Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Begging for change.

Is there any area of your life where you need help, restoration or simply change? I believe that I need assistance in all of these areas. I need help in continuing to keep promises to Christ to myself and to others. I need His restoration. And perhaps most important, I need change. It's time for complete honesty....I'm insecure, so extremely insecure and honestly, I do not know where my self esteem issues stem from. I was loved as a child, doted on and given everything I could possibly want. Honestly, I felt relatively ok about myself until high school. Then, my parents divorced and everything changed in my world. I always felt sub par in comparison to my friends. Their lives were better, they were prettier, ect. Please no sympathy because I overcame much of this in college. I joined a sororeity and felt validated again. I was a leader in this group and saw myself grow into the social person that I always knew that I could be.

I left college a better person,yet a person very attached to others. I lived with three friends after college, then two friends then a fiancé and then a husband. I have never had to be alone and the thought of alone or loneliness is very scary to me. It means finding comfort within yourself and peace. I'm working on that and I must say that it is one of the scariest things that I have ever done. Something that seems so easy is frankly one of the most difficult undertakings. So, today, I pray for change, and I pray that the Lord continue to give me the strenghth that I need to embrace such necessary changes in my life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Have you followed a Lenten discipline? What has been your experience?

My blog has been my discipline as it has held me accountable on a daily basis to reflect and to continue to work on me. It has forced me to look at myself entirely...the good and the bad. It has given me opportunities to see just how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many wonderful things in my life. It has allowed me to see how much I take for granted. It has opened my eyes to the people that I have hurt and it has allowed me to recognize the importance of forgiveness. It has held me to a higher level than I have held myself in so many years and helped me to see a new light within myself when I was so close to being consumed by darkness. Lent has allowed me to see the importance of faith and my relationship with Christ. It is my hope that the habits that I have formed in these past few weeks remain with me. Walking with Christ is not always the easy choice, but is always our greatest choice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bearing the Burdens of One Another

Throughout His word, God asks that we love one another. While this task may seem impossible compared to His infinite love for us, it is not impossible. Yet, often we fail at the request. We judge those who are different from us, we judge the choices of others without fully knowing why they chose what they did, we carry anger toward others for things that can be viewed as being petty in the grand scheme of things. We hold onto anger because we are so many times simply stubborn. I truly believe in forgiveness because it I a gift that has been given to me so many times when I probably didn't deserve it. I also believe in anger and hurt and pain....God gets that too. He knows that we are not perfect and that people do not always do unto others as they would have done to themselves. I believe that, but I do believe that, over time, he asks us to forgive. That forgiveness can be granted in so many ways....whether taking that person back into your life and offering verbal forgiveness or to forgive that person in your heart and make self peace.

Again, He does not ask us for perfection because we cannot hold ourselves in comparison to his infinite love. He asks that we be the best that we can goal for this week is to work on removing judgement and begin to ask for forgiveness in an effort to work on self peace.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Junk in the basement.

I have always regarded the spring as a time to clean out the clutter that accumulates in our lives, our possessions, in preparation for a new season. A season that ushers in longer and warmer days, blooming dogwoods and bright flowers. We clean to open new space and it feels good, accomplished. Never before have I considered that this could also be fruitful for the soul. I walk around with clutter in my heart and what better time to begin cleaning that as well?

Lent opens the opportunity for me to reflect on myself for forty days. Do I think that I can clear away all of my junk in that short amount of time? No. But it does give me the chance to survey my inner landscape and find those things which are in disrepair and to begin working on them one day at a time. I often spend so much time focusing on my junk that I can't focus on the present because I use all of my energy trying to look back and reconfigure my past. I can't fix the things that I have broken, all I can do is learn from them and try to be a better person. I believe that there is purpose in all things. Events happen so we can become stronger and people in our lives happen so they can remind us of our strength. They show us our good when we are focusing on our junk. And with His help we are given the hope and the opportunity of coming back to life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reflect on the beauty that surrounds you.

Todays scripture reading comes from John, when Jesus heals the blind man. "All I know is that I was blind and now I can see." To truly find beauty we should look to nature, like the beautiful tulips and pansies growing where I live, the innocence in my sweet niece, the kind hearts of my friends, the infinite love and support that my dad continually offers to me, the patience and unconditional love of my friends. These are the truly important and beautiful things in my world. My gifts from God. Yet we live in a world where we continually define beauty by material things. How we look determines how we feel. Rather than embracing the beautiful life that He has given, we fall into the depths of vanity. I am extremely guilty of this and ashamed of being so materialistic.

There are so many beautiful moments to savor in the world. The unexpected kiss and hug from my niece, holding my friends babies, watching kids excitedly come up to Molly, seeing the true heart and emotions of people who love with all they have, the small notes and hugs that my students continually offer. Beauty surrounds me, and I want to continue to see it. For so many years, I have been like the blind prophet. I'm beginning to see. Thank you God for renewing my sight.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What Burdens Me?

I feel burdened by my choices and the people who have been hurt as a result of my choices.  I carry a burden over the loss of my mother.  I am burdened by the fact that I turned my back on Him, during a time in my life when I could have used Him the most.  I am burdened by the problems of my students....they carry a heavy load and sometimes we forget where they are coming from. 

I think that I often neglect to include Christ when I am burdened.  Rather, I am ashamed of my mistakes and feel too humiliated to turn to Him or go to church.  The problem is this is the very time when I should be calling on God.  I forget about His unconditional love.  I forget about the forgiveness that He offers to everyone.  I forget that confronting and facing our problems is what makes things better--it is the avoidance that creates problems. 

My burdens create who I am, and they are issues that can be worked on, but may never be fully erased.  There is no point in dwelling on the past, I must live for today and continue to work on me. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Define spiritual transformation. How does it come about?

Today's prompt embodies me. I am currently undergoing a transformation....I am working on a better me. In doing so, I believe to transform oneself, you must reflect upon yourself, and that means looking at both the good AND the bad. It is hard to face humility, to truly let your guard down and look at what we consider our ugliness, the things that we are ashamed of about ourselves, our past, our flaws and our pain. I am in the process of this now and I must admit it is difficult, it is painful and it is emotional. Perhaps the most difficult and emotional part of the process is realizing, despite all that I consider to be wrong with me and just how flawed I am, He still loves me. Honestly, there have been moments recently when I have broken over His unconditional love because I cannot fully understand it...I cannot comprehend it's depths.

What I do believe is that the transformation is a necessity for a fruitful life. We need Christ...I need Christ. His absence from my life has caused me to plummet and do so many things that I regret. I embrace my transformation, as it makes me hopeful for a promised future, one that fills me with the hope of a promised life.