Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

#Determination Renewed

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When I was pregnant with my son, I was determined to have a natural delivery.  If at all possible I didn’t want any drugs, no epidural, and no episiotomy.  I can still remember it all.  I did have to have medication to stop from vomiting.  Apparently, my body reacts to severe pain by vomiting.  Who knew?!!  I can still hear my mid-wife saying, both your heart rates are going down so if you don’t push him out this time, we will have to do an episiotomy.  What?!! Oh no you didn’t just say that word!! I was once again filled with a fierce #determination this procedure would not be done.  So I dug deep, pushed as hard as I could, and out came my baby boy.  I was ever so relieved. 

Once he was out, a new determination built inside me.  If it was ever in my power, no one would hurt this child.  It was the first time I ever felt and I ever said…if it comes between my life and his, take mine.  Save him. 

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”—John 15:13

In doing the Bible study Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst I’ve had to stop and really think about my physical health.  If my one statement of “save him” were true and it was in my means to “save him” or any other member of my family, would I be in shape to be able to medically save them?  Would I be able to recover from a procedure in order to save a life?  Would my blood tests warrant my being able to save a life? 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” —1 Corinthians 6-19-20

I’ve marked on my drivers license that I would like to donate my organs should I die.  But, would my pieces and parts be donate-able? Or would they just be scrap heap and of no use to anyone?  Folks say that those who take their own life commit the most selfish act.  But, aren’t we also guilty of being selfish when we do whatever we want just to satiate an unhealthy life style? And if it came down to being able to save another’s life and we could not, what then can we say to our brother, sister, child, friend?  I’m sorry but this cigarette, this alcohol, this life of gluttonous eating was way more important than saving your life.  You are medically unfit to save them due to your own choices.

I can honestly say that choosing a healthy lifestyle has not been my priority.  In an “I can have it all,” whenever I want it world, I am guilty of making a lot of poor choices.  The truth is I don’t have the strength on my own because I focus my eyes on me and what I want.  I have to fall on my knees and embrace the strength only God can give when my flesh cries out for the things of this world.  We are called to be warriors and stand against the enemy.  How can we do that if a jelly doughnut makes us weak in the knees? No, this is not what I want for this life.  If needs be, if called, I want to be able to lay my life down for another.

So, I ask…is your life more important than another’s? Have you ever loved so much that you would lay your life down?  Could you sacrifice your desires for the sake of another?  Someone did that for you.  His name is Jesus.  Are you saying your life is worth more than His sacrifice?  

With a new #determination, taking my eyes off of myself and my excuses, I am challenging myself daily to fight the good fight and become the warrior princess I was made to be and if it be that I am called to help another, I will be fit to do it!!  And, I’m not just talking about laying my life down.  If someone needs help moving and I’m outta shape how can I help?  I could go on and on, but I think you get the big picture.  We were made to help one another. How can we do that, if we can’t even help ourselves by making the right choices?

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#Empowered to Love

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Temper tantrums.  According to Wikipedia “a tantrum or temper tantrum is an emotional outbreak, usually associated with children or those in emotional distress, that is typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, defiance, angry, ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification and, at some cases, hitting. Physical control may be lost, the person may be unable to remain still, and even if the “goal” of the person is met he or she may not be calmed. A tantrum may be expressed in a tirade: a protracted, angry, or violent speech.”

I gotta say, I don’t like not getting my way.  As a child, it started out very early on with the temper tantrums.  So much so, the doctor advised my mother to lock me in my room and let me “have it out.”  Oh really.  I’m sorry, did those dresser drawers belong in the dresser and not outside shattered on the ground by way of closed windows?  As you can well imagine, these tantrums were not just a physical thing, they were very verbal as well.  I can remember being very hot one summer afternoon and wanting to go swimming. Normally I could go to the neighbors but they were having a pool party and I was not invited.  Oh really.  By the time my rant hit full steam, the neighbor was begging to have me come to their pool party.  Victory was mine.  Or was it?

The rewarding of temper tantrums taught me a valuable lesson; how to manipulate to get what I wanted.  As I grew older, the tantrums became less visible outwardly, but inwardly the battle raged until I could win over my opponent by finding out their weakness.  I gotta admit, getting my way made me feel quite #empowered.  But this type of empowerment was draining.  I was mentally exhausted from trying to out maneuver my opponent.  Seriously don’t know how many hours of sleep I deprived myself of by thinking “how can I make them see my point?”  “How can I get them to admit I’m right?”  And then after I think of that way, “how can I work that into our next conversation?”  Exhausting.

But, there is one person I can’t out maneuver.  He already knows my next move. He can always jib to my jab.   But every now and again, God permits the very things we want in our lives that we shouldn’t have.  There we are on bended knee, throwing our grown up temper tantrum, begging Him with tears running down our face, to give us what we want because we are never satisfied with what we have.  I would dare say this causes us to settle for less than God’s best.   You see, our Father wants us to crave Him in every single area of our life over anything else this world has to offer.  We are so comforted by the things of this world, we’ve lost the understanding how to be #empowered by Him and Him alone. 

Think about the one thing in your life you maybe said today, “no way could I live without that.” Guess what?  That’s your idol.  It’s just that simple.  For me, that one thing had become having a man in my life.  And even when I had a man in my life, because I didn’t know my voids were to be filled with God, I wanted more men.  And after each failed attempt, I would say “I’m gonna work on getting to know me” and then there I would be begging for a man to come into my life.  I didn’t even know how “to love” let alone “be loved.” 

So this is me, learning about true love.  This is me being #empowered with the only love I will ever need and the only love I want.  I want that love over flowing in me so that I can pass it on in the way He’s teaching me.  In the way He gave/gives love.  In fact when I asked our Father what He wanted me to learn this year, He affirmatively told me “Love.”  This is my year to learn all I can about His Love and everyday He is showing me through His word and the people I’m surrounded with all about love.  Not “love” the feeling, but “love” the action. And while the temper tantrum in my head wants to resist, I am #empowered with the full armor of God to press and lean into the life He has for me.  The best is yet to come!!  I am #empowered.  

Love is here….what are you waiting for?

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Maybe you didn’t know…

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I’m really excited about the Online Bible Study getting ready to begin on Jan 19th.  For the next 6 weeks we’ll be digging into the book “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  The study is held over on the Proverbs 31 Ministries site and is hosted by Melissa Taylor.

Did you know food is not the only thing you crave?  I mostly associate the word “crave” with food.  But I’ve learned that our cravings are where our thoughts are.  Let me give you an example.

Maybe you’ve heard of this woman called Princess Diana. She was pretty popular once upon a time.  In my mind, I don’t think there’s a person on this planet who doesn’t know who she is.  I say “is” because her legacy is very much alive.  Let me tell you a little bit about “my” princess and how I “craved” her.

Before Diana became a princess, she was just an ordinary girl, who by her sheer misfortune captured the hearts and souls of people from every walk of life.  I have to admit, I was caught up in the fairy tale that seemed her life.  I needed (craved) to know where she was, how she was doing, what hairstyle she fashioned, what world-cause she campaigned, and any other tidbits of information that made her life intertwine with mine. Thanks to television and media publications, I was there with her on the very day she married, had children, got divorced, and the ill-fated day she slipped into an abyss from which she would never awaken. I can tell you exactly what I was doing when the news hit that she had been in a car accident.  I was devastated over the loss of “my” princess.

You would think that it would have stopped there…the craving I had to know about her after she died.  But it didn’t.  It then became about the memorabilia that was being sold, the books, and any shows that would air her interviews.  Eventually, it all died down and so did my craving for having to be all up “in her stuff.” 

Do you see how easy it is to fall into a pattern of “craving?”  At the time of my Diana craving, I didn’t know it was an unhealthy craving. I just followed along because I thought she had something that I didn’t and thought it was something I wanted.  It was just so easy to swallow everything I was fed where she was concerned.  Funny, all she wanted was to live her life and all life wanted to do was “eat her up.” 

We were not made in God’s image and put on this earth to put these type cravings above Him.  In fact, we’re instructed not to put anything above Him.  I wonder what the world would look like if we actually craved for our Father more than any other “thing” in and of this world. 

I’m so thrilled over this study and what it has to teach I just can’t keep it to myself.  I would love to extend an invitation for you to join our Made to Crave study and find out what you’re craving and watch as God transforms not just my life but the over 35,000 women who have already signed up!!  It’s super easy to sign up, just head on over here P31 Online Bible Study and click on the “sign up” tab and away you go!!  

Please enjoy this musical snack!!

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Don’t be that girl

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Growing up I was desperate for attention.  I was truly the epitome of that song titled “looking for love in all the wrong places.”  I didn’t get the love I didn’t know I needed at home.  You read that right.  I didn’t know I needed the love of my family.  I had no healthy relationship to see what “love” looked like.  Sure, I saw television shows and read books, but that was all unrealistic and unattainable in my house.  Yet, I yearned for the “love” those things “taught” me.

No matter where I walked, I looked for that one “thing” that would give me confirmation that I existed…that….I….mattered.  Did that car horn just honk at me?  Was that whistle meant for me?  That rude nasty shout-out, was that for me?  Worse yet, I felt disappointed when those things were meant for me.  I felt unworthy of receiving even the junk flung by others. I put my faith in things that could predict love such as horoscopes. I asked my magic 8 ball if “he loved me.” I plucked countless petals off flowers asking if “he loved me.”  I played games with my current boyfriend’s name to see if it would lead to friendship, love, hate or marriage and lastly I would pray…beg…and barter with God to send me the one.

Eventually my silent cry for “love” would garner the wrong kind of attention.  I confused love with sex.  Let me give you an example of one point in my life.  I sat at home praying and crying to God for that boy to show up just one more time. This boy I so desperately wanted would drive up on his motorcycle at night, sit outside my house revving the engine for me to come out.  The minute I heard the sound, I was running out of the house to meet up with him. He never took me any place special.  He couldn’t even be bothered to introduce me to his friends. If his friends showed up, I just sat there, ignored, waiting for him to notice me.  The evening always ended with me giving myself to him.  Then he would leave.  He never called, he never showed up during the day, he just roared in at night and I allowed him to use me because I thought if I gave it up enough, he would love me.  That never happened. 

It took every ounce of courage I had the last time he showed up revving that engine.  He sat there for a good 5 minutes, before he finally gave up and I never saw him again.  It was one of the hardest things I had ever done for myself.  I took a stand that night and I was proud of myself for not giving in.  I wish I could say that was the last time I allowed that type of thing to happen.  But, it wasn’t

You see, I didn’t know that there was a heart other than mine breaking for me.  I didn’t know that “Love” was reaching down. I didn’t know that “Love” was working in me, so I let everything but “Love” try to fill me and make me feel whole.  I accepted a life far below what “Love” planned for me. 

Are you that girl?  Are you putting on a show for attention?  Are you following the crowd to try and be more popular? Are you hoping that giving yourself to boys will make them love you? Are you dressing in such a way that screams for everyone to look at your assets?  Have you lost hope that anyone will truly love you, just for being you?  Do you even know who you are? Don’t you know you deserve better?  Don’t you know that you matter?

If no one told you today you matter, then let me tell you…You matter.  You have a purpose and you are worthy!!  You are unique and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I beg of you to stop searching for a “thing” to fill all those voids.  As long as “things” are what you seek, you will always be seeking, always be wanting, and always be missing out. You will always be thinking there is something more to life.  Don’t be that girl.  Be the girl, the daughter, the princess you were made to be.  If you don’t know where to start, I ask you simply…find out what “Love” is.

“Love” is not a thing.  “Love” is not a feeling.  Love was Word made into flesh.  Love grew up without sin in a sinful world. Love suffered for you.  Love wept for you.  Love knowingly took up a cross, endured abuse, was ridiculed, and was nailed on a cross for you.  Love died so that you may live.  Love wants nothing but the best for you.  Love is calling out to you and Love will wait for you.  All you need say is one word and Love is there.  Just say Jesus and Love is with you.  When you know and understand His Love, then you will know how to be and give love.  And I dare say, you will not let yourself settle for anything less.  

The following skit depicts how we’re so easily led astray from our life path.  By the end of the skit, you see “Love” was with you all the time.  Enjoy!!

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Is there motive behind your “selfie?”

 

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” ~~ Romans 12:3 (NIV)

Lately I’ve been seeing this word “selfie” all around social media.  I’ve seen it so much lately I decided to take a peek at what the word meant.  So I typed the word into Google and was glad to see WikipediA popped up.  So, here’s the definition: 

“Selfie–A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often associated with social networking. In the Korean entertainment industry the word selca (short for “self camera”) means photos taken of oneself.[1][2][3] They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus. Selfies taken that involve multiple people are known as “group selfies”. In August 2013 the Guardian produced a film series titled Thinkfluencer[4] exploring selfie exposure in the UK. Denoting a pathological condition: Selfieism. The term ‘selfie’ originated in Australia in 2002 on an internet forum.” 

Seems harmful enough, but there was more about the word than just the definition.  I was more alarmed by the things it said under “popularity” and even more so under the title “gender roles, sexuality, and privacy.”  Intrigued?  Then I think you should head on over to this link on WikipediA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selfie

Did you know that the word “selfie” had become so commonplace, that in November of 2013, the word “selfie” was announced as word of the year? Did you know there was a word of the year? I had no clue until I read all about this one little word. 

This is what concerns me about the word “selfie.”  The first time I saw it, I thought, oh, just a shorter term “for all about me.”  In fact, to be honest, I saw “selfish.”  In a world that’s been brought up to look out for yourself, take care of number 1, and it’s all about me and what I want, I think “selfie” fits rights in…a little too comfortably. Sure, there’s no harm in the majority of “selfies.”  But the “selfies” that concern me are those posted with a motive.  Have you ever asked yourself before you posted; what’s my motive behind this photo?  Am I being prideful of my body?  Am I trying to attract someone because I’m so desperate for attention that I’ll let my body parts be the center of attention? Am I seeking approval from others? Am I hoping to make someone jealous? If I’m to be honest, I’m guilty of….well….all of them.  How about you?  

We’re warned by God time and time again about the sin of pride and sexual immorality. “Selfies” can be used for good or evil, just like anything else. We have power in what we post, but I think more often than not, we have more power in what we don’t post.   

 

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