I’ve noticed over time, and I am guilty of this myself, that sometimes after reading a blog for awhile we all get the impression that the person behind the writing is perfect. The pictures of clean homes make us feel as though we lack at keeping our house perfect, when what we don’t know is that just a 6×6 area was cleaned just for that photo. Bloggers/ministers/EVERYONE is human. We all have flaws. And to make sure that no one has this impression of me (though I highly doubt they do) I want to share some things about myself. I never want someone to think I have it all together or that I’m preachy. I am real. Here’s the proof, and it ain’t pretty:
I am extremely clumsy. I bump into things, trip, drop things, spill, etc for no good reason. I don’t know quite how to explain it. I guess I’m just bad at focusing on my surroundings when I’m stressed or rushed. For example, a week and a half ago I had my aunt and cousin over for dinner. I had spent the day trying to get my house in order, help my husband make dinner, and keeping up with the kids. I looked at the clock and realized it was almost time for them to arrive and rushed to my bedroom to get ready. When about to apply my make up, I realized my eyebrows were getting REALLY out ofhand.(A little back story, due to horrible rosacea and sensitive skin, I cannot pluck or wax. So, you know those funny little battery operated trimmers you see in
the check out at the discount store or on a commercial that you think, “Bizarre, who would use those?” Well, the answer is ME! I do. Those strange little trimmers are the only things that do not break out my skin. So, yes. I shave my eyebrows.) Do you see where this is going? I wasn’t focused, I was checking my phone for the time, answering a text, and could not for the life of me find the comb attachment. Next thing you know, there are chunks of my eyebrow missing. I stood there debating whether or not I should just shave them completely off or not. Tears are flowing, I have little time left to finish my make up, and in trying to “fix” it I made it worse. As if I didn’t have enough flaws that were obvious before, now I have them smack dab on my face. Thank God for eyebrow filling!!!
I am a non-custodial mother to my oldest 2 children. My heart is grieved every day as I miss them so much. I was not abusive nor did I neglect them. They were not taken away from me or anything like that. How they came to live with their dad is a long story. In the past there have been people who found out and instantly judged me because it’s out of the norm for children to live with the father and not the mother. Just know that I LOVE ALL of my kids equally, and I hate that this situation is the way that it is.
So, there you have it. I’m not perfect. I just like to share what I DO know and encourage others to keep fighting the good fight. I pray that when you come to Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven you find other mothers that you can relate with… or even laugh at, ahem… While we are human, full of flaws, and far from perfect we can still pray, encourage, and share what we DO know. We appreciate every single one of our readers, and pray for all of you with each blog post we write. We are blessed to be a blessing. So go be blessed, blessings. 😉
As most of you can tell, my sister, Emily, and I, love music. We love to blog about what inspires us through song.
I love to listen to my worship CD’s and listen quite often to AIR 1 and K-LOVE. Matthew West has a new song out called “Forgiveness”. I have watched the back story that lead to this song and found myself amazed! It tells the story of a lady, who’s child was killed by a drunk driver. Instead of being bitter and hateful about the situation, she CHOSE to forgive the drunk driver for what he did. Because of his bad choice to drink and drive, he took what meant the world to her. Something that would be devastating to the very core of her being. She FORGAVE him. Think about this situation. Picture yourself in the position that this lady was in. Could you be so forgiving?
I know that this would be very hard, but if I am a true Christian, a true child of the most high King, this is what must be done to have a home in Heaven. There will be no sin entered into those pearly gates. Having un-forgiveness in your heart is a sin. We have to choose to love others despite what they do or have done.
Not only did she forgive him, she lobbied to get him released from prison early. Then, actually took him in as family! Could you do this for someone who killed your child?
They go on speaking tours together and speak against drunk driving. This is an amazing feat for someone living out true Christianity.
When you come up against hardships with others over one thing or something else, remember that we HAVE to love those that come against us or despitefully use us. We HAVE to LOVE those that are seemingly un-loveable.
Recently, I was reading the book of Job. When I got to the last chapter, which I had read several times before, something new struck me. I just love when that happens! As I was reading the end of Job’s journey, I was reminded of Jonah. I know, I know…..You’re wondering how in the world I could think about Jonah while studying about Job, but I couldn’t help but compare the end of their stories.
