I have been back in the gym for four years. I have lovingly come to call my time spent there my worshipful workout. Today as I was climbing my never ending imaginary mountain I realized that my workout has become even more, He has helped me turn this time into a time of self reflection, of self knowledge and confession as He so gently reminds me of my mistakes, failures and sprinkles in the few triumphs when I have truly let Him work through and in me.
Over the past few years I have climbed about 2500 miles on the elliptical at the gym, but the strides He has given me the grace to take down the path of knowing thyself are infinitely more meaningful.
Sweet Lord, as I dig deeper into knowing myself the demons within surround me… You alone are my refuge and I beg you to please let every sorrow filled tear that falls be full of pure and true contrition, and every joy filled tear that falls be full of pure and true praise and gratitude for You!
Sometimes we pray and pray and then pray some more, but do we know what we are asking Jesus to do for us?
I am often praying for forgiveness. Forgive me for this, forgive me for that, forgive my sin from yesterday, forgive my sin from 15 years ago, etc. This morning I was praying for forgiveness for something yet again, and I thought to myself or He said, “I have forgiven you, and I will forgive you again, and I will continue forgiving you as many times as you request to be forgiven, but when will you release your sin and give it to Me?”
When will I release my sin, when will I give it to Him? He has already accepted it, He has already died for it, but have I let it go and actually given it to Him by accepting His forgiveness?
Have I become comfortable wallowing in my sin, remembering it, begging forgiveness and then returning to wallow in the comfort of being an unforgiven sinner yet again? I am not sure…. maybe? I am not saying that we shouldn’t be praying for and begging for forgiveness often and more than once, but I think I have been missing a very crucial part to this prayer, a prayer asking Jesus to help me release my sin, give it to Him and enter the unknown territory of forgiven sinner by accepting His forgiveness.
Sweet Lord, sweet Savior, sweet Jesus I am in awe as I see Your amazing work more clearly than ever before through more specific and focused prayers. I want each beat of my heart to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for You and I beg You to please keep opening our eyes to our sins so that we can beg forgiveness, repent and release our sin to You!
Twelve years ago my husband and I were married, we became one, but I don’t think I ever took it as seriously as God meant for it to be taken. Yes, we have been married and faithful and loving. We have been blessed with three wonderful children, and we spend lots of time together, but I don’t think I have really believed or thought that we are truly and physically one.
And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two but one flesh.
A few months ago, I started thinking about this bible verse and wondered if truly we were truly made into one and given the same heart on that wonderful day of our marriage. Have I ever behaved as if we truly have one heart? Have I inflicted damage or scars on our heart through hurtful words, arguments and fights? Have I ever tried to pull or push away hard enough to create a rip in our heart or to break our heart? Has God ever had to carefully sew our new heart back together? Has our heart grown stronger throughout the years or have we inflicted scars that will forever be weak spots that might break more easily?
I don’t know the answers, but after I started thinking about this I began trying to literally, physically and spiritually live life as one with my husband. I began by talking with him in my heart and praying for him throughout the day while he is as work. During yoga classes I started praying that the strength, flexibility and peace gained in class were flowing to him. Talking, laughing and doing homework with our children after school, I began praying that he was sharing in our time together. Finally when I mess up which is often, I beg forgiveness from him and from our Lord (this one isn’t new), but now when he messes up I beg forgiveness from our Lord because if I truly believe that we are one then my mistakes are still mine, but his mistakes are now mine too.
Most of you reading this probably think I am a little crazy and spend way too much time in my own head. I will never really know the answers, but I don’t think that is really the point. From my little experiment I do know that I see my husband more and I love him more.
I pray that it is true, I pray that our sweet Lord truly gave us one heart, our heart!
A father will always forgive a son!
This is why Jesus had to literally bear our sins for each sin to be forgiven. His Father forgave each and every sin only when they became His. If we try to seek forgiveness from the Father without Jesus, the sin remains ours. If we offer it to Jesus, Jesus will accept it as His and the sin will be forgiven by Jesus’ Father because Jesus is His Son and a father will always forgive a son!
Maybe this is why we can only come to the Father through Jesus, through the loving relationship of a father for a son!
He is the way!
Thank You Jesus!
On this night our Lord will pray in the garden of Gethsemane, suffering in agony as He prays to the point of sweating blood.
What was flashing through His mind in those moments? What caused Him such great emotional pain that He physically sweat blood?
Maybe as He knelt there praying, life flashed before His eyes, but instead of seeing His own life, He saw all of our lives flash before His eyes. Our lives became His as He lived each of our lives in His mind, in those moments. He saw every sin each of us has ever committed as His own sin.
