Consider Yourself Hugged

Funny – this photo is of a curly haired little girl – why is my hair as straight as a string?

Phone Photos 2.12.2015 083
Here I am with my baby doll. I sure loved my baby dolls. Now, as I look back, I can tell you that all those baby doll hugs were a sad replacement for the hugs I needed and did not receive.

At this age, I enjoyed twirling and twirling in my bedroom until I was dizzy. I thought that room was so BIG. I’ve been back there since, and it is in reality, not very large at all.

The back yard was BIG as well, a great place to play in the snow. As an adult I can walk across that yard in ten giant steps, or twenty baby steps.

Hmm, perspective.

This photo is before the abuse began.

Well really, it began before this, but my four year old mind did not understand the concept of emotional abandonment.

Reconnecting with this little one was not an easy task, but we have reconciled, and now journey into the future together. No longer are we estranged from each other, but we gain strength and understanding of all that has taken place.

I thank my Jesus for leading me to Bonnie’s writings and for allowing me to retrieve that which was lost.

Today, along with being able to help people understand who they are in Christ, I also seem to have a “Ministry of Hugs”. I’m told my hugs give strength – I will tell you here and now that the strength that is received comes from Christ alone.

He is my fortress and my strength, and I love to share what He has restored to me.

Consider yourself hugged.


http://www.faithbarista.com/2015/02/maybe-the-story-that-breaks-us-makes-us-beloved/

Is Receiving Ever Easy?

                                                                                Beloved Brews Linkup

 

Is Receiving Ever Easy?

With a giver motivated husband, it is easy to see how that motivation can make it difficult to receive.

My motivations for giving are at times somewhat less pure, wanting to be noticed maybe, or doing the right thing.

Motivations not rising out of a place of love can cause guilt and condemnation when on the receiving end of a pure gift from someone else.

I have learned, and am learning still, as I watch him giving of himself over and over and over, that when the tables are turned it is a bit difficult to for him to receive offerings from others.

Over the years I have encouraged him to just “Smile and say thank you.” He is becoming much better at it, and can even do it sometimes without being prodded. I then find myself repeating these same instructions in my head quietly to myself.

It is a joy to behold, this learning and growing process, the one where Holy Spirit speaks and we listen.

What a great example for our grandchildren, who need clear role models in a generation of caring for all the wrong things.

The biggest issue I suppose is that when we are gifted something, feelings of unworthiness rise up on the inside of us.

The truth of the matter is that we ARE worthy, not in our own strength, but in Gods strength.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27. It is Christ in us that makes us worthy.

By ourselves we are not qualified in any way to claim that we can do anything. Rather, God makes us qualified. 2 Corinthians 3:5

What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:3a

He gives lavishly, we receive His gift.

Is it easy?

No.

Is it necessary?

Yes.

It helps us to recognize Him for who He is, the Giver of all good gifts.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

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Beloved Brews Thursday writers link up.

Taking Time for Yourself

Beloved Brews Linkup

 

Taking time for me is something that keeps changing over the years. In my earlier years, taking time for me was not even on my radar.

While growing up, I was really busy trying to find someone who would stay by my side and be my friend. I ran hither and yon to find them. I did not know that Jesus wanted to be that for me.

As a young mom, I was of course immersed in the goings on of my small children, and trying to build a household. It was popular thought at the time that as a woman, you could “Have it all.” I was living to find ways to get it all done. I did not know that Jesus had already provided a way for that to happen.

My children grew up and began their own families, and I was frantic trying to find ways to fill the time. The way I did that was to fill my mind (and my house) with projects to keep my hands busy. That turned into many unfinished projects and guilt for not finishing. I finished some, and got rid of the rest. I did not know that it was Jesus who had already made it possible for me to fill up that creative space in my heart.

All the frantic, caused my physical body to break down. That began a time when all I did was take care of myself, i.e. nap, nap and more nap. I did not realize that Jesus had just the right prescription for what ailed me.

I was a believer. I knew God existed, but maybe for someone else, but not me since I was so lazy. Desperation led me to question His love for me and if He really meant all that He said in His word. The thought then crossed my mind to actually sit, in a chair, by the window, and just think of Him. Just think about what His word says. Decide if I really believed it all or not.

I spent much of that time dozing off, feeling guilty for dozing off, waking up, trying again, and dozing off some more. Time passed, and I began to call it “Resting in the Lord”. Jesus began to make me realize that if I did not take care of myself, then there would be nothing left for anyone else.

Over the weeks and months that followed, I found myself actually being more awake, more alert, and fuller of God’s words. They began to seep into my spirit and give me strength. Strength enough that I actually joined an exercise class that began to strengthen my body. That was five or so years ago, and that class is still a part of my life. God had revealed to me that if I wanted to do His plan for me, I would need to be as strong in my body as I was in my spirit.

2014 was a year of great introspection for me. I knew by Holy Spirit’s prompting, that I would need to spend a mass amount of time with Him, and myself, excavating some hurtful things in the past. Normally, spending that much time just with myself would have seemed selfish, but I found myself sure that if I did, then I could stop being tripped up by the things in my past. There was no guilt for this time, and it paid huge dividends. There were two resources provide for this time, and Bonnie Gray’s book “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” was the first. It opened the door for the second. 2014 brought my dark spaces out into His glorious light.

Now in 2015, He is allowing me to share my experience with others.

All this to say, there will always be some thought, someone, some thing that will try to keep you from taking care of yourself, spending time on yourself, being with yourself. Make it a priority. Make it an appointment for your calendar. It is important for your mind, spirit and body.

In the end, it will be important for the people that are in your sphere of influence. Only God knows how big your sphere will become if you only take the first step!

What I Love to Do That Feeds My Soul

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What I love to do that feeds my soul.

I love to sit in the big chair next to my window.

There is much to do there; journal writing, Bible study, reading whatever read is striking my fancy. It is most always quiet.

If not total silence, then quiet piano playing in the background. I find the solitude very useful. 

Simply gazing out the window and noticing the great beauty that God has set before me quiets my insides.

No matter what I choose to do there, it makes my soul quiet, so I can hear His spirit speak.

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Beloved Brews Linkup

What’s your One Word for 2015?

I’m joining in with the Beloved Brews writing challenge.

You can read about it at http://www.faithbarista.com/category/belovedbrews-linkup/

She gives the prompt, and writers write.

Easy enough right?

We’ll see.
What’s Your One Word for 2015?

EXPECTANT

Adjective. Excitedly anticipating something. Excitedly aware that something is about to happen. Expecting something, especially something that will bring success or wealth.
Eager, hopeful, in suspense, hoping.

What am I expectant for? Good question. Something. What? Not sure. When will this something take place? Don’t know. I do not know where or how. I only know that it will.
There are two things I know for sure. Who. That would be God. And why. Because He knows the plans He has for me. Plans for a future and a hope.
2014 was a year of great introspection for me. Every year is really. This year was very different though, and there was one book responsible for the trip back inward. A trip I thought I was finished with.
The book was “Finding Spiritual Whitespace”, by Bonnie Gray. I had been reading her Faith Barista blog sporadically for quite a while. I did not want another book. I did not need another book. But when I saw the little video about THIS book, it beckoned me.
Amazon one-click purchasing is so fast, and usually I can have my book selection in hand within moments on my Kindle. This time, I was compelled to purchase the real book. My intent was to read the book, oh so quickly, and put it on the shelf with all the others. That did not happen. Instead, pen in hand, purple ink began to show up in the margins and all along certain sentences. Way too many to just fly past. I found myself reading and rereading some passages and wondering if this woman and I had been perhaps separated at birth. Not so much by the EVENTS that took place in our lives, but by the shadows that they left behind. The shadows that followed me around even after I thought I had exposed them. The shadows that were holding me captive in ways I did not have language for. This book began to expose yet another level of pain/hurt/history that needed to be excavated.
The blockage, like writers block, has kept me from writing the words I want to write, to help the ones I want to help. I know what God has done, and continues to do in my story, and my heart is to share it. The block is that I do not know how.
So maybe EXPECTANT is the word that tells me that God will show me and allow me, to share my story in some meaningful way this year. Knowing what is in your heart, and getting it said, are two different issues.
I long to share it, but not if I cannot share it well.

