Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Comparison Crushes Individuality


To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.
- e. e. cummings
We waste so much time on comparison, when the reality is that we are each uniquely made by our Creator.


He knew us before He knit us together in our mother’s wombs.
While we may have similar traits as our grandmothers, mothers, aunts or daughters, there is NO ONE who is exactly like us and yet we consistently compare who we are and who we are not with who we wish we could be.


If only I had her hair, her skin, her body - you get the picture, it’s an unending, unrealistic list that we relentlessly pursue.


If only I were only skinnier.

If only I were smarter.

If only I had a better job.

If only I lived in a better/bigger house.

The "If onlies" cause us to stumble.


There is a big difference between a desire to better ourselves and a tendency to repeatedly batter ourselves.


It can be a good thing to strive to eat healthy and exercise but when we’re constantly wishing we looked liked someone else we’re only setting ourselves up for disappointment.

It can be a good thing to want to further our education and push ourselves to achieve our full potential but when we struggle with who we are or who we aren’t because we’re comparing ourselves and our lives to others, that’s when we run into trouble.

That’s because the trouble with comparison is that we only see the surface of other’s lives, we don’t see the secret struggles, the disappointments, the failures, that they’ve so carefully hidden.

We only see what they want us to see and sometimes we only see what we want to see.

This is the very reason why it’s so important to share our stories, our struggles, our secrets because when we do we allow others access to the good, the bad and the ugly and they see that their lives are not so different. We give them hope for their own circumstances and reveal the truth – that instead of comparing our lives to one another we should be striving to share our lives with one another.



It’s ok to be you because that is exactly who God made you to be!

 
I’m linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart today



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Honesty and Transparency




"Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and vulnerable anyway."
-Mother Teresa

 
 
Can I be honest for just a moment?

I really, really struggle with focus.

I get distracted, I easily lose my train of thought, especially if I’m speaking with someone in a crowded place with a lot of people and commotion or the television is on or we’re in a car with the music playing loudly. I know this can be really frustrating to my family who has to deal with it on a regular basis and while they try to keep me on track, it’s just so easy to lose me.

In the past this has caused me to feel very inadequate and unworthy, questioning whether I have any good qualities at all.

I struggle at work if the area that I’m working in is really busy (noisy) or if my desk is really cluttered or I feel overwhelmed with my work load.

I’ve learned to recognize my distractions and have implemented ways to attempt to overcome, for instance, I listen to music with my earbuds in to try to drown out some of the noise and distractions around me.

I write down specific things that I need to accomplish and check them off once I’ve done so. I even add things to my list if I’ve done them and have forgotten to write them down, it helps me to feel more efficient.

I try to focus on one thing at a time instead of looking at the "big picture" especially if I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I clear my desk and organize things around me so my thoughts seem less cluttered (I hope to be moving into a new office soon where I can limit the distractions by closing my door).

And finally, I alllow myself to either get up and move around or do something creative, like write, look at something artsy/colorful or just day dream for a few minutes (it’s like a power nap for creatives, really- try it!).

But most of all, when I’m discouraged with what feels like a quality that frequently disqualifies me (makes me feel not good enough), I remember that God has a purpose and a plan for me despite my distractions and feelings of inadequacy.

I’m reminded that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, even the things I thought I could never do!

Friends, if you’re feeling discouraged, disqualified, or distracted remember that God has a plan for you too! He wants to prosper you and give you hope for your future and if you’ll let Him He will show you that with Him ALL things are possible and through Him you can do ALL things!

Be blessed and let God use you to be a blessing!

Be transparent and share your struggles, your story with others…








Friday, April 25, 2014

A Heart Like His

Some hearts have been broken.

Some are indifferent and it seems, have rarely been used.

Some hearts are heavy with burdens.

Some hearts have become hardened, like stone.

Some hearts have been fearful.

Some hearts have doubted.

Some hearts have been worn out and have given up.

But one thing they have in common- all hearts are desperate for the Father’s love.


If I’m to be totally honest I would have to say that my heart has been all of those things.


One definition of the Heart is described in dictionary terms as this,
the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion.

So often we are led by our hearts, our feelings, and our emotions but if we’re not careful we can be led astray…



God’s word says this of our hearts-
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

I don’t believe that God is suggesting to build a wall around our heart and not let anyone in but instead, to trust Him with our heart- our whole heart.


And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Often times we have no peace because we lose sight of Jesus or we struggle recognizing Him at all because we’ve allowed our hearts to become hardened and the truth of who He is and what He’s capable of doing cannot penetrate the stony places.

 
Late at night, the boat was far out at sea; Jesus was still by himself on land. He could see his men struggling with the oars, the wind having come up against them. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. He intended to go right by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and screamed, scared out of their wits.

Jesus was quick to comfort them: "Courage! It’s me. Don’t be afraid." As soon as he climbed into the boat, the wind died down. They were stunned, shaking their heads, wondering what was going on. They didn’t understand what he had done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.
Mark 6:48-52

We can be comforted by John 14:27, which says, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

And while we may have had our hearts broken we’re promised that we are never alone,
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Most of all we need to remember that there are some needs that can only be met by God, some areas that only He can fill, some hurts that only He can heal. If we’re looking to Him for those things we will find our joy in Him and His desires will be ours and our hearts will be more like His.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4


"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her." ~Max Lucado

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Secrets once hidden- revealed and healed



So have no fear of them; for nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, or kept secret that will not become known.What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
Matthew 10:26-27
 
 
Secrets.
We all have them, big and small.



Those things that we’ve kept hidden in the dark places of our hearts and minds.

Sometimes so close to the surface, desperately wanting to escape but finding the dark more agreeable than the light.

Although some secrets we’ve hidden much deeper, just too painful, too grievous and therefore too burdensome to reveal.

Over time these secrets become strongholds as we devote so much of our time and energy keeping them hidden and losing sight of the truth about why we’ve hidden them in the first place.

Who are we trying to protect?

Who are we trying to save?

We become a prisoner to the truth when all the along the truth has the power to set us free.

Somewhere along the way we’ve bought into the lies that what we did or who we were was just too awful and if we reveal those secret things the truth will destroy us.

 

The TRUTH is that God wants to reveal those hidden things not to destroy us but to HEAL us.

 

 

For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phillippians 1:19-21

God desires to deliver us from the shame and guilt of our secrets by giving us the courage to reveal what is hidden in those dark places to bring healing not just for ourselves but for those who hear our testimonies.




Those secret things that the enemy intended to use to destroy our lives, will be used by God to give our lives purpose!



 

 



Thirty one years ago I made a decision that would forever change my life.

I made the decision to have an abortion.

The shame and grief too great, it became my secret, my prison.

I kept it hidden to protect myself and others.

It became a stronghold that the enemy used against me, always reminding me of what I had done.

Believing God couldn’t possibly have a plan for my life because of that decision, I chose to remain silent, but I will not be silenced again!

What Jesus did for me on that cross what ENOUGH to cover my sin, it was ENOUGH!

God does have a plan and a purpose for my life and I truly believe it is to lead other women out of those dark places, to reveal those hidden things and lead them to Jesus.

Beginning April 15th 2014, I will be leading (along with my dear friend Michelle) a ministry (a grow group) called Beauty for Ashes- Healing for the Abortion Wounded Heart.

It is my prayer that lives will never be the same!!!

If you’re interested in more information (for yourself or others) please contact us

Lanette Haskins lanetteh@live.com






Even if your life has never been touched by abortion will you please pray for this very needed ministry?


Proclaiming from the housetops, until all are healed!!! (Thank you Karen Ellison and all the amazing leaders at Deeper Stillwww.godeeperstill.org )

 



 

 


Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.


1 John 4:18