Is your family wounded or broken today?

I have a certain routine to my day, especially my morning routine. I wake up, spend time with my husband before he leaves for work, have my cup of coffee, read posts and post on FaceBook, then at 7:00 or 7:30 am I always watch Joyce Meyer on tv. She always inspires me and stirs me up. I take notes of her great messages then post them on FB. After that I read 2-3 chapters in the Old Testement and one chapter of the New Testement in my Bible. Next I open my prayer notebook and pray for my friends and my loved ones. Then I get dressed go for my outdoor walk with the dogs and feed my birds. And then continue with the rest of my day.

Well today I joined WordPress.com and I want to start blogging. The more I read, the more excited I got. I have so many painful and joyful and life changing experiences in my life that I would love to share with people. I love to write and I especially want to help people that are hurting. I think God could really us me. I was so engrossed in reading about blogging and readiing people’s blogs that I totally lost track of time.

Then a dear friend called who I have not spoken with in a long time and we chatted and she shared her prayer requests with me. By that time it was time to take my dogs out for a walk- I had not taken them out since 4:30 am and it was already 9:15.

And then it happened. This black cloud settled over me. I did NOT want to read my Bible. I could think of a lot of things I would rather do because I really really did not want to read my Bible. I called one of my best friends. We usually chat on the phone for a while. I explained all of this to her and she prayed a 2 sentence prayer that God would speak to my heart and I would open my Women of Faith Study Bible. I literally had to force myself.

As soon as I started reading the Word of God I was instantly glad I did. I love to read the old familiar stories in Genesis and I read the study notes and I always learn something, I am always comforted or encouraged or inspired or convicted of my sin or just be reminded of the woman God wants me to be.

This morning Genesis chapter 33 spoke especially personally to me. It concerned family relationships. Jacob and Esau were brothers- they never liked each other, they never got along and to make matters worse the mother favored one son and the father favored the other. While the father was on his deathbed his wife and her favorite son tricked the father into giving the birthright and a full blessing to the younger son. ( The custom was the oldest child had the birthright and got his father’s full blessing and the younger brothers would serve the older brother and the older brother would gain all the land and be blessed by God and be prosperous.) Esau, the older son hated Jacob and planned to kill him after his father died. The mother sent Joseph away. Jacob was gone for 14 years- he served seven years working for one wife and another 7 years working for the second wife.

Now we come to Genesis 33. My chapter for today. I understand now why the devil did NOT want me to read this chapter…Jacob is returning home. He fears that his brother, who is approaching with a great army of men will kill him, his family, his servants and all his livestock. Jacob sends his servants ahead to his brother with gifts of livestock. The brother refuses the gifts but instead Esau runs to his brother and embraces his brother and they wept. Their hard hearts were softened and they felt love and mercy and forgiveness for each other.

Does your family live in perfect harmony with each other or is there conflict and strife?My 4 children did not have a happy childhood- they each grew up in different homes- 3 of them were in numerous different foster homes. Each one says they have forgiven me 25 years later but our family is still wounded and broken. One of my adult children visited me on Christmas Eve and we had a great time before he drove back to D.C. Two of my other children drove together from New York and New England to surprise me with a visit. I got to see my granddaughter who I have not seen for 3 years. My child who lives in Michigan was there also with my other two grandchildren… I live in Michigan. We had the happiest 4 days that we have had in many many years. It was a joy to see my children and grandchildren bond with each other. I was filled with joy. Then Friday night words were said in anger- cruel unkind words that left all of us hurt, devastated and angry. My son and my daughter left two days later and two of my children are not speaking to me, I cannot see my grandchildren- they want nothing to do with me and one of my children wants nothing to do with anyone in our family. So, as you can imagine, I am deeply hurt and dissappointed. But I have chosen to focus on the happy times we did share together and now my focus is on God, my loving husband, the two children that do love me and want to be their mother, my dogs, my cat and my birds.

I can see now why not he devil did his very best to keep me from reading the story of Jacob and Esau. If there was hope for these two there is hope for my family- and for yours. Whatever your family situation is God can heal it if we turn to Jesus, ask him to forgive our sin, be our Lord and Savior and put all of our faith in his death on the cross, burial and resurrection. Once we do this we are born again, we become a child of God and we can pray to him and give him all of our worries and cares and burdens and ask him to help us to patiently wait until his timing is perfect. He does not always promise us we will get what we want and we need to ask him to help us accept the things we cannot change… but he hears our every prayer, he loves us, he loves our children and our family members and He knows what is best for us. All I know is that if he could soften the hearts of Jacob and Esau he can soften the hearts of anyone if we pray and trust him and patiently wait.

# Daily Inspirational

Daily Inspiration

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50 Things To Be Grateful For…..

Thank you Jesus for…

1. Your death on the cross – you paid for all of my sin

2. The free gift of eternal life

3. Knowing for sure I have a home in heaven

4. Forgiveness

5. Your unbelievable, unending, unlimited, undeserving and unconditional love

6. Your mercy, grace, compassion, goodness

7. Your presence during the hardest times in my life

8. Your protection

9. I am not deaf, blind, mentally retarded ( I do not know how else to say that because I AM mentally ill)

10.I am not in a wheelchair. I can walk, talk, sit, stand

11.I do not have a terminal illness

12. I have low cost healthcare

13. My mental illness has made me the compassionate person that I am- I truly care about those who are hurting

14. Prayer- I can talk to you anywhere anytime about anything

15. Music

16. A wonderful hard working, good man who loves me and does so much to make me happy

17.The love from my parents, step-mother, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, friends, cousin, church family, in-law’s, ex-in-laws

18. Sweet lovable dogs and cat

19. A small but nice house and 4or 5 acres of beautiful land

20. A great Pastor ( and many previous great preachers)

21. A great therapist

22. Medicine that keeps me stable most of the time

23. The beauty of spring, summer, fall and winter- flowers, beaches, foliage and pure white snow

24. Beautiful trees

25. Sunshine

26. The moon and stars at night

27. The Grand Canyon

28. The Rocky Mountains, the Berkshires

29. The Great Lakes

30. Niagara Falls

31. The Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico

32. The fact that I have been able to travel to all of these places and see the beauty of God’s creation

33. Wild animals

34. Domestic animals

35. Pretty birds

36. Dolphins and whales and all the fish and sea creatures

37. An abundance of clothes

38. A nice car

39. An income for me and for my husband

40. My grandson survived a near fatal car accident- his life is a miracle of God. His amazing recovery is a miracle of God.

41. A warm fire to keep us warm during the winter

42. Air conditioning in the summer

43. A washer and dryer

44. A refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, blender, coffee pot, microwave

46. Electricity and indoor plumbing. Hot showers. Clean water.

46. I am grateful to be an American

47. I was born and raised in America

48. My education

49. My photos and my precious memories

50. The word of God to comfort, encourage, guide, teach, challenge correct and inspire me

For this and so many more blessings, I thank you God.

Maybe you do not have all of these blessings but you have different blessings. I challenge you to write your own list of things you are grateful for. God is good. He has blessed us in so many ways, especially if we live in America.

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MODERN DAY SHEPHERD

People come and go in our lives. Heartache, loss and grief are a natural part of life. ( Thankfully Jesus offers all of us eternal life). Schools, jobs, addresses, stores, businesses, governments, society, technology – everything in our lives changes. There is only one thing that will never change and we can never ever lose. That is God. If we have prayed and asked Jesus to forgive our sins and be our Savior, and we put our faith in Jesus Christ alone ( and not our feeble efforts to be good) God becomes our Father, our Savior, our Redeemer- we who were sinful are now reconciled to God. He is our good Shepherd. We are his sheep. He loves us, cares for us, protects us, disciplines us, leads us, guides us. He will never change. He is our solid rock. He will never abandon us. He will never die. He will love us forever. Read your Bibles. Read Psalm 23. Read John 10. God is my Shepherd. I have everything I need to be happy, to feel loved, to know that my life matters.

I AM STRONG BECAUSE…..

One hour ago I was feeling utterly worthless. I was so weak. I was losing the battle with my depression but now I am feeling great! I have hope! I know that whether or not my circumstances change I will be okay. Why do I feel this way? What happened? An hour ago I wrote a prayer to God. I poured out my feelings of worthlessness to Him. I went outdoors and got some sunshine. It is only 25° out but that is the warmest it has been in weeks. The sunshine brightened my day. But what really changed my whole outlook was when I stopped focusing on my problems and myself and m focused on the problem solver. I started reading through some previously highlighted verses in Psalms in the Bible. I was reminded that I am not hopeless. God can and will pull me out of the pit of depression. God loves me. I matter to him. God is good. He will never ever abandon me as my family members have done. Read the Scriptures below that gave me hope and inspiration.

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Happy News

Well, things are turning out well in the life of my grandchildren. Family court was on Friday. The judge was insightful and fair to everyone. Everyone is happy.

My husband and I are still not allowed to see them and probably will not see them again for a long time- maybe years- maybe never. So I still battle with depression. We both miss our grandchildren terribly, and we long to see them. We love them so much.

“Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

I will continue listening to my Rick Warren audio sermons every morning- filled with Scripture turning my attention off of my problems and onto my Savior. Church was fantastic yesterday- it was on Psalms 42 and 43 and was on Depression. Church (meeting with other believers and worshipping God together and listening to great music, preaching and teaching) always lifts my spirits. If only I could sit and read the Bible all day long every day and focus all my attention on God all the time…. I can play my praise and worship music all day long while I cook and clean and do laundry… Lauren Daigle, Mercy Me, Casting Crowns and so many others always comfort and cheer me. My favorite song is “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. I also love “Even if” by Mercy Ne and ” I’ll Praise You in This Storm.” They are all on YouTube. Check them out.

What about you? How is your life going? How is your family? I would love to hear from you and pray for you. I care.

Your friend,

Terri

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A Very Sad Day

“You Raise Me Up” is playing on Pandora. That song always reminds me of my fiancé Todd. That was the song that they played at his funeral. Today is a very sad day.

I thought of my poor daughter in the wee hours of the morning. . My heart breaks for her. Today she will learn the agony of having custody of her children taken away from her and given to someone else. There is no pain like the pain of losing children you have loved for nine years.

I wonder what Todd would think. He and my daughter loved each other so much. Tiffany used to come over every night for dinner. Her favorite dinner was blueberry pancakes. She and Todd and I often played frisbee together when the weather was nice.

When the twins were babies I often called out of work, took the bus across the state and spent weekends or a week caring for them. (Sadly, I neglected my other daughter and granddaughter during that time. My daughter had a live in boyfriend to help her with her child while this daughter had two babies and nobody to help her.) Yes, my daughter was alone, with two babies to take care of and the only time she ever had a break, or got any sleep at all was when I came. I loved playing with the babies, feeding them, bathing them (okay I did not love changing their diapers) and I loved eating dinner and watching movies at night with my daughter. We had a special bond.

My daughter got mad at me shortly before the kids’ second birthday. She refused to let me see them any more. We went our separate ways. I went to Arizona and then southern California to live with my son and former daughter-in-law. My daughter moved to Michigan and was living with my sister Mary.

I came to visit Mary (by this time my daughter and her children had their own apartment). I decided to stay in Michigan to live. I was overjoyed to see my daughter and three year old grandchildren again. My grandchildren had totally forgotten me. They had no idea who I was. They adored Auntie Mary, which was really hard for me.

I enjoyed my times with my daughter at her apartment watching movies at night playing with the kids during the day. Without going into detail, although my daughter and I love each other very much, we both have issues and we have had a rocky relationship.

I got married five years ago. My husband really liked my daughter and loved our grandchildren. For two years my husband and I loved spending weekends and most of the summers with our grandchildren. But my husband did not like the way my daughter treated me and my daughter did not like the way my husband treated her. She did not like the way I treated her either. I put up with a lot because I love my daughter dearly and I love my grandchildren. I am sure she would say she put up with a lot from me.

Well my daughter got mad at me again and has not talked to me or seen me or let me and my husband see our grandchildren for nearly two years. We have missed our grandchildren. I have missed the happy days I had with my daughter.

Now, my daughter is going to court today and losing custody of my grandchildren and my heart breaks for her. I lost custody of my children when I was her age. I was forced to give them away. I was told at the time if I cooperated with social services I could get them back in a year but if they took me to court they would take permanent custody away. I will never forgive Carolynn Browning from the Department of Social Services for telling me that lie. I will never forgive myself for not fighting for them in court. I would have lost, but at least I would have tried.

So my heart breaks for my poor daughter. I have asked my closest friends and family members to pray for her. There is nothing else I can do. My poor daughter has been through so much heartbreak and pain. She will always be my little girl and I will always love her but I guess I will have to love her from a distance. Today is a very sad day for her.

My husband cares about her too. She does not think he does, but he does. He prays for her and he hates to see her in so much pain just like I do. He cares about her because she is my child and the mother of our grandchildren. He gets angry when she treats me badly and he does not have a mother’s love for her, but he does care about her and has compassion for her.

I really don’t know how to end this blog. I wish I could somehow tell her we love her, we are so sorry she has to go through this terrible time and we wish there was something we could do to help her. But all we can and do pray for her and for her children. Hopefully our friends and family are praying for her too.

Terri

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My Child Is Hurting

My poor (adult) daughter is hurting today. I wish I could help her. I have been where she is. I know the pain and heartache she is going through. I understand exactly how she feels. But she does not want my help. All I can do is pray for her and for her children. I wish I could do more. It is so hard to watch your children suffer knowing there is nothing you can do but pray.

How God’s Goodness Can Restore You- part 1

The Bible says you have a SPIRIT, a SOUL and a BODY. God dwells in all three parts. Your SOUL is your mind, your will and your emotions. It is the part of you that thinks, feels, chooses and makes decisions. It is very easy to get these things damaged by what you put into it, by experiences, by trauma, or by chemistry. You don’t always think straight- neither do I. Your emotions can get raw, be depleted, or you can be over emotional. Your will can be broken or damaged. Do you ever want to do the right thing but you don’t have the will to do it? We are all flawed. That is why there are addictions. We do things we don’t want to do and we don’t do the things we know we should do.

God wants to restore your soul. What damages your soul? Here are the three most common things that damage your soul.

The first thing is unaddressed grudges. When you get resentful, when you want retaliation, revenge against somebody who has hurt you it damages your soul. The fact is, you ARE going to be hurt. This is not heaven- it is earth. We are all broken people. Sometimes we hurt each other intentionally; sometimes we hurt each other unintentionally. Sometimes people hurt you; other times you hurt them. When that happens we start to build up grudges. Life is not fair. This is not heaven where life is perfect. A lot of times we choose NOT to do God’s will. Because life is not fair innocent People suffer. Good guys don’t always win. Bad guys are often successful. There is injustice, racism and unfairness in the world. Your response to how you get hurt in life is far more important than the hurt you have – they can make you better or they can make you better.

When God wants to restore your soul he wants to take all the bitter things in your life and turn them in to better things. Grudges – you can either let them go or you can dwell on them – stewing, spewing, worrying and planning how to retaliate.

When somebody hurts you that puts them beneath you morally. When you try to get even – it puts you on the same level. You are no better than they are. When you let it go and forgive, it put you in a superior position.

The Bible says “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless things to do.”Job 5:2NLT. The Bible also says “You’re only hurting yourself with your anger.” Job 18:4NLT.

When you hold onto a grudge it is not hurting the other person. It is only hurting you. They are out there having fun; they totally oblivious. You get hurt. It’s like drinking poison and hoping that it will kill them.

Judgment day is coming. God will settle the score. He is not just a loving God. He is a just God. God is also very patient. He loves to show mercy. He is reluctant to judge. He will wait and wait and wait before he judges a nation or a person. He’d rather be merciful.

Let it go. Why? Not because they deserve to be forgiven. You don’t deserve to be forgiven either but God has forgiven you. You forgive people because you don’t want to carry around the pain anymore. You don’t want to be stuck with unaddressed grudges.

Martin Luther King said “Bitterness is blindness.” When I get bitter again somebody I get blind to a whole lot of other things. I get blind to how much good God has done in my life. I get blind to the truth. I get blind to all the needs of the people around me. You are never going to stop hurting and your soul will not be restored until you learn to forgive, let it go, Drop it.

The second thing that keeps us from being restored is unconfessed guilt. Grudges are what people have done to you. Guilt comes from what you have done to other people. Nothing damages your life more, your soul more, nothing will rob you of your happiness quicker than to go around with a load of guilt. A lot of people have a misconception of God. They think God wants us to walk around feeling guilty. He does not. God hates and confessed guilt. God loves to forgive. It takes five seconds to realize – that was wrong. I need to confess it to God. I need to let it go. Do not carry all your sins around unconfessed. It is like carrying a garbage bag with junk in it.

Marriage does not create problems, it reveals them. The things that need correcting your new life show up real quickly when somebody else is living with you. The purpose of marriage is not to make you happy, it is to make your holy. The number one tool God uses in your life is your spouse. Psalm 38:4 says “My guilt has overwhelmed me, like a burden too heavy to bear. I am bowed down and brought low and all day long I go about mourning.@

There are several problems with guilt. We often say the most unkind things to the people we love the most. At our root we are all selfish people. We want what we want when we want it. Our spouse wants what they want when they want it. You cannot have too imperfect people living together and have a perfect relationship. That’s why we need forgiveness. Proverbs 20:27 NLT “The Lord gave us in mind and a conscience and we can’t hide from ourselves.” You can hide all kinds of stuff from your pastor and he will never know about it. You can hide a whole bunch of things from a friend or your boss or your spouse or your kids but you cannot hide anything from God and you cannot hide anything from yourself. When you try to hide it, it’s eating you on the inside because the Lord gave us a mind and a conscience. We cannot hide from ourselves.

From Rick Warren’s Daily Hope audio broadcast [Living In The Goodness If God].

(To be continued)

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