Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coming to a stop but not letting go:: Day 31 Hold Tight Series


“I can't promise you the world,
But I can try to give you a happy life.
I can't promise you I'll never yell,
But I can try to stay calm most of the time.
I can't promise you I'll never make mistakes,
But I can try the best I can.
I can't promise you that I'll catch you every time you fall,
But I can try to always be close by so I can help you back up.
I can't promise that our love will last forever like in storybooks,
But I can promise that no matter what, I'll never forget the memories I made with you.”

You may have seen that quote floating around Facebook or Pintrest and shared it with someone who’s dear to your heart.

Then I got to thinking, “What ‘can and can’ts’ would I say to you, friend, on this last day in this Hold Tight series and as a blogger in general?”  So here’s a try:

I can promise you I’ll try my best, but I can’t promise you I’ll do my best every time.

I can promise you I’ll try hard to be an encourager.  But I can’t promise you I’ll never make mistakes.  (In fact, I can promise you I make plenty of them every day!)

I can’t promise you perfection.  But I can promise you I’m imperfect and OK with it (most of the time).

I can’t promise you I know all the answers but I can promise I know the Teacher who does.

I can promise this all comes from the heart.

I can promise I need promises from Christ alone.

I can promise I need that reminder so I don’t go insane!


Then  I began thinking even more. “What would God say if He wrote something like that?” Would it be something like this?:


I can promise you that I love the world, but I can’t promise you you’ll have a always happy life. (John 3:16, 1 Peter 1:6)

I can promise you I never make mistakes, but I can’t promise you you’ll understand my way. (Proverbs 16:10)

I can promise you I’ll catch you every time you fall, but I can’t promise you that you’ll ask me to catch you. (Deut. 32:10-11)

I can promise you that my love for you will last forever like in storybooks, but I can’t promise you that you’ll never forget that promise I’m giving you.   (Psalm 138:8)


Such sweet yet sometimes hard to swallow promises.  I’m guilty of all of those things he can’t promise me.  But HIS promises will never end.

Focus on those can’s not the can’ts. 

Hold tight to the promises on the roller coaster of life.


Don’t let go. 

The ride might slow down, break down or run out of fuel but don’t let go!  

For His unfailing love is great, and it is intended for us, and His faithfulness to His promises knows no end. Praise the Lord! 

(Psalm 117:2)


The roller coaster has come to a stop…at least this 31 Day series has.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the “ride” and it’s had it’s ups and downs for sure.  But I raise it all to the One whom I’m writing this for.  He is the One who promises redemption, restoration, rest, revival and relentless forgiveness and love. And He never breaks them.


{ Thanks to those of you who stopped by in my little space this past month to read parts of this series!  I hope it’s been a gift to you.  I can’t promise you the exact date I’ll be back to post again because I need a little rest from this great ride!  But will come back refreshed! } 


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hold on! Just 3 Days Left! :: Day 29 Hold Tight Series


Hold on!  Just three days left!

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of writing and living and remembering promises. 

If you’ve been on this coaster with me in October, or are just now stumbled across my little space, I’ve been writing about promises I need.  I wrote:

What could I use - or even more need - for encouragement these days?  Can anything uplifting be guaranteed in today’s darkened world where every day lies the thickening tension of uncertainty and “what’s to come” of our own little world that’s part of the big world we live in on this planet?  
Or closer to home, how about needing a glimpse of hope on days where you’re so dizzy with stress or you feel discouraged or plain ‘ole blah.

I then went on a search for the first promise ever given in history.  And found it here

So, if that’s the first, then what’s the last promise God gave us in the Bible?


It’s at the very end of the book of Revelation 22:20 in the last chapter in the last verses. 

“The One who testifies to these realities makes this promise:

Jesus: Yes. I am coming soon.

To which we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

Jesus promises before he ascended into heaven:  I am coming back soon.”


He is coming back soon!

That makes my heart skip a beat!  The reason for that skip could be because the way our world looks these days makes me nervous but even more it skips because of excitement and anticipation to see the Promise face to face! 

And I know Revelation 22:20 was written quite a while ago but His Word is true and has never been erased!  We will never know that exact day but I do know today is one day sooner than yesterday.  Our timing is quite different than God’s but as I’ve learned even more this month, God’s entire Word in the Bible is a promise.  And one last time He reminds us of His never-ending and never-changing promise to bring hope in the days we do have on this earth. 

Maybe you can call it cheating, but I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.  I did a little research about God’s last promise and these words already written probably explains it better than I could.  So here is what I read and what it was what I was trying to say.

The Bible, from beginning to end, is a book about Jesus. The Old Testament, God's first promise, carries the prophetic theme of the coming Messiah. The New Testament begins with the record of how God kept his promise by sending Jesus as the Messiah and ends with the book of Revelation, a new prophetic promise that Jesus will come again.

Revelation shouts a loud "Amen" to everything the Bible says about Jesus.

It reinforces God's promises from Genesis to Jude. It is a book of comfort and victory for the New Testament believer. It lifts our eyes from the cares of this life to peer through the windows of heaven.”


So, I’ve come to see promises with a whole new light.  I’ve heard the word “promise” forever.  But it’s not until I’ve been reading, praying and writing about more and more these days, I’ve come to realize how HUGE promises were made and meant to be.

He is coming back soon!  





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Monday, October 28, 2013

Choose to shine:: Day 28 Hold Tight Series


Corrie ten Boom was a hero for many Jews, hiding them in her home during the Holocaust.  She clung to God’s promises to get her and others’ lives through that horrifying time in history.  That part of history is over now but her legacy of her love for God and for His children still lives on.  She is a women who relied on God’s promises that gave her joy in the darkest of days where they felt trapped and had to hide.

Have you ever felt that way?   Are there days you feel like the walls are getting smaller and smaller around you as you stare at the same four walls and ceiling day after day? 

Lord, help me to remember to shine God’s promises on my problems so that I will have hope and see Your light each day.





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Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Pretty Cool Moment and Song:: Day 26 Hold Tight Series


Oh the past couple of days I’ve written about how we can be bound in chains or we can be bound knowing for certain something will happen.

Earlier this month I had an extra bit of time one afternoon and I was starting to write how the Story of the Promised Land can be included in my blog theme of promises this month.

I was tapping away on my keyboard and decided to listen to some music to break the silence and hopefully inspire.  My husband had just told me about a website called Spotify where you can listen to all different kinds of music.  I don’t remember the musician I set my playlist on but a few songs into the list a song I had never heard began to play. 

I honestly didn’t pay attention to the words of the first stanza because it was just quiet background music but all of a sudden these words grabbed my attention:

I am bound.

I am bound.

I am bound to the Promised Land.”


I was sitting there writing about the Promised Land and this song I had never heard before about the Promised Land *just-so-happens* to flow out of the little speakers in my computer.   

I’m still amazed how God gives gifts like that at just the perfect time.  How could a joy-tear not fall?

So this song I had never heard was sung by Jars of Clay who had revised an old hymn written by Samuel Stennett who lived from 1727-1795.  I love the way Jars of Clay sang that classic hymn that had been around for 250 years with the banjo mixed in to it.

If you have a moment, I highly recommend you listening to it. 

Click here to listen to it and read the words as it’s played.  I promise! It’s a gift!

I know I’ll be asking along the way in life,

“When shall I see that happy place
And be forever blessed?”

But until then, I’m choosing to be bound and determined  to keep heading to that Promised Land God promises us. 



On Jordan’s Stormy Banks

(Another God-gift…the Scripture at the end of this song video is Acts 2:39. Of all the promises in the Bible I had chosen that same one as a promise on last weekend’s post.)



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Friday, October 25, 2013

Where are you bound? Part 2 :: Day 25 Hold Tight Series


It’s the place where floors creak when trampled on by kids’ feet, a steady rumble comes from the laundry room, the muffled sound of a base drum coming from the tiny space between the carpet and door to our son’s bedroom, silverware clinks on dishes, dog barks at a squirrel, the doorbell often rings, laughter and conversations flow. 



Other times though there’s quietness.  Piano music playing, the only sound is birds singing, fingers hitting the keyboard, the page of a book turning, a deep breath, whispers, silence.


Those quiet moments become little longings in a crazy-busy life.  Those little longings can start to add up and when you look at your life, you realize they all connect to a deeper, one core heart-longing.

Don’t we all have longings?

Even back thousands of years ago, people had them.  There were probably different physical longings in that day of age, yet at the core of all of our hearts is a longing for a forever and perfect home of security, love, peace and rest.

For generations, thousands of Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians.  And then God sent Moses, (one of my all time heroes) to help lead the people to freedom from bondage.

There during the burning bush experience, God told Moses to tell the enslaved Israelites that He said, 

“I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites…a land flowing with milk and honey.”      Exodus 3:17

Wasn’t God promising them a new home? 

I can imagine the thoughts of the people when they heard that exciting news.  They were dreaming of a land of milk and honey under the bright, blue sky.  They would have big, big houses with lots and lots of room, a big table with lots and lots of food, and a big backyard where they could play football.  It’s their longing coming true!

God promised to rescue them.  He did.

God promised a way out for them.  He did.

God continued to provided their needs even after He had already done such a mighty act to free them.

But then like every human in the history of mankind, the people began to grumble.  They began to complain.  They felt sorry for themselves because they had the same food everyday and it was too hot outside and their feet hurt.  Then when none of that changed, they became angry and rebellious.  With that came consequences…forty years of wandering. 

On their journey, God had told them many times,

I will free you from being slaves and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.”    Exodus 6:5-7

God had to remind them His promise over and over on their journey to the Promised Land (sounds kind of familiar to me in my life).  Yet, God allowed all of those long, never-ending days of waiting and being out of their comfort for a reason.  God was working more in their hearts and forming their homes on the inside, not necessarily on the land outside.  It took forty years until the people realized the true reason God rescued them. 

God longed to redeem them. 

I will redeem you, He says.

I will deliver you, He says.

Did you catch the promise?  “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…” 

God redeemed their story and he wants to redeem ours.  Our stories of restlessness, sorrow, grief, war battles, and challenges are intertwined with some hope, joy and loving promises. God makes all of that into a beautiful story which is included in the Book in the Promised Land.


To cross that Jordan River into the Promised Land is waiting for me and is waiting for you.  It’s all about coming home to the place where purpose, comfort and security are found…and felt...forever.  That can only be found when we choose to rest in God’s outstretched arm.  

So, I’m bound.

My life might feel like those forty years but I will not give up trying to get there.

“I long to see that happy place and be forever blessed; therefore, I’m bound for the Promised Land.”

(words from an old hymn that I’m going to share with you tomorrow that’s been revised…so good and a story with it!)


My longing is that I always want my longing and the character of God to intertwine.

What is your longing? 

What is your story? 

What is your promised land?



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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Where are you bound? Part 1:: Day 24 Hold Tight Series



When it’s a cold, rainy day when your jeans and shirt feel damp after running errands to the grocery, bank and my daughter’s program at school, I can hardly wait to get home. 

When I’ve been stressed with responsibility, the smell of apple cider brewing on our stove helps me breathe in a little peace.

When I’ve been on my feet all day and I just want to put my feet up, home is where I put on my comfy pajama pants and slippers.

When it’s our kids’ bed time and we tuck them tight under their blankets and answer their random, and sometimes deep questions, it makes home is so sweet.

Those bedtime moments reminds me of those when the kids were younger and I’d read to them those Dr. Seuss and fairy tale books.  And when I think of home I think of the classic “The Three Little Pigs” where the pigs built houses made of straw, sticks, and bricks and the wolf came and huffed and puffed and blew the straw and stick houses down.  But the brick house remained standing because brick is hard to break or tear down.  Now the most common moral of the story is that if you work hard, taking time to make wise decisions, then you’ll succeed. 

But for some reason my often crazy mind, which sometimes thinks a little (if not too much) abstractly, began to see this old tale from a different view.

Yes, two of those little pigs chose to build their homes with whatever they could get their hooves on because they quickly wanted somewhere to feel protected from that evil wolf.  They wanted a place to hide because of their fear. 

Supposedly the third pig gave the impression that he had no fears and was a smart bacon and had life all planned out.  He chose to build a house the way he wanted it to be, with walls that were hard to tear down.  He was for sure going to feel safe and comfortable in his home.

We don’t know the rest of the story and what happened to that pig years down the road, but if he’s anything like me or some other people I might know…then he gets very comfortable…too comfortable.  Everyday he has a routine and his home becomes a place to get away from the aggrivations and troubles of the world and unintentionally becomes a place to hide where he knows he’s not risking anything to save his self.


The brick wall becomes a comfort zone.  It’s a place were I can stuff guilt, mistakes, problems, laziness and issues I’d rather ignore in the closets.  In that brick house I can run and jump on the sofa, throwing a blanket over me to hide when I hear the door being knocked.  I’ve put so many different locks and chains on the door, it’s too overwhelming  figure out which key goes in which lock.  I become bound.  Bound to captivity in the comfort zone.  I must have been trying as hard as I could to give the impression that I didn’t have any fears.

Do we stay in our own little comfortable place where no one will ever see you because you don’t want to risk…anything?

A brick is hard to break, much less four walls that surround you. 

Has my heart ever been as hard as a brick?

Can the heart God created in us form into hardened clay like a brick where it’s hard to allow anybody in those walls that have been built?  Is it difficult for you to get out of those walls of your self?

Those self-gratifying, self-seeking, self-pity and selfish parts in me can get trapped inside.

The heart was created to be absorbent, pliable and moldable…all the time. 

Instead of becoming hard and rocky, He wants our hearts – our lives - to be more vulnerable, bendable and real.  God promises us a home…that Promised Land.  He offers the gift of freedom filled with blessings.  Home is where He wants us to breathe and move and flow…and take a few risks every now and thenBreak down that wall of comfort.  After all, the Best Selling Story is full of risk takers.

I want to risk being real.  We are most real in our homes where we laugh, lose our temper, love, and lose our minds...all in one minute!   There, our hearts are real.  God created us to be real.

Do you know your heart’s home?  Are you willing to take a risk and break free from your comfort zone?  



God promises us an eternal home…that Promised Land.  He gave that promise to the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt and would rescue them from bondage, captivity and false security.   God wanted to deliver them from the bricks they were forced to create and build walls with, and give them the gift of freedom land where their homes are filled with blessings….Tomorrow let’s delve into another perspective of our true Home and where you are bound. 



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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

God Promises Joy:: Guest writer on Day 24 of Hold Tight Series



It’s a gift to call this beautiful 86 year young woman my friend.  When I think of her, I think of joy because that’s who she is.

Her home is filled with bright, unique art and the word JOY sprinkled though every room, even out in her garden.

Every time we have a conversation, she includes that word followed with a smile.

With the joy that exuberates from her I asked her what her thoughts are about promises.  I asked her to write them down and be my guest writer today.

May her words about promises bring you joy like it does me!

She writes:

“God’s promises are so comforting and full of hope. They continue for a life time! 

Each day is a gift from God that reminds me how much God loves me.

I am choosing to practice joy and be full and overflowing with gratitude. God has done great things for us and we can be filled with joy. We can be surprised by the true joy in the life journey as God gives us grace for the day. 

When you’re in the older years of life, you have time for family and friends and more time to be quiet with God. As we enjoy life on the way to heaven, we have joy–full days.

I plan to have a “filled with the joy of Jesus” kind of day.  I hear some of my friends complain about “advancing age” and their limitations. Joy is not only for youth. Jesus wants us to age with joy, delight and hope all the way on our journey to heaven. 

God promises joy

We are to seek joy, cling tight and be grateful. 

Spread joy! 

Here’s some verses that bring me hope and joy:

“Rejoice in the Lord always!”   Philippians 4:4    Trust and believe!  Rejoice in the miracles of every day life and the wonder it holds.

“The Lord is my strength and shield and I trust him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy.” (He promises!)    Psalm 28:4

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.   Psalm 126:3

And I pray each morning, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”    Psalm 118:24


We are blessed with your joy and wisdom, Mitchie!  Thank you for being my guest writer today!





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Monday, October 21, 2013

I’m stuck:: Day 21 Hold Tight Series

It’s Monday morning.

I’m stuck.

I had an idea for a post today but it just didn’t happen. 

It was about vision and promises.

But as I’ve struggled writing about it the past month, I decided to give up for now because I haven’t seemed to be quite ready to delve into it.

So I had no idea what to post to keep my 31 Days momentum going for Day 21.

I dug out my winter coat from the closet because it was the coldest morning this fall so far.  It was time to take the dog for his daily walk.


