Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Featuring: Made Well by Jenny Simmons and a GIVEAWAY!



Made Well
"Finding Wholeness in the Everyday Sacred Moments"



Her story mirrors my own in some ways. A life defined by a tumultuous journey towards healing.

When I started reading the words she had so transparently crafted, I smiled, I cried, and I cheered for all those I knew would find healing because of Jenny's vulnerability.

I used to think that when people were healed, that they didn't ever deal with the "problem" again.  The "it," whatever it was would most certainly go away.

More often than not, we are not instantly transformed.   As I have learned in my own life, getting well sometimes happens over many bumpy years when despair creeps into the places you are trying so desperately to clean up.

Jenny Simmons writes, "...sometimes the broken things aren't fixed here and now. Sometimes the marriage ends, the babies die, the job is lost, the life savings are cleaned out, the disease grows, and the miracle you prayed for doesn't happen."

I agree.

In my case, the aggravating panic disorder was a constant reminder that I couldn't cut it. That I was broken, and clearly my inability to cope meant that I wasn't good enough to be made well.

I believed that I could be transformed in a second, so why wasn't that God's plan for me?  Did He hold a grudge against me, I wondered silently?

Over the past 10 years, I have discovered a beautiful truth. That God loves me enough to use my weaknesses to make me stronger than I ever believed I could be.

This line from "Made Well," resonates with me so deeply:  "...there is more to being made well than the curing of our bodies or fixing of our situations.  There is wholeness to be found on the roads we never prayed for."

Of course we don't pray to have days where we feel like we can't get out of bed!  But, the determination we tap into, and the reliance on God inspires us to rise up, wash our face, and trudge through the day, laying a foundation for the work of healing to begin construction.

I never would have dreamed of all the things I've learned through my struggle with anxiety.  It has been a great teacher.  I may not have wanted to be taught this way, but God knew that it's what I needed to become the version of myself that He could use most effectively.

Like Jenny, I too have had those days where I was mad.  Just plain mad that I had to go through this process.  She writes, "...afraid, lonely and angry that I even had to work for health when no one else around me seemed to be tasked with that..."

I remember days when I looked at all the people around me and felt alone.  I lived a life plagued by fear, and yet I was determined to be a world changer. I didn't know how to start, but I didn't know how to quit. I had to get well.

And, I am being made well, it just may not be in the way I wanted.  Or like Jenny said, "It wasn't the miracle I prayed for, but it was a miracle all the same. Emmanuel showing up in the hardest moments, holding my hand."

God brought this book into my life for some rough moments when He and I were upending the deepest roots of my fear.  That in itself is proof that my Creator loves me, He delights in me, and He is giving me grace to walk this path to wholeness.

Thank you Jenny Simmons for sharing so bravely about finding wholeness in moments that we might otherwise pass by without a pause. These unexpected parts of our journey are what give us hope to keep pressing into the One who restores...the One who makes us well.


--- I'm giving away a copy of Jenny's book to one of my readers!---

----- Like my post on Facebook and leave a comment on the link or on the blog to be entered. -----

------- For more information about Made Well, by Jenny Simmons, go to www.madewellbook.com -------

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The truth remains.






Do you ever wonder when truth will become important again?

We live in a world where lies are excused, and those who embrace moral codes are mocked.

Perhaps you, like me, are concerned for what this aversion to the truth looks like as we continue on in this century.

We see things through political eyes these days, partly because we are nearing the “changing of the guard” so to speak in Washington D.C.

But, truthfully, we should be viewing this recent turn of events with glasses that reveal to us the source of true vision, rather than the cloudy spectacles of popular viewpoints that further political agendas.

Veracity (truth) is imperative.

Living a life free from deceit is beneficial.

Operating from a position of integrity brings freedom, rather than bondage.

Consider this.

We recently watched two different occasions in which a Presidential Candidate was caught lying (caught almost in the act).

Instead of walking it back, apologizing for their departure from the truth, they doubled down on their lies...in fact adding to the already preposterous detail of events.

Why?

And, more importantly, why did it seem that a majority of the population didn’t care?

I don’t know when I’ve seen so much apathy, and it is concerning!


Now to be sure, deception exists in every political party.  In fact, it exists everywhere we look.  But the part I can’t wrap my mind around is that we don’t seem to be phased by it.

Have we become lovers of evil, rather than pursuers of good?

Put everything you assume to be “your truth” aside for a moment.  Forget how you were raised, or how you conduct yourself currently.

When a person habitually tells other people things that are proven to be categorically false, are they a liar?

When a person habitually tells other people things that are proven to be categorically false, are found out, and pretend it didn’t happen, what would you label them as?  A pathological liar?

Would you want your life to be governed and protected by a habitual liar?

This is important.

There are people’s lives at stake.

This isn’t a little boy or girl lying about whether or not they stole a piece of gum (although that has serious implications as well).

Perhaps this is a case where this person started out with small deceptions, was allowed to get away with them, and has weaved a web of deceit unlike anything we could have imagined.

For the sake of future generations, and for that of our souls, perhaps we should have a very important conversation with those we love, particularly our children.

Lies and deception are evil.

We cannot allow our consciences to be numbed to an alternative belief.

Truth is not relative.

Are there grey matters that come up every once in awhile? Of course.  I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t recognize that.

I’m not calling for a return to absolute black and white in places where I have no experience.  I realize that world leaders face things I couldn’t possibly imagine.




However, I believe that integrity and faithfulness to the truth should still be placed in a position of first importance… no matter if your name is Mr. Jones, or Mr. President.

Galatians 6:7 says this: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” (Holy Bible AKJV)

I believe that.

That truth doesn’t change.

People who habitually lie, and revel in an existence of deception will be found out...and will reap what they sow.

And even when half the population doesn’t seem to care that a prominent figure is lying and continuing on with some level of popularity, so be it.

The truth remains.

No one, not even the President of the United States - the Leader of the free world, can escape the consequences of deception.

May we teach this generation that integrity and faithfulness matter.

Let’s examine our own hearts, and put aside any tendency to lie when it’s convenient.

While certain people may seem to be above the law, let me assure you, there is a law that no one is above.

And, the truth will set us free.

Don't be afraid to seek knowledge, wisdom, and truth.

We need a generation who will defend faithfulness to their dying breath.

I for one, am not done standing up for what I know to be true.  And, I will call out deception and refuse to accept that it's okay because "everyone is doing it."

It's not okay.

It's deplorable.

And we better start calling what it is.

We can not expect to enjoy a functioning and thriving community when it's members are willing to not only excuse the behavior of liars, but follow them blindly to their own demise.

Stand up and fight.

Fight with the truth.