Monday, July 26, 2010

Put on your princess dress :)

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with my sweet adorable little girl snuggled up next to me. She was so cute, and it made me laugh that she was sleeping exactly like I was, curled up on her side, one leg in the covers one leg out, arms tucked in, just like her mama. For a moment, I thought, you know, in some ways we all are just bigger versions of the little girls that we once were. Of course, we have matured, at least I hope I don’t still have the maturity level of a 5 year old, LOL, although there are times I think my husband might disagree ! But seriously, regardless of the growth that has occurred spiritually, mentally, and physically, somewhere deep down, we are all still that same little girl. And I often wonder if this isn’t more of how Jesus sees us. When he looks at us, I don’t think he sees all the calluses and wrinkles and brokenness. Because, in his eyes we are healed, forgiven, embraced, loved, just beautiful little girls longing for the love of their Dad. He said, “Let the children come to me” and “The Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. So maybe today, we could try to come to Jesus as a little girl. A little girl with nothing to hide, a little girl who is not too smart to listen to her Daddy’s wisdom, a little girl who longs just to be held and told that she is beautiful, a little girl whose tears have no shame but fall innocently to the ground. Today, let’s find some peace and rest in the arms of our Father, and then let’s dance and spin in circles till we get dizzy in our princess dresses, knowing that He loves us always, that you are his beautiful little girl, and nothing can ever ever take that away.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Darkness, Light, Forward, Backwards, I'm really not sure?

Things have been a little crazy for me lately. You know that roller coaster I was talking about in my previous post, well I am still riding it a little bit, but kind of in a different way. I remember something Beth Moore said in one of her studies so clearly because it resonated so hard within my heart, it was something about every time we take three steps forward, we will usually take 2 steps back, but at least we are one step ahead of where we started from.

I don’t know that I had taken any steps forward, but I sure took a few back, or maybe they were forward, well I’m really not sure which direction I am going, LOL. Let me explain. I have been struggling, hard core, with some things of the past that had a definite way of latching on to me like leaches and have been sucking the life out of me ever since. For the past year or so I have worked on accepting some of this stuff, and for the past year I have waited for the day God would magically set me free from the bondage and I wouldn’t have to carry it any more. During this time, those who know me well would ask how I was doing. Because I do have a degree in Counseling, I knew and still know all the right answers to say. I know exactly how I should be dealing and feeling right now if I was to live my life according to a counseling textbook. And because I have desired to look perfect all of my life, I would give those answers, and many times still do, and then wonder why I don’t feel all the things I was say.

Funny thing about being fake, it is EXHAUSTING! I finally have come to the place where I realize that it is okay to say, “NO! I am not okay today, I had horrible nightmares last night, I feel like I should be over this by now, and right now, today, I am telling myself what a loser piece of crap I am, and yes, what happened years ago STILL hurts today!!!!” Funny thing about being honest, it is FREEING! It is like taking a huge breath of fresh air that I never knew existed.

Admitting and talking about the fact that I still hurt, that I hate every shred of what happened, and that I just feel overwhelmed by it sometimes hurts. And yes, it did throw me back into the weeping welping deep watery waves of depression for a few days. But God pulled me out. He let me know that I needed to STOP being so fake about my healing, because others need to know that sometimes it still hurts, I need to know that sometimes it still hurts and feel that hurt so that I can let it pass. And while falling back into the throws of the ocean of pain and self-loathing shame felt like regression at the time, I can see that it was not regression at all. This was progress, great progress at that. You see, God lifted some of the shame. He forced me to bring out into the light what I had seen as only darkness. He is going to make it something beautiful, I know He is, I have no doubts anymore. And the best part is, He doesn’t just have something beautiful in mind for me, He does for all of us. There is no one like Him, no one else can shine a light in the darkness that suddenly takes a broken, ashen, dirty, torn little girl and instantly transforms her into a beautiful glowing bride with one sweep of His hand.

Psalm 139
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Riding the Roller Coaster :)

Do you like roller coasters? I definitely do, except when they involve my emotions, LOL. In that case, roller coasters are not so much my friends. I love the part where you get in a cute little car painted all pretty, that is before they strap you down so hard that you cannot breath lest you fall out on the crazy ride that is to come. And I love the part where you go around and around, the wind in your hair, and up a gigantic hill finally to the top. And then you have arrived, seemingly on top of the world, where you can see everything. However, instead of being able to enjoy that time on the top, and take a look around, more often we are terrified because we know what is coming. A sharp drop down plunging into the depths of the pavement, LOL. Why can’t roller coasters just give you a moment at the top to enjoy yourself before they send you plunging to the depths? Well, I guess it’s because roller coasters weren’t made to be a joy ride, they are made to get your adrenaline rushing and have an experience like no other. This is all well and good when I am at the theme park, but seriously, when it is my emotions riding the roller coaster, I AM READY TO GET OFF!!!!

When it comes to my emotions I would much rather ride the kiddie coaster. You know, the kind that just gently go up, and flow right back down, no fear inducing involved, just nicely sloping small hills. But God didn’t design me that way. I have tremendous ups, I get so very excited, even about the small things! I have hopes and dreams that soar to the heavens and times of joy where I literally just jump up and down. But along with the high high high hills, come the low low low depths. When I am sad I feel it with my whole self, when I am disappointed I might as well go underground. When I feel rejected I think I might as well bring out a gigantic drill and keep going down till I reach the other side.

Highs and lows, love the highs, fear the lows. But I am not a prisoner to my emotions, doomed to riding an endless roller coaster of highs and lows. I am free in Christ, no longer under the law, but under grace. I may gracefully swish between times of happiness and times of sadness, but I swish gracefully because I know that God’s love has me covered. The depths may be low, but Christ bore my sin on the tree. I may feel rejected by others, but I know I am loved always by him. I may feel lonely and afraid, but it is only for a season. And when I feel happy, I know that I can gracefully soar high on wings like eagles because of forgiveness, mercy, love and grace. His grace is enough to carry me through the highs and through the lows, so really I don’t have to be afraid, because I know the depths I may plunge to are never depths I will navigate alone. Thank you Lord that I don’t have to be afraid and simply hang on for the ride, but that you know every twist and turn, every drop and rise, and will be with me and strengthen me every step of the way. Hang on to me God, because I need to know you are there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

“Forgiveness is giving up on the possibility of a better past.” Steven Furtick, Elevation Church

So, I already ascribe to the theory that it does no good to “should on yourself”. Saying I should’ve done this or should’ve done that doesn’t do anyone any good. However, recently God has been reminding me that not only do I need to watch the “shoulding”, but I also need to watch the “if onlys”. If only this would have happened, if only that would not have happened, if only I had this or that, if only…, - then I could be happy. Yes, there is trouble with the “if onlys” too.

The trouble with the IO’s (if onlys), is that they are way too similar to the IOU’s. We start to believe that someone or something “owes” us. Our parents owe us a different past, our husband owes us a more loving disposition, our children owe us more respect, our boss owes us more money, God owes us happiness and joy, and IF ONLY we had what people OWED us, we could be happy! But until then, we just choose to dwell on the things we are waiting for. And even though we know the past is the past, and there is nothing we can do to change it, we often still feel like we are owed some sort of compensation for damages. Especially if we have had something to do with the hurt and pain in our past, then we may feel like we owe ourselves a life of misery, and we might refuse to forgive ourselves. If we refuse to forgive ourselves, we could fall into the cognitive distortion that maybe we can punish ourselves enough for our past mistakes that the pain will go away.

Not so! IO’s are a dangerous trap. Satan knows that we cannot change our past, but if he can keep us caught in the “if onlys”, then we will spend forever trying. Maybe it is time that we gained some freedom from our past, forgiving those that have hurt us, but most of all forgiving ourselves. It may be an awful past, filled with all kinds of abuse and wrongness and nasty ickyness and hurt and pain. So it is what it is. No amount of ruminating or replaying the situation out in your mind is going to change it. But, you can ask God to give you peace with things, and freedom from the bondage past hurt can cause. However, if our focus on the past only continues to keep us trapped, we become paralyzed, and unable to see what God has for the future.

Every day we have a choice, a choice to forgive ourselves, again, and to forgive others, again. A choice to believe that the grace God offers us is new every morning, and that his grace is enough. A choice to enjoy the day that he has given us. A choice to let his spirit and his light within our hearts outshine the past. Forgiveness, it absolutely cannot change the past, but absolutely can move us past the past.

Friday, July 9, 2010

She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes...

Deuteronomy 2, verses 3 and 7: “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north . . . For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wonderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing” (NAS).

YOU HAVE CIRCLED THIS MOUNTAIN LONG ENOUGH…If I could actually see God standing over me and he screamed this at me in a thunderous loud voice, I am quite certain it might not be loud enough, LOL! I need to engrain these very words into the hard wiring of my brain!!! Stubborn doesn’t even begin to describe me at times, and I am just so very thankful that we serve a God who never ever ever gives up on us.

Each of us probably has our own mountain, whatever it may be - people pleasing, perfectionism, insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, anger, addiction, lack of forgiveness for another, lack of forgiveness for yourself, refusing to accept grace, etc., etc., etc. Come to think of it, I think I just may have a whole mountain range full of mountains I like to circle! I often wonder if God ever just sits back and laughs at the fact that he has cleared me a perfect path into a nice green pasture, yet I continue to circle the traitorous mountain as if I have no choice but to do so-maybe he giggles and sings “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes, she’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes, yeehaw!!!”

But really, what is it going to take for you and for me to stop circling that mountain? Must we really come to the point where we give up and give in out of exhaustion? What it will take is likely dependent upon what your mountain is, but there are a few words and concepts God is working with me on to help me stop circling a mountain.

First of all it is YOUR mountain, stake a claim on that sucker and feel all the feelings that are associated with it! Grant it, ignorance can be bliss, but if we are ever going to stop blindly circling the mountain, we must first blatantly acknowledge its existence – whether we like it or not. Second, follow the flow of your mountain journey. What makes you keep circling your mountain? Do you circle it again and again out of fear? What will it take to stop the circling cycle? Third, pray for forgiveness if needed. If there is any kind of sin behind your mountain circling, ask God to show it to you so that you may be forgiven, and ask for the strength not to fall into the same sin traps over and over again. Also, the hardest part of forgiveness may well be forgiving yourself, but this is essential! Finally, freedom, freedom from the mountain range to move onto the bright new green pastures! Feel, flow, forgive, freedom – the 4 F’s – feel, flow, forgive, freedom.

Every person’s path to personal freedom is different, and what is working for me may or may not work for you. But always remember, God never meant for his daughters and sons to continue to live in bondage once he has set us free! So let us pray pray pray for freedom from circling our mountain whatever it may be, and wisdom to know and walk with him through the steps and the journey he has already planned for us to take.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Head bowed in shame
Eyes filled with tears
Weeping from wounds
Buried throughout the years.
A heart that has been set free
A child born again
Yet refusing to acknowledge
The forgiveness for who she’s been.
Painful memories surface
And the darkness comes on strong
She tells herself she’s failed again
Where did things go wrong?
She cannot do it on her own
No one seems to help enough
When her strength begins to fail
And the waters get too rough.
So reluctantly she lifts her head
To the one who set her free
Almost as if she has forgotten
What He promised to always be.
Her mother named her crowned
God knew her from the start
That she would need to be reminded
Of his place within her heart.
That she is crowned by mercy
And grace that never ends
That the crown he wore in her place
Allows all brokenness to mend.
There’s no more need to shame herself
She doesn’t have to live in fear
If she falls down He’ll pick her up
And wipe away her tears.
She was meant to be crowned
As all were meant to be
Crowned with grace and mercy
Bent humbly on our knees.

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th of July weekend! Those whom Christ has set free, are free indeed! What a gift we have that not only are we able to worship God freely in our country, yet we are also afforded the ultimate freedom from any bondage that would hold us captive through Christ. Yes, we have a great freedom to celebrate!!!!

Yesterday as I was sitting having my morning coffee and bible time, God gave me my own little message about freedom. When I went through Breaking Free, I really was able to hand some of my junk over to God, and break free of some bondage. I truly believe that he unlocked some of the past chains that bound my heart and kept me from living in freedom. He unlocked them, yet I still kind of liked my chains, they had become a part of me! So I think I have kind of sat in the pile of bondage, even though no longer chained to it, just kind of sat there among the chains, looking at them, afraid to get up and walk.

So…the message for me this 4th of July…is to get up and walk in freedom and joy. He can unlock the chains, but he will not force me to get up and walk. That is my choice. Get up, and if I like bondage so much, chain myself to Him. Tie myself onto him as close as I can!!! He forgave my sins a long time ago, I am the only one who still condemns myself, I can beat myself up as long as I choose to, but the moment I stand up and accept the forgiveness, once and for all, I can’t help but be joyful and sing! So on this 4th, getting up and running towards my Savior, those chains are dirty and rusty and don’t look good with the beautiful princess dress God has for his daughter!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Be still......

Be still and KNOW that I am God. So He commands us. Do not REFUSE to calm yourself in the presence of Almighty God; do not REFUSE to trust what you KNOW!!! I know this to be true, that he is God, the almighty unconditionally loving God that only wants the best for me, I KNOW this to be true, yet my heart still rebels. Why do we so often refuse to be calm in the presence of God, to be something as simple as still? Can it be this difficult?

I often find that if I am honest with myself, I do not trust him to do the best for me, I trust myself. I find myself refusing to believe that he will take care of things, refusing to believe that he will take care of me. I think I must be strong, and fool myself into the lie that I can do it all on my own, that I must do it all on my own. Me me me me me me me me me. You see, when we really look at our refusal to be still it might come back to our own selfish nature. When we are so consumed with worrying about things and making sure we take care of ourselves, we can often be totally blinded to the needs of others.

When we are able to put others first, it is a little easier to be still. Not the kind of still that is inactive, God is not after our passivity, but the kind of still that allows us to know that he will take care of things. The kind of still that allows us to open our eyes to what He can do.

Being still we might learn how to truly love, and by and through that, might learn how to be loved – rather than perform. Love is not a performance; it is a selfless act of unrelenting mercy and grace. I am not putting on a show for them, and they are not putting on a show for me. 1 Corinthians type of love, selfless love. Love that does not refuse to calm itself, because it KNOWS, because it TRUSTS. When we allow ourselves to rest in him, to know that he is God, we are free to love for so many reasons. We don’t have to receive anything back, we don’t have to show off, we don’t have to prove our worth, because we are secure in the best love relationship that ever was and ever will be with our Father. Let your heart be still, and rest in His love, love someone else, and let yourself be loved.