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Randomness …of perfection, writing, inadequacies, faith and trust

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.

Small people always do that…”

Mark Twain

am i a small person?

small and unforgiving?

sometimes my confidence makes a fool of me.

i am so sure of myself

and then i do something

and it fails…

my mind attacks

me telling me

why.

i.

failed.

telling me

i am stupid and ignorant

laughing at my confidence

dispelling my joy

mocking me for being.

so.

sure.

i fold into myself introspecting every little thing

i think i know and believe

i feel silly and selfish

shy and ashamed

that I put myself out there

so vulnerable

standing so tall on my soap box

of opinions

choices

words i say

and the me i reveal so openly to all.

i despise hypocrisy

so i reveal so much of myself

my mind calls me a fool

it asks “where is the mystery?”

maybe there is none when it comes to me

i rebel and flap about

like i know everything

and can do anything…

i get disconnected from so many

not on purpose

just my mind (that smallish part of me)

tells me not to bother because

they don’t care

they are too busy

so i forget to call

because i don’t know what to say

i like to write

i express my thoughts well

but i never bothered with

punctuation

too many or not enough and in the wrong spots

so i write and am humiliated

writers block is fear

that my dots and dashes don’t add up

my mind tells me i am dumb

elementary grammar

forgotten

in the need to put pen to page

and then confused

expression is a joy to me

yet i am failed for words to put all of it down

disjointed

thoughts

flying about my head

ricocheting from B cell to T cell

synapses firing away

and i try to catch them

these dragonfly thoughts

flitting one way

invisible then standing in midair…

sparkling

iridescent

thought

and I reach out with my jar of letters

to encapsulate the phantom phrase

on paper

or screen

but then its gone again

i am off on these

paper airplanes

and glitter screens

to lands of expression, of words, of poems

of classy fairy friends

of opinions to fuel my passions

of art to wonder at

and of my clumsy attempt

to join in the cacophony

that i travel

in the corner of my room

on the shiny little screen

and sometimes

maybe more so than not

my dishes are ignored

my bed unmade

or the laundry is left waiting on its mountain

or words tumble from my mouth too fast

and they’re sharp

and i regret

that they hurt

those i care for the most

and i wake

another morning

and i crawl out of bed

and i fly by my life as it comes

and i trust

the work in me will be completed

grace will be given each day anew

i will write and not be fearful

and i will hope myself breathless

and i will be silly and embarrassed

holding my chin up high

as i learn to forgive and be forgiven

and look up for my help

…..

;;;;

,,,

?

!

:

and i will TRUST.

Linked up with Life: unmasked

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Simplicity- Intro

The lifestyle of simplicity is becoming a lost art, a refinement forgotten. There is an appeal to that life of slow days and basics, where the things you have don’t own you and you aren’t a slave to the clock and at the mercy of schedules. There is an appeal to having the freedom to marvel at the simple things, like the wonder in a child’s eyes, or the sunsets, or the pictures in the clouds. Yet in this culture of busyness around us, a little child’s curiosity becomes bratty, and any inconvenience becomes a crisis. The car-seat trapped child’s eyes become dull and listless as they are carted about too and fro, forgotten in the bustle and hustle of play dates and dance lessons and after school programs and sports and church programs and the list goes on. There is nothing wrong with any of these things to do, there is something wrong though, when these things start owning you, when the commitment becomes too much and the necessities of life fall to the wayside for these activities.

Stress rears it’s ugly head against us, we feel guilt because somehow we have come to believe that we have to do and do and do. We have to give our kids the opportunities and we have to be at the party and we have to go and hang out with so and so, our homes have to be perfect, we have to meet the deadline… and yes we do sometime. However there comes a time to just stop; a season to rest, and maybe, a call to pull away and be left out of it all or at least most of it, to refocus and re-purpose ourselves, our families, our homes and our lives so that we can just be and not just do. There is a saying “You are a human being not a human doing”. The easy life is the life of being busy, because we no longer have to think about what matters- we just find more to do, to fill in the dead spaces, while at night we are haunted by those things that should be addressed in our lives, our character, our children’s discipline, our marriages. We fear the stillness of just being, in which our inadequacies shout at us through the bullhorn of guilt.