In reading the book of Jonah (a story familiar to most of us), you’ll find that God had called Jonah to travel to Nineveh- a nation full of wickedness- and preach repentance. After a bout of disobedience and unusual consequences to his disobedience (he was swallowed by a large fish!), Jonah reluctantly did as God required. He headed to Nineveh and preached the word that God had sent him to deliver. The results were amazing! The people repented and turned to God! However, that isn’t the end of the story. Instead of rejoicing over an entire nation turning to God, Jonah was displeased at the mercy God showed the to the people of Nineveh, a people he had no personal connection to. He sat down, sulking and pouting, and had to learn one more lesson from the Lord. (Jonah 4:1-11)
In the fleshly sense, if anyone had the right to be angry about God’s mercy toward others, it was certainly not Jonah. It was Job. Chapter after chapter he endured accusations of wickedness and rebuke from his three closest “friends.” In a time when they should’ve been comforting their friend, they questioned his word and integrity. Job definitely could’ve taken things personally. In the end, God talked to these so-called friends of Job and called them out on their wrong judgments. He then gave them direction on how to get redemption. God also instructed Job to pray for them in order for their redemption to come.
How many times have we stopped to pray for those who have hurt us, accused us, wronged us, etc? Job could’ve turned his back on those friends in a heartbeat, but instead, he did exactly what God instructed him to do…he prayed for his friends. When this occurred, all of Job’s losses were restored and he got double for his trouble! (Job 42:7-10)
Jonah’s negative attitude caused him to sit angry and miserable, begging for death. Job, on the other hand, found blessings in praying for those who caused him hurt. We as Christians are called to respond just as Job…Luke 6:28 says, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes people can be mean and hateful. But guess what… There is power in our response, and there is power in our prayer. We can either walk in tremendous blessing as Job did, or we can be miserable like Jonah. A happy and joyous life depends on our response!
I believe that he knew what he was talking about, because you can not come up with a statement like this without first, going through some pain.
Anyone who knows me, knows that once I start crying, I can not stop. I’m a crier… Not little cries, but the sloppy, messy, runny nose, ugly cries. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I put up a wall so that others can’t get close enough to hurt me. I don’t deal with it very well.
Anyone who has been a Christian very long can tell you that Christians are mean. Plain and simple. Most of the time, they mean well, but don’t realize that actions speak louder than words and the hurt and pain is very real. Church hurt is the worst hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ deeply. Sometimes, they have no clue what they have said or done. That is why we must forgive quickly. If I held a grudge, God would hold me accountable.
When I feel hurt or disappointed, the tears come. Not because I’m mad or angry, but because it has to cleanse my heart of the pain it felt.
It was once said, “Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”
If I’m able to help someone else who is hurting or has been hurt, it will be worth it. It’s all gonna be worth it in the end anyways…
So, it’s OK to cry. I always feel better after it’s washed away anyways…
Psalms 51:10 says, “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Let God wash away the hurt so that your spirit doesn’t suffer. The feeling of renewal is refreshing.
Trust = assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed
a: dependence on something future or contingent : hope
As Christians, many times we like to talk about our trust in God. “I trust God to heal me.” “I trust that God will provide.” “I trust that God will always be there for me.” Do you really trust that He is there for you?
When you trust someone or something, you have to be assured of the ability that you are trusting in.
In this day and time, God is the only “assured” person to trust.
Micah 7:5-7 says, “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”
There are many people, especially women, who are dealing with trust issues in their life. Some of these issues are very serious and stem from childhood. Whether it involves parents, or other family members, or family friends as a child, or issues with a spouse, an authority figure, or whomever is in our lives. Trust is a big part of our everyday being.
Some women have been hurt or harmed by men in their life and have trouble trusting their spouse to be there for them or to take care of them. Maybe they have been deceived by an affair or lied to about something else and fear that every man figure in their life is going to treat them with the same disappointment and disrespect.
There are many other issues involving trust, but you know in your heart what it could be. I want you to be ASSURED that you will never have to doubt our Heavenly Father. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He can be trusted to take you in His arms and heal and provide and be there EVERY TIME you call. Our God will hear you!
As I have gotten older, it has gone to prove that you grow wiser with age. (ahem, in most cases…). I used to just blurt out how I felt about anything and anyone in ways that I am now ashamed of and am truly sorry. It’s amazing how one of the smallest members of your body, can be responsible for murdering someone’s spirit or ministry. And no, I’m not talking about the trigger finger.
I can freely talk about some of my personal situations, as most of our readers do not know my personal life or circle of friends. Names will still not be mentioned.
I am a very passionate person when it comes to things that I believe in. I believe and love and have faith with my whole heart.
Some time ago, something happened and I was tore up inside. I was really hurt. It takes a lot for me to confide in anyone outside of my husband, mother, sister, and 2 best friends. But I confided anyway. She was a true confidant in herself, but others heard the conversation. I spoke out of my hurt. My anger. My confusion. And held nothing back. I had finally let it all out. Well, low and behold, a few months later, after everything in my mind and heart had finally smoothed out, my conversation came back to bite me in the butt! Big time. Those “others” that heard, repeated everything that I had poured out, to those whom I was hurt with. (I’m the type, whom within time, I sweep it under the rug and I’m fine. I forgive, but the forgetting can be hard.) It brought all the hurt back times 10, because the ones I love where the ones who spread the damage. It definitely caused a permanent wall to form in some areas, though, I have had to lay it all down.
I have not gone out of my comfort zone circle of friends since. Though I should not have spoken out of my hurt and anger, and I did apologize to the offended party, once words are spoken, they can never be taken back. They keep going and going…
My ministry has been damaged to those who were offended and things are brought to my memory of how I felt, but I have to rebuke those memories because I have forgiven and have asked the others for forgiveness.
Be careful of what you say and do. People will always be watching or waiting for you to fall. It can and will be used against you. As I have stated in the past, I love the quote, “Lord, keep one hand around my shoulder and the other over my mouth!” I do not want to be responsible for murdering with my tongue. I want to be a compassionate encourager. And when I’m having trouble with something or a situation, I take it to the Lord in prayer. (And sometime the ones in my comfort zone.)
So beware of the little foxes that spoil the vine. It doesn’t take much to tear down what takes so long to build up.
What do you do when there are so many people around you who are hurting? People who have hurt each other. People who hurt themselves. People who have lost and feel as if they have nothing more to gain.
I’m so tired of everyone around me hurting. The only thing that I know to do is listen and pray.
A lot of the hurting is senseless. If we would only put God first and listen to His true Word, we wouldn’t cause as much pain.
Most of us these days, have a “me” mentality. You only care about your own feelings and not about how your actions affect anyone around you. Everything you do or say, has a consequence. It can affect someone in a good way or a bad way. If you say something, it goes on forever. So make sure that the words that you speak are not damaging, but uplifting. Speak blessings and not cursings. This can make a huge difference in whether or not you cause someone pain or joy.
Be a blessing to someone. If they need to be heard, listen with your heart and don’t blab what they confide in you. Sometimes, all someone needs is a shoulder to lean on. A true friend.
May the word of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in God’s sight.
Let’s face it, not everyone is called to sing in front of a crowd. I’m certainly not. If I could sing like Karen, I would be SO happy.
Does this mean I shouldn’t try? No.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people out there that could use a lot of practice but sing it out anyways… hurting the ears of everyone in a 10 block radius. (I reach about a good 5 blocks, so I figure with practice I’ll hit 4, and not hurt too many.)
I used to sing. Quite a bit, actually. Mostly in church. But in my teens, I quit. Why? Because 1 person told me I was horrible at it. People would ask me, “Angie, why don’t you sing? What about that (insert one of the titles of the songs I sang here) song you sang? Wish I could hear it again…” And I would reply, “No, I can’t sing. I’m not any good.”
I later grew up and realized I should have never listened that that 1 (ONE!) person. They were just mean for who knows what reason. Now? I’ve nearly lost the talent I once had… and may never gain it all back. With God, I know I can get back in the groove of it though… with lots of practice… In fact, I was recently asked to sing, and you know what? I’m going to do it.
What about you? Has anyone ever told you that you couldn’t sing, figuratively? Maybe it was another talent that you used for God but you had 1 person tell you that you were not good at it, or that you could never do it in the first place. Did you find your spirit broken, hurt, and unable to attain the confidence needed to do what God asked of you?
I’m encouraging you today to get back on the horse you were violently knocked off of. It’ll be a slow start, but get back in there. You’ll feel better, and most importantly God will be pleased. Do what it was God called you to do, and never listen to anyone but him. You might just be surprised!
In the mean time, I’ll be practicing my singing & piano playing… So those of you in a 10 block radius, stock up on ear plugs…
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…
Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, they may see your good works and your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV
I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.
When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV
So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)
Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!