When The Pain Sets In

Sometimes, your heart is bound up with so much emotion, words are hard to find. Your mind is so consumed with an avalanche of thought that you can not grasp even one. It’s like water droplets over a waterfall. 

Sometimes, the pain is so baffling, it feels as if time is standing still. Your destiny is too far to imagine, and your past comes in like a flood. It can be overwhelming… Suffocating… Constricting and condemning.

Sometimes, in that very moment, is when you need the reminder of His love and His grace. It is comforting… It is reassuring… It is strengthening and redeeming… 

He will heal. 

Only believe. 

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Life Speaks

I saw this picture today, and it really hit home…


I hope that my life and my actions always line up with who I say that I am. It is so disconcerting to me how easily, it seems, some people can speak good words, smile and give a look of love and concern; then, that same person can turn and completely tear another to pieces. I know there are times when we have to “smile and nod,” simply because it’s not the time or place to handle a certain situation, or maybe, you’re in the public eye, and it’s best for your leadership, your reputation and your “good name” to just keep your mouth shut, smile graciously and handle someone with kindness. However, when there is underlying resentment and hatred, you can be guaranteed that will come shining through your actions! I don’t care how masked you think you are!

It is a matter of the heart. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “If there’s trash on the inside, trash will eventually come out.” Or as the Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If there’s junk on the inside, it doesn’t matter how beautiful you paint the face, that junk will eventually come to the surface, and when it does, it’s not going to be pretty!

My prayer is that I can keep a clean heart before God and not try to hide my “ugly” from Him. He sees it anyway; so, why should I try to think otherwise? If I will just spend more time with Him, listening, talking, receiving instruction from Him, being honest with Him about what’s on the inside, and allowing Him to change the ugly, I won’t have to worry about what I do on the outside, because I’ll become more like Him and so much less like me. 😉

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Wednesday’s Ode #39

  I love ORGANIZATION! When things are out of order, I start getting a little anxious and unsettled. If things get in total disarray, I actually might be able to handle it for a day or two, especially if I’m really, really busy; however, if it rolls on this way, I will set aside needed priorities simply to get things back into order. This isn’t always a good thing, but I have definitely determined this is one of my characteristics. 

It’s not really that I am overly organized either. I certainly joke about having OCD and how everything has to be “just so;” however, if you read articles and books about true OCD, I suppose, these descriptions wouldn’t quite describe my home or my office space. 

I think I might be more of an “organized piler.” I do like things in their place, and I don’t like chaos in my cabinets, drawers or closets; yet, I, also, have certain areas where I might have a basket full of things I really need to go through or maybe a small stack of papers on which I need to follow up. I’m trying to get better with these two things, because even that drives me crazy! … You know it’s bad when you’re getting on your own nerves! Haha.

I really do love being organized. I am often reading to improve some area, or space, in my life; however, I don’t want to be so crazy about the organization that I miss the point of it: to spend more time with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy! 

If your organizational skills become as such that you constantly forsake family time, or friendships, simply to organize something more, then you might want to take a step back, reassess, and determine the more important things in this life. 

You only have this moment, right now, and you may not have it again for the rest of your life! You’ll never, again, catch this memory that may be happening right now. I challenge you to set aside the need to organize today and go spend some time with those you love! Get out in nature. Go see a waterfall or watch the sky for the first constellations to appear. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! 😊

What’s On The Inside


 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:27-28

You’ve heard it said, “When you spill the glass, you see what’s inside.” If sweet tea is inside, you see tea, and if it’s sour milk, you surely don’t get sweet tea! 😉 This is so true for each of us. No matter how pretty of a face we paint on, no matter how many smiles we flash, if our character is ugly, when pressures come, (and they will!) ugly is what will come out!  

In the moments of stress, it’s never a matter of what we know, who we know, or even what we’ve learned. It’s a matter of what we’ve allowed inside our hearts, what we’ve processed and what we’ve consumed. What is within our hearts is what is brought to the surface when we face hard times.  

I love how one author puts it, “When you’re upset, you upset what’s really in you.” -Ann Voskamp 

I long for good to flow when I’m spilled out. I don’t like sour milk, never have; yet, when pressures arise, sometimes, sour is all that’s left. It gets messy, and others can see it. I long for purity. I long for less mess, and I’m really working on this; I truly am.  

Yet, I have found that it’s not a matter of the mind. You can’t just make yourself act better. ou can’t just decide in your mind, “Ok, today will be different. No more spills. No more sour milk. Today, I shall be on a better course. I shall be better!” No, it’s not just a simple making up of the mind, and all is well. It’s a matter of the heart, and, oh, how that heart can be so stubborn sometimes… 

I can determine in my mind that I will not doubt. I will not grow angry. I will not be afraid. I can convince myself that this time will be different. I will be different; however, if I’ve only convinced my mind, and I’ve not dealt with my heart, that heart will rebel. That heart will even revolt. When the heat of the moment comes, and my guard is let down, that heart will adamantly revert back to its comfort zone of fear, doubt, anger, or whatever emotion consumes it at the time.  

You see, the heart holds all the wounds, all the pain and all the joy. The heart is full of all the emotion, all the wonder, all fear. When troubles come, it really is the heart that speaks, and this is why it is always a matter of that stubborn heart which determines what will spill out. This is why Jesus longs to rule our hearts. If He can hold our hearts, He can change our mind. He can transform our will. He can even change the world. If He can have our hearts surrendered to His will, He can consume our whole being.  

If we want the inside to be purified, to be empty of the mess, to really be as pretty as the outside we paint, we must lend Him our hearts. We must surrender our emotions, our pains, our wounds. We must allow His living waters to wash over our hearts. We must let Him heal us from the inside out, and then, we won’t have to worry when the glass is spilt. There will be no sour to pour. It will only be full of fresh, living water, flowing from His heart to ours, and out to the world.  

What’s Inside?

  
When you’re upset, you upset what’s really in you. -Ann Voskamp

You’ve heard it said, “When you spill the glass, you see what’s inside.” If sweet tea is inside, you see tea, and if it’s sour milk, you surely don’t get sweet tea! 😉 This is so true for each of us. No matter how pretty of a face we paint on, no matter how many smiles we flash, if our character is ugly, when pressures come, (and they will!) ugly is what will come out! 

In the moments of stress, it’s never a matter of what we know, who we know, or even what we’ve learned. It’s a matter of what we’ve allowed inside our hearts, what we’ve processed and what we’ve consumed. What is within our hearts is what is brought to the surface when we face hard times. 

I long for good to flow when I’m spilled out. I don’t like sour milk, never have; yet, when pressures arise, sometimes, sour is all that’s left. It gets messy. I long for purity. I long for less mess, and I’m really working on this; I truly am. 

Yet, I have found that it’s not a matter of the mind. You can’t just make yourself act better. You can’t just decide in your mind, “Ok, today will be different. No more spills. No more sour milk. Today, I shall be on a better course. I shall be better!” No, it’s not just a simple making up of the mind, and all is well. It’s a matter of the heart, and, oh, how that heart can be so stubborn sometimes…

I can determine in my mind that I will not doubt. I will not grow angry. I will not be afraid. I can convince myself that this time will be different. I will be different; however, if I’ve only convinced my mind, and I’ve not dealt with my heart, that heart will rebel. That heart will even revolt. When the heat of the moment comes, and my guard is let down, that heart will adamantly revert back to its comfort zone of fear, doubt, anger, or whatever emotion consumes it at the time. 

You see, the heart holds all the wounds, all the pain and all the joy. The heart is full of all the emotion, all the wonder, all fear. When troubles come, it’s really the heart that speaks, and this is why it is always a matter of that stubborn heart which determines what will spill out. 

This is why Jesus longs to rule our hearts. If He can hold our hearts, He can change our mind. He can transform our will. He can even change the world. If He can have our hearts surrendered to His will, He can consume our whole being. 

If we want the inside to be purified, to be empty of the mess, to be as pretty as the outside we paint, we must lend Him our hearts. We must surrender our emotions, our pains, our wounds. We must allow His living waters to wash over our hearts. We must let Him heal us from the inside out, and then, we won’t have to worry when the glass is spilt. There will be no sour to pour. It will only be full of fresh, living water, flowing from His heart to ours, and out to the world. 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28


**Note: I did not take picture, nor do not I own picture. Simply taken from google search. 

In the Depths of the Falls

 

I saw a glimpse of something today. We took a little hike to Amicalola Falls and were standing on the bridge, looking up at the falls when I saw it. Looking up, this song started rolling over and over in my mind, and before I realized it, I was softly singing: 

Peace, peace, wonderful peace

Coming down from the Father above

Sweep over my spirit forever I pray 

In fathomless billows of love

As I stood there, listening to the waters rush over the rocks and tumble down below, I began to really see it…The rocks were solid, strong, unyielding. There were sharp places and dark places…green, squishy patches and dry, splotchy parts…even some spots with crackly, dry weeds. Yet, where the water flowed, the rocks were smooth and even shiny, almost like jewels glistening in the sun. The waters rushed over the edge at one place and trickled down, hardly noticeable in another. Sometimes, it would bounce and jump, almost seeming to dance in laughter off the rocks, and in others, that same water swirled and pooled, making little collections of shimmery basins in which you could’ve cooled and refreshed your feet. The falls were simply beautiful, invigorating and peaceful, inviting and overwhelming, all in the same breath. 

