Grateful For….

I am grateful for all the different ways you reach out to me Lord or for what you have given me to enjoy: 

  • a hug
  • a kind word
  • sunshine
  • spring breeze
  • spring snow
  • prayers of friends
  • a listening ear
  • drinking a cup of hot tea
  • curling up on the sofa under a blanket watching tv
  • phone calls 
  • a job which helps pay our bills

I am sure there are many others ways or things you provide for me daily that I don’t even realize. Help me to see with your eyes all that I have to be grateful for.  

 

 

Help Me in My Brokenness

Dear Jesus,

I have done lots of dealing with past issues in my life.  I have been in my recovery group for many years now and in counseling on and off.  You have shown yourself to me time and time again.  You have been there walking in the darkness with me.  You have been faithful to be there even during the times I don’t feel like you are there.

I am in that place again. Where I feel broken deep inside.  Fear rises suddenly and forcefully.  It overwhelms me when it happens. It comes from a place deep inside me, hidden from most people in the dark corners of my heart and mind.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.  Psalm 139: 11-12 (NIV)

I know when I walk into the deep places inside me that seem dark that they are not dark to you. You are the light that shine in the darkest parts of my heart.  Help me to trust you in my brokenness.  Help me to have courage to walk with you in those dark places.

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it wasour pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong withus.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.  

 He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.  Isaiah 53:2-9 (The Message) 

You have been broken.  You know the abuse I suffered.  You know the assaults I had happen.  You felt the betrayal and brokenness that I feel.  You have also provided friends who walk with me through all of this and they still love me and accept me.  Help me to depend upon you in my brokenness.   Help me to say not my will but yours.  Walk with me.  Hold me.  Give me your courage.  Give me your strength.

Love,

Katie

Wounded Heart

I fell at work several weeks ago, an accident.  Wounded, I waited to see if it would heal, but after a week, it didn’t, so I went to the doctor.  Sprained elbow/Tendinitis of the elbow is the diagnosis.  No lifting with that arm over five pounds.

What about the wounds that you can not see or feel physically?

Wounds of the Heart? Wounds so deep that they are buried from your past.  How do those heal?

The saying “Time heals all wounds” just isn’t true sometimes.  I found that wounds from my past hurt more as time went on.  They were hidden deep inside.  I started having flashbacks.  I was paralyzed with fear at times.  I have felt like I am in a dark pit of pain and hurt inside my heart.  Everything I do is harder right now, including my writing.

Jesus knew pain.  He suffered.  He was wounded.

Beaten

Bruised

Pierced.

Crucified

He was betrayed by those close to HIM.  People mocked HIM. Others turned their backs on HIM.

Yet Jesus still chose to have these things happen to him.

HE KNOWS PAIN.

HE KNOWS SUFFERING.

He chose it out of LOVE for you and me.

Remembering God’s love for me keeps me going in the times that are tough.

What wounds do you hide?  Who do you share them with? Share with someone today.

 

Worthy of Being HIS Special Girl

Today has been a day of tears and feeling like I am worthless and nothing.  I received a honor at work yesterday, 1st shift associate of the month.  Instead of feeling thrilled, I wonder why I was chosen?  I doubt that I am good enough or do enough or am enough.  I feel worthless and wonder why can even God love me?

Imagephoto credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/403831600/”>Pin

I know God loves me… but so often I doubt it even though I know the truth. I doubt it so often due too so much of the struggles I have had. I have had moments where I feel HIS presence and comfort and love. Other times I don’t at all and feel I am in a waste land.

Imagephoto credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/justintosh/759210960/”>Justin Lowery</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

This is when I rely on scripture and friends to help me through and remembering where I have come from and what God has revealed to me in the past. So often just remembering MY story and the intimate times with him has helped me be able to claim the TRUTH that I am loved by God. It is what is getting me through now when I am once again not feeling like HE is there or loving me. It is helping me connecting with others and their stories.

Reading Psalm 139 over and over and over. Psalm 139 — shows his pursuit and boundless love. Where ever I try to flee and hide myself, God is there. Darkness is not dark to HIM, for he is the light which makes darkness.    Sometimes my head and heart don’t agree…. I often wonder how to make the head knowledge into heart knowledge and the truth is I can’t. It often happens only through spending time with God, being still and letting HIM continue to reveal himself to me. Right now my head and heart are not matching up. But that is where remembering Psalm 139 has helped because I want to just run and hide when I don’t feel it in my heart and I hurt.

Reading Psalm 139 over and over and over. Psalm 139 — shows his pursuit and boundless love. Where ever I try to flee and hide myself, God is there. Darkness is not dark to HIM, for he is the light which makes darkness.  Remembering HIS promises of scripture which is TRUTH.

Sometimes my head and heart don’t agree…. I often wonder how to make the head knowledge into heart knowledge and the truth is I can’t. It often happens only through spending time with God, being still and letting HIM continue to reveal himself to me. Right now my head and heart are not matching up. But that is where remembering Psalm 139 has helped because I want to just run and hide when I don’t feel it in my heart and I hurt.

As I sat at Pertle Springs today, reading my Bible and crying, God saw and heard my heart even when I could not utter a word.  He knows what is going on in my heart better than I do.  He sees me in my darkest hour and darkest corners of my heart, yet he loves me.  I am worthy.  I am HIS SPECIAL GIRL (as Bonnie over at Faith Barista also reminded me today.)  God is here with me… is the TRUTH.  I trust this truth, even when my feelings do not match up.  I was reminded of this today, several times.  I was reminded when my own words, many of them above were emailed back to me by a dear friend, Ann, asking if she can use them in a lesson she will be teaching in a couple of weeks.  (Ann and her husband Ben have a blog here).

I am loved, I am worthy.  I am HIS.

Women’s History Month – Day 11

When Krista asked me to write on the topic of a time I felt beautiful, I immediately felt great sadness and fear, yet I did not skip a beat and said yes to her for writing on this topic.  I am honored to have Krista as a friend who has encouraged me to see inside myself and reflect on what is going on in my heart.

I don’t think I am beautiful, not deep in my heart.  I can’t think of one time I truly felt beautiful.  Every time I look in a mirror I see something that is wrong with me…………. 

To read the rest of the story go to Reviving Identity, Krista’s blog.   

Learning How to Let Myself Be WORTHY

I am worthy.  I am worthy of spending time for myself.  I am worthy of spending money on myself.  I am worthy of taking care of myself.  I am worthy.  I am worthy, all the time!!!  Since God showed me my one word for the year, it goes through my mind all the time.  So I am trying to take the time to do things that I am worthy of doing.

I am worthy of taking care of me.  I took time to schedule the yearly doctor appointments that most women understand.  I had avoided and put off the yearly mammogram, but at my doctor appointment I was gently reminded of the importance of it especially with my family history.   So I went for my first ever appointment.  I received a letter a week later stating that an abnormality was found and I needed to contact my doctor’s office for the results (and it came on a Saturday).

TERROR struck me deep down inside.  I called my doctor’s office the next Monday morning early and talked with the staff.  They contacted the hospital and got my results.  I needed to be retested.  My head said all the right things, it could be nothing, just a cyst or calcite deposit or some dense tissue.  Yet deep inside I was thinking cancer without saying anything.  I told my husband.  He said the sweetest and most guy thing in the world, “You would still be the most beautiful women in the world to me even if you no longer have your breasts.”  (His mind had jumped to the extreme, mine had not).

I talked to some people got them praying and emailed or private messaged on Facebook to please pray.  I have had lots of support.  I calmed down and prayed the Serenity Prayer everyday.  Finally the retesting took place.  It still showed something, so right then and there they gave me an ultrasound, instead of making me have another appointment.  This hospital gave me my results right there that day.  NO CANCER!!  I have cyst and have to have it looked at again in six months.  For me it is a CELEBRATION!  Praising God!!!  My heart still prays for those I know who haven’t gotten this good news.

I am worthy of taking a day off and celebrating ME.  I made an appointment to get my haircut and styled.  I just told them I was out celebrating.  I was planning on leaving it there, but they wanted to know so I told them, I found out NO CANCER!!!  My stylist, refused payment.  I still tried to pay.  The owner came over and said no it is our treat.  I was blessed by the kindness of others, so I just thanked them.  So then I took myself to my favorite place to eat.  I enjoyed a couple of pots of tea with good soup and sandwich, while I read my book.

I went to the lake and got out my Bible study and worked on it for a bit.  I soon started to cry.  Tears of relief, tears of shame, tears of unworthiness.  I did not deserve to be spared of having cancer, it is only by God’s grace.  I did not deserve to be treated to a haircut and style.  I did not deserve to have friends love me enough to pray for me, but they did anyway.  I did not deserve any of the above.  But God said to my heart, YOU ARE.  You are worthy, my dear one.  You are always.  I heard the song Overcomer by Mandesa on the radio.  The tears came harder as I realized at this moment this song was for me.

I am worthy of being loved by others. I took time to reach out and let people know I needed some prayer and support and I got it.  I had several friends praying.  I now have several friends who are rejoicing with me.  And more than friendships, I have my dear husband who has been there through all of my ups, downs, tears, fears, yelling, praying, praising, rejoicing.  I am loved and I am worthy of it, from friends, from family and from God!  Yet even if I had received bad news, I still would have been worthy.  I would have been surround by them loving me.  Even if I had bad news God would still have been there and I would still have loved him.

Today I learned relaxing and pampering myself are good for my soul.  Sitting by the lake being quiet and doing my Bible Study is good for my soul.  As I sit here and type this tears are silently streaming down my face.  I AM worthy of doing what is good for me, always.

What are you learning?  What is God teaching you?

Love? Really?

Beloved.  

A word that stirs up conflict within my soul.  Somewhere I picked up the idea that letting others love me was something I was not worthy of.  It is something I struggle to receive from others and from God.

Worthy of love?  Really?

You all don’t know me and my heart like I do, so it can’t be true.  It is a lie I tell myself so often. It is a struggle to think of myself worthy of close friendships.  It is a struggle to trust others with what is inside of me.

