Life or Something Like It

Redeeming Love Movie Review

Redeeming Love Movie Review

TRIGGER WARNING:  This movie should be watched with parental guidance due to SEVERE and HIGHLY ADULT content.  If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you are not alone.  Please reach out RAINN 24/7 and they can help you.

You are worthy.

You are enough.

You are capable.

You are good.

You are kind.

You deserve love.

It is not your fault.

Assault is not your choice, it is the freewill of man.  All people who choose to sexually assault others should be punished to the fullest extent.  Please seek help from a friend, pastor, and/or counselor.

Redeeming Love Movie Review

Redeeming Love a life-changing story of the power of unconditional and all-consuming
love.  It is coming to theaters January 21, 2022!  You and your friends will walk away impacted by the perfect, relentless love of the Father after watching the film

Synopsis:

Based on the bestselling novel by Francine Rivers, REDEEMING LOVE is a powerful
story of relentless love and perseverance as a young couple’s relationship clashes with the
harsh realities of the California Gold Rush of 1850.

Angel expects only pain from those around her. Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel sur-
vives with hatred towards herself and the men that use her. She meets Michael Hosea, a
farmer who believes God wants Angel to be his wife. Dire circumstances force Angel to ac-
cept his proposal, but when Michael defies her bitter expectations, her wounded heart be-
gins to mend.

As Angel encounters a love unlike anything she ever experienced, feelings of unworthiness
and shame cause her to run from a life she doesn’t think she deserves. As Michael sets out
to find her, Angel discovers there is no brokenness that love can’t heal.

About The Bestselling Novel

Based on the bestselling novel by Francine Rivers, REDEEMING LOVE  is a powerful story of relentless love and perseverance as a young couple’s relationship clashes with the harsh realities of the California Gold Rush of 1850. It is a life- changing story of the power of unconditional and all-consuming love. Coming to theaters January 21, 2022, REDEEMING LOVE  shows there is no brokenness that love can’t heal.

My Thoughts

Trigger warnings all over the place within the first 30 minutes.  Trauma, adultery, prostitution, violence, semi-nudity…makes my heart hurt.  I almost turned it off.  Then Mr. Hosea comes around and he meets Angel.  The girl who was loved by her mother, abandoned by her father, watched her mother do unthinkable things to provide for her daughter, lost her mother (tragically), and then followed in her footsteps.

Rough Week

Frankly, I’ve had an emotional week altogether and I’m not emotionally prepared for this film, but I am pressing on because, again, now I’m vested.  I can honestly say, I have never read the book so I have no expectations of book versus movie.  There is no time to read in my world.  I’m very busy, though I love a good book.  We shall see if I pick it up.  I can tell you the first 30 minutes triggered the snot out of me, so I’m internally working on processing that.

Isn’t it amazing how films or books can do that to a person.  Anyway, the cinematography and videography is amazing.  Also the costuming and makeup is on point.  The acting is really good and so far, I have seen one familiar face.  Famke Janssen was in the Taken movies, so that was a face I recognized immediately.   Unexpectedly, it has Eric Dane (aka McSteamy) in the film as well.  Josh Taylor (Roman from Days of our Lives) and Nina Dobrev.

Continued Thoughts

Uhm, yep…this is disturbing.  The content is not what I would have ever thought it would be coming from Momentum.  I know that there is a moral and redemption at the end but this has been a very difficult film to review.  It is very similar to the book Hosea.  Reading that book and seeing it depicted on screen are 2 different things.

I’m struggling.  Being a survivor of sexual assault, this has triggered me and 5000 kinds of ways.  I get it.  I understand the underlying meaning and how God can bring glory in ALL situations.  I know this is loosely based on the book of Hosea.  I get it.  Truly, I do.  Yet, I struggled with completing this review.

I just finished the film.  Honestly, I am a wreck.  This is a lot to process for me.  The ending was beautiful.

Please, if you choose to go and see this, know that God is bigger.  He does not ordain these types of things to happen.  He is not a God that seeks pleasure in the assault of others.  Yet, freewill is a bitch.  The prince of the earth, satan, is evil and will take great pleasure in destroying people.

