Saturday, June 29, 2013

guilt and shame

We all have especially vulnerable places. Tender spots in our heart. Lies we’re more likely to believe. It can take a long time to even recognize them. Lately I’ve been catching glimpses of mine. Guilt and shame can get to me quickly. I make one mistake or fall short of one expectation and suddenly I decide…
I’m a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad wife/friend/daughter, etc.
And what do I do? I try harder, of course. Until I’m weary. And then that just proves the guilt and shame are deserved. Such nonsense. And I know it. Just like I knew Twinkies did not really count as a quality baked good. But I ate them for years anyway.
So the other night I prayed, “Lord, what replaces guilt and shame?”
The answer that slipped into my heart, “Gratitude and praise.” 
So here’s the process I’ve started going through when guilt and shame try to tackle me:
What am I telling myself?
I’m bad because the dust bunnies in my house are now the size of jack rabbits.
What’s the reality?
Yes, the house could use vacuuming. It’s been a really busy week. I’ll be able to do it next week.
What’s the real truth {this is a bridge statement between guilt/shame and gratitude/praise}?
My worth is not based on the size of my dust bunnies. It’s based on who Jesus says I am. And the reason my house is a bit dirty is because he’s had other things for me to focus on the last few days.
What do I have to be grateful for and praise God about?
God, thank you that I have a house to live in with my husband and daughters. I praise you because you’re my ultimate Home and you’re building me a mansion in heaven with no dust bunnies. Help me remember what matters most in light of eternity.
Now it’s your turn to try it…
What’s a lie you’ve been telling yourself?
What’s reality?
What’s the real truth?
What do you have to be grateful for and praise God about?
{Note: I’ve found that the “reality” and “truth” statements are essential. If I try to jump straight to gratitude and praise then I bury the guilt and shame rather than healing it. We’re human and we need to acknowledge that what we’re feeling and experience before we can really change our perspective.}
I know I need to go through this process when I feel the muscles in my tummy tightening up, my heart beating harder and my breath becoming shallow. We respond physically when someone lies to us–and we do the same when we’re lying to ourselves. How does your body tell you that something isn’t quite right? Learn to be aware of that and when you experience it, pause and take a deep breath. Then go through the process above. If you get distracted along the way, it’s okay. Just start again until you get all the way to the end.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recapture joy

How much of my life have I lived absent of joy? Joy costs nothing and is always available, yet I’ve chosen at times to live without it.

There is a difference in dreaming for the future and wishing for the future. Dreaming inspires you to move forward; wishing causes you to resent where you are.

I have often spent today wishing things will be different tomorrow.
  • I wish I had a different job.
  • I wish I could a dreamy marriage.
  • I wish I had a bigger house.
  • I wish I made more money.
  • I wish my kids would sleep through the night.
  • I wish my kids would get out of diapers.
  • I wish I get that promotion.
  • I wish my spouse was more like someone else’s spouse.
  • I wish I could sell more, accomplish more, do more.
Wishing for the next stage of life is the quickest way to lose joy in this stage of life.

If I could, I’d go back and savor the small house and the beat up cars and the sleepless nights and the blown out diapers and the small beginnings.
We can never get time back.

So often we spend more time thinking about how the next thing will bring us joy that we forfeit the joy of that moment.
Contentment is the pathway to joy.

You want to experience joy immediately…be content. When we are content with who we are and where we are in life, joy is the biproduct of contentment.

I’m asking God to help me be content these days. 
I don’t want to miss what’s now in favor of wishing for what’s next. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

summer time

Summer speaks to us in different ways than other seasons. She says to us, “Pause, savor, feel warmth on your skin.” It’s easy to miss her. She’s quiet, you know. She whispers from the bright red of strawberries that kiss your lips when you taste them. She beckons from waves that stretch out along the shore like a welcoming party. She calls your name through fireflies that invite you to dance in the early dark.
She’s God’s gift to us. A reminder of fullness and grace, rest and beauty, sweetness and abundance.
Will you take a few moments to listen to her with me today? I overlook her almost every year. Then I find myself at the end of September wondering how I missed all the wonder.
Step outside or glance out your window for a moment–just a moment–and look up at the sky. Feel the sun brush your skin, see the flowers dressed up in swimsuit colors, wave hello to a newly hatched robin taking her first hop across the lawn.
Each one is a miracle, ours for the enjoying.
Like strawberries on the vine.

Friday, June 21, 2013

In honor of sweet baby Olivia is the court date when the judge says Olivia is officially home!!  So excited for the sweet family

Monday, June 10, 2013


I've been reading about God's sovereignty recently and pondering what it means for my life.
My belief that God is sovereign doesn't take away the hard stuff or make the path easier, but it changes everything. Everything.

I'm loving these words by Chip Ingram:

“Because God is sovereign and He loves you, nothing will ever come into your life that He does not eitherdecree or allow. Consequently, no matter what you face in life, you can take comfort in the fact that God is sovereign.”—Chip Ingram

I also an enjoying this song by Chris Tomlin -