Friday Matters- February 28, 2020
The message of Jesus is to LOVE and forgive others, which you can only do once you have seen your bad self and accepted His forgiveness. There’s this past, so many people carry around, that you cover because it’s filled with shame from harming yourself by “cutting,” an eating disorders, an affair, alcohol, abuse AND it’s all yuck. I read that 80% of memories are shame based. People carry shame because they think once they’re fully exposed or “discovered,” they won’t ever be accepted or loved. But when someone’s identity is solid then they’re stable. Jesus sees all of you and loves you. There’s no shame in Him.
Psalm 91:1 is my 911 verse and it reads; “She who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will remain stable.” It means that when I stand still and let myself be exposed, God covers me. He covers my shame and my fear AND replaces all that I’m not with all that He is. God can see the real you and He loves you as you are, no matter what…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 27, 2020
Everyday Everyday Marriage Ahhhhh
My Friend Kelly struggled early on in her marriage and years after we met I asked, “Well, what was the beginning like?" thinking they were in love. “Are you kiddin’ me,” said Kelly. Early on I felt I was in a disaster pit so I filed for divorce but not before screaming to God; ‘Fix my husband!’ I thought I was the perfect wife and couldn’t understand why my husband wasn’t seeing this and apologizing for his horrible behavior. With only a few days before the divorce was final God stopped me. I was reading; “A Woman After God's Own Heart” and it was like these scales from my eyes began to peel away. God was clear; “You let me worry about your husband. You and I need to talk.”
“Remember, he married a sinner too” the author wrote. Stop looking at all that is wrong with your husband and starting at looking what you can change. That realization and marriage counseling brought Kelly and her husband together and he actually owned up to his part too. It will be humbling but major change happens when we die to self. It’s not easy but worth it. Let God change you…everyday
Wednesday Matters- February 26, 2020
Everyday God Shouts to us in our Pain
Emotional pain is harder than physical pain? Can I get an “Amen?!” I mean I get physical pain from my recovery with scoliosis back surgery and having mono and flu where I never thought I’d leave the bathroom floor. However broken relationships, the loss of a loved one, and the failure of a plan or dream, well … that kind of pain is so much harder for me.
But it helps to remember God uses pain to get our attention. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain.” Pain is God’s megaphone. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. But why does it get so hot? I hear ya. The answer is God’s love turns-up, it warms when it all seems so cold and hopeless. He’s always aware and He always cares. Proverbs 20:30, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” Yes, God loves you, everyday.
Tuesday Matters- February 25, 2020
Everyday Have a Healthy Diet
About nine years ago I never really ate breakfast; unless you counted the Diet Coke and chips. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. I even remember standing in my kitchen one morning at age 41; eating chips and drinking my Coke thinking, “I feel so great! I wonder how long I will be able to keep this diet going?!” And I thought because I was healthy in my relationship with God, reading the Bible and doing Pliates occasionally I’d be just fine. “Who needs green leafy vegetables?” But five months after having these thoughts I started getting sick with a lot of different infections and then came emotional anxiety and… well…I kinda crashed.
There were other factors that played into my “crash” but I heard God clearly speak to me. Yes, He had great plans for me but I needed to take care of my diet. 1 Corinthians 16:20; I don’t just belong to myself; I’m God’s girl and I honor Him by the way I live my life and take care of myself….everyday.
Monday Matters-February 24, 2020
Everyday Letting the Offense Go
Cindy was a gal I mentored and even though she said she’d forgiven her father she continued negatively talking about him and avoided him. “I did forgive him,” said Cindy, “but you don’t know how much he’s hurt me.” She had become bitter. I sat with her as she cried and said, “I get it and no matter how great the offense is, we serve a God Who is greater and He promises to handle the offense in His perfect way. He will give us the grace we need while we wait for His justice.
In Isaiah 61:7 we are told that, “Instead of our former shame we’ll have a twofold recompense.” How great is that because recompense is a reward, it’s payback for past hurts. So think of it like worker’s compensation. You work for God and if you get hurt on the job, HE WILL PAY YOU BACK! With God’s grace and time Cindy finally let go and forgave her dad, and with boundaries in place they’ve reconciled. God wants restoration for you too…everyday.
Friday Matters- February 21, 2020
Everyday Compliment Crazy
“It’s not fair. They don’t deserve my kindness and I’m certainly not going to compliment them because they think they have it all together.” Very often those difficult people in our lives are family. We think; “How can they be so clueless to their own junk and continue to point out mine?” But here’s the deal; we may not think they deserve our love or kindness but neither do we deserve God’s grace and kindness toward us.
The advice given me was; “Debbie, just lavish them with love. Compliment and see what happens in your heart and in theirs.” Guess what it works. Love someone with simply acts of kindness by praising the good of who they are and you’ll be amazed at how God changes your heart. Truth from God in John 13:34; “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s hard. But the change, the blessing, the beginning of healing in a broken relationship…oh you’ll be thinking; “Why didn’t I do this sooner…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 20, 2020
I was lonely. God knew. But I also know 1 Peter 5:7 too where Jesus says; “Give Me all your cares. I care for you.”
It was my third son, of the four, who helped take me away from my party with “Pity.” Our teenage son Joey let me have a movie date with him and I picked “Pride and Prejudice.” I know. Halfway through the movie I asked; “Joe, will it always be this way?” What mom? I was referring to a bruise on my face that just wasn’t disappearing like I wanted but deeper down I was asking; “Would this season of wait and lonely weirdness ever leave?” Joey replied; “Mom it will always be that way. It will never change.” And then he grinned in his sweet Joe way and said; “Mom, you’re being silly. Of course it’s gonna be fine. It’s just a bruise. Why ask?” Because I need to hear out loud there’s hope, the belief that things will get better. So I’m talking to you too. It will get better. There’s hope…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- February 19, 2020
Everyday Life is Hard
Have you ever been in a hard place and thought maybe God was punishing you because you’re a mess-up and made mistakes? Certainly there are consequences to sin but God loves you no matter your current or past mistakes. Yes, I do believe there’s a lesson and blessing in everything we experience but I also believe that the earth experience is hard and sometimes we go through pain and grief because it’s not our true home. Heaven is our home, with no more tears or pain, but still we live on with purpose and adventure.
Once when I was stuck in a hard place my friend Mary offered firm and loving advice, “Debbie, don’t condemn yourself thinking if you get the lesson you get out of the pain. If you condemn yourself it’s like you’re condemning others when they’re suffering. And you never do. You’re a friend who never expects others to get a lesson when they’re hurting but you love & encourage. I want you to be encouraged. Life is hard but there’s hope of something better. Keep on keeping on…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- February 18, 2020
Everyday Surrendering with Hope
French fashion designer and businesswoman Coco Chanel said, “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” I don’t know about you but I’ve spent a fair amount of time pounding on a wall hoping for a door to open and circumstances to change. AND YET when I finally surrender I mean really and not just say it and allow God to work with what He decides is best I have hope. Changes may not come in the way I imagine but it’s God’s best way. Psalm 103:7 is a “go-to” verse for me, “Put your hope in God for with Him is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”
We can put our hope in other people or circumstances but when we let God have full control He is on the move and knows what’s for our best. Look for the blessing and lesson in all difficult circumstance and people in your life. Try it, you’ll like it…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 17, 2020
Everyday Key to Success
“A key to success is playing the hand you were dealt like it was the hand you wanted.” I had to really think if there was truth to that. Yes, I may not have wanted what was dealt but “here it is” so what am I gonna do with it? My choices; scream, cry, complain and hide or I make the best of the situation and find the lesson, and blessing in it. We can let experiences change us for the better or ruin us. Character more often is developed in crisis when we stop focusing on the hurt and search for the good where success may be hidden. During my recovery of scoliosis back surgery, 15 years ago, I was miserable yet I don’t regret what I went through. God taught me things I couldn’t have learned another way. In brokenness we can find beauty and success…everyday.