Posts Tagged With: forgiveness

Show Your Chips

image

Revelation 19:11-22:21

image

I am a nut when it comes to being “fancy”. I love doing my nails, I love doing my hair and make up and getting dressed up. When I first started working at the school I had TWENTY-EIGHT outfits laid out and ready to grab out of the closet and go to school. Accessories and everything, I’m not kidding. One thing I loathe is chipped fingernail polish, it’s just so annoying to me, and a little gross. I mean, I could care less about your chipped polish but mine had better not be! Yet I’ve been so busy this week that a few days ago when my nail started chipping I chose to ignore it and keep going and I haven’t stopped since. BUT being a teacher, my hands are constantly pointing things out to students. Usually with my right index finger. So to have my right index fingernail polish chipped and have every single one of my students see that has been really annoying to say the least.
This morning the chip caught my attention even more than usual, in a different way. Like a chink in my perfectly fashioned armor it’s been right out there for all of them to see… I’M NOT PERFECT. And what’s more important, that it’s OK to not be perfect!
NOBODY IS PERFECT, not a single one of us. Yet we try. OH how we try. We try to fool ourselves by trying to fool others thinking maybe if I can convince them that I’m perfect then maybe I will be… at least in their eyes. But the truth always comes out in one way or another, nobody is perfect; and that is perfectly OK.

image

Categories: 365 Life, Revelation, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father Knows Best

image

Psalms 119:1-112
 Oh, that my actions would consistently
    reflect your decrees! – Psalm 119:5

We had an interesting moment this evening with Anna that as it was happening I knew it was happening specifically so that I could write about it. Weird? Not for me anymore. 😉
Anna was taking FOREVER in the bathroom finishing drying off after her shower. It was half an hour past the time we like to have her in bed and after repeated attempts to tell her to hurry up Sean went to the bathroom door and repeated himself once again. Which was met with a little seven (almost eight) year old attitude. Not a good idea little girl. She growled at him through the door as if somehow he was the one in the wrong, then came out and gave him a cold stare as she stalked past him to her room. He calmly told her to get her pajamas on as he walked back toward the living room. He was two steps away when her door slammed behind her. At this we both reacted and told her that slamming doors is absolutely unacceptable behavior in this house. Which she already knows quite well.
I pulled out pajamas for her and started brushing her wet tangled hair while I explained,
“Anna, you know you’re not supposed to slam your door.”
… Silence as the buds of angry tears formed in the corners of her eyes. I could almost read her thoughts, “How dare you yell at me. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Do you know why we were angry with you?”
Her red eyes held full-sized tears as they bore holes into the front of her dresser, refusing to look at me.
“Anna. When Daddy say it’s time to hurry up, he means it. He’s not just saying it to be mean, it’s because it’s late and he knows that when you don’t get to bed soon enough, you don’t get enough sleep. And when you don’t get enough sleep you don’t do as well at school. And when you don’t do well at school you don’t feel very good about yourself and we don’t want that to happen. We want you to feel good about yourself so that’s why it’s important to us that you get to bed on time.
When you don’t obey what Daddy tells you to do, when he tells you to do it, that tells him that you don’t trust what he is saying is for your good.
But when you obey Daddy, that tells him that you love him and that you trust him. Do you love Daddy? Do you trust him to take care of you? Then you need to do what he says to do then don’t you.”
The wet head in my hand nodded slightly with a sniffle and a hug and we finished our bedtime routine without any more hitches and a couple extra hugs and kisses for Daddy.
Although this message hit me at the time that it would be important for someone else to hear this tonight, as I typed it I realized that it was just as much for me as it was for Anna. Usually He does that while it’s coming out of my mouth not my fingers. 😉
Our Daddy loves us. And what He is telling us to do right now is to TRUST HIM. He knows what He’s doing. He knows what’s best for us and what we need the most. They wouldn’t call it faith if it didn’t require at least a small measure of belief on the part of the faithful.
It’s time we step out in faith my friends, for He knows the plans He has for us. Plans for our good and not our harm. Plans for a hope and a future – our hope and our future. We can trust our God, He knows what He’s doing. He’s been doing it for far longer than we’ve been doubting it so we might as well go along with Him. I certainly wouldn’t want to go against Him, would you!?!

image

Categories: 365 Life, Psalms, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lunch Buddies

Hee hee hee!!! I am so excited that I get to blog today! I feels like forever that I’ve been able to come on here and talk to you all!!! I have been SOOO busy getting this next Bible Study up and running and ready. There has been so much going on here behind the scenes and I am seriously on pins and needles waiting to unveil it to you! You’re gonna LOVE it! It seriously is all I can do to contain my glee in this moment, deep breath… It won’t be too much longer, I hope.

