Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Psalm 19:14

I have been putting of writing another blog post for a while. For several reasons. 1. I've been busy doing nothing. 2. I haven't really had anything important to say.
Not that I usually do. But I write for the sake of writing. I love to write. And I communicate so much better when writing instead of in person.
But now I have 2 ideas of things I want to write about. 1 I'll cover tonight, and the other I'll get to later sometime :)
I was reading the latest blog post on the Lies Young Women Believe. (
Basically, she was talking about how important it is to let go of hurtful comments people make and how we can't let those get to us.
It's so easy, especially when you are a young person/teenager--to get defensive when people make comments. So often people make a comment--just as a joke or a passing comment. They never meant for us to take it seriously, or they said something in the heat of a moment that they never meant. They may or may not apologize, and we forgive them.

 But that old saying: "Forgive and Forget?"

Not so easy.


Sure, at least in time.

But forget?

That's hard. Really.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? Really? Words will never hurt me?

Whoever said that must have been a hermit--or deaf.

Words can hurt.

A lot.

And if we aren't careful, we take what they say and hold on to it. Usually, they never meant anything by it. If they knew how much they hurt you, they would feel so bad. But if you are like me, you take that hurt and push it deep inside of you in this nice little "box of hurts". You lock it up and don't let on how much you hurt.

Until you can't take it any more. And you lose it. Big time.

You have focused on those words--those cutting remarks that have pierced your soul over and over. You get so caught up in those, you forget about God. It was maybe an innocent remark. Like the time someone close to me called me an airhead. It was said as a joke. But it hurt. I buried that remark deep inside. The person who said it still doesn't know how much it hurt. But I do.

We have to step away from the hurt and look to God. We have to remember that He was wounded for us. He was bruised for our sin. (Isaiah 56). Because He was hurt, we don't have to hold onto our hurts. Sure, people will say and do things that may sting. That hurt. But we can let go. You may not forget. But you can forgive. Let go. Give it to God.

I Peter 5:7--Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.

God cares for you. All of you. He wants those hurts and burdens that you have been carrying for who knows how long. Let them go. Give them to Him.

The flip side of this is watching what you say. I am, by very nature, a very sarcastic person. When someone says something, I usually have some sort of snarky comeback. Even if someone says something that hurts me, they usually won't know. Because I can joke and pretend it's all good. But I have been told I talk to fast, too loud, and too much. I say things in jest that can be hurtful. I  stop thinking . . . . true story ;) Actually, somedays, I wonder if I ever started. But I don't want to be the person that unintentionally causes a fellow brother or sister in Christ to stumble and fall into bitterness because of something I said as a joke. I want everything that I say to be glorifying to God. Sometimes we have to say things to someone that they are not going to like. But it can still be said in a spirit of love.

A challenge: run stuff through your brain before you let it come out of your mouth.

Something my mother taught me years ago: (Sorry, Mom, for not usually remembering).
Before you speak, think. "Is what I am about to say true, kind, and necessary?" If not, it's probably best to leave it unsaid.

I titled this post Psalm 19:14. This verse is one you are very familiar with. "Let the Words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy site, oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.".

Let me break that down for you. I talked about 2 different things in this post. Holding onto hurtful things people have said to us and dwelling on them--basically bitterness. And saying hurtful things to other people--not thinking and being kind and Christlike. Both what we say and what we think about (the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart) need to be acceptable in Christ's site. WWJD is way overused in Christian circles (at least it used to be, it's not as popular anymore). But if Jesus were here, would you say that? If Jesus were reading your diary, would you be pleased for Him to see what you dwell on the most?
The second part of the verse is the reason and how we can do the first part. The Lord is our redeemer--why we need to be loving and not dwell on past hurts. He is also our strength--the reason we can forgive and move on. The reason we can be loving.

Christ gave everything. Love others.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed.
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings name them one by one.
Count your blessings see what God hath done.
Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings see what God hath done.

Wow. Where has the time gone. I know I'm not graduated. Yet. But I'm officially a senior now . . . that is an odd feeling. My youth pastor had this  "joke". Every year on our birthdays, he would ask us, "Do you feel any older?". No, We never did. Ever. But if you were to ask me, "Senior year! Does it feel any different?" I would say "yes. I can't describe it. But it feels weird. Like. I'm not sure how I got to this point. The last 3 years--moved by so fast."

Looking back, all I can do is praise God. That's the only reason I have made it to this point. There were days I thought I was going to die. Projects I was sure I was never going to finish. Tests I was sure I was going to fail. But through all of it, my God has been faithful. He's taken care of me. Watched over me. Given me everything I needed (and SO MUCH MORE!). It hasn't been a walk in the park type of college experience. It has been hard. Really hard. There have been times I wanted to give up. (Side note: when I felt like that, i would re-evaluate and realize my focus had been on me. I was trusting in my own strength. By giving everything back to God, I would realize I didn't need to depend on my strength--His was sufficient).

Freshman year--everything was new, exciting, happy, and scary. Getting that syllabus for Civ? I thought there was no way I could finish. And I did. But even at the end when my Grandfather got so sick and I had to leave early, God was faithful. My song of the year was "God is there"

God is there, when I am searching.
God is there, when I'm afraid.
God is there when sorrows break my heart and leave my life dismayed.
God is there when life's uncertain, when I am alone, when I'm betrayed.
God is there--He'll be my fortress. God is there.

Sophomore year--year of the wise fool. That was an apt description of me. I had it together, had it down, was in control. God had to teach me to depend on His strength (a lesson I keep learning).
My theme song that year was "Press on"

"There's a course that must be finished, there's a raise that must be won.
There's a mission to accomplish, and a battle to be won.
We've been called to take God's challenge, by His might and through His power.
He will give the grace to complete the race and the courage to Press on!"

 I joined a new extension (Puppets of Praise), got involved in tons of stuff, and learned to juggle like never before. I told myself it could never get busier. I was sadly deceived. Enter . . .

Junior Year. Practicum. Upper-classman. Extension leader. Society president. Crazy person. Should be diagnosed as clinically insane. Through everything, God has again taught me to trust Him. My society got disbanded. It's over. No matter what we tried, God closed the doors. He made it very clear what His will was. And we had to trust that He knows best. We have to trust. Again and again, God would remind me that I can do nothing in my own strength. He sometimes uses trials to break us and make us more like Him. This year's song was "Blessings" by Laura Story.

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for Family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity.
We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
And all the while, you hear each desperate plea.
And love us way to much to give us lesser things.
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears.
What if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to know you're near.
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"
I spent more than one night curled up in my bed crying while this song played. On repeat. For hours. Crying out to God--to show me what He wanted. Surrendered over and over. I wanted His will. I wanted to depend on His strength. And every time that I would beg for forgiveness, He would give it. Freely.

Senior year. I'm not there yet. I have no idea what God has for me. But whatever it is, it's going to be awesome. I just have to remember to let Him have control. I need to always depend on His strength. It's been a lesson I've been learning.

The other lesson I've learned is: packing is a pain when you are an Ed. Major. Like, did I really need that coffee can? And the 7 shoe boxes? Why do I have 5 sets of markers and a dozen glue sticks?  I don't know. Apologies in advance to those that are storing my stuff for the summer . . ..