for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.

Forgiveness

I’ve recently realized that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. I have a hard time forgiving people who hurt me. It’s not that I always want vengeance, but I wrestle with complete forgiveness.

I thought that when I became a Christian and learned to forgive my parents and my sister that I had mastered forgiveness. I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to hurt me that deeply that I would have to work that hard to forgive.

WOW…was I ever wrong. I’m learning that I must choose to continue to be teachable as life comes. Learning from the past will help, but ultimately I can not learn everything right now and just coast. At every step and turn I must walk in pace with God and learn what He wants me to learn in that moment.

I’m learning that I need time and space from those who hurt me. I need time with God away from others. I need to let God’s love heal me and empower me to forgive others.

(I’m learning that I need to find another word for learn!)

Here are some songs that God has been using to speak His truth and transform my heart.

Forgiveness, by Toby Mac

Forgiveness, by Matthew West

O God forgive us, by For King and Country

Rebecca ūüĆĽ Posted from WordPress for Android

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Time

Time…it’s the only resource that is completely limited. No matter who you are, no matter how much money you do or don’t make…there are only 24 hours in each day.
We hear cliches that time is money…it’s one of my favorite leveraging cliches…maximize your time, take your time, time heals all wounds…

Time heals all wounds. Time? Heals? ALL wounds? Is that even biblical? Well I’m learning to believe that it is. I don’t think it’s the time in itself. I think it is what God does in our hearts in that time.

Let’s look at some stories of God’s people in the bible. Please take some time to read these stories in more depth and see how God speaks to you through them.

The first story that I’ve seen God use time apart because of human selfishness is with Jacob and Esau. In Genesis 27-30 we find that Jacob steals Esau’s blessing. This enrages Esau to the point that he desires to kill his brother. It was the final straw that broke Esau’s heart. Through manipulation of Rebeckah, Jacob is sent away to get a wife. He is gone for at least 14 years.
For several reasons, Jacob decides to go back home.  As Jacob is returning to the land of his father…he is hesitant. 

Genesis 33 unfolds the meeting of these 2 brothers. Jacob is fearful and desperately trying to win favor from Esau. The beauty of God is revealed when Esau runs to Jacob, hugs him, and kisses him! Time healed Esau’s heart. He no longer desired to kill Jacob. He loved his brother.

Another story of brothers just one generation later involves Joseph, Jacob’s most favoured son. There are so many details and things to learn from this story, but I want to focus on Genesis 45:4-9. Joseph is able to forgive his brothers and love them despite what they had done to him years earlier.

Over the years Joseph kept himself humble before God, though he wasn’t humble as a young teenager before his brothers. This humility allowed him to receive God’s perspective of the entire situation. That same humility was the vessel that brought God’s peace to Joseph. It was the time apart that allowed Joseph to become what God intended him to become. Time and God not only made the man, but it changed his heart and set him free. God’s time, healed Joseph.

The last story I want to share comes from the book of Joshua chapter 20. The cities of refuge. The people have entered the promised land and God is giving instruction to organize and settle His people. I love that God knows us so well. He knows that we aren’t perfect and we make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes aren’t such a big deal…but other mistakes can be treacherous.
So God tells the people to set up cities of refuge. A city that a person can run to in the event that they accidentally kill a person. The city must hear the story of the guilty party and THEN, they must protect him from the blood avenger of the dead. He must live in that city until his trial AND until the high priest at that time dies.
I think this is so profound in many ways.  The person could wait an entire lifetime! I find it amazing that there is no set prescribed number of years to wait. It allows room for God’s sovereignty. Only God knows our hearts, our hurts, and our hesitations.  No person can decide for another when there has been enough time. Time to grieve, time to heal, and time to repent.

I believe that when we humble our hearts and our minds before the living God, He will transform us. When I confess my pride, my critical thoughts, my doubts, my fears, my hurt, and my selfishness…when I surrender those things…I see the toxins they really are. It is in those moments of honesty with God that my heart is moved to repentance. Once my heart desires repentance then my mind and my heart are free to be transformed by God’s perfect truth. This all happens in His perfect timing! I believe that God uses time as His tool to help change the hearts of His people!

Be free my brothers and sisters! Choose His freedom!

Rebecca ūüĆĽ Posted from WordPress for Android

Magnesium (Mg), Magnesium(Mg), Magnesium(Mg)

What? ¬†Its a mineral, and element on the periodic table…what does that have to do with this blog???

Let me tell you. ¬†I’ve been hearing this word A LOT lately. ¬†And if you don’t know me very well, then just know that I love science, the human body, physiology, the biochemistry of nutrition, and living well. Oh yes, I love Jesus. There is more to me than that, but this blog is about Magnesium, not me!

So anywho…I love to learn about proper nutrition so the body can heal itself. ¬†So I did some digging on Mg!

And this article, Please take the time to read it…is absolutely amazing.

It goes over symptoms of Mg deficiencies. My favorite part, well he said it much nicer than I have said it, was that sugar is an “anti-nutrient”…I say its from the devil. ¬†That might be harsh, but I confess I’m addicted to sugar…and its just not okay.

So enjoy! ¬†Get some epsom salt and soak in a tub with it…make a Mg water spray bottle and spray it on everyday. Use Mg oil (water) as a carrier oil for essential oils…However you can get it on your skin…do that!!!

If you would like to know my practical application, just leave a question in the comments and I’ll reply!

Imperfect

I’ve been reading the first 5 app bible study! I’m really living it.

We just finished Sarah and Abraham.  2 things have jumped out at me and coordinated perfectly with my personal life.

The first thing was that God told Abraham to listen to Sarah about getting rid of Hagar and Ishmael. It didn’t make sense to Abraham. He loved Ishmael too. He wanted to be kind to his servents. He was distressed.

Genesis 21:11-13

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring b will be reckoned.  13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation s also, because he is your offspring.

Often times my wonderful husband and I get into a fight because of my emotions and insecurities. I think this is a great reminder and example for husbands and wives. Abraham did not know what to do. He didn’t feel comfortable with his wife’s request, he was DISTRESSED. So he went to God. He asked God what to do. He was humble enough to listen and obey God. It wasn’t about trying to fix Sarah’s emotions or insecurities. It was about trusting God and loving his wife. What a great example of the Ephesians scripture. God calls his men to love his wife as Christ loved the church. To give himself up for her to make her holy and blameless. Try as I might there are feelings I may never be able to help my sweet man understand. But when he seeks Jesus and loves me anyways, there is nothing better for my heart and my soul. Often times his willingness to love me in the emotional and insecure mess that I may be in, pulls me right back out to be the woman God has called me to be.

Now ladies this doesn’t mean that we can just let our emotions and insecurities run wild. We must submit, seek, and trust God too. The great thing is that God knows our emotions. He gave them to us. In His power they can be changed or used in a productive way. We can have all of our emotions, we just can not sin in them. We must surrender them. And when our husbands don’t understand, take heart because Jesus does. Pray that your husband will seek Jesus, trust Him, and wait on Him.

Music

I love music! I’m not sure if y’all know how much I ūüíė love music, but I really really really love it. ūüėÄūüé∂¬† I wish I could sing like Whitney, but alas I can not. So i sing my ‚̧ out with other folks who sing better than me.

For King and Country is my new favorite band right now. The lyrics to their songs pack so much truth. They’re awesome live. But mostly because they believe that following Christ should look different than our culture. I totally agree. As Christ followers, we are called to be in the world, not of the world. Until God’s people will choose obedience to Him over anything else, our culture will continue to deteriorate.

So stand with us, to live lives of obedience to God.

The best way for me to do that is to Keep God as my steady! My rock. My focus. My center. The person I keep going back to.

Here is my favorite song this week:
Steady, by For King and Country

Watch “If We’re Honest (Lyric Video) – Francesca Battistelli” on YouTube

Since my honesty post the other day, this song has been in my head.

I think the best honesty is when we are honest with ourselves. God has me reading in the book of Romans. The message version. I found this little gem:

God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.
Romans 2:9-11 MSG
http://bible.com/97/rom.2.9-11.MSG

So here is some honesty. I used to call myself a people pleaser. It was an excuse I used to justify my disobedience to God.¬† I’m not using that excuse anymore. I’m not labeling myself that way anymore. I’m going to please God. I’m not going to be afraid if my obedience to God may hurt or offend others. From the words of my sister-in-law Debra Greer, “God will walk them through their hurt. ” So I will trust God and please Him!

