I’m in the people business
Care for people
Feel for people
Because of this I have to be very aware of how I take in the emotions & pain of others. It can effect me not only emotionally, but physically as well.
Over the last few days a series of losses took my breathe away.
Death of a 26 year old friend of Leisha’s
Death of a 16 year old friend of a friend
Our friend’s 17 year old fighting for his life
Watching our parents process letting go of strength, while mourning each week the death of another friend or loved one.
Watching the girls navigate life and wondering what’s ahead for them and any future generations.
I’m not trying to take on all this pain but I’m struggling about what to do with my own emotions as I create a bigger picture for ministry I know I am part of
That involves more people
There it is!
I fear feeling more.
Then I reflected on the other messages
Continue reading So. Much. Pain.
I’ve read this passage so many times.
I memorized it as a child.
It was given to me in cards and notes over and over again after Leisha died.
God has plans to prosper me- not harm me
God has plans to give me hope and a future.
But I today I read the verse in context of chapter 29.
This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
First thing I notice is to be in exile is the condition of someone being sent or kept away from their own country, village, home, etc. CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH DICTIONARY
The Lord tells them through Jeremiah to:
Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
Hmmm? Sounds like God is saying make the most of the situation you are in – whether it is good or not, whether it is where you want to be or not.
Then in verse 10 the Lord says; ”
When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
And that is where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
It is Thanksgiving Eve, though I have seldom heard it described in such a way, not like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve. But tonight it seems appropriate. It is the day before ‘the day’ set aside for thanks and gratitude.
Yet I sit huddled on my sofa, tears just boiling under the surface waiting to spill over. Emotions are all over the place and I wonder if I will ever again feel free to experience joy without a deep sense of sadness.
If all the conditions were right, Continue reading A Broken Thanksgiving
I had a delightful Saturday morning with an inspiring group of women at the Grace Church, Perrysburg, OH for their REFRESH & RENEW Conference recently. Wanted to share with you some of what we talked about at that event.
We spent our time together refreshing our viewpoints about ourselves, our story and our view of God. We renewed our vision about the kind of difference we wanted to make in our lifetime. But we started with some honest talk about the ‘real’ of life.
As a life coach and former pastor’s wife, I’ve talked with a lot of women over the years. There have been two reoccurring themes that continue to come out in those conversations.
- I want to make a difference with my life.
- I’m stuck.
Does that sound familiar to your story? You want to make a difference. You want to influence your world for good through your life in your lifetime.
But you are stuck! Or you have been! If you aren’t stuck, or haven’t been, you will be so we might as well talk about it. You know what stuck feels like. Stuck has kept you from making the difference you long to make. So before we talk about the kind of difference we want to make let’s talk about the obstacles to it. Continue reading Coaching on Stuck
Today I’m sitting in a booth at Panera people watching mostly. I had visions of writing- a blog, a chapter, even an email, but I’m just not into it. I’m tired! Discouraged! Weary! Yet I’m not!
Do you ever have those days? When you feel like you can’t do the next thing even though you are excited about it. You even like what you are doing!
A college team of girls and their coaches came in for dinner. I didn’t ask if it was volley ball or basketball, but immediately the space around me was filled with conversation.
As I sat watching I reflected back on my own journey.
When you are young, you don’t think about life ending. You are young! You expect to have all of life ahead of you! You live and dream and plan as if there is nothing stopping you.
When you are in your 20’s, you get a job or marriage that keeps you focused. The job wasn’t what you thought it would be- but hey, it’s a job. You marriage isn’t the fairy tale you dreamed it would be, but hey you are in love. You still have the energy and the stamina to tackle anything in your way, so you keep on with determination.
You hit your 30’s and 40’s and suddenly thing gets harder. You get the promotion you thought you wanted and the family you always dreamed of. Now you have trouble remembering what your dream is because somewhere, someone else is telling you what to do. Your boss, the needs of your kids, the bills that must be paid. You can’t imagine what it would look like to stop what you are doing- if you drop one ball the whole thing will be crashing in on you. So you keep going!
You turn 50! You either lost your passion for The job you had or you got laid off. Now you are starting over again. The kids are going to or finishing college, you are prompted to remember the dreams you had when you were their age. You long for that ability to face the future with such vibrancy and freedom.
i’m not sure about the next 60’s on up. I’m not there…yet!
But what happens if at any point along the way- life would end unexpectedly. What if you die? at 94, or 68, or 27, 15 or maybe 8? Continue reading Life’s Too Short!
The gift of a woman’s story is often what God uses to speak hope into the stories of others. My friend, Dr. Michelle Bengtson has told such a story. It is my honor to share it with you today!
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
We’ve all heard the childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break by bones, but names will never hurt me.” I knew from a very young age that that was a lie. Even as I said them on the playground in response to a peer’s cruel taunts, I knew it wasn’t true.
Scripture tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), but do we teach our children that? Or do we perpetuate ignorance by reciting simple rhymes?
Having worked in the field of psychology for over 20 years, it’s evident to me that children don’t realize the long-term significance of what they say. They behave toward others in the very same way that’s been modeled to them.
As an adult who has been wounded by the words of others since early childhood, I probably err on the side of not saying enough—not wanting to draw any more attention to myself or risk further rejection.
Only three years old when I was stricken with an undiagnosable and life threatening illness, I was left to deal with the physical and emotional ramifications the rest of my life. Continue reading Words of Life or Death
In my last post on Broken…Made whole 2, we considered in what ways are we broken and the many synonyms for the word.
So what did you learn? What are the areas of life that need attention? Some things are blaring- we know what’s broken and we think it can’t be fixed. I know, because I already confessed that I felt that in several aspects of life. But often, we don’t notice something is broken until we intentionally stop to look at our life.
Where are we limping by?
What are we always working around because we can’t seem to work through?
But…today’s post is on the OPPOSITE of BROKEN, Continue reading Broken…to Whole!: the ANTONYM of Broken
From the internet dictionary,
I found these definitions:
- Having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. Another dictionary said “violently separated into parts.“ Such as “a broken arm”. I might add “a broken heart after a tragic loss”.
SYNONYMS: smashed, shattered, fragmented, splintered, crushed, snapped
- (of a relationship) ended, such as through infidelity. “a broken marriage”
SYNONYMS: failed, ended
- disrupted or divided. “broken families”
- (of an agreement or promise) not observed by one of the parties involved. “broken promises”
SYNONYMS: flouted, violated, infringed, contravened, disregarded, ignored, unkept
- of a person) having given up all hope; despairing. “he went to his grave a broken man”
SYNONYMS: defeated, beaten, subdued
- having breaks or gaps in continuity. “a broken white line across the road”” or a night of broken sleep”
SYNONYMS: interrupted, disturbed, fitful, disrupted, discontinuous, intermittent, unsettled, troubled
- (of speech or a language) spoken falteringly, as if overcome by emotion, or with many mistakes, as by a foreigner. “a young man talking in broken Italian”
SYNONYMS: halting, hesitating, disjointed, faltering, imperfect
- having an uneven and rough surface. “broken ground”
SYNONYMS: uneven, rough, irregular, bumpy
Webster gave some additional definitions of BROKEN
: Violently Separated into parts.
: damaged or altered by breaking
: having undergone or been subjected to fracture
: being irregular, interrupted, or full of obstacles
: violated by transgression
: discontinuous, interrupted
: disrupted by change
: made weak or infirm
: subdued completely
: crushed, sorrowful
: reduced in rank
: cut off
: imperfectly spoken or written
: not complete or full
: disunited by divorce, separation, or desertion
Here are some other Related Words (I left the links in so you could check the definitions)
blasted, detonated, exploded; cracked,slivered, splintered, split;
collapsed, imploded; demolished, destroyed, devastated, pulverized,
ruinate, ruined, wrecked;damaged, defaced, disintegrated,
dynamited, mangled,mutilated; eradicated, exterminated, extirpated, obliterated, wiped out; breakable, brittle, delicate, fragile, frail, frangible
We could go on- and on- and on with the study of this word broken. But I think with this list alone, all of us at one time or another have experienced brokenness! Which means in our lives, and in our world, on a daily basis we come across someone who is at some place of “broken” which directly or indirectly influences us.
It’s not always fun to stay in this topic of brokenness. But it seems it is important to consider “Where am I broken?”
Consider these different areas of your life-
Now ask these questions.
Where am I experiencing brokenness?
Where is the source of the brokenness?
How is that broken place impacting other areas of my life?
What is God asking me to break to move forward? i.e. bad habit, or poor relationship, or a tradition
Before we can move toward wholeness, we must be willing to admit we are broken and in need of help. Maybe it’s your finances- you don’t know how you will pay the bills. Or perhaps your family is falling apart- or your marriage. Or maybe your health is suffering.
Are you willing to say, “Lord, I am broken!”
If not, what are you afraid of? What keeps you from it? Are you in denial, pretending this will all go away? Which it may, but if you don’t deal with it directly, you may carry the baggage of it with you into the future.
Are you thinking that God only wants you to think of good things- not focus on the negative? (I’ve actually heard that recently.)
God want us to see Him and know him to be GOD-enough for our real world- as things really are! He wants intimacy with us and that means being honest and real with each other. He is with us- if we are willing to see Him. But we with Him too. We have to be honest about it within ourselves- and with God!
This is the first step! Then we can begin to take steps toward WHOLE! I’m looking forward to that. Aren’t you?
Stay tuned for Part 2!
But this day a woman I barely knew sat across the table in my leaders huddle. She spoke, hesitant of sharing such an intimate story with a group of strangers. Her parents had both died in an accident when she was young. Life had been hard. But now, so many years later she heard God saying to her, “I want to make you whole again.”
In my heart I whispered, “I’ll never be whole. I’ll always live broken.” Leisha’s death left me broken- heart is too ripped, too many pieces have been lost. Some Doctors say I can’t be healed. I can’t be fixed.
But the rest of the day those words rumbled around in my brain. Continue reading Broken… to Whole