Saturday, September 3, 2011

Breakthroughs - Thanks Jesus and Elijah

Breakthrough - a significant and dramatic OVERCOMING of a perceived obstacle, allowing the completion of a process.

Oh Glory to God Dear Ones. I have had some breakthroughs and when they come along they must be shared and celebrated. Where to begin, where to begin? I think I will start with the MOST important! In my last post I shared some personal struggles I have battled in my mind. Some issues for many years.

Writing that post, confessing it in a way just really brought my heart to a place of freedom. I think it just opened the door and I was able to just let Jesus come in. I had so many lovely responses too and I am sure your sweet prayers have been a huge reason why I am writing the post I am writing today.

Last night I was able to have a nice long conversation with my oldest son Elijah. He is 15 and I TREASURE our relationship. I LOVE that we can communicate openly and honestly. We both were able to share our hearts and both came away stronger and closer.

It just kind of opened my eyes and heart. I think I have been blinded by circumstances and emotions. God just allowed my confessions and my conversation with Elijah to remind and ground me. I hope I can explain it and the magnitude of it. Out of all the issues I shared in my last post, none bothered me more than feeling like a bad Mom. Or feeling I had no gifts or talents to offer.
 As I sat in my living room last night with my son I realized something. I said to myself, "do you see what is happening here Michelle? You have a RELATIONSHIP with this young man. It is real and true and safe and genuine. You don't just talk about the weather. You talk about things that matter! You have this with your husband of 20 years. You have this with each of your children. You have GOOD relationship!"

It just flooded over me you know. I really am a good Mama. I have done a good job. God has rewarded me for all my hard work and effort. It made me feel silly about other things like makeup and physicality. I was right in the center of what really matters.

I'm not saying there isn't significance to what insecurities can do to you. Judging by the responses I got to my last post. I am certainly not alone. But what "REALLY" is important to me has began once again to seep back into my heart.

Relationship - the way in which two or more people are connected.

That is what matters. That is what counts. That is where my heart's passion is and where I am gifted. That is my PhD as one friend shared with me.

I do feel more comfortable with my makeup on than off. I do feel proud of myself for working out and eating right. I did just recently start a new business venture. But you know what... I have my focus back.

I think feeling bad about myself in so many areas caused me to lose my focus. I think the demands on my life left me in a constant state of saying to myself "I just need a break." and I felt incredible guilt for even feeling like that. What kind of mother are you that you need a break so bad? Well, even Jesus took a Sabbath and rested.

You see I am in a whole new realm of parenting as far as my girls are concerned. One I am sure God will do his work in me and I will be better for. But I am done feeling guilty or bad because things are different. With Him, I will learn. I will take the opportunity's for breaks when they come. I will pray for wisdom and support. Finally I will keep MY FOCUS - relationships.

I will never be perfect. I will mess up and need to seek forgiveness. I will always daily need my savior. But don't we all?  Isn't God so good? Praise Him for His love, mercy, grace and faithfulness!

Living Loved,

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Refute with Truth

Dear Ones:

Yesterday I came across a quote from one of my favorite authors Max Lucado. Here it is:

"God Lets you excel so you can make him known. And you can be sure of one thing: God will make you good at something."

Well, it pricked something inside of me. I guess because most of the time I don't really feel like I have anything that I am particularly GOOD at. Now bear with me this is not a pity party blog post. In fact It is actually combative. I want to refute the enemies lies. I want to walk in truth and in freedom. Why is that so hard? I am a person who HATES lies! Lying in our household is in no way shape or form tolerated. So why do I fall so easily for the enemy's lies?

I think a part of me wants to be humble. I don't want to puff myself up. But do some of the things I believe about myself equate with humility or are they simply not true? Then I ask myself are they really true and I simply have a lot of myself to work on? I think the answer has to be somewhere in the middle. There has to be some healthy balance. Because, yes I am flesh and a work in progress to become more like Christ.

I sat down yesterday and started to look at all the thoughts I think about myself on a regular basis and it was scary how much I have not been holding my thoughts captive. I am going to be vulnerable here for the sake of maybe someone else will read this some day and be like "hey I can see myself in that situation." I know one of the greatest ways the Lord ministers to me is when I see those in the faith I admire and I see where the Lord has brought them from. Vulnerability with victory is very encouraging don't you think?

So with that I will give you my list that came to mind yesterday and then my refutals. I am sure it is not a complete list, I mean a lot of thoughts run through a girls mind, but it is a great start. Some I admit are embarrassing to even share but I wanted to be honest so if you leave a comment please be kind.

  1. I am ugly without my makeup. This one has plagued me for YEARS. I won't even go to my mailbox, or answer the door if the paint is not on. The truth is I have really nice skin and pretty eye color. Honestly I am struggling to refute this one but trying my best. It also made me just think about how good I actually am at makeup application but I digress.
  2. Physically unattractive. This really became a struggle after I gave birth to 4 boys. My body image just went in the dumps post pregnancy. The truth is I am almost 40 and gave birth 4 times and I'm really not to shabby considering. Am I airbrushed perfect? Heavens no. But I am real and I work daily to be the best physical me I can be and I think that is something to be proud of.
  3. Stupid/Uneducated. This one also has been a doozy. You see I never furthered my education beyond high school. I really did not have the desire to. But so many times in life I feel inferior because I didn't. My best friend has her doctorate degree and for such a long time I did not even get to know her because of thoughts like what could I possibly have to offer. But the truth is when it comes to relationships, degree's don't matter. I may not have a lot of book learning. But I work on my relationships and have learned plenty over the years. You can have wisdom without education. I am not discounting education just the lie that I am stupid.
  4. I am not a good Mom. This is a new one for me. You see growing up all I dreamed of being was a good wife and mom. We have 4 biological sons and they are simply INCREDIBLE human beings. I love them and I like them. They are something to be proud of for sure. So why has this been a struggle lately? Well, you see I think our boys really gave me a lot of confidence in my parenting. Then we brought 2 special needs girls into our home. I initially thought "I got this!" You know, it has been like starting from scratch. Everything that "worked" for our boys does not work for them. From everything from simple grooming to feeding to learning & discipline. I have had to seriously grieve the loss of what had worked so well for us in the past. Does this mean I am a bad mom? The truth is no. I still love the same. I just have to parent differently. I am still learning and am sure I will be for quite some time now but to God be the Glory because he has brought me to something that is completely beyond me and myself. Any progress, any success is all due to him. Praise His holy name!
  5. The last one I am going to share is this, I have no gifts or talents and I fail at whatever I try. Where does this one come from? Well maybe it is the billion home business ventures I have tried with little to no success. Maybe it is I have no musical or serious crafty abilities. Maybe it is because I know my photography is just a hobby and I really don't know what I am doing. So what's the truth? The truth is yes I have tried more things than I care to remember, but you know what at least I tried. So what if I am musically challenged. I still can worship God with all my heart and I am sure to Him it is a beautiful noise. So what if my photography is just a hobby. I have captured memories for people and our family that I am sure will be treasured and always will.
So there it is, a taste of how easy it is to give the enemy a foothold. I am getting sick of it. The truth really does set you free. Thank God for truth! You Know God's works are rarely easy and sometimes not even pretty. But May God be known in me and in my life. May truth rule and reign in my heart and mind. May I see where he has created me unique and where I, because of Him, succeed at being who he made me to be. So I will end with this truth:

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

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