Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I tried - finding perfection [Chapter 8]

As a teacher I have the privilege of working with 136 students every day.  Probably more if you count all the past students I encounter in the hallways, or students from other classes that need help, or the students who need some extra love and come see me two or even three times a day, just to say "hi."

As a teacher I have the honor to work with some of the best teachers I know; I even get to have our 15 minute lunch with some of them!

As a teacher we have to remember that every person is different.

As a teacher, there is no perfect.

Well, there are perfect storms.

Chapter 8 - The Corrective Experience 

Chapter 7 and 8 could have been written together.  But I believe that Lysa wanted to break it up, what could have been a lengthy chapter, into a before and after.  A cause and effect.  A then and now. An old and new.

She continues to tell the story about Abigail (1 Samuel 25) and how Abigail did "me too" right.

As a teacher  one of the best things I have learned wasn't something I learned in PLC or that I derived from looking at endless amounts of data; but I learned though observation.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone has gifts and areas which need improvement.

At the start of the chapter, on page 90, Lysa writes that different people cause difficult situations unless both parties determine to discuss them equally and fairly.

People are, well, people.
We make mistakes
We cause errors
We need forgiveness
We need grace.
People are, well, people.

"Relationships don't come in packages of perfection;
relationships come in packages of potential." 

The above is a great quote. Because,

People are, well, people.
We can say sorry for our mistakes.
We can fix errors
We can ask for forgiveness
We can give grace
People will always be people.

What do you do when  you realize you are  working with people.  What do I do when working with over hundreds of students and teachers every day? What do I do when I see somebody's child more than I see my own?

We have to share stories.  We have to relate.  We have to be a people.

Lysa talks about "Me too" and how powerful that statement can be.  Abigail used it in chapter 25 of Samuel when she talks to the king.    "Me too" is different than "you should" (defensive) and  "you could" (preachy/teachy).  By saying "met too" lets the PEOPLE around you know that you are  a PEOPLE too.

Now, there is a difference between acknowledging the person and their story without having to join them.  You can identify with their hurt, have empathy, without having to agree with them or their situation.
Do you have that friend, that co-worker, maybe even that student, who sometimes talks to talk, or sometimes seems "dramatic" - have you really LISTENED?  Through all of those sad songs there is truth, there is their story.  They are not wanting a pitty party (unless they are totally narcissistic); they are wanting to be acknowledged, they want someone to say "me too" and to feel invited back into the human race.

Do you want to be heard?
Do you want to be accepted?
Do you want to be invited?
Do you want to be loved?

We all do!

Because we are all people, and well, we live in a not-so-perfect world.
But what if you are not the one doing the listening and the one doing the talking?

It really struck me, the over achiever, type-A, wonder woman, ISTJ, do it because it has to be done person -----> "No amount of outside achievements fixes inside hurt" page 98

WAIT.  Are you telling me, that no matter what I DO, I CAN'T FIX ME??

No, you don't have to!  That's the beauty.  We can be broken, but we are loved.  We can be unwanted, but we are needed.  We can be poor, but we are rich.  We can be lonely, but be full.

We have to allow God to heal our unwanted-ness, our brokenness, our loneliness to be able to move forward.  It's not by works, but by faith.

Is it true that God made people in his image?
Is it true that God is good?
Is it true that all people, whom are made in the image of God, are good?

If you answered yes, then you have to include yourself.

When we speak to people we have to speak to them as the children of God that they are.  We can not speak OR listen to people based off of their actions.  

People are, well, people.

So, as you go throughout your day, are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?  You have to make a point to make progress.
We don't live in a perfect little world with perfect relationships. We live in a world full of potential. 

I tried finding perfection.  I tried creating my own false reality, my own perfect  world.  And  as a people, I failed.  But when I remember who is really in charge.  My imperfect world started to be the most perfect fit to the brokenness.

You are loved.
Live like it. =]

***For those of you who need some new tunes, check out what's been playing in my head:

Forever by Chris Tomlin
Lose My Soul by TobyMac

Friday, September 23, 2016

I tried - running from rejection [Chapter 7]

I tried running from rejection.

Ironically, I now find peace from running; the physical activity.

It's exhausting to run from rejection, pain, and hurt.  
For almost a good decade, I was a hamster on a running wheel of rejection.
No end.  
No stopping. 
No peace. 
No comfort. 
No Jesus.


Chapter 7 - When Our Normal Gets Snatched

Lysa does a great job describing what rejection was like to her.  She stated that it was like an image that had a person cut out; it leaves a huge gap.  

She shared the story about Abigail, 1 Samuel 25, and how Abigail, who was married to a 'fool' also learned and taught one of the most powerful messages - as well as earning a major blessing.

We can not embrace God fully while turning away God.  Embracing God also means receiving his grace.

How does one receive grace when you are empty and full of holey-wounds?

Holes are good!  Holes allow for space for grace.

We receive grace when we gift forgiveness.

(First, before I continue with my story, I want you to know that I tend to type facts and lack emotion.  If you ever want to get coffee or e-mail me about my story.  Please ask.)  

My normal was snatched up in 2009.  It was snatched out from under me, without a moment notice.   I got home from work and my husband, of a year, told me that he no longer wanted to be married. This was two days after receiving a love letter that he wrote me upon my arrival home from visiting family.

I went from love letter to considering divorce papers in 48 hours.

There it was, mid-July, everything I was planning for, my normal, was gone.

You know how some people can pull a table cloth off without any glasses moving? Well he ripped the table cloth out, and every piece of nice china, called our life, came shattering to the floor.   Millions of questions and memories on the floor.  So much confusion and chaos.

There's not enough glue in the world to put me back together.  Us together.

The following months were a whirlwind of events.
I finished my summer classes.
I moved back in with my parents in a different state.
I got a job.
I enrolled in a new college.
I got another job.
I wrote.
And wrote.
Replayed everything.

After several months of this whirlwind, God, it was all his doing.  Reconnected us.  He was the glue. We slowly pieced our fine china back together.   It was not an easy road.  But we traveled it.

November 2013 - International Conference on Mission.  We were sitting in on the second part of a series about spiritual war fare and how to over come demons.    Through this I was lead to make a list of past rejections, with one of the major ones was Jeremiah.

I walked out of that room realizing that the only way I could feel His grace was by giving my husband true unconditional forgiveness.  

I forgave him for all the pieces of my life that might not ever fit back together just as I please.  But I praise Jesus for answering my prayers.   I wrote prayers asking God to break my husband.  And while breaking my husband he was repairing our marriage.

Giving forgiveness allows for a pure heart to be filled with grace.  

Page 85 "Her (Abigail) grace doesn't justify her husband or validate David.  It saves her."

It, the act of forgiveness, saved her.

It saves us.

We can not possibly grow while being a victim of our own circumstances.  

Maybe one day I will share the other moment that my normal was snatched; but for now this will do. 

How do you want to live?

Grace or bitterness?
Peace or anger?
Mercy or hatred?
Compassion or resentment?
Victory or victim?

Listen to "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North

"Oh Father won't You forgive them
They don't know what they've been doin' (oh no)
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'"

Stay tuned for chapter 8 - where we continue this conversation about forgiveness and how to fill our words, like Abigail, with grace and love.   

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I tried - breaking up with you [Chapter 6]

I have this problem.   It has many names and comes  in many different colors.   This problem sneaks up in a variety of ways and in my day to day life.   It rears its ugly head  when I am parenting my boys and sometimes when I am talking to friends it starts to seep out of my mouth, my pores - almost like it wants to be set free.

 Prideful Control

It needed to be whispered; sometimes saying it too loudly makes it resurface.
I have had so much pride, at times, truly training to get better at being humble and letting God be in command, but with this pride, I get hurt when I don't understand people and their relationship with me, or if I feel like I don't fulfill a purpose in their life.  

Chapter 6 - Friendship Breakups

This might be the shortest chapter in the book.  It is the shortest chapter we have read so far in Lysa TerKeurst's "Uninvited."   Oddly enough though, in my personal story, friendship breakups might be my longest chapter.  Some my fault and some not.  And that's okay.

The chapter might have few words, but the meaning and truth speaks volumes.  

She starts out talking about the equation (you know my heart loves math, don't you Lysa?).  I too desire to make friends easy and to keep them and then to live happily ever after in this perfect environment.   I use to be super manipulative, thinking I could keep my environment perfect by allowing and selecting only certain people in.   

I later learned, that's not Jesus.  I have to and should want to love all people.   
And when I am selecting who is "in", I am building up more walls in attempt to protect myself.
Instead of allowing people in that can help shape me, ask me tough questions, and show me that true unconditional love.  

She continues to tell a story about how a friend asked her, Lysa, not to contact her again.  


People tell other people "don't bother me ever again!"

I have been told that; thought I was the only one who have ever encountered friendship breakups.
Several times. 
Admitting that I have lost friends makes my stomach lurch.  
It's not a happy feeling.

We live in a broken world, one were we are humans, we make mistakes, and sometimes friendships are not meant to be. But that doesn't mean we have to stop loving the person.  

On page 68 she says, "People who care more about being right than ending right just prove how wrong they were all along."

It is painful to lose friends, to think about the what-ifs and possibly-sos.
It hurts when you feel unheard, even if you are wrong.
It burns when you are targeted by those close to you.
It aches when your identity is lost in something other than Christ.
It exhaust you chasing after what could have or maybe could not have been.

"Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a heart as beautiful as yours."

She later says "I have to fight through wanting to fight back."   

Oh, how true.   

Being a person with pride issues, a competitive nature, and the lawyer-like attitude; I want truth to be spoken.  I want justice to be heard.  I want lives to be changed. I want growth to happen.  I want to see everyone happy and at peace. But sometimes, simply not fighting is the best fight.

This concept is really hard for me; I use to think I deserved to be fought for.  I use to think that someone had to rescue me from my own personal pit of despair.  I use to think that for someone to PROVE to me that I was worth their time; they'd fight.

But sometimes, simply not fighting is the best fight.  

There is a war going on right now.  Have we become blind with pride?  Is our vision blurred with chaos?  Is our sight darkened with anger?  

This war is not between you and her.  Me and She.  They and I.  

This war is between Christians and the enemy.  

The only way we can win this war is by winning battles in our relationships.
The only way we can win the battles is by loving the other person. 

We might have to let people go, and that's okay.

But when they are let go they need to be loved.

Will all friendships be equal and fair. No.
Will all friendships last forever. No.
Will she always be right. No.
Will I always be right. No.

Will I win the battle over the enemy by giving God honor by loving her.  Yes. 

I am still training to not have as much pride.  To loosen up my grip on the control and let God be in charge, rightfully so.    Maybe it's not you.  Maybe it's me.  Maybe I need to break up with my pride?

Monday, September 19, 2016

I tried - whole30

So, I am currently on day 6 of trying "whole30"



6 days without dying!

Image result for celebration

Here's how I modified it for me - it's really just me watching what I eat for 30 days - super close.
**No obvious sugar - I'm not hardcore on the sugar - so like everything has sugar in it.  So if it's 1g or less than I'm okay (like packaged deli meats, etc).   I'm still eating all the fruits I want.
**No breads/grains/carbs - again, not hardcore - I am going to allow a little bit (haven't yet) brown rice and maybe couscous... but so far doing good
**No dairy - not even cheese.  Super sad face.
**Absolutely allowing beans/legumes and peanut butter (in moderation) and trying to learn to stomach/enjoy black coffee over my old sugary delicious treats.  - this is the biggest modification.  

Whole 30 is supposed to be a cleanse, to 'reset' your system in 30 days.
For me, I am doing this as a healthy lifestyle change.
That if I can be disciplined enough for 30 days to not eat ________________foods and eat more of _______________healthy foods, than I am good.
I want to be able to live my life and not over indulge on food.

Exercise, it is included.  I am still running 5k's here and there.  I am also going to the gym a few times a week.  When I am not, I am doing the following challenges:

Image result for crunches, squats, planks, push up challenge

You might be asking yourself, "Why would anyone want to torture themselves and not eat all of this yummy amazing food?"
            - Excellent question! I want to see if I have the will power.  Last year around this time I did a three day fast.  It was hard (you can read my blog).  But I felt accomplished.  That is my personality, I want to complete and compete against myself.

But it's more than just me.  It's for Him and it's for Them.   I want to crave God more than I crave food.  I want to sit around a table not because there's food to eat, but because there are people to look at and love on.  I want to be able to treat myself properly, as He intended, so that I know that nothing is in my way spiritually.    Read the book, Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst.  I read it with some friends a couple summers ago.  It really reminded me how much we depend on food over God.

I also want to do  it for Them, my family.  I want to be the best wife possible (J loves me, don't get me wrong, but I want to challenge myself to be better physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc).   It's also for our boys.  I want to live a long time with them.  Race with them.  Chase them at the playground.  I want them to help influence their eating choices and habits now, while it's not too late.

"What is your goal?"  A friend asked me last night at small group.
          - Another great question.  I told her, as she was taking her homemade pies home (heart broken I didn't get to try them, they were strawberry!) That I would be pretty disappointed if I didn't loose any weight after all of this.     Last August, I started a personal campaign of "willlose60" - I lost all the baby weight (30/35 pounds) by early March.  And then I hit the wall.  The plateau.  Whatever it was, it hurt.  I trained for a half-marathon, was running, but not loosing any weight.      I still have about 20 pounds to go to get to my goal weight.  But this is more of a mental matter than a physical.  I want to see that I can over come food in 30 days.  I want to feed my addiction of control while allowing God to be in command. So if I don't see the scale move, that's okay.  It's also more than the numbers on the scale.  I want to feel good inside and out.

(This picture makes me laugh, Hope it made you smile too)

How am I doing?
              - Really well!  I have had a few headaches, but I want to link that to being tired.  Lately, the days that I am at work in front of a computer screen planning and proctoring tests, I am more tired and get a headache.    As a teacher, lounges are very dangerous, tempting places.  But in the last six days I have passed up cookies, cupcakes, baby shower treats and cake, yummy homemade pasta from a friend, and that lovely-looking pie.   I have also not jumped to my kiddos "fruit" snacks or treats either.     I am eating when I want, snacking on almonds or fruit.  I am making changes to what I eat, not to what my family eats.  I.E. tacos/burritos I use lettuce instead of tortillas.  I am making wiser choices and still get to eat more.    Currently, I love banana-cream.  Seriously, freeze some banana chunks, put them in a blender (we use a ninja) add a little bit of water (and peanut butter if you want) and you get a cold creamy treat.  Hits the need for ice cream.  Can I say, where I live, ice cream is very easily accessible.  It's a dangerous neighborhood!
The next 24 days/80% might be different.  Will let you know, check back in.  Or ask like so many already have!

How am I doing it?
             - This is different than how I am doing.  I don't like letting people down.  But finding a person to hold you accountable for 30 days is really hard.  So I took a concept from a friend who had to raise money for a missions trip and asked for 30 people to sign up for a day.    I assumed I would have to ask people to sign up for two days. I was overwhelmed with the amount of love, support, encouragement I received from people (what are they trying to say about me.... kidding!)    THE COOL PART - I signed up the people's names on a calendar, and some are already telling me how that date was important to them.    It's a total God thing.  Their support comes from a variety of ways so far, hanging out with me, texting me, sending me facebook messages or comments, praying for me.   They are doing this while I am also able to pray for them.  While I am running/exercising or in a moment of weakness I will think "I don't want to let __________ down.  Don't do it."    This support team has rocked my world!

Sunday we had a great sermon about the difference between trying to be like Jesus and training to be like Jesus. When we try something, it's almost like we are okay with failure, or maybe we will try something knowing that we probably won't like it, even though we never gave it a fair shot.



Training is learning from our mistakes, taking opportunities to improve, getting help and support, being disciplined in our actions.

So, I am training using whole30 to change my eating style.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I tried - trusting more than I should [Chapter 5]

Predicting that there will always be chaos is predictable.

Chapter 5 - Hello, My Name is Trust Issues

She starts out this chapter talking about me (did anyone else feel like that?)  I enjoy being predictable, having a plan, a strategy, to understand all angles, to be able to use logic or reason to rationalize ideas and concepts.  Yup, that's me!  I am loyal, analytical, and pretty much just a constant - like the number 6.

I too crave for life to just make sense.

Although I like to fix problems, help fight injustice, show people all angles and that there are two sides of the story.   I also like peace, stability, and keeping my head in the sand.

I cracked up when she talked about math being like life.   I always get enjoyment out of shows, movies, interviews, books, all media that uses math as the subject to "fail at".  As the subject that is hated.

(Not going to lie, totally just found this and thought it was about life it would work... haha!
Be thankful and you'll be happy!)

Maybe so many people fail at math because we now have learned to cling to chaos more than we cling to Christ?
Maybe so many people fail at math because we no longer want or seek after that predictability.
Maybe so many people fail at math because they simply can not be told they are wrong, or don't like TRUSTING the people who have gone before them.

Rhetoric question:  Why are we so good at pushing people away?  I have seen my peers do it, I have seen co-workers do it, I have seen my family do it.  I have done it.  A lot!    I thought by pushing people away I would protect myself.

The only way to learn to trust people is by having people around us.
The only way to have people around us is to share our stories and be transparent.

Page 62 "God will fill us where we are not just full, but over flowing."

God loves us so much, that He fills us with his love.  And if we don't chase after other things, than that love will become over flowing.

What do you chase after instead of chasing God?


God you are good.  God you are good to me.  God you are good at being God.  Without you, I am nothing.  I am empty and alone.   I come to you needing to be filled up.   I come to you because you are greater than me.  When I am weak, you are strong.  When I am tired you are my energy source.  When I am isolated, you are near.  God, I just ask that you watch over these women reading this book all over the globe.  I pray that they can be filled, that they can be over flowing with your love, joy, and encouragement.  That our trust issues are from the enemy, they are not worth our time.  That we must trust in you.  You are in control.  We want to pursue and chase you.  Fill us up and send us out.

Live loved

Listen to: Tim Hughes - God of Justice

"Fill us up and send us out, fill us up and send us out
Fill us up, send us out Lord
Fill us up, send us out, You fill us up and You send us out
Fill us up, send us out Lord, yeah

Acting justly, loving mercy
We must go, we must go
To the broken and the hurting
We must go, we must go"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I tried - being alone [chapter 4]

When I first saw this title of chapter four, it took me way back.
To high school.
That's over a decade ago! 
It took me back to a class of misfits - gothic people, stoners, class president, parties, sweet girls, and sad boys, wannabies, and kind hearted Jesus lovers.   It was an odd collection of students.  But there we were, a family. 

It was my sophomore year and I took Poetry!  That class, called me Dee Payne.   My class ring even has Dee on it. I signed poetry and art work with it. 

Was I "Dee Payne, or was I Megan In Pain? 

Here is a sample: 
As I sit here in the dark
alone and no one beside me. 
I sit here, the tears roll down
as I cry a river than a sea. 
I wonder and think real hard 
do you ever think about me or us
I realized we never were
That you were fake and I'm making a fuss. 
Loneliness washes over me
taking me for a ride 
I feel the urge to cry and die 
because I know I can't hide 
As I sit here in the dark
alone and no one beside me
I sit here, the tears roll down
as I cry a river than a sea. 
All the scars will never leave
I'll never be the same. 
You hurt me deeply, my heart.  
But I made Me bleed, it's all a game. 
It was you, but next was him
never a place to stop and rest
You were never happy with me
I still got hurt - even at my best. 
As I sit here in the dark 
No One beside me 
I sit here, the tears roll down
As I drown in my river than my sea. 

Chapter 4 - Alone in a Crowded Room

This chapter title brought everything wrong abut my sophomore year back to my memory.  

If you were wondering - I was the class president who made good friends and loved all those quirky people in our poetry class.   

But I was also the class president who was damaged, rejected, isolated, hurt, broken, and alone, even though I knew everyone.   Another line from a poem I wrote as a 16 year old "people only see me cheery eyed...not sad, they can't tell." 

Reading through my old poetry made me reflect on being alone in a crowded room. Been there, done that. Track was on repeat for several years. 
The difference between me as a 16 year old and me as a 29 year old (other than about 20 pounds) is that I now know how loved I am.   

There was a lot of bad, demons, in my life. Although I went to church, I didn't know Jesus.  


I had no idea that I could be loved after being used and abused.   {This blog is not a place to share every detail of my life, but i am an open book, please ask if curious. So we can relate. So we can connect. You are invited into my life.}

Page 43 she states "proximity and activity don't always equal connectivity." 

I so wish I knew what I know now.  I dated every type of guy, went to every type of party, had every type of friend - looking, reaching for anyone, a lifeline. I wanted so desperately to be wanted, needed, and loved that I involved myself in so many clubs and groups.  Something to cover up the pain.  Grasping at anything. 

I didn't want to be left alone with my thoughts. 

She later talks about an unrealistic need of people and how it is being greedy. If that's true I would probably of been the president of that greedy group. 

But now I know!  It's not about how close you are to a person or sharing hobbies, it's about transparency, sharing stories, loving people but not asking them to love you back. 

This picture is what I envisioned when she stated "deep down inside of me, I want to ask for forgiveness, but my pride is holding all my kind words hostage" 

Lysa, can you get out of my head!  Can you just not right a book about all the wrong I do?! 

"Hi my name is Megan, I am a pride addict" seriously, I am the person who would argue -------> even If I knew I was wrong. I HATED loosing!       

I can't be filled with Gods love, if I am filled with my own pride.   

As I mentioned before I have created a list of major and minor events in my life that I was hurt.   Before reading this book I always had an excuse or reason for what happened to me.  Usually pointing fingers back at them.  

We get the same amount of respect from people as we give ourselves. 

I might have been kind, but I was using people to keep me floating, my head above water.   I was not kind or loving to encourage people, because I had no idea what that was like. 

Until about four or five years ago I would have said I was a Christian.   But I didn't live or love like one.  I knew Jesus, just like I knew Leonardo Davinci (my favorite) - he was a historical man.  

I had no idea that I have been looking at my failed relationships with the wrong lens.  Blaming people was not the solution. 

Being filled up on Gods love was the solution.   I was the common factor on all that was wrong. I was feeling empty because I WAS EMPTY.   Like she says, souls are like stomachs, they need to be fed too!  

I apology it is bury, but this page was too good to pass up.    

We need His love. Without it, we are grasping at everything.  

"The more we fully invite God in, the less we will feel uninvited by others" 

God loves!  That's all we need to remember.  Even when I thought the world was against me, he was for me. 

Today, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a field trip with some of my students.  At the zip line station there was guy named Blake.   On his right fore arm he had a tattoo of Isaiah 41:10. 

And In case you haven't figured out yet, how loved you, I, we really are.  

Read these lyrics by Hawk Nelson
I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won't you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering
Cause I am for you
I'm not against you
If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean
Don't think you need to settle for a substitute
When I'm the only love that changes you
And I am for you
I'm not against you
I am for you
I'm not against you
If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean
Open your heart
It's time that we start again
Open your heart
It's time that we start again
If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean
The drops in the ocean
I am for you
I'm not against you
I am for you
I'm not against you


Friday, September 9, 2016

I tried - not jumping to conclusions [Chapter 3]

I tried not jumping to conclusions.   I have lived for 29 years,  1 month, and 9 days.  In that little of time I have realized that there are two sides to every story.  There is always a reason for people's actions (sometimes not logical or correct, but a motive nonetheless).

Chapter 3 - There's a Lady at the Gym Who Hates Me

First off, as a lady at the gym.   That might me one of the most terrifying places to be.  There are mirrors. And not just the nice kind that you only have to see your face, but BIG mirrors.  Walls  and walls of them.   Mirrors don't lie.  Hmm.... and if you can get past the mirrors, let's talk about the intimidating knobs and leavers.  Pull this, twist that.
I'm not just talking about my body, but I am talking about the machines.   I am not a strong reader, and love quick information (infographics!) so the pictures on how to work machines is right up my alley... until you realize that the pictures are not to your body scale.  I'm 5'2, well below average (in height, duh).  So my joints don't meet the spots the machine wants them to, so those pictures can get pretty complicated at times.   I digress.

The gym.  It's pretty scary.  You go there wanting to make yourself better, or maybe look something like you imagine you "should" be.  Maybe you go there to blow off steam.  Whatever your reason,  it's not an easy or comfortable place for most women.

Lysa opens this chapter with an experience at the gym.  In summary, she felt like because she took a call while on the elliptical, she made another lady upset and hate her.   That was it.  In a matter of minutes, she made an enemy without even knowing her name.

Before I continue, I wanted to address something that jumped off the pages at me.  I am not for sure if they jumped, or leaped, at me because I am currently working on my healthy lifestyle, or that I go to the gym and want to loose weight, but when she talked about herself at a marshmallow, I....paused.

You. A. Marshmallow?  for real?  Girl, no you didn't!?

(Totally makes me chuckle some of the images I get to look at)

Here is what goes through my head within her first page of this chapter.  If you, Lysa, a beautiful, gorgeous, sweet heart and great smile lady think you look like a marshmallow.......WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ME?    If she "judges" herself so harshly, when I think she's put together, does she see me as a slob in jeans?   I know that she was wanting to be relatable (I too can see myself as white and fluffy) or was her statement more hurtful, another rejection?

But then as I continued to read, I read on page 29 "I hold them accountable for harsh judgements, they never make.  And I own a rejection from them they never gave me."  Oh, you got me.   I just made a judgement about Lysa, through her writing, and gave myself a rejection that she never gave me.   Geez Megan!  Get it together.

We are not just bad at holding lies over our own heads, but for most, we are not good at taking compliments.   When you compliment a person and they respond with thank you, BUT..... it's like they are rejecting your compliment, swatting it away like a pesky fly.   I am notorious at the thank you, but.... conversations.   Thank you, but I can get faster.  Thank you, but I can loose more.  Thank you, but I might get a hair cut.  Thank you, but.......

A dear friend of mine, when she compliments me, as trained (taught) me to just say, "Thank you."    I am not rejecting their compliment.  I am not hurting myself.  I am not trying to brag.  A simple thank you is socially acceptable and more than likely preferred.    I challenge anyone reading this to take the next compliment you get, without a "but" statement.    Let me know how it goes.

Perception is everything.

What about perception?  As I mentioned, I have slowly learned that there are always two sides to a story.  Because of this, I tend to be incredibly direct, seeking answers, wanting to know, have all the pieces.  I want to know both sides of the story so I can help make a clear decision.  I investigate until my lens (perception) is cleaned.   So, if I know there are two sides of the story, how can we let other's fictional judgements of us, hold some much weight and rejection?  Not to mention we are missing the third part of the story.  He created us and wrote our story for us.

"Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love." 

Please, reread that again.   Live, every day of your life, knowing that you are loved.  We are worth more than what we are begging others to give us.  Hawk Nelson has a song titled just that; "Live like you are loved"

If you wallow in mud, you will become dirty, true?
If you wallow in hurt and brokenness, you become hurt and broken, true?
If you wallow in love (that sounds like more fun), you will become love, true?

Don't be a slave to your emotions.  Don't be in debt to others via your emotions.  You have been paid by Grace and Love.  You are free!

Our hearts are like cool shaped buckets.  Our buckets have two materials that they can be made of.  We can have a mesh bucket or a steel bucket.  Which do you choose?

The steel.
Jesus is your steel.
Live loved.

Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.
Live loved.

It takes the average learner seven times to learn something.  If you counted, I made you read it eight times, just so you don't forget.  <3

Let God love you.  When you are wallowing in that love is when you become love.

(Incase you don't know this, I really love the book of Romans)

We have been talking about giving love.  Or being full of love.  Or living loved.  

But what happens in the absences of love?

Four years ago.
That's what happens.  

Like I mentioned in my chapter 2 blog, I had a lengthy list of times/events that were turn downs, let downs and fall downs.    I became a performer.  I became a manipulator.  I became the keeper of my own emotions, love, and heart.  And in the absent, black, cold spot of a heart I continued to wallow in my self doubt and lies and therefore became those lies and lived those lies and hurt people with lies.

Live loved ladies.  Live. Loved.    You are loved.  You are not alone.  You are loved.

I challenge you this next week to live loved.  Wake up and look at your mirror and just remind yourself "I am loved.  I am chosen.  I am worthy.  I am HIS."

The most difficult part of rejection or betrayal is that it never comes from our enemies.
I'd rather be invited and have to turn down an invitation than face rejection of knowing I wasn't invited (even if it's due to circumstances out of our control).

I have tried not jumping to conclusions.  I have tried to clear my lens and have a fresh perspective.  I have tried to not scrape together scraps of love.  I have tried not assuming the lady at the gym hates me.  But if you want to try anything.

Try, living loved.

How can I pray for you?    Do you have scripture that reminds you that you are loved?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I tried - asking questions [Chapter 2]

I tried asking questions.  Actually, I'm really good at asking questions, being direct, getting to the point, not sugar coating, sometimes it's a fault.  But lately, I have not been asking the right question.

