The Tongue: A Viper’s Poison

Whoever came up with this famous child saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,  could be no further from the truth.  If this was true then why do grown adults still struggle with painful words they were told when they were a child.  “Stupid, fat, bean pole, ugly, dumb, slut, lazy, no good, failure, dork…” Perhaps one of those words sting now as you read them across the page. words hurt

Words do hurt and some of those words stay with us even though they are completely untrue.  Words become engrained in our minds and take shape in our lives to where we are fully convinced of it and experiences only build upon it.  All it takes is one teacher to tell a kid that he is dumb or a father to tell his daughter she is fat and the life of destruction has made its mark in the heart of the child only to destroy their confidence and identity.  Words do hurt.  They hurt us now and they hurt people just as much many years ago in that James, the brother of Jesus warned us in order for us to stop hurting others with our words.  He refers to them as fire, world of evil, and a vipers poison (James 3:7). 

It wasn’t only in James do we find the words a “vipers poison,” we find it mentioned again in the book of Psalms (140:3) and Romans (3:13).  What is it that a vipers poison can be related to our words?

viper

Let’s begin with what it is first.

Snakes make the top 10 list of things people are afraid of even though 85% of snakes worldwide are not even venomous.  But given the amount of damage a snake bite can inflict its not surprising that a few are giving the others a bad reputation. 

Take the Daboia Russelii and old world viper found throughout India and the surrounding countries.  With the onset of a bite one would immediately feel pain in the area, the vipers fangs puncture the skin and the poisonous venom is released trickling down the fangs and into the flesh.  Within minutes blood begins to show up in the mouth and the blood pressure will drop.  The skin and muscles near the bite begin to deteriorate.  Blood clots form, causing failure of kidneys and other organs which may result in death.  (iflscience.com)

Is that incredible, that just one little bite from a snake can shut an entire body down, leading to death within minutes?  I found this quite interesting, especially since blood is referred to life many times in the Bible. 

Our words do the same thing.  It begins in the heart and carries its way to our tongue and with one lash the damage is done.  How many times do we wish we, myself included could take back the words we had said or perhaps have no clue we said something hurtful!

With such a gruesome visual of the snake bite does it stir you in that what you say can hurt someone so painfully, so destructively, so violently? I know many of us are already madly thinking of things we may have said to someone.  How many times have we said something only to want to put our foots in our mouth? foot-in-mouth

Before we get too anxious and worried on things we have said reflect on these ideas for a moment:

1-FORGIVENESS: Ask God to reveal anyone you have hurt with your words or anyone that has hurt you and forgive, forgive, forgive. God forgives us when we ask for forgiveness and we should also go to that person and ask for forgiveness even if they don’t ask for it or even know it hurt you.  Why because we have sinned and forgiving does an amazing thing…it releases you from it regardless of the other person.  In some situations, especially if the person has no idea they wronged you and it would only cause more conflict, you may have to leave the forgiveness between you and God and pray for that person. 

2-DO A HEART CHECK: We have all said things, and when we say those mean and hurtful things we need to do a heart check to see where is it coming from.  Are we harboring envy or selfish ambition?  What causes you to say those things? Then ask God to get to the core of it and when He begins to reveal some offensive ways in it, take action to make those changes!

3-PUSH THE PAUSE BUTTON: Practice pausing before we speak and ask God to give us the words to communicate properly and in humility.  I tried doing this for one day with my daughter and it was the hardest thing ever.  I found myself apologizing a lot more afterwards rather than remembering to ask God for the words prior to reacting! It was so hard!!  It takes a lot of discipline and practice, but totally worth it don’t you think?  Especially considering the outcome. 

4 – START OFF RIGHT:  Start off your day by asking God as soon as you wake in the morning to help you with your words for the day.  Then do your best to remember to pause before any conversation to stop and pray and ask God for words. 

pause

5-DON”T LET OTHERS DEFINE YOU:  One of the greatest parts of being a Christian is that our identity doesn’t lie within what other’s think or say about you.  We can be confident in our identity with Christ that will never change!  The closer your relationship with Christ the more you get it and the less you allow others to define you.  You are a child of the Almighty God what can be greater than that?  And it doesn’t matter if you are any of the things that others have said about you…because God takes you as you are and accepts and loves you regardless of any other factor. 

5-WATCH WHAT GOD WILL DO THROUGH YOU:  We live in a world where we let words just fly out of our mouth with hardly any thought or control.  So imagine what would happen if you decided to do the unnatural and begin to build others up with your words rather than cutting them down.  People will begin to be blown away with your responses rather than our explosive reactions.  You will be blown away on how much more effective you are with your own relationships because you have made a step in controlling your own tongue. 

Power-of-Forgiveness1Oh Lord, please help us give life to others with our words.  Let us not be the viper that destroys.  Begin in our heart and purify us Lord.  Show us where are hearts need to become sweet and not bitter.  Reveal to us where forgiveness needs to happen whether it was us that hurt or someone hurt us.  Help us remember that all of us stumble and we must forgive as you have forgiven us.  Do not let bitterness or pride take root.  Keep us humble and sweet.  Help us pause before we speak and pray for wisdom in our speech, self-control in our speech and that you put words in our mouths.  Help us build others up, love them with our mouths and praise you our God.  May a sweet sound come from our lips and glorify the One who has given them to us.  Cleanse us from the inside out so that our mouths are a reflection of your own Words.  May we be rooted deeply in you and let our fruit be sweet to the taste.  Amen. 

PS I pray that if I have hurt anyone by my words that you will please forgive me.  I am human, in progress and that’s why I need God every hour of every day.  Blessings to you!

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Learning to Trust with Bit and Bridle: The Ride of a Lifetime

I had to take a second look, mesmerized by the beauty that was captured on canvas.  The artist must have seen something special in the moment as a herd of wild horses galloped along the mountain terrain with dust clouds circling behind them.  Fierce eyes yet calm at full speed, these rebellious creatures ran with the wind lifting underneath them.  Their manes flew in the wind and slapped against their elongated necks.  Muscles burst force with every movement. 
running wild

It made my mind spin in circles like the dust clouds that followed.  It was as if the Holy Spirit had struck a chord in my soul from my earlier study of James and the bridling of our tongues and how it relates to our own rebellion and training.

When I was younger, we went to Summer camp in the mountains.  It is there where I learned about the fascinating creatures.  We learned to ride and care for the horses including putting the bit and bridle on as well as the saddle.  The horses we learned on were extremely tame and easy to learn on.  A few times we had the privilege of riding bareback and it was an incredible experience of riding with freedom. trail ride

I never forgot the day the owners had purchased a beautiful black stallion his coat black as coal and shiny as glass.  He would pace back and forth in the stall and when the trainer got near he would rear back on his hind legs and let out a loud whinny.  The trainer was patient, calming the horse and working with him every day, building a bond of trust over time.381091__black-stallion_p

Our relationship with Christ is very similar.  We are like the black stallion, rebellious in our ways in fear or ignorance.  But our Master doesn’t give up on us.  He is patient with love surrounding us and committed to our outcome.  Day after day His training builds trust, sometimes with force like the bit and bridle and then eventually by just a gentle whisper.
Psalms 32:8-9 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  Do not be like the horse or mule which have no understanding, but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you…the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trust in Him.”

I have been that horse in my stubbornness, in my rebellion, lack of trust and faith in my Master with no understanding and I needed to be disciplined and trained.  Much was painful, but my Master was patient with me and trained me to become tame.  Like the wild stallion I began to trust over time.  I became much more useful by His training than I could ever in the wild.  But why did I have to go through all that pain to get there?  What if I had chosen in the beginning to just trust and obey my Master?

