rss search

next page next page close

Play and Rest

So far Amanda has gone and come back from her restoration time. Kati is on her third month and Annie-Claude just left, Robyn took a month. Robyn didn’t speak before leaving or on returning. Amanda talked to all staff before going and gave a report when she returned. Kati and Annie-Claude both talked before going.

I talked to another staff member and we agreed it feels like we’re expected to talk before and after. Neither of us want to. I want to go into it without expectations and I want to return not having to report anything. Reporting makes it feel like we’re expected to have a result, an awakening, epiphany or something. If I go into it knowing or feeling like I’m expected to have a result, I will work at making it happen. I don’t want that to be what this time is. I want to not work at manufacturing anything or watching, working… I don’t know. I’m going to talk to Anna about it.

My theme is going to be Play and Rest.

September 14, 2023


next page next page close

Restoration Plan

Restoration Plan is what they’re calling it, it’s like a sabbatical. Up to three months off with pay. I should be ecstatic! When I worked for the City I would’ve jumped at this. Now…I don’t know…I feel scared. It took my breath away. My thoughts are all over the place.

What will I do? I’ll be bored. I don’t have any friends. Who will I talk to other than Bill? I won’t be needed. I won’t be productive and being productive gives me worth and value (my identity). They’ll find out they don’t need me. They won’t let me go because too many or no one can replace me. Can’t I just not do it? A two week solo vacation is intriguing (Bill offered). Handing off work feels scary–it’s mine. I don’t want to lose it. What if I don’t get it back? Are they going to do my tasks right when I’m gone? I feel clutchy–it’s mine. I don’t want to let it go.

All this is running through my head. I don’t want to take it but I know I’m supposed to. God wants to be with me. He has things to do with me. Maybe He’ll show me what retirement will be like. I had six months off during COVID and I feel like we just got back and I don’t need a break or a rest, I’m fine. Yet, the more I think I don’t need it, the more I know I do.

What a gift! Three months with pay. I don’t have to earn it, I’m not worthy of it, I don’t deserve it, but yet I’m being offered this. It’s beautiful. It’s one of the ways God shows me love. I’ve signed up for August, September and October 2024.

It’s coming fast.

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

April 19, 2023


next page next page close

Cancer Scare

Cancer Scare

My sister found out she had a “large mass” on her right kidney. She didn’t have any symptoms and didn’t have a clue it was there. It was kind of a fluke they found it.

She had abdominal pains and went to the ER because she was out of town and it was a weekend. They diagnosed her with a severe bladder infection. During the exam they did a CT scan of her abdomen and that’s when they saw the mass.

When she got back home she went for a follow up with a kidney specialist and he did his own CT scan and verified it was indeed there. He told her it looked like she had kidney cancer! Wow!

It made me think of how quickly things can change. Out of the blue a diagnoses of cancer can come and rock your world and everyone’s world that’s close to you. We are all just fragile humans and our fatality is guaranteed, it’s just a matter of time. Suddenly she was in a whirlwind of tests: bone scans, PET scans, blood work, etc. They found out she has Type II diabetes and started her on a special diet and insulin. We were all praying like crazy and asking everyone we knew to pray too. Please God take this cancer away from her!

My dad and mom are both gone, dad died in 1992 and mom in 2010. I was really close to my mom’s sister and she died in 2011. I’ve been going through many changes with the realization that my generation is now the top of the family tree. The view is much different from up here. I want to end well, I want to live well and with that will come dying well; I hope. But for me I’ve been very aware of this new season of life I’m entering and am trying my best to embrace it. Now, with the news of my oldest sister facing kidney cancer; I again had to look at the reality that comes with being at the top of the tree. It’s our turn. We’re next.

This realization woke me up to the fact that I need to start living out my love for people. Sure, my sister and I have history and it’s not all pretty. We’ve had our issues just like any other family does but the bottom line is that although we may not always like each other; we always love each other and that’s what needs to be on the surface. That’s what’s important. Love needs to win and it always will.

I asked her how I could be there for her, did she want me to come to the hospital and be in the waiting room during her surgery? (She had her kidney removed) Her answer was yes. So, I went. I waited. I prayed. I had to leave early due to a meeting I couldn’t reschedule or get out of at work. This type of meeting is very rare for me but yet it was my reality on this day of all days. I hated to leave. My body left but my mind, soul, spirit and heart were left behind in that waiting room.

During the meeting I got a text that said she was out of surgery and in recovery I was delighted! JOY! I felt lighter and realized what a heaviness I had been carrying. I wondered what heaviness my sister and her husband had been experiencing.

