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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Completion

I am innately a procrastinator... and I get sidetracked. I have been accused of having too many irons in the fire and not finishing projects. However, I will defend myself by adding to my list of confessions... "I work better under pressure!"
Having said that - please understand - I LOVE the feeling I get when I have accomplished a task. I like to make "To Do" lists, mainly for the gratification of checking items DONE off my list!
As this year closes, I am feeling immensely accomplished! I have finished my Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Alternative Medicine! Every day since my first class in August 2008 until my final exam on December 17, 2011, was a challenge. I learned to structure my time and LIFE to fit around an internet connection and the college deadlines I was given. We traveled more in ministry than we ever have before; and yet I managed to keep it all together. (Dare I mention that I made the Dean's List with a 4.0 every single semester? To God be the glory!) I burned the midnight oil and set my alarm hours earlier just to keep the pace. So here I am - at 52 years of age - and I've finally FINISHED something major on my bucket list!
I am excited to see what Twenty-Twelve and the future holds. I know that Jesus has never left my side. I have leaned on Him... felt His nudge and urging to succeed. I have rested in His confidence and approval. He has been my strength and has ordered my steps all the way. The details He worked out were amazing... and many times, I KNEW He was purposefully orchestrating calendars and timelines to accommodate me. (For example... my Dad passed away in April of 2010. It was no small thing to me - nor could I see it as a coincidence - that his last week on this earth was during my Spring Break... I was able to give my undivided attention to him and my family.)
My husband has also been amazing. His support and consideration of my work-load were second to none. (He should get some kind of Diploma or Award for putting up with me!) I tried not to allow my college work to alter our lifestyle and ministry... but I do feel if anyone got short-changed it was Jeff. I could not have finished this degree without him! Late nights and early mornings became the norm for me - and he kept me balanced and took me "away" from it all every chance he could, (always making sure I had a strong wireless internet connection!) I think he is really the only one in my family who understands how hard I worked to get through the program.
So... I have never been where I am right now. I am walking in unfamiliar territory. Will my career take off and pay off? Will I have to get a J.O.B. to pay for these student loans? What lies ahead? I may not know the answer to these questions... but I do know that God is in control and in charge of my life. When cancer knocked at my door in 2008 at the beginning of this journey, God gave me this scripture... Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." NIV
He is God and I'm not... and that thought gives me peace! Twenty-twelve... here I come!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Third Dimension: Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall


The Third Dimension: Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

"The Girl Nobody Sees"

(This is the last post in a series of four on this subject)

This girl hides deep within your pain. Her image has been emblazoned into the core of your being by the people you love the most.
She may occasionally show her face as:
            Comedian
            Rebel
            Anger-Rage
            Shyness
As I mentioned in my first post in this Mirror, Mirror Series; the authors John and Staci Eldridge, in their book entitled, "Captivating", believe that every little girl is born with these questions burning in their soul... "Am I lovely? Do you see me? Do you want me? Am I captivating?"   
Unfortunately, many times the people we love are themselves dysfunctional or unsafe people. When they are the ones giving the answer to our questions – we get confused.
     
     We interpret this by feeling one of two ways...
  • I'm not enough (disappointment)
  • I'm too much (overwhelming)
This is wrong programming. Wrong information is dumped into our brain and we accept it as truth. When we begin to look to “people” to identify and validate us… we are setting ourselves up for failure.
I recently plugged my phone into the charger - well... I thought I was plugging it into its charger. Actually I had grabbed the cord to my Bluetooth. Immediately a message came on the screen of my phone that intrigued me... It read, "Wrong Power Source". 

     When we turn to people to meet our needs or 
     to fulfill our lives - they are incapable. No wonder
     we end up feeling let down, depressed and 
     devastated. We're plugged in to the wrong 
     power source!

Only Jesus can meet these needs!
Husband can’t – momma can’t – kids can’t – career can’t – not even our THERAPIST can!

The result of all this pain - is a WOUNDED SPIRIT. Burying this pain can cause bitterness and bitterness will poison your spirit and destroy your soul.

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear 
Hebrews 12:15
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;  
A root wraps around other roots and when it is pulled up it affects all the plants growing around it. Bitterness affects everyone in our lives.

