Friday, June 25, 2010

Resting in Green Pastures

Do you know of anyone else in your life who promises to “make you lie down in green pastures”? Just take a minute, what a gorgeous picture this is: you, lying down, resting peacefully in a green, thriving, soft green pasture. Yes, He and he alone makes us lie down in green pastures. A pasture we could never grow hungry in, a soft sweet cushy bed of green grass.

Sometimes we choose to lie down in our own pit of dumpy mud instead, wallowing like a pig in our own pit of despair and doubt. But that is not what he offers to us, not what he wants for us, not at all what he wants for his beautiful daughter. This is not where you lie. No, he would have you lie in green pastures. Pastures of growth, pastures of change at times, but always a peaceful green pasture among the thorny bushes of life. Not a stark barren dessert of loneliness, but a beautiful green pasture filled with joy where all you need is Him.

And notice that we are lying down in this pasture, not running around, trying to tame the wild animals, or be the first one in a race out of the pasture, no here we are just lying peacefully in the pasture. A pasture of growth, and yet we are lying down. Could it be that sometimes growth comes with the ability to just lay it down, be at peace, and be thankful for the blessings that are thriving all around us. Maybe. Tonight, when you go to sleep, maybe you could lie your head down in the green pasture he has prepared for you, his beautiful daughter. Just rest in Him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Something Beautiful

Psalm 16
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful [b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Depression is not my friend. It is not something I enjoy, nor do I think anyone does for that matter. It kind of puts a grey stormy cloud around everything. But yet I stand amazed on days like today when God takes that cloud and completely lifts it from me, and I feel as light as a feather. On days like today, I believe God just picks me up and loves on me all day, and fills my heart with joy. For at least a day, the hurt just isn’t there, it is healed. And it may come back tomorrow, and it may not, and I pray that it doesn’t. But that is not a worry right now, for right now, I’m gonna bask in some joy.

There is something to be said for keeping our eyes on the Lord, we will not be shaken. When our eyes are dead pan set on the Lord, there is nothing that can hinder our gaze. He is pure light, pure love, pure joy, and when we are in his presence and lift our eyes to him, there is the joy. Not to say that we won’t still hurt, not to say that bad things won’t happen, not to say that we won’t have another “one of those days” – but in the midst of this, keep your eyes fixed my darling, and you will not be shaken. Not that you won’t have hurt, but you will not be shaken out of his loving arms.

Joy is a gift for every single one of us, some of just have to learn how to receive it. Just because we struggle with depression, or addiction, or have a past history of hurt and pain – this cannot rob us of our joy unless we let it. There will be days where we struggle with feelings and memories and emotions – there will be days when joy seems like the furthest thing from what we are feeling, but even in the midst we must know that it is only temporary. Every single day we must re-fix of our gaze, every single day!!! As we pour out our heart to God, seek forgiveness, let him into the darkest places, ask him to fill us up with him, ask for nothing to satisfy us like seeking him and serving him – joy will come. It comes a bit more difficulty to those of us who tend to be melancholy, it may look different on those of us who tend towards depression. But we can still have it! It may require that we step outside of our own circumstances, and serve someone else, that may be where we find joy. It may require that we come to some degree of acceptance regarding circumstances in our lives, it may require a consistent conscious effort of refocusing our thoughts, but we can have it, we can have joy. He wants us to have joy. Let your heart be glad, let your tongue rejoice, let your body REST in him, he has already won. We were bought with the precious blood of Christ, the joy is ours, let’s choose to receive it regardless of circumstances. Get down on your knees girl, and wait for something beautiful!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Abandonment Feelings, grrrrrrrrrrr

So, if I wasn’t convinced before, I am now convinced that abandonment feelings are straight from the pit of hell. I really don’t know of anything that can send us reeling and spiraling like feelings of abandonment. They don’t have to even be real, just perceived abandonment, that really isn’t abandonment at all, can make us absolutely-certifiably-nuts.

There are those in the counseling field who would even venture to say that this is the root cause of all psychopathology, abandonment or perceived abandonment. Isn’t that funny that just the feeling that we might actually be alone, that someone would leave us, can make us that upset? I guess that is why we need God so very very desperately; we NEED to KNOW that God is always there, that he will never ever ever ever leave us. That is the absolute truth, but if you are like me, when you are reeling and spinning in the throws of an abandonment onslaught, all truths go out the window.