Truth be told none of us are worthy of God’s love for we are all sinners.  Yet he loves me and you despite that.  He loves us enough to die for us and make each of us worthy.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” Song of Songs 6:3″

Worthy of love? Really?

Yes, I am.  Yes, you are.

Beloved.  

One Word 2014

sheiskatie

Inspired by Bonnie over at Faith Barista, I did something last week that is NOT me.  I invited some friends to come celebrate my birthday with me.  They were friends from my recovery group.  It wasn’t the actually day of my birthday, but it was the day we were free to come together and celebrate.

The fear I had was overwhelming, just inviting people to do something outside of my safe recovery group, even though those I invited were safe people.  Maybe they would all have to work?  Maybe the bad weather should cancel it?  I had some medical stress of a loved one just days before, so I almost cancelled it.  I take care of others, when I was a childcare provider, of my husband who has a chronic illness.  I take care of what needs to be done at work.  I don’t do things for me.

But I took the time to go and celebrate.  I had said, no presents, each of us pay our own check, including me.  We got to the place I picked out and it was closed.  So I waited outside in the cold and snow for the others to show up, since I had no way of calling, my cell phone was out of minutes.  I thought I had gathered all who said they were coming and we headed someplace else, a second choice.  I was disappointed, but decided to make the best of it.  We went and talked and just had some fun being together.  It came time to pay and my friends each took some extra money out and paid my bill.  I had gotten some things more expensive to treat myself.

I did not expect this generosity.  Instead of making a scene, I just said thank you.  I went home and started to cry.  I couldn’t figure out why I was crying at first.  Finally I realized I did not feel worthy of them paying for me.  Why would they want to do that?  Why would anyone want to treat me? I am not worthy of them loving me.  I am not worthy of the kindness shown.  I just did not feel like I was worthy to be loved by others in any fashion at all.  So often my own anxiety and depression make me feel so lost and alone.

Luke 15 is parables of things that are lost and the lengths the owners go to find them, a sheep, a coin, and a son.  Many of us know the story of the Prodigal Son.  Just picturing the Father running and hugging his son and then giving him a party because he was his son, no matter how he had messed up.  He was worthy just because he was his son and was home again.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  Romans 8:17 

“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:7

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7

I was the lost sheep, coin, daughter. I am a daughter of Christ.  It is was hard celebrating me.  I learned it is ok to celebrate me.  So for the year of 2014, I am focusing on one thing, worthy.  I am worthy of all the good things, not just the bad things that happen.  I am worthy to be celebrated.  I am worthy of friendships that are close.  I am worthy of prayers and tears of others on my behalf.  I am worthy of celebrating.  I am worthy of dancing to songs in the middle of my kitchen if I feel like it (my friend does this a lot and I like that she celebrates).  I am worthy of love.  I am WORTHY.

My Year of Letting Go…. and Trusting God.

For several years now I have had a one word or one thing that I have thought God was leading me to think about and learn.  Last year it was Letting Go. As I look back over this last year of letting go, I see so much of what I have let go of.  I have let go of some fears, while still struggling with other fears.  I have let go of friendships, in person as friends have moved away.   Yet they are my Grace Friends and I cherish the times spent together. I have also reached out and found new friends.  I have let go of a dream.  I have a new job which I continue to learn.  

In many ways I have failed to Let Go, and Trust God.  I have struggled with many fears and continue to struggle and hold onto them.  I don’t know how to let go.  I wrestle with fears every day.  Fear of my husband dying.  Fear of abandonment. Fear of how the bills will be paid.  Fear of failure.  Fear of trusting others with my heart.  Fear of so many things, I can’t think of all of them at this moment.  

Yet through the fear I still see God providing.  We have paid bills that I have no idea how they have been paid.  We have arranged small payments on some and others the money was provided.  I found full time work in the bakery, one way we have been able to met some of the bills.  I have told others my heart and they have prayed and cried with me through the difficult times.  I have often been angry with God through this process.  I have told him that I was angry.  So even when I haven’t totally let go… I have still trusted God, even when I am angry.  

I have been praying for what my “one thing” is for the new year and don’t have an answer yet.  Maybe I will continue with Letting Go and Trusting God.  He has done that where I have kept the same thing for more than one year.   For now I will continue as I am with letting go and trusting God.  

How are you trusting God?  What have you learned this last year?  

 

Overwhelmed?

What do you do when you are overwhelmed? 

I shut down or I start to panic. 

I force myself to keep going at the task that overwhelms me. 

I get it done, but it is late. 

Over and Over this keeps happening. 

 

Fear overwhelms me.  

Fear of being judged. 

Fear of disappointing others. 

Fear of unknown consequences. 

Is this always going to happen? 

What to do? 

Where do I turn? 

 

I swallowed my pride. 

I asked for help to improve my performance. 

 

They responded with a listening ear. 

They responded by helping me. 

They responded by letting me know it was ok to ask for help. 

 

Yet I realized this afternoon, I need to also swallow my pride and ask God for his help in the situation. I need to tell him my troubles.  I need his help more than anyone else’s help.  So just as I asked others for help, I ask God for help when I am overwhelmed.  I am still learning this. It does not come naturally to me.  I hope I can continue to learn this and grow in this area.