Category Archives: Eyedrops & Q-Tips

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matt. 13:15-16

2017 Focus Word for the Year: Courage

I made another video. Here it is. Wellness Wednesday post on Thursday. It has taken three days so I may just go back to blogging only after this. Now that write that, I’m thinking that sounds like I may need to muster up the courage to “keep on swimming, keep on swimming…..” Sigh….one take was too long and had too many, “and, ums”, another was great until I realized some child had licked his finger and smeared my lens to be…”funny.” (insert grumpy emoji here) and there were other issues. THEN, it took our internet about 12 hours to upload, no joke. Yea….not feeling warm and fuzzy about this YouTube thing right now…

Well, here is, yet another, attempt at YouTube. If nothing else, it has me wanting to blog again. 🙂

 

 

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

What should freak me out

servicesFlatTire

photo via

I’m a spaz. I tend to freak out; I have mini panic attacks. If you ask my kids, mini is not the word they will use. But I know it and I’m gradually getting a grip. When I have to make snap decisions on the fly, I “usually” am all over the situation. I’m great at problem solving in most circumstances which comes in very handy with catering. However, I’m not always “calm” in said situation. I don’t start yelping like a chihuahua or anything but I do get intense and can bark at people i.e. my kids. I make things worse when I second-guess myself. For example yesterday, as I drove off to take my cadets to their Civil Air Patrol squadron meeting an hour away with a side-stop to drop off my ballerinas to their sister’s for their ballet lesson, we heard a BAD noise. We had only driven about thirty seconds away and pulled off into a neighbor’s driveway. We had a flat. I was on a schedule and my kids were depending on me. My first thought was to go let the neighbor know I was in the driveway and ask him if he needed me to pull out into the road so I wasn’t blocking the drive. My second thought was to call Triple A. My third thought was to call my husband and ask him what I should do. So I called him first. He said to talk to the neighbor then call Triple A. Hmmm….wish I’d thought of that. o.O

SO, I walked up the driveway and an older gent and his buddy were chatting while having a brew. Wouldn’t you know that the friend who JUST so happened to be there had an air compressor on his truck? Yep, he filled up that tire and we were able to drive the 30 seconds home, throw our stuff into The Great White Beast and get back on the road. God spoke to me through the two old guys and the air compressor. AS SOON as that man said he had an air compressor, God said, “You’re first thought should have been ME!” He gives me this situations all of the time. That He cares that much about me to take time out of His schedule, that is what should freak me out first and foremost. I should also freak out that this flat did not occur on my way to Indianapolis with my two little boys on board or on my way back. I had only been home an hour from that supply run when we left for Ohio. Ohio, where I could have been when the flat happened. But, NO, I was less than a quarter of a mile from home! That freaks me out! Thank You, Lord, for taking care of us! Also, thank You that this was not our flat:

lions-car

photo via

I’m learning to not be shaken, thank you, Building 429.

While it’s the HARD things that try my faith, it’s these little things that remind me God is on my side and if He will take time to fix a tire, He wants to work through the big stuff, too. I need to REST in that. Fretting and freaking accomplishes nothing. It just makes each situation more stressful. Years ago, I bought a little card with a Helen Steiner Rice poem and it’s a prayer I’ve been praying since I was a yoot:

“God, teach me to be patient,

teach me to go slow;

Teach me how to wait on you

when my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance

when things do not go right

so I remain unruffled

when others grow uptight.

Teach me to let go, dear God,

and pray undisturbed until

my heart is filled with inner peace

and I learn to know Your Will.”

I’m not there, yet, but if you walk in our commercial kitchen when I’m faced with a deadline or a fondant piece just fell off of a cake or there’s no money for the bills or the kids are fighting again or I forgot to buy sugar, you will catch me muttering, “Unruffled…unruffled…letting go….inner peace…unruffled…”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

My Big Fat Mouth

I come from a long line of complainers on one side of the family and a long line of critical hot-heads on the other. I’m not worried about any family reading this because they will either know I am right or complain and criticize no matter how gently I put it. Left to my own devices, my mouth is a going concern. I am a complainer and have been critical of others. I have let expletives escape and I, man, can I gossip.

