Stay Faithful

November 23rd, 2021

Confession:
I’m angry.
Every day, I find myself getting angrier.
The world is a giant ugly mess! If you’re paying attention, satan is running every street & commandeering every town. He’s swooping in through each little crack and oozing proudly through all the big ones. All while you & I try to make sense of what is happening in our world. He is happening. How else can you explain what we’re watching play out in our midst? Suicides, in my town & yours. Murders, senseless deaths over and over in every corner of our country. Politicians who push hate and racial divide, who have totaled our economy and have put pretty much most of us on high alert that our lives are not even close to the change that is coming our way. The medical world. Oh my gosh, the medical world has become a cesspool of information, mis-information and dropped balls. The cost of housing, the lack of housing and the struggle to attain both. There’s not one thing that you or I pay for that hasn’t increased in cost. Not anything. It’s difficult to go out, not many places have the dining room open to eat. Businesses are nearly ruined by the fact that only a handful of people will work and those poor folks are run ragged! All this in a world that preaches–> be kind, all while not truly being kind.

Everybody’s angry about the same stuff I feel miffed about. I get it.

For the last few months, I have felt a heavy darkness hanging around inside my head & heart. I feel junky and cruddy in the weirdest of ways. I have prayed about it, I have sat in silence with God over it. I have even tried ignoring it all. I haven’t been able to put a name to what is wrong with me. Honestly, I’ve just felt broken and lost. I know I belong to God. It’s not a salvation issue, perhaps it’s more of a letting my mind and heart dwell on what is happening in this world. It’s not smart to let your thoughts and worries of what is completely out of your control consume you. I have been at war with the evil. I cannot stand against it on my own and I know that. Neither can you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could drive our hearts right through a heart wash like we can our cars in the car wash?

So, this is for all you dirty angry hearted people out there…. It’s time for us to take back our hope! Our story here on earth isn’t written by others, it’s ours to pen. The ugliness of this world isn’t going anywhere! It may even get much worse, to be truthful. It’s difficult to look away from the hate pouring out on tv, in our neighborhoods and even inside of families. My prayer is that what is good and what is holy will blanket your heart and mine. God has a perfect plan and even in the midst of all the uncertainty we see play out every day — we have the greatest of hope in Him who loves us and makes a way.

Note to self:
I am allowed to be angry. I’m not allowed to let it fuel me to sinfulness. I need to feel what hurts and I want it to change me, not for bitterness but for a holy calling to remain faithful and certain of all that God can & will do through the trials of this earth.

Lord, let me be found faithful to the end. Amen.

Push Reset

October 23rd, 2020

I’ve got a question for you to ponder today, October 23, 2020. Do you give yourself grace? This morning in Zoom Coffee Time with my pastor, he taught a lesson on PRIDE. It was the last of the 7 deadly sins lessons he’s been teaching to our group and it was incredibly humbling. I listened as he shared his thoughts. Instantly, I felt the sting of my own issues with pride as he listed out 7 different ways we can detect what’s really going on in our hearts:

1. Fault finding
2. Harsh or critical Spirit
3. Superficiality
4. Defensiveness
5. Presumption or cavalier attitude towards God
6. Desperation for attention
7. Neglecting others (being exclusive in relationships)

Like you, perhaps…not all of these are weak spots for me. But there are some sucker-punch items listed there that force me to look directly in the mirror of pridefulness. I actually hate those things about myself and I see how they really are a big fat roadblock to being a faithful & obedient follower of Christ.

If not kept in check, pride will totally ruin most things in our lives.

Ironically, there in his big list was never mentioned lying or dishonesty. If you think about it, lying can be a huge form of pride. Hiding a truth about yourself is the opposite of being humble, which never ends well. Like all sin, the consequences are painful.

I love what scripture says about pride in James 4:6 –> “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Recognizing the ugliness of pride but offering the one thing each of us needs most is His grace if we simply humble ourselves and repent of our sin.

I do a jam up job of being hard on myself & others, if I’m being fully transparent. Tell me I’m not the only one to beat myself up for foolish mistakes. Knowing what I know about God, he is the most gracious of grace givers. I could learn a thing or two from His love for me and the mercy He pours out regularly. How can I love others like Christ when I poke around in any of the 7 hints of pride I listed?

That’s a better question, huh?

Can we do the work of God if we are trapped in any of those pride habits? Maybe. Will we be very useful? Probably not as much as if we were freely clean of pride and its reality. I’m so grateful that God has given us a reset button. No matter the brokenness of my error, I can go to Him with a repentant heart and start anew. I can replace my pride with holiness that can only come from Christ.

Let’s show one another grace, like God offers to each of us. Let’s also learn to give ourselves the grace we need to step out of whatever pride struggle hounds us. There’s no humility in hanging onto pride or lording it over anyone else who struggles there.

Remember that.

What Mama’s Do

May 9th, 2020

I wasn’t aware of how important my mother was until she was gone. I loved her and I wanted her in my life but for most of our time together the relationship was toxic. She was toxic.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I see we’re all a little damaged and rough where we are usually needed most to be soft.

How do I know?

No matter how hard I tried or the effort put forth to be the best mom I could be, I fell terribly short. My good intentions to love sometimes came across as smothering. My discipline & even cheering on perhaps looked & felt more like butting in and control. My frustration or anger….just hurt.

Mother’s are a powerful force.

I can’t change a single thing, nor can my own mother whose been gone 7 years now. But I think I have a little idea of just how heavy the bag of regret can be when you’re looking back as a mom. For mine, she had a lifetime of abuse and hurt to carry. The last few months of her life, she righted many of her wrongs against me the only way she could — to say I’m sorry I hurt you.

Those hurts make a lot more sense to me at 53 years old. None of them were okay or acceptable but I see why she lived the way she did and I forgive. Her own torment spilled out onto me.

Still, I see how she loved me. I was her joy and not for one minute did she not think of me.

I’ve been a mother for 30 years. Not one minute has passed that I haven’t cherished the children God gave to me. Of all the things I’ve done or experienced in my life, being a mother has given me more joy and laughter than any other thing.

I think of them everyday. I let them go just as God had planned all along and I smile every time I think of them. They will always be mine and like me with my own mother, they will navigate the life we’ve lived together and decide for themselves what they will let go of and forgive and what they will cherish about my love for them.

It’s the circle of life for us all.

What Mama’s Do:

1. She holds us tight. In physical love & affection and in permanent residence in her heart.

2. She sacrifices her own life. She gives her portion for you even if you don’t really deserve it.

3. She hears & sees everything. She understands hurts and celebrates victories.

4. She protects. Her number #1 instinct is to cover you with her safe blanket and propel you into adulthood.

5. She smiles. From the moment she hears about you the joy cannot be contained. You’ll want that to see her smile more than you know after she’s gone.

6. She gives you boundaries. The only way she knows to help you is to reign you in where you want to run loose.

7. She’s your emotional backbone. Every feeling you don’t know what to do with, she’s there to help. Even if it’s just listening.

8. She will laugh at all your jokes. You’re funny to her and seeing you smile makes her heart jump.

9. She sees your strengths, weaknesses and files them accordingly in her mom heart. You can trust her to be honest with you.

10. She forgives. Her own frailty as a human reminds her that you’re just as prone to make mistakes.

I love you, Mom. I love you, Gavin – Ally & Gates. You are all the very best of me, forever. For that, I am so proud.

INFLUENCER

February 19th, 2020

Have you heard of this new JOB called influencer? It’s a real thing! It’s people who put themselves “out there” on the internet world, be it….Instagram, blogger or Youtube and get paid to show you how amazing their lives are while not doing much other than showing off very expensive clothing or fancypants travel. Some even do tippity-tap dance moves as a way to draw in followers and appear as if they are just normal every day people living their normal every day lives – like you & me. But they are far from normal and what they are doing is very calculated and exact. While they lure you in with their fun personalities or incredible makeup & clothes…what they are actually doing is hooking you into buying whatever they are representing and in return making big bank on your caving in to whatever product they are pushing out to their viewers/followers.

These influencer’s are being paid incredible amounts of money. Many of them left real careers that they spent years in college training for to make incomes that most of us could only dream of making. In turn, people are influenced by them.

But what kind of influence are they really spreading?

Well, I’ll tell you. The kind that focuses on success, fame and money. Oh they’ll post amazing content filled with beautiful pictures of sweet & happy family lives and they’ll even flash their huge success to the viewers by snapping shots of the kind of cars they drive and in front of exquisite doors to amazing homes. You, the reader see a glimpse of their success that way and can figure out rather easily just how “hard” they’ve worked to attain the status or thousands of followers they have. Some influencers even throw Jesus posts in, ya know…for the readers who they want to show that they really are blessed by God for what they do.

It’s really misleading, honestly.

The truth is that being an influencer isn’t a terrible thing. But at what point is that peddling perfection to a world looking for acceptance and happiness truthful? You don’t have to be a genius to recognize their lives are not perfect. Every person has stuff — struggles, fears and even failures. Many of these influencers main objective is to appear more incredible, more beautiful and even more important than they really are. This may seem a harsh observation and I get it that the world is looking for someone to follow.

I only wish instead of looking for more followers to make more money…that these women would become influencers for Christ. By genuinely pointing people to God instead of products. Imagine the power in that kind of influence.