Okay... so what to do about it? I don't want to just point out the problem without pointing you towards the solution.

The key to healing a wounded spirit is forgiveness.

I recently learned these four steps of forgiveness. Pray through these steps and allow God to see the Girl That Nobody Sees. Release her pain and receive healing.


  1. Forgive and release –  tell God WHAT happened. Call 
      names. Re-live the pain again… then release it. (From this 
      moment I forgive and release this resentment, hatred and 
      bitterness against ________. I release all feelings of anger, 
      helplessness and hopelessness because they no longer 
      serve me on my spiritual journey.)
   2. Ask God to forgive the person who wounded you. – Acts  
       7:59-60 Stephen prayed,"Lay not this sin to their  
       charge…"   Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them…"   
       Now... take it a step farther and ask God to not only      
       forgive them, but to forget it, and never make these 
   people pay for their actions. 
3. Forgive yourself – verbally (abortion, molestation, 
    adultery, fornication, poor choices) 

    (As of this moment, I forgive myself for __________ and I 
    release all resentment I have held against myself for this 
    failure.)
4. Forgive God – for allowing the pain, hurt, injury. 
    (molestation, rape, abuse, death of a child) 
    (God, although you knew what was happening to me - 
     and you did nothing to intervene - I forgive You and I 
     accept what happened as Your divine purpose for 
     my life. I trust that You felt it was necessary for me to 
     become the person You desire me to be.)

 
Reflections
Look within that mirrored glass,
Look through the failures in your past
Look beyond your hair and eyes
Look behind your alibis
Don’t let this day grow into years
You mustn’t live up to your fears
Dreams unborn, hopes unspoken,
Tears un-cried, will unbroken
Unsung songs, books unwritten
Unsaid words, withheld forgiveness
It’s “Clear your heart time”
Unleash your wisdom
Abundant Life is HOW you live it
Set her free! She’s your best friend.
She’s the one – you hide within.
wwc - 1998

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trust Issues

Some of my earliest memories involve being in the car with my family. We lived in southern Ohio... very hilly terrain... which facilitated exhilarating rides when Dad was driving. One second, you're sitting mesmerized in your seat with the sun flickering through the trees - in an almost hypnotic daze - then suddenly the road drops out from under the car and your stomach is in your throat! There were no seat-belts in those old vehicles, and bodies would be catapulting into each other... and the silent meditative state was interrupted with little girls squealing and my Mom's sweet, but firm voice - "Stanley". That was always her response... just "Stanley"... (being interpreted as "Why in the world do you always speed over these dips when you know you're going to cause chaos?")
Immediately, my sister Debbie would start begging, "Slow down Dad... please slow down!" (Debbie is four years older than me - and she was always trying to keep everybody calmed down and behaving... come to think of it, she still is!) However, when we hit that first DIP in the road - I knew that there were about five more coming before we got to our house... I would be hanging over the back of the front seat - yelping... "Faster, Daddy!Go faster - faster!" He couldn't get too fast for me! At four years of age, this was the highlight of my day! "Faster! Faster, Daddy!" Only Mom's steady repetitions of "Stanley" ...and Debbie finally melting into tears - kept Dad from shooting us off the side of the hill into outer-space! At four years of age - my Daddy was my Superman... I trusted him explicitly and believed with all my heart that he could do anything!
Flash forward ten years... traveling that same road - I remember holding a pillow in front of my face as I held my breath and prayed for God to get me out of the car safely away from this maniac driver!
What changed? I had the same Dad. He had not changed. But something had DEFINITELY changed in me! I just didn't trust him at fourteen like I had at four. No... he had never ran me off a cliff or lost control of the car... but I had a lot more knowledge about safety and limitations of vehicles than I had ten years prior. Had my wisdom caused me to lose faith?
For some reason I have been contemplating this question lately. 
Why is it so hard for us "mature Christians" to trust God?  
The new Christians have all the faith in the world! Us older and wiser saints, just smile and shake our heads as we observe their excitement and enthusiasm. We remember those days of unwavering faith! But what's changed? We still have the same God. He has not changed. 
Have we seen too many people die of cancer to believe that He is STILL the Healer? Have we seen too many marriages break up to believe that He can STILL revitalize relationships? Have we seen too many families file bankruptcy to believe that He can STILL perform financial miracles?
I know this... 
Knowledge is powerful. But knowledge must not compromise Faith! 
The knowledge of this world cannot comprehend the supernatural power of God! We must not allow our maturity level to squelch our trust level. I pray that God will give me the grace to keep on trusting Him - even though my understanding has been clouded by my knowledge...

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him. 
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus. Precious Jesus.
Oh for grace to trust Him more.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 
Mark 9:23  

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: 
for with God all things are possible. 
Mark 10:27

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Second Wind

During my "power-walk" workout this morning - I had an epiphany. I had reached that point - you know that point I'm talking about - where I was struggling. My heart was pumping, my lungs were on fire, my leg muscles were screaming... but I KNEW that if I just kept up the pace - in just a few minutes - I'd catch my second wind! And then, after that second wind, I knew I'd be fine - I would even be able to speed up a bit.
        So this is what I learned... in that eclipse of weakness and strength... about that second wind.

That burst of energy and lung expansion would not come - could not come, 
until I had reached my physical limits. 

          I could picture my self - just a few months ago - sitting in my recliner, tired and drained after a busy day, thinking of all the things still left to do. I remember thinking, "I'll just sit here until I catch my second wind, then I'll get up and get at it." However, I honestly DON'T remember ever "getting at it" or getting that second wind.
          You see, you won't catch that second wind sitting on the couch. It only comes when you've exhausted your own energies and capabilities.
          I felt God speaking to me as the surge of fresh air purged my lungs, and new strength energized my workout. The physical is a parallel of the spiritual. If I will expend myself - He will flow into me and breathe fresh life into my spirit. But as long as I am full of my own power and my own strength, I will never catch that splendid second wind. Oh, how I need that burst of strength and power in my life.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; 
they shall run, and not be weary
and they shall walk, and not faint

The Second Dimension "Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall"

Second Dimension
"The Girl You See"
When you look in the mirror, what do YOU see? Most of us are the same. What we see is never quite good enough. Too fat... too skinny... too short... too tall. We hate our nose - or lips - or wish our hair was curly - or straight... our skin is too pale - so we tan... or its too dark - so we stay out of the sun. We wear blue contacts because we hate brown eyes...
This image reflects our response to how we feel about ourselves.
We look in the mirror and we know we could do better – we dismiss every compliment – in fact compliments make us downright uncomfortable. I mean, seriously, how could anyone really think I'm pretty - smart - or talented? Can't they SEE what I see? To deal with this distorted image - we hide - because we are afraid. Afraid and in denial.
We hide like Eve and Adam.
         We hide behind a new hair color – cut – or style.
         Some hide behind several layers of makeup and lipstick.
         There are lots of hiding places... Careers are a classic, busy place to immerse ourselves. Children... we can become invisible for a decade or two while we raise these little people. 
         When we tire of hiding - we cover up how disgusted we are with ourselves by over-indulging or obsessing. Gluttonous eating. Excessive shopping. Obsessive cleaning. Abusing prescription or illegal drugs.
          Have you fallen prey to Lucifer's lies? His hatred towards your beauty fills his every thought. He wants to destroy you because your purpose is crucial in the grand scheme of things. Remember your purpose? Yes... your purpose as a woman is to attract the world to God! This is why satan's plan is to defeat you before you can even step away from your bathroom mirror.
          Now, don't go anywhere! 
          Let's get another opinion... The only opinion that really matters!

Song of Solomon 2:10-13 
My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away 

Song of Solomon 4:7 
Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee...

You are perfect in God's eyes. You are enough for Him. He is in love with YOU. He designed you! Your eye color, he carefully chose as he considered your skin tone and hair. You are not an accident, but a work of art designed by the Master of creation. He sings with delight and feels like dancing because of you (Zeph 3:17) 

          So, my dear, when you look in the mirror... I pray that the girl you see, will clearly be the girl Jesus sees and loves and chose to die for.

Stay tuned... one more dimension coming... 
                    The Girl Nobody Sees...