Do you know who you are?

February 26, 2013

How do we go through life without paying much attention? You may be asking yourself, what does she mean? Maybe what I mean is, living without really 'living', to just go through the motions without much thought, care or feeling.

I used to live just like that. As I look back on my life sometimes its as if I am looking at someone else's. I don't look back with regret and I'm not holding onto the past in a punishing or hurtful way. Sometimes I just look back to see where God has brought me and all the time I am left in awe with an overflowing thankful heart for the One who saves, who saved me.

As I look back, yes it is as if I'm looking at someone else's life. Even though it was my life, that person who once was, no longer exists. The day I confessed and believed the Lord is my Savior that person died and I was made a new creature in Him. Hallelujah!

We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. So, I don't know why, but I feel as if I am being led to share a part of my story today.

I went through a time in my life as a young adult where I was completely lost. No longer in my parents nest I was trying to find my own way. My own way that took me down many dead ends and curvy winding roads. I looked to others to create for me that feeling of safety and I occasionally read self help books that only made me feel good for a very short time. I can see now how insecure I was. I really had no self confidence in knowing who I was, how important I was and that I was created for a purpose.
I didn't know or understand that someone much bigger than my parents created me and loves me more than they are even capable of.
It was in this time of my life when I made so many bad decisions because I lacked self confidence. I was a follower. I used to say I hated conflict, but most people do. Now I understand that I didn't know how to deal with conflict so I did whatever I had to do to avoid it. Add to the mix being insecure and the result is I did things I didn't feel comfortable doing and knew were wrong.

Also somehow along the way I got a really warped understanding of what love is. I always thought it was a feeling. It also didn't help when someone would say to me, "Well, if you loved me you would do this for me", even when I knew in my heart that it wasn't right.

Maybe you are saying that is me. I lack self confidence, I am insecure, I am a follower. Maybe when you walk you look down at your feet instead of holding your head high. I am here to tell you I have been there and I understand, my friend. We don't need to struggle with our identity when we know who we are in Christ. When we give our hearts to Jesus and when we allow Him to live within us, He is the only one we want to follow. In no time at all, you will begin to feel His showers of love and peace and understand that He created you for a purpose!

Today, as a follower of Christ, I can hold my head high because I know who I am in Him. I know He is with me, I know His joy is my strength, and I know He will carry me and I also know how much He loves me!
psalm 139

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

What mama did: hugs

February 22, 2013

Can you see me doing the happy Friday dance over here? Today I am linking up with Lisa-Jo, but instead of her usual Five Minute Friday word prompt we are talking about something our mama's did when we were kids. An impression they left on us, intentional or not! 

My mom did so much when we were kids in providing our house to feel like a home. I always thought my mom was living in a different time than intended for her. She was a country girl at heart. Even though we didn't live on a farm she made very good use of the one acre we had.

She wanted the best for her family and that included feeding us natural foods, as close to how God made them. She had a huge garden, and we had chickens for eggs and meat, goats for milk, and other various animals to just enjoy. I actually remember her grinding up bugs and other things in the blender to put on the vegetation as a natural pesticide! But that was my mom. She had a can do attitude and nothing seemed out of reach for her.

She sewed all our clothes as kids and often dressed my twin sister and me in similar outfits.

Besides all that, the one thing I remember specifically from early childhood and through my adult years was her hugs!

She hugged with everything in her. Hard, tight hugs that would squeeze all the air out of us! My mom wasn't always very "cushiony", so yes, her hugs often hurt, but they were so worth it. When she hugged me I could feel how much she loved me...every...single...time.

mom with us
My sister, my mom holding my brother and me!
She was so full of love for us and it was apparent through her hugs. I would never back away or resist one of her wonderful hugs. Now as a mom myself I understand how she felt to just squeeze the ones you love with all you have. My own boys tell me sometimes I hurt them when I hug and all I can say is "its because I love you so much! I can't help it."

My mom went home to be with the Lord a little over three years ago and oh! how I miss her hugs! Nobody can replace the way a mama hugs her babies. Its a deep rooted love that flows from God.

I will continue her legacy and hug my own boys with all I got and if your mama is still around, go ahead - give her a love filled, life giving hug!

Have a blessed day!

Sun and Son

February 21, 2013

M
y four year old made up a song about the sun and it goes like this:

"Sun, sun beautiful sun!"

Okay, so its very short, but give him a break, he is only four :-) He sings this with joy in his heart to celebrate the sun shining after many days filled with grey clouds. As he sings it over and over I can't help but think of another version:

"Son, son beautiful One!"

And I tell him my version and he thinks its cool and then he starts making up other words that I no longer remember.

I love these moments where I can teach my children or just remind them in subtle ways all that Jesus is to us.

This is why we need to read God's Word and let it soak into our souls, our hearts and our minds. So we can radiate with the truth and glorify Him in all that we do without even thinking about it because it becomes natural, our way of life.

Won't you sing along with us today?!!?

Have a blessed day!

Tired and ugly

February 20, 2013

These days I feel like I'm struggling.

I'm at the end of myself, tired and weary, the telling over and over again wears me out. I'm trying the sticker chart...again. We are also focusing on a fruit of the spirit each month. This month is self-control.

The plan is to continue this more than a week or two. I'm the one who is at fault. I'm terrible with follow through in this area. I know it and I admit it. The plan is to consistently have family devotions. I put them on the daily list. We will do them and not skip them no matter how tired I am because its on the list. My boys are old enough now to do weekly house cleaning chores, so they are on the list.

But its a battle I am in. This tired momma who sometimes gets so overwhelmed she doesn't know what direction to go in. Instead she stands still and wants to cry, but the tears don't usually come. She escapes to the bathroom hoping to grab a moment of silence. Rowdy and loud little boys who just want to play. Run and play and run and pretend they are super heroes or Luke Skywalker defeating the enemy and saving the world.

Oh, I wish I had at least a smidgen of their energy because all this momma wants is quiet and to rest her head. Some days it feels so constant, all the demands and meeting their needs.

I don't think I'm complaining really. I'm just tired and I feel ugly. Ugly inside because I let the weariness sink into the crevices of my body and soul and it makes me feel ugly. Losing patience and feeling annoyed and I just want to escape to my bed where only if I could take a trip to dreamland! Ah, maybe I would float on the clouds or lie on a sandy beach with the warm sun drying out the weariness.

Instead, as I look up from my own self pity I see myself in the bathroom mirror. I look twice because I think I caught a glimpse of me. The me as He made me in His own image. I ask Him to help me and he reminds me of Matthew 11:28-30.
He is calling, "Beloved, come here, come to me. Rest in Me. Rest here in My presence." And I climb up into His lap as He puts His loving arms around me and I rest.

In His Presence.

I will rest.

I tuck the little ones into bed and kiss them good night. I'm thankful for the quiet, to just sit still and stare at their beautiful sleeping faces.

I thank God for these rowdy and noisy gifts and I ask Him to help me be more like Him.  To be gentle and humble at heart so what flows from within me are only kind words of love and affection to all those around me.

Linking up with

In times when we become fearful

February 01, 2013

What is it about Friday anyway that when we open our eyes when the alarm goes off, its just a little bit easier to hop out of bed...well, maybe half of the time anyway!

So, here we are, it is Friday and I am definitely doing the happy dance! Won't you join me?!? Let's dance our way into the weekend and before we do, let's stop on over at Lisa-Jo's for some Five Minute Friday Fun!

Today's word prompt is AFRAID.

Ready, set...

GO!


I hate conflict, I really do. I would much rather stay in my little bubble where my world is perfect and peaceful, where I can always hear the birds singing, see the flowers blooming, or the snow falling so quietly covering the earth in a soft downy blanket of white. But there are times when the dark clouds roll in and the bubble surrounding my perfect world pops. The world as I want it to be is no longer and I lower my shield allowing the enemy to attack with his fiery darts. This isn't something I want to happen...uh, obviously who does!?! Most of the time it is subtle and before I know it my soul is uneasy and quivering.  The dark cloud of fear has moved in and I find myself back to a place where I used to be. I start believing the devil's lies and before I know it that dark cloud hovering starts to paralyze. I don't want to leave my house. I want to keep myself and my boys tucked safely inside.

I know many of the Lord's promises because I try to store them up in my heart. I know He is with me, will never leave me nor forsake me. I know when I cry out to Him, He hears my cries. I know I am not struggling with flesh and blood, but against evil rulers of the unseen world. I know the Lord is my helper so what can man do to me? And I know He does not give me the spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind.

When fear tries to penetrate and consume my soul, it is then that I really grasp and hold onto His truths and promises. Over and over I read them in my Bible, I pray, I listen to encouraging music and worship the One who gives me the strength to stand and be victorious. I allow God to go before me and fight for me and I praise Him for his unfailing love!

Just this passed Sunday, my pastor was speaking about  2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 
and I thought I am so glad I am NOT fearful at the moment. But, as he continued to speak, I began to realize even though I am not afraid in the way I have described above, I am still harboring fear in my heart.

I know I am not alone. I know many of you also have this same fear. I also know there are many of you who wear your hearts on your sleeves. I am not one of those people. I keep a lot inside. I have wrapped up past hurts and shame so tightly and tucked it way down deep within my heart, shut the door and locked it away. I don't ever want to experience that again. By locking it away, I never have to think about it or talk about it and in a warped way of thinking I give myself a false sense of peace. I never allowed healing to come, so instead a big old scab has grown over large areas of my heart.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27  
I don't want to live this way! I don't want to miss out on the Lord's blessings because I am afraid to open up my heart to others, to be too afraid of loving with all I have and in return not being able to feel the love others want to give me!

I am slowly allowing the Lord to pick away at that scab by walking in faith and holding His hand. He is love and His love casts out fear. I have been asking Him to search my heart and heal it and help me love others as He loves me.

STOP.

Okay, so I definitely have gone longer than five minutes, but this has been on my heart and I am thankful for the word 'afraid' to be Lisa-Jo's prompt today.

I pray for all of you who read this post and who may be harboring fear in your hearts to let the healing process begin. I also pray that you allow God to walk before you and let Him fight your battles. Let us not let our fears control us, but allow the One who is in control to wipe away our fears. With Him we don't need to be afraid.
“Do not fear, for I am with you: Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NASB

Have a blessed day!
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