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Saturday, June 10, 2017

The MisEducation of Love

Who did you learn about love from? Do you feel like you got a good education on the subject? Or as you got or are getting older, do you see that maybe you were taught by someone that wasn't quite a master on the topic themselves?

Often I would say that experience was my best teacher. However, how many times did I have to go through a bad situation to realize that it wasn't healthy. All I was trying to do was love someone or be loved.

I had no clue what healthy love was. All I knew was that I was desperate for love that I could feel. And when it hurt, I felt it. I felt something.

There is a twisted dark world we live in, even if we would rather put our heads under a rock and ignore it. We can try but that sneaky devil will attempt to come to you anyways. I worry about the young girls or tweens in my life. Mostly because I remember being one. It was a tricky time then and now it seems to be so much worse.

I have so many thoughts and wisdom I want to share with them but I don't think they are prepared to hear me. Now I have become the "old" person who thinks they know better. How did that happen? LOL. But the reality is that yes I am older and because of that I am wiser, mostly because I've made a lot of unfortunate decisions in my life. If only I could get them to listen and spare them from some pain.

Sometimes when I write or speak, I am hesitant to be too vulnerable or too truthful. But I'm starting to get over that. I'm starting to not care, because whether anyone can handle it or not, it is my story and my truth. And God didn't let me go through it to wallow in misery alone. I believe God can use my difficulties to help someone else. That gives me hope and a purpose.

It is my own mis-education of love that allows me to think that protecting other people is more important than my own dignity and my own value. I had loved others over myself. Which is tricky because as Christians we are taught to love others more. But, I think love can be explained in ways that don't always help us. I'm not an expert in anything other than my own life. So when I express myself, know that I am speaking from my perspective. I'm very cautious and nervous about ever misrepresenting God.

If you don't love yourself, then how do you love others? If you have no consideration of self-worth and value, how do you know that God loves you? We pour out love from inside and if we are not filled with love, how do we give love? If someone repeatedly hurts you, how do you keep loving them but not continue to get hurt?

I have spent the second half of my life so far trying to re-educate myself on what real love is. It has been so hard! I've been angry at a lot of people and at God for letting it happen and for creating me. But then as I've matured, I'm learning to shift my focus. Being angry and alone doesn't help. But using my anger as a motivation to grow and get healthy is better. Learning to forgive myself for being duped time and time again has been frustrating. Reaching out to others and recognizing that we are not alone is incredibly helpful. No one is perfect folks! Everyone has flaws and problems, at least one, but probably more. Some of us are just more transparent than others and that's OK. We are all doing the best we can, right? If you don't know better, how can you be better?

The mis-education of love is generational. We are teaching our kids what we were taught or what we have understood and corrected. I recognized early on that I was not content with all the lessons I was learning and that they were not all in line with what God wanted. Doesn't mean I still didn't screw up my life repeatedly. But I knew God was there even if I didn't understand Him either.

As a mom, I pray for my kids to let Jesus into their hearts. My hope is that someday the love of Jesus will fill up their precious hearts enough to not crave what the world offers to them like I did. I want them to learn from my mistakes but I know that I will have to let them go and figure it out on their own. I want them to know that I will be there for them when they make mistakes and fall but that I will have loving boundaries.

Boundaries - that is a whole subject that I believe is deeply connected to true love that I will have to delve into more another blog. I don't think you can truly be in a loving relationship without a large helping of boundaries. As Brene Brown said, "Boundaries are frickin important". Don't know if that language bothered you, but, its a quote, and it is just a word. You may remember it because of that word. I love people that say that word. 

My goal with this blog is to bring awareness to the magnitude that is the topic and understanding of LOVE. Love is so much more than a word. DC Talk had an awesome song, "Luv is a verb".

Luv Is A Verb (Official Music Video) (Official Video) by DC Talk on VEVO.

Wow, I don't know if I ever saw that video before now. It wasn't readily available on the Internet when I was listening to that cassette. That was a good album!

I just have to add that I noticed even the movie Frozen includes this concept of misunderstood love. Near the end, when Anna returns to the castle to get her true love's kiss, and the guy says that he didn't love her and left her to die. Hello! That would have been me, dying, because I was desperate for love that I believed this jerk when he said he loved me.

My 3yo is finally into this movie. She has watched it every night before bedtime for the last 4 days. It is amazing that she sits through the movie. I never quite got what the hype was about this movie though. Maybe we should check out Moana. I see people posting about that one.

Dear God, Thank you for the way you inspire me. Thank you for providing the Holy Spirit to guide me and pray with and for me. Thank you for the gift of Jesus. I'm sorry that I blamed you for the trouble in my life. I know now that you never wanted me to suffer this pain but it is just the fallout from the Fall in the garden. Thank you for the ability to use this pain for good, to help me to encourage others who may struggle with the same or similar things. Thank you for the many resources that are out there to help overcome struggles. Thank you for the Bible. In Jesus Saving Name, amen.

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Thank you! God Bless

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Best Part of Waking Up?

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, then you may be like many of us that go straight to the coffee pot at the beginning of each morning,  first thing. With kids in the house, coffee may not be an immediate option but it is high on my priority to at least brew it. That first sip or two is so relaxing and I don't even know why. It seems to be a habit. I drink a lot of decaf and I still like it. I crave it. Some coffee just smells so good. Its all good if you need to go get a nice hot cup of jo right now.

So did you watch the video of my son screaming for coffee? My boy is such a happy go lucky child so this is him in rare form. He was literally climbing and hanging on the edge of the counter. He wanted that drink and I don't think he knew why either, other than the straw and that it was mine.

Is it a little odd that the first thing many of us put into our bodies is this brown, hot liquid, perhaps muddied with cream and sugar?

What if instead I woke up and ingested something spiritual before anything else? Granola bar of truth? Is there a "Christian" product line of snacks with Bible verses and quotes on the wrapper? Would that make much difference?

I have a goal of doing my devotion before any social media. That alone is challenging for me. I can get sucked into wanting to see if there is any Facebook or Instagram update that I may need to be aware of.

Most mornings, I fight to get out of bed. Many times it is my 3yo that gets me moving. I've never been a morning person so I have ruled out the often suggested idea to get up an extra 30 minutes earlier each day to spend time with God. But maybe I am not using my time wisely. If I shifted some things around, maybe I could manage to get up before the kids did. Maybe.

Did you notice I said "maybe" three times in two sentences?  Maybe its just an excuse.

I don't want to get up earlier. I don't want to give up my morning coffee. But I do know that I need to be connected with God. I know that when I am in the Word, I feel better, safer. My peace is from the Lord. My hope is from the Lord.  Psalm 62:5 Psalm 39:7

Have you ever read something,  a devotion,  a Bible verse, a quote at the end of the day that totally fits for how the day was? And you wonder what your day might have been like had you read it before the day began? Happens all the time to me.

I need to be constantly reminded of God's love and promises for me. I need the truth to help me block out all the vicious lies that I have been told from the world.

For years of my life, I would kick and scream, climb and hang on the counter top of pride trying to get what was in the that cup regardless of what it tasted like. I thought I had to have it. I thought it was better than what I had in my own cup. Maybe it was the straw? Maybe it was that it was iced instead of warm. When I finally got it, I wasn't satisfied. It wasn't enough. It was a tease. Why couldn't I have it all?

When I fill up on the living water, the Word says I will thirst no longer. (John 4:14).

Coffee at one time was said to be dehydrating but now it is said it may have healthful benefits if you drink it plain but I add cream to change its original taste to fit my preference. We can't change the Word of God to fit our needs or ideas. (Rev 22:18-19). It just doesn't work like that. What kind of god does what I think is right? Who am I? Am I trying to be the god who gets to make up what I think goes in the world?

The Creator of the universe is perfect and holy and true and right, no matter how uncomfortable that makes me or the people on this earth. (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20)

At the end of the day when I am tired and worn out, I can look back on my day and pray for forgiveness. But I would rather wake up every morning and start my day with thanksgiving and praise. I would like to get a hug from my Father and sit down for a nutritious breakfast for my soul. Then as the day goes on, I can pull from my energy source. I am sure I will still need forgiveness by the end of the day but hopefully for things less severe and less damaging to myself and others. How I treat my kids, my spouse, coworkers, and strangers matters. It matters a lot.

When its 12 noon and I haven't even ate anything yet, you can be sure that I have snapped at my kids, been overwhelmed, and am so tired. Usually I have had 1 cup of coffee and that is it. What good is that? So what is the best part of waking up for you, what makes your day start in the right direction?

Dear God, Lord, how I need you. First thing in the morning and all throughout the day I need you. Thank you for being a God who does not sway with the wind of the world, changing for popularity. You are constant. You are perfect in your ways. I may not have the capability to understand but I don't want to ever think I know better than you. Guide me as I attempt to read your Word and be in your presence. I just want to know You more. In Jesus Name, amen. 

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Thank you! God Bless

Friday, June 2, 2017


How long does it take you to get ready to go? Maybe it changes based on where you are going, or whether or not you have a babysitter.

Do you know anyone that is always late? Maybe that is you. I am getting better at that but still guilty of being late often. Its a bad habit. And I'm working on it.

Are you ready for Jesus? Like, do you want Jesus to come back tonight? While my instinct is to say "yes, of course", I have to pause and get honest. Admittedly, I am a little scared of the unknown. Not overwhelming fear, like when I was a teen reading the Left Behind series, but a bit of an uneasy feeling. Do I know anyone that is not prepared spiritually for that moment?

This post was initially inspired by a song I was listening to on Spotify by Trip Lee. It is called Ready (feat. Dimitri Mcdowell) about losing his father and facing death. Little fact about me, I like rap music and I really like Trip Lee's lyrical style. After discovering this song, I decided to email myself letters to people, particularly my children, kinda like a just in case because I want them to know me. I want them to know how much I love them and how much God loves them. That he sent his one and only Son to die for us to give us eternal life. Perhaps this sounds morbid or perhaps it is a testament of my love for my family.

A few days ago, I was thinking of how God is so patient that he wants to let everyone be able to receive grace. There is a missionary that spent 30 plus years living in a remote village in a part of the world not frequently visited. This family worked with the people, learning their language, then creating an alphabet with them so that they could write the entire New Testament in that language. Recently, together, after many challenges along the way, the Gospel has been brought to this people in their own language. How awesome is that! A life's work, both from the missionary and from some very specific people in that community. Now they will be able to get to know Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be able to impact their lives in a whole new way.

This reminds me not to take advantage of the availability of the Scripture that I can get on my phone, in print, in several translations in my language. I'm so blessed that I can hardly see it to really understand. 

And this reminds me that there are people in my life that still need Jesus. While I may be struggling with some pain and wish that it could be over but God is not punishing me. God has been incredibly patient with me too. 

How do I learn to be genuinely patient, not self-seeking? Please pray with me.

Dear Lord, Thank you for Your abundant and merciful patience. I am not you, please forgive me when I try to step into your place. You are all knowing and You have a plan. Gently lead me and help me to embrace Your direction, even when it may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Thank you for Your Holy Word. I don't want to take You for granted. The gift of grace is beyond comprehension some days because I know I don't deserve it and I cannot earn it. Help me to live unashamed of the Gospel. In Jesus Name, amen.

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Thank you! God Bless