The mass was tested and it was a cyst!! Praise God! He is the ultimate healer and Great Physician. He took the cancer away! I love it when prayer is answered! Even her doctor was amazed. He said he was sure it was cancer. He had never seen a cyst that shape or size before. It had all the characteristics of a cancerous tumor; there was blood flowing through it, it was growing and it was large.

My faith is boosted, God still does miracles and He answers prayer always. Sometimes not with the answer we are hoping for but sometimes we do get the answer we’re hoping for.  I’m grateful for this lesson of the importance of family and showing love and support. Opening my eyes once again to the season of life I’m in and remembering to make the most of who, what and where I am. I have no children of my own and because of this I tend to think I have nothing to leave behind – no legacy; no one to carry on my blood line or traits they’ve inherited from me. But I can leave something behind. There’s more than one way to leave an inheritance. The dictionary includes in the definition of inheritance this: “the inheritance of traits”. I can leave memories, love and faith; pieces of myself (traits) that I’ve invested in and/or shown to others. It’s never too late to start.


next page next page close

Your Story

Your Story

Everyone has their own life story
And everyone’s past can bring God glory
God can redeem brokenness and make you whole
Allow Him to refresh and renew your soul

The details of your story are like ingredients in a cake
When sifted together and allowed to bake
A delicious dessert suddenly appears
Created from your blood, your sweat and your tears

Each cake is different, no two are the same
Life’s heartaches and joys are what they contain
They’re different in appearance and in taste
But no ingredient has gone to waste

Celebrate the cake you’re created to be
Discard your judgements; let yourself be free


next page next page close

Chosen and Honored

I attended a retreat called Sacred Rhythms and we did an exercise of Lectio Divina which went like this: the leader read through Isaiah 43:1-4:

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
    and honored, and I love you,

Our instructions were to listen and notice what word or phrase stood out to us (from our guts, not from our heads), maybe something sounded louder to us than the other words; if so, that would be our word. The leader would read it through a second time and we listened for what part of our lives this fit into. The third reading we listened for the invitation that God has for us around this passage/word/phrase and respond to Him. The fourth reading was to release and return to a place of waiting and resting in God’s presence.

I was so nervous going into this exercise because we were to share our words with a small group of 4 people and I was worried I wouldn’t receive a word, or know what it meant.

As I listened the first time through I listened so close to each and every word so I wouldn’t miss mine….I thought it was “I have called you by name” but then as I kept listening the word “honor” sounded much louder to me; so that was my word.  My group turned out to be just my husband, Bill and I so I don’t know why I still carried my nervousness with me into this exercise but I did. I told Bill that I had two words and what they were and then listened to the second reading. Where did this fit in my life?  I didn’t know but in a flash “my story” came into my head. I’ve been working with God for 7 months now about being excited about and owning my story so that’s where it fit.  I listened to the third reading and got nothing….I tried to figure it out in my head. What was God’s invitation to me around “I have called you by name” and “honor” and what did that have to do with my story? I just went with my best guess — that my story had a place of honor with God or something like that.  The fourth reading we were to release it and go back to a place of waiting and rest with God.  I couldn’t get back to that place, I felt I failed the exercise (Bill got such an awesome message – one he couldn’t have made up, it had to be God) and I was discouraged and disappointed that I missed hearing from God.

On the way home I was still thinking and praying about it and it wasn’t until the next day that things started to fall into place. As I got quiet and sat with God and meditated on the phrases I realized that being called by name was an honor. It meant that I was known, seen and chosen by God and that’s a beautiful thing!

I was still holding all of this on Saturday night; and God showed me again that I had indeed heard correctly from Him. We had a praise and worship service at church and one of the songs a girl from the worship team sang over us had these lyrics:

I knew what I was getting into when I called you                                                                                                                                                           I knew what I was getting into when I said your name, but I said it just the same.                                                                                               I knew what I was getting into and I still want you,                                                                                                                                                     I knew what I was getting into.

I knew what I was getting into and I still chose you,                                                                                                                                                     I knew what I was getting into and I still want you                                                                                                                                                     I knew what I was getting into when I said your name, but I said it just the same                                                                                             I knew what I was getting into.

Wow, this song just wrecked me! Jesus knew what he was getting into when he called me by name but he said it just the same. That fits with the scripture the night before.

