God was at the point of this 'chase' after me that things were about to change. I was about to get back on the road I lived all my life. The three year sabbatical was over - time to get back on THE right track again. I relented and I said yes to Christ again and life began changing little by little.Here I am today, reading a simple email, with the understanding of my latest adventure in life WITH God and finding His message to me has been the same all along. "MY grace is sufficient for t[...]

Oh How He Whispers!


Last summer I reunited with some friends and they mentioned a retreat they were going to attend. I knew the ministry leader was great and I was so hungry for a God moment. I know God had been ministering to me 1 on 1 and that was EXCITING!!!! The only thing was I had a taste of the deepness of God, while under this ministry leader before, and I had not found anything like it since. To say I was excited and thrilled about this retreat was a slight understatement.The plans were set - things were in order - I was looking forward to our time together and then... Hurricane Gustav hit. This meant that if there was severe damage to the area where we were staying the retreat was cancelled. Gustav arrived on September 1, 2008 and our retreat was on September 4, 2008, we found out that our retreat location was not affected but everyone attending the retreat was affected. They were without power, fuel and the after affects seemed to be on going for sometime. The retreat wasn't cancelled because the facilities would not allow us to postpone or refund money so... the show must go on.We arrived and boy was it a great time of refreshing and much teaching that was truly life changing. Thankfully my husband saw the personal benefit this time was for me and when they announced their retreat in May 2009, I was able to go. Then I just returned from our retreat that was September 10, 2009. Each retreat has been life-changing for me and I am so glad to have reconnected to this source of ministry again.I said all of that to say, every retreat there has been a unique thing that has happened on my ride home. I ALWAYS see an abundance of yellow butterflies. How crazy is that?! I know they are around before and after retreat but for whatever reason - they are everywhere I look as I drive home. I thought it unique and yet wondered if there could be more to this 'coincidence'. I believe that God is always trying to speak to us - He uses His creation as He likes to accomplish that. Whether it be a recurring number (222 for me - see last post) or a yellow butterfly.Needless to say, I began searching for meaning behind yellow butterflies. I found that yellow represents Gift. "A gift (with feeling); gift from or of God; marriage; family; honor. Welcome home (as in "a yellow ribbon") The scripture reference for yellow:Though ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove [spiritual] covered with silver [knowledge], and her feather with yellow gold [spirit of wisdom and the glory of God] Psalm 68:13Butterfly represents freedom. "Flighty (flitting about); fragile" There were scripture references to transformation which often refers to butterflies. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind... Romans 12:2So can I deduce that the wisdom gleaned at retreat is a fragile gift of God that produces freedom as I bring these truths home? I don't see why it can't represent that or it could just be about walking in the freedom attained during that time away. Either way - I'm taking it! He may even have a more personal reason than that, one I've yet to discover but that's what I love most about my God. He is ever revealing a new glimpse of truth of Himself to me. He keeps me on this adventure of my life - this chase of sorts. He chases me down with His goodness, I'm often too busy to recognize His gentle whispers toward me. If nothing else I am encouraged to see that I'm now awake to Him. I see a pattern, and yes it may take 3 times before I put things together, and I look for what He may want me to see in that silly or truly heavy situation.He does the same when I am w[...]