He watched Himself committing these grievous, selfish, terrible and sinful acts. God, His Father, watched Him committing these grievous, selfish, terrible, and sinful acts.
He literally, physically, emotionally, and mentally bore our sins, and yes, I believe watching Himself commit our sins made Him sweat blood.
He Himself bore our sins… – Peter 2:24
Oh my Jesus… please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, please forgive us, thank You, thank You, thank You…
I prayed in a small, quiet chapel this morning. As I sat there I prayed with my head bowed, asking for this, asking for that, apologizing for this, apologizing for that and then just as I was leaving I looked up and saw Christ hanging on the cross.
I was embarrassed to be sitting there so comfortably and so focused on myself without once regarding Him, without once humbly kneeling down to Him as He still hangs there taking on our sins as we continue to pile them on.
What are we doing my friends? He should be a part of every thought, every intention, every action of our lives.
He still hangs there and we still wound Him… it is so sad.
The other morning I fell yet again.
It was the one day of the month when parents can walk their children to their classrooms, see their artwork and help them unpack and get ready for their school day.
The girls were eating slow, laughing a lot and having a ball at breakfast. I interrupted their little party to tell them them to hurry up. It didn’t phase them, they kept enjoying their breakfast and each others company. I rushed them again and again they continued to slowly enjoy their breakfast and their sweet little jokes. Then I continued complaining about the fact that we were leaving 10 min later than I wanted to leave while brushing their teeth, getting their socks on and urging them into their shoes. At one point I asked my youngest to please put her shoes on and she started laughing at me and told me that I had already put them on for her.
When we finally arrived at school, I realized that we had forgotten their folders. My sweet oldest was finally upset. She is so studious and organized and was very upset about coming to school without her folder. I felt so bad, but even in the midst of my guilt I didn’t say the right thing.
After getting them to their rooms, I ran home to get their folders. I then waited at the office while my oldest came to pick up her folder and I finally apologized for being so impatient earlier that morning.
As we hugged she whispered “I forgive you” into my ear.
I think I have finally realized that God did not make me the mother of these three sweet little blessings because of anything I have done, but instead because how strong they are to withstand all of my mistakes and because of everything I still have to learn about patience, goodness, forgiveness and love from them.
God thank You for Your forgiveness every time I fall and thank You for these three blessings in my life who so willingly forgive me as You do!
Please continue to open my eyes to all of their wonderful teachings and keep reminding me to slow down and take everything one moment at a time!
Circles are everywhere. Our lives are filled with both figurative and physical circles. We see them in nature, we see them in actions and re-actions and we experience them physically around tables, in meetings, and during circle time as children.
We include people when we are willing to expand our circles, but we can just as easily exclude others by refusing to expand our circle for new arrivals.
My sister wrote a blog that I loved last year, Is it a pie or a triangle?. The conversation we had regarding this blog stands out clearly in my mind as a moment in my life when I finally started to scratch the surface in my personal understanding of Jesus and what He did for me.
Ever since this conversation, I have thought of God as a large circle that we are all held within. I then picture all of us as small circles within the God’s large circle. Some of our circles are bigger and some of our circles are smaller and some of them overlap. The bigger ones represent those who have accepted or included more people, and the smaller ones have accepted or included fewer people.
I don’t think heaven or paradise is possible without everyone and unfortunately we are the ones imposing limitations and building walls within God’s beautiful, all-inclusive circle by excluding others.
Pray for everyone, try to empathize with everyone…
Empathy will lead to forgiveness, and forgiveness will lead to love.
OUR best life doesn’t work unless everyone is included!
I pray and dream for OUR best life for everyone, everyday! I hope you do too… together we can expand our circles!
I watched a movie about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux last night, Thérèse. I loved it and loved learning about “The Little Way”.
Below is a definition I found online for “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse.
It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday.
I have been thinking about this a lot today and I think when you empathize with someone it can naturally guide you towards “The Little Way”. In the movie Saint Thérèse was very considerate and aware of her family and then later of her fellow sisters. She attempted to help others in ordinary and everyday moments without ever expecting anything (a thank you or even acknowledgement) in return.
I think when you empathize with someone, really attempt to see things from their perspective, it can help you to move beyond the expectation for a thank you or acknowledgement of what you then do for that person since you now can more fully appreciate the difficulties that brought about their current needs in this moment. I think once you are released from this expectation you can then truly find joy in meeting their needs (serving them) in that moment without the weight of what you will receive (your expectations) on your mind.
I know I still have a lot to learn about “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse, but these are are my initial thoughts. I hope to learn more when I get a chance to read the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul.
Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could all truly let go of “me” and focus on “you”? I think what we would find would be Our Best Life because even if I really let go of me, Jesus won’t let go of me… He wants us All!