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Shadow of Shame

 

Your parents had to get married. Her words, rife with condemnation and mockery, penetrated my third-grade heart. I felt the stares of the other children. I blinked hard, forcing my humiliation to be quiet. Undetectable. But shame rose fast and unrelenting like floodwaters. Tears blurring my vision, I bowed my head and hurried toward the school cafeteria. That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.

That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.#shame #powerofwords #identityinChrist Click To Tweet

My struggle with shame began long before elementary school. It festered and grew in a home where words were weapons and hurtful labels were accepted without question. I was a burden, not a blessing.

(To continue reading, please visit my friend, Katy Kauffman’s blog, where I am guest posting this week.) http://lighthousebiblestudies.com/katy-kauffman-blog/christ-who-conquered-shame.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

Psalm 46:1

Before color kissed the sky, I awakened-already weary from a series of imagined twilight horrors. Matching the tempo of my husband’s rhythmic breathing, releasing the fear trapped inside. His arm, heavy with sleep, draped across my waist like a rope strung between a boat and its mooring.

This has become my Holy Spirit hour; a time of communing, listening, interceding, rejoicing, and weeping. Five weeks of pre-dawn wakefulness coupled with a knowing within-this is part of my calling, my equipping, my serving.

The terror of the night seeks to invade from within but loses its battle when whispered words of truth penetrate the inky space. Click To Tweet

The terror of the night seeks to invade from within but loses its battle when whispered words of truth penetrate the inky space between physical and spiritual. The enemy is shrewd, his bloodlust an open cavity for the unprepared. Palms open and eyes closed, I release the anxieties that lead my thoughts directly toward fear and utter, “Lord, help my unbelief.”

I meditate on Psalm 46, the familiar words of the Psalmist reminding me of my position. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God is my refuge. 

He is my refuge from inner turmoil. He is a refuge from the haunting memories of childhood. He is my refuge from the silent illness crafted by my own body.

He is your refuge, too. 

Only six letters, the word seems simple. Benign. And maybe I’ve just read or heard the words too often to allow them to penetrate deep. Refuge.

To the Psalmist, a refuge would have been a watchtower, a pillar of stones positioned on a hill above the fields of a town or in the mids of ripening vineyards. From his vantage point, the watchman guarded the livelihood of his people from marauders and animals scavenging for food. Gathering family to live within the safety of the fortress; the sentry stood watch-his dear ones far from threats of impending danger.

God is our refuge.

An unshakeable pillar, God who is our strength is the one to whom we can flee. In Him, we are raised to a position of strength and encircled by safety.

The refuge stands, unmoving and Almighty. Click To Tweet

The enemy may rattle his saber and destruction may batter the stronghold, but their roar is useless. The refuge stands, unmoving and Almighty. Neither the abuses of men nor the sword that pierced His side defeated the Rock and we, cradled in heaven’s watchtower, discover the love and security of our rescuer.

God is your refuge. 

Are you distressed? Brimming with worry as Death travels where it will? Has isolation brought you to the end of hope? Do you long for relief from the world’s trials? Seek Him, Friend. Move into the security of your Salvation and rest. He’ll watch over you, nourish you with His strength, and shelter you until time fades into eternity.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P.S. I’d love to have you join me tonight as we meet to discuss and consider how to be set free from fear. I hope to see you online!

Refresh

 

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s time for another round of book reviews and I have several to share! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

 

 

The Marriage Ark

The Marriage Ark is a solid, practical book for couples who want to grow and develop together throughout marriage. Easy to read and apply, each chapter ends with reflection questions that a couple can discuss and apply. Phillips guides the reader through such important topics as communication, intimacy in relationship, and grace. If a couple or group would like to engage in a quick study together, The Marriage Ark would be a great place to start.

 

 

MyHeart

A lovely book of poems by a trusted, faithful woman of God, My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women is a book ladies can turn to again and again for encouragement and hope. Without shying away from difficult topics, the author emphasizes God’s character and reminds the reader of His enduring faithfulness in every circumstance. This is a book worth keeping yourself and one you’ll want to purchase for those you love.

 

Stop

 

Stop Calling Me Beautiful is a powerfully written reminder that Christian women need more than just “milk” in order to grow in their faith; they require ‘solid food’. Masonheimer convincingly argues that women are taught the less important truth-that they are beautiful-without being taught the fundamental truths about Christ. As a result, women are leading empty lives attempting to earn their way to heaven, overcome anxiety, or bear the burden of sexual sin without understanding the basics of the faith.

An honest, insightful book for the woman struggling with questions about her faith, legalism, or particular areas of sin, Stop Calling Me Beautiful is also a call to Christian women’s ministry leaders to go deeper with the women they serve.

I couldn’t stop highlighting the pages of the ebook I was reading and I plan to order a hardcopy. This book grabbed me; it’s about actionable faith rather than getting caught up in competitive Christianity. I highly recommend this book!

 

RubysWorry

 

Although Ruby’s Worry was published a couple of years ago, it’s the perfect read for little ones who are struggling with big worries. The character in this book discovers her worry grows bigger and takes up more space in her life until she learns to talk about it with someone. Tom Percival has provided a wonderful tool for children to begin to identify and discuss anxiety or worry.

 

I hope one or two of these books make their way into your reading pile and challenge the way you think, stir your thoughts, or encourage your heart.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I sometimes link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

Cup of Suffering

 

He knelt alone beneath the branches of the trees, holy features twisted by the agony of foreknowledge. Mocking spirits seemed to luck behind every tree, but the three men sleeping nearby remained unaware. Still, the man prayed.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

Flesh warring with spirit, the one they called Christ waged a personal battle as heaven responded with silence. The call to sacrifice remained. He would exchange purity for imperfection, holiness for degradation, the Father’s love for Satan’s hatred, and life for death.

Not even his three closest friends remained to support him as the time of crisis neared. Alone, isolated, and betrayed, the Miracle Worker bent in submission to the Father’s will.

The Miracle Worker bent in submission to the Father's will. Click To Tweet

While the first garden, Paradise, served as the seat of man’s defeat, the second garden, Gethsemane, served as the beginning of man’s hope for here Christ conquered flesh and willingly gave himself into the hands of those who held no power over the creator of all.

I imagine Jesus rising as the sounds of the mob fill the space where angels had tread. Resolute with purpose, his will steeled for the suffering that lay ahead, our Lord wiped sandy ashes from his tunic and pauses.

They are only dust; Father forgive them.

Jesus, the holy and blameless Lamb, offered himself as the final and complete sacrifice to satisfy the cost of sin. He walked into the pit of hell that we might be rescued from it; no longer captive to the schemes of our Enemy.

Jesus, the holy and blameless Lamb, offered himself as the final and complete sacrifice to satisfy the cost of sin. . Click To Tweet

The God “who owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10) stepped out of eternity into time and embraced poverty and pain. The One who breathed life into creation experienced betrayal and bloodshed. The Almighty who healed others with a word chose ridicule for our redemption.

Above all, the perfect and powerful perseverance of Christ led to victory over death for all who believe. He is risen!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

 

These are a few of the books I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks. They’ve all enriched my life in their own way and I highly recommend them. I’d love to know what you’re reading. Please let me know in the comment section. My list grows longer, but one can never read too many books.

Peace and grace,

Tammy


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strength of a Woman: 31 Days to Celebrating Your Place in Proverbs 31 is the most unique, interesting study of the Proverbs 31 woman I’ve ever encountered. Author Lauren Crews delves into the historicity of the acrostic proverb by examining the meaning of each Hebrew letter that introduces each line of the poem.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I’ve come to expect. Instead of a woman with impossible standards, she becomes an exemplar. Rather than a woman against whom I’m compared, she becomes a woman of encouragement. A woman of spiritual strength and wisdom clothed with heavenly power. A woman to admire and emulate.

For those who are lovers of words and etymology, you’ll discover a wealth of information about original meanings as well as how those definitions practically apply in today’s world to the married, single, divorced, or widowed woman.

Strength of a Woman is a book that exhorts, uplifts, and educates while encouraging the believer to follow after the Lord. This wonderful Bible study, written with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter, is one every woman should read.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I've come to expect.#Strength@LaurenCrews Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anjuli Paschall’s book, Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You Never Imagined Looking, is a lovely, flow-of-thought look at life as one woman grapples with identity within the context of faith. Plucking scenarios from her life, Anjuli creates beautiful prose to illustrate the importance of staying with the difficult emotions, the hard places, and the God who loves us in order to become the woman we were created to become.

The book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read.#stay #anjulipaschall Click To Tweet

Ephemeral and airy, Stay is more philosophical and poetic than practical. It is inspiring, not empirical. There are no action steps, prayers, or points for consideration. However, the book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read. Anjuli will pull you into her world with rich, captivating words that cause you to explore the depth of your own pain, joy, and faith.

You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by pastor Keion Henderson, The Shift: Courageously Moving From Season to Season, is penned for those who are living “between”. Men and women who are grappling with the challenge of change; the movement of life. Whether they’re experiencing the shift from parenting as a couple to single parenting, living on a steady income to a fixed income, or surviving in the time of a worldwide pandemic, The Shift is a book that transforms hopelessness into opportunity.

This is one book I'll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life.#powerful@WorthyPublishing Click To Tweet

Having grown up in the inner city and abandoned by his father, Keion Henderson knows about hardship. But he is also familiar with the change in perspective a person can have when we’re sure God has a purpose for our lives.

This book is one I’ll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life. It’s powerful and timely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Easter favorite.#honorsChrist @JillRomanLord Click To Tweet

Jill Roman Lord has penned another delightful rhyming read for the littles in your life. If you’ve been searching for a new Easter favorite, consider this sweet padded book. Not only does this book honor Christ, but your bundle of joy will be wriggling with delight as you share words that slide off the tongue from this favorite children’s author.

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

The last few weeks are unlike any I’ve experienced; I know you’re feeling the same way. We’ve adopted unfamiliar phrases like ‘social-distancing’ and ‘Covid-19’ into our vocabulary as reporters share the grim news of a relentless enemy decimating the lives of families across the world; forcing people behind doors as government leaders scramble to avoid economic collapse and healthcare workers deal with a shortage of ventilators and protective gear.

The Destroyer marched into the territory of our home; dark and frightening. But, my husband, son, and I knew the truth- “the One who is living in [us] is far greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4 TPT).

Just as the Coronavirus began ravaging the United States, my young adult son was in crisis. Another Enemy, one against whom we’d battled for years, threatened my boy’s life. The Destroyer marched into the territory of our home; dark and frightening. But, my husband, son, and I knew the truth- “the One who is living in [us] is far greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4 TPT).

As I spoke words of hope and life over my son, I prayed God would guide us to the right people. That He’d provide funding where none existed. That each impossible detail and insurmountable obstacle-distance, despair, international disease-would not hamper us as we trusted Him to pave a way where none existed before.

This must have been how the Israelites felt when they saw the Red Sea in front of them and Pharoah’s army advancing from behind.

But God never left His people unprotected. Unguarded. Unsecured.

God never left His people unprotected.Unguarded.Unsecured.#fightfear#spiritualbattle#hope Click To Tweet
While the people quaked in fear and even raised up in anger against Moses, God remained steadfast. He knew the plans of the wicked pursuer was to " to steal, slaughter, and destroy", (A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter,a]">[a] and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, b]">[b] more than you expectc]">[c]—life in its fullness until you overflow!) but the One who transforms impossible to possible and the vain to victorious would make Himself known in and through nature.

One week before our city shutdown, God placed my son in the care of people able to help him engage in the battle of his young life. God split the Red Sea, moving him across the other side to safety.

The Church stands at the edge of our own Red Sea; the sea of Faith.#equippedtostand #prayforothers Click To Tweet

I believe the Church stands at the edge of our own Red Sea; the sea of Faith.

Exodus 14: 13-16 reads-

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

Fear lurks outside the door, but it isn’t from the Lord. Friends, fear is our Enemy and we know he has come to “steal, kill, and destroy”. While this assault is unexpected to us, God isn’t surprised. He’s equipped up through Christ to stand! Those in Christ who are weaker need us to stand. Those who don’t yet know Jesus need us to stand. Our children, nation, and a hurting world need us to stand.

Fear lurks outside the door, but it isn’t from the Lord. Friends, fear is our Enemy and we know he has come to “steal, kill, and destroy”. While this assault is unexpected to us, God isn’t surprised. He’s equipped up through Christ to stand! Those in Christ who are weaker need us to stand. Those who don’t yet know Jesus need us to stand. Our children, nation, and a hurting world need us to stand.

There are several important points we need to pull from the scripture above.

  • The Lord Will Rescue-We may not know how, but we know Who.
  • The Church Must Move-Pray for revival. Serve with love.
  • Be Faithful-Watch how the Lord will move.

Be encouraged, Friends. He will provide a way to the other side.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Ladies, it’s an online get-together and you’re invited! I’m hosting a Zoom chat and prayer time on Tuesday, March 31st @ 5pm MST (7 pm EST,  4 pm PST) if you would like to join me. Just respond with your email to tammy.kennington@gmail.com and I’ll send you an invite. Feel free to forward this email to other women who might like to participate. (Ladies only, please. Thanks for understanding!)

Ladies, it's an online get-together and you're invited! I'm hosting a Zoom chat and prayer time on Tuesday, March 31st @ 5pm MST (7 pm EST,  4 pm PST) if you would like to join me. Just respond with your email to… Click To Tweet

Free Printable with Tips for You

5 ways to Manage Anxiety pdf

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?

Deuteronomy 32:34

 

The context of Deuteronomy 32 lets us know the “this” of verse 34 is God’s justice and judgement. Verse 35 says, “Vengeance is mine, …and their doom comes swiftly.” Although commentators have differing opinions of who God is saying he’ll judge, it will be upon Israelites’ enemies or the Israelites themselves. In effect, he is saying, “Don’t you understand judgment is stored up and will be released at the right time?” It may seem God is delaying or refusing to bring justice, yet here he declares he has not forgotten the actions of sinners because he is a just God.

Most of Deuteronomy 32 gives the reasons for judgment. Verse 32 gives us an interesting visual of one of those reasons.

For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom

and from the fields of Gomorrah;

their grapes are grapes of poison;

their clusters are bitter.

Some commentators have varying ideas about the “vine of Sodom” which the Bible refers to only this once. Over the years, many have tried to identify the exact plant God refers to. The most obvious are the grapes. Yet researchers have wondered if there is any other kind of what some call “apples of Sodom.”

The other fruit might be a candidate, appearing like a delicious, smooth, soft, yellow apple or orange. But when grabbed or bitten, the fruit disintegrates into a puff of air, a thin rind, and a few fibers. What seemed so fulfilling offers nothing of value.

That’s the point. God’s people are depending upon empty, ineffective, worthless things that become idols. Idol worship deserves judgment because the Israelites are putting their hope into a “puff of air.” The hollow “vine cluster” seems to give a tiny spiritual taste of satisfaction but doesn’t last.

Think of some of the ways we experience a spiritual “puff of air.”

A woman marries her Prince Charming, expecting he will always make her happy. But he expects her to always give him respect. When she expresses an opinion other than what he thinks, he gets angry, feeling weak.

Someone is finally promoted to their dream position, but the friend who is passed over now brings all sorts of troubles.

An infertile wife finally becomes pregnant expecting a delightful experience until her child seems to cry twenty-four hours a day.

Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Click To Tweet

Every single person and experience on this imperfect earth will disappoint us at some point. Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Of course, we still won’t receive everything we want, but God knows what is best and promises to meet our true needs (Philippians 4:19).

For any who seek fulfillment in earthly sources, God knows such vain worship turns them away from dependence upon him, the perfect source. No wonder our just God judges in order to motivate people to turn from unfulfilling sin.

  • What is your opinion about God being just and therefore responding in judgement?
  • When has it seemed God has delayed judging those who have harmed you? How have you dealt with that?

 

God of the Universe, I praise you for you are always motivated by being just.

Thank you for always judging rightly and thoroughly.

 

The Millers have been in ministry since 1978 as speakers, authors, and lay counselors. They married in 1970 and God empowered them to overcome the dysfunctional marriage and family they had developed early in their marriage. Larry is a retired police lieutenant from Huntington Beach Police Department. Both individually and as a couple, they have authored over 55 books and spoken in nine foreign countries. They live in Southern California and are parents and grandparents. Visit them at www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Kathy is making a copy of God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature available to the winner of a book drawing. Enter to win by Thursday, March 26th by leaving a comment below. The winner will be drawn on March 27th (US addresses only, please. Thank you for understanding.)

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This guest blog is adapted from God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature

Order God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature at:

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Intriguing-Questions-Testament-Devotions/dp/195197008X/

Connect with them at:

www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor and https://www.facebook.com/larry.miller.3532?

Twitter: @KathyCMiller and @LarryMiller

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Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

 

The frustration ran deep and the journey was long. Decades of caring for anyone with a need left me collapsed on heaven’s doorstep. Lord, I’ve been serving a long time. When do I get to enjoy that abundant life I keep hearing about?

Don’t get me wrong. I saw glimpses and enjoyed seasons of fulfillment. Raising my daughters as a homeschool mom was a sacrifice rich in joyful memories. Befriending women in the church in various settings blessed me with delightful relationships. In spite of the good times, somehow along the way, I lost my bearings.

Why

Women are prone to that process. We tend to focus our empathy and compassion outward, doing our best to contribute to everyone else’s happily ever after. And there’s a reason for that. We live in a fallen world where mankind’s vertical connection with our Creator is broken, and horizontal relationships take precedent.

Eve may not have grasped the significance of God’s words when He explained the security of her divine friendship with Him was replaced with the uncertainty of a human bond. But she surely sensed the trauma triad of fear, shame, and panic when she and Adam were sent from the Garden, the only home she’d ever known.

 

What

Like Eve, the trauma triad grabbed hold of me. Violence and denial turned my childhood home into a fight-for-survival environment. Hypervigilance became my coping skill of choice as I worked to de-escalate the atmosphere. As a result, the people-pleasing habit plowed deep furrows across my path right into adulthood.

The people-pleasing habit plowed deep furrows across my path right into adulthood.#habits Click To Tweet

When I heard life would be grand if I trusted Jesus, I was ready for grand and walked the aisle. My immature reasoning latched on to what the Christian community taught. If I wanted to please Jesus, which I did, all I needed to do was become a servant. And everybody knows a good servant pleases the one they serve.

Family, friends, and fellow church members were already on my list of responsibilities when neighbors were added. Since God describes our neighbor as any needy soul with whom we interact, in order to please Him, I would need to please everyone around me. The vertical-horizontal effects of the Fall overwhelmed me.

 

Who

Collapse is a good description of the moment I realized I was twisted into a shape I didn’t recognize. My dedication to reach out to others to satisfy God led me to abandon the unique me He designed with a purpose. Worse still, my efforts to secure the Eden intimacy I craved with Him brought little more than a nodding acquaintance.

In mute despair, I looked to Jesus. His response was gentle and compassionate.

Jesus invited me to rest in His presence and His Word. As I responded, He reminded me how precious I am because I am His, that His promises of protection and provision are for me. He taught me that I need to set my focus on Him because what fills my thoughts becomes the object of my worship.

...What fills my thoughts becomes the object of my worship.#worship #rightthoughts Click To Tweet

In confession and repentance, by God’s mercy and grace, my view is clearing. His call to love others is based on our loving Him with complete abandon, to include a healthy dose of awareness and love for ourselves as His creation. With this relationship, we become divine conduits for His love to flow at His will.