Honesty vs. Kindness

For those of you who know me, I’m not always direct. Okay sometimes I am, but when it comes to potentially hurting someones feelings, I don’t like doing that.

Words have power. In my world, words either build up and connect people together, or they tear people down and create distance. So if being honest means hurting someones feelings, I choose kindness first.

This approach has become a source of contention in some of my relationships and for me personally. I know that people are different than me. I am discovering that there are people who value honesty above kindness. I struggle with that. I struggle in the sense that I think they should be interdependent. Honesty without kindness is just hurtful and destructive. Kindness without honesty is useless and fake.

I believe that we as people all have a perspective or lens in which we view the world, people, and situations. I don’t believe that a truth developed by a human is absolute. I believe that God is the only source of absolute truth. So
when we share with people, because we’re just being honest, I challenge “us” to evaluate the honesty we feel we need to share.¬† Has it been filtered by God’s perspective or coming out of our own hurt, disappointment, or fill in the blank.

For the people in my life that need me to be more direct, I will be as direct as I can be as long as my kindness is interwoven with it.

God has called me to keep my words and my emotions in check. He’s also called me to please Him before I please mankind. So I will obey. But that means y’all may not like it. And I hope you check it with Jesus first!

My first priority is to reflect Christ. As I think about that reflection in reference to this topic, I am reminded that there are times when we have to ask God to help us see our own sin. We can’t see it ourselves or maybe we have trouble acknowledging it, but the important aspect is that God handles us with honest loving kindness. He doesn’t point his almighty finger and tell us we’re wrong. He settles us in His love, He prepares our hearts in His protection, and creates a safe place in which we can be honest with Him and ourselves.

In my opinion the way God displays His love to reinforces that it is not my place to point my finger and tell someone in honesty what I think they need to fix. I need to love them whether they ask for my help or not. That love may look different depending on the level of honesty and kindness that is allowed. It will entirely depend on how well I am willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey.

Here is a great song from one of my favorite bands
Proof of Your Love, by For King and Country

Balance

Balance, you know that word. ¬†You’ve heard it, you’ve said it, and you’ve tried to do it. ¬†Balance yourself on one foot, on a balance beam, or if you really like a challenge, a handstand or a headstand…ya know balance. ¬† The tangible concept of balancing mass on an object is easily grasped by almost everyone. ¬†Well as I have found there are several¬†meanings to the word balance. ¬†Some that are interesting and at times very challenging to me. ¬†(I’ll get to that in a bit)

First, I would like to explain why I even started this post. ¬†You see God keeps bringing up this word balance. ¬†He brings it up in almost EVERY aspect, situation, and relationship of my life. He keeps whispering…(There is a balance, find the balance, you need to balance). ¬†Until I looked up the definition for the word balance, I just thought, I need to find how to balance things. ¬†How to even them out. But as I read the varying definitions I am realizing there is so much more.

As I dove deeper into the meaning of this word I have learned that not only is it a noun.  Its also a verb.  It can be used as a verb with or without an object.  I found that very interesting.

First lets talk about balance as a noun.  In the beginning of this balance journey, that made the most sense in my brain.  I needed to find balance in my relationships, my responsibilities, and how I used my time and my talents.

In my relationships I began to realize that I needed to have realistic expectations of others, and the balance was also to not feel pressure to be what others expected me to be. ¬†I also came to realize that my natural desire to have empathy and compassion for others and their situations was being used against me. ¬†That little whisper of God’s truth, “find the balance,” ¬†became louder and louder. ¬†It is good to have compassion and empathy, but the balance is to learn where my personal choice and responsibilities begin and end. I desperately needed to learn that it is not my responsibility to make choices for others. ¬†I can not feel bad or responsible for the consequences that come with the choices they make. ¬†I can share the truth in love, but they still get to choose that which they believe. ¬†I can pray that God will use their circumstances to draw them closer to Him.

Another aspect of balance in relationships was learning that I do not have to invest the same in all people.  This was and is (okay they are all hard for me) extremely difficult for me.  The opposite of this is true as well.  Not everyone will invest the same in me as in others.  This can be hurtful, when you see someone else being loved, encouraged, and cared for the way you desire to be treated by that same person.  All I can say at this time is, only God is truly big enough for you to ask WHY.  And I truly believe that only God can heal the (hopefully) unintentional hurt in your heart.

For me, I am learning that every aspect of all my relationships NEED to be filtered by God.  I can only be who God created me to be.  He will not give me the power to be anyone other than that, it is not His will for my life.

Okay so the definition of the balance…I looked it up on dictionary reference.¬† There are 29, YES 29 definitions. ¬†I was amazed. ¬†It is a deeply profound word. ¬†I’m just going to go over some of the spiritual analogies that popped in my head as I was reading them. ¬†No…I’m not going to go over all 29, just the ones I had to most fun with or the ones that challenged me.

 

noun
3.mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior,judgment, etc.
This challenged me. ¬†I don’t always feel mentally and emotionally balanced. ¬†I’m beginning to learn that God is the one who provides that balance as I surrender my thoughts and emotions to Him!
6.the remainder or rest:
Sometimes, okay most times, I forget to ask for help. ¬†Okay Okay…I feel rude if I ask for help. ¬†I know its crazy, but for whatever reason…I feel rude if I need to ask for help. ¬†But the truth is…I was created to ask for help. ¬†I was designed to need help. ¬†Help from God and my fellow humans…but just bc I am aware of this doesn’t mean it’s fixed…it’s like chiseling a marble statue, TIME, LOTS OF TIME (Lysa Terkurst, Unglued).
7.the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one’s strength,influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.
This one was cool.  I think its a great attempt to explain having faith and believing in God.  He is that balance, the factor, the one thing, that can change the outcome of ANYTHING. AWESOME. I just need to remember that ALL. THE. TIME.
verb
21.  Accounting.
  1. to settle by paying what remains due on an account; equalize or adjust.

This is a different way of looking at what Jesus did on the cross. ¬†Humanity, us, we, me…had a debt that I could not pay on the account of my life. ¬†And Jesus paid it ALL!

23.to estimate the relative weight or importance of; compare:

to balance all the probabilities of a situation.
This reminds me that I need to let God be the balance of my thoughts and emotions.  I need to allow Him to determine the value of the thoughts, emotions, situations, or opinions, coming into my world.

29.Dance. to move forward and backward or in opposite directions.

I really love this one on so many levels. ¬†I love to dance. ¬†I did’t get to dance at my wedding. ¬†But Jesus loves it when I dance with Him. ¬†So the dance steps that we take in life moving toward God and sometimes moving away from Him…The beauty is when we surrender to His leading the dance is beautiful. We can dance with our words, our actions, our demeanor, and our hearts. ¬†We can fight for control and lead the dance, but that will just result in confusion, toes being stepped on, and well not something people want to emulate. ¬†BUT, when we surrender all that we have and all that we are…It’s beautiful. ¬†And everyone wants to have that beauty, grace, strength, elegance, and poise.

So this word balance…I’m still working it out in my life. ¬†I’m still learning how, when, and what kind of balance needs to be where…
How is your balance?

Car Trips with Kids, How to not go crazy!!!

We have taken a few road trips this past year. ¬†We have a 7,5, and 3 year old. ¬†Here’s what we’ve done to help keep everyone entertained and calm. ¬†(This will not be grammatically correct, so just enjoy the content!)

1. I put some essential lavender oil in the van. (use as much or as little as you prefer) It’s quite calming.

2. We load up the CD player with Adventures in Odyssey.

3. We pack snack bags for each kid.  Fruit rope, crasins, apples, bananas, paleo banana muffins, grapes, and homemade protein paleo bars, and water

*We have a stash of diaper wipes in the back for the big kids for hand cleaning. I can reach the little one right behind me.

* We also have a garbage bucket, that also aids as shooting hoops entertainment!

4. Each boy gets a busy book that is age appropriate.  Pictures of where we are going, driving past, maps, or things they are learning!!!  (a bag of pencils and colored pencils)

*Word searches, dot game, tic tac toe, fill in the blanks, math problems for my math lover, Animal pictures for my animal guy, and the License plate game…several versions you can do with this.