I didn’t know Him.  I had to spend time with Him daily to develop my trust in Him over time.  The more I trusted the more I experienced freedom in my walk.  I went from tough lessons in the corral to riding freely in the mountains with my Master bareback leaping over streams and charging up hills.  So much joy came from the freedom of riding in the wind with my Master allowing me to stretch my capabilities and go further than I could ever imagine. freedom

However, I experience this for only moments at a time of letting go and really trusting, but then fear creeps in and soon overcomes me.  I stumble and forget the things that my Master had taught me only to find myself back in the corral for another lesson.  Perhaps heaven is that place of freedom and joy where the learning corral is no longer needed.  I can explore His beauty with no bridle or bits forcing me into obedience.  Instead I eagerly choose to follow the teachings that dwell in my heart so that my Master and I are riding together in perfect harmony.  Fear is no longer holding me back or interrupts me from His glorious Joy and Freedom.  I just thank and praise Him that He never gives up on me.  He is patient and willing to train me.

I love Philippians 1:6 “He that began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Lord, may we trust in you and yield to your ways so that we may forever ride in harmonious victory.  Amen.

 

 

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Valentine’s for Single Parents

Hi it has been awhile since I have last blogged, but since Valentine’s is coming I thought I would reach out and send some love your way! I know during this time we can all be sad as we watch all the other couples out there celebrating this holiday, but here are just a few reminders that help me get through the lovey dovey holidays!

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1) Remember God loves us like no one else could and He is all we really need. Click here to view His own personal love letter to YOU!  This has brought me great encouragement in times I have felt alone and rejected. (BTW Rejection is God’s divine protection over you!)

2) Start new traditions with your kids! Valentine’s is not all about couples, but spending time with the people we love. Hang out with good friends, show your kids how much you love them by making them special heart pancakes or a Valentine Dinner! My daughter and I made these cute ding dong hearts (recipe here) and spent quality time together making special Valentine’s to friends and family.IMG_1263

3) Reach out to other people who may be down and depressed and send them a Valentine to show you care and understand – making their day will also make yours!! We made homemade gifts and treats and had fun delivering them to people!

4) Remember that there is a season for everything and enjoy this time of singlehood. Ask God what He wants to teach you during this time.  You will one day look back at this time in your life and see how it matured you in many ways and how much it has taught you about yourself you otherwise may not have.

5) Channel your emotional energy into positive outlets.  Some of the greatest accomplishments and ministries have come out of some of the most difficult seasons in people’s lives.  What are some of your passions or things you enjoy.  Let them develop into something beautiful.

I hope this brings encouragement to you.  If you have any other tips or suggestions I would love to hear your suggestions. Happy Valentine’s to you all!

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In Time of Crisis

My thoughts on Job 7

This life is not easy. It is going to be hard (difficult to do, severe, rigorous, cruel, fatiguing, troublesome, hard to deal with, manage, control, overcome, understand). But we also know that it is fleeting and goes quickly. We have been each allotted (dedication to God – our life is our ministry – our testimony of who God is by giving Him glory even in the hard times) our span of life individually and as a whole we will see tough times and great times, but all in all what is that life accomplishing? We are to be His servants, His help, giving public worship – is this possible through severe times? When we do how much more powerful is our testimony our faith? How much would glorify God? Are we giving God glory by our life or are we seeking our own selfish ambition and pleasures? Which one will leave the ultimate legacy? Which one will leave eternal benefits?

Well Job is in the middle of probably the most difficult time in his life. We know the story, but he is in the middle of it. He sees his life and questions. He sees his life and wonders why God ever let him be born. Isn’t that what we all do in the middle of crisis? What if we believed that God has greater purpose even in the most difficult seasons and that in those seasons some of the most greatest things occur? How then would we respond in our crisis?

I am not saying we ignore and sit in denial of what is really going on, but like Job be transparent with what we are going through. Pour our hearts out to our God and allow Him to answer us with what He wants to teach and show us. I know so many times when people are in crisis we say stupid things to them because we just don’t understand from the outside (like Job’s friends) or we try and push our thoughts on them or our opinions rather than support them, listen and encourage them.

