Here is some Perspective from Mr. Rogers from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. This is what to do when you overreact and have regret. “Many people have asked me do you ever get mad and of course I answer “well yes, everyone gets mad sometimes.” The important thing is what we do with the mad that we feel in life.
A few weeks ago coming home from a particularly tough day at work, I stopped to see my two grandsons. Their mom and dad weren’t there but the boys were there with the babysitter in the backyard, squirting water with hoses. I could see that they were really having fun. but I felt that I needed to let them know that I didn’t want to be squirted.
Do Not Squirt Me
So I told them so, and little by little, I could feel that the older boy, Alexander, was testing the limit until finally, his hose was squirting very close to where I was standing. I said to him in my harshest voice, Okay, that’s it alexander turn off the water, you’ve had it.
He did as I told him and said he was sorry and looked very sad. The more I thought about it, the sadder I got. I realized Alexander had not squirted me. That I had stepped into his and his brother’s playtime with a lot of feelings leftover from work.
So when I got home, I called Alexander, on the phone. I told him I felt awful about my visit with him. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was taking out my anger from work on him. I told him I was really sorry.
Do you know how he answered me? Oh, Baba, everybody makes mistakes sometimes. I nearly cried. I was so touched by his naturally generous heart. I realized that if I hadn’t called him, I might not have ever received that wonderful gift of Alexander’s sweet forgiveness.”
Gracious this is such a reminder of what I live with on a daily basis. It is so hard when you have such consistent, horrible things to you…and then, the fake apology. That is exactly what it is. Fake.
I probably have done that, but I learned to be sincere with my apologies. When I do something wrong or hurt someone unintentionally, it hurts me so badly. Today, I asked my realtor a question. It was a stupid question and her response sort of hurt my feelings.
Granted, I have not slept well in a couple of days. Hunter has been in the hospital and it is overwhelming. I was wearing my heart and feelings on my sleeve and I took it personally. So my response was an immediate apology and promise to not ask such stupid questions. Then, I cried.
It Was Not Her Fault
Though that is the straw that broke the camel’s back, it was not her doing anything wrong. I was just emotional. Yet, this is one isolated instance. I was not manipulating her and I was sincere in my apology.
Now for my family member, this is a different ball of wax. This member has many types of diagnoses. Part of me thinks that this individual cannot help it. They do something wrong, have a hollow apology and then do the same thing 10 minutes later.
It is almost to the point where I don’t want an apology, I just want this person to leave me the heck alone. Can we say BOUNDARIES? I clearly do not have boundaries but they certainly need to be established.
Kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder
They do this quite often. Manipulation, Confabulation, and Triangulation are what they are good at, in terms of this quote. According to Webster’s Dictionary, to manipulate means to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.
Confabulation means to fill in gaps in memory by fabrication. To “normal” people, this means to lie. Then triangulation means to form an alliance. In this type of situation, it is child with one parent against another parent.
It is all exhausting and makes my brain work on overload. This is what we have lived with for 15 years. My boundaries had to be firmly placed, though they broke my heart in a million pieces. I had to take into consideration other family members and myself.
The stress was hurting all of us.
Life is Hard
The Lord did not promise us a walk in a rose garden. If we had that, or all the answers, we would have no need for Him. He completes and sustains us even when we are physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from creating those hard boundaries.
He gives us the wisdom we need, when we seek it, to “speak” to us. This, for me, is done through intuition, Scripture, other people, and dreams. I have learned to accept that my family member does not understand what it means not to manipulate and to be sincere in the apology that is made.
It is hard. Completely and totally. Maybe one day, the Lord will heal her mind, body, and spirit to where she can function well in the world around.
Forgiveness is Hard The Hurt Mattered. It took me a really long time to understand what forgiveness actually was. I was under the misunderstanding that forgiveness meant that you were giving someone PERMISSION to do whatever that person did to you.
That is not correct.
