Insecurities – Being Open and Honest

Is there anyone else out there that struggles with insecurities?  They can stop you from living the life Christ would have you live, because everytime you step out of your comfort zone it is scary.  Just as the picture of the flower coming up in the concrete is impossible but in the crack there is always some dirt and just enough for the seed to germinate and not only did it sprout but it bloomed, as children of God we also can bloom despite where we are.

People who know me but don’t “Really Know Me” think that I’m this secure, put together person, with a bubbly personality and super friendly.  I reach out to others all the time and am always willing to help even if it’s not convient for me or adds one more thing to my already busy schedule.  But inside sometimes (not all the time) I feel like a mess.  I have these ridiculious conversations with myself (and unfortunately they slip out my mouth sometimes) that go something like this:

  • Did you see how that person no matter how much you reach out to them doesn’t ever bother to reach out to you?
  • You know they really don’t like you, they are just tolerating you cause that’s the nice Christian thing to do.
  • Why do complete strangers seem nicer to you than some people you attend church with?

And actually the degrading conversations sometimes go on and in more depth than what I just shared.  BUT even though I have those moments I choose to NOT live there. Here are at least 2 verses I run to when the negative, insecure thoughts start to plague me.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Philippians 4:4-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [a]near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all [b]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [c]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [d]dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ….It takes training, you have to force yourself when you are having an insecure moment to TAKE YOUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE, then you need to think on everything that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, excellent, worthy of praise and then DWELL on them.  And you know what?  It works the Peace of God will be with you.  All of a sudden you are not listening to that voice telling you that the room full of women hate you, and they don’t care if you are there or not.  Suddenly you have willpower and courage to do what God has called you to do.  For each of us that may look different but you will never get there if you continue to listen to that voice of insecurity.

I saw this quote and think it is so true unfortunately

“Sometimes our thoughts are backed by so much insecurity, that they create lies we believe”

Fortunately for me I have a strong relationship with Christ and a loving godly husband that when I share some of my silly thoughts he reminds me of the lies they are and 2 amazing daughters and close friends who are great at loving me and encouaging me to NOT listen to those lies as well.

I also know when they are from insecurites and have learned to not believe them.  For women it is not easy navigating life, we have so many expectations put on us.  What I try to do everytime I am feeling insecure and if it has to do directly with someone and how they have treated me or not, I put myself in their shoes and give them grace, maybe they are having a bad day or didn’t see me or hear me to say hi or whatever it is.  I strive to continue to live my life out to and for the Audiance of One all the while being very aware of my surroundings and yet not allowing situations or circumstances to define who I am.

I am a child of The King, He saved me, Loves me, Disciplines me and ALWAYS brings conviction for my good to honor Him in all things.

So ladies lets NOT allow our insecurities to stop us from being all we can be In Christ!!!

Love, your fellow sister in Christ

Gifts

As I’m wrapping Christmas gifts and filling out name tags, I write Tiffany’s name out, slowly and just look at it and think of how different this Christmas could have been.  Why do I keep going there?  She is with us and that should be the furthest thing from my mind, yet it plagues me almost everyday, the fact that I can text her, talk to her, hug her.call her, email her and just BE with her is amazing to me everyday and causes me to continually thank God for those simple pleasures.

I think that as each Holiday passes and the further we get away from the tragedy the easier it will be, but there are no guarantees.  It is a process and everyone goes through it differently.  It has been 9 months, why is it that something so small as a picture or a song can send me crashing into tears?  I think that a mother’s love goes deeper than it is possible to explain.  There is something inside of me that just aches for my girls and never wants them to hurt.

Everyday, Tiffany is hurting and yet she just carries on.  Everyday she has to deal with headaches, chest pain, numb leg, foggy brain, feeling confused and yet she carries on.  She doesn’t get mad, she doesn’t shake her fist at God, she has excepted that this is her life.  I pray daily for her that she will stop hurting and yet this is the thorn that God has given her to bear at this time.  As a mom I want to bear it, I want to take it away but it’s not for me to do.

God may heal her completely someday or not. But in everything we will praise His name and find Joy in the small things.  We have learned that these last 9 months.  You can not get through or go through something like this without being changed.  It has changed our entire family.  We have always known that life is fragile we were just reminded of that in a very vivid way.  This life is temporary and these bodies are not our eternal home.  We have to keep that in mind and remember we are just passing through.

When I think of my daughters I have to say I am the luckiest woman on the face of the earth.  Candice has been there for not only her sister but for me as well.  She has never once been upset that Tiffany gets all this attention.  She knows she is loved and I am just so proud of her.  Both Tiffany and Candice have made it easy to be a mom, sometimes I wish I could go back to when they were little and just treasure my moments with them more, the time has passed so quickly.

This Christmas may we turn our attention to the true meaning of Christmas and remember why we celebrate.  Lets make sure we treasure our time with our loved ones, before it’s to late.

