Category Archives: Personal Thoughts

He Stoops Down To Me

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Hazelnut Coffee and Beautiful Promises❤️ You stoop down to make me great. Psalm 18:35b #perfectwaytobegintheday #unabashedhope #90DayswiththeBelovedDiscipleJohn #bethmoore #paneracoffee #toranisignaturesyrup #hazelnut #fiestajumbomug #ps1835

The Difference Between Religion and Relationship

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My heart is so very heavy this morning.

Please bear with me as I mull over the difference between Religion and Relationship…

Religion –

Religion blocks the Holy Spirit’s access to our pain.

Religion disables our ability to be honest about our pain.

Religion prevents us from experiencing our pain as a navigation through our grief.

Religion prevents us from truly releasing and experiencing the fullness of forgiveness.

Religion prevents us from owning and fully releasing our anger.

Religion shackles us in emotional denial.

Religion tells us that our feelings are not accepted as they really are.

Religion uses condemnation and judgment to hold us in place.

Religion prevents us from being freed from our anger and bitterness.

Religion is hard, callous, and cold.

Religion demands that we “pretty ourselves up – first” then…

Religion subtly convinces us that we can get over it by doing more, being better, quoting more, studying more, and performing better.

Relationship –

Relationship provides a safe place where we are accepted, valued, and loved no matter how deep our pain or how vast our anger.

Relationship assures us that our feelings are okay and welcomes to freely give voice to them without minimizing, trivializing, or denying.

Relationship never demands that we be anything other than what we presently are.

Relationship invites us to be open, transparent, and honest.

Relationship never condemns or judges.

Relationship longs to care, extend comfort, and hold us as we grieve.

Relationship desires to give us what we are utterly unable to give ourselves.

Relationship longs to heal our pain and hurts.

Relationship is a place of healing, deliverance, and hope.

Relationship assures us that all we need is provided simply because we are loved.

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Released from the Vise-like Grip of Anger

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Today, I am thanking God for His healing.

Eight years ago, during communion, I made a commitment to Him that I would choose to release the anger I had held onto most of my life as He walked me through my healing and recovery journey.

After decades of trying to rid myself of it through excessive reading, studying, resisting, stuffing, working, denying, etc., I honestly didn’t think I would ever be freed from its vise-like grip on my heart and soul.

This morning, as I partook of communion, I reflected on that moment so many years ago and truly marveled at the fact that I no longer feel any residue of anger anywhere in my being.

What has replaced it, is mercy, compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.

Only God, in His infinite Love and Grace could have wrought this work on my heart.

He keeps ALL of His Promises!

My Heart belongs to Daddy!

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Your Love Never Quits

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My Paraphrase
Psalm 136

​Thank You, Daddy!
You deserve all my thanks.
Your love never quits.

Thank You God of all gods,
Your love never quits.

Thank You Lord of all lords.
Your love never quits.

Thank You miracle-working God,
Your love never quits.

Daddy, Your skill
formed the cosmos,
Your love never quits.

Daddy, You laid out earth
on ocean foundations,
Your love never quits.

Daddy, You filled the skies with light,
Your love never quits.

The sun to watch over the day,
Your love never quits.

Moon and stars
as guardians of the night,
Your love never quits.

Daddy, You struck down
the Egyptian firstborn,
Your love never quits.

And rescued Israel
from Egypt’s oppression,
Your love never quits.

Took Israel in hand
with Your powerful hand,
Your love never quits.

Split the Red Sea right in half,
Your love never quits.

Led Israel right through the middle,
Your love never quits.

Dumped Pharaoh
and his army in the sea,
Your love never quits.

Daddy, You marched
Your people through the desert,
Your love never quits.

Smashed huge kingdoms
right and left,
Your love never quits.

Struck down the famous kings,
Your love never quits.

Struck Sihon the Amorite king,
Your love never quits.

Struck Og the Bashanite king,
Your love never quits.

Then distributed their land as booty,
Your love never quits.

Handed the land over to Israel.
Your love never quits.

Daddy, You remember me
when I am down,
Your love never quits.

Rescue me from the trampling boot,
Your love never quits.

Take care of me in time of need.
Your love never quits.

Thank You, Daddy, You did it all!
Your love never quits.

“Till our grief is fled and gone He doth sit by us and moan.”

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“Till our grief is fled and gone He doth sit by us and moan.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 – Prayer/Promise

​To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die… A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…

Matthew 5:4 – Prayer/Promise

Blessed and enviably happy [with happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who are willing to do the hard work of grieving and mourning, for they shall be comforted!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4a – Prayer/Promise

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction)…

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NACR Online Daily Meditation
Grieving

Jesus pronounced a blessing on people who are courageous enough to grieve. Nothing could be more surprising than this. When we grieve, we often feel like spiritual failures. But God sees things differently. From God’s perspective, mourning is valued. It is an occasion for blessing. It comes with the opportunity for comfort.

To be comforted is to be held in the safety of arms you trust. To be comforted is to weep and rage in the company of someone who loves us. The hard edges of the pain are soothed. Strength and hope return in some measure. Healing begins.

Grieving is a commitment to the hard work of facing reality and allowing ourselves to feel the full range of emotions God has given us. It is painful work. But it is work that is blessed by God.

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The Topography of Tears
Rose-Lynn Fisher

The Topography of Tears is a study of 100 tears photographed through a standard light microscope. The project began in a period of personal change, loss, and copious tears. One day I wondered if my tears of grief would look any different from my tears of happiness – and I set out to explore them up close, using tools of science to make art and to ponder personal and aesthetic questions.

Years later, this series comprises a wide range of my own and others’ tears, from elation to onions, as well as sorrow, frustration, rejection, resolution, laughing, yawning, birth and rebirth, and many more, each a tiny history.

The random compositions I find in magnified tears often evoke a sense of place, like aerial views of emotional terrain. Although the empirical nature of tears is a chemistry of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is a momentary landscape, transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream. This series is like an ephemeral atlas.

Roaming microscopic vistas, I marvel at the visual similarities between micro and macro realms, how the patterning of nature seems so consistent, regardless of scale. Patterns of erosion etched into earth over millions of years may look quite similar to the branched crystalline patterns of an evaporated tear that took less than a minute to occur.

Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.

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On Another’s Sorrow
William Blake

Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill’d?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast;
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear;

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O! He gives to us His joy
That our grief He may destroy;
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

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A Beautiful Testimony

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This is my favorite tree on the Intracoastal Waterway. I take photos of it every year. It speaks to me. I feel like it reminds me of my Nana. This tree had to have been stunning in its prime. It’s perfectly formed. Perfectly even. The fact that it is still rooted in the soil deep enough to carry its weight all these years past its death speaks volumes to its rich and full life. It is still a breathtaking beauty to me. A testament to the truth – that those things we have done to the glory and honor of God will stand long after we have ceased producing – whether that be a short season or the end of one thing and beginning of the next. Yes, we are still standing, and what a beautiful testimony it is.

Happy Father’s Day to My Dad

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Happy Father’s Day to my Dad. I grieve that the last time I hugged you was eleven years ago today. I couldn’t have known then that you would write us out of your life just a few short weeks later. You can’t fathom just how much I love you and how deeply you are missed. Thank you for how hard you worked for us. Thank you for serving our country with honor, dignity, and integrity. Through my eyes, you are a very great man. I long for the day when I am able to embrace you again. Praying for you… Always.

What Do You Do When Father’s Day Sucks?

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What do you do when Father’s Day sucks?!

I’m just throwing this out there – into the great big nothingness we call the internet…

I love my Dad. He doesn’t know or believe that I do.

He was the Co-Dependent Enabling Peacekeeper to my Mom.

Yes, I love her too.

That’s the problem.

God created us to love our parents, even if they are monsters or the care-takers to monsters.

It’s been a difficult day for me.

You see, eleven years ago, I hugged my Dad for the last time. I didn’t know it then. I didn’t. But just a few weeks later he wrote us off and walked out of our lives.

My Dad is amazing. He was a Marine – almost 30 years. He survived two tours of duty in Vietnam, as well as countless other skirmishes…

I could list all of his military accomplishments but, heck, you know our world…

My Dad could do anything.

He was a master craftsman. He could build anything. One of my favorite fragrances is pine. I grew up with the sound of woodworking tools. They are as soothing to me as the soulful sounds of the Jazz Greats. I can close my eyes and feel the silky sawdust between my fingertips.

He could repair anything. I grew up watching him make repairs to not only our house but other people’s houses. I remember being a very young girl and watching him repair a heater in the neighbor’s house in the middle of winter. This made me feel so proud and honored to be his daughter.

My Dad could make me laugh until I cried. I would beg him to stop while secretly hoping he never, ever would.

My Dad taught me about the big things: honesty, integrity, character – in short, how to be a Christian – for real.

He taught me, by example, how to give your all to any job you were given. To do your very best, no matter how small or insignificant.

My Dad taught me other things too. Things that aren’t so great or wonderful.

He taught me to be a peacekeeper. To give and give, even when you are being treated as nothing more than a doormat.

He taught me to overlook another person’s abuse in order to maintain the status quo.

He taught me to ignore my own pain in order to perpetuate the lie of perfection.

He taught me to be afraid – very afraid – of rejection. And to be willing to do anything and everything to prevent it from ever happening. Even if it means betraying the very ones you are sworn to protect and defend.

I love my Dad. He doesn’t know or believe that I do.

And this is why Father’s Day sucks – at least for me…

Thoughts on Genuine from the Heart Forgiveness…

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Thoughts on Genuine from the Heart Forgiveness…

For me, forgiveness has been a natural by-product of my continued healing and recovery. It wasn’t something I set out to do – like an objective or goal. In fact I didn’t believe it possible.

Rather than focusing on forgiving as a rule or law (I am a Christian btw) I chose to just walk out the process of healing one step at a time – focusing on what was in front of me and only that.

I believe people can get stuck by trying to follow religious law and never get to really experience freedom and peace way down deep within.

We can say we forgive – yet continue to feel the rage and pain. That is torment not freedom. We can’t live in that painful conflicted state.

For me, as I have continued to work through painful memories and events I discovered something I was never aiming for – compassion.

It took me aback me at first. It made absolutely no sense to my reasoning brain. I remember asking my therapist if she believed I was being honest about my feelings about the event. She smiled and said yes.

Compassion has led to mercy which by definition means forgiveness.

This has led to a place of freedom and unity within me. I am slowly being freed from conflicted feelings, emotions, and beliefs.

I can’t truly explain how that has taken place but I can say that I have been steadily working through my pain for over 22 years. It has been ugly. And it has hurt. There is no other way I can describe it.

So – should we forgive? Do they deserve forgiveness? Why should we forgive them?

I don’t have the answers for these questions but I will say based on my own personal experience don’t let a rule be your focus. It’s not about the abuser. It’s about you and your healing. Let your focus be on whatever you are experiencing today – in this moment. Continue to walk out your healing/recovery. There are no hard and fast rules because each of us are unique and the abuse has impacted us differently.

I hope this helps. As a Christian I don’t ever want to appear “religious” because that is not who I am. I believe it is through Relationship – not rules – that I am being made well. But it is a process and I don’t believe it can be rushed or dictated how and when certain things will be felt.

Trust your heart. 😊

http://gracevine.christiantoday.com/video/when-the-father-flips-the-sign-over-you-will-be-just-amazed-i-bet-this-will-change-you-1291

Dear Mom… For those who are estranged from their Mom

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On behalf of those who are estranged from their Moms – because we have a heart for our Moms too. ❤️

Dear Mom,

I know you won’t see this because we are no longer a part of your life. Although this hurts and saddens me, I trust that God is carefully watching over you and taking care of you.

I think about you, especially on days like today. A day set aside to honor mothers of every race and creed.

I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate the sacrifices you made as a young mother while your husband was fighting in a war that, to this day, makes little sense.

Living the life of a military wife and mother is hard. Dad was gone anywhere from six months to a year at any given time. It must have been very difficult raising two daughters on your own not knowing if your husband would even make it safely back home.

I wish I could thank you, for making sure that we grew up in church. From a very young tender age, I began to have a heart for the Lord. This was because you made sure we we attended regular services.

I wish I could thank you for putting me in the church’s preschool. By attending a Christian school, I was taught daily about God by others who also loved Him.

I wish I could thank you for the Biblical foundation you laid in the my early years, which allowed me to know God and place Him at the center of my life. This has been imperative for me to be a good Mama to our daughters.

And they are beautiful, Mom. I wish you could know them. They are both so different, possessing different gifts, talents and abilities. I believe you would be honored by the young women they are both becoming.

I wish you could know just how wonderful a husband Bo is. He has taken good care of me, Mom. He is a good father to our daughters. They have never doubted his love for them. He is a good man. Caring. Faithful. Godly.

I wish you could see the woman I have become – as a wife and a mother. But more than that – as a person.

I wish I could share all of this and more with you – my Mom…

I love you and pray that in some way, God will bless you with a happy Mother’s Day. I pray He would show you that you are loved and that you are missed…

Forever your daughter,
Laurie