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Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Just Be Held

by Casting Crowns

“Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding onJust Be Held

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

When your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know
I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in my hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

 So when you’re on your knees
And answers seem so far away
You’re not alone
Stop holding on
and Just be held
Your world’s not falling apart
It’s falling into place
I’m on the throne
Stop holding on
and Just be held”

Along with a few others that I will likely be writing, I happened across this song during my husbands last hospitalization. Since that day a little over two months ago, these words have been a great encouragement to me. One of the first things that I did when I picked my husband up from the hospital, was share this song with him. I had it all ready to be played when he got off of the bus that brought him back into town. I wanted to share with him this reminder that I think we all need at some point. “You’re not alone.” Perhaps if we weren’t always trying so hard to solve our own problems, we would be more easily able to “stop holding on” and allow God to take over. If we would really rely on Him, and believe that He is able and will help us, what might happen? Good or bad, things happen according to Gods plan. When you’re strong, it is all in Gods plan. When you’re weak, God is still God, and He is still in control.

It has been a tough and constant reminder that I do not have to be everything to everybody. I am not “everything,” nor was I intended to be. I am not supposed to be able to hold everything together all on my own, along with holding everyone else together. I am supposed to rely on God, and He is able to be everything to everybody.

“If your eyes are on the storm you’ll wonder if I love you still But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know I always have and I always will.”
Oh how true this is, and can only be known by experiencing it. If we are too busy focusing on everything that is going wrong in our lives, we will miss out on so many good things that are happening, amazing things that have happened and the best thing that has yet to happen. If we focus on the cross, and what happened at Calvary, we can be confident that any suffering that we endure has a purpose and that if we remain on the right path, we will be rewarded in ways greater than we can imagine.

“Where you are I’ll hold your heart…”
Again, how absolutely true. This is a fact that I’ve known, but I keep relearning it. It doesn’t matter where we are, good times or bad times, God is there with us. He never leaves us. If we feel that He has abandoned us…the problem is not God, but the problem is with us. If we can’t see Him working, even in the bad times, there is usually a pretty good chance that we aren’t really looking.

I encourage my readers whoever, and wherever you are, to just take a moment to know and to feel that God loves you. You are in His arms. He is surrounding you with love and comfort. No matter what you are going through, He is bigger, and He is in control. This should be a habit. This needs to be something that we never forget. After all, He doesn’t forget about us.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Music Speaks

 

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A Word From A Joyful Heart

A Word From A Joyful Heart

It is with much difficulty that I find myself writing this morning. Difficult because I am at a loss for words.
Since my post last night, I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have gotten from friends and acquaintances whom I never would have guessed would have even read my blog, but not only did they read it, but I have been flooded with messages and responses from these people showing their support and sharing their prayers for my family. I am so grateful to have such people in my life, whether they be people that I see daily, only on occasion, or those who I worship with. Once again, I am overwhelmed by the love of God and the reminder that there are still many good people in the world who will take the time out of their own busy days and lives to pray for others.
Thank you all for your kindness. It means more than you will know. 20140612-102248-37368700.jpg

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Life in General

 

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The Truth About “Love”

Browsing through the feed of my Facebook has been quite the source of sadness and heartbreak for me in recent months. There is an issue that has been heavy on my heart–quite possibly because it relates to people much like myself. These people so much like me, yet still so different.
I suppose though, I was just like them not too very long ago.

At the age of eighteen, I thought that my life was over, after all, things didn’t go as planned with a boy. Tragic, I know. Things didn’t work out with the first boy that I was interested in and so I more or less began a search of “the one” who would “fix” everything so I could get my life started.
I really was looking for “the one”, but in reflection, I now know (and wish that I had known then) that what I should have been looking for was the One.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been reading Kyle Idlemans book “gods at war” and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. This evening I began “Part 4 The Temple of Love” and have struggled to make it through each paragraph thinking about certain women in my life and/or women who are no longer in my life as much as they once were.

Mr. Idleman says, “Our culture holds up romantic love as the greatest and noblest of pursuits.” The truthfulness of that statement breaks my heart.
Having been one of the girls who was in the pursuit of nothing more than romantic love and remembering how exhausting it is, and knowing what I know now, I just ache for any women (or men, to be accurate) who are putting themselves through such pain in search of a fantasy.

The book goes on to say, “When you say to someone, “I want you to satisfy me; I want you to save me; I want you to be my source of significance,” what you’re really saying is, “I want you to be god to me.”
I know so many women in that position, some who have found their “god”, some who have found him many times and some who are still using every known resource to search for him. When I found my husband, those were all things that I wanted him to be for me. I wanted him to save me, satisfy me, and make me significant.
Oh, had I only known then that there is only One who can do all of that for me.

