This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Tilled Soil of My Heart

I purposefully forgive people that have injured me or whom I perceive as having injured me. 

I pray regularly that God will lend me His eyes to see others as He sees them, in both their current condition and as He created them to be.

I make an effort to be generous in every situation. 

I pray.  I read the Bible.  I attend church services and prayer meetings regularly.  I try to connect to other women the best way that I can.  I make adjustments as God reveals them... and yet.

And yet, every now and then when God tills the soil of my heart I am still surprised by what I find just inches under the tidy surface.  Just a little tilling and things are pulled to the top.  Heart conditions I didn't even know were there. 

Photo by Free Digital Photos

Just because I didn't know something was there, buried deep in my heart doesn't change the fact that it exists.  I found that a large, ragged, black rock of jealousy was patiently laying in wait to trip me, and trip me it did.  It managed to trip me so suddenly, I didn't even realize what was happening.  I didn't see it coming.  Once my feet were underneath me again, I didn't pick it up right away, not wanting to admit it was there.  I was even tempted to cover it back up again and hope that I wouldn't trip on it in the future.  I mean, I'd gone so long without tripping over it, maybe it wouldn't happen again if I just buried it deeper.  Instead, I kept looking at it.  Kicking it.  Studying it.  Wondering where it came from.  Wondering what it meant.  I condemned myself for its mere existence and the bitterness began to creep in. 

Before service on Sunday, while talking to my friend, the trigger for my jealousy, I blurted it out.  Confessed it into the open, into the light.  It was awkward, but, fortunately for me, he was gracious. 

I went into service feeling even more odd than when I walked into the building earlier that morning. God had another plan, as He often does, and I had a little face to Face time with God during the worship part of the service and here is what God showed me:

1.  God will allow things to occur in my life, and yours, that reveal our heart issues.  Things we may not even be aware of.  But, don't worry...

2.  When that happens, we have the opportunity to bury it deeper or get it out into the open, into the light.  Always choose the light.

3.  When God does this, it's not about condemnation, but rather about the opportunity to be diagnosed and begin treatment.  If you had cancer, wouldn't you want to know so you could begin treating it right away?  These heart issues behave in the same fashion, if left to their own devices, growing and spreading and bringing destruction into the healthy parts of our lives.

4.  We are not alone in our struggle.  Not only do we have God on our side, we must give our friends the opportunity to support us in our struggles and support them in their struggles.  On some level, people must know that they need support from people who have traveled the path that they themselves are traveling.  Across the board, be it medical issues, relationship issues, addiction or trauma, there are support groups for every major life issue that arises in the natural.  Why would we believe that we could go it alone when it comes to spiritual issues, you know the eternal issues?

My point is that no matter where we are on the path of following Christ, if we are still on this earth, we have issues.  It's OK to be surprised when God reveals them, just don't bury the issue.  Dig it up.  Put it in the light!  Let God and let other's help you deal with it and then... move on!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Turning 35

Today I turned 35.  Fortunately, I stayed busy for the most part.  Able to not think about the implications of such a milestone, that is until someone would say the words... "Happy Birthday".  Then my mind would begin following the myriad of rabbit trails.

As a result of my exhaustion (which may or may not be related to my agedness) and the late hour, here is a list of my top 10 thoughts on turning 35.

1.  I have a good life (on all fronts), so I certainly can't complain.
2.  Jesus can use the aged as well as the youthful, so I'm still good.
3.  35 is not really that old.  I suppose when I'm 70, 35 will look pretty good.
4.  I would say that I don't feel 35, but I don't know whether or not that's true.  I suppose I just don't feel different.
5.  Regardless of my chronological age, I refuse to become a boring grown-up type.  I doubt that will change any time soon.
6.  A short 5 years ago I couldn't have said this, I have more than my fair share of genuinely good friends.  I'm not offering to give any of them up, but I am definitely making up for my antisocial start to life.
7.  If I had to give up what I've learned in the last 6 years to weasel my way back into my 20's, I'd pass on that deal all day long.
8.  Though I hope, hope, hope it's true, even if it's not, I enjoy being told I don't look my age.  (Don't worry, it won't cause me to favor anyone, so telling me that won't get you anywhere special with me.)
9.  There are some culturally/socially expected things I may have not done in my life... but I like who I am and I really like who I'm becoming and I wouldn't change a thing.
10.  I expect that when I turn 45 I will have an even better life, found myself continually surrounded by genuine people with whom I have a great mutual love and respect, grown in wisdom, been used by God in abundance and still won't look my age.

As my husband would say "Cheers!"  I hope you enjoyed my special day...

P.S.  Being further evidence of item 5 noted above, during my birthday weekend I played Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, wherein I played Wonder Woman pretty consistently.  My kids begged me to switch characters, to which I replied "I've been pretending to be Wonder Woman since I was 4, I'm not stopping now."  On that note, I leave you with this: