Living In The Reality of What Is

(Proposed Reality vs. Fantasized Perspective)
Living in the reality of what is rather than the fantasy of what should be is so important, even when it proves to be painful and awkward. Living in the reality of what is may not always be the most enjoyable spot, but it sure beats the foolishness and perpetual agony of the fantasy of what should be. Living in the fantasy of what should be might seem fun and even peaceful for a moment, but it will only bring deeper pain when the fantasy proves to be untrue and a waste of so much time. Let me share with you why…

In the fantasized perspective, you will:

* Imagine yourself being someone you’re not. You will fabricate a whole new personality, character and interaction than what is actually true. 

* Trade the true affection and acceptance from those who love and care for you and replace it with the fabricated affections of those who will only use and abuse you. 

* Fantasize about what could have been, should have been or what would have been, had things or people just been different and live in a perpetual state of denial, blame and justification. 

* Accept a false reality in the attempts of achieving the fantasized world of which you have dreamt. 

* Accept the reality someone else gives you to live. 

myboundlessthoughts.wordpress.com


In the proposed reality, you will:  

* Recognize who you are and who you are not and embrace whom God has called you to be. 

* Grow beyond what or whom you desired to have and embrace your God given purpose and engagements. 

* Have to accept that you are unwanted, unloved and unaccepted by the crowd in which you long to belong, but also, open your eyes to see who truly does want you, love you and accept you for who you are. 

* Let go of false expectations and embrace the reality of where you are and to where you are commissioned by God. 

* Accept the reality God brings to you. 
Through those painful moments of life, I have often been tempted, to slip into the fantasy of what could have been or should have been; however, I have learned over the years, this temptation is just that, a temptation for a counterfeit in my life. As I grow older, I have learned (and sometimes, am still learning) to embrace those people and things of value in my life and just let go of those of a fantasized value. I’ve learned to count my many blessings and realize those who aren’t or who have no desire to be in my life don’t need to be fantasized into the beautiful tapestry of life God has woven for me. Because of this, my life has become much fuller and richer. 

Living in a fantasy of what should be might bring you a temporary joy, but it is an exhausting journey that will leave you washed up like a broken seashell on the shore, and it will unravel any shred of peace and serenity you might find. We were never created to live in that fantasy. We were never called to fabricate a fairytale in which to abide. God created us to be who we are, and He called us to a time, a purpose and a people. It is our job to seek out that calling, get busy fulfilling it and let all the rest of that stuff go! 

…otherwise, you end up living your life like this…😂

FunnyAnd.com

Celebrate Everyday

As we were driving home the other day, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of how life truly is a vapor, gone before we know it. This week is a very eventful one to prove this point… 

Soon, I will celebrate over 40+ years of living, and my (maternal) grandmother, with whom I share this day, will celebrate a spry 88 years…later this week, we will lay to rest my dear (step-paternal) grandfather… This is the same week, just a few short years ago, my cousins said goodbye to their father, and another friend said goodbye to the love of her life. This year will be 15 years since my grandfather passed, but if the moment is right, I can “cloud up and rain on you” in a New York minute. 

I have lost friends to tragedy, family members to cancer and acquaintances to sicknesses and disease. These moments have all taught me well…life IS but a vapor. Please cherish it like there’s no tomorrow. Share it like you have plenty more, and pass it on tenderly to all those coming behind…they can only possess what we leave for them. Could it be that their wanderings just might be shortened and their pain lessened by our legacy…

The Salt Marshes or The River

I have a question for you…

Do you live in the salt marshes of Christianity or in the River of God’s glory?

Pinterest

You can be a Christian and not experience the fullness of His glory. You can live a good, “saved” life, following His commandments, yet, never comprehend His overflowing joy and complete peace. You can go to church every Sunday, work the nurseries on Wednesdays, pledge your loyalties to every youth and world missions project and still miss out on all He has for you.

Although, I have to ask, “Why?” … Why would we ever want to live beneath His potential for our lives? Why would we ever be “okay” with second best or just comfortable with less than His best? Why would we ever settle for something He knows we don’t need or even detests?

Yet, so many of us do just that! We choose to live in the salt marches of Christianity, and we completely bypass the river of God’s glory. Sometimes, it’s fear that holds us back, or maybe it’s those past pains that blind us from the reality of His promises.

Often, it’s schedules and agendas which consume every moment and spin us out of control, shielding us from the clarity of truth. Too many times, it is the sin of our past, our present, or the contemplation of sin in our future, which binds us to the salt marshes and refuses to let us venture beyond what we’ve always seen, heard and thought to be truth.

It is time to break free. It is time to live in His fullness rather than the anemia of our fears and failures. It is time to move out, beyond the norm, and step into the river of His glory.

You will find He is waiting there just for you.

*Note: I do not own nor possess any part of this video. This is from a simple google search to YouTube.

Trapped Again!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Gal. 5:1

This Scripture came up today in my Youverse app, and even though, I’ve read it many times before, it seemed to settle in a little deeper this time. Have you ever had that happen? You’re re-reading a scripture that you’ve read for years, but that next time, it’s like reading it for the very first time all over again, because God seems to speak to your heart in that very moment.

That’s how it was today. I’ve been doing this bible study on the power of our words, and it has really been strengthening my faith, challenging my flesh and transforming my words. This past week, we were studying the lesson on gentle words and memorizing the Scripture in Provers 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” …You would know, the one week when the stress loads of life are heavy on our boys and me, schedules are tight, tension is heightened, and words are short and snappy every day, that this is our memory verse and the lesson I’ve got to study and share with the class! …geez! Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! 😑

Regardless of the feelings, I kept studying, and God kept convicting my heart, reshaping my responses and working the repentance out of my mouth. By the day class time rolled around, I had made my mistakes and my confesssions and worked out a plan for us all to do things better this coming week. Amazing how, sometimes,  we have learn how to “adult better” alongside our children. 😉… I guess, if we were perfect, we’d be in heaven already; so, I’m all for the learning.

What struck me about this verse in Galatians is how, too often, we realize those sins of which we need to repent, we ask for forgiveness, and we think we’ve move beyond them; yet, somewhere along the way, we find ourselves trapped again by the very things that tripped us up in the beginning! How does that even happen?

Thinking over this, I was led to another well known scripture in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil is always seeking to destroy us. His search for our weak spots, and his schemes to bring us down never stop! He is relentless in His strategy to take us out!

However, I believe, our daily struggle to crucify our flesh (or die to selfishness) and feed our spirit (or live more like Christ) isn’t always so relentless. We get distracted by the cares of this world. We become negligent in the studying of His Word and in the seeking of His face. We allow “the little foxes to spoil the vine,” so to speak, and the battle (for our freedom from sin) becomes lost as we stop being vigilant in our fight. We start lowering our shield of faith and raising our selfish ambitions and outlooks. We start laying down our sword of the spirit to rather pick up those things from which we have been freed, as we become more “me” focused and so much less “Christ” focused. Before too long, we find ourselves ensnared with the very things He freed us from years before.

This is not what Jesus plans for us! This is not what He desires. Let us fight this good fight of faith. Let us not return to those sins for which He died. Let us live freely in the freedom (from sin) He has given us, and let us finish this race well! … There is a generation, of both young people and young Christians, coming behind us. They need for us to remain free and to finish well. Then, we might be able to share our story with them on how it’s done and allow our legacy of faith to be passed on. Live free today!

Listen Up and Receive

Proverbs 15:31-33
“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

Have you ever met anyone who just wouldn’t listen to wisdom? You know, that one to whom you could talk till you’re “blue in the face;” yet, he or she just simply refuses to open his or her ears to hear. To be honest, when this happens, I have to fight genuine anger within my heart and then I have to fight pure pity.

To watch someone who is so stubborn in their own will to refuse God time and time again infuriates me on the onset, because it is as if I am standing at the top of a waterfall screaming out to her of the coming danger. I am jumping up and down, waving my arms, yelling at the top of my lungs, desperately trying to make her see that if she continues to travel in her canoe, ignoring the rushing rapids, she will find herself busted and destroyed in just a short time, maybe even beyond repair. It is as if I am furiously throwing all lifelines out to help him get to safety, and yet, despite all my efforts, he shoves the ropes off the boat and scoffs at my concern.

Then, the undesirable but inevitable happens. She finally realizes the error of her ways, but it is now too late. She violently attempts to turn around, only to find the craft is teetering over the edge and racing toward the rocks below. There is nothing more you can do, except wait until he steps out of the destruction and finds himself again. You can pray, and you can cry, and rightly you should; yet, until he decides to remove himself from the debris, you will be struggling in vain.

That is when the pity and the sorrow settles into my view. To see her fighting against the hope which remains breaks my heart. To see her waring against her Maker draws tears to my eyes. To see him clawing and assaulting his Savior, refusing the grace and mercy right within his grasp, shatters my serenity and peace.

There is hope for all who are lost. There is redemption for all those broken and shattered by their own muck and mire. He loves you. He will redeem you. He is waiting there for you to see. Just call on His name. You will never be the same.

Do you chatter or Do You Speak?

Have you ever met someone who just rambles on and on, and it’s hard to even get a word in edgewise? I’m not talking about when you run into your “long lost friend,” and you’re both talking so fast, excited to share what’s happened over the years. I’m not referring to those times when your spouse and you are trying to iron out some differences, and I’m not even implying those moments when your teenager is allowing the deepest soul beats to overflow for your ears to hear. 

I’m talking about the person to whom you go when you need the “latest and greatest news.” Come on, you know the one. Even when you shouldn’t listen, and even when you pretend you don’t, she has the most recent, “juiciest” word on the street, just dying to let you receive it! The string of gossip is so delicious, so “hot off the press,” she carries it to you like it’s a hot potato, and she can’t wait to release it from her flapping lips. 

If you’re a living, breathing soul, and you’re an honest one at that, we can all attest we’ve been there. We’ve been caught in that moment between wanting to hear the herald and knowing we shouldn’t give it credence. So, we are faced with a dilemma. Do we receive it, even if it is only to appear gracious and kind, not wanting to hurt her feelings? Do we say, “We really shouldn’t be talking about this,” yet, continue to allow her jaws to chatter, or do we kindly (or rudely, if needed) tell her we will not lend our ears to this gossip, no matter how close to the truth it might be? 

What do we do? What should we do?

If we are God-fearing, God-pleasing and desire to be seen as such, then we should choose the latter, no matter how hard it may be to speak, and no matter what “friendship” it may cost us. When you become a person known not only by the words you speak, but also, by the company you keep, you carry with you a reputation which speaks when you don’t have to. You become known as a person of integrity, trustworthiness and higher standards. When you close off gossip, not only from your own mouth, but also from those mouths that surround you, you close off needless chatter. 

Pinterest.com

People are drawn to those who are of a reputable stature. They will be intrigued by your silence rather than offended by your babble or the gibberish that surrounds you. People of integrity and trust will begin to want to hear what you have to say when you choose to speak. So, choose your words and your “atmosphere of words” wisely; then, you will become known as a person who speaks and doesn’t just chatter. 

pegitboard.com

Love Me Challenge #16

img_1768-2

Something I like about myself is, also, something I dislike at times. I am a very soft spoken person, and someone who works overtime to not impose upon other people. Generally, I keep my thoughts to myself, and I’d prefer to speak when spoken to rather than speak out of turn. 

For those of you who struggle with your extroverted personalities might think you would love to have this personality trait; however, for those of us “blessed with such a skill” might have quite a difference of opinion. However, this post today is about what I like about me; so, what I like about it…

Walking into a crowded room, I can slip in almost unnoticed, find a friend and smile before everyone realizes how lonely I might be feeling that day. When someone hurts my feelings or makes me mad, I can hold my tongue until I’m over it, and I don’t have to worry about saying something stupid I might regret. When there is someone else hurting or alone, I can come beside them and help them carry the load, ever aware of the possibility of pushing too hard or staying too long. When a friend is in need of someone, but doesn’t need noise and fanfare, I can sit for hours just enjoying the company and offering a helping hand. When my children are acting like hooligans, I can calmly walk up to them, whisper their tiny thread of existence between joy and utter sorrow and walk away… well, no, that’s not quite the truth. I’m sorry, I don’t have that much patience or soft spoken qualities.😂 

As with any strength, there are equal traits that will make it a weakness when I let it. There were years when I hated this quality about myself, and honestly, there are plenty of days when I still struggle with this love/hate relationship I have built. However, as I am growing older, I am accepting the fact that God made me this way for a specific reason, and I am learning to grow with it, relish in it and explore beyond it. 

If for no other reason, I am finding more and more that one of the greatest reasons He created me in this way is because He decided to place me in a home with three very strong, outspoken, outgoing men. I bring a great balance to all the activity and noise, and He knew that I, for one, would need it! 😉💗

Love Me Challenge #8

img_1768

To share a scar today, I am going to share a bit of poetry

This scar will be with me for life. As a child, I hated this mark upon my skin. I thought of it  as a deformity, a nuisance and an intrusion to what and whom I believed I could have been without it. Now that I am older, even as the skin tucks and pulls at the place of injury, I find myself thanking my God for saving my life on that dreadful night.

I should not have survived…but God. ❤

 

 

Choosing to Drive

 

pedaltalk_opt

autoblog.com

In driving school, you must choose to hit the brake or accelerator depending on where you need to go and how fast you need to get there. You hit the brake to avoid mishaps, accidents, or when you are feeling unsure, and you need to create a little space and time to think and consider your next move. You hit the accelerator when you want to get somewhere a little faster or when you are feeling more confident in your position and the vehicle which you are driving.

 

In our relationship with God, we have these same choices. When He gives direction, we can push the accelerator and “ride like the wind,” totally depending on His leading. We can hit the brakes, believing we know better or just allowing our fears and doubts to override. When God says, “It’s not time,” we have the choice to hit the gas or slam the brakes, choosing to allow Him to guide or our own wisdom to rule the day.

In every moment and at every command, we have a choice to remain in the car behind the wheel, with God as our guide, or to get out of the car and leave the path when times get too tough. It is all in our choosing, but if we will stay closer to His hand and listen more closely to His voice our choices can render better results. If we will seek His understanding rather than our own, our end destination will be less hazardous and more beneficial.

So, ask yourself today, “Who will be my guide? … To whom will I listen and obey? … To whom will I surrender my will and my way?”

The choice is yours…

 

 

Need A Little Stretching?

Have you ever watched a taffy puller in a candy shop? Or a bread baker kneading the dough? Or maybe a potter molding and shaping the clay at the wheel?

  

None of this happens in an instant. No, not one of these processes happens without a lot of pushing, pulling, poking, and stretching beyond the original state. All of it, friction of some kind, to bring forth a beautiful masterpiece.

Do you know each one of us were created by the greatest Creator of All as a masterpiece? He has designed each and every one of us to be exactly what He desires.

Sometimes, life is going to feel like a huge taffy puller, drawing out the impurities, extracting what doesn’t need to be.  I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life when it feels EXACTLY like this!! I think, “Wow! I don’t know how much more pulling and stretching I can take!” Yet, when I allow Him to, God, in His infinite wisdom, keeps going deeper and deeper to remove those things which shouldn’t be, those fleshly things that get in the way of who He’s called me to be.

He wants all of me, all of us; so, we can hear with definition, see with clarification and speak and act with precision. He keeps stretching and refining; so, we might become a beautiful masterpiece that isn’t just a pretty piece to sit on a shelf, but one He can use against the enemies of His kingdom! Just like taffy or fresh, homemade bread or even beautiful pottery, it takes a process, and it takes perseverance, patience and a purpose-driven obedience to allow Him to finish what He has started.

Esther went through 12 months of preparation to see the king. David waited over 20 years to become king over Israel. Joseph went through 13 years of trials before he became the second in command to Pharaoh. Jesus waited 33 years of His life to fulfill His destiny here on this earth. When we start to get frustrated in the waiting and overwhelmed in the stretching, let us step back and be thankful for the preparation. God is always at work. The friction we feel is simply the formation of His perfect masterpiece!