Friday, March 22, 2013

Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline

This song gives me chills every time. My heart bleeds for all of the children that this evil world has trampled upon. I listen to this song and hear a call to the church to step up to the plate and rescue God's precious little ones.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Becoming Grace Part 1- Me, Myself, and I

"I'm strong enough on my own..."

"I don't even want to have to depend on someone else, I want to be entirely self sufficient..."

"I don't want to be considered weak and emotional like some people, I want to be, no, I am that solid rock that other, weaker people can lean on when they stumble..."

"I'm exceptional, above average, and capable of anything I set my mind to..."

All four of those sentences are originals from my own soul. Yuck, it looks even worse in writing. I look back on those thoughts and shake my head at the pride, stupidity, and judgement those statements show.

A lot of those standards, and desires were stemming from my own insecurities and fears. If I have to depend on someone else, they could let me down. If I show my emotions, I'll be considered weak and silly. If I have to go to someone else for help, I will no longer be considered strong, by myself or anyone else. If I am not above others, I'll never be noticed, admired, or praised. (aka, my ego won't get fed).

Yes, those were my thoughts from about age 9-16. I carried so much false pride about myself, who I was, what I was capable of, and how I was better than others.

In all truth, I have had to be a stronger person sometimes. Starting at age 9-12, my family went through a pretty rough season. We'd had rough times before, but I was finally old enough to really be affected by it. When families are facing hard times or crisis, the older members have to step up to the plate. I am the second oldest, so I stepped up into the role of second mom. I did most of my crying at night, when no one could see me. I slapped a smile on my face when inside I felt like parts of me were dying. I kept telling myself I was fine, get over it, move on...

Strength is a great asset that is manifest in multiple ways, and admired by all. But strength is only a true asset when it is understood and used properly. I did, and still do have some real strength that has come into my life through some of my difficulties, but in many ways I despised the real and upheld the false. Being in control and self sufficient emotionally and physically made me feel okay.

It worked for a while. I built up my own Tower of Babel of pride in my mind and heart. I constructed a Wall of Jericho around my emotions so that they couldn't  be reached and dealt with. But that system of stuffing, and building myself up could only last for so long.

I recognized that I had problems with pride. I tried to fix them, work harder to have more humility. Can you see the vicious cycle? Trying to fix yourself is like being a hamster on a wheel, you get nowhere and just exhaust yourself in the process.

For some reason me, myself, and I were not enough. I cried over these things, aloud and in my heart. I saw that I was hurting the people I love by my inflated self image and extreme lack of grace. Can you believe that? My mother named me Grace because God gave her that name and told her that I would be a child of grace, mercy, and peace. That felt like a dagger to the heart when I looked at myself and realized that was the direct opposite of who I was. I wasn't strong, I was hard. I wasn't being a rock for people to lean on, I was being a rock for someone to get slapped against. I wasn't emotionally strong, I was holding onto things and hiding them rather than facing them and working it out. That hurt to realize.

I finally made the first real step towards helping myself. I cried (literally) out to God and begged Him for help. I had been trying to do everything on my own for 15 years. I had been a Christian since age 5, but it had taken me 10 years to really see that I need Him for every single part of my life, not just the parts I felt okay about sharing with Him.

The end of me, myself, and I had finally begun...

" man is an island..." John Donne, Meditation 17, stanza 9.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Inspirational Quote - Mother Theresa

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it
Life is beauty, admire it
Life is bliss, taste it
Life is a dream, realize it
Life is a challenge, meet it
Life is a duty, complete it
Life is a game, play it
Life is a promise, fulfill it
Life is sorrow, overcome it
Life is a song, sing it
Life is a struggle, accept it
Life is a tragedy, confront it
Life is an adventure, dare it
Life is luck, make it
Life is too precious, do not destroy it
Life is life, fight for it

Mother Theresa