So, just remember a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Each and every one of us needs that one person we can go to when we are spinning ourselves like a drill going 90 miles an hour into our own pit. We need that one person to stop us from spinning, and help us to just breathe and stand still. It’s a good idea also to “hide scripture in our hearts” so that when it is needed we can whip it out for battle and send those feelings straight back to where they belong. Abandonment, grrrrr, go back to your home!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lay it down

Do you ever want something to happen so bad that you just can’t lay it down? It’s almost as if we think the tighter we hold onto a dream, the more likely it is to happen. There is a fear that if we let it go, it might get up and fly away. It’s kind of like holding a paper airplane in your hand and expecting it to fly after you have crushed the life out of its wings because you’re gripping it so hard.

Dreams are like that. They are important. They are needed. They give us something to strive for, a reason to live, a feeling of purpose. However, when we refuse to lay our dreams down at the throne of God, he never has a chance to make them happen. If you never let go of the paper airplane, he can never turn it into a magnificent flying machine that will sour through the sky.

What are you having a hard time letting go of today? Is it the fight? Are you having a hard time believing that if you don’t keep fighting for your dream, it may never come true? That if you give it to God and let Him take care of it, that he might not do exactly what you wanted him to do? Sometimes we are so afraid that he might modify our dreams a little bit to better fit his purpose, that instead of giving them to Him, we continue to choke the life out of them ourselves. Dreams are worth fighting for, but fighting is useless unless you have the will of God behind you. There are just certain things that aren’t worth fighting for, and unless you give that dream to God, you will never know what he can do with it. He might fashion it into something you never thought it could be, but unless you give it to him, you will never know. And although the dreams our heads can come up with can be good, I promise you, God only fashions the very best, and he only has the very best in store for you.

Trusting Him with something as big and as personal as our dreams can be difficult. It requires a new level of submission that we may not have bowed to before. It may require some patience, as you quietly wait for Him to do his work. Sometimes the hardest thing is not laying the dream down, it is waiting patiently and not running back and snatching it back up! So pray for patience. Humbly lay your dreams before his throne, and pray for patience and peace and trust that he only has the best in mind for his beautiful child. Lay it down. Wait. It takes time to turn a crushed paper airplane into a 747, sometimes it requires some modifications, but lay it down. He has amazing things in store for his beloved children. Lay it down.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Heart's Desire

What is the desire of your heart? I went to a Beth Moore event on this last year, and it was brought fresh to my mind today as I read Psalms 20:4 “May he grant your heart’s desire and make all you plans succeed.”

Reading this was like a breath of fresh air for me. My heart desires so many things, but more than anything I desire to do something significant with my life. It is both a blessing and a curse that I have this insatiable need to achieve that never seems to be squelched. I say it is a blessing because God continues to mold that need to achieve into what he has planned for me, not what I would have for myself. I seem to have a drive that just won’t quite until everyone knows how amazingly awesome a passionate relationship with their Savior can be. However, this drive can also be a curse because it can never happen fast enough for me! I wanted to publish a book, have an active counseling practice, and a wellness center filled with amazing spiritual people that offers yoga, counseling, massage, and spiritual guidance – and I wanted it all YESTERDAY!!!! It just seems to never come quick enough for me.

However, I do know that if Christ places a desire in my heart, he will fulfill. If he gave me a passion to reach out to others in this way, he will make it happen one way or another, so long as my own pride and sin doesn’t get in the way. It may not look exactly like the picture that I have in my head, but he knows exactly the purpose he has for each and every one of us.

So I guess what I want to say, is don’t give up on the desire of your heart. Pray daily that he will align your hearts desires with his purpose for you so that you will be able to live with a holy passion that burns for Him and His purpose. I know that he has and continues to tweak and bend my hearts desires as I pray this prayer so that I am more aligned with what He has for me rather than what I want simply for myself.

And of course there are times we will desire things that may not be in the will of God, like a mansion and a red convertible, lololol. After all, the heart is deceitful above all else. However, when we earnestly seek to align our heart with his, our hearts desire will quickly become Him. We never spend a second in God’s word, or in prayer that is wasted. If you seek the will of God with all your heart, soul, and mind – If you are willing to give him yourself, all of you – He will use you my dear, in ways a billion times greater that the things you have imagined.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Discipline. I don’t even like the word, discipline. In fact, that is in part why I became a counselor, because teaching involved way to much discipline. I always considered myself too kind hearted, and when a kid would chunk a toy across the room, rather than discipline, my heart would say “Awww, I wonder why he is so angry, poor thing”. Discipline. I just really don’t like the word; however, I can’t help but notice its remarkable similarity to the word disciple. So discipline can’t be all bad, can it?