Set Apart


I find God moves in my life in fun ways. One of the interesting things that has happened on my journey is the way God has used a specific number. My husband and I first began seeing the number 222 everywhere we looked when we were engaged, 13 years ago. It was weird and fun but we thought it a silly coincidence that was so random and yet intriguing when we noticed it again and again and again.Without warning, we stopped noticing that number. In fact, it was something I totally forgot about until.... God so chose to minister to my very heart. Four years ago this month, actually I think September 24th was the day, we moved many hours away from all family and friends. Oddly enough my parents happened to move to a city that Steve and I fell in love with about 5 or 6 months before we moved. Steve and I had been here in February of 2001 and thought 'we want to move here'. We thought that would happen in or around 2001 but we never could get a release from the businesses we were involved in nor did we have a release to move.Then came Hurricane Katrina. We had this feeling in our gut that we were on the edge of a life change but it didn't make sense - this knowing began before Katrina even arrived. Little did we know how HUGE the change would be for us. Katrina hit August 28, 2005 and something within our spirits began to stir. We knew it was time to go but... where and why and for how long and why now and.. and... and - the questions were in abundance. Funny enough -before Katrina, we began packing our things but didn't know why we felt the urge to pack.Steve and I knew it was time to go, we knew it as surely as we knew our own names but we didn't want it, nor did we understand why. God is so good with the details of life. My baby brother and his precious wife came and helped us pack up the remaining loads. It was so hard to pack because we didn't want to go. We were happy. We were settled. We were content. The move pressed on.We moved during Hurricane Rita, September 24, 2005. We loaded up the truck and we were on the road. It was a rough go of things because we were happy in our home town. We were so very happy and we weren't moving due to storm damaging our home, we were moving because HE said move. We obeyed although it ripped my heart out in the process.During the first year of moving we spent about 6 months living with my parents and then we began to find our way in our new home town. When we moved I became DESPERATE to hear from God. To find confirmation that we were doing what HE wanted and not being moved in a moment of crisis. I began to find myself driving around and plugging into our community but with a gaping ache of 'did we do the right thing God? Was this what you wanted?'I began getting nudges from Him when those questions arose within my heart. I began seeing 222 all the time, like when I was driving somewhere and asking a million questions within my head. I began seeing it on the clock when I couldn't sleep at night and I would look over and see that it was 2:22am. It became a way of God speaking to me - a little 'I hear you and yes you are on the right track'. This began to become more regular and I knew God used a prior 'silly' thing, something that was so personal and so random that it would not be missed. It was an intimate thing - a me and Him thing. It brought a bit of excitement to see how readily and swiftly He would nudge my heart question with a 222.I began searching for a meaning behind the numbers - was it a scripture or a nudge or do numbers mean something or..... WHAT?! I believe He used that to say "I see you, I hear you" and often[...]

Rend Your Heart


"Even now," declares the Lord,"return to me with all your heart,with fasting and weeping and mourning."Rend your heartand not your garments.Return to the Lord your God,for he is gracious and compassionate,slow to anger and abounding in love,and he relents from sending calamity.Who knows? He may turn and have pityand leave behind a blessing --grain offerings and drink offeringsfor the Lord your God.Blow the trumpet in Zion,declare a holy fast,call a sacred assembly.Gather the people,consecrate the assembly;bring together the elders,gather the children,those nursing at the breast.Let the bridegroom leave his roomand the bride her chamber.Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,weep between the temple porch and the altar.Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord.Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,a byword among the nations.Why should they say among the peoples,'Where is there God?' "Joel 2: 12-17****************************************When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai,he sent back this answer: "Do not think that becauseyou are in the king's house you alone of all the Jewswill escape. For if you remain silent at this time,relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's familywill perish. And WHO KNOWS but that you havecome to royal position for such a time as this?"Then Esther sent this replay to Mordecai: "Go,gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days,night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do.When this is done, I will go to the king, even thoughit is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."So Mordecai went away and carried out all ofEsthers' instructions.Esther 4:12-17*************************************"Beloved, in the times of greatest struggle when youmake the Godward decision over convenience, earthlycomfort, or carnal pleasure, you too have come to a critical moment in the fulfillment of your destiny. Adefining moment. A war is being waged over your headin the unseen realm, and a great cloud of witnesses is cheering you on. You have no idea what's at stake."Beth Moore ~ Esther Study[...]

A Time to.....


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

What time are you in?

