Guest Blogger

The Reality of my Nightmare

The Reality of my Nightmare

In The Reality of my Nightmare, my guest blogger writes about her interpretation of the trials I have been walking through.  She writes it as if she were me.  I read it the morning of my friends funeral.  She is pretty spot on in all that she said.

The Reality of my Nightmare

Writing this seems like a nightmare

I am waiting to wake up from this nightmare because of how real it feels. But when I open my eyes, it will all go away. No. This nightmare is real. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why? Why me? What did I do wrong to cause these people to knock on my door? Who has been watching me and observing my every movement?

I am afraid

Afraid to raise my voice even the slightest bit because someone might be watching. Also, I am afraid to take my child to the other room for fear that someone might think I am going to punish them. Afraid to go out in public with my child for fear that someone will judge me the wrong way and call them again. Why me?

Raising Kids

Raising kids is hard, especially 7 of them. They are all so different in so many ways.  Yet, I would not change a single hair on their head because I love them so. I love my kids with every fiber of my being. I would gladly take any strife or burdens off their shoulders.  Honestly, I would put them on my own if it helps them and their future.

My kids are special

Some have mentally challenging issues.  Then, there are others who have some physical issues that need my constant attention. Being a mom is hard. Tiring even. Yet, I am glad God chose these beautiful children to be mine.

I love fiercely and I will do anything in my power to protect them from the world and its temptations. Sometimes, I help others before I think about myself and my needs. I have run myself ragged going in all different directions to help those in need as God calls me to do. Honestly, I try to open myself up to other moms in different clubs and organizations that my kids participate in. I try to help them and converse with them when they need a friend or a shoulder to cry on.

But You

You took care of my child when he played sports on your team.  He became best friends with your kids.  I thought you loved him like one of your own. He stayed at your house and slept over so many nights.  Every time, he had a blast when he came home beaming from ear to ear.  He would tell me all about how fun it is at your house.

Invitation then Betrayal

I invited you into my home which we manage to keep clean amongst the chaos of having multiple children and animals in the house. And yet, you betrayed my trust by calling them. Why? Why me?

You know my child is well-fed.  We give him clothes and things to play with.  Furthermore, we keep him involved in sports. Importantly, we teach him the love of Jesus in everything we do. We fight for him daily because he is different. And that’s okay because I love him so much.

How Would You Feel

You are a mother with kids of your own. How would you feel if someone called them?  They showed up at your doorstep asking to be invited in.  Then ask you probing questions about your home and relationships with your kids? And what if you found out that it was a supposed “friend” who called them on you.

How would you feel?

Betrayed?

Confused?

I should hope so.

Because that is how I felt.

Terrifying Agony

The terrifying agony that my kids could be ripped away from me with no warning. Sadly, the wailing and uncontrollable sobbing happened in my car when I got the call. My heart can’t take it anymore.  I am so tired of having to justify myself to these people. Justify every action that I do and every word that comes out of my mouth.

How would you feel?

Would you demand an explanation from your “friend” and say some nasty things to them in retaliation? Would you constantly be looking over your shoulder to make sure no one was watching you if you ever had to punish your child in public? Or are you one of those parents that let their children run amuck and let them do whatever they want?

Either way, I want you to know that it is understandable if you did not know the family or if you had never been in their home and seen how the family operates. It would be understandable if you didn’t know me or my son at all.

But you did know us.

I was at every game. I talked to you all the time. And yet, you still called them. I thought I could trust you. You have betrayed my trust. But I choose to let God be in control of my situation. I choose to let God be the judge of your actions when you get to Heaven instead of judging you, which I am not called to do.

Honestly, I choose to love like Jesus with skin on and be the city on a hill for you. I choose to let God listen to my sorrowful prayers and collect my tears in a jar. Furthermore, I choose to let God pick me up and comfort me because he knows I am the mom He called me to be. I am not perfect. But God does not call us to be perfect. He calls us to be his disciples and to love our neighbor in his Word.

My house may be messy sometimes and my kids may drive me crazy most days, but in what reality is a house always tidy and the kids always clean and well-behaved? I would love to meet those people and that family.

Haven’t you ever made a mistake as a parent?

Because if you say no that is a bold-faced lie. We fail daily at things but the key is to learn from those mistakes, move on, and leave the past behind us. Those failures are also successes. I have put several of my kids through a full education (and I have homeschooled them for many many years as well).  Two of them have graduated from college, with honors, which is a huge accomplishment.

Mama Pride

One of my kids is married with a baby on the way.  I could not be happier for my sweet child. My smallest child is excelling at things that doctors told us would be impossible.  Yet, with me by his side, he has survived those odds.

The moments of pride I feel for the children that I raised surpasses the moments of sadness that I feel when things like this happen. I choose to find the beauty in the ashes. I will stand tall and not be shaken by people’s opinions of me and my family.

My Choices

So I will also choose to continue to stand by my children and attend every activity, club, and sporting event that they are in. And if you other moms judge me or whisper tall tales about me that are not even true, I will smile and turn the other cheek as God has called me to do. Even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Cruelty of Others

People can be so cruel nowadays and they always look at the plank in someone else’s eye rather than focusing on the speck of dirt that is in their own eye. Words can definitely slice through a person and bring them down when we should be standing together as moms and supporting one another rather than bringing them down and jumping to conclusions by calling the organization before they have the facts straight.

No, we mom’s are not perfect. But we are doing the best we can with the circumstances we are currently in and with the children that the Lord has blessed us with. I will continue to be the city on a hill and shine my light bright for my kids and for you.

And I know deep down in my heart that God will be pleased with my strength and integrity, and when I get to Heaven He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I can not wait for that day to come.

In the meantime

I will continue to be the most amazing mom to my kids and be a faithful spouse to my husband. Showing them the light of God.  Continuing to shield them from the World will be a lifelong journey, but I would not change one thing about it. Not for you and not for any other mom who says a spiteful word towards me.

I will pray for you even though it is painful. Because in my darkest moments is when I cling to Jesus the most, and when my faith is tested, I come out stronger than ever because my Redeemer is with me. No more hiding. No more fear. I will not be afraid.

Related Posts

Choosing for My Heart to be Broken

I Wonder

I Am Broken

 

Faith Journey

Thoughts on Psalm 69

Thoughts on Psalm 69

Psalm 69

Save me, O God,
    for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
    I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
    and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    waiting for my God to help me.

Thoughts

Keeping my eyes above the waves...that is the phrase I have used a thousand and five times.  Now, I know where that phrase was derived from for that song.  This is how I feel 99.5% of the time.  Like I’m one wave away from drowning.

I mean, people have gone through much worse than I have in their lives.  Honestly, I cannot imagine the pain that some of my friends are continuing to walk through.  Loss of marriages, children, spouses, jobs, etc.  It is almost more than my mind can bear.  Yet, we have gone through a lot in the past 5 yrs (well, the past 14 if you wanna get technical LOL).

I know that my lack of trust is a factor in my drowning feeling.  I’m learning how to talk about things but I still keep things very close to my heart.  I share, but it is not complete sharing, does that make sense?  Share enough to get my point across but not enough to bare my soul.

Section 2

Those who hate me without cause
    outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
    demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.

O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel.
For I endure insults for your sake;
humiliation is written all over my face.
Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me;
they treat me like a stranger.

 

Thoughts

Recently, I have had to have some introspection going on with some issues.  Social media can be the root of evil.  Honestly, a lot of it is.  Yet, I have learned the art of the “unfollow” button but more importantly the reporting ads function.

I am so sick of seeing half-naked women on there wanting me to buy bras, underwear, or shapewear.  My husband and I have a joint account.  He certainly does not need to get on there and see that crap.  Learning to report the ad has stopped those ads.  That has been one issue resolved.

Politics

I have my own thoughts on politics but I do not discuss them.  It is not worth getting into a war of words with another human.  I choose to “hide” a discussion or “unfollow” until a certain election is over.  It just keeps peace in my heart.

The Real Issue

Recently I have been on the wrong end of the stick with someone.  This is a person that I have held dear to my heart and for a reason that is foreign to me, I have upset this person.  Enough so, she has “unfriended” me.  A year ago, that would have upset me so badly.

This time, however, it truly does not bother me.  I cannot control the perception of this person.  Then there is the choice to not bait in the feeling of satan pushing that “you aren’t good enough for this person” bruise.  The issue is not with me, it is a personal thing that really I have no part of.

I still love this person and her family, but what she is walking through is between her and God.  Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight your battle.  You simply have to be silent.”  I choose silence.

Remember Life Before CellPhones?

Not my circus, not my monkey type of thing.  I’m beginning to remember what it was like to not be available to the world 24/7 (thanks to cell phones). I don’t really care what people think of me (thanks to social media).  It just is what it is.  I keep my phone ringer on vibrate.  I’m going to delete the apps on my phone.  When I do get on social media, it will be Jesus or blog related or to ask a question.

Perspective.  I’m gaining perspective.  This is a good thing and I hope that my children hold onto that and do not become a slave to cells or social media.  If we read the Word more than we scrolled…what would our lives look like?

Section 3

Passion for your house has consumed me,
    and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
    they scoff at me.
11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
    they make fun of me.
12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,
    and all the drunks sing about me.

13 But I keep praying to you, Lord,
    hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
    answer my prayer with your sure salvation.

Section 4

14 Rescue me from the mud;
    don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
    and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
    or the deep waters swallow me,
    or the pit of death devour me.

16 Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
for your mercy is so plentiful.
17 Don’t hide from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
18 Come and redeem me;
free me from my enemies.

 

Thoughts

He does answer my prayers, just sometimes not the way in which I would want Him to answer.  That is hard for me.  I see the “blinder” version of my life.  While He is in a helicopter and He sees from beginning to end.  May I learn the art of trusting and obeying?

Section 5

19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
    You see all that my enemies are doing.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
    and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
    if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison for food;
    they offer me sour wine for my thirst.

22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.
23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.
24 Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
and don’t let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don’t let them be counted among the righteous.

 

Section 6

29 I am suffering and in pain.
    Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
    and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
    more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
    Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
    he does not despise his imprisoned people.

Section 7r

34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,
    the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem
    and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
    and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
    and those who love him will live there in safety.

Related Posts:

Psalm 68

 

Faith Journey

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

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

 

Faith Journey

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Here is my take on Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6.  Please let me know what your thoughts are if you are following along!

Psalm 37

Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.

Thoughts

Wow.  Again, as I was speaking to one of my children about her dreams and desires, this is what I said to her.  It is so instilled in me that I didn’t know that I was quoting from Scripture.  It is something I just live by.

She is an instant gratification kid.  It pops in her head and she hyper focuses on it so much that it soon becomes her reality.  Through her spontaneity, there have been many things that have proven to be not so great.  Lots of natural consequences to her choices.

She has dreams.  I’m all about dreams, but if you are so ingrained in the Lord through Scripture and prayer, magic happens.  There are blessings He is WAITING to throw on you.  Things you didn’t even know you wanted but when it happens it knocks your socks off!

He gives you the desires of your heart, but you have to give your heart to Him first.

Section 2

He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry!
    Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
    it only leads to harm.

Thoughts

This can encompass so much in my current life.  I have to stop being angry.  Also, I need to turn from my rage and control my temper.  This has been a trying couple of weeks plus the added fun with a couple of my kids.  May the Lord temper my mouth and convict me instantly.

Section 3

For the wicked will be destroyed,
    but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
    Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
    and will live in peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.

Thoughts

Verse 13 makes me giggle.  These people, these bullies, that I have been dealing with…I rage and I lose my temper.  Yet, this verse says that the Lord just laughs at these people.  He knows judgment is coming.  Really, I need to just shut up and let Him handle it.

Section 4

14 The wicked draw their swords
    and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
    to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.

16 It is better to be godly and have little
    than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
    but the Lord takes care of the godly.

18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
    and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
    even in famine they will have more than enough.

20 But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.

 

Thoughts

As I get older, I see more and more of the context of these Scriptures.  People are ready to pounce on a person.  More times than not, there really is no reason.  How sad is it that we live in a time that hate is so prevalent?  What holds more sadness for me, is that my grandchildren will be raised in a generation of more hate.

The comfort I seek is in Jesus.  He is my Help in times of uncertainty, fear, and hate.  I questioned my salvation in my younger adult years.  Heavily.  Honestly, now, though I screw up (we are human), I am certain of the fact that I am His and He is mine.

Section 5

21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
    but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
    but those he curses will die.

23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.

Thoughts

“Though they (meaning me) stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

Just wow.

Section 6

26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good,
    and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice,
    and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever,
    but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land
    and will live there forever.

30 The godly offer good counsel;
    they teach right from wrong.
31 They have made God’s law their own,
    so they will never slip from his path.

32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
looking for an excuse to kill them.
33 But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

 

Section 7

34 Put your hope in the Lord.
    Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
    You will see the wicked destroyed.

35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people
    flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
36 But when I looked again, they were gone!
    Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

37 Look at those who are honest and good,
    for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;
    they have no future.

39 The Lord rescues the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in him.

Thoughts

Honestly, I have set back and wondered about verse 35.  You see all these people, who by their fruit, are not kind people.  Yet, they flourish.  They spend thousands of dollars on whatever it is they want.  It seems like as they drop cash, it is because they “need” something.  New this and new that, new cars, jewelry, the best schools, nannies for their 1.5 “typical kids.”  If they want it, they get it.  Money is no object.

Now, I’m not saying all people who have been blessed with money have no fruit on their spiritual trees.  I know lots of people who have more money than I will ever see in a lifetime.  Yet, I also see this enormous fruit from their tree!  They are some of the most generous, giving people that I know.  Sitting back and watching them blesses my heart and inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be.  With or without money.

By all appearances, they are “godly” humans who just need a few extra things.  Yet, I’m over here thinking about how I’m going to pay for treatment for my son because insurance won’t pay for his treatments.  All the things break (dishwasher, dryer, deer through the windshield) and we are scrambling to be able to replace at least the windshield.

Yes, these are first-world problems.

We have done without a dishwasher for YEARS.  The dryer, however, is a necessity and so is the windshield.  Still, I digress.  I hope you get what I’m saying.  We have been to a developing country and we have seen with our eyes how blessed we are in America.  I mean, we are blessed!

The love of money is the root of all evil.  This, I know.  However, it does make things easier.  Yet, when things are “easily” accessible, why would I need a Savior?  I should depend on Him more instead of myself and this thought process that permeates my mind.  Rich or poor, if you give and do with a spirit of the Lord, He will bless you!

I’m rambling.  I know.

Proverbs 6

My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net.

 

Thoughts

I have met these words intimately.  There are, at least 4, distinct times in our marriage that we fell into the prey of “friends” and helping them out.  Once, we needed our name placed on something like a … oh what do you call it … a co-signor of sorts.  Then, another incident happened where there was another sum of money that was needed.  We did what we could, yet we did not pray first and ask the Lord if this was the right course of action.  Sadly, we paid for those decisions in a not so great way.

There was another situation where someone needed to “borrow” money with the promise of paying it back.  Yep, that never happened.  It wasn’t a lot, but at the time, it seemed like a fortune to us.  Then, yet another time, we were needed to do something for someone.  This time, we knew we wouldn’t get that back.  Honestly, we tried.  Yet, the Lord intervened, and nothing we tried worked.  That is when we knew, we had gone too far.  Also, again, we did not seek the Lord’s face in any of these decisions.

We were super stupid in the first scenario.  Our desire was to help, their desire was to take us for what we were worth.  Then, when the “well” went dry, they no longer associated with us.  Such a hard time.  Very hurtful to our entire family.  In the second scenario…we were equally as stupid. You’d think we’d learn our lesson!

Section 2

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

 

Thoughts

Idleness.  Keep your hands busy because if you don’t, you will be attacked.  I would love to say I was prepared for all the things all the time, but I’m not.  We are working towards that.  I will post a blog about our debt and where we are now.

Section 3

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.

Thoughts

These are all pretty clear, to me!

Section 4

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life.

Thoughts

I wish, as a child, I would have embedded these words in my heart.  My mom is such a strong believer.  I can close my eyes and see her old brown Bible opened at the kitchen table with her cup of coffee.  She would be sitting, reading, praying, writing.  What an inspiration!

Section 5

24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,
but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief

    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Thoughts

Uhm, this is absolutely discernable.  Don’t be stupid.

Related Posts:

Psalm 36 & Proverbs 5

Operation USE IT UP Underway

Faith Journey

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Today is all about Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28.  I am reading from the New Living Translation Bible.  This is not one that I normally study out of, but my older Bible is already pretty marked up.  I wanted clean pages for new thoughts.

Psalm 28

A psalm of David.

I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me.  For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.

Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked—with those who do evil—those who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts.

Give them the punishment they so richly deserve!  Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness.  Pay them back for all their evil deeds!  Give them a taste of what they have done to others.

5 They care nothing for what the Lord has done or for what his hands have made.  So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt!

Praise the LordFor he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

The Lord gives his people strength.  He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.

9 Save your people!  Bless Israel, your special possession.  Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.

Thoughts

Verses 1 & 2 tear at my heart.  I have found myself praying those verses a whole lot over the last few years.  There have been moments when I have been so angry that I cannot pray.  In those moments, I am thankful for those who have stood in the gap for me.

Yet, I fear, that He will turn His head away from me.  Now, knowing what I know to be true, I know that the thought process is wrong.  As His child, He is always there…listening to me.  Watching me.  Waiting for ME to turn my head back to Him not the other way around.

Twirling Back Around

Verses 6-8 is back to that Strong Tower that I know that He is!  I’m so thankful that He places me in that Tower!  those sheep in wolves’ clothing will devour me.  He has given me a good spirit of discernment, yet sometimes I ignore my gut.  Thankful that He saves me!

Proverbs 28: Section 1

May I be as bold as the lions!  What a thing that would be.  There are moments when that thought overpowers me.  I feel the strength of my Savior in me.  If “He is for me” type of feeling.  Then, there are moments when that feeling is not as strong and I falter.  I allow people/situations to devour me and I have a spirit of defeat.  As believers, we ALL have that lion within us.  Be bold and strong!

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.

A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.

To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.

Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.

Section 2

I know that the love of money is the root of all illness.  Yet, here I am wishing I had money.  That is my flesh and I know that.  I have all these “needs” but are they need or wants?  In my eyes they are needs but in reality, they aren’t.  The debt we are in is the debt of our own making.  Want good credit?  Take out a loan.  Get a credit card (no I don’t have a CC).  Gotta build that score up to get more money.  NO.  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  Things can be paid with good old fashioned saving up.  It is harder and it takes time but it can be done.

Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.

Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.

Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.

God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.

10 Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap,  but the honest will inherit good things.

Section 3

Gracious.  Verses 13 & 14 are two verses that I am dealing with right now with a child.  I tell my children all the time that Light will be shone on their darkness.  It does not pay to try and hide things.  Even when I don’t see it, Jesus does and it grieves His heart.  Confess.  Ask forgiveness.  Repent.  Turn away.  Do not be stubborn!  This makes my heart ACHE.

11 Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

12 When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.

13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

14 Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.

Section 4

16 A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.  Don’t protect him!

18 The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.

19 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

20 The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

Section 5

Verse 23 is something that I need to focus on.  Not just for me to give honest criticism, but for me to do so with tact.  I lack that.  Also, I need to humble myself when someone gives me honest criticism.  I need not take it as an attack but receive it out of love and correction.

I may need to plaster verse 24 all over my house…just saying.  We have issues all up in here with a couple of kids.  It is exhausting.  However, the bright side is this issue has been so pressing and the Lord just gave me a straight answer that I can give to my kids!

21 Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.

22 Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.

23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.

24 Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?”  is no better than a murderer.

25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

Section 6

Wisdom…oh to be as wise as Solomon.  With age, that comes a bit more yet I am so far from being “wise.”  I get tickled with people who come to me for advice, words, or counsel.  The Lord has gifted me with the ability to sympathize and empathize with others.  I can see things clearly, usually, in other situations.  Yet, in my own life…my waters are muddy.

May I never trust my own insight and always look to Truth for the answers!  It is always there.  If you need it, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your fingers or your eyes.  I know for a fact, you will find the answers in the Word.  Whoever gives to the poor…that is pretty self-explanatory LOL.

26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.

27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

28 When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.  When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.

Related Posts:

Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27

Mini Goal for my Sanity

Psalm 26 & Proverbs 26

Faith Journey

Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27

Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27

Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27

This is the passage of Scripture from Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please ask!  I hope that I can continue to keep up with reading.  In the past, I have gleaned much comfort from reading.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.  Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

 

The one thing I ask of the Lordthe thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

Concealing Me in Times of Trouble

For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary.  He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me.  At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

 

Hear me as I pray, O Lord Be merciful and answer me!

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Do not turn your back on me.  Do not reject your servant in anger.  You have always been my helper.  Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,  O God of my salvation!

10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

 

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.  Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.

12 Do not let me fall into their hands.  For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence.

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

 

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Specific Verses

Verses 1 and 3 are very precious to me.  During a time, in my life, that was wrought with so much pain and confusion…these words were my strength.  I would listen to this song, by Kutless, on a loop.  It is called Strong Tower.  The words, to this day, give me a peace that surpasses all understanding.

My enemies were my mind, people, and memories.  I didn’t have the ooey-gooey sweet memories.  These were hardcore, life-changing memories. My enemies have nothing on my God and I know that He keeps me in that Tower.

When Trouble Comes

Verse 5 talks about how He hides me when that trouble comes.  Lately (well, within the last 5 yrs), lots of trouble has flowed my way.  Whether it is kid-related, health-related, or wolves in sheep’s clothing…it has been tough.  Tough waters to navigate.

When I read this verse it helps me know that because I am a child of God, I am untouchable.  He holds me high where I cannot be devoured. I have to stop thinking and overprocessing every little thing.  Trust.  It is so hard for me.

Teaching and Patience

He created me, therefore He knows that I struggle with patience.  I do not even pray for it anymore.  My prayer, a lot of the time, is the strength to get through a particular thing or issue that I am having.  I do need to pray for a more teachable spirit in regards to certain areas of my life.  I need to remember that He says “come and talk with me.”  My heart needs to respond better than the “in a minute, gotta scroll through Facebook.”  :/

Proverbs 27

Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—a stranger, not your own lips.

A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.

Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.

An open rebuke is better than hidden love!

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.

Friends and Counsel

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

10 Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s.  When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.  It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad.  Then I will be able to answer my critics.

12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.  The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.  Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.

14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!

15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.

16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.

17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Refinement

18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.

19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.

22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,  24 for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.

25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, 26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.

27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.

Proverbs Can be Confusing (To Me Anyway)

It is pretty straightforward, most of the time.  Sometimes it is repetitive to get that certain point across.  Don’t be a braggart, don’t be a fool.  Be mindful of your anger and jealousy (that can creep up out of nowhere).

Verses 9 & 17 talks about the importance of friendship and good counsel.  We have finally found a church that preaches grace, Truth, love, and reality.  I see our pastor as our friend and approachable.  There is a sense of security in knowing you have the freedom (grace, love, and forgiveness) to say the things you need to say.  Without fear of condemnation, accusations, or ill feelings.

Friends

I’m blessed to have him (and his sweet wife) as friends, counselors, teachers, and just good humans.  There is a distance that I maintain with people, most people.  I was told once, by someone I hold so dear to my heart, that I hold people at an arm’s length.  There is not a moment that I let them get too close.  I guess the fear of judgment is a reason for that.

In hindsight, I think I knew I did this.  However, I was not aware that anyone would ever call me out on it.  She did with love and curiosity.  This woman…her husband…they are precious to me.  I have lots of people I know, as we all do. There are few that I let my guard down with.  I can probably count on one hand (even that, just a few fingers) of those who know the good, bad, and ugly.  Yet, they still love me.

I am blessed.

Related Posts:

Psalm 26 & Proverbs 26

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