Disciple and discipline come from the same Latin root word disciplina meaning "learning" and discipulus means "one who learns." So very many times I know that God is trying to teach me something, to discipline me, and yet I refuse to learn! I say stubbornly, No God, I will try it my way, again. I know it didn’t work last time, but I think I’ll try it my way, just one more time. And there I go walking around the same mountain again, in circles, and wondering why I never get to the top.

I wonder why it is that we are so much quicker to trust our meek little selves rather than trust a gigantic God who obviously knows better than we do. Is it really that we think we know better than God? Or is it that we think he is so gigantic that he couldn’t possibly care for us and love us like he says he does? I think it must be more of the latter. After all, I know that God is much more knowledgeable than I am, however I don’t always trust him. I just cannot quite convince myself that he really loves me enough to want what is best for me and that he really cares enough to fully understand my circumstances. It is as if I think I live in a world where he only knows what I tell him, and if I don’t tell him everything, he couldn’t possibly understand. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. He knows my thoughts better than I do, and he even knows and understands why I think the things I do.

So back to discipline I am. The Holy Spirit speaks to me and says, dear one, you must trust me; you must trust that I love you and I only want what is best for you. You must choose to read my word and listen to what I am speaking to your heart. And then not only listen, but LEARN, discipline yourself to the principles of my word. Follow me wherever I lead you, only then will you find fulfillment. But most of the time I say no, I will continue to beat my head against the wall instead. LOL!

Discipline starts with one choice, one small choice to do what the Lord asks of me, one small bit of trust that he really does want what is best for me. If I do not do this, I will pay the price. I will never fulfill what he set me apart to do in this world, I will fulfill my own selfish-shallow destiny rather than the sanctified glorified work he has for me. In essence, I am choosing to miss out on all the blessings he has when I choose not to follow his lead. That’s a scary thought. Discipline, call it what you will, call it learning if you want. Regardless of what we name it, it is essential. He disciplines those he loves, and he wants what is best for you. Just start with trusting him once today, following his lead once today; let’s see what he does with just an itty bit of faith. I am confident it will be amazing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Today was a good day, a beautiful day, a day to remember. I started the day much like any other day, however a little more anxious. You see, the past week has been very difficult for me. It marks the anniversary of two very significant things in my life. 1. it marks the anniversary of the first time I disclosed some very serious bondage involving sexual assault from when I was a teen 2. it marks the month of the very incident of sexual assault, of which I don’t remember the specific day, but know it was late May to early June. Needless to say, I have had a little invasion of memories that I could have done without. And since I am a writer, when memories threaten to attack, I write, when panic attacks, I write and write and write and write some more. Much of which is very personal writing, hence I don’t blog about it lest the destroyer be glorified rather than the healer.

Which brings me back to today: I had done some very intense and personal-emotional-raw writing. Writing that I really felt kind of, okay very, ashamed of, after all, shouldn’t I be past this by now?!?!?! However, I needed someone else to read it, lest I keep the bondage all to myself. After all, once it is exposed to the light, freedom can be found. So I reluctantly let a very trusted friend and mentor read the words that I was so ashamed of, so ashamed I couldn’t even look at her as she read it. Then she said a few loving and kind words that only she could speak, picked up a lighter, gave me a hug, I cried a few tears, and then we burned that sucker.

The point of sharing all of this is for one thing that I hope we can all realize. We all need someone who can love us unconditionally, forever. God gives us blessings here on earth, and I truly believe that He filled my friend up today with his love so that she could pour it out to water my parched and weary soul. After all, sometimes we just need another person bearing Gods love to give us that hug we so desperately long for.

When I am hurting I have depended on her many times, but I must also acknowledge that there is not a human soul alive who can mend my heart. There is no person on this earth who can wash my sin, cleanse my soul, purify my heart, make me an heiress, and crown me as a princess. Only Christ can do this. Only through God sending his son to die, am I a co-heir with Christ. Because he sent his Son to be bruised and beaten on a torturous cross, I can know that I am loved unconditionally. I know that he sent his very only son to pay the ultimate price so that I might find freedom for the soul torturing assault I experienced. And what I experienced pales in comparison to what others go through.

My dear dear sister, whatever your pain is, please know that God is bigger and stronger and his loving arms can carry you through the roughest waters of you life. Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Don’t let Satan convince you to be ashamed. Take the shackles that Satan used to bind you up, and along with Christ, fashion those ugly shackles into a beautiful tiara. Wear it proud dear sister. It is your victory crown, victorious in Christ you are my darling, and always, always, always will be.