Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Women of Faith Conference...Well there are just no words today...It was just what I needed.
I hope to give an update in a few days.
Prayer request ~ As I am typing I have just completed my preparation for two very invasive tests which I will be having tomorrow, Monday, November 24th at 8:30 AM.
Let's just say...I am feeling YUCKY` YUCKY` YUCKY!!!
Also, Monday ~ November 24th is our oldest son Andrews birthday!
I wish I had the strength to post some beautiful tribute to him but for tonight I just say that I am so proud of who this young man is becoming and I am thankful that God chose adoption for our family. Happy 27th Andrew.
I hope to have many updates on Tuesday or Wednesda ~ as soon as I am feeling up to it!
Thank you for your prayers.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Lisa Whittle: I cannot begin this post with anything else except a huge thank you for listening to God and being obedient in the writing of this book. Your willingness to open your heart and share what is behind your eyes has caused me to dig deeper into my own soul and allow carefully built walls to be broken down in order for God to reveal what pain was hidden behind my own eyes. As I have stated before, God used this book as another tool in the healing of my wounded soul and I am a changed vessel. There are no words to say thank you enough but God will richly reward you with more jewels in your heavenly crown.
Lelia at WRITEFROMTHEHEART: Thank you so much for your willingness to host this book study. I would not be where I am today had I not found your blog and taken the challenge you set forth. You have shared your heart, your struggles and your joys so openly and I am grateful for you.
Fellow bloggy friends: Thank you for your encouraging words, comments and posts. I have enjoyed reading your stories and getting to know each of you. I know that some of us will remain friends for many years to come. It has been my pleasure to be a part of this study with each of you.
When I first began reading Behind Those Eyes I never expected to have my life change. I began this study during my 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday when I was looking to do things I had never done before. I saw this study and thought: Oh, I've never done an online study, that looks like fun, so I joined in. I was not prepared for the challenges I would face.
I've allowed God to do a lot of work in my heart over the past couple of years as I've struggled with the pain of being hurt. I believed I was healed because I had forgiven and moved on in my life. Little did I know what I was about to face as I began to read Lisa's words.
From the truth hurting to the truth healing my heart has been laid bare and restoration has taken place. Yes, the truth of what was behind my eyes did hurt I just thought nobody else could see so deep within my soul. I realize now that no matter how we try to hide our pain, it will always be there, hidden in the recesses of our soul just waiting to be revealed.
I believe you have seen a progression of God painstakingly removing the wall around my heart brick by brick. You have seen me ask hard questions, go through depression, and take a chance at opening up to share my soul. I wish that at this moment, you could hear my voice, see my face and look into my eyes to hear what they are saying now. The truth has healed and they say I am free.
I am free to love and accept God's love for me. That is the one thing I could never do. I accepted the love of Jesus but not God. Through this study I have been able to acknowledge that painful truth. I wanted so desperately to accept God's love, I was just too afraid. Living in denial of that truth has caused me to miss out on so many wonderful adventures with Him but today I can honestly say that He is my greatest adventure.
Lisa writes: "Know this, my sisters and friends: Jesus is the only One who can truly heal our souls, from the inside out. The healing balm He provides is on a different level altogether from any other soothing balm. The results of His balm in our lives are not temporary and don't wipe off, wear off, or come off. It's not a quick fix. The balm of our heavenly Father is the gift of peace and joy and spiritual growth and unconditional love that is ours for the taking. And it is the gift that allows us to know the sometimes-ugly truth about ourselves, and yet be set free by it." How true these words are. I have been set free from my own self-built prison. I can no longer hide behind perfectionism, confidence, happiness or spiritualism because today I have the freedom to live openly with Joy, Peace and Love.
The process may not be totally complete. I still have not been able to cry but I am confident in knowing that damn will be torn down soon and I hope you will return to hear how God does it.
I have the privilege of going to the Women of Faith conference this weekend. The timing could not be better. I am actually going by myself, which I believe is God's plan. I am expecting closure to this portion of my healing to take place.
I'm not quite sure how to end this post because I feel for many of us it will be good-bye. That makes me sad yet happy that I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful women and sisters in the Lord. You have been privy to a heart being transformed and that makes me happy. I feel a bond with each of you as I have shared such a deep portion of my life and healing with you. I will continue to check in on you to see what wonderful things God is doing in your lives. You are forever a part of my life.
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36
As I sit here this morning typing this post the Lord has spoken four short yet meaningful words to my heart that I will leave you with.
Well done, my daughter!
Considering It All Joy, Cindy
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Now, I have the pleasure of listing 10 things that make me happy ~ so here goes!
1 - God, and if you have read my blog at all lately, you will know why.
2 - My hubby, he is alive and we are near the 5 year anniversary of his kidney transplant.
3 - My boys, what joy they bring to my life.
4 - My granddaughter, if you have grandchildren, you know how much they make you happy.
5 - Our extended families, for so many different reasons.
6 - Scrapbooking!
7 - Walking in the morning and talking to God while the sun is just beginning to peak over the horizon.
8 - Going to work, I have so many hats to wear as the administrator for a pediatric office, my days are so varied and I get to be a part of such a variety of areas in medicine and healing.
9 - Spending time in God's word, soaking in His voice and knowing He is present.
10 - Blogging, every aspect of it is joyful. Writing, reading, praying and getting to know you. I just love it and it makes me happy.
I now have the joy of passing this award on to two very special people.
Jenny, who lives a life similar to mine when I was a young mom and shares such wonderful insights on raising a child with Special Considerations as well as her Money Monday and Thank You Thursday.
Grace, whom I call Ms Sunny, because every time I read her blog I receive encouragment or a good laugh. She lives in Sunny, CA and I believe that she is what makes Sunny a happy place.
Thank you to Liz ...AND... congratulations to Jenny and Grace~
Considering It All Joy,
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have never worn a hat in public ~ but now that I am 50 ~ and God has done such an amazing work in my heart over the past few weeks ~ I figured it would be ok.
We had such a great time ~ I just wanted to share.
Now for my Behind Those Eyes post. I cannot believe we are already on Chapter 9, We Are Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven Completely, and we only have one week to go. It has been a challenging yet rewarding study and I am thankful to Lisa Whittle for writing this wonderful book and to Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart for hosting this study. I know I am not the same person who first picked up this book in mid-September.
Completely flawed ~ yep ~ no denying that! All of the MS. that have been shared in this book are only cover-ups for the real deal ~ a sin-filled nature. Taking the mask or armor or concealer off has only revealed the truth and we all know that scripture tells us that the truth will set us free! Thank God ~ I am free!
Freedom does not mean that I do not sin any longer ~ on the contrary. Often times I feel as though I sin more now than I used to. I believe that is, in part, because I am more fully aware of God's character and how He is trying to change me.
I am so much like Paul. Lisa shares scripture from Romans 7 with us when Paul speaks about his desire to do good and right things but finds himself making wrong choices. I do that all the time. It's kind of like: I'm definitely going to start my diet on Monday then all of a sudden it's Thursday and I say: Oh well, I'll start next Monday when I know God has spoken to my heart about my body being His Temple and the need to take care of it. I want to yet I don't.
Yes, I am completely flawed. But thank God (literally) the story doesn't end there.
I am forgiven completely!
In 1997 God took me on an incredible 8 month journey. My husband took a temporary job transfer to Wyoming. While he was away working during the week and the kids were doing their thing, I had many hours to spend with God. He taught me lessons in forgiveness that I never dreamed possible. During those months he cleaned my heart of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness toward my dad. It was a long process but one I will never forget.
The wonderful thing about learning to forgive my dad is that I came to a new depth of understanding about how God forgives us through the blood of Jesus.
Lisa uses one of my favorite scriptures on the subject: Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." To me that means, no matter how many times the enemy may try to put those sins back on me, he can't because they truly can never catch up to me again. They are gone, never to be found again, and never to be remembered by God.
Lisa's challenge question: In your heart of hearts, do you think God is ready and willing to forgive you? Honestly...will you let Him?
I can honestly say, though I don't deserve one moment of it, His grace and mercy have overcome my unworthiness and YES! He is ready, I have let Him and I am forever Thankful!!
What about you? Ask yourself the same question. Will you let Him?
Considering It All Joy, Cindy
Friday, November 7, 2008
There appears to be freedom and joy just beyond the door but what danger lies out there? I yearn to have joy, peace and the freedom of life. As I sit here, with every breath I desire to breathe in all of the sensations that are now just beyond my grasp. Pushing through the fear I stand. As if in slow motion I place one foot in front of the other and hesitantly walk toward the door. It is still safe, for the screen is closed and I continue to be protected. But I know it is now or never that I make the choice.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Now, I will share my thoughts about chapter 8 of Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle. It has been both joyful and at times difficult to continue with this study hosted by Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart! I have both loved it and dreaded it at the same time. It has pushed me to face truths about my life and myself that are painful yet healing. I see hope in the days ahead but this post will be my most difficult to write.
If you are a family member, other than my mom or siblings, you may read some things today that you have been unaware of. I have purposely kept what I am about to write a very private matter as to not bring shame or humiliation to my family. My father and grandmother both passed away in 1999 and it is time for me to come clean to the depth of my being in order to become totally free to live the life God intended for me to live long before He created the world.
This chapter "We are completely loved and accepted completely" was difficult for me to read. Though I have been a Christian since I was very young, have loved Jesus since my earliest memories, have known that Jesus loves me, has accepted me and I am completely His there is a part of me that has never been able to grasp fully the love of God the Father. I have spent this week in quiet reflection as I've prepared for this post. I pulled back from most things this week and have just spent time with God. Seeking His face and understanding as I have asked Him the questions I posed last week.
Yes, I have been hurt, much more deeply than what I have shared regarding my previous church. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my earthy father. I can say that without tears because, with God's help, I forgave my dad a couple years before he passed away and was holding his hand when he took his last breath on earth. I honestly do not know where he is today but I can say that I pray he is resting with Jesus.
So, if I have truly forgiven then why do I continue to have questions and fight depression and loneliness? I have come to realize that when a trust is broken between and father and his daughter it is a trust that affects her entire life. It affects every aspect of her life including all of her relationships, her marriage bed and her ability to trust her own creator.
I was deathly afraid of my dad. I had reoccurring nightmares growing up. I attempted to share with a few people but there seemed to be no place of safety, no place of rescue, no place of real love, no place of protection. I began building walls around my heart just to survive. Thoughts of suicide become my constant companion because I felt that if things got too bad I could always kill myself and then I would be safe, or so I thought.
I stuffed my feelings until I had 2 ulcers at the age of 18. I ended up leaving home and eventually got married but never shared my past with anyone. In 1990 I became so depressed and despondent that suicide really did become my option. But God...had another plan.
I ended up in a hospital for 30 days which helped to begin the process of forgiveness toward my father. There was a lot of fear, anger, bitterness and pain stored within me that needed to be released and sorted out. In time I was able to forgive and had a decent relationship with my dad before he died.
I could relay to you the details, and there are many, but that is not the point of this post. My greatest desire is to relay what God has been speaking this week in my quiet moments with Him.
First, AND I HAVE NEVER SPOKEN THESE WORDS TO ANYONE BEFORE THIS MOMENT, He has revealed that I hold my dad accountable for the fact that I was unable to have children and my hysterectomy at 26. When a young girl's body is subjected to abuse I believe damage can be done. I am not a physician so I cannot substantiate these claims from a medical standpoint, but it doesn't really matter, because deep within my spirit, I blame him. So, this is a new area that God is planning on remolding and shaping in my heart.
Second, and most importantly, He, my Heavenly Father, has spoken that I am still afraid to grasp a hold of His complete love for me. Yes, I have fear. Loving Jesus the Son, is so simple for me but loving and trusting God the Father is more challenging than hiking up from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is easy for me to work my fingers to the bone for God and the church, hoping to gain love, respect, and acceptance but not easy for me to just accept His love.
As I sit here and type my hands are shaking and my heart is pounding as if someone where beating a drum. I am shivering and sweating at the same time. I know I am on the brink of a breakthrough but quite frankly it scares me to death.
James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you". Lord, I want to come near but fear of being vulnerable locks my heart behind the years of walls I have so carefully constructed. I give you permission as I type to complete the tearing down process that has begun.
I end by saying this: I am not depressed, despondent, discouraged or depleted. I am scarred and scared. But somehow in the midst of this moment ~ I have peace.
This may be an unusual response to this chapter but it is mine and I'm thankful for it.
I continue to Consider It All Joy,