Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Have to Talk.

Dear Guilt,

I know we have spent a great deal of time together lately, and you are sure you're the only thing that matters to me, but we need to talk and you need to listen.

You have been telling me lies! Things like, "you will never be able to offer anyone anything because you are such a failure as a woman and a mother." Or how about this lie, " you have no worth in life you might as well just give up."? Then there was this one,"if people knew the real you they would turn away from you and know just what kind of Christian you really are." "How do you think you can represent Christ with the life you've lived?" 

I thought you were my friend. We spent so many lonely hours together. You had me agreeing with all that you were telling me. But you know what? I have had someone else come into my life and the words are so different and so kind. Not the hateful and self-loathing ones you have been leading me to believe were the truth.

The name is Grace. Even the name is beautiful. Grace has been telling me so many things and I am choosing to believe all the things that are being said. Like this from Hebrews 4:16,

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Grace is telling me that Christ has forgiven me and I can go on with my life without the condemnation that you, Guilt, have been shoving down my throat. I am choosing to believe God will carry me through all this and use these struggles to bring glory to His name. 

I am reminded by Grace that:
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 
Daniel 9:9
I will not live my life in fear because you continue to tell me I am not good enough.  Grace has been telling me so many wonderful things like:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10
My favorite words that Grace has told me are these,

Psalm 18:18-19Living Bible 

 On the day when I was weakest, they attacked. But the Lord held me steady.  He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me.
So Guilt I am leaving you and not turning back because I choose to listen to God and  his Grace and believe the truth, not your lies any longer. If I should slip up I won't be calling you! I will run to the throne and seek forgiveness at once and then live on the promises of God.
Daughter of the King

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


How truly enlightening was Holley's blog today! I so needed it. There were two things from the Wayne Jacobsen quote that caught my eye.
  1. I must let God disconnect me from the guilt
  2. I must simply acknowledge I feel that guilt and shame and then offer it to God.
Then I read another devotional this morning and the words that jumped off the screen said,
"When self pity settles in failure is lurking nearby."

Reading these words today got me to thinking about all the guilt I seem to carry around. It seems that self-pity jumps into the fray and once again I fail at the victorious life.
These words give me hope and the strength to carry on in spite of the wrongs that flood my mind when I struggle to move forward. While I was thinking about the prompt for this week, “that God sees my life in a wildly different way” than I see it had me stretch my imagination and my faith. Just to think that God can take all this mess that I seem to have created and turn it in to a wonderful success with all the people involved makes me want to think in brand new ways.
Just to know that He has forgiven me and can take the jumble of my life that to me, looks like a mess of knots and mixed matched threads, and turn it into a beautiful looking tapestry makes me sit and just thank Him. God in his gracious love for me was speaking loud and clear today. I read Philippians that I need to run the race and “forget what is in the past, and press on to win the race.”  Wow, to put the past where it needs to stay and not be tempted to bring it out and rehash things that now I have no control over which will then lead me to failure! UGH! No I want to take it and give it to God and let him weave it into that victorious life. I do not want to travel the road to failure but press on to strain to win my race. I want to let God disconnect me from the guilt.

How about you are you struggling with guilt and the rerun of things in the past that lead to self-pity which leads you to failure? Each time you feel  yourself falling into this pit of despair stop and turn it over to God ask for forgiveness and let it all stay with Him. He has a "wildly different" way to make your life beautiful. He loves you so!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Me Not Perfect?

Do you have a hard time showing imperfection? This was the prompt for the week. I have done a lot  of thinking about this, honest thinking because the first thought that comes to mind is of course I don't because I don't have that many things to be imperfect about. [ oh for heaven's sake get real!]

Then I started to think about all the times I failed at things. Did I have a hard time sharing my failure. You bet I did. Just a small example was when I was teaching and had this hair brain idea of building a log cabin for Thanksgiving with 2nd graders out of rolled newspaper. Not just a small cabin but life size so the kids could fit inside It started out ok but it was past Thanksgiving before we would finish and I stayed late quite a few days finish the project so it wouldn't be a failure. [needless to say it wasn't in my lesson plans for the next year.]

How about the time I tried to sign a whole sermon to my deaf friend. No one but my friend and myself knew just what a terrible job I did. I sure wasn't telling anyone and she was too kind to tell the hearing folks at least.

Or my latest disaster was when I was working in the sound booth at church. My job is to make sure the words to the songs are on the screens and to change from the tape of the pastor to the live campus pastor. I forgot to watch the countdown and shut the tape off too quickly and the poor pastor and the worship team were racing to get back on stage to save the day. [yeah that is the way I roll, keeping everyone on their toes.]

Yeah, I have a difficult time saying to myself that I failed, and an even harder time letting others know that I have missed the mark entirely.

But as I have been reading Holley's daily words about how its ok to fail as NONE of us is perfect, I am slowly giving myself some slack. If you told me that the project you just tried was a total flop, I would be the first one to say "hey that's ok the next one you will have learned where the problems are and you will do so much better!" [by the way the church thing, NO ONE told me I was stupid or that I should probably not try to come back. Nope just reminded me to watch the clock so as not to cut the pastor off. That was Grace.] So why is it so hard for me to do the same for myself.

I am sure, like me, you don't want to look silly or stupid to those that are around you. I am finding that for the most part people are not waiting to pounce on our mistakes. Just as the Worship leader extended grace to me, or I would extend grace to you,so many others are just exactly the same. For those times in life where we fail miserably we need to remember that God is abounding in grace.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
He will never turn away from you or me and say, "well that's it, you have messed up too many times." Nope he will forgive when we ask no matter what we have done and we can find mercy and grace at the throne. So I am working on remembering this, will you join me?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Is Your Purse Too Heavy?

I love shoes and purses. You too? I seem to like the purses that are more expensive than the average brands. I like the backpack kind, the shoulder models, just about every kind is fun for me. Well, it was fun until I started to have back problems;

I used to carry everything in my purse, from wipes to a screwdriver. I could have gone on the game show that had women search their purse for an off the wall item. I usually had it in my bag. Now it has all changed.

I have noticed that my purses have shrunk in size. I am unable to carry too much weight or I pay for it in aches and pains. I have gone from a "garage size" bag to just a small sling cross over bag. It is funny how many unnecessary items I used to carry. Things that I didn't really need that just weighed the bag down. Things at the time I was sure I would possibly need, so I had them "just in case".

Then the day came when I had to empty out my current bag and examine each item with a critical eye and decide if I could do without it. Each item was weighed and scrutinized. It was either added or left on a pile of rejects. When I finally got the bag to a manageable weight I was surprised at the glob of things that was still sitting in the reject pile that I really didn't need. You know, I have never missed any of those items and my back is so much happier.

My life seems to have a similar thing going on. I seemed to have packed my life with all sorts of  "garage size" weights, worry, self doubt, shame, not good enoughs, guilt, and oh so many more things that seemed to weigh me down.

Just like my purse I had to take a critical look at my life and get it to a manageable weight. There was nothing I could do to get it there by myself. I had to go to the One and Only that could help me get things tossed out that I was never meant to carry.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Did you know that the word cast means to toss! Hmm tossing all those heavy weights on him. Just knowing that He cares for me and doesn't want me to be weighed down was freeing. Know what? If I seem to pick them up again to add to my "purse" of life [which I tend to do} I can once again toss them on the One that cares for me and feel the freedom of a lighter load and a happier me. 

If you "purse" of life is too heavy why not toss some of those things right out and have that freedom today!