LSOF: The Language of Love

We speak out on unfairness, We speak out on cruelty, We speak out on “freedom of speech” breached, We speak out on our beliefs, morals, values…We speak out against what we don’t agree with…

How often to do we speak of fairness, How often to we speak of kindess, How often do we remember that we are still standing on free soil, How often do we just share our beliefs, morals and values with respect to the stranger standing next to us…How often do we just let the silence speak louder than the noise around us?

We know what we should say, but how often do we? How often do we speak in the same language as the grace that redeemed us?

I know I’ve been guilty of this just as we all have.

My church statement this year is, “ Real love revolution,” — I think its time to look at what that means to my own heart, what it means to all of us.

Real love to me is about knowing where a person came from, but not seeing them like they still live there…

Real love to me is recognizing the heart of the person in front of you, and not their appearance…

Real love to me is having a conversation with someone who completely disagrees with everything you believe in, but still trying out a flavor of Starbucks they recommend, or a movie they told you they liked.

Speaking the language of love sometimes does not take as much as we claim it does….So what stops us?

I think what happens is that we get wrapped up in structuring our day from beginning to end that we forget there are other people. We forget everyone comes with a different culture and background.

When a widow only has two pennies, you can’t exactly expect her to have three…right?

I remember when I was in elementary school and I thought all families were Catholic, because I was never told otherwise.

Love is not blind, y’all…it goes beyond labels, it goes beyond new stories, it goes beyond song lyrics, television shows, and even what we think we know…Love is still love, even when we forget it exists .

You can’t force fairness, you can’t force kindness, You can’t force beliefs, morals or values to someone who doesn’t have the same, You can’t force someone to agree with you when you don’t agree with them…

And if we could do that…we would be communist socialists.

We forget that one day we might not be allowed to share religion at all, We forget that there are bigger evils that exist in the world then what we place value as important, we forget that this life we live now is a privilege given by God himself, and He can take it all away in an instant.

I think its time that we change the language of love we’ve known to be side by side by the One that created it in the first place.

Put the stone down, and write on it on how Jesus showed how much He loved you.

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LSOF: Healed, but still wounds remain

I remember when I got in my first car accident. I was 17 yrs old and it was the summer of 67 counties in Florida covered by wildfires. When it rained the visibility was only about 100 ft. It was crazy. I was leaving from my job and driving a new Mazda RX7 1983 that my dad bought me. It had more power than I knew what to do with or control.

I stopped at the sign. I looked left and right before putting my foot on the gas. I stepped on the gas hard, and immediately the car started to spin. I was scared and I could not regain control.

I saw the truck coming, and he wasn’t stopping. I felt the impact.

I felt my car door open. An old man was standing there asking if I was ok. He helped me out of my car and into his home and sat me down on the recliner. My neck felt numb, my entire body didn’t have feeling.

I knew I had been in a car accident. That is all.

The guy whose truck I hit was pacing back and forth in the kitchen, grumbling.

I asked, ” Should I call somebody?” and  taking the phone I couldn’t remember my parents number. I remembered finally a few minutes before the ambulance got there.

The old man and his wife didn’t leave my side. They stayed to make sure I was ok.

The ambulance came. I was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital so they could see the damage done to my neck. My neck ended up being okay, but  I had a bruise that went all the way down my leg.

I was wounded, but eventually the bruises too went away.

I’m sharing this story with you, because I realized something profound to my heart yesterday out of

Psalm 147:3. 

” He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” 

I read it over and over. It spoke volumes to me.

Think about it friends—- He HEALS the brokenhearted first, and then binds up their wounds.

I think I’ve always looked at the word ” Heal” as something that happens completely, but according to what we read in this verse, its a two step process.

The old man from my accident wanted to make sure I was ok. He stayed with me, and he and his wife calmed me down and helped me remember where I was, and my phone number so I could call my parents.

I believe that is the first part of Psalm 147:3 ” He HEALS the brokenhearted.” —– He makes sure we are okay, He stays at our side and watches how we react to the things happening around us, and He calms us down so we can remember who we are and to go about our day. But its not at this time that we are healed completely of our wounds. You can’t help someone whose unconscious with their wounds until you know they are breathing, and alive. I think God works the same way in the way He brings healing.

I also looked up ” Heal” in the Greek and it means, ” To still.”  He keeps us at peace.

The second part of Psalm 147:3 says, ” He binds up their wounds.” 

Can you think back to anything you have dealt with for a long time in your life and you woke up one day and suddenly it was no longer part of your world, it no longer had affect on your life.

That’s what I mean. Once we are at peace with what we deal with then God can work on it and repair what is truly broken.

The process is sometimes not easy for us. While He may be fixing one wound we might be dealing with needing healing from something else.

But its about how we react to everything ultimately.

Psalm 38:11

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.

I saw this verse the other day, and I really thought about it.

I didn’t understand why with so much going on in my life how the people that were supposed to be closest to me started to dwindle away the worse things became.

But what I realized through everything. People don’t understand our wounds, because they can’t understand their own. We have to let them know the blessings, the positives that come out of what we are going through. As weird as it may sound, people look for encouragement through our pain, they look to us to respond in a way that would help them deal with their situations.

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work to that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.

In my current season of healing it feels like things are finally changing course. Now its about getting focused again, and focused on all the things that are set above.

LSOF: She Smiles…:)

Sometimes I read the Bible in my dreams. Sometimes I read full passages, and sometimes simple verses.

The most recent dream I remember reading Proverbs 31.  I am going to share that I probably have never actually read that passage of scripture all the way through, but the paper on the desk in front of me actually read Proverbs 31, so there was no question.

I read aloud, ” She laughs.” —-

I have been having a rough time recently.  I would say its due to the fact that so many people around me have been experiencing several different traumas in one way or another.  The one closest being that my mother is still in the hospital with an infection that just doesn’t want to leave her system.

Several friends have had everything happen from job loss, all the way to car accidents in the past month.

When things happen to those closest to you all at once its hard to find the positive, and that is the definite reality.

Here is the verse from my dream after a night of praying and asking God to help me through it.

” She can laugh at the days to come.” (Prov. 31:25b)

And the voice bible translation is also beautiful:

” She smiles when she thinks about the future.”

God has shown my heart through a sweet simple verse that regardless of how life may be, and regardless at what is ahead….

He is our reason to smile, and to laugh at the days ahead.

LSOF: ” Coming out of the Dark…”

As I began writing this post the song, ” Coming out of the Dark.” by Gloria Estefan came to my mind.

It’s quite fitting to say the least.

I spoke last time about my experience with the pit, and now I’d like to share what it is like once I came out of the pit.

My friend and I meet every other week or so to just pray and have conversation about God, and the things He is doing in our lives. And today we focused on God’s attributes and what we know them to be.

I shared that God is merciful and shows us favor by His grace, that we so do not deserve.

I focused on the pit and how when we are obedient and just keep dealing with the thing until its over, then God rewards us by His favor in our lives.

The pit is indeed a rough place to be, but I want to give emphasis to the word PLACE for a moment, because that is really what it is, just a place in a season of our lives.

One of my dear spiritual mentors shared with me in a birthday card how God does not throw us on earth like a pieces on a chessboard, but that he strategically PLACES us where He needs us to be to fulfil His purpose.

The Pit has a Purpose.

So I write this to share with you that favor will come once the purpose of being in the pit is done, but sometimes its also good to realize that God will bless even when we are in the pit. He wants us to recognize He is there and He loves us.

It’s important to look for His fingerprints through the pit. Those little blessings that He leaves for us.

I was sharing this morning with someone that asked me what happened to living in Savannah

To which I told them that God moved me back to Florida, and I also added that I grieved it, but that

I knew He had a greater purpose than I could see at that time.

For the first time in my life I can tell you I really love my life, and I really have come to know the character of God through my time in the pit.  I learned how He was with me when I flat out cursed Him in my own way. He was merciful, He didn’t look to try to make life worse, but instead He saw how numb I had become from my own emotions, and piece by piece…He started to put me and my life around me together again.

And what is interesting in all this is I didn’t think that I would get out of the pit by God’s help alone, I really thought that others might help me who had experienced it at the same time. I was wrong, and it is why it took me so much longer to get out then it was needed.

We are all a work in progress.

Keypoint I feel I should make in all this: Don’t deny that you are in the pit, don’t deny that something isn’t going the way it should be in your life, Don’t deny that there is something inside of you that you need to re-evaluate with God.

Don’t deny you need healing.

Again, I’m just talking; its just you and I having a conversation over starbucks, and I’m telling you what I experienced.

I want to see you free, because God does.

LSOF: The Perception of Self Worth

My dear friend, Cally. She left this world
on May 19, 2010.

I am dedicating this post to my friend Cally Walrath. She passed away, May 19th 2010.
These are words I wish I could sit down and tell her this moment. I know that I can’t,
but I do know that there are many other people out there who have a perception of themselves
that is such a distortion from actual reality.

You are special.

I think we have become a society that is so obsessed with appearances, and ” the name” out in the world, that we have lost sight of realizing the value of US.

What I would love to sit and tell you out there is that there is more to you right this moment then you will ever know. There is such a beautiful plan for your life. It’s a solid plan. You have oceans of hope and grace then you could ever know what to do with. You will take journeys of finding true paradise in life. You will meet the blue sky to the stars. You will have more knowledge from all you’ve been through then you realized you might ever attain.

What someone says you are. What someone says you should dress like. What someone believes about you.
None of it matters. Unless you let it matter to you.

I could definitely tell you that your self-worth is found in Jesus. And that is very true.
But at the end of the day, when all is said and done. Do you really believe that?
Do any of us really truly believe that and can stand by that belief?

The distortions of who we are start to happen when we let the outside affect who we are on the inside.

With religion its legalism. With success its perfectionism. With control its manipulation.

I could add to that forever.

I’m not saying religion will always lead to legalism. I’m saying that we often will try to ” fit the mold” so to speak, and believe in how we are “told” to about ourselves, our faith, rather than have that chance to find out for ourselves.

Success is wonderful, everyone wants it. But just like any addiction we can get caught up it being to critical of ourselves, to the point that who we truly are, and what truly motivates us doesn’t come from the heart but from what useless knowledge. We become drones to our professions. Losing ourselves, forgetting the success that is already apart of us.

Being in control of anything, or feeling out of control is also very dangerous in how we perceive ourselves.
We can easily manipulate our own way of thinking and processing through a situation, because we learned a way that ” seems” to work.

I had a friend say to me a few weeks ago that when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t recognize who she is, that so much in her life has changed that she is not sure she can recognize herself in her life.
This girl is amazing too. She is a ” dreamer” of life, so passionate about doing so much. But her life
is tiring her out. She knows that she needed to step back and get to know herself again.

Truth is, we all need to do that. We all need to get back to looking in the mirror and make sure the reflection is the one that is meant to be out in the world.

Self-worth doesn’t come from being just like everyonelse, it comes from surely knowing there are things about you that are different. And that different is good.

I just want to add I’m not asking you to follow this advice, the last thing I’d want to be is a self-help book,
but I do want you to think about your own self-worth.
I do want you to think about if you really know yourself well enough that if someone came up to you
who you don’t know that well…how would they know you?
By your name…or by your heart.

Think of the value of YOU.

LSOF: Forgiveness

As I closed my eyes to sleep last night, I had a thought go through my heart.
It was as if I was laying on the ocean shore, and a gentle wave washed over me.
My heart was being told in God’s sweet, still small voice…
” You must forgive..”

I’m not one to be all to excited when God pushes me to write on things that go beyond
what I really am feeling at the present moment.
But I can tell you this…

I woke up with the same thought on my heart.
And it was as if the thought lived with me all through the night,
God was making it clear…YOU NEED TO DO THIS.
He wouldn’t let it go.
So I knew I couldn’t.

Now to you, maybe forgiving is an easy thing to do. I’m going to guess though, like me,
it doesn’t come so easy.

It might be easier to “forget” the situation, the “forgive” the circumstances within it all.

Forgetting is not the same as Forgiving.

How many times have you heard someone say to you, ” Oh just forget about it.”
That’s basically just saying to you, ” It’s not that important, get over it.”

But let me tell you something that strongly has been brought to my heart when it comes to forgiving and forgetting…
True forgiveness does not come from just letting that person, ” off the hook”…we may feel it for a certain amount of time, but I can almost promise you somewhere down the line…you are going to remember the situation, and feel that unforgiveness rage inside of you…so much so…
that you not only don’t forgive the situation that happened with that person, but it becomes a domino effect and you end up burning so many bridges…without intention.

So this would be what happens when someone says to you, ” Forgive and forget.”
More than likely, most times, we forget, before we forgive.
Not the way to go.

I don’t think any of us really can get the concept of what it is to forgive.
And I’m writing this, because I didn’t know….until now.
And this knowledge did not come from books.
I searched my own heart.

Forgiveness in my own words is to look beyond the faults of another person,
and beauty beyond it all. Beyond the anger they might have shown you, beyond the pain
they might have caused you, beyond the control they might have put on you, beyond the manipulation,
beyond the inferiority they caused you to feel, beyond anything and anything…
Whatever it was…

You see the person instead. You see them for who they ARE.
You know in their mind they might believe they are right, that they have just caused
to treat you, or say things to you that they do…
but I think I remember very well what Jesus said when He was on the cross
and people thought they had just cause to put Him there…

” Forgive them Father, they know not of what they do.”

Forgive and forgetting is something recommended actually from a health website.

This is straight from the website:
” Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love — a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive. ” – Tom Valeo, via Webmd.com

Time heals pain, this is true. However, at some point (sooner then later), in that time…
we all need to look back on the situation with someone, and tell ourselves that we have to forgive.

I know there are some out there that feel like its too late, that the person has either passed or is no longer apart of your life…but its NOT too late.

It will be HARD, but I believe that our all powerful God can see it bubbling inside of you even now…
He can see your heart saying, ” If only…”
and He is going to tell you to stop regretting the past, stop wondering of how you wished things were different, and just think of that person in that situation you have been in life…
And say, ” I forgive you for…” and maybe you can’t get yourself to say, the ” Forgive you for” part,
if you can’t, its okay to just say, ” _____ , I forgive you.
Leave it at that. God knows your heart, He knows there are words you can’t get yourself to speak.

When we are hurting…we don’t want to forgive.
Plain and simple.
Believe me, I get this—
We need to get out of that frame of mind,
and work on it each day…

And like in my case, because I know that my heart is at stake and everything that I am, and what I truly believe in my character…I choose forgiveness.
I am created to be an example of Jesus, and He forgave.

And maybe like you, those who I want to say, ” I forgive you,” to…I can’t.
They are not apart of my life now…but God knows that I did.
And that’s what matters.

We need to focus on praying for good for others too…and forgiveness
helps us to pray for blessings for their lives.

We need to again realize, forgetting and not forgiving…it leaves an unintentional thorn in your side.
You will REMEMBER, and when you do…you won’t think lovingly of that person.
And its not fair to them or to you.

And all that is planned for all of you.

Forgive and don’t forget; instead- remember by how it’s shaped your life, and who God will raise u up to be through it!

I’ve probably gone on and on about this.

But I want to tell you something.

I have peace since I forgave those in my life who hurt me. They will never know it.
But it doesn’t matter.
My heart is right with God, because it is HE who needs me to forgive.
The others in my life, it wouldn’t matter….and that’s okay.

Forgiveness matters to God.
Because He doesn’t want us to have any stumbling block in the path
ahead.

And “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…”
and it starts by knowing we have no place with God,
if we have no place to forgive.

If you choose life.
Then choose forgiveness too!

(Colossians 3:12-14)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

LSOF: ” I Will Rise…”

I appreciate so much of the support and love that y’all have shown me in the last week since I decided it was best to stay quiet from my blog for a month…I never thought there was really more than me writing and reading these posts…you guys blew me away with your response!

So I have been thinking and it has really been pressed on my heart to…WRITE ANYWAY.
And thanks to you all for helping my heart to have perspective.
The whole point I write…has NOTHING to do with me.

I don’t know if you do this or not, but sometimes when I get in my car, I don’t turn on the radio.
I have music with me on my player…but sometimes…
I sing songs without the music.
Sometimes it means more to my own heart, when I am singing the lyrics to the song…
Just for me, and God to hear.

This particular song this morning brought tears to my eyes when I tried to sing it, its absolutely beautiful and its one that just makes me feel like I am riding on eagles wings.
It just sends a rush of peace through my soul…
It’s called,

” I Will Rise,” by Chris Tomlin.


There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

” There’s a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail…”

I love that line so much…it comes out of the heart of Psalm 73:26

” My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”

I have to just share with you that what occured to me today while I was singing that song…
My flesh and my heart WILL fail…but its the HOPE I have that will always bring me back
to the place I need to be.

I know that hope. I know it SO well, that it brings tears to my eyes even thinking about it.

Hope is intertwined with faith and love…it reaches into the deepest part of who we are,
and tells us we are beautiful. It holds our hand in our fears, and let’s us know that light is stronger than darkness. It believes for us, when we don’t believe we have purpose to believe otherwise,
It knows the truth of who we are, when we are unsure of our identity.
It comforts us in our trials, It pushes us to take steps we don’t want to, It takes the tears that fall from our eyes and turn them into a treasure of another’s life. Hope was born into a world that never deserved it.
Yet it chose to overpower our pain…

” I will rise on eagles wings…”

This beautiful line comes out of Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I want everyone to know that I’ve decided to change the direction of this blog.
It has ultimately been about “Little Steps Of Faith”…but its on my heart to take it deeper.

I want to help teach HOPE…for now on we will walk blindly with the eyes of faith,
and walk into the arms of HOPE…
It’s about the journey not so much of believing and faith…
but taking that faith we have and pressing our heart into believing MORE when all we know
of the world is that it WILL let us down. It’s KNOWING God, but believing with our hearts…
that we can overcome anything with Him at our side.

I look forward to sharing my heart with you on this journey:)