I have been in Job’s shoes because his words are so familiar. I hear his cries for death because the pain is so great and his desire is to be with His Lord where pain and suffering is no more. All I could do at that moment is cry out to God to share my misery to Him and wait for His answers. I have felt the unhappiness, the sickness in my stomach, lying awake in the dark as thoughts run over and over in my mind, questioning God, screaming for help in my car out to God, feeling no comfort, feeling utterly alone. I lay awake in the dark not knowing what comes next wondering if my heart will suffer until the day I die.

Sometimes what we think will happen doesn’t turn out that way and we become discouraged. I think of Paul who longed to preach, but was caged in a prison awaiting his death. Where was his rescue? But if you look closer he was rescued. He was taken to heaven to be with his Lord what greater place could he be? I also see later that he had blessed generations after generations of his letters he wrote in prison which affected and reached far more people than he would ever dreamed of preaching on the streets. All Job sees is the pain and agony, he doesn’t see the bigger picture that is why he wishes for death. He feels worthless and insignificant. Where is the purpose in this? But just like us afterwards we can see how God used the suffering for a much greater purpose! God has a plan for us and some of it has to go through some rough waters, but we can come out better than when we first hit them if we turn and depend on God through it all. For He gives us his attention, we are His apple of His eye, He will test us so that we grow and mature so that we can enjoy life more, we are His target. He won’t let us alone because He loves us too much! Our lives will be futile (ineffective, useless, unsuccessful) if we try and do it all alone because our lives were created for His purpose and if we leave Him out of it we go nowhere. Because Job turned to God in His misery and not the other way his life was extremely effective way beyond what he could have ever imagined. Don’t you want your life to be the same? Pain and suffering will happen on this earth…how are you going to make it? You will experience it so wouldn’t it be better that something wonderful will come out of it?

When crisis comes we most likely won’t understand. All we can do is keep seeking God and waiting for His answers. His way may not be what everyone else may think or even what you may think, but His way will be accomplished for no plan of His can be thwarted. He will rescue us, and always take care of us even when our skin is blistering, our family is against us, or we make wrong choices. That is what I love about God. We can live this reckless faith because we know that no matter what He is there for us and will take care of us through even the most difficult times. If we are truly seeking His will we have nothing to fear.   May His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!

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Turning Out for The Best

I will never forget the moment when I was sitting in church and my child’s beeper went off for the third time in the past few months.  You would think after meeting my daughter and her sweet innocent face that perhaps I was being called because my daughter was crying because she missed Mommy, but unfortunately I knew because of previous calls that my child either put another kid in a headlock or bit someone’s nose.

toy fighting

Feeling very upset about the whole thing I quickly got up and went to the nursery.  I went to the window and saw my daughter sitting in a chair and the head of the children’s ministries had a look on her face that made me want to crawl in a hole and disappear.

 

I was told that my daughter had once again bit another child and that she must be removed from the nursery and not allowed to come back.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was half angry and about to burst into tears.  I felt like a failure.  I felt like this woman has no idea what my daughter and I were going through and as if I was some kind of abusive parent!  I quickly took my child and pulled her to the side and tried to talk to her hoping she would understand.  I cried out to God hoping for some answers, madly searched the internet and desperately sought other mothers to see what could possibly be wrong.

Internet Research

It wasn’t until another year later I found that the behavior wasn’t as abnormal as this woman had made it and there were ways to get through it.  As she got older I was able to better communicate with her and found out that she bit because she didn’t know how to communicate with another child to stop or to give the toy back etc.  So we continued to work on the communicating part and found less and less incidents thankfully!

 

I have found through the years, and believe me I have much more learning to do, that my view of raising kids was quite different than the reality.  I had once thought that raising kids was to make them do what you want them to do and pretty much create a mini – me.  I never took in consideration that we are all created unique and nurturing that uniqueness into characteristics of Christ is our jobs as parents.  I was surprised to know that it isn’t just our kids learning and growing, parents do too!  In fact, we grow together.  By God’s grace I can fail at something only to try something different and find that it works for my child and me.

pregnancy resource

The phase I am going through now are these awful temper tantrums.  I find that some moms barely no what I am talking about when I explain these awful outburst where sometimes I literally have to strap my child in her car seat so she doesn’t hurt herself or anyone around her.  Other moms know exactly what I am talking about.

After being completely horrified by these outburst and once again thinking that my child might end up being some crazy person, God continues to remind me that I just need to stick with Him and He will get me through even when it seems like nothing has changed.

car seat

 

Well today my faith became my reality.  I was so happy to hear the most delightful words to my ears this morning from her very own teacher at school.  She told me that she was so impressed with my daughter by helping a needy child and being so kind and good to her and that she helped the new girl get adjusted as well as invited her to sit next to her.  I about died.  The thoughts of her biting and throwing came to my mind and I couldn’t help, but smile because I realized that things were going to be okay.  God is helping me through this whole thing.  Instead of being a bully my child was helping those who needed help.

Younger sister offers comfort to her big sister after a fall.

I just want to encourage any mom out there that feels like those stages will just never pass.  Those moms who are frustrated and fear that their child will be in some mental institute or that they will.  Stay close to Christ, continue to pray especially in front of your kids, be a godly example, show grace and ask for forgiveness even from your kids (1 Corinthians 15:58).  They will see you are not perfect and that it’s okay because none of us are, but they will also see that they need a God that will always carry them through life’s ups and downs.  As my child continues to grow, I find that my patience, my perseverance, and joy continue to grow too (Galatians 5:22-23).  Don’t give up my dear friend, stay steadfast and trust in Him for a harvest awaits you!  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

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Love is Sacrifice

I am back!  If you have wondered where I have been lately, I had simply disappeared for a 40 day fast. Normally I don’t share such information, but because God had revealed some amazing things to me over this time period I felt I had to share. edisto

It began after a wonderful family vacation where I had time to really reflect on how life was going.  I put my phone in the drawer for the week and focused on really spending quality time with my family.

The verse, Psalm 139:23-24, became my prayer that week and I found that there were some things in my life I could get a good cleaning from.

I gave up sweets, white flour, caffeine, Facebook, and my regular workout routine.  Each one represented something that I needed to depend on God for rather than the gift. cupcake

Food can easily be something that we fill ourselves up with rather than filling ourselves up with The Living Bread.  I have turned to food many times out of boredom, depression, or guilty pleasures.  Food is a gift from the Giver and they were made to be enjoyed, but when I turn to food rather than the Source I can miss out on being completely satisfied.

Caffeine is great.  I love it.  It starts my day, but taking it out made me really depend on God every morning to waken my soul.  It was very difficult in the beginning, but surprisingly it became easier overtime.  And I also found that I had more energy throughout the day, less anxiety and really caused me to slow down!  I would have sleepy spells, but I would work through them realizing that the struggle only lasts for so long and that I could depend on God who is able to get me through anything (Philippians 4:13).chai

Facebook was surprisingly tough, but I seriously gained a lot of benefits from eliminating it for 40 days.  I had more time on my hands to get things done and pay attention more to my daughter.  I turned to God for “likes” rather than people.  I actually would call people and catch up with them rather than giving them a simple “like” on FB.  I also felt more content because we all have to admit what we usually put on FB is our best pictures, best moments etc., but leaves out many of our not so good moments from our everyday lives.  mom and me

Giving up my regular workout routine was one of the most difficult.  Perhaps it is because it is an outcome of a deep embedded stronghold that is loosening over time.  Instead of working out to a boot camp instructor, I would take my dogs for a morning walk and catch every sunrise for 40 days as I talked to my Creator.  Even though my jeans felt tighter and I felt flabbier, I gained a new perspective and trust in the One who thinks I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.”geyserrainbow

The next thing I put more focus on was to be more intentional with people, to be others focused instead of me focused.  I really enjoyed this one.  At first I found myself trying to hurry people’s conversations because I had to get here and there, but I realized that getting here and there was not as important as just listening.  Suddenly time wasn’t a burden and I began to really enjoy people’s conversations.  Instead of just saying “hi” and “bye” I was able to really listen and make not just someone else’s day, but I felt better inside too.  It forced me to slow down and be less anxious.   Now that the fast is over, I actually miss it.  I slowly went back to my sweets and caffeine and I recognize the difference.  I am anxious to see where He will take me next.june