I can give you this little peek behind the curtain, the new book/Bible Study cover and title:

Waiting front cover only

Ahhhh… there’s nothing like waiting on a Bible Study about waiting right? You know you love me!

Yup, the writing is finished, the proof copy has been sent to the editor, the front cover is done, it’s so close I can almost taste it! I love being able to see the finish line don’t you!

On Fridays I go to the school to have lunch with the kids. Today, as I was walking up to the school I was wondering if Anna would, for the third week in a row, forget that I was coming and bringing her forgotten lunch and get another one before I got there ending up with three lunches for the two of us. And it just made me think of all the times when we forget that our heavenly Father is bringing something into our lives. He’s coming with something big and exciting and we forget so we work on and worry about that very same thing only to see Him coming around the corner with His version of what we’ve been working on… and it’s SO MUCH BETTER than what we did that our version pales in comparison and we just want to hide it behind our backs.

Every time I have walked into the cafeteria carrying a lunch for my daughter that I know she will love and actually eat, and see her walking to the table with a tray filled with food that I know that she will not eat, God has tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you know you do that too right?” Siiiigh…

Why do we worry and sweat over things that He’s got under control? So often we think, “Oh! This and such doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere God must need me to do something about it. Maybe He needs my help…” No. He doesn’t need your help. He needs your TRUST. He needs for you to believe in Him to do what needs to be done that you can’t do. He needs for us to be still, silent, quiet, peaceful, calm, motionless, carefree, and know that HE is God, that He has it all under control and that when it is time for us to DO something He WILL let us know it.

Once upon a time… OK, all the time, I was worrying over my sins, I was worrying over whether or not I was doing the right thing and God stopped me and said, “I am a good Father, if you’re doing something wrong, I will tell you.”

Oh! He IS a good Father! And He DOES tell us when we’re doing something wrong or when we’re doing something right! We just have to be still enough to be able to hear Him!

Oh how I love being on this phase of writing! There’s nothing like being at the end of a season and looking back over the whole thing and seeing how it all unfolded right before your eyes but couldn’t see it until now. My season of “waiting” is over, I know it, I can feel it down to my bones. God is opening my eyes to so many things right now and it’s amazing. Time is rushing by like a freight train and the rush of wind as it passes is taking my breath away. All I can do right now is laugh. Laugh at God’s sense of humor and irony. Laugh at how perfectly it has all fit together. Laugh at how wonderful He really truly is, and know that I’ve only BARELY scratched the surface.

God’s got my back. I don’t have to worry or fear the future, because I know the One who holds it in the palm of His eternally merciful hand and He loves me enough to die for me. I am so blessed to know this God whose word always proves true. This God who proves His faithfulness to His people in so many abundant ways. This God who fills the earth with so many colors of His love that there is no way to count them all! Yes! This is MY God. This is MY Father who brings me the best lunch I could imagine, so I don’t need to worry about getting my own lunch because I know that His will be so much better in every way!

God bless you my friends! I have missed you!!!!

Categories: 365 Life, The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They

Once upon a time, in a high school far far away from here there lived a cute, short, curly-haired Freshman girl who had a friend named Carey. At this same school, with the same friend there was a Senior football player. He was handsome and funny and was extremely muscular. On the first day of school, the girl was nervous at lunch time. “Who will be in my lunch group with me this year?” she wondered, “Who will I sit with?” As she emerged from the lunch line and into the bright lunchroom she immediately spotted her friend Carey, a senior on her dance squad. She rushed over to see if she could sit with her. “Of course!” Carey said, and the girl sat down relieved that there was at least one familiar face in her lunch group. Next, Carey’s other friend, the Senior football player came up and asked if he could sit with Carey too! Seeing as how there was plenty of room and he was her friend too they said “sure”.

