Monday, March 31, 2014

Being too much...

Today I am tired of being "not enough."  I am tired of the you are "too"  in life....too old, too ugly, too mean, too unhealthy looking, you are too unlovable because...,  you say the wrong things, you speak too ugly to me and make me feel bad, you don't support me and never have, you make me feel too stupid and always have, you make me feel wrong, you shove God in my face too much, you are too imperfect, you talk to the wrong person, you are just "too" in every sense of the negative, you are too angry, you are too spiteful,you have spent too much of my my money,  you are making this too hard, you won't work with me, and don't forget "you talk about the Bible and look at the way you act.",  your children act the way they do because of you.  You never gave enough.. All I keep being told is how "too" everything I am that is wrong in this world, it seems everywhere I turn..  If I make a mistake (an honest, unintentional mistake) I am evil and looking to hurt someone. If I show weakness and hurt I bring frustration and anger.  There is no grace and no mercy...just a reminder of how "too" much I am. 

Sometimes I think I need to act on this  "too" list.  Maybe I should be too mean, maybe I should try to hurt others, maybe I should talk to the wrong person, maybe I should be spiteful, maybe I should make it too hard, maybe I should make some mistakes...since I am already "too much." 

Maybe,  just maybe,  I should let the truth release me to be truly "too" much....

This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, 
declares the Lord, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies. 
~Jeremiah 13:25


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Overwhelmed



You know how sometimes you get an opportunity and you are just excited because it is something you love to do?  That is usually the way I feel when a book comes my way to review.  I was especially excited when asked a few weeks ago to review Perry Noble’s new book, Overwhelmed…anyone else seeing any irony in this? Little did I know, my world would fall apart almost as soon as I receive the review copy. Anyway, I have been reading and plugging along through this book and wondering about God’s real sense of humor when it comes to me (yeah, I do think I am THAT important and my life is part of His personal comedy hour.)

The thing is, I normally would have read this book in probably one or two sittings, but because of what I was going through and being….wait for itoverwhelmed, I had to read, digest, pray, repeat...read, digest, pray, repeat (you get the idea.)  I had to repeat not because it is a hard read but because I was just struggling with the fact that this book was written for me…for just a time as this.  The full title is Overwhelmed, Winning the War Against Worry and if you have been reading my blog as of late you are probably rolling in the floor laughing, laughing, laughing. 

This is a book written by a Pastor, no less, who actually admits to being anxious, worried, stressed, in despair and here is the big one…depressed.  Can you imagine???  Isn’t it a complete prerequisite to being a Christian that we avoid these non-Christian emotions at all cost???  I know I wish that were the case, because I would be on that boat in a New York minute.  There are so many passages in this book I wish I could share and so many that hit me smack in between my eyes (and not in a pleasant way to be sure.)  I was in the process of reading this book as my husband ended our marriage and overwhelmed is probably an understatement but so many things made sense to me because of Overwhelmed and Perry Noble’s personal perspective. 

Some major clarity came to me in this passage, “I once heard someone say that when we rationalize, we tell “rational lies.” Your line of thinking may go something like this:  …The world is always going to pressure us to bow to something other than God because we feel that when we do we are in control. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.” (Overwhelmed, Perry Noble 2014.)  I realized that someone I loved dearly was rationalizing their (and my) entire life and managing to tell “rational lies” to themselves and others.  It was a hard, hard reality check…but it was true.  It made me hurt and it made me hurt for them, knowing that they were lying to themselves more than anyone else and no matter how much they “rationalized” it still wasn’t God’s truth and I could be confident in that fact. 

Noble reminds me repeatedly to question “Will we focus on the size of our problem or the size of our God? The reality is, we can’t do both….And we really do have an enemy who is trying to keep us imprisoned. Jesus said Satan is the father of lies (see John 8:44) and that the enemy’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy us (see John 10:10). He will attack our minds, trying to get us to focus on all the things we have no control over.” (Overwhelmed, Perry Noble 2014.) 

I need to hear over and over, “One of the most powerful lies the enemy will whisper to you in your darkest times is that you are all alone – that no one wants to hear what you are going through and you should just give up.  But life isn’t meant to be lived alone! Even Jesus didn’t do life alone.  If you are struggling with anxiety, fear, worry, and doubt you need to understand a few things:  You are not the only one who has had to battle this tough situation...Even though the storm you are experiencing is intense, He is greater than your storm.” (Overwhelmed, Perry Noble 2014.) 

Very rarely to I feel like a book is written for everyone but this one is a rare gem.  It will be released on April 1, 2014. I can guarantee you won’t come away from the pages of this book unchanged.



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Friday, March 28, 2014

Signing My Life Away...

Have you ever used that term, "I am signing my life away?"  It seems I have heard it when people are financing a new car or house, or even getting married. It is said in a comical way because for their signature they are generally acquiring something they really, really want...even at a high cost.

But this week, I signed my signature on a document I never wanted to sign; a  document I never wanted to see.  I was forced to sign a document I have prayed and begged not to have to sign.  I literally signed my life away and got nothing in return... except emptiness, broken heartedness,  the loss of someone I have loved my entire life, my hopes, and my dreams. I stood in a cold, sterile office shaking, with tears streaming down my face, as a stranger witnessed my signature and notarized the documents and tried to say the right things to make it easier.  There are no words that make this easier. There are no right things when divorce is wrong. "The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect...(Malachi 2:16 NIV).”  I just truly never thought we would be here.  I believed our marriage to be blessed, even with all the hard things that were involved.    Now there is nothing to make this right or just or ok....just nothing. I so desperately want a miracle.

I am clinging to a thread knowing that my God is in control and that HE loves me.  I am weary from the battle and  I don't like my new life, I don't want this new life but I love my God and am having to trust Him and when I look into the faces of my 3 sweet babies I know He is full of love, mercy and grace.  

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
~Psalm 62:8

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Worn thin...

Today was a day I have looked forward to...the first day of Spring.  It arrived with a beautiful face and promises of bright days ahead.  But, tonight, my heart is feeling worn thin and I am so very tired that my body hurts and tears are flowing freely.  All of my children are in pain and they truly need more than I have to give and it is killing me. 

The enemy is attacking and I hear his whispers, "You can't fight, you won't win...not tonight...it is too hard...you are too tired...you are too alone, you aren't enough, you never have been.  If you were a good Mom you wouldn't be doing this alone..I will bring them down one by one.  It is a lost cause.."  He is cornering me.  He is shouting rather than whispering... and I am stumbling.

I just want something to be easy....just something.  I want my children to be safe and out of this battle.  I don't want to fight for just a little while, I want someone to fight for me.. I want to lay down and be held and my hair rubbed and someone to tell me it will be OK.  Tonight...it hurts. 

Then Jesus said, 
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
 and I will give you rest".
~Matthew 11:28
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Make me empty...so I can be filled...

Where do I even start?  There are so many words jumbled in my mind and heart I can't seem to make heads or tails of them.  This week has been one of the most challenging of my life.  I have been forced to make decisions I never wanted to make and I had to step out in faith...in faith alone.  I have had to watch my children's hearts break anew. I have dried more tears than I ever hoped to see in a lifetime, especially from my children.  I have had my moments of just wanting to crawl into a hole and never come out.  It has been hard.  It just seems too hard, it hurts too much, I am so tired of failing. 

But through the hard....I truly haven't been alone.  God is faithful and He has been here and He is providing and blessing me more than I deserve.  Even when my heart doesn't feel it, I know it.  My heart is fallible but My Jesus is not.  I have cried tears of my own this week...some from the over flowing blessings and some from over flowing pain and I keep singing this song and praying for peace.
)

Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me--now let me rejoice.
~Psalm 51:8


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Thursday, March 06, 2014

I was five again today...

I was five today, walking up the long walk to a distinguished house that has now been converted into Law offices. This is a house I remember from my childhood that I thought was so beautiful and fancy.  I felt like a child when I pushed open the heavy, glass inlaid door and then sat in the the huge leather chairs that made my feet swing above the floor. Today, I was five again, and I was scared.  I was a little girl about to face the unknown.  To pass the time I admired the gorgeous, antique, cut crystal chandeliers and the architectural gems that the building showcased...but I still felt tiny, small, and alone. But then I remembered...I wasn't alone.  God was there.  Jesus had gone before me.  He had prepared me for just a moment such as this.  He washed me in peace and I didn't cry when it was time to sit across a big table and tell my story to a stranger.  He didn't let me get angry or bitter.  He just held on to me and kept me breathing, even though my feet didn't touch the floor.  It was a horrible day by all accounts but today I didn't not cry so I am counting it in the win category!
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 
Do not fear; I will help you. 
~Isaiah 41:13
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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Pruning...



New seasons of life can bring joy, excitement, love and then other new seasons can bring endings, pain and changes you never wanted.  I wish I could say I was in one of the joy, excitement and love seasons, but I am not.  I have been forced to take a new path. It is not a path I have ever wanted and tried to avoid it, but I am here and have to walk it alone.  It is scary and I kind of keep watching the skies for attacks from flying monkeys and am really wishing for some sparkly red pumps to make me feel better. 

I have spent literally days on my knees over the last few months begging, pleading and crying out to God and although He chose not to answer my prayers in the way that I wanted…He did answer them.  He is bigger than my problems.  He has opened my heart and my mind up and told me that He is “enough.”  He will be with me.  He will love me when I am unlovable by man’s standards.  He is enough.  Jesus is my all and all.

As a gardener, there are times that pruning is difficult and painful but necessary.  There have been times I have had to prune roses and tears came to my eyes not just from pricks from the thorns but because I hated to lose the growth and the current blooms.  I just hated it, even though I knew it was the only way for the plant to survive or I had no choice because it had grown in a uncontrollable, wayward direction.  It hurts, this pruning that is being done in my life and I have fought against it, but I am trusting in a Jesus that has a plan and His plans are greater than mine.  

He cuts of every branch in me that bears no fruit,
while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
~John 15:2

So, I will ask for a prayer or two if you are so inclined, as I still get scared and it hurts a lot. I hope you will come along on my journey of loss, learning and healing and be patient if my writing seems glum at times.  I am determined not to get mired in the misery of bitterness and don’t want to miss another beautiful moment in life.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
 ~2 Corinthians 12:9



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