The Race


Last night I awoke a few times - nothing earth shattering but in that twinkling of consciousness I had this visual of a baby learning to walk. Often times the momentum of walking alone will cause the baby to run unexpectedly and usually they will fall flat on their tummy/hands. They are forward falling because of their posture of arms outstretched and leaning towards where they are going. Later on, of course, they learn to balance better and are less likely to tumble forward but now land on that cushy diaper beneath them. The second visual was of an experienced runner. One who knows how to time themselves and to properly run the race to endure. They press past their pain and do not give up easily. They know how to pace themselves and therefore they will finish - not necessarily the first to finish the race but they will finish. They have sacrificed much to train for this moment.The third visual was of someone with great zeal - running as fast as they could so they could make quick progress to only see that very early on they were out of breath, may need to stop to rest in order to continue, may not finish at all because of the cramping and severe stress they've put on their body. I think we all have found ourselves in each scenario listed above. Remove the 'runner' example and replace that with your job, parenting, your walk with God or anything. It all can fit. At first we are all in - leaning forward towards the mark ahead. No turning back because our eyes are fixed on where we want to go. The second example is one of an old pro. The third is one who is familiar with the skill at hand but really doesn't know as much as they think they know about the skill. Looking back on life in general I can see many years I lived life in the 3rd scenario. Whether it be about God or my job or raising kids or... or... or. I found that way of life to be filled with MY effort to strive and work to 'make' things happen. It was an exhausting experience with little to show for all the work. Recently some of that striving has vanished. I don't know what the final lesson was but the inner dialogue and struggle has ended. That doesn't mean I do not progress or learn or grow - it just means I am finding more rest in the journey because I am not running in an overzealous fashion anymore but taking a slow and steady pace that allows me to cross the finish line more often. I think I did manage to cross the finish line occasionally when I was in scenario 3 in life but my lessons learned were easily lost because my focus was on the work I did. There was rarely time to rest and take in the lesson at hand. This last year specifically has brought much rest and much learning to the core of myself and maybe that is why the finish line has been crossed more often. More little wins that contribute to the bigger wins. The little win of not letting things get to my heart when they shouldn't. The little wins of enjoying the question at hand in my life rather than trying to erase any and all questions with my flawed understanding. I'm learning that some things cannot be understood because human nature alone causes us to do unthinkable things from time to time. Often times with that 'I don't know why I, or why they, did that' feeling hovering ever near. When we are in the infant stage of life in our walk with God - we are ever focused on the job of stepping. We are conscious of every step taken and we take it with great caution. Every tiny step is a win. When we are over confident and 'know' it all, our eyes are not fixed [...]

God's Chisel - The Skit Guys


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I've Been Captivated by THE Picture of Love


I'm really enjoying the book "Captivating" that I've been reading. It's one I've had on my shelf for about 1 year and I've finally made my way to opening the cover. I think this was the time I needed to read this book the most. I love when He leads me to a treasure like this one - at just the right time. :) God is so good! He is our pursuer! He is our protector! He is in CRAZY love with us! I so love Him!

This book is about 'Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul'. WOW! Well, from what I've read thus far (and I'm on chapter 6 now) this book is so very revealing to the attacks that Satan has had on women from Eve onward. Satan didn't just choose to deceive Eve randomly - he chose her as his target for very specific reasons. It is so amazing to see the heart reason for this attack and how this lie has been so readily bought by the entire human race (yes - that means men and women have bought this lie). It is eye opening at the very least. It clearly shows what God designed women for and how Satan has corrupted that and/or distorted it so much that we don't even know why we ache in the pit of our soul for that something that we instinctively KNOW is missing. But we do.

Anyway, at the beginning of chapter 6 a familiar scripture is shared and then put in modern lingo. It is the scripture that Jesus read when He officially started His ministry, it is from Isaiah 61: 1-3.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion ----
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

This is what Jesus was most passionate about - this was the core desire of His heart for ministry.

The modern lingo of the scripture above:

God has sent me on a mission.
I have some great news for you.
God has sent me to restore and release something.
And that something is you.
I am here to give you back your heart and set you free.
I am furious at the Enemy who did this to you, and I will fight
against him.
Let me comfort you.
For, dear one, I will bestow beauty upon you
where you have known only devastation.
Joy, in the places of your deep sorrow.
And I will robe your heart in thankful praise
in exchange for your resignation and despair.
(From the book 'Captivating' by John and Stasi Eldredge)

He loves us - OH how He loves us! OH how He loves us! OH how He LOVES! (If you haven't listened to that song I posted on my blog a few days ago via youtube- you need to listen to it and drink in the truth of His love! He loves us dearly! The depth of His love is amazing! I adore Him!)

Understand the Season


I love the way God does things. Last week I tried to share this story in another post but I could not remember the details. I couldn't find where I saved the email either. Wouldn't you know it that a group that often sends me email updates included this story in their email update yesterday! I love it! ;)

Now, when I first heard this story it was from the perspective of not judging one another by the one season we see that person going through. A reminder that we are all more than the one season we are going through at this time. But yesterday this story was shared with a slight change in the focus. We must not even judge our own lives too quickly - what a great message. So I hope you enjoy reading this story of seasons - I know it is a great lesson in perspective no matter how you apply the lesson.

Understand the Season

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent each of them on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and returned, he called them all together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted.

The second son said it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was lad with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The father then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree or person by only one season. The essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy and love that comes from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of spring, the beauty of your summer and the fulfillment of your fall.

The moral of the story for all of us is, don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Today I want to remind you not to judge life by one difficult season. As you persevere through the difficult and challenging seasons in your life, know that better times are on their way. Don't grow weary in doing right or working hard because in due season you will flourish and have success!

Closed Eyes and Closed Heart


I just heard this said "I just closed my eyes and my heart and I just did it." 'It' can represent a multitude of things. For this particular person, it was something that they were not proud they did. That phrase is such a perfect one - I just closed my eyes and my heart and I just did it. I don't know about you but there have been times in my life that I've just closed my eyes and my heart and did something on my "I would never" list. It can be as simple as hurting someone you care about or as big as the worst moments are in our individual lives. It even occurs when we choose not to forgive an offense. It is a slippery slope we find ourselves on when we close our eyes and heart.

As is the case with any sort of neglect, self inflicted or otherwise, there are consequences. I know the after effects that immediately followed for me can vary from self hatred to much wondering of what was I thinking. What causes us to come to the point of willingly closing our eyes and our heart to do the things we never want to do? Thankfully I've not found myself in this place very often and I hope I continue to guard against the urge to close my eyes and heart again; but I thought this phrase so well describes the process we may go through when we do shut down.

Our heart and eyes cannot bear the information so they must be intentionally closed down in an effort to preserve self. Willingly closing our heart can cause us to become hard hearted if we are not careful. Have you ever willingly closed your eyes and heart to something or someone? Have you gone to the next step of willingly opening your eyes and heart to those areas now? It is not the easiest step to take but a necessary one. Without willingly opening your eyes and heart in that area again - you are building a wall that will only harm you when all is said and done. It is smart to take some time to carefully walk through the process of properly healing before opening up again; but in the end it is the most vital step toward a healthier you.

"I'm Just Trying to Help"


I've found myself in a strange place lately. I do not have the words to properly express this strange place so I will share a 'story' with you. Let's pretend I have a house with a bad shutter.

Let's pretend a friend calls me and says "Hey there. I just noticed that your shutter was loose and wanted to make sure you were aware of that. I didn't want it to get worse and you not know it."

I say "Thank you friend. I did notice that shutter. I've actually attempted to repair that very shutter a few times before but that silly shutter continues to come loose when certain types of storms blow through our neighborhood. Thank you for thinking of me and lending a helping hand."

The next day the friend calls back "Hey, I know you are aware of your bad shutter but... you really need to get your shutter fixed. This is not something you can wait on - you need to move on this right now because it is more serious than you can see."

Me "Thank you for your concern for me - but I have called the repair man and he says he will be here soon to properly repair this. Thank you again for taking the time to let me know about my shutter but it really isn't as bad as it must appear to you."

Friend calls the next day "I've now reported you to the home owners association, since you are unwilling to make this issue right. You have obviously been neglecting matters at your home and somebody needed to say this to you - it has become an offense to all who see it."

Me "No comment." (Because now I see my words are not being heard so - there is nothing to say anymore.)

Friend sends a demolition company to my house with dynamite to blow up this neglected home because it is obvious to 'them' that this 'shutter' problem is way bigger than anyone thought. A repair man won't do - a demolition team is necessary because the house is obviously about to tip over from all that damage the simple shutter brought to this home.

It all begin with a kind effort to help but it has now become a source of destruction. Some lend an innocent helping hand that becomes an all out effort to destroy you to your very core. Hard lesson to learn but I'm trying to find good in all of this - right now I can't see any.

The biggest lesson learned was that this friend never really knew me and therefore didn't know how minor the issue they saw was. To them there was more to the story but all the 'more' was via their imagination. The story was simple but now it has become destructive. It has been a sad few weeks but I'm renewing my strength right now, or should I say that HE is renewing my strength right now. When someone misunderstands you it hurts, but when they insist on misunderstanding you and get mad that you won't say they are right.... that is a fight not worth fighting. It's not worth fighting because the only way you 'win' is by agreeing with the lie that they believe is true. That's never worth doing.