Archives

Crucify Him

IMG_4521

Crucify him, Crucify him

Was the cursing of their hearts

Crucify him, Crucify him

Was the cheer inside my heart

I hear their bitter cries

I can see it in their eyes

Perhaps their hearts were broken

Or blinded by words spoken

Either way its doesn’t matter

For nothing could be sadder

For they were deceived to believe

In a king that wouldn’t be

I know my heart was broken

Perhaps it was even stolen

Surely I was deceived

For believing in the creed

For the life I thought was mine

was never truly mine

He said I had a choice

And at that I surely did

 I chose nothing less than a life full of love

With the gift of eternity and a promise of a family

Now the question left for you

Is what choice will you choose?

Love or hate?

Christ is God’s Love for us

and all he wants from you……..Is your open heart

Who could possibly refuse this gift he left for us?

For we’ll all be bound together

With a life to last forever.

My greatest wish on earth is to see you in forever

Snow Princess

The snow fell soft and sweet

as the tears slipped down her frozen cheek

She raised her arms to give all she had

For the one who says…..her life’s not bad.

He reaches down from heavens gates

Embracing her with arms of grace

He shines his light on the sparkling snow

So she can finally learn to glow.

Each ray of light pierces through the frozen night

Her cheeks grow soft in the glimmering light

Her cold heart melts as she dances all night

For even though she was lost, now she has been found

Not by the people around, but by the one who is crowned

He has found joy in her work and purchased her heart

For she has become a pearl in his heart

A treasure that he protects

He’s taken her pain and set her apart

He’s given her a voice and she knows it’s her choice

She chooses to speak to strengthen the weak

And the illusion of light turns red in the night

For the veils been lifted and the proud brought down

Father’s Day

Mother's Day 005

        Father’s Day for me, is a bittersweet day. I think most people, if they stopped long enough to think about it, would agree with me. Whether you’re young or old I think that life’s experiences have made this day a bittersweet reminder of the father in our life.

There are many different Fathers honored on this day which is why I believe it to be bittersweet. There are those Fathers who have passed on and have left a family saddened by the loss. While others are embracing the new role of fatherhood for the very first time.

Then there are those who never had the opportunity to know their Father for any number of reasons, some good and some bad.

But there is a Father who is often time overlooked and the memories of whom brings great pain. These Father’s often times live a life of regrets for the mistakes they’ve made with their children. They painfully watch as their children limp through life with the wounds they themselves inflicted. They often struggle with the guilt wishing they could somehow fix what they’ve done. Their children want to pretend that their Father was a “good” Father and so they set off for the card aisle at the store only to pick up one after another that just doesn’t seem to fit. They want to be honest but they also want to be loving and that seems to be impossible to find.

So this Father’s day no matter what kind of Father you are I want you to know that YOU are a PERFECT FATHER!

You were made by a God who does not make mistakes.

Yes! I know you may have made mistakes and if you haven’t made any yet, the day will come. When that day does come and you’re looking at your children wondering what did you do?

I want you to remember that YOU are FORGIVEN!

God will fix the mistakes you’ve made and use them for his glory.  Every time you mess up is an opportunity for God to show off his mighty power. God is our ultimate perfect Father. If you were perfect your children would not need God.

In case you’re wondering……Yes!

        My earthly Father did hurt me and scar my heart.  But because of his mistakes God was able to reach down from heaven and reveal his great love for me. He is healing my wounds so that I can be the person he created me to be.  So this Father’s Day I want to honor my Father not just for all the good things he’s done in my life but also the bad.  I wouldn’t change it and I want him to know that I forgive him. I hope he carries no guilt and can forgive himself for the mistakes of his past.   My desire is that he will look to the future and see how God’s grace is there for EVERYONE who accepts it.

I wrote the following poem as I struggled to figure out who God was as my Father.

Daddy

Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Keep me safe, Hold me please
Wrap your arms around me, till the world all fades away
Speak your words of wisdom, wrapped in Love and Grace,
Hurry please! Before I run, for fear of your embrace
I’ve tried escaping here on earth
But every time I turn around I see you standing there
Your arms are open wide
But the question in my mind is are you full of love and grace, Or are you full of condemnation?
I know I have done wrong and forgiveness is supposedly for me
But trusting you,
Somehow
Seems wrong to me
My hearts been stolen many times, But you still claim your innocence
I’ve picked the locks a hundred times while you possess the keys
You promise me unending mercy for the imperfection of my heart
You promise healing from my journey, making me a reflection of your heart

Mother's Day 014
So Daddy Please
You’re the one I want
Your love embracing me, your love chasing me, your love protecting me
Daddy it’s you I desire to please
Fill me with your peace so I can rest my soul
For you alone will make me whole
Daddy it’s your Love,
Your unending perfect love that sets me free.
November 25, 2012

Rose Among Thorns

Rose

You are like a long stemmed rose, each layer of your inner beauty is revealed as yet another velvety red petal…..

The rose has been a symbol of love and beauty since the beginning of time.

Sometimes I wonder why?

Why red?  Why this particular flower?

There are so many other beautiful flowers so why the rose?

Is it red because it symbolizes the blood of Christ that he shed for us?

Does it remind us of the perfect love that God has shown us through his son?

and so my mind wanders on to……

What about the thorns?

Do they remind us to be careful …………..because where there is love there is pain?

Does it remind us of the crown of thorns that Christ wore in his death?

The pain he suffered because of his love for us.

Or maybe it’s because anything of beauty is worth fighting for…….taking risk……are you worth the risk?

Or perhaps its because beauty needs to be protected because it isn’t free and it’s priceless to those who obtain it.

 Then there are…….

Multiple velvety red petals that start off tightly woven together in a tiny bundle only to slowly open into a breath taking picture of beauty……

Is each petal a piece of who you are?

Each one a characteristic that makes you unique……

As time goes on do the petals fall and wither away just as seasons in our relationships?

Every heart has layers that slowly unfold when we take the time to stop and look.

So I wonder…….What does my heart look like?

It is said that every woman wants to be loved and wants to know that she is beautiful.

I believed that to God I was beautiful and that He loved me.

I told myself that I didn’t need anyone to love me or to think that I was beautiful because I knew God did.

Something deep inside of me wasn’t right though.  I didn’t fully understand what was going on.  I was still sad and there was a deep longing for something so much more.  God wasn’t enough for me but I knew he should be.

I was mad at myself because I couldn’t find contentment in just knowing that God loved me and thought I was beautiful.  I needed more of something cause I didn’t feel loved or beautiful and all I kept hearing was don’t believe your feelings.

What I’ve learned though after 3 years of running, losing 60lbs, and desperately trying to find friends that I can trust……

Is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of me.

I’ve been told I’m beautiful and that I’m loved ……..

But it still didn’t do anything for me…..

So What’s Wrong With ME?

No one could tell me I was beautiful or love me enough to make me feel loved and beautiful.

The problem wasn’t anything that anyone could fix.

Anyone but me……

So this is what I’ve learned

Mark 12:29-31

The most important command that Jesus gave us was to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind and all of our strength.  The second was to love your neighbor as yourself.

So how do I love God? 

(I know this question doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with feeling beautiful or loved so bare with me as I explain what God showed me through scripture.)

This was a question I wrestled with.  Do I love God by reading the bible and praying?

I found that I got discouraged because I always seemed to fall short somewhere.  I was trying to live up to the standards I found in the bible and I knew that I was forgiven but it didn’t make me feel any better so what’s wrong?  I wanted to be perfect for God but I couldn’t be no matter how hard I tried and I hated myself for it.  I was trying to be what I thought God wanted instead of who he created me to be.  I hated myself and that has been the root of my problem.

God showed me that in hating myself I was telling God he made a mistake.  I was throwing in God’s face his own creation.  Would you tell God he made an ugly sunrise?  or He should’ve made the leaves on the trees purple instead of green?  Every time I looked in the mirror and wished I could change something about my physical appearance I was doing just that.

So part of loving God is learning to love my own body the way he created me.

I now love myself by taking care of my body gently and not abusing it.  I still run but not excessively.  I try to eat better although there are days that I still struggle.  I choose though not to beat myself up over those shortcomings.

