We Remember, Honor and Thank all of our Fallen Heroes and the Great Cost!

Blameless God Bless America Aaron Burden.png

We Remember, Honor and Thank All Of Our Fallen Heroes!

God Bless America.  May We Never Forget This Great Cost!

As we awaken to new beginnings, peace and amazing sunrises each and every day, especially on Veterans Day, we remember, thank and honor all of our fallen heroes who selflessly served and sacrificed with their lives that we so easily seem to take for granted.  We appreciate your sacrifices and the courage it’s taken to defend our country.

Blood That Was Shed!

Blameless Veterans Neil Thomas Photograph

God Bless America!  Our heartfelt love, devotion and prayers are extended to the courageous men and women who continue to fight for justice in protecting our freedoms.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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When Our Messes Become Our Message…

Blameless Mess Becomes Our Message

When Our Messes Become Our Message…

Breaking Free Announces Me!

Coming from an experienced beloved who’s walked through her fair share of messes, when we go through great pain and trials, it seems easier to just stay bound and wrapped up in captivity, entangled around comforts of familiarity.

Being a prisoner of fear, it seems every step we take to break free, the paralyzing torment only enhances the strength of our cells of hell.

Traumatic attacks are hard to survive and heal from when our focus is solely based on being bailed out. That includes also the loss of failed expectations, physical pain, emotional scars, and even financial destruction.

Blameless Breaking Free 5

I was asked how I comfortably share the torments of abuse and the shame that lingers while breaking free from that controlling link.

Admittedly, there are times when I get overwhelmed reliving it because it feels like another beloved’s trauma. It’s empowering to share, though, because it’s a reminder how freedom has taken back the power of my voice that was once stilled and lost. 

I try to emphasize that there is no shame in our game; Jesus is His name! There really is power in the name of Jesus when we release the blood stains caused from those fears of judgment and condemnation.

Maybe that’s why my heart burns with desire in being an advocate for those who have lost their voice because I get it. I’ve walked that path. I not only survived, but it made me courageous and confident enough to start a nonprofit organization helping others. 

Change requires a lifetime pursuit understanding and applying what 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 (MSG) talks about. God “comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”

Blameless Breaking Free Announces Me

Breaking Free Announces Me!

I met a beloved once at one of our W.E.A.V.E. support groups. I had only learned of W.E.A.V.E.’s existence after escaping exactly what the acronym defines:  Women Escaping A Violent Environment. I was not an advocate then. I was attending these meetings because I had found myself a victim of a creepy stalker.

Stalkers want what they cannot have…

Even though I had broken free from the chains of physical and emotional abuse, I was still imprisoned with identity and insecurity depravities that needed some fine tuning with the Lord’s direct intervention.

Our Beautiful Jesus brings healing to our lives usually one step at a time!

I’ve learned now to approach the testing of trials with more peace, confidence and clarity as my faith has deepened. Trials are now perceived as opportunities to learn tools that will help equip me with what might be brewing in the future; for example, hope, trust, peace, perseverance, patience, courage, you name it.

The development of my character became profound after I left my violent environment.  Kind of funny how God orchestrates situations at times. Here I had broken free from the cycles of abuse and the Lord introduces me to a woman who I would help break free from her own violent environment. 

 

Blameless Tired Of Being Told

God uses my mess and message to walk alongside of others who are tired of being told what they cannot be and live out who God created them to be.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV) perfectly announces to the enemy our authority claiming victory, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Pondering the power that Genesis 50:20 foretells will remind us that our trials are not meant to torment us or even keep us on our knees. They’re intended to launch us to a completely different atmosphere where we recognize our messes are our messages.

Keeping our messes to ourselves robs others of the blessings that our testimonies offer.

Our momentary troubles are not meant to be gone through alone, much less swept underneath the rug. They’re oftentimes meant to strengthen us.

Conflict births opportunities. It’s possible our tests have come because they’re going to be a part of our testimony.

God wants us alive and present, available to be His powerful and courageous vessels!

I’m going to be brave enough to try and seize every moment of my trials so I can learn wisdom that will help me get through the next mess quicker and stronger.

Max Lucado’s Declaration of Faith is worthy of being proclaimed:

I’ll get through this. 

It won’t be painless. 

It won’t be quick. 

But God will use this mess for good. 

I won’t be foolish or naive, but I won’t despair either. 

With God’s help, I will get through this.

~ Max Lucado ~

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Just Because Beautiful You 1.1

She Sat All Alone…

Blameless Belong All Alone

…Hiding Behind A Facade She Could No Longer Wear!

She sat all alone with her long brown hair covering her face. At first, it appeared as if she might be praying. But after a few minutes, the presence of her motionless body became awkward. I decided to break through the intensity of the silence by walking up to her and gently touching her hand.

