29 April 2013

[talk: The Power of Words.]

I continue to be fascinated by the power of words.  I've written about this a few times ... talking about how people's words have lifted me up during difficult times (with the loss of Shalom) and completely gutted me (written in "I Can't Stand Her") ... and it leads me to feel more and more strongly to be an example of my words.

If you're anything like me, then you probably haven't always done this well either.  I know that I have made the Father hang his head in shame for me ... my words are not always well chosen.  Far from it.  I've used words to rip apart others, in my own selfishness to lift myself up.  I've used my words to deflate, to condemn, to judge.  To mock.  I'm certainly not proud of it - but admitting it has allowed me to grow in this area and hopefully learn from my mistakes.

I'm learning.  It's a process.

I'm not sure why, but in the recent weeks I have been showered with kind words.  Words of opportunity and encouragement.  I am so grateful.  Someone once said that it takes 15 kind words to undo the damage of one bad one.  Or something like that.  I believe it ... how many of us can relive that one thing that was said to us - that cut so deep - and yet we have to be reminded over and over again of the good words spoken over us.

As a parent, words are a daily lesson.  My boys are getting older, learning phrases and words that are hurtful ... even in their innocence, they are learning sarcasm and insults.  It's a constant reminder of how I use my own words, words that they parrot.  Because of this, I've been reminded that God's Word says that our words show what's really inside of us.  Luke 6:45 says, "what you say flows from your heart" and goes on to say, "if you are bitter, then you will find yourself talking about it because bitter people love to spread it around."

I don't know about you - but I sure don't want to be known as someone who's words reflect poorly on who I really am.  And here's the thing - you can try all you want to make your words "perfect", but your heart will always show through ... another reminder to have my heart in check.  Over and over and over and over again ... 

So when I read people's FB status' ... status that rant or attack others.  Status's that belittle others and are judgemental ... it's a reminder to ME of what I put out there.  What do my words say of me?  Sure, it's easy for me to look at the others and psycho-analyse them and say, "wow ... this and this and this ..." - but then that goes right back to MY heart.  What does that say of MY words? 

The other thing I've been learning about words, is choosing who's words to listen to.  That's a tricky thing.  I like the kind words - but is there growth to be had in the words of others that cut and hurt me?   Of course.  Or - are there times when I need to say, "no - I don't receive that.  You don't know me, you don't really care about me ... you are taking pleasure in attacking me."  Of course. I think that there's a time for both.  The REAL way to grow, I believe, is by surrounding yourself with a village of people who genuinely care about you and your family.  These people will give correction in love.  These people will not allow you, allow me, to only be lifted up - because the truth is ... I need correction.  We all do, no?  Words that others who are not in relationship with us - they need to be guarded and received with caution.  

So, what I've recently chosen to do is recognize who the words are coming from - where as before, I would cripple myself by listening to everyone.  And let me tell you ... people who have hurt in them, who are scarred, who are bitter ... they have no problem unleashing their poison on you.  On me.  And truly - there's not much that one can do to stop them.  

I am trying to live by all that I've shared here.  I am trying to stop and encourage - text, FB, private message, phone - when God puts someone on my heart.  I am trying to use my little voice to bring life, not venom.  And I know - because people have already spoken this to me - that there will be some who will find fault in even that.   They will say - they've even said it to my face - that my words of encouragement sicken them.  That I think I'm so great.  That I think I have the power to make people feel this and that.

Oh how that breaks my heart. 

But again ... it goes back to our words mirroring our souls.  My heart is to be so much like Jesus ... and I fail so, so, SO much.  And when you say that's what your heart is - you simply get judged so much more.  Every time you miss that mark - there will be someone who gets so much joy from that fall... and since I fail all the time,  I must bring some people a LOT of joy *wink* ... 

So.  My words.  What can I do with them today?  Who's words will I listen to?  Who's words need to be stopped in their tracks and told, "no"?

It's where I'm at.

Have a great one.  Really.  xo

16 April 2013

[talk: I Can Feel It.]

I can feel it ... something's coming.  And it's not just "wishful thinking" ... it's time.  I know it is.

What am I talking about?  Well ... if you're not a Believer, you may just tune me out right about now, because I am talking about big things happening - spiritually.  With worship.  With our church family.  With the living God.

I've been waiting.  Many years ago there was a season at our church, where amazing things were happening ... but I had gotten married and we chose to attend my hubby's church during those latter times.  And the truth is, I simply wasn't ready.

Since then, both difficult things and fruitful things have happened in my church community.  I've witnessed them myself.  But now -  I just know that something's about to explode ... break through our walls and into our community.  For no other reason, than to heal the broken, give life to the hopeless and restore ... 

Spirit Break Out.  And I am ridiculously excited about this.  

My heart's calling is also being increased.  I'm beginning to feel a responsibility ... I feel courage, I feel urgency ... I feel that it's finally NOW.

What do I mean by all this talk?  I mean, that I believe that those who are ready for more - it's going to happen.  For those who have their own calls on their lives ... it's going to be set in motion.  Lives are going to be changed ... God's glory is going to be evident - undeniable ... and it's going to be contagious.  

I think that there are so many who are ready for this, specifically where we live.  I know that there are people all over the world who are already walking in this today ... who know and are living what I believe is starting to bubble up here ...

I'm embarrassed to say that there was a time when I felt like I was never given any opportunities, like I was a fill-in.  That I was never the one who was chosen.  Then years later, I began to believe that it was a "man's world" out there - so travelling, group song-writing, "being-in-a-band" ... none of these things were conducive with my role as wife and mother, raising three small kids.  I've felt envious of the guys that I've see in the past, living their dreams, of the opportunities they've had ...

And I've actually thought, "Is this it? Does no one else want me??"

I am so happy to say that my mind has been restored in these matters and that I can actually SEE things now.  The enemy loves to cloud the truth and feed us lies of others thinking we are  insignificant - thus producing a false sense of entitlement.   For me, it's been years of working through - but I now see clearly ... I see how the Lord has been preparing me, working on me, and how He has Father-ly reminded me that NO "high-fives" should ever go to me, that I cannot do a moment of worship without submitting it all to Him.  And He has brought me to a place where I can truly see the value of every worship service, of every size, of every congregation.

Another attack on my mind, has been the reality of getting older  I've always seen my age as a potential 'pink slip' - thinking, "I wonder when I'll be seen as un-relatable, as irrelevant."  I remember thinking those very thoughts a very long time ago *grin* - especially when I was pregnant (who wants to see a mammoth woman leading worship??) ... oh the insecurities I have had - the self pity.  I am so ashamed to say that, but it's the truth.

But now I see the amazing opportunities I've been given all of these years - and how they look different than other people's because they've been a part of HIS plan for ME.  I have repented of my jealous heart of other's opportunities, and see the TRUTH in how MANY I have been given.

Oh, how I long to walk in that confidence and to do great things for Him - even if my earthly eyes see those things as small.  I now recognize my life-experiences as an asset, not as a hinderance.  I know that my heart is in a different place, becoming a wife and mother, that losing Shalom, being involved in Recovery Ministry, growing in relationships with new friends, restoring past relationships ... it's all been a journey that I hope continues to shape and teach me.

I am ready.  I am ready to rise up to however He calls me.  I'm ready to be a part of it.  I'm ready to help in any way - to be stretched, to grow, to learn.  I'm ready to SEE with my own eyes, His glory.

Tomorrow morning, I'm leading at She Is.  This weekend, I'm leading at a Conference in Burnaby - Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.  The following weekend, I'm heading north to lead at our Women's "She is Refreshed" Retreat - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The week after that, I'm heading to Wagner Hills Farm to worship with the recovery guys and families there ... it's like the Lord is opening doors as I smack my head with my hand and say, "oh Saviour - NOW I get it."

I am just so excited to have a part - whatever that looks like ... and  to watch each other rise up in our God-given dreams.  To see how each part of the Body of Christ IS significant, IS valuable.  Friends, don't believe the lies that what you do has no relevance.  Don't look at someone else and say, "oh - but they can do this, and I can't."  Don't be frozen with inability because of comparison.  Ask yourself, "what is it that I can do?"  Can you be an encourager?  Can you be hospitable?  Can you be a prayer warrior?  Can you serve?  Can you give?  Ask the Lord to be specific, and WALK in it.  And if you're just plain scared to believe that the dreams He's given you can come to fruition, then let me be someone who cheers you on. 

Let's do this.