Coming Up Higher

When I considered beginning to blog again, I pictured myself crashing back on the scene with such intensity that I might even surprise myself.

Well, I surprised myself, but not in the way I had imagined.

Instead of dazzling everyone with my new found wisdom, I came back instead, full of knowledge that I am not the only one who knows stuff.

In fact, the more stuff I know, the more apparent it appears, that I don’t know half as much as I thought I did, and that much of what I knew was only good for a season.

The past several months have been spent on a variety of different issues. As I have stated, so long ago now, there is always an “Inside job” to be done.

Well when you think you’ve finished all that inside work – look out! Rest up.

You will need it for your next season, the one where Holy Spirit comes and says “Come, let’s dig a little deeper”, so that you can “Come up higher”.

My first response was a bit like kicking and screaming, I was really comfy there, however that response didn’t last long because I really want to know what God has for me, comfortable or not.

The simple act of saying yes to God brought on several months of digging deeper, it was an excavation deeper than I had ever known possible, and months of uncomfortable-ness on my insides.

It all began with a “random” conversation with a good friend that I had not seen in a long time. The conversation went from one topic to another, you know how they do.

I began telling her about a book I had recently finished, and the effect that a certain chapter had had on me. This brought her to tell me about a college course she had just finished. Since her major goes right along with what is on the insides of people, her class work fit right into the conversation, and my current comfort level.

                       Even though it was quite comfy, it was in fact getting a tad boring. “Move along, nothing to see here.”

Within a day or two, I was in possession of her school books, and beginning the long dig into my past.

Make no mistake, I had been back there before, and was pretty sure I had worked it all out, because remember, I know stuff.

All the questions I never knew to ask were there in those books. Plunging me deeper and deeper into why I was the way I was, and why, even after all the “inside” work I had done, there was still so much left to do.

Eight months. That is how long it took me. Digging and digging and then having to take breaks because the emotional toll it was taking on my heart was so exhausting.

So here I am. I will never say “Done with that” again, because I have seen what the effect can be when I think that.     I will just say that that part of my journey is over, and for now, I do not carry all the weight I carried before.

For now, I am comfortable with the past, and ready to see what is next.

I can’t say how this blog will go on, but I can say that it will, at least for now.

I’m traveling lighter now, and I’m not sure where to. God knows that.

A bit like Abraham before me, I will trust that He knows the way, and that it is good.

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If you are at all interested in doing some “Digging” and “Inside work” and seeing what God has next for you –        Here are some helpful tools;

Finding Spiritual Whitespace – written by Bonnie Gray – Especially Chapter 22

The Ultimate Journey – Phase 1
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Heartbeat – Let Your Heart Not Be Troubled

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These words have been on my heart for a while.

I believe they are key to our survival in this place that is not our home.

Lately, I have noticed them every where.

In movies.

In people’s speech.

In photographs.

And digging their roots deeper into my heart with each passing day.

They are the heart of God.

The words are His.

Written to us in a love letter.

Won’t you click the links and let them seed themselves into your heart as well?

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

3:00 – 3:20

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

2:30 – 4:04

Do not let your hearts be troubled.

3:52 – 3:50

There is much in this world that would cause us to be afraid.

We must be strong and courageous,

not afraid.

We must not let our hearts be troubled.

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You are fearfully and wonderfully made.