Worship is my new weapon against trauma or anything that threatens my peace.#prayalways Click To Tweet

Worship is my new weapon against trauma or anything that threatens my peace. Scripture, prayer, music, change of scenery . . . whatever it takes to rip my focus away from the struggle and set it back on the One who made and cherishes me. The peace and joy that fill me are the best description of the abundant life I can imagine.

You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Psalm 30:11-12 NIV

 

BIO

 

Sandra Allen Lovelace has been walking beside women cross-culturally for more than 40 years. She’s a popular speaker and biblical teacher known for her warm authenticity and practical approach. She’s also an author with an award-winning blog, two titles in print, and a third book in process.

By experience and training in the journey, Sandra informs, affirms, and inspires women as they heal from the impact of trauma. In her role as mentor and coach, she delights in watching fellow Wallflower Women step into and enjoy their God-given design and purpose. Sandra’s easy to reach.

SandraAllenLovelace@gmail.com

FB/SandraAllenLovelace

IG/SandraAllenLovelace

 

 

Thank you Sandra, for sharing part of your story with us. I see myself in what you’ve written and appreciate your wisdom and encouragement. Friends, please hop over to Sandra’s wonderful blog or meet up with her online. I know you’ll be blessed!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network

I’ve read several books in the last couple of months and have been looking forward to sharing them with you. While the list of books I hope to read continues to grow, I never seem to find quite as much time as I’d like to indulge my favorite habit. Can anyone relate?

 

Platinum Faith: Live Brilliant, Be Resilient, and Know Your Worth written by power team, Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett, grabbed me from the first paragraph. Heart-touching stories written for every woman who ever wondered if she’s worth the fight or believed Jesus might have died for her pretty, put-together-best-friend but really didn’t intend to forgive her hot mess of a life is the book you want to buy now if you need Biblical encouragement from two woman who wrap you in a hug with authenticity. Discussion questions that work well for personal reflection or small-group study are included at the end of each chapter.

Sharing their thoughts throughout the book, Bethany and Michelle alternate as the voice behind each chapter. Sidebars highlighting helpful insights are also included.

This book is Biblically sound and rich with encouragement. It’s a wonderful book and worth buying a few extra copies to share with the women in your life. I cannot wait for these two ladies to collaborate on their next book.

 

 

Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You never Imagined Looking by Anjuli Paschall is a prose-like narrative of different events throughout Anjuli’s life. She addresses everything from self-hatred and loneliness to the excruciating pain of spiritual brokenness and the simple, mundane moments of marriage and family life.

Crafting each chapter like a scene in a play, Paschall draws back the curtain and invites readers to examine the messy areas of her heart. It is in the mire she discovered God’s grace and, ultimately, where the reader will find Him-if one is willing.

If you’re looking for practical tips or action steps, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you enjoy beautiful, lilting prose and want to sit across the table from your best girlfriend discussing vulnerable, raw moments of living for Christ Stay may be the book you’ve been waiting to read.

Available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.com/Stay-Discovering-Freedom-Wholeness-Imagined

 

 

I chose to read Eyewitness to Crucifixion: The Romans, the Cross, and the Sacrifice of Jesus by Stephen Miller because my husband have planned to visit Rome this summer. While our plans may change depending upon the current state of the coronavirus, I did enjoy reading this book. While I felt Mr. Miller’s writing was dry and sometimes disjointed, his research was and supporting documents were topnotch. If you can overlook the writing and enjoy either art or western history, then you’ll be amazed by the research Miller must have done to piece together Eyewitness.

Although I don’t intend to read another of Miller’s books, I’ve passed the book along to my husband who earned an undergraduate degree in history. This might be a good fit for a seminarian or something to read with your teens at Easter as you consider Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

 

I’d love to know what books you’re reading right now. Add to my list! There can never be enough books tucked beneath my reading table.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

 

 

 

 

 

The year is 1995. Being a self-employed counselor is a real challenge. From time to time I say to my God, “Is this really what you want me to do?” Deep inside from around the region of my heart, I hear the answer, “Hang on.”

Sometimes God is a person of few words.#faith #perseverance Click To Tweet

Sometimes God is a person of a few words. I keep questioning, “Should I be doing something else?” Sometimes I feel like a failure and now I am overwhelmed with shame at having to ask for help. I stare at the phone in my hand. You can do this Evelyn, do not give up, do not back down, do not lose faith. Do not worry about what people think?

It’s been a hard winter. My business has dwindled to almost nothing, partly because of the weather and partly because I don’t feel equal to the trauma and pain I see in front of me. Money is tight. My fear is that homelessness is imminent.

My friend in Oklahoma City tells me about an organization that is coming to the clinic where she works to do some free trauma training that can help untold numbers of hurting people. But it’s just for Oklahoma counselors. I live in South Dakota.

“Can I come?” I ask. She says “no” on three different phone calls,

“Just ask them,” I say. “Please just ask?”

Finally, she says with a deep sigh, “I will give you the number and you can ask.”

I’ve wanted this training for a couple of years. I have heard of the extraordinary healing it produces—but the cost is beyond my reach. I’ve been praying for guidance for months, hanging on, believing God when He says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear”. (Luke 12:22.) Waking up stressed and fearful in the middle of the night, I repeat this verse over and over, desperately trying to drown out the negative messages rattling around my brain. The messages telling me: “Give up, send your clients to someone who can really help them. Stop humiliating yourself by being persistent. Go find a job. Why would anyone want to help you anyway?”

Now it’s 8:00 am on a cloudy Monday morning. Sitting with the phone in my hand, I have prayed all night for a “yes” answer or the faith to endure a “no.” Taking a deep breath, I dial the number; it rings five times before the man on the other end says “Good morning. Bright Counseling, Joe speaking.”

My heart is in my throat. “This is Evelyn Leite. I am a friend of Barbara’s—I understand that the EMDR corporation is doing a free counselor training in Oklahoma City, because of the bombing of the Federal building. I hear my breathless voice coming out fast and force myself to slow down.

“Joe, I am a counselor in South Dakota. Do you think it might be possible for me to attend the training coming up at your clinic next week?” A long moment of silence follows (I’m holding my breath) then he says “I don’t see any reason why you can’t.” Geared up for a “no”, my “thank you” comes out in an emotional squeak. Joe takes my name and phone number and promises to see me there. I’m in!

Overwhelmed with gratitude, I say prayers of praise and swing into action. Using frequent flyer miles and with ten dollars in my pocket, my amazed friend will meet me at the airport and I will stay with her. I will be only the second counselor in SD to have this training-my business booms and people are helped. God is Good!

 

 

Evelyn M. Leite MHR, LPC  

Evelyn Leite has been in the addiction and mental health profession for 35 years and has a private practice called Living With Solutions.  She also founded a non-profit corporation called A Center For Training And Restoration.  She is the author of 14 books and she holds workshops nationwide that are devoted to teaching individuals and families about mental health and addiction. Evelyn does a lot of trauma-related work with men and women who have been abused.  Because her work as a humanitarian has been widely recognized, she was installed in the SD Hall of Fame in 2008.  Her work has included founding a youth center in Ft Pierre, SD, helping establish a women’s shelter in Pierre, SD, and helping to establish the Hope Center, a day shelter for the homeless in Rapid City, SD.  Most of her work for the last 15 years has taken place on Indian Reservations.  She released a new book in December 2019, A Fix For The Family Rift Caused By Addiction. Evelyn Leite has been in the addiction and mental health profession for 35 years and has a private practice called Living With Solutions.

https://evelynleite.com/

 

P.S. Hello, friends. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Evelyn and other counselors who do the hard and important work of helping people heal from their trauma wounds are such a blessing. Evelyn and I have never met personally and she is unaware of my background, but EMDR was one of the tools God used to bring hope and healing into my own life as a survivor of child abuse. If you have any questions about EMDR or other aspects of healing from trauma (i.e. C-PTSD, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc.), please know you aren’t alone. Reach out to one of us or another safe person in your life. God is in the business of “restoring the years the locusts have eaten”.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I sometimes link-up with these wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network

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