Saturday, December 27, 2008
Finding anything positive in a boundary is hard for me. I have always viewed boundaries as something very negative and offensive when it comes to setting them in friendships or relationships. However, once I started to understand that healthy boundaries are meant to create a healthy balance in relationships opened up windows of new perspective for me. I am dealing with some things right now that involve setting some relational boundaries in my life. These boundaries are not meant to harm or bring destruction into a relationship, rather, it used strictly to communicate that I am not to be taken advantage of and will not be manipulated or controlled because I live my life differently than some. This is probably the hardest thing that I have ever tried to do in my journey with Father. I prayed several times and pleaded with Father to give me another way around this. It is not easy to set boundaries with someone who I was close to. I feel though, that Father is not giving me another way around this and I must face this head on… Boundaries aren’t meant to be set forever, but, until Father releases me to gradually take the boundaries down when it is time. It’s like taking a break in a courtship or dating relationship, but with a friend. I am still a little wheezy thinking about it, but I know in my heart that it has to be done. Please pray for more guidance and continued peace along with this decision. It’s not going to be easy, but I know I can make it through with Father’s help!
Posted by Nicole at 11:57 PM
Friday, December 26, 2008
Shattered to pieces am I that lay beneath the surface of my broken soul. I have to admit, I don’t have it all figured out. I have lost thoughts of old, when I thought I did, life seemed controllable, until I found myself falling to pieces. Who will pick me up when I fall and can’t see inside this broken mess? I had ideas of what these dreams would become, and it seems that they have come undone. Dreams are but thoughts, and thoughts are but a memory that once was, that now will never be. Did I know back then who I was and who I would become? Did I know that this change in me would break ties? Why does this brokenness dig so deep? Why does it have a grip on my life that seems to have no end? Did I do what I was meant to do? Say what I was meant to say? Be who I am meant to be? Oh Father I must know Your heart concerning mine, for it is You that defines me, even when I a broken, You are there. Don’t let guilt take my time. Erase the doubt that draws it out, and shows no mercy. If nothing else, use the brokenness to grow me and teach me according to your grace that covers and sets me free.
Posted by Nicole at 1:31 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
Guilt is something that is hard to escape from for me at least. I always find myself falling into a guilt trap over things. I know that Father does not use guilt to bring us to repentance, but it seems that many think He does, and therefore that belief gives them the right to use guilt over others as a weapon to see conformity and or shame in order to make themselves feel better. Does it work though? Feeling the need to use this painful, and yet destructive force against others so they will feel better only damages the one who is pointing the finger … Do they really feel better in the long run? This way of feeling better about one’s self is short lived and does not last but in the moment of thrashing someone with hardened guilt. We seem to misuse guilt in our own lives. We make ourselves feel guilty for not ‘doing’ certain things, or not ‘doing’ what others expect of us. It’s pretty typical to feel this way, and it is so hard to break, but in order for us to break free from its binding grip, we must not allow guilt to touch us. Even if we do something that was not good, I think Father will use conviction for a change of heart instead of guilt, and yes I believe that there is a vast difference between the two. Guilt is basically drowning in our own sorrows over our wrong doings, and conviction is taking responsibility of our wrong doings, asking Father to forgive us, and MOVING ON! Easier said than done, but I know that for our own good, we must not allow guilt to rule, but grace and freedom from this bondage in our lives. I think guilt hinders growth and maturity in my spiritual life. If I am always stopped with a guilty heart, I can’t move on until I allow this guilt to flee. It is within in us and with Father’s help that we don’t live in guilt over anything no matter what it is because the more we do and the longer we stay there, the longer it will be until we return back to Father’s reality, which is grace and complete forgiveness, or in some cases just nonsense for making ourselves feel guilty in the first place. I no longer want to allow guilt to play a role in my life. It can really take a tow on my heart if I allow it, but I know that Father is setting my heart free from guilt’s grip and is reminding me daily that I don’t need it.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Pain, doubt, eagerness, frustration, guilt, trapped in a world with only these. You want to get out, but you know there are risks involved if you try to escape. You become doubtful, and then you know it is hopeless because guilt becomes your next best friend when you are in doubt, and then pain is your closest brother because you are trapped in guilt. It’s a vicious cycle that has no end. Stranded, forgotten, and abandoned, you feel alone.
We go through life always finding ourselves trapped in something. Is it something that keeps us away from exploring the unknown? Is it fear that keeps us away? Keeps us trapped inside our own comfort zones? We are afraid to not be trapped. If there wasn’t pain, doubt, and guilt, what would be holding us back from what we desperately want to experience but don’t have enough courage to look freedom in the eye? To taste and see what is better than what we’ve always known.
Posted by Nicole at 10:02 PM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
There are some circumstances that come up where I either choose to react according to how I feel about the situation, and sometimes I am not as in tune to the Spirit as I need to be. Something came up today that brought me to question if my feelings held any valid weight to any decisions I make in my life! I know Father will use his Spirit to guide me in directions where I would rather not go, but it is necessary for me to explore His route rather than my own. I ask Father today to allow me to live beyond how I feel about things and trust Him in those situations and to do what is necessary to build my character in Father. Then after I prayed, my mind filled up with memories that were attached to the situation and my feelings wanted to get back the control. I don’t know if this applies to all situations, but I know for me, I am a feel doer, if you know what I mean. I don’t really keep record of the times I do things based on how I feel about them, but I know that I do that a lot. I consciously I want to make an ongoing effort to allow the Spirit to lead me and guide me in all directions even if my feelings aren’t on board. I sometimes seem to use my feelings as excuses and escape goats for getting out of things even if I don’t realize it! Or I find it even worse when I play like my feelings are justifiable in regards to what Father thinks. Sometimes I am WAY OFF! I think we all learn as we go, and if we have a desire to find out what Father wants, we also have a will to allow him to lead us not based on how we feel about things but based on the right directions we need to go that is for our own good. Easier said than done, but, I know that Father knows better than I do in all situations and to ignore Him based on how I feel is pretty much stupid. However, it’s definitely a learning process, and I am growing in the midst of letting my feelings go and holding on to the One who has my best interest in mind!
Posted by Nicole at 11:14 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I like to explore the depths of my heart; how I view things and find significance in my thoughts regarding my purpose and the intentions of my heart. I think sometimes people tend to think they know or understand the intentions of my heart, when in reality if I have a hard time knowing and understanding all the intentions of my own heart why do some think they know them better? For me, I go through stages of understanding things that Father shows me and even my developing beliefs and when those get questioned, I get scared, and uneasy about everything. People’s words, especially those closest to me really make a difference even if they think they don’t make a difference. My family knows me well enough to know that I am very easily influenced by what they think! I can’t lie, I really feel like I take their thoughts and advice seriously. They are important to me and what they say really means a lot to me. Sometimes I have a hard time articulating my position on issues especially in face to face conversations, and sometimes sound like I have fallen off the deep end on some things, but the problem is, is I just have a hard time getting my thoughts through my mouth and usually things will come out flaky. Oh, but when I blog, things for the most part come out loud and clear. I don’t know why really, but I guess having time to think about things, helps me get them down in writing. Well, let me just say some things about the issue we discussed during my recent visit to my parents house. We were talking about cussing and were going through each cuss word and talking about their origins and meanings. Okay, I know this doesn’t sound like a nice and perfectly clean conversation, but then we started talking about the convictions that come with it when we use these certain words. In this particular discussion, I had a hard time articulating my heart and the intentions of it. I for one, cuss on a very minimal bases, and find that I don’t keep track of the cuss words I say when I say them, I find that if I try to keep track and be on top of every word that comes out of my mouth, I will get sucked back in to the track record that Father doesn’t even care about. Yeah, I do get convicted at times and when and if I slip up, I ask Father to forgive me, and move on, instead of living in guilt over it. I don’t think it’s worth the time to live in guilt over hideous words that will soon be forgotten. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I am in a habit of cussing, nor would I say that I keep a tight tongue either. I won’t normally cuss in front of people especially those I don’t know, but find that I have a loose tongue in front of those that I feel unconditionally loved by. I posted a blog the other day that talked some about if my heart is in the right place then I would not want to do these things. It’s true, when I usually cuss, my mind is on fleshly things and in order to change, I have to get my heart and head in the right place to find my pure sanity in Father. So in regards to the intentions of my heart, I ask Father daily, (or most days) to give me a pure and grace filled heart and mouth. I do slip up and make mistakes, but I know in my heart that Father finds favor in me, and I want to speak words that confirm that.
Posted by Nicole at 10:54 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I once heard that going to church was like having a boring office job and I believe in the same conversation I heard this person say that church was not intended to be fun, just like a desk job. Didn’t really think about it during the conversation, but what I should have said in regards to that comment is, going to a church that is just like a boring job does not seem like it would be life giving, or enhance your relationship with God at all. It seems lifeless and if that is the case, than what is the point other than fulfilling man’s obligations to attend a building? I find it quite interesting when so many people do certain things just because they think they are obligated to do so. And who makes them go but themselves, and to what is the purpose other than to complete a task or fulfill what they think is required of them… In comparison, going to work is exactly the same as attending a church building unless one is getting real life from their congregation and find it fulfilling. I remember telling my brother that I thought going to a church was boring and had become more of a pressure to conform to those who demanded it than anything that had to do with my personal relationship with the Lord. Getting off of the performance track in my life and stopped keeping up with my perception of God’s love was a hard transition for me. It seemed to be ridiculously hard to just let things go without living in guilt or fear in regards to how much Father truly loved me. I was raised knowing that God loved me unconditionally, but somehow there were always conditions attached to his love and always if ands and buts attached to his love for me. It’s funny, but I am reminded of that Christmas song, ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’, “He see’s you when you’re sleeping he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so you better be good for goodness sake.” In other words, you will be rewarded ‘if’ you are good, and ‘if’ you’re not, than you will get punished and get nothing. This perception of God I deal with all the time, I know Father is a forgiving loving God, (but) when it comes to the mistakes I make and when I blow it, there is fear that tries to take over all the loving thoughts I have of Father. This is when grace comes into the picture. Father knows when we are to mess up and already has forgiven us. This does not mean we are to go ahead and do what our flesh wants, but if we are truly focused on our relationship with our Father than that should be enough incentive to NOT do ‘bad’ things. Yeah, we all will from time to time, but if our heart’s are in the right place than there is not pressure to try to be a good Christian because we are already good in his eyes because of his grace he has bestowed upon us! Awe, now comes the freedom from the pressure to try, try, and try again! I have come to a place in my journey where I no longer try anymore. Frankly, it’s just a waste of time because I know I will never ever, ever be good enough for God, but through his grace and love I am accepted for who I am and that includes my mistakes!
Posted by Nicole at 8:55 PM