Faith Journey

True Beauty from Within the Ashes

True Beauty from Within the Ashes

“True Beauty”

Do You think that a California girl is supposed to have curls and wear a jean size 3?
All the curves in all the right places, spray tanned faces like on TV?
And we read in the gospel of Vogue that we’re all supposed to dress and move and be
Visions of perfection
Such a misconception
‘Cause the real connection is deeper than the eye can see

This reminds me of a post that I wrote about the little squares of life.  We do use social media to compare ourselves to others.  Anyone can control what they specifically present to the world.  What you don’t see is the chaos behind the phone and in the background.

Chorus

What’s inside of you
What’s inside of me
The hands that made the moon and the stars
The mountains and the seas
Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously
Let the whole world see your
True beauty

Aw, Psalm 139, about how God created us.  If you haven’t read it, you should!

World Versus Truth

Don’t know much about Dolce and Gabbana
Seems like a lot of drama to me
And you can keep all your red high heels
And open-toed shoes – I’m good in my bare feet
Lets get down to the nitty gritty
Enough sex and the city
What about purity?
Skin is just the surface
The passion and the purpose that’s burning down inside us
Is really what we need to see

Purity is a rarity these days.  How sad is that?  It is such a slippery slope when you fall in “lust” with someone else.  Even if that someone is your forever.  Everyone can fall prey to their emotions.  It is natural.  We just need to be wise, be held accountable, and don’t be alone with the opposite sex.  Saves a whole lot of hurt, even if you are engaged!

Chorus

What’s inside of you
What’s inside of me
The hands that made the moon and the stars
The mountains and the seas
Made you wonderful, beautiful, marvelously
Let the whole world see your
True beauty

Love and Peace

Doesn’t come in a bottle, doesn’t come in a box
You can’t spray it on, you can’t wash it off
You can’t nip and tuck, you can’t sew it up
So don’t waste your time
It’s the love in your heart, the peace in your soul
The hope in your smile lets the whole world know
This little light – you gotta let it shine

Love in your heart, peace, hope, smile, and shine is so important.  This is can also be so hard to accomplish.  As a person, that deals with mental illness, it can be really hard.  This is just something that we all need to work on.  I need to put sticky notes up that remind me of these things.

True Beauty from Within the Ashes

This song, True Beauty, is one that I have not heard in years.  When this album came out, I bought it.  Listened to it faithfully.  Then, life happened and over the years, things get misplaced.  I was working on my “Worship” playlist that I listen to often from Youtube.  Shackles is a song that I love and that was what I was looking for.  Then, I found the album.

Thought that since I am working on my blog and feeling the urge to write, I would listen to it.  I heard this song and it felt like warm water was poured over me.  It speaks to me on a completely different level than it did way back when she released this song.

Events of Today

As I was ministering to a heartbroken young lady, today, we talked about beauty from ashes.  This is in Isaiah 61:3.  It is one of my favorite verses.  Her voice has been stifled for so long.  From the abuse that she experienced to what is to come, she has been silenced.  In her eyes, broken.

We talked about how the Lord has a purpose for all that went on and is going on.  One day, she was going to find the strength to use her story to help others.  She would, indeed, hold the hand of another and walk them through the ashes to help them find their beauty.

Encouragement

I hope that you find encouragement that you are not alone.  You are loved beyond measure.  Regardless of your past, current, or future circumstances, God loves you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!  You have to do nothing to gain His love.  Also, you can do nothing to lose His love.  He loves you yesterday, today, tomorrow, and every day till He calls you home.

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Guest Blogger, Medical Issues

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

In this Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon, my guest blogger remembers her brother who died of cancer 6 years ago.  What a thing for a family to go through.  The loss of a child, grandchild, brother, and friend.  He was a few days shy of turning 19 when he met Jesus face to face.

Lord, bless this family.  Bless them with peace and sweet memories as they navigate this difficult week as they remember this sweet boy.  Please give them the knowledge that he is healthy, happy, and hanging out with your Son, Jesus.  He is waiting for them to all be reunited, one day.

Open Letter to A Brother Who Left This World Too Soon

 

Dear Z,

It has almost been six years without you, and I don’t feel that it has gotten any easier. This is a wound time is taking forever to heal. I miss you so much, and naturally, I wish you were here with me. This is my least favorite time of year. I know you are watching over me and taking care of me.

I Wish You Could Answer Me

I’d give anything to have one final conversation with you or to give you one last hug. If I could go back and change things I would. I would have stayed by your side through it all. I think about that all the time. Does it make me a bad sister for leaving you there? I could have taken whatever our step-father threw at me, just to stay with you.

Missing All The Things

My mom told me a few years ago that you asked for me every day.  That you asked when I was coming back from dad’s. You know I like to take care of people.  I took care of you for the longest time. Honestly, I miss waking up at 3 in the morning to refill your feeding pump. I miss helping you walk around, even though you protested the entire time. For six years I have been waiting for you to appear in front of me.  Just to give me a chance to tell you my final goodbye.  To tell you I loved you just one more time.

It Hasn’t Happened so I’ll Keep Waiting

I think I can finally start to let go of the regret I’ve had for the past six years. It’s time. You know I love you more than words could ever describe. I know your biggest fear in death was being forgotten, but you are so unforgettable. You made an impact in everyone’s life. I will never forget you or the things you did for me.

You were one of my best friends. I promise you my kids will know what an amazing man you were. They will know how strong you were, and how hard you fought. They will know that you are my hero, and I aspire to be as strong and as brave as you were.

After Six Years, I Can Let You Go and Let You Rest in Peace

That doesn’t mean I will forget about you, It just means I don’t have to worry about you hating me for leaving. I know you loved me as much as I loved you. I know you weren’t upset about us leaving moms. I’m just upset she wouldn’t let you stay with us.

I am letting go of my regret because it wasn’t my fault you got sick. Honestly, I was a child and I know it wasn’t my responsibility to take care of you. I am moving on and trying to start the new year off right. Thankfully, I know you will be with me and watching over me every step of the way.

Love,

S

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The Real Truth About Death and Grief

The Real Truth About Death and Grief

In The Real Truth About Death and Grief, my guest blogger goes through her emotions of losing her brother at a very young age.  The loss of a sibling is devastating to the other children, as well as, the parents.  It is unimaginable pain that lingers for so very long.

The Real Truth About Death and Grief

Dearest Z,

A kid my age who I knew from school came in, and he reminds me so much of you. He has something wrong with him medically and he walks just like you did when you got sick. I saw him, and that made a bad day worse. Seriously, I wanted to give him a big hug. Then, I wanted to crawl under the register and cry. I miss you so much, It has been five years, I can’t believe it. You deserve to be here bub. I believe that you would be married with a family now.  You would a good dad.

Honest Prayer

I prayed to God every night for years that it was me instead of you. Honestly, I prayed that I could take all your pain away. I wanted to make you better and I couldn’t. That seems to be a recurring theme in my life. I make jokes about you being dead, but that’s how I cope with you being gone.

I’m sorry we left you with mom. I’m sorry I didn’t stay with you for that last year. I would have gone through whatever Tim threw at me, just to be with you that last year. Mom told me about how you asked for me every day after your seizure, and that story hurts my heart. She told me all about how you thought you saw me running around the foot of your bed every night before you went to bed. I am sorry I wasn’t there for that. I wish I was actually there to be running around your bed.

Life isn’t the same without you. I miss your voice, hugs, and I miss you yelling at me when I tried to help you walk. Honestly, I just miss you, dude. You were a light to anyone who knew you, and I miss your presence.

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for the beginning of healing.  Honestly, awareness of where healing needs to happen and the knowledge of the route that needs to be taken in order to walk through the pain that leads to healing.

 

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Prepare for Rain and Blessings

Prepare for Rain and BlessingsPrepare for Rain and Blessings

While I prepare for rain and blessings that will come, I can finally say:

“Okay, Lord…I get it.”

Therefore, I’m preparing for rain.

KNOWING

This mountain IS moving.

In fact, it HAS moved.

God.  Is.  Bigger.

Now, my job is to thank You for what You have ALREADY DONE.

Amazingly, Hunter has been healed.

But for now, we wait for that healing to manifest in his body.

His healing is finished and complete because he is created in the image of Christ.

Now, I prepare!

Physically,

Mentally.

Emotionally.

Spiritually.

I must prepare for the downfall that the Lord will heap upon me.  He does this because He loves me not because I deserve it.  I deserve nothing because I am a sinner saved by the good grace of God.  He chose me.  When He knocked on the door of my heart, I answered it and said YES LORD.  It was as simple as answering the door, confess I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  Him cleansing me and my shame becoming undone.  I am new.  A new creation.  What a beautiful moment that still impacts me today.

If you are struggling with your faith, have questions, aren’t sure whether you are saved or not, please reach out.  You can email me, talk to a Christian counselor, a trusted Christian friend, or a pastor.  There are people who can help you “unmuddy” the waters of confusion.

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Faith Journey

What Does Comfortable Mean

What Does Comfortable Mean

What Does “Comfortable” Mean?

What does “comfortable” mean to you? According to Webster’s Dictionary, it means affording or enjoying contentment and security. Okay, so what does “contentment” mean? It means feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.

That is the world’s view. According to the world, I need to be secure (home, money, job). I need to feel satisfied by my home, money, and career, to have the possessions that I deserve. A sweet little life where it is all wrapped up, with a pretty red ribbon.

Is that the answer? Is that the answer to a good life? Great job, making great money, buying great toys and bigger houses…..2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, and a fish…a manicured yard, well educated/rounded children, and peace wherever you go?

If this is the life that you want….then stop reading and good luck to you! If you want more out of life, more than money can buy, then keep reading on!

God Does NOT Want us to be Comfortable!

He wants us to be up, moving, and going. We need to sincerely pray to Him and ask Him to send us where He is working…then when something comes up, all you have to do is GO. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those whom He calls!

My husband and I have lived an exciting life. We married young, had kids young, and we fought, oh so much. He wasn’t walking with the Lord. I was walking very slowly with him. He was saved at an older age, and even though the fruit wasn’t very big. It was there, and it was growing in God’s time, not mine. I learned very quickly that I was not my husband’s personal little Holy Spirit.

We have walked through several fires with little grace and forgiveness. Moreso, we wanted to hurt those who hurt us. We allowed that bitter fruit to penetrate every ounce of our hearts. I’m sure that devastated God. It is so hard to forgive those who have hurt us. Yet, forgiveness is not about giving permission for that person to do what they did to you. It is for our healing.

We’ve Gotten Older

We’ve learned to lean not on our own understanding but to lean on God and remember that His grace is sufficient. We are currently walking through some hot fires….we have lost so much over the last 2 mths. We have lost loved ones, we have lost respect towards some people, we’ve experienced a loss of innocence, and we’ve had our eyes open to many truths. Every day, there seems to be a new thing. One where we are now not saying “God, you aren’t funny,” but we are standing there, shaking our heads, knowing that He is continuing to refine us. As painful as it has been, we have drawn closer as a family unit and as a couple, and we have most definitely drawn closer to our Lord.

I have more peace than I’ve ever had in life. My circumstances have gone from “comfortable” to “chaos.” It seems as if we are standing in the middle of a field, and God is getting us with some pretty good zingers. We are standing strong in His Word, and we are hanging onto His truths and promises. We aren’t trying to independently walk through this world “I do it myself” mode, but we are hanging onto God’s belt loops, and we are following our Daddy through all this muck.

Comfortable, in my Terms

Well, this means an unmanicured yard with weeds and dead plants, everywhere; 4 dogs that shed horrendously…our cats are living in the house, our pigs try to escape. Also, our chickens refuse to lay eggs more days than not; a scary job, making little money, raising 7 children..all with their own needs. Leaving a place that we thought we’d never leave….to go towards the unknown. We are no longer detail-oriented people. We are merely trying to follow where He leads.

