Tag Archives: #God

I’ll Hold You As Long As It Takes…

I’ll Hold You As Long As It Takes…

I stood there shocked in disbelief. Every single one of the doctor’s words spoken were unintelligible, framed in slow-motioned lip slices to this mama’s hemorrhaging heart.

When our world turns upside down AND implodes!

Hearing tragic news literally jolts your world. It scars and cuts like a knife. It shakes and rocks your world more violent than a 7.5 earthquake.

The doctor’s rushed encounter causes sheer terror. Extreme panic and shock sets in. Only divine and supernatural intervention can restore.

Your hands cup the disbelief along with salty tears released from the ducts of Hoover Dam. You collapse to the ground because your weight becomes too much to bear by yourself. 

As your body folds onto the cold cement floor of the E.R. doorway, your focus zooms to the feet scurrying by and the relentless, torturing, alarm sounds going off from medical devices sustaining lives triggering major PTSD.

Code Blue, Room 2!

The coolness from the floor can’t compete with what’s burning through your heart and mind.  The branding sears, “Code Blue, Room 2; Code Blue, Room 2.”

My mind races back 25 years as I cradle this beautiful blue-eyed baby boy with the sweetest white hair that I spiked up like Bart Simpson.

The joy this mama’s heart pondered hearing what a beautiful baby he was from those passing by; though their initial reactions were that he was a girl because he was such a beautiful porcelain-skinned doll. It didn’t matter, he was my beautiful baby.  He was God’s medical miracle.

Cradling him back and forth became a coping mechanism that would offer him comfort throughout his life.

Setting them free…

My beautiful blessings

Miracles…

I wish I could go back and hold him forever as I squish and caress his porky feet.

Only us mamas can appreciate our infatuations with our children’s feet.

Dislike feet?  Stinky and gross?

Me, too.  That is, until I gave birth to my children.

Suddenly two feet layered in Red Wings and blue slip covers slide into my uncharted pool of tears. I’m agitated because they’re occupying my “personal space,” even though I lay dormant on the hospital’s floor. 

After hearing repeated “Ma’ams,” this fully bearded, piercing dark eyes and haired man wearing a white kippah squats down and squares me right in the face. His lips begin to move, but I can no longer make sense of anything after the explosion of tragedy hit my brain.

I laid there comatose until his physical touch stroking my hair away from my face did my senses start to re-emerge.

He offers to help me up, but due to the paralysis from all the fear and dread and the lack of courage to face reality, he scoops me up into his arms instead and pulls me out of the deadly traffic jam in front of Trauma Room 2.

No sooner than hearing the beat of another’s heart, my eyes fell laser-focused onto the huge lifeless squishy feet hanging over the hospital gurney as many doctors and nurses were performing CPR, inserting tubes and IV’s into my lifeless blue son.

The adrenaline from the broken heart leaped me out of the chaplain’s arms and off the floor as loud battle cries from heaven wailed, causing the medical team to pull the curtain closed.

The chaplain catches me again, pulling me away from the room.

When your visualization is a lifeless baby boy, who may be 6’5″, but who is blue and not responding to medical attention being rendered, your eyes and mind focus intuitively on what’s outside the drawn curtain for survival. 

You frame each second onto the surroundings; his blood on the floor, the fluid bags and needle wrappings and the horrible sounds coming from the trauma team who is now holding your baby boy as long as it takes.

God’s Great Love reaches down to hold me tight through this amazing Jewish Chaplain named Joe. God comforts me through Joe saying, “I’ll hold you as long as it takes” along with scripture from Deuteronomy 31:6:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God was faithful in sustaining me. His words are branded forever in my heart and mind, “I’ll hold you as long as it takes.”

And through a life that’s cleaved to those beautiful words, even when there hasn’t been an expected and good ending, I trust my Father God to pick me up and carry me through every tragedy and loss that comes my way.

As far as this 6’5″ baby boy, his striking blue eyes still pierce this mama’s heart with love and strong, yet tender, hugs. This day ended well!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Seek To Understand Before Seeking To Be Understood!

Blameless Seek To Understand

Seek To Understand Before Seeking To Be Understood! 

So hard when words from another hurt like hell.

Hi friends and family!  Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who’s been affected by the tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. It seems that these hurt/sick people hurting others has turned into an evil epidemic seeing who can outkill one another.

When my son and I were talking about how these hate crimes and hurting individuals have changed the landscape of everyone’s lives, personally involved or not, it tapped into my own fears from being victimized reiterating how we’re all effected by these horrific crimes.

Right after talking with my son, I listened to a girlfriend’s deep pain from defeating and defaming words delivered by a coworker, feeling that no one defended her.

This brought up my own pain from the sting of what others have said and done recently that were still fresh.

Speaking honestly here, there’s a part of me who loves and walks out forgiveness emulating Jesus, but I would rather start ripping out these venomous tongues!  Words are destructive and often leave emotional wounds and scars unhealed.

I may be a follower of Jesus Christ, but I battle my own insecurities and fears just like everyone else. And after what we’ve witnessed through these heinous shootings, we need to choke this hate line and exhibit self-control with L-O-V-E, God’s Great Love.

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Life forces us to be many people with differing hats and images within seconds of each other.  Friends in need (homeless beloveds), incarcerated beloveds, along with you and I, we all have hurts, insecurities, brokenness and needs. We just react and respond to them differently.

I keep leaning into these beautiful words of Psalm 85:8.

“Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice
and wait to hear whatever you say.
Let me hear your promise of peace—
the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear.
Don’t let us in our ignorance turn back from following you.”

Working with friends in need and the incarcerated and their families, one common denominator that is lacking is love and forgiveness; God’s Love, unconditional love. It is easy to hate and judge, especially after witnessing these deadly shootings, but feelings pushed down fester and will destroy.

Tragically, we’ve allowed our unhealed pain to turn into hate. Hurt people hurt others. Instead of communities with living, breathing people, we have become part of the problem hiding behind our screens. We are no longer a part of the solution.

Allowing pain to turn into hate, this great divide becomes a part of the problem and forfeits any solution.

Where’s the person to stand up and defend others when hateful words and evil actions are spoken of and acted out?

Where there are persistent hurts, evil will prevail.

I almost let paralyzing fear stop me from helping another in need yesterday. Our Lord loves it when we move out in faith. People need to encounter extensions of love and kindness being poured out.

Action helps change the impact on our futures, though.

How can we allow God to turn our emotional wounds into good like He promises in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it…”?

Our emotional wounds and bruises fall short in receiving help because only time and grace can process the pain.  Our bruises and pain take more than a quick click.

Blameless Being Understood

Emotional Hurts and Wounded Spirits

Looking back on some of my “most painful” life experiences, the sleepless nights, the tear-stained pillows, the anger and bitterness that developed because the people closest to me delivered nothing but betrayal and disappointment, and the torment in being abused and rejected, God’s Great Love came pouring out!

Our Beautiful Jesus always has a plan for redemption, but…

Amid my all-time lowest moments, and I’m talking crushed, shackled and bound, I’ve witnessed the miraculous power of healing, redemption, reconciliation and restoration. God uses both the good and the bad (Romans 8:28).

Without pain, there’s no healing. Without imprisonment, redemption couldn’t be experienced. If there’s no estrangement, then reconciliation isn’t possible. And without destruction, there’s no need for restoration.

Experiencing this blossoming, this growth, that constructs the very core of who we are and created to become is miraculous.

We just can’t allow ourselves to be defined through this prison of pain.

We Are The Product Of Every Decision

Every day of our lives, we get the opportunity to respond to everything that crosses our path. By remembering that Someone (God) believes we are good enough in their eyes and that we don’t have to measure up to anyone to be loved should usher us into confidence. There’s nothing we can do to be loved more or loved less. It’s a gift to just receive.

Being utilized as a bridge that meets others in their struggles and a source of support and encouragement for building community is a part of the solution. Everything we do today matters. Our impact matters. It effects today and our future.

Seeking to understand others before seeking to be understood will help terminate hate. Let’s be proactive parts to the solution. Forgiveness is a great decision that leads to love!

Blameless Bridge Between Past and Future

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Today Is The Bridge Between Your Past and Future!

Are You Fully Present Today?

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Life of Worship

I admit, living in the present is sometimes so, so very hard.  When my mind is exhausted from this tug of war delivered from both the fear and shame in not being good enough that the unknown presents and the excitement in seeing what God is actually doing is overwhelming. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes living in the future with all its anticipation and excitement can rob us of God’s blessings here and now because He lives in the “today.”  We forget what we receive “today” is preparing us for tomorrow’s blessings, so we would bode well to embrace this scenic route bridging our pasts and futures.

I have found myself becoming somewhat resentful as to what God has called me to at this particular point in time because He is opening up all these other doors that I thought were forever closed and I’m stinkin’ excited. 

Because of this, I have found myself living buried underneath the weight of anger and discouragement because I’m ready to move on; thereby, consuming my thoughts and interfering with time I usually am spent in His presence. 

Time spent with our Lord empowers us to walk out each day faithfully with joy and trust. 

How many gifts of today do we pass by, neglecting to pick up or even open up because we’re so preoccupied with thoughts, anxieties and/or fears in our future?

There’s no room living in that bad neighborhood (mindset) to be present for today.

The enemy gets worked up for good reason when we’re doing what the Lord wants and attacks our beautiful hearts and minds with flaming arrows and emotional darts filled with the venom and sting that doubt and confusion delivers. 

These tidbits of insecurities, fears and indiscretions are trying to completely wipe me out and keep me from focusing on the Lord and on today; thereby, nearly robbing me of all these amazing blessings the Lord is ushering me to receive.

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If you’re anything like me, sweet friend, planning for tomorrow is exciting and time well spent, but when we become preoccupied with worry and control about tomorrow, time is not only being wasted, but we’re robbing ourselves and others of being present for this day. 

If our Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23), then why do we deviate and fill our hearts and minds with preoccupation and the opinions of others, forgetting life is about the journey and not the destination?

Guilty as charged…

When walking out our callings, and I’m not just talking about my nonprofit organization dealing with the homeless, we can be consumed with both fear and excitement. 

Isaiah 61:1 (AMP) reminds me, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners…”

Remembering to be fully present enables me to receive the comfort through trust that the Lord promises in bringing deliverance through His timing.  It is up to me to be present so I can hear and receive His guidance filled with treasures that are right around the corner.  If I’m not present, then I’ll walk right past His blessings (peace/perseverance/strength) and wonder what happened causing me to forfeit His gifts for today. 

So recognizing that planning for our futures can alleviate much of our anxiety and worry, when we become obsessed worriers, we become so consumed, forgetting to trust in God’s provision, therefore running ahead of His timetable, we become tripped up. 

The worst part of all of this is denying Jesus’ invitation for help through an intimate and loving relationship with Him. 

So… if the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in Love (Psalm 103:8), this should illustrate to us a picture of God’s nature and will, worthy of His trust, commitment and timing!

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So I hope you’ll join me in sojourning this side of heaven living under the umbrella of God’s Great Love and promises that offers peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7) while being reminded that today is the bridge between your past and future.  Live in this moment.  This way we can embrace the invitation that our Beautiful Jesus is extending only if we’re fully present.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

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!

To Belittle…

To Belittle Is To

be little!

Should you ever find yourself the victim of another’s bitterness, their smallness, or even their insecurities, remember… things could be worse… you could be them!

Oh my…

No, thank you! I’ve had my fill of the angry birds and abusers for a lifetime.

Today I was reminded of God’s amazing love and His protection in guarding my heart when a family member attacked and belittled me.

Abusers are a part of my DNA. Lord knows I’ve learned from the best! But one thing I have learned and am so grateful for is, Greater is He that lives in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

The beauty of transformation. Thank you, Jesus!

And I don’t take “my DNA” lightly. The blood that runs through my veins now is kingdom-filled and full of life flowing with God’s Love, not hate and spite of the enemy that comes to kill, steal and destroy!

Am I upset?

It’s time to break through the mold and thank Jesus for His life and freedom in being beautiful beloveds who are dearly loved, imperfect and yet, His magnificent works of art, right?

I want to be free of all these deeply-seated wounds and the broken pieces that are hindering me from my God-given identity and purpose.

How about you?

Blameless Breaking Free

When another belittles or tries to pretend we’re a bad person so they don’t feel guilty about the things they did personally to us or said about us, running from confrontation and any accountability whatsoever, we are most like Christ when we remain silent under attack.

And let me be brutally honest here…

It is sooooo freakin’ stinkin’ hard to remember this when being assaulted. People can be savage!

Belittle may be defined as to “make (someone or something) seem unimportant,” but that’s an understatement. People are cruel. Even family members. This is their way of projecting their insecurities onto others and what they wished they actually were.

So when walking through another’s assault that deems my life as “worthless,” the sole blame for their problems, it is near impossible to be quiet.

Where’s my voice, Lord?

Gag me with peace!

How can my breastplate be shielding my heart when I can still feel pain ricocheting off my shield?

This breastplate of righteousness is what protects and guards our heart which is the very seat of our emotions, you know, our self-worth and trust factor.

Thank God I’ve been touched by my Beautiful Jesus who loves me and I can run to Him for refuge knowing He’ll never forsake me.

When you’ve been completely rejected and abandoned, you need tender coddling and assurance to deal with persecution and courage to walk through life confident and strong.

Sweet friends, the piercing of our hearts requires immediate healing so the pain will not attach and fester into a venomous bitter root. When stuffed down, it will eventually mirror the aggressor’s ugly actions with death rolling from our tongues!

This reiterates why James talks about the tongue being a small but powerful member that destroys everyone and everything in its path (James 3:1-12). Who needs to fear a nuclear war when our mouths are more destructive?

Forgive me for the profanity below, but it speaks to my carnality as it releases toxins from the sting incurred from an embittered person’s assaults.

Blameless Projection Accountability

Just being transparent…

It’s hard to pray for those who hurt us, but loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us is brutally challenging. Not to mention blessing those who curse us is even harder (Luke 6:27-29).

I’m still a work in progress, but it can be done when we’re filled with God’s Love.

Remembering to be on guard equipped with our shields of faith when assaults come out of nowhere takes practice. We lose our focus easily. Guarding our hearts and minds requires being grounded daily in God’s Word. This helps thwart the attacks from distracting us and subtracting our worth.

Our worth was never theirs to give us in the first place, so they cannot take away what was not theirs to give anyways.

Words hurt. They sting. They rob us and can leave us depleted!

Belittling is flat-out cruel and a form of emotional abuse. The best rebuttal is to love and respond with a blessing. That takes a BIG heart of courage! Any fool can retaliate; just saying…

God wants His Beautiful Beloveds building others up because we know what it’s like to be torn down and ripped to shreds.

So…

“Never let anyone belittle you. Their unkind words are a reflection of their insecurities and what they wish for you to be.” Trust in yourself and believe in who God says you are:

His Masterpiece!

Until next time...

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Peace In A Violent World…

Can It Really Be Achieved?

According to Isaiah 26:3, God will keep in Perfect Peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you!

With all the strife, division, violence and destruction in today’s world, whether you are a part of it or have been effected (all of us), where do we go to seek shelter and refuge for peace?

The threat is real. Not even our congregations, a place of worship, is safe and sacred anymore. Can we really experience God’s perfect peace in turmoil?

I believe we can be steady and stable during the surrounding chaos if our trust is comforted with God’s mighty power and unchanging love. We don’t have to be shaken by all these cataclysmic events.

I loved how the Country Music Awards last night opened their ceremonial procession with singing Amazing Grace and extending words of peace and harmony! It is fitting, timely and full of truths.

The only Truth we can hold onto right now in a world that is full of destruction is God’s amazing grace! 

We Need To Love The Best We Can And Bloom From Our Roots

How do we love each other and unite together in a world where people would rather kill than sit down and communicate to express our thoughts and feelings or even agree to disagree?

I’m trying to lean into the Lord myself knowing Jesus wept by putting ALL my trust into Him so I can live in peace. I’m a beloved encountering many tragedies myself. But sometimes with all these worries on my plate, all I want to do is run away to my refuge located at the beach and hide while denying reality. 

Blameless Trust Your Path

The beach is my safe spot, my refuge, a place where I experience life-sustaining peace. This is where I get to meet and connect with my Lord freely and uninhibitedly. The presence of each sunset that the Lord magnificently paints just for me brings immeasurable peace as I engage in this period of stillness for rest, reflection and renewal.

I don’t know how my contribution towards “change” is going to look, but I’m not going to allow fear or worry to hinder my moving forward and trust my path. This is going to require God’s perfect peace; peace to hear, to guide and to direct each step.

God’s Love reaches to the depths of our discouragement, our despair, and even death. We are never lost or singled out from His Great Love. Tragically, we have chosen to remove God from our lives and homes and then we wonder where He is when calamity strikes.

I know what the Lord has done for me and what He has done through me. Let me share, His love builds bridges where division has separated and divided.

God’s love reaches every corner of every single one of our experiences!

God’s Love is immeasurable, like the ocean. With its vastness, you realize you’re but one part of many contributors to this magnificent portrait being painted. God’s peace is orchestrated through this opera of brilliant blue-jeweled water as the ocean music soothes with its gentle rippling waves. The air is heavy with ocean spray as the sea song of waves soothe and cleanse the soul.

This reinforces we have power, TOGETHER, with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18). 

Blameless Psalm 84.12

We wonder why our world is where it is today with all the death, destruction and division when we’ve removed God completely from our lives and homes unless we want to cast blame. I don’t have all the answers, but we can no longer sit back and do nothing.

In order to contribute to change, we need to step out and come together understanding WE EACH MAKE UP and have A PART and responsibility FOR CHANGE through common ground. That takes trust!

Common ground is having 75 courageous women coming together one after another in bringing awareness of the heinous acts against women that Harvey Weinstein violated for decades. It took beloveds who were brave enough to stand up for the rights and justice of others and say enough is enough to initiate change. We can’t let fear and worry paralyze!

Coming Together, Praying Together, and Changing The World Together!

Change can be beautiful. This is where God turns our ashes into beauty. It starts with one bold and determined beloved. Where that bridge is built, others will come. It may initially be awkward, but through Love Himself, all things are possible!

Thoughts and prayers need to be lived out WITH actions! Prayer initiates action, not complacency. This requires peace to trust the One leading. I personally am not going to stop loving the unlovable, nor am I going to stop reaching out extending my heart and hand to those who need to witness the hands and feet of God in action because of fear or worry.

Blameless Darkroom Negatives

We can have a significant voice in this world. Peace overrides worry and fear. Worry only produces negatives in its darkroom. We can be gentle, firm and confident with peaceful spirits when we live out our lives trusting in the One Who is in control and Who will bring vengeance to those who try to kill, steal and destroy.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Beautiful When We Come Together

Highly Favored & Blessed

 

blameless-smile

Highly Favored & Blessed 

Smile

Next time someone dares or cares to ask you how you’re doing; stop, look them square in the eyes and defy a smile by saying, “Highly favored and blessed!”  Talk about a memorable departure. 

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Smile, Beautiful! 

It’s Becoming On You