News flash:  I’ve read the last page of the story.  God wins.  He is good all the time and all the time, He is good.

Links

Go HERE to buy tickets.

Redeeming Love Trailer

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Universal for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opin-
ions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

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Life or Something Like It

And Then There Was You

And Then There Was You

And Then There Was You

Here is another note to another person in And Then There Was You.  I have one more post, that I will start writing and post tomorrow.  Then, maybe then, I doubt it, will I be done.  When I say I have had enough, I mean I have had enough.

Letter to You

Dear Judgemental Person,

First and foremost, hello because I know you read my blog as well.  I hope this finds you well and that you are working hard on your mental illness in a positive way and not in an addictive way.  God is bigger than the demons you have living in your mind.  I am proof of that.  He is bigger and there is a better way than addiction to help you.

Find a counselor, a good doctor, get on meds, talk to your husband or counselor, go for a walk, read Scripture, listen to praise and worship music… so many options.  It is not shameful to struggle with your mind.  It is what it is and God is bigger.

Now, that I’ve said that, I want you to know that I think your husband is an amazing human.  Your children (the 2 I know better than the other 2) are fine young men with bright futures.  I know the things that they fight and they will overcome.

God love you.  You are so eager to find your place, to be important, to have standing in the community and church, to appear to have it all together.  You don’t.  Honestly, you have none of that.  There are so many people that you have hurt for no reason.  You do not have the ability to just communicate because you don’t know how too.

You have an inability to communicate.  You assume, judge, lie, condemn, and have no grace for others.  That hurts people.  It hurts people who have known you for years, like me and it hurts people who have known you for a minute.

You are the girl that was the snobby one in high school.  Her crap did not stink, so she portrayed.  The head cheerleader who is dating the quarter back and you are both perfect.  How exhausting must that be for you.  To keep up the pretenses for appearances sake and how sad you must have been to try and be consistent in that life.

The loss that you experienced is horrible.  I want you to know that it is okay to name that loss, to verbally talk about that loss, to celebrate that life, and know that it is okay to love and have memories of that loss.  That changed you.

You always want to be bigger, louder, better than others.  I also know that you do that because you don’t truly know who you are or what you experience in your home.  The jealousy that consumes you is something I pray that I never experience.  I am exhausted even thinking about it.

I was fully prepared to just lay it all out there for the world to see but what I want to say is not coming out of my fingertips.  That really ticks me off because I see where God is working things out in my spirit.  He is healing me and my thoughts towards you.

Honestly, I could give 2 shits about social media.  Who is friends with whom, how many friends are on my “list”, constant (I mean moment by moment) posting.  Girl, get your phone out of your face.  Raise your kids instead.  Look at the world around you instead of in a screen.  Those little squares of life you compare yourself too is not real.

You have a husband that works his butt off for you.  He loves you and he comes from a family that loves well because they know the Lord.  Make it a point to become obssessed with him instead of your phone.  You have these children and grandchildren that I know adore you but they don’t want to compete with another sibling (aka your phone).

It’s okay that you are a little different.  As Christ followers, we are called to be different.  What is not okay is lying to people’s faces, being someone you are not, acting holier than thou, judging others, demeaning others, assuming things about people.  For the love…just freaking ask.  If you think there is an issue that is God related in another person’s life, do these things.  First, pray.  Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you in regards to the situation or if you should even be in the situation.

Spoiler alert:  You do not have to have details in order to pray.

Eliminates gossip which you love.

If God WANTS you to do, then pray for Him to allow a way for you to communicate HIS Words in HIS timing.  He will provide an opening and an urge to talk to the person.  Then pray for the Lord to be your words and to prepare the heart of whomever you are going to talk to.

That, if you remember, is how I came to you.  I was hurt and expressed my hurt.  You were receptive and honestly took 100% of the blame because you assumed things about me that were not true.  Sort of like what you are doing now.  You use social media “friend-ing or unfriend-ing” as a carrot in front of an animal.

I don’t want your friendship.  There is not one thing I need to apologize for with you but I am always willing to listen.  We have known each other for a long time.  I was about to say “friends” but we were never friends.  We were church acquaintances that have a long history together.