After cutting through the tension, I softly spoke whereas not to scare her. Victims easily startle. “Excuse me, my name is Tammy,” I offered, as I reached out for her hand. That’s when her beautiful tear-stained blue eyes met up with mine. She wasn’t praying, she was hiding behind the facade that she could no longer wear and did not know how to react, much less breathe. 

Fear vs. Freedom

As we began to talk, I quickly gathered this beautiful heart was encountering the fight of her life: Fear vs. Freedom! I remember my own exact moment where my bloody screams for help were not met, nor my pleas to find someone, anyone, to listen to my voice and believe my story as a victim of violence.

My emotions were wrapped up so tightly, the moment anyone even brushed by my person, the unraveling would begin. The power that came from the turbulence unraveling knocked everyone down in its path.

Is that why no one would help? Possibly. Or was it because people were too afraid to get involved in the exposure underlining my veil of shame?

Two Minutes To Spare

My new friend had no idea that as she vomited out her fears, assaults and desperation right before me, God had already put into place a legal team and safe refuge. Talk about provision! You see, as she was freaking out, God already had all of us into place. Each person brought their own tools of grace and experience. No surprises here!

From the initial contact stemming from a friend about a friend of a friend, the next 37 hours would already be laid out with the right people, provision and plan of attack until the last tear dropped.

With two minutes to spare, this beloved’s greatest needs were being met with Love, kindness, and compassion that only victims of heinous crimes would understand. God knew and that’s why He divinely orchestrated all of us together.

Even if we would have had the time to meticulously and carefully plan everything accordingly to fit into place, including traffic from one courthouse to another, documentation preparation, legal team, court appearances, services conducted at the jail, and medical attention, it would have been chaos and met with resistance.

As I sat there nibbling, even chewing, on some of the words flying off the pages of the legal documents, hearing stories of tragedy and heartache from lost souls who have lost their power to fight and plow through to freedom was all too familiar and chilling.

Offering an extending hand to try and console victims with protection and guidance requires more than a big box of tissues and patience because with their issues, they are so emotionally spent and beat up, it’s hard to stop the blood from pouring out. They have cried so much, their tears are no longer clear. They are blood red.

For these violated beloveds, all they want is for their voice to be heard whether it’s appropriate or not. Now that they know they’re being heard, it’s hard for them to stay on point and quiet down. Someone cares. Someone listens. Someone hears. Someone believes. Someone supports. Someone understands.

Someone sticks around long enough to pour love into the torture and remove the handcuffs that have bound and held them captive.

Now there is eye contact that comforts instead of shames. Life that is loved and not harmed. New world filled with hope. Justice prevails. Healing begins. Lives restored. New life begins.

God’s Orchestration Is Always Perfect

Being at the end of our rope does not mean all hope is lost. We’re never lost to God, EVER!  We may move away from Him, but He is right there alongside of us. How else would a random stranger whom you’ve never met before be available for you right at this precise moment, an emergency one to boot, who could help you conquer these mounting legal issues along with comfort and understanding?

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When You’re At The End Of The Rope, Look Up.  God Is At The End With Hope!

Isn’t it funny how we may feel at the end of the rope, but when we look up, God is standing there at the end with hope? God’s Love and intervention never fails.

With two minutes to spare, we both looked at each other and smiled and laughed. God took care of the whole traumatic mess. Every “i” was dotted and every “t” was crossed. Not only did we share tears, lives, and bread, but we were blessed with new friendships. We now share a ray of light and hope in each other’s lives as we came together as a team and watched God show off amazingly all because God loves to give!

Talk About Provision and Protection!

Blameless Rainbow That Keeps Giving

I have been refined through many trials of suffering. Now I get to marvel and see how God has transformed my own life through the reflection of the beloveds God puts in my life to help bridge the gap between women escaping a violent environment and being assaulted to Beautiful Beloveds living in peace and freedom. When those shackles are removed, there is power knowing their voices will continue to be heard!

We all can be richly blessed in helping others when we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced and our lives to be interrupted with two minutes to spare.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Honoring The Fallen! Never Forgotten?

Blameless Never Forgotten

 

Honoring the Fallen!

Never Forgotten? 

Courage is Contagious

—0o0—

Billy Graham proclaimed, “Courage is Contagious.  When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are stiffened.”

 

Honoring the Fallen!  Never Forgotten?  Hmmm… never forgotten?  Really?  Where in most Memorial Day celebrations, unless you’re with a family or community of inactive or active service personnel, do you hear stories of valor and selfless acts of bravery that proclaim this great caliber as to why we celebrate Memorial Day?    

Forgive Us For Not Recognizing Our Fallen!

Sadly, it seems there is more recognition geared towards retail sales advertisements along with the hustle and bustle ushering in the first big holiday announcing summertime.  These preparations for the festivities are great; you know, family gatherings, coming together, barbecuing, boating, camping, traveling with the additional three-day weekend, but what about carving out time to honor the fallen which is the sole purpose of Memorial Day?

There is nothing wrong with the excitement in getting together with our family and friends to unwind and celebrate; we all need that!  But what about the fallen heroes and their families that have lost so much, their precious and valued loved ones, due to their sacrificial service for our freedom?  How are they being remembered?  They are searching for this gratitude and consolation in our festivities that have seemed to be glossed over.

Where is the tribute and honor that should be at the forefront of our celebrations for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day?

Where is the dedicated time for this tribute and recognition that brought us freedom?  Where does the honor, the respect, the remembrance, and the salutation fit into our celebratory festivities this Memorial Day weekend?  After all, our great nation was built on the freedom that these fallen heroes died for!  That deserves recognition.

The ocean tears that have been released by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, families, and the many innocent children that look for comfort from a nation that pauses to think about, honor and celebrate what their loved one selflessly gave to have this freedom extended is non-existent and quite neglected.

If you’ve ever had to comfort a grieving soul who just learned of their loved one’s death, there is nothing more dreadful and heartbreaking than delivering the piercing words, “I’m sorry, but your loved one was killed in the line of duty serving his/her country.” 

Being honest here, when I was raising my children, I looked forward to having an extra day off with the announcement that summertime was near.  Any excuse to celebrate was quite a gift.  Memorial Day just meant getting the boat ready and the family together for a couple of Blameless United States Flag Last Breathdays spent on the water without any further forethought.  Tragic!
Where is the honor, recognition and respect geared towards our fallen heroes and their families acknowledging how they dedicated and sacrificed their lives?  This is the pure definition of what is called a beautiful exchange.  Can we start teaching our children and share with our families the significance of what Memorial Day deserves?  We can testify to this valor of great sacrifice by sharing a few of the following quotes:

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Can we maybe start proclaiming how we’re proud to be Americans and express our gratitude for the meaning behind Memorial Day.  This honor will offer golden nuggets of comfort to the fallen and their families to carry close to their hearts reminding them thatBlameless Memorial Day. In case you thought it was National BBQ Day their lives mattered and stood for victory and won’t be forgotten, nor were their deaths in vain!  Maybe while we’re vacationing, we can even share with others the significance while honoring the millions of soldiers who lost their lives.  Speak it while engaging with others.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but putting at the forefront what all of our Fallen Heroes have achieved will keep their legacy alive and one in which will never be forgotten.  It’s a gratitude for blessing us with a privilege that we often take for granted.  We are reaping the harvest from the seeds they dropped during their bout of courage and dedication.  What a gift that keeps on giving, but it needs watering and cultivating! 

By the way, Memorial Day originated way back in the late 1800’s, but was enacted following the Civil War where many Americans started honoring the soldiers who lost their lives by decorating their graves.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  It wasn’t until 1971 that it was deemed a National holiday and celebrated as such through the passing of the National Holiday Act. 

“Those that die for a good cause… hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation.”  Henry Ward Beecher.

Blameless Fallen Heros

Let us never forget our fallen heroes and their families.  After all, as John F. Kennedy stated,  “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  

Fallen Heroes, We Will Never Forget Your Sacrificial Service & We Thank You!

Save

You Are So Beautiful!

blameless-i-am-beautiful

You Are So Beautiful!

You are so beautiful!  No matter what you think or what I think, you are so beautiful!  Every imperfection and battle scar and idiosyncrasy just introduces and highlights the depth and layers of your unique beauty.  Look at yourself.  Look into your eyes.  On the surface they may resemble a green marble with brown hues due to years of sun damage or even pale blue, but look at how they twinkle radiance when you take the time to grace your uniqueness. 

Beautiful, our beauty is skin deep, not just superficial makeup that we paint on each and every day.  There is a reason we arise and are called blessed.  Those that witness us see us as beautiful.  They see through our veils of deceit and polluted lenses.  They see us through the life of Christ.  They see us through the lens of purity.  They see us as a light that illuminates darkness.  We are beautiful because there is no one like us.  God designed us in His image (Genesis 1:27) in every color, style, shape and size.  He did this because without each other, there is no beauty in the bunch!

And Beautiful, I challenge you to chew on these Truths in the Bible every day.  Write them on the tablet of your heart.  When you realize who God says you are, your worth and value, you will understand what it means to be confident without need to compare yourself to others and conform to what society dictates as being beautiful.  You will radiate your beautiful self by standing tall wearing your crown securely, because you will know and experience how loved, cherished and pursued you are. 

Remind yourself of these Truths and speak them over your life daily:  I am beautiful because I am God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).   I am beautiful because I know I have royal blood running through my veins and that I am God’s temple and His spirit resides within me (1 Corinthians 3:16).  I am beautiful because my beauty portrays a woman of virtue, a woman of God.  I am beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and God’s works are wonderful.  And when God says He makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11), that means He created ME in HIS image (Genesis 1:27) and I shall never forget that I am His work of art (Ephesians 2:10).

I become more beautiful each and every day because even though I may be outwardly wasting away, inwardly I am being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).   And because I have searched the scriptures and have received the wisdom that God says about me, I know I am beautiful because my Lord says, “She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed” (Proverbs 3:15-18).

I am beautiful; look at me!  When I smile, you can see the depth of me.  Never forget, Beautiful Beloved, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  Now that’s beautiful!

Charm may be deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but God says in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Do not be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

Oh, Father God, I pray that you let all of us Beautiful Beloveds taste and see what you see and start to believe.  Help remind us to meditate on Your Word, Your Love Letter, day and night so we can remember what fine works of art we are.  Help remind us that we are altogether beautiful and there is no flaw in us (Song of Songs 4:7), not one. 

Let us pray:  Oh, my Lord, Your love surrounds me like the great expanse of sea.  Let me feel Your Love crashing over me.  Immerse me with your living waters and swing wide open the floodgates of your Truths upon my heart.  A downpour to wash over me and make me clean.  Oh, how your Word was once nothing to me, now is everything before me.  Oh, how Your Love has set me free!

Remember, Beautiful, in closing, what a beautiful name it is, Jesus Christ, and He is our King.  Don’t believe me, listen to The Name of Jesus by Hillsong Worship.

Until next time…

Live, Laugh, Love!

 

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Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Living With Addiction Day 19 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Freedom

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 19 of 40

The Beautiful Mandisa sings, “There’s freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid.  There’s hope in every situation no matter what you’re facing every day.  But it’s up to you, you get to choose.  I’m walking, living, breathing proof.  The Father is waiting there with open arms” in Dear JohnOh, how He loves us!!!

Beautiful lyrics to hold onto!  People will more than likely hurt us, that’s life and there’s absolutely no way to escape or avoid it.  In fact, I know this kind of pain myself all too well, but we don’t have to let it hold us captive in our prisons of anger, fear and bitterness.  The beauty that God brings from our ashes of mourning is worthy of sharing.  Broken lives can be put back together.

God’s Word is not what many perceive as a list of do’s and don’ts.  It’s a love letter announcing the freedom we achieve when we believe.  There’s no record of any of our imperfections or faults.  It’s all erased and it’s been forgiven.  The Bible shares why God sacrificed it all and gave us His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for it all.  He loves us just the way we are and is awaiting for us to open up our hearts and receive Him!

Can you hear me singing?  These words penned and sing are especially dedicated to all my violators who have ever afflicted any injury to my person; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and sexually! 

How can a woman who has been violated in such a way that has been battered, stalked, abused, bruised, robbed, betrayed, amongst many others not worthy of listing, forgive, open up her heart, and walk proudly and confidently knowing where her worth comes from?  It’s called H-O-P-E!!! 

How have I survived, thrived, and stayed alive during such torment instead of understanding what a scorned woman does?  His name is Jesus Christ and the hope He promises when we believe and act out our faith!  I’m a friend of God and I know Him and love Him.

I also know and believe in the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ, so I know what I can trust and what I cannot!  I know that His love is greater than any pain I could ever endure. 

There is beauty everywhere, more beauty than tragedy, and that is what I choose to hold onto and can because of the redemption of my pain!

Psalm 34:4-8 sums it up perfectly to describe my deliverance:  “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  This poor woman called, and the Lord heard her; He saved her out of all her troubles.  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good”; blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Martinis were their name, Cocky Bull was its game.  What started out as a typical night two-stepping at the local country bar holding our fame whereas not to be lame led to too many martinis and an uninvited guest into our sacred bed that was meant just to be shared between a husband and his bride.  This uninvited guest called my best friend at the time felt the need to sliver in through the midnight shadow and rob what was mine to begin with; my husband. 

After tending to the crying baby and hearing whispers filled with eerie secretive sounds, the only thing I heard loud and clear was my heart imploding as my bestfriend justified her actions in sharing how she had been in love with my husband since the first time she met him.  Excuse me???  That’s betrayal at her finest hour!  Now you might understand why I’ve said I’ll take any physical blow to the head than the pain caused from emotional trauma!

This shame I carried for years is being related for the sole purpose to share how God works in and through our lives with tragedies and brings freedom through healing.  Today I’m living in freedom and flying free of yesterday’s guilt, today’s fears, and tomorrow’s grave.  All because God loves me just the way I am!

There is a greater purpose and plan for our pain.  I agree, pain sucks big time, but we need to share our joys as well as our tragedies together as a community.  We’re more than conquerors in Christ, we’re overcomers!

Until next time…

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