Addiction: Loving The Addict

1526521363334727932334.jpgGrowing up with a mom who was, and still is an alcoholic/addict, gives me some insight into addiction and it’s affects on the addict and those who love them. Being an addict for about 12 years of my life gives me even more insight. It’s something that is important to me. The horrible affects of it, is what brought me to a victorious life in Jesus. I wish I could say the same for my mom, but not yet.

Anyone can become an addict. Think about it. In all of your families, each one of you has at least one person who has become locked down by this curse. The cousin that over-eats to the point of needing assistance walking; who looks for comfort in food. The friend who shops and shops that has no money to do so; who sits underneath a mound of “things” and credit card bills. The brother who secretly watches X-rated movies behind closed doors; who slumps in his chair under shame. Everytime he closes his eyes, the images are etched into his mind. How does a person get away from such powerful things? Things that shape us and turn us into someone else. Not the “me” I once knew.

Anyone can become an addict.

I said I have some insight, but by no means am I close to being an expert. But I have some questions for us to ask ourselves. Why am I free and not my neighbor? Why does it take some a couple of years to get out from underneath and others a lifetime, like my mother?

Have you heard of the friend, (or maybe this was you once) that quit smoking for 5 or 10 years and then just picked it up again? We all think to ourselves, “I can’t understand that.”

Those I write about are the ones who can’t love themselves. How can they love themselves  and harm themselves at the same time? Many think that the addicted are lovers of themselves because they are only thinking of their desires. But maybe it’s because they simply don’t the know how to love themselves, that they harm themselves and those who do love them. The unloved, the lost and the lonely…they need our love. And more importantly they need to hear about God’s love.

As I was writing this, I responded to a like on my blog. So I went to that blog Heavensreef and ran smack dab into this article. Tap here.  to read about God’s will for the unloved, the ones who can’t but want to, love themselves.

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Light Of The World Award!!

Screenshot_2018-05-16-23-41-05-1.png I’ve been nominated for the Light of the World Award! Thank you Linda at Amazing God Stories

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image (pictured above) on your blog.
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
  6. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
  7. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
  8. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
  9. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  10. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  11. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  12. Proved them with a link to the Rules page.
  13. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  14. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

My Answers:

  1. 1) My blog is Honest, Encouraging and Fun
  2. 2) A Christian can shine for Christ by being kind, considerate and real. Having integrity(doing the right thing even when no one is looking)
  3. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
  4. I chose this song because we should all try to be more like Craig!

I nominate:

Maria at Pilgrim’s Progress because she’s comitted to seeing the lost brought Christ one blog at a time

Tracy at Be Still my sister-in-law because even though it’s dark right now her testimony still shines.

Lynnabbottstudios because Lynn, I have a feeling you’re alot like your mom…a light!

Bruce at Reasoned Cases for Christ because to be a light you need to be knowledgeable and passionate like Bruce.

Robert at MyGod,MyMusic,MyLife because he can use music to speak to the lost.

Pat at Beholding Him Ministries because she’s faithful, never misses a moment to encourage others to salvation

Heavensreef because she’s determined to see lives changed, to see all things work together for the good.

Karina Lam because is set on being a light, staying a light and shinning her light onto others

3 Day Quote Challenge…Day 3

Thank you Linda at Amazing God Stories  for nominating me for this challenge, I have enjoyed it. Linda has a great blog filled with stories of God’s love and redemption that she makes come to life with her drawings.

The rules of this challenge state you are to:

Name and thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

Present a quote and what it means to you

Name another blogger and provide a link to their blog 

1526430443860-825629019.jpgMy last quote is one that a dear friend told me when I was first saved…“The devil is a roaring lion…but he’s toothless” So often we give the devil, our adversary more credit than he deserves. Sometimes our troubles are just life and consequences of our actions, decisions made.

Yet, the Bible does warn us in 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I like to imagine him, as my friend showed me, without any teeth! Yes, he can sneak up on us all. But if you look closely, Peter shows us to be vigilant. This places power in our hands by being one step ahead, ready for what he tries to throw our way.

Luke 10:19 says, Look, I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 

This verse takes the teeth right out of that lion’s mouth!

I would like to nominate Marques Jeffries at Overcoming The Times Marques has a blog filled with good, godly knowledge, packed full of scripture. He touches on everything from spiritual warfare to describing the Proverbs 31 woman to a T. At the end of almost every post he faithfully addresses the lost and gives them opportunity to find the Lord. Isn’t that what we all should be about?

3 Day Quote Challange…Day #2

1526349486553-473286428.jpgI was nominated by Linda at Amazing God Stories for the 3 Day Quote challenge. She has a wonderful blog filled with talented stories that hit home everytime. I will give you a quote, tell you something about it, and then I will nominate a fellow blogger to carry the torch.

My quote today is “If God brought you to it, He’ll bring you through it.” This is a very popular quote. I have had the pleasure of reading it tattooed on people’s bodies, as I was trying to find an image to go with this post. I have a little parable for you to go with this one.

The man struck the match and lit the fire. He made sure he had enough wood to keep the fire burning hot. The job he had to do needed heat, at very high temps. He took a couldron down, off the shelf and placed it in the fire.

Next, the gold. He took the large, hardened, lump of gold and held it up to examine it closer. He could see the elements and impurities that kept it hard, that kept it from being softened, pure gold.  He could see the copper and the nickel that kept the gold rigid and coarse. These metals had been adhered to this potentially pure gold for many years, hidden away under the earth, in the dark. “The only way I can get these metals to seperate themselves away from the gold is to get them hot, very hot. 1,000 degrees hot.”

He placed the gold into the couldron, watching as the lump became a shiny liquid, so smooth looking. As he looked down onto it, he saw what he was waiting for. The heat had caused swirls of silvery color to come to the surface; it coiled itself throughout the gold color. He grabbed his skimming spoon, put it into the couldron and lightly skimmed off the silver color. Scooping it up and out of the gold, he cast it to the side.

He kept vigil on the gold, not leaving it’s side throughout the whole process. He watched the intensity of the fire, making sure to keep it at just the right temperature. Adding wood when needed. He would repeat the process of skimming and scooping out the dross, the impurities, until….he leaned over the couldron, gazed into the gold and saw his own image in the reflection of the gold. “The gold has been tried. It is pure of impurities and dross. It’s ready to come out of the fire,” The Refiner proclaimed!

1526349798292431504224.jpgToday I would like to nominate Ruth  at Planted By Living Water to continue on this fun challenge. She is a kind woman, whose words inspire. Her blog is well kept, with different aspects to offer. I enjoy her poems and her “Worship With Me” series is uplifting. Her posts are informative and helpful, as she never leaves you searching for an answer.

3 Day Quote Challenge…Day 1

1526269564877683573943.jpgI have been nominated by Linda at Amazing God Stories for the 3 Day Quote Challange! Linda has a great blog filled with animated artwork of her own to go with that day’s story. She’s talented and compassionate. She has overcome fear to be used by God. Check her out and follow her today.

I’m super excited. Over the course of 3 days I will post a quote and write about what it means to me. At the end of each day’s quote, I will pay it forward by nominating a fellow blogger.

My first quote is….drumroll please! “Dragging Chains Can Spark A Wildfire” Last year on our family roadtrip, which consisted of a 7 yr old and a 4 yr old in the backseat trying to behave but it’s just so hard on a 7hr drive. I saw a roadsign that said Dragging chains can spark a wildfire. I just loved it and put it on my phone. See, I’m the one that puts up the witty sayings on our church sign; I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for the latest, funniest quotes. I had never come across that one. It was up on our sign within days of our return from vacation.

Folks, do you realize that it was a roadsign? A real warning. That you can actually cause a fire by dragging chains behind your car? Well I never saw it that way.  I thought it was something encouraging that someone simply put on a billboard. When I read that, I imagined myself pulling chains: doubt, fear, regret, remorse, grief etc. behind me. And as I dragged this stuff around, there was sure to be a wildfire. A catastrophic event in my life. A meltdown, if you will. Or even losing what ground I had scraped by to gain in my walk with God. Over the past year since that, God has done a mighty work in me delivering me from shame. I no longer have to scrape by to feel God’s love and care for me. The shame was causing me to see a God sitting up there shaking his head and pointing His finger at me. I now see and know Him as my God who loves and accepts me.

I feel like a rose that has finally bloomed! And I’ll make sure my chains aren’t dragging behind my car down hot California highways either 🙂

1526269609175-969815568.jpgI would like to nominate Matt at Jesus Loves All. He is teaches refugees and immigrants English, as a profession. He also teaches them in his church. I believe he may be teaching them more than just our language but the language of God’s love as well. His blog is filled with stories and examples of how God places him in diverse cultures daily.

Addiction: A poem

1526246932152533666605.jpgThe chains I drag are a heavy burden.

From day to day, to week to week

A never ending cycle of pain and joy

Pain from the want, the strong desire

Joy from the getting, fulfilling

Or do I have pain when I get what I want?

And joy when I’m denied what I want?

 

The never ending cycle of looking and finding

Looking for what I need, I have to have

Finding the peace it brings to my mind and soul

Or do I look for peace and find the Peace Maker and find what I need, what I have to have?

Chainbreaker, Peace Maker, Heart-mender, Healer, Freer of Souls, Savior, Defender, Redeemer, Light in the Darkness…Restorer!

What kind of Cat Are You?

20180412_183736-1.jpgEven if you’re not a cat lover, stick around because this is about people more than it is about cats  =^..^=  Our nervous system was described to me like this…

When I would hear the word nervous system, I thought it meant how nervous someone was. I concluded I was on the high end of this scale. But that’s not really what it is. Each person is built and wired different. So many of us want to try to put others into our molds. Most of the time it’s because they are so different from us that it’s hard for us to relate to them. So if we try to change them to be like us, then interaction would be easier. But how many of us know that:  #1 You can’t change anyone, not really. And #2 people rarely change….(without God).

What if we embrace the differences in the “types” of others around us? I’m not talking about gender, religious orientation or race. Embrace those like, the lady with the loud mouth at the check out that gets under your skin. Or embrace those that are so shy you think they’re rude for just looking at you and not responding. Or what about that old man that has nothing ever nice to say and looks like he might bite your finger off if you get too close? You may be one of these I’ve described. I’m the loud mouth lady, by the way. But I’ve heard louder.

How does any of this have to do with cats? Here’s the deal. You ever seen a cat that comes up to you, rubs up against you, purrs and is friendly? Or what about the cat that takes the food out of your hand, then you go to pet it and the darn thing bites you! People are like cats. All cats are cats, but why do each of them seem to have a different demeanor? Why do some slink in the shadows and never come out in the light? Why do some hide behind a chair and when you’re walking by, attack your leg like it’s it’s going to yell out “tag, you’re it!” My 8 yr old is the type of cat that lays on your lap and purrs and snuggles all day long. While my 5 yr old is the kitten hiding behind the chair ready to strike! My 23yr old daughter is the cat in the road who watches you drive by, then startles and runs. In a perfect world I would be the cat that sleeps 23 hrs a day. How about you?

It’s in our make up, who we are. Think of those around you…and ask yourself what kind of cat are they? This trick may help you to embrace the differences in that person and help you to “excuse” their behavior.

 

 

Do You Recognize These Women? Part 2

20170514_125041-1.jpgIn order for me to tell you about the best mother of all, you must know about my real mother. She was careless with me. She abandoned me several times and kept me at arm’s length when she was around.

All I wanted as a child was a mom. I would go to mine time and time again only to be batted away like a pesky housefly. (Little did I know how that behavior would influence me on finding a man to love me properly.) There were never trips to the mall or meals out to eat with her. There were no secrets whispered or long talks late into the night on how to help me with my social skills and my insecurities. There were no hugs but a handful. And those were awkward quick hugs that left me wondering what was wrong with me. There was no “Oh I picked this up for you or thought you might need that” kind of conversations. There was her and never me.

I would let go of that need and longing  for her in my teens. But I would start a habit of attaching myself onto my friend’s moms. Which wasn’t always helpful when that mom wasn’t much better than the one I was trying to replace.

But God restored to me a mom! My husband’s mother. And if no one reads this post but her then I’ve done a good job; her opinion is what matters in the end to me.

There’s the caring mom, the faithful mom, the prayerful mom as I posted yesterday. But the mom I have now far above exceeds any of this I’ve decsribed. The reason is, she’s my mom. She loves me unconditionally! Seriously, she does. She prays for me, she cheers me on, she’s gentle towards me and she simply loves me. Mostly she was the main influence in bringing me to Jesus.

Took me many years to see that her love was just that and only that…love. She would buy me a shirt and I would worry and wonder why. Did my clothes not measure up? Was she controlling and trying to make me dress the way she liked? She would pick up food items, extras for us when she found a good sale on something. For me, I’m trying to figure why would she buy us food? Does she think we need more food in our cupboards? Did I not buy her son’s favorite food, so she was getting it for him? Strange, odd behavior to me. What was even more strange was she would actually want to spend time with our kids! Yeah you heard me rght. And when she was with them, she was enjoying herself. Who does this kind of stuff? I didn’t know. I never had experienced that before. But as time went on and God changed me, cleaned me out and filled me up, I began to see that these acts, are acts of love♡. And I began to trust her. And love her.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you were to set your bar, to her bar you’d have a hard time reaching, I guarantee you that. I do strive everyday to try to be more like her.

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Do You Recognize These Women?

1525887460805-2043967317.jpgWith Mother’s day coming this weekend, I want to make mention of some mothers I’ve known. These women may be the same women in your lives that impact you with their different types of qualities, all leading to strength, endurance and love.

We have our biological mothers, our step-moms, and the mother-in-law. Some of us have grandmas who became moms as well. We see a trend happening where many grandmothers are stepping up and raising their grandchilden. We even have aunts that can be a mom to us as well.

I’ve written here and there about a woman who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, which is in now in remission, praise God! She has such a “mom personality.” She’s the kind that doesn’t judge or fix. She is the type to watch and stay quiet, yet all the while she’s praying for you and your ability to give your kids all that you can. I know that while this woman was fighting the nasty, debilitating effects of chemo, she would say a prayer for me and my children. That is strength. The strong mom.

There’s another type of mom I know who fixes. But I say that kindly. There’s not a time that I can’t call her and simply vent. She will gently ask me questions like, “Did you apologize after you said that?” Or she may say, “I did that too once and I did this or that to get over it.” This is the type of woman you’ll hear from 3 or 4 days later asking how you are after all of that? Or I was thinking about you when I heard this song, listen to it it may help. The caring mom.

I know a woman who is strong in her way of seeing things around her. She’s strong in her faith and her “giving it to God” ability. She has four grown children. Two of them she has to give to God more than the other two. I’ve seen glimpses of worry and stress she has for them over the years I have known her. I have also witnessed her to very soon give those over to God as well. She is always hopeful, always letting things go and always there to help me see the simplicity of problems that I can make HUGE. The faithful mom.

I watched a few mothers of teenagers too. I feel for these moms and I fear for my turn at it! But I will remember them and their ways of getting through these years with their children. These moms are going the extra mile, literally, driving to and from God-centered functions with their teens on a weekly basis. They are invested on placing their children in wholesome, friendly-fun environments no matter the cost to them. These mothers are the moms I see at the alter the most, going to spiritual war for their children. These are the prayerful moms.

I have heard it said there are 2 types of people. Those who stand with their families and draw a circle or hedge about them and care for them in that circle. The other type are those who stand with their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers and draw a circle or protective hedge about them. The latter are leaders, those who can’t help but to go beyond the reach of their families, that look outside of their walls and gather in the weak, the slow, the faint. This mom is a protector and a guide. She is like a mama bird on her perch looking out around her, checking and seeking to make sure all is good around her. She has arms open wide any time of the day for all of those around and in her circle. This mom is the Pastor’s wife.

There is one other mom…the best and greatest of all. To be continued!

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Shutting Doors & Opening Windows

20180507_133241.jpgYesterday I wrote to you about trauma and the affects it leaves on us all. I talked about our minds and how we can end up entertaining thoughts of worry and being in a state of fear of the unknown because of the trauma we have faced. I ended with us to wait on the Lord, which is always the best course of action.

Today I’m reminded of a scripture that speaks clearly for itself. “Casting downs imaginations and every high thing that exhaulteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” II Corinthians 10:5. It’s saying we have the power to take our thoughts or thoughts whispered to us by the deceiver, and do with them what we should. Cast them down.

For so many of us, we entertain in our minds way too much. Think of what you thought of just today. Sure most will sit and think about what they need to do. Some will think on others and what they need to do! Sit in judgment of others. Think of our greatest fears, like mine with the airplanes crashing. Think of things we did years ago that have no place in our lives anymore. These are thoughts that aren’t in line with the obedience of Christ, right?

And while it is human to have these thoughts and fears and judgements, it is also possible to take them into captivity, getting a hold of them and tossing them out like yesterday’s trash. Possible doesn’t mean easy. But possible does mean doable, with some practice.

I was talking with my five year old recently about her temper and how she’s going to have to try to not get so angry and she says…”I’ll throw that in the trash. There I threw it away, it’s gone” I kid you not! I didn’t teach her that. But she’s right, it can be that simple.

When we get to those places in our minds, we can stop and quote II Corinthians 10:5. We can change the direction that our minds are going. We can visualize a door shutting. Or throw it away. I’ve even heard of someone looking at the whole of it in their minds and imagining the worry getting smaller and smaller until it’s a teeny, tiny pin prick. Is it voodoo? Certainly not, in my opinion. I feel it’s taking those thoughts that don’t line up to God’s will and casting them down.

What I’m learning though is that it’s learned with obedience and recognition. It takes time. I’ve been thinking a certain undisciplined way for so long that it’s not going to change over night. But I’m hopeful of a future where I can have peace of mind from God with a little bit of..my help.

We can close the door on unwanted thoughts and we can open windows to let in some good around us. Reading the Word, prayer, work, hobbies, or just slowing down and looking around us, are ways to open windows and let some fresh air in our clutter, busy, overactive minds.  Here’s what I found today in my yard when I took a look around! Spring has sprung! Thank you Jesus.

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