As I stood there, tears streaming down my face, I could see the depths of my very soul. The rocks are the image of my soul. It’s solid, strong, and unyielding, sometimes for very good reasons, sometimes for not so good. The water is the Living Water of God. It washes my heart, cleanses my mind and purifies my soul. It causes the green patches of soft, squishy grass to grow.Those are the places where I’m tender and soft toward the things of God. I’m pliable, moldable, easily moved and quickly changed. These are the places where I long to stay, to learn, to grow. 

Yet, there are other areas where it’s not so sweet. His water has to smooth out the sharp, ragged, painful places, those places we’d rather not talk about, those pains we’d just as soon forget. He pours over those jagged rocks of my soul to bring life, restoration and joy.

I was reminded, in that moment, all our souls are in this similar state of being. Some are more, some are less, but we all have sharp, jagged rocks that need His soothing. We all have dark places, those things which are ugly and hidden from the world that need His cleansing. Each one of us has a dry spot or two that needs more water and oh, those pesky weedy areas that are in such need of His purifying. Every one of us has a need for so many more of those soft, squishy, green patches, those places where His love and mercy abide. Our soul longs for those times when we are fully immersed in His goodness and grace.

You see, when we let Jesus into our soul, His rivers of Living Water rush into our lives to show us His love, His grace, His mercy, those things which He’s just been waiting to pour out. Sometimes, the water is so loud, so consuming, we can’t even contain it or comprehend it. Other times, He lets it trickle down a forgotten path, one we thought we’d pushed far into the past to a place never to be seen or remembered again. Yet, He gently lets His waters flow, washing over those places, drawing us back, soothing our soul. 

Just as these falls towered before me, His Living Water towers over our souls. He cleanses us, changes us, and transforms us into a beautiful spectacle for all to see. As we allow His water to wash over the depths of our being, we will know He is God. We will know He loves us; we will experience His grace, and we will be transformed into a new creation. We will become a beautiful waterfall that others will gaze upon and feel refreshed, invigorated, challenged and changed. They will gain strength and wisdom as they see what the Lord has done in our life. Many will long for the same as they see the place where He abides. All we must do is allow His Holy Spirit, His Living Waters to flow into and through our lives. Will you let Him flow today? 

“…And let anyone drink who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

  

     

Wednesday’s Ode #1

For those of you who may have missed my post on Monday, this will be the first of my upcoming weekly features…”Wednesday’s Ode.” You can more about it here. I hope you enjoy these! 😉

As I was in the shower one morning, contemplating Wednesday’s Ode, I had a realization…I LOVE hot water!!
Refreshing, relaxing, invigorating, cleansing, soothing, smoothing. It
cleans bodies, dishes and clothes, sometimes, the dirtiest, smelliest, hardest things from which to remove muck and mire. It doesn’t seem to mind what the object of its affection might be on a given day.

It heats bottles for newborns, boils oatmeal for children and tea for fine old ladies; it even adds to the stew for burly men. It provides steam in locker rooms and adds to medicated steam in nursery rooms. It is poured in and heated through hot water bottles and hot water heaters all over the world. It seems to be no respecter of persons.

Have you ever been without it? It’s amazing what you miss when the source is no where to be found. It was the Bahamas. In the heat of summer. We were on a youth missions trip, and it definitely was not the resort side of the island! It was hot, and it was miserable, but in the early mornings of getting up, we still longed for a nice, hot shower…Nope! It was like the ice water challenge!! I will say this, the girls definitely didn’t take as long to get ready that week! Haha.

There was another moment in time when reality settled in about how wonderful hot water can be. I was on the coast of the Fl panhandle, after Hurricane Ivan of ’04 hit. There was water all around us in the bay and the ocean beyond, but not one drop of clean water to drink and definitely no hot water. You have to have hot water to sterilize anything that’s been swirled around with salt water, sewage tanks and brackish water…and all the mud and grime. No cleaning. No drinking, and definitely no eating anything that had to be boiled. That week, I sure did learn that military rationed dry food pkts (MRE) are actual edible. There are so many wonderful things about hot water! I just love it!
So, yeah, hot water is a wonderful thing!
Sometimes, it just makes me want to sing!
It even makes me feel full of power!
Especially when I’m in the shower!
🙂 haha!!