Monday again. Let’s kick off this wonderful week with an important reminder…Jesus is interceding for you, God is for you, and Holy Spirit is with you, ready to empower you. So stop dreading the day! Stop working!
In other words, Hakuna Matata!!
If you were a kid in the 1990’s or had a kid in the 1990’s, you’ve probably heard this song before. Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that when translated means “No worries.”
Now where besides the Disney cartoon have I heard that before? Hmmm. Oh yeah! The Word of God! Do not fear is in the Bible 365 times. And yes, worrying, like dread and stress and anxiety, is a type of fear.
Hakuna Matata, God’s People! Hakuna Matata!!
Point to ponder while you wander…”Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need & thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6
I have been having a rough couple weeks…and it’s really starting to affect all areas of my life. Tossing and turning. Bad dreams. And the first acid reflux attack I’ve had since 2001.
I want to choke people with that Darth Vader choking maneuver….pretty much every day now. Ever have a hard time not to following Anakin to the Dark Side? I must admit that path is oh so tempting and pretty right now. (See Psalm 37)
So this verse is my mantra today.
“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:4
I don’t know how to defuse the frustration and sadness that’s been building for months…and all I know is that God does. I need Him to help me. I need to be in His presence…where peace and joy are always found.
Point to ponder while you wander… God’s strength is only made perfect/complete when combined with our weakness.
I had intentions of a completly different (and fun) song today, but I felt like I needed to post Because of You by Kelly Clarkson. The video is powerful, please watch it before reading on.
I have 2 words of encouragement today; one for the kids who feel this way and one for the parents. Both are encouraging so please keep reading, and remember there’s always hope.
Message 1: For the Kids
I understand the feelings behind this song. As kids, we suffered from our parents bad choices. Those choices may still be affecting you now. If that’s you today, I’m praying for you to forgive your parents and any other care giver who hurt you.
This forgiveness releases you from the bondage of the past. This forgiveness is so you can move forward and be whole. This forgiveness is the very thing Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
If you hold on to this anger and hurt it becomes bitterness! That’s why Jesus demanded you to forgive others. Not as a law…but as a freedom for YOU from bondage.
Unforgiveness hurts you. Poisons you. NOT the person you’re holding a grudge against.
Please hear my heart here!
I watched someone I love dearly eaten alive by bitterness towards his father. And I’ll be honest, his hatred was justified. His father was a cruel man that came far too close to beating his mother to death. This is horrendous. No child should have to see that!
I also watched bitterness taint the most joyful, hilarious, and downright blast of a woman I ever knew. I watched this amazing woman age rapidly after she lost her joy. She became sullen, negative, and bitter. People began to avoid her, which multiplied the bitterness into cancer. And I lost her.
“A joyful cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.” Proverbs 17:27 TPT
Don’t let yourself be tainted. Don’t let yourself grow bitterness. Confess your anger and bitterness to God. Speak out loud that you forgive whomever your bitter towards, whether they are still alive or not. Whetherthey deserve it or not. And anytime that hurt/anger/resentment/disgust/sadness begins to rise…you say it again. And you keep saying it until it stops rising up.
“Eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart, and hearing a good report refreshes and strengthens the inner being.” Proverbs 15:30 TPT
God NEVER wanted you to be hurt or have a rough childhood. But people make choices that affect others. He DOES want to heal you. He wants you to be whole.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
Please forgive so you can be free!
On an a personal note about my parental units…I love my parents, but they are flawed. They made mistakes and bad choices that handicapped me in some ways. But I have forgiven them for that crap, and moved forward into adulthood. I yearn to see them become all they were designed to be. When I forgave them, it felt like a million pounds was lifted from my shoulders. I felt free. And for the first time I was able to love my parents right where they were at. I was able to see them clearly, with God’s eyes.
“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”” Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT
Message 2: For the Parents
“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” Matthew 12:31 (See also Mark 3:28)
You made mistakes as a parent. No one parents without making mistakes. You need to forgive yourself. I’m praying for you to come to the place where you choose to forgive yourself, even if you don’t deserve it.
If you are caught in a web of unforgiveness/bitterness for what happened to you as a child and guilt for repeating the cycle, please please please, forgive your parents and forgive yourself.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2
The man I mentioned above who hated his father became an alcoholic who beat his wife. He repeated the cycle. Years later, he refused to receive the forgiveness of his ex-wife and children. He refused to forgive himself. The guilt he felt about repeating the cycle became self-hatred and he died at a mere 60 years old. I lost him. It was a devastating loss of a man with the kindest softest heart, a generous people person, and a jokester who made me belly laugh more times than I can count. My heart broke that he couldn’t forgive himself, and couldn’t receive healing before he died.
If you’re reading this it’s not too late for you! Come to Jesus and confess your mistakes and receive His forgiveness and forgive yourself. You getting help and becoming whole is the best way to show your kids it’s possible. Healing is possible. Restoration is possible. Breaking the cycle is possible!
If there is a chance for reconciliation and restoration of relationship, you should offer an apology, without expctation. This could help THEM heal. But understand that they may not be ready or able to forgive you. That’s okay. You should still forgive yourself.
Even if you don’t deserve it, forgive yourself anyway. Even if the situation is bad enough that your children can’t or won’t forgive you, forgive yourself anyway. Even if they are repeating your mistakes, forgive yourself anyway. Then pray for them to repeat your good choices, to seek help and to forgive themselves as well.
Point to ponder while you wander…”Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from deathand crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5 NLT
My friend Bret wrote this Sunday and I had to share it!
…as you have believed, so let it be done for you…
The world says, “Unless I can see it or feel it, I will not believe it.” But God says, “If you will believe it, you will feel it. Indeed, if you will believe it, you will see it!”
I wanted to share this little snippet from the Garth Brooks Concert in Grand Rapids over the weekend.
I have enjoyed his music for a long time, but after seeing him live I have solid respect for this man. His talent….seriously wow. His attitude…my sister and I kept commenting on how big he was smiling. He set the tone in that arena and it was a blast!
He readily gave honor to those who inspired him, like Michigan’s own Bob Seger. He gave honor to the team that has been with him since even before people knew his name. He also gave honor to the fans with a genuine thank you and by giving his all, even with a cold and another whole concert after ours on Saturday night.
Went to a concert tonight with my sister and she was wearing this…
If you would like to follow along…read this. 😉
Some days are hard and it’s a struggle to just believe. You have days like that?
And I remembered this… “For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
And I laughed and said, “Okay God. I hear you.” Then went back to dusting.
And I heard, “Don’t grow weary, Jill. Just believe.”
Galatians 6 and Proverbs 12:13 tell me not to grow weary. Hebrews 10 tells me that if I just wait, I’ll be rewarded. And now God is making it abundantly clear that He just wants me to simply believe.
And so I’m sharing this with you. To encourage you to hang in their.
Point to ponder while you wander…what you believe guides your choices, like a rudder steers a ship.
See also Matthew 8:13. Genesis 15:6. Mark 9:23-24. John 3:15-18. Romans 10:9
I’ve been struggling with emotional exhaustion and my fuse is the shortest it’s been since before I first started the healing process with Jesus 12ish years ago.
I don’t like it when I’m short tempered and negative. I hate it when I start bashing anyone and everyone who annoys me in any capacity. So I need this reminder today….
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…it is so easy to take out our hurt, frustration, and fear on other people, especially our immediate family or those we live with. But there’s a better way.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I need this rest today, and I pray you and I both find it.
Sometimes we get hurt and the other person may be completely unaware that what they’ve done has hurt us. Choose to go talk to them. Face to face. Not easy, but definitely the right way to handle it, so says Jesus.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” Matthew 18:15 NLT
Talking about a person will never solve anything, nor will screaming at them or silently fuming. Talking WITH them, honestly and openly might. Choose to be the bigger person.
Point to ponder while you wander…if the other person is unwilling or unable to openly dialog, CHOOSE to forgive anyway and pray for them. This releases them to God so you can move on. Unforgiveness hurts you, not them.
Please excuse the grainy, limited view photo, but I had to post about this lovely couple at work.
Sometimes it’s 11 am, sometimes 2 pm, but every single day they meet for a shared lunch. It’s always homemade and served family style. Sometimes they are fully engaged in conversation, sometimes not.
It makes my heart smile every day to see this couple carve out 20ish minutes in the middle of the work day to just be together and share a meal. ❤