I really want to be angry with you.  Honestly, I really do.  I want to say such scathing harmful truths that I have personally seen … yet … I am not going to do that.  I am certain Jesus is restraining my fingers because my mind is still going 90 to nothing.

Pity.  That is what I feel for you.  You can heal.  You know Jesus.  Do the right thing.  Stop looking at the speck in others eyes.  Exam the plank in yours.  Purge, reflect, heal, forgive, ask forgiveness, let things go, stop being petty, grow up…you are closing in on your late 40s.

Life doesn’t have to be this hard and you can be a powerful source for the Kingdom if you would just get out of your own way.

Dang it, I want to be mad.

I am choosing to forgive you.  Your “friendship” does not define my life.  I will never let you back in but I can pray for your healing.  Praying for so many things for you and your family.  You are not perfect but with Jesus, you can overcome and let that shit go.  Be who you pretend to be or take a step on the wild side and just be you.  Quirky, flawed, and all.

You can change the lives of many when your masks start flying off.  Let your vanity take a backseat, go grey with grace…leave your phone on silent, delete social media apps, set timers, invest in your children.

Live judgement free.

Good luck to you,

Brandi

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Life or Something Like It

Dear Wolves in Sheeps Clothing

Dear Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,

I will endearingly refer to you as “Wolves in Sheeps Clothing” because if the shoe fits….  What you meant for evil, the Lord meant for good.  By evil, I mean coveting my family dynamics, lying, using your position to invade my family, and preying on the mental illnesses of others.  As we say in the south “bless your hearts.”  I mean God love you, you tried.  You didn’t just try once, but you tried twice.  Then, you abused your position by trying a third time.

Guys, you are winners, now aren’t you?  I know you are a family of avid sports and it must suck to lose so badly to a “non-sporty” person like me.  Dang it for you…just dang it.  It must be a sad day for you because you just couldn’t take our son from us.  Oh, you tried…with all your shiny things and the money you threw at him.  For a brief moment, he was a kid who liked the shiny things.  Then, he began seeing things that you both didn’t want him to see.  The Lord shines Light on ALL darkness.  What darkness you live in.

I can honestly say, he is pretty awesome but he is mine.  I mean, from before the Lord created the Earth, He knew each and every one of my children.  If you knew Him like I know Him, you would get that but you clearly don’t.  Maybe one day you will.

Instead of trying to hurt us, you could’ve practiced what God talks about in His Word.  If you need some help in that area, I am happy to send you a Bible with highlighted verses.  Pretty much all of it will be highlighted because the Word is His love story to His children.  I, and my family, are His children.  Are you?

The Lord knew what He was doing when he placed your 2 perfect children in your home through birth.  He knew what He was doing when he placed 3 imperfect children in my home through birth and 4 imperfect children through the beauty of adoption.  The only Perfect Person to ever grace this Earth was Jesus Himself.  You and your husband are not Jesus.  You have tried to be, but again, you were foiled.

I am truly sorry that your token child (aka my child) is no longer allowed to associate with you because of your epically poor decisions, lies, deceit, and lack of belief in who God is.  You are completely missing out on the beauty of who this child is and what he stands for.

It must be hard raising kids who do no wrong but I can see now that the apples do not fall far from the perfect tree they were created in.  Ya know, I always wondered what it was like to be God, Himself, I should have asked you before I booted you out of our lives.  Geez, I could have found all the answers.

I am so glad that you are using your “name” to further the Kingdom by truly and completely living the lives of wolves in sheeps clothing. As talked about in Matthew 7:15-23.

Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’

Aw, you play the part.  Your family’s family has all established a church and you are solid, to the naked undiscerning eye.  Isn’t your church the one that experienced a fracture?  Were you a part of that?  Wouldn’t surprise me.  Maybe I could do some asking around.  Yet, you are one of those people who are sitting in the pew believing you are saved, but never had a salvation experience.

That’s sad.

I hope that you become aware of that and that you can know the true love of a Savior.  That salvation does not come from works but from grace.  I saw you way back when you eyeballed my son when he was 6 and I ignored it.  Stupid me.  He isn’t a prize to be won.  He is MY son and MY son alone.  I simply allowed him to grace your presence because I want everyone to know how amazing he is.  Sad you won’t ever see that now.