My mouth has been getting on my nerves. That realization occurs whenever I notice that other people’s mouths are getting on my nerves. I hear their tone or talking smack of others and ask myself, “Self, is that what you’ve been doing? Do you speak in that tone to YOUR kids?” When the answer is yes, I sometimes reel it in or I criticize and complain about the people who aren’t controlling their mouths. You all do it, too, you know it.

 God gave us mouths for his purposes and to eat pizza and chocolate. Our mouths should be used to encourage others, share what God has done in our lives, teach, pray and sing. However, God did not make us robots and will not control our mouths for us. A lot of people blame God for all the evil in the world. Do you know how we know? Because they used their mouths to tell us so. If God put a muzzle on every critical complainer, folks wouldn’t have the freedom to be atheists or mean, verbally-abusive husbands or foul-mouthed gang members making a drug deal in a back alley or the church leader persuading his followers to believe a falsehood as gospel. Blame God all you want, it’s our choice to control what comes out of our cakeholes and it ain’t easy.

James 3:3-5 says, “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

 When I think about how this comparatively small muscle covered in taste buds and used to make goofy faces and lick ice cream can steer what direction the rest of me turns toward, it makes me a little nervous. A lot nervous. This thing we use to sing lullabies to our baby we also use to lie, cuss, and manipulate. I came across a pile of MEMLOCK cards this morning. Memlock is a Bible verse memory system we use with our kids. It uses cards with “trigger pictures” on them to help you remember the verse. Anyhoo, the card on top read as follows, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Here’s the trigger picture:

 1-20150222_114432

SO, when I hear my kids’ mouths doing their thang, I tell them to eat a “Let Donut.” Finding these cards on the tongue was a smack upside the head. I’ve been letting my mouth do the thinking for me much of the time. There are several other verses in this pack of cards categorized as “TONGUE.”

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

You don’t have to be a believer for these verses to make sense! There are so many more but suffice it to say that the very BEST way to get control of our mouths is to use it to pray for our mouths. For me, I want what comes out of my mouth to steer me in a direction that blesses others, helps the hurting, encourages, empowers and, to me, most importantly, leads my children closer to Christ each day. I want to be an example worth following and I’m not sure I’ve been that.

How could a Third Day song NOT come to mind? Nothing At All was the first song my husband heard from this awesomesauce band and drew him in. The pictures used in this video certainly depict what I’ve been talking about (click HERE for lyrics):

 Then, of course, we can’t forget Thumper:

 My admonishment for the week – “What did your FATHER tell you? Eat a LET DONUT!”

Be blessed,

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Music Monday – When Tragedy Strikes…

Yesterday, I heard the news about the church bus that overturned in Indy and the lives that were lost in the accident. The grief must be unbearable. I don’t even know these people but as I prayed for the family and friends of the young, expectant couple who died leaving a toddler an orphan and the mom of 5, I cried. There are so few words that can be said. When my brother died at 16 from a gun accident, many words were said with good intentions but made it more painful none-the-less. The words that did get me through, though, were from those that were honest and told me that they don’t understand, either, it won’t make sense to us but God loves me and is there for me. So I went to Him over and over again. He doesn’t mind when we raise our fist and ask Him, “Why?” David did it. He was called a “man after God’s own heart” and God, while He called David out on a lot of stuff, didn’t rebuke him for expressing his fear, anger and sadness to God. When Scott died, I went back to college and the friends who knew what to say said very little. They held me, let me cry and told me to give it to God because He’s the only One Who knows what to do with it.

My Isabelle was admitted to the hospital at 4 weeks old the day Katrina hit. Having nothing else to do in a hospital room with an infant, I watched the news in horror. We were there 5 days as I watched my baby girl struggling to get and keep nutrition in her then turned to the TV screen to see people lose loved ones and suffer. It was then my favorite band decided to release early the following single from Wherever You Are to be an encouragement, to direct people to World Vision for donations and as a benefit for relief efforts. There has been so much tragedy in our nation and world. Catastrophe hits everyone at some point and the disasters and calamity will only increase as the world descends more and more into decadence and greed. Scripture tells us this. So what to say when friends and family are hit? Cry out to Jesus. For the families hurting so close to home in Indy, that’s all I have. I am so sorry.

