Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

What’s Important?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

let it be love

The older I get the more I come face to face with who I am and what my purpose has been while living on this earth. I’ve been here 50 something years which means I’ve had plenty of time to get some important things accomplished. However, every day it seems as though I’m bombarded by voices telling me that I’ve fallen short and that I’ve wrecked some of the most important assignments God has given me.

As a follower of Christ, I really really really want to be faithful to what God has for me. I don’t want to waste time (yet, I have wasted so much selfishly) nor do I want to be superficial to anyone needing to see Christ in me. For years, I’ve thought foolishly that by being real to people (my friends & family) I was portraying a truthful look at what walking the Christian faith means. Fall down, get back up. Live forgiven. Do better.

I don’t know what God is doing in my life these days. My life feels like it’s on a perpetual high-speed wooden roller-coaster and I cannot get off when it screeches into the station for more passengers. Just more crazy thrill-seeking people hop on and I’m still strapped in for ONE MORE WILD SCREAMING RIDE! Like I can handle it.

I’m not really handling it well. I go up with my emotions and then crash down like a violent wreck that no one walks away from. Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic (remember, it’s my life not yours – don’t judge). In spite of the very real and frustrating reality of my husband’s unemployment for the last 8+ months (September 9th 2016, not that I’m counting!!!) I’ve got bigger issues that are nagging me and pulling me towards sadness.

I’m at a real turning point in my life. It’s a “here on out” kind of time and what I do from now on is just as important as what I was doing when I was tucking kids in at night and making chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Only this time, I have a lot more freedom. No one is relying on me for guidance or protection or personal care. Matter of fact, they don’t even want me to offer a suggestion or opinion.

After a lifetime of parenting….they reach a point of NOT EVER LISTENING TO YOU AGAIN. That’s cool. I get it.

I’m faced with the question, what’s important?

Not all the things that I placed value on truly mattered. Some did, but not all. I mean, who cares about tons of home-cooked meals? Or spiffy, yummy smelling clean clothes? Those are just perks. Not true necessities. Kids who ate drive-thru meals and repeat wore so-so clothing are fine people and function perfectly well in society. Right?

I had a thought bubble pop up last night while I was loading the dishwasher – I wasn’t always very nice to my kids. As soon as the thought hit me, I felt a stab of regret. I was mean. Not all the time but enough that it hurts me to reflect on it. Maybe all moms are jerks at some point or another. I honestly don’t know how anyone purposefully hurts their kids (I did not do that…. but there were times I wasn’t as loving or kind as my kids probably needed me to be). I’m sorry for it.

Still, what’s important from me as a mom? To be nice? To be fair? To make homemade mac-n-cheese? To show love? To give of my time and energy? To let them make their own choices? To pick who they want to be or where they want to go? To butt out? To zip my lip and not point out weaknesses or celebrate strengths?

I’m here to tell you, all of that is important. Afterall, I am standing on the other side now and looking back….I can see clearly what worked and what didn’t. Instead of relishing all the things I did wrong – I think it’s important to focus on what I did right. I can’t help what anyone else does with their life (even my own kids) but I can tell you that if you don’t try your best to make an impact on the people in your life — God will hold both you and me accountable for it.

I chose to parent my kids under the headship of Jesus Christ and I would do it again. If my kids have children, I will continue to teach the love and forgiveness of Jesus to my grandchildren. It’s in me and it will always be until the day I die. I’m a Christian (a sinner saved by grace) and I will not waste my time or His while I’m here on earth being silent about my faith. If I’ve learned anything in 50 years it’s that life is fleeting and there are no guarantees of a tomorrow. Being nice and not offending someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ is dangerous. While I don’t want to live with earthly regret…. knowing I’ve shied away from sharing Christ with someone who dies and goes to hell is a consequence beyond regret.

It’s important to do the good work of Jesus as a parent, friend & stranger. This world doesn’t just need “nice” people it needs the faithful who care about the eternal destination of those around them.

What’s important to you?

stand firm

Good People are Sinners

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

broken heart

I need help. I have a condition that cripples me from living the fullness of my life as God promises. It’s called human being thinking. Also known as worldly thinking.

What is human or worldly thinking? Well, in a nutshell…it’s believing that I’m the only person I need to worry about pleasing or satisfying. It’s thinking that I owe no one or thing any allegiance but my self.

The truth is, I’m not qualified to be my own God and Judge.

    My heart is wonky.

It’s dirty, full of sin and ready & willing to turn to whatever feels good instead of running hard & fast after what is Holy. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that one about being a GOOD person.

I’m a good person … therefore, don’t judge my decisions or choices. They’re mine, butt out!

The problem with that is that a lot of good people end up in hell. Being “good” isn’t what offers you and me a place in eternity with God.

be holy

While I believe there are good people in the world, I know without a shadow of a doubt that not one of them is perfect or spotless in the eyes of God. It just isn’t possible. Only Jesus Christ has the ability to be that. We are liars, thieves, cheats and more. We trick ourselves by justifying the sin in our lives and that’s where we get the uncanny ability to overlook faults or weaknesses that make us everything we never want to be (or to be called), wrong.

Look, sin is a human condition. Not one person gets to walk through this world without falling into its hole. We are all sinners. You, me, your grandma, your pastor, your best friends’ Sunday school teacher….. every. single. person. sins.

The problem we have isn’t just admitting it. It’s admitting it and believing we need a Holy God to forgive us. To repent and or change.

be holy 1

Which brings me back to thinking like a human being. There are times when my head wants to gloss over what I know is wrong in my life. I can make whatever is ugly look and feel really lovely if I work at it long enough. Except, the Holy Spirit never lets me enjoy it truly because it’s genuinely gross and disgusting. It doesn’t belong where I’m trying to force it to be.

During this season of Lent, I decided (secretly, between God & Me) to give up something that was literally owning me. It’s not something that others would find bad or unhealthy…but it’s something that I know God doesn’t want for me. When I decided to remove it from my life, I was driving down the road in my car when a simple thought came to my mind that said, “Let it go!”.

Now, that seems simple. But, it had a great hold on my every day life. I liked it. I planned my day around it. It was ruling me. Once I decided to get rid of it, it left. I haven’t longed for it, I haven’t wished for it, I haven’t even tried to figure out a way around getting back to it.

It’s not something I want in my life anymore.

That’s exactly what God desires for us in every aspect of our lives. He wants us to CHOOSE HOLY over worldly. His plan for us never involves sin. We do that to ourselves. We lock ourselves into sin habits or sin thinking. Then, our hearts twist up the truth with the lies we tell our brains and the result is a lifestyle that doesn’t match up with God’s plan for us. But, then….there’s grace.

If there ever were a poster child for GRACE, there you’ll see me.

See, there’s nothing so bad….not one sin that God isn’t ready and willing to forgive us for and to help us overcome in our lives. He is in the forgiveness business. He sent His Son because HE KNEW we would need that kind of sacrificial love and mercy.

Listen, if you’re believing the lies you tell yourself that you don’t need God or His ways….you’re wrong. You do, I do … we all do. He knows that. He’s ready and willing to turn you around. Don’t buy into what the world is selling. It’s cheap and it’s costly all at the same time.

You’re worth more than that.

be holy 2

Life Does Go On

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

good inten

Tomorrow is the day we close the book on our old life and open up a shiny new page with fresh hopes and dreams. It’s sad and exciting all at the same time. Change is scary. Especially, when you’re one month away from turning 50 years old.

I wish I could say that this hasn’t rocked my world in a bad way. It hit me like a concrete truck and threatened to back over me everyday since I heard the news.

Do you know how hard it is to wrangle in your emotions and feelings when someone knocks you down for no good reason?

I’ve wanted to lash out. That only hurts me, not them.
I’ve wanted to hate the people responsible. God reminds me to love, especially those who don’t deserve it.
I’ve wanted to cry. I have and I probably will a few more times.
I’ve wanted to forget the whole last 3 years + 1 month. God blessed us during that time too.
I’ve wanted to sell my house and move far far away. That still might happen.
I’ve wanted to give up. Why? The ones responsible for my stress haven’t thought about me or my family once since July 7th. I have to keep going.
I’ve wanted to wish calamity to my enemies. I don’t have to waste my time with that, God sees everything and He really does handle sin. His wrath and mine do not compare.
I’ve wanted to hide out and wallow in my pity. God didn’t send Jesus for me to be a big crybaby. Jesus came so that I would live life with abundance! I have so much to be happy about.
I’ve wanted to lose my cool. I don’t need to go to jail.
I’ve wanted to do a lot of things that just don’t match up with my Christian faith. God has a plan. He doesn’t need me to act or think outside of HIM in order to move forward.

I suppose that’s all normal when you feel like your life is falling to pieces. It doesn’t help that sticking around another 6 weeks at a job that has no future can feel like a constant twist of the knife in your back. Every little thing feels like a snub or that people are laughing behind your back. Especially, when other employees are rewarded for all their hard work (and you are not even thanked for all you did to move 2 different offices to new locations). Ouch! That hurt!

But, that brings me to a new understanding about people and how I can navigate my own feelings when the crap hits the fan.

1. Develop an understanding heart.
People are just human. Some are kinder than others and some are just thoughtless. Forgive them when they hurt you and just let it go. God really does handle every little thing.

2. Separate the things you can control from the things you can’t.
Keep moving forward even when tempted to give up.

3. Give 100% to the things that matter most.
Don’t waste time trying to make a fruitless effort on all the stupid little things that really don’t matter. Focus on the big thing that does.

4. Embrace tough times.
This is hard, but…scripture points out that when you’re walking through fire, God is refining you (and me) to be something useful to Him and His Kingdom. Tough times mold us, change us and make us better. We are going to be incredible!!

5. Refill your pitcher.
Just like an engine that needs new oil, our heart and mind need topped off too. We must do the things that fuel us and rejuvenate our souls. Have fun, smile and enjoy the goodness of life. It doesn’t negate the circumstance but it does give us a better perspective.

stop letting

I can’t look back with regret. Life does go on…

Lord,
When I am tempted to live like the world, bring me a fresh perspective as to WHO I AM in CHRIST! I’m bigger than what happens to me or my family and I can live through adversity.
Amen

5 THINGS to Tell Yourself Everyday

Monday, May 16th, 2016

You’re probably not here for any wise advice, I get that. But, then again you might be, right? Sometimes, I dole out silly ideas and other times….I aim right for the jugular and hit it like a bulls-eye. I don’t know enough about anything to be an expert but I’ll be honest – when it comes to how we treat ourselves…I know stuff!

In the last week, I’ve heard so much bad news; job loss, marriages ending, suicide attempt, fatal accident, serious illness and it’s been cold & rainy. All in the same danged week!

It all started to weigh me down. By God’s design, I’m a burden “toter”. Got troubles? Hand them to me, I’ll hold them…coddle them & nurse them like sick babies. I can’t just get over bad stuff easily like most normal people. (It’s a real drag too)

The mind is so powerful.

So, I’ve come up with 5 important things to live by every single day. Use them, write them down and stick them on your mirror….put them in your bonnet, whatever. Just make them a priority for yourself. Then, watch how you respond when life gets hairy.

you cannnn

Don’t listen to the voices in your head telling you to give up. YOU CAN DO IT! Whatever IT is! Stop focusing on all the negatives and push through to the positives. Believe it, you can do it.

give you

Stop wallowing in all your dumb mistakes! Enough. Move on. Get over whatever it is that holds you back and decide once and for all to extend TO YOURSELF the grace that you deserve. Yes, you deserve to be forgiven. Ask God & then yourself. DONE!

tell you

Trust me. You will never look good at someone else’s expense. Not for free. It will always cost you something. So, be a person that builds others up and does whatever it takes to make someone else look good. Come on, you are better than that!

believe in y

It might appear that other people don’t have to work very hard for their blessings (and truthfully, there are a rare few that don’t) but most do. You’re no different. Get up, put on your lipstick and hustle. EV.ER.Y.DAY. Make your dreams happen.

designed

Go ahead and get over it now. Not everyone is going to like you. Remember, you could be the ripest juiciest peach in the basket and there will always be someone who hates peaches! Focus on the people who do like you and forget the rest. God doesn’t ask us to kill ourselves trying to be liked. He just expects us to be more like Him.

Get ready to blow your own danged mind, friends!

You’re welcome!

Clean Start For Everyone

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Failure is one of life’s most powerful teachers.

failure

Nothing moves us to action the way failure does.

For many of us, failure beats us up like a bully on the playground then takes our lunch money and calls our mama fat. There we lay….bloody, broke and humiliated. Only, grown up life doesn’t wait around for us to be found by the teacher on duty. It doesn’t hand us vindication in the form of seeing our troublemakers punished or our wounds all cleaned up and mama called to come get us. Big people failure leaves a gaping hole that only God can heal.

clean it

I can’t help but think that the way we deal with real life as grown adults stems from what we experienced as a child. Children who grew up with forgiveness and a clean start after making a mistake or breaking a rule have an advantage over us that felt shamed and scolded. Think about it. When you were a kid did you feel free to mess up? Did you learn to get over mistakes and move on? Or were you held like a hostage to every poor choice? Were you taught to get over it and make a new start? Or were you tied to your shortcomings and branded for life to every bad decision?

Let downs, failures and mistakes all have a role to play in every person’s life. They mold us, teach us valuable lessons and mimic the hope that can be found in Christ.

It’s time to get over it, friends. Today is the day for you and me to rise above our mistakes & shortcomings. What Christ has done on the cross for you and for me offers us the complete and utter fullness of His forgiveness. He has given each of us a clean slate.

Have you accepted his Grace? I hope so. You deserve a fresh start.

for give

Happy Monday!

Not 7 Times

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

What is it about forgiveness that makes it so darned difficult?

forgive forgive

What if the person who hurt you isn’t even sorry?

forgive

Or what if your heart is so clogged up with all the hurt that you can’t see past the pain?

forgive it

I know all about forgiveness. I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ long enough to experience granting it, getting it and feeling the sweet release of it’s wicked hold on my heart plenty of times. The honest truth is that there are issues that sneak back up and bang you over the head. Things that rob you of forgetting a wrong and rubbing all the hurt back in your face. What can you do?

forgive her

I don’t want to feel the misery that NOT forgiving others promises. It’s ugly. It pokes you when you least expect it and it festers if it’s not dealt with quickly.

forgave

My heart, your heart….. NEEDS the release that forgiveness holds.

Who needs your forgiveness today? Remember, forgiving them doesn’t excuse them. But, it does excuse you from the bitterness and broken heart.