A reading for my grand children, and for you as well.
A reading for my grand children, and for you as well.
During the introduction, we were each asked to answer a couple of questions around our table.
These questions were meant as kind of an ice breaker, and a lead right in to the topic we are studying.
Well they were ice breakers to be sure, but to me one of these questions was so much more. It sent me on another journey, into the background that makes me who I am.
All of the time I have spent on introspection, I would like to think that it is all finished.
As we have spoken of in a previous post, it will not be finished as long as we are here on this earth.
However, our Merciful Father in Heaven will allow no more than we can handle at any one time.
Each journey into our background and back out again, carries with it another piece of healing, filling in the puzzle that is us.
Have you ever been putting a puzzle together and many pieces go together quickly?
Have you noted that in the very same puzzle, some can take a long time to place?
Each of these remaining pieces needs to be inspected.
They perhaps need to be held in your hand, and placed and replaced until the proper
place is found.
If you do not enjoy the process, you probably will never finish the puzzle.
The question we were asked, seemed very innocuous at the time it was asked, but the more I reflected on it, the more I could sense that this would not be over, just because the class was.
This piece would have to be investigated closely.
Here are the questions;
* How many lived in your home when you were seven?
* Who was the warmest person in your life at that time?
Harmless questions right?
Well as the others spoke their answers, I sought my own answer to the question “Who was the warmest person in your life at that time?”
What I soon realized, was that I could not remember even one “warm” person in my life.
Were people supposed to be warm?
The only thing that came to my mind was that during my very young life, we used to travel every Sunday to my Grampas house in the country.
While there, I would climb the apple trees in his orchard and visit the hay mow in the barn.
Life was peaceful if only for a short time.
After dinner, I can recall clearly, sitting on my Grampas lap in his big comfy chair, eating popcorn out of an enamel roasting pan and watching Lawrence Welk.
I believe that was the safest, coziest, warmest spot I ever knew.
When the show was over, it was time to load up and go home.
My heart longed for our return the following week.
Those visits came to an abrupt end, when there was a misunderstanding between my Father and my Grandpa that got me a beating that today would have landed me in the hospital and my Father in jail.
Father never apologized and Grandpa would not let him return until he did.
I never got over the fact that it was my fault that we could not visit any more.
My warm person/spot was gone.
Grampa came to town to live with us several years later, after my Grandma died, and my Mother and Father divorced, but our relationship was never the same.
I knew it was my fault.
I didn’t find out until much later why it had changed so drastically, and that was that I had grown up, and he didn’t feel that hugging or snuggling with a girl my age was proper.
So NOT my fault.
But the damage was already done.
So. After class, I was compelled to come and go through the family photos left here by my Mom.
There I found snapshots of brief moments of family life. Brief shots. Brief smiles.
I also, sadly, noticed that in nearly all of the photos of that time period, the smile never went to the eyes.
That sounds strange maybe, but it was there. I saw it.
Here are two photos I found of myself. In one of them, my favorite one, I was four. See the light in the eyes? They twinkled.
I think this may have been before I found out I was defective.
See the second photo? Age seven. Sad smile. No twinkle.
I’m still processing what I see.
I’m still examining every piece.
With God’s help, and His alone, I will be able to fully place the truth, and go on to another piece.
Ladies and Gentlemen; here is the truth;
YOU ARE NOT DEFECTIVE!
AND NEITHER WAS I!
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV1984)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Do not be afraid of the process.
Join me in placing the pieces where they rightly fit.
Let us hold God’s hands together,
And believe the truth.
John 8:32 (KJV)
32 And ye shall know the truth, and (He) the truth shall make you free.
I once believed that if I “thought too highly of myself” it was a sign of selfishness.
I was told I thought more highly of myself than I ought.
I once believed that stating my abilities was bragging about how good I was.
I was told I was a show off, and that I needed to stop it.
I once even believed that if I tried to show any of these talents, then people would tell me I was wrong, and that I actually had no talent at all.
Sadly, they told me this, all through my life, and I believed them.
Many times these declarations came from those who were either supposed to look after my well being, or if not them, then from someone I had dared to step out of myself to trust.
I was taught that “I” statements, should be phrased as “we” statements.
Hence, I would not be attracting too much attention to myself.
Even my journals were phrased in this way.
I may not know you, but I do know something about people, and even a little bit about what makes them tick.
May I just start by saying that when we are small, and then even as we grow, we have the ability to be either weak or strong, healthy or sick, bright or dim, positive or negative.
Of course a lot of this comes from our genetic code, but I believe much, much more of it comes from what we are told as we grow.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford
Here is a bit of what I already knew, I knew it because these scriptures said it was so;
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says that – We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.
The Living Bible translation says that we can capture these rebels (thoughts) and change them into thoughts whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.
By re-working how I think in this way, I can choose God’s thoughts for myself.
I have it on good authority (God’s word) that it is OK for me to declare what God has put in side of me.
By declaring this truth, I am actually strengthening and re-strengthening the fact for my heart to know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am choosing an obedient thought instead of a lie.
When I capture all those negative thoughts placed in my mind, I literally take them, and trade them in. I don’t like those thoughts, and like returning a purchase at the store, I’ll choose some other thoughts.
I’ll choose the thoughts that God has thought about me all along.
I’ll choose the ones I was not able to hear for all the untrue ones that were loudly going off in my head!
If we choose rightly, the way we think of ourselves,
– The way God thinks of us –
We become His “Show and Tell”.
What day was more exciting than “Show and Tell”?
When we could share our most prized possession with the class!
He is excited to show us off!
He absolutely loves what He has created!
He wants the world to see!
When we reflect HIS image,
People will see and know that we belong to a loving Creator God.
Now you may or may not know much about this God of whom I speak.
Whatever the case, please allow me to give you some of God’s own words to let you know and realize the way He thinks of you, the way He sees you.
Please allow God’s words for you, seep into your heart.
Please allow them to marinate your person with His extreme love for you.
I’ve given you a dozen verses to consider.
Then you may even wish to consider your own.
(Perhaps there is a little private “Show and Tell” between you and God in your near future.)
This is all I have for you today.
It is enough for now.
God so wants to make these truths real to you.
Won’t you give Him a try?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
On this final 5 for 5 Brain Dump about being alive, I want to get really specific.
Here are the things important to my life.
October 23rd #wordnerds, the word was uberty; meaning – abundant opportunities.
(#Wordnerds) What is #Wordnerds?
I want to always be able to see and respond to the uberty(s) that present themselves in my life.
Making a difference in the lives of others, leaving this legacy to my children and my children’s children, that to me, is life.
What would your list look like?
What is 5 for 5 Brain Dump? Check here!
Eucharisteo. Thankfulness. Live Eucharisteo.
Philippians 4:11-12 (RSV)
11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. (Thankful) 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
I never ever thought to be thankful. I was too busy guarding myself from the pain of what I didn’t have.
Through her book, Ann taught me that it is indeed “Holy work” to list what we are thankful for.
Name those things. When you name them, the things you think you lack, cannot haunt you anymore.
Some of the things you may lists, seem inconsequential. Too small to even note. Note them anyway. One to One Thousand. Some will seem larger and more important than others, list them all, you will see, they will add up. The more they add up, the freer you become!
Begin with a pen, or a crayon, or a marker. Use your voice. Use the shutter on your camera. Every word of thanks is a sacred act.
I consider myself a woman of prayer, but Ann showed me that the only way to really BE that, is to be a woman of thanks. I had no chip for that, so it took a while. One gratitude at a time.
And now, I am most grateful for every day. Every breath. Every thing that goes well, and even for every aggravation. Why? Because it gives opportunity to practice EVEN MORE thankfulness.
What are you thankful for? Coffee in your cup? Nuzzling soft baby hair against your cheek? A quiet sunrise? Shoes on your feet? The ability to take a breath or the very fact the you even woke up this morning? ………………………………………
I could go on and on, but it’s your turn. Care to share?
Significant Encounters of the Closest Kind – The Last of the Sisters
It’s been a sad/happy week.
The last of the sisters was laid to rest.
Born in 1927, 1930 and 1937.
The eldest, my Aunt, had her second most significant encounter this week.
The middle, my Aunt, had hers in 2007.
The youngest, my Mom, had hers in 2001.
Second significant encounter you ask?
What was the first?
The moment when they trusted their lives to Christ.
The second , the day they got to enter into His presence forever.
unhindered by sick bodies and the cares of this world.
Entering into the joy of their Lord.
We will miss you.
Daughters, Sisters, Wives, Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers,
Isaiah 57:2 (NIV) Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
Philippians 1:21 (NIV) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Colossians 3:3 (NIV) For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.