Tag Archives: bad

It’s a Beautiful Day to Die.

Who would have such a thought on a gorgeous day like this?  Well…

For some odd reason I woke up this morning with a severe case of the I want to syndrome.  Immediately I started thinking of what I wanted, when I wanted it, and none of it was good!

Don’t want to work, I want to play.  And on it goes from there.

On any given day, at any time we can decide to go off track and be totally self-indulgent.  We can make ourselves discontent and miserable focusing on what we don’t have rather than appreciate what we do; see the bad and forget the good.  I was there.  That’s when it hit me.

I need to die.

I need to kill this “all about Barbie” thing right now.  I need to get over myself and get on with what I need to do, what I’m supposed to do. This girl…this attitude needs to be put down.  So I put her down.

Now, let’s go to work and get over ourselves.  🙂

“Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

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Heart Problems

It’s time to come clean with my friends.  I’ve been hiding something for a long time. For as long as I can remember, life has dealt some harsh blows. Mom told me I was born prematurely and suffered some lung problems as well as colon problems.  Once on an x-ray, the radiologist commented “the patient has a rather small heart”.  As a result I have had life-long asthma.

Growing up, I saw my parents divorce, my mother attempted suicide, experienced instability and a lot of sadness but those things were mixed in with a lot of love.

As an adult, I’ve gone through my own divorces, bad relationships, bad decisions, been treated wrongly, treated others wrongly, the birth of a severely brain-injured child and raising him pretty much by myself, alcoholism…the list goes on and on.  We’d be here all day if I listed them all.

What’s missing here?  ALL THE GOOD!  We tend to call up the bad more than we remember the good.  Bad things that happen often become milestones for where a change occurred…or it didn’t.

In each of those things I named above, my heart was involved and they affected me greatly.  We all have things that have “hurt our hearts”, thus the damage we’re left with.  The residual…and what we do with it…has a great effect on how we live, love and serve.

Sometimes we think the damage is too great, we feel we can’t recover and we’ll never be the same.

Heart problems.

We can’t see the damage done but we can feel it.  Our minds rehearse it.  If a doctor could look at our souls and spirits and perhaps do some kind of diagnostic test, I wonder if the scars would look like.  Truth is, our God sees, feels and knows every single one of them.  When you feel them, He does, too.

I’m submitting myself for some heart surgery with the Great Physician.  I have been for some time.  That’s our only chance of real healing.  He’s our cure.

We go to doctors and they give us medicine and advice on how to help and sometimes cure our physical problems.  Why don’t we do the same with our heart/soul/spirit problems?  What heart problems do you have?  Will you allow God to do “surgery” or will you just keep suffering with them?

1st Samuel 16:7:  “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Psalm 51:10:  “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The Big Reveal

I used to pride myself on my faith – I’d tout what big faith I had. I was relishing all the good and all the blessings.  Even though circumstances weren’t perfect I was smitten like we get with our first love.  It was all good.  Then things turned very bad.  He allowed things in my life I frankly thought because He loved me He never would.  That’s the rub of the Christian life.

I’ve said it before while going through this desert – I doubted big time.  My “faith” crumbled and my hope faded.  What in the world had I done wrong, why, why why…poor little Barbie…devastated and messed up I found it a struggle to find a mustard seed of faith.  The whole experience thus far has shown me I’m not nearly as big a spiritual giant as I once thought I was.

There it is.  The reason.

I see all the time praises about God and how good He is when people get a good outcome.  What if we don’t?  Is He still a good God?  Some say losing a job, losing all material possessions, getting a divorce, children and other loved ones dying, addiction, homelessness and hungry is God’s will.  Is it?  If God’s good, how can those things be God’s will? It’s my understanding that God is good.  So why are things so bad?

All I know is this.  THROUGH all I have been through my shallow perceptions of Him have long since faded.  My notions of how He should handle me and my circumstances have gone by the wayside.  Through it all, my relationship with Him has deepened.  I had to die.  What I thought of Him and His ways had to be destroyed so I could have a heart, eyes and ears to see Him for who He is.

