Browsing Category: Oh Momma…

Oh Momma…When you REALLY Blow It!

So it was an afternoon at the Salon, pick up pizza because mom and I would be late getting home and life would be good right? Oh so not ‘right’.

At home was a stewing guy who collided with a girl who hates conflict. I won’t divulge the situation in detail but what I do want to share is that I responded in a most extremely unChrist-like manner. I blew, completely and totally blew it!

Seems like the enemy of my soul reared his ugly head in my heart and I reacted in a crazy fashion of yelling at the top of my lungs in response to what I thought was inappropriate charges. Okay, we all have fought and disagreed at some point in our marriage, but it seems more likely during the early years. Well, we will be in it 30 years in October and frankly, I shocked myself (which will give you an inclination of just how out of control I was!)

I have written before about blocked goals and know firsthand the frustrations that come from having your best laid plans interupted! And I have also written extensively on the topic of unforgiveness because it has been a key to my ‘growth’ and spiritual maturity. Is it is possible that maybe you can even identify with an unfortunate situation like mine.

Well, we didn’t speak the rest of the night. However on my three mile walk I allowed the Lord to speak to me about what had just happened. I am so glad I live in the rural part of our community because a sobbing woman walking swiftly might give cause for concern.

Line Break

You see, I am a leader, a woman who loves to mentor and lead other women in the Christ-like manner we should all be walking in when we are His girls. I was so ashamed of myself for the way I behaved. I was ready to put in my resignation at my Christian ministry job, cancel all speaking engagements, keep walking and never come back (I have a natural inclination to run!) and surely never face the one I tangled with.

However…our loving Father, who is so gracious and kind began to speak to my heart and hear the story that I spilled out, and yes, even though I knew He was there in the midst! However, He so gently reminded me that I am not responsible for the “but he did…” in this showdown. Nope, I had to face my pathetic response, face my wrongs and ask the Lord to search my heart and show me the wickedness of my own heart. Grief, what was in this heart of mine that would make me lash out in response the way I did?

Mist rising Psalm 139.23-24

Oh friend, this was such a humbling experience. I hadn’t been in this place for a long time and I was shocked at both of our responses. I continued to allow the Lord to show me my fears, insecurities, doubts and asked to see just where was this coming from. I didn’t raise my fist to heaven and try to blame God or my guy. That’s because I knew I had to look into my heart alone and trust that God would take care of the rest.

Line Break

When I returned home the guy was in bed, as he is an early to bed, early to rise type, which meant that it was just me and my mom (who was the unfortunate witness to the entire event) left to converse. I told her I was so ashamed of how I responded and asked her to forgive my outbursts. She wanted to justify my response and I just gently said I wouldn’t discuss it any further, and that I was terribly wrong. You see so often we want to rally our troops and justify our actions. Click To Tweet I knew I couldn’t do that! I had to respond correctly as the Lord had lead me to do.

The guy had worked so hard that day that I knew he needed his sleep or I would have awakened and we could have talked then. And I had prayed for boldness to end this thing before the “sun would go down on our anger.” However I slept and surprisingly well at that. He is most often awake before I am so when I got up his first response was “Good morning.” Hmmm…I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that and I grunted somewhat and proceeded to get busy making my muffins in hopes that we were all done and finished never to revisit last evenings main event ever again.

I was thankful that when he came into the kitchen he did apologize for his outburst the night before. To that, I was able to then reply back that I was so ashamed of my behavior. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to focus on him and what he did to get me riled up. No, this was about me. I had crossed the line and I wanted him to know that I knew how inappropriate it was and that I was so sorry and hoped that he would forgive me. I also told him that I loved him. And that is why this situation cut so deeply. People who love each other aren’t supposed to hurt each other like that, or at all (although it too frequently happens.)

You see, I have a small prayer group that meets weekly, and we care enough about one another’s spiritual well-being to be able to look each other in the eye and say,

It's not about them, it's about what God wants to work in you! Click To Tweet I admit, that sometimes bites! But I know it’s true.

So have you and your spouse every tangled?

How did you respond after the scenario played out?

From my perspective, here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t rally the troupes to gain support for your wound licking party. If this is about you then allow God to search your heart and be willing to take a look at the unpleasantness in your own heart. Both parties can turn ugly during a heated argument!
  • Ask the Father to show you if there is something in your heart that you have refused to give over to Him. Remember, diamonds are made from raw coal and pressure. Over time we hand Him every little bit so that He can make us more and more like Jesus.
  • Don’t focus on all that the other person did wrong in the situation. He did..she did this that and the other. This is where you admit that you are not responsible for changing the other one. That is not your job! There is no degree on wrong…it is just plain old wrong!
  • Ask the Father to show you how to humble your heart. Pride is a tool of the devil and he will certainly get you into trouble if you continue to entertain it.

