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May 7, 2012

Weighing Words

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The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,

but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverb 15:28

Words can be like a healing salve to a painful wound, or they can be like a knife and cause a painful wound. Words can bring us together, or rip us apart.

It only takes a moment ~ stop, take a deep breath, consider the weight of the words you are about to speak. Are they helpful, or harmful? If your desire is to pierce another with your words, reconsider.

The damage done by our words can irreparably harm, or they can bring joy, peace and happiness. Goodness and grace trump meanness and pain any day.

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Instructions

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Hello friend!  Pull up a chair, we have so much to catch up on. Would you like a cherry lemonade slush? Amy’s recipe is the best.  We added some ginger ale for fizziness. Mmmm, refreshing!  Especially after the heat we have experienced this summer, hasn’t it been hot?

Can you believe school starts in just 23 days? No, I haven’t gotten school supplies, yet. My Chris was telling me the other day that the average family spends over $600 per child for back to school.  Can you believe that? Yeah, we pull that average way down for sure.

This summer, we have had so many plans to go new places and create new things–like Grand Canyon, a back deck and Kylie’s backpack.

Yes, the material is cut and ready to be sewn.  All the pieces are placed on the dining room table.  And the instructions? …laying there, making about 20% sense to me. I am hoping Chris can decipher them and help us.  I think engineers like to read instructions. Me, now? I would rather look at it and figure it out–and hope it works out. My way doesn’t always turn out so well.

Don’t you wish life came with instructions? Oh, yeah, I know…the Bible is our instruction manual and all.  But I guess the place I struggle with most is how to apply the crazy life and find the appropriate instruction IN the Bible for such life. I also was never very good at the matching tests of questions and answers. Sometimes, I feel like closing my eyes and picking at random.

My good-ness it has been a year I have been fully unprepared for, my friend.  What do you do when…

your dear friend has a major stroke?

the jobs you hoped for didn’t come through, but there are still bills to pay?

your health takes a turn for the worse and you realize you need to get to the bottom of it before you have a major incident?

your summer plans take a sudden u-turn and get cancelled?

you get hurt, feel rejected, forgotten and thrown away like so much manure?

Yes, I guess you are right, manure does help things to grow. So spread it around, huh? Yes, that is what I’ve been doing. Taking the fertilizer that has been my life and spreading it around, asking Jesus to make good things grow from it.

You know, you’re right, I have much to be thankful for…family, friends, life. And I am.  I am thankful.  Thankful is what makes me get out of bed every morning.  As my friend, recovering from her major stroke said the other day, “Sometimes the hardest decision every day is just getting up.” She’s right, you know.

As for instructions, I am thankful for the Engineer that is the Holy Spirit, who not only reads my heart but can apply His apt Word to it. Sometimes the solutions don’t seem to add up or make sense, not now anyway. But someday, they will. There is no reason to try and explain it all away and tie it up in a neat package with a bow.

Sometimes people forget your phone number, your birthday and hate your very life. Sometimes people fail to tell you the whole story and you meet with them over coffee and you try to prayerfully play the matching game–without all the choices and details–and you lose a friendship. Sometimes every single thing that seems like it oughta work out and save the day, it doesn’t. Sometimes a baby dies before she even has a chance to be born. Sometimes we experience the loss of abilities that we used to have and wonder what life will be like now. Sometimes it seems like those who said they’d be there, aren’t. It’s just plain disappointing and painful.

Where are the instructions for those kind of things? I feel, once again, like as I read my Bible, I can decipher only about 20% when it comes to all this heavy life. I need the interpreter and the engineer…

Oh, it is worth it though. Sometimes, I have seen God work in a way that never would work in everyday life. He takes His extraordinary measures and applies them to my ordinary. Sometimes, we do the hard work and actually take back some ground that was stolen. Sometimes, we are given the gift of one very good friend, who understands you. Oh, and if there are TWO? Well now, that is a blessing. Sometimes, being silent and making something beautiful is like a salve to the wounds. Sometimes, pouring it all out in angry speech to God just clears the air.  He knows anyway. Might as well just pour it all forth…get it out on the table, like the pieces of material for Kylie’s backpack.

Then we read through the instructions with the Engineer and He shows us the way to piece it all together. He is very good at showing us a piece at a time. And He’s all about making things new, making a way in the desert, giving hope to the hopeless.

Yes. Sometimes the hardest thing we do is get up every day. But we do. And we learn to love. We choose to show up. We choose to get in the yoke with Jesus. We learn how He works. It’s about as refreshing as this lemonade. I find that it makes me glad. Glad of heart and glad of soul.