“Search me oh God and know my heart test me and see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way of everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24.  Have you prayed this prayer?  Perhaps God is tugging on your heart to give something up that has replaced Him or even dependence on Him.  Give yourself a cleaning and allow Him to give you strength and power to do it.  Sacrifice is hard in the beginning, but whatever He asks you to sacrifice He will give you back far more than you ever gave up.  Sacrifice is love.  For the little thing that He asks you to give up will never compare to what He gave up many years ago on a cross and now He sits on a throne at the right hand of God.  If you do decide to take the challenge, please let me know how it goes!  Blessings to you! lint

 

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I Don’t Want To, But I Will!

I breezed through the terrible twos, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the Threes!  I begin to applaud my child for learning to communicate, but suddenly they take that accomplishment with pride and mix it with the inability of how to manage their emotions and I find myself completely helpless in trying to calm my child down, yet train her in some sort of discipline.  I am not sure what is worse, the constant whining, the battles of what to wear every morning or trying to coax them to brush their teeth. moody_child_ODD

It is frustrating because as a parent we know the outcome of what brushing one’s teeth will accomplish as well as “using your words” rather than acting out with a punch or a irritating whine, but all the child knows is to go with whatever comes out with absolutely no filters.

As much as I want to turn to all the child rearing self-help books, I found that one Book is where I should always start and the rest are just extra.  Instead of just the new child-rearing fad, it is a Book that has been used throughout all generations and works with every parent type and every child type.  I love the idea that it wasn’t just written by one parent or psychologist, but rather 44 different authors who had different occupations, from different countries, and different languages.  I have kept that book pretty handy, learning from the perfect Parent and how He is constantly teaching me, even through adulthood!  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it!   book

I know it works because it works for even the most stubborn, myself included.  I was pretty surprised to hear a reaction to my newfound wisdom is when I was in a public restroom and I told my 3 year old to wash her hands to reply, “Okay Mommy, I really don’t want to, but I will.” A young mother came out of the stall to tell me how she had never heard that before and how she was excited to try it at home with her own little monster.

I have learned through this battle of fighting my own will against God’s will for my life and it continues to be a daily struggle.  “I don’t want to,” I reply, “but I will.”  I have to admit, it has taken me some time to finally get to that point of “I will”, but I found that so many long-term blessings have been the outcome to my obedience (Job 36:11).  Isn’t that what love is?  In John 14:15, the Book tells us that if we really love Him, we will obey HimObedience is really sacrificing our will to become His will (Luke 22:42) because just like parents know what is good for their child, He knows even more what is good for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

unfailing love

That becomes my motivator is His unfailing love for me (Psalm 36:7).  Sometimes we look at our parents or God as these dictators, but God is nothing like that.  He is a loving Father that fills our ever need (Proverbs 19:22) of being perfectly loved.  Let’s not deceive ourselves for no one else can love us like that.

So next time you pout and whine, remember, your loving Father wants what is best for you even though you cannot see it now.  “Lord, I don’t want to, but I will because of your unfailing love – Not my will, but Yours be done.”

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Will the Pain Ever Go Away?

It was Christmas time, one of my all time favorite days for celebration.  It makes the long, cold winters all worth the while.  The scent of cinnamon and spices fill the room and joy and excitement arise as we consider the many gifts that are displayed underneath the tree.

But every year as we prepare for Christmas dinner, tears roll down my Mother’s cheek as she places her deceased Mother’s china out on the table.  It had been over 30 years since the death of her Mother and yet the pain was still surreal.

china

I couldn’t help, but question pain and if it ever completely heals.  I began to feel somewhat hopeless in my own circumstances.  Yes, time does make it easier if we allow God to properly heal us, but even now I can go along life and feel completely fine only to run into days where my stomach begins to knot and a deep overwhelming sorrow overcomes me.

