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The Truth About Me & You

So this morning I started thinking about wisdom while reading Proverbs 4. Then I sent out the verse of the day.

God’s word is both alive and life giving! “Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being.” Proverbs 4:21-22 TPT

And I was inspired me to write this, to share it with you. It is important.

If you are believing something about yourself that causes you to feel less than or to be sad more often than not. Then that belief is a lie that needs to be replaced by what the Word says about you!

I’ve been told that I am annoying, that I’m not worth being with until I am my high school weight and size again (95 lbs in case you’re wondering), that I am invasive, that I am lame, and a host of other things I won’t mention on social media. Some of these things cut me deeply and I carried them for a long time as truth because of who said them to me.

But I was listening to the wrong voices. I should have been listening to this voice….

I am wonderfully made and mah-vel-ous!
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV

I am chosen. I am unique and peculiar and that is by design! I am bathed in mercy. I am necessary, and I have a purpose in life.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV

The Word also says I am crowned with glory and honor, that I am beautiful, that I am loved, that I was created in His image, that I am more than a conqueror, and that I was made to be in partnership with God.

That isn’t pride…it’s believing what God says about me. Believing a lie about yourself over what God says about you is actually pride. #truthbomb

I am nerdy…full stop true. I am weird…full stop true. I sometimes care about people more than they care about themselves….full stop true. I don’t trust easily and I don’t just let anyone into my inner circle. I am not the best money manager…I’d love to just spend it all doing things with people, giving to people going on missions & charities, or buying things for people than saving. Jesus holds my heart completely. Although I do want to marry a fictional character named Clark Kent. I prefer older people and kids to everyone else.

I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone is my cup of tea. But I try to be kind and patient and gracious. I do my best love people like Jesus does but it is not easy.

That being said, I cannot claim to be perfect or even near normal. I tried that path once…it’s stressful and boring. I ended up sick and depressed and I almost married someone completely wrong for me!

Point to ponder while you wander….Maybe it’s because I’m 3 months shy of 43 and am nearing that threshold of being that old lady who just doesn’t care anymore or maybe I’ve finally embraced who I really am on the inside.

Either way I want you to go to the Word and see what it says about you! Ask God to show you verses that will speak to your inner most person. Or private message me if you need some truth and can’t seem to get there.

I may not always have a lot to give but I can always be counted on for bad jokes and encouragement. Truth is that is who I am and how I was designed.

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Love is a Verb:  Words of Affirmation

This is the 2nd installment of the Love Languages Series, the first was Acts of Service. You can read about it here.

Words. Ahh. You know I love words. Words have power to create, to give life, and inspire. Funnily enough, when I took the quiz (Love Language Quiz) words of affirmation showed up a distant third to quality time and physical touch. Interesting. Well, maybe not to you. But it is to me.

I believe that love is an verb. It is something that is shown, not just felt.

We choose to love. It’s more than just saying those 3 little words. But those three little words are important, as are all the words that come from your mouth.

Your tongue has the power of life and death in it. Your words matter. And to those who’s love language is words of affirmation, your words are essential to their security in your love. We all want to hear that we’re loved and appreciated.

But to those with this love language, they NEED to hear that they are loved an appreciated. They need to not only notice that they look good today, but that you genuinely compliment them. It’s not vanity or pride, it’s just they way that they receive love.

Dr. Chapman defines Words of affirmation as using words to affirm other people. Not a super explanatory definition. Sooo being a word nerd, I looked up affirm.

Here are the definitions: 1. To offer emotional support and encouragement to someone. 2. To state as fact. 3. To assert strongly and publicly, to attest. 4. To declare one’s support for, uphold and defend.

Those definitions transfer into 4 ways of buoying up those in your sphere with your words.

4 ways to speak love into the ears of those you love.

1. Offering emotional support and encouragement. We all can use a cheerleader who believes in us, when we struggle to believe in ourselves. Everyone needs to be encouraged, but for the word of affirmation folks it is essential to hear that you have their back!

When they are down, a note in the mail, a text, a call, a chat over coffee changes EVERYthing for them.

2. Stating facts. To me this is about reminding people who they are. To cast down the lies that the world hurls at them. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are intelligent. You have worth. You are kind. You are intelligent. Reminding people the truth, when they cannot see through the temporary drama they’re in.

3. To assert strongly, to attest.

This about standing up to them when they are having a pity party. Boldly and confidently calling BS when your people get all woe is me. I have people like this in my life and I couldn’t live my best life without them.

4. To declare one’s support for uphold and defend.

Having someone stand up for you and defend you is a wonderful way to show you love someone. I remember being in a long-term relationship where I always felt like I was defending myself. I felt unprotected, abandoned, and unloved as a result. This feeling caused countless fights. He didn’t understand that I needed to hear him defend me, as much as I needed to hear “I love you.”

He didn’t have to agree with my opinion, or take my side. He just needed to offer me some cover from one of his friends who enjoyed verbally attacking me. I didn’t need physical protection. I needed to hear the words, “Hey man, back off. Don’t talk to my girl like that.” But I never did. It hurts even now to think about it.

Take some time and ponder how you can use your words to encourage those around you. For some people in your circle it may be THE BEST way to show them they are indeed loved by you!

Point to ponder while you wander… “Let use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT

Deep Thought Thursday: The Next Generation

I’ve been thinking about the generations behind me lately. A lot actually. And whether or not I am doing my part in teaching them and guiding them. We all have a part to play in the lives of those around us.

Today I was thinking about the generation of Israelites leaving Egypt. About how many amazing miracles this generation experienced leaving Egypt. And yet they grumbled and complained and failed to believe God. 

Hebrews 11:6 tells us to please God you must do 2 things: Believe God Exists and Believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

This generation believed in God, but they didnt believe God. My theory is because they had never actually believed they were free. They still had a slave mentality. 

Meaning they never dealt with the trauma and issues that resulted from being slaves, therefore, didn’t have the capacity to believe. In other words, they had broken places and wounds that they didn’t bring to God. Joshua and Caleb were the only two that could see from God’s perspective, despite having been enslaved. So healing and true freedom were available to all, but only two received it. 

As a result of not dealing with their issues the entire generation, save Josh and Caleb, died with unfulfilled lives.

Heartbreaking. 

The next generation were either small children in Egypt or were born in the desert. They believed in God and believed God (the majority at least) and were able to take possession of the Promised Land.

But this generation also failed.  

They did not properly teach their children the ways of the Lord. And as the years passed, and additional generations were born, they wrote off what they did hear as “old stories.” They didn’t know that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They didn’t understand their covenant rights and responsibilities.

That generation didn’t live according to the guidelines God gave them that would make them stand out and be successful over the people around them. Instead they wanted to be like the people around them. This desire got them into trouble. See the book of Judges to see the cycle repeating itself.

All of this because a generation failed to teach their children and their children’s children that God is the Great I Am and He will do what He said He would do.

I have realized that I am guilty of the same things as both generations.  I know God is good. I’ve seen it and experienced it first hand! And yet, I too struggle to believe in the goodness of God. 

It is a battle every day for me to keep believing and walking towards what God has for me. It was easier for me to believe my future would be great when I was younger…since there was sooo much future ahead of me. 

But at 42, the enemy keeps whispering in my ear that I missed my chances. That I am too old now. Saying, “who are you to believe such audacious beliefs about my own future. You aren’t any different from the rest of the ordinary people. A cog in the machine.” 

I know those are lies. But on the harder days they seem easier to believe then to agree with this: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, ” Ephesians 3:20 NIV

But I cannot give up. If I give up that teaches those behind me to give up and stop trusting God. So even when for myself I don’t want to keep fighting and moving forward, I do it for the kids in my life. 

I am not a parent. But I am an Aunt. I am a big sister. I am a spiritual mother. And in that vein, I will not quit. I know God is faithful. I know God is good. So I will continue even when the enemy’s lies seem more believable than God’s promises.

The promises God has given me are very close to my heart, very personal. So I tend not to talk about my relationship with the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit internal because it’s not a light and breezy conversation for me. It’s real. And it’s deep. And that makes it difficult to bring up when you’re playing mini golf or grabbing lunch.

I want to see the people in my life to start where I end and go further than me. To believe even bigger for themselves. Partnering with Jesus on things even bigger than my audacious imagination can conceive. 

But I feel like I am failing the next generation by not teaching them about Jesus and telling them about what God had done. I love these kids more than my own life, but when it comes to really telling them what matters, I stumble and falter. 

I don’t know how to teach them. I don’t know how to explain all that I know about the goodness of God or the incredible miracles He’s done in my life. 

BUT!

But I am a writer. So I write here on this blog. I sent texts of encouragement. And I do my best to live according to Kingdom Principles. I do this not out of guilt or fear but because I owe Jesus my life. And so I will share real stuff here.

At 17, I threw away my virtue and what I knew to be true because I wanted so much to be loved and have a partner for life. It took me several years of counseling with ministers and spending much time in the Presence of God so He could heal the damage I did to myself.  That’s not easy to bring up in random conversation is it?
It isn’t easy to tell people that it took Jesus years to get me to understand that if I didn’t forgive myself, He couldn’t heal me. Forgiving myself for being self-destructive was easier than forgiving myself for hurting other people.

Guilt, like fear is a bully! Guilt is an eater of your soul. If not dealt with it will eventually devour your soul and begin chowing down on your body.

Guilt often leads to self-hatred. And self-hatred, my friends, leads you to believing that God’s promises aren’t for you. To believing that you don’t deserve anything good. It causes you to settle. And if not dealt with can eventually cause auto-immune diseases.

The disease my self-hatred caused was ulcerative colitis. Auto-immune diseases according to the doctors tend to run in families but otherwise do not have a cause.

Sorry Doc! But they do have a cause! And it’s not stress. It is Guilt. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Self-hatred. You want to read about this from an actual doctor, check out Be in Health.

Auto-immune is your body attacking itself. Ulcerative colitis is painful. I was on IV nutrition. I had 2 surgeries, 20+ days in the hospital, and eventually my colon removed.

But what happened while I was going through the painful hell of UC, was that I sat still. I was in the hospital by myself, quiet. And Jesus used this time to reach out to me again. He didn’t make me ill, but He used me being ill to reach out to me.

He had never stopped pursuing me or loving me despite me flipping Him off in college and telling Him I didn’t need or want His bullshit rules. Yes…I literally flipped Him off. 

I’m telling you people the love of God is a mysterious and powerful force to love me and pursue me through rebellion and into a hospital bed.

I went to church for the first time in years during this time, and a part of myself woke up during worship. I missed worship and church. 

When I came back to God, I expected punishment and wrath for disobedience. 

But that’s not how God’s love works. 

This is how God’s love works; “So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.” 1 John 4:17-19 NLT

What I received was forgiveness, like the prodigal son. The Father was overjoyed to see me. And as I sought Him, He made it clear to me that performance and stellar behavior is not what pleased Him (see Hebrews 11:6). Seeing me get free of self-hatred and self-destructive habits. He wanted to heal me. 

When I was praying, desperate for an answer, He spoke to me audibly. God, Himself, spoke to me.

Now I know that we can all hear the voice of the Shepherd. He speaks through the Word and through angels and etc.

But for me right then…God loved me enough to speak to me directly and answer my prayer audibly during worship. It changed everything for me.

I started taking classes about healing. Then I went to counseling. I was so desperate and hungry for change and healing that I was in the church every single time the doors were open. Worship services. Sermons. Classes. Intercessory prayer. Group counseling. Counseling. I did this for about five years.

Today I am a very different person. I still am working on things with Jesus. But from a place of wholeness not brokenness. 

But how do I take all that I’ve learned and experienced and boil it down to bite sized child appropriate pieces to share with my kiddos? This I don’t know. Maybe that is why the 2nd generation failed in teaching their kids, they didn’t know how.

I continually pray and ask God to help me plant seeds. And to send people who know Him into their lives. And I seek to live a life that inspires them to seek God and to really live! Because teaching the next generation about who God is and who they are in God prepares them to change this world for the better. And is so vital. And we all have a part to play.

Where are you in the journey to the promised land? Are you the 1st generation? The one who needs healing? 

Receive God’s love. Receive God’s healing. You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot help your kids or anyone else if you don’t first take care of you!

Are you the 2nd Generation? Are you struggling like me to to teach the next generation? 

Ask God to show you how to reach tjem each kiddo is unique. God made them. He knows them even better than we do. Then pray for them. Declare God’s promises and blessings over them. Live your life as an example. Plant seeds. Water seeds. Listen to them and watch for opportunities to teach Kingdom Principles and share God’s love. 

Point to ponder while you wander…”After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-8

2 AM Thoughts

I am in love with Clark Kent. I have an affinity for regular humans who look like him or have his character traits.

I wish I could go swimming right now but the pool closes at 8 pm and doesn’t open until 10 am tomorrow. Lame. I know.

I wish I were braver.

I’d like to be kind and blunt at the same time, and always tell people what I see when I look at them. I don’t mean “I like your shoes” or “He’s so hot.”

But to really say something they need to hear, “Don’t wear dresses that short. You are worth more than that. You are selling yourself short and cheapening yourself. And people are mocking you.”

“Why are you dating someone who doesn’t value you? Who dismisses you and your opinion?”

“You are beautiful.”

“You are valuable.”

“Don’t you know that you are the joy set before Jesus, that made Him certain that crucifixion was completely worth it?”
I love my people but I can’t imagine heading into crucifixion with joy. 🤤 That astounds me.

I really want ice cream.

Point to ponder while you wander…people are usually aware of their flaws, but not what makes them wonderful.

So next time you tell someone you love them. Tell them why. Or compliment who they are as a person.

A few thoughts on seeds…

I saw this as I was walking to lunch today, and I heard very clearly, “Some seeds are very easily spread.” 

Dandelion seeds certainly are. I always saw them as fun yellow polka dots in the sea of green lawn. But Papa saw them as grass killers! 🤤

It’s in the vein of killer weeds that I’ve been pondering how easily seeds of discord & gossip, seeds of doubt & fear spread. And how speedily those seeds can multiply. 

But it takes much longer to cultivate seeds of trust, faith, love, and hope.

This is because those seeds need to be planted, cultivated, nurtured, and that requires effort. And time. 

Much effort and much time.

Your words are seeds.

Your words are seeds in your life. 

Yor words are seeds in other people’s lives.

What kinds of seeds are you sowing? What are you speaking? What are you believing? 

Point to ponder while you wander…”A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23 NKJV

Reinforcements

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”  Psalm 27:14 TPT

I ended my last blog with this verse.

And immediately I was attacked about all these things.  Patience.  Courage.  Hope.  Trust.

Honestly, I’ve hit the breaking point.  I want to quit.

I don’t want to spew forth negativity or go back or undo progress I’ve made.  So I put on worship music and I called in reinforcements.  No seriously.  I did.  I knew if I called people I’d rant and be negative.  So I messaged a very select group of trustworthy prayer warriors.  I have a great group of friends, but what I’m battling is not to be shared with all my people.  Just mentors and a few others.  I’ve learned the lesson that when you’re in a depressed state or a downward spiral, the first thing you should always do is turn on worship music.  The second thing is pray.  When I can’t pray…like today…I call in trusted people to pray for me.

I will come out of whatever funky dark place this is.  I will overcome.  I will be back to myself.  I will kick fear’s ass.

But today I need help.  So I asked for it.

That’s all I got today.  Worship.  Ask for help.  Pray.

Point to Ponder While You Wander…Don’t give up, but instead lift up your hands and worship.  Many battles were won in worship in the Bible.

All About The Love

Long ago the LORD said to Israel: ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.‘” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

There are a whole lot of verses to memorize and meditate on, but for me it always comes back to this…I am loved by the Source of unfailing love, by Love Himself.