Tag Archives: good choices make a good life

Steady as a Post

I’m celebrating that Thursday I sent Love’s Playbook #6 to the publisher! It’s subtitle is Cosmic Chess and it is Exodus 24 through Deuteronomy. Usually hard stuff to read!

My plan was to publish on Friday, but the final stages have always been stressful, so I paced myself, deciding to move it up to Thursday. I was doing ok but not sleeping well, and then Wednesday night I woke up one hour after going to sleep! I went back to sleep and woke up an hour later! I couldn’t believe it! So I gave getting enough sleep to God, and lay there relaxed and breathing deeply. (That is almost as good as sleeping.)

Suddenly, I was aware that I had had all kinds of opposition for the past two weeks that I hadn’t even realized. As I lay there I counted 10 ways the dark side had tried to interfere, sidetrack, derail, discourage, cause shame, anger and irritation.

It was surprising because I hadn’t really noticed.  I mean, I had noticed, it’s hard not to notice that you may be evacuated because a fire is headed toward you! But I hadn’t really thought of the implications for my project. And it was that way with every one of the things they had set up for me. I just kept going.

I knew they hated this book, and so they should. It is all about God’s goodness, Their character–Their law. It’s been the hardest one yet! And maybe the most rewarding. I learned SO much! Perhaps that is why I didn’t really notice the dark interference. It was such demanding subject matter that I was constantly aware of God, yelling “Help! what do I do with this?” or “I don’t know how to think about this!” or “How can I make this interesting?”

Looking back at all the things that could have become drama, I was so pleased. I was reminded  of a Psalm my daughter had put on her wall.

Several  years ago, during one of her hard times, she had written scriptures that were meaningful to her and posted them around her house to encourage her. One of them caught me as humorous, “You hold me steady as a post…”

It always made me smile. and it came to me that night, “You did hold me steady as a post!” I said to God in wonder. Well, maybe not quite that steady, I did have a run-in with my husband, where I firmly held my ground in a shouting match until he laughed, and it felt so good I had to tell him. “It was like finally getting to yell at my older brother and have him admit I was right!” But even with that, it was as if I was always very aware I was on holy ground, and if felt good.

It also felt so good to look back and realize I hadn’t taken their  bait, hadn’t succumbed. I had bounced through them like a buoy on the waves. And it felt triumphant! It made me confident that I would finish on Thursday, and I did! And with the least stress ever, even though the last thing I had to do went berserk. Page numbers are usually hard, but I thought I had learned enough and had it down. They went crazy and the things that were supposed to work, didn’t. So again I turned to God and said, “Help! Bind the dark side from my technology! What do I do now?” I know it sounds crazy but it works. I learned  to do that seven years ago when I started publishing my first book about finding a true self! And with that one I wasn’t working alone!

That is the point! We never have to work on anything alone; we can always turn to God. That is what the whole Bible is about: “Let Me help!” Over and over in a thousand ways, God says, “Pick Me! Turn to Me and I will fix it.”

But all of life is coming out of codependency with Mom, Dad, friends, spouse, and learning autonomy! Yes, broken autonomy. So then it’s really about, “Who will you trust?” We can be thankful for those places that teach us, “Without Me you can’t do anything but choose. The forces against you will overwhelm you unless you find your true center–your true self in Me. We give Our life to you because you need it–to make you whole–only God can give you Their life and still keep it.”

All of life can be holy ground (or wholly grounded)–God is right there to make you whole–to hold you steady as a post.

I’ll put a link here, it should be out by Tuesday or Wednesday, but I recommend you start with the first one which is short and available now:



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Soft Hearts vs. Hard hearts

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday; thanks for all your good wishes. And I got what I asked as my birthday present, but it’s been quite a road this week, quite a learning experience.

I don’t even remember asking for the new heart God gave me two weeks ago, just realizing that I needed it because mine was hard. But after I gave Him my anger and resentment for confronting me instead of my husband, things changed dramatically. I was amazed. I thought and felt completely different. Maybe it was just toward him, but it seemed that in everything I felt and thought completely differently. What a difference a soft heart made!

Even he said I was so different, so much nicer to live with, and usually if I share about a healing I’ve had, he tells me that it hasn’t made any difference. I’ve always blown that off because it feels different inside. When I learned how much God wants to heal us by telling us the truth for our lies, 16 years ago, I was amazed at the difference each one brought. Now, asking for His truth has become so commonplace I often don’t notice the feeling change. That’s sad. I should take more notice (at least 30 seconds!) of those good changes.