Don’t misunderstand my intentions here. I’m not telling you to unfollow any beloved online stars. Surely, there is something about them attracting you to their business/platform. However, I would ask you to examine your interaction with them.

Three questions:

1. Does following an influencer make you feel inspired or depressed?

2. Does following an influencer build you up, make you more confident as a wife, mother/friend, child of God?

3. Does following an influencer bring you closer to God?

I only ask because I have young adult children and I listen to them closely when they talk about who they follow. What I see is defeat or sadness at the lifestyles these influencers push on young people. It’s a strange back & forth image for young women, especially. How can any regular person live up to such standards of success? It’s a bit distracting to me.

It cannot help but open us up to comparison. (Uhh, hello joy thief)

For the readers or followers of the many popular influencers out there — the message of perfect hair, extra gorgeous children and eye-catching mcmansions is a big fat lie. All of that takes work. It’s not an instantaneous jackpot! Which reminds me how easy it is to become very disenchanted with your own lifestyle and capabilities. Which then leads to the sad reality that your life is just not as good as those you see online.

I don’t call that influential. I would call that misleading and fake.

I learned a long time ago to stay in my own lane. Focus on what God has entrusted to me. To be thankful for every single moment of my life. What God has blessed me with is monumental in the grand scheme of things in this life. My number one job is to point others straight to Him and the salvation he offers freely to each of us.

My influence on this earth has nothing to do with expensive clothing or hot steamy sales going on at Nordstrom. My value, my goodness has nothing to do with gorgeous makeup or outrageous vacations to places most people will never go. It all comes from Christ and what I do with that matters to Him.

What I do with all that God has given me also matters to anyone watching. The world is looking and I want to influence every person I meet to know the God of my heart.

How about you?

Can Queenie Make a Comeback?

February 19th, 2020

Is this blog dead? Can it be resurrected into something amazing? A place where women can come and find rest & see the work of Jesus in an ordinary woman?

Pray for me. I’m praying for just that to happen through this bloggy vessel I’ve been given.

Love you reader friends,
Wanda

Why Am I So Dang Touchy?

August 13th, 2019

My whole life I’ve been called a drama queen. Bossy too. I’ve tried to tamp down all that is me for most of my life. That’s over 52 years, by the way. The reality of it is that I cannot change who I am. I am a highly sensitive person. I feel every feel. I am intuitive, discerning and I can read pretty much every other human like a giant lettered book. I see right through motives, I know when you’re lying and I can tell if you dig me or not….instantly. I am emotional and full of tenderness. I hate chaos, messes and stress feels like a chokehold on my very being. I love people but I need the safety and quiet of home. I want to go & see but if it’s crowded with people, I get so overwhelmed with anxiety that I want to melt down. I’m not weird, I swear it. I am confident and sure of myself, people don’t easily intimidate me. I love being social, but when I’m done….I am done. I have to go home to regroup. I need space but I also need interaction. I love smiling and I thrive on friendships and relationships in general. I want it all and at the same time….want it all to be quiet, peaceful and lovely.

I’m a highly sensitive person.

I know exactly where I got it, this super dose of sensitivity. My mother was the first person I can remember to show these powerful hard-to-understand emotions to me. She never knew she had it, but looking back on my life with her….I can see clearly, she was a HSP. She never liked noisy chaotic environments and she couldn’t handle too much stimuli or she would react in the most negative of ways. For most of her life, she felt everything amped up bigger than normal. A lot of the time she mismanaged all her emotions which is very easy to do when you’re not aware of the why you feel the things you do. She spent a lifetime, reacting or as some would say, over-reacting. Something I have done myself in order to just get by.

So, what the heck does HSP mean or look like? Highly sensitive people often “feel too much” and “feel too deep.” … High sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person may be an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between.

When I was a little girl, I would get my feelings hurt so easily. It didn’t take much to break me apart. Often my family would ridicule me or call me a drama queen. Part of being HSP is that extra boost of empath and this world is full of “stuff” that wrecks the feely feels of people like me. I’ve learned to avoid things that pull my heart to pieces; sad commercials, animal cruelty, pain of others, chaos, high stress… Still, it’s impossible to completely remove yourself from life.

Not sure what HSP really entails? Go here!

Highly Sensitive Person TEST

Another peek at an article on HSP, click here!

While I’m only at the beginning of understanding this about myself, I hope to use what I learn to be better not more annoying. Face it, the world isn’t catering to highly sensitive people and why should it? Life is tough for everyone, we’ve all gotta find the path to coping and functioning. I don’t know who else needs this kind of information but my prayer is that someone will find a path to the truth about themself and finally make use of that extra dose of sensitivity God gave them.

Finally, I’m not just being too sensitive and neither are you. We’re built a little different, that’s all. Let’s figure out how to use the superpower for good!