I really loved my rose-colored glasses…

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I’ve kept silent for a long time because I wasn’t even sure what to say. And even now, I really have no idea how to articulate all that I’ve been wanting to share. The one thing I do know is that this year has been really hard; maybe even the most difficult year of my life. The thing is, I feel like I have nobody else to blame except myself. I’ve made some very stupid decisions, and I’ve been paying the price for a lot of them. And it’s interesting to me, at the age of 47, that I am still making such idiotic decisions. One thing I’ve realized is that I need to start trusting my gut more and not allow people to walk all over me. This entire year, I’ve been choosing to disregard things that I didn’t want to believe because it was just easier to look the other way. I thought it was better to ignore what was right in front of me, and give the people in my life unlimited opportunities to redeem themselves. But that way of thinking only backfired and has sort of destroyed the trusting side of me. I know now without a doubt that I have nobody else to blame except for myself because I chose to ignore the obvious, and accepted the consequences in doing so. But I’ve also learned that I can’t allow it to happen anymore, and even if it means further heartache, I have to continue to stand up for myself. I really loved my rose-colored glasses, and if I could wear them for the rest of my life, I would. But I’ve decided that those glasses have outgrown their usefulness. The world isn’t rosy at all, and I don’t know why I ever decided to pretend it was.


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

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Beautiful reminders and blessings

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In the past month, I’ve had some extraordinary close encounters with some very amazing creatures.  The first encounter happened on my camping trip a few weeks ago.  I was sitting with my hubby next to the campfire in the early evening, when all of a sudden, a doe came rambling down the hill.  It stopped about 20 feet away from us and began to graze.  I got up from my seat to have a better look, and the doe merely raised her head in curiosity, while continuing to eat.  The doe kept her eye on me but showed no inclination of being afraid.  And as I walked closer to get a better look, she still kept grazing.  I decided to leave her alone and sat back down by the campfire, and several minutes later, she walked down to the pond, which was just beyond our campsite.  Hubby and I watched her stroll around the pond, and then she eventually disappeared into the forest.  It was such a rare and beautiful moment to behold.  Looking into the eyes of a doe was mesmerizing, and I could tell she felt safe with us there.  It was such a miraculous thing to witness, and I will never forget her eyes.  They were eyes of acceptance and trust, and the sheer beauty in her gaze overwhelmed me.

The second encounter began when hubby and I decided to play shuffleboard at a resort we were staying at.  As we walked up to the game area, a baby rabbit was sitting there nibbling away on a piece of grass.  We were so close to the rabbit that we could have stepped on it if we had not been paying attention.  The rabbit never once flinched as we walked past, but instead,  just kept eating while we played shuffleboard a few feet away.  I thought that perhaps the pucks racing toward it, might scare the poor thing away, but it just sat there happy and content the entire time.  When we finally decided we’d played long enough, the baby rabbit bid us farewell, and we left feeling as if we’d seen yet another small miracle that day.

The third encounter happened yesterday when I was visiting a nearby park.  My girls and I decided to go for a picnic lunch next to the river, and it was so beautiful that I wanted to capture the beauty of everything by taking a few photos.  The problem was, I had left my phone in the car, so I decided to head back to grab it.  As I was walking back, a bird suddenly swooped down in front of me, almost hitting me.  I thought the occurrence was very odd but began to continue to the car.  But something suddenly made me stop and go back to the spot where the bird had almost hit me.  Walking back, I came across a tiny yellow bird.  It was just sitting there peacefully in the grass, staring up at me.  It looked almost like it were about to fall asleep because of how calm and content it looked.  I stood no more than a foot away from that little yellow bird and spoke to it for a few minutes.  It sort of winked at me a few times and looked as if it were actually smiling up at me.  I couldn’t believe how tame and beautiful it was.  It could have been a baby bird, but it had all of its adult feathers and was bright yellow in color, so I wasn’t sure if it was newly born or not.  The nature of it was definitely odd and had I leaned down to hold it; I was sure it would have let me.  But at last, I knew I didn’t dare disturb it further, and so I left it there and headed back to my car.

The fourth encounter happened today, which prompted me to write this post.  I had been sitting in my office, working at my computer, when a dove suddenly decided to perch on the screen of my window.  I have always loved doves, and have had some interesting experiences with them.  In fact, I had one occasion, where a dove sort of saved my life.  But I suppose I will wait and share that story for another occasion.  For now, just seeing that dove, lifted my spirits and reminded me of all the times when animals have spoken to me in such extraordinary ways.  When I’m feeling gloomy like today, it’s God’s creatures who always cheer me up, and I’m thankful that I have such reminders of his everlasting love.  I hope the rest of you will find similar reminders in your own lives.  Those unexpected occurrences always seem to come just when we need them, but we must pay attention or we could end up missing those miraculous blessings that he sends our way.


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

#MidnightMadness – 5/6/2017

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When there’s nothing left to say, God’s words are the best way.  ~M

 

In loving memory of Wayne Scheppele… ❤️

He was a man who radiated compassion, and when he spoke, everyone listened intently to his every word.  He was the person who taught me the importance of God’s word and the key to life’s success (Joshua 1:8).  He exuded more wisdom than anyone else I have ever met.  He was the kind of person I wanted to emulate because he knew how to genuinely love people and he loved God with his whole heart.  He was a man who I always suspected was really an angel, living out his life as a human. 

“Mercies are new every day”  ~Wayne Scheppele

From our last phone conversation, here are the passages of scripture he asked me to read.  I invite you to read them too!

Lamentations 3:21-26
Psalm 1:1-3
Matthew 11:28-30
Proverbs 31
2 Corinthians 1-24
The book of Daniel – The prophecy book!

 

The Way of Love

1 Corinthians 13 – The Message (MSG)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.


Photo credit: pixabay.com

Casting Crowns – Broken Together

What do you think about when you look at me

I know we’re not the fairytale you dreamed we’d be

You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand

And we dove into a mystery

 

How I wish we could go back to simpler times

Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light

Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines

Will we make it through the night

 

It’s going to take much more than promises this time

Only God can change our minds

 

CHORUS:

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete

Could we just be broken together

If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine

Could healing still be spoken and save us

The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

 

How it must have been so lonely by my side

We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind

I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align

And we won’t give up the fight

 

It’s going to take much more than promises this time

Only God can change our minds

 

CHORUS:

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete

Could we just be broken together

If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine

Could healing still be spoken and save us

The only way we’ll last forever is broken together [x2]

Lauren Daigle – Trust In You

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what you see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face you’re by my side

When you don’t move the mountains
I’m needing you to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When you don’t give the answers
As I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you

Truth is you know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead you have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what you want Lord and nothing less

When you don’t move the mountains
I’m needing you to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When you don’t give the answers
As I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you
I will trust in you

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foudation
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
You plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

When you don’t move the mountains
I’m needing you to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When you don’t give the answers
As I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you
I will trust in you
I will trust in you
I will trust in you

Songwriters
LAUREN DAIGLE, MICHAEL FARREN, PAUL MABURY

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, ESSENTIAL MUSIC PUBLISHING, CAPITOL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP, MUSIC SERVICES, INC.

Disillusioned

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Have you ever been disillusioned? What I mean is… have you ever allowed yourself to be fooled by something or someone and then later realized that you were deceived?

Take for instance this photo below. I took this the other day while my husband was driving us home. I’m a hopeless romantic and so I couldn’t help but dig out my camera for a shot of this lovely sight. sunset edited 3After a few days, I decided to go back and look at the pictures that I had taken. That’s when I noticed something that briefly shocked and amazed me. I was certain that I was seeing something of a supernatural nature in this photo. In my mind there was no other explanation for it, and I was really quite excited about it.

After further inspection of the photo though, I realized how disillusioned I really was. Take a hard look at this picture. What do you see? Look carefully and tell me what the image on the bottom left side looks like to you. Do you see a divine creature standing there in the doorway of the building? I sure as heck did! But now look closer… can you tell what it really is? I won’t give the answer away just yet. I’d like for all of you to figure it out on your own if you can, but this is what made me think about the topic of disillusionment. Do you see how easily we can be convinced of something, when we are seeking to find that which really isn’t there at all?

Which leads me to this… have you ever been deceived, mistreated, or rejected by someone? I think I can safely say that all of us have faced this kind of treatment a few million times in our lives. The thing I’ve been wondering is… are we really being deceived, mistreated, or rejected, or is our own warped perception causing us to think this is happening to us. Are we really so disillusioned by our own feelings and emotions that we convince ourselves of being victimized?

I am the kind of person who overthinks everything. I over analyze every single word a person says. Someone can look at me the wrong way and I’m convinced that they must surely hate me. Usually from that moment forward, I tend to steer clear of that person and I don’t usually give them a second chance. I’m so self-absorbed I know… I always think that everything is about me! When really… that poor person was probably just having a bad day and they didn’t even realize they were looking at me strangely. Do we wrap ourselves up so tightly in our own self-consciousness, that we miss the truth about what is really happening around us?

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of manipulators out there. I have been played many a time by people that I thought were my friends and turned out to be just masquerading as friends. I tend to be the kind of person that trusts blindly in most situations, because I fail to see how there could be even the slightest bit of evil in a person’s heart and this gets me every time! I don’t want to see the bad in people! I see myself as a nice person who only wants to show compassion to others and I expect others to play nicely with me. I am always left in shock when this type of behavior isn’t returned. My expectations of people are so high, that it leaves me feeling frustrated when they don’t live up to my standards of how I think a person should treat me.

I am at the point now, where I am realizing that I cannot keep living life by trusting blindly and expecting people to treat me the same way that I treat them. It just isn’t realistic nowadays and I’m wondering if it ever has been. But why has it taken me so long to realize this? Am I just so lonely from having hardly any friends in my life for so long, that I am willing to look past the obvious deceitful manner of some? How have I come this far in my life… almost 44 years now, and yet I still allow people to toy with my feelings, blindsiding me every chance they get.

I found a verse that spoke to me yesterday as I was reading from a nightly devotional with my daughter. The verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says… “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.” I don’t remember ever having read this verse before and I know I surely must have. For some reason, instead of just reading the words this time though, they actually sank in and grabbed me by the seat of my pants. It was as if God had just spoken the words audibly to me. I realized right then and there that I have not been guarding my heart at all. I am so quick to just leave it open for the whole world to step upon and use me for their own selfish reasons.

In our desperate attempts for love and to fulfill the loneliness in our lives, I think we allow ourselves to leave our hearts wide open. When we do this, we are allowing the world to fill the void and we aren’t allowing the Spirit to take his proper place and fulfill that emptiness in our hearts. Can any of you relate to this? I think I have learned another valuable lesson the hard way. Oh when will I ever grow up!

Here’s the picture from above in larger form.  Have you figured out what it is yet?  I’m betting you can tell what it is now.  I’ll wait for somebody to take a guess in the comments section, before I give the answer away.  sunset edited 4Just like our perspective of people, I think we have to look at the bigger picture to really gain a clear understanding of who each person is and whether or not they are trying to take advantage of us in some way.  Maybe the answers to all of these questions will be more obvious to others who don’t go around blindly trusting like I do.  😉 ~M


Photo of girl found at: gbi.photoshelter.com