Archive for August, 2014

Worship. Here’s how the online dictionary describes it:

worship
[wur-ship]
noun
1.
reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2.
formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage:
They attended worship this morning.

So what’s my point? Yes I do have one so let me proceed.

Worship is more than knowing the lyrics to your favorite hymn or worship song. I’m sure it brings God great joy when we lift up our voices to honor Him. So much so that for eternity we get to worship at His throne in Heaven.

Worship is also about prayer. I believe the worship side of prayer is when we get to thank God not only for what He’s done but for WHO He is. It must bring great joy to God when we put aside our “list” of things we want to ask Him and just tell Him why we love him.

When I was growing up my dad prayed this way and I didn’t even realize it until today. In fact, thinking back, what I most remember about my dad’s prayers (by the way, he’s still living) is the fact that his prayers were and are always filled with worship and praise and appreciation for who God is.

I never really thought about it until just now but I realized that he, in turn, taught me how to pray. If you’re family with the Lord’s Prayer, even Jesus Himself prayed this way.

If you believe in God stop now and take a moment to worship God through prayer. Tell Him why and how you love Him. I encourage you to do this and have no motive….nothing you need to ask Him, just worship him through prayer today.

Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name…

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Words have power. We all have heard that. We have probably all felt good at the accolades from another and felt bad from the hurtful words of another.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.

What a dumb, dumb phrase some of us were taught and used as children!

Emotional abuse. Many hear that and immediately think, well it can’t be THAT serious. Verbal abuse can be yelling but it’s so much more than that. Emotional abuse is hard to put into words and I’ve lived through it.

For me emotional abuse was like being held down in cold water only to be let up once in a while to breathe. Quick breath then whoosh, back into the water that threatened to drown me.

Even though I am out of my marriage I still to this day cannot fathom how someone who professed to love me forever could do and say the things he did. It still doesn’t compute even though I quite well versed in abuse. Hundreds of hours of counseling later and I have come to this revelation.

I may never fully understand it. Some people get lost in the hurt and I did too for a while, a long while. One poignant email is seared in my mind. The person wrote telling me that essentially he was a race car, speeding along and that I was a klunker. I’ll admit I’m no Ferrari but neither was he. That is so beside the point.

I wish that I could unread that email. It was years ago. I’ve forgiven him many times (not because he asked but because I needed to, for me).

Forgiveness is a process. And it’s often something that requires ongoing forgiveness if that person is still in the outskirts of your life. 70×7.

Words have the power to build up and destroy. Words can rally an army to victory and words can cause a person to give up on life. Pick your words carefully and speak to others as you hope they’d speak to you.

I will not forget but I choose to forgive.

Parenting is not for the weak hearted. It is, for those of us who cherish our role as parents, one of the profound relationships around.

Parenting is not easy. Yes I realize this is not profound but we need to just say it more. I’m as guilty as the next mom of putting happy faced photos of my children on Facebook. We all do it.

Moms need other moms. Like Kindergarten we too need a buddy system. I encourage you to look for others in your life with whom you can journey together. Learn from the wisdom of moms who’ve been through it before you and pass on your wisdom to younger moms.

You might laugh at me for saying that I’m a private person as yes you are reading a very public blog, but I am. My pastor spoke about the function of walls like around a city and how that translates and is relatable to a person and boundaries. Very good stuff.

After my divorce I closed all the gates into my city and stayed within my walls to protect myself and to heal from “battle.” God’s been working powerfully in my life and for the first time I’ve started to openly admit to others, other women, that I am not perfect. Yes you say, a shocker. Duh. As a child might say.

Patenting as a single mom now (divorced) has untold challenges. I encourage all you women with intact families and marriages to adopt a single mom. Because my guess is we could use it.

You might not realize it but just being invited over to hang out with a ” real” family would be like the lottery. Often being a single mom feels like the loneliest job sometimes but I know it’s not. God created us to live in community and that means functioning as a community.

Think of one person today that you would like to learn from and think of one mom that you can walk alongside of today. Pray for opportunities to learn and to share with others what you have learned. BE the community you long for. It starts with you.

This week we lost a beloved comedian, Robin Williams, to suicide. It has sparked much news coverage and also talk about suicide and depression.

I’ve been dismayed by some of the comments from Christians about depression. The same old dogma. What I don’t think people realize is that it makes them appear not compassionate.

If you’re not a medical professional and if you or someone you know and loved been suicidal then stop talking like you know what you are talking about!

I’m not defending the choice Robin Williams made to end his life but I’ve been in that dark of a place many times, when it honestly didn’t feel like a choice…

I’ve hurt so badly that I wanted to die. I made plans but I got help. I’ve stood on the top of a tall lookout planning to jump. I’ve hurt myself. I’ve held a bottle of pills and almost took them all.

Yes I have bipolar disorder but I’m also a Christian. One does not preclude the other. I have a vibrant, very real and authentic faith in God. But I struggle with mental illness that sometimes makes me lose sight of my faith. It’s in those times that I want to give up.

For me the moments when I felt the darkness and felt there was no light I was not alone. Some of those times were where I grew in my faith in God the most. God can take broken people and make beautiful things from them. Sometimes He even lets us break so we can realize how much we truly need God.

Throughout my life I’ve heard countless people talk about depression and their answer is to just “pray about it.” Simple and simplistic. Start with that then go see your doctor, have your thyroid checked, get a physical, see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Grow in your faith too but realize that spouting a simple cliche is not the answer.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please get help today. If you have thoughts of suicide call 911 immediately. Each life is precious.

Show compassion in the way that we treat the broken hearted. Show compassion in our dialogue about depression, mental illness, suicide and our beliefs of faith.

I wish that I could explain to my oldest daughter what the last 14 years have been like. Bitter and sweet mixed together in an almost lethal cocktail.

People, maybe even her, might think the emotional abuse I endured wasn’t real and frankly sometimes I wish it weren’t but it was. The worst thing was that it came from someone I loved so very much. It came from my best friend, my love, my husband. Sometimes I wish that I could close my eyes and wish it all away but it doesn’t work like that.

I wish that I could tell her how far I’ve come, how far God’s brought me. It wasn’t that many years ago that I was so depressed that I no longer wanted to live. But I chose life and do you know the main reason? I couldn’t leave those precious little girls without a mother. So I prayed a lot, spent every Wednesday night in counseling for years, found a church, a job and I am rebuilding my life for this part of the journey.

Sure, it’s much different than I had planned for my life but it is what it is. Today when the feelings of anger and hurt threatened to bubble to the surface I put them aside. I made a conscious choice to not let my feelings win.

I’ve cried an ocean of tears over the last few years. I will never forget my daughter asking me a question once. My ex had filed for divorce but hadn’t bothered to serve me with papers. My world came crashing down and the tears could not be held back. My children were little and did not know what was happening. I remember my oldest angel sitting next to me on our sofa saying “mama, mama, why are you crying?” And I just kept sobbing because I knew what was coming but wanted to spare her if even for a few more days. So she sat with me as I cried. I would give anything to have spared her (them) from watching those tears.

My children have seen their mama cry many many times. It happens less now and there is way more laughter than tears now.

I really do feel like I won the lottery when God blessed me with my two girls. I also hope that my oldest will continue to give me grace as I tell my story to the world.

Hurt. Control. Manipulation. Betrayal.

These are just some of the tools in the arsenal for the emotionally abusive person. Small people use them to feel big but really it just shows how small they really are.

Betrayal hurts no matter who does it but when it comes from someone who used to be family it is especially poignant. Abuse is never okay no matter the type.

Recovering from being in an abusive relationship is complicated and a journey. Six years out of mine and I have come so far but there is still more to learn, more healing to do. More forgiving.

Things happen. Situations happen and I’m whisked back to a time when most of what I felt was hurt. Unless you’ve lived through it you cannot imagine the almost PTSD like symptoms. That adrenaline that kicks in that floods your body….fight or flight.

Many years ago I got hives all the time from all the stress I was encountering. It was a outward sign of the inner turmoil. The type of stress that about caused my body to stop functioning.

So here I lay, writing both to process things and in the hopes that perhaps God could use broken ole me and my story to help someone else.

To write about God’s Grace and how God rescued me and holds me even now in his hands. The all powerful God of our universe knows my name and knows exactly how many hairs are on my head at this very second.

I matter. Not because of who I am but because of who He is.