But this new heart thing–wow! What a difference! For 9 days I felt like all of my motives and feelings and actions were coming from a different place. It was like having an emotional heart transplant. Almost like being a different person.

And then we hit a rough patch. We were redoing our kitchen counters and backsplash, and I even did the hard measuring and cutting parts while he was at the gym because I know how he hates that part, and we had done so well working together, I didn’t want to risk it. We decided the counter needed sanding as recommended, but we hadn’t read that the sealer needed 7 days to cure, and it went through to the primer. So far we’re ok, until I try to fix it.

I knew it should be done one way and he knew it should be done another. I had painted it so I KNEW. He used to be a painter, so he KNEW. Of course it ended up that we were both wrong, but the way we handled it was not good. He got angry and I got hard.

That is how I have always coped with his anger. Step back and do what I know is right. It’s good in theory. It has helped keep me in our marriage, but the cost to our relationship and my heart has been terrible. It had almost become like stone with rightness. (Self-righteousness!) What a revelation that has been!

In one day’s time I went to my old ways of thinking and feeling. Talk about sad! I was despairing. “What happened to my wonderful soft heart, Lord?” I didn’t want to hear that I had hardened it, but that is what I heard.

Then I became intent on getting it back. I spent all the next day asking for a new heart again. I knew He would give it. It’s in scripture. Also, that anything we need He will supply if we ask.

Plus, 33 years ago I had visited my friend’s church, and someone had come off of the platform and prophesied over me that God would take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). I didn’t know or trust these people, and, frankly, was insulted. Everyone else said it was a long beautiful prophecy, but that was all I heard of it–probably because my heart was hard with fear!

So now I know what it means to have a heart of flesh–a soft heart! And He told me on my birthday it was my gift. But I also know how easily I can harden it again. Choices are so important. We, mostly, have no idea how important.


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Catch Joy

I know you’ve been sick at one time or other. We say you “caught” something. You were exposed by being around someone who has it. If you can catch something bad like a virus, can you catch something good, I wonder?

If joy comes from two main sources: the way you think and God’s presence, we might be able to make a case for it.

God’s graciousness wraps around your heart until joy is the natural result. But it takes time. It doesn’t happen reading a quick verse or two and running out the door. He’s been teaching me to just “be” with Him. Just sit in His presence and talk with Him like you would any friend. And realize that you wouldn’t talk all the time with any friend.

My husband and I watched a great movie last night “Another Perfect Stranger”–a very simple movie, but great because of the “presence” of the stranger–his sense of self–his ability to just be with her. The first time I saw it the strength of his presence stayed with me the whole next day. So I got it from Netflix so my husband could see it. Besides I wanted to see it again.

Do you spend enough time in God’s presence to feel His joy? Are you open to Him? Amazed and overwhelmed by the way He loves you?

Secondly, are you aware of the need to control your thought-life so joy follows? It’s a matter of being aware and choosing.

Your conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time. Oh I know you have many things in your mind at once–I counted five I was thinking when I ran into the back of someone else years ago. Notice I said you can only “focus” on one thing at a time. Your feelings tell how you are focusing. What you are thinking about.

Are you in charge? or are your thoughts? What you allow in, the quality of its “presence”, what you entertain will determine how you feel.

You can even be like “Janay” Rice and convince yourself that being beat unconcious is a sign of love! That has obviously been her experience, her thinking, until she believes it. It is evidently working for her. But I can tell you as a veteran marriage therapist, that is NOT love, I don’t care what you believe. And she doesn’t look joyful. She looks beaten down–selfless. Battered-woman-syndrome selfless.

Good selflessness is when you have enough self to forget about yourself and just be. You have to have a sense of self that will not let you be beat down and call it love. Love builds up. Love should look joyful. Being loved is joyful–even when it’s hard.

Gratitude in hard times is called the sacrifice of praise. You can praise because you are loved by a God who is good, no matter what is going on in your life.

But that leads you to make good choices–good thinking always does–even when they are hard choices.

Got hard times? Start talking through them and thinking through them with the God who loves you wildly–crazily even. He will help you see new perspectives that lead to new choices. He will even give strength to make them.

Good choices make a good life–one that catches joy.




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Filed under A God perspective, battered women syndrome, Becoming real, Joy, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Marriage, Respect and disrespect, Uncategorized