If you don’t know the Lord as your personal Saviour….please savor these next steps and pray with a yearning heart.

We ALL deserve death. That’s why Jesus came, to save us from our sins and be the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Please know the plan of salvation and what my God can do for you, and how He can change your life. He would choose to send His Son to die on the cross for you, alone. What undeserved grace that we have in that death.  

Salvation is Really Simple

Admit that you are lost; Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth. He came as 100% human and 100% God. Jesus came to die on the cross. He did so with your name on His lips. Confess that you are a sinner, separated from God; Repent, turn away from your sins; Ask God to come into your heart, and you will be saved. Baptism would be next, but baptism does not save you. It is done in the act of obedience to what Jesus did, and it is a public profession of your faith to show the world of your decision.

Please, don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Our days are numbered. God has numbered our days. There is nothing you can do to add too or take away from that number. You can take this moment to ask Christ into your heart. Please reduce the number of hell by 1. Secure your mansion, in Heaven.

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Priorities God’s Order

Priorities God’s Order

Priorities God's Order

There is not a season that goes by, in my life, that I do not think of my priorities.  What they are or what they *should* be, as a believer.  I stew about how I *want* my day to go and how it ends up going.  Honestly, I try to be salt and light in all that I do.  Yet, I fail miserably or my depression comes roaring out and I want to just hide.  I am learning my Priorities God’s Order.

Recently, my pastor has been going through Matthew.  He wants to go into each of the gospels revealing new and exciting things that I may have never read/understood.  While I was reading the Scripture, one Sunday morning, this little snippet was written up at the top of my Bible:  “Priorities:  Planning Your Day.”

I thought it might be of interest to others, so I thought I would go about defining priorities (God’s Order) to everyone who might read this blog.  One day at a time!  I want everyone to let the words and Scripture sink in, instead of just giving a list.

God’s Order

Psalm 119:105  “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Psalm 119:130 “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Phil. 3:8 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

I am SO far from perfect where my walk is concerned.  I have no doubt that I will see the Kingdom of Heaven when the Lord chooses to call me home.  He is my Savior.  I wish I could say that I get up an hour before the children…have a set “quiet time” spot…..with all my notebooks/pens/highlighters/Bible in a cute little basket…and this is how I begin my day.  I have NEVER been this person.  Ever.  Like never, ever.

I’m more of a hard to wake up, not a morning person, don’t speak to me and I won’t speak to you until 9:30 or 10, breathe prayers throughout the day, have 500 journals started but never finished, type of girl.  I have learned to be okay with that.  I am who I am and God created me to look like His Son.  Even though I’m not that “morning quiet time” person, God can still use me and He still hears me when I pray.  Isn’t that awesome!

Seek His face.

Remember who you are and WHOSE you are.

Be okay with yourself.

Get in the Word.

Get into the church.

God is with you….and once you are His…He NEVER lets go…no matter what!

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Boo is a Believer

Boo is a Believer

Boo is a Believer

Boo is a Believer in Christ.  He has just asked Jesus into his little heart.  It was the most precious prayer…..He asked God to allow His Son to come and live in Him, by means of the Holy Spirit.

Actually, he wanted God to “think about it.”  LOL………… The angels and this household are praising God for this wonderful gift and the knowledge that the child, He gave to us as a gift, now has Christ dwelling in him!

It warms my heart knowing that my children are coming to the knowledge of who God is and what He did for them.  I pray that my other children will come to salvation, as well.  Until they understand what being a believer is all about, I will continue to pray on their behalf.  I will try to lead, by example, and guide them on a day-to-day basis.

I pray that the Lord continues to shine His light on Boo (and all my other children).  Warriors for Christ is my desire for all my children and grandchildren.  I am so tickled I had my camera ready to capture this sweet little face.  My heart is simply swelling with joy.  God is so good.

For now, I will rejoice in the saving grace of my heavenly Father.  I will continue to pray for Noah to be the leader, provider, and protector that he is called to be.  God is good.

Jehovah Roi, The God Who Sees, saw an amazing thing, tonight!  Praise Him!

 

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