Humility1

What can you do when reeling from a situation like this? Here is where you acknowledge your responsibility, humbling yourself and looking inward instead of over at the one who hurt you! Walking in humility isn’t easy but when you lay down your pride it can be done. And remember that these trials will only make you more and more like Christ, and you will be more inclined to offer grace to another when you see that they have blown it big time!

Make up your mind that the devil won’t win this battle!

 

Oh Momma, are You at Peace Today?

John16.33Is your contentment contingent on another’s happiness? Whether it is our children, our spouse, our our boss, too often unless they are happy then we will want to or tend to do cartwheels to make them happy. When they aren’t then we may have trouble settling in and being at peace.

Too often our thoughts and the things that we do are perpetuated by what another thinks or by how they may respond. I think we call that walking on eggshells! Boy that can make us one miserable and sometimes neurotic person!

I want to encourage you to look inside and ask yourself just what it is that gives you peace and contentment. If you find it is in pleasing others then “Houston, we have a problem!”

So where do I go and what do I do to find true happiness?

First of all let me ask what is it that causes you to feel content?

Where do you derive that sense of peace that makes you feel ‘real’ joy?

I know that for myself, it didn’t come until I was willing to let go or cut off every string of a someone else “if only they…” that drained life and peace from me. I did so someone else would be happy or see value in me. I controlled so that someone else would not get upset. And on and on the vicious cycle would go. Family, loved ones and our friends can be wonderful, because relationships are extremely important! Part of who the human race is and why we exist is to be relational, by God’s design. And of course ultimately pointing to Him. But when we can’t find contentment apart from others then we really do need to purpose to know why not.

When I came to Christ as a troubled young mom who was extremely co-dependent, I was not a very happy or peace filled person. My joy was too contingent on others. For thirteen years I struggled to be content. I was never truly happy and my world basically fell apart, not to mention that my marriage came pretty close to a disastrous end as well.

Line Break

I remember a time when my husband and I had words that weren’t good or healthy. I was so upset and of course the first thing I wanted to do was run to the phone to talk to an older wiser woman of God. I am not kidding you when I say that when I went to pick up the phone the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Put down the phone and call upon me.” Wow, I did, and I prayed and talked to the Lord and felt more at peace than I had for some time.

You see our tendency is to run to others to solve our problems or to gather our troops. To prove our case is right and that our ‘enemy’ is wrong. Way to solve a problem…not!

It wasn’t until I continued to run to my Abba Father and cry on His shoulders that I could finally find contentment and peace in the midst of my storms. Hey, I had to learn the hard way and it really was a slow process for this hard-hearted woman.  I could no longer keep looking at people to make me happy, to solve my problems so I could have peace. I realized that it needed to come from within, from listening to the Holy Spirit to guide and show me my shortcomings and sin which when confessed lightens the heart!

You may have guessed that this verse in John 16:33 is one I lean hard into…

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

How does knowing this help my situation? I have said many times that I purposed long ago when I came to Christ to although not understanding much of what I read in the Bible, I would choose to believe even what I couldn’t understand. That the Lord would reveal to me what he wanted me to know when I needed to know it.

I have peace knowing that God is sovereign, omniscient and that in spite of His greatness, He cares greatly… Click To Tweet

In trusting a God like that, I can have peace that passes ALL understanding, even when my world is crumbling apart.

Line Break

Oh momma…I want to encourage you to not doubt the God who loves you. Did you know it is a sin not to believe? This isn’t some wishy washy, comme ce, comme ca, kind of God who is in and out, here or there, maybe I can trust Him maybe not. If we don’t believe in what He says then why are we pretending to “Believe” in Christ?

Will you ponder these first three verses of Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Let your heart find rest not in people, for they can disappoint and let you down. Not in the doing all the right things, to be affirmed (you won’t make it anyway or you will make yourself sick trying!) How about simply allowing yourself to rest in Him. To be comforted by Him. To be surrounded and loved by Him?

The last four verses of Psalm 46 should give way to reassuring your troubled heart:

     Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

“Cease striving and know that I am God”…another version says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Tonight when you lay your head on your pillow to sleep or hope too, remind yourself of your commitment to Him. Your commitment to trust Him in ALL things, to put your hope in Him so that He can fill you with faith, trust and confidence in Him.

Lord, when my heart is in panic mode and I don’t know where to turn I know I can turn to you! You are the only One who can show me true peace which allows me to truly rest in You. Thank You for loving me and caring for me like nobody else can. There is none like You Lord and I am grateful to be Your child…amen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6eDvl4Xbh8

GraceTruth-300x300

Oh Momma, Do Not Fear…

GraceTruth-300x300The world certainly is in an uproar. Doesn’t that make you a bit unsettled? These days there isn’t much peace and contentment going on. Watching nightly news only stirs us up and freaks us out! So how can we survive when every thing around us is literally shaking?

Over the past two weeks on the news there have been reports of earthquakes, volcanic activity and of course war. Countries at war, and angry people everywhere. The Bible says it as “wars and rumors of wars.” And indeed we see the Word fulfilling itself!

So friend, how are you doing with it all? You may be so consumed in your home life raising kiddos and working that well, you don’t even have time to look around at what’s happening in the grand scheme of worldly news. It may be several days later that you have the time to even grab the newspaper and see what’s going on. And the list just keeps piling high doesn’t it! We are a busy people today!

However, when you do get a glimpse of all that is taking place it sure can be a bit disconcerting can’t it! But I have a place of refuge where if you will take a moment to just rest and read, you will see that God is still in our midst. He hasn’t taken His eyes off of us, no He cares for you and me and this rattled world we are living in.

Line Break

I won’t talk prophesy at this point but yes, all this turmoil is foretold in God’s Word. What I will share are some verses from a Psalm that helps me to know that God is still in control, still on the throne and can still be trusted.

Have you read Psalm 46 lately? It’s not too lengthy, and seriously, it helps to slow down my pulse rate!

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

How does this resonate with you? I remember the night of 9-11 very vividly. When I went to bed that night I distinctly remember feeling fearful. My husband wrapped me in his arms and comforted me the best he could and I cried and thought of how everything had suddenly changed. How nothing will ever again be as it was. At that moment he was my refuge, holding me and allowing me to rest in him as he said it would be alright. But seriously here, as much as we love our husbands and count on them for our comfort…there is a greater One who even outweighs our men. That may be sort of hard to visualize cause after all we usually want God with skin on!

God is greater and His refuge is sure. It is here that you can find the strength to lift your head out of your… Click To Tweet

Psalm 46.1

Because the Lord is with us everywhere and always, He is our help in times of trouble. And I don’t mean maybe! I don’t know about you but that is extremely reassuring!

The next couple of verses read:

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah”

Love that word Selah! From Bible Study Planet: The word “Selah” occurs seventy-three times in the Psalms, and is found also in Hab 3:3,9,13. The exact meaning of the word is unknown, but it’s believed by many scholars to be a musical term that means to pause, or reflect.

God seems to think that it is profitable for us to ponder theses few verses. And frankly, for me He is saying to my heart, “Put your trust in Me because I have all these things in My big hands.” We are completely covered by Him.

When our busyness keeps us from looking at our world, is that really okay? Then we don’t have to deal with how it affects us and our family, right? We don’t want to think about those things cause they aren’t safe for us! I get that. But seriously friend, we need to see God in our midst without minimizing the fact that He is Lord over all of it! The good, the bad and the ugly!

We have the Lord on our side when we have and know His son Jesus! And I often say, how do people get through the really hard stuff without Him? I am thankful that I know Jesus! Please visit here if you want to know more about how this happens!

So let me post the last couple verses trusting you to read the Psalm in its entirety!

Psalm 46.10-11

Oh Momma, take some time to stop, read, and reflect on the truth and promises of our God! He tells us to stop striving and He also reminds us that He is ever with us and always listening and even guiding his own with His eye!

Don't be overwhelmed with the world and your circumstances, be overwhelmed with God's love and care for you! Click To Tweet

 

Oh Momma, When You Just Have to “Give it Up”

Oh momma, are you at all like me? A bit persistent, strong-willed and stubborn. Although I am starting to get it, I have had to learn the hard way through lots of disappointments that it just isn’t worth the battle.

As my kids grew up and left home, got married and then returned for their visits during holidays and then with their children, my comfortable home began to feel a bit tight. We have a small dining area just on the other side of an island of counter that is approximately 12’ by 11’, and this where meals are taken. It sufficed for years with three kids, mom and dad. But now the table for comfortable five has had to become stretched out into the living room to accommodate 10 – 12 at times. Yikes, we are in on the living room rug!!! (Bless your hearts those who say what’s the big deal!)

12682856705_6a8f645bc6_z

I would pray and ask, then pray and ask some more…only to get ‘for the few times we are all together we can make it work.’ I even drew out the plans to push out our kitchen and dining room to make an L-shaped house from its regular rectangle. (I love planning things like this!) I had even drawn the cupboards and was going to have just a lovely dining area with the space to safely keep us all on the tile floor for meals and include a nice large island for cooking times when my small counters get easily crowded.

As my husband drew nearer and nearer to retirement he was more and more determined that this would never happen. God and I would talk ‘cause I knew that God delights in giving us the desire of our heart, even a larger house…and sometimes He does. However, I found with every no that I was getting more and more determined to make it work.

Then God spoke to my heart and showed me that I was fighting a losing battle, and if I persisted in demanding my way (to which I thought was for the best of reasons!) that I was only going to get more and more angry at not getting my way. Wow, did I have a lesson to learn. I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that this just wasn’t ever going to happen!

It was at that juncture that I could stomp, connive, deceive and work my way into a tizzy trying to get my guy to change his mind. This would certainly drive us all nuts! Or I could give it up and…let it go. My Father was asking me to “let it go”.

I can be a fighter! I had pushed this thing and of course had everyone on my side to make it happen, but I couldn’t change his mind. I remember being very frustrated, very resentful and not feeling very nice about the whole thing.

Line Break

Have you ever been called to give something up? How difficult was it for you to just say ‘I resign’?

There are times in our life that this is the call and as hard as it can be I have learned that my world didn’t fall apart, AND that I have more peace in my heart because I gave it up. One less source of agitation between me and my husband, with less resentment brewing and stirring up all kinds of unpleasantries!

2Cor13-11Remember Paul and the thorn in his side? You can read of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul had to contend with a “thorn” in his flesh. Reminding me of a sliver one sometimes gets. It is not pleasant. And God’s reply to Paul was merely that “His grace is sufficient for you…”

In the long and short of it, peace in my home was worth finding through my giving up my desire to be more comfortable. If the juice gets spilled on the rug, then I am going to clean it up. And life will go on and we will enjoy many wonderful family meals even if we have to eat IN the living room. I have realized that time is short. Many memories are made when we engage around a cramped dining area and that really is what counts as important.

2014 Sleigh Ride
This is what it is really all about!

I didn’t lose the battle here…I gained, through the grace of God, a heart that is content with what I have.

Oh Momma…You Set the Temperature

Psalm 37-3,4Have you ever wanted to be influential? Guess what, you really are! You set the thermometer in your home from hot to cold or pleasantly in between. As your morning, begins you have the opportunity to influence your ‘family’s’ day!

I love mornings that begin with peace. I am a morning person—I don’t fight to get up and get moving–but we all have bad days! Days when you get up and stub your toe on the leg of the bed while headed to the bathroom! And hit a pool of cat vomit on the rug just outside that place you were  heading, ARGH, try to recompose yourself now! (You may have even let some choice words slip out of your mouth during navigation to get the dampened paper towels! Don’t you just hate mornings like that?

So now what? Did I totally blow my morning? How do I go about to regroup my thoughts and move forward? Here is where if you continue blindly into the next phase of the day (breakfast for the fam?) you must make a decision!

  1. Continue without realigning your attitude and heart—won’t that help to brighten the day!
  2. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is just the beginning to an interesting day. Or…
  3. On your way to do whatever is next, take a few minutes to refocus with prayer and praise.

If you continue on (without dealing with the frustration that just happened,) you risk a morning with discouragement or even regret that can be passed on to your household members, be they little people or big people. And what if one of them didn’t wake up all joy-filled? Hmmm, that might heighten the tension just a bit!

Maybe you are on a mission to get to the next phase of the morning and get the breakfast started, so you just breathe in and proceed. Well you may do fine or you might fall prey to another interesting incident in the next stretch, burn the cereal you are cooking, while helping that little one dress a couple of buttons pop off (yikes, then what, you don’t have time to sew them on and the laundry is piled high!

Well, try this…how about a minute or two to where you look away from your stuff and look to the Father. Remind yourself that He is part of your day from the get go! Purposefully redirected your thoughts to the only place where peace can be your covering for the day. Does this mean that something else won’t happen? Of course not! Life happens and our responsibility is to respond in a way that will prohibit our attitude from remaining skewed (or like I say rotten!)

A beautiful place to go to get your mind off of your circumstances and on to the Father would be: Psalm 8:3-4 from the Message Paraphrase…

“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?”

Get your mind fixed on truth…God loves you and that is why He is mindful of you and your good or rotten morning. Praise His name for loving you and let Him know you are sorry for your stinky thinking. By praising Him your difficulties will greatly diminish in size so that you will be able to take a deep breath and brave greeting the next leg of your daily journey!

Look, I do it all the time! Often enough that I know the difference that a few moments of God-talk can make in my home, with my family and me!

Remember you are covered and God has a plan for your day! So continue on…you have set your thermometer to a pleasant 70 degrees and that should make the day get off to a lovely start!

If you need more encouragement you can visit Arabah Joy and #GraceandTruth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Sj6TmSG4w