I can’t tell you it ever goes away.  I haven’t spent a whole lifetime with the scar on my heart, but I am confident that we can be victorious and the burden can be lightened (Matthew 11:30).  I find that much better than becoming bitter and destructive.

The battles WILL come, but we must be prepared for it (Acts 14:22, James 1:12, 1 Peter 4:12-13).

So, when those days come grievesorrow

Don’t deny the pain.  You will need more strength and going to God is vital to help you through your emotions.

It’s okay to question God or even struggle with Him with your emotions, because if your heart is truly poured out to Him and seeking His ways for your recovery, then He will help you through it.

Acknowledge your weaknesses.

Tell God what the enemy is trying to convince you of.

Then tell God what you believe what the truth is according to His Word.

You may have just one day or it may be stretched to a few days, but it won’t last and the enemy will flee you for some time because he has been defeated (James 4:7).    He will cower before you and you will trample over him (Deuteronomy 33:29).  You have the power within you that is greater than the evil one in the world (1 John 4:4).

victory

Grieving is not sin, but dwelling over it to the point you feel prisoner to it is. Those few days can be stretched out to years of daily pain instead of short runs of sorrow. Remember we act according to what we believe so if we allow our minds to be filled with lies and doubts instead of filling it with the Truth we are setting ourselves up for destructive actions and behaviors.  Submit to God, resist the devil and you will have victory! 

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The Fight to Be Thin

My whole life I have struggled to be thin.  I mean what woman hasn’t?  I was convinced that thin was beautiful.  It may have been the fashion magazines that stressed thinness to the max or perhaps the piercing words I heard as a young child of how I looked in a bathing suit, but those words and those images filled my mind with a lie that took me years to let go. 

thin

Most of us would agree this isn’t attractive, by why do we fall for the lie?

I was always moderately thin, but it wasn’t enough.  I turned to anything I could to achieve the desired results, but it was unrealistic because I was made to be a woman.   So why couldn’t I accept the unique body that God had given to me?  Why did I want to desperately look like someone else and not just someone else, but a small fraction of the world?

I fell for the lie and I allowed that lie to become my stronghold.  The trap is very enticing and you don’t realize that you have been trapped until you look around and see the chains around your ankle.  It can be quite painful!  Morning after morning I would pick myself apart with the vicious cycle of filling myself with food and then feeling guilty afterwards.

trap

The trap is very enticing and you don’t realize that you have been trapped until you look around and see the chains around your ankle. It can be quite painful!

Many of us are comfortable in our deception.  We have been enslaved for so long we don’t even know what freedom feels like.   We label it as, “this is just the way I am,” or “it’s just a part of life.”  I have good news for you.  You don’t need to stay in that trap.  There is someone who can release you, but you have to be willing. 

The first step is to turn to God for help.  He is ready and wants to free you. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”(John 10:10). The second is to agree with God and repent, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).  Don’t stop there.  Turn away from your sin daily by going to God with His truth until you have victory, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me“(Luke 9:23). 

That is where real beauty comes forth:  Allowing Him to refine your inner self to come forth as gold and skim the junk off.  Take your mirror and see yourself the way your Creator sees you “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for he is your Lord” (Psalm 45:11). Stop seeing and comparing yourself to the worlds view, for you will NEVER be satisfied because it is a FRAUD.  “Charm is deceptive and beauty will not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30). Bloom

I am tired of trying to be thin aren’t you?  I want to enjoy the food that God gives to me each day and experience the fruit that comes when you allow Him to cultivate your heart and soul.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). When you look to Him to fill you with His living Bread you will stop filling yourself up with food of this world.  Keep spiritually fit, and all else will fall into place.

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My Prince of Peace

Sometimes I feel like I am in a fairytale because everything my daughter wants is princess.  We watch princess movies, read princess books, play with princess toys, she even rides a princess bike.  Her favorite is when she puts on her little princess dress and everyone in the room will tell her what a pretty little princess she is.  What little girl out there doesn’t want to be a princess?  A beautiful young woman has a terrible misfortune and she is suddenly rescued from all her problems by a handsome prince and they live happily ever after! What WOMAN wouldn’t want to be a princess?

princess

Isn’t that what we all want?  We strive so hard to be beautiful and desperately seek our handsome prince to rescue us from all of our problems so that we will live happily ever after.  The sad thing is we become utterly disappointed.  We think that the moment we get married we will finally find security and rest, but sadly some of us become more insecure and fearful than we were before we were married.  We discover our spouse’s flaws and find they don’t always rescue us!  And worse yet, what happens when we lose the very thing we valued so highly only to be left devastated and completely lost.  It can be a tragic moment and leave a gaping hole that seems hopeless to ever be filled.  Losing something precious that we value higher than the One who gave it to us can be a truthful eye opening experience.

I am one of those fairy tale fanatics.  There had been a deep longing in my soul that I desperately tried to fill with many things.  When I lost those temporary fillers it took some time to fill when I finally turned to the One who could fill it and find that He was all I needed.  He faithfully took me through each insecurity and fear and filled it with His rich storehouses of truth (Isaiah 33:6).

I have always worried about finances and He showed me how to manage it.  Whenever I had a car problem in the past I would freak out, but now it is almost like the One who cared for me put it in my pocket with room to spare!  I haven’t worried about my finances since I gave it to Him and followed His instructions (Proverbs 3:5-6, 9; Matthew 6:33).

In God we trust

I used to worry about making any decisions in fear that I would make the wrong ones and become a total failure.  Well guess what? I am a total failure, but as I spend time with Him every day He guides me and leads me through every decision and I feel confident about every choice He helps me through (Psalms 37:5).

I worried fretfully about raising my child and all He asked was for me to trust Him and I am amazed by the peace I have as being a single parent.  He has given me so much help from so many loving people (Philippians 4:6).

I have insecurities, but as I go to Him with them, He affirms me with His very own Word (1 Peter 3:3-4).

When you find you can’t trust anyone, I learned I could trust Him because He has never broken a promise and has been faithful throughout all generations (Psalm 145:13).

I always feel safe in His arms, I am protected under His wings (Psalm 91:4), He covers my flaws (1 John 4:10), He gives me dignity. I can laugh at the future.   (Proverbs 31:25).  He gives me strength (Psalm 46:1), He always listens to me (Psalm 55:17), He is never too busy for me (John 6:37).  He gives me advice I know I can trust (Isaiah 55:8-9). He gives me rest (Psalm 23). He comforts me, He understands me, and He knows me (1 Chronicles 28:9).  I know who I am in Him (Galatians 3:26).  I have riches that are eternal (1 Peter 1:4).  I am significant (2 Thessalonians 1:11).  I have purpose (Philippians 1:11). I have an identity (1 John 5:1).  All my needs are met (Philippians 4:19).  I have companionship with the many friends and family that He has given me (1 John 4:12).  I have spiritual intimacy (Job 29:4).  I have support (James 5:16).  I have a family I can go to that accepts and loves me as He does (Romans 15:7).  I have a rich inheritance (Ephesians 1:18).  I am chosen (Isaiah 42:1).  I have a secure future (Psalm 16:5).  I am never alone (Psalm 73:23). He is forever faithful (Psalm 146:6).  He is jealous for me (Exodus 34:14).  He honors me and protects me (Isaiah 49:5).  He gives me great gifts (James 1:17). He rescues me (Colossians 1:13).  He purifies me (1 John 1:7).  I know He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  He loves me like no one else could ever love me (Ephesians 3:18).

happily

I have met my Prince of Peace and this is no fairytale, it is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6).  He is my One and Only (John 1:14) .  The only One who can fill me perfectly and fully. He tells me how beautiful and special I am (Psalm 139:14,15).  I am complete and satisfied and I have found the true source (Isaiah 58:11).  Are you still waiting for your perfect Prince? He has already come to rescue you!  Give Him the key to your heart because when you do you will come to know the Prince you have always been created for.  The best part is when you do you, you can be confident that you WILL live happily ever after in His Kingdom (John 3:16)!

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