LOVE Yourself…

Getting to know Jesus will definitely impact how we view and love others. On the flipside, He will also teach us how to view and love ourselves. The more His love sinks in, the more we realize our value. Our value to Him.

I didn’t know my worth until Jesus showed me. Because of this, I felt constantly at the mercy of others to love me. This is a set up for disaster. Thank God, He continues to show me. He shows me by showering me with grace and help and love like I’ve never known.

If He loves me like that, I must be worthy of love. Not only from others, but also from me. Healthy self love propels us to do what feeds our souls and inspires us. It pushes us to grow and spread our wings. It teaches us to enjoy our alone time and to love others unselfishly. I don’t love to get love anymore, I love to love. And, that is freeing.

Love yourself enough to….walk away, make a decision, admit a fault, cry in public, cry in private. Love yourself enough to…disagree, set a boundary, stick to said boundary, rest in God’s love for you.

Love yourself enough to….follow a dream, set a goal, try something new, forgive that person, take a nap, find a babysitter, open up to a trusted friend.

Loving ourselves properly is vital in loving others properly. Love the man or woman God created you to be. Work on yourself with God’s help. His connection and correction comes from a personal relationship with Him. This relationship will change your heart and inevitably your life.

You are loved and beautiful ❤

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Braving dark corners

Greatness! It takes tremendous courage to identify and deal with those dark corners.

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When was the last time you peered into the dark corners of your life?

Taken one step further, when is the last time you peered and did something about what you saw instead of quickly looking away?

Despite having put the task off for ages, that is how I spent my afternoon.

You can erase the image of me on a therapist’s couch, replaying childhood memories.

I spent my afternoon with a shop vac.

In a lot of dark corners.

In case you are not familiar with my lack of Bob Villa-esque prowess, let me assure you I am no handywoman.

I’m also a bit of the stereotypical gal—not crazy about spiders, tools, beef jerky.

So the shop vac and dark corner bit was not my idea of a fun-filled afternoon.

I have decided, however, that dark corners are only scary when they are not peered into and dealt…

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My Prayer…

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I found the following prayer in my documents folder at work today. I wrote it nine months after my divorce was final. That year was hellish. That year was a whirlwind of confusion and pain. Pain that would wake me up at night. Pain that would roll down my face at the most unexpected moments. Pain of betrayal, replacement, and loss. That year I surrendered. Rereading it, I thank God for the surrender and am warmed by my words in the midst of the painful events and changes taking place. May I continue to surrender every day of my life. Oh, how He loves…..and hears.

6/18/13

My God, My Father, My All……

I believe in YOU. I want to trust you with my future. You know my weaknesses and my struggles. Thank you for my strengths, they come from you. My weaknesses are where the enemy gets me. He knows my weaknesses but you know them better. Help me to know better. In my weakness, I turn to YOU. Sometimes I feel your presence and sometimes I don’t, but I pray that you strengthen my belief so that I am dependent on you even when I don’t “feel” your presence.

Use me for your purpose Lord. Refine me and mold me to desire your perfect will. Don’t let me get in the way of you one more day.

Please remove anyone from my life that would alter the purpose you put me on this earth to accomplish. Please add the people and opportunities in your timing that will further that purpose and ignite my love and openness to you.

Show me how to serve you. Show me how to share you. Show me how to please you. Speak clearly and I will try to obey. Give me the strength and desire above all other things to obey and to listen. Your direction is for my good, I believe that too.

I yearn to be transparent before you and others Lord. I know that may come with rejection and pain, but the suffering will be worth it in eternity knowing I was used, in any way, by you. As I grow and stumble every day, help me to look to You. You are why I grow and you are who I reach out to when I stumble in my humanness.

I love you. Thank you for loving me. I need you. Every day I need you.

What’s in a Name?

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A lot…that’s what. I’m sure there are names you hear that make you cringe and names that just as quickly make your heart swell. Names that you’d have a hard time dating because of a person in the past and names you have lovingly picked out for your babies. Oh, what a gut punch it is when someone else close to you takes your cherished baby name! Every girl puts their boyfriend’s name behind theirs to see how it sounds and writes it to see how it looks. Every divorcee wonders what to do with her last name. Keep it for the kids? Go back to maiden? Make a new name? A name marks a person. For good or bad, first and last, there’s a lot to a name.

One of my dear friends lost her mom this week. She passed away and left her daughter reeling as to how to go on without her. Understandably so. We all have, would, or will. It’s a huge loss. Huge. As I was walking and praying for my friend on my lunch break, the name “Reuniter” came to mind. There are many names for our God, but this one had never crossed my mind before. And, He is our Reuniter.

As the song goes…”Sweet name (sweet name), dear name (dear name), There’s no other name like Jesus, Sweet name (sweet name), dear name (dear name).”

There is no other name like Jesus. I’d like to share a list of some other names that come to mind….

  • Deliverer    The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.Psalms 18:2
  • Lover           I have loved you with an everlasting love…..Jeremiah 31:3
  • Provider      My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
  • Forgiver      If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins……1 John 1:9
  • Redeemer   Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—is the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 47:4
  • Creator        For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13
  • Comforter   ….who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves  receive from God.  2 Corinthians 1:4     
  • Carrier         In the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son….Deuteronomy 1:31
  • Counselor    …..and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
  • Vindicator    He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Isaiah 50:8
  • Convicter     When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment… John 16:8
  • Liberator     He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Psalms 107:14
  • Reuniter      Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds….1 Thessalonians 4:17

These names are so sweet to me. Growing up legalistically, my innate name or character trait for God was “condemner”. That’s how I inherently viewed Him. A God I could never please. A God I wanted so badly to please, but always felt like I fell short. That was a lie. The true condemner himself put that in my head and I took it to heart.

Now, I take John 3:17 to heart and choose to believe it.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

He is not our condemner, He is our Savior….and so much more. There’s A LOT to a name.

Work in Progress

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I KNOW I’m a work in progress. I have to be, or else I’d be in a world of trouble. Romans 8:28 says “in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him”. I need to claim that promise and move forward with it daily. Some days I’m flying high and feeling good, some days I’m just the opposite. Some days I’m super sensitive and some days I’m just irritated. I believe it’s a human condition that the devil loves to prey on. He wants us down and out. He wants us to lash out and freak out. He wants us to throw caution to the wind and thow a fit. Then, after he gets his way, he likes to sit back and smirk while we cry, try to compose ourselves, and make amends to whomever happened to be in the line of fire.

How can we compose ourselves when our buttons are pushed? Proverbs 29:11 (NIRV) says “A foolish person lets his anger run wild. But a wise person keeps himself under control.” Will freaking out and lashing out make you feel better? Yes, in the moment, as would many other things. But, ultimately, it will have brought you down to the button pusher’s level and given them exactly what they wanted. They want you to get crazy, act crazy, and fight……so they can smirk.

Nowhere does it say we shouldn’t stand up for ourselves or that we have to agree. On the contrary, 2 Timothy 1:7 (CEV) says “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self control.” The Spirit’s power is true power. The power to stand up for yourself and/or others in a loving way. This is exactly why we can’t mistake kindness for weakness. It takes alot more strength to respond with kindness in some situations than it does to retaliate in hate and hostility. By all means, stand up, speak up. But, don’t lose control. That’s exactly what the devil wants because it will not resolve the situation, the conflict will continue, and peace is not made by either parties.

What about when we lose it anyway? GRACE. We talk a lot about forgiving others and extending grace to others, but let’s not forgive to extend it to ourselves. This is HUGE for me. I’m more apt to dish out grace to everyone BUT me. It’s important that we view and love ourselves for who we are in Christ. His beloved kids. Our kids temper tantrums absolutely makes them difficult to deal with at the time, but it never alters our love for them. We can get so down on ourselves for how we deal or dealt with a situation, that the one we need to forgive and love on most is ourselves.

Let’s all remember who we are to Him, how much He loves us, and show ourselves mercy too.

Letting Go…..

letting go

I think letting go has got to be one of the most difficult things we encounter as human beings. Letting go of a person is hard, letting go of a dream is harder. What we WANT isn’t always what’s best for us. We understand and enforce this as parents by not allowing our kids to eat whatever they WANT all day long. My girls would survive on cheese sticks and Junior Mints alone if they had their way.

How much more should we trust our Heavenly Father with our wants vrs. needs?? If He knows that removing something or someone from us will lead us closer to Him, our circumstances may very well take a turn we don’t expect or want in the short term. We need to trust that His “nos” are every bit as loving as His “yesses”. No one loves us like Him. He is a heartsick Father longing for each of His children to return to Him. To choose Him. To want Him.

There are so few things in this world that we have actual control over. We can’t control another person’s thoughts or actions. We can’t make them feel a certain way. We can’t make them treat us a certain way. We can’t make them see our point of view or agree with us. What we can do is make our thoughts and requests known. Our actions may influence their feelings or immediate actions, but we can’t change them. We have as much control over changing someone else as we do controlling the weather. Nill. We can love them, but we can’t control them.

Go where the love flows freely and soak it in. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are and who you are not. Be thankful for friends and family that love and accept you, even at your worst. These people are blessings.

Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NIRV)

Remember that God loves you enough to let go. Remember that He sees the bigger picture. Remember that this world is not our eternal home. Remember that He made you to love you.  And, know that it’s His love that releases our grip.

Christmas Wreath

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This has always been my personal favorite Christmas decoration. It hangs on my laundry room door.

I pull it out in late November and it grows over time. The pictures come in slowly so I wonder if it will actually fill up and it always has, always does. This year there are fewer cards than in years past. I am well aware that that is not at all for lack of love or friends, only a surplus of technology. We all see most of each other’s faces and children on social media these days. So much so, that cards may see pointless. I know they are an added stress this time of year, I didn’t send them out last year in attempts to cut myself some slack.

I appreciate them, I know the sacrifice, the struggle for the right picture, the hassle of accumulating addresses, the foreign trip to the post office for stamps, the mad rush of the Christmas to-do list. I know this all very well. But, still, it’s my favorite decoration. I’m admiring it this morning and cherishing it. I know each year in this technology age it will get sparser and sparser. But, I’ll continue to put it up each November, watch, and wait.

My Christmas wreath may not grow over the years anymore, but I am thankful. I am thankful for the friends that do. I think of you all. I pray for you all. I love you. From my heart to yours…