What Forgiveness Actually Means
According to Webster’s Dictionary, forgiveness means “to grant forgiveness.” “To Grant” is extending forgiveness to someone. This doesn’t mean you have to let them back in your life. Also, this doesn’t mean that you have to trust them. What it means is that you no longer depend on them to right the wrong. You are releasing them from owning you.
That is a powerful statement. I am actively releasing them from owning me! When I harbor those feelings of resentment, anger, hate, disdain, irritation, etc I am allowing them to own me. They own my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, and my reactions. I am indebted to them.
Honestly, half the time most people do not even realize they did anything. On the other hand, sometimes they do remember and they try to avoid at all costs having a run-in. Earlier this year, I took the bull by the balls.
What Did I Do With Those Balls?
I cut those suckers OFF. My mental health is not great. I am big enough to admit that. There are things occurring in my life that I cannot control. Then, there are things that I can control. Yet, Christ says we are not in control. He is and I need to yield to Him because He fights my battles, I just need to be silent (Exodus 14:14).
Being silent is not one of my strong suits. Yet, I have been very silent over the last year. I have sat back and taken the words, actions, abuse, and dirty looks. Those things have been met with silence. Also, depression, uncertainty, fear, and so many other things.
I digress, Back to the Balls
There are several people that have avoided me like the plague. I mean, they have literally dropped off the face of the planet. These people will not return calls, emails, texts, FB messages, anything. I thought I had done/said something to hurt them. The thought of that tears at my soul because I try to be very mindful of my words. Your tongue is a double-edged sword according to Jesus.
I decided to give it one last-ditch effort and send one more message. Then, I was going to let it go. I was not going to let the uncertainty cause physical ramifications on my body, soul, and mind anymore. Forgiveness is what I asked for because I just felt like I needed to do that.
To My Surprise
These ladies answered me back. We had great conversations. I asked questions, they answered. They asked questions, I answered. This all happened like the 40+-year-old people we are (hello FB middle school, I see you.)
One lady misinterpreted a conversation that was had almost 3 years ago. She apologized and acknowledged my hurt at her disappearing during a very difficult season in my life. I apologized for not being clear in what I said. Guess what?
We forgave each other. Have we really sat down, face to face, to talk? No. Co-vid and all. I hope to soon. Will our friendship be the same as it was? I don’t know. Time will tell. I would love to see that happen, but I have to acknowledge my hurt because it did (and does) matter. I just can’t live there.
The Other Lady
Well, she did respond and it went well. I had done nothing wrong and she explained herself and her choices. She asked for forgiveness and I happily granted it. Again, I expressed my hurt to her. Yet, I chose not to sit in it because she seemed so sincere.
Sadly, I was wrong. Again, she has gone to the nth degree to believe something about me. I’m not sure what it is this time. Honestly, as I was talking to my husband today, I want to say I don’t care. It’s not like I see this person every day.
Then again, I do care and I want to know why. I opened up, again, as I did with the other lady and I tried to believe, extend forgiveness, and trust her. This time, I will choose to forgive her but she will never be close to me again. She no longer owns me.
The Last Lady
Wow. This one is a doozy. Out of the blue, she “friended” me on Facebook. I was appalled. This lady I knew but I didn’t personally know. Weird, I know. Completely offended and fired off a stern message.
We exchanged several messages. I expressed in great detail my complete disdain for her because of circumstances that she (and another member of my family) created. She danced around it and she did apologize.
I sat in it for a very long time. A very very long time. In fact, I told her I may never forgive her, and I will certainly never forget what she did. She was told to never contact me or my family again. Livid isn’t even a word to do my feelings justice.
It was my last straw today. The straw that broke the camel’s back. “Friend #2” again unfriended me and blocked me. Honestly, have not spoken to her since that one day. As I was talking to Bart, he told me to just delete FB. It is “from the devil.”
He is right. The last time I tried to do this, I redownloaded it. It is an obsession, even if you don’t realize it. I took the time to respond to messages that had been sitting in my message spot. Then, I reread some messages that were important to feel those feelings again.
I got to that woman.
As I was reading our messages, I didn’t feel the heat of anger or hate. Honestly, I felt pity. What a sad life this woman has led. She has been tied to this “what if” thought in her brain for over 50 years.
My hurt did matter. She altered my life and the lives of those I love. This woman-owned me. She controlled my emotions and dictated how I felt. Today, I simply wrote, “I forgive you.” She answered me back quickly. I deleted all the messages.
Today, as I hit the button to end my relationship with FB and this “friend” and another woman, I felt empowered. Validated. At peace. Today, no one owns me but Christ. I was purchased for a price.
The Power of Intentional Forgiveness is something that is not lost on me. Forgive is a verb or an action. You are actively doing something. It means to grant a pardon for or absolve something; to cease to feel resentment against (as in an enemy). I love the beauty of forgiveness.
Forgiveness DOES NOT mean that we are somehow giving permission for another person to hurt us or excuse the choices of another towards us. It is, however, a release for us. We are releasing that pain and memory so satan can no longer use that against us.
God is Clear
That He is the ultimate Judge and Jury. He states in Exodus 14:14 “the Lord will fight your battles, you simply need to be silent.” Thankfully, He knows what is ahead of us and He already has the PERFECT provision in mind for every situation. We just need to stop, be quiet, and get out of the way.
I am pretty quick to forgive but I am not quick to forget. That is a fault of mine. It is hard for me to just shut that infraction out of my mind. Well, I guess it depends on the situation. It is like the sting of the pain is gone, but the scar remains. So, in satan’s true form, he presses on that scar and he picks at it. What a vicious cycle.
The Hiding Place
As I was reading this book, it was SO impressed on me about the power of love and forgiveness. Seeing the person that hurt me with a different set of eyes. With the eyes of Christ.
I have been talking with a friend and we have worked through this concept a whole lot lately. The end of this inspiring story of Corrie ten Boom struck me so much that I did a screenshot of it and sent it to her.
Preface to a Section of the Book
Let me preface this quote by giving some context. Corrie and her family were turned in to the Gestapo for hiding the Jews and helping them. They had served in several different and horrific concentration camps. They had lost their father, their nephew, and many friends to these camps.
At this moment, in the story, they found out who it was that turned them in. Corrie is wrought with anger for this person. She is beyond hurt, mad (understandably) at how a “friend” could harm their family in such away.
This is the conversation between an angry Corrie and her sister Betsie.
Corrie: Betsie, don’t you feel anything about Jan Vogel? Doesn’t it bother you?
Betsie: Oh yes, Corrie! Terribly! I’ve felt for him ever since I knew – and pray for him whenever his name comes into my mind. How dreadfully he must be suffering!
*****Excuse me people, but what freaking kind of angel is Betsie to “feel for” and “pray” for this man who caused SO much death, destruction, and pain. Yes, I yelled that while I was reading.*****
Corrie’s Thought Process After this Conversation
“For a long time, I lay silent in the huge shadowy barracks restless with the sighs, snores, and stirrings of hundreds of women. Once again I had the feeling that this sister with whom I had spent all my life belonged someone to another order of beings. Wasn’t she telling me in her gentle way that I was as guilty as Jan Vogel? Didn’t he and I stand together before an all-seeing God convicted of the same sin of murder? For I had murdered him with my heart and with my tongue.”
Emphasis Added Was Mine
For real. To put Corrie ten Boom, who sacrificed her family and her life to save others in the same category as Jan Vogel… a man who killed, literally, several humans out of devotion to Hitler and the cause is insane.
Then, that sentence that I bolded. God does not distinguish between sin. Sin is black and win. You either sin (gluttony, lying, adultery, homosexuality, murder (the physical kind), murder (spewing hate in your heart), stealing, the list can go on and on) or you don’t sin. We are human, we sin. That is why we needed a Savior to die on the cross to save us from our sins.