This song is one of many Third Day songs that has blessed me and helped me through tough times. So many have been heartened by this. If you haven’t heard it before, I hope it blesses you. If you have, I hope it blesses you again.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Praying for our Kiddos

NOBODY else loves our kids the way we do. Of course, God loves them more but I’m talking in the human realm. NOBODY knows our kids like we do and in many cases, we know them better than they know themselves (especially when they’re young). NOBODY can or will pray for our children the way we can.  It’s easy to get busy and forget but our children need us praying for them from the time we know they’re there to pray for.  I have a morning routine that includes pulling out my prayer journal that’s only purpose is to jot down my prayers for my children (I do have another one for general prayers but this is just for my kids). I do this to help hold me accountable. I know one day, at least one of my kids is going to get a hold of these journals (if you start this, you’ll go through several) and I don’t want them finding skipped dates. They will, though. I get into funks like everyone else. If I have a breakfast catering gig and have to get up at 4:30 am, I don’t sit down with coffee and my Bible – I run out the door inhaling coffee through my nose and putting mascara on at stoplights. SO, there are MANY times I fail to pray deliberately.

I’ve taught myself, since I know those days are going to happen, to give myself visual cues to remind me-self to pray for my kids throughout the day: The Speed Limit 70 sign reminds me to pray for their safety, the bars remind me to pray they will stay from temptation and for their choice of future spouse! You can pick your own but you get the idea.

When I am able to sit with my journal, I pray either according to what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on in the world or I use a prayer guide I picked up from a church some time ago but it’s hard to come by. It’s called the Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray for our Children by Charlotte Parker.  I found some newer versions on Amazon and Abe Books. It’s 31 days of prayers and some are kind of wordy. I break it down and either pray one of the Scriptures over my kids and/or just one of the areas listed. You can get a book like that OR Tom Harmon has a simple list for praying over your children.  You can get a WHOLE bunch of other stuff at his website and I highly recommend you add him to your favorites, GO hear him speak and read anything he has written.

Anyhoo, here’s his list:

I have conveniently linked the above image of his list to his website so you can cruise on over there after you’re done here with very little effort. You’re welcome.

Pray for your kids. Pray for your grandchildren. Pray for your children-in-law. Pray for the family you will never meet.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

Get over it?

I started my day yesterday with a bee in my bonnet. It started out appropriately somber but then I peeked in on Twitter. My intention was to just post a simple remembrance as, I thought, everyone else does in honor of 9/11. I must be naive. I cannot believe the tweetabomination I witnessed. I believe people should be allowed to share their opinions, no problem there. But I also believe there are people with opinions that need readjusted for the sake of humanity. I’m just glad I know God is in the “readjustment” business and will take care of it. A gal I follow shared  this young attitude’s tweet who posted, and I quote, 

I had a pit in my stomach to begin with; I usually do on 9/11. This post made me sick. While it’s my contention, after perusing his profile and reading his tweets,  this kid didn’t get spanked enough as a, um, younger kid (save your anti-spanking lecture for another blog) and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas that will, most certainly, land him in the hospital, prison or the morgue, there’s not a thing I can do for this ungrateful, brain-damaged youth (except pray that he’s saved from a fire or car accident – caused by his marijuana activism – someday by a firefighter who read this particular tweet – yea…I can pray that).

What I CAN do is cancel out this ONE guy’s ignorance by making sure my TWELVE kids NEVER. FORGET.

SO, in lieu of our usual morning devotion, I gathered the 10 that were home around my laptop to watch this video:

There were tears. The older ones recounted what they remember. I shared how I found out: we haven’t had broadcast TV in years and we were finishing up our devotion time so the radio was off and we had no idea what was occurring. My Mom called almost hysterical. She knew my routine and knew I would, most likely, not be aware of the tragedy that had befallen us. We were still unsure if it was an accident or terrorism at that point. It was so surreal. And so frustrating! I couldn’t turn on a TV and see what was going on. I called my husband at work and they were all watching it. I called my mom back and we were on the phone as she updated me with what she knew and then the second plane hit. I heard my aunt yell in the background. My mom cried out and told me what happened. I started to cry and my confused kids were gathered around asking what was wrong. It was a blur then and even more-so, now.