5. The Map…I print out a map of our route, they can follow along so then we don’t have to hear, “Are we there yet?”

6. Empty bottles, yes for pee.

7. Dry Towels, Just in case something happens.

8. Play eye spy…its hilarious with a 3 year old, who forgets what he picked!!!

9. Magnet games/boards.

11. Find the steeple eye spy when we are in towns/cities.

10. The final trick, stop and let them out and run every few hours!!!

When we stay positive and enjoy the drive, they do too.

I hope this helps your road trips!!  Please leave comments of what works for your family!

In the clouds

I just had the privilege of hearing a wonderful brother in Christ, Dan Bohi, share what God has put on his heart!!! ¬†It was an encouraging message! The main point…GOD WANTS TO BE WITH US. ¬†God LIKES US! ¬†It is humbling. The God of the universe. The God who created the heavens and the earth. ¬†He desires US. ¬†Wow. ¬†Its just amazing. ¬†I am thankful that my Jesus loves me that much.

In Dan’s message he read scripture after scripture about God coming in a thick cloud to be with His people. I’m going to post some references about God coming in the form of a cloud, feel free to look them up. Exodus 19:9, Exodus 33:9, Exodus 40:34, 1 kings 8:10&11, these are just a few.

My clouds.

So I want to share the very beginning of my conscious part of pursuing this Jesus.  You see I firmly believe that God has loved me and has known me before time began.  It was I that was not fully aware of who He is and what He had been doing in my life.  The first memory I have of my unveiling was when I was 12. It was the Spring of 1994.  I lived with my mom and step dad in Glenwood, Il on Campbell st.

Outside it was a beautiful spring day. ¬†The sky was a lovely baby blue with big, soft, fluffy white clouds. There was a gentle breeze. ¬†It was one of those perfect days, outside. ¬†Inside my house however was an entirely different environment. ¬†It was tense, volatile, and crazy. ¬†My parents were in a very heated argument, about what I don’t remember. This was a fairly normal occurrence in my life. ¬†The difference, that day for me, was the moment I looked out the window into the calm and peacefully serene world outside. You see it occurred to me in that moment that there had to be something bigger than mankind out there. ¬†There had to be another source of power and control. ¬†And so, the slow pursuit of discovering the source of this peace for me started on that day.

I wasn’t really sure, I didn’t really know. I mean I grew up watching care bears (care bear stare anyone?) and they lived peacefully on clouds. ¬†I remember always wanting to escape to the big white clouds. ¬†The fluffy gentle ones you could just lay in forever and not care about anything else. ¬†I came to know the Lord as my personal savior 3 years later in December 1997. ¬†I have loved learning about Him, His love for me, His faithfulness to me, and His protection and provision of me.

I love how God brings clarity to my life. ¬†He made it clear to me today, listening to my brother Dan recall how God descended in the clouds to His people, every time I wanted to escape to the cloud, it was my heart yearning for my God who loves me. My connection wasn’t to care bears, it was to my sweet Jesus who has loved me before time began. ¬†That day I wasn’t just looking at a peaceful cloud. I was staring into the face of God. He was speaking His truth into my heart. ¬†He was telling me that He created life to have peace, order, and joy. ¬†He was telling me that as long as I continued to focus on mankind, I would not have the peace and joy He created me for. ¬†I needed to look higher than mankind. ¬†I needed to look to the Heavens and find my Abba. ¬†I needed to run and escape to Him. ¬†I needed to find my shelter in Him.

Even now as I sit here typing these words, He is reminding me of His truth.  Life can bring much pain, disappointment and hurt.  I can choose to focus on the hurt, the mess, the ugliness life can offer. Or, I can choose to look to the Heavens and see what God wants to show me today!

Oh how my heart swells with joy, love, and hope.  I just love, love, love, how God is always showing me He loves me.  I want to choose Him today and every day!

But guess what??? ¬†He loves you too. ¬†He has loved you before time began. ¬†He desires to be with you too! If you don’t know Him in this way, I encourage you to find someone who does and have an honest conversation about your doubts and fears of who God is.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for you love. Thank you for desiring to be with us.  Holy Spirit please help me to choose my heavenly Father. Help me to turn my heart, my mind, and my thoughts to my Jesus who loves me.  Please help your people turn their hearts and their minds to you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.