Tag Archives: good

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

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 Other Side of Terrible

After my last blog, I felt “nudged” to add an addendum.  Just because terrible visits, doesn’t mean it has to be a permanent guest.

I’m here to tell you wonderful and beautiful things come out of the worst times in one’s life.  Sometimes they’re glaringly obvious; other times we must search for them with the same passion we look for our lost keys or cellphones.

With all the loss and pain, God has more than proven Himself true to His word about recreating beauty, solidifying His love for me, giving me brand-new relationships with people to the extent that I no longer mourn over what and who is gone.  Sure, there’s a season for that – a time when we grieve and hurt, but as promised if we’ll “let go and let God” I assure you, healing and refreshing will come.  Loss can’t compare to the joy of healing, believe it.

Pain sometimes becomes our best friend because if we stay in it, nothing’s required of us.  It’s easier to dwell because climbing out requires a lot of effort and even more faith.

Choose with me to believe He’s working on our behalf in ways we can’t even think of.  Choose to focus on Him and His goodness; His promises that if we’re reading this (or typing it, as the case may be) He has lots of lessons and even more love, personal touches and provision for our future; we’ve survived the past.  We choose to learn from it and seek Him through it all, and He’s working it all out for our good.  For our GOOD…no matter how terrible it’s been, there WILL be good in it all and we will see it.  When we see it, then we will KNOW differently than we did before His great love, grace and mercy for us and we’ll actually be thankful we suffered!

It may be a stretch to believe like that if you’re “in it” right now but if you hang on and hang in, trust me, you will.  At this point in my life, my faith in Jesus is more solid than it was nine years ago…more solid than it was a year ago.  I KNOW HIM…and want to know Him more than I did even an hour ago.  No longer can I be made to doubt – even in the worst times – that He has a glorious plan for my life.  I can’t even make myself doubt what a wonderful, loving, personally faithful and providing Father-God I have.  So.  Hang on and believe.  Anticipate what beautiful things will come from the ashes. It’s coming, I promise.

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.

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 Home Stretch

Any runner will tell you that the last little bit of a marathon is the toughest.  You’re tired, muscles are aching, feet are throbbing, you’re thirsty and your body cries for you to be finished or worse, it begs you to stop.  Even well-seasoned, conditioned athletes who run or play other sports are ready for the game to be over in the last quarter yet they know they must finish.  The end is not the time to quit.

Life is certainly that way.  Every day we must decide to get up believing God has ultimate control of all this even when we see absolutely no evidence of His presence at all.  I’m ashamed to admit it but there have been a few times I went to bed begging Him to let me wake up in heaven.  I didn’t want to finish or survive anything else.  I was just ready for it to be over.

As I recall when I felt that way, I would wake up refreshed and with just enough faith to get my weary body out of bed the next day knowing I was doing it simply because I believed Him and nothing else.

I know you’re tired and wounded.  If people could see the inside of you, your heart, they would see an abstract – bloody and tattered pieces that don’t even resemble you.  But keep going.  This last little bit of the race is the most intense and everything in you begs for it to be over but keep on going.  This DAY we weren’t promised but God gave it to us anyway and because He did, we have to believe He has a plan for it.  Seek Him first, love like He wants you to and believe He knows what He is doing.

Good WILL come of this.  It may not come like we think it should, it may come to someone else (very often it’s not about us at all), but it will come.  He’s painting a bigger picture on a canvas that we can only see a corner of.  He’s getting us to the place where we will agree to walk in absolute blind faith.  After all, isn’t that what faith is?  The Bible says faith is the EVIDENCE of things NOT seen (Hebrews 11:1) but it’s what is hoped for.  If we carry on based on what we SEE that isn’t faith.  We would surely be undone with no purpose or reason without faith and hope which we must determine is enough to keep on keeping on.

Keep running the race because you believe Him and believe in Him.  Sometimes it appears there is just no other reason.  I think He is working on our faith, perseverance and teaching us that He alone is enough.  Even when it’s hard and you’re afraid, keep doing it anyway.  Let’s finish this race strong.  Who’s with me?

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”  Hebrews 12:1

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.