I believe He had to get me to a place where I had to let go of me, let go of my perceptions and my pride to see Him for who He is.  Had it all not happened, I wouldn’t have.  We don’t seek to have ourselves destroyed – we don’t like being wrong.  We think we know…and we don’t until we know.

I think He chooses many different ways through which we have opportunities to grow a more intimate relationship with him.  When we finally see that everything we thought is wrong and accept that, then He can begin to show Himself for who He really is, and His great personal love for us. His ways are definitely not our ways.  I had to come a hard way but it’s been a wonderful way.  Sorrow, loss and pain will reveal who we really are and what we really believe.

Content With Our Content?

 

I’m a MLS (that’s the new term for medical transcriptionist) – medical language specialist. I type heart monitor and pacemaker reports (to name a few).  When folks go in for checkups the doctor is able to download reports from their machinery that allows them to see if they have been compliant with their devices, how their heart is functioning and compare the symptoms they’ve written in their diaries with the function of their heart. Pretty remarkable. The downloadable content provided allows the doctor to see what needs to be done (if anything) and how to proceed with treatment.

I got to thinking about that in a spiritual sense.  If I could download the function of my “heart” I wonder what I would see? Really.  What’s inside?  How do we function when nobody’s watching?  Would the downloadable content from the inside match the actions, words and professions we make in public?

Who we really are privately is who we really are.  We can paint on faces, put on pretty clothes and say pretty words in public and be ugly in the privacy of our homes.  Who are we with God?  Are we as mercy-filled, praising with hands raised when it’s just us and Him as we are in public?  True, we can relax and let our guard down at home – that’s understandable.  But should we be schizophrenics?  Should we…are we two different people – one at home and another in public?

We have the ability to check our content.  We can ask God to expose what’s really inside us, who we really are…and deal with the things that aren’t pleasing to Him.  It’s good to review our content and certainly better to allow Him to.  We all have issues, scars and pain.  Those things can make us beautiful if we allow them to, or they can make us ugly.  The choice is ours.

OVERRULED!

I’m one messed up person. I have been through a lot – anyone who’s my age that’s lived any kind of life has. We’re impacted by life events whether we know it or not. We start out as children with the purest intentions and love without any constraint…then life happens to gradually, sometimes unknowingly change all that. We have an inborn expectation that everything is going to be wonderful and easy, everyone will love us just because they say they do; our families will support us and be there for us no matter what we do, what happens or which way we choose to go.  We get a little age on us and experience behind us and we become tainted and broken, like a glass that missed a proper setting on the countertop.

We fight and argue, we choose to judge those who are different from us. We stop believing in good and start seeking the bad. We stop believing in pretty much everything for a while perhaps. We become selfish and prideful, even arrogant and demanding. We start hurting people out of our own perceptions and because of what’s happened to us.

I don’t want to love and turn the other cheek.  My “nature” is to get before I get got.  OVERRULED!  The Christ in my life, and His Spirit inside me trumps my want to on many occasions.  I find myself often at that critical crossroad where I must decide to LET Him have His way.

I don’t want to work hard to make a living. I’m tired and want things to be easy.  OVERRULED! My love for Him forces a decision, yet again. I must decide to do ALL THINGS as if doing them for Him.

I don’t want to take a chance on showing compassion or helping anyone because there were times I was in the same boat and found myself alone.  OVERRULED! I know in my Spirit that things have happened for this specific reason – to show what God has done in my life to encourage someone else walking the same road, otherwise it would result in bitterness and be for nothing.

The “BJ Barbie” (before-Jesus-Barbie) was a selfish, mad, bitter and hateful woman incapable of emotions related to compassion.  “My nature” – who I really am and what I really WAS, partly because of choice, partly because of what happened – was, IS vile.  She still exists, but I CHOOSE not to let her be evident.

More than ever, we must choose to live, act, work and talk to please HIM and not feed our emotions. Sometimes I choose correctly and sometimes I’m overruled; sometimes I choose to be “bad” and even in those times, God still loves me – and Jesus is still very much with me.

Think He’s not with you?  Think He’s going to toss you because you’re less than perfect?  OVERRULED!!!

Forgive our humanness, Lord. May we allow You to overrule and supercede anything about us.

Treasures in the Darkness

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places…” Isaiah 45:3

Take an inventory of what you’ve lost, what’s been stolen even what you gave away.  Chunks of your love, your heart, resources you’ve invested only to find yourself sometimes empty.  Perhaps you’re in a place of regret, wishing you hadn’t done this or that; wishing you hadn’t loved this one or that one, taken that job, spent that money.  Regret is a dark place and it really doesn’t matter what caused it, the pain of regret is the same and brings many emotions with it.

God knows. He is well aware of all you’ve given through love and sacrifice.  He knows you made the best decision possible with what you had to go on; He also knows the times you knew it wasn’t in your best interest (or the interest of others) but you did it anyway. He knows the times you stepped out in blind faith and the times you dove head first without thinking.  He knows every tear you’ve cried and the people and reasons behind it.

Walk into a completely dark room with no light source and we become disoriented.  Even though it’s a familiar place, the darkness changes everything doesn’t it?  We may stumble over something that has been in place for years; we forget what’s in there and where it is. The same is true for spiritual darkness. When the light and hope are stolen we find ourselves in complete darkness and forget what we have…WHO we have right at our fingertips.

Rest assured, God will use it all to bring about a fresh revelation of who He is and the personal love He has for you. Even though you can’t see it, feel it or touch it…you may not even believe it or believe in Him right now; even that doesn’t matter.  He is.  He’s there, He loves you and He’s aware.  Trust Him to bring the treasure out of the darkness.  Know that even if you’ve asked for darkness He is bringing the light to your situation.  He IS the light; He is the goodness that will come from the places of despair.

Some of the recurrent themes in our lives are tragedy, heartache, brokenness, and we often find ourselves asking why.  God answers in this verse:  “So that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3b).

The darkness can’t be dark because He’s there and He will bring treasures from it. Believe it.  Will you?

The Other Side of Beautiful.

I live in a cabin that’s almost 240 years old. Oh if the walls could talk. Andrew Jackson has stood in my living room in front of this fireplace; it’s been said Daniel Boone walked across the front yard. There is all kinds of history on this property.

The cabin has (what I call) character and is a story within itself. Some look at it and see its faults and everything that needs to be fixed but I see the beautiful. It does need work and on the side where nobody can see the beginnings of renovation is taking place. From the visible side, it looks much better.

The side you can’t see shows what it’s been through. If you choose to see that side, you have to walk around to where you can. Nobody sees it unless they make the effort to see it.

We’re much like this historical cabin. We all have a side we don’t show (or try not to) to the world. We choose to let others see our beautiful, our socially acceptable, try-to-fit-in-and-be-good self; the everything-is-fine-and-I-love-life self. The majority only care about that side of us; few ever venture “around the house” to see the other less exposed side, the self we work so hard to hide.

If you’ve lived a few years, you’ve weathered some storms and if others look close enough, they can see it. You’ve been hurt, wounded, made some mistakes and have the scars and marks to prove it. Everyone has another side of beautiful. Everyone. Everyone has a side they don’t really want others to see. Some, though, can’t help but show it. They’re the ones we see on the streets with no place to call home, no resources and no people supporting them. We try not to look because we want to see beautiful; we want someone else to help them. Those closest to you – just like you – have a side that is less than beautiful. We all have a side we would just as soon not show.

Look at them the next time you can. LOOK at the people with you in the checkout line at the store. LOOK at them and pray for them. Ask God for opportunities to smile at them and look them in the eye and ways to help. They’re beautiful too! Others you’re exposed to have deep places and fears they don’t share with anyone. They may need a positive, encouraging word or smile to let them know they’re not alone and they are loved, ugly and all.

God loves us despite of and IN spite of our ugly. He KNOWS our other side of beautiful and has chosen to love us anyway! He wants to touch our ugly and heal us. He wants to do a major renovation in us and He will if we let him. He will even use our other side to encourage someone else if we’ll let Him.

The next time you’re seeing beautiful in others and places think about what you don’t see. Be thankful for the beautiful and pray God is allowed to touch the other side and make it beautiful too.