Almost every day after that, lunch was spent with these three friends chatting over one thing or another, high school issues, those kinds of things. And the more the girl got to know the boy, the more the girl liked the boy. He was fun to be with, he liked a lot of the same things that she liked. But the best thing of all was how he made her laugh. He had such a strange sense of humor that she just adored about him. After several months of this, Carey and the girl were waiting in the lunch line when the boy walked up behind the girl and covered her eyes with his hands, “Guess who?” he said. Of course she guessed immediately, and he let go of her eyes and stepped into line next to the girls to wait for lunch. That afternoon Carey, their mutual friend, mentioned to each of them that they might make a cute couple. Hmmmmm…. But alas, at the time he was single and she wasn’t, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

However, it wasn’t long before the girl broke up with the boy that she was seeing and took a bit more interest in the boy. He WAS handsome, very handsome now that she was looking a little closer. And wow! Look at those arms, he MUST lift weights, a lot! But, it was too late for her now too, he was asking another girl out by now. Siiiiiigh……

By this time Christmas was getting nearer and nearer and it was basketball season at the school. The girl was busy preparing for the halftime shows at the games and the boy was busy preparing for wrestling season (Oh, yeah, he wrestles too), and pursuing that other girl. So our girl started focusing less on the boy and more on her dancing, and a little on school too. The time came around for the dance squad gift exchange and the girls all filled out their short wish lists, placed them in a bag and then one by one drew them out to see who they had for the Secret Santa gift exchange. The girl, just as a joke put the boy’s name at the bottom of her wish list, because EVERYONE on the dance squad knew that she liked him and whoever got her list would think it was funny. Little did she know, but her friend Carey had gotten her list! The last few weeks of school went by quickly and the girl quickly forgot about her little “addition” to her list. The night of the last game of the year came around and there was a dance planned for after the game. All the girls from the squad were planning on going together, it was the last dance of the year before Christmas, they HAD to go! The game ended and the girl was in a small storage room next to the band room putting her things away when she looked up to see the boy changing his shirt. She nearly swooned at his rippling muscles! “Ahhhhh,” she sighed, “maybe someday”, as the boy then walked past her to the hallway on his way to somewhere else in the school.

Suddenly Carey came storming into the storage room with her coat. “Why does she have her coat?” the girl thought, “I thought she was staying for the dance.”

“I have another present for you!” Carey said with a giant grin.

“OK” the girl said suspiciously, one eyebrow cocked to the air. They had already done their gift exchange and she had said nothing of more gifts being in store for her, what was going on? Carey flung her coat over the girl’s head and led her in the direction that the boy had just gone. She wanted to say that she had no clue what was going on, but she did have one glimmering hope that it would be the one thing that she expected the least to get from a colorguard gift exchange. As Carey wrangled her into the hallway the rest of the girls in the squad chattered and giggled excitedly in a circle around her as she came to stop in front of two red wrestling shoes on the hallway floor. Carey asked her, “are you ready for your surprise?” “I guess so”, she replied, what DO you say in a moment like that? When Carey pulled the coat off her head the girl raised her eyes from the shoes on the floor to the jean wearing legs that were attached to them, to the familiar black shirt that she had just swooned over moments before, to the absolutely beaming face of that handsome Senior football player she’d had her heart set on for the last few months. The look on his face was PRICELESS to say the least, he was so proud of the fact that she had asked for him for Christmas and that he was able to deliver that gift himself. A trophy date for the dance to be sure! She nearly passed out as ALL the blood in her body seemed to flock instantly to her face! Boy, he sure was cute, and all hers for the night. After months of crossing paths, there they were, both single and staring at each other… with the entire dance squad standing around them watching! They all walked off toward the cafeteria where the dance was being held that night, the boy and the girl still in a bit of a daze as to what to do with themselves. The girl asked the boy, “I thought you liked Katie, what happened?” He said, “she told me ‘no’ because she knew that you liked me”. It looks like things might actually work out for these two.

