Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hushed and Humbled

It is how I sign off on every single post.

Why? 

Because holiness, truth, and love tend to do that to my heart.

Throughout the bible God clearly speaks about giving grace to the humble.   He is holy, therefore, He calls us to holiness.  One cannot be holy if they are boastful and looking for constant approval from others. 

Jesus tells us, “If anyone would like to follow Me, he must deny himself, and daily pick up his cross.”  “Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.”  Luke 6:35-36 says, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Very clear instructions.   Truly nothing to wonder about.  We are to never think of ourselves better than anyone else.  We are to never think of ourselves above God.  

Who are we that we question, “why" about our lives and all that is happening in the world?  

Do we not believe (trust) He is who He says He is?  Do we not believe that He is love?   Do we not believe that God has given us every perfect gift from above?  Do we not believe that God will surely finish the good work He has begun in us?   Do we not believe that God truly gave us His Son to pay the price for all sins past and present?  Do we not believe that He loves us and will ask ONLY that which He knows is best for us?  Do we not believe that His grace is sufficient for us? 

It is NOT God, who is our issue.  It our lack of faith.   It is our lack of trust in The One who created us, knows us by name, knows every hair upon our head, and calls us His beloved child.   It is our need to control.  It is our need to fix things.  It is our reliance on self and others in our lives to make us feel good.  It is all that God warned it would be – PRIDE (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life). 

One who puts himself/herself above anyone or God,

will never receive the grace of God.   

That hushes and humbles me. 

Today, the Lord is reminding me of this very important truth.  Humility seeks the best for others – it is an act of love. 

After receiving my blessing during Mass today, I sat and read the following daily meditation:  (the Gospel reading was Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14)

Humbling Ourselves by Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Only the truly humble shall be exalted, says the Blessed Virgin.  The haughty, proud, and presumptuous shall be brought low and sunk to the lowest deep.  Let us then humble ourselves, not serving God negligently, but striving to employ vigorously all our strength to acquire true humility of heart and submission.  Let us examine ourselves continually before God if we can say with truth that we are submissive to all that is wished of us, receiving all as coming from the hand of God Most High, who sees the depths of our hearts.  To put on a fair exterior and not to be submissive within is not to have humility.  Though it seem to creatures who see only the outside that such souls are humble, it is not so and God, who sees all, takes no account of that.  We must submit the understanding and the will if we are to be humble.

Let us humble ourselves greatly before this great God, because He looks only to the humble, takes account only of the humble.  Upon whom shall My spirit rest, He says by the prophet, but upon the humble and contrite of heart, who fears My words?  The prayer of the humble shall be heard.  These are the words of Holy Scripture which ought to excite us strong to become little and to love our littleness.

Hushed and humbled.   Truth will do that and set us free…from ourselves and all who speak the lies of this world to us.  Trying to convince us that we are owed anything.  Trying to convince us that we deserve this or that.  Trying to convince us that revenge is ours.  Trying to convince us that we must be validated and heard at any cost.   Trying to convince us that our happiness matters more than our holiness. 

God, loves to serve me delicious nuggets of humble pie.  Sometimes, He will offer me the whole pie and it is up to me to take it with gratefulness, or to reject what He offers me; His best (love). 

Oh Lord, Thank You for loving me and never allowing me to go beyond Your calling me to holiness.  Thank You for showing me all the areas in my heart that displease You and will not bring You glory.   I am sorry for thinking of myself in any way that says, “me, myself, and I”…the unholy trinity is nothing more than pride.

Parenting six children takes great humility.  They never let me get a big head.   They constantly show me without even trying or realizing it how I miss the mark of holiness and doing all things in love.  They are His greatest teacher here on earth in my life.   They are used by Him daily to remind me, “this life is not about you.”   And I don’t always appreciate the daily lesson.   Until I can say, “Thank You Father”, with joy in my heart for the hard days and seasons, I will be eating my fair share of humble pie.   I am learning moment by moment to live by faith (which is believing and trusting in His WORD).   I quote facts to myself when my feelings and reactions to situations don’t align with all that I know to be true.   I speak the very same life to our children in hopes that it will become the very air they breathe, and they too will cry out, “not my will, but Thy will be done.”   It takes great humility to live out our faith so that our children will desire the same.   I am NEVER too proud to apologize, with sincerity and a contrite heart.   Why?   Because…

 

The only way to have a successful marriage that will become a legacy to all future generations is to teach NOT through your words alone, but allow your beliefs to be lived out daily before your children.   Walk by FAITH and pray believing in God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love for us!   Love without boundaries.  Apologize with great sincerity – quickly.  Offer forgiveness always.  Walk with God humbly, seeking to live a life of holiness.  Let your words be few and your deeds change the hearts of all who spend time with you. 

God’s grace is changing our marriage.  He is redeeming all the years we sought to be right/validated, etc.  He is redeeming all of the ways our marriage dishonored Him and each other.  He is redeeming what the enemy used to try and destroy us.   He is asking us to trust in His redeeming work and humble ourselves before Him.   It is amazing what He is doing month to month as we truly answer Him with nothing more than a sincere cry from our hearts, “Yes, Father.”   “Thy will be done.  Be it done unto me/us according to Thy Word.”  

Our children are benefiting from us walking humbly with God and each other.  Our children are changing by watching us live out what we have taught them for many years.  Because now it is real to them.  They are learning that we take sin seriously, because God takes it very seriously.   They are learning that when we make a mistakes, we seek God first to make it right.   They are learning that marriage is an act of great love = humility!   It daily chooses the best for the other.   We pray we never forget or take for granted the work God has done in each of us and our marriage.   Friends, God is in the business of redemption.   No matter how far gone your marriage is, NEVER discount what His perfect love can and will do when you humble yourself before Him – seeking to do things His way, not yours.  Don’t worry about your spouse and if they are going to change, let God worry about them and seek to truly open yourself to His redemptive work in you.  

Here is what has worked for us:  

  1. ALWAYS - Seek God with all of your heart and soul.
  2. Pray about it more than you talk about it.
  3. Spend time being still.  You can’t hear from God if you are always talking or busy.
  4. Stop demanding you are right.  Stop needing to be loved your way.  Ask God, to show you how to love in a way that will draw you closer to Him and your spouse.  Learn how to communicate in truth and LOVE!  HUMILITY always seeks the best for the other person.  Think about what is best for your relationship and if what you are going to say or do will edify your spouse and your marriage.  If not, then don’t say it or do it!
  5. Love is not a feeling, it is a verb…an act of sacrifice.  It is what you promised the day you said, “I do.”  Live out your vows.
  6. Divorce is NEVER an option.  Speak life over your marriage and spouse.  Don’t give any opening to the enemy who desires to destroy what is sacred in the eyes of God.  Forgive each other, neither of you are without sin (faults, annoying habits, etc.)  The ONLY exception is if you are being abused or put into dangerous situations.  Then please seek help.  Do NOT suffer in silence.  There is help!  Find people who will NOT judge your situation, but want to help you have VICTORY over it!
  7. Spend time together doing things you both enjoy. 
  8. Go out on dates.  No exceptions.
  9. Look for the good in your spouse and compliment them about it every single day.   Don’t lie.  Everyone has good qualities. 
  10. Be kind or be quiet.  Words can’t be taken back and are often hard to forget.  They can only be forgiven. 

I leave you with this prayer and trust it will change your life if you truly desire to walk humbly with Him.

 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

I Called He Answered

And He came to my rescue.

Over and over again, He is faithful.

 

I sometimes forget that He not only hears our prayers, He takes them very seriously.  

And when He reminds me of that fact, I often come undone.

Today, was one of those days.

I couldn’t stop crying throughout Mass.   After getting blessed, I literally fell apart.   Yep, ugly crying in the pew.   I’m not one of those people who like to cry in public, let alone call attention to myself.  But God was not letting up and I gave in…completely.

Everyone who sits around me knows our family from attending daily Mass for the last four months, and they were concerned that maybe something happened, since I was crying so hard.

Nope, everything is just fine.   Perfect in fact.

He is drawing me deeper, because it is the cry of my heart.  

He is making me new.

He is redeeming the hardest parts of me.

He is turning everything that the enemy of my soul meant for evil, into beauty overflowing with His love.

I woke up hearing this song and have not stopped listening to it all day.

I pray you allow yourself to pray boldly and then prepare to come undone as He answers your call.

Remember this…

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