I don’t know at what point we decided to go to the library but we did. I was surprised to find it open as time seemed to stand still; the city was SO quiet. We checked out books on skyscrapers, New York City and the Twin Towers. We went home and poured over our findings as we read together about the architecture of the buildings that had collapsed earlier that day. We had so many questions, like everyone else. Why would God allow SO many to die? Why the Twin Towers? I don’t need to list them all – everyone asked those questions. As we studied how the buildings were designed our discussion quickly switched to how many people were saved. This was before we heard of the many stories of folks who were late to work that day or had to call in sick. In case you missed it, if the Twin Towers had been built like most of the buildings in that day, they wouldn’t have fallen straight down. They would have collapsed over onto other buildings. Do you think there’s a chance that God had His hand on who would be the architect and how these buildings would be built since He knew what was coming? I do. Check it out, if you’re interested:

We have free wills, given to us from God. Therefore, free wills who choose to believe in and act on evil will be evil. That’s the fallen world we live in. We also live in a world of beautiful, courageous people as evidenced that day by firefighters and police officers trying to save others. We also have a God who loves us and plans for us. He planned how buildings would be made, what brave people would be needed on the planes to avert further catastrophe, a couple of fender benders to make some people late, I read of someone spilling coffee all over themself so had to run home to change clothes, the list goes on. I also know there are people serving our country attempting to prevent this from happening again. I don’t pretend to trust our government but I do trust the men and women serving our country.

It’s late and I’m starting to ramble. Let me cut to the chase – history is loaded with tragedy. From the Garden until now, pride, greed, anger, bigotry and other assorted forms of hatred have let people to commit incomprehensible acts against mankind. We should not be surprised when it happens. It seems as though it’s to be expected but we are shocked when tragedy strikes. We should be. We should visit history often, be shocked then thankful so we don’t become like the self-absorbed, apathetic, ungrateful, smart alleck  twitterbrat mentioned above and so we NEVER

Get Over It.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

That Agape Muscle

Not too long ago, I posted about how Love Is Not Blind and it’s been on mind again how we are to love unconditionally (agape). It’s on my mind because, being honest, sometimes I don’t want to love unconditionally…which isn’t very unconditional. When I’ve been hurt or someone is simply a jerk, my inclination is to furrow my brow and ask, “What is wrong with you, you moron?!”

“Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Sigh. This passage has become a thermometer as well as a thermostat for me. As a thermometer  I can use these “measurements,” if you will, to “stretch” to each day. I long to be patient, kind, content and humble.I have good intentions of being all of the above but the agape muscle gets a daily workout. Workouts can be exhausting. Especially if you have kids….and a spouse….and a Basset Hound. And then there’s “those” friends and customers and people with different political opinions, and, and…people are dorks, let’s face it. We’re all dorks. Dorks require agape. Everyone is capable of being awesome, adorable and lovable but deep down (okay, maybe not so deep), we are all selfish, stupid dingbats in need of a Savior.

It’s when I go back to the thermometer I can get a reading. For example, I am pretty darn good at keeping records. I can also justify the record-keeping and convince myself the record-keeping is necessary then BAM, this passage sticks in my face and tells me I’m sick. The agape muscle is weak, I have a fever and I’m sick in the head and heart – I’m not loving. I am NOT loving.  If I have been impatient, it’s not because “he’s really trying my patience.” If he’s “trying” me and I’m being patient, he’s the one being tested, not me.  (That smarted, didn’t it? Yea, me, too.)  The realization that there are times EVERY day that I am not loving my kids pierces me. These verses lay out before me the times I am not expressing love. When I am putting my interests ahead of someone else, am easily angered, am thinking more highly of myself than I ought, I am not exercising my agape muscle; I am not loving.

You know what else smarts? This:

If you love meyou will obey what I command.” John 14:15

It would be A LOT easier if everyone were loving and obeying what Jesus commands every hour of the day but we can’t grow stronger and grow to be more like Jesus unless we’re loving unconditionally. Seriously, look at the idiots Jesus ran around with. If we’re honest, most of us wouldn’t put up with the nonsense He did and we’d pat each other on the back saying, “I don’t blame ya, man. Who needs that in their life?”

Love is not a warm, fuzzy feeling. Love is something you do. The warm, fuzzy feeling comes when I adore the person I am loving.  I adore my cutie-pie 2-year-old. He’s two. It’s easier when they’re cute. But if I lose my temper when he’s acting like a terrible two, I have, for the moment, stopped loving him. This is convicting for me because I do lose it at times! A lot. Mostly with the older ones, though! When I am training my agape muscle through the Word and practice, I can instinctively remember that the training and discipline of my 2-year-old, Seth, is my service to him. I am loving him through the trial and I’m a much better mommy.

If my husband is acting….like a guy (men can be such <fill in the blank>), and I huff and puff and justify my anger and, um, lack of kindness, I have decided he is not worthy of my love (pride) and I am being bitter and conditional. Here’s another thing: people who “fall out of love” don’t fall out of love; they have chosen to not love. They have decided this person they are with is no longer worthy. Period. There – I said it. Shoot me. I have “fallen out of love” with my husband before but seeing how it affected my kids convicted me. I know how it works. I have seen couples separate for nothing more than petty selfishness. I have also seen and read about men and woman who loved their spouses despite circumstances that would have sent me running. Some have had to separate. Some never saw that spouse overcome their addictions. Some divorced but kept on loving and serving. That being said, the outcomes have not always been the love story “happy ending.” Sometimes, the overcoming isn’t overcoming the obstacles but overcoming ourselves. If we can love in the midst of unbearable circumstances, we may not be “living the dream” but we will become more like Jesus. “That doesn’t make sense,” people will say. If you’re not happy, you should leave. Folks, the cross doesn’t make sense and I’m pretty sure Jesus WAS NOT happy hanging there on the cross. It’s just a hunch. He wasn’t happy but he was loving.

If He can do that for me, by golly, I can love my kids, I can love my husband, I can love people at the theatre we work with (You’re all crazy. You know that, right?), our neighbors, my mom and in-laws. I can love my customers (some of you procrastinate worse than me, you know that right?), I can love those turn-coat Republicans and Democratics ;o), I can even love Obama. Yep, there I said it. Some people force you to look at them through the eyes of God because left to my own devices, there’s NO WAY I could bring myself to loving them. But I love our President by praying for him not only because I love our country (also unconditional – it’s a mess but still blessed) but because God sent His Son to die for Him just as He did for me.

We’re all dirty, rotten sinners. I didn’t set out in this rant to bring myself to a Third Day song but here I am. God told Hosea to love Gomer. Gomer was a prostitute and was repeatedly unfaithful. God told Hosea to take her back and love her. He wasn’t given the option of “feeling” love for Gomer. He was obedient and unconditional.  (To get the whole story, read the book of Hosea). Third Day’s song, Gomer’s Theme, is precious to me as it reminds me that I am loved no matter how far I stray but it also reminds to me to love others even though they don’t deserve it. It’s a beautiful song – do take a listen. (And this is why Third Day psycho fans are called Gomers – so we can tell you that you are loved no matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done. )

When I am having a hard time with another because they’re being…human….I flex my bicep (what there is of one) and say, “It’s time to exercise (imaginary kiss of the bicep) the Agape Muscle.” It ain’t easy but if you don’t use it, i.e. get comfortable being bitter, discontent, unforgiving, prideful and selfish, you will develop Love Atrophy and, while you may feel very justified for being so, you will end up in a spiritual wheelchair. Good luck with that.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Thanks for hanging in there with me for such a long one. That was very unconditional of you.

Time to excercise :* the Agape Muscle!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

The Last Supper- “Will you marry me?”

I’m trying to establish routine so I’ll post more often. I know myself and if I have  a “system” for something, I’m able to work it. I figure Sunday is a good day for “Eye Drops & Q-Tips” – “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matt. 13:15-16

I know God has spoken into my life, but He has spoken into so many others that have blessed me, convicted me, taught me and challenged me. So I am compelled to share what they have to say once in awhile.

So I give you the anointed Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North. The first time I saw TAN in concert,  I was blown away by the teaching of  this amazing Jesus Freak and his passion for the Word and for others. Be blessed!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Love is not blind

“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.” –Rabbi Julius Gordon

I’ll be honest. I’ve always thought that phrase “Love is blind” is stupid. On the one hand, if you love someone without knowing (seeing) them, you don’t really love that person; you love your idea of who that person is or you love pretending to love or you “really have a good impression of them and could possibly love them….eventually.”  On the other hand, if you REALLY know someone, odds are you see crud that isn’t very loveable. If a person REALLY knows you, they see the same in you. Makes love a tad inconvenient, I think. And, frankly, exhausting at times.

So much has been written about unconditional love and commitment, I’m not sure I need to add to the list but I do have a different angle at the moment. My thing is- why do I bother? Why do I keep loving or trying to love people who make it difficult? Especially when they don’t return the favor.  I just want to be loved where I’m at. You know? Unconditionally? I don’t need every stinking shortcoming pointed out.  OH, and how I love it when I hear I’ve been mentioned in conversations where I was not present. (It’s okay – I know they’re just jealous they’re not as awesome as me.) I have been stabbed in the back, belittled, berated, exasperated and exhausted from folks not willing “to see less because they see more.”  I want to “return the favor” sometimes and often, I do. Other times, I just give up. But something keeps bringing me back for more.  I could just leave these people behind. “Eat my dust.” That’s what I want to do. But, apparently, I’m a child of God and He won’t let me. I say apparently because, I confess,  I see how bad I can be, like those folks who see more, and I hear the voices say I really can’t be adopted or I wouldn’t be so bad.  Quite often, I’m the exasperating one who loves conditionally and can be difficult to love.

But Christians have the Holy Spirit in them and I know He’s in me because He won’t let me quit, grows love in me when I want to hate, gives me joy when I feel depressed, lifts the guilt when I know I’m guilty and helps me find love in others when “those” others show how me NOT to love. So why love?

Jesus loved me enough to die for me. I didn’t do anything worthy of that. In fact, quite the opposite. Motherhood has given me a taste of why Jesus did what He did. These little people can drive me crazy but I love them like crazy! They can act stupid, annoying, & infuriating (kind of like me) but I love them enough to die for them. I don’t claim to love as unconditionally as Christ (as evidenced by this post) but I can say He has done something in me that doesn’t make any sense – He loves me and His love is in me. It sounds weird but it’s the only explanation for why I love the jerks in my life.  That doesn’t mean I have to be a glutton for punishment – one of my mantras is “I have enough of my own drama. I don’t need anyone else’s.” But it’s a comfort to me just to know I love another because I can’t help myself – it’s a Jesus Freak thing.

SO, ya freaks, just ‘cause I love ya doesn’t mean I don’t see how rotten you are, too. It just means us brothers and sisters in Christ can be rotten together and know that when God looks at us, He sees what Jesus did for us so that’s what we should see, too.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Hoping for a growth spurt

SO….for the first time in about a decade, I went to a ladies Bible study Friday. The subject matter, of all things, is contentment and peace. The book we’re studying is Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and I’m sure it’s just a coincidence the ladies started a study on a subject I happen to be struggling with at the moment.  Actually, I felt compelled to join because of the subject matter AND because of the lovely ladies participating. I confess I have not been in the Word nor have I been praying through my struggles. I’ve been “avoiding.”

I was given a book A LONG time ago called Always Daddy’s Girl by a counselor who observed habits I had developed during my upbringing in relation to my father. The book addresses how a girl’s relationship with her earthly father has a profound effect on her relationship with pretty much everybody but especially her heavenly Father. SO,  I have this flaky thing I do – when I know I’m not “living up” to my Father’s expectations, I “avoid” Him.  Yea, I know, AS IF one could really avoid God.  And, yes, we are to put childish ways behind is but it’s always beneficial to realize the weird things we do and why we do them.  When I was growing up, if I knew I was doing something that would earn my father’s displeasure, I would, of course avoid him. Because my father was volatile and unpredictably angered, I avoided him a lot. So, the more I’m afraid of displeasing God, the more I avoid Him, the further away from I pull and “hide” (laughable), the more I struggle with my bents toward sin, the more displeasing I am, the more I avoid…you get the idea.

Something else I’ve observed in myself and others, the more disappointed  I am with myself, the more discontent I become with my circumstances and those around me. Dang! Will I ever learn?

So I opened up this book and on the first page I read, “What we are on the inside, what we continually think about, eventually shows in our words, actions, and even on our countenances.” O-U-C-H.  Yea, we all know this but sometimes we need smacked in the face with the reminder. We all try to do this wife & mom thing in our own strength but our families see right through it.  Their reactions to our behavior speak volumes.  We tell ourselves, “but I’m trying so hard.” Oh, pooh, who are we kidding? I CANNOT be who God wants me to be in my own strength. Duh. So why do I try?  I’ve spent A LOT of energy of worrying about our business, money, struggles, you name it. That draws me closer to God how? Losing sleep just makes me…tired.  SO, I’m praying that I wise up and learn from these sisters in Christ and learn from the book that which will draw me closer to God, to my family and friends, to contentment and closer to His likeness.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle