Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This verse has always comforted me whenever I feel alone.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me."
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. study and this week is focused on Love. Is 49:14-16
I learned that the definition for the word engraved means "hacked." It seems much more harsh than engraved, I guess that was the point, after all His son was broken for us.
I get all this in my head, I just pray it will make it's way into my heart. As a parent I understand the love a parent has for their child. If my children were filled with the thoughts that I harbor towards myself, I would be sickened. I am so crazy in love with them. I think that God is just saying through these verses, "Open your eyes. You need to get this. How can you love others with my love if you are too busy thinking this garbage?"
This has been a verse I have been clinging to:
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. " Is 43:18-19
Oh God, let the truth make it's way to my heart. Change the way I think.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I have made some bad decisions and am reaping the consequences. Oh, how I wish you could go back in time and do things differently! I am struggling with forgiving myself. It seems so much easier to forgive others. I constantly berate and belittle myself. This is the state I have been living in for a few weeks now.
I read this Psalm in one of the many blogs I follow yesterday.
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
I want my soul to be calmed and quieted. Free of worry. I want to forgive myself.
I came across this great post by Travis Derochowski. It really got me thinking and after struggling so long with worrying the past few weeks, I needed a reality check! I know we all hear the "don't worry" sermon and probably give it to others, but maybe we just haven't applied it to our own lives.
I like to feel in control of situations, so I try to anticipate what could go wrong or how a situation could play out. Then I feel discouraged and hopeless because things don't go how I think they should. Travis said, "WORRY replaced by PRAYER equals TRUST." I feel like sometimes that my prayers are just worry in disguise. I know we are supposed to bring our worries to Him, but I have a hard time leaving them with God! This is the most absurd thought: I mess up more times than I can count but because I can't see God or feel that God is working on a situation I assume that the situation will crumble without my "help." I need to let go and let God handle it. And after I leave the situation with Him I need to resist the urge to run back because if feels like nothing is happening.After all the struggle and stress from worrying, what do I have to show for it?? A whole lot of nothing, that's what! Travis also said that worry puts our focus in the wrong direction. I start seeing how big the problems are and they distract me from how strong and awesome God is. And God cares for us. I get so distracted telling myself that I am stupid for doing this or that and I forget that God loves and cares for me!
And to add more irony to the mess my verse from yesterday was Philippians 4:6-7 -Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Sheesh! Could I just get lesson needs to get through my thick head!!
I also keep asking myself, if these problems which are caused by my poor choices, why would God want to help me out of them? Here again lies the whole missing dad problem. I often only see God as a scolding and cold parent, not as a loving father. As I was laying in bed last night I asked God to help me to see Him as my Father. I was remembering something my mentor told me a few weeks ago. She said that if her girls every needed anything her husband would do whatever he could to help them out. I started thinking about God's love in this manner and was reminded of the prodigal son. I thought of God running to me and wrapping His arms around me. When I woke up last night worried I reminded myself that God is holding me.
I am going to spend the rest of this day leaning in His arms!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Having faced an unplanned pregnancy, I understand the importance of getting the message out. I understand both sides of the argument. I understand that yes, it is inconvenient to have a child when you weren't planning on it, but that is the risk you take to live a "free" lifestyle. There are consequences to choices. Just because something is convenient doesn't make it right. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the women who get abortions, or the abortionists, I hate that the innocent suffer. I also hate that some women use abortions as birth control!!
I am so glad that I was raised in a pro-life home. I remember my mom had attended a pro-life event and got a few of those 12 week "feet" pins.
I was living with my dad when I got pregnant and he was adamant that I get an abortion. I am so glad I didn't let him bully me into getting one! I remember all the thoughts that floated through my mind. My mom took me to the Pregnancy Care Centre and we discussed all the options available to me. I decided to raise my son. My boyfriend and I later married and it's been nearly 10 years. Things have not been easy, but we are glad we made the tough choices we made.
I came across this lovely blog today. Abby Johnson was a director at Planned Parenthood and has become a pro-life activist. I listened to her story through a Focus on the Family broadcast. As I was checking out her website I was pleased to see she has a tab for current Planned Parenthood workers. She lovingly reaches out to them and offers the hope she has found.
I also stumbled across this blog through Abby's website. Claire Culwell's mother was pregnant at 13 and her mother dragged her down to an abortion clinic and she had an abortion and found out later that she was still pregnant, she had been carrying twins. Claire survived. Her story is touching and encouraging.
Abortion is not just a women's issue. We can't just keep turning our backs on the issue and hoping it will go away. We have to educate ourselves about what is happening so we don't sound like brainwashed religious fanatics. I am committed to investigating both sides of the argument. You have to know what you are fighting against. On the CCBR's website (* Please note that this site has graphic images of aborted fetuses) they have this quote: "If we can’t face [abortion], we can’t fight it."- Gregg Cunningham. They have a great "Pro-Life Classroom Tab" to help you to give a reasonable explanation for why abortion is wrong.
Well, regardless of how many people attend next year, I know I will be at Life Chain. I am going to stand up for what is right!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This morning, on my drive to work, I had a chance to spend some time just singing my heart out to God. I love these car worship sessions. Time sure flies.
I just came across a new book I am dying to read. Check this out. Her new book looks like a great read. I admire her courage so tackle something so important and the transparency required!
I am also looking forward to Life Chain this weekend. I put together a presentation for my church this last Sunday. This is the second time our church has officially attended Life Chain. I have to admit I am a little disappointed with the lack of interest for something so life saving! Maybe, much to my surprise, the turnout will be better than I think it's going to be. Anyway, I am excited!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I love this verse. I have been struggling so much with being fatherless. What seems to hurt the most is that I have a father figure in my life, I am just not his child and that changes the nature of the relationship we are able to have. What I love so much about this verse is the gentleness God displays toward Israel. I love that He brings them back and then guides them. He takes them on a level path so they do not stumble.
I know that God is my father and He wants the best for me. It is quite a journey- embracing my REAL Dad! Part of this journey entails seeing God as my Father and not some distant, hard to please, ever judging father- the kind I have always known a father to be. To throw off the yoke of earning my worth and put on His yoke that is easy and the burden is light.
During my quiet time this morning the lesson was on finding joy in our circumstances. The lesson includes readings in 1 Kings. I love stories about Elijah. I always shake my head- God will speak to him, allow the most incredible miracles to happen and Elijah gets scared and runs away. He audibly hears God's voice, yet experiences doubt and depression; talk about being human! I still love the tenderness that God shows Elijah when Elijah is hungry and exhausted (1 Kings 19). An angel prepares a meal for Elijah.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:16-19
I just pray that God would continue to help see Him as my Father. That I will be rooted and established in his love. I want to know how wide, and long and high and deep His love is. I want to run to Him with my hopes, joys, dreams, failures, disappointments. I want to experience His healing and restoration, to continue building a relationship that will endure for all time.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I self-destructed in my teen years which really is no surprise given my rocky childhood. This is not a pity party. I have been struggling for so long to see myself as a person with worth and value. I tried so long and worked so hard to be someone I could respect. The problem, of course, was that I was the one trying, me on my own. What I created was one disaster after another. When things wouldn't pan out the way I thought they should I would become more and more depressed.
I finally feel like the smoke is clearing for the first time in a long time. I am seeing things as they really are. I am worth something to God. This seems almost absurd to me because for so long I have acted as if the opposite were true. I have often asked God why He wasted his time on me. I am appalled to even write it. Who am I to question God? Yet, I still think that it is an honest question.... What is God that he is mindful of us?? Anyway, I digress... God has specifically been speaking to me about this matter.
Revelation 17:8 (New International Version)
8The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
God has thought of me since before the creation of the world. My identity comes from Him. Not from my weaknesses, strengths, gifts, appearance, etc.
I have been listening to this encouraging and eye opening series. I just listened to the second one today. I knew that I struggled with a success based identity, I just had no idea that it was as bad as it is! I guess the last time I truly felt successful and confident was when I still had my business- that is when the market was good. I felt like I was truly someone- MISTAKE #1!! I found my value and worth in my success. I no longer felt the need to hang my head in shame when someone asked me what I did for a living. This also led to me thinking I didn't need God because things were going so well- MISTAKE #2. I cannot survive without God- success or no success. I need Him desperately.
I hate that I compare myself and my lack of success to those who are successful, who have worked hard and have been faithful to God. I shouldn't feel hard done by when God blessed faithful followers.
I know this will be a long and challenging battle. I want my security to come from Christ and Christ alone. I pray that He will continue to help see myself through His eyes. He chose us even though we are weak! But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sometimes these verses can seem so mundane. This passage was used in a study I am working through and also in my evening reading. Okay, so God is getting my attention. Am I loving well? There are definitely certain people that make it more of a challenge to love them. Am I patient and kind to them? Mother Teresa said, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Could this apply to those I encounter each and everyday?
I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want to be loving and kind. I want to be filled with genuine love, not to plaster on a fake smile. Afterall, I have been given so much love and grace why do I have such a hard time giving some to others?
I came up with a few ways to practice loving well:
1)Memorize the above scriptures and also meditate on them.
2) Pray for more of Him and less of me!
3) Pray that God would show me the areas that need improving.
4) Pray for opportunities to love well.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It is so easy to live for today, to focus on my seemingly important problems when in reality they are so minute. I started to wonder how many missionaries have retirement savings plans?
Oh, please God, don't let me fall asleep and get side tracked with things that will not matter in the end. Please let me to think of others more than myself. May I honor you with my thoughts and actions.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I felt God speak to me telling me that if I did fit in I would probably feel comfortable and be distracted . I feel God is leading me to a certain ministry. I don't know all the details, I do know that He has been leading me this way for a while now. I am excited to see where He leads me.
I have also been thinking about the fact that half of the world's population lives on less than two dollars per day. We take so much for granted. I have caught myself looking down on the sandwich I brought to work so that I could go out for lunch. I have also been guilty of tossing out perfectly good food. Where have we gone so wrong in our thinking?It seems as though we go through life wearing blindfolds. I don't want to live this way, distracted from reality and truth.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I pray that God will open my eyes to what's really going on in the world.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I have taken the bait one too many times. Tried to be smarter, prettier, thinner, whatever it would take to be happy and stop the nagging voice inside that told me I am not good enough and never will be.
I have struggled with significance for so long. I have always wanted to gain the acceptance of a certain person in my life and tried so hard to make them love me. Enough. Here is day one of accepting me and refusing to continue living life and seeing through these rose coloured glasses. There is more to life than me and my problems!