Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Duh to Aha!

Today's post in the a2z meme is letter "D"... 
     D Stands for "DUH!"

Does your mind ever wander? Mine does. It usually gets me into trouble, too. Because when I'm idle, that's when the enemy begins to pick at me. Bringing to mind many things that I would rather just leave alone. But what's worse, to me anyway, are the ridiculous conversations that pop into my mind, that aren't even real, that try to take control of my emotions. Some make me angry, some cause anxiety, some remind me of the divisions that some people have caused. And many remind me of how I let them... this is how the enemy keeps you intimidated and oppressed.

I was having those particular thoughts one day. They were starting to cause me a bit of anxiety and fear. But all of a sudden it dawned on me what was happening and I literally spoke out loud, "DUH!" It was as if the Lord spoke to me and gently revealed this: "I told you I would take care of it. You need to trust Me." Well, DUH again!

"The Lord knows the thoughts of man..." ~Psalm 94:11(a)

I instantly realized that I had been allowing the enemy to bring back into my mind things of my past and things that hadn't even happened. I was playing the "What If" game and I should have just said, "Lord, this bothers me and I know you are going to take care of it, so I'm giving it to You." 

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." ~Psalm 139:22-23

We often have to have a "Duh" moment before we can have an "AHA!" moment. For some of us (like me), we have to have several "Duh" moments before we realize that we are not capable of handling things on our own. When we realize that is when our "Aha!" moment arrives!

Mine was when I realized that I had forgotten to trust the Lord and began to worry how I was going to handle being around someone who usually causes me stress and anxiety. As I stepped into the shower to get ready for my outing, that's when it hit me. "Oh, Duh! I'm sorry Lord for not trusting you with this. I know you are going to take care of this situation and I apologize for not paying more attention. Help me to do better." Instantly, the anxiety and stress left, and I was able to enjoy the day...

Have you had any "Duh!" moments in your life?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Word Your Words Well

My husband (DA) and I were talking one evening and he brought home a very good point; "I think you need to practice how you word telling people about your website."

"I know, but every time I hand someone a card, I go blank." It was true. And I told him that, "I want people to visit my website, but when I start to give them a card, I really don't know exactly how to explain to them that I write encouraging words for women who suffer mental and emotional abuse, like I have since I was a little girl."

"Well, there it is right there," he said. "Say it again."

"I write encouraging words for women who suffer mental and emotional abuse, like I have since I was a little girl."

There it was. My byline. If you want to call it that. But how does one tell another that they write about their healing from God from oppression and intimidation without intimidating them as well? That was it. I hadn't realized that saying it the way I used to was possibly causing people to shy away from me, making them uncomfortable, or even causing them to think that my abuser was my husband! On the contrary. He is actually my protector, defender, supporter, and best friend!

I wasn't wording my words well... because, having been intimidated by various women since I was a little girl, I did not know how to properly get my words to come out of my mouth the right way. Growing up, I was never allowed to defend myself. If I did open my mouth, well we just won't discuss that. And even though it sounds like I had a horrible childhood, it wasn't all that bad... just very oppressive and manipulative.

I loved my mother and my grandmother, don't get me wrong. However, neither one of them knew how to properly love either, due to their upbringings. My mother had been abused both mentally, emotionally, and on occasion, physically. Her mother... well we're just not really sure about hers. And my great-grandmother we're even more unsure of. Although we do know that her father was abusive. We actually discovered through research, that because they had so many daughters, he wanted to start a brothel! Fortunately his wife (my great-great-grandmother) put her foot down and stopped it before it got started. Needless to say, my maternal background is not all sunshine and roses. 

"When you go through persecution and rejection, it's not always because somebody has it in for you. Sometimes, that's God's way of directing you into His perfect will." ~Joel Osteen (Becoming a Better You)

So here's my chance to change all that. I have definitely made mistakes raising my children. I don't think I've made such horrible mistakes that my children are going to be scarred for life, but I did try to raise them in a loving, Christian environment. We went to church together. They learned about the love of Jesus. And for the most part all three of my kids have grown into very self-sufficient, self-confident, adults, who all know the Lord. I'm very proud of them.

When the Lord healed me of the mess I was carrying deep within me, He gave me this outlet to tell my story to people who are suffering mental and emotional abuse of one form or another. And I will say this, were it not for DA stepping into my life, I would not be where I am today. God crossed our paths early in our childhood (around 4th and 5th grades). We would pester and aggravate one another for years, until he finally asked me out on a date in June of 1980. That one date was all it took... and 32 years later, we're still together. 

I truly hope that each of you reading this today have found, or do find, your certain someone who will love you, support you, and defend you unconditionally, as I have found in my husband. Because the Lord is on your side. He will send someone for you to be with. 

Sure, I still have people in my life who are intimidating, oppressive, and manipulative. But they have no affect on me now. Because of the Lord's healing and because I have a great support system, I am now able to move forward in my life and help others as well. I'm beginning to word my words a whole lot better, too so that I can "write encouraging words for women who suffer mental and emotional abuse, like I have since I was a little girl." 

Every true work of God has had its bitter enemies- not only outside, but also inside-  just as in the days of Nehemiah. ~D. L. Moody ("Revivals" sermon, 19th century)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't Miss the Point!

Having been intimidated and oppressed for the better part of my life, it was a revelation to me when I realized that I didn't have to take that from anyone and that the Lord actually had a purpose for me! He has a purpose for you, too.

You may be thinking that being oppressed and controlled is a way of life. Not just with family, but with friends and those around you in various positions. However, when the Lord steps in and says, "You don't have to live that way," it sets off a chain of events that your oppressors don't, and won't understand. They may take a very bold step to try to keep you from progress. This is very dangerous ground for them.

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." ~Proverbs 16:18

Living under the control of people who only continue to put you down, whose words and actions keep you from living, actually prevents you from having the life that God intended for you to have. It also makes you physically, mentally, and emotionally sick. It can lead to having to take medication for anxiety, depression, stomach problems, high blood pressure, acid reflux, pills to help you sleep, or to wake up. I have been on many of them.

Even though I had accepted Jesus. Like many... I missed the point. The "point" is that Jesus can, will, and wants to heal you from that. Missing the point for years and years, I suffered clinical mental depression, I suffered panic and anxiety disorder. I also suffered migraine headaches. My weight fluctuated; I would lose a lot of weight, get thin and begin to feel better physically, but I worried that I was still fat, worried about what others thought of me, and initially would gain the weight back, plus more. At present, I'm heavy. I take medication for a hiatal hernia, to prevent having acid reflux. All of this stemming from a life of oppression and intimidation. Stress causes many health problems and I lived in stress for the better part of my 47 years.

Well, why not pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and move on?! For those who do not understand, or have never suffered under the heavy hand of intimidation, it's not that easy. There is fear, there is anxiety, there are questions such as, "What do I do?" Having been controlled, having people in my life who still try to do that, is a daily challenge. Though I don't speak to those people every day, their words linger. Their actions linger. These are the people who for one reason or another see someone like me as someone they need to "keep tabs on" so that they can manipulate and control. Sort of like the Pharisees.

In John chapter 21, John the Baptist was preaching and teaching, baptizing people and telling them about Jesus. The Pharisees, (the religious leaders) were the intimidators, the oppressors. They asked him questions, trying to intimidate. 

John answered the Pharisees with prophesy out of Isaiah,

"I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord..." (John 21: 23; Isaiah 40:3) 

But the Pharisees totally missed the point. 

John went on to say, 

"I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." (John 21:26-27) 

They wanted to know who John was. What right he had to be saying what he was saying... but John told them who Jesus was! And they missed the point.

Just like many will miss my point. I am not worthy to be writing what I write. But... I also know that I have been healed of oppression and intimidation I suffered. And the Lord has given me this venue to write what I do in order to help many of you who have suffered the same things. Like John, I am now the voice of one crying in the wilderness! 

I'm here to tell you that Jesus is here for you. He wants to heal you. He wants to give you a fresh start. You do not have to suffer anymore. Believe He will heal you, and He will! But whatever you do... don't miss the point.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I love where I live. Granted it's not on a 150-acre farm out in the middle of nowhere, nor is it in the mountains (which I would dearly love), but my home sits in the south-west corner of a 40-acre field, surrounded on two sides by trees. The funny thing about where I live is... I only own 5 acres of said 40-acre field. But it's home. We have lived here for nearly 7 years now.

It's also home to several Critters. Well... our little corner is actually the highway that said Critters take to get from one place to another. Occasionally  some of them will stop and munch on the alfalfa or clover we plant just for them. Turkeys, deer, the occasional rabbit, etc. But once in a while we will catch a glimpse of something else... or a few "something elses."