Luke 6:37

Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and it will be given to you.  For with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

I used to think that the standard I use to judge others is the standard that will be used against me but it’s so much more than that.

When I judge others I am at the same time judging myself or holding myself to that same standard.  I am the one who judges me not anyone else.  When I forgive others I am at the same time forgiving myself for those same mistakes.

So the other part of loving God is realizing that no one can judge me but me just like no one can forgive me but me.

Bottom line here is……Do I want to feel beautiful and loved?

Then I need to Love myself……letting go of imperfections that God doesn’t see because of the cross.

realizing that I am all I need to be and forgiving myself when I make a mistake instead of beating myself up.  Not trying to be something I can’t be and taking off the mask in front of people that love me.

If I can learn to do this for myself then I can learn to do it for others.  If I can’t love myself how can I possibly love others?

If God lives in me then it makes sense for me to love myself first and then love others second because after all God lives in them too.

I can’t say that I have perfected this but I can say that I do truly believe and feel Beautiful.  Sure there are still things I don’t care for but it doesn’t change how I view myself anymore.  Rather on focusing on what’s wrong with me I focus on the things I love about me and let those attributes captivate me.

Now feeling loved is another post I have yet to write.  I’m still learning this one, but for now my comfort is in knowing God loves me even when I don’t feel it.  So  now I leave you with my definition of beauty and a poem I wrote when I finally realized the beauty in me.

Beauty isn’t found in physical appearance or even outward behavior,

Beauty is found in knowing who I am deep inside and having the courage to be who I was created to be!

I am beautiful,   I am Beautiful

Those are the words I felt

I didn’t just hear them or read them.

I felt them penetrate deep within the protective barrier around my heart.

The words ignited a flame from within me

It grew and spread quickly

Its flickers warmed the cold hidden corners of winters past

The corners of my mouth slowly turned upward as the realization of what was occurring unveiled in my mind.

these words weren’t simply written or spoken to anyone who could see or hear

God spoke these words in the language of my heart

to me and only me

He told me I am beautiful

Therefore I AM!

 

Lesson’s in an Epic Failure

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of 20-30 youth, I wasn’t exactly thrilled since I have never spoken to a group like  that before.  Now speaking isn’t necessarily new because I’ve spoken at board meetings and small bible studies surrounded by friends but as far as a group of people I don’t know well……. to share something that God has placed on my heart, it was a first.  It all came about because the week before I found myself sitting in the back of the sanctuary as one of the leaders was giving the lesson and God began to press upon my heart to share a lesson I had struggled to learn that was along the same lines of topic being taught.  I went home and spent 3 days just praying about it and asking God what it was exactly I was supposed to share.  I knew the point and I knew the story I just wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to say it.  I am a writer so I’m used to planning out everything going down on paper and if I don’t think it sounds like what I’m trying to say I can always go back and reword things.  Speaking however is completely different and once a word is spoken there is no taking it back.  You can try to explain and maybe the listener will understand but maybe they won’t.

Sunday morning came and I found the courage to ask the leader if I could share.  The response was put together an outline with supporting scripture on the topic you would like to share and get back with me.  I went home thinking more about what I should say and the possible verses that would go with it.  After some prayer I came up with an outline and scriptures to go along.  I wouldn’t say that I was nervous,  I was just curious where God was going with this.  I didn’t think that I was qualified to be speaking and wasn’t sure how I would be received.  I also wasn’t convinced it would all come out the way I wanted it to either.  I have this problem that when I get in front of people my mind freezes and I can’t think straight so most of the time I don’t say much.  At a board meeting I’m usually just giving facts on a situation and it’s nothing personal.  This was different and knew that by sharing I had the ability to speak into the lives of others.  I didn’t want to say something wrong and negatively affect the lives of these kids.  My purpose was to share a struggle I’ve had in my own walk with God in hopes that it might encourage them and perhaps bring freedom to someone.

The night came and I thought I had realistic expectations of the evening.  I knew it wasn’t going to come out the way I wanted it to and I also knew that it might be an epic failure.  I did however know that it was what God was asking of me and that he would give me the words to say.  I also knew that he could take anything I said wrongly and fix it.  This was for God and no one else,….. so really no matter what happens it was in his hands.

I started with this prayer.

Lord,

I come before you tonight and thank you for all of the precious souls you have brought here tonight.  I thank you for the opportunity to speak to them and that you would soften their hearts so that might hear and see the words that are spoken.  I ask that you give them understanding and that my words might glorify you.  I pray also for your protection over us as we go home tonight and as we go through the next week.  I ask this all in Jesus name Amen.

After that I’m not really sure what I said.  I know what I intended to say and I know at some point I froze and wasn’t sure where I was at or where I was going.  I prayed and just let go of every expectation had.

What I tried to say was that just because I’m now a Christian doesn’t mean I’m never going to make a mistake again.  I used to think that if I was truly a Christian it meant that I would be given the ability to do the right thing all of the time.  Because that didn’t happen I was constantly asking Jesus into my heart.  I thought that somehow I must not have done something right if I kept screwing up.  I would hear of drug addicts and alcoholics who would change in one day.  I used to think that because I couldn’t just change at the snap of my fingers like they did, that something was wrong.  What a lie the enemy told me.  I knew all of the sin in my heart that I struggled with, we all have it and we all struggle with it.  Most of us hide it from everyone afraid to tell.  We are afraid of the judgment, afraid we have somehow not done something right.  The truth is……being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with same sins but rather we are forgiven and free from them.  I guarantee you will still struggle but the battle is won and the world will take every opportunity to tell you of all the negative things that you are.  You can listen to the world and believe what it tells you or you can listen to God.  You can’t just know in your mind what the scripture says you are.  You have to believe it.  For the longest time I knew in my head what God said I was, but I didn’t believe it.  The world was constantly telling me all of these negative things about me and because I could see it myself it was so easy to believe.  I knew that God said I was beautiful, smart, and funny but to the world I also knew that I was ugly, stupid, and worthless.  I always told myself that it didn’t matter what the world thought of me because one day I would be in heaven where the truth was and I would be free.  What I learned after years of struggling is that it’s not enough to just know the truth of what God says of me.  I can be told a million times that God loves me and that he says I’m beautiful, but that didn’t help me believe because that was not how I was treated.  Not even by the church.

 1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is….Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought lay down our lives for our brothers.  Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth,  this then is how we know that we belong to the truth,  and this is how we put our hearts at rest whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything
.

I had been told by people and read in the bible over and over how special I was to God but what I didn’t experience was that truth followed up by action.  It wasn’t until someone actually took the time to show me by their actions that I truly began to believe the truth in God’s word.  This is why it is so important that our actions match the words out of our mouths especially since we all know actions speak louder than words.  What are your actions telling the people in your life?  How can you show the person next you that you love them?

Below is a little something that I read to myself when all I can hear is the world telling me how bad I am.

Daughter of the King

Listen to yourself

What are you saying?

Did you screw up?

Do you think you are stupid?

Are you crazy, fat, ugly or worthless?

You would never tell anyone…..would you?

You hide it inside

Ashamed of the truth of who you think you are.

Is it really you?

Stop!

Listen again

Do you hear it?

There’s a faint whisper

What do you hear?

What is it saying?

You’re smart

You’re sane

You’re the beautiful daughter of a King

Listen closely

It gets louder

Louder every time you hear

Louder with each word

Till it SCREAMS and you can no longer deny

Deny who you are

Smart, Sane, Beautiful daughter of a King

Not just any King

The King

The King of all kings

He has claimed you

You are his

To him you are smart, sane, beautiful

Perfect just the way you are

Precious daughter of the King

I know I’m not perfect and I also know that everything didn’t come out the way that I wanted it to that night.  I do know that I was obedient to what God asked me to do and that I did it to glorify him.  I also think some might think it was an epic failure or so I heard.  What I didn’t expect in all of this is that God would give me the opportunity to walk out what I just shared in my own life.  The test came just 15 minutes after I finished.  The world telling me I was wrong this time it was even in words.  I had a choice what was I going to believe?

I curled in the stairwell and prayed searching for the truth in the words I had heard.  I went home that night and a friend prayed with me asking God to please convict me of anything that I may have shared that was wrong and if not to please show me clarity in the situation.

I woke up early the next morning to go for my run and while I was out God began to speak.

Monica,

Didn’t you just speak on not listening to who the world says you are but to who I say you are?

Yes Lord.

Who do I say you are?

I am your beloved daughter.

Did you get up and speak because I asked you to?

Yes Lord I did

Then your motive was pure and you were obedient to the calling I gave you.  I am the one who determines if it was a failure, not those other people.

There is a lesson here.  You didn’t exactly do as I asked.  You did what you thought they wanted not what I asked of you.  You took your story and tried to teach it.  That is not your talent.  Your talent is telling stories whether it be in writing or speaking.  Follow my son, did he teach? Or did he tell parables?

He told parables!

Monica,   sometimes our epic failures are simply to show us what we are not good at, so we can discover what we are good at.  You my darling, are good at parables, don’t try to teach, let the lessons come naturally through your story and they will be more meaningful to your audience.

I’m sure there are people in my life who might read this and judge me harshly and I don’t care.  I used to, but I’ve given up caring what anyone in this world thinks of me.  I know my savior is tucked safely in the core of my being, breathing life into each beat of my heart.  I will say that it is easier to believe what God says about me when the church backs up those words with action.  But even if they don’t, I’ve learned to believe in the truth of God’s word and its through his grace that I am able to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt me.


 

New Mornings Light

Peace has found its home deep within my heart

As the new day dawns, each ray of sunshine

Splashes your greatness upon my soul

Words will never do justice for the beauty of your creation

My breath is stolen by the colors of emotion

Colors created and painted by your heart

You delicately paint my life as sweetly as the morning light

You tenderly direct the path you set before me

So I will walk in confidence

For I know your paths are true and right

For they will lead me home to heavens throne

God’s Dare

This year has turned out to be a very difficult one.  Back in January I could see the hurricane off the coast of my heart, having never seen one this size before I began to panic.  I did things and said things that probably didn’t make any sense but it was my desperate attempt to find answers to the questions spinning within my heart.  It was during this time as the winds of change were beating against my soul that God spoke to me so clearly it was as if he was sitting on the couch beside me.  Being the writer that I am, I instinctively picked up my journal and began to write out the words God tenderly spoke into my heart.

My Beloved,

I dare you to love me,

to follow me,

be an example of me,

to show others who I am through your actions.

No!  I won’t say that it will  be easy,

in fact it will be the hardest thing you do.

But don’t worry.

I will be there with you,

guiding your every step, opening and closing doors as you go.

The people who help you will be attacked,

some will prevail…… because they see me in you.

Some….. will walk away,

giving up the chance to see my glory.

I will redeem you… just as I’ve promised,

I will cradle you in my arms just as your heart longs to be.

No!

You are not crazy or weak minded, in fact you are the opposite.

The battle you fight is intense and you are strong,

do not be discouraged for I will lift you up.

I will carry the yoke for you.

Trust in me and let my love wash away your fears.

Real fears,

fears of past, present, and future.

I know the reality you face,

so step into  my love and grace,

experience the peace I have for you.

Remember……. you are mine and I am yours.

Nothing can take that away from you.

Sure,

you could walk away…. but I know you won’t,

I know this because I know your heart better than you do.

You do love me, believe in me and trust me with your whole being.

You may not feel like it but you are.

You need to believe you are everything I need you to be.

  Have faith in the unseen and know that my love washes over you,

cascading over every jagged rock in your heart,

I am making them smooth so you’ll shine like a diamond.

Strong enough to withstand everything yet crystal clear so people can see me in you.

You are my daughter, my bride, my love.

I love you more than you can conceive.

Don’t forget that in the struggles that lay ahead.

