Leave Yesterday’s Mistakes Behind




yesterdays mistakes

 

Our past is a huge part of our future…our stories shape us and we become a women of our individual journeys. I don’t believe we can or should leave our stories behind us and think that we can just forget where we’ve been or what we’ve done.

But let’s not let our mistakes or sins keep us from the beauty that God has before us.

The ashes are a necessary part of the beauty, but don’t let the ashes direct us, let hope and trust in the Father direct us.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Overcoming Fear

take flight 2copy

How many decisions do we make based on fear?

What will they think?

What if I fail?

What if…?

There is only one solid way to overcome fear…

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
1 John 4:18

“…not yet fully formed in love”

That’s the key to finding freedom from fear.
Well formed love banishes fear.

When we live loved, knowing each day that no matter what, we are loved by the Father, we live differently. We are free.

Are there still repercussions from sin and poor choices? Absolutely. But even that does not change how much He loves us.

Dare to believe that He loves you right now today, before you change one thing. Live right there in that love.

And take flight.

Is Your Past Holding You Hostage?

Your mind reels with memories that imprison you. You rehearse the events like Groundhog Day, each time inserting a new response in your mind of things you wish you’d said. If only you’d told them this or reacted like that. But at the end of your minds’ spiral, life is not changed, the facts cannot be undone.

Have you ever been tormented by your own thoughts?

I’ve spent far too long in this life rehearsing pain from my past. Betrayal, regret, even abuse, and I can’t think hard enough to process them through to a place of peace; they have to be taken hold of and released.

You know you should forgive, you want to. You want your life back. You plead with your own heart to just move on, but you can’t seem to find the freedom you desperately crave. The past is holding you hostage as you realize that you still hold out hope that somehow the memories could be different, but as long as we stay in the place of regret we cannot move forward.

Forgiveness and healing can only happen when we give up hope that the past could be different.

There is a settling in our heart that happens when we embrace the truth that the past is done, it cannot be changed. However, we can change our tomorrows, and as I let the remorse slip from my hands I start to see with the eyes of hope.

Hope is a waking dream. —ARISTOTLE

As if we wake from a long slumber, hope brings fresh eyes and dreams of freedom. Thankfully, these dreams can come true if our hope is in the Father of all life because He has promised to heal our brokenness when we bring it to Him.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalms 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3

I don’t pretend to think that this is an easy or fast process, but it’s the only process that makes us whole.  This world offers many ways to deflect the pain, but I believe that God wants to bring much more than a momentary distraction. He wants a relationship with us that brings healing and security as we discover His immense love for us.

I wish I had some fancy steps that you could take, an ABC of healing that I could throw out to you, but I don’t. I have the scars that remind me that this life is a journey not cut and tied in pretty little bows but instead a path littered with thorns and crosses, prodigals and promises. I can’t imagine trying to walk it alone, I hope you can’t either.

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT

God created you. He knows all, He sees all, and yet He is crazy about you. He can be found in every moment if we open our eyes and look up.

The Nightmares

Lauren’s been struggling with fear. Fear of bad guys. It overwhelms her at bedtime. She’s afraid that they will come in during the night and take her from us. It plagues her nightly. She begs me to lock all the doors and windows and questions me repeatedly if I’ve followed through.

It breaks my heart. What brings this on? We’ve never given her reason to worry. Our house is in a quiet safe neighborhood in the country. Her Daddy is a proficient marksman, her 250lb 6’1″ brother lives here, we have a security system and this.

Sure, she looks harmless NOW, and she is recovering from being hit by a car but I guarantee you, she would get all kinds of ugly on someone that tried to get in this house uninvited.

But how could she feel unsafe in this house? Why doesn’t she trust us to protect her?

Night after night she simmers and stirs on the irrational notion that someone could burst into our home and snatch her from her warm bed. I sink exhausted into my chair when she falls to sleep but it’s a temporary pause until she wakes shouting at strangers that she imagines in her time between sleep and wake.

She mumbles and cries, thrashing in bed, “Momma!! Mommy! No no no!” and my heart aches as I try to quiet the anxiety pouring out of her cleft scarred lips. She’s not fully conscious and eventually she quiets and falls back to sleep. Often I’m summoned back during the night to lie next to her after the bad guys come back in her dreams.

As I wrestle with how to convince her that she’s safe, I think of how God must feel that same way about me. He’s given me no reason not to trust Him, no clue that He would abandon me. In fact I’ve learned that even when it looks like He’s walked away and left me with my fears, I find that He was there all the time. He was just quiet for he moment, watching to see who I’d run to. Like mine, His arms ache to comfort His children.

Just like I long for Lauren to rest in the security of her home, I know the Lord wants the same for us.

Psalms 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Don’t just fit in!

Hello,

I’m over at the ministry counter at the Cafe’ today talking about “fitting in verses leading”.
Stop over and see me and join in the conversation!

When the Nightmares Come

Lately Lauren’s been waking up in the morning and telling me about her dreams of being chased by dinosaurs. Now this may or may not be a result of mommy accidently letting her watch parts of Night at the Museum. But we’re not here to point fingers.

Last night however, she woke at 3:00 AM crying because she was dreaming of a snake biting her foot. This is probably due to the fact that we spent the previous day with her favorite four boys. Yes, THESE boys. She adores them. She wants to live there and be the 5th boy, with pigtails. She loves their sense of adventure and …shall we say… muddiness. We always bring an extra pair of clothes to their house because there is much black dirt to be rolled in and shoved under her nails. (For the record, I LOVE it there too…Denise and I always drink lots of coffee and never run out of things to talk about!)

This particular day, a snake had been spotted. It was not captured, but as he slithered into the bushes, the 2nd born son screamed “snake!” and all the other boys came running with a soiled little Asian girl following quickly-though cautiously behind them. It reminded me of someone at war screaming “Incoming!” They searched and searched but the slimy serpent evaded their snare.

So 3:00 AM she is crying and wants to come into my bed because she is afraid of the snake. I decided instead to crawl into her bed and offer Daddy a few more hours rest without the boney feet of a six year old dancing on his spine.

As I turned toward her she nuzzled into me and tightly wrapped her tiny arms around me. She peacefully drifted off to sleep as I held her close and caressed her hair. Every drop of maternal instinct in me was loving this moment. To see how my presence and touch caused her anxious heart to settle and rest. I couldn’t hold her close enough, I wanted to stop time and relish every warm breath against me. There’s no place like a Momma’s arms when the nightmares come.

This made me think about how God comforts us.

Life can be a nightmare.

But He is there for us. As we allow ourselves to melt into His loving arms, He holds us.

Isaiah 40:11
He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. NLT

Put on a worship song. Maybe this or this or this.
Close your eyes and let His love envelop you.
Breathe Him in.

It will cause your anxious heart to settle and rest too.

There’s no place like the Father’s arms when the nightmares come.

Sometimes the Past Haunts Us

I originally posted this 3 years ago but this message has been going over and over in my heart lately, hope it touches you too.

As many of you know, we adopted Lauren from China a little over a year ago. She was 2 years old when we brought her home and she had lived in an orphange for all of her 2 years.

We struggled for several months and still do at times, with her attachment to us. I would say she is strongly attached now, but it has been a struggle.

We have come leaps and bounds and I believe she is very securely attached to me, but there are so many little “quirks” that she has that reveal the past fears and insecurities. Sometimes I really wish she could tell me about the things she has seen and experienced. We get glimpses, but never the whole picture.

That brings me to what happened the other day. I was unpacking all my Christmas stuff and she was sitting with a basket of last years Christmas cards looking at each one of the pictures. She was there for a good 10 minutes just studying them while I was busy decorating. Suddenly she yelled “MOMMY!” and ran over to me with a card in her hand. With a very sad and upset face and tears in her eyes, she kept yelling-

Mommy! No Mommy! No Mommy! and shaking her head.

I looked at the picture and this is what is was…

She was very upset and said, NO MOMMY!….MOMMY GO BYE-BYE…!!!

She kept repeating it over and over and I realized that she was saying that the little girl in the picture was sad because her Mommy had left her. That’s when I saw that the little girl was Chinese.

My heart just broke and I held her and assured her that this little girl’s Mommy had not left her, she was just praying to Jesus.

I wish I could get inside that little mind and know all that she thinks and how she processes things, but it is clear that she has glimpses of the past that haunt her.

Our job is to love Lauren and protect her and pray that she will be healed from her past and that it won’t affect her future. I believe God has big plans for my little darlin’ and He will use her past to bring healing to others.

So………………………………. what about you?

Do you ever have glimpses of the past that remind you of past pain? Does a picture or memory send you reeling in grief?

If so, the Holy Spirit is there to bring the love of God into your heart and show you the protection and security that only God can bring.

Eph 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
NIV

I pray you are able to trust that Your God loves you and will never leave you, and that you can put your past behind you and be made new in Him!

When It Feels Like the Whole World Walks Out

Hello Ladies!

I am over at the Internet Cafe today.


I’m talking about lonliness:

I’ve been in that place of loneliness. When it feels like the whole world has walked out and the quietness screams that you’re not worthy of the joy that a good friendship can bring. At times the enemy of our souls puts a spin on circumstances and leaves us with a feeling of abandonment at every turn.

Here is a direct link to the post:
“Girlfriend’s Will Come and Go”

What NOT to Wear

God is with you…so be courageous today.

Think about Him standing next to you everywhere you go!

Stop letting fear control your steps…instead walk with an understanding of the love that is walking with you.

Josh 1:9
I command you–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
NLT

Discouragement and Fear…it’s WHAT NOT to wear!

Fear, Intimidation, Depression…it may be Jezebel

Ever struggle with depression, loss of vision, fear, intimidation??

I sure have. I’ve come up against this several times but it’s so sneaky and robed in such a “spiritual” attitude that sometimes it catches me off guard.

While doing some research for a project, I ran across this article.
I have studied “Jezebel” in the past, but this article is VERY good at explaining the story and spirit of Jezebel in the world today.

“Jezebel’s witchcraft will attack key leaders in her targeted area through intimidation. Those under attack may awaken one morning to find it takes effort just to breathe.

All joy seems to depart. Spiritual life seems irrelevant. Demonic voices will echo in their minds “something’s wrong with you!”

They may suddenly find themselves in unreasonable anxiety, fearing tragedy or death. Much of what is called “depression” in the ministry is simply Jezebel!”

Here is the eye-opening article:
The Spirit of Jezebel

I thought it was very interesting how he connected the way this feminist-type attitude is the same one working in society and the church.

I don’t think it is just about “leadership” though, we all have a call on us to reach out to others and the enemy hates that.

One thing I want to add is that this cannot become about finger-pointing unless we are looking in a mirror because this spirit and attitude can only work against us if we respect what man thinks over respecting what God thinks.

When we know who we are as a child of God, nothing or no one can cause us to be intimidated. When I realize this is happening in my life it brings me to a place of repentance for letting myself get wrapped up in fear (intimidation) instead of trusting God.

Perfect love casts out fear.
Once again, love never fails.

If you know someone who has the characteristics of Jezebel, pray for them, God will take care of others problems, we need to focus on our own.

If you see yourself in this, go to God and He will restore you.

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