Oh friend, thank you for stopping by today. Thank you for listening. Sometimes…well, you know, sometimes…sometimes we’ve gotta know we aren’t alone. I am glad to know you are here. God has bound our hearts together. For that, I am glad.

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Winter Reflections

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As the evenings come early and the crisp air flows all around, we realize, winter is upon us. While I enjoy each season as it comes as goes, winter is by far one of my favorites. Favorite because as I walk bundled up, in a flurry of falling snowflakes, I see no leaves, no flowers, no green.  I pause for a moment remembering the spring before of the glorious red, yellows and blues. Trees full of leaves and the sweet melody of birds. Now, as I look around and see shimmering white I am reminded that the flower and trees are hibernating getting ready to again blaze with beauty once the first thaw of Spring begins. But, in order to do this, they need time to prepare and time to be still.

We too need times in our lives to stop, be still and reflect and winter presents us that opportunity. Winter gives us the chance to bundle up in the warmth of our homes and the hearts of friends and loved ones. Winter reminds us that just as leaves fall from trees, we too can shed the pain of our past so we’ll have new growth in the future. While winter’s cold may seem long and deep, we know with all certainty it will end soon.

As we enter the season of Winter I encourage each of you to let the past go and to forgive one another. Spend some time this season reflecting on all the blessings you have. Decide how you want to bloom and grow, make a plan, and put it into action. Winter is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the crisp air and short days realizing that no matter what we are going through it is only for a season and Spring is coming soon.

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Meet “Margo”

Jane aka Margo

Hi!  I’d like to introduce myself to you.

My name is “Margo”. 

Now, I’d like to confess something to you.

Margo is not my real name .

I will be writing here at A Martha Heart under a pen name. I will be writing anonymously mostly from The Closet, in order to speak more freely about some of  the trials and tribulations I have been through in my life while protecting the privacy of my husband and children. Some of my stories also intersect with extended family members, and I definitely want to honor their privacy as well.

When I sat down to think about all the difficult issues I could write about from The Closet, I had to laugh because it sounds like a story line from a soap opera.  I plan on writing about my mother abandoning me and my sister, my parents’ divorce, my own marriage struggles and almost divorce (twice), my husband’s mental breakdown, my struggles with depression, and add two teens/young adults to the mix and the possiblilites for blog fodder are just about endless! I will also be writing about some of the “sticky situations” we get ourselves into as fallible humans making our way through life.

I did have a couple of concerns about writing anonymously at A Martha Heart.  I hope you will hear my heart as I write about the difficulties of life. I am not writing to gain sympathy or attention. I am writing to show that in my darkest days, Jesus was there. No matter what I’ve gone through, He has always been right there with me. He has always fulfulled Romans 8:28 in my life.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I also write to give you hope, that no matter what happens in this life, Jesus loves you, and He is there.

I’m also concerned that I might come across as an Eeyore-type personality or that my life is absolutely horrible. But nothing could be farther from the truth. While I have had my share of heartache in my almost 50 years on this earth, God has blessed me abundantly and I am extremly thankful for the blessings and even the pain.  John 16:33 explains where my joy comes from.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 I realize that we all have a story. Some of you have had to deal with much more difficult circumstances than I have. I want to honor your stories and pray for you.

I don’t write as someone who has “arrived” or as one who has all the answers, but I do write as someone who can point you to the One who is the answer to all of life’s problems.

Something helpful in dealing with the problems life sends our way is deciding ahead of time how you will respond to the challenge.  Will you despair and fall apart?  Or will you grasp on tighter to Jesus’ hand and hold on no matter what?

Kerrie Roberts – No Matter What

I’m running back to your promises one more time, Lord that’s all I can hold on to, I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises you. Before a heartache can ever touch my life, it has to go through Your hands, and even though I keep asking why, I keep asking why,

No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not,if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

When I’m stuck in this nothing-ness by myself, I’m just sitting in silence, there’s no way I can make it without Your help, I wont even try it. I know You have Your reasons for everything, so I will keep believing, whatever I might be feeling, God you are my hope, and you’ll be my strength,

No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s ok if You don’t, I’m not here for those things, the touch of Your love is enough on its own, no matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You

No matter what I’m gonna love you, no matter what I’m gonna need you, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, if not, I’ll trust You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain, but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what no matter what no matter no matter what.

Now, that’s some good preaching!

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