Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Cohorts

The definition of a cohort is a supporter or companion. I hope you have a cohort or several cohorts in your life. In turn, I hope someone considers you their cohort.

Where I worked at my most recent job before I resigned my coworker and I dubbed each other “cohort in crime.” Not that we were doing anything illegal in any way, it was just a fun way to refer to one another.

I can’t even begin to tell you what a beautiful person inside and out she is because words can’t explain the depth of love she brings to the world.

She’s a giver. She doesn’t have to tell you she’s a giver, you just know because she’s always giving someone, something. Her time, talents, love, laughter, chores, and the list goes on and on. Not only is she a giver. She’s got some really awesome wisdom to share.

Today she stopped over to meet Moose and to give me my birthday gifts. She even brought Moose a new little lamb-y. So sweet, right?

You have to be super careful with these type givers in that you don’t get so used to their giving, you begin to take advantage of them. That’s something that happens way too often in this world.

But you know what? That won’t stop a true giver. They won’t let the world ruin the way giving makes them feel. They don’t expect anything in return. They simply love the way it makes them feel by the way their giving makes you feel. These people are a treasure.

It’s up to us to take good care of them in return.

Just as there are givers in the world, there are takers. Takers have a way of finagling their way into your life and not adding a single good thing. Oh, they put on a good show and they have a thousand excuses as to why they need things and if you’re happy to give them, they will suck you dry. Mostly they’ll tell you it’s because the world has done them wrong. The takers are never at fault.

I think it’s safe to say at one point or another we’ve all been givers and takers. Anytime you want something that you know doesn’t belong to you and you make and execute a plan to get it, you’re a taker.

A perfect example of this is adultery. Hmmm. What’s that persnickety commandment God gave us that we think is outdated and clearly He didn’t mean it when He said it?

“You shall not commit adultery.” – Exodus 20:14 (NIV)

Basically it’s when you take someone else’s spouse for your own gain. No matter how you try to justify it, it’s adultery. Trust me, I tried justifying this sin in my life over and over when I wanted what I wanted. It was always a sin. It was always bad for me. Why on earth do we ever go after someone else’s spouse?

I know my reasons. None of them were ever worth what eventually was destroyed.

There was a song back in the day where the lyrics said:

“Oh it’s sad to belong to someone else, when the right one comes along.” It was sung by England Dan & John Ford Coley. I loved that song. I sang that song over and over and it popped in my brain as I was typing this up. I didn’t plan it.

Do you think if something is said enough you begin to believe it? I do. This song while considered a love song, pretty much says how awful it is to be with someone when suddenly the right one comes along.

Further in the song it says:

“… Oh, I wake up in the night
And I reach beside me hoping you would be there
But instead I find someone
Who believed in me when I said, “I’d always care””

Talk about a punch in the gut to the person he’s currently with. But, wait, it gets better. Let’s look at one more stanza:

“… So I’ll live my life in a dream world
For the rest of my days
Just you and me walkin’ hand in hand
In a wishful memory
Oh, I guess it’s all that it will ever be”

Awesome, right? How much do you think he’s going to invest in his current relationship with his head in an imaginary world over one that will never be?

The fact of the matter is adultery is in our face and accepted in all kinds of tv shows, movies, and songs. Therefore, because, everyone else is doing it, it must be ok.

Friends, there’s a reason why God put the commandments into place. It’s out of love and for our good. But, just like Adam and Eve, we want more. So we take the forbidden fruit.

It’s why when Jesus came along He added another commandment:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34 (NIV)

Love one another. This is not love the feeling that wears out like the lyrics from that song.. This is love the action. Love in action will never take what doesn’t belong to them. Love in action is all about giving.

So you see, when I said if you have a true giver in your life, you should treasure them. Because they’re doing God’s work. And it doesn’t get any better than that.

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Day by Day

Music. I’m so thankful for music. Without warning, songs make their way in my brain and just like that I’m wandering down a path of remembrance.

The song that popped into my head as I sat down to write was the title of the blog. Day by day. It was a song released in May of 1972. I can’t even tell you the last time I thought of this song. But, here it is.

I’m also thankful for Google. How cool that in this day and age we can type a few words in a search engine and have the information pop up at our fingertips? If you didn’t have to wait for the library to open, so you could rummage through the card catalog to find the information you needed; you’re blessed!

I needed Google so I could find the rest of the words that went with the parts of the song that I knew. They’re aren’t a lot of lyrics to this song. It’s a song from a Broadway play called Godspell. The lyrics are simple:

“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”

That’s it. For about 3.5 minutes those words are repeated over and over. Only the tempo of the music changes.

Simplicity is not given enough credit. Over thinking, over complicating, and over emphasizing seems more the flavor of the day.

How often have you heard someone say “I wish things were simpler”? Or, “Back in the day, things were so much easier”.

We forget that “back in the day” they also had their troubles. No doubt they too wished for simpler days. There isn’t a single generation that didn’t come with their own issues.

Things have progressed with each generation and we still aren’t happy. We’re still not filled. We’re still found wanting. We’re still looking for the thing that will make us rich, powerful, rich, famous, rich, and satisfied.

It’s no different than when I was growing up and thought all my blonde friends had what I needed or wanted. Or how I thought having the body style and size of someone else would magically make me feel more worthy and wanted. Or wanting to be just like somebody other than myself.

At what point do we ever say, enough? I have enough. I don’t need any more. I’m thankful for all I have. If you’ve gotten to that point, please let me know you’re secret.

When the Israelites were wandering around in the desert God provided their daily manna. If they took too much, it spoiled. They were instructed on how much to take for their day to day.

When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He said, “give us this day our DAILY bread”. (Emphasis added).

That didn’t stop them from wanting. Like I said, each generation had their issues. Question is, are we learning yet? Or are we repeating the past just in different ways? I’m gonna just leave that there for you to ponder on. You’re welcome!

Back to the song, and yes, I’m totally singing it as I type it. It’s how I roll.

“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”

Lord, let me see you more clearly. To know your heart.

Lord, let me love you more dearly. Because of who you are.

Lord, let me follow you more nearly. Because you’re the only example of what true love is.

Those 3 things are on a whole other level of wanting. It’s a running after the Father’s heart. Maybe, just maybe, if we did these 3 things daily, there’d finally be true peace on earth; good will toward men. And we could truly love one another as our Heavenly Father instructed us to do.

Peace to you my friends.

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Go Away…

As I listened to the radio on my drive to work, a huge smile spread across my face as an old familiar tune played through the speakers. As soon as Donny Osmond started to sing “Go Away Little Girl,” I couldn’t help but sing along with him. 

If you could see me right now, you’d see I’m still smiling. 

Ohhh the crush I had on him when I was younger. With his poster hung on my bedroom wall, I’d dream about the day I would marry him. Well, that didn’t happen. He chose another. Rude, right? ha ha 

After the song was over, the announcer said, “No he doesn’t. He doesn’t really want her to leave, Donny’s just playing hard to get.” 

In this song scenario, my beloved Donny was already in a relationship. But there was another girl who caught his eye, who from the sounds of things, was a little too close for his comfort so he told her “go away little girl”. He even explained the reasons why he wanted her to go away. 

Did she go away? In the song scenario, we’ll never know. It ends with him repeatedly telling her to simply “go away”.  

Temptation.

By definition, temptation is:

“the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” 

Me thinks there’s going to be some serious consequences to those who fall into the trap of temptation.

Make no mistake, I may have said “fall” into temptation, but you don’t fall. You choose. Whatever you decide to do when faced with temptation, is your choice. Your choice. 

When I was younger, for some reason, I knew it was wrong to want somebody who belonged to someone else. I had many crushes over the years.Donny’s poster came down, and David Cassidy’s went up. David’s came down and Starsky’s went up. The original Starsky, thank you very much. 

I think you get the point. I remember when Paul Michael Glaser, aka Starsky, got married in real life, I thought, welp, no more fantasizing I’ll be his wife. That was in 1980. 

Somewhere between 1980 and 1984, those lines of “you don’t mess with someone who’s taken” became so blurred, the line failed to exist altogether.

The consequences of my choices left me heartbroken and devastated. How devastated? 

So devastated by the culmination of my unchecked sins that I wanted to check out of this life. The pain was excruciating and I thought it was the only way out.

Looking back, I will say those temporary pleasure choices were not worth the cost. 

The first time you choose the temptation, whatever that may be for you, you may feel guilt, remorse, shame, and a slew of other bad emotions and then choose never to give into it again. 

Or, you may bury all the bad emotions and continue to choose the guilty pleasure time and time again. 

Either way, I dare say, you never truly know when, and for how long the effects of the choice you made will haunt you. All because you gave into temptation. 

You could argue that you had no choice, you had to do it. You could argue that the temptation was just too great. There was no way you could’ve walked away. You had to do it. 

You can easily “justify” the temptation in an effort to make it appear that giving into it was the only choice. 

You could even say, “no one could have overcome that temptation.” But what if I told you, you have an out? What if I told you, you have been given the authority to squash any temptation that presents itself? 

