Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Stick Art

Yesterday, my granddaughter and son came for a visit. I love when they come over. It reminds me how precious life is and to not take these moments for granted. Lena and I have some pretty great conversations. Her 5 year old logic is pretty insightful at times. Then there’s the times I look to her Father for clarification and we both sit there with a confused daze on our faces.

It was a beautiful Spring day. After all the cold days, the warmth of the sunshine felt amazing. I was still running errands when Lena and Justin came over. I pulled my vehicle into the driveway, Lena was digging a hole and her dad was overseeing it. She came running to the car when she saw me pull up. We hugged and she went running off.

Justin and I sat at the patio table while Lena happily played with sticks. She started picking up sticks and planting them in the ground. She was very particular about the sticks she chose for her project. She even did some pruning on the ones that didn’t quite fit the way she wanted.

Although, she totally missed seeing the sword her dad and I saw in one of her hand-picked sticks before ripping off the offending branches. Simultaneously, Justin and I started to say something about the sword stick but her little hands were faster than our reactions. She didn’t care. She kept pressing on.

This morning as I sat down with my coffee, Moose and my devotions, I was reminded of Lena’s carefully and thoughtfully constructed stick creation. I wish I would’ve take a picture. But, alas, I did not. And we all know woulda, coulda, shoulda’s, don’t change, what is.

Lena spent quite some time on that creation. After it was just the way she wanted it, she left it alone to come help me spy dog poo so I could pick it up. Moose got entangled in the stick art masterpiece and Lena ran over to help him. The sticks came a tumbling down. She didn’t care. She went off to the next project after helping Moose.

As I reflected on the Lena/stick events from yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of how God carefully constructs us. How He lovingly places gifts and talents where He needs them. How he prunes our “dead” branches that no longer fit in our lives. I thought about how when we fall apart, He doesn’t get all bent out of shape, He just leads us to the next thing.

I thought, how awesome is it, God can have a little girl build a stick creation and remind me how He uses ALL things to accomplish what He needs.

This all came after a pretty rough night with Moose. I took him outside for his last evening potty break. When we came back inside, I went to brush my teeth and he jumped on my bed. I didn’t see him do it, but he peed right where I sleep. Insert curse words here, because, yep, I used them.

I was tired, a bit grumpy and now let’s add anger to the mix. I showed him his mess, I reprimanded him, and then I put him back outside. I ripped the bedding off and threw it in the washer. I was HOT! I muttered under my breath, kept saying things I know better than to say, and then I grabbed Moose from outside and put him in his kennel for the night. Grrrr!

I didn’t sleep well. Night sweats from menopause don’t help. I didn’t care for my own behavior. I cried out to God and said this was too hard. Moose is more “work” than I wanted. Trying to break his 2 year old bad habits is hard. He barks way too much, and potty training him is…well, hard. He still barks at Justin’s every move when he’s here. Sigh.

This morning, God blessed me with another wake-up. I got out of bed and went and got Moose, he wagged his tail and jumped up to say hi! He didn’t stop loving me because I got angry.

Guess what? God doesn’t stop loving us when we get angry. He understands our emotions. He continually loves me through the pruning process. Last night’s angry escapades showed me I had some work to do. After all, isn’t that what God’s amazing grace is all about?

We’re always so hard on ourselves an God is constantly giving us grace. Shouldn’t we receive that grace and begin the day anew, just as He intended?

Never underestimate how God shows up in your life. When I said He uses ALL things, I mean, ALL things. Sticks, dogs, emotions, and the list goes on and on. His majestic imagination and creativity are endless.

Question is, are you looking for Him to answer how you think He’ll answer? If so, you may be missing what He’s trying to show you. Be on the lookout, stay alert, and know our Heavenly Father is always working in ways that we can’t take credit for, because there’s no way we can out wit God.

That alone is something to be thankful for!

Have an amazing day, friends. xoxo

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Too Soon

I thought I’d drop a Moose update today. Unfortunately, he still has his cone on. I’m hoping for it to come off tomorrow.

Basically, I tried taking the cone off too early. I thought I could try the onesie again and the one small area that still needed to heal, he’d hopefully, leave alone.

This was not the case. So, I had to put the cone back on but not before he caused a few days set back.