In the search for simplicity we need to first recognize the onslaught of expectations we face, and the origin of them. We need to evaluate if those expectations have come to us through sources we can trust or through the subtle influences of media and culture or even through the well meaning influence of slightly misguided friends and family. Each of us has the ability to divide the truth from the lies. If something has you stressed out and feeling overwhelmed and out of control or attacked, degraded and worthless it is not of value* to you. Usually the progression seems to follow a pattern of what we want, typically, we want to be liked**, thus we feel we must measure ourselves according to the expectations people around us have projected upon us, either verbally or inadvertently by their attitudes towards us or others. Then we can have perceived ideas of expectations that we feel we must live up to based on how the media portrays to us an unrealistic lifestyle of wealth and good times. Finally, we have to sort out our own expectations we have of ourselves; while filtering the importance of them through whether we want to be liked, if it is a source of pride, or if it is a lie propagated upon us by the media.

James 1:17
*Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

1 John 2:16
**For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

What can we do? How do we swing the pendulum back to center and re-engage with life? What are some ways you balance your life? Do you feel overwhelmed? I. do. a. lot. This post is the first of my series on digging myself out of the clutter of stuff and life owning me into an existence that is filled with me owning my life and my stuff being tools and not taskmasters. Do you have any tips for me? Or are you in the same boat as I am? Join me in this journey so we can discover the joys of simplicity together.

Masquerade of a Dead Life.

Sorting out some recent thoughts…

It is amazing the way a person can become so sure to you, how they can seem like they can be relied on for one small thing and still let you  down so harshly. I learned a long time ago how crushing it can be when someone you admire falls so hard and far from the pedestal you have put them on, but what I didn’t count on was the complete coldness and disregard a person can have for the values that keep family strong. It is one thing to disappoint another person it is another thing to aid in the destruction of family.

What an experience it is to see such a desperate attempt to keep certain “skeletons” from escaping the closet of a masquerade of a life. The broken attempts of hiding behind false pretense while in reality being the horrible victim of senseless acts of sins against you is just a pitiful and frightening reality for so many people. Unfortunately it can become a reality so big that in the end it affects not only you, but can affect generations to follow in ways that are devastating. All because you don’t want or can’t face what people might say or think of you even though what happened was not your fault. Sin when hidden becomes an insidious guest even when that sin has been done against you and you are not the one who has committed it. Typically when sinned against anger then unforgiveness then bitterness takes root in the hurt. The hard thing is that we have every right to be hurt and angry, but the key after that is to not sin in our hurt and anger. I know how hard it is to be hurt and angry and then have to deal with a child while wrestling with those feelings towards someone else, I have on numerous occasions snapped at them or yelled at them when they had nothing to do with my pain at all, but being so consumed by my pain, I overlooked what it might do to them to react in a way that will confuse and hurt them. Thus the cycle can continue and inevitably does in this fallen world. I have personally tried to make it a point to apologize to my children when I have done this and have when necessary attempted to explain to them some lesson of human nature and the mercy of God and His love.

What is remarkable to me in this is how the extent of someone else’s sin can cause us to sin against the innocent or those who are not the cause of the pain. Either way we are not to sin, in reaction to the person sinning against us or in reaction to those not involved. I can say that this is a very difficult ideal to grasp, I believe and know it, and I fail in it so many times. How I was shown this by God’s mercy, was in wondering about the resurrection and it’s importance in the life of one who believes. The refrain of the gospel is that we can be saved from our sin, it is beautiful to know this, however it is incomplete, because so many do not understand their own sin, and stand in judgement of others sins and the sins that they have been the victims of. Sometimes a person does not see the depravity of there own sin and only looks at the sin and suffering around them and wonders about how so much bad can happen. Christ died for my sin, your sin, and every individual’s sin. It becomes our responsibility to accept that gift of salvation from our sin. What happened after His death is three days later he arose from the dead, we all know that right? But see he didn’t go in the ground for three days, in those three days he conquered death forever and rose victorious over sin and death so that we may experience the same freedom and victory over sin and death because of our salvation through him. And that means sin. Period. Any sin that has been committed against us. Period. Any experience of death. Period.

In the light of His great salvation all of this has no hold on any believer, ever, unless the believer chooses to hold on to it, either in their ignorance to this or in their inability to fully grasp this victory. I have a hard time fully grasping the truth of this especially in moments of pain, and unfortunately pain doesn’t just go away in knowing this. What it does do though is it gives me hope in pain and joy in the hurt, that I do not have to remain imprisoned to someone else’s sins against me or others. It helps me to know that God has conquered it all and he is the only conqueror, and only through his salvation can I be more than a conqueror even though I have experienced the pain and hurt and horror of being sinned against.

Realize that sin is a work of Satan himself and that every person has the choice to sin or not. Do not deceive yourself about sin there is no small sin that we can commit as in letting our words hurt people or laziness or being false, and do not allow yourself to be deceived into the belief that there are sins that are too great for God’s power as in rape or murder or molestation. God’s power abolishes sin, God’s power heals our souls from sins, God’s power gives us peace in this sin stricken world. In pressing on towards wholeness in body, spirit and mind; this truth has been a balm for me, it has put my mind at ease even though the feelings of hurt and anger remain, it has helped me to sort through the mess that is life on this planet and it has helped me understand the pain that others face in there own lives. I hope it allows me to see healing in the lives of those I love and I hope that maybe it causes others curiosity to seek out this truth for them self.

Going Forward with Obstacles

“God has nothing worth having that is easily gained”-  Streams in the Desert Devotional– June 29

 

It is easy in the face of obstacles to give up and take the easy path, whether that is convenience food or procrastination or snapping back at someone in anger or abandoning a difficult relationship. The hard way is painful and misunderstood, even if it appears that the easy way is being taken. I am happy to be standing in the Hope of God and that he is my everything, literally. He took my earthly security away, and gave me an invisible future that I cannot see but for his promises to me. I think I am misunderstood for the fact that I had to do something very drastic in my life to secure the health and well being of those closest to me, it had to be done, to save a soul, to save minds from more damage, and to save the completeness of something God has ordained. Nothing good has ever come from hiding behind false pretenses, especially when multiple opportunities have been given for private resolution of the issues faced. God put these words before me as I was facing the blackest moments in this recent dilemma:

 

Psalm 27:13-14 (amp) [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

 

Psalm 138:3,7-8 (KJV) In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

 

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 

It was like a cool fresh breeze, filling my suffocating lungs, a piercing light through the darkness, though still blind to the future it is the brightness of his promises that are blinding me now to what my future holds. I am so happy to know that I have no need to defend my position but that God is my defense. No person can stand against me in thought, action, or words. The greatest of all is he told me he would perfect what concerns me, PERFECT, can you beat that? I have made more mistakes in my journey than I can count, but, I know I make them and will likely make more; But I have claimed Christ and his righteousness for myself because without it I am destitute in the horrors of my sin. I can stand in Him knowing that my mistakes and failures will only prove to glorify Him much more in the end, so I can have no claims to having done anything in my own strength. This is the beautiful way of openness and transparency, it proves God’s greatness in the end, it proves that he uses weak, broken vessels to carry his glory so he can shine through the shattered shards of brokenness. A crushed flower, pours out more fragrance. Coal under pressure produces a diamond.

Journey through Pain

For the past year or so I have found myself in a prison with one wall that I have been banging my head on. My head has been aching from the constant smashing against bricks made from confusion, worry, questioning, lack of faith, thoughts of self pity and so on. Believe me the words that bombard me sometime shred my soul and the circumstances that surround me are difficult. But a sweet whisper from God has been quietly speaking to me lately about the “chastisement of my peace being upon Him” Isaiah 53 – it has come over and over into my heart and head and it is amazing how he has led me out of this bramble of pain.  I have been unable to figure out why I couldn’t find peace, but I am so happy that He is showing me a way out of the confused questions in my head. I am so glad that I didn’t completely give up and am also glad that so much of his word has taken root in me that even in times of drought in my life; [The Word] comes in like a refreshing rain for my thirsty soul.

Another question that has been causing me great pain has been in that I believed a lie that all I could experience in this life was hurting, and that all the blessings that I have read about in His Word were blessings for heaven, I was basically believing that salvation was not for my life but for my death or when I died. But I have been so blessed that He again spoke to me and showed me Psalm 27: 13 “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”

Just lately there has been some changes in my life that I wanted but was afraid of, and I actually prayed would happen and it did. But when it happened it was so abruptly that I was terrified. Through my terror I prayed for him to give me peace that I would have faith to trust him for my needs, all of them. Seemingly simplistic request I know; but the back story makes it very frightening.  The day after this abrupt change I received a magazine in the mail and nearly every article in it were testimonies of God’s provision in the exact circumstance that I found myself in and fearful of this past year. It affirmed He cares for me and knows my needs, and speaks to me when I feel like there is nobody else who understands.

Zombies

Okay so here is the situation, I feel like I am almost completely a zombie- I feel like I just don’t give a rip anymore- walking around dead. Not that this is true but my response to the continual dripping of acid on my heart and mind is well… acid back, It’s not good, it serves no purpose, it makes things even worse and I don’t know how to stop. You see I have these really good spells in which I am very, very good and very bad ones in which I am HORRID. So I am horrid right now. I have tried many forms of turning the other cheek, but I seem unable to stick it out for whatever reason… you see I get vulnerable, then I get hurt, then I get hard, then I give it another try and it starts all over again.  I just want to be happy and have fun, to enjoy life, yet this misery just won’t quit.

I know that I need to keep my focus in the right place, and I don’t all the time. I know that I need  to give up my rights, but there is too much I want sometimes. I know that I don’t deserve any better than my worst sin. But I don’t want to be eaten alive by this living dead. And I don’t want to be a Zombie.

Tell me how would you respond if your very soul was continuously slammed, the butt of every joke, ridiculed, mocked, derided, harrassed, shamed, dishonored, hurt repeatedly, over and over. I am sorry to say it starts to form a callous, and you begin to be very good at giving it back.

But you see the real problem lies in that the zombie is the one who can’t take the punishment, the zombie feels all the pain and then spews it back out to infect others, so when I dish it back, I am hurting something so much more fragile than me and I feel as though I am delaying the time when the zombie is given anew, his life.

People

In this life one of  the most frustrating and delightful and inevitable parts of life….

people.

I have many many people in my life who fall under many categories but I find that when I really look, the people in my life become another piece of artwork in the gallery of life. It is tragic and beautiful and it is delightful. I am so glad that I have began to really see them for them, not for their actions, it is hard because it takes alot of vulnerability and alot of getting hurt, and trusting has become a word I reserve for God alone. (sorry everyone else). I include many people in my list of friends, broken people, broken people who like to act like their fixed, broken people who really are fixed, broken people who don’t care that they are broken, or don’t know or refuse to admit it or ignore it. But it is remarkable the similarities (broken) that we all have regardless of our situation in life we all have this one thing in common; we are so desperately broken.

Reproach has broken my heart, And I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none. Psa. 69:20

It is so painful to have friends who suffer daily… It is far worse to have friends who do not have a source of strength in their hurt.

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psa. 37:18

this is for you my brassy frined who has been beat all her life.

this is for my friend who is paralyzed

this is for my friend who tries to find comfort in a bottle

this is for my friend whose husband looked for love elsewhere for ten years of their marriage

this is for my friend who lost her home to foreclosure and her father in the same year

this is for my friend who lost her mother, her home to fire, her ability to walk

this is for my friend who cannot control anger

this is for my friend who struggles with debilitating pain

and this is for me, too.

Because being broken brings us closer to the answer…