A Word Fitly Spoken…

 

 

 

So what does this picture have to do with the   subject of my post? Well, nothing and everything!  Truth be told: I love blogs that use word-pictures, but;  I still don’t know how to upload pics from my phone onto the computer (poor Iggy, in for another request for tutelage); and finally I found this picture in my limited online collection and sure enough it brought something to mind that fits nicely with what I wanted to write about on words.  More later on why I chose this image, and what popped into my brain…

The impetus for writing about words came as a result of my previous post on “Change”.  After posting, several people asked me about the identity of the person that had spoken “wounding words” into my life.  It was that question that made me want to write more about words; their power; our choices and God’s instruction. 

Just what does God say about words?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God.” John 1:1

That words DO have power! Great power! God SPOKE the world into existance with the words “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).  

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,”  Proverbs 18:21

There are MANY other references in the Bible that instruct us on the power of words & the tongue.  I’ve learned a lot about the power of words to wound OR heal!  I’ve been frustrated at every turn over my lack of control!  If I had to list all the times I’ve used words to wound; My husband; my children!; my friends and even strangers…well, let’s put it this way, it would be a VERY long list!

I’m very thankful that God wants me to have victory in this area with admonitions like.. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)  AND  “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven, and you on the earth, so let your words be few.”(Ecclesiastes 5:2).   I don’t believe God is saying “Don’t ever talk” (as if James Earl Jones were uttering in a low stern voice).  I think He just wants us to take the time to think about what were going to say & above all our motive for saying it! 

Because the tongue is so unruly, I don’t think it’s within our power to bridle it, but  I DO believe God has the power! He can CHANGE our words as He transforms our minds!  Remember it was God who gave us the prayer… “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)  AND  He’s given us HIS words!  “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:1 NIV)  AND His Spirit, the Helper… “For the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives power, love and self discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

Remember the man I spoke of from the earlier post?  Well, he’s a part of how the picture above ties into all of this…  The bottom line is this… Yes, his words did wound, BUT he also spoke MANY more words of hope & peace into my life that I didn’t share!  Remember I talked about how MY words have wounded, even my precious children?  How I wish I could take them ALL back, and how I wish I could say, “I will never speak words that wound again.”  But that would make me an even greater fool than I already am! All this to say of course I’ve forgiven him!  I love him!  He is a precious brother who lives to love & serve the same God that’s forgiven me!  That’s why God tells us to..”Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”   THAT’s what  popped into my mind when I saw that picture!  We’re forgiven! We’re free!  He will not hold all the ugly words I’ve said or words left unspoken against me (How many times has He wanted us to speak words of healing into someones life?). 

You know…God is the original author of “Freedom of Speech”.  Which begs the question, “What will our words bring with them today?  Pain? Death? Condemnation? OR Life? Hope? Love?  Remember we’re free!  How will we use that freedom?  The choice is ours…

 

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Change…

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I’m writing this because so many people have asked me “How did you lose so much weight?” Unfortunately OR fortunately as in my case it can’t be answered with a simple line like Weight Watchers (great program by the way!) or Jenny What’s her name…for me it’s a little more complicated.  So let’s start with the picture above…

Yep, that’s me… engaged in self-photography!  Something I’ve always considered the height of self absorption… still do I guess. But I’m also a very curious person and at the time of that photograph I was about halfway through my weight loss journey & people were starting to take notice. Quite simply, I wanted to know what they saw… Did I really look that different?  I knew I was losing weight, it was an intentional by-product of the change that was taking place in my heart and mind.  It felt good when people complimented me and told me I looked good.  Everyone (especially women) know how GOOD that feels!  But that too, because of God’s grace was now being “processed”, looked at, internalized, agonized and surrendered…  You see I, like most of you had been there before, but I was finally in a place where I wanted more!  God, I’m sure would have been willing to meet me there sooner…did I mention I’m also a strong willed child?  That’s where my “weighty” story begins, where God met me, in His grace…

In the shower. Yep that’s what I said, “in the shower”.  Believe me, if I got to pick the “where”, I would have picked someplace more glamorous!  I certainly would have chosen someplace easier to blog about! But that’s where my journey began nonetheless. After a long day of trying to cope with my problems by anesthetizing myself with food, I was finally back in familliar territory,the land of SHAME.  *Sorry,unavoidable side note…Is it really surprising that the “problems” that were in actuality lies the enemy had been “feeding” me for years would always lead back to such a place?  So, there I was weeping in the shower  hating myself, but apparently not enough to keep me from realizing it was Friday!  Everyone who’s been here will know what’s next!  I was already looking to Monday!  Oh Monday that blessed hope!  I’ll start again Monday!  Sounds like the proverbial Scarlett O’hara doesn’t it?  Indeed. Or like Peter Pan, who refused to grow up! 

Somehow though this time WAS different.  I don’t know if it was because of the Truths God had been pouring into my life, or if I was just too tired to get back on the Monday merry-go-round, or both?  I suspect the latter, and so I began to pray…”God I don’t want to wait for Monday, I want to change, I don’t want to be a slave anymore, or a victim!  I want to change!  I then asked God if change, REAL change, the kind that would make me not want to run to food, so I wouldn’t feel pain was even possible?  You see everything that I had experienced, witnessed AND been told had convinced me it was impossible!  It probablly didn’t help matters that years before I had shared intimate details of my life and posed that same question to a leader in Christian ministry (no longer at my church) only to be told “although we’re taught all things are possible with God, in his opinion I WOULD NEVER CHANGE.”   Believe me when I say after that experience, even years later  it took courage for me to even ask the question especially knowing if God said “no” there truly was no hope… 

I think you know where this is leading… of course He said yes!  THAT was my moment! It was one of those almost audible answers from God!  Through my tears, in my shame…in the shower!  God said YES, change..is possible! But then He added…”BUT you have to be willing to accept that REAL change takes work!  Constant, every day work!  Work that you and everyone around you will resist!  But if your willing to accept this, I will help you.”   I’m here to tell you God has been faithful in His promise!  He has helped me, taught me, led me, and it has been hard & it does (and continues) to take work! 

As far as “the weight loss” is concerned that took three years to come off (I don’t know why people thought it was overnight?!)…& in that time God taught me that my body likes the stuff He made the most!  He taught me about acceptance, as in our bodies may be temples, but they’re aging temples & we need to listen to them when they creak, strain & sprain in protest!   And bunches more!  Mostly He taught me that He loves me right where I am, no matter what I think the scale is telling me I’m worth! 

If you haven’t already guessed the “changes” God has for me are about so much more than the body. He’s changing my mind (“be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2) and my spirit daily.  So have courage, step out in faith…God will meet you there!   And never,EVER let ANYONE tell you change isn’t possible!!!  Because if you name the name of Christ you ARE changing even now!  You will not wake up tomorrow the same person you were today!  Remember He has promised in His word…

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 1:6  NIV

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”   2 Corinthians 5:17  KJV

Signed,

Ever Changing….

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Let me out..Let me out…Let me out…

Anyone ever heard that annoying (but yeah.. funny) ringtone?  Well, that’s a pretty apt description of how I feel about my thoughts sometimes…  I’m not making the naive assertion that ALL thoughts, observations or opinions should be expressed, but sometimes… my thoughts feel like that ringtone…LET ME OUT!!!   Kind of like today so here are a few in no particular order…just hodge podge, piggly wiggly wild.. like they are in my cabeza…

Met a young woman the other day who’s apartment is cooled by a box fan…(mind you it’s 95 degrees)… she’s trying to get into culinary school.  Taught me a lesson in gratitude & made me angry over socio-economic  injustices, diploma mills &  greed.  Also made me thankful for prayer…

I hate pride…the pride that makes me race the guy trying to pass me in my beat up car & the pride that makes the guy think he can beat me!!  🙂

If I could only learn to love past 5 ft 3 inches…

I once read as a definition for KINDNESS : “sympathetic patience”…  Sometimes I like to take a moment & meditate on how that describes God…Wow, blows my mind!  God is soooo kind…

It’s funny… I’m often accused of speaking too formally by my peers… and when my “professional” contemporaries find out I lack their degreed status…they either think I’m trying to impress them OR I hear them  trying to “dumb down” our conversations.  I wish both ends of the spectrum would “GIVE ME A BREAK”!

Chocolate….more insidious,tempting &  addictive than crack!  In my house anyway…

I’m going to miss not having red hair when it goes gray….just don’t let me hold on too tight…  Nothing worse than an old lady with “bad red dye” ! 

That reminds me…(don’t ask why) I hate it when I think an old man is being attentive because I’m imagining he thinks of me as a daughter or granddaughter only to find out…’THAT’S NOT WHAT THE OLD FARTS THINKING!!!!  Happens all the time!!! 

Why do I always say…”When I win the lotto” when I don’t even play?

Ok, this is probablly weird, but I love that cold chill you get after cooling down after a good workout…so cold you almost need a sweater…LOVE IT!

Best smells in the world….the top of a baby’s head, rain heading in & knowing things might cool down, coffee, fresh bedding  & Friday’s…yes friday’s even “smell different”…  🙂

Hello…I’m Sheila…(hello Sheila)  I’m a magazineaholic…. whew, first step…

Ok, time to get on with the day…wonder what it will be like?  I know it will be filled with new mercies for which I am truly thankful…

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Heavy Metal Milestone

Sometimes pictures really are worth a thousand words…but I’ll give you one anyway….. BEAUTIFULL!!!

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Looking back….

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My Ohio Valley (in verse)

The trees here seem tired, heavy and tired

I miss the songs the trees sang in Ohio

Or was it the song of my youth?

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The Laundry Chronicles…

Ok, I’m “different”, in oh so MANY ways!   Right down to the way I sleep…or I should say, what I prefer to sleep on.   I’ve never been drawn into conversations about blissful sleep had, on account of ” the most sublime set of sheets ever purchased”.   Cool, crisp sheets w/their lofty thread counts and lofty price tags hold zero sway in my book.

My spread of choice?  A green and orange, fluffy, slick, polyester sleeping bag….oh, and did I say large?  Which brings me to the subject of this post… Although Iggy patiently supports my bedding  eccentricity,  he does not understand how it could be worth, paying good money to trapse back and forth to a laundry mat?  A necessity due to the incompatibility of my spread VS washer…

What no one knows is how much I look forward to my bi-monthly (ok,   sometimes monthly…I flip the dang thing over ok?!)  trip to the aptly named, “Fun Wash”.  For me it’s a treat, I look forward to…. so much so that I have my little laundry “routine” down by now.  I’m telling you, Rainman has nothing on me!   I usually wear little to no makeup on laundry day, which in itself is a wonderful luxury to allow oneself.  I choose the most comfortable ensemble I can find (I draw the line @ public PJ’s!) and of course, there’s (like choosing the right wine w/dinner), which book to bring along for the duration….

Ok, I know it’s silly and simple but that pretty much describes my personality in a nutshell.  I take pleasure in some of the silliest most simple things around…  What do I enjoy about it?  Well, I like the white noise of the humming washers and dryers.  I like to observe the sea of humanity that streams in and out…. the quiet guy w/the tattoos, piercings and large black gages in his ear lobes.   The girlfriends…or are they sisters?  Who seem to have an unspoken language.  The African American laundress whos face bespeaks a wisdom that makes me sigh with appreciation.  Then there are the kiddos…  Some poor frazzled mama almost always has one or several in tow.   Today it was a cute little girl who might have been pushing four, who’d made a game of running around tapping the washers that were in use.   Tapping  the one in front of me,  she looked at me & I looked up from my read & smiled.  dscf2722I decided I needed to read one more chapter  and  put another quarter in the dryer…

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