Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays ~ Listen Romans 5:6-8

Blameless Learning 1.1

Tammy Tangent

Tuesdays

Listen

Hello Beautiful!  I pray you’re having a great week so far!  It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!  This weekly challenge is one that requires intent and resolve to be brave enough to listen to the needs being spoken through the magical blessings received during silence.  It’s called listening. 

L – i – s – t – e -n

Do you hear what I hear?  I don’t know about you, but listening often requires a whole lot of grace along with a huge roll of duct tape!  In order to help bring unity back into our communities, we owe it to ourselves and others to stay engaged and live in the moment without adding our own preconceived notions into the conversation along with the interference that our multitasking skills are presenting.  We are missing the teardrops through the words spoken, the anger behind every pause, and the shame and guilt reflected by the bowed heads.  According to Tammy Ingram (yes, that’s me!), an important acronym to ponder for the word “listen” is:

Learning In Silence To Embrace Needs

If only we’ll lose our own agendas and listen without being engaged in our own neighborhoods (our brains), we could learn so much more through the attention of eye contact, the quivering lips, or even processing their words through the tone and animation.  When we are present in the moment and not preoccupied with other distractions that are vying for our attention, we won’t rob ourselves or the other person of valuable insight into the story lines of their hearts which reveal so much more when we are focused and silent!  What a person speaks will not only offer understanding, but the silence of our interruptions or opinions and control will announce to the other person that we care and keep the conversation fluid and not rushed!

Listening can be magical; it paints a story right before our very eyes of the hearts of those who are daring to share.  If the conversation seems to be overly critical and judgmental, let’s silence and shield our hearts and minds long enough to see through the pain before reacting to embrace the state of their soul and realize that is something self-destructing the other person.  As author Jonalyn Fincher wrote, to speak life and grace over their soul is to ask them, “Is that how you talk to yourself?”  What a merciful way to look beyond the harsh words spewing from a hurting person and to enable them to see beyond their own demons while graciously extending love and compassion.

Let’s try and engage with the people who surround and enter our worlds by remembering the benefits of listening so we can see through each others’ messes and forgo the instantaneous demands of an immediate cleanup.  This initiates the love of Christ and promotes unity!  Jesus doesn’t wait for us to clean up our lives, He loves us just the way we are.  That’s the powerful message of Romans 5:6-8 explaining why Jesus died on the cross because He knew we could not save ourselves.  Let’s remember that we are His feet and His hands and His mouth so we can bring unity back into our communities through love requiring communication gained through listening! 

I pray this weekly challenge permeates our tender hearts and souls by reminding us to just take some time in being silent as we listen for the needs being spoken!  Have a blessed week, Beautiful Beloved!

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Learning 1.1

Advertisements

Do You Have My Back?

Blameless Unknown No FearThere’s no need to pay attention to what is behind you; I have your back!  Just trust me as you take a hold of my hand and enjoy the scenery while you sojourn through the unknown.  The path ahead may look quite unstable, but when your mind is focused on the author and perfecter of your story, it makes the outlook of the journey exciting!

Do You Have My Back?

Blameless Joshua 1.9Have you ever come to a place where you’re thrust against a corner acknowledging your passions through your own character flaws and traits that were announced loudly by your actions when you contemplate, “Hey, she has my back”?  I don’t know about you, but when we’re fighting all these battles, are we even realizing who has our backs no matter the cost?  Do we have each others’ backs when ugliness rears its ugly head?  And I’m talking about when we’re less than perfect, too, you know, where we’re all imperfect beings!  Man oh man, did I blow it the other night!!!  But man oh man, I want a rematch! 

One of my girlfriends had purchased a new vehicle and she was feeling good about the color she chose.  I don’t care who you talk to, but a new outfit, much less a new vehicle, gives us this sense of accomplishment and makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us that extra jolt of confidence and skip in our step.  She posted a great photograph and comment about feeling good about the advice from her mother about the color she chose on her Facebook page.  It was reciprocated with congratulatory remarks and words of excitement until one man made a sexiest comment about looking beautiful in “nothing at all.” 

You know, many did not even notice the comment or give much thought to it, but I took great offense to this man’s comment and how we seem to have become desensitized by the subtlety of sexual innuendos in our society today through our communications, not to mention the degradation of us Beautiful Beloveds.  It’s almost like society has accepted that women are objects for the eye’s stimulation and imagination only instead of being esteemed and embraced.  Women were not created to be these sexual creatures that are objects of stimulation while being gawked at or viewed solely for bringing forth sexual pleasure.  Women were created to be valued for the worth God designed us to be which is worthy of all respect and praise, right? 

Phew….. do you see where my passion lies?  Mix that passion with exhaustion and ugly comments, herein lies the battleground!

I took great offense to this man’s comment and went on the attack like a roaring lion.  Unfortunately, though, with the eyes of a tiger, I behaved ravenously instead of graciously.  Talk about leaving me feeling like I was Blameless Mirror Frightcarrying the whole world in my heavy heart.  Even though my girlfriend appreciates me having her back, the battleground should have been handled differently, especially since it wasn’t mine, it was the Lord’s.  The disconnect that is so disturbing, though, is aren’t we supposed to have each others’ backs to begin with?  Sometimes we become uncomfortable with certain suggestive dialogue and we just shrug it off because it’s typical societal jargon and social media bullying, but that’s where we need to start stepping in by saying, “Wait a minute, that’s unacceptable behavior.”  It doesn’t need a dissertation quite like what I presented, but we all need to start calling people out on their disrespectful comments to one another!

I don’t know about all y’all (that southern girl coming out! ha, San Diego girl) but I demand and command respect knowing who God says I am.  When I start seeing others crossing over those boundary lines, I just can’t let its ugliness continue.  Now, granted, I didn’t exactly behave appropriately.  I went for the jugular because his subtly was obnoxiously apparent and offensive to me, I went in for the kill and latched on more like a pit bull.  I have repented and apologized, and I will try much harder the next time to bring awareness through more love than bite.  We need to vocalize and rebuke comments that are bullying and aggressive and demeaning in nature, especially on social media, because ignoring its presence is construing it as acceptable behavior.

Blameless Unknown No Fear 1When we start to see ourselves as God sees us: pure, beautiful, precious, cherished, valued and loved; certain behaviors and attitudes coming from the people surrounding our world starts to become offensive to us in ways that never even made us question before; with good reason.  The Lord allowed a season of significant change in my own life by removing the familiar and unhealthy, including friendships, to show me what it’s like to live in His Promised Land being surrounded by amazing people!  With understanding my worth and value now in being a Beautiful Beloved, encountering the ways of this world, the wicked and evil thoughts that are holding and equating women captive to nothing more than mere sexual objects for fanatical pleasure, I lose my mind to these pathetic gestures, literally. 

Next time I pray I will react differently, but I found that we don’t have to stand down and be subjected to this ugliness by cowering in a corner.  Women need to stand up boldly and courageously for each other and have each others’ backs; that’s one of the luxuries in being adopted into the body of Christ and what having friends are for.  If someone is going to say something in a “public forum” on social media for the whole world to see, then it is up to us not to succumb to the threats in rebuking it.

I may have a long way to go before I become holy in my conduct and speech, but my moral compass and values have changed drastically and I will stand up and be the voice that engages in battle for my sisters with the sharpest sword.  This is why I surround myself with nothing but awesomeness; iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17)!  Let my humility be a gentle reminder as to why we need to get dressed daily with our spiritual armor so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes, digging deep into the soil so we’re able to firmly stand our ground, while being equipped with the belt of truth buckled around our waists while holding up our shields of faith so we can extinguish the enemy’s flaming arrows (ugly defaming words). This will bless us with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:13-18).

I wish I could change the way in which I reacted to the ugly spewing comments, because I want to glorify my Lord, not reject Him, but I learned graciously.  Let’s be prepared at all times with gentleness and respect like 1 Peter 3:15 cautions us because the enemy will strike when we’re least prepared and exhausted, so we can have our sisters’ backs 24/7.  It takes a bold and courageous Beloved to stand her ground and announce that it’s not okay for women to be treated as anything less than the Beautiful Beloveds God says we are!

Beautiful Beloved, I have your back!

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays ♥ Dare to Share and Care

Blameless Beautiful You

Dare to Share & Care!

Hello Beautiful!  I pray you’re having a blessed week so far.  It’s that time Blameless Flower 6.6again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!!!  This weekly challenge is easy, yet so powerful, it’s the clearest and most effective way we can share and express our beautiful beliefs this side of heaven:  Love through the words of encouragement and affirmation!

I pray a lot of you received the blessings and freedom found through the power of forgiveness from last week’s challenge.  I know I did; with a lot of purging, praising, and praying!  One thing I heard from some of you was that a lot of apologizing was going on, too!  What a healing testimony of the power of prayer and grace!  Thank Blameless Flower 8.8you for sharing the beauty in claiming victory through your stories and emails.  That’s the purpose behind what Tammy Tangent Tuesdays signifies, trying to stimulate unity back into our communities through loving on one another as we dare to share and care!  We need each other to flourish and beauty truly thrives in bunches. 

Since we’re dealing with lives that are messy, our actions and reactions tend to create environments that are anything short of bursts of fuel leading to love and restoration.  I know I don’t have it all together and life is really hard at times, so simple tokens of love and recognition often brightens the navigation through the densest fog so we can see the beauty that lies ahead!  There is nothing more beautiful or better than authentic love daring to share and care! ♥♥  May we never forget, we are all under construction this side of heaven!  Plus, we learn and experience what it’s like to tap into the deep well of living water; you know, that mother struggling to hear good news about her child or that wife who longs for intimacy, simple words of acknowledgement will weave and infuse love into that pain and loneliness!

Blameless Bloom 1

I don’t know about you, but have you ever heard of anyone complaining about being loved on or encouraged too much?  ♥♥♥ There’s just not enough time to share and pour out our love on each other or to even receive too much love!  Everyone we encounter is either arriving, thriving or surviving; and sadly, the majority of Beloveds are just surviving.  ♥♥♥  When we dare to share and care, we are sprinkling love that nourishes the soil (our hearts) for us to grow and bloom where God has planted us.  This is done through the tender care and nourishment that love promotes.

Blameless Flowers Bunch 11What an easy and effective way to spread some love to those close and near to your heart, along with those you don’t really know well, like your neighbor or pastor’s wife or even your child’s teacher, and just tell them how beautiful they are and how much you appreciate them for their life, their service, their dedication, or for just being the beautiful selves that they are!  We all love to hear how beautiful we are; I know I sure do!!!  ♥♥♥  I pray we never forget how beautiful and unique we all are and how our lives contribute to the beauty of the bunch!  Beauty is only skin deep!

This week’s community outreach challenge is: 

Pick a handful of Blameless Beautiful You 3people and send them an email, a card, or even a text that tells them how much you love them and thank them for being beautiful, just because!  Heck, just click on one of the flower pictures and tag it and spread the love of beauty.  Let’s start spreading some love and cheer around our communities.  What a great way to brighten lives!  There’s never enough time and love to share with others.  Let’s love more.  All we need is a little more love.  Try something new; spread the cheer of love!  ♥♥♥  Most of all, Beautiful Beloved, never forget,  Love Never Fails (1 Cor. 13:8).

Never Forget

Blameless Beautiful You

Black Widow Venom Proverbs 20:19 Gossip Betrays

Proverbs 11:13,

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Are you freakin’ stinkin’ kidding me?  Have you ever had bad words spoken over you?  I have, and I’ll take a physical punch any day over ugly words being spoken over my life.  Physical wounds will heal with time; but wounds from trusted so-called friends, family Blameless Judgmentmembers, and especially church members, afflict such deep bodily injury, sometimes the bleeding heart requires major surgery for survival.  When it’s been ripped open and tortured so many times leading to its rawness, instead of healing internally, it constructs walls of isolation and/or gives birth to the Black Widow syndrome.  We’re all fractured people to begin with, but adding insult to injury, that is just reiterating the point about “how judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are!”  Ouch!  Think about that powerful statement for a moment….

We all know her, we’ve been her ourselves if we’re going to be honest; that Black Widow who offers her opinion or interjection to others about another to lure us into the entrapment of the deceit contained within her web.  The one who is threatened, or jealous, or just flat-out miserable because of her own junk and insecurities who will do what she can to slander the character of another.  She has captivated her prey by the lure of her smooth talk; now you’re entangled in this mess without any hope of escape. 

If we’re claiming the privileges in being Beautiful Beloveds of the Lord God Almighty, our words should be used to build up rather than tear down.  The Bible exhorts us in James 1:26-27 that our mouths are the strongest force and deadliest weapon known to mankind and yet people fear and fret over nuclear war, earthquakes, tsunamis and raging forest fires.  Those are natural disasters; the mouth is the downfall of mankind and if we keep the fuel lines of gossip going, then that fuel line will destroy everyone in its tracks.  We need to sever and stop this destruction before it turns into a raging wildfire!  This is not only leading to the division of our churches, but it is giving the enemy just what he wants.  He plants that little seed and we quickly water and cultivate it all on our own with great attention!

Blameless ChangeWhose light are we reflecting when we gossip or when we’re huddled around a table of food talking about another that is not present?  Believers are supposed to be the light, the salt, the preservative that illuminates the bright sites that reflect God’s love and glory (Matthew 5:13-16).  If we speak in love, we won’t be polluting a world that is already dirty and dark enough. We need to take that energy and start sprinkling the love of Jesus onto the people in this world to help clean it up.  We’re the ones showing the world what God’s kingdom is like through our conduct and character.  No wonder there is so much ugly talk about Christians; I couldn’t agree more.  This tender heart is pleading that we take action by pouring out more love so we can change this vicious paradigm we’re living under.

Talking about another without their presence is gossip, period!  We all know how a few words received can be different than actually spoken and then passed on quite differently.  If the person is not there, the words spoken can’t be confirmed or denied or even explained.  Plus, there’s not enough precious time in life to waste it on talking about others.  If you have lots of free time, then you either need a job or Jesus; probably both!  When I am with my girlfriends, this time is a treasured gift to me and I sure am not going to waste any of that precious time connecting talking about another.  If that other person insists on talking about others, change the subject and/or do what one of my amazing friends did. 

A good example on how to deal with innocent conversations that could lead and turn into gossip real easy is when people were coming to her about the ugly side effects of my chemo treatment and inquiring about what happened instead of going directly to the source, me.  She handled it beautifully by saying, “Ask Tammy.  It’s Tammy’s story, not mine to share.”  We may have good intentions on asking about others, but honestly, if you’re really concerned, you’ll go to the person yourself.  That’s one of the beauties of technology; saying hi and reaching out while being concerned for others takes a matter of seconds, and it sure will brighten the other person’s life on the other end to receive it.

Too many believers feel they can rise above the effects of casting this deadly web of sin because it is only gossip, you know, the lesser sin.  Sister or brother (men do it as well), I’m afraid to tell you, but your gossip is just as bad as murdering someone and committing adultery.  No sin is greater Blameless 24 Gossipand/or lesser than other sins; sin is sin in God’s eyes!  So the next time you’re tempted to gossip about another or engage in listening to it, just imagine yourself stabbing that precious soul repeatedly in the heart and maybe it will put a permanent gag in it. 

Let’s join in a challenge to start lifting each other up, through the building up and encouragement, and not tearing down and demolishing each other with our careless words!  We need to focus on bringing unity in our communities and understand how we got where we are.  We can start by remembering that God’s greatest commands are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

The condition of our heart is revealed by what comes out of our mouths, so let’s start first by taking the time to spend it in the Word and allowing the Lord to search those deeply recessed parts that are full of infectious disease so the Lord can have some room and bring about healing.  This way we’re not damaging others by spewing out our venom onto others or closing ourselves off from their love that He orchestrated. 

Beloved, sadly all of us, including myself, get hurt from ugly words said by another.  We have to remember that when, not if, we find ourselves tearing down others or talking about others outside of their presence, there’s something in us that needs healing; something that needs to be cleansed and filled up with the love that only the Lord can fulfill.  Tearing others down just means we’re not dealing with our own hurts so we become obsessed with the sins of others by dropping little morsels of deceit to spin the web of destruction!

Blameless Sit Jesus 7

Since I am high maintenance, I go to Jesus, get at His feet, and snuggle in tight quite often.  This allows me the opportunity to cry and release and throw my Tammy Tantrums so I can receive His tender mercies of grace and love.  This is the only way I can keep getting back up and go on knowing where my confidence and self-worth derives from; that’s perseverance.  Now, to be honest, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t ask God to knock ’em out for what they did and said, because I would be sinning, by lying, that I didn’t ask and feel that way; but the Lord healed my pain so I could get back up and embrace life while praying for them at a distance.  

God blesses us with girlfriends who not only love us, but who help hold us accountable when our conduct needs critiquing and change.  It’s okay, we all need help and we all need safe and trusted friends!  Because I found myself surrendering to the control and opinions of others and not who God said I was or was not to do, I had lost my peace and patience and was ready to download.  Since God knew I was becoming Blameless Spiderweb 7entangled in this web of deception, a prisoner to the voices of the enemy and being held captive by fear and condemnation, God used an amazing accountability partner to hold me accountable for my actions and who helped me navigate through the pollution that was clouding my judgment.  Because I was being betrayed by what was occurring, that is when God raised up my beautiful girlfriend, Dr. English, to speak words of truth over and through my life clearing the pollution to see the beauty that actually lies ahead.  Through her own experiences, she shared that because God calls us “to shine light on the musty dusty dark corners…you know what happens…the rats scurry about.  Why?  Because like it or not, satan is hiding in the church waiting to make strongholds!  And satan is an ass!”  Indeed, he is just that! 

When we become stale from being closed in and closed off, sequestered behind our walls of isolation that pain and lack of trust builds, satan has the power to trap us into thinking that the fresh air brought in by divine light is plagued with the sin that has so easily entangled us through the deadly effects of the venom from the black widow spider!  Not everyone has bad intentions; that’s our own junk.  We need to let go of the pain so we can receive His love and the blessings He is trying to bestow upon us!  What a reiteration of Psalm 118:8-9 that says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” 

Romans 8:14-17 alerts us to the fact that if we’re adopted into the family of Christ, we gain not only our inheritance and rights into eternal life with God, but it also requires the responsibility in living out that privilege.  Jesus’ life emulates love and we’re supposed to mirror that reflection.  Let’s share God’s golden treasures through our identification and inheritance in being a Beloved of Christ; let’s share those golden nuggets through encouragement and support; living and loving as Jesus did, resisting the temptation to live according to the ways of the world; and do not isolate.  And when we falter, go and make amends!  It’s really not that hard and extremely rewarding!

Father God, I thank you for showing us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).  I pray blessings over my sisters that they will be empowered to “not become weary in doing good,” and that as they have the opportunity, to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).  I pray also that all those negative and ugly words that have ever been spoken over us Beautiful Beloveds are bound, released, and thrown into the pit of hell where they belong; and that you heal the damage and the scarring that was brought about by such ugly words and actions.  Tear down those walls of isolation!  Thank you for loving us like no other.  Oh, how we need you and love you.  Thank you, Jesus!  Amen!

Beautiful Beloved, never forget:  Beauty is oftentimes developed during the pain

Blameless 3





Tammy Tangent Tuesdays – Forgiveness

Blameless  Flower 7

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

~ Forgiveness ~

Hello Beautiful, I pray you’re having a blessed week!  It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!  This might prove to sound simple enough, but this week’s challenge might require more than time; it will require releasing the key to our hearts so healing can begin.  It’s time for forgiveness!!!  Time to start tearing those walls down or at least thwart construction.

Whether we realize it or not, we all have barriers constructed around our hearts due to rejection, abandonment, unfulfilled expectations, past hurts, etc.  It is time we stop depositing into the account that operates the channels of reliving those past Blameless Shackles Tammyhurts that not only torture our tender hearts, but richly employ that construction crew working in our brains and around our hearts before our walls get so high, no one will be allowed in.  Sadly, it also keeps us from experiencing the love that we keep pushing away.  Just think how empowering it will be when we no longer are bound and held captive behind our walls of pain and deceit.  The freedom in the quietness that the forgiveness brings unleashes this atmosphere for healing and peace, positioning us to receive God’s unmerited grace. Coming from a girl who’s high maintenance in the daily need of rescuing and forgiveness in the grace department herself, I share these same struggles!

God did not design us to just sit idly in our pews of inheritance while being adopted members into the family of Christ, He designed and gifted us to go out and shine in a dark world while bestowing blessings on others through service!  This is so hard to do, if not impossible, when we have hidden hurts in our hearts which keep us isolated from healthy relationships and/or exploring new ones because of this invisible barrier that has been constructed as a source of protection. The amount of time we focus reliving the hurts afflicted by others, we could have cooked and served and cleaned up an entire Thanksgiving meal to everyone in our city!  Yes, we spend way too much time entertaining our own pity parties instead of hosting productive ones.

Right now I am personally trying to understand why I am having a hard time letting the actions of other people’s judgment and condemnation to gnaw and leech on and trigger a reaction in my own life that is robbing me of peace, joy and gratitude.  Obviously, I need to spend more time on my knees repenting while humbly finding out the resistance to forgive.  It’s hard to do, but this sort of thing brings division and robs so many of us of the blessings that should have developed!

Blameless BibleI am relying on the constant meditation, or trying to, of Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) that says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  That scripture includes whether you had an argument with your spouse, your boss, your kids, or your church family, we need to forgive whether we want to or not.  This frees us from the damaging effects and helps us plow through the mud and the muck much easier and joyful.

If we are supposed to have our brothers and sisters’ backs, when we’re wrapped up in the bondage of unforgiveness, which is sin, it makes it hard to love and be loved.  Forgiveness just means forgiving the other person so Blameless Wall Happy Crazyit releases “you” from the deadly effects that the bitterness and anger develops, along with the insecurities that develop because your bleeding heart becomes raw from the constant affliction.  It doesn’t mean you have to accept the actions of others or even allow them to be a part of your life, it just releases you from the bondage that is holding you captive in the cell of isolation and fear due to your unwillingness to let go.  Forgiveness is the key to plowing towards the Promised Land that is full of golden nuggets that are used as stepping stones to bring you to that opened door for further blessings.  If we don’t forgive, we can’t love; if we don’t love, we can’t be loved!

I don’t know about you, Beloved, but I’m seeking refuge in the arms of Jesus so He can rescue, forgive, and transform my heart and soul while delivering His empowering grace of tender mercies.  This way my service will bring God glory through the unity of community, while coming into alignment together, in one place with one common purpose, while we’re together!  I pray we all claim and receive victory this week in forgiveness!

Have a blessed and forgiving week, Beautiful! 

Thank you for being Beautiful You!

Blameless Flowers Bunch

 

A Tribute to All Mothers, Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers

Mom Love 1

A Tribute to the Definition of

Mom

Mom, mommy, mother…….  When God created the heavens and the earth and breathed life into the nostrils of man, God’s creation was far from complete because He knew He could not rest until His creative work designed His most magnificent and beautiful creation of all; woman!  God could have designed His beautiful masterpiece much like He created man, from the dust of the ground, but God chose to create woman by uniquely sculpting and forming her from the flesh and bones of man.  This may be symbolic in nature for the sanctity and union of marriage regarding one flesh; but one thing we need never forget is how God designed the woman to give life to the world!

Mom, mommy, mother…….  No one could prepare us for the truth of this tremendous task and responsibility that brings not only immense joy, but also great sorrow!  We’re tender hearts who love without borders, though at times because of our own expectations, it’s hard to express and share that love due to the exhaustion that the mundane tasks of sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and defiant teenagers bring about.  We know we’re trying to do the best we can, but it may appear to others looking in that we’re doing everything wrong.  Or are we?  Look at those blessings standing before us!

Mom LoveBeautiful Beloved, what all of us need to be reminded of is a message that was on a gift I received from my adult son that says, “A mom is a special friend who loves you just the way you are.”  This means you love because you are loved much, while wearing your heart on your sleeve, no matter how torn and tattered it is; you snuggle in tight while exposing your back to the frigid elements just so you can turn winter into spring for your special peeps who are surrounded with your love and warmth; you give of yourself until exhaustion sets in, wiping you completely off of your feet wondering why you try through your perceived failed attempts; you give your all, while even losing yourself and identity, to do the best you can to make up for what you perceive you’re not and/or lacking; you’re a mom, a mommy, a mother, who would rather give up her own life in order to protect her young! 

Blameless ImperfectTo all the imperfect mamas out there, we stand boldly together with our heads held high because we’re equipped with the hope to scurry up the courage needed to defend like no other; we love and cheer when others offer nothing more than jeer; we love much because we know the value of forgiveness; and we understand the value of admitting we don’t know everything or have all the right answers; we know we did the very best we could with the tools we were equipped with at the time, and God allowed it this way for His plan and purpose; and as the saying goes, we know that we may hold our child’s hand for only a brief time, but we will forever hold their hearts!

Mom, mommy, mother…….  Being a mother requires the sacrifice of letting go through all the unknowns and regrets brought on by the feelings of not being good enough when they were young!  Being a mom requires the stamina and trust to watch your child go down a path of destruction while begging and trusting the Lord to intervene.  Being a mommy is embracing and cherishing the purity and innocence of a child’s dependance on you!

Mom, mommy, mother…….  There’s no manual spelling out how to be the perfect mother, because none exist.  All mothers are hot messes trying to navigate through the demands of life and priorities.  There is no perfect mother and yet we’re all striving to be this “mother” that God never designed us to be.  Society may dictate that we have to look a certain way and exude perfection or that our kids have to be similar, but if you’re a mother, you need to know that just isn’t attainable.  That is just going to make you crazy and miss out on the precious moments in life.  I know, I lived that life.  Sometimes this craziness makes us act and react in ways that are more childish than the children we’re raising.  It’s okay, we don’t have to be perfect.  We just have to learn and move on.  That’s what a great teacher does!

Mom, mommy, mother…….  You’re beautiful, you’re loved, and you’re appreciated!  Thank you for staying awake all those restless nights just so Blameless Hand Holdingyou could love on me while I was sick.  Thank you for holding my hand when I was scared.  Thank you for the encouragement that flows from your mouth and for always believing in me when no one else would.  Thank you for the dial-a-ride taxi service that I took for granted.  Thank you for taking on the stress of helping me finish my homework when you should have slept instead.  Thank you for loving me when I was unlovable.  Thank you for washing my stinky clothes and embracing me when I stank.  Thank you for allowing me to scream “I want my mommy” without judgment.  Thank you for showering me with love and never stopping when you could have.  Thank you for loving me when I didn’t act like I loved and/or needed you.  

A mommy is a master of mundane; someone who feels like she has to perform and be a Super Mom to her Super Heros and feels defeated when she can’t be all that she believes she should be.  A mom is a mission of mercy, master of madness, master of mayhem, normally considered a mean ‘ole mom, must obey me, mother of many, and let us not forget, maintenance operations manager.  A mother is considered the most outstanding master because she survived! ♥♥

Let’s take this day to honor our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers and cherish the fact that moms are not only Made of Miracles, Makers of Me, but mainly……  Most worthy and beautiful of all praise.  Thank you for being Beautiful You and for all you have done!  Happy Mother’s Day!

We must never forget…  Few things are as powerful as the faithful prayers coming from a righteous mother!  Faithful mothers pursue because they know they’re pursued!

Blameless Flowers Bunch

The Dance ~ Never Give Up

Blameless Dance Never Quit

Grace Requires Falling

Life appears to be flowing smoothly; you know this dance, you’ve rehearsed it a thousand times over, especially in your head!  You’ve worked hard for this moment; you’ve persevered through all the injuries that the stumble and falls created, some of which were painful and hard to get over.  You somehow or another always rose to the occasion by getting back on your feet and trying again, no matter how demoralizing the jeers of the audience became.  One, two, three, turn; one, two, three, turn…….

Suddenly, without warning, you find yourself feeling a bit tense along with that mixed bag of emotions, you know, dread and resistance from the ugly looks and comments, but you graciously release control and press in because you trust what the Teacher has taught you and know what those subtle promptings mean; you know when to go left and you know when to turn; you also know when it’s time to move on and keep dancing.  Since you can’t seem to shake those feelings that are beginning to turn your stomach into knots, you find yourself losing focus. You’ve never gotten this far before in the dance, you’ve usually quit, given up, and walked away.  This is a challenge that will require so much more than courage and faith. 

As you’re trying to perform the dance, your mind goes to the place where you’re having a hard time reflecting on when your dance has ever been more peaceful and graceful along with the power and intensity to tackle anything your Teacher requires of you, so why this sick sense?  Your feet are in sync with the Teacher’s lead and your grace appears to be as beautiful and carefree as a swan skimming across the water when suddenly you find yourself flying through the air and landing flat on your bass.  Ouch!!!  How did you not see that leg extension that was strategically placed to make you fall?  You’ve been through this routine hundreds of times before and yet, how could you stumble and fall before you got to the end and claimed the prize?

Blameless Ballet FloorLife is like a dance, every stumble and fall, including challenges that test our faith, offer us gifts filled with golden nuggets, but only if we’re brave enough to plow through the pain and look for them.  These gifts can be received through the mundane nuggets found in rejection, insecurities, fear, experience, even perseverance or that infamous extended leg intentionally placed out of spite to make you fall.  Thankfully, we know and trust the Teacher who allowed it for the testing of our reaction to guide us where He wants us to land. 

Through the pain, we trust that our Teacher only wants what is best for us and knows the greater potential that lies ahead if only we will get up off the ground.  We might become frustrated and hurt, ready to give up and in because of the constant jeers, but the Lord just asks that we grab ahold of His hand and get up and brush off the layers of humiliation and shame so we can receive the prize through grace that will equip us to be stronger and more confident for the next time, not to mention how much more full of grace and elegance our dance will be.  Being graceful is hard, but it’s so rewarding!

James 3:2 tells us, “We all stumble in many ways.  If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” 

Tender heart, if the words of another, that extended leg, have penetrated your bleeding heart, just remember that in order to stop all the pain right in its tracks before it does any further damage is to cleave into the Lord by crying out and allow Him to repair the damage before your reactions consume you and damage others through the fuel lines of anger and bitterness.  Pain coming from the mouths of hurting individuals amount to nothing but devastation.  Forgiveness that leads to restoration and peace understands we’ve all made mistakes and have fallen, whether through the ugliness of an extended leg or our own carelessness through lack of focus. 

Please allow the following passages to permeate your soul and fill your heart with tender mercies that will allow you to reach out to your other sisters for forgiveness and support.  I know and understand all too well how painful the jeers from others can have lasting and harmful effects.  But these passages are yours for the claiming, much like Jesus’ hand extending down to us when we’re down, on the ground, and are feeling less than beautiful.  He wants you to grab ahold of His hand and trust Him again so you can get back to dancing.

Just remember, Isaiah 40:29-31 tells us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”  And Psalm 37:23-24 says, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Blameless PatienceI know how painful wounds can be coming from a person we thought was a friend or sister in Christ, but when we refuse to forgive and move on, whether that means through the channel of reconciliation or closing the door to any continued relationship, it only breeds more damage to the bleeding heart to not let it go.  Let it go!  Don’t let their words keep you from God’s best!  We all fall; but when we trust our Teacher, our Guider, our Leader to take control, not only does He know our potential, but He just wants to lead the way and allow us to waltz in sync with Him through laughter and joy while embracing the dance floor.  God delights in His Beautiful Beloveds who trust Him because they know He will make their steps firm.  Now that is grace!