Today is the last day of a wonderful 3-day weekend.  I was so blessed to be able to spend it with my all of my in-laws.  We celebrated my nephew's 1st birthday and had a blast reconnecting with everyone.   After the party, we had a girls and guys night out.  Well, more of a girls night out.  The guys kind of got the seconds.  Thanks for letting us hang out together.  : )  Though there was a lot of laughing, hugging, and kissing, I had a little pain in my heart.  The pain of wanting those kind of relationships, the mother-daughter kind.  But then I realized, I have them!  God provided me with Mrs. V. and my in-laws.  I'm so blessed.

Well, I'm just having one of those days that I need to get my house together so that I feel together.  So I'm going to finish here and meditate on Isaiah.
Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.  He never grows weak or weary.  No one can measure the depths of his understanding.  He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Isaiah 40:28-29

Lord, hear my cry.  Take my heart.  Mend it. Help me to forgive. Walk me through these words.
Well look at that.  I'm still breathing.  Thank you to everyone who sent a message and/or called to talk with me today.  This experience has shown me just how important community is in my life.  I love you all.

So what happened?  How did we end up like this? 
Grudges, hurt, anger. . .unforgiveness. 

Un-for-give-ness.  This is how it all started. 

My grandparents have been harboring hurt for far too many years.  I don't think they got the chance to heal from the death of their daughter, my mother.  She has been gone 20 years.  So if you think about it, there has been a lot of hurt that has been building upon that cornerstone. They have allowed any and all little grievances to find a way to embed themselves like splinters deep down in their hearts.  During our short conversation on Saturday, they could only reference the past hurt that I caused to them while in high school.  Those issues happened about 15 years ago.  My hurtful tongue wants to use hateful words.  And my heart wants to harbor anger for them being angry. 
But I REFUSE to be like them in that way.  I want to take the good qualities about them and incorporate those into my life.  I want to get rid of the poison that has been slowly killing our family.  I want to change what we've always thought was normal.  But I need to forgive as they have not forgiven.

God has gently whispered:  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  (Matthew 6:14-15)  Now THAT scares me.  My heavenly Father not forgiving me, quite frankly, scares the crap out of me.  But I'm NOT the heavenly Father.  Forgiveness does not come easily to me. 

So Lord, I pray that with your continued guidance, you will help me and my family learn to forgive. 
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Now here comes the ugliness. 

At times I can have a short temper and a quick tongue when I am angry.  It's something that I have not intentionally attempted to work on until recently. 

During a conversation with one of my accountability partners, she made mention to me something that I "knew," but didn't really know how to handle.  She said, "You need to sit in front of the toilet and purge yourself of all the unrighteous anger you have and flush it away and ask God to help you work through it."  Ugh...

The last couple of months have been a season that I have been dreading to go through.  I have been "content," so to speak, with the anger I have been harboring.  I haven't forgiven some people for hurting me and all of this is making me an ugly person inside.  I have been sulking in my anger and my hurt for far too long.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize, "It's not them.  It's me."  I can't change how they are, but I can change myself.  I can choose to RESPOND, rather than REACT.

Last night I was forced gently to my knees for a situation that is about to unfold later today.  I was forced to acknowledge a lot of issues that I have been fighting to work through.  I was forced to surrender, truly surrender, everything to my God.  I started off with a river full of tears and finally ended in a contented sigh.  God's peace just filled me.  I called and texted a couple of girlfriends and requested prayer and I totally felt the prayers coming through. 

This healing process may not resolve today after the conversation takes place, but I will continue to seek God out for healing.  I need to establish boundaries during this conversation.  But before I can begin to establish these said boundaries, I need to work on me, but I only have a few short hours.  In these next 4 1/2 hours, I need to identify the symptom, identify the conflict and identify the need that drives the conflict.  I also need to take in and receive the good, practice these newfound boundary skills and learn to say, "No," to the bad.  Yet, all of that comes with a little something extra.  I NEED to forgive the aggressor(s). I NEED to RESPOND, not REACT.  I NEED to learn to LOVE in freedom and responsibility, NOT in GUILT.  This is such a L-O-N-G list of things that I have to learn and enforce in ONE DAY!  I'm glad that I can no longer runaway from the issue.  I need to purge everything...STAT!

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers  flare.
Lord, I pray that your words will flow from me today.  That your heart and gentleness speak louder than my own voice.  Amen.

1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness.

Nourishment. We all need it in order to live. Babies, fresh from the womb, need nourishment once the umbilical cord is cut.  In most cases, that baby is offered mother's milk, the best form of nourishment for a baby. 

"Breast milk is a unique nutritional source that cannot adequately be replaced by any other food, including infant formula. Although pollutants can accumulate in breast milk, it remains superior to infant formula from the perspective of the overall health of both mother and child.

 Infants are fragile and susceptible to disease, partly because their bodies are not fully developed. They must be treated with special care and given adequate nourishment. Infant formulas are able to mimic a few of the nutritional components of breast milk, but formula cannot hope to duplicate the vast and constantly changing array of essential nutrients in human milk. Nevertheless, breastfeeding is often devalued, both in the United States and abroad, and in many parts of the world it must compete with relentless advertising by
infant-formula companies." (Natural Resources Defense Council)

We are all still "babies."  We need NOURISHMENT; the spiritual kind.  I have been craving to be fed, more so than ever.  The lyrics from Neon Trees, Everybody Talks, "It started with a whisper..." comes to mind because that is exactly what it was to me.  He provided a gentle whisper...and wait for it...I opened my ears and heart and LISTENED.  He said two simple words, "Trust me."  In all actuality it probably wasn't a whisper, but more of a slap upside the head.  He has been trying to tell me this for so long and as thick-headed and stubborn I am, he'll have to keep telling me. But ever since I started to put INTENTIONAL effort into trusting him, I have been craving more and more. 

Take the paragraph above and with a few changes you will see just how important God's nourishment is for us.

God's word is a unique nutritional source that cannot adequately be replaced by any other source. Although worldy pollutants can accumulate in our daily living, God's word remains superior to any other outside source from the  perspective of the overall health of our hearts and salvation.

We are fragile and susceptible to sin because we are sinners and miss the mark everyday. We must treat ourselves with special care and give ourselves daily and adequate nourishment. The world is able to mimic a few of the nutritional  components of God's word, but the world cannot hope to duplicate the vast and constantly stable array of essential nutrients from God's word. Nevertheless, God's word is often devalued, both in the church and out of the church, and in many parts of the world it must compete with the world of today.

Once we see our need for his word and begin to find nourishment in Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase, and we will start to mature.

How strong is your desire for his nourishment?

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