Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day in the states. I know this day can be difficult for many people. So many of us have fathers who have passed, fathers who choose not to be dads or fathers who weren’t kind.
This week I want to meditate on 1 John 3:1 because no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in with our earthly fathers, we have a heavenly father who loves us beyond measure.
1 John 3:1, "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it-we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to."
I struggled for a while differentiating my relationship with my earthly fathers and my heavenly Father. It can be hard to open yourself up to our Lord when you have complicated relationships with your fathers, but this week, lean into your heavenly Father.
You have been called children of God. Seek him. His love flows freely. He offers unconditional love, rest for the tired, and his perfect peace in all the ups and downs of life. So keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of the Lord!
With my trip a few weeks ago and summer creeping in so quickly, I have been scrambling to wrap up our homeschool year and prepare for a family visit. Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted by all the season’s busyness.
This week I want to continue focusing on praising our Lord. So the mediation verse for the week is Revelation 4:11.
Revelation 4:11, You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.
Praise is fantastic because it pleases our Lord when we spend time glorifying Him and his beautiful works and majesty. But, still, it also serves our soul a heaping portion of goodness. You can praise Him anytime, anywhere, and while doing almost anything. That means I can put on some praise music and clean my house. It also makes boring things like that more fun!
So this week, let’s focus on praising our Abba Father. He alone deserves all the glory, honor, and power!
My schedule has been off for a couple of weeks. First, I traveled to New Mexico to celebrate graduations with my family. It’s always a whirlwind tour when we visit, and we had three graduations at once, and one of them was for my stepdaughter, so I am exhausted.
I have just been focusing on getting the kids and me back into a routine. One thing I will do to get myself refocused and recentered, especially after chaos, is to focus on pursuing our Lord. I am so grateful to my Father God for all the chaos that comes with visiting family or life in general, but I am even more thankful for the peace and restoration he brings. So, This week our mediation verse is Matthew 11:28-29.
Matthew 11:28-29, Then Jesus said, "Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
I mentioned I spent the last year in a deep dive into the book of Matthew. It was a very an emotional experience for me. I have been thinking a lot about it for weeks since. Just sitting with it and letting it all sink in.
This time around, one thing that stood out to me was Jesus’ love and patience. Time after time, the disciples can’t seem to comprehend what he is saying to them. I always read Jesus’ comments in my voice, my impatient, condescending, annoyed, and cynical voice. This time I read it differently. He wasn’t any of those things.
I guess sort of like when you read text messages and the context gets lost, you read them in your perspective and tone. Jesus is loving and gentle. His genuine tenderness stood out to me. I experienced a difference: I felt his love for his disciples, for me, rather than just knowing he loves me. As a result, I am more aware of his love for me, and I can experience his perfect peace.
I have been pondering how this understanding would change how I think or live. I certainly know Yeshua on a deeper level now. I trust him deeper, so I feel a more profound devotion to him. It is a whole new way of feeling treasured. I think carrying this love with me has significantly impacted my day-to-day life. I want to be more like him, and I believe that being able to notice the change of tone and feel when I read his words shows that my heart is changing.
It can be easy to look back and see all the negatives in our lives. Yet, Satan entices us to do that because it distracts us from the joy Our Lord gives us afresh each day. He also likes us to worry about the future, things that may not even come to pass. But the bible tells us God has given us victory! So, this week’s meditation verse is Psalms 118:14.
Psalms 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory."
Even when I look back at some of the negative times in my life, I can see God’s victories in them. We have to train ourselves to look for triumphs. I want to focus on all the good, the victories in my life. God is my strength and my song. He is our strong champion! We can sing and be joyful in Him!
Well, I finished my Bible Study Fellowship class last week. We spent the year in Matthew. I have to be honest. I wasn’t thrilled to study through Matthew. I am not sure why I felt that way. It could have been because I have read through it before. I am ashamed to admit I thought this would be a boring year. But, boy, I was wrong.
It was such a great book to sit and soak in for me at the stage of life I was in this past year. I learned to name my emotions, recognize my numbing triggers, and process my feelings. It has been quite a year. This book was a very emotional read this time around. I have never experienced Jesus like I did this year. I have never fallen more in love with the person he is or felt the weight of the crucifixion as I did this year.
It was tough towards the end, and I realized I did not want to read the betrayal and crucifixion. So I found myself procrastinating and even dreading it. But, as accountability does, I had to work through it, and it was intense. The best part was how it lined up with resurrection day. It brought it to life, especially for my kids.
I was also able to teach the kid’s version to my boys in our homeschool class, and I cannot tell you how amazing it was. They enjoyed reading and learning about Jesus, and they both decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. They have already shown me they have discernment. I am in awe of how the Lord moves in their little world.
Reading Matthew like this, spending nine months in the book, has been a blessing. If you have never tried an in-depth bible study like this, I recommend it!
I have been trying to drive this point home to my boys lately. My youngest can be very hard on his older brother. I am teaching them to help each other shine rather than diminish their flame. This week’s verse is Luke 6:45.
Luke 6:45, A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
It can be hard in the heat of an angry moment, but It’s important to remember to speak positively and encourage others. It’s so easy to slip and let your anger flow, but we need to pray that God would change our heart and make it more like his so we won’t get angry and have slip-ups. I want my heart and mouth only to flow good things, full of love.
This week let’s meditate on this verse and make a point to encourage those around us, even if it’s a difficult interaction. You never know how much a kind word is needed!
I have noticed a disturbing theme in the news and social media. That theme is dysfunctional relationships. Of course, I know that people have had dysfunctional relationships forever. Still, we live in a time where people’s quarrels play out in front of the world, whether it’s celebrities in courtroom dramas or your average social media over-sharer. Whatever the case, it is necessary to point out how important it is to heal from our traumas before forming relationships with people.
I can speak from experience. I have lived in extreme toxicity and have been a very toxic person myself. However, I can look back at my shameful behavior through my healing, which is still very fresh and new, and see it for precisely what it is. Though I thought I was right in my behavior at the time, I can now see that I was acting out of trauma and letting my emotions erupt and spew uncontrollably.
I have seen marriages and relationships in the news lately, and it sickens me to watch. I recognize some of the toxic traits and behaviors. What stands out overall is people’s emotional immaturity. I got married in the church and partook in premarital counseling. I can see how this can be helpful to two people who are emotionally mature and have done some trauma healing. Unfortunately, that was not my case.
I wish I had known more about myself at that time. I wish I knew more about why I was getting married, who I was marrying, and what traumas we both were dragging into this marriage with us. I wish someone stopped and shook me and said, “Stop! You both need to go to therapy first, work on yourself, and then come back together and do couples counseling.”
I think this approach would weed out a lot of bad marriages from occurring and strengthen marriages that blossom out of healing. I know, that not everyone is up for therapy, and how they respond in therapy also would depend on where they are in their emotional maturity. Still, I think it could shine a light on many areas that get overlooked and glossed over in premarital counseling, which lead to significant problems as the marriage progresses.
My husband and I have had our fair share of drama, and we are in a much healthier place than we have been. We have been together a long time and have grown tremendously, but I can say that healing before would have saved us a lot of heartbreak warfare.
This week I want to start on a positive note. I want to focus on the goodness that blooms from within when we live God’s way. So our verse this week is Galatians 5:22.
Galatians 5:22 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."
I saw a sign that said, “In the morning, give me coffee and Jesus” I think I need a double portion of both! I am not always the most loving, joyful, patient person, especially if I haven’t had coffee yet. But since we house the Holy Spirit, he will help us be better. Like coffee, He warms our souls!
I like the way this verse is written in The Message bible.
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
I do not think I could explain it better. If you are struggling in any of these areas, it may be a sign you need a dose of vitamin GOD. I prescribe you open up your bible, put on some worship music, and spend some time basking in his glory! And maybe have a cup of joe.
Well, it is no secret I took time away from my blog. I have talked about my issues with authenticity and emotional detachment. I am seeing a therapist now, and I have made great strides. I can feel my emotions! She recommended a book by Brené Brown called, The Power of Vulnerability.
I can’t say this journey has been easy. I have never been able to accept that feelings are normal and not a sign of weakness. So when I looked for the book and saw it was an almost 7-hour long audiobook, I said, no way am I listening to some chick speak about vulnerability for 7 hours! I did, though, find a Ted Talk that was only about 20 mins long, and I thought to myself, what a great alternative!
The Ted Talk was excellent. Brené blew me away. She was fun and relatable, and she despised vulnerability as much as I did. But, she made excellent points and convinced me that I needed to buy the audiobook.
I am so glad I did. I learned so much about myself. I have come to find out that I avoid all feelings, even happiness, and joy. I also learned that I am vulnerable in ways I didn’t know. I also discovered the shields I use against vulnerability and how to recognize when I do so and change my practice.
Brené gives mantras to help you manage challenging situations, and I have shared them several times with my family and friends. She encourages us to make our mantras as well. One that I have written on a note on my computer says, “I am not responsible for other people’s emotions.” I need that reminder often. One of hers I love and use is, “Choose discomfort over resentment.”
I took so many notes, and I will be reading more of her work. If you struggle with any vulnerability or confidence problems, I recommend this book. I could go on all day about the things in this book, but I linked the Ted Talk below as a sample.