It can be kind of scary on a cool, moonlit night, when the fog begins rolling in from the creek, or the swamp which is due east of us. I watched one evening as the full moon arose, bringing with it an Alfred Hitchcock sort of fog that literally rolled across the field toward my house. At the time, my house was just a 500-square foot cabin (My little "Rinky Dink Farm"). Needless to say, it was still spooky. Right along with the many coyotes that decided to begin their nightly ritual howling and yelping. Talk about eery...

Also at the time, we had a "humongous" teddy bear of a Rottweiler named Bo, who would give his deepest and best "Get out of my yard!" bark right at dark, letting the Critters know that they could only come up the field so far. He wouldn't have hurt a fly... but they didn't know that. And of course, there was Buster. My little Buster. All bark and no bite. He has the heart of a Rottweiler... all rolled up in a little furry, Chihuahua-mix of a dog. He'll bark because there's air. So Bo and Buster would keep the Critters at bay.

...This is my little Buster dog... 

But how did we find out that we had these Critters, you may be wondering?  Well... our son-in-law Jake, loves to hunt. He wanted to see exactly what came across the field, and to see if it would be worth it for him to go deer hunting or turkey hunting. So, he decided to set up a "Deer Cam" down in the south end of our field. Since he and our daughter, Rachel, live on 1/2 an acre here next to us, we share our land. Little did we know when Jake set up his camera, that we were about to get an entertaining surprise. The Critters literally put on a show!

The deer came out in groups...

...And then a buck...

...we caught on film a couple of hawks fighting over something...

...and then a family of Bobcats... Yikes! Where did they come from?

I don't know, but I think this one is their big brother!

This little buck wanted a close-up...

And of course, Bo... making his rounds.

Although Bo is no longer with us, and we've added on to the house, we still get quite a conglomeration of Critters running to and fro across the south end of the field. Coyotes, deer, turkeys, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, hawks (of course they fly)... and on a rare occasion, we have seen a bald eagle!

Like I said earlier, I love where I live. We may not be the Ritz-Carlton, but God has blessed us, and we like our little corner of the field just fine.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fitted Sheets and Frustration

Gaaaah! This fitted sheet is driving me crazy! I know, I know.... it's not a long drive. =]  I was folding the sheets I had just taken out of the dryer. The pillow cases folded quite nicely. Flat as can be. It took a couple more minutes to fold the flat sheet, because it's bigger, but it went nicely as well. Then I grabbed the fitted sheet. I always save that one for last because every fitted sheet I've ever owned has had a mind of its own. And frankly, fitted sheets just aren't very nice. They are very contrary, they don't cooperate... and give them a chance and they'll tax all of your patience! Oh, I folded my fitted sheet. But it was lumpy and bumpy and didn't look as nice as the others. Still, there is only one fitted sheet in a set, and it's just as important as the rest, because we actually sleep on that one.

"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ."  ~1 Corinthians 12:12

I wonder, are you a flat sheet or a fitted sheet? Are you easy to deal with, even in a tough situation?  Standing in the long line at Walmart, when the cashier is having trouble with her register, do you grumble, grouch, and become hard to deal with? Face it, some of us are not very nice. Some are contrary, and don't cooperate. And if given the chance, many people will tax your patience. Like the frustrating fitted sheet, they are hard to deal with, turn out lumpy and bumpy, and their demeanor makes them not look as nice as others. But they are still useful to God.

"The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance." ~2 Peter 3:9

For years, I grumbled and grouched. My husband even considered buying himself a hat that said, "I didn't wake up grouchy this morning...I let her sleep!" He thought it was funny. I did not. I rallied that I was not grouchy. Although deep inside, I knew I was. But I had no idea how to fix it because I didn't know what was causing it. However just before God healed me, through a message at church, He brought to my mind the years of mental and emotional scars that would cause me to suppress my feelings. When I would suppress them, it would build up until I became like the fitted sheet, lumpy, bumpy, and contrary. Because of oppression and intimidation, I was difficult to deal with.

"Do all things without complaining and disputing..." ~Philippians 2:14

But hallelujah, God is a God full of love and mercy. When I came to Him, God took me in and gave me a fresh start. He longs to do that with you, too. He longs to give you your heart's desire. No matter if you are the pillow case, the flat sheet or the fitted sheet, you are useful. You have a purpose. You have a function. There is a place for you in God's big sheet set. He can take you, fold you, smooth out the creases, lumps and bumps, making you something quite beautiful. All you have to do is let Him. 

So tell me, are you a fitted sheet or a flat sheet?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a2z... Bookin' It

The next in the a2z meme is the letter "B"... B is for BOOKS. I love books! I love to read. If there is a book series that interests me, I will buy them, then begin my reading adventure. It doesn't take long to get through a stack of books. Then I lovingly put them on my bookshelves for display... or until I'm bored and want to read them again. My husband says I'm a freak (lovingly I might add). I admit though, I didn't always like to read. Because in grade school I was a slow reader. I just didn't like to do it. But I got over it by Junior High and my reading took off! The first book I ever read in completion was "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." by Judy Blume. A big accomplishment for a twelve-year-old girl. 

Remember Trixie Belden, or Nancy Drew mystery books? I read both. But Trixie Belden was my first experience with teenage sleuthing. My Trixie books were old, musty, and the pages were yellow-brown and brittle, so I had to be extra careful when I read them because one wrong page turn and a piece of the page would come off in my hand. I recently ran across a few Trixie books that were in danger of being thrown out. They now sit in my book collection. 


As I got older, my tastes would change from one genre to another. Through the years, I've read many different types of books. Everything from the Amityville Horror (to which I had nightmares for weeks afterward!), Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys mysteries, Harlequin Romance, Historical Romance (I'm a hopeless romantic)... the Twilight series, Harry Potter series, Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, paranormal fiction (I like vampires... and yes, I know they aren't real), I have read classics, like Wuthering Heights, (Heathcliff and I have a love-hate relationship to this day, as he does with my oldest daughter). Characters just make one mad sometimes.  

I also read Christian fiction and non-fiction. I love Max Lucado, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, and many others.  I love the Christian fiction Amish series. They are wonderful, along with the historical romance. If there is a series in a fiction genre and it piques my interest, I'll read it. Because it just won't do to read one in a series. You'll never know what happens in the end!

On my bookshelves is a plethora of various books. Portals into another world. One of imagination, where anything goes and nothing is impossible. There are no rules in imagination except that you have fun, you can go home any time you like, and good always wins over evil. At least it does in my mind... unless you are reading a series and then you may be left hanging on a cliff until the next book comes out! 

I always have at least a couple of books going. I try to begin my day with my Bible reading. Then onto other things as time allows. Bookin' it, keeps things lively. Whatever your preference, pick up a book or two... then take a trip and never leave your living room.

What do you like to read?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cracked Pots

I must confess....I'm a bit cracked. Well, maybe not a bit. A whole lot! There are a lot of cracks in my persona. Many I would like to forget, to cover up, to put something over so no one else can see them. But do you want to know something? If we are honest with ourselves, we're ALL cracked. And the beauty of that is... God uses cracked pots.

Every time someone says a hurtful word to you, every time someone is taken advantage of, every time a friend or relative hurts us in some way shape or form, it causes a crack in our person. Whether our self-esteem, feelings, confidence, or even our physical bodies, when we get hurt, mentally, emotionally, or physically, it creates a scar of some sort. These are the cracks I'm talking about.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul talks about stuff like that. He had been beaten, abused, locked up, persecuted all for his belief in Jesus. Before he came to know the Lord, he was called Saul, and he persecuted Christians for their belief. So he knew all about abuse. In verse 7 he says, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." The best part of this passage though comes from the next few verses:

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed..." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9a)

Though people may say hurtful things to us, though they may try their best to destroy us physically, mentally, emotionally, we are not destroyed. For years, I thought I was utterly destroyed. I had so many cracks in my "earthen vessel" that I thought I couldn't be of any use to anybody.

Here's the good news though... God is the Great Physician. He's the Healer. He's the ONE. Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. He is the "author and finisher." And the night He healed me, He finished my suffering. He took me, in my "cracked pot," my "earthen vessel," and He began filling those cracks with His love, healing, Holy Spirit, and He is now using this cracked pot to encourage all of you. 

It's like when we use a cracked flower pot for a plant. When we water that plant, the water seeps out of the cracks and spills out all over the place. Well, in THIS cracked pot, Jesus has filled me so full that the Holy Spirit is spilling out all over the place!

I had no idea when I started writing at the age of twelve that I would someday be writing to help encourage others to use their cracked pots to let the light of Jesus shine through to help other cracked pots. So I'm a cracked pot! God is still using me, and He can sure use you, too.

What is God wanting to use your cracked pot for?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Is That What I Think It Is?

I'm posting over at The Barn Door today. Come on over and visit! We love to have visitors and find new friends. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A2Z Day...Amuse Yourselves!

It's time for the a 2 z meme (rhymes with cream)! I'm participating in this "writing exercise" that focuses on one letter in the alphabet each week, in the hopes that it helps me come up with some interesting and fun things to write about...we'll see...

My husband...sporting his new helmet...NOT!
The word for this week is AMUSE. Are you easily amused? I often am. Especially if my grandsons are around. They make me laugh quite frequently. Of course, there are a lot of things that make me laugh that may or may not amuse others. My husband says, "It doesn't take much to amuse the weak minded." To which I laugh...and then I stop, because I just played right into his hand. You just laughed too, didn't you! I knew it! 

There are so many things that amuse us. We even have "Amusement Parks." But I'm a little confused when it comes to the amusement park. First, we have to pay to get in, which isn't amusing. But then we have to stand in line to ride the rides, which isn't very amusing. Some of the prices of the food that is offered is definitely not amusing! But once on the ride that you want to go on, do you get scared, motion sick, or are you actually amused by the ride? Because amusement, to me, means that you laugh, that you think it's funny. Maybe I have it wrong here. So I looked up the definition of amusement on Wikipedia. Here's what it said:

"Amusement is the state of experiencing humorous and entertaining events or situations, and is associated with enjoyment, happiness, laughter and pleasure."

Cheap entertainment...Radley "amusing" Abraham
It even stated that there are studies done to try to figure out why something makes someone laugh. Really? My "theory" is this: Amusement is different to each individual person. What makes me laugh, may not make you laugh and vise versa. But the fact remains that regardless of why something amuses you, you should have fun and laugh! 

Radley loves to do silly pictures...

So back to that... I said earlier that my grandsons make me laugh. But my kids also make me laugh. They are always saying or doing something that makes me giggle. My son, Logan often says, "That makes me giggle with great intensity." Then he does something that he knows will make me laugh.
"Logan, let me get your picture with your sister!" (Not like that)
"Logan, come over here and turn around so I can take your picture..."

Showing Abe how to "turn around and let Nonney take your picture"

Whatever the case may be for you, just make sure you laugh. It's good for you! Besides that, when you laugh, you release oxygen to your brain and some of us could really use a good dose. At any rate, find something this week that makes you "giggle with great intensity!"

So What Amuses YOU??

Saturday, August 4, 2012

You Say It's Your Birthday?

My BIRTHDAY day! August 4th. I realize that some people don't like to celebrate birthdays, but I DO! And if I could get away with it, I would have a birthday party every year, with streamers, party hats, noise makers, and especially birthday cake! You can't have a birthday party without birthday cake. Well, I guess I did this time...

However, this year for my birthday, my dear, sweet hubby took me on a trip to Paducah, Kentucky. It isn't far from where we live, only about 60 miles. But it's far enough away from the house that we can both relax and enjoy each other's company, which we did.

Paducah has a historical part of town that has some wonderful restaurants, antique shops, and many other things. It just so happened that on my birthday, they were having something special! (I do realize that it wasn't because of my birthday, but it just fell on the same day) In the evening, they block off Broadway street and many people come out to play music, perform special things, and just hang out. I only wished that more of the shops stayed open late so that we could have enjoyed them.

We had visited some antique shops earlier in the day and I found a couple of "treasures" to take home with me. Being that I love tea cups and antique quilts, guess what I found?

Later in the evening, when we went back down, we had a lovely dinner at Max's Brick Oven, an Italian restaurant where they bake many of their pizzas, pasta dishes, and more in an actual brick, wood fired oven. 

The food was lovely and the atmosphere was great. You could either sit inside, or outside on their patio. Since the weather was hot and humid, we opted for inside.

After we left there, we walked Broadway, and I met some very "tall" young people. I called them the "Stilt People." They were all too happy to pose for a picture with the short lady for her birthday. They don't discriminate against the vertically challenged.

We also saw a few musicians, which were wonderful. Since I love music, I was all too happy to listen. 

But, it was when I found the belly dancers that I had to stop and watch for an extended amount of time. I'm considering taking it up. Not! If I do, it will be in the privacy of my own home, when no one else is there! They were fun to watch though. I admired them for getting out there and showing their talent.

Birthdays. I happen to love them, for no other reason than it's your birthday! But I actually have TWO birthdays. The first one is the one when I was born physically. The second one is when I was born spiritually. Really, this one is the one I should celebrate with a party. The sad thing is, I can't remember the exact date when I got saved! But that's okay. It's recorded in a special book, and my name is written there....and Jesus knows that my name is there! That's all I'm concerned with. Whether you celebrate your physical birthday, or your spiritual birthday, celebrate it! And don't forget the cake...

So, how do you celebrate YOUR birthday?

Friday, August 3, 2012

No One Like You

I once read an article titled, "The Comparison Trap." It talked about how we, as women, often fall into the trap of always comparing ourselves to other women and always falling short. It got me to thinking and I realized that, I never fell into the Comparison Trap at all. I was BORN into it!

When I got saved, I struggled with the fact that I didn't have to perform in order for God to love me. I had no idea of the freedom He just gave me. All I knew was that I got saved and that I was going to heaven someday. That's all I thought there was! Little did I know...

The sad thing is that it took me the better part of 29 years to finally figure out that it doesn't matter what I look like, what I wear, how I do my hair or makeup, or even how thin or how fat I am. God loves me for ME. I am HIS design. So of course I'm not going to be like anyone else! I shouldn't compare myself to anyone else. I am ME! I am a one-of-a-kind, no-one-else-like-me, He-broke-the-mold-when-He-made-me, girl. So are you!

Exhibit God with your uniqueness. When you magnify your Maker with your strengths, when your contribution enriches God's reputation, your days grow suddenly sweet. ~Max Lucado (Cure for the Common Life (2005))

You and I don't have to have anyone's approval for what we do. God has given each of us special gifts. Some of us know ours, some of us don't yet. But the fact remains that if you are living and breathing, God has something special for you to do. You can't get anywhere by comparing yourself to the next person. It's up to you to find your talent and make use of it.

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function...Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them..." Romans 12:4, 6(a)

My life isn't perfect. It never will be. I will grow and learn from now until I stand before Jesus with my accomplishments and say, "Here they are." Knowing that I'm doing it for Him, to help others heal from their hurts and grow closer to Him, I pray that what I do here is pleasing to Him. Because everything I do IS for Him. 

Have you fallen into the trap of comparison? Do you look at others and think that you aren't as good as someone else, or that your talent isn't good enough? Let me tell you something; You are good enough! You are designed by the Creator of the Universe. You are one-of-a-kind. God has a plan for you and has instilled in you something special. And He doesn't make mistakes. I encourage you to step out in faith. Trust Jesus to lead you in the direction He is calling you. When you do, you will find liberation, and a peace that you never knew you could have!

So, what is God calling YOU to do?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Learning to Let Go

In my journey to forgiveness, I have found that sometimes things aren't what they seem to be. It's that way in all of life's little quirks I guess, but many times we say we have forgiven, yet we're still holding onto one little thing or another. We haven't learned to let go.

Often I hear things like, "I'm not very good at letting go of things," or "I haven't mastered the art of releasing the past." I wonder then, how does that person have forgiveness in their heart? They don't. You can talk all day, saying you've forgiven so-n-so for one thing or another, but the fact remains that if you continue to talk about it, bringing it up, then you haven't really let go of it. 

If you begin to release past hurts and pains, then you'll experience the joy and freedom God intends for you to have.

I know I speak of the things God has healed me of. It was a lifetime of oppression and intimidation, brought on by various women throughout my life. And while I talk about being healed of it, I don't actually talk about each individual infraction done to me. To do that would dredge up old wounds, old hurts, and old "junk" that has been healed within me. 

You see, it's one thing for me to say, "God healed me of this," and quite another to say, "This person did such and such to me, and she came over one day and she..." do you get my point? Why go into great detail, explaining one hurt after another, after another? The fact of the matter is this: I've been healed. Plain and simple. 

The night God healed me of the oppression and intimidation that I suffered under, He removed those things from within me. Immediately upon their removal, the Holy Spirit rushed in to fill those holes that all the hurts had caused. It's like when you get a cut or scrape. Immediately blood rushes to that area, clotting it, and scabbing over so that the skin underneath can heal. That's exactly how it worked inside me. All those abrasions throughout the years had left holes. The blood of Jesus rushed in, filling each hole, and the Holy Spirit scabbed them over, beginning the healing process.

Simply put, forgiveness is the decision to cancel a debt. ~Andy Stanley (It Came From Within! (2001))

There are many people in the world today who are hurting. Whether by the hands of someone else, or by their own unwillingness to let go of past hurts and pains. The issue with forgiveness is that we have to be willing to let it go. We can say we forgive all day long. But until we actually let it go, nothing will ever change. God wants to heal you. You have to let go so that He can. If you say you're having trouble with it, then you aren't ready to let it go. When you do though, you will experience such a sweet release that will completely turn your life around.

What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?

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