Comments

  1. EmilyDecember 23, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    your words brought me to tears…thank you for writing this, and thank you for being such a wonderful, Godly example of being a mother. may God bless you all this Christmas and New year!!!

    REPLYDELETE

Post a Comment

Coming Out of the Fog

In 2007 I had a hysterectomy and for the last 4 years I have progressively started to feel worse and worse.  It was all I could do (especially these last 2 years) to get up and pull myself together and go to work.  If it were not for my relationship with God and the fact that my family is around me so much, I think I would have just crawled in bed and stayed there.  That is NOT me though and I had to finally get to the bottom of what was happening to me, to the person I use to be.  My mind was foggy all the time and I felt like I was on edge.  It was like my insides were going to explode.  If I shared this feeling and how sad I was I was told to read my bible more and pray.  Now that is good advice and I do have to admit I wasn’t doing it as much as I use to, so I started in again to be more diligent in my quiet time, but no relief and I knew this wasn’t from spiritual neglect it was something physical.  FINALLY after sharing with a friend at work (I work in the medical field) she suggested for me to see a doctor that had helped her by doing certain blood test and finding out what she was lacking in her system.

I saw this doctor 2 weeks ago and after all the blood tests were back I went in to see her and she looks at me and goes “You get the trophy for being the first person I ever ran these test on that her progesterone came back ZERO”  Wow, I had NO progesterone in my body.  The doctor said it was like me being stuck in PMS cycle.  I just teared up.  I wasn’t crazy, it was a hormone imbalance.

I have only been on my “Bioidentical Hormones” for 1 week, have noticed a little more energy and feeling a little more calm inside but still have a long way to go, but at least now I feel that I’m on the mend and will eventually feel good again.  I have to, I have too much to do and to many grandbabies to love on to NOT be happy.  Thank you God for friends who are willing to share and for Doctor’s who are willing to look deeper than just giving out pills to mask the symptoms.

Pondering

Wonder why it is that as we get older we lose sight sometimes of WHO God is and WHO we are in Christ?  I remember when I was home raising our daughters and my husband was at work, I felt like I had purpose, I had a goal, a reason for getting up in the morning and spending time with Christ before the girls were up, exercising, making breakfast but as I have gotten older and the girls are grown and raising their own families I feel adrift a little detached.  I know it is not what God would have or want of His “Older Children” but I fear I have fallen into that “Old Person” trap of feeling not that important.
As I think on this and as I write it is helping me to come to grips with the reality that I AM getting older and I can feel useless or I can BE OF USE.  As I look back on my life as a mom of two very beautiful girls I feel so very blessed, so very blessed that I was able to be at home and to have valuable input into their everyday lives, from praying with them and yes of course to disciplining them.  Wasn’t always easy and I am FAR from the perfect mom (just ask them) but I was ALWAYS honest with them and when I would blow it I would apologized to them.  Their little feelings meant everything to me, but I wasn’t always the most patient mom.  I had 22 years of OLD habits that I was breaking with Christ help.  Being a new Christian and a mom of a 2yr old and pregnant with our 2nd wasn’t always easy but it was during that time that I felt the closest to God.  SO WHAT HAPPENED???  I am going to be completely honest here what happened is I fell into the “OLD Person” trap.  I started believing the lies being told to me by satan that I have no value or nothing to offer.  I am still feeling that way but am striving to counter those lies with God’s truth.  I feel like it is going to be a LONG road back home again, but I know I will get there soon and as my daughter’s write in their blogs, each of us have a story and each of us go through different things in our lives and then God uses those things to help other’s.  I PRAY that I can be used of God.

Comments

  1. Kramer FamilyAugust 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    You are being used by God! You may not be raising Tiff and I anymore but now you are an example to our kids, your grandkids! 🙂 they are
    Looking up to you as their Nana. They see God in you and it helps them as they are learning more about our Savior. Satan is powerful but our Lord and Savior is even more powerful. Love you lots and never for once allow Satan to tell u lies that you don’t have a purpose anymore because you have such a great purpose! 🙂 love ya!!!

    REPLYDELETE

  2. Emily August 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    I COMPLETELY agree with Candice!!!! You did an AMAZING job of raising your sweet kids, and now God has given you a NEW adventure and purpose….as your grandkids watch you and learn from you, God is using you in their little lives as an example of what it means to live for Him. Age has nothing to do with it. Thnk of Abraham….he wasn’t exactly a spring chicken, and God used him for MIGHTY things!!!!
    Your faith and strength as a woman has encouraged me MANY times as I’ve followed and prayed for your family for all you went through with Tiffany. As a mom, I can’t even IMAGINE the things you felt in your heart….and yet, you were there, with faith in our great and mighty Savior.
    I think you’re doing JUST fine, sweet Dee 🙂 God is still using you in AWESOME ways 🙂

    REPLYDELETE

  3. Dee September 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Thanks Emily and Candice you both have encouraged me. I just did read your post and thank God for the two of you. It is a lie of satan that as you get older you have no purpose yet I know in Timothy that the Older women are to instruct the younger.
    that is what I want to do. I want to be an encourager to you young mother’s and wives and I pray that I can be used that way.

Blessings

When I think of Blessings it is only normal to think of GOOD things.  My husband (Mike) and myself have been greatly blessed with two beautiful healthy daughters, son-in-laws and 6 grandchildren and so many more blessings that are what we would call good.  So when storms or losing loved ones or ALMOST losing a loved one come our way are they a blessing?  I have to say that even the storm’s are blessings as we grow from them and grow closer to our precious Lord.  Everything that we have went through in this last year and continue to go through have been life lessons and a growing time for myself as well as our family.  As Laura Story say’s in her song “Blessings” “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disquise”  I am going to leave you with the words and song of Laura Story and pray that when your blessings come through raindrops that you will ALWAYS remember that Christ has already walked that tough road for you, so lean on Him and count your blessings Good & Bad

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

image-46

Comments

  1. Kramer FamilyApril 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Well said mom! It is sooooo true. We can so easily get in the mind set of thanking God for the good things in our lives although, the not so good things are blessings as well. God sees the whole picture, we only get to see bits and pieces. Someday though we will get to see the whole picture and understand even more why God does what He does. Until that day though we have to lean on Him and have the faith and understanding that He truly is a Sovereign God.

    REPLYDELETE

  2. Kimberly BrunellApril 16, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    Thank you for sharing this song, I love it… your blog is so cool be proud… I love you miss you

    REPLYDELETE

Post a Comment

Roller-coaster of Emotions

AGH 3-15-11 thru 3-21-11 (5)

Started writing this on March 26, 2011 sitting next to Tiffany’s hospital bed and finally finished it.  This is my accounting of what happened.  It felt good to finally get it all out.  I pray daily still that God be glorified in all that happened.  It is long and may have many errors in spelling but it is written from a mother’s heart that had been broken more times in one month than I ever want to endure again.

This is my account:

Not even sure where to start, the entire month of March has been a rollercoaster of emotions, starting with Feb 28th and the delivery of two beautiful little ones that our daughter Tiffany carried for another couple.  The delivery was normal but then she wouldn’t stop bleeding.  That led to an emergency hysterectomy and she bled out if not for blood transfusion we would have lost her, little did we know that this was just the beginning of the crazy month in store for us.  She returned home on Saturday March 5th and was on the road to recovery when on March 15th she had a PE (Pulmonary Embolism) and in God’s perfect timing Jeff didn’t work that day until 2:00 so he was home and diagnosed what was happening and called 911 as Tiffany had a seizure.  The paramedics arrived and listened to Jeff’s assessment and scooped up Tiffany and away they went.  This was my second day back to work after being gone for a week in Vegas (which was a business trip) left work around 10 am headed to GSH (that was where Tiffany & Jeff usually went) and then found out they were at AGH, headed there as carefully as possible all the time praying through walls of tears that had welled up in my eyes.  Not wanting to get all crazy and trying to keep my mind calm.  Arriving at AGH finding my son-in-law and grandsons in the waiting room, shortly after Mike showed up and the waiting began.  Jeff was finally able to get in to see Tiffany and when he came out his face was as white as a sheet, he said that she had coded and that it didn’t look good.  At that time you feel like you are in a dream and you just can’t process what is being said, tears welled up again but not wanting to lose it in front of the boys we all tried to contain ourselves.  Then the chaplain showed up.  In my mind as I listened to him I was thinking “why did they call the chaplain?”  Was my daughter dying?  Was she dead?  I am pretty sure that the ER doctors were not sure and he was called for two reasons to be there to comfort us and to help us get information from the doctor’s and nurses. When they said they were moving her up to ICU we headed to the elevators, I however hung behind waiting for them to bring Tiffany out and when they did she did not look good, she was on a ventilator and her skin color was not healthy looking.  The nurse looked at me and said, “Is this your daughter?”  I said, yes and she said, “you can kiss her”,  I leaned over and gave her a kiss on her forehead and LOST IT.

Many sleepless nights awaited us as we sat by her bedside taking turns being with her.   When she regained consciousness, they accessed her breathing and she was overbreathing the ventilator and so they were going to take her off it but then decided to wait (which was a good thing) because later that night after her dad and Jeff went home to try to get some rest, our friend Dick and myself were sitting with her and I noticed that her vitals were dropping and her stomach seemed to be swollen, I went and got one of the nurses, she came in and gave her some blood pressure meds and left, I went back out and said that her stomach does not look good and so they called the doctor on call and he came in and the next thing we knew she was getting prepped for surgery.  Of course by then Dick and I had called Mike and Jeff back to the hospital.  Emergency surgery at 2:30 in the morning, more praying.  Our youth pastor showed up to sit with us and pray with us.  I posted on FB requesting prayer if there was anyone up.  The first to respond was Toby Wilson, (he was living in Washington DC) they wheeled Tiffany down to surgery and my heart sank, I could not take it any longer and took myself to ER, for some meds for my head that had been throbbing for weeks now.  We found out later that the surgery didn’t actually start until around 3:30 and the ironic thing was that the next day on my FB post so many were posting that they were woke up around 3:30 in the morning with Tiffany on their minds and just prayed.  We know that God was waking up His prayer warriors for our Tiff.  She had blood in her abdomen, they found blood clots and a lot of blood she again required a blood transfusion.  Again she dodged another bullet and recovered fairly quickly, this happened early Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon she was off the ventilator, talking at a whisper with a very raspy voice but talking.  It felt so good to hear her voice.  She was on the mend, by Friday she was able (with help) to get out of bed and on Monday her and Jeff actually took a stroll down the hallway as they were preparing to move her out onto the floor.  She was getting out of ICU.  Her father and I had returned to work (Monday March 21, 2011)  I remember feeling exhausted and not in the mood for any company during lunch, so I ate in my car and was just quiet as I contemplated all that we had just gone through and how God had saved our daughter and gave her back to us, went in and shared with a co-worker, that I think she (Tiffany) is finally on the mend, sat down at my desk and got “The Call” it was my husband Mike telling me to get to the hospital again that they were removing Tiffany’s central line and she had an air embolism, as he was telling me this I am quietly closing down my computer and grabbing my purse and i hang up the phone and I just put my head on my desk for a minute and the tears start to flow and my co-worker comforts me and I said I had to leave, as I drove AGAIN, I prayed and stayed calm, having faith that nothing happens that my God doesn’t know about but as any mom would do I am pleading with Him again for the 4th time to please save our Tiffany.  Got to the hospital and in the ICU waiting room was Jeff and our friend Dick and the boys.  Jeff was crying and I just dropped my purse and went to him and held him and cried with him.  Dick prayed for Tiffany and was crying, it was an awful time.  My heart was breaking again but it was also breaking for Jeff as the love of his life, was fighting for her life once again.  I went and stood outside of her ICU room as they were preparing to life flight her.  They actually were on the phone making calls as to who could take her that had a Hyperbaric chamber and could treat someone critical, it ended up being Portland Providence.  I felt like I was on a set of a movie the only difference is I wasn’t one of those parents screaming at the doctors or getting in the way.  I just stood there silently, praying and watching them work on our daughter,  I felt numb. They had her bed tilted head down trying to keep the air bubbles from moving.  The helicopter paramedics arrived and they wrapped her in what looked like a body bag, they started to take her out and I followed.  I had to be close to her, I walked all the way out to the helipad and watched in unbelief as they loaded her in.  I had my cell phone on me so I took pictures, I know that some may think, “How could you do that” in my mind I just had to have pictures what if that was the last time I saw her, it was like being able to hold onto her somehow.

It was the most awful drive to Portland that my husband and I have ever taken.  Mike said that we needed to prepare ourselves that she was not going to make it.  I said, I couldn’t think that way now, that all I knew right now was that she was alive and being air lifted I couldn’t go there until I needed to go there.  God gave our family so much Grace as we all went through this, could not of made it at all without Him.

We got to the hospital and still knew nothing until around 11 pm when the doctor got off the elevator, it was one of those moments that your heart stands still as you pray, “Please do not let this be bad news, Please let Tiffany be okay”  When she said that she made it through the first treatment and was being taken to ICU, there was a sign of relief, “She was still with us”  When we finally got to see her she was intubated again and in a coma.  There was no response when the nurses checked her right foot, we were looking at the possibility that she was paralyzed.  The doctor showed us her brain MRI.  He goes all the white spots are damaged.  Mike and I were just sick, but again we just prayed.  Sleep was not possible, I ended up back at our hotel but could not sleep, my heart was just aching to hold my daughter to go back to when she was a little girl and protect her.  I wanted to scream but couldn’t.  I prayed again God gave me Grace to get through it.  I felt the prayers of others as the days went by.  I think it was Wednesday that she woke up and this time when they took her off the ventilator she yawned and the way she looked wasn’t good, they say when a person has brain damage they yawn really big trying to get oxygen to the brain, she looked at us as we spoke to her words of encouragement and how beautiful she was and how good she was doing but it was like she was looking past us, wasn’t sure she recognized us.  I left the room and found a quiet place in a back hallway and just slid down the wall and face in hands cried, her mother-in-law Barb showed up and sat with me and hugged me.  I pulled myself together and went back in to see my daughter.  She made such good progress and soon was moved out onto the floor.  The doctor ordered another Brain MRI and said there was no change but yet there was change in her and he said that the brain re-routes itself and it was obvious in Tiffany that was exactly what it was doing.  “We are fearfully and Wonderfully made”
She then was moved to the rehabilitation wing of the hospital where daily she received Physical and Occupational Therapy, she was up and walking Praise God.  All we knew was that we had our Tiffany back and we would take her anyway we could get her.  On Friday April 1, 2011 she got her walking papers and Jeff wrote on her room white board “Tiffany has left the building” Jeff’s parents had already taken the boys home and it was just Jeff and I left as they wheeled Tiffany out the front of the hospital, my face hurt from smiling so much.  Jeff walking behind her with a smile on his face of relief he was getting to take his beautiful Tiffany home, home to continue to be his wife, and mother to their children.  We ALL almost lost our daughter, sister & aunt these last 4 weeks, it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions that none of us ever want to go on again.  If it were not for our strong faith in God none of us would have made it though what we did.  Our God is sovereign and this did not surprise Him.  He has a plan and Tiffany has a story to tell and people’s lives to touch still and that is why she is still with us.
May we never forget the great pain and sorrow we endured and how Great our God is that got us through it all.

Growing Pains of Adversity

When trials come and try to beat us up we have a choice to make, will we allow it to defeat us or will we grow through it and become stronger?  Our adversary the devil is always looking to destroy us as 1 Peter 5:8 states:

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”

Now as a Christian it is pretty easy (sometimes) to realize who your adversaries are.  What is hard is when they come from within your Christian community.  I have always been shocked when a fellow Christian thinks it is okay to speak harshly or in mean tones to myself or other’s, to go about spreading rumors or gossip.  It breaks my heart and if it breaks my heart think of how much more it must break Christ heart.

I have asked God to give me a vacation from these trials, but God in His loving kindness wants to see me grow and in order to grow to become more like Him we have to go through things sometimes that we just don’t want to go through.  Christ went through so much for me and has given me Grace upon Grace and I know that is what He wants from me as His child.  What parent doesn’t want the best for their child?  If we as earthly parents want good for our children doesn’t God who is perfect want even more for us?

Remember when you were a kid and you would get those awful pains in your legs and it would just hurt? No fun, as with any growing pains, but through it all God has guided me and comforted me and He has also given me a godly husband to go to for guidance.  The verses below seem to stir up controversy for some but I have always found comfort in them.

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

1 Timothy 2:12
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

God set up the perfect order, so why do we as His children think we know better?  Because unfortunately from time to time the child in all of us may rear its selfish little head and rebel as any child will do when they are young.

What do you do or think when you never seen any change in fellow Christians and their behaviors?  You may ask  “is God not working in their lives?”, “Don’t they have the same indwelling of the Holy Spirit to convict?”  and I can’t help but ask the question sometimes “God are they saved?”  especially when the same behavior continues.
Only God knows if they are His children and so what is our responsibility as fellow sister’s and brother’s in the Lord?  PRAY and pray some more.  Pray for your adversaries, pray for conviction, pray for reconciliation, pray that they may be restored to right fellowship.

Throughout God’s word we are told to Love one another.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another
John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor
Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through loveserve one another.
Ephesians 4:2
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love
I could go on and on with GREAT verses that tell us what to do, but you have to do more than just know these verses when it comes to attacks from fellow believers you need to ACT on these verses.

You do what you can to reconcile and you do what Philippians 2:4-5 states

“do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus”

This is not always easy and especially as a woman, but Praise God He has given me a husband who I can go to.  Do I not know what to do?  Yes, I do but I can get emotional and I need the help and guidance of my husband to help me sometimes sort out what I am feeling.   

God knows me and knows how hard it is for me to have people who dislike me or cause me pain, I just want everyone to like me and to be happy.  I feel however that what God wants from me is to be able to be Happy in Him regardless of the trials I may face.  That my joy is complete in Him ONLY.  

I remember years ago hearing Chuck Swindol saying “When you are in ministry you have to develop skin as tough as a rhinosaurus so when those fiery darts are hurled at you they will bounce off and yet stay soft and compassionate inside”  Not an easy thing to do on our own but with Christ ALL things are possible.  And so I pray for tough skin and a compassionate heart.  

Romans 12:18
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

this is what I want and what I strive for but in God’s great sovereignty He has adversity for us all to go through, so again the question each of us need to ask ourselves, what will we do when Adversity comes our way?  I pray for myself as well as anyone reading this that the answer would be 

“But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15

Comments

  1. Kimberly BrunellJuly 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    WOW Amen sister… I was meant to read this I tell you. I was overwhelmed with the Holly Spirit just reading and I know how hard it is to have this thick skin. It does hurt and I am learning also to not respond as what I am trying to avoid. I heard a great speaker tell a story about a fellow pastor that wronged him and he prayed and god let him to forgiveness. He said that everytime he thought about this person he blessed him. After awhile he stopped thinking wrong and truly forgave him. After years this pastor came back and asked for forgiveness and he said I forgave you long ago. Then they had nice dinner together. Isnt this a wonderful story of how God guides us and frees us from this terrible thing that satan puts in our hearts. I feel the more that I learn to forgive or even ask for forgiveness I feel like my heart gets bigger and bigger everyday. I have a lot of love to give and share. Thank you for sharing this is wonderful and you are an amazing writer. God Bless

    REPLYDELETE

  2. DeeJuly 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Thanks for the encouragement Kimberly. I think that there are a lot of us Christians out there being attacked and unfortunately as I stated it is within the church and that makes me extremely sad, but then God said that the Wheat and the Tear will grow together until the end time, so what are we suppose to do? Those of us who are striving to be pleasing to God and to be at peace with all as much as we can? I believe we have to stay in God’s word, pray and grow a thick skin while staying soft and compassionate inside. As I have stated so many times as I have read your blogs and watched your amazing transformation from afar You are AMAZING and God who has started a good work in you will COMPLETE it. Praise God we are on this road together! Love you girl

    DELETE

Post a Comment

The Other Side of Grief – my ramblings

On May 8, 2013 our beloved friend Dick left this world suddenly, without warning, no good-byes, just gone and in the last year our hearts have hurt more than any of us thought possible.  You read articles talking about the grieving process, the 5 stages of grief, #1 Denial and Isolation, #2 Anger, #3 Bargaining, #4 Depression and #5 Acceptance.

I however didn’t read those articles, I prayed, I talked, I cried – a lot, I went to scripture, to God’s promises

2 Corinthians 5:8 “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” and

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.

It is verses like this that I have clung to that give me comfort in knowing where Dick is at.  My sorrow, my sadness and even anger from time to time is out of my own selfishness that things have changed. That someone I loved was taken away so suddenly.  Would it have been better to have watched him linger in a long drawn out agonizing death?  No and I would have never wanted that, so why can’t I rejoice for his gain?  Because my human nature is selfish and wants what it wants.  I don’t mean to be that way but as I have grieved over this last year and hear the things that have come out of my mouth in the deepest darkest days of sorrow, I always come back to how selfish I sound, wanting Dick back here, why?  so that I don’t have to be sad any longer, so I can have one more conversation with him, so I can drink in more of his knowledge and understanding of scripture, one more summer evening sitting out back all of us discussing scripture with the stars shining brightly in the darken sky and laughing at Dick wrapping himself up in a blanket with just his face showing to ward off any pesky mosquitos.  My heart and soul long for just one more anything.   I have questioned why God would take Dick home between our daughters birthday’s, why then?  The day after Candice’s 30th birthday, such happiness followed by such sorrow and then Bailey’s 5th birthday on the 12th and then Tiffany’s birthday on the 14th.  Of all months why May?  So many happy things to celebrate and now in the midst of the Joy there is sorrow.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are told the following:
Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”  

as a believer we can Rejoice Always, even when we don’t feel like it we can Rejoice cause we belong to the one who holds our destiny in His hands and no matter what comes my way I can find comfort in Him.  As a believer I am told to “Pray without ceasing” I believe that praying is not just when our eyes are closed and we are on bent knee but it is in every single moment of everyday, in the recesses of our minds as we talk to God, while driving, walking, shopping, eating, in just living.  and now the hard one “In EVERYTHING give Thanks” really?  In Everything?  When sickness strikes, when death takes a loved one home?  I had read this verse a million times but to read it when you have suffered great loss, it takes on a different meaning and I had to ask myself “Am I able to give thanks to God in EVERYTHING?” I thought I had always but this was our friends death?  Taken so suddenly, without warning, in a month that we had so many reasons to be happy, now forever we will be reminded of that awful day!  Awful day, right there as I thought it and said it I was convicted that it truly wasn’t an awful day, not for Dick, it was his home-coming day, the day that God had predestined from the beginning of time.  

Psalms 139:16
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.


As we celebrated Candice’s 31st birthday tonight, there was much laughter and Joy, it was a beautiful day so many blessings and as we sat around their home, which was Dick’s, he is there with us in the back of our minds, he will never be far from us, we all carry a piece of him around in our hearts and always will.  God allowed Dick to be a part of our family for 25 years and someday we WILL all be together again for all eternity, so to address the title of this blog, “On the other side of Grief” Am I?  I don’t know, I still cry when I hear certain songs, they remind me so much of Dick and how he lived his life and then there are days that the tears are less and basically non-existent.  I know I will never be over it completely and someday’s I still expect he will come to mind and I will find myself having a hard time catching my breath as I think about him, it’s almost like I was just told for the first time he’s gone, can’t explain it not sure I ever will be able too but feel so blessed to have had someone in my life who made such an impact not on just me but my entire family.   We are better for knowing him and I pray that someday when I am gone someone will be better for knowing me.