As I walked down the road, I honestly began to question God if this writing thing is something I should even pursue anymore.  Am I misusing my time?  Should I be putting it somewhere else instead or are my words even worthy of posting?  Maybe I should take a break and be a closet writer?


When I got home I opened my bible to read the Scripture for today: Luke 24:13-35.  I’ve been in a great bible study with a bunch of great women called Good Morning Girls where we’re dissecting the book of Luke.  It was about two men walking down a road who had just witnessed the days prior to Jesus’ execution.  They were walking and talking about it when Jesus, who had risen from the dead that day, shows up and joins their walk and conversation even though they didn’t realize it was him they were talking with.  Jesus had asked them what they were talking about and they told him about Jesus who performed miracles and was a powerful preacher and what had happened to him.  They continue to tell him:

21 “We had been hoping that He was the One—you know, the One who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning—the third day after the execution— 22 some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, 23 but they didn’t see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something—a vision of heavenly messengers—and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. 24 Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn’t see Jesus.”

My knees hit the ground as tears roll down.  Those two words have been reappearing to me recently yet I was ready to just quietly put them in my closet and jump in after them.

That moment didn’t necessarily answer the questions I had asked Him just an hour earlier but He wanted me to know that He is present.  I knew then He is.  All I wanted to do was praise and thank Him for just listening to me.

How in the world can I not believe in Him when those two words appear in the same paragraph in a translation I had never read before on the day I was doubting myself?  When for some reason those two words have been resonating in my spirit lately?

I still don’t know exactly where that leads me but I do know that whatever I do, as I walk this road of life, He promises me He’ll be beside me.


In case you’re interested, here’s the rest of the joyful Scripture I read this morning.  Let us remember Jesus’ resurrection and have new life every day, not just on Easter! 


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Song:: Day 19 Hold Tight Series




In the midst of going to fall festivals, football games and raking leaves over the weekend, if you’d like to be reminded of the promise that God has the whole world in his hands even in the troubles and battles of life, click on the song title below and listen to this song then follow the word along.

Make it a great weekend!

Whom Shall I fear {God of Angel Armies}  by Chris Tomlin

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear?

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the hold world in your hands
I'm holding on to your promises
You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side



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Friday, October 18, 2013

I don’t have much room to talk:: Day 18 Hold Tight Series


I’m no expert in politics.

I’m truthfully guilty of not being pro-active in my rights as an American citizen to challenge our government and it’s decisions.  The government is way too complex.  I am too small.

But these days lately it’s been hard to avoid the news everywhere in the world about how broken our country is.

I don’t have much room to talk though.

Months before elections I drive around running errands and see campaign signs staked on every corner and almost count the days until they’re taken down.

I briefly and quickly read over the campaign ads that come in the mail and then thrown in the trash like junk mail because I’ve got too many other here-and-now demands to drive to soccer practice, cook dinner, do laundry, clean the house for company, and actually work.

Here’s my not so pretty confession: 

I’m guilty of not making the time to study and learn about the people who are running for office seemingly giving promises of what they’ll do for us – the people of America -  but history shows, they turn out to be empty promises.

I’m guilty of judging our leaders.

I’m guilty of not standing tall in my beliefs as a Christ follower and instead of speaking out Truth in my community, I'm apathetic to the decisions our government makes.  I even regret saying I’ve been passive when seeing people I know make choices and comments that aren’t Godly.

I’m guilty for not trying to make a difference, instead I’m indifferent. 

Am I the only one who feels that way?


As a citizen, why should I waste the freedom to try to make a change?

But what is it?  What can little ‘ole me, in this huge country, do?

Well, it can start off with prayer.

God, the true Judge, please forgive me for being judgmental.  Please forgive me for being indifferent and not being bold to make a difference  you have called me to do…to be a no-hold-back Christ follower.  I need to hold onto the promises You give of redemption, salvation and an armor to fight the physical and spiritual battles, holding tight to the sword of Your Word.  But you also promise that there will come a day when this world will crumble and all people will fall at your feet and give you glory.

Please speak clearly to me what it is you want me to do -  what you want each Christ-follower to do – to spread the news about your Truth and that we’ll make it a priority on our to-do list to make a difference to the people you’ve put in our lives who don’t know you.

Please guide our country’s leaders. Have god-fearing leaders in our government not be ashamed to stand firm on the foundation of your Word which was also the foundation of our country.  Have citizens in our community, including myself, not be ashamed to stand firm on the foundation of Your Word which was also the foundation of our country.

I cry out to you, Lord.

"”So when troubles begin, don’t be afraid.  Look up – raise your head high, because the truth is that your liberation is fast approaching… Heaven and earth will cease to exist but my words will never fail.

~Jesus  (Luke 22:28,32)


I’m also joining in today with Five Minute Friday and today’s word is LAUNDRY.

holdtight     5-minute-friday-1

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wake Up!!!: Day 17 Hold Tight Series



Our country, America, our world, on earth, which has sunk in deep darkness needs to wake up and see the light of God’s glory!  We need to abide with God’s Truth because His sunrise glory breaks over us!  Be a light to the world! 

Will you promise God to be a light to the world?  He promises us He’ll shine over and through us!


I have a guest photographer today: a sweet family friend, Jillian Mee.  She snapped this picture on her way to school earlier this month.  What beauty on an autumn morning and a gift as a reminder of God’s glory in a sunrise.  Thank you Jesus and thank you Jillian!



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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

There’s also Broken Promises:: Day 16 Hold Tight Series


On a hot, humid summer afternoon, I was at the gas station getting slushies with the kids to cool off and in the parking lot I saw this truck. 


Hey! I’ll take a picture of this because I’m sure someday I’ll be able to use this to write about in a blog post!

So...that’s a creative advertising tactic to get someone’s attention. Yeah...of course anyone who’s in an accident wants to be forgiven.

It may be easy for an insurance company to guarantee forgiveness because that’s their market. But it’s not as easy being a forgiver when it comes to relationships.

For 15 days now, the keyboard has been typing away about guarantees that bring hope, but today for the first time, I’m stuck.

Honestly, I’m sitting here looking at a screen filled with random sentences and none seems to flow together. Broken promises and forgiveness are tough ones when you have about 20 minutes to write about something that’s a lot more complex.

So I stopped.

I had to get my mind off of writer’s block, so instead I go and open a book I’ve been needing to read and during this moment of quietness, that I had originally reserved for writing, God, the Giver of all things gave me this gift – the chapter I was going to read was about forgiveness. I had no idea I’d open the pages to that chapter and it would be about what I was struggling to write about - the need for forgiveness.

It’s the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. She writes not only about the act of forgiving but also how we must go beyond forgiveness. “Going beyond forgiveness is sometimes more difficult than the initial act of forgiving.”

One of the things the author suggests is to make a list of all the people that has been hard to forgive in the past. Honestly, it took me a while to really remember times when I’ve had to forgive others. But the more I thought of that suggestion I began to realize that the person that has been the hardest to forgive in my life is myself.

I know I’m too hard on myself sometimes. Is that the perfectionism in me?   I’ve tried to promise myself that I’d become a “better person” and that’s where I’ve found it a challenge to fix that broken promise with forgiveness.

Broken promises are like old, broken records that repeats those same words over and over in our minds. They’re reoccurrences we’d rather not be reminded. Sometimes out of anger from that damaged record – or life - you just want to grip it tight in your hands and tear it into pieces.

22902_1_other_music_record_player photo

Promises I’ve given myself have played over and over again in a life that has some scratches and broken pieces. I’ve broken so many promises with myself.

I promise I’ll spend more time playing with my kids.

I promise I’ll try to be a better wife, mom and friend.

I promise I’ll take longer walks for more exercise.

I promise I’ll pray every day.

I promise I’ll volunteer more at school, church or the retirement community.

I promise I’ll overcome that spell of depression all by myself.

I promise I’ll try to be better at...everything.

I promise I’ll keep my promises.

Yeah right.

Ok, here’s another analogy: Broken promises are like a New Year’s resolution. I think I’ll be able keep it but it lasts only for a little while but then it’s forgotten or ignored. It all boils down to this: the promise is broken.

And then frustration and anger with myself begins to boil and that’s when the sharp tongue, loud voice and grumpy attitude arise.

During some of those bouts, I’ve made regrets that I wish would disappear like the forgiveness God has given me that’s so easy to forget. But they’ve been hard to forget: That night I yelled at my daughter. That conversation when my selfishness hurt my friend. That time when I avoided a needed conversation just because I knew the conflict would make the other person be upset a little bit longer.

My regret of personal promises I’ve broken wounds my heart and soul and I can’t imagine how much more it’s hurt someone else’s.  Why should I forgive myself?  I don’t deserve to be.

When discussing this personal revelation about myself with a friend today, she said, when I harbor and hold onto regrets and broken promises, I’m discarding why Jesus did what He did on the cross for me. I have sinned from not forgiving myself.

He forgave. He forgives. He summons us to forgive those who have hurt us...including ourselves.  Even though we don’t deserve to be forgiven.

When we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.  (1 John 1:9  GNT)

It’s a promise of forgiveness that God will never break because He is the God who is the Forgiver of all people who repent to Him. He proved that promise as He was flogged, beaten and nailed to a wooden cross. And He did all of that because of the love He promises us.

His love has no boundaries.

His love conquers regret.

His love truly forgets wrongdoings and our broken promises.

Those promises are on the record I choose that repeats to me over and over the gifts of joy, redemption, hope and that He’ll always love me.

A promise I’ll grip tight in my hands.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Life is a promise. Fulfill it :: Day 14 Hold Tight Series


Can you imagine what it would’ve been like if Mother Teresa had her own blog, had a Facebook page and Tweeted every day?  I think she’d have millions of people “Like” her and follow her electronically.  (OK, I know there’s a Mother Teresa Facebook page but if she personally had updated it!)


I honestly haven’t studied about her life very much but I know she was a profound yet simple lover of Jesus.

Her passion was to serve Him by spreading His love to people who were desperate - not only for Jesus and encouragement - but also for food, clothes and shelter.

Mother Teresa not only had the gift to serve but God also gave her the gift to write and speak.  There’s so many words of wisdom that came from her lips and pen and paper.

Some of her wisdom included her definition of “promise”.  In one of the things I did read about her was this:

Mother Teresa used to write letters with a passion that was unique to her discipline and she never ignored writing replies to the letters she received from different corners of the world, and given below is one of the wonderful replies she wrote:

My dear,
Life is a promise that we will experience all that it has to give. A promise that we shall love, cry, laugh, and eventually die. That we shall not worry about tomorrow, or contemplate too much about yesterday.  And that we shall experience today; and all it
s beautiful moments.
Life is a promise. Fulfill it.
Truly yours,

Mother Teresa

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I would love to receive a letter from her like that in the mailbox at the end of our driveway or I’d take an email too. If I had had the opportunity to have a conversation with her face to face, I’d ask her, “How have you been fulfilling that promise?”

We are promised the need of love and to cry, laugh and eventually die.  It’s all that life in-between where we try to fulfill it. 

Fill it with what?

I want to choose to fill it with overflowing love for my family, God’s Word, meaningful conversations with friends, lists of gratitude, hugs and a serving heart.

But oh, I can find myself pouring in some frustration, resentment, selfishness, fear and greed, hoping though there’s a hole in the bottom of that cup.

Maybe there’s a nail that puts a hole in the bottom of that cup to not allow those not-too-proud-of-choices and regrets stay around for too long a time.

Then it’s sealed with a promise that only God can give to restore my soul and that cup can be re-filled with grace and love like no other.

God promises life.  Fulfill that promise of life. 

It is a life like no other when I choose to fill my life with God’s promises that grace brings hope, beautiful and simple moments bring joy, forgiveness brings restoration and true love brings…well, promises.

“Life is a promise.  Fulfill it.”


What promise do you fill your life with? 


It’s Monday and that mean’s Joy Dare time:

#1698  2 friends who both (unplanned) let me know about Compel, a website designed to strengthen writing skills

#1699  subscribed to Compel!

#1700  celebrating son’s birthday over a steak at Outback

#1701  decorating our home for autumn

#1702  listening to piano music

#1703  Hearing Halleluiah by Time for Three in violins on a Saturday evening

#1704  raking the first pile of leaves for the season

#1705  memories of my home I grew up in on 1705 Westhaven Drive


#1706  memories of this night a year ago of my surprise birthday party


#1707  doing at 31 Days series…how fun!

#1708  husband bringing scripture to trying to teach daughter importance of having a foundation in her math skills.  Matthew 7:25

#1709  husband having a day off of work while the kids are at school!



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