The next Monday at lunch the girl found herself sitting alone for some reason, I don’t remember why. Until just a few minutes before the lunch bell rang. She was just getting ready to get up and take her tray to the kitchen when the boy came strolling through the lunchroom door headed right for her lonely table. He plopped himself down and said “I’ve got a question for ya”. “OK” she replied, “what’s up?” He tossed his huge class ring across the table at her and said “will you go out with me?” As she sat there watching the ring spin like a top in the middle of the round table, what else could she say but “YES!”? And right there, in that small town school lunch room she and he became “they”. “They’re a couple now”, “they’re dating now”, “they’re an item now”. And they were, and have been for the last SEVENTEEN years, today. I am that girl, my husband is that boy, and he still makes me swoon when he takes his shirt off! Our “they” has increased from just the two of us, to the four of us plus two cats and a tank full of fish. As for everything in between that day and this day? Well, most of that is for another day’s blog, but parts of it can also be found in our book True Intimacy, the story of how our love became cursed through the sin of pre-marital sex and then adultery. And how Jesus redeemed that love and broke the curse, and the details on how you too can have a truly intimate marriage! Jesus can help, He helped us, and He’s more than willing to help you too! Trust me, it’s TOTALLY worth it. I thought that we had lost that high school romance long ago, but we hadn’t lost it, we had just cursed it, pushed it back away from us with our sins. But with God’s help we learned how to change all that, how to get that lovey feeling back, only it was better this time. Because it had depth and meaning and healing in it. Yes, this time our love was rich and real and founded on what it should’ve been founded on it the beginning, JESUS and His grace. I am more desperately in love with my husband today than I ever was seventeen years ago, and this morning as I snuggled up to him in bed I told him just that, and then said “and just think, if I love you this much more now than I did then, how much MORE will I love you seventeen years from today???” And he squeezed me tight in his warm and still very muscular arms and said “I love you” in that way that always makes my heart melt for him.

God has blessed us with something that many couples never get, a second chance at love with the person they fell in love with in the beginning. Through what I can only account as the grace of God, we have stayed together through some really tough stuff, and I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for it! The love that I feel for this man is so much deeper than anything I’ve ever felt for anyone in my entire life. And honestly, that’s only possible because of the forgiveness and TIME that we have invested into each other. Neither one of us was willing to give up on “us” when I was so very ready to give up on him. During those cursed years of our relationship, which in all honesty was the majority of those seventeen years, we stuck together, many times just for the sake of sticking together. But I can’t tell you how glad I am today that we did stick it out despite those really cursed years. It’s funny how breaking a curse can change things. Happy things happen now, and we’re happy, not so happy things happen now… and we somehow manage to still find happiness, in each other. Nothing is perfect, and we’re just as not-perfect as everyone else, but we’ve found joy in our not-perfect-ness though. 🙂

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Son-Glasses

I have a very intimate relationship with God. It is a gift above any gift I could ever ask for, it is my identity and my solace. He is my husband and my friend and I would die without Him. Because my relationship with Jesus is so precious to me, and because I believed what I had been taught about sins and the importance of confessing them in order to remain in contact with God I became extremely sin conscience. It started by making sure to clear my conscience before bed every night so that the Enemy couldn’t torment me in my dreams. Eventually I started the practice of clearing my conscience and confessing my sins every time I washed my hands – which is a LOT when you’re a stay at home mom! I finally got to the point where I was afraid to talk because I might sin, I was afraid to do anything wrong because then God would turn His face from me and wouldn’t talk to me anymore. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t doing the right things: Not spending enough time with my kids and too much time writing; spending too much time with my kids and not enough time writing… I was constantly walking on eggshells and afraid that one would break and I wouldn’t notice it soon enough that I would be able to confess it before something happened. I was afraid that God would lift His shield of protection if I sinned, there’s only one place I could have picked up that idea and it’s not from GOD! Honestly, the worst part of this whole thing, is how ignorant I was to the whole thing! Sure, writing it all down now and looking back it sounds psychotic, but the change was gradual and I was, at the time, convinced in my legalism (although I wasn’t seeing it as such at the time). I was deluded. I had been lured into being held captive to the lie that I needed to constantly ask for God’s forgiveness in order to have His stamp of approval and protection on my life. But all that succeeded in doing was to tie me up in knots, stress me out and frustrate me. I certainly wasn’t living freely, or abundantly.

Here I am, a FIRM believer in “God is in control” and yet I was placing all the control on MY very weak shoulders. The way I was viewing it, is I was expecting God to protect/bless us, IF I did everything right….. ummmmmm….. Tamar, at what point did you die on a cross and rise from the dead in order to place that kind of authority and power on yourself? Honey, that’s not how GRACE works.

Grace has nothing to do with you earning anything, and everything to do with JESUS. This past week I was struggling with my priorities (as mentioned before) and when I should be doing things during my day in order to get them all done. I have decided that I need to get up at five to spend time solely for prayer while I shower so that my day will start successfully. To do this I must exhibit self-control and walk away from the TV and/or household chores at 9:45pm in order to be in bed by 10:00pm (I have yet to actually do this by the way, close, but not yet). One morning I drug myself out of bed and literally stumbled my way into the cold bright bathroom attempting to wake myself up… it didn’t work. I tried reading my Bible, but my eyes just kept closing themselves. I told the spirit of fatigue to leave me in Jesus’ name, but that didn’t work either. Finally I said, “Lord, if You REALLY want me to do this right now instead of going back to bed, You are going to have to wake me up.” Still nothing. But in my heart, I knew that it WAS His will to spend alone time with me. He’s told me so on several occasions. I gave in to the tears burning my eyes and sobbed in frustration at my lack of ability to carry out His will. I said “Lord, I am so sorry that I can’t do this. I’m sorry that I’m not good enough for You. Lord, I quit, I can’t do this anymore…” When I was finished verbally beating myself to a pulp He said, “When are you gonna get it that it’s not about what you DO?” And the verse about our righteous acts are as filthy rags popped into my head.

Pleasing God, gaining His approval, benefiting from His blessings and His protection has NOTHING to do with what you DO, that’s legalism.  And it has everything to do with what has been done in your name. Every day we do things “in Jesus’ name”, without ever realizing or thinking about what HE does in our name every day. The first thing He did in our name is He died to pay for our sins. Every single one of them, both past and present. And if that was all He ever did in our name, that would be amazing. But wait, there’s more! Right this very minute Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the Father. And because we all have sinned and fallen short, every day, when it happens, as it happens, Jesus lifts His wrist to the Father’s eyes and let’s Him watch us through the holes that the nails left, so that Yaweh can now look upon our sin and yet never turn away from us. He views our sins through Jesus’ hand-made “Son-glasses”.

When we give our lives to Christ, it is a precious thing. Something that He does NOT take lightly. He takes us and places us safely in the center of the palm of the Father’s hand, where we are free to walk, run, jump, dance, eat, drink and be merry in His presence to our hearts content. And if at any point we begin to wander too close to the edge of His hand (AKA sin) then He will begin to tighten His grip on us, to close His fingers in around us, bringing us back to the center of His grace. That tightness may be a bit uncomfortable for a time, possibly even downright painful, but I think you will agree that the end result is worth it isn’t it? Praise God that life isn’t all about us! It’s all about Him! What He has done for us, not what we do for Him. It’s about how He loves us, and shows us that love in a multi-faceted ways everyday. How He keeps us protected from all eternal harm when we’ve chosen to allow Him to do so by placing ourselves totally into His loving hand.

So this morning and, I pray, every morning from here on out when I get up I will place my own set of Son-glasses on over my eyes to help me remember that what Jesus did on the cross and in the tomb, is a FINISHED work that He did in my name before God Almighty, so that the laundry list of my sins past, present and future are FORGIVEN. Once and for all, so that I can go about living life and not get wrapped up in sin. I can walk with confidence knowing that if I am doing something wrong, He will alert me to the situation and I pray that I will choose to heed His warnings and cease and desist immediately!

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Who’s Holding the Scissors?

Mommy: “Anna, your pants have been cut! Who cut them???”

Anna (4 yr old): “The scissors did.”

Mommy: “and who was holding the scissors……?”
Oh, how many times we would love to blame the scissors for the cuts in our lives! The pens for the misspelled words, the guns for the deaths, the paper for the cuts. But is it ever really the scissors’ fault? So often I’d really like to… no, I do, blame the Tempter for my sins. But was it really his fault? He didn’t make me sin, I chose to. He didn’t make me say those words, I chose to.

Lord, today, please help me choose to obey You and not give in to sin. Please deliver me from the evil that prowls around like a lion seeking whom he can devour. Lord, I thank You and praise You that he can not devour me! Though he may maul me, he can not devour me. Though I may be pressed I am never crushed. I may be persecuted but I am never abandoned, struck down but never destroyed. Because I am blessed beyond the curse, Your promises will endure and Your name will be my strength! You are my God in whom I trust, so whom shall I fear? Neither height nor depth nor the darkness of night can separate me from Your loving embrace and I praise You for that! Lord, thank You for being who You are! My God in whom I place my trust.

Lord, I praise that You have mercy on me, according to Your unfailing love and Your great compassion You have blotted out my transgressions. You have cleansed me from all my stain-filled sins and washed me as white as a newly cleaned carpet that once had a stubborn grape juice stain on it from a careless 4-year-old that brought an open cup into the living room.  (Oh Lord, I digress! Focus girl!) Lord, thank You for creating in me a pure heart and renewing a steadfast spirit with in me.

Lord, I praise You that You have restored to me the joy of Your salvation and have granted me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Lord, KEEP ME FROM SIN! I can’t stand to be away from Your presence and light. The dark has become too dark for me. The shadows too dreary, the gloom too gloomy. I praise You for restoring my spirit by helping me see the folly of my ways and to realize I was heading off in the wrong direction like a toddler wandering off in the store in search of the toy aisle, not realizing that that is where You were headed to begin with! Lord thank You for calling my name and grabbing my hand to keep me from walking into the oncoming traffic of my foolish and rash choices. You are SO GOOD! I love You LORD, thank You for being who You are! My GOD in whom I place my trust and my life!

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dust: Prayer of Thanksgiving for Forgiveness: Psalm 103

“The LORD God Formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Friends, I have a confession to make… I’m not perfect. So so very far from it in fact! BUT God is awesome, and He loves to redeem us, to save us from ourselves. If you think about it, without sins He can’t be a Savior because He would have nothing to save us from! Today I learned something really awesome, there is always a higher level. There is always another step to take towards God. As long as we’re still breathing there is always something “new” to learn. The funny thing is I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know in my head… but today it finally sank into my heart and my life. Isn’t that awesome, how God’s Word works? You can read the same thing 10 times, even have it memorized, and then God puts you through something, brings that verse back to your eyes and WHAM! It hits you smack in the face with a truth that you’d never seen before!

For me today, it was the truth of the fact that I have a sinful heart and a sinful mind that tends to think things that it shouldn’t. And God placed the mirror in front of my dirty little face and showed me what I’ve been looking like. But then He did the best thing of all, He wiped the dirt away. Just said “Here let me get that for ya.” and then licked His thumb and started wiping away. He set me free from things that I didn’t even know were holding me captive! And so right now, all I can do is praise Him for the marvelous work that He has done in my life right now! Won’t you help me praise His beautiful Name?

I praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, I praise His holy name. I Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – Lord You forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases, You redeemed my life from the pit and crown me with love and compassion, You satisfy my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. LORD You work righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. You made known Your ways to Moses, Your deeds to the people of Israel: LORD, you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. You will not always accuse, nor will You harbor Your anger forever You do not treat me as my sins deserve or repay me according to my iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your love for those who fear You; as far as the east is from the west, so far have Your removed my transgressions from me. As a father has compassion on His children, so You have compassion on those who fear You; for You know how we are formed, You remember that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting Your love is with those who fear You, and Your righteousness with our children’s children – with those who keep Your covenant and remember to obey Your precepts. You have established Your throne in heaven, and Your kingdom rules over all. Praise the LORD, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word. Praise the LORD, all His heavenly hosts, you His servants who do His will. Praise the LORD, all His words everywhere in His dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul!!!!! (Psalm 103)

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , ,

Day 28: How can I?

Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD. Many are saying, “Who will show us any good? Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!  You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:4-8

When you allow God into your life and ask him to forgive all your sins, He purifies you from the inside out.  “Forgive” is a word that holds extreme power.  And until you learn how to use it and receive it you won’t know how powerful it really is.  I can tell you from personal experience that “I forgive you” are 3 words that need to become part of your everyday vocabulary and roll off your tongue.  You need to THINK them and PRAY them before forgiveness is even asked for.  Sometimes your offender won’t ask for forgiveness, but between you and the LORD you need to forgive them.  Immediately, with no delay, because when someone offends you, it’s like they’re throwing you a flaming ball.  The longer you hold it, the more it burns YOU.  By withholding forgiveness from someone you are NOT hurting them only yourself.  Forgive them before you get burned.

Anger is an emotion; it’s human to feel anger.  Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us: Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Paul is telling us that we can be angry and not sin.  It is possible, because anger in itself is not a sin.  If you look at the way that it’s written, “Be angry”, it’s already assuming that you ARE angry.  The anger is not the sin; it’s what you DO with that anger that can get you into trouble. He then tells us that we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger and not to give the devil an opportunity.  What does this scripture and the opening scripture say we should DO with our anger?

Step 1) Be still and think (Ps 4:4).  BREATHE!!! We have to still our hearts and emotions and listen to God in every situation, but ESPECIALLY amid angry and tense situations.  We have to ask God what our next move should be and not let anyone else lead our actions.  If God’s not leading us, then who is?  During this period, it’s time to keep your big mouth shut!  SAY NOTHING!

Step 2) Deal with it by the end of the day (Eph 4:26).  We must make sure that we deal with our anger quickly!  The longer we hold onto it the more it tears US apart.  Not the person we’re angry with, just us.  (Have I said that enough yet?  Is it sinking in yet?)  And if you DO hold onto that anger it is literally opening a door for the devil to walk right in and take control of the situation.  However, look at Psalm 4:8 and see what happens when you give your anger to God.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (Notice, this is only 4 short verses after Psalm 4:4 where they were trembling in anger!)  How many sleepless nights have you had because you were fighting with someone in your head?  When you give that anger to God, BEFORE you go to bed you can lie down AND SLEEP in PEACE.  God will grant you rest from the turmoil within.  But you have to give it to Him.  He won’t take it unless it’s given to Him first.  He adores you and doesn’t want to see you in pain from anger.  You’ve got to let it go; otherwise He can’t help you with it.

One last example of how God recommends we forgive.  So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you.  Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)  Bear with each other, I tell ya, THAT phrase is soooo fitting for me, I find myself saying it over and over.  Am I alone?  Oh how often do we just have to bear with each other in our marriages? (I love you Christian!)  On those days when he’s tired and grumpy and I just want to smack him and say “snap out of it!”, instead I tell myself, “Bear with him Tamar, you may be grumpy tomorrow!”

When Jesus tells us to “Forgive as the Lord forgave you”, it just makes me ask, how does the Lord forgive us?  First of all, as mentioned yesterday, He forgives us in the way that we forgive others.  But here’s another example, out of Jeremiah:  I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me. (33:8) God doesn’t pick and choose which sins He will forgive or who’s sins He will forgive, He forgives everyone of ALL their sins.  If it had nothing to do with us forgiving others first, He would always be forgiving us immediately.

Let’s take a look at the story of David and Bathsheba in 2nd Samuel for another example.  Bathsheba was bathing one night when David, the King, saw her, wanted her, and summoned her to his bedroom.  She was married, but he was the King, so she couldn’t really tell him no – or perhaps maybe she didn’t want to tell him no.  They slept together, she got pregnant, she told David, and he sent her husband to his death on the front lines of battle.  So, they’re story really isn’t that great so far, they’ve committed lust, lying, adultery and murder (that’s the Bible for ya).  Nathan, a prophet, comes to David and confronts him about his transgressions.  Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’  And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)  In this situation how did God forgive David and Bathsheba?  Did Nathan tell David to “give me some time; He needs to think about this.”?  No!  He IMMEDIATELY said “The LORD has taken away your sin.”  David and Bathsheba were forgiven immediately.  “Forgive as the LORD forgave you.”  He’s willing to grant undeserved forgiveness immediately, and we should be willing to do the same.

Christian’s comments:

As I’ve stated a couple of times already, I drive in demolition derbies. If there is any place to get angry at someone, that’s it. The most important safety rule in demolition derby is, “Do not hit another car in the driver’s door.” Doing this is usually grounds for immediate disqualification.

The problem with the rule is, the officials watching the derby don’t always see the hit. Believe me, after driving in a derby, you come to realize that unseen driver’s door hits happen more often than you think. When it happens, there are two courses of action. You can forgive the other driver and go on. Or try to take out the other driver. Lose your cool, in other words, and go crazy. In most of those cases, you destroy your own car, as well as any chances of finishing in the money.

In one derby I drove in, another driver gave me a track shot directly square in the driver’s door.(A track shot is driving from one end of the arena to the other as fast as you can and hitting someone as hard as you can.) He hit me so hard, my helmet hit the roof of my car, and he bent the bar in my driver’s door so far in that it hit my seat. In that particular derby, the driver taking the driver’s door hit chooses whether or not to disqualify the driver giving the hit. The official was looking directly at me after the hit and I quickly decided to forgive him and give him the benefit of the doubt instead of going after him and possibly destroying both of our chances of making the feature. I just waved it off and kept driving.

After the heat, the other driver came up to me in the pits and apologized and asked if I was alright. I could tell by the way that he was talking to me that he was genuinely concerned about my welfare. He explained that he was aiming for another car, but was hit and redirected into my door. I told him that I was OK and we started talking. We have since become friends and help each other at derbies that we go to.