Two songs that bring the tears are Sidewalk Prophets song “I want to live like that”
“Sometimes I think, what will people think of me when I’m only just a memory, when I’m home where my soul belongs, was I love when no one else would show up, was I Jesus to the least of us, was my worship more than just a song, I want to live like that and give it all I have, so that everything I say and do points to you”  This was Dick, he was bold not afraid to stand firm and he loved and cared for people, this was the biggest reason he wasn’t afraid to talk to them about scripture, even when they didn’t like it.  I WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT…

and then the other song is Big Daddy Weaves “Yours Will Be”
This song always makes me think of his last moments as the girls and I stood by him and he drew his last breath – one moment he was here and the next he woke up in the “Land of Glory”
“When I wake up in the Land of Glory with the saints I will tell my story, there will be one name that I proclaim Jesus, just that name”

So am I on the other side?  Maybe, each day it gets better but the thing I have learned is grief is different for everyone and to allow myself and others to grieve at our own pace, no time limit, no 5 steps – just day by day walking this earth knowing that God is right beside me holding me up when I feel like I can’t go on and carrying me when I can’t take one more step,  So until we meet again Dick, know you were loved and will forever be in our hearts.

  1. Bonnie May 8, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    What a beautiful legacy Dick left behind, and what a gift he was to your family. Hard to believe it’s already been a year. Thanks, Dee, for a great tribute to a guy who never wanted the limelight, yet left such a big dent in this world. Keep looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith! Someday you’ll have a big, noisy reunion with Dick and it’ll feel like no time has passed–a beautiful thought.

    REPLYDELETE

Post a Comment

Growing Through Pain

person-clinic-cross-religion-54333.jpeg

So I started this in March but just couldn’t write.  I have some competition because both of my daughters write and they do such an awesome job of sharing their feelings and I’m not so sure I can follow in their footsteps.  There is nothing like a “Mother’s Love” no matter how old your children are they are STILL your children and when they hurt you hurt, when they are happy you are happy.  Our world was shakened and turned UPSIDE down this last March.  How could something so selfless on Tiffany’s part end up starting a chain of events that NOT one of us could have ever imagined or predicted, but OUR God knew and He had been preparing us.  Mike had been teaching a sunday school class on the sovereignty of God and had just taught the class when that Monday Tiffany delivered two very healthy twins and then EVERYTHING started falling apart and we almost lost her at that point, but again God is in control and it WAS NOT her time but we didn’t know that yet, all we could do was pray and have faith that God would help us through no matter what the outcome.

Over the last 5 months there has been many, many tears and laughter and heartache but more than that there has been a deeper LOVE and understanding of how GREAT our God is.  No matter the outcome we were determined to Praise our Lord.  We think that we are in such control of our lives when in reality we are NOT.  We know that it would be better to be with Christ than to stay in our worn out bodies and suffer pain, but yet we cling to life and pray for our loved one’s to NOT die.  This is how God made us though.  Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died.  He understands our heartache and is there for us to comfort us to help us through the most difficult times in our lives.  Not sure how much I will actually blog but I did want to start and see what would come of it.  Thank you ALL for your prayers, love and support during the most difficult time in our lives and your continued support.

Physical Birth/Spiritual Birth – What Does God’s Word Say?

January 13, 2018

Physical Birth and Spiritual Birth – What Does God’s word say?

I want to talk today about birthdays and I’d like to contrast our physical birth with our spiritual birth, first off our physical birth, with each birthday our memories may not be as good as they use to be…I have a story to tell you regarding our memories 🙂

  • Three older women discussing the problems that come from getting older.
  • One said, “Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand in front of the refrigerator and cannot remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich.”
  • The second woman chimed in, “Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing of the stairs and cannot remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down.
  • ”The third one responded, “Well, I am glad I do not have that problem; knock on wood.” Oh “That must be the door. Let me get that!”

(Laughter is GOOD MEDICINE J Proverbs 17:22)

On a serious note though – Today’s society has a hard time deciding when life begins for believers we have God’s word and it’s very clear it is at conception

Psalms 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

And then we were born, That was you,  that was me…(Can you imagine if we could remember the birthing process??? I thank God that our memories are NOT that good LOL) all of us had God’s eyes on us before our bodies were even formed, that is beyond what our minds can even begin to comprehend

With each birthday we get a year older, some don’t like birthday’s or have stopped celebrating them all together, for me I want to celebrate, I mean after all if God is going to allow me to have a birthday I want to CELEBRATE it, to thank God for another opportunity to live my love for him and all He’s done for me and to contemplate what I am doing with my life.

Our society however doesn’t necessarily embrace getting older, but God however values us at every age and He’s given each of us specific gifts to share with others in every season of our lives, so don’t let the world define who you are….

What IF instead of dreading our birthdays we shift our focus from the fear of growing old to the Full LIVES God is calling us into? One of using our life’s daily to bring honor and glory to Him and when we find a gray hair or a wrinkle (laugh lines), ache a little or have some pain and yes even when our memory fails us from time to time try to not be discouraged cause God doesn’t demean aging, instead He reminds us that it is an honor to grow old

Proverbs 16:31 Gray head is a crown of glory

As we grow older there is so much that we can share with those younger than us, we have more experiences (good and bad) and wisdom and a perspective that we’ve gained to be able to see our lives and others in new and beautiful ways.

