Monday, January 26, 2015

How To Not Feel Like a Failure

It is easy to fail.

We all have heard that in order to succeed a person must learn how to fail. We all hope we can learn to fail forward, instead of digging a hole and falling into it.

Parenting, like all challenges in life, can feel like we are on slippery ground.

Failing and feeling like a failure are to different things.

As a mother, I can reflect back to different times in my parenting life that I failed to be the mother I wanted to be. For example, I said or did something that would have been better to not have been done. None of us can rewind time. What we can do is repent, that is asking God and others for forgiveness, but also forgiving ourselves. And in repentance, we follow through with a change in our behavior, continually turning from our sinful ways toward the way God wants us to live.

Also as a mother, it is easy to look at our children and assume if they are doing well in life, we succeeded; however, if they are not, we have failed. Neither conclusion is appropriate and true.

Our success as a parent depends on our obedience to God. Did we daily--moment by moment--trust and obey HIM? And when we did not, did we repent? If you can answer yes to these questions you succeeded as a parent. But even if you know there were times that you refused to repent and ask for forgiveness, God's mercies are never ending. It is NEVER too late to ask God for His forgiveness and grace.

We can only be personally accountable to God for our own life. We cannot take on the choices of others and allow that to make us feel like a success or a failure.

Don't listen to the voice of your enemy that will speak words of condemnation. It is your fault. If you blah, blah, blah or if only you didn't blah, blah blah.... Every person has the ability to reach out to God and receive HIS grace.

Joel 2:12 says, "Even now says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart."

That is an open invitation of acceptance and redemption for everyone!

Of course, we can be heavily burdened when someone we love is making the wrong decisions, but we should never let it drive us to feel like a failure. We can't make decisions for another person; each of us are personally responsible unto God.

What we can do is to continue doing what is good in the sight of God! Prayer is an antidote that repels the thoughts of feeling like a failure. It aligns our hearts to God's and is the highest, most important work we can do.

We need to bind the enemy's works of darkness and deception, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring revelation of Jesus Christ to the hearts of people. Ask God to have mercy on the one dear to your heart, to draw them to repentance.

Repentance and forgiveness cultivates the soil of our heart for God to grow us.

And love! Love unconditionally, continually forgiving one another, keeping a pure heart before the Lord.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Who Is Using Who? Hypocrite or Honor?

Relationships are challenging. We cannot see into someone else's brain so we do not know the motives of another person. Though we are pretty quick to guess or assume, if people do not genuinely (truthfully) communicate, we have no real way to know them as a person or to understand their motives. In communicating to someone guarded, it is easy to hurt them by assuming we know why they did or did not do something.

For example, if someone does not call or answer to messages sent, is it because they are upset, do not want to talk or maybe they have messed up so many times in the relationship they simply do not want to mess up again. In reality, no one knows but the person himself. We can all come up with different assumptions.

Unfortunately, when a person does not share, they leave themselves open to many assumptions. It is natural for humans to fill in blanks. It is the way our mind is programmed to work. Look at this:

U_d-rstan_i_g   w_at   _s  writ__n  c_n  b_  fi_l_d   _n   b_  o_r    br__ns.

It does not always work for everyone but most people find "understanding what is written can be filled in by our brains." We do it naturally all the time without even realizing it. Our brain looks for logical connections that we have experience with to fill in the gaps.

But, is it hypocritical to assume you know what someone thinks or what their motives are when your conclusion does not give the person the benefit of the doubt to being honorable?

My husband has the amazing gift of assuming the absolute best about everybody and everything in all situations. It is a wonderful way to life and often people are blessed by his outlook, because he sees the best in people. He sees what God sees. He sees what they could be or will become if they surrender to God in their life.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Name This Year - 2015!

Every year God normally gives me a theme: one word that sums up what I am going to be learning, experiencing, etc. Last year it was Hope. I didn't share it big time because frankly Pres. Obama had made such a mess of the slogan "Hope and Change" I really didn't want to be part of his slogan. But silly me, God gave us hope that was real long before a liar gave America a hollow promise that sounded good for political purposes. Worldly hope is wishing an uncertain comes true; it totters on a sandy foundation with blind, groundless conjectures. But godly hope is based on a Living God; it enlivens and comforts those who are well grounded in the certain hope of salvation and lived through a life of obedience in the soul of the believer. We have a certainty of fulfillment and can have a ever- deepening daily fellowship with God now! 1Peter 1:3-5 says,
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

If I look back on Facebook or even in my blogs, I could probably find a post written at the end or beginning of previous years telling what the new yearly word I had been given.

I look back on 2014

and think how did it bring me hope or teach me hope. I am not sure how to sum up 2014, but if I was thinking back over it the word hope would come to mind.

We did finally find a church home, Experience Church, in Murfreesboro after 3 years of not having a church family that we belonged to. This is something I am so grateful for because it has restored my hope that churches do exist for the purpose of taking care of the least of these, reaching outward to those in need more than inward as a social club and aiming to grow up Christians individually to be independently serving instead of dependent upon leadership.

I also started back to college aiming for a graduate degree in Art Therapy. I felt hope that I might figure out what I would "become when I grew up." I first thought I would get a degree in English but the English Department didn't seem interested in an old 51 year woman who had homeschooled her children the last 20 years as a graduate candidate. My first class was Drawing I and I loved it. I want to go back and take so many more classes and thought I might even pursue a degree in Graphic Design, but I tearfully made the decision to not return to college. I realize it is not my time. I have a son in college and a teen daughter still at home. I need to wait, again. Still simply taking that one class gave me so much hope in knowing God will use me in ways I can never imagine.

In 2014, I also returned to teaching in the public school in a small way as a substitute teacher. I had hope that I still had what it takes to be a teacher, and mostly succeeded. It has awakened a passion. I LOVE to teach but I am not sure where God would have me yet. I made income that was suppose to offset my college expense, but I did not make enough to cover all of the costs. Yes, this is part of the reason I am not returning to college at this time. However, I am going to continue subbing and I do look forward to everyday I get to be in a classroom.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Who or What Sets You Worth

Who or what do you let set your worth, your value in life?

Worth Factors

Present your life before a large group of people and give them the ability to set your worth. Each will set it according to their own values, the way they live and determine their own value.

Is it how much money you make? How much you own? What car you have, the kind of house you live in, or the clothes you wear? Maybe even, what you collect?

Is it the family you come from? They wealth you were raised with? The expendable cash at your fingertips? The schools you attended or attend? Your lifestyle level?

Is it the degrees you have? The kind of degrees? The job you hold? The titles you can claim? Your knowledge? Your ability to speak on a topic authoritatively?

Is it the work you do? The legacy of accomplishments you can point to? The amount you produce? The lasting value of your work?

Is it the people who you consider your friends? The places you hang out? The kind of people who you are connected to? The parties you get invited to? The places you hold membership? The contacts you have?

Is it your past? What you have done in life? If you have committed crimes/sins that are deemed forgivable or justifiable? Or maybe even where someone in your family has come from, their past that creeps into the next generation?

Worth Judgers

We all judge others. We don't like to admit it, but we do. We determine a person's value and decide whether we want to know them or be friends. We make our own opinions of they way they live. We think we know their motivations or lack of them.

I get judged, just like you do. But I have to determine, just like you do, that if I am going to allow other people to set my worth. The way I live, the decisions I make, my values, my goals --Am I going to let someone speak into my life and tell me my value? Truly, I can be the hardest on myself devaluing myself because I do not measure up to my own hopes or standards of what I should be like.

So, thankfully for me, and I hope I can help you see for yourself, there is only one person I let set my worth and it is not even myself. I let God determine my value, not other people. So I get to ask, "Am I doing what you want me to do God? Have I lived up to your standards? Do I have a genuine one on one relationship with you, God? Am I spending my money and time as you desire? Are my actions and words pleasing to You?"

If God is not good with me, I look to Him to help me adjust, but if God is pleased, I am satisfied.

When this life is over, the only regret I will have is if I did not live obediently to God.

People can be so critical, fickle, fake, and hypocritical. Everyone has their own junk. To learn to ignore the voices of others while making sure that you are responding carefully to God's voice, is the key to knowing your own worth and how to be at peace with yourself.

I see pictures sometimes of young ladies and see such sadness and pain in their face. Life has lied to them or should I say,  "they believe a lie." No wonder so many people get jaded and loose hope for happiness. Everything can be so futile when your worth is set by moving standards. I want to ask, "Are you happy, yet?" but don't want to be cruel, like kicking a victim that has already been crushed by so many unfulfilled promises -- empty dreams.

""Have you tried Jesus, yet? I long to say, but know it will be ridiculed. Jesus sets the standard. His grace provides for what we lack. We can never permanently fail Him. To Him, we are priceless treasures, created for His glory and to have a long, blessed, eternal life. He is working in our life to complete us and make us more like Jesus. The more we yield to His molding the more Christlike we become.

Worth Choice

But it is up to you. Each of us. We all must determine who or what Sets Our Worth, because whether we admit it or not something/someone always does.