This is my bedside table which describes part of my life in a nutshell. Next to the books I have my scalp massager, because no one in my family is as good at that, as my mama. So-Thank you dollar section at Target! In the mirror you see my faithful feline companion, Hazelnut, who follows me everywhere. And in the chair next to her and all along the floor is the clean laundry, yet to be folded. I once had all the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away for 5 whole minutes. It was glorious and hasn’t happened since.
The bottom book is an encyclopedia for home remedies which have been a God-send to me and my family the last 5 years. It fascinates me how God created all we need in nature and how all things have a purpose. The next book called “Unbound” goes over spiritual deliverance. I have so much to share about that book and how it applies to my life in upcoming posts- I can hardly wait. The book on top of that is a freebie I received from church about forgiving. Who doesn’t need to forgive, right? And sometimes forgiveness is a process and has many stages.
The next book “You Inc” was a gift from my father in law to my husband about how to promote himself when he started his business years ago, which he never read. I decided to read it recently when I started up my little projects. I am not much of a sales person and it’s taken me quite awhile to read about “self promotion” which makes me feel awkward.
“Dissolving Illusions” is about the history of disease in the world and much more. In later writings of mine, you will come to know why reading that book is better than a mystery/horror/suspense/drama/tragedy/historical nonfiction, genre for me.
“The Discernment of Spirits” is a great book to have as a teaching tool to recognize the voice of God above all the others. “The Fulfillment of all Desire” is a compilation of some of the most prominent saints in the history of the church. It is riveting to know the similarities the saints went through in their lives and the knowledge they have to pass on about all the stages and depths of their faith and their spiritual gifts. You can compare it to your own life and where you are, since we are ALL called to be saints!
The next two books about HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper” was a vacation for me in the midst of my day to day “deep processing” mindset. Chip and Joanna Gain’s story is an inspiration to me on so many levels. Those books were pure entertainment with a huge shot of motivation. Great books, especially if you own your own company or are trying to discern how God wants you to use your talents for His glory.
“Resisting the Devil” follows the book “Unbound”, and shares how to further recognize truth from lies and how to protect yourself from them.
My book marks are in various places throughout all of these books on my bedside. I jump around quite a bit when I read, and sometimes I will read an entire book at once depending on where I’m at in my journey and what I need to learn at the time.
Then there is the top book (which was buried in the middle) :
It’s been about 6 months since I last read it. But this book… I don’t remember where/when I got it, but I opened up to where I left off and started reading again.
Since I have been writing *this here little blog*, I have noticed that the Lord is helping me re-process through all of my memories. On occasion, what I write about from my past history, is paralleling current things going on within myself or my family, even after I write a post. It’s seems like such a coincidence but is it? I like to call it a “God-Incidence”.
I just wrote my testimony about my depression a couple of days ago and then I picked up this book “Be Healed” 2 days later (that I haven’t read for 6 months) and this is what Bob Schuchts writes:
“When we do not believe that we are the Father’s beloved, we remain in “a spirit of slavery” borne out of fear.” Me speaking; Isn’t that what depression is? We are in bondage to our sadness. He goes on to write, “Without a firm identity as beloved children, we end up living lives of moral perfection, trying to please God, or reckless abandon and self-indulgence.” He is comparing these two extremes of personalities to the brother of the prodigal son who tries to do all the right things, and then to the actual prodigal son himself, who we know runs off in his rebellion. I know for me I have lived the identity of both sons at one point in time and in neither way did I realize the Father’s love for me. “When I failed to measure up, the enemy then accused me of my failures.” For me, my depression was a doorway which let the evil one in to wreak havoc on my goodness. I was susceptible to all lies about who I really was. “Only when we are fully alive in Christ are we capable of beholding our dignity as beloved children of the Father.” and more, “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures. Neither are we the sum of our achievements and successes or religious practices. No, we are much more that all of these things. We are beloved children of the Father.” (Jn 2:7, 3:1)
That all hit home for me. All of those books are another of God’s ways of talking to me just when I need it the most and especially when I need to be reminded. His timing is perfect. As I read on, the author goes into talking about intimacy with Christ. How the crosses in our life are to join us to, and bring us closer to Christ. But we have become enemies of the cross not fully understanding its potential. I will speak about crosses through my testimony over the months because I too, did not understand the value going through my hard times. “I shudder at how much I have been an enemy of the Cross in my life, being more concerned about earthly things and self-survival, all the while avoiding the Cross, which is God’s only path to true healing and salvation.” What Mr. Schuchts admits here about his own heart is also true for mine at times. For me, the cross was my depression. It was the things yet to come even in the midst of that- that I haven’t shared yet in this blog. I didn’t know back then what I know now. So I take this acquired knowledge and I apply it to my life NOW. Yes I may still slip up from time to time in my human frailty, but I will grow stronger in my confidence in the Lord through it all.
It was quite a process coming into my own faith with God because I was tied to the “spirit of perfection”. That’s another post for another day. 😉
Mother Teresa, in her letter to the Missionaries of Charity Family states: “The devil may try to use the hurts of life and sometimes our own mistakes to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you.” I can relate! All of the books I’m reading and have read, are my weapons for the healing of mind, body and soul which are all connected in God’s perfect plan. That, and those messenger friends he has sent to me along the way. We need instructions and prophets and helpers.
So how do we get to the place where we can rest in the Father’s heart for us and have full confidence that we are loved? It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes practice. Every day. You need to remember to rest in God’s presence. Study. Put into yourself what you want to come out as a reflection of Christ. Put on His armor. Stay away from things that can let the evil one in. He’s sneaky. Arm yourself with God’s word. Use the sacraments; confession and communion. The body of Christ is alive and large. Seek out others who can remind you and guide you when you are feeling weak. Buy the books that can speak to you about God’s truths that will help to instruct, guide and protect you in mind, body and spirit. And if you don’t get to them right away- that’s okay, God knows when you’re supposed to. He will give you the nudge.
My little boy had a rough day yesterday and I’d like to share our conversation…
For whatever reason my son thought that when trying something new, he should automatically be good at it. I reminded him that everything takes practice. You can’t just master something difficult the very first time.
The example that came to me in our conversation was: when you buy # 2 pencils they come unsharpened. I compared my son to the pencil and I asked him how realistic it was of himself to be able to write with a blunt pencil. Sharpening the pencil gives it the pointy tip which allows the lead to be written with. *Sharpening is the practice.* You cannot write your story when the pencil is flat. You can’t excel at something if you don’t practice.
Apply that to our faith life. How often do we want to give up when it’s difficult? What if we feel broken at times because we tried and failed? Or when we are not as perfect as we thought we should be?
It’s in the sharpening that we perfect who we are meant to be and only then do we see how FULL we are of potential. If we do not practice or “sharpen the pencil” then we do not know what we are capable of.
The Holy Spirit gave me these words that reached my boy’s heart… and then I applied what I told him, to myself.
God places potential for greatness in us. Practice is progress. Apply it to everything. Holiness is an exercise. Sometimes we fail, sometimes we come up short but when we keep trying, God will bless our efforts. And if we mess up along the way, He is the ultimate eraser.