for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.

Archive for the tag “relationship”

It’s not what I’m saying…it’s not what you’re hearing

 

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Genesis chapter 11 contains a very interesting story. The story of a people coming together for a common goal. It would seem like a great idea, but the heart of the people were not focused on the heart of God. They were focused on themselves. It’s the story of the tower of babel.

I’ve read this story several times. A couple morals of the story are, that no human can reach heaven on their own, and humans should not make themselves idols to be worshiped. Very Good lessons to learn, about who we are and what are physical limitations are.

This week as I was reading this story to my boys out of The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. It occurred to me, there is more to learn from this story about communication.

I’m sure we all have had at least one experience about a misunderstanding with another person that involves the words we said and the words we heard.
I feel as if these types of misunderstandings happen often in my life.  This time as I was reading through the story, it jumped out at me that God confused their tongues intentionally.

   His purpose was to confuse them and create offense between them. His intention was to separate the people, in order to stop them from building the tower. Now, do I think God wants us all to be rude and unkind, NO! But let’s take a step back and examine God’s law. First and foremost, Thou shall have no other God’s before me. The people in the story of babel were making themselves gods before the other people not in the tower, and to each other. They were filled with their own pride. God intervened because He knows what is best for our hearts. Having ourselves and other people at the center of our hearts, minds, and focus is disastrous at best.

   God created us for community, but that community should not come before our relationship with Him. God created us for intimacy, but it should come with Him first. God created us for many things, but He should be First in everything.

  When I speak, am I speaking because I want to be heard, I’m nervous, I want to be right, or because Jesus is asking me to speak?  I find that when I ask the Holy Spirit to give me the words to speak, most times it turns out better.

   The other side of the coin, is the listening. When I hear others, sometimes, okay more often than I’d like to admit, I’m easily offended or brokenhearted by what they have said. BUT, ( and yes it’s a BIG BUT!) do I need to be offended and hurt? When I stop and ask my heavenly Father, more times than not, He says no. He helps me understand His truth for my life and helps me let go of what isn’t necessary.

  In all our humanity, in every aspect, in everything we attempt, WE need God. We need His wisdom, His love, His perspective, His Grace, and His mercy.

Especially when communicating, we NEED God to intervene.

One of my favorite poets, Javan, wrote about this very issue. Here is my best paraphrase, if I speak, but not with my words. And you listen, but not with your ears, then maybe we can communicate!

Abba, helps us to come to you. To talk to you and hear from your heart first. Lord humble our hearts an minds so that we seek you before attempting anything on our own. In Jesus name, Amen.

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.

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?

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for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.