Toxic Waste

15 Feb

Quiet reflection- we get this one life. One go of this. We find love, we find times of great happiness, we also suffer times of heartache and sorrow. We have successes and failures, times we are too busy and times we feel alone. We buy houses, get married, get divorced, become widowed.
We find beautiful friendships and we gain those that are not our friends.

We become wiser, maybe a bit harder. We worry, we stress, we pray and spend way too many hours and sleepless nights over things that never actually happen.

It ’s interesting the things you see when you heal. When you are whole and right with God, when you have made amends with others and yourself.

You see the poison you drank so willingly. The hours you’ve wasted worrying. The thousands of words you’ve turned inward on yourself; the lies, the negative thoughts and condemnation you allow yourself to speak over yourself. The times you’ve poured out poison, when you let that spill out and hurt others. The times and ways you’ve been toxic because you were afraid!

I was thinking about my doggy. She has a new thing that is vicious- (like us with words), when she has been at camp where she probably can’t get away from the other dogs, she is touchy, she is exhausted. Now, during the night, if I move (under the covers,) she lashes out, snarls and bites. She is not aggressive by nature. She is not hurt. She is scared. That’s us. We are most toxic when we are scared.

The injured child inside that learned to deal, to cope, to survive usually in ways that are not healthy -because you were a child and didn’t know any better -becomes a knee jerk response. Let’s face it- Humans are pretty awful to one another and no one is above that statement.

God talks a lot about capturing our thoughts and that our words show the condition of our heart, our soul.

When we feel something, there was a thought that came first. So guard your thoughts, observe your thoughts, hold your tongue until you capture that thought. Examine it against truth.

I literally had a panic moment recently – I was going over it in my head- and suddenly I thought- but it didn’t happen! It’s a lie! You’re creating a lot of stress over something that literally hasn’t happened yet and isn’t happening now.

There is so much freedom that comes from laying it all down. Taking off the masks and compensations. There is so much joy, peace and freedom that comes from forgiving what’s been done. Freedom from getting personal with yourself and seeing anything that is wrong in your soul. Asking God to show you, to pull those roots out. The lies you’ve believed. The lies you’ve told. The traumas you’ve suffered and the traumas you have caused; Created perhaps.

When you can see the toxicity that spill out from your pain from your fear – you are set free.

I remember saying to friends that I yelled a lot at my kids. Basically the response was – “yeah we all do it.” Imagine if I had said, I’m spilling toxicity out on my kids, creating wounds to their sweet little souls.” Would we be so quick to say “it’s ok!”

There was a time during my menopause (I was young) that I literally was a lunatic at times. Hard on my husband, hard on my kids. I have suffered great losses and have been toxic in it all at times as well.

God has been showing me the sources of the wounds. He has given me courage and hope, has loved me deeper and bigger while I have let him rip it all out .

I have come to a beautiful place of peace. My seeking for that filling up of that hole inside has been realized. Trauma’s are healed.

I have a confidence I’ve never known, a sense of strength flowing into and through my heart. I know who God is. I am fully known by Him, always was, now I can look Him in the eye knowing He loved me anyway.

He has done this work in me. He has shown me my flaws, my deep wounds, my wrong thinking, my toxicity and how beautifully I am made.. My beautiful Father washed me white as snow. My sins are not remembered by him any longer.

Jesus took the full punishment for me. Freedom is peace. Love is a verb.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

27 Jan

I experienced one of those restless nights where you seem to wake constantly. I woke several times with thoughts of things I need to do or things I just can’t control. Work thoughts, house thoughts, issues that aren’t issues unless I allow myself to keep thinking them to issues…you know those nights. Nights like this leave me tired, frustrated and cranky and in need of extra guarding of my thoughts.

I’ve been practicing capturing of all of my thoughts and in the process have come to the understanding that so much of our trouble, our “feelings”, truly are the by product of what we think, what we believe about a situation, issue or event, how much time we have spent thinking about or focused on a thought. I believe many of our issues began as non-issues that we bent and twisted until we made it into an issue.

There are several scriptures that remind us not to trust our own mind or heart, to weigh it all against truth. Just a few such as 2 Corinthians 10:5 ‘casting down arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ”. Proverbs 3:5-7 tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your mind, all your heart and all our soul, and lean not on your own understanding, “ Jeremiah 17:9 tells us  “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it”

There is a saying “garbage in, garbage out”.  You can read scripture in the morning, spend time with God then spend the rest of the day talking about, reading about, listening to things about any topic and that will become your truth for the day. As you scroll through news outlets, social media postings, have the news on and literally bombard yourself with opinions and sensationalized negativity, by midday you can be depleted of humility, trust, submission to God and literally have lost your faith in the one truth that matters most.

What we focus on is so important for our mental well being as well as our spiritual well being, likely our physical well being as well.

When I journal, when I read scripture and remind myself all day of what is true, remind myself of who actually runs the show, who actually has it all figured out, I only need to work hard, focus on what is right in front of me, stay intentional in my day. When I unplug from the constant unrest of the world, and plug into His peace, I can see hope, I can see truth, I can be joyful even in really rough times. There is purpose in that peace. That is when I get to be part of the fruits of faith. That is when I might get the prompt to write, text or call someone, and never, not once, has the person not said “how did you know?”   That is a beautiful place of blessing and joy.

When we are busy fighting the world, plugging into our own ego or bombarding ourselves with bad news or worrying about things we really have zero control over, we can only be used as a weapon and likely most of that attack is against our own faith and well being.

When we are submitted, focused on His truth, making sure we surround ourselves with those that remind us;  that is how we keep ourselves centered on truth. It intentionally seeing we don’t have to participate in the chaos, unplugging from the lie of it all. We don’t have to speak our minds, fix the world, air our thoughts on social media or argue with others about who is right or wrong. The lie of our own hearts is that our opinion is going to do more than our prayer will; than ministering hope and truth will. Of being a light on a hill. Different than the rest, a beacon in the dark. Love.

Our mind is our enemy if we don’t control what we focus on, if we don’t measure our thoughts against truth. We have to be vigilant, at all times, the enemy is always prowling; seeking to rob your peace, your joy, your hope, and ultimately he wants to rob your faith in our Lord.  He uses you to do it to yourself.

I have learned for myself to not take myself too seriously, to remember the pause. Pause any reaction I may have and weigh it against truth. Learning to be quiet in it is more of a challenge. My heart is only part of the problem, my tongue is the other, but that is a “whole nuther topic”! This should be our vigilant effort every day: every thought should be seen as the battleground and our weapon is truth. Truth is, we have already won the war, we have a protector fighting battles we don’t even always see, we have a power that lives within us to do great and wonderous things for His purposes. We are His and He is ours, and we are meant to be a blessing from that blessed gift.  We need to die to our own thoughts and pick up His truth instead.
That is where the peace lies.

Introspection

26 Jan

I have been observing my own judgements, critical thoughts and negativity; Including reactions and offense lately.
While it’s not a constant for me -when you begin to focus on seeing your thoughts in action (good and bad) – you’d be surprised at what actually runs through your mind, let alone what you speak out loud.
I have also begun to ask myself why- why do I judge certain things- why do I react the way I do- what’s the trigger inside of me.
When we are followers of Christ, Our Lord teaches us to Love God, love ourselves and love others- love our enemies even.
If we don’t let love (His Love and our awe of that, our acceptance of that) permeate every fiber of our being, we make room for other things. Like the aforementioned.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, layer by layer- I become a better example of walking in truth and love.
And He promised to not finish in me until the work is completed …(Philippians 1:6)
I’m a handful for Him at times lol!
Ahhh -refinement is never easy, growth can be difficult, but the reason is perfectly amazing and the journey so rich -therefore-I take a deeper breath and continue with my journey, ask forebearance in the process and know His mercy is new every morning for me; Good good Father that He is. ❤️ (Romans12:2,Philippians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Advent Week 4: Love

20 Dec

2020 has certainly been a year to assess and reassess what truly matters. For me, I don’t think it was a new revelation to realize the greatest blessing I have is love. I have learned over a lifetime that it’s not about who loves us but rather- who we love.

Can you imagine loving us, the human race, as much as God does? We are a messy bunch! Certainly hard to love without condition and constantly. Yet, He loved us so much that He did everything, the very thing we could never do, to reconcile us to Him.

Even more so, can you imagine sacrificing your child so others could be saved? Especially someone that has backstabbed you, lied to you, rejected you, cheated on you, betrayed you, turned their back on you, only called you when they needed something. What about someone that caused you great loss and grief?

This kind of love is the love sent down from heaven on Christmas in the form of a baby- the child Jesus Christ. This is Agape Love.

That love is a gift. Freely given. Free for the accepting. Me- by definition of the Bible – adulterer, idolator- was not fit to be clean enough for heaven. Christ, the child sent as my sacrificial lamb to atone for my sin, made my sin clean -“washed white as snow”. I only had to accept it. Not earn it, not be “good enough” or clean enough on my own, but the realization that regardless of my sin, Christ perfected me.

This perfect beautiful baby boy born on Christmas is our greatest teacher of Love.

Love greatly. Love others with compassion because you have needed it. Love others with forbearance, because God is forbearing with you constantly. When you have been saved, love that salvation to the depth of wanting everyone to share it.

Christmas is such a perfect time to get humble and ask what you really believe. A time to reflect on who you have decided Christ is. I know that we are all looking at this Christmas star and wondering what the meaning is for this generation, in this time, at this time of year. Especially in this year, 2020.

Seek, ask, pray, reflect, ask Him into your heart, ask Him to show you, lead you, guide you. Begin with saying “ Thank you for Christmas, for freedom, for hope, for your Perfect Love.” Amen

““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Advent Week 3: Joy (Are you kidding me?)

13 Dec

When the world feels heavy, those times when it is overwhelming: We can lose hope, lose joy, lose God. We can know that God is always near and not be able to feel Him what so ever (note: He never changes, He is always right with us, steady, it is us that changes).
The hallow words of well meaning friends can tell us “God has a reason, or God has this, just pray, or give it to God”. I probably have said those words to friends suffering in some way or another myself.

What I have realized the past week or so, as I battle a depressing spirit, sometimes this world and our circumstances are actually too heavy, too hard to simply brush off that easily. We are not alone in this, I think we all have to wrestle depression, even work through doubts of faith, at times.

I read today in James to consider it Joy when we have trials. It seems I am always in a hard space when I am studying and this is my scripture. Sounds insensitive and bit trite to what one can go through. This scripture in my past, also could make me feel like a failure when I didn’t feel joy. Another expectation I can’t live up to.

Life really is the ups and the downs, the hurts and losses.  We all have or will have times we literally don’t know how we are going to get through something. Life can literally be more than we can bear, we can suffer such sorrow that we are forever changed in the process. God doesn’t say, “brush it off”, He doesn’t say “pull yourself up by your boot straps” or  “Count your blessings.” James didn’t say BE Joyful. He said consider it.

Our God is a God of compassion. Much better at it than we are as humans. He tells us to bear with one another, encourage. Truth is, even in a house full, even in a loved filled life, we do battle alone, inside our own hearts, our own heads. He loved us and knew we needed Him so much yet the task of being good enough on our own, doing this all on our own, was too big. He gave us His son. His son was that sacrifice of atonement because He loves us that much. His Christ Child, born to die, for all of mankind. Jesus suffered and was tormented too. In the garden he suffered so greatly he sweat blood. He was tormented and wanted his friends to help in this process. But in the end it was He and God alone. The key here is God was there with him. In the torment. In the suffering. 

In our times of suffering, He says, “Be still, rest in me, come all you weary and find rest for your weary soul. “ He is arms open and patient with our state of being. He is gentle and loving, full of grace and comfort. Trust in Him that there will be beauty made from these ashes, because he says that.

This is the Joy and the Hope of the Lord.

This amazing God that knew what we would suffer, what our brokenness and hardship would be said, we don’t have to be able to navigate this hard world by ourselves. He says, stop trying to be good enough and stop trying to live up to some perceived expectation. Come to me. Let me heal you. Let me hold you. Let me soothe you with my words, my presence.I will build you back up again. I will never leave you alone. I will never abandon you or reject you. I will never let anything overcome you or take what I meant for you, away from you. Lean in. I will guide you. Trust me.

Trust me with all of it. Your security, your children, your very life. It’s going to be a hard road and you will have a lot of challenges. With or without me, sweet child, but why would you do this alone? Without hope of more?

Joy is this weeks Advent Candle.  We may not feel joy of spirit but we can choose to know there is joy in this season. At the end of the day. I know, with all that I am, that Joy does comes in the morning. I may not see it in the present but trust it is there in my future. One day, this world will end, then my Joy will be everlasting. Today, there is nothing more I need to do but rest. He will soothe my weary soul.



“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13


“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Acts 2:28

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

“Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered”. Hebrews 5:8


Week 2:Peace

6 Dec

A high school friend died this week, unexpectedly. He was a strong conservative and of course, because of the crazy that was 2020, did battle with a few on social media. I also saw that at the end of the day, the argument was forgotten and the sadness at his passing set in.

When I look back at this past year, I see frustration, anger, fighting, confusion…fear, isolation and loneliness. I see friendships that have been torn apart over the lie of temporary chaos. This is simply not how we are meant to live.

People are not meant to be so unkind and judgemental of one another. We are built to need each other. We are built to love. We are built to seek Peace, not separation.

Peace is different that happiness. Peace isn’t about circumstances. I have spoken to people at end of life that are so peaceful to talk with, my mom was one of them. She had zero fear and was very accepting, very peaceful about her life coming to an end.

Peace cannot live within a heart that has unforgiveness, hate, anger. Peace cannot live in heart that wants to control others, or judges others. Peace is surrender, acceptance, hope. It is higher than what the world offers.

I have found a Peace, a rest for my weary soul, in my Lord. He is a balm at all times away from the clamor of this crazy world. He is my hope, when I get bogged down. He is my calm when I am troubled, or anxiety wants to creep in.

There is a song from the 70’s that said..Give Peace a chance… I say.. seek the Peace that is perfect, the Prince of Peace this Christmas. It literally changed everything for me. Everything.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6

First Sunday of Advent

29 Nov

Week 1: Hope (or promise)

Anticipation,expectancy, look forward to, aim
I have come to the opinion, we can have too much to be able to really be grateful, be humble, be happy.
In a land that is extremely blessed and rich, we sure can get distracted and lose hope so easily. Have we gotten so used to getting that we have forgetten that our blessings remain, even when things don’t go like we planned, even those times we can’t see them.
I see people be tossed to and fro, to be swept up in external battles- I spent a lifetime doing that – most of which I pretty much created myself. I see people lose site of love, to the extreme of severing life long friendships over a moment of less than perfect behaviors (all of us are this at some point), misunderstandings and perceptions…politics! It is so sad to me.

I have a hope in my heart for a more peaceful time. Hope for a reconciliation.
Hope is amazing. It is the future, it is the acceptance that nothing lasts forever. It makes everything easier to endure. I can’t imagine life without hope! I’ve been in that dark place myself. But God!

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer” Psalm 94:19.

On this first Advent Sunday, I pray Hope is at the center of your heart. I put my hope in Christ, He is my rock. I have found my unshakeable Hope in Him and my soul is at peace. Its Christmastime. -Time to really strip off the world and remember where our Hope really lies. Amen.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. […] Isaiah 9:2
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.
Psalm 33:22

The Bible

22 Nov

The bible is man written, made up, meant to control. The bible is basically fiction. The bible is______________ ….fill in the blanks. I hear that frequently. Truth be told, I have had a hard time swallowing it as truth myself. I didn’t start by just reading it. I began by hearing it on Sundays. Then I began doing bible studies. I knew I didn’t know what was in it, and there were scholars that did. I learned. There was a lot of books I didn’t get, some are still hard to explain…(Leviticus, Job…Numbers! Lol) Being skeptical is perfectly acceptable.

What happens though when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit…(that moment that every single thing changes and you are aware of Him all around you. His presence is felt, this Love, this hope, this joy, and everything you see is different.) Which, is a whole other writing!! Suddenly the bible becomes different. Weirdly different. It reads different, it flows different, it makes more sense. ..Not stories, but rather it becomes constantly relevant, constantly changing.

I want to be very clear here. We don’t grow instantly. We actually, like Christ did, learn from our trial, from “what we suffer”.  We are all the same, at the core. Born perfect but also with rebellion and ego. *think toddler here… “Mine, No”.   But the most important, most relevant part of God is Him. He created us, and He loves us…fully, without any buts. Not because we have earned it or deserve it, but because He IS Love. It is His nature. It has taken me 10 years to find that perfect peace, no matter what, and I still don’t walk in that all the time. I just come back to it quicker.

The bible is The Word of God. The bible describes itself as honey, rain, milk, a light to our path. It is the seed, like fire, alive, powerful, a double-edged sword; it is a hammer that breaks through rocks. It is spirit and life.

The word of God is used to harm, to control, to manipulate, to reject, to prove oneself… by man. Not by God. When we have the Holy Spirit in us and learn and grow, we become more equipped to tell the difference.

The Word of God reveals itself to us. Weird, but true.  Most importantly, with our without our acceptance, it is truth. Truth lives, lies die. Every time.  The word is meant to teach and reprove..redirect…training. The word has stood the test of time and many generations.

It is pretty daunting, the bible… but I do believe that everyone should educate themselves before they reject something. I preach the same thing about Hospice.

If I were to tell you to read the bible in a way that would help you grasp it’s pages, I would not start in the Old Testament.  I would start with any or all of the four gospels- Matthew (my favorite) Mark, Luke or John (so full of Love). I would pepper in some Psalms. That is the best beginning there is.

I would recommend you also read it in an easier to understand version (translation) NLT, NIV or the New King James. The Message Bible is a lyrical version that helped me get what the point was. My first bible had two columns with both versions side by side on each page. The NIV and The Message, which was so helpful for me.

If I were a skeptic, I would pray this prayer before I began reading. “God, if you really are who you say you are, and if your son is who you say He is, open my heart to understand what I am about to read”.

This is a link to The Bible App. (YouVersion) It has several translations, several things you can do with it, but it also has straight up reading the bible. If you have questions just reach out to me. No lectures, no shoulds or shouldn’t a no shaming. Just tricks to navigate the site.

http://bible.com/app

I hope you take time. On your own. Just in case it’s true.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God will stand

Last Goodbyes

25 Oct

October 25. One year. One year ago today began the journey of your last’s. As I drove north to you (like every weekend at this point). You had had a good week. Yet, I knew.

I began to pray on this drive. For courage, for strength. He answered me, as He always does. Rainbows are a reminder of His promise. I knew-He would walk with us through these last days.

You went to bed that night and never got up again. You had grown weary,weak.

It took me a long time to reconcile all that would take place over those next days, hours. I was certainly not prepared for what was to come, but God in all of His provision, never left us alone in it.

We were so blessed to have you in our lives. These memories and hard anniversaries will fade into every days, as we learn to just miss you always.

Which, I do, mom- I miss you, it’s something I simply can’t put into words. I rejoice with you, knowing you spend every moment free and loved.

Fly high with the angels and keep looking out for us.

Hard days

17 Sep

Does it feel like every day lately has something heavy in it? There seems to be a trend of each day bringing us another story of loss. Another disaster, another hard thing. I have felt so weighted lately.

But! I have to remind myself there is nothing new under Heaven, and God is not freaking out!

We will all experience deep loss throughout our lifetime. Most of us will experience it at different times, but sometimes it piles up on us, with loss of one kind or another right after another. I have ministered to more people in the later category lately than ever before.

Whatever situation you find yourself in today, please know this: God deeply cares about your pain. He sincerely hurts. He hurts for you and with you. He intercedes on our behalf! Hebrew 7:25 and Romans 8:34

Jesus was a man of sorrows, He was deeply and well aquainted with loss and grief. He was betrayed, he was rejected, his family didn’t believe in Him. He had to leave his own town.

If you are going through trauma, loss, or disappointment today, Jesus gets it! .

Jesus was betrayed. He didn’t have a place to lay his head. He was abused, treated as if he didn’t matter as a human. His loved one died, there was rebellion.His reputation was tarnished. He was gossiped about, slandered. He lost close relationships, and was treated unfairly.

Have you been sinned against? I get it. We all have, but Jesus was too. Yet He still chose to Love and willingly die for us.

On the cross, Jesus willingly felt the stings of every sin, illness, and heartache. He did it for one reason: LOVE! Because you are loved.

Since Jesus can truly relate to our hurts, disappointments, frustrations, and heartaches at such a deep level, and cares about each of us so much, we genuinely can trust Him to help us through each and every circumstance in life!

In Him I find truth, a landing place, my strength, my peace, my hope. Breathing in Him and exhaling all the lies.

Amen.