Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What's the Plan?

photo credit

This quote in the photo is used often in Christian circles. Many times we hear this and we instantly think of children or young adults and we use it to encourage them. I think that is awesome and they need us to support them and give them affirmations that propel them on their journies.  But, what about the rest of us?

I think sometimes as we get older and move toward middle age, we feel like there is nothing left for us. We think we are done. We have raised our kids, our marriages are stable, our jobs are stable. Life feels routine aka boring. We feel maybe as if we are not sure where we belong anymore.   I want to say to those of us in our 40s 50s 60s and even beyond, you are not forgotten you still have a place. God's word and this scripture applies to you too. He has a plan. You have a purpose. You are still very important to the story. It's a great story....and you have a part to play. You may feel overlooked by your family, friends, and even your church at times, but hold on to this promise.....Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord., "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV). Did you notice that word hidden right in the middle? is a declaration for your life! When we declare is important, it means something to both the speaker and to the listener. It is important to both parties. The speaker is emphatic about what they are saying. In this case it is God speaking to you. He feels it deeply. He is emphatic. He wants you to understand, that He has a plan! You may not feel like you have a place, like your job is over, and you feel lifeless, stagnant, unimportant.It may be as black as night around you right now. It may feel like you are drowning under sorrow.   You may feel like you cannot breathe you are so overwhelmed today with emotions..... But, my friend, take courage! God has a plan and a purpose. You are not forgotten.

This verse in Jeremiah applies to ALL of us. YOU have a purpose regardless of age, regardless of where you have failed, God STILL has a purpose and a plan for your life.
YOU are NEVER forgotten by Him. You were uniquely designed and wonderfully made with a story to tell.

Ask him what the plan is for you today and then go about looking for the opportunity to enact it.
Keep on walking the journey my friends.....I am right there with you...

Blessings, Regina

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Forgiving that one Unforgiveable Person.....It's Messy Y'all

The move to healthy living (take 2 because you and I both know we have tried it before) continues. Last night I had sushi....y'all it was to die for! Guess what though, I not kicking myself about my food choice. Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial....right? We have to remember that, not just with food but with everything.

The last time I wrote to you, I talked about not being ready to give up a LONG standing love with Dr. Pepper. It's so hard y'all even though I know what the benefits are. I just read the list again last night of what sugar,  and especially an increase amount of can do to your body. It is awful. If you read that list you will run from sugar for the rest of your life......except I don't run from it, I grab another glass and keep on chugging.

Lat night though, I had this thought occur......Why do I drink it like this? Do I want to quit, really?

I do want to quit. It is taking a horrible toll on my health. I know this....I'm smart like that. Then why do persist with this addiction to soda?

A few answers came to my mind:

  1. If I quit now, we have already bought several bottle of 2 liters plus 2 liters of the kids choice of drink. Well, that's wasteful not to drink them. 
  2. It's my fault that we bought them in the first place, so I should be punished for that somehow
  3. I don't want my kids, especially the 9 year old to go down this path, so I will "Save" her by drinking these. 
I knew instantly in my heart those things were an outright lie. I don't have to punish myself for anything. Futhermore, and this may be the most important.....I CANNOT SAVE ANYONE. IT IS NOT MY JOB!

There is only one Saviour

I have to let go of what I think I am protecting. Ultimately, I cannot save her and I cannot save myself. That is evident by the fact that I have multiple health issues right now. 

Which brings me to this morning....

I wake up and these thoughts are still with me. I start asking God to show me the why and what I am doing to myself. He did. 

I realized that I have a deep wound brought about by an offhand comment made to me after I gave birth to Savannah. Prior to getting pregnant I had lost almost 80#. I think at the time I wore a size 8 or 10. When I went back for my 6 week check up, I still wore a size 12. My dr says to me that I need lose weight, that I am not healthy. Um, hello.....just gave birth here and  just came back from the brink of death. I remember leaving there and just feeling like I looked like a beached whale. It was a hard day. Then later when she was about 2 years old, I weighed the same, but another comment. This time from someone closer to me. Now, they apologized for it....much later, years later. It still hurt. I am still hurt today. Words cut deep. Those are scars no one sees. 

God showed how I took that hurt and decided that I would never be hurt again by anyone. I believed that I could barricade myself. My weight ballooned out of control, all in the name of protetion.
It's messy y'all.....

Yet again we see this pattern of trying to protect ourselves and save ourselves. All of a sudden we are trying to be our own God. That will never work. 

There is only ONE Saviour

If I want this healing I have to be willing to pull back those messy layers, expose the wound, pull away the scars and allow God to perform real heart surgery on me. I don't know how that looks for you, it is a different experience I think for everyone. 

For me, it's sobbing into my bathtub while the kids are still asleep. Crying out to God that I am sorry for trying to save myself and acknowledging Him once again as my only Hope.  It's realizing that I wasn't made to carry that sort of responsibility. It is telling Him just how bad I am hurt.  I'ts realizing I have some deep unforgiveness towards this person. I have to make a choice, I can forgive and be healed or I can go on the same way. It's an obvious choice but it was a hard one to come to.  Once I realize that this is the only way, my spirit melts to forgiving them.  It is seeing myself trying to be bigger so that I won't get hurt. It's seeing myself drink all those sodas, eat all that unhealthy food everyday in order to make the barricade around my heart bigger. It is forgiving myself.  It's just laying there, while He speaks words to my spirit that begin to be a salve to the wound. It is hearing Him whisper over and over that it is ok, that I am going to be ok. It was like I could see that wound being healed. 

I tell you all of this today because I have invited you into my life, warts and all.Life is messy, but hiding in the mess will never get anything taken care of.  We have to be willing to let Him do the work that needs done in our lives. Does this mean you will never see me drink a soda again? No, but I have freedom to choose if I want the soda. I am no longer a slave to soda. Did I get up totally free from every sugar addiction? I don't think it works that way...there is a process that has to take place in our bodies. Today, I'm just going to try to walk it out. I may fall, but if I do, I fall straight into Grace and Mercy.....

Walking this part of my journey today,