Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When all you can pray are tears…

Joy is gone from our hearts;
    our dancing has turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head.
    Woe to us, for we have sinned!
 Because of this our hearts are faint,
    because of these things our eyes grow dim
 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
    with jackals prowling over it.
 You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return
;
    renew our days as of old
Lamentations 5:15-21 (NIV)


It’s been a rough season; I mean really rough. I realized today that I’d hit a wall when I warned my loved ones that there was no nurturing left within me, and I was going for a run, even if it rained. I nurture. That’s who I am. I can make lemonade from the sorriest lemonade, and while I don’t bury my pain, I’m not terribly good at putting it out there and crying out in need.  God knew where I was headed, and so it made sense that in my reading of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations that is where I would be just now. You see, little Mary sunshine is all out of smiles. I’m not writing. I’m not smiling very much, and when I pray, all I’ve got are tears.

God is silent in the Bible
more than He speaks. While He is silent,
He is never still.

~Shelly Miller
 click to tweet some encouragement 
It’s okay. He knew I’d be here. He always knows. I look back over words I’ve written and appreciate that there are some lessons to which I am bound to return. Like this one…

This girl is weary, worn, and sad. Because I frequently forget that I am broken, I find myself humbled into painful submission as my shoulders sag under the weight of burdens I should never have carried any further than the Throne.  I find myself humbled to the point of painful submission when once again I take on more than any fool should reasonably attempt, when I’ve cast myself in the role of martyr and nobody cares because martyr is not my name. I frequently forget that I am broken.  Thankfully, when I remember little else, I remember to trust in the God that always knows.

So, Lamentations.  According to one writer, “Lamentations reminds us of the importance not only of mourning over our sin but of asking the Lord for His forgiveness when we fail Him.” My sins? Genuinely thinking I’ve got it all together. Isolating myself when life get rough. Believing that a) my brokenness wasn’t permanent, b) misinterpreting the crucible (my OneWord for the year) as an exile instead of a destination, and c)not drawing in each breath as a prayer of gratitude, because being grateful, being present, is all that really matters.

That is among the reasons why God placed me in Lamentations right now. I love the way He loves me. I love the way He tailors my universe precisely to the places He knows where I will go-remember, He knew I’d be here. And when I pray about being here and what it means, I am comforted by my personal lamentations-even in the form of tears, they are prayers. He hears me. He knew I’d be here and I know He was waiting.

I did some things today to ensure I wouldn’t cause any more pain than necessary; I measured my words, I kept to myself, and I granted myself the gift of time and sacred space, in the form of a run. I am on my way to better.

There are some new lessons this time. One, He has not forsaken me (that is not new). Two, while it may feel like joy has departed from me, in due season I know I will reap, because that is in His Word, even if I don’t know what reaping looks like (that is a new part of the lesson).

I’m off to listen to Joann Rosario sing When I Pray, remembering the wise words of my friend Shelly Miller, who wrote something I cling to…


God is silent in the Bible more than He speaks. While He is silent, He is never still.
~Shelly Miller
 


[Continue reading...]

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Moving past hurt…

When Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but and seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)


Here’s the news flash, the Four Seasons, and Fergie, got it wrong…big girls do cry.  Forgiveness isn’t easy.  Forgiveness takes a good deal of faith, particularly when you’ve been hurt. Particularly when you’re hurt, faith and the courage to persevere may not been in good supply. According to an article posted at the Mayo Clinic website,

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl.
It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.
CLICK TO TWEET
Embracing forgiveness.   It sounds so easy until it’s your turn. It’s even harder when the people you need to forgive are the very ones from which you seek support. Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl. It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.


In the dialogue between Peter and Jesus on forgiveness, nothing is said about counting the number of times we forgive, not literally. Margaret Minnick, in explaining Jesus’ answer to Peter writes that,
Seventy is the ideal lifespan of a person. Seven is the number of completion. Therefore, Jesus told Peter to make it complete by forgiving as long as he lived.

Forgiving for as long as you live, like God. The moment you stop taking everything personally, the moment it stops being entirely about you and becomes about your growth, and your Grace.

Just tonight, I read that “the true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” That’s moving past hurt. It’s scary, and its big, but it’s Grace-full. Full to overflowing.

I want to begin to move consistently past hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to hurt, but hurt is not where we should remain. It’s what we choose to do next that defines us. So, let’s do this, shall we? Let’s shed our tears, then pull it together and keep it moving.  There comes a time when your life should be more about your personal growth and the deepening of your faith that keeping score. Holding onto pain, withholding forgiveness does more damage to you than it does to anyone else, and, failing to forgive is a sin and that behavior DOES NOT glorify God.


Lord, this is my prayer. I desire to move consistently through hurt to Grace, walking away from me and towards You. I will be hurt, I will cry, but I won’t stay there. I am embracing forgiveness, because You embraced me. The Grace in which You enfold us is a state where I desire to reside, a state I pray to reflect, to give I desire to away. Let it be so, in Jesus’ Name, Selah and Amen. 



[Continue reading...]

Monday, March 17, 2014

@Circles of Faith...Relying on Grace…(a simple lesson in faith, or “sniff and pee”…yeah, you read that right)

 Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness

Israel, when I went to give him rest.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:2-3 (NKJV)



I had a refreshing conversation with my Gayle this morning.  (I know, you’ve missed the adventures of Gayle, right? She’s well…). She confessed to me that she’s guilty of setting expectations which are, more often than not, unmet.  They leave her feeling disappointed and exhausted.  I told her to stop setting them.

Today I'm writing at Circles of Faith, telling faith stories learned from my dog...yes, you read that right-and LOOK at that face. Join me? 
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About me... Growing up Baptist a fourth generation preacher’s kid, Chelle married an Anglican. She boldly seeks God, and thanks her Dad for encouraging her to embrace Theology and chase Truth. Fiercely private, she enjoys two public worship forms, liturgical dance and writing. Dance freed her, providing a language for expression beyond words. Dance is her prayer language. Writing is humbling, sometimes terrifying, always enlightening. Hers is a quirky but reverent perspective on God and Grace. She started blogging to replace a big job that went away. Formerly a Human Resources Executive in the entertainment industry, she suddenly became a Stay-At-Home-Mom, not entirely by choice. Writing started as something to do, but evolved into an ongoing journey to draw nigh to The One. She and her beloved husband have two beautiful children, a gorgeous Boxer, and 20 years of wedded bliss. She maintains a joyous relationship with the Creator, even as she learns difficult lessons while hearing His loving laughter on the wind. Director of Community Engagement and a regular contributor at www.CirclesofFaith.org, she writes for Christ Centered Home Magazine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When all you can pray are tears…

Joy is gone from our hearts;
    our dancing has turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head.
    Woe to us, for we have sinned!
 Because of this our hearts are faint,
    because of these things our eyes grow dim
 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate,
    with jackals prowling over it.
 You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return
;
    renew our days as of old
Lamentations 5:15-21 (NIV)


It’s been a rough season; I mean really rough. I realized today that I’d hit a wall when I warned my loved ones that there was no nurturing left within me, and I was going for a run, even if it rained. I nurture. That’s who I am. I can make lemonade from the sorriest lemonade, and while I don’t bury my pain, I’m not terribly good at putting it out there and crying out in need.  God knew where I was headed, and so it made sense that in my reading of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations that is where I would be just now. You see, little Mary sunshine is all out of smiles. I’m not writing. I’m not smiling very much, and when I pray, all I’ve got are tears.

God is silent in the Bible
more than He speaks. While He is silent,
He is never still.

~Shelly Miller
 click to tweet some encouragement 
It’s okay. He knew I’d be here. He always knows. I look back over words I’ve written and appreciate that there are some lessons to which I am bound to return. Like this one…

This girl is weary, worn, and sad. Because I frequently forget that I am broken, I find myself humbled into painful submission as my shoulders sag under the weight of burdens I should never have carried any further than the Throne.  I find myself humbled to the point of painful submission when once again I take on more than any fool should reasonably attempt, when I’ve cast myself in the role of martyr and nobody cares because martyr is not my name. I frequently forget that I am broken.  Thankfully, when I remember little else, I remember to trust in the God that always knows.

So, Lamentations.  According to one writer, “Lamentations reminds us of the importance not only of mourning over our sin but of asking the Lord for His forgiveness when we fail Him.” My sins? Genuinely thinking I’ve got it all together. Isolating myself when life get rough. Believing that a) my brokenness wasn’t permanent, b) misinterpreting the crucible (my OneWord for the year) as an exile instead of a destination, and c)not drawing in each breath as a prayer of gratitude, because being grateful, being present, is all that really matters.

That is among the reasons why God placed me in Lamentations right now. I love the way He loves me. I love the way He tailors my universe precisely to the places He knows where I will go-remember, He knew I’d be here. And when I pray about being here and what it means, I am comforted by my personal lamentations-even in the form of tears, they are prayers. He hears me. He knew I’d be here and I know He was waiting.

I did some things today to ensure I wouldn’t cause any more pain than necessary; I measured my words, I kept to myself, and I granted myself the gift of time and sacred space, in the form of a run. I am on my way to better.

There are some new lessons this time. One, He has not forsaken me (that is not new). Two, while it may feel like joy has departed from me, in due season I know I will reap, because that is in His Word, even if I don’t know what reaping looks like (that is a new part of the lesson).

I’m off to listen to Joann Rosario sing When I Pray, remembering the wise words of my friend Shelly Miller, who wrote something I cling to…


God is silent in the Bible more than He speaks. While He is silent, He is never still.
~Shelly Miller
 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Moving past hurt…

When Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but and seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)


Here’s the news flash, the Four Seasons, and Fergie, got it wrong…big girls do cry.  Forgiveness isn’t easy.  Forgiveness takes a good deal of faith, particularly when you’ve been hurt. Particularly when you’re hurt, faith and the courage to persevere may not been in good supply. According to an article posted at the Mayo Clinic website,

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl.
It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.
CLICK TO TWEET
Embracing forgiveness.   It sounds so easy until it’s your turn. It’s even harder when the people you need to forgive are the very ones from which you seek support. Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl. It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.


In the dialogue between Peter and Jesus on forgiveness, nothing is said about counting the number of times we forgive, not literally. Margaret Minnick, in explaining Jesus’ answer to Peter writes that,
Seventy is the ideal lifespan of a person. Seven is the number of completion. Therefore, Jesus told Peter to make it complete by forgiving as long as he lived.

Forgiving for as long as you live, like God. The moment you stop taking everything personally, the moment it stops being entirely about you and becomes about your growth, and your Grace.

Just tonight, I read that “the true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” That’s moving past hurt. It’s scary, and its big, but it’s Grace-full. Full to overflowing.

I want to begin to move consistently past hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to hurt, but hurt is not where we should remain. It’s what we choose to do next that defines us. So, let’s do this, shall we? Let’s shed our tears, then pull it together and keep it moving.  There comes a time when your life should be more about your personal growth and the deepening of your faith that keeping score. Holding onto pain, withholding forgiveness does more damage to you than it does to anyone else, and, failing to forgive is a sin and that behavior DOES NOT glorify God.


Lord, this is my prayer. I desire to move consistently through hurt to Grace, walking away from me and towards You. I will be hurt, I will cry, but I won’t stay there. I am embracing forgiveness, because You embraced me. The Grace in which You enfold us is a state where I desire to reside, a state I pray to reflect, to give I desire to away. Let it be so, in Jesus’ Name, Selah and Amen. 



Monday, March 17, 2014

@Circles of Faith...Relying on Grace…(a simple lesson in faith, or “sniff and pee”…yeah, you read that right)

 Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness

Israel, when I went to give him rest.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:2-3 (NKJV)



I had a refreshing conversation with my Gayle this morning.  (I know, you’ve missed the adventures of Gayle, right? She’s well…). She confessed to me that she’s guilty of setting expectations which are, more often than not, unmet.  They leave her feeling disappointed and exhausted.  I told her to stop setting them.

Today I'm writing at Circles of Faith, telling faith stories learned from my dog...yes, you read that right-and LOOK at that face. Join me? 

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