She despised this man and this man killed and tortured many. In God’s eyes… the boy sinned. Let that sink in for about 3 minutes. I need a swig of coke. She killed with her tongue and heart. He killed and tortured with his hands. Yet, both created in His image. Both loved by God. Finally, both sinned in the eyes of God.
I’m having a hard time with this, can you tell?
“Lord Jesus, I forgive Jan Vogel as I pray that You will forgive me. I have done him great damage. Bless him now, and his family.” That night for the first time since her betrayer had a name, I slept deep and dreamlessly until the whistle summoned us to roll call.”
For. Real. People. Absorb that prayer. Adapt it to add the names of the people who have hurt you.
Friends who abandoned you in your greatest time without a word. These same friends make you question all the things that you could have done wrong and you are eaten up with pain and confusion. God is NOT the author of confusion. Let that crap go. Forgive!
People who rip your children out of your arms claiming you are an unfit parent because they are jealous and want these precious beings for themselves. Hateful humans want to remove children just because they feel like it, with no regard to what is right and wrong. Forgive.
So Many More Scenarios
Pastors who you trusted that hurt you and your family. Accusations are thrown around like confetti. Allowances of idle gossip within the church to try and accuse you of being an awful parent to kids from hard places. Pastors refusing to help others, accusing you of affairs, chastising you in dark stairwells because you are trying to protect your children. Pastors who blamed a child for someone who preyed on them and molested them. You are asked to leave yet the accuser stays and he is free. Forgive.
Men who claim to love Jesus and the law who underhandedly try and destroy your family. They do so while still talking of their love Christ and family. They lose no sleep. Let me tell you…what man meant for evil, God meant for good. Forgive
A family who disowns you for falling in love. Co-workers who treat you like crap to your bosses but never to your face because there is no basis for the hate they are spewing. Forgive.
Oh, this woman goes on!
Am I speaking my pain? Are those deep dark chambers of my heart being unlocked? Let me tell you. I have a situation, right now, that I have buried so deeply for over a decade. It is completely fine tucked away in the back corner of the attic.
God has a sense of humor. In being content with my pain being hidden away, He decides (cause He is a funny God) that He is gonna bring it all right back up. Just like vomit. What this man did was atrocious and unforgivable by my standards.
Yet, there is God. Only God could orchestrate what is happening. I have played out every scenario of meeting this human and all the things that I can say. Honestly, I want to make him feel like shit on the bottom of my shoe. No lie.
Clearly, He sees that I can’t move forward until I move past this. Again, forgiveness is not about giving permission for that person to do what that person did. It is about releasing control that satan has over it in my heart.
I know that.
Now, He has aligned the stars to where it is time for me to face one of my deepest hurts. It is like a train coming down the tracks. I see it. Yet, I don’t need the ticket right now. This train is going to run over me and my family.
God is my Protector, Defender, Shield, and Stronghold. May He be my words. I pray I can see through the pain of the past to see the hurt this man must have gone through and is going through. May I show Him the love of Christ.
Right now, my flesh wants to bring down a world of pain. Yet Christ died for him. Forgave Him. What more does He need to give?
This book. Dangit. The Hiding Place is a book that every human should read. It is not a long book, about 16 chapters, and 269 pages. Yet it is FILLED with glory, triumph, forgiveness, faith, destruction, abuse, poverty, illness, and HOPE.
I have NEVER cried reading a book. Furthermore, in my defense, I have never had to bite my lip because I’m fixing to lose it while reading a book. This book. Dangit. I feel like that needs to be my entire review.
The first part of the book talks about Corrie getting her new dress. They are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of her father, Casper’s, watchmaker shop. She stands in front of the mirror looking at herself.
She states that girls now are wearing their skirts knee-length and hers was still 3 inches from her ankles. As I read that, I’m thinking she is a teenager who may be “coming into her own” type of situation.
Then, I laughed out loud. She stated to herself that she wasn’t getting any younger and that the new dress made her look more critically of herself. She was 45 years old, unmarried, with a waistline that had long since vanished.
I guess I was surprised to see that she was not much younger than I am while she is reflecting on her appearance. Giggle…I giggled out loud in the car while picking up my kids.
Then It Moves On
It talks about her life, her family, and her love for Karel. The agonizing disappointment when she realized that her life would not look like what she wanted it to look like. Yet, she was content living and loving her family well.
She was not “university” educated but she was educated in her own right. Her father’s deep love for her mother and his children was inspiring. How he was so consistent with spreading the love of Christ to first his family, then others was something that struck my heart.
He saw the good in all people. There were no differences. Just a plethora of humans all created in the image of Christ. Oh, how I wish I could be that way. I’m not one to really see a difference and I’m drawn to people with harsh lives or some sort of disability. Those “less than” people catch my eye. I want them to know they are seen, accepted, and loved.
The details of the abuse, trauma, fear, and living conditions of NON-Jews who helped Jews is astonishing. The treatment of Jews was something I simply cannot even wrap my head around. I mean…I cannot even conceive of the sights, sounds, touches, smells…death and fear. Sends shivers down my spine.
Yet faith, hope, love, and forgiveness were not far from the minds of the ten Boom family. How they orchestrated what they did and the people they saved is awe-inspiring to me.
Quotes I Marked
“There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s World. The center of His will is our only safety.”
“Childhood scenes rushed back at me out of the night strangely close and urgent. Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.”
“My job was simply to follow His leading one step at a time, holding every decision up to Him in prayer.”
“Joy runs deeper than despair.”
I will plan on reading this more. There are moments that I can look back on, throughout my life, that I could have done differently. Honestly, there is a different flavor to those memories. I wish I had a reset button.
God has definitely spoken to me through this book. What a lesson. May I continue to heed His words and see His people through a new lens of life.
Within my thoughts on Psalm 52 & Proverbs 21, it talks about the “uglies” we have stored in our heart. I have those uglies and as the Lord is refining me…He is cleaning out those parts. It is painful.
1 Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever? 2 All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you’re an expert at telling lies. 3 You love evil more than good and lies more than truth.
4 You love to destroy others with your words, you liar! 5 But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see it and be amazed. They will laugh and say, 7 “Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”
8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. 9 I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.
1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Though we think we have it all right and all those uglies are safely tucked away, the Lord looks at our hearts and He sees. I had a hard conversation with a kid tonight. It was a conversation I never intended on having with my children. Yet, a situation forced my hand.
I had to reveal a part of my heart that I have kept tucked away for 13 yrs. This child saw the hurt, anger, and I could even say hate in my eyes. The part of my heart that stored these thoughts and memories have no reason to surface, yet…God has a different story.
I am faced with a task that will require more brainpower, energy, forgiveness, and mercy then I have shown in a long time. He did not want all of my heart except for a couple of “rooms.” Honestly, He wants it all. This “examining” part of my journey really does suck.
6 Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7 The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10 Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12 The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
I giggled at verse 9.
14 A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15 Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16 The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17 Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18 The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19 It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
Is He trying to hammer in a point with verse 19…seems like a lot of Proverbs talks about this complaining wife.
20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24 Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25 Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26 Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27 The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28 A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29 The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.
Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20 definitely has a little “cut Brandi to the core” theme going on! The Lord completely put me in my place. Now, if I can heed His warning and behave!
A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
I love verse 10. It is such a hopeful verse. Create in me a clean heart. Our hearts are nasty. Sadly, I keep lots of locked doors, “do not enter” signs, cobwebs, and more in certain spots.
He jumps in the most sensitive parts that no one can see…yet He sees. Not only does He see, but He gets to work cleaning out those parts. I have an issue of unforgiveness that looms over me. I have harbored BAD feelings for over a decade.
This person would not know me if I bit him on the butt, yet I can’t stand him or anything he touches. I keep that door locked uptight and on occasion, I bring it out and I shame him more.
He has orchestrated, since before He created the Earth, a moment in time where I will have to come face to face with this person. I mean, it is imminent. This person is going to see my eyeballs and we are going to shake hands. The first thing that I want to come out of my mouth is “I absolutely cannot stand you and what you have done.”
Probably not the best thing to say, but that is what I want to say. I would love to close my eyes and have the knowledge that this person just dropped off the face of the planet and that I didn’t have to ever see him.
He jumps in, gets some of those channel locks and He rips the lock off that room. Right now, He is all up in my business, cleaning out the corners of that room. Soon, I will shake this man’s hand.
I have no idea what will come out of my mouth. God knows…He knows every thought in my head and word on my tongue before I speak it. Honestly, makes me wanna throw up a little.
1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
2 The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.
3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.
4 Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
5 Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.
6 Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?
Friends, true friends, are hard to come by. I am a “keep you at a distance friend.” Sadly, I have been made aware of that by some people in my life. It is what it is. I am very loyal and forgiving, but making an effort is hard sometimes.
Luckily, He sent me a few friends that I have had for eons. Then there was Ms. Jo. Now, He has blessed me with a friendship that started 30 years ago. He is reintroducing us, as adults, and we are having such a good time.
Good things come to those who wait…once the wolves in sheep’s clothing are identified. Man oh man, there have been some wolves. God is bigger!
7 The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
8 When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
10 False weights and unequal measures— the Lord detests double standards of every kind.
11 Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the Lord.
13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
14 The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain!
15 Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.
16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
17 Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth.
18 Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
19 A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
20 If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21 An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
Well…does verse 22 just speak to my above thoughts from Psalm 51. I guess I got my answer as to what I need to say or do. Dangit. Wait for the Lord to handle the matter. How much more clear can one be. Dangit.
23 The Lord detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24 The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat, then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.
29 The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.
Here we are at Psalm 33 & Proverbs 2. I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am. If you aren’t, this is a great thing for me to look back on. Every time I read through Scripture, something new speaks to me. Over the years, the same Scripture can mean something different. It is nice to look back on this and see where I was at one point in my life.
1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 4 For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5 He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
Trust. That is tricky for me. I do not trust people. There are times when I do not trust myself. Honestly, there have been times when I did not trust the Sovereignty of the Lord. I mean, why lie?
Anger has consumed me to a point where the Lord and I were not on speaking terms. Moments where there was a lot of yelling going on (mainly by me). At that moment, I realized that, though He is perfect and Holy…I needed to forgive Him. I simply couldn’t move forward.
In my head and heart, I know that He is did nothing that needed to be forgiven. I know that. Yet, in order for me to heal, that is what needed to happen. When it did, I felt like 100 elephants were lifted off my shoulders. I could breathe again.
6 The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 7 He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 8 Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.
How awesome and mighty is He? My mind cannot even comprehend.
11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.
Verse 15 goes back to those first few verses. He knew my heart. The pain that I was in due to circumstances that were beyond my control. Free-will. It’s not a fun thing but we are human and that free-will will never be taken from us.
God will ABSOLUTELY put more on us than we can handle. Do you wanna know why? Because if we could handle it, we would not be in need of a Savior. It grows our trust and faith in Him. Refines us to look more like Jesus as we seek Him for our every need.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.
18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
Hope…it is the tie that binds.
The Benefits of Wisdom
1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.
Oh, how I have been trying to tune my ears to wisdom. I am crying out for discernment in the issues that are facing our family right now. Trust. I will choose to trust in Him. He has the perfect provision in mind and in place for the issues that face us this coming week.
God is bigger.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.
What peace this instills. He will grant us wisdom in this particular situation. We will have knowledge and understanding. He is our shield and he guards our path. The Lord will fight our battles. We will know what is right, just, and fair. No longer do I have to be concerned with which way to go because He has the right path already paved.
11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. 13 These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths. 14 They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. 15 Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong.
Oh, how I wish I could fully divulge what is going on in our family. This passage speaks VOLUMES to who we are dealing with and what is going to happen.
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman. 17 She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. 18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. 19 The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.
20 So follow the steps of the good, and stay on the paths of the righteous. 21 For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. 22 But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.
What does “comfortable” mean to you? According to Webster’s Dictionary, it means affording or enjoying contentment and security. Okay, so what does “contentment” mean? It means feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.
That is the world’s view. According to the world, I need to be secure (home, money, job). I need to feel satisfied by my home, money, and career, to have the possessions that I deserve. A sweet little life where it is all wrapped up, with a pretty red ribbon.
Is that the answer? Is that the answer to a good life? Great job, making great money, buying great toys and bigger houses…..2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, and a fish…a manicured yard, well educated/rounded children, and peace wherever you go?
If this is the life that you want….then stop reading and good luck to you! If you want more out of life, more than money can buy, then keep reading on!
God Does NOT Want us to be Comfortable!
He wants us to be up, moving, and going. We need to sincerely pray to Him and ask Him to send us where He is working…then when something comes up, all you have to do is GO. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those whom He calls!
My husband and I have lived an exciting life. We married young, had kids young, and we fought, oh so much. He wasn’t walking with the Lord. I was walking very slowly with him. He was saved at an older age, and even though the fruit wasn’t very big. It was there, and it was growing in God’s time, not mine. I learned very quickly that I was not my husband’s personal little Holy Spirit.
We have walked through several fires with little grace and forgiveness. Moreso, we wanted to hurt those who hurt us. We allowed that bitter fruit to penetrate every ounce of our hearts. I’m sure that devastated God. It is so hard to forgive those who have hurt us. Yet, forgiveness is not about giving permission for that person to do what they did to you. It is for our healing.
We’ve Gotten Older
We’ve learned to lean not on our own understanding but to lean on God and remember that His grace is sufficient. We are currently walking through some hot fires….we have lost so much over the last 2 mths. We have lost loved ones, we have lost respect towards some people, we’ve experienced a loss of innocence, and we’ve had our eyes open to many truths. Every day, there seems to be a new thing. One where we are now not saying “God, you aren’t funny,” but we are standing there, shaking our heads, knowing that He is continuing to refine us. As painful as it has been, we have drawn closer as a family unit and as a couple, and we have most definitely drawn closer to our Lord.
I have more peace than I’ve ever had in life. My circumstances have gone from “comfortable” to “chaos.” It seems as if we are standing in the middle of a field, and God is getting us with some pretty good zingers. We are standing strong in His Word, and we are hanging onto His truths and promises. We aren’t trying to independently walk through this world “I do it myself” mode, but we are hanging onto God’s belt loops, and we are following our Daddy through all this muck.
Comfortable, in my Terms
Well, this means an unmanicured yard with weeds and dead plants, everywhere; 4 dogs that shed horrendously…our cats are living in the house, our pigs try to escape. Also, our chickens refuse to lay eggs more days than not; a scary job, making little money, raising 7 children..all with their own needs. Leaving a place that we thought we’d never leave….to go towards the unknown. We are no longer detail-oriented people. We are merely trying to follow where He leads.
If you don’t know the Lord as your personal Saviour….please savor these next steps and pray with a yearning heart.
We ALL deserve death. That’s why Jesus came, to save us from our sins and be the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Please know the plan of salvation and what my God can do for you, and how He can change your life. He would choose to send His Son to die on the cross for you, alone. What undeserved grace that we have in that death.
Salvation is Really Simple
Admit that you are lost; Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth. He came as 100% human and 100% God. Jesus came to die on the cross. He did so with your name on His lips. Confess that you are a sinner, separated from God; Repent, turn away from your sins; Ask God to come into your heart, and you will be saved. Baptism would be next, but baptism does not save you. It is done in the act of obedience to what Jesus did, and it is a public profession of your faith to show the world of your decision.
Please, don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Our days are numbered. God has numbered our days. There is nothing you can do to add too or take away from that number. You can take this moment to ask Christ into your heart. Please reduce the number of hell by 1. Secure your mansion, in Heaven.