The very next song was “I am New” and I was dancing, worshiping and singing my lungs out in the back of the church. Toward the end of the song there’s a list of our new names:

“Forgiven, beloved, hidden with Christ
Made in the image of the one who gives life
Righteous and holy, reborn and remade
Of all things we’re worthy
This is our new name”

One by one the people in the auditorium stood to take a stand and claim their new name; their new identity. It was a very powerful time. We kept singing the chorus over and over and each time we did it was louder and more powerful, it touched me in the deepest parts of my soul. We could’ve sung the list of names about seven more times and I still wouldn’t have gotten enough of it!  Each time we sang it I could feel it building in the room; we owned it more and more each time. We claimed it. Doing this in a corporate setting with a community of believers was an awesome experience.  What a way to top off the retreat!

I am blessed, I am known, I am seen, I am chosen and I am honored!


next page next page close

Freedom from Insecurity

I just finished a 10 week study on the Beth Moore book “So Long Insecurity, you’ve been a bad friend to us” And this is my recap and some of the things I’ve learned. 

Insecurity has dominated my life in ways I never saw. Looking back I now can see where every bad decision and action that I’ve done has been a result of insecurity.  Insecurity was my avenue into bad relationships, addictions and other similar bad choices. 

One of the side effects or “cover” for insecurity in my life is perfectionism. I don’t take correction well, it makes me feel stupid and shame comes with it and reinforces the messages I give myself. I feel I have to be a fit, attractive, competent person. I have to do all things right. If I can’t do something well, I don’t do it. I don’t play whiffle ball at a picnic because I know I don’t do it well. And doing it well isn’t even good enough, I have to be very good, one of the best or I don’t want to do it in front of others. I don’t want to look stupid or uncoordinated; I don’t want to be laughed at; and even if they don’t laugh audibly, I think they’re laughing silently. Some people think I don’t participate in things because I’m shy or an introvert and they try to change me; they think all I need is to loosen up a little to get around people and interact. That’s not it. That’s not even close, it’s insecurity; plain and simple. 

Insecurity is caused by a variety of reasons:

  • Instability in the home. Instability comes from many sources:  layoffs, financial issues, parents that divorced; abuse of any kind (even if it’s not “in” the home), an alcoholic parent, mental or physical illness of a parent, etc. The root of insecurity caused by instability is often the fear that no one will take care of you. You feel as though you’re on your own.
  • A significant loss. This could be the loss of anything you genuinely prize or get stability and self-worth from.  A home, a peer group, a relationship, best friend, loss of innocence (as in abuse) or losing a loved one due to death, etc.
  • Rejection. One of the few forces that can usher females into a season of insecurity with swiftness is rejection. Nothing shouts a more convincing lie about our personal value than rejection. Many times rejection might cause a man to have a string of superficial relationships where he never gives his heart away, and it might cause a woman to give her heart away before she even has a relationship – that’s what I did.
  • Our Culture: the way media portraits the “beautiful” women and none of us can ever measure up to that.
  • Pride: many times we feel insecure because of our pride. We’re not the most gifted people in the world, we’re not the first choice – every time; we’re not someone’s favorite, we don’t feel special, we can’t do everything ourselves and on and on it goes.  

I have several of these that helped create my insecurity. And the bottom line is that we can try and try to change ourselves with positive thinking, trying really hard to change our actions, stuff our feelings or pretend that we’re feeling secure (fake it till you make it). But in reality the only one that can free us from the bondage of insecurity is Jesus.  He came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) and He came to set the captives free (Isaiah 61)! I have a history with Jesus of being set free. He set me free from my addictions and I know He can do it again and set me free from insecurity.  He wants the best for me and He wants me to live like He created me; I’m made in His image and He is not the least bit insecure! 

So, where do I go from here? I have learned so much and become aware. I know that’s the first step is to notice when I’m “acting out” and then I turn to Jesus for help because really, without Him I can’t do this.  Prayer will be a big part of my stepping out of this insecurity hole I’ve lived in. The Bible says the truth will set you free and these are the truths I believe will play a part in my freedom:  I trust you Jesus; I know I’m made in Your image and I’m Your masterpiece, You have crowned me with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:7), I am clothed with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25), I have a treasure on the inside of me (2 Corinthians 4:7). My security is mine to keep. God gave it to me. No one gets to take it from me. 

“(She) will have no fear of bad news; (her) heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Her) heart is secure, (she) will have no fear, in the end (she) will look in triumph on (her) foes.” Psalm 112:7-8


next page next page close

Masterpiece

Masterpiece

I’m doing a 10-week study on Insecurity. I’ve completed 3 weeks and have already received some major revelations; now if I can just believe and apply them to my life.

Here’s what I’ve realized about myself:

I think people won’t like me if they know the real me so I strive and struggle to create and maintain an image that I think is likable  acceptable and valuable. This image includes looking a certain way, avoiding conflict and confrontation and appearing intelligent and competent just to name a few. It sounds crazy when I articulate it and I don’t agree with it in my head but I must believe it because it’s how I live.

My need to be liked, loved and accepted actually keeps me from interacting with people. I feel I have to protect or hide myself, not reveal who I am because for sure they won’t like that person. I feel if I interact with them they will discover the “real” me and not like or accept me. It’s a cycle; I avoid interaction so people won’t know me and therefore will like me and what’s actually happening is I seem aloof or stuck-up or unfriendly and unapproachable.

So, this coping skill backfires; I’m not fitting in because I’m not interacting and I’m not interacting because I want to fit in. This is so sick!

I didn’t always use this coping skill, for 23 years I had a different one. I did drugs, drank and partied to have friends and to fit in. During that time I thought if I looked a certain way and men were attracted to me and “wanted” me I had value.

The good news is God delivered me out of that bondage; I found I don’t need to do those things to have value, worth or security. God delivered me from insecurities once in my life and I’m confident He will do it again!

We are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 

You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 

The definition of Masterpiece is “an artist’s greatest piece of work”. God is no crappy artist; He’s the best; and I’m his greatest piece of work!  I must be who and what He says I am because He’s the only one with all the facts. He sees and knows all. He’s the artist – the creator He knows His own work better than anyone.

I’m cherished and loved, He’s my Father and He’s a King, I’m a Princess, a member of a Royal Family! I’m a Masterpiece! The Master Artist’s greatest and finest piece of work!

And so are you.

 

 


next page next page close

One Journey Leads to Another

Christian Writing MinistryThis fall I joined a Women’s group to do a Beth Moore study titled “James, Mercy Triumphs”.  During this study, I was confronted by James every week.  It started with perseverance and endurance and to count our struggles as joy. “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” James 1:2-4 MSG

I don’t know about you but I’m a person who’s always looking for short cuts; I’m efficient and organized and I want to live that way. I look for the shortest lines in the grocery store and the traffic lanes that will get me moving the fastest. I am not one to want to be “in” anything; especially if it’s uncomfortable or painful; which it usually is if it’s changing me. James confronted me with the reminder of needing to go “through” things with God and allow Him to refine and perfect me in the process. I want to do anything but go through things; I want to go over them, under, around….anything just to get to the other side and move on.

I meet with a lady once a month and we talk about where I’m seeing God in my life. She recommended a book to me: “So long insecurity” by Beth Moore.  Well, I didn’t really think I had much insecurity but I trust her so I started reading it. Wow! I’m finding the things James confronted me with are my insecurity issues.  Things like:

  • Comparing myself to others
  • Being critical and judgmental
  • Forgetting who I am and believing the lies of the world and the enemy
  • Discriminating and treating people differently
  • Slander
  • Not loving myself in a healthy, balanced way

And that’s just the beginning – I just started this book.

Like Beth I have abuse in my past. I made poor relationship choices; I just kept choosing the same man only with a different face, if that makes any sense. There was a season in my life that my mom disowned me. According to the book; these are the types of things that can cause insecurity.

At the end of the James study I thought I was closing the book on it but it turns out that God didn’t just bring me on a journey through James, he brought me to a deeper journey of working on my insecurity issues with Him. I guess that means I’ll have to be “in” it with Him and go through it; no short-cuts. I need to hang in there; persevere, endure and allow Him to do His work.

In the study of James, Beth said a couple of things that I need to hang onto as I walk out my journey of insecurity:

  • I am who God says I am and not the numbing sum of Satan’s accusations
  • I am loved and not despised, held and not forsaken, cherished and not ejected, enjoyed and not just endured.

If you haven’t read the book “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore, do it!

 

 

 

 


next page

Play and Rest

So far Amanda has gone and come back from her restoration time. Kati is on her third...
article post

Restoration Plan

Restoration Plan is what they’re calling it, it’s like a sabbatical. Up to...
article post

Cancer Scare

My sister found out she had a “large mass” on her right kidney. She didn’t have any...
article post

Your Story

Everyone has their own life story And everyone’s past can bring God glory God...
article post

Chosen and Honored

I attended a retreat called Sacred Rhythms and we did an exercise of Lectio Divina which...
article post

Freedom from Insecurity

I just finished a 10 week study on the Beth Moore book “So Long Insecurity, you’ve been...
article post

Masterpiece

I’m doing a 10-week study on Insecurity. I’ve completed 3 weeks and have already...
article post

One Journey Leads to Another

This fall I joined a Women’s group to do a Beth Moore study titled “James, Mercy...
article post