Titus 2:3-5

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is goodso that they may [b]encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

(and you young kids, you’re not off the hook, we all have someone younger than us to be disciplining  and encouraging, so don’t think you have to wait until you have gray hair to make a difference, start today, start now.)

 

1 Thess 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

As we age the fear of the unknown may grow stronger (all the more reason to be in Gods word daily)  God is with us every step of the way.  Most recently I got re-acquainted with my 1st and 2nd grade teacher Bernice Schmucker or as I knew her Miss Kropf, she is 90 and loving life still She hasn’t stopped being used of God, she has a twinkle in her eyes just like I remember from school, her sweet face shines Jesus through and through, how is it that at 90 she still has a zeal for life?  I truly believe   She is this way and has Joy because she leans on God daily.  Knowing everyday matters from her first to her last.

Isaiah 40:31

Yet those who [a]wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will [b]mount up with [c]wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

This is Miss Kropf and she can do this because she doesn’t allow the world to define her worth but totally leans on the Lord.

(lets smile at the gray hair, (there highlights) laugh at the future and remember who’s holding it ALL)

Isaiah 46:4 

Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you

A couple of little sayings I came across

A Joyful Spirit is always young

Live your life and forget your age

Spiritual Birth

So now to talk about our Spiritual Birthday, it is truly the MOST important birthday of all. Each of us in this room if we have trusted Christ’s death on the cross as payment for our sins then we have a New Birthday!!! Some of us remember the exact moment we were saved, some can’t remember an exact date but know that you did trust Him, for me I claim August 2, 1982….I was Born Again, a new birth, a New Birthday!!!

Spiritual birth is only possible by the forgiveness of sin, since the wages of sin is death – Romans 3:23. The free gift of God is eternal life (Rom, 6:23) to all who believe in Jesus Christ (John 5:24) and this begins our spiritual birth.

So what happens after you are saved?  Just as a new-born you long for milk

1 Peter 2:2 says “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (the kindness of the Lord is Him giving you Salvation)

 and as you take it in you grow, grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word and how it applies to your life.  After Milk comes food with more substance, just as a baby wouldn’t grow if they only drank milk the same is true for believers who only drink milk, there will be no growth

Hebrews 5:12

 By this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

You don’t want to identify with this verse, (although all of us from time to time have, but we don’t want to live there for long), we should desire to grow and to see growth in our lives.

Do we get it right always?  NO, we are still sinners and every day and sometimes every second of every day as God brings things to our attention that is when we repent of those things (turn and go the other way) this is all part of the sanctification process that we will experience until the day the Lord calls us home.

But we should be able to look back on our lives and see changes, and in our daily lives right now!  sometimes they will be BIG, sometimes small, all of us have stories we could share and examples of Christ working in our lives and changing us to be more like Him.  As a fairly new believer I read the book “Children are like Wet Cement” by Anne Ortland I was reading it to be a better parent and while it helped me see the delicateness of my children and their mold-able lives, it ministered to me as well.

The difference was the cement in my life had hardened, unlike a small child who is still “Wet cement and moldable” my cement was hard.

As I grew in the Lord there were times I felt as if  God was using a Jack Hammer on me, breaking apart all the hard set concrete (in real life just imagine how that would hurt to have concrete broke away from your body)

well spiritually it hurts as well, I remember asking for a break as He chipped away at my insecurities, pride, self-doubt (How could He love me, was I truly His)(this was satan whispering lies in my ears) I would run to scripture and I remember reading

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate (meaning a man who acts feminine), nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

WOW those words flowed over me like a soothing breeze on a warm summers day

There is so much comfort in scripture along with conviction as well….as there should be

IF we are not being convicted we should be concerned.

 Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines”

(Hebrews 12:8)

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

So how do we grow?  By being in God’s word daily, not just on Sundays or when we go to a bible study…

I’m afraid there are a lot of people in many churches who rarely miss a Sunday and are at every function and every bible study and yet have NOT trusted Christ.

It’s NOT doing and being involved in all the “church things” that saves us it is believing in the One who died for us, His shed blood was and IS the payment for our sins,

we have been washed, sanctified and justified.  We are NEW creatures in Christ and we need to take hold of that

If you are a believer you have God living in YOU, the creator of the universe….

what are we afraid of? (and I’m speaking to myself here) we need to be living our lives out to an audience of ONE, Jesus Christ and stop listening to the whispers of the evil one that says

“You are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough to serve, to love, to do God’s work.

You’ve heard the saying “Not All Super Heros wear capes” well that’s true…

WE ARE much MORE we are DAUGHTERS OF THE KING!!! And  we have the Maker of the Universe living inside us What should we fear?

Psalms 27:1

“The Lord is my light and MY Salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?

NOTHING, and most definitely not growing OLD. It’s an honor and privilege to grow old and serve our Lord and Savior!!! We ARE daughters of a King who is

NOT moved by this WORLD but we should be Moved by His loving Grace that he bestowed on us, both with our physical and spiritual birth so as to…. LIVE our lives VICTORIOUSLY