Friday, June 29, 2012

Expectation = Disappointment = Resentment

"I have learned silence from the talkative; tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to those teachers." Kahlil Gibran.

When we expect man to treat us justly, kindly, respectfully...we are at fault. We have an expectation. Do you know that expectations set you up for a future resentment? We expect to be treated properly...then when we aren't...we are disappointment, frustrated, aggrevated~ all of these emotions are a close relative to "anger".

Not that we should lower our expectations, but rather we should tell ourselves the truth. We have no control over what others say or do. We are not responsible for their actions, but we are responsible for our reactions...this is when we really know what we
ARE in control of ~ ourselves only! Then honestly it won't matter, because we accept
the truth and when the inevitable happens (when we area treated unjustly) it will have little effect on us.

I am a work in process and would love to not struggle over and over again with the same issue, but I choose to learn and grow each time. I had an incident a couple days ago. I skipped right to angry...I was communicating with someone who I thought did not act in a professional manner. Her lack of honesty was hurtful to me and I felt deceived. I wanted to retaliate and punish. Tell her how she did wrong. Instead I thanked her for her time and hung up the phone. Then I was left with the angry feelings inside that I resisted expressing toward her. This bothered me all day. I asked God to show me where I was wrong. I could justify my anger very easily, but I did not want to grow resentment. What was really going on here?

Later that day Hope and I sat down to read a "VeggieTale 365 Day Starter Devos for Girls" and I turned to the first one and it was about "Forgiveness". Bottom line ~ Forgive...In order to receive forgiveness we must forgive. I realized punishment is not what others need it is forgiveness and that is what I need.

Is there anyone who crosses your mind and when they linger there you find yourself
remembering how they hurt you? We have the power to forgive and it sets us free. It is
opposite of what we want to do when someone wrongs us, but it is not for us to punish and judge. We are not to worry about whether or not we are being treated justly. When we are obedient to God's way for us we will receive blessings...choose this day to forgive and receive the peace that passes all understanding.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am not the Punisher anymore...

How to accept those people who rub you the wrong way.

Have you ever the read the verse: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5

For years this verse was totally lost on me. I did not have understanding and I remember when I first started to grasp it. I had started attending Alanon meetings and went as many do~ to stop someone from abusing a substance. It only took one meeting for my focus to shift to the person in the mirror ~ ME. I had for many years clearly seen where others could change and should change. Acceptance to me was not about unconditional love...acceptance translated tolerance and approval. I was the judge and punisher, any other behavior for me was condoning and I would not~could not accept wrong behavior. When God lead me to Alanon I was ready to see the truth of my situation and I looked hard in the mirror. My God was gentle with me, He didn't crush me. He loved me. I saw I had been doing the best I knew how. But I had been doing it wrong. Why did it take so many years to see the person in the mirror? I only know that God promises when you seek after Him with all your heart you will find Him. He doesn't say when you will have your answers, but God knows our hearts.

Today when someone "messes up" and their "mess up" effects me~ I remember that verse and look at myself in the mirror. What is the plank in my eye? I can honestly say I am not perfect and I can accept that now. Sometimes I still want to slip into "The Punisher Suit", but it doesn't fit me anymore. I immediately feel uncomfortable and I know in short time I will be made extremely aware of the person in the mirror and her shortcomings. When I extend acceptance and unconditional love I am able to receive it myself.

Can you see clearly where others go wrong? Do you hear yourself saying "If they would just..." do this or that? When I start down that path I recognize where it leads me in the end. I become critical and judgemental. I am reminded of the prayer we ended each Alanon meeting with:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dream or Reality?

~The Shortest distance Between a Problem & Its Solution is The Distance between Your Knees & the Floor.~ Author Unknown

I was in a room full of people that were having a good time, but I was troubled. I was not sure why. I knew God wanted me to get on my knees and pray about what was bothering me. I felt embarrassed. What would the people think? Shouldn't I go somewhere private and pray. 'No' was the answer. I was to pray right there in the room. I searched for a place and I found a couch over against the wall. I lowered to my knees and bowed my head in obedience. Just as I began to pray several children came over and jumped on the couch. I was startled....awakened from my dream at that time.

We read in the Bible God spoke to people through their dreams...and He still does. Obedience to what God calls us to do~ without hesitation or concern for what others will think of us. Obedience is the answer to our difficulties. Reflecting back on the dream I realized I went directly to God for my comfort not the people in the room. God speaks to believers...not in an audible voice, but in a still small voice that we may know Him. (John 8:47)

Later the same day fear crept in and stole my thoughts. Remembering my dream I fell to my knees in obedience. My prayers were answered and I was fearless in the situation and blessed tremendously. Not because I did everything right, but I was obedient. What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 10:12. God is faithful and He hears ours prayers.

Is there something bothering you? Are you worried, concerned, consumed, fearful, unsure, confused or aimless? We don't have to figure it all out we can go directly to the creator of the universe. Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is ayone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13

Monday, June 18, 2012

...he whispered, "You are not worthy"

It is just a picture I have on my refrigerator, but I can tear up everytime I look at it and remember. When I saw the picture for the first time I realized God's love for me. That may sound very fundamental..."Jesus loves me", but they weren't words simply spoken I knew it deep within my soul. I saw in the picture the child of God I am and I KNEW His love for me was just the way I am. I saw the loving, kind, gentle friend, mother and child of God I am. I did not have critical thoughts looking at myself~ my heart was filled with love for who I am. That may sound conceited, but it wasn't. I had compassion on myself and I received God's love for me in that moment.

That picture has been on my refrigerator for 1 1/2 years. I know it was a gift to me from my Father, for He knew what was ahead of me. He equiped me to remember the truth and that picture is a symbol to me. I would have never thought I struggled with this concept "God loves me". But I have come to realize for years I have found comfort and esteem in my Christian walk. I could only feel good when I was good. Translation "Perfect". I wanted no one to be able to point a "shame" finger at me. I struggled inside to be perfect as to not cause another to stumble.

~Then I divorced~

I was wide open for the enemy to attack who I am...he whispered in my ear..."you are not worthy."
..."You are not perfect."
..."You couldn't save your marriage, you divorced, you gave up."
..."Others think less of you."
..."How can God use you now?"

The life I had lived was believing God's love for me was dependent on my works. I would have argued that was NOT the case. However, my faith was being put to the test. Who was I going to listen to? The father of lies? or My Father in heaven who loves me?

Daily I take up my sword~ the word of God and I go to battle with the truth of who I am. God's word says.."Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Romans 8:1
..."There is no one righteous, not even one;" Romans 3:10
...I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galations 2:21
..."The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6
..."For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Do you know how much God loves you?...The Father's love for us is real whether we feel it or not. Tell yourself the truth. The Father gave His Son for You! Someday we will see Him face to face and there will be no doubt that 'God's love never ceases. Never...God doesn't love us less if we fail or more if we succeed.' (Max Lucado) We can fight the battle, the lies of the enemy and win! There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.(Romans 8:38-39)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What will your symbol be?

~And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with His mighty hand. Exodus 13:16~

Hope's scar on her forehead from the failed abortion is a reminder of what God brought her through. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of God's mighty hand in coming down and sparing her life that day in her birthmother's womb. The pucker in the middle of her forehead was formed from the surgery to close the scalp injury. The pucker is our Kissing Spot a "symbol"~ a reminder that God spared her life by His mighty hand.

This blog is a reflection and reminder of what God is at work doing so I do not forget. God is at work in each of our lives. I pray my sharing sparks a flame, sheds a light, renews a hope or encourages a forgotten dream in your heart. God wants us to remember what He has done and to look for what He is doing now in our lives.

Is there a sign or symbol you can place somewhere you will see daily as a reminder of what God has done for you?
-A magnet on the refrigerator
-a stone with your favorite verse or saying painted on it
-A piece of jewelry you can wear as a symbol

Friday, June 8, 2012

~Never to Forget Again~

On a recent visit to the card store I was reading each and every Father's day card to find just the perfect card. I counted making sure I had one for each Dad. First one for my real dad, then my 2 stepdads, one for Hope's dad and her new stepdad. My husband was busy picking out a card too~ I wasn't sure who? His dad had died when he was a teenager. Then he walked over to me with the card he chose...on the outside it read:
"Thanks Dad"
inside it read:
"Because of you I know what it's like to grow up with a great Father. And that's just about the best gift a son ever got. Happy Father's Day."

It was very touching to read what I thought he was getting in remembrance of his dad. I thought how the loss must feel and I was very thankful to have my dad with me still. Then my loving husband said, "I'm going to put it in the offering plate at church." Words scattered in my mind when at that moment I realized it was his heavenly Father he was thanking. I felt honored to be blessed with such a Godly man who truly lives his life mindful of His heavenly Father at all times. After my overwhelmed heart recovered~ it was quickly filled with shame. How could I have never looked at Father's Day from that point of view? I counted everyone and forgot my God!

We all have a Father in heaven who will never forget us. He has promised he will never leave us or forsake us. He tells us "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."(2 Corinthians 6 :18) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. This Father's day I want to truly grasp who I am and whose I am ~ A child of God. Happy Father's Day to my Abba, Father! Thank you.