Chapter 2 - Three Questions We Must Consider

I was looking forward to digging more into this book while also picking up my Bible more regularly. The title held my attention as I eagerly awaited what questions that would be asked.  I was thinking that maybe they were questions like "do you think you are right?"  "how can you make this better?" or even "where's the chocolate?"

Page 15 of Uninvited Lysa writes "things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchor they really are."  

*Pause for dramatic effect*

We are talking about the world.  Stuff.  Brokenness. Pain. Suffering. Sin. Anger. Betrayal. Bitterness.

The world, well, it's a hot mess right now.

Hebrews 6:19 is my response to this hot mess.   God promises a hope that is sure, HE is our anchor.

Lysa continues to tell a story about remodeling her house and how a board (a beam) had to properly be replaced or her house could fall apart.  That it wasn't a patch job.  Kind of a big deal. 

Throughout this whole story I just kept thinking, and finally wrote down:

TRUTH IS SOLID, UNSHAKABLE.    My God is not broken.  He is ALMIGHTY.  He is my foundation, my rock, my salvation comes from him!

We continue to the story and thought with that we have to rip out the old and place in the new.

So, as we die to ourselves, and we start a new life (reborn), that our old broken beams become replaced by the wooden cross.  Sturdy.  Solid.  Truth.  

I really liked when she brought up circumstances and that if we let our identity be based in circumstances, we will be crushed.  That if accept our brokenness that we are no better than the house that is waiting to collapse on its self. Have a mentioned, we live in a hot mess, the world.    

Have you ever looked in a mirror and instantly started muttering all the flaws that you see..... my eyebrow(s), my acne, my horribly flat (don't own a straighter) hair, my this and my that.   Stop.   Like her negative self talk in chapter 1, this is not good.  We are truly tearing apart God's creation, his love. The closer we look in the mirror and examine ourselves, the closer we should come to seeing Jesus, right?  

Romans 8:5-6 is a my scripture reference to Lysa's quote on page 22, ".... keeping my mind focused on what the Holy Spirit whispers, not what my flesh screams."


Life is always more peaceful when I listen to that quiet voice.  Stillness by a river.  Peace.  

During this chapter I started writing down a list of rejections.  I haven't decided if I want to share that list or not.   I'm not afraid of hurting people (although a possibility and not a goal) but I also don't want to face some of them again.  Some of these rejections I have kept very neatly tucked away.  Hurts that not everyone will understand.  I don't know if I'm ready for the judgement to follow or questions.  But through this list I was able to apply chapter 2's three questions.

Question 1: Is God good?
Question 2: Is God good to me?
Question 3: Is God good at being God?

I started to realize that by giving these situations, these events, more power than God, was when my core was starting to crack, break, become a worn board.  Not the cross that is set in me.  

Because of my lengthy list of rejections, I have an issues with trust, events would strike my core.  I thought my independence was great, but it comes from pride.  To protect myself and my pride I use to be really crafty with my words.  Laying brick by brick a wall full of false words, worldly ideas, and lies to, what I thought would, protect me.  But now, years later, I am trying to break down those walls and use the same bricks to build a foundation painted over with Christ's blood, with truth and love. With redemption.    Psalms 59:12 is sometimes a go to; praying that I don't use my word to sin.

I no longer have to prove my worth. 

-----> God is good. 
-----> God is good to me (so good).
-----> God is good at being God.

Two songs kept playing on loop in my head during this reading.  Ironically, my husband is the musician.  I can not name song titles or artist, but I can remember (not sing out loud) catch phrases or tunes, and I can also pin point when I first heard a song that had an impact on me.

"God is good all the time, all the time God is good."

Yes, it's an upbeat fun song to jam to.  *google it*  If you are looking for something a bit more mild try:

"Your a good good father.  It's who you are, It's who you are....And I'm loved by you, it's who I am, it's who I am...."

I am okay with these songs on loop.   Reminders I need.

I am loved by you.   It's. Who. I. Am.

To come:
Chapter 3 and a list of my personal rejections.   Look forward to hearing from you.   Grab the book, or better yet, the Bible, and let me know your thoughts.  I like thinking with people.