Your Father in Heaven

Written Feb 7,2013

My heart survived the first part of the hurricane and entered the eye of the storm.  Relieved I began to look at the damage left behind and attempted to make repairs before the rest of the storm arrived.  I did what I could to prepare for round two but to be honest I wasn’t looking so good.  I placed a smile on my face and picked up the motto “grin and bear it”.   I began chanting in my head ” I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

The eye of the storm settled in and I discovered it can be quite deceiving.  The calmness can trick a person into thinking the storm has passed but a seasoned person knows the second round is inevitable, the only way out is to go through the swirling winds and rain again.  Waiting for its arrival, when the memory of swirling winds and drowning rain are fresh in your mind is torture.….I couldn’t handle the waiting game when I could see it coming.  I took off running headlong outside and threw myself into the wind and pelting rain.  I didn’t care how hurt I would be afterwards, I just wanted to get to the other side of the storm and I was going to fight my way there.  The winds of change have picked me up and I’m flying through the air now with common things turned deadly.  Open to the elements and exposed to the wrath of the storm I close my eyes and cry out to God “is it too late?”  I can’t go back that I know, but the fear has my eyes tightly closed because the sight before me is too much for my battered heart to take.  My self destructive nature has once more taken over.  I try to breathe as the lies spin me in circles.  I reach for something to grab onto and for a second I’ve got it.  Then the winds of doubt rip it from my grasp as I fight to keep my heart beating.  Trust God, Trust God I chant within me.  I open my eyes for a second and catch a glimpse of God through the storm,  He tells me “on purpose”.   On purpose!   I ponder in my mind its meaning.  Is it meant for me?  He knew I was going to run into the storm, He knew I couldn’t sit there and wait for what I saw was inevitable to happen.  He knew I would self destruct and take matters into my own hands to make it happen.  It was all on purpose!   He has a plan for me that I cannot see right now.  I remember his dare to me and the spoken words are what will carry me through the rest of this storm.  I don’t know who will be left standing beside me when its over but I do know my shattered heart is in his hands.

I’m not sure I believe redemption is possible for me here on earth….even when my feet touch the ground again.  I do believe that I will find it in heaven and no one can take that away from me.  I will not justify my reasons for running into the storm, nor will I let my scars define who I am when its all over.  I also will not allow the pain to cripple me but rather use it to fuel my passion to fight, not for me but for His PURPOSE!

Forgiveness

The tears keep coming

I take a deep breath and push them down

I force my mind to happier times

Where the sun shines and children laugh

Then reality pulls me back

Oh no!

Here come the tears,

Here comes the pain

Oh Lord please!

When will my bottle be full?

How many tears must fall?

The pain will subside when I release it

I have to let go

I have to forgive and that’s not easy

Forgiveness is a skill that must be practiced

It is learned over time with the help of the Holy Spirit

It is not natural

It is a choice ……and a difficult one at that

It’s a choice that I don’t make once

 I make it every moment of every day

I am not perfect, so there are days I don’t forgive

God’s grace is there for me in those moments

The more that I choose forgiveness the easier it will be

See….Forgiveness isn’t for you

Its for me

Funny thing is the hardest person to forgive…….is myself

Tear Drops for Heaven

Tear drops fall spilling over my heart’s wall

One by one they tell of my heart’s story

Tears of happiness, Tears of sadness

Tears of pain, Tears of shame

Each one is a reflection of my heart’s condition

Don’t stop the tears, Don’t hide the tears

Soak in the moment and feel the emotion

 Before its lost in the ocean

Tears of Tragedy, Tears of Reality

Each one is important, Every one with a purpose

Lessons to be learned, Memories to be made

Crystal clear and uniquely shaped

Each one treasured by the one who created them

Tears of sorrow, Tears of tomorrow

God wants our tears, each and everyone

Tears of laughter, Tears of happily ever after

He collects them in a bottle, he doesn’t miss a one

We must share our tears with loved ones big and small

For our sorrows today may be  sown in pain

But our tears of pain, He turns to gain

From our tears of death to our tears of life

God loves them all the same

And on that day of harvest

We’ll get to enjoy, Our sheaves of joy

Psalm 126 5-7

Those who sow in tears

will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

I believe I sow my tears when I allow others to walk through the trials of life with me.   The longer my pain is hidden within me the uglier it becomes and eventually it comes oozing out in every aspect of my life.  It’s through sharing my pain that I can find healing and I’ve learned it is also an invitation for others to share their wounded hearts to find healing as well.

Inspired by Deb Butler

Written by Monica Thompson

Summer 2012