Category Archives: Faith

Growing, and Learning, and Stuff

That stab.  That cut.  When you realize past faults have not been forgotten or forgiven.

It’s that sting only a loved one can give you.  When they take your past and hold your heart hostage with your transgressions.

“I don’t trust you.”

“It’s just like when you…”

And you know to shrug it off, because, it’s a low blow, below the belt, they meant it to sting like hell… but they forget you’re not as stone as you seem most days.  They just wanted to jab, they forgot they were throwing a punch to the gut.

They forgot.

But all you can do is remember.

So you try and grow, and build, and learn.  Because that’s all you can do.  You know who you are now.  Shaken, but steady.  You won’t crumble, you’ll fortify, and hope not to become so absent minded.  You hope to never deliver the same sorts of blows.  Never.  Don’t stoop.  Stand Tall.  Chin up.  Keep on, Keeping on.

Thank God for those faults that made you fall, made you learn, made you grow, and made you better.  Thank God.

~Emily

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Masterpiece

tangle

Life. We’ve heard it before, it’s not about the finished work, but the individual strokes that created the finished piece. That doesn’t make things easier to swallow. Because sometimes you have to see the finished piece, so you know where to lay that first drop of ink.

There has to be a vision, somewhere, somehow, to get you moving in the first place. Especially when life locks your soul up in a cold, dark basement. It’s the chicken and the egg. What comes first? Movement or direction? Doing or being inspired? Some days it’s neither, some days it’s both. Like moving a huge piece of furniture, where you ease it forward, moving one corner forward at a time. Doing. Living. Doing. Living.

sketch

And it’s all so exhausting.  The pushing and the pulling.  The constant reminders of mortality.  The mistakes.  The blemishes.  The still having so much to learn, and do.  And the overwhelming need to have a fresh, new, blank canvas to start all over again.  Because if I only knew what I know now…

zen

Had I known…

Perhaps I wouldn’t have cared so much about the masterpiece.

Maybe I would have held onto those scrap pieces of time.  Those scribbles in my life…

Maybe I wouldn’t have left so many blank pages lying around.

Yet it’s the masterpiece that drags me back up off the floor.  The need to get somewhere better than here, better than the now.  My blessing and my curse.  The delicate lines drawn by the fragile lives, and tear stained water colors.  The need to make this life beautiful once again, not in spite of the hurt, but because of it.  To always remember.

And to accept the here, right now, is where I’m supposed to be.  Today is my Masterpiece.

art

This Broken Heart

I’ve been told that we’re supposed to grow from pain. Learn from the past, forgive, grow stronger, gain wisdom and character. Take to our faith in troubled times, and embrace it.

There’s truth in those beliefs. We’re always growing, moving, and changing. Even when we dig in our heels, and hide under the covers. Because you can’t stop life, even when you’re broken, even when your caught in bliss.

If only there was a way to dump out all of the emotions life forces out onto a table and sort them all out. “Here. Here is my pile of what I am mad about. Here’s the stack of happy thoughts. Over there is my sad. There’s a basket of things I need to forgive. There’s the box of what I wish to be forgiven for.” Clear cut, simplified, and sort-able. manageable. Instead of the jumble mix of jealousy, hurt, anger, fear, happiness and so forth that flies back and forth like a dust storm.

Because life keeps moving, and there’s little time to fully embrace each emotion and handle them properly. It’s saying goodbye to one family member who you knew would soon be parting from this earth, to having another one taken without warning before you hung your funeral dress back up in the closet, the awkward heels still in your car. It’s the dying inside while you’re rushing another family member off to the ER, while keeping the kids busy and quiet in the waiting room. Topped off with another family member coming back into your life, that you might not be ready for, because are you still mad, hurt, angry, scared, or morning them? All the while just trying to save every dime to keep your home, and gas in your car.

If only life would just provide time to breathe.

There’s so much to think about, to feel, to deal with. There’s so many words to say. But when you know others are hurting so much worse, you can’t risk that one lonely minute in which you might lose control and fall apart 100%. Because life demands you keep moving.

Oh but this tiny little broken heart is tired of this age of loss it has found itself in. And it’s mad at the mess one family had created. It’s desperate to see one soul once again, even for a moment to say good-bye. It wants to move on, it wants to be ticked, and it wants hurt. And it wants others to let it just be. Alone, hidden, trembling, until it’s too tired to weep anymore. Then maybe it can move on, and deal with the million other demands put in front of it. Maybe then it can love despite the past without judgement. Maybe.

Yet life waits for no one, not even this broken heart.

~Emily

And The Greatest is This

Toodle

Religious views always differ from person to person. Always.

The idea of faith never changes.  Faith is Believing.  Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Muslim, Cherokee or voodoo… it all takes faith, believing, trusting in something other than yourself.

To not have a religious view or faith in someone other than yourself still requires a faith.  A faith of yourself, a trust that you are right.  Life takes faith.

1 Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have no love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.  But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

Life takes love.

Mark 12: 31

And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.

Faith, Hope, Love.  It’s all we got.

Faith is not about which pastor you follow, which books you read, or how many lines of scripture you can rattle off.  Religion is not about being perfect or about being better than another.  It’s about faith, hope and love.  It’s about living your faith, showing it through you actions and leaving the judging to the one who is truly in charge.

We hope to inspire, hope to change, hope to grow.

We love with all we have, and have the faith that we shall be loved back.

And the greatest is Love.

 

{This is an oldy from a different blog I used to have, but seems extremely relevant today, so much so that I couldn’t find one part that I wanted to edit}

~Going Home~

When the prodigal son returns, he’s afraid.  Very afraid, as the bible tells us.  (keep reading, I’m not getting biblical on you)  He wasted his entire inheritance, abandoned his family, and screwed up royally.  Yet he goes home, faces the truth, and prepares to beg for forgiveness. 

Because at some point we all have to go home. 

But life doesn’t always follow the story.  Or maybe it always does, but it’s the path that becomes entirely different. 

We’re not prepared for the hill that lays in wait just before the doorstep.  The hill built out of fear, hate, spite, revenge, hurt, and denial.  The hill that our home has not built, but the one that the prodigal son has built himself.  And we can’t see our loved ones standing in circles around that hill with shovels, and spades, and even explosives, just waiting for the words to be spoken, just waiting to help tear down that hill.

Yet we choose to add to the hill.  Always heaping on more and more, making it seem impossible.

Until we despise the idea of going home all together.

But you see, going home is not an option you can choose to ignore.  Denying truths only eat at your soul.  One way or another you will climb that hill, eventually.

And just know you have a family, waiting to hold your hand…

What I Need

Have you ever noticed how when things get good, things must get bad as well?  And that’s assuming I can even label things as good or bad, because in reality they’re all just things and can’t be classified as either.  They’re just there, and I’m letting them get to me.

And so I might have a wee bit of a history with pity parties.  I might own stock in pity party decorations, and I’m rather slow at taking down said decorations when the party is long done with.  I figure one day, I’ll get it all out of my system and finally learn how to deal with things without throwing in the only child temper behind them.

I really don’t know what it is I need.  Maybe a break?  Maybe a fresh outlook?  Maybe more time in my faith?  Maybe all of the above…  I do know I need something, and the things I think I need probably aren’t it. 

Like validation.  Yes I’m admitting it loud and clear.  I need validation, tons of it, lots and lots, or I will instantly fabricate excuses on why I shouldn’t invest myself into something.  And i know I always think I need more validation than what I have earned.  Which spins in circles and ticks me off even more.

And when you do the math, I need other people.  Which is bad and wrong on all sorts of spectrums.  I shouldn’t need other people to carry me throughout the challenges I have set for myself.  But I do.  Maybe I can blame it on being a Leo, if you’re into that sort of thing.

And can it really even be my fault when I’m a Leo and an only child, swirled into one very confused mind?  I mean honestly, take a sign that is based on attention and power and mix it with a child who had no one growing up besides a whole bunch of elderly people… of course I’ll have issues.

Or excuses, I always have a lot of excuses. 

And blame, I always want to dip my toes in that as well.  But again, that’s going back to needing other people.  At least I can identify the circles.

Long story short (yes I know this already all sorts of long and drawn out) I’ve let something out there get under my skin.  Yes I know exactly what it is, but that doesn’t matter.  What does matter is knowing if it’s my problem, if it’s worthy of the stress… or if it’s all just a figment of my stretched out imagination.  Which is quite difficult to do without showing all my sides of crazy.  (circles, I’m an expert at them) 

So I’m back at the beginning, what do I really need?   

I suppose, if I have to answer it, if I want to act all intelligent and together.  I guess I need time, but more than that.  I need to keep going, keeping pressing on, to push myself despite what I think I’m lacking. 

But I don’t wanna.

Do You Waste Moments?

 

As I was waiting for my 6-year-old to come home from his “Summer School” camp thing, the local radio station was playing a clip from the incident between thirty students and the bus monitor… you already know what I’m talking about, I’m not getting into it.  What peaked my interest was when the host said, “My son is the military and I still want to rush home and drill him over this, I want to make sure somewhere, at sometime I taught him better than this.”  (paraphrased, my toddler was also singing at that moment.)

Which got me thinking… How can I use this incident to better my own family?  Or will I let the opportunity slip us by…

Life gives us tons of chances, millions even, for learning.  Some harsh, some don’t even sting. 

Like my close friend dying on his sixteenth birthday, from a drunk driver… himself.  That lesson was crushing.  One I will never forget, one my children will learn very soon before they have to feel that pain or even worse, cause it.

Or taking a series of tremors here on the New Madrid Fault line, to remember for the first time EVER to teach my kids about earthquake safety.  There hasn’t been a destructive earthquake here since the 1800’s, might never be one in our lifetime… but we live on the biggest fault line in the nation… doesn’t hurt to be safe.  One day we might be glad that we took those tremors as a lesson…

Every single thing that happens around us, every little news clip and reality show is a opportunity.  Do you seize it?  Do you jump on the chance to make your world a better place by learning from the mistakes, the pain, the heartache of others? 

Do you hear about a woman being mugged, and just thank your lucky stars it wasn’t you?  Or do you play out the scenario in your head, drill your self on safety and make sure that it doesn’t happen to you (within reason of course)?  Do you hear about bullies on the news and hope it doesn’t happen to your child?  Or do you sit down over and over again with them and teach them how to handle themselves… and more importantly make sure they aren’t a bully themselves? 

I’m not saying I’m a perfect person who learns from everything the way I should…  I’m just saying, maybe we should.  Maybe we need to seize those moments, the good and the bad, a little deeper, a little closer, a little longer, and take a little more action.

How about you?  Do you waste moments?

She’s Not Ready

The feelings had built up over the years.  So many feelings she felt as though she was trying to wade through wet cement.  They were hard to make out.  Which ones were hard truth, which ones had other memories exaggerated, which ones never really happened?

One by one she tried to sort through them, struggling to make sense of them all.  She had wasted too many years, too many relationships, too many opportunities trying to just shut them out.  She had reached her breaking point, and promised that she would not be like him.

The man she loved, but the man who broke her time and time again.  The man who was her all, but couldn’t be there for her.  She didn’t want to follow in his footsteps, even though she never wants to let him go.

She wants to tell him this, all of this.  How he hurt her time and again.  How he forgot about her, how he so easily can turn his back, how he never was there to see the tears she cried… because of him. 

She wants to tell him how so many of her failures were out of the fear he installed.  How she broke many of hearts, out of habits that he had built in her.  How she wanted so much to make him proud, to make him stay, to make him care. 

She wants to show him all that she’s done, all that she learned, the good and the bad. 

She wants to know if he realizes the rage that can build in her blood, the temper she battles, the hate her mind can fester… because of him.  She wonders if he gets that the rush of tears she can’t control is because of him.

She wants to show him how it can be, breaking those chains, building, growing, how life does not need to be this way.  That life is more than the deceit, the anger, the games. 

She wants to tell him, she wants to show him, she wants to ask him why?

She’s not ready.  She may never be.

But she’s okay.  She’s doing fine.  She’s learning, she’s growing, she has overcome. 

And she still loves him madly, and always will for all of time.  He shaped her, he built her, he made her want more, to be more… And without him, she’d never be at all.

“They Won’t be Coming Back”

He said, “They won’t be coming back.”

 I stared blankly at the screen trying to reign in the words.  Everyone has always entertained my belief that they will be back one day… no one had ever shut off the entire thought so completely.  I’m hardly ever at a loss of words, but all I could manage to do was to change the subject as quickly as possible. 

Hearing true thoughts from a whole nother viewpoint can be a punch in the stomach. 

(back story on my stepdaughter and her mother running away for religious reasons here )

I live the pain my husband has felt from the whole ordeal, I feel the pain for the baby she abandoned, I see the twisted remains of her husband she left… but the pain of her siblings, loosing a mother and a sister, I’m afraid it might be more than I can bare. 

It’s hard enough to see my son forget about her completely.

And is that what they really wanted?  To be forgotten?  And knowing that at one point we all believed and praised from the same bible, aren’t they contradicting the whole entire book?  Aren’t we supposed to show our faith and proclaim it from a mountain top?  How do we share if we hide?

Or was there more to it all?  Other problems so grand, running was the only option…  Or could fear keep them hidden, fear of being so wrong, so lost, so caught up that it’s hard to face the truth.

And will they come back?

My faith, my heart, my soul say they will be back.  No one can run forever, we all get tired, we all fall.  I’ve done my best to remind myself that WHEN they come back that it won’t be them.  I will not be wrapping my arms around the same girl who I knew, but a familiar shell with different fillings.  The same and so different. 

But what if they don’t come back.

What then?

I suppose my only answer can be… I won’t let that happen.  

Which is foolish and childish, stubborn and unrealistic.  But what if one of the only people who still has any hope at all looses hope?  What if hope disappears?  Why come back if hope is gone?  I will always have hope.

One Thousand Gifts ~ Book Review and CHALLENGE

I knew you were dying for yet ANOTHER book review by me.  Actually I knew you were dreading to have to wait another second after my last captivating review on The Birth House.  So just for you I wasted countless hours of precious sleep time so I could have another review ready immediately.

And since the last book was about abortions and liberal topics, this one is a wee bit more wholesome, as I’m all for balance and stuff.

And when I say a wee bit more wholesome I do indeed mean that this is a Christian book through and through.  BUT DON’T CLICK OFF, not yet.  As I do think it’s premise is awesome (yes I said AWESOME) for even those without faith in God or a god, or what have you.

The writer begins by telling her struggles with losing faith, losing God as she, at an extremely young age, watched her sister die, hit by a truck in front of their house.  Her family torn apart by this tragedy, her sent down a spiraling path of self-torture and hatred.  Tragedy after tragedy affects all those who she loves, and she’s left wondering WHY.  What is the purpose?  How can people thank God while he’s ripping away loved ones???

And then piece by piece, day by day she begins to unlock the key, the secret in being truly thankful.  Giving real thanks, having real thanks, passing on true thanksgiving.  All with a small challenge from a friend to simply write down One Thousands gifts, just one thousand things that she could find thanks for.

Ann is a writer of a different, uh… flavor.  Her words come out in more of a prose story telling form, and sometimes it causes you to read back, stop and reflect to get the whole point behind the words.  Which of course works well during the telling of her personal life. 

The book is, again, extremely Christian, with many accurate biblical references throughout the entire book.  So not everyone will enjoy it as I did.  But it’s still worth the read. 

As time allows I will be posting my One Thousand Gifts and as a challenge to you, I DARE you to do the same, even if you don’t read the book.  Everyday just stop for a few minutes and write down anything that comes to mind that you’re thankful for.  It’s amazing how it can change your outlook.  You don’t have to be Christian or of any faith to appreciate all the small things in life we overlook in our rush to get to the next day.  So DO IT!

And go read the book, I give it 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Dear feds, I bought this book over a year ago and had it sitting on my shelves.  I was not paid to review this, and receive absolutely nothing for this review.  Thanks.