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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Is God a liar?

When I was in the 4th or 5th grade my sister and I had matching outfits (I know embarrassing). One of the matching outfits will forever be engraved in my mind.  It was a white turtle neck with a v- neck purple sweater over it.  We had dark jeans with purple flowers all over them and some type of flats.   I can still see those outfits so vividly in my mind.   In the neighborhood I grew up in there were several kids all throughout. We all were pretty close and together we had so many adventures.  Directly across the street was a guy who always had lots of his friends over and we would love to hang out with them. They were older and we thought they were so cute so we would spy and act like we were interested in their “boy” activities.  I remember one time my friend and I along with my sister decided to join the guys across the street in his back yard.  He had a creek that ran behind his house and they were doing boy stuff and so we joined in. We jumped from one side of the creek to the other, walked across HUGE fallen trees and slid down mud embankments.   I mean we were in it to win it.  However this particular day I had on this lovely outfit that I mentioned a second ago and as I slid down the embankment dark red mud also slid with me onto these beautiful purple flowered jeans.  Mom was at work and I thought what in the world am I going to do.  As we returned home I grabbed my sister’s clothes along with mine and I put them into the washing machine.  The problem was that I had no idea how much detergent to put in so I just poured A LOT in.  It worked but It spilled out all over the laundry room and into the kitchen and there were bubbles ALL over the place. I was freaking out and needless to say I got into some major trouble because lie after lie came out of my mouth on how we got our new clothes so muddy and why there was hardly any detergent left.  There is a common theme among the stories of girls that I hear.  Throughout their lives people's words led them to deep rooted negative thoughts and that in return led them to find fulfillment in something other than God.   A girl once said her father was so distant and gave her no attention that she looked for guys to fill up this longing in her heart to feel wanted and loved.  As a girl who felt the same way growing up I look back now and I see it all started with words that were either words I longed to hear or words that hurt me.   I needed to hear I was beautiful and loved but because my dad didn’t give me those words and boys did I would run to them with open arms.  I would take such mean words from people because I was desperate for truth and yet lies filled my heart and my mind.   Any given song on the radio is all about love or  has to do with having a boyfriend.  Girls long to be complete and when the songs says” I will give you everything you need so baby just trust me” a girl melts and desires for those words to  PROVE true.  I came across a scripture in Proverbs - chapter 5 verse 3 – Every WORD of God proves TRUE, He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.   As I read this verse and let it sink in I realize that when I struggle with my worth, or allow thoughts to invade my actions, or worry about things out of my control I am really calling God a liar.  WOW…. I am calling the Creator of the universe the very one who created my mouth, my heart, my mind and my innermost being a LIAR!  He says I am a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) and I say I am not. He says He is enthralled by my beauty (Psalm 45:11) and I talk about my body in a negative way.  I worry about my future and He says He has equipped me and wants to blow my mind (Ephesians 3:20).  God's word PROVES TRUE!  There is nothing I can do, or say or even get lost in that will fulfill that place within me that longs for truth. God is truth and His words should be the only words I cling to for completion.   His words should be the very thing that drives me to love people. His words should be the only words I look to as a means of provision.  His words pierce darkness and illuminate the areas of our hearts where brokenness once was and restoration now stands.  God’s words brings redemption and yet we turn to the words of people from our past or current friendships to guide us to shape us and to mold who we are.  Trying to measure up to someone will only leave you empty and frustrated. It’s time to start walking in the confidence that you are equipped to BE YOU and leave the results up to God.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

one day at a time... breathe in breathe out

I went to the doctor on Monday with such high expectations of moving from a cast to two pair of shoes.  I am not sure why I convinced myself of this because out of the 41/2 weeks of being in a cast I was barely able to put any pressure on my foot.  So when she said I was going to move into a boot I was disappointed yet ecstatic to finally be out of that cast.  I walked out of the doctor’s office with one crutch and a half smile on my face.  I got in the car with this HUGE black thing on my leg and as I walked into the house looking like captain Barbosa from pirates of Caribbean I was relieved because with the boot I could remove it for showering and to shave my WOLFMAN leg!!  Later that night I loaded the sink up with dishes and by the time darkness fell outside I was in such severe pain that I cried like a baby for 2 straight hours.  I was so frustrated because I couldn’t find any medicine in my house to help with my pain.  I found stomach medicine, allergy medicine; pink eye drops but not PAIN MEDICATION!  Finally my friend brought me something and I finally felt a little relief before I fell asleep.  This week is a new week of being at home with new struggles and new thoughts about why in the world I have to go back through such intense pain.  The doctor said it was normal because of the way I injured my foot/ankle.  I literally have to teach all the muscle and ligaments how to function again and it is so painful that it brings tears to my eyes.  This journey has been 5 weeks already and I have 3 more weeks of not driving.  As I sat today in my same chair and looked at the gorgeous blue sky outside I could feel God saying “Holly I want you to take ONE day at a time”.  I realized that I had my eyes and heart set on the day I was getting my cast off and when it didn’t happen the way I thought it would frustration set in all over again.  God’s perfect positioning of my life is what makes a beautiful story.  It’s doing things my way that turns it into a nightmare haha.  I have had severe pain already for two days straight and I feel like I am starting this process all over again.  God pushed me to rest in His presence in the first part and now I am learning to take every day, every moment and every second with a deep breath.  Bad news isn’t meant to knock the breath out of us; I believe it is a moment we get to breathe in the very breath of our Creator as we face the circumstance or pain that is before us.  This past Sunday before our Easter service began Sally my husband’s assistant was praying and she said something that I can’t get over.  She said on the cross Jesus didn’t fight back. WOW.. Everything in us is always ready to jump back. When we are riding down the road and someone shows road rage most people are ready to flip them off and chase them down ha, or if someone hurts you we want them to feel our pain. But even on the cross without a spot of sin in his life Jesus didn’t fight back.  I am learning to take one day at a time and truly embrace that the circumstances surrounding me is a chance for me to choose surrender rather than giving into the negativity that I certainly could bring out.  Why fight back really when I know that God’s plans are perfect.   Right now it’s 4:02 and in this moment I am listening to incredible worship music as my dog sits at the end of my blanket and as I breathe out frustration, disappointment and fear I lean into the heart of my Creator and breathe in His strength, His power and know that tomorrow is already been taken care of. J

Psalm 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Philippians 4:6-7 The MSG   Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Friday, April 6, 2012

what if we would have been there......

One of the many things I love about my husband is his ability to remember things.  He can tell you even now who every person was in his 1st grade class and where they sat.   It’s amazing how certain dates and certain things can trigger those places in our brains and we can remember the craziest details.   I thought about today and how the people who stood by and watched a week of events unfold around the crucifixion of Jesus must have felt.  Some stood chanting crucify Him while a few disciples, some women and his mother had knots in their stomachs while they watched someone they truly loved and believed in be beat to death.  We allow the media to enrage us over hate crimes and I will often watch a First 48 show and be outraged by a brutal killing.  This morning I thought about the aftermath of Jesus’s death. Did anyone of those people go to bed that night and think- what have I done?  Was that really the Messiah? Did they feel anything at all except the rage that was yelled in the piercing of their crucify Him? Did they look back each year and feel an empty pit in their stomach?    I thought about Mary and her heart being ripped from her chest as she watched the man she raised with an intense love for take whip after whip, the flesh being ripped from his back and chest and did she cringe to the point of shaking? All of these questions are plaguing my mind this morning as I sit here thanking Jesus for what He did on the cross.  I can’t imagine seeing it all happen. But what if I would have seen it?  Would I have been less likely to make food an idol in my life? Would I show deep love for people? Would I not have made bad choice after bad choice growing up? … WOW The cross represents so much and today as you prepare for Easter egg hunts or dress shopping, dying eggs or just relaxing with your family know that when Jesus went to the cross He wanted to relieve you from guilt, from your shame that you carry deep within you.   He wanted to you to feel the intensity of His love for you!!  You are FORGIVEN now walk in that freedom!!

Luke 23:21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

let the weed pulling begin...

Today is Thursday and it’s absolutely gorgeous outside! The birds are chirping in tune as the breeze blows this amazing dance of colors all throughout my yard. Every flower is in bloom and I am just blown away at God’s beautiful picture today. I then thought about the massive down pour of rain that’s on its way for tomorrow. The sky will be dark, the trees won’t look so graceful and the flowers will sag from the heavy rain. But I thought about what tomorrow represents. The day my savior was beaten and killed for me to have the most beautiful bloom of forgiveness, redemption, dreams and freedom in my life! My step dad has always had a garden full of so many types of vegetables. From peppers, tomatoes, corn to cucumbers you name it. It would be in the middle of a scorching hot day and he would be tilling and pulling up weeds and watering them. I remember once in high school I was invited to a party and my dad told me to go out and pull the green beans up if I wanted to go. I did JUST THAT...I pulled the entire green bean plant (roots and all) up right out of the ground. I had no idea what he meant or how to take care of a garden. I had no idea what cultivate meant! To cultivate something means: 1 : to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops; also : to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants). God sends us the rain to grow us and to loosen the junk in our lives in order to grow us. We allow our past, and our hidden junk to grow within our hearts and then wonder why we feel so distant or why we feel so numb to the things of God. I am learning that even though storms pound me to the point of tears, or questions and unanswered prayers plague my mind or even interruption’s like a broken ankle seem to be the very things that are cultivating my heart to be more like Christ. It’s also in the middle of all of the chaos that God sends a refreshing rain on my life and on my heart. Just like the green bean story I had NO idea what it meant to pull green beans so I screwed up the entire GREEN BEAN GARDEN! My dad knew how to take care of green beans because it was a daily thing for him. He cultivated the garden and then he would WAIT on the growth. It’s a process and it often hurts to get rid of things in our lives. Just like my dad would spend hours in the HOT sun making sure his garden was ok. God wants to send a down pour into our lives but we have to prepare the field. Why not start with the weeds…


Ezekiel 36:34 (NIV)

34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.

Ezekiel 36:34 (The Message)

33-36 "'Message of God, the Master: On the day I scrub you clean from all your filthy living, I'll also make your cities livable. The ruins will be rebuilt. The neglected land will be worked again, no longer overgrown with weeds and thistles, worthless in the eyes of passersby. People will exclaim, "Why, this weed patch has been turned into a Garden of Eden! And the ruined cities, smashed into oblivion, are now thriving!" The nations around you that are still in existence will realize that I, God, rebuild ruins and replant empty waste places. I, God, said so, and I'll do it.