I know you read my blog, see us at games, shake your troubled head at his “misfortune” of parents but that is as close as you will ever get to him.  He is wise beyond his years and he sees so much more than you ever gave him credit for.

You have truly allowed Scripture to JUMP off the pages in Matthew 7:1-6.

“Do not judge, or you will be judged.  For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

I do not believe I have never EVER had your feet under my table.  As much as I like to have people over, who are honest and good, I guess my spirit knew that you and your spouse were neither of those things.  It was my folly that I even allowed you to be a small part of my precious son’s life.  I’m thankful the Lord has erased his memory of you and what little may be left, you have taught him (and me) some valuable lessons.

You have taught me about judging others without knowing the FULL context of their lives.  You, wolves, will also be judged.  Good luck with that.  This time has taught us to be mindful of the plank in our eyes and to adjust, pray, ask forgiveness, forgive, and show mercy without judging the speck in your and your husband’s eye.

The Lord protected us from your invasion and harm.  He shielded us with a hedge of protection from the angels above.  Honestly, I did want to seek revenge and I plotted that revenge out, in detail, in my head.  Today, I stand on Truth.  Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight my battles.  I simply have to be still.”

Dear Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Girl (and husband), you better watch it cause He is on our side, I am heeding His voice of being still, and He will judge your actions.  There is nothing I can do that will hold a candle to His judgement.  I’m so glad for that.

I wanted you both to suffer the pain and loss that I suffered.  You will never know that but again, what little you know does not compare to the JOY He has brought after the darkness.  He has brought peace, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and a stronger family unit than ever before.  It is sad you may never experience that.

Glad you are OUT of our lives,

Brandi

Life or Something Like It

Perspective from Mr. Rogers

Perspective from Mr. Rogers

Perspective from Mr. Rogers

 

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.

Guilt

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.”

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An Apology Without Change is Manipulation

An Apology Without Change is Manipulation

An Apology Without Change is Manipulation

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.

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Forgiveness is Hard The Hurt Mattered

Forgiveness is Hard The Hurt Mattered

Forgiveness is Hard The Hurt Mattered

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.

Powerful

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.

Today

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.

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.

Today, I am free.

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Power of Intentional Forgiveness

Power of Intentional Forgiveness

Power of Intentional Forgiveness

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.

For Me

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.

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?

Her Prayer

“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.

Guess what?

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.

But God

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?

It is time.

Related Posts:

The Hiding Place

Psalm 56 & Proverbs 25

Faith Journey

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

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.

Just Dangit.

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.

Details

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.”

This Book

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.

Related Posts:

Psalm 54 & Proverbs 23

Faith Journey

Psalm 52 & Proverbs 21

Psalm 52 & Proverbs 21

Psalm 52 & Proverbs 21

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.

Psalm 52

Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
    Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction.
    Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
    you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
    and lies more than truth. 

You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
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. 

The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,
“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.”

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
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.

Proverbs 21

1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;
    he guides it wherever he pleases.

People may be right in their own eyes,
    but the Lord examines their heart.

The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
    than when we offer him sacrifices.

Haughty eyes, a proud heart,
    and evil actions are all sin.

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Thoughts

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.

Section 2

Wealth created by a lying tongue
    is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.

The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.

The guilty walk a crooked path;
    the innocent travel a straight road.

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.

Thoughts

I giggled at verse 9.

Section 3

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.

Thoughts

Is He trying to hammer in a point with verse 19…seems like a lot of Proverbs talks about this complaining wife.

Section 4

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.

Related Posts:

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

 

 

Faith Journey

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

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!

Psalm 51

A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
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.
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.

Section 2

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.

Thoughts

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.

But God.

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.

But God.

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.

But God.

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.

Proverbs 20

1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
    Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar;
    to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
    only fools insist on quarreling.

Those too lazy to plow in the right season
    will have no food at the harvest.

Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
    a person with understanding will draw it out.

Many will say they are loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Thoughts

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!

 

Section 2

The godly walk with integrity;
    blessed are their children who follow them.

When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,
    distinguishing the bad from the good.

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!

 

Section 3

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.

 

Thoughts

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.

Related Posts:

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19