I have a close friend, Crystal, who strives to keep her home clean. I often wish I had it as together as she does. Her home is in a central location for a few of us to meet up for gatherings and play dates, during which she can often be heard proclaiming, “HAND CHECK!” at which point all of the kids line up and she inspects their hands for cleanliness. When done, she helps the messy hands get cleaned up and sends them all back to playing. We often tease her for it, but in reality, it is a genius idea.
From time to time we have things on our hands that we are not so proud of. Things that shouldn’t be there. Other times, everything on our hands are good things to have, but something is missing.
As moms, we are all guilty of this. We get so busy with the kids that we compromise, allowing things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We also take short cuts, not doing exactly what God tells us to do. Ask yourself, and examine your hands: Do you need to wash them? Do you need to put something on them? Good hand care is important! Spending time in the word, giving attention to our husbands and children as we should, and making sure to pray and thank God for his many blessings are just a few.
Once upon a time I was a different person. I rarely doubted anyone. I took each person for what they said they were. I forgave most simply because they said they were sorry for some of the most hurtful heartbreaking things that had been done to me. And I dropped everything at a moment’s notice to be there for friends who needed me.
Sadly, like most people in this world, I have changed. I was hurt, deeply, in several different instances where those that I loved and considered dear friends betrayed me in one way or another. I didn’t change overnight, it was after being hurt repeatedly to different degrees by various loved ones over the course of years and allowing the hurt and frustration to build up.
In trying to move past the pain, I blocked out the memory, sometimes almost “deleting” the person from my memory to the best of my ability and pretending the hurt never happened. “They’re dead to me” I would so easily exclaim if someone asked me when I last talked to the person, proud of my hardened heart and letting the world know that my ego was not bruised but instead stroked.
Obviously, this is ineffective as the hurt is still there, growing, causing me to be doubting, flaky, and distrusting of others. Besides, as soon as in some way or another whether by running across an old picture of different people, hearing another speak of them, or running into them the pain was quickly remembered as though a bandage was ripped away from the wound, taking the stitches with it and leaving all my anguish exposed. I talk myself down from the anger. “That person has no idea. And look who I am now in spite of all they did to hurt me! They have suffered such a loss to not know me any longer! All of the happiness they claim to have now is fake, because they certainly don’t deserve it. I dare them to attempt to do the same thing to me now. They’d have another thing coming!” Only to realize very quickly “They probably could care less about anything to do with me.”
And here is where it comes full circle…
The reality smacks me right in the face because I KNOW that there are people out there that I’ve hurt, whether intentional or unintentional, that I could care less about what is going on in their lives or where they are now.
Ouch. “What kind of person am I? That’s just disgusting! I wasn’t raised to be this way! Forgive and forget, love one another!”
It seems just in the last few months I’ve been tossed in with memories of many different past hurts and had to deal with them. Sometimes so overwhelming, not understanding why, my only option was to cry and have a pity party. Just a few moments ago I was asking God “Why do I have to go through all this, dealing with all of these people so close together?” I wasn’t even done asking when I realized it’s because something needs to change. I learned at a woman’s conference I attended years ago as a teenager that in order to move past the hurt, grow from it, and heal you must forgive those that hurt you.
Now, I’m going to be honest, as much as I say I forgive everyone for whatever they did to me, there are probably 2 or 3 that I don’t want to forgive. 1 of those people I forgave for one of the worst things a person could do to another mother only to be betrayed nearly the same way all over again months later. I realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to be friendly, but just the simple act of letting go of the hurt and sometimes anger seems impossible. Why should that person be forgiven for such a horrible thing? I guess the answer is simple, because if I don’t I’m living in sin and as long as I carry this burden around I’m going to be unhappy. I don’t want to be this person who doesn’t take people for their words, doubts every single persons motive for being nice to me, assuming every friend I have secretly hates me. Why should everyone in my life now pay for the sins of those that were in my life in the past?
If only everyone had a stamp on their foreheads to state whether they were trustworthy, and meter to show just how real or fake they really are…
That’s not how it is, though. This is real life. Time for me to pick myself back up, again. Time to dust off my genuine smile, and know that people are being nice to me because they simply like me, not to dig up dirt on a myself, a friend, or family member. Time to take people for their words, and not second guess every other statement.
It might take a little time, and that’s okay. I’m damaged, but through forgiveness of others and forgiveness from God, I can be whole again.
Originally written by Angie as "If Only..." on February 4th, 2010
Alright ladies, I want to hear all about it…
With this post, I am beginning a series. It will post twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. I want ALL of our readers to take part to their comfort level! (Lurkers are welcome. I love lurkers. I’m a lurker on many websites myself. Have been for years! 😉 )
Each day I want you all to take 2-5 minutes during each segment of the day to do something for yourself while giving your utmost attention to the Lord. Kids in the room and causing “confusion?” Don’t worry about it. This is the BEST way you can set a great legacy!
Obviously your options are going to have to fit to you, and they are going to vary from week to week and day to day. That’s fine Less boring. (I’m kidding… kinda… Not really… but in a way… just don’t want you to feel bad.)
Now, if you can, come back and tell us how you did this. You made time for yourself while putting God first, and we want to know how you did it to help us do a better job ourselves. I don’t want you to boast, obviously. The Bible condemns that. What I would like is for you to share so that myself and other moms can gain! The ideas you have today could greatly benefit a mom who reads tomorrow. 🙂
If you are on Twitter and would like to tweet about this series, please use the hashtag: #RaiseStckyHands with NO i in sticky… or tweet directly to @RaiseStckyHands
“Call my name, say it now, I want you to never doubt The love I have for you is so alive” Third Day – Call My Name
I love music. I really do. I am obsessed with beats, melodies, lyrics, and everything involved and in between. Unfortunately I was not blessed to have a voice to sing or coordination to play piano any better then “OK” in my adulthood. But that’s OK, I still enjoy it all.
I’ve listened to so many different types of music in my life, all types of genres. I’ve been to concerts and shows and even late night music sessions. Lyrics are probably my favorite, and I’ve been partial to a lot of them…
But just for one second read the lyrics I’ve put up at the top of this post… then really think about them. Read them over and over.
God will NEVER fail us! Isn’t that amazing? As much as my husband or friends/family love me, I can ask them for help and may sometimes have to doubt, just because they are human. My husband may simply forget that I’m really hoping he remembers to bring me home Diet Coke tonight (I’m human too, after all…) and then I may have to go out to the store… But when God says he’s there… when he says he’s going to do something… when all of the world calls me crazy for being a Christian… when I myself even at one time doubted… when there are elections, personal conflicts, wars, illnesses, financial problems, depression, fears, or anything else big or small… HE IS HERE!!!! And the best part: HE’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE!
Those have to be some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever heard. Nothing gets more real than that!
Originally written by Angie on October 24, 2008
Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.
It’s happened to all of us. Some more than others. You get through one trial only to discover you are in another. And then there are the times that everything is going great, but small things keep happening, making it clear that the devil is determined to bring you down or get in your way.
This has been happening to me lately. A lot… While I’m typing this even.
As moms we all have times like this. Days when things just don’t go right. Months where things fall apart. Years that just won’t go according to plan. Kids fight. Bills are paid late. Babies cry. Homes are messy. Health takes a turn. I could go on and on.
Being that we are human, it is only natural for us to wonder WHY God is allowing this. Especially if we are in the midst of doing something he has led us to do. We’re not angry with him, just wondering. Sure, we all know that he’ll never give us more than we can handle. But why can’t he just stop others from being hurtful & the enemy from pestering or down right attacking us? And then we are so flustered that we dwell on what was done instead of moving on when it is over.
Tonight I let my 3 year old and 2 year old (Well, he’ll be 2 tomorrow, you get the point.) get out a toy they hadn’t played with in awhile. (I rotate toys through a cycle in our home so that nothing is taken for granted and all find good use. Okay, and so I’m not constantly tripping on them.) Tommy, the 3 year old, knew that the toy actually belonged to Johnny Ben, my younger boy. He had played with the toy first, but then it was Johnny Ben’s turn. Naturally, this turned into a battle. I had to keep on both of them, but clearly Tommy was not going to stop tormenting Johnny Ben. Finally, Tommy moved on to something else, but Johnny Ben was still upset and instead of playing with his toy he just sat and moped.
This is how it is for us sometimes in the spirit realm. We may be constantly tormented and attacked, but God is always right there playing the referee and sometimes even the defender. He fights off satan and kicks him to the curb. Other times, he settles another person who is causing us grief and sets them to the side, loving them just as much as He loves us. When the turmoil has finally calmed, we sit there crying and grieving when in actuality we should be moving along feeling as happy as can be.
We’re all human and being women we are very emotional, but let’s all try to do our best and give God praise at the end of a battle, thanking Him that it is over and not complaining that it happened. Think about all that you’re missing out on by not moving on and enjoying the life the Lord has given you! Don’t stress, be blessed!
Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. Sure, there are mothers out there who are not. However, the simple fact that you are reading this post right now tells me you don’t fit into that small lump of women. What am I talking about?
Putting yourself last.
For some of you, it may just be a few areas in your life. For me, it’s ALL areas. My laundry is done last, my doctor’s appointments are put off and then cancelled, my preferences take a back seat to that of my family’s, and my kids are always dressed cute while my husband is looking handsome and I look like some hobo clown that broke in and photo bombed the family photo.
A few weeks ago I decided something needed to change. I told my husband that for my birthday next month I wanted to get my hair cut. Nothing special, just cut. “No problem!” he replied! But the biggest dilemma was that I desperately needed clothes. I’ve had 3 babies in less than 3 1/2 years. As a result I’ve put on weight and my structure has changed. (We’ll leave it at that, sounds nicer.) To say “I need a few things” is an understatement.
Last week I prayed two separate times for new clothes. Just twice. I didn’t mention my prayers to anyone, though I’m sure my need was obvious to those who looked upon me. I figured all I really needed was 2 or 3 outfits to rotate when I need to leave the house looking decently. We’re talking bare necessities here. I decided I would save up some pennies and either hit up some yard sales or visit a few thrift stores next month. In the mean time, I stopped praying. I thought of all of those in worse situations and felt as though I was being ungrateful. I would just make do with what I had.
Then yesterday I received a call from one of my closest friends, Crystal. Her parents own a dry cleaning business and was visiting them at their store. She wanted to know what size clothing I wear. I couldn’t imagine why, and while I did NOT want to admit to my skinny mini friend what my large size was, I answered the question. She then went on to tell me that a customer had recently lost a great deal of weight and asked her Dad to find someone that could use the clothes. To say I was shocked and excited is an understatement. Today I went through the clothes. All name brands. Really nice things, for all seasons. We’re not talking about a few things, we’re talking about an entire wardrobe. Most amazing thing of all? Each item fits perfectly. Nothing too big or too small.
My God Provides!!!
It is the everyday miracles like this that prove that God loves his children. The need for clothing, having children all nap at once so Mom can pray, the weather being just right so the family can get out and go for a walk, talking to the right representative on an important call, the kids getting along, the wrinkles on a baby’s foot, being treated to a nice dinner, and so many other ways. Now don’t get me wrong: terminal illnesses being healed and such are proof also. But the fact that God knew the need even though it wasn’t necessarily needed to survive and fulfilled the prayer speaks volumes. He loves me so much that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed when I leave the house. He knew that I needed just a smidgen of attention to refresh my appearance so that I could better care for my family.
If God cares so much about our everyday problems to perform everyday miracles, imagine what else he can do? Instead of looking at the big problems in your life, look at the little miracles. The everyday works that God does for you. Never forget to say “thank you”, and have faith. He’s not done with us yet!
Thank you for holding!
I just want to take a moment to mention how thankful I am that God does not answer our prayers in the order which they were received, but in his time.
Further more, I’m glad that my matters are all in his hands, instead of someone at a call center who gets to randomly decide what is important and what is not.
To take it one step more with that statement, I’m even more grateful that God decides what is important, what is urgent, what can wait, and what should be ignored.
What it must be like to see it all from the big picture, and know the need before it is needed… To know what seems so important to us is actually rather insignificant… To see what we view as “URGENT” and know that it can actually wait, or vice versa.
I’m so glad I’m not in charge. And no offense, but I’m so glad you’re not in charge either!
Originally written by Angie on January 26, 2010