1 Corinthians 10:13 says: 

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Stop! Go back, and read that verse again. What did you see? This is what I saw:

  1. Your temptation is no different from what others experience
  2. God will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
  3. God will show you a way out 
  4. God is faithful  

That doesn’t mean you won’t have temptations, BUT, when you do, God will be faithful to show you a way out. So even if you do bite into the temptation, while you’ll have to suffer the consequences of your choice, He will show you a way to endure.

It also doesn’t mean you get to run around all willy nilly sinning all-the-day long because God will give you a way out. At some point you need to be responsible and use that gift of self-control God freely gives. 

Remember when I said that by my own choices I was left devastated and wanted to take my own life? Well, that was not God’s plan. He interrupted them. He gave me a way out so that I could endure, without ending my life.

He 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

This beautiful exchange of my devastating burdens for His rest did just what He promised. As I stepped out of my darkness and into His light, I was slowly renewed and restored. He was gentle and loving as He guided me through my sins and into repentance. 

It was an exchange. I had a choice to stay stuck in my pit or grab on to the hand of Jesus, and hang on for dear life. Had I not received what God wanted to give me, I can’t say for sure where I’d be now. 

Moral of this story can be found in Romans 12:2 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Make good choices my friend! You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache. Just because it feels good now, doesn’t mean it will feel good later. 

There are consequences to every choice, and you may never know how your one bad choice can affect generations. 

That’s right, generations. Ahhh, but that’s a blog for another day.

Have an amazing day! 

 

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Filling my bucket…

Leather_bucket_of_a_well

 

I remember this little song I sung as a child called, “There’s a hole in my bucket.”  It was a song between Liza and Henry and how to fix their bucket and in the end, after going over different options on how to fix the bucket, Liza told Henry to “use his head.” You can find more about the song here:

Wikipedia ~ There’s a hole in my bucket

The tempo of the song seemed to make the song go on forever.  I remember rolling my eyes and thinking, will this song never end?!!  I can imagine Liza thinking “oh for pity’s sake Henry, just fix the bucket already.”

I can relate to this entire song.  For as long as I can remember, I resembled that bucket.  Only every time a hole got “filled,” another one would open up.  I always looked for someone or something to fill the hole in my bucket.

In my childhood, my father wasn’t present but tried to fill his hole with prescription drugs and alcohol. He was so far removed from us that I would look to the perfect television father.  My mother was so critical I escaped into books to find the perfect life to fill my hole of “family.”  I was angry with God for the life He gave me.  I would think; “there’s got to be more to life than this!!”

As a teenager lacking the family connection, I longed for a boyfriend to fill the void…oh, I prayed, I begged, I bartered with God to send me someone who would fill the emptiness. I would get a boyfriend, and at first, it was fun and exciting, but it was never enough…I always found something wrong with them and so I kept searching and thinking; “there’s got to be more to life than this!!” Once again, the hole in the bucket needed filled.

As a young adult, I knew I had to leave the place where I grew up.  There was just no way this place had anything to offer.  The military seemed to be the perfect answer.  By the time I was 26, I was on my third marriage thinking; “there’s got to be more to life than this.”  So, a baby must be the answer.  While I love my son and I don’t regret having him, let me just say, a baby will not fill the hole.  I was still thinking; “there’s got to be more to life than this.”

After my third divorce, multiple affairs, being at the top of my military career, a house filled with “stuff,” friends who loved me, I hate to say, it still wasn’t enough.  The hole in my bucket was huge. I was seeking but not finding, I was reaching but grasping air. I had no clue how to “fix” me.  I was looking for that “one thing,” in everything.

Have you ever seen that movie “City Slickers?” In the movie the character “Mitch,” played by Billy Crystal is having a conversation with “Curly,” played by late Jack Palance.  Curly tells Mitch that life is about “one thing” and that “one thing,” is different for everybody.  By the end of the movie, Mitch figures out his “one thing.”

That “one thing” for me was always there…I just didn’t know, or didn’t understand.  But I can look back and see the God I was so angry with, the God I pushed away and replaced with idols, was always calling out to me. Oh, my friends, looking back I can see where and when He was with me, even if I wasn’t with Him. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, I was just so lost and deep in sin all I saw was emptiness.

That’s the awesomeness of God.  He’s always wooing us, He’s always waiting for us, He’s always showing us He’s right here!!  He accepts us just the way we are. Just..the…way…I…am.  I was an empty bucket in need of repair but I couldn’t be repaired because I was trying to fill my hole with the things of this world.

I needed to be looking up, to an eternal home. I needed the love of a Savior. I needed not the “one thing.” I needed the One!  Could it be, you also are trying to fill the hole in your bucket with the things of this world?  Come to Jesus, He’s calling you. He’s got everything you need.  He created you, how can He not know what you need?

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