family

Love; My Word for 2014

Love requires action as well as patience. I often forget the last part of that sentence. Yet, when I decided to focus on the word LOVE for 2014, I want to remember that God loves me, so I need to love others with the same type of love.

This is often hard because I am human. I am certainly not perfect, nor am I GOD; the one and only creator of the universe. I am a flawed human being, who makes mistakes every day of my life. I tend to lose my temper too easily and often expect perfection of those in my life, yet I need to remember that these same folks are patient, loving and offer me grace on a daily basis.

I remember as a young mom I would fret and fret about trying to keep my house looking “perfect” which was almost impossible with two sons running around. I would beat myself up because the “perfect” I so wanted and dreamed of seemed to be impossible to obtain. I was often way too hard on my boys and made many mistakes in this situation as well as others. No person is a perfect parent either and I certainly know that I made huge mistakes. Things I regret. Things I wish I could take back. But all I can do is ask for forgiveness and apologize. Lessons are often hard learned.

Lessons in love are often hard learned.

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Growing up in a dysfunctional, none affectionate home, love was something I could not quiet comprehend, which also led to many hard lessons as a mother and wife.

Love was something I feared in many ways, yet so desperately wanted in my life. I wanted to experience the love of children and for my children to feel loved. To never doubt my love for them, but in many ways I failed. Life has a way of creeping in and causing the past to weave it’s way into the present. The past could not be held at bay any longer. The choices of those who committed suicide or took the life of my grandmother in a suicide/murder affected all of the family. Love was still an underlying presence but it was not the focus as it should have been. Life was hard and the road was rocky. Filled with stickers and lots of bumps, yet through it all the love I had for my husband and children never changed. It had always been in my heart, yet the enemy had used the painful circumstances to get my eyes focused on the hurt instead of the wonderful blessings I was privileged to have as part of my life.

Love is a word that is so full of meaning and often means different things to different folks.

LOVE

I want to be remembered as a woman, wife, mother and grandmother who never let the painful past to hold her down, nor allowed the enemy to continue to severe relationships that are meant to be for life.

The enemy will not be able to win this battle. LOVE will prevail and the lives of those torn away will be redeemed and restored. Relationships will win and the love I have for my family will always persevere.

God has a beautiful plan for LOVE in the lives of believers.

We must seek HIM and the plan HE has for our lives.

The plan HE has for my life is:
Restored relationships

Love abounding

and that the past will no longer have any power over my life or the lives of my family.

We are overcomers and the LORD has called us to be a family.

I pray that whatever you are facing today will not keep you bound to the past. Look to the Lord and always remember that if He calls you to it, He will help your through it. Life can be challenging at times but just because you are in a battle today does not mean that tomorrow the Lord can turn everything around. God is so powerful and He has such a blessed life for us as His children. Please don’t give up on the problem or challenge you are facing today. Continue to seek HIM and HIS plan. He will line it all up and everything will come together.

Linking Up:

http://ruthlsnyder.wordpress.com/

 

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Choose to Believe

Choose to Believe

We all have choices to make each day.

Choices to believe

or not to believe

Choices whether to love or hate

Forgive or hold onto to unforgiveness

Grow or remain stagnant

Live or Die

Believe in God

or

Deny God

For me, many of these are easier than others. One that will never change will be to BELIEVE IN GOD. I have faced 3 suicides, a murder, abuse, neglect, car wrecks, anxiety, fear, agoraphobia, loss of jobs, friendships, as well as other tragedies, but through it all I have never stopped believing in God. My faith has been shaken but no denying God has stepped in more than once to protect, guide, and love me through it all.

Believe in God

Even when it is hard

Even when you want to give up

Lean into HIM

Praying for you today. Lean into HIM and HIS love for you. It is unconditional and full of peace if you trust HIM and HIS plan. HIS plan will always be best. Life happens but nothing is out of HIS control.

CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

My Daily Walk in His Grace

Are you in Egypt?

This song resonates with me and the real shaking my family is currently facing.

I have  faced spiritual battles before in my own life; especially when it has come to my bondage and stronghold to fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. Yet, this battle is even more…

More painful.

More loss involved.

More on the line.

Lives. Families. Relationships. Sin. Eternal.

The song by Sara Groves has really spoke to my heart lately.

Life was comfortable before because I knew what the day was going to hold. I knew that I would be fearful, anxious and panic stricken in most every part of the day. The life I am living now is more uncomfortable, especially in the present day of such a spiritual attack on my life and the lives of those I love.

Yet, I know the past is closed off to me.

The past is so tangible. I know it by heart. Such powerful words from the song.. Oh, they speak to me. I knew the past by heart.

Familiar things are hard to discard. Oh My.. Yes.

I lived in such a path of darkness for so long. My eyes were covered by  fear. I felt I had no value to anyone. The ones that I so desperately wanted to love me, totally abandoned me and left me feeling worthless. Even though the familiar was unhappy, damaging and not the best God had for me, I stayed stuck.

Stuck because I didn’t feel worthy of any other life.

I was painting pictures of Egypt but none were coming true. The past had such a hold, yet the future seemed unattainable. I was stuck in the middle. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I so desperately wanted to go, yet I hesitated. Fear continued to hold me back.

I was caught between the PROMISE and the things I knew.

One of the verses in this song says, ” But the places that used to fit me, cannot hold the things I have learned. ”

I cannot explain how this song has spoke to my heart. Life changing.
Beyond words.

Did someone tell Sara Groves my story because it seems that this song was written just for me.

I so desperately wanted freedom from the past abuse, neglect, fear, anxiety and agoraphobia, but I saw no solution. Yet, God had bigger plans.

He set me free from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia in August 2012. After 40 years of living with this I am now free. Free to travel. Free to drive alone. Free to be happy, whole and ANGIE.

The timing was right for the Lord to heal me.

The song says, ” If it comes too quick I may not recognize it. ”

If God had done this tremendous work in my life 8 years ago, would I have been ready? Would I be in the place I am with my ministry? Would I be in a place where freedom would truly be mine?

I am not so sure. His timing was right, just as it always is.

Yesterday I  fasted, prayed and sought the Word and will of the Lord for the shaking and attack my family is currently under. So much pain. So many unanswered questions.

Yet, even when the shaking continues..

I will not let the enemy win and I certainly will not go back to the past life I once lived. I have come too far.

Prayer for you and me:

Lord, today I want to thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on me and my family. I ask that you do the same for the reader. Help them to feel your love and your powerful healing touch for whatever they may be facing. Life is hard, yet we are over-comers with you on our side. Nothing can break the love you have for us as believers. We stand connected with you and the armies of angels surrounding us. Even when life feels like it is so painful, we continue to trust and believe in your better plan. We don’t see what you are doing behind the scenes, but you know the perfect time and place to have all the pieces fit together. Lord, help us to continue to trust, love and accept. Acceptance does not mean we are happy, but it does mean we know you are faithful to perfect all that concerns us and our loved ones. Lord, watch over and protect my family. We know the restoration, love and healing is possible. One day, I hope to be able to tell the full story of the restoring power of JESUS.

Linking up with :

More To Be

Little By Little

Same but different

How can three siblings be so different yet grew up in the same home?

I wonder.

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I know for me being the middle child, life was much different from it was for my other two siblings. One sister was 3 years older and then a baby brother was 11 years younger. I was a good kid who loved to read, ride her bike, play outside and play “office” in her room. I was quiet and shy much of my early years, which meant that my mom called me names from a very early age. “I was a “problem”. I was not ” normal”.  There had to be something “wrong” with me. Why was I so fearful? Why did I cry so much? Couldn’t I be like my sister? ”

From as early as 3 or 4 years old, this was my everyday life. We lived one way at home behind closed doors and another in public. Most of the extended family could see how I was treated but often was fearful of confronting the situation because of the possible distancing of me from them. Most felt that if they kept me close, then at least I could be protected on some level.

Most were wrong.
I was not protected.I was not safe.

I lived in fear each day of once again waking up to the nightmare, yet dreaded sleep even more. Sleep frightened me. Darkness overwhelmed me. Fear was my best friend. At least with fear I knew what to expect. I couldn’t say the same for my parents or siblings.

It is still that way today. I never know from one minute to the next what my “first” family will do today to try to hurt me or harm my 2nd family. The family that I so love is often hurt so deeply by the out reaching tentacles of the “crazy” ones.

Family that I wish loved me, as I love them

wanted me healthy, happy and whole, as I pray  for them

cherished my children, as I do theirs

wished the best for me,  as I do them.

But after reading Elisa Morgan’s newest book, ” The Beauty of Broken” I have come to the realization that we each have adapted to our raising and childhood in different ways. I had to leave that life from the day I turned 18, while the other two have stayed entrenched in that life. If I had not left, I would have lost myself even more. It took me until I was 46 years old to finally try to find ” Angie” and to really seek what God said about me. To block out what has been said about me by my first family. To believe I am worth more. To believe I am loved. Such hard truths to accept. Yet, I am on the road today.

I would have lost me if I had stayed any longer.

I would recommend this powerful book to anyone struggling in their own family. Elisa shares the ups and down of her childhood as well as her life as a mother, wife and the struggles of that family. Powerful reading and you will walk away looking at your relationships in a different light.

Side Note: When my dad passed away 12 years ago, my mother wanted everyone to write something on the pine box casket. My husband wrote, ” Dennis, thank you for giving me your wonderful daughter Angie to love and cherish. She is so special to me. ”

My mom went behind hubby and marked out the writing.

 

Forgive and Forget?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about a scripture verse in Luke 17:3-4 which says:

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying ” I repent, and you shall forgive him.  KJV.

This has been a struggle for me in my own “first” family as Elisa Morgan describes in her book ”  The Beauty of the Broken.”

beauty and broken

My “first” family is not healthy, whole or even in the least happy, yet they often do not even realize it. Since I have overcome my anxiety, fear and Agoraphobia my family continues to try to pull me back into the dysfunction and often crazy behavior.

My healing is mine and I certainly can not heal them but I wish I could. I wish I could give them the same freedom I have found, but I personally do not feel that they even want the happiness and joy that God has given me. For years, I also lived a very unhealthy, unhappy exsitence.

Some folks like drama and some folks like to be unhealthy.

Reading the verse I was discussing it with a pastor friend and he said,

” If a person repents, then you forgive. But if they don’t repent and ask for forgiveness with a sorrow that is Godly; not a “I got caught sorrow” then you can forgive the person and have a relationship. The Godly sorrow and repentance must come from a sorrowful heart that is broken for the pain they caused.”

I then questioned, ” If they do not repent, do you have a relationship after rebuking them which then allows them to continue to do the same thing again?  He said, ” NO” Rebuking and repentance must go hand in hand for total forgiveness and restoration to happen.

But forgiveness comes in either instance. Whether they ask for forgiveness or not, we as Christians must forgive, but that does not mean we forget and fall into the same trap again with this person.

I know that I can forgive my family and have had to repeatedly do that over my lifetime of horrible atrocities. Just because I forgive does not mean that they have had a repentant heart or EVER apologized in any form or fashion. From a physical assault by my brother, to damaging letters about my child, to hot checks being written repeatedly to on and on. No apologizes ever.

Yet, there are some folks that stand behind the belief that forgiveness means you must have contact with that person again. I stand to differ. I believe forgiveness is always our goal because without forgiveness we become bitter, angry, resentful Christians. Yet, boundaries are often necessary.

Forgiveness is different from having a relationship with the offender again.

Luke 17: 3-4 makes it clear we are to rebuke, repent and then forgive.

I believe the Word of God is powerful and allows the believer to fight the good fight.

Fight

Stand

Believe

Put on the Whole Armor of God

My God is all-powerful and has equipped me for the battles I face.

I can forgive and have, but that does not mean that I will back down in a spiritual battle for my healing and my 2nd family.

One day we will each have to answer for what we have done on this earth; good and bad.

I am a sinner that is full of God’s mercy. Thankfully.

I am not perfect and do not claim to be perfect. I am an over-comer and will continue to overcome.

What the enemy has thrown my way by the hands of my “first” family, the God of the Universe will use for my good. Nothing will be wasted.

My story will stand.

How about you?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse and something you have had to learn the hard way about relationships.

Today, Lord we come to You asking for your protection and mercy for all of us that are so undeserving. We pray for those that have hurt us along the path of this life. Life is hard and the pain is often overwhelming, but I know that nothing You allow into our lives is ever wasted. Help us to not be overcome with evil and lash out at those that have hurt us. Help us to stand strong and face the battles with Your Word and the power of the Sword. You are all powerful and for that I am thankful. POWER and PROMISES.

Love Is Safe

Love is Safe

Do you agree with that statement?

I know personally that for years I truly believed that love was painful, hurtful and full of anger, yet over the last 30 years of being married to Mike, I have learned a different definition of love.

Oh, of course our story has not been perfect or free from hurt or pain, but I know the definition I have learned from being with Mike, is totally different from the “LOVE” my parents, siblings and other extended family has shown me.

Their love was exhibited in anger, abuse, neglect and damage to others I love or have loved.

This is not LOVE.. This is Hate and not anything I want to be a part of.

The love I have learned in the last 30 years will never make up for the lack of love and acceptance I didn’t receive in my childhood or teenage years, but a life well lived is often the best revenge.

I will not lose any more of my life to people that only wish to hurt me.

What are your views on this? Do you agree or are you a person that feels we are to stay connected to family no matter what they do or say?

I believe my life is so much better than theirs that they just cannot handle the reality of it.

I am not boasting.. I am just stating a fact.

They do not want me healed, happy or whole, yet God has called me out the past fear, anxiety, and agoraphobia just for that reason. I truly believe if God and I had not a “meet to” I would not be in the place I am in at this time. I probably would be dead due to the mental anguish I was constantly in because of the fear and anxiety.

God did a huge work in the life of a sinner when He healed me from the past abuse, neglect and fear, but when He told me ” You cannot go back”, I knew that I had to have boundaries.

Love is Safe.

Not perfect; Just safe.

Today, I want to offer you hope. Nothing you have faced in the past or even today is ever wasted, but I also know that God does not want me or you to keep going back to the “waste”, but to move forward to the place God has called us to be today. The past is over and all we have is today. You and I are both more than conquerors with Christ in our corner. I keep pushing forward and seeking the will of God. The enemy keeps trying but I keep fighting. How about you? Are you going to give up or keep fighting? Our God is bigger than anything the enemy can throw at us. Don’t forget that.. Fight and Win…

Where You Begin

Under the Weight of It All

I am breaking

Today, I am empty.

But today I will not allow the empty, broken feelings to become who I am.

Why would I allow the enemy to reach into my mind once again?

I am not a quitter and I am certainly stronger than anything this world can throw my way.

I may seem to be broken but I am redeemed by the power of Jesus Christ. He has set me free from anxiety, fear, abuse, neglect, dysfunction and  agoraphobia, so why would I quit now.??

Where You Begin Lord, is where I also where I begin. My life has not been easy on many levels, but I know that the past will not define my future.

Whether I am loved by my siblings and mother…

You Love Me..

My future is bright because the Lord has placed a call on my life to minister to others that struggle with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. My life is not wasted and nothing I have dealt with will ever be wasted. God has a plan and His plan is for good in my life as well as the life of my husband, children and grandchildren.

Nothing is wasted.

I am worthy because God has called me worthy, loved, beautiful, chosen….

When God designed my birth family… there was issues, but even in that situation I have been an overcomer and survivor.

Once again, I will prove to those that want to beat me and my family down..

I will survive and we will always stand together. Nothing will ever change the reality of the past. But I will not allow the evil to define my future or the future of my children.

I am broken, empty and lost but it will be better tomorrow, and the next day and the next.

But their lives will still be the same..

Jealousy shows its ugly head once again.

Lord, today I want you to help me work on my heart. My heart is broken but it is not beyond repair. I have overcome so much and I know this is just another part of the story that must be played out. I know that the plans for me are for good. Romans 8:28. You see the hearts of those that are causing so much pain and damage to myself and my child.. You are the ultimate judge and jury. Hold them accountable but also hold me accountable for the heart I have. Keep my heart pure and true. Help me to forgive. Help me to be able to keep the boundaries in place and the safety measures in place. It breaks my heart that we as a family cannot be civil and kind to one another but this has been my life for so long I really know no other way.. Thankful today for the Godly man you gave me to love and be loved by for the last 30 years.

Linking back with:

More to Be

Rich Faith Rising

Heart Reflected

Loving and Changing

mike and angie3Love Changes, yet often stays the same. God calls us to love deeply, but to also to continue to grow. We cannot become stagnant in our lives; whether in marriage, raising our children or being a great employee.

We must step out and seek the best God has for us.

Life is to be lived to the fullest.

After 30 years of marriage, I am still learning more and more about our lives together and about Mike.

But more importantly, I am learning about myself.

From an 18-year-old wife, mom and daughter in law in one fell swoop, to a 48-year-old wife, mom, grandmother and daughter in law…

I have learned that God requires me to seek the best, even in the worst situations. My normal tendency is to look at the negatives instead of the positives, but that is something I was taught as a child. Tendency from genetics and environment to look at the negative.

Yet, God says to believe the best in all situations. Even when we think it is over, He can make it new.

He has done that for me in my relationships in many instances; especially in 2006 when we were on the verge of divorce.

Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1: 37

I wanted a different marriage and a different life for myself as well as my family, yet often I failed.
Didn’t know any different, yet God has done a tremendous work in my life as well as my marriage.

How about you?

What did you learn from your growing up years that you carried over to your family and marriage?

What goals did you make for yourself in reference to your home life and relationships to have a different outcome?

I believe that God can change any willing person; whether a woman, man or child. God wants our hearts and also wants the best for us.

We will fall short at times, but that doesn’t mean we need to give up.

Keep the goal in your forefront.

Take steps each day to love more deeply, talk more sweetly and to forgive more easily.

Thankful today for the love of a good, Godly man, who has richly blessed me. He has believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, but more importantly he has loved me when I wasn’t loveable.

Love you, Mike

Together: Five Minute Friday

Together

Together we share

Together we laugh

Together we love

Together we grieve

Together we stand

Together we believe

Together we pray

Today I am standing in awe.

Because in exactly two weeks my husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. It awes me because we were only 16 and 18 years old when we married and then 17 and 18 when we had our son, Wade.

Crazy, isn’t it?
Family and friends told us we wouldn’t even make it one year, so I guess we showed them. Ha.

Laughing as I go.

Life has been a struggle at times but there has been much joy as well. Life can deal us a hard hand at times, but I am thankful that I have been able to walk this life with my husband, Mike. We have been through births, deaths, tragedies, travel, new jobs, moves, crisis with our children, death of parents. On and On.

Yet, we have stood the test of time and stood along side of each other walking TOGETHER.

mikeandangie3

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker.