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ifyouaskbetty

Thoughts and feelings on random stuff you did and didn't want to know.

He Will Restore

Found this one in the archives…not sure when I wrote it or why I didn’t publish…

So this morning I’m feeling reflective. I got up and got to the gym around 5AM. Don’t be impressed. I don’t recommend going to the gym that early to anyone. It’s stupid and dumb. Anyways I got there to do my work out and started doing what I had to do. Rowing. Burpees. Upper body blah blah blah. And I started thinking -why am I doing this? Is this really making any difference?

I started sort of just doubting (as anyone would at 5:45 AM in the middle of a hard workout having had no caffeine at all). The more I thought about it, the more I took inventory of what has really happened and where I really am, the more I realized just how far He has brought me. I began to see the restoration. I began to see how God has restored my family, my marriage, and continues to restore me.

Positive thinking often tells us to just keep going, never look back, the past is in the past, or your past doesn’t define you. And really all of those things are true. But sometimes we forget that the past does have value. The past helps us to see how far we have come. And if you really look at the past and look at what you came from and how you got to where you are – you will see His fingerprints all over it.

So often when we are in the moment we feel lost or driven or sad or lonely or full of life or spiraling out of control or any other emotion, but we don’t feel the hand of God that is actually at work in us.

When I look back and reflect on how he has restored my family, I’m reminded of moments when I felt like we would never recover. Because of such great horrible tragedy how could we? I’m reminded that even when I thought all hope was lost, even after I buried my son, even after I heard so many say that a marriage can’t survive this type of loss, and that children that lose a sibling grow up with well.. issues. Even after I listened to all of that nonsense, I see now how it doesn’t have to be true.

God loves you. You can be restored.

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Worthless Lies

So yesterday I was feeling kinda down and anxious. Not unusual for a Sunday. Why? I dunno. 🤷🏼‍♀️

And at one point in the evening I found myself in tears.

I felt worthless. And then I said that out loud, “I feel worthless.”

The sound of those words stung my ears.

Almost immediately, I stopped and said. “Well – that’s a lie.”

And just then, something lit back up inside me – I think sometimes clarity comes with a side of tears.

I remembered, I have things to do.

BIG things.

And I WILL make an impact.

My purpose is to help people become better humans.

If an action doesn’t line up with that, I don’t want to do it.

Waiting for someone, anyone to see my worth doesn’t line up. So forget that!

I am going places.

Fast.

I really believe there is something I am supposed to do. Something BIG.

I am mildly concerned that it’s just a mental illness that has me thinking that – BUT I’ll just stick with the positive side and believe it’s the Spirit of God telling me to keep going.

With. Or without anyone else.

This Christian Life

It’s gonna be hard – this Christian life.

We are gonna have days where it feels effortless. We instinctively do what’s right and treat others kindly. Those days are good and welcomed.

Then there will be days where we are not motivated to do any more than what it takes to survive. Descending into a valley by the trail of apathy. Sometimes these days last for months or even years. They are not uncomfortable, they just – are.

And the real valleys – those are dark, desperate, pits. Lonely days and nights when what we believed so strongly and held to so steadfast somehow seems cloudy and uneven. Where doing right seems lame and doing wrong seems right. Where we know what we should do but we just don’t do it. Where we call out to God only to hear nothing, and the silence is deafening.

The only way out of the valley – is through the valley. We need the bad days to recognize and appreciate the good days.

Keep going.

Keep reminding yourself that better days are coming. Believe that you will find the light again.

Do the next right thing.

That’s living by faith. Not being able to see past the next step, but still moving forward anyway.

It’s gonna be hard – this Christian life. Things worth pursuing always are.

You Have Places To Go


Some things require more effort than they are worth. If you find yourself trying real hard, you probably don’t really need it after all. This is not something that applies to everything. But I think it applies to some relationships.  

We have all experienced it. The desire to have a relationship with someone or a group or community of peeps that you just can’t seem to get in. You can’t even explain why you want it – maybe because you see commonalities that they don’t, maybe because you used to have it, or maybe because there has always been an element of distance that you didn’t create and you want to see it diminished. No matter the reason, it can be enough to drive you mad.

I have often heard – go where you are celebrated. That saying has always made me roll my eyes. No one is celebrating me (except maybe on Oct 7)! But I think the concept is true enough. Why stay in a place where you are just tolerated? Where you feel like you are not really ever good enough? Where you are the one who is always making contact? And following up? Why stay there?  

Back in the day, I had low self esteem, but throughout the years I have learned my worth. I have learned that you can love unconditionally and still choose not to be in harms way. I have learned that people often have no idea what the true ripple effect is when they treat people poorly or neglectfully. I have learned that when you love someone – you should tell them – in whatever way you know how. Verbally. Acts of Service. Gifts. Smiling. Whatever that looks like for you – you should do that. And when you do that, when you show them that you love them, they will either accept it or reject it.

There are people out there that cannot accept it. They cannot accept your unconditional love. It does not compute to them. And that’s ok. It shouldn’t stop you from loving them that way, but it will likely change your relationship. It’s very possible that where you are going, they are not meant to travel. At least not with you.

You ARE celebrated elsewhere. YOU make a difference in lives elsewhere. The person/group/community that doesn’t accept you – they don’t need you. And that’s ok. Whether you recognize it or not, you don’t need them either. You may have things in common, just not your destination. And just because you wish someone was in your life, doesn’t mean they should be. And that distance is there for a reason. Let it be. It’s time to move forward.  

You have places to go.  


**Some great memes that illustrate this point**

Who I Am

I know who I am. I recognize my worth. 

At least right now in this present moment. (Tomorrow may be a different story)

Saying that out loud might sound haughty to those that don’t know my story. 

I have worked dang hard to figure out who I am and recognize my worth regardless of what others might say or think. Regardless of what the chatterbox says to me. That’s what you see shining through. It’s not narcissism or overconfidence. It’s knowing who I am in Christ and what that means I CAN do – that’s what you see. 

Make it Fit

Sometimes I drive myself crazy. 

Sometimes I have so many things that I’m trying to do at the same time – I can’t seem to do anything. This morning, I have jury duty. So I grab some stuff to take with me to do while I’m waiting. There are no electronics allowed in the courthouse so that crosses off using my iPad or reading on my Kindle or playing a game or anything like that.  

So I grab a couple books because I can’t just have one right? What if I’m there for a while? I don’t want to get bored. And then I grab some boxes of cards because there’s some people that I’ve been wanting to send a card. And I throw them all in one of those grocery reusable bags. So as I’m driving I’m thinking, I can’t take this giant reusable grocery bag in there. I would look like a crazy person walking with my grocery bag. I have another bag so I stop at Starbucks to get myself something to drink and try to begin to sort out this bag.  

What a disaster!  All I managed to do was just completely unpack the bag and pile things. I can’t figure out how to make it all fit into a smaller bag…. hence the reason I needed the bigger bag to begin with.  

All I do is end up frustrated because I have all of this crap that I’m trying to carry with me, most of which I won’t even probably touch while I’m there. 

Isn’t that kind of like life?  We have so many things that we want to do and take with us and we’re trying to do everything at the exact same time and no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to make it fit. Not only does it not fit, but it’s not in the appropriate size carrying device. 

So this is it – this is a metaphor for what’s happening in my life right now – I have all of these pieces that I’m trying to take with me and there doesn’t seem to be a logical way to get them all to fit and fit appropriately. So I can pile them together.  I can make categories.  I can try to prioritize, but the bottom line is that unless I’m willing to leave something behind, I’m not gonna be able to make it fit.

Unless we are willing to leave something behind, we will not be able to make it all fit. 

Think about that. 🤔

He Brought You Here

Where are YOU?  Is the place that you are in right now where you want to be?  Are you happy?  Content?  Satisfied?  Restless?  Unmotivated?  Miserable?  How have things been going?  Well?  Could be better?  And how do you feel about it?  Fine?  Not fine?  Indifferent?

This morning I was reading in Deuteronomy and I came across an amazing truth that applied to my life.  Honestly, didn’t really think I would find something like that in Deuteronomy – at least not in the first chapter.  

Moses had sent 12 spies into the land to check it out.  This was the land that God had promised them.  Interesting that even though God said, “It’s all yours”, they still needed to investigate.  Anyway, the spies came back and gave their report and, like most news stories, it served only to foster fear in the Israelites.  The Israelites came to that crucial junction of fight or flight.  They chose not to fight.  Even though God told them to go into the land, they refused and sat in their tents, complaining.(v.26)  They began to speculate that God must hate them and that is why He brought them there – to have them slaughtered by the people who were already occupying the land.  Ya know – like a big, mean, towering God laughing maniacally at their impending demise.  (Insert one eyebrow raise). Not exactly consistent with the character of God they had seen so far.  

The next thing Moses said is what struck me the most.  The part that hit home with my life right now.  And totally was what the Israelites needed to hear too.  God is really cool like that sometimes – making the connection between His people. Moses says, “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The LORD your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’”(v.29-31)

This hit me right between the eyes – so much so that I wanted to lift the verses right out of my Bible and plaster them on my wall.  

“The LORD your God is going ahead of you.”  I have heard that before.  I have prayed that before, saying Lord make the paths straight.  I believe that He does go ahead of us and prepares the way.  

“He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.”  Don’t we all have an Egypt?  Don’t we all have something, at least one thing maybe more, that God has delivered us from?  Something or someone we were enslaved to that he has set us free from?  

“And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.”  I had to reread it because at first glance I thought it said how the LORD your God carried you.  Interesting that my mind added those extra “ri” letters that were not there.  He has cared for us and often carried us through the wilderness.  Think about it – what was your wilderness?  What was your time of wandering because you didn’t want to listen to what God was telling you to do?  You thought you knew the way.  You heard Him but didn’t obey.  You felt lost.  Alone.  Unmotivated.  Frustrated.  Rejected.  Unlovable.  Unwanted.  Unable to find your way to the land your God had promised you?  But through all that He cared for you.  He provided just what you really needed, right when you needed it.  Just like a father.  Like your father who loves you but doesn’t always give you the desires of your heart, but rather the needs of your soul.

“Now he has brought you to this place.”  Friend, wherever you are – it’s no accident.  Through all of the trials, the pain, the hurt, the grief, the struggles (and they are real), the change, He is in the driver seat.  He brought you here to THIS place right now.  So, if you are feeling lost, you can’t be.  It’s not possible.  God knows where you are because He brought you right here to this place right now.  He brought you to this crossroads you are facing.  He brought you to this place of uncomfortable growth.  He brought you to this place of contentment if that is where you are.  He brought you to this blog.  Wherever you are – He brought you here.  On purpose.  Think about that.  

The God of the whole universe loves you.  He is going ahead of you.  He will fight for you just like he did when he brought you out of your Egypt.  He has cared for you, even when you didn’t care for or respect Him.  Just like your daddy.  Even when you wandered around and insisted on doing it your way.  And now, He has brought you here.  For something.  To do something or be someone to somebody.  

So let me ask again – Where are YOU?

Do More of That

I think for the most part people just want to be inspired. They are looking for something greater than themselves or a concept just outside their conscience thinking that causes them to believe. Something that has purpose and meaning. Hope even. 

Think about it. What inspires you?  What makes you get up and go?  What makes you want to change something or impact another person or a cause?  What lights you up inside?  What awakens that which was before sleeping?

There is no doubt something you do or something about you inspires people. Go do more of that. Go BE the inspiration others crave. 

Inexcusable

This⬇️. This is hard.
People hurt us. People lie. They cheat. They use us and discard us like garbage. They treat us with blatant disrespect. They fail to recognize us for who we really are. They disappoint us. Sometimes even intentionally. And then, they don’t apologize. Or even if they do it seems empty and false.

Something in us demands justice. Something in us wants them to pay. To have repercussion. Why should we suffer and they do not? Why do they get to just move on without recourse or punishment? Afterall, their crime against us is inexcusable.

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells the story of the unforgiving debtor.

Verse 21-22 says, “Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Jesus goes on to tell about how a man once owed his master an insurmountable amount of money. A debt he could never repay.  He was going to lose everything including his family. He begged for mercy. The King had pity on him and forgave all his debts and set him free. He never had to repay it and he went on his merry way.  

That’s grace.  Granting forgiveness for an insurmountable debt. One that could never be repaid.  

That’s what God does for us. Each of us. He grants us grace and forgives us everytime we turn our back on Him. Everytime we chose to sin rather than obey. Everytime we rack up more debt, the bill is wiped clean. Everytime we cheat, steal, and lie. Everytime we refuse to forgive as He forgave – He forgives us that too.  Jesus paid the price for all these sins on Calvary long ago.  Because he paid that debt, we are forgiven ours. 

C.S Lewis said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”  

Who do you need to forgive??

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