Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Show Me The Way

The other day when I turned on the tv, Little House On The Prairie was what popped up on the screen. I can’t say I remember watching too much of this show when it originally aired or even the reruns. But for some reason this one caught my eye.

There’s a character named Edwards. I guess he hurt his foot and was feeling pretty useless and depressed. So, Ma Ingalls suggested to Pa Ingalls to take Laura over to Edwards house and go help cheer him up. Over the course of the visit, the man, Edwards suggested a hunting trip, and it was agreed that Pa Ingalls and Laura would go along.

Once in the woods Pa and Edwards decided to head out to hunt while Laura stayed behind to make some grub. Aha! Herein lies the true reason Edwards wanted to go into the woods. As I said before he felt useless because of his bum foot. It made him feel like a burden to his wife and friends. So he concocted a plan to off himself. He was just about to pull the trigger of his rifle to shoot himself in the head when Pa Ingalls kicked the gun away. With his suicidal plan out in the open, Edwards told Pa his plan and “reasonings” behind it. Who knew Little House tackled such heavy subjects as this?

Edwards was determined to finish what he started. But Pa Ingalls was just as determined to save his friend. While praying to God, Pa asked the Lord to show him how to help his friend. Help being the key word here. He asked God to show him the way. Just then a deer came out into the open. Pa said it was pretty much the deer’s lucky day and tried to shoo it away.

He fired a round into the air to scare the deer away. It didn’t move. A perplexed Pa then had an epiphany and said “show me the way.” Next thing we hear is another shot fired. This second shot captured Edwards attention who was sitting in his woe is me stew several hundred feet away. Pa screams out Edwards name and Edwards quickly hobbles over to Pa. When Edwards reaches Pa, he sees Pa on the ground looking poorly. There’s blood on Pa’s shirt. Dun, dun, dun.

Pa tells Edwards he needs to go back to camp and get Laura and a horse. Surprisingly, Edwards makes it back to Laura at camp and says her Pa’s been hurt and they have to go get him. BUT, Pa strolls into camp, blood still on his shirt, uninjured. Seems it must not have been the deer’s lucky day after all. The blood smear had to come from somewhere. Poor deer.

Edwards is pretty angry after having to hobble all the way back to camp on his walking stick crutch and complains he almost killed himself doing it. Ironic huh? Little House all over here teaching folks big lessons.

Once Edwards got outside of his own dark musings and thought more of helping his friend, his life took on another meaning. Instead of thinking he was useless and no good to anyone, he put all those type thoughts behind him and dug deep to find the strength he needed to help his friend. His injury may have hindered him a bit, but it couldn’t stop the overwhelming desire within him to help Pa. That desire to help, propelled him into action.

The enemy loves to isolate and speak death into your mind. He only comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Edwards couldn’t see past his injury. He allowed the lie that he was useless because of his injury define the rest of his life. How often does this happen in real life? Life isn’t what we think it should be, so we shrug our shoulders, say this is as good as it gets, and become like the walking dead. We draw further into our own world and forget that life is best lived when we help one another.

We all have different skills and gifts. We’re wired that way to help one another, not hurt one another. We’re wired that way to lift one another up, not tear each other down. Love one another is the Lord’s commandment for a reason. He knows what hate can do, what it’s capable of, and the way it hardens our hearts. Hate doesn’t make us stronger. It makes us weak. So weak in fact, we give up on the life Christ died to give us. I’m just gonna let you think about that on your own.

Today’s a new day. It already looks different than yesterday. Tomorrow’s not promised. How will you LIVE out this gift of today? It’s your choice. I hope you choose love. Love is its own reward when lived out as intended.

What does that love look like? I’m so glad you asked!

“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 13:4~7 (NLT)

Love well my friends!

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It’s Not Okay

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~ Matthew 12:36-37 (ESV)

The other day I got a text message from a dear friend. Not just any friend, but a friend who goes out of her way to make the world a better place. She knows pain. She knows what it’s like to have her feelings hurt. She doesn’t want that for those she loves or comes into contact with, so she encourages and uplifts.

To say I got a little peeved when I found out someone made a unwarranted, hurtful comment to her is an understatement. Not only did I get upset for her, but I got super upset over the way she was hurt. Why? Because it’s not okay.

It’s not okay for anyone to make a comment about someone else’s body. Please read that again. None of us have that right. It’s none of our business. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way we’ve made it our business and blurred the lines of what’s acceptable.

Let’s look up the word harass, shall we? For the purposes of this post, we’re going to go with this definition from Merriam Webster:

to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct.

Can you see how an unwelcomed comment concerning body type could easily be considered harassment?

You can blame the careless and reckless use of your words on society or some other reason, but the truth of the matter is, if it comes from your lips, you’re solely responsible for it. Period.

Even as I’m typing this message I’m having a hard time not blurting out the thoughts flying around in my brain. But if I typed exactly what I was thinking, it wouldn’t be helpful. It’s not my desire to compound an already tender issue with more hate and discontent.

My body is not up for your debate. My body was not designed, built, or created in, or to your standard. The fact that anyone thinks they need to make any kind of comment as to what anyone looks like, says 100 times more about them than it ever will about the person being verbally attacked.

Make no mistake, careless words have the power to hurt, even devastate someone. Is that how you like to be treated? I know for certain it’s not how I like to be treated. I also know for certain, that I’ve treated others recklessly with my own careless words. I’m not perfect. But, that’s no excuse for being nasty. It’s simply a cover-up to justify the nastiness.

It’s not okay!

I’ve been reminded of the many times over the course of my God-given life of the careless words I’ve said to myself. On any given day, you can find me fluctuating between the realization of who God says I am or the skewed worldly views that always remind me of who I’m not.

And that’s it, right there. We bought the lies that tell us, we’re not pretty enough, we’re not smart enough, we’re not skinny enough, we’re not rich enough….when is enough, enough?

I can’t answer that for you. I can only answer that for me. My heart hurts for the constant barrage of hateful things said to others in the “heat of the moment.” We’ve become complacent in hate. We’ve allowed it to seep into all of our crevices and it can’t help but pour itself out for fear it may totally consume us. Except, we have a choice.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into that passage of Matthew that opened this blog with The Message translation.

“If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree. “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”” ~ Matthew 12:33-37

You see, as I stated earlier, we have a choice. My son tells me that when I pass from this life to the next, he’s going to take my remains and make me into a tree. It makes me laugh. I don’t know if he’ll actually do that or not. But, if he does, I hope I’m a tree that produces healthy fruit.

That’s the legacy I’d like to leave behind for those who come after me. Healthy fruit. Life giving, healthy fruit that carries over from generation to generation.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you probably heard this before, “if you ain’t got nothing nice to say, DON’T say it.” We literally do not have to comment on everything we come across. It’s a choice.

It’s my heartfelt prayer no one ever speaks another mean word to you but if they do, I hope your roots are firmly planted in the love of Jesus Christ and who He says you are. He is after all, the sustainer of ALL that is good.

And that is something worthy of all our praise!

Have a beautiful day my friends!

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