Search

A Beautiful Hot Mess

Tag

salvation

Dreams

Yesterday we honored and remembered a legacy. Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredible leader, all around authentic human being and faithful man of God.

Reflecting on this leadership statement today I automatically think of him but more importantly, I think of Christ.

I don’t want to be a person who leads along an easy path, the route of taking or following where others want to go. If Martin Luther King Jr. had done that we would not have his legacy. If Jesus had done that we would not have a savior.

A great leader takes us where we don’t want to go, but ought to be. Leadership like it can count on one single truth; it will always be met with resistance. Go down the path anyway, it means we are on the right track.

This month in particular is the start of new paths for me, not because it is the beginning of 2018 but because it is time. It is a time of serving and being, a long time coming. Not all are comfortable to go here with me but I’m doing it in the right time, in the right way, and doing so following His voice and direction.

Completely off topic, favorite Cranberries lyrics right here even though I owned every song. If this was music for hippys then people, I guess I’m a hippy and damn proud of it! Dolores O’Riordan, R.I.P.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Live Grateful

I'm currently reading the book, Be The Gift by Ann Voskamp and within it lies challenges and truths about being a gift to others. Which jumped out at me when I was at the book store the other night. Sundays for me are usually life giving and today is no exception because I can't count the number of times something I pick up or reflect on comes right at us on cue in a pastors message days following.

Live grateful is to let our brokenness be turned into abundance, for ourselves and others.

Since it is November, blogging it.

Living Grateful Gifts
Day

  1. Want an empty bucket list? Pour out your life. Set out a jar, bowl, or container as a life visual.
  2. Send a thirty-second video to someone who has touched your heart. For people in this world like Christian Griggs-Dane and toasts like these to capture.
  3. Three gifts each day you are thankful for –and then reach out to thank the three people who directly or indirectly make those gifts possible.
  4. Stand on a street corner or in a hallway for a set amount of time and compliment as many people as you can find. Which is not hard to find when holding signs like these!
  5. For a church that teaches living grateful all year long and that churches live grateful wristband one of my fourth grade students wears to school every day.
  6. While out and about, tell a parent about how well his/her child is behaving or how much they are appreciated. For the kids and I getting to do this for J while his watch dog Dad visited class.
  7. Write letters to people you don't get to see often. For these reminders of the kind of impact it can have on a young generation in place of text.
  8. Pray for someone who is hurting.
  9. For vocabulary such as rethink or reconsider.
  10. Share a bible verse when someone needs it. The Scripture says in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have enough worries of its own.” God gives you the grace for today. You don’t have grace for tomorrow. Don’t try to figure out the next five years, playing all the ‘what if’s.’ The ‘what if’s’ will make you depressed. If the ‘what if’ does happen, God will give you the grace to handle it.
  11. Have a life group.
  12. Laugh every day. "No Amy, I find it revolting." LOL! Well, too damn bad!
  13. Pay attention to the spiritual gifts God has given to you and trust spirit to guide you in strength, desire and ability to serve from them. ❤️
  14. For teacher conferences with one of my greatest blessings. And for being able to encourage his teacher in return, about to become a new mom herself. We don't bring them home with directions but the good news is we get closer to figuring it out the third time around. 🙂
  15. Back to school…
  16. Drive down Ford Road to have dinner with your Aunt and on the way notice the memories you have upon seeing the McDonald's, then your grandparents house and the cemetery where they are buried. Smile and thank Jesus for sharing them with you.
  17. Listen to worship music.
  18. For the gender fluid individual who helped you at the beauty store today and because after wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving they looked surprised…as if they aren't used to people wishing them happiness. Then crying because the interaction brought tears so you sit in your car thanking Jesus for that moment instead of being a creeper inviting them over for Thanksgiving dinner. ❤️
  19. As the years pass, ask yourself if you remember moments you got or moments you connected. Time gives us the answer every time.
  20. The best teachers show you where to look but don't tell you what to see. The absolute best teacher of this is Jesus. Because he is the BEST of course.
  21. Share something you've read with someone today. You do something great with your life when you do all the small things with His great love.
  22. No school days with happy silly kiddos and snapchastic.
    Error
    This video doesn’t exist
    Error
    This video doesn’t exist
  23. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  24. Quiet moments with your youngest singing Jesus Loves Me before bed time.
  25. Take advice from a ten year old.. today's installment is you should hug at least three people every day.
  26. Follow your soul. It knows the way.
  27. When it is secret sister time make two for each of you.
  28. Religion is for people afraid of hell. Relationship is freedom from it. Therefore by their fruits you will know.
  29. For words in scripture like healed, lived, affirmed and worthy even when the person could not bring themselves to see their worth in Jesus's physical presence. For words like Jesus went when he could have said I'm sorry, but I can't affirm this person who is sick and near death in your home by caring for them. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some well respected Jewish leaders to ask him to come and heal his servant. So they earnestly begged Jesus to come with them and help the man. So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, "Lord, don't trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and he will be healed." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed, turning to the crowd, he said, "I tell you, I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel!" And when they returned to his house, they found the man completely healed. ~ Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, "Go on home. What you have believed has happened." ~ Luke 7 / Matthew 8:13
  30. The Lord doesn't make decisions the way we do, he looks at our thoughts & intentions. He is pleased with those who really do humbly believe him. The Lord looks on the heart. ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

I’m Fine

I don't know about you but this week, this month, sure feels like a huge gigantic shit show. I would like to tell you that I'm drawing on the strength in Jesus, strength all us Christians have exponentially. While this is true, I am drawing on His strength, it is also true that I am not feeling fine.

How can we be fine with this? How can we just offer empty words that everything happens for a reason to someone who has lost everything? Whether it be from a hurricane, from an earthquake, from ever changing policy or opinion or at the hands of another human. This is horrific.

Everything happens for a reason is not a comfort to us. It might be eventually in our heavenly fathers presence but certainly not now. What does God want us to do when we just don't understand? When we can barely see past the tears struggling to hold on to our trust in Him? When we are angry and scared from tragedy and from things out of our control. What are we to do?

We can do one of two things. We can shut down our own humanity or we can pour our hearts out to Jesus. I'm not talking about the nice, well written, well spoken all positive prayers we think we should be saying to God. We can certainly speak those positive prayers and we very well should be thankful for many moments. But to pour out is to give Jesus ALL of our emotions. The good, bad and the ugly. Whether we speak them or
not we can not hide any thought from Jesus.

And the truth is I'm not very happy with God right now. I don't get it, I don't understand and I just want to make it stop. He could make it stop and He hasn't yet! None of this makes any sense! Yes, I have told Jesus every last emotion I've felt this week. He can handle it.

Shutting down our humanity because of shame instead of pouring it out to Jesus only subjects us to a life of sadness. Jesus lived in a human body, He knows humanity in its most intimate sense and while He did not succumb to the evil of shutting out good, Jesus sure faced it head on. Just like we do in all of life's tragedy and mess.

I truly believe what must be happening when someone loses touch with their humanity is they shut out good until gradually all that is left is the lie in their head that all they are is bad. Reinforced by the shutting out of good, reinforced by opinion around them, reinforced period. Once that lie is in place…why not the unspeakable or anything else for that matter?

One of the things that haunts me the most with all the news coverage of Vegas is that the shooter called his family just weeks prior to make sure they were not harmed in the wake of hurricane Irma. I don't want the focus of my blog entry to be on the shooter because his actions are horrific. But this piece of the coverage is not an indicator of someone being all evil. Yet evil prevailed in them just weeks later.

How did things go so wrong Jesus? I don't understand. I can't accept throwing our hands up in the air and directing people straight to hell. It's just not in me to give up on good.

Rewind back to school earlier this week. Children have an amazing way of restoring hope in humanity don't they? This is going to be a good day. At times I get the opportunity to work individually with at risk children and this was one of those weeks. If I had my choice this is what I would do full time, I just adore them.

In walks E who I've known for a while because I taught him last year a few times. The para and I weren't sure if he would be in to see me today since Mom has had to find an alternative way of getting him to school. You see E was suspended off the bus for behavior but he is here and we are to work on writing. This is E's fourth grade writing story so far…

"The kids are at recess and there is a bully with them. The bully has a brick, throws it at the kids and hits a kid in the head."

E needs to add more detail to finish the story. What happens after the bully hits the kid?

"The bully tries to run away from them."

Who is chasing the bully E?

"The teacher guard is chasing the bully to try to catch him."

What was happening at recess to the bully, why did the bully want to throw the brick at one of the kids? Were they hurting the bully E?

"The bully threw the brick at the kids head for fun," said E.

This right here is heart breaking. This is a child who is emotionally at risk for shutting down his humanity and in some cases is already doing it. But here is the thing, we can not assist him in shutting out the good. We can not give up. We can not let the lie of bad win.

I'm also reading a book currently which I should possibly set down because one more tragic tale is just about one too many for the week for this girl. Why did I think this was a good idea? I'm not sure. Nevertheless my reading brought me to this family's story. Perhaps I'll do a book review in more detail but it is about differing opinions in which not all supports the others choices. At the same time they are desperately hoping this loved one will accept Jesus as their savior before death. At the end of the day, it didn't happen. They passed on not believing in God.

OH EM GEE, I can't take this sweet Jesus. What on earth am I supposed to take away from all of this? After hyperventilating for a few days pouring out to him I think I finally get it. We have to be very careful about winning hearts for Jesus and while we think we are speaking truth as God might want us to speak, we are in an equal position to reinforce love. When in doubt, choose love over anything else because it is the only way to win hearts for Jesus. He would rather have us in heaven then lose us from shutting down our humanity. Which means he will take us as we are, no other emphasis needed.

At the end of the day, it is an individual choice and therefore our impact toward others is not to be taken lightly.

Mental illness is one of the biggest killers of humanity. The gun, the brick, the bomb. Whatever tool used is the culmination of human experience screaming to say, you were right.

Satan is not right. Those at risk children throwing bricks for fun are the same children who reach in the closet for their snack, pull out two bags, hand one to the teacher and say "I want you to eat with me because you need to have food too."

We can all say…WHERE IS THE KLEENEX BOX!

Good is always there for the taking and we must do everything we can to have it win in us, for us and for our children's future.

Constant prayers to all lives lost, comfort for their families and loved ones even if it is just one breath at a time with peace only Jesus can bring.

Psalm 34:18 ~ The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Footprints In The Sand

IMG_7076.JPGI realized last night I’ve never written about my personal testimony on this blog. The footprints that led me to saying yes to a relationship with Jesus.  I’ve obviously written plenty about my current relationship with Jesus but I haven’t gone back to the basics.  So here goes…

We didn’t attend church often when I was growing up as a young child.  When we did it was usually on Easter Sunday only.  How many of us know that schedule well?  No judging here, it’s all part of the journey.  In any case, I knew about God as an elementary aged child because I chose to go to an after school bible club.  I remember I loved to listen to the bible stories and the older women tell them to us, they were so nice and friendly.  My Mom worked full time so I went to daycare after school and there was just something about staying after school that got me to do it.  In hindsight I do believe it was divine because home life would unravel as the years went on for this princess. Back to bible club…we would learn about bible stories on a felt poster board with felt people, animals, etc…yes, because I’m that old and it was before the INTERNET!  Oh my goodness, just dated myself there!  HA!  Back again to the bible club though, this was when I first remember saying yes to Jesus with the help of one of the adults at bible club.  I was very young though and my family did not attend church so I didn’t quite understand what I was saying yes to and I didn’t do much with it.

Fast forward to the age of fourteen.  We still didn’t go to church regularly as a family and after school bible club was a thing of the past because I was now in the midst of the best years of life right? On to high school!  Oh my gosh, what a mess. LOL!

The Fall of 1990, the beginning of ninth grade when life came tumbling down for my family.  For me, it all started with a late summer stay with my grandparents because I loved spending time with them and it did not matter how old I was getting, I loved being with them as much as possible.  With school starting soon it was my extended time with them.  My grandmother began asking me questions about things that occur, concerns that she had been noticing and it was then that I confided to her about what was happening at home.  I didn’t even realize what I was truly confiding in until I began answering her questions and seeing the look of concern on her face.  After all, this is normal right? How is a child supposed to know