It is my fervent prayer that anyone who is in the pursuit for love, the pursuit to become complete, will find the only One who can truly be that missing piece-the Only One who will truly matter in the long run. In Him is the only place to find true happiness and contentment.

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As I’ve said before, I have a three-year-old daughter. She is another reason that subject is so close to my heart. At this young an age, culture (and by “culture” I mean Disney) has already taught her that a princess needs to marry her Prince. In the past month, my little girl has purposes to nearly every man in the family and has tearfully asked her daddy, “Who can I marry?” She has cried to her grandpa, “Daddy said he can’t marry me.”
It has proven difficult to teach her otherwise when the rest of the world is telling her that she needs to find her prince as soon as possible in order to be happy.

“The truth is, you and I were made for a love far deeper, far richer than any human relationship can offer.” – Kyle Idleman

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Life in General

 

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Music Speaks: “Monster” & More

Four years ago, I married a monster.
He as wounded, lost and filled with rage. The monster that I married believed that God was to blame for so many hardships and tragedies throughout both his childhood and his adult life.
The monster was violent and in search of any and every outlet he could find to unleash his anger.

HusbandSomewhere along the line, the monster had a few meetings with God and learned that he was off track with his misplaced anger and blame.

Four years and six months after getting married, the monster that I joined my life to is nowhere to be found.
The monster has since rebuilt a long dormant relationship with Him and rediscovered that the Savior is just that.

Today is my husbands 33rd birthday, and I am so proud of the man that he is and that he is becoming. I consider myself very fortunate to have found a man with whom I can learn and grow. We’ve been able to rediscover the wonder of the Lord near the same time period together in our marriage and it has been an exciting walk and I’m so thankful that we’ve been able to do it together.

(Happy Birthday, baby.)

Monster
by Skillet

The secret side of me, I’ll never let you see.
I keep it caged but I can’t control it.
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly.
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it.

It’s scratchin’ on the walls, in the closet, in the halls.
It comes awake and I can’t control it.
Hidin’ under the bed, in my body, in my head.
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this
Make it end.

I feel it deep within
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster.

My secret side I keep, hid under lock and key.
I keep it caged but I can’t control it.
Cause if I let him out, he’ll tear me up, break me down.
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this
Make it end.

It’s hidin’ in the dark
It’s teeth are razor sharp
There’s no escape for me
It wants my soul, it wants my heart.

No one can hear me scream
Maybe it’s just a dream
Or maybe it’s inside of me
Stop this monster.

I feel it deep within
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I’m gonna lose control
It’s something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Music Speaks, Wife

 

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A Matrimonial Revelation

I know that this isn’t exactly a news flash−in fact I think that I may have mentioned it before−marriage is hard!

Of course, all marriages deal with less-than-perfect circumstances at some point or another.
When I married my husband, I had a plan. We would be the exception. Our marriage would be easy. Why? Because, in my young, naive mind, people made their relationships difficult. We would choose for ours to be easy, and it would be so.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that would not be how things would work in reality.

My husband and I are both equally stubborn, and have possibly a little too much in common. I’ve always heard that “opposites attract”, and well–that just isn’t the case here. We are both unintentionally firm in the fact that, while we don’t necessarily want to control everything around us, we don’t want anybody else to be able to either…including our spouse. We both much prefer to operate on our own timeline, which, more often than not is the exact opposite of each others.

Needless to say, we frequently find ourselves bickering. Not out of anger, and really−much of the time, there is not really any reason for it.

I’ve come to realize that, at least for myself, the devil is involved.
We are living in a world that tells you to seek out your own happiness above all else. A world that tells us that if things aren’t perfect, we should find something better. Even growing up in a godly household, you will have much influence from this world, no matter how sheltered and protected you may be.

As a child and teen, my parents sheltered me. They monitored what I watched on tv, what kind of music I listened to, what kind of people I surrounded myself with and what kind of influences I had in my life.
That did not stop the world from getting in, and in turn for that, the “me, me, me” train of thought was, to a point, ingrained into my mind.

So when things aren’t going “perfectly” in marriage, what am I supposed to do? The world/devil tells me to move on. End it and find something “better”.
Thankfully, our marriage is not just between my husband and myself. There is another involved who has His mighty hand over us, and has been our guide through some of the most difficult times. He is the One who has taught me that it isn’t supposed to be “easy,” nothing is.
He is the One who tells me that my marriage is supposed to last.
There is a nature of sin that the world brings into a marriage, and it is our responsibility to fight that sin, just like any other that we encounter.union

I’ve also learned that without the bad times, we would have no inclination to seek out the good times. Why would we be looking forward to something better if we’re “perfectly” happy with what we have?
Life−including marriage−is not supposed to be “perfect,” it is not supposed to be “easy.” We are supposed to have a strong reliance on the Father to help us through every second of every part of it, relying on Him to carry us through and praising Him all the while, until one day when we can be with Him, because with Him is the ONLY place where perfection can truly be attained.

 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Life in General, Wife

 

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Love: Biblical vs Worldly

Biblical Love and Worldly Love.
I often forget that there’s a difference, but there is and it is no small distinction.

Growing up in the world, we are often taught to love our families, our friends and perhaps a few select people whom we grow to admire.
We all hear the “golden rule”, to “love your neighbor” and “treat others as you want to be treated.” That’s all well and good, but what about everybody else? What about the people who’ve hurt us or have wronged us in some way? After all, we also hear “an eye for an eye.”

But what about all of the lessons in between. The ones between the aforementioned that have been tweaked to the worlds liking and are tossed about in daily conversations? What about Luke 6:32-33?
      “If you love those who
        Love you, what credit
        Is that to you? For
        Even sinners love those
        Who love them. If you
        Do good to those who
        Do good to you, what
        Credit is that to you?
        Even sinners do the
        Same”

I try my best to follow Gods law, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge that my best, is far from Gods best. I have to admit that this is one specific area where I am often all too worldly.
As I was reading today, I came across 1 Peter 4:8. I read it, made a note of it, and went about my day.

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My focus has changed, and my daily duties were progressing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that verse. “Love will cover a multitude of sins.” That short phrase speaks so much truth.

Biblical Love.

It’s more than just a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s a choice.
It is a choice that each one of us must make to extend the grace that the Father has shown to us, by choosing to love those who have hurt us, who’ve lied to us. A choice to love all people regardless of the past and regardless of whether or not they “deserve” it.
Remember, God doesn’t give us what we deserve. And we certainly didn’t “deserve” for Him to send His own Son to die for us.

     “He will not always strive
       With us, nor will He keep
       His anger forever. He has
       Not health with us
       According to our sins, nor
       Rewarded us according to
       Our iniquities. For as high
       As the heavens are from
       The earth, so great is His
       Lovingkindness toward
       Those who fear Him.”
                        – Psalm 103:9-11

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Building Blocks for Life

 

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Make God Happy

I’m currently in the midst of a very personal and emotional situation. The situation involves love, loss, happiness and hurt. It involves friends, lovers, and perfect strangers who all have one thing in common: we are all human. Yes, while it often pains us to admit it, we all make mistakes. We all act out of emotions and speak out of anger. We all fall. We have our hearts broken. We change our minds. We change our lives. Sometimes, the things that we’ve learned from all of life’s experiences are put to the test. It looks like now, that time is here. Pop quiz: What have we learned? More than one of us has recently began a relationship with the Lord. What has He taught us in considerably short time? How much of what we’ve heard in church, have we remembered to carry with us throughout our daily lives?

Personally, the things that are sticking with me (in relation to this topic) are that God does not want me to judge others (Luke 6:37), that we are to forgive each other as He forgave us (Colossians 3:13), that God wants me to love others (John 13:34), that we are to be at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), and . This is not a new situation that I am dealing with, just an updated version to something that has been being dealt with for nearly two months now. However, it is time for things to draw to a close, whether that means resolving the issues or losing the friendships. One way or another, things have to stop going on as they have been. I fear that there will be more pain. I fear that there will be more loss. I fear that there will be more anger. By these expectations, I am saddened.

As I sat, trying to determine how I would best handle my part of the issues at hand, I realized that I can’t do it alone. If I am about to hurt a friend, or lose a friend, or lose a handful of friends, there is no way that I can do it alone. I need Gods help. I need God. I arrived at one question: What does God want us to do? Not only myself, but what does He want us all to do now? How does he want us to handle this situation?

He has told us not to judge one another

In Luke 6:37, Jesus said,

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

What a simple concept, but have you ever really tried it? It’s actually quite difficult to no judge people. Many times, I’ve found that we don’t realize how often we are really judging people. Whether your mind roams with great detail, or just a quick flash, there’s a good chance that you make a judgment the instant that you meet a new person. In fact, I’ve very recently done this myself. I was told about a girl by a mutual friend, and based on some of her friends and where she spent her time, I passed a judgment that she was a liar and a drug addict. Hardly fair, but I was unwavering in my opinion….until I met her, that is. Through meeting her, I learned very quickly that she is a very nice person. I learned that she had been waiting for God to enter her life, and she didn’t hesitate for a moment once He did. I would hate to lose her from my life. I hope to grow in our friendship, and help each other to grow in other areas of our lives as well. How I wish that my judgment of her was a one-time slip-up. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Another friend of mine made a bad choice or two over the past year. Somewhere along the line, I subconsciously decided that she was a lost cause, no longer worthy of my friendship. From my new perspective (which I just gained in the last hour), I am sincerely disgusted with myself. While I’ve spent the past month growing closer to God, there was a stumbling block in the way, that sadly, I had placed there myself and I didn’t even realize it. Not until I was quoting scripture to my husband did I realized the hypocrisy that was pouring from my mouth.

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” -Matthew 7:3

Ironic that it happened to be this situation that reminded me of that verse. How fortunate I am that this leads me onto my next point:

God wants us to forgive each other

The first verse to cross my mind on this subject, was Colossians 3:13, which says,

“bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

God has forgiven us for all of the things that we have ever done wrong, if we have repented. His son died to make that possible. Jesus was put on the cross so that we could go out and make mistakes and fail Him, and still be able to go back to Him and be welcomed into His loving arms again. Just as your earthly parent would love you and welcome you home, even after you sneak away to do something that they don’t approve of. Thinking about what was done for us, it doesn’t seem like much to ask that we simply forgive somebody. Just don’t hold that grudge. Here again, I must admit that I’ve been failing God. I’ve been holding onto a grudge against someone. Not even a person who wronged me, but simply a friend who made a choice that I didn’t agree with. How senseless. This too can be referred back to Matthew 7:3– I was so busy focusing on what she had done, that I didn’t notice this huge mistake that I was making. How grateful I have no choice but to be, knowing that God will take me back into His arms, even after I’ve wronged Him in this way. Again, it wasn’t much to ask to just forgive…but I hadn’t done it anyways.

God wants us to love one another

John 13:34 says,

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Here again, a simple thought becomes far less than “simple”. Think about it. When was the last time you were driving down the highway and somebody cut you off? I bet your reaction wasn’t, “Oh, I love that person”. When your doctor repeatedly cancels an important appointment with you, Are you going to call them to share your loving response to such news? Probably not. Yet again, I’m guilty of this as well. 1 John 4:20 says,

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

That verse is another that stays in my mind, quite often to use as a weapon when I see others displaying anger toward another person. There’s that speck in my eye again! But God has forgiven me, just as He will the next time that I repent my sins to Him. There are people in my life that I don’t exactly get along with. Family, in fact. While I still make my mistakes, I am growing in the knowledge of how to handle such problems. Where once I would fight and argue over such instances, now I have found that those solutions are unnecessary. I can safely put distance between myself and those who I do not see eye to eye with, and we can both live without the unpleasant tension. I’m sure you’ve heard that some people are easier to love from a distance? Well sometimes that is true. By having this space between myself and these certain people, we have been able to avoid the disagreements and fights that would generally lead to even more trouble, and we can co-exist with no problem. It doesn’t require drastic measures to make this love possible, it just takes some time, thought and effort. Now lastly,

God wants us to be at peace with everybody

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” -Romans 12:18

This verse is very new to me. I have been reciting it to myself daily, not out of desire to practice or to memorize it, but because I seem to often find myself in situations where it is something that I need to be reminded. “If possible”, if there is any way that you can do this. “So far as it depends on you”, yes, some people are unwilling to make peace, but if there is anything that you can do to make it, DO IT. “Be at peace with all men”, How can you simplify that statement? “Be at peace with all men”. Don’t look for disagreements. Don’t do mean things to people. Don’t give people a reason to feel anything other than peace where you are concerned. As a teenager-well, even now, but not to the same extent-I was a “button pusher.” Not the type who can’t go into a toy store without causing trouble, that would be my husband. No, I am the type of “button pusher” who likes to force conflict. As an adult, it has become a tool to encourage conversations that need to be had with my husband. As a teenager however, it was a way to rebel. If there was a way to make people dis-like me, I probably tried it. Cutting people off in traffic, racing them, and shooting off my smart mouth–oh the tongue, that could carry me onto a while other blog. If I could give people a reason not to like me, at least then I wouldn’t be insecure and wondering “Why?”, if we didn’t get along. If I knew then what I know now… “be at peace with all men”. God wants us to all be at peace. He doesn’t want trouble and strife. As a good book says, we were “made for more.” So as I move forward with what could be the beginning of the end of a period of my life, I must keep in mind that as long as I strive to please God, I can do no wrong, and the same goes for anybody else. If you have no other goal in life, try it out-try to make God happy.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

 

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