Tag Archives: personal growth


Yesterday was beautiful. I woke up happy, and had energy and motivation. I thanked God and thought our new supplement is working. But somewhere mid-morning my husband and I disagreed amiably about something and it hit him in a vulnerable place. I didn’t even know it until hours later. I was so surprised that he would go to a dark place over it! I tried unsuccessfully to help, and I determined not to get pulled into it.

And I didn’t for most of the day. Then late afternoon I came in from outside and realized something in me had shifted from the positive. I hadn’t even realized it had happened! But I noticed I didn’t speak to him, and I heard thoughts I had allowed to come in, just little tiny negative things that I didn’t even recognize as negative. They seemed a normal part of my thought life–truths I live with. But without my awareness they had become a bridge to the low of negativity.

Thank God I recognized the energy shift, and chose to go back to the positive. I spoke to him and discovered he was caught in darkness, so I unhooked. I didn’t blame myself, or worry, but recognized that he had been assaulted by one of our enemies, and I couldn’t get drawn in. The next day my group would be praying for a special healing for someone and I couldn’t risk going dark myself. So I prayed for him and let it go.

Thank God for His perspective, and the ability to see the difference. “My feet had almost slipped…” said David. I had almost gotten taken out by that short slippery slope into the pit of negativity. But we can choose. Sometimes we may have to choose again and again to stop the cascade of hormones that negative thoughts start. But if you catch them early one choice will turn you around again.

The next day I had to choose and choose again because the person we were praying for couldn’t make it. I had been praying she wouldn’t sabotage it, but an electrical pole fell across the road and closed it. Since she lives out of town she had to take a route that was over an hour longer, and missed the meeting. (She took pictures so we would believe her!)

I was fine in the meeting, but afterwards was so disappointed and deflated that it took me 30 minutes to get to choosing. And then between my husband who was still “out there” and that disappointment I struggled to get back to a positive peace.

I’m there again, thank God. But it really is true that choice is the most powerful thing in the universe–even more powerful than God. Think about it, He is respectful, leaving us free to choose.

Many times I’ve told Him, “I think You gave us too much freedom.” He just smiles that understanding smile. Our choice accesses His power, but he won’t violate our freedom.


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Experiencing Beauty

I truly enjoy beauty, but experiencing it is different. The last three weeks have been a roller coaster of good and bad, but mostly good. And one experience was pure beauty. The night before last I spent at the beach–our church is having its annual camp out, and as head elder I didn’t feel I could skip the elders’ retreat at the beginning, and I didn’t want to.

My husband says he’s over camping, so I was going alone. I was excited, actually, about doing something like that by myself. It’s only 45 minutes away, I was going to sleep in the back of our forerunner, and it’s our hot time of year, so I didn’t think it would be too cold. (We have frozen camping at the beach or in the mountains.) I don’t sleep well camping, but it was only for one night…

My time with the elders was wonderful, and I was tired, and very hopeful about a good sleep. The night was warm and beautiful. So warm I had to crack the back window, but didn’t want it down because of mosquitoes. (There were a few–nothing like Minnesota.) And before long I fell asleep.

But two hours later I woke up, the half inch of foam and the zero bag underneath me weren’t quite enough for comfort. So I got the sheep-skins out of the two front seats and positioned them under the sleeping bag I was on top of. Ah-h, that was nice. It still wasn’t cold. So I laid there talking and listening to God. Very aware of His presence.

I’ve been writing Genesis 34 for my new series, and it’s so difficult. I’ve never even liked to read it, let alone expand it. So I got my phone and read a few more versions of it, sensitive to every little nuance, every tiny detail to get the “back story” as my friend calls it.

After a couple of hours, I still wasn’t back to sleep, and it was clear I was going to have to get up and walk across the campground to the bathroom. I got my shoes on and opened the car door to a lovely surprise, it was warm out there too, and a symphony of sound greeted me. The night throbbed with it. Frogs and crickets had a rhythm going with the waves crashing behind it for percussion. It was so loud I could feel it, and the leaves of all the giant sycamores were lit up by the full moon.

That three minute walk was amazing. Beautiful beyond description, and gratifying because I felt absolutely no fear. I am not generally fearful anymore, but it has taken years for me to be comfortable outside at night, after being “attacked” walking home alone one night when I was 12. This was glorious! The temperature, the sounds, the freedom, the beauty–I could have walked all night–except I was tired.

Then when I got back in the truck, I had to open the back window enough so I could hear it all! I couldn’t get enough. And God’s presence felt even stronger and sweeter. It was another two hours before I fell asleep, not wanting the magical night with Him to end.

And in another two hours I woke up and went and walked on the beach with two friends. The sun was just coming up–beautiful–as we walked and talked to God.

Three hours later I was out there again alone. I was leaving, but was pulled out again to the beach and it was all a new beauty. I sat on a rock watching my pastor and his two kids body surf and play in the water–delightful. How blessed they are to have a dad like that, I thought. One who truly knows God and values true priorities.

I wish every child had that. Not a perfect dad, but a real one. And I wish for all of you an experience of Beauty.


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When Feelings Rule

Somewhere I learned that emotions are the strongest force in a person. When you’re “in a corner” or “under the “gun” feelings rule. You will go with what gets triggered in your feelings library every time. Stress does that.

Sad but true. I’m there. I don’t want to be there, but I am. Two hours ago I was looking forward to a lovely quiet evening with my husband, and now I’d rather write than be with him.

My husband doesn’t like pain of any kind. And for the past two weeks he has been in physical pain with a knee injury, unable to walk. So I’ve been trying to take care of him and do both of our chores too.

Most of us get cranky when we are stretched emotionally by physical pain. I do and he does to. Today he was doing very well, and we were both very happy with his progress, but I made the mistake of challenging his decision to cancel two of our grand kids coming for a week. And now I’m dealing with triggered stored emotion and blew our lovely quiet evening together.

Isn’t it weird how that happens! I don’t even remember what he said, but I am still in the feelings it brought up in me. Definitely hating the way I am, wondering how many other people hate it, and what am I going to do to change it? Or should I just sink back into a twisted acceptance, put it all on him as “his issues” wherever I can hang it?

Just now he called from the other room asking if I would make him a piece of toast. He is probably wondering why I’m not there with him. I wanted to say no, but I didn’t. Because I don’t think he was trying to be mean. He is obviously fine.

What do I do with this “gall” stuck in my throat? I ask myself.

And I decide to put it on the shelf till morning. So I distil the feeling into his point and make a mental note to ask God what to do about this “I-know-best” attitude. I know it’s there, I know where it came from. I’ve dealt with it before. This is just a variation on a familiar theme.

So I said to God when we met this morning, “What am I going to do about this? You know how I dislike it in others; and I hate it in myself!” Then my mind took off and went all through everyone else I needed to pray for. (I think that happens because we don’t really want to face… or are afraid He won’t say anything. But He is faithful if we are willing.)

And finally I focused and He said, “Can you say to your husband, ‘You know I hate it. Will you point it out to me when you hear it? You can say “there it is”.’ And I said, “Yes, I can do that.”

Then God went on, “Can you trust Me with it too? That I will help you see it when it comes up? Before you get there I will say ‘Be careful here.’ Like last night. You knew afterwards you could have said it differently. Richard noted a ‘harshness’ that sometimes you see later.”

So I said, “I will.” And I asked Him to bring up any lie underneath so we could heal it. And I already have a feeling it has to do with fear of something–from when my older brother used to laugh at things I said. More will be revealed. God is faithful.

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