In my defense, a scab had fallen off the neutered area, and I figured we were in the clear.

Moose was a champ about me putting the cone back on. Seems I was more antsy about him having it on than he was. Watching him try to scratch the cone over where it itched on his actual head was sad. I felt bad for him.

Now I feel worse for not waiting. But, isn’t that just like life? We want something so bad and we jump in before it’s time?

We don’t want to save the money for something we think we need so we get a credit card thinking that will solve our problem. In reality, it can make things much worse than had we waited to save the money. Paying an interest rate on top of the inflated cost of an item doesn’t make us rich, but it sure put money in someone’s pocket.

How about when we know God has put a dream in our hearts and we don’t wait for His timing but instead jump in before we’ve been properly prepared?

Usually what happens when we move prematurely instead of waiting for God, we don’t receive the full effect of what God has for us, we settle.

I can’t count the number of times I knew in my knower I was supposed to wait for what I thought I wanted, but instead plunged forward. Having to eat the fruit of those consequences is never easy.

Like Moose, the minutes he reveled in his cone-less freedom were no doubt amazing. He frolicked, rolled around, and scratched in areas he couldn’t reach when the cone was on. He even laid his little head on my chest. It was so adorable. He jumped down, and then he began licking. I attempted to make him stop. But, he wanted what he wanted. His wound wasn’t totally healed and now he’d have to pay the consequences of those few minutes of rebellion.

God has given us the Holy Spirit to warn us. You may call it a gut-feeling or intuition. Either way, when we ignore the internal “stop” sign, we’ll have consequences that follow.

The best thing to do when we know we’re headed down the wrong path is immediately change course. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always immediately change course.

I try to justify my way through it far longer than I should. All that’s ever done is prevent the inevitable. In staying or doing anything longer than I know I should typically hurts others as well. It’s never my intent to hurt others, but all actions have consequences. Oy vey!

I’m ever learning that God’s timing truly is perfect even if I don’t understand the reasons I have to wait. But isn’t that where trust and faith come into play?

I’ll leave you with that question to chew on. Here’s an updated picture of Moose, content to be right where he was; in my lap, soaking up the sun, cone and all.

We can learn a lot from our furry friends.

Moose, say cheese! Look at that smile!
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Cone of Shame

I had to take Moose to have his neutered area checked today. It didn’t look right to me. In addition to it looking red, I was having trouble getting him to quit licking the wound.

First I tried the cone I was given. He freaked out. Like a ninja swatting at spider webs kind of freak out. So I found the only onesie in my house. It was way too big. But, it would have to do for the night until I could get to the store and buy him one.

I got one that fit, but he kept licking the onesie. Seriously? I tried soothingly coaxing with my best, no, don’t do that voice, to no avail. I tried using a stern voice. Nope. He was having none of it. He wanted what he wanted and he wanted to lick. Well, don’t say I didn’t try, Moose.

It was time to put the dreaded cone of shame on him. I was prepared to love him through it, but he was fine with it this time. Go figure.

But, the cone was a bit too small. I tried to make it work, but I finally had to call the vet because I can’t watch him 24/7 and he was still doing what he wanted; getting to that “forbidden” area as much as he possibly could.

And let me tell you, that dog is lightning fast when it comes to licking. Just ask my face and ear holes. Nothing like having a dog’s tongue go up your nose. Ewww.

Moose doesn’t understand why he can’t do what comes naturally to him by licking a wound. He wants to do what he thinks will make it better. Instead, it will make things worse for him. It’s up to me to make sure he heeds what’s best for him in the long run. I don’t like the cone either, but it’s better than the alternative.

I think it’s funny it’s called the “cone of shame”. He didn’t do anything bad to deserve the wearing of the cone. He just needs it for protection against infection. That rhymed. HA!

Did you know we have a “cone” of protection? It’s called the Bible. God made sure to give us His protection by giving us exactly what we needed.

For those that don’t know God, they see the Bible as something that stops them from having fun the way they want.

Instead, it’s the longest love letter ever written just for you so you know how to navigate this ever changing crazy world.

When we don’t heed to what He’s warned us about not to do, guess what? We do all the things that cause us to be infected and overtaken by sin.

That’s where the cone of shame comes in. Have you ever done something wrong, knew it was wrong, then felt convicted of it? How did it make you feel?

Guilty? Shameful? Sad? Disgusted? Maybe it’s all of those things plus a few others.

I grew up in the Catholic religion. Talk about a lot of dos and don’ts. I remember going into the confessional and having to confess my wrong doings to a priest. I never felt comfortable doing that. But it was part of being a “good” Catholic.

I always felt shameful walking in the confessional as a child. There was always someone in the church watching you walk in and out of it. For all I know, they timed how long I was in there, too.

I didn’t feel any better coming out of the booth with my litany of prayers to recite for penance. It was like slapping a heavy chain on my wrong doings. Then I had to walk up the miles long church aisle to the hard wooden pew.

Confession. I don’t think I ever said the amount of prayers I was given. Another confession. I lied to the priest. Gasp! Wait, one more. I was surly with the priest. I know, right? How I made it out of the church without my pants catching on fire is beyond me. You know, liar, liar, pants on fire?

Imagine if that’s how I felt about that part of the catholic religion, how I felt about God! Is it any wonder, I would throw my protective cone off and run nilly willy in the opposite direction?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in no way blaming a religion for my choices. But, it did factor into some of my wayward decision making.

After years of letting sin run my life, I wanted out. The world and what it had to offer was too much, too heavy, and too pained for me. But God! My plan collided with His and He lifted me up.

Imagine my surprise when instead running into a hard hearted God I ran smack into a loving, protective Father. Instead of a litany list of prayers for penance, He simply said, “You’re forgiven.” Instead of a leather belt whipping task master, I found a Father who only wanted to scoop me up, soothe all my wounds, heal my heart, and restore what’s been stolen.

Moose may not like his cone, but as his protector it’s my job to see he’s well loved.

Jesus as my Protector, wants me to know how loved I am.

As I look back on my life, He’s in every single place. He gave me a choice on which way to go. And even though I’ve chosen the worst path, countless times, He’s still, right there, ready to turn those ashes into something beautiful.

Why would He do that? It’s the same reason He suffered at the hands of accusers and died a sinners death on a cross. Love. He did it for LOVE.

He did it for me. He did if for you. He did it for ALL. I don’t know what type of “cone” you may be wearing, but, Jesus has a crown with your name on it. It’s your choice, cone or crown. Just another example of the love He has for you. You get to choose.

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Rescued

It’s been about a week and a half since Moose made his way into my life. Rescued dogs are not the same as pups you get that are 6-8 weeks old. They have a past.

I don’t know Moose’s full story. I don’t know what he’s been through, what he saw, or when his true birthday is. I don’t even truly know how old he is. Could be anywhere from 2-4? All I know is what I have. All I can do is love him from this day forward.

I have no idea if dog’s do what people do when life is less than for them. Do they fantasize about a better life when their life isn’t going according to plan? Do they get jealous of other dogs who seem to have it better off? Do they long for greener grass?

I do know that whatever happened to him, helped form some of his habits. I’ve had to potty train him. He still needs to be neutered. He eats his food like it’s on fire and because he eats so fast, he can get indigestion which seems to make him vomit just as quickly as his food went down. And there’s no warning. One minute he’s walking along, the next minute, vomit. Yuck!

I was watching tv the other day, and I don’t remember what show it was, but they said something about the “Parent lottery”. Pretty much summarizing how kids never know what they’re going to be born into.

Out of all the things in this life we have to get certified or licensed to do, bringing children into the world isn’t one of them. It’s a free for all.

I could go on for days about the heartbreak of not taking the seriousness of bringing children into this world and the damages that have been caused from years of neglect and abuse on lives that never asked to be here. I could go on for days about bringing a pet into your home, only to realize it’s way more work than you thought, so the animal suffers because you didn’t think it through. But, you can see these type stories every day in the news. Multiple examples daily.

I remember my son wanting his own dog as teenager. Over and over for years, I told him no. I knew who would wind up taking care of the dog. Who would be footing the vet bills. Who would be responsible for the cost of food. Who would eventually wind up training the dog. He wanted the easy part. Loving the dog.

Now that he’s grown up and pays his own bills, he understands more of what owing a dog would entail. When or if he gets his own dog, I know he’ll take better care into making a decision that can affect his life for years.

If I said I was sold on having Moose here, I’d be lying. It boggles my pea brain how a dog that could be between 2-4 is not potty trained! It hurts my heart to see him rush through his food like someone is going to take it away. He barks, way more than any dog I’ve ever owned. He barks continuously every time my son moves when he happens to be here. He’s so mouthy!

On the flip side, Moose is so loving. When he’s not barking, he’s adorable in every way. He loves to play fetch and go for walks. He’s a face licker. I’m not a fan of that. No siree, that is not my jam. It makes me feel like Lucy VanPelt. I want to run in circles while screaming “arrgghhh, get the disinfectant.” He’s mostly a cuddler but he’s ok on his own.

Then, out of the blue the other day, I noticed something wrong with his eye. Ugh! Turns out to be something called “cherry eye.” I’ll let you check it out for yourself if you’re interested in what it actually is. It’s only in one eye and I’m really hoping it doesn’t happen to the other eye.

This is my ugly part. I’m the one from the dysfunctional home that doesn’t want hard. I’m the one who wants all things to be easy and pretty. I’m the one who thinks that because her childhood sucked, she should get a pass in the adult part.

Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Life is hard. Life is messy. Life is heartbreaking. And then your new to you dog gets “cherry eye”, and the oh so adorable looking Moose is now visibly flawed in addition to all the stuff going on in his brain I can’t see or erase.

This just got a bit harder than I wanted it to be. My first thought was, I’ll just surrender him back to the shelter because he won’t stop barking at my son. It’s too disruptive. And more aggressive than I’m comfortable with.

After all, I wanted the perfect rescue dog and this is not what I got. I know, I heard me whine too.

To assuage any guilt with this returning of the rescue dog, I was going to give the shelter everything I bought and let them keep the adoption fee. Surely, that would help the next person who was better suited for Moose.

But, something inside flipped yesterday as I was driving him to the vet to find out about his eye. In the car he was visibly shaken. He had a whine/cry emanate from him that just broke my heart. All of a sudden, all I wanted to do was to protect him and love him through whatever was coming.

We all have a rescue story. We all have parts of our lives that we don’t want anyone to see. Except there is One who knows our entire story from beginning to end.

Not once has God given any pause to how much He’s loved me. He’s looks past my flaws and says I’m the apple of His eye. His treasure. His masterpiece. God is always looking at our hearts. We’re always looking at the outer person.

When God rescued me from my mess, He didn’t say “take this one back to the shelter” until she’s perfect. No, He came to me just as I was. Messy, flawed and totally beat up and down by life. He enfolded me into His arms and said.

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Last night at Bible study we learned the word “yoke” and the way it’s used in this verse means “teachings”. It doesn’t mean to strap on a big, awkward, heavy neck constraint. It means when we go to Jesus, we’ll find rest. When we learn from Him we find out who He really is. We do this by spending time with Him.

See, I was thinking my Moose would be an easy rescue. A picture perfect match made in Hallmark land. But easy is not what this is about at all. It’s about getting to know him. A week and half is barely scratching the surface. I guess it’s really true what they say about rescue pets.

Here I thought I was rescuing Moose, and he’s rescuing me.

Be gentle with yourself and others today. You never know when you’ll need rescued and it may be by the very person/thing you’re trying to run from. Remember, God uses ALL things!

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Flag Bearer

When I joined the Air Force, there were things about Basic Military Training (BMT) that my recruiter forgot to share. To be fair, I didn’t know what I should ask, so I’ll give my recruiter the benefit of the doubt in that he shared only what I needed to know. I wonder if I still would’ve joined if he’d had shared I would need to run? Things that make you go hmmm.

The first morning on BMT my flight was called to the day room. They referred all the trainees assigned to a particular group a flight. The temporary flight Technical Instructor (TI) had us all sit down around him and he led the “getting to know you” session.

All I remembered was my step-father saying before I left: “Don’t volunteer for anything”. I was cool with those instructions.

Question by question was answered by the raising of hands with no ramifications. Sneaky. Then the TI asked this question: “How many of you were ever in a marching band”? My hand shot up along with a few others and he pointed at each raised hand and said: “1,2,3,4,5.” you’re my squad leaders and my flag bearer”. He also pointed to another gal and dubbed her “flight chief”.

Wait! What? Seriously, what just happened? My mind screamed, I didn’t volunteer, I didn’t volunteer! Yet, there I found myself out on the “pad” standing in the front of the fourth squad. Awesome.

The pad was the slab of concrete where we formed up in the mornings or any other time we were called to form up.

The flag bearer was the shortest of us voluntold trainees. The flag bearer stood in front of the fourth squad. That would be me. Let me paint a picture. I’m 5’8. She was maybe 5’2′. The gal who stood directly behind me, well she was a giant. Okay, not a giant but she was at least 6 foot tall.

This gal who stood behind me came prepared for BMT. Her recruiter must’ve shared everything with her. Her hair was super short. She’d be training for months for the running portion of our government paid for “vacation”. She was tall, lanky, and had a bit of a southern drawl. I can still see and hear her as I type this. Crazy how some things stick with you.

The first time our flight showed up to the track we were told we would have to run in formation and go no faster than our tiny flag bearer. I was totally ok with that as running was in no way my thing.

Thank the Lord our flag bearer was a bit older and like me, didn’t consider herself a runner. Whew!

Tall gal behind me let it be know with every step she was not happy. She barked things at us, like, “move it,” and “go faster,” over and over. All her training, and all her barking could not make the flag bearer go any faster. But she got a lot of lip from me telling her to knock it off that she wasn’t helping.

Guess the recruiter didn’t share with tall gal that no amount of preparation could totally prepare her for the reality of BMT.

We eventually found our groove and tall gal stopped barking at us and most of us graduated BMT. In 6 weeks we went from a motely ragtag crew to a polished team. During those weeks, there was a lot of laying our former selves down. We had to learn to get along with many different personalities.

It’s not always easy following the rules and looking our for each other. Such was the case for those that got sent home. BMT was all about learning to become a team.

Back to my barking friend and the point of this story. While we were running the flag bearer had “control”. But, she wanted control. Hence the barking out of her demands.

I have to admit. I’ve done the same thing when it comes to the things I think are taking longer in my life that I’d like. So, I “bark” at God. It’s my way of telling Him, He needs to “move it” or “go faster”. It’s my way of trying to take control.

Just like the flag bearer wasn’t on my friend’s time table. God is not on mine. In fact, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about God’s timing:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

God’s time table is not the same as ours. His time table is infinitely more bigger than we could ever imagine. His time table is all about ALL people coming to Christ. However that looks like.

So, I can “bark” at God all I like, but in the end, He’ll still move at His pace and His timing. He’s my flag bearer and keeping pace with Him, will keep the peace within me.

Have an amazing day my friends. Please say a prayer for my Moose, he’s got something going on with his eye and while he’s still being all barky, he’s not himself. Much love to you!

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Moose

As you all know, my sweetest Gabby gurl passed over the rainbow bridge the beginning of January. It’s been a couple months of those emotional roller coaster ups and downs. I even stopped wearing make-up because I never knew when the feelings would come leaking out of my eyes. It sure didn’t take much for the tears to flow. Some I choked back, but most just flowed unashamedly from my eyes. She was the absolute best!

A couple of days ago I heard about an adoption day at our local Pet Smart. Earlier in the day I did a bit of shopping and then had lunch with a dear friend. We also went out shopping for a bit after we ate. We parted ways and I decided to head to Pet Smart. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for this step but I decided what the heck and headed inside.

Immediately I was hit with all the emotions and the tears started to well up in my eyes. Y’all, I hadn’t even seen the adoptable pets yet. I walked quickly to the back of the store and went up and down a couple aisles doing my best to gain my composure. I prayed, “Lord, what is this mess all about? Please help and guide me, and don’t let me settle.” Did I mention I put make-up on today?

I meandered over to the dogs in the kenneled area and glanced at them. When I say meandered I mean I took my sweet time, weaving up and down the aisles. There were 3 small dogs. You could tell they were older and there were other future pet owners eyeing them and talking baby talk to the dogs. Why do we do that? I patted one of the dogs on the head, and walked away. It would appear this was not the day to get a new puppy.

As I walked further down the aisle, away from the adoptable pets, my phone rang. I looked at the unfamiliar number and decided to answer it. I was totally ready for someone to start talking to me about my expired car warranty. HA! Instead, it was someone from another local shelter saying they think they found me a match.

They described him….let me stop there. I was not looking for a him. They kept talking and said he had been surrendered to the shelter, was approximately 2 years old, maybe part terrier, part dachshund, and possibly chihuahua. There’s no way of truly knowing unless you get a doggie DNA test. They said he was all of 10 pounds. I was just about to tell them no, when then said his name. Moose.

The handler said he was the sweetest boy and just knew I’d love him. Hmm. Him. Since I was already close to the shelter, I thought I could swing by, look at Moose and see if they had any other small female dogs.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog you know I spent 20 years in Alaska. I’ve seen my fair share of what I call “Mooser mooses”. One of the things I miss about AK is seeing all the moose. I love me some moose and especially when the mama’s are out with their new born calves. Sooooo flippin’ adorable.

When my grand daughter was born, because of her weight, one of the nurses referred to her as a “moose”. I kid you not!

I pulled into the parking lot and stared at the doors. Am I ready? Sigh. Only one way to find out. I walked in and told the woman behind the glass I was here to meet Moose. Her smile lit up her face and she seemed genuinely excited for me. Or maybe she was excited for Moose. Either way, she picked up the phone to let them know I was there and what do you think I did? That’s right, all the emotions bubbled up to the surface and I started to cry–again. I told you I put make-up on, right? I did the girl fan wave at my face and gained my composure. Does that wave thing ever really work?

I would like to say it was love at first sight, but Moose was not interested in me. Not even a little bit. And here I thought I wanted nothing to do with him.

He was totally invested in his handler and was doing his best to be right next to her. That is until she brought out chopped hot dogs and placed them in my hand. He inhaled them and she talked and talked about Moose and what he’d been experiencing since being at the shelter.

She didn’t know a lot because she had only just met him that morning when she came to work. She did know he was clingy. No doubt to be expected.

After all, his life was forever changed upon the owners surrender. Moose was a bit “mouthy” as the handler called him. He was skittish and yes, he was clingy. Again, all things to be expected given his situation.

We spoke at great lengths. I asked a lot of questions and I told her it was not my intention to get a male dog. Her face fell a bit, but it didn’t dissuade her from telling me more about him and they would be closed Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday morning they would need an answer or he’d be up for grabs.

Do you know where he was at this point? Laying partially on my feet on a cold floor. I asked her about returning him should things not work out? She told me it happens, and they understand that sort of thing. My mind said, “but the puppy doesn’t”. Ugh!!

I called his name. He looked up at me and showed me his belly. Biscuits! As my grand daughter would say. I couldn’t stand the idea of him being in the shelter any longer than he had been. Please know these animals are taken good care of given the circumstances. I rubbed his belly, I looked at the handler, I looked back at him, and I said, “ok, let’s do this”. She was thoroughly excited.

As we exited the meet and greet room so I could make the arrangements, they brought his dog bed and his little stuffed lamb-y. I didn’t know I was going to get these items. They told me how cute Moose was when he just stands there with lamb-y in his mouth. Next thing I knew, me and Moose or is that Moose and me, got in the car to start our adventure. And again, I pray. “Lord, thank you for this gift, please give me wisdom to take the very best care of him.”

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Moose and his sidekick lamb-y! How can you not loveee that face?!

Moose and his lamb-y
Making himself at home. Do you see lamb-y?
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His Grace Covers

grace3

I love my mother, but I can’t say I always like my mother.  Now I could go into the thousand little things that rub me the wrong way about her, but we’re taught as Christians for our words to uplift not tear down.  On the flip side, I”m sure I have the propensity to rub her the wrong way as well.   Although, I can’t imagine that (total sarcasm).  Maybe that’s part of the reason when it was time to leave home, I went sprinting for the nearest way outta dodge, so to speak. For 20 of those years I was fortunate enough to live just about as far away from NY as I could get while still being in the US.  Key words being “just about.”

Living in AK. I learned a thing or two about moose.  I was intrigued by these lovable monstrosities.  I loved the way they sauntered from yard to yard, neighborhood to neighborhood, and right out into traffic without a care in the world. The only time I ever really heard of a moose getting all riled up was if you got too close to the baby moose.  Thankfully, I was never witness to such a scene.  I knew if I saw a young ‘un, I’d better high tail it in another direction. I would cross the street, go through ditches, scale fences if need be and stay inside the safety of whatever building or vehicle I was in until the “danger” was over.

It was something I could see, something I knew I could avoid.  It’s easy to avoid the danger when it’s out in plain view.  But what about the times when the danger isn’t obvious and you don’t see the “attack” coming, or as you see the “attack” coming, instead of running in the other direction, you run head on, full steam ahead? 

Before Christ, I always chose to head into the fray with my mom in full steam ahead mode.  Oh, how that woman could push every single one of my “how dare she…who does she think she is” buttons.  I’m a grown woman after all and I don’t have to live the life she thinks I need to live and then…… ”who is she….like she didn’t make a mess of her life,” and seriously, “what did she have to offer me?”

Sometimes I felt quite victorious when we both hung up in fits of anger. Better yet, now I wouldn’t have to speak with her for weeks, cause I sure wasn’t going to apologize for the argument she started. How awesome was I that I just put the smack down on my mom and used all the big words I know to put her in her place?  Can anyone relate?  If you can, then you know, the weeks afterward that you didn’t speak, weren’t peaceful, because the argument was replayed over and over inside your head. It was then that I would think of things I could’ve said to prove my points even better.  In fact, I would think to myself, “when I speak to my mom again, I’m so working those points into the conversation.”  Harrumph…I’ll show her!!   

How unhealthy is that? Can you just feel the burden I placed on my “victorious” self? There’s a reason God says, “In your anger do not sin:” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) Anger is not from God, He is a God of peace.  The enemy will have you replaying the hurtful event over and over.  Why?  It’s simple really…because your focus is now where the enemy wants it.  Is it on the goodness of God?  No!! You’re now playing all over the devil’s playground, and I don’t know about you, but my experiences there have taught me that playground straight up sucks!  

Therein lies God’s amazing grace. Christ came in, plucked me out of the pit, I dug over the years and rescued me. Every day He lovingly shows/guides me with His Word on how to be the person He created me to be.  Now, that’s a realm where I can flourish and grow and play to my heart’s content.  By being obedient and submissive to His teachings, I can go to Him any time of the day or night and cry out to my Daddy for assurance of who I am in Him and receive all the love He has to give. In case you haven’t heard, God’s love doesn’t run out.  Can I get an Amen!!

I would like to say I have it all figured out, that I know exactly how to deal with my mom and she can’t phase me at all with her words.  But, that’s not true.  To be honest, I sometimes feel even more vulnerable when an “attack” happens.  She still has the “power” to make my heart hurt, and tears fall down my face.  But, there’s a huge difference now.  While I may want to feed into the unhealthy frenzy, I know I don’t have to defend myself and who I am to her.  I am accepted and loved just how I am by the King and Creator of the Universe!! 

When I feel offended or hurt by what my mom says, I have a solid Rock to stand on.  I can go to the Word of my Father and receive what He tells me about who I am in Him.  And if I “blow it,” I can go to my Father with a repentive heart and His Grace Covers me.  Doesn’t give me the license to sin freely, just lets me know, when I make a mess, I don’t have to wallow in it.  And neither do you!!  Let the Grace of God cover you, then take that godly grace and share it abundantly. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you have to be the one to apologize first, the results may just surprise you!!  And as I make my trek with God, I can see how He’s working in her life, and the small changes being made in her, but I more notice the changes He is doing in me.  And while I still stumble, I’ve never been more at peace with my life.  Thank you Lord, for calling my name!!

Have you made peace with our Savior?  Do you feel that something is just not right, that there must be something more? That’s not a worldly “thing” calling out to you…that’s your Heavenly Father.  No earthly “treasure” can fill that void.  I know, I tried for far too many years to fill it with all the wrong things.  Will you answer His call?  I guarantee He won’t hang up and His treasure won’t fail and can’t be taken from you!!

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