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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Discombobulated by Christianity

Just when I believe I am getting the hang of what God wants me to do, I learn that I am totally wrong. Totally wrong. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s pretty close. It’s a case where I believe I understand what the Bible wants me to know. I believe I grasp the idea just to read or be told that is just not the case. Overwhelmed just does not cut it. There is so much information that I need to learn. I want to learn.

The most recent lesson I need/want to learn is the “Guard your heart” concept. There is no need for me to pretend that I am even close to understanding and living it the exact way I need to. Feelings of shame for not knowing that concept have crept in. Okay, okay, they drop in like a nuclear bomb and obliterate all things I thought I knew. I would NEVER put that on somebody else who did not know. The best thing to do when you do not know something is to ask someone who does know.

I thought I was doing the best thing for myself, and that tends to be a selfish thing if it is done to cause hurt toward others. I do not ever intend to hurt others, but building a wall around my heart is painful for me and others who maybe are doing the best they can to have a relationship with me. I am working on trying to understand that others loving me in their own ways may not be the way I want. Ugh. Growing as a person feels like major suckage, sometimes. Growth is necessary, but it can be painful.

I am to love others as Christ has loved me. Blinders lead me to believe that I have not treated God as poorly as others have treated me. Blinders lead me to believe that others are just trying to manipulate me into getting what they want. My blinders are victim blinders. I would rather eat the stuff stuck to the bottom of my shoes than say that, again. It’s true, however. Victims become self-seeking. Blah! Self-seeking.

1 Corinthians 13:5 Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself

“EVER FAIR…NO THOUGHT FOR ITSELF”

GAH! I know I am not the only person struggling with this, but I do feel like it, sometimes. I want to be a loving and fair person. I want to not be so stuck on being a victim that I forget others have been victimized, also. So much to learn, and I have a lifetime to learn whatever it is. I do not know how long that lifetime will be, so I probably shouldn’t wait to try to learn them. I am fortunate I have people I can ask. People who are loving and gentle.

I totally do not understand everything in the Bible. It baffles my mind, really. I just want to love God and love others, as I have been loved.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. — 1 Corinthians 13:3

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. — Luke 6:35-36

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23

Guarding against a rebellious spirit and cultivating a spirit of submissive obedience to God’s Word, therefore, is the first step in guarding the heart.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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So Many Reasons

Every single one of us has laws that we must follow. Some of those laws are stated by city, state, and federal governments. Some of those laws are stated by God. Some of those laws are stated by our own morals and ethics. They start when we are born, pretty much, and they do not end until we leave this earth. We don’t always like them, but we don’t always like when we have to pay the consequences for not obeying them. There are ALWAYS consequences for not obeying them. We don’t always get caught when we break the law. It’s still breaking the law. It still causes problems.

For instance, you cannot show a child pornography and pretend that it is ok. You cannot pretend that it is harmless. You cannot pretend that they will not remember it. There are so many reasons this is wrong!

For instance, you should not have affairs as a married person or with a married person. You cannot pretend that nobody gets hurt. You cannot pretend that it will not damage someone else’s heart. You cannot pretend that it will not damage your own heart. There are so many reasons this is wrong!

For instance, you should not take what is not given to you. You cannot pretend that the person you took from will not be affected by that. You cannot pretend that you are entitled to do so. You cannot pretend that you are afforded that right just because you say or think so. There are so many reasons this is wrong!

Think about other people. They matter. They count.

You matter. You count. For so many reasons.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Just Sit With It

As a therapist, I have said similar words to clients and patients. If I am going to be honest, “Just sit with it” are four incredibly hard words. When I say anything remotely similar to others, I know how hard that is. As I sat with another therapist yesterday, I was discussing some things that were on my heart and became visibly upset. I began to cry, and I just could not stop. I would take my deep breaths and, at times, tried to hold my breath to keep from crying. (Yes, I know). Each time I would calm down, it would be just seconds before another wave of contemptible angst would just pour from my heart, and eyes. Again, I would let a little out and then do my best to suck it all back in as quickly as possible. It’s like a nurse who has to be a patient. If you don’t know any nurses, make friends with one and be around them when they are sick. They are not the best patients. But, I digress. The other therapist I was speaking with tells me to “Just sit with it. Whatever you are feeling right now, just sit with it.” Ugh!

Wanting to do everything but sit with it, I squirmed and looked at every object outside and inside where we were sitting. Took breaths as if I were in labor just to keep from crying even more. Any of my therapist friends who are reading this right now may be feeling my pain. Some of them may be giggling. The thing that happens when you shake a bottle or can of Coke (Yes, I said Coke which includes all carbonated soft drinks. I am from the South, don’t ya know.) is the same thing that happens when you have shaken up things inside of you and try to keep them contained. Sooner or later that pressure is going to be too much, and it will explode all over the place. I tried, and it did. I was a big, snotty, teary, swollen-eyed, red-nosed mess. I don’t regret exploding, but I just often do not like it.

It needed to happen when it did. To allow yourself to be vulnerable is one of the hardest things one will ever do. It’s a time racked with fear, anxiety, and the need for an exponential amount of chocolate or ice cream….or both. I know, however, that the only way to break free from any emotional imprisonment is to allow for that vulnerability. It truly sucks on every level, but it is freeing. You do have to be careful not to be vulnerable around unsafe people. I am grateful that I have someone I can feel safe with. I have a few of those people in my life whom I can be my most vulnerable, and they will just be gentle, loving, and gracious with no judgment.

The results of my vulnerability spewed all over the place yesterday are that I am exhausted, and I am completely drained and need to be filled, again. I have to chew on some things, and some of those things taste like yucky medicine, rolled around in poop, dipped in vinegar, and sprinkled with the truth that this has to be done. GROSS! It does have to be done if I want to grow and become a better, healthier me. And, I do want. I do need.

While all of this was painful and had me wailing from the deepest part of my being, I will talk with her, again. I will allow myself to be vulnerable and risk being that knowing that it is for my good. I will, again, be told to “Just sit with it,” and I begrudgingly will because I know the even bigger risk of not doing it. That’s a risk that I am just not willing to take. So, as one human to another, I want to tell you that those very hard, dark, gross, feelings you have are normal. They come as they should and trying to keep them enclosed in a shaken bottle is becoming dangerous. Whatever feelings come to the surface, let them come. Feel them. Just sit with them.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I Prayed to be Humbled

It’s been at least a week since I prayed hard that God would humble me in so many situations.  If there were ever a time where “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it” was ever so loud, it would be at this time of my life.  I keep getting hit in the face with this being humbled stuff.  I suppose I should have been more specific about the amount of humbled experiences I was looking for.  I feel like God has thrown this to me so many times within the last several days, that I am becoming weakened by it.  Work, personal relationships, family, and everything in between have been the forefront of this whole “Humbled” thing.  And, while it does feel like I’m being beaten into submission, I grimace in saying that it is probably being used to only strengthen me.  It feels sucky.  It just does.

When we feel like we are doing what is right for us and our relationships physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, we sometimes believe that life is right on track.  Then BOOM!!!  We get hit with the “it’s just not good enough” feelings from others’ behaviors or words.  I sit here writing this thinking about my inadvertent role in being the “BOOM!”  I also sit here thinking about someone else’s “BOOM!”  pounding my life right now.  This crappy, realistic ‘light bulb” moment that I am having is due to that other person’s role.  Some of you may be so confused right now, and I don’t blame you if you are.  These are the thoughts in my mind which are violently attacking the keyboard.  Hang in there with me.

If it weren’t for that other person’s belief that what I have done/said is just not good enough regardless of how hard I was trying, I would have never thought about how I unwillingly/unknowingly do that to others.  Freaking humility!  I mean, I am so glad I get to learn this wonderful lesson.  It is excruciatingly painful for us when we do all that we believe is good for others just to have it thrown back into our faces. My head hangs in shame for being blind to what I have needed to be doing all along and really have only been selfish, at times.  That makes me want to vomit a little bit.  Ok, a lot.

I can sit here and wallow in my heartache or pity or whatever other words, OR I can lead all of my emotions instead of letting them lead me.  I have always strived to do what I thought people wanted.  I have always strived to be what I thought people wanted.  What a fool I have been!  I have been so busy listening to what I thought was right and have practiced selective hearing when it has come to what God says is right.  I could sit here and type how unfair or hard I believe things to be.  Note to self: Oh Boo hoo!

The reality is that nowhere is it written that life is, or has to be, fair or easy.

In fact, we are told that we will absolutely have troubles and sad times in our lives.  Period.  We WILL have troubles!  We WILL have sad times!  How we deal with them is a totally different blog post. 

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” — John 16: 33

Troubles and sorrows stink!  I have felt really irritated, pissed off, and mistrusting at/in God this past week.  That last sentence contradicts my belief in John 16:33.  The thing about that, though, is that the horrible feelings I have had this past week have led to some very peaceful moments when I have allowed God in.  Today, I took a proverbial slap in the face that I was not expecting.  It took that “trial” to make me see things from a different perspective.  It took that trial for me to be able to stand in someone else’s shoes.  For those I have looked to for everything I’ve needed at one point or another, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.  We, in this world, look in so many wrong places for happiness, satisfaction, comfort, and love.  It’s what we as human beings automatically do.  The world is an evil place where our attention has been adverted elsewhere for our basic needs, but even though I had been aware of that for a while, now, I see it even more clearly, today.  While it is perfectly okay to love one another and to accept love and companionship with one another, people of this world are not the ultimate need fillers.  

This is what I know to be true (you do not have to like it or agree with it):

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. — 1 John 4:4-6

I have been the victim of worldly deceit entirely way too long.  I’m tired.

I can be pissed off at God.  He’s a big boy and can handle it.  I know that when I am confused and hurt, He hurts with me.  He knows my heart, and that is what I need to focus on.  There are some things in this life that are just going to be the way they are.  I have no control over how anyone else takes care of those things.  I do have control over how I take care of those things.  I cannot be starving for “food” from others and expect to get it.  It is achingly unfair to others and to myself.  Others cannot depend on me to give them what they REALLY need, either.  I can love you, help you as much as humanly possible, listen to you, and other things, but I cannot give you what you REALLY need.  No human being can.

I know this truth, also:

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer[a] is overcome by some sin, you who are godly[b]should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. — Galatians 6:1-3

I do know my limitations.  I want to be that person who “gently and humbly” helps you.  I am not your happiness.  You are not my happiness.  This I now know completely and humbly.

I did pray to be humbled, and boy have I been pummeled to my knees.  Even as I write this, I feel the humility that I have prayed for continuing to be thrust upon me.  It does not always feel so great.  Rarely, does it feel great.

However, I’d rather be drowned in humility than to be “rescued” by pride.

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Box in the Road

Many years ago, I had heard a story about a very small child who had been playing in a box out in the middle of a street.  A car came down the road, and the driver assumed that the box was empty.  The driver flattened the box and its precious contents.  

I saw a box in the middle of a busy road today.  I did not hit it due to the story above.  I started thinking about how our assumptions can often lead us to trouble and heartache for ourselves and others.  Appearances can be deceiving.  We look at anything and assume we know all about it.  We, as humans, believe we can tell how nice a house is on the inside just by looking at the outside.  If the appearance of that house is trashy on the outside, well, then it must be just as trashy on the inside.  Right?  Not necessarily so.

Have you ever looked at another human being and had an immediate reaction of, “Man, she’s hot!” or “Ugh, he’s ugly!”?  I’m almost certain that each of us, at some point in our lives, has made those immediate (and unattractive) responses.  Not all who are “unattractive” on the outside are that way on the inside.  Those who are “attractive” on the outside may not be so on the inside.  

The movie Shallow Hal comes to mind as I write this blog post.  If you haven’t seen it, I’m about to spoil it for you.  Hal, played by Jack Black, is the main character, and he is superficial in looking for someone to have a good time with.   He’s looking for the hottest women in the clubs and would not even give a second glance to those who are “less than.”  Hal cannot see any further than the physical attractiveness, or lack of, before him.  The shallowness will not allow him to see anything else.  Hal meets up with Tony Robbins in an elevator.  Robbins talks with Hal and hypnotizes him into only being able to see what’s on the inside of a person.  Gwyneth Paltrow plays Rosemary.  Hal sees Rosemary and is immediately head over heels in love.  He begins dating her, and she believes he is playing a cruel joke on her.  Hal’s friend thinks Hal is insane for dating Rosemary.  The thing is, to Hal, Rosemary looks like this beautiful, tall, blonde woman with not a single flaw.  To everyone else, Rosemary is 300 pounds and less than attractive to look at.  Nobody can understand what Hal sees in Rosemary.  

What he saw was her inner beauty.  That precious gift that we can only see if we resist the urge to judge on appearances only.  He eventually fell in love with her, and she fell in love with him.  

The point is that if we would just slow down and take the time to see what’s inside the box in the road, we may see something so precious and beautiful that the tattered box would not matter.  Look past the makeup, the muscles, the tan, the botox treatments, the wrinkles, the flat hair, and take the time to look at what’s really inside.  You could be the most beautiful or handsome individual anyone has ever seen, but if you’re heart is black and ugly, the outside doesn’t really matter.  Well, it shouldn’t

 The outside is just dressing.  The inside is where life is.  The inside is where the most precious things about you and others exist.  Just because you see a box in the middle of the road tattered and torn does not mean that it’s empty or filled with things with no value.  Just because a gift is beautifully wrapped doesn’t mean that what is inside of it is what you want or need.

What you see is not what you always get.

Take time to look.

 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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