So instead of losing my temper and flipping out on the guy, I quickly forgave him, and gained a friend.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , ,

Day 27: Forgiveness

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger; and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11

A man’s wisdom gives him patience.  This verse isn’t talking about “book smarts”, well at least not in the sense that most of us would think of it anyway.  Wisdom is gained by learning more about God’s word.  The more wisdom you have, the more patience you have, giving you the ability to overlook offenses more easily, which brings you glory, that you in turn give to God.  Honestly, I’m finding with increased frequency that the more time I spend with God, the less likely I am to be concerned about trivial things like, well, how the toilet paper hangs for instance.

In Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus teaches us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.  In Verse 12 it says “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus is letting us know that we are forgiven in the way that we forgive.  Honestly, that’s a really hard truth for me to share with you.  It was difficult for me to swallow at first, but you know what I’ve learned?  Forgiveness is extremely powerful.

“Forgive”, according to http://www.Dictionary.com, means: 1) to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.  2)  to grant pardon to (a person).  3) to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.  4)  to pardon an offense or an offender.  You see, forgiveness is a choice, an action, a verb, not an emotion.  Forgiveness means you decide to “let it go”.  Will the offense still hurt?  Possibly, however, it will hold no power over you anymore.  Forgiveness is like a ball of fire.  When someone does something to you, you have a choice.  You can forgive them, or you can hold onto that flaming ball of anger.  Many times when someone hurts you, they don’t even realize that they’ve even done or said anything wrong.  Either way, whether they are aware of the offense or not, from that moment on the ball of fire grows.  The ball is in your court, so to speak, it has been passed to you and now you stand holding it.  It’s time to decide what to do with it.  Say “I forgive you” to your offender and give the ball to God, or keep holding the flaming ball of fire.  If you choose to keep holding back that forgiveness, who is it going to burn?  The person you’re upset with, or you?  Who’s holding on to it again?

Two weeks after our wedding I was cleaning in our bedroom closet and found a box filled with blank cards; cards that Christian had bought for me and had never given me.  In among all these cards was a letter from a woman I had never met.  As I opened it my heart started to flutter and I could feel the blood rushing to my cheeks.  In this letter she told him how glad she was that he was her “first time”.  I got to this point and absolutely dissolved into a huddled mass of tears on the floor of our bedroom as my knees gave out and I fell like a ton of bricks.  We had been each other’s first lovers, or so I had thought.  Now I wasn’t so sure, this woman was saying that she had intercourse with MY man, the one that I had been with for 6 ½ years at that point.  I called him at work and asked him to come home for lunch; I needed to talk to him.  When I asked him about the letter he claimed that “she was just weird” and it had been her first kiss that she was talking about.  Now, I’m a very innocent and trusting person, but I’m not stupid.  I knew that he was lying to me to make me feel better, but I wanted the pain to go away, so I allowed myself to “believe” him.  However I did NOT forgive him and I managed to push the situation to that back closet of my mind.  Every few years since then she would come up again in my mind, usually at VERY inopportune moments, like during sex.  I would wonder if he thought she was a better lover than me, or if he thought she was prettier than me.  Every time I would remind myself: “He picked you in the end Tamar”.  But it didn’t really help that much.  Eventually after weeks of mental torment I would approach him about her again, seeking the truth that I knew in my heart, but never receiving from him.  He stuck to his story like glue, it was just a kiss.  Honestly, I can’t tell you which hurt more, the fact that he slept with her or the fact that he lied about it for 13 years.  And for the 9 years that I knew about it, asked about it, and was straight-faced lied to about it, I withheld that forgiveness.  You know who it burned?  Me.

Christian’s comments:

Yup, I’m a dirtbag. No, it’s OK, you can call me one if you want. Go ahead.

Have you ever been in a situation where no matter what you do to try to make the situation better, it just keeps getting worse? You know, you do what you think you should do to spare someone else’s feelings. My grandpa has a saying: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
I started digging a hole the first day and didn’t stop for thirteen years. By the time I confessed, that hole was extremely deep. I needed a head lamp and timbers to shore up the sides of the hole.

Husbands (and this goes for you wives too), if you are hiding something from your wife, you are not helping them. You may think you are sparing their feelings by holding back and lying to them, but you are doing more harm than good, because they are going to be hurt more when they find out later than if you just come out and tell them. Stop digging, climb out of your hole and confess.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: