July 22, 2009
I reached out in love to a woman after her "blog scam" became unveiled. Through conversations (email, IM, phone calls, text), I developed a friendship with her. At one point I became pegged as her "mentor". On a blog I disagreed with, I spoke up for this woman using my real ID and name, and boy, oh boy! THAT was a mistake. Suddenly some of my blog followers were being left anonymous comments that I wasn't a good "blog friend" to have, my name and integrity was ridiculed, I received some nasty e-mails, and so forth.
Ah...sigh...I vowed I would error on the side of love and grace instead of hate and bitterness. I figured at least if I got hurt through "sticking up for her", then at least it would be justified because I was loving in Christ! Worse come to worse, I would get emotionally hurt. That was an ok price to pay for being loving. That is simply life sometimes.
Time went on, and the saga got bigger and just out-of-control. There were more lies, more "stories" all the way around, and I became quickly overwhelmed. EVeryone was convincing in why their evidence was the truth! Seriously, my "truth-meter" was overloaded, and yesterday was my breaking point. I sobbed uncontrollably as I told another party "I was done". I'm not sure what possessed me to get involved in the first place, but I did. Through a very emotional day, I e-mailed everyone involved and simply told them I was done! kinda' funny now, but that's all I could say over and over is: "I am done". I don't want to be involved anymore.
I won't take back my actions of loving and believing. I would take back my actions of being overly involved and divulging information, because I went against my word. I am not sure I would have commented under my real identity (lol) and I am not sure I would have gotten invested.
But here's the thing: This is the internet people! Scams happen! Tragedy happens! Some people are real and some are not! People get "duped", some people even twice or three times. We seriously HAVE to seek God on what is truth and what is not!
I believe God asked me to be an "advocate" for this woman, and that's why I don't regret contacting her and befriending her. Did I get hurt? YES. Does that mean I doubt all of humanity? NO. Does that mean I am careful next time? YES. But it doesn't mean I put icicles around my heart and shut everyone out (which is what I have done recently)
So do I believe God can use EVERY circumstance in this thing? YES. Did I make a few poor choices? YES. Do I regret it? NO. Such is life:)
I am guilty of loving too much and trying to be on "both sides".
I am without internet currently, so my visits here will be sporatic. To those who have e-mailed me, I appreciate you. I am o-kay, it's all o-kay, I will be back, and I will be back stronger:)
God's timing is perfect and therefore, this is a perfect time for me to bow out of the game....with ALL parties involved. I have no more information to offer, no more "secrets to tell", no more explanations, no more condolances. If I don't contact you back, please don't be offended:) When I do have a chance to get on-line, it's for a very short time. Be back soon:)
I have encountered an unfortunate situation on the internet and I am taking a break from my blog. I am really pretty naive about the internet, and about loving people, and I tend to get wrapped up in my bloggy friend's stories and lives.
My greatest strength is that when I decide to love people, I love people with everything in me; my greatest weakness is that I love people with everything in me... The compassionate person gives more than what she has (whether physically or emotionally), and that has been the case for many years in my life. I'm emotionally "spent". I have an "in real life" I have been neglecting in order to deal with this on-line situation, and I seriously need to get back to it.
I have a situation in my "real life" this week that is going to be huge for my family, that has nothing to do with any of this, so please keep the boys and I in extra prayers:) Thanks! I will try to stop by and check out your blogs when I can. For those who are regulars here, you are the BEST!!! I am disabling comments, but feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to.
It was THAT kind of moment! I was ready to "fire" the Word of God at some people, when God actually drew me back to the reflection in the mirror that I see daily...He not only brought me face-to-face with Him, but reminded me that I am simply a vessel to be used by Him, and that He ultimately is in control.
Ohhhh! I had the "perfect" verses to throw out there, and then justified (to myself AND God) that I clearly had the right to "lay down the law", or "fire of God", so to speak. Ha! NOT in God's eyes...
Because He is wonderful and sovereign, He also gave me a couple opportunities to practice these wonderful acts of truth and love! What an encouraging thing!
Well...I'd like to say, "Yes, praise God!", however, as I'm watching pieces of a puzzle fall into place as I write, I am starting to feel an "ouch" moment rise... (*ouch*) because I failed at one of those opportunities: a phone call with my ex-husband.
It hurts to do the right thing. It hurts to sit back and say nothing when you would like to pour fire and brimstone on people who vindictively hurting others. It hurts to love people knowing you could totally get hurt. It hurts to be truthful and honest, even when it means your reputation is at stake. It hurts
July 16, 2009
There are so many things going on right now with people I care about and even complete strangers that I have compassion for over stuff in their lives...
...and I'm sad...
I know the joy of the Lord is my strength...
...but for tonight, I am sad...
I know God works out all things for good...
...but for tonight, I am sad...
I know the end result will be just fine...
...but I am sad...
I am sad that we have a real enemy who wreaks havoc without regard to anyone else...
...I am sad...
My heart is heavy. Seriously, I could cry.
Situation A,B,&C are my own life situations. Situation D is a friend's situation. Situation E is a family member's situation. Situation F,G,H,I,J is a bloggy friend's situation. Situation K is a new friend's situation. Situation L belongs to a woman I don't agree with, yet I still hurt for. Situation M,N,O is......&Z...
"Now I sing my A,B,C's, next time won't you sing with me."
...I don't feel like singing because I have chosen to carry situations A-Z on my shoulders. It's pretty heavy. One of the problems with having the gift of compassion is that I "feel" everyone's pain, even when I may not agree with their perspective. I defend those who no one else will defend...(well, not always, but usually.) The "underdog", so to speak. I get passionate about it to the point of "over-doing" it, getting too emotionally involved, and end up not representing Christ too well in my frustration. Ah...more of an eye-opener that I truly do need a Savior!
I am not allowing comments tonight. See, I know the verses that say, "be encouraged, etc." I know that, in the end, all will be fine. I know God will work out all things, but tonight, I am just sad.
I am going to sleep...but first, I will be spending time at the foot of the cross, casting situations A-Z at Jesus' feet, because...you know what? They are not mine to carry and if I carry them into my day tomorrow, I will have no room to love anyone else tomorrow. Today, God's grace is sufficient for today. Tomorrow, God's grace will be sufficient for tomorrow.
Dear friend, if your heart is heavy with burdens, may you find the same comfort that I find in the following verses:
1 Peter 4:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
July 13, 2009
Even in the midst of the situation I am facing, God continues to remind me how faithful He is to my boys and I.
For the past three weeks, I have been "mentoring" a woman who is dealing with a lot of "junk" right now in her life because of decisions she has made. As I have shared my stories with her, the Lord, in His sovereignty, has brought back an issue from my past that needed to be dealt with. As I share encouragement to this woman, I believe God gently whispers to my heart, "Will you believe that for yourself and for your situation?" Oh, the people of God we would be if we only could/would take our own advice! *Big grin*
I stopped by Kelly Combs' (Chatty Kelly) blog today and she compared herself to Rocky Balboa in her recent post. He kept fighting even when he continued to be knocked down. I believe we get stronger every time we get back up from a "slam" that the enemy throws our way. It also makes me think of Paul in the New Testament of the Bible when he talks about "fighting the good fight; pressing on; forgetting what is behind; putting on the armor of God...and then STAND"; and so forth.
This was a man who had to, not only tell others to fight, but I believe He also had to convince Himself that He was a new creation! -Not the old guy who killed Christians- I don't know...I could be wrong, but when I think of Paul, I think of the man he used to be before he met Jesus...and then I think about how many books of the Bible he actually wrote, and how many people's lives he had to have impacted, and wondered how he got over his own feelings of a past full of regrets. Whew! (major run-on sentence, yet that is how I think of him). He is definitely a man who conquered in God's kingdom, and therefore; could encourage others because He truly made it over those "mountains" in his life, leading others to the freedom that Jesus Christ offered because HE HAD ONCE BEEN IN CHAINS, in more ways than one.
So, as God brings back this situation in my life, while I am mentoring this woman, God also whispers His peace, assurance, and "heart knowledge" that He truly will help me every step of the way, AS I follow His direction and guidance.
Refining fire? Oh yes.
Is it hot? Oh yes.
Painful? Oh yes.
Lifechanging? Oh yes.
Worth it? YES, because I know this is another thing that God will use, (is using), to mold me into more of His image.
So again...I declare: God is still on the throne, He's faithful, His timing is ALWAYS perfect, He is a father to the fatherless, and a husband to the husbandless, and He will never leave me or forsake me, so...do I really need to spend so much time worrying and fretting about every detail? No...I don't think so.
(Besides I think in this past week, I have gained 20 more grey hairs...SERIOUSLY! ha, and I just dyed my hair 2 weeks ago)
I thank God for wonderful prayer warriors and for ALL the people He has brought into my life! *Sniff, sniff...this girl couldn't be more blessed:) (I really tried to cry to give you the full effect of my "sniff's", but ya know, I'm bone dry in the tear department, and my heart feels a little too light to drown it with tears before I go to bed.)
So, before I go, let's all say it together, "My name is __________ and I'm DONE worrying too much! I cast all my cares upon the Lord and I won't take them back. He knows every detail of my life, and will take care of those things which I cannot control. God, I trade you my burdens for your peace, and I won't even feel guilty for not 'sulking' over this situation in my life. I will be thankful today and rest in your loving arms! Sigh...(Take a deep breath...) Thank you Jesus! Amen.....(Another deep breath)
Now doesn't that feel better???
July 12, 2009
Wow, this -very emotional- week is over! Whew!
And, another -very emotional- week is on its way! Oh my!
But God is still the same God I served and praised when my life was smooth sailing. He still remains on the scene: clearing the unnecessary debris from my path, prepared to attend to the emotional wounds of my heart, ready and quick to work, being well-equipped to handle each and every
I look back at the past 7 days, and feel like I totally wasted my time worrying and filling my heart with anxiety. The "what if's" and the "why's" and the doubting of my past forgiveness ruled my mind. Or so I thought...
I drew closer to God this week. I kneeled more at HIS throne. I fasted for the first time. I drew and did more artwork than I have in weeks. I sought out scripture after scripture. I talked on the phone less and spent more time in the Word of God seeking His peace and presence. I stayed home more, visiting more with God than with friends. I made more home-made meals for my family because we weren't out "running around".
I can look at all the things I did wrong this week (which would make me feel defeated), or I can look at all the ways God used my actions to draw me closer to Him.
My poor friends feel neglected as I haven't spend much time on the phone or in person with them. BUT, I am ALWAYS on the phone, seeking THEIR advice, THEIR comfort, THEIR direction, THEIR thoughts...This week, I sought those things directly from God...even though I have AMAZING friends!
God has truly blessed me with amazing people in my life, yet this week, the only One I wanted to spend time with was HIM!!!
The time I spent filled with worry and anxiety totally was not necessary; however, I had to spend time with God until His peace "shot down" those negative feelings.
Anyone who doesn't think God has a sense of humor really needs to walk a week in my shoes. I love the fact that God ordains things perfectly!
Friday, July 3, I woke up and started a new medicine to help me to stay awake throughout the day. (For whatever reason, I was tired ALL the time, and had to nap EVERY single day in order to even function). Within an hour of taking it, I was feeling great, filled with energy, and ready to go, go, go! Within an hour and 5 minutes, I received a phone call that shook my world.
Within two hours, I was totally ready to sleep and hide away in my dreams. Sleeping has also always been my comfort, my way to "cope with life. When life gets hard, I sleep...
Ha!!! So the past week, I have been wide awake, forced to deal with the issues at hand, face myself and my past...(did I mention I had to do this being "wide awake"???) It's funny because one day I really just wanted to sleep and take a nap. I lay on the couch while my boys entertained theirselves (they're 9 and 13), and forced myself to sleep. It took me a half hour to fall asleep and I only was able to sleep for 40 minutes. THAT totally is NOT me (without meds). I usually lay my head on the pillow, say, "Thank you God for sleep", and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, I'm out, no problem.
So, God totally ordained the fact that He wanted me to deal with life this week, instead of sleeping through it:)
Are you tired of reading yet? I'm tired of writing:) I need a nap! (lol, just kidding...well...not really)
Ahhhh....God is good. Despite whatever comes out way, God is good! He's beside us through it all. Even before it even touches us, God weeds out the worst of it, and lets the rest enter our world. That means that He totally knows what He's doing, He knows how He will use those things He allows into our life, and God knows that the enemy will not be able to destroy us or our testimony through the things he tries to throw at us. The key is staying near to God, listening to His heart, and seeking the God who created us. Jesus Christ died for our transgressions, and for our guilt and shame and condemnation...therefore, by us holding onto those things which He has already forgiven us of, we are saying, "Sorry, Jesus, the blood You shed isn't good enough for me. I'm just tooooo bad. You're going to have to shed more blood in order to cover my faults."
That totally sounds insane and insensitive, yet we do that more often that most would admit. It may not be worded the same, but our actions say, "I can't be forgiven," therefore, canceling out what Jesus did on the cross... Learn to walk in the forgiveness and grace that God offers through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ...
So, as I face another week of unanswered questions and uncertainties, I choose to draw nearer to God, (and also back to my friends). Thank you God for Your unfailing love and for walking in front of, beside, and behind us in this journey we call life...
In His awesome Grip, Heaven
July 9, 2009
a break from the normal "intense" post...
I would like to ask you, my reader, a question...
As I have said before, I often wrestle with God on being so transparent on this blog. Clearly, I have been through many things for a purpose, and God is able to work those things out for His glory, but after reading everything I have written, I am puzzled and perplexed with questions.
I have to ask you, "Why do you keep coming back?" After the things I have told you about myself, what makes you continue to read this blog?
Would you mind sharing your thoughts?
I'm not a big "sitemeter" fan. I don't check it a lot, simply because it confuses me. But once in awhile, I will check it just to see if people are still reading. I am rather computer "illiterate", so again, I really don't understand the "facts and numbers" of it, but it seems that quite a few people are still reading despite my "transparencies".
Would you humor me today, and let me know why you keep coming back to read this blog? I am honored, but would still like to hear from you and ask if/how God "touches" you through this blog.
Thanks and have a great day in the Lord!!!
July 6, 2009
July 5, 2009
Stand FIRM, then, and do NOT
let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
EVEN since I have become a follower of Christ, I have made HUGE mistakes. Made the wrong choices, said harsh or untrue words, had impure motives, etc. We are a "work-in-progress", hopefully being renewed day by day...
With yesterday being the celebration of Independence for our nation, "freedom" rings throughout the hearts and minds of this country. I woke Saturday with a song of freedom in my heart, only to be bombarded with thoughts of self-condemnation within minutes of being awake.
The past few days have been unsettling for me...
An incident from my (Pre-Christ) past rattled my world...
But God didn't move once...
This was NOT on my schedule or planner!
But the timing was God's...
I am NOT strong enough to deal with it...
But God's strength is perfect...
I feel guilty, condemned, and shameful...
But God says "You left that life of sin..."
I feel alone even with others around...
But God says, "I will never leave you or forsake you!"
I am scared of the outcome, either way it goes...
But God says, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you."
I look in the mirror, and say, "I am horrible!"
God speaks back, and says, "You are forgiven."
I say, "But God, I feel so guilty..."
God says, "My Son shed blood for your guilt!"
I say, "I feel so exposed."
God says, "You will radiate for my Kingdom."
So, today, I refuse to get ensnared again in the guilt of the mistake I made years ago, when my life was full of everything else, BUT God.
I was forgiven years ago... and natural consequences do not cancel out God's forgiveness. By grasping back onto the guilt God freed me of years ago, I am saying, "the crucifixion and the spilling out of Jesus' blood for my sins and my guilt was not good enough!"
So, today, I go forward IN the grace of God that He has provided for THIS day! I will NOT be anxious for anything, but in everything, I will give thanks to the One who has not promised me an easy life, but promised He would hold me tight through it...
Celebrate freedom not only for your country, but also for the prison doors God has unlocked in hearts of His people. He has come to set the captives free!
When you ask for forgiveness, God is FAITHFUL and JUST and will forgive Your sins, as far as the east is from the west!
Accept God's forgiveness and forgive yourself for the times in your life where you "messed up". God's not keeping track...
I am reminded of a song I wrote. I first posted it in this blog post, and also around this post, but am using the words again today...
(c) 2003 Heaven Sparks
I turned the corner of my heart, I met him once again. He was haunting me and taunting me with the sins from my past. He said, "You'll never be forgiven, and you will never change. This stronghold you will never break, you are bound by your mistakes."
I fell on my knees, I hung my head in shame. Overwhelmed with condemnation, my heart buried in pain. When suddenly, God spoke to me and set me on my feet. He said, "You are not a prisoner, the Truth has set you free. You're not the same, not the same as you used to be."
I have touched Him
I have seen Him,
whispering my name.
I'm not the same,
Not the same
as I used to be.
I said, "I'm a new creation, an heir to His throne. God is my Redeemer and He's claimed me as His own. Satan, get behind me in the name of Jesus Christ! I have been forgiven, my Savior's paid the price.
I'm not the same,
not the same
as I used
July 2, 2009
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
When I first got my spider plant for Christmas a couple years ago, it was big and bushy and GORGEOUS! I loved it!!! Well, soon it's beauty slowly started to fade as it wilted, curled up, and dried out its leaves one by one. The problem was the location of it. It was too far away from the window to properly acquire the light it needed, and therefore, slowly faded away.
My friend, Jana, lived out in a farm house with tons of windows and plenty of light. Because it was wilting, she said she would take it for me (and bring it back to life). Long story short, it came back to me about 4 months ago and was basically dead. I was sad. Of course, it wasn't my friend's fault, it simply quit thriving.
I figured I would plant something else in it, and since I hadn't done my spring flower planting yet (I still haven't planted...um...nope, not one thing), I stuck it on my picnic table outside with the rest of my flower pots that needed something housed in it. I was cleaning my yard today, and you would not believe what I saw!
I wondered where my bunny wind chime went!!!
I also saw this
(a pot with old junk in it from last year
...and weeds from this year)
MY SPIDER PLANT CAME BACK TO LIFE!!!
I NEVER thought I would see it again.
It's been sitting outside on my picnic table
with no shelter. It's been exposed to
wind, rain, and heat, and many storms lately!!!
But somehow, someway,
even though I gave up on it,
and is thriving.
It isn't as big as it used to be,
but it's beautiful...
Not because of it's outward appearance...
but rather, because of where it has been...
...the storms it has survived...
...and because God decided this plant...
...was going to live...
...even though I gave up on it...
...when I thought it was dead...
...and when I THOUGHT it had NO potential!!!
Unfortunately, how many times have our thoughts, actions, or words decided that people in our lives were "goner's", that they were "lost" forever, that their mistakes were soooooooo huge that there was NO hope for them. If you are honest with yourself, you may find yourself thinking about that one person in your life now or in your past, who you secretly thought would NEVER "come around."
If our words (written or spoken) have the power to speak life or death, blessings or curses, then please tell me, "Why aren't we being more careful about what we say or write?"
(I'm speaking to myself as well!)
As I write, I think about words and "judgments" I have declared over my ex-husband, (whether just in thoughts, on paper, or outloud). God, I pray that you would take back the ground given to the enemy through word curses I have spoken over him, in the name of Jesus Christ. I pray they also would be broken.
So, Tony, if you ever find yourself reading this, I am sorry for declaring your failure for the past, present, and future, because Mr. Sparks, God has life for you, and until the day you take your last breath, God declares LIFE to your life!!! LIVE, WALK, and EMBRACE the life God has for you!!! I claim victory and success in your life. I claim freedom in your life. I claim wholeness in your life in Jesus Name!
Imagine what would happen if we all prayed and spoke like that often. Imagine how the world would change. Imagine if we did that as often as we could, (myself included) instead of trying to drudge up dirt on people, instead of trying to point out people's "flaws". Hmmm...
July 1, 2009
(Original Post from 4/9/09)
I was diagnosed with depression when I was 14, and had my first suicide attempt at age 16. I started counseling when I was 8 because of sexual abuse by my dad's best friend. My dad committed suicide 2 days before I started 10th grade. I was 15. I had my first "real" boyfriend when I turned 16, within 2 weeks, I gave myself away to him. When I started crying, he said, "Don't worry, it'll be over real soon." Later that year after he was done with me, I realized guys only liked girls who "fooled around".
I experienced the tantalizing magnetism of liquor when I was 17. I then learned that guys don't like to just "fool around", and get angry when they don't get the whole package. Forced and unconsented became words very familiar to me. Alcohol made me feel attractive, and numbed out the experiences. When I turned 18, I realized I could go into a bar with a consenting parent. There, I learned a whole new game of seduction.
I found out I could get drunk for free just by flirting with guys who were old enough to be my father. I realized that it was alright to do more than flirt because it was expected there, and hey, everyone did it. I soon come to learn that those older guys got even angrier when they didn't get what they wanted. I was wanted and loved...until the next morning. I was desired and cherished...until the alcohol wore off. I was sought after and pursued...until I had nothing left to give. My best friend and I kept tabs and started a contest...
She won...but I still hit triple digits...
I kept a list of names for the day I would have to go back and tell them I was sick.
I also learned that smoking cigarettes and other things made me more attractive in the environment which I spent those two years. I learned that bars stay open all night on holidays when you are super friendly with the bartenders. Oh, the exciting things I learned...
I learned how to become numb to my feelings, as I learned what a razor blade could do. Popping pills made my night time excursions more lively, and helped me to stay awake. I also found out that once I vomited, I could drink more. I unsuspectingly learned that certain pills put in my drinks could make me do anything...and I couldn't stop it...
I learned what loneliness was...
I learned how to brush off rejection by drinking and sleeping, morning, afternoon, and night.
I learned that I could have everything I wanted (my booze, my drugs, and even rent money) just by having a few dates with a few men. I also learned that by having too much traffic in and out of your house, you could be evicted.
I learned what the inside of a "padded cell" in a psych unit looked like, and every year, like clockwork, I would return.
~Looking back on these recollections helps me to see that I do have a God that RESTORES! I am not the same girl as I used to be. I have a Savior who picked me up out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock. No one can ever convince me that God isn't real, because I am living proof.
I was locked inside a prison I built for myself and Jesus Christ is the only One who had the key. He is the only one who could have possibly untangled me from everything I was into. Some things disappeared quickly, others over time, but I look back, and the girl I described to you is no longer recognizable. The life I once lived is inconceivable to me, as well as to some of my friends.
I believe God healed me of my depression, I still have days where I have to fight for motivation, and have days when I want to sleep all day long. But instead of weeks of despair, I have a day. Instead of being hospitalized at least twice a year, I have not been back for 6 years.
God is the only permanent Restorer! And He is the ONLY one who will still be there in the most desolate time of your life when everyone else has abandoned you. He is the ONLY permanent "fix", and the ONLY one who can pull you out of the mud you have gotten yourself stuck in!!!
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
My son has been pretty sick lately. Even though he's an adult, I still worry about him. I probably get annoying as I ask the same questi...
I used to be a "blogger junkie fanatic". Spending hours trying to accumulate followers. Being defined by the number of commen...
This journey can be hard as I try to navigate my way through life. Sometimes I walk blindly, not knowing which way to turn. Sometimes I walk...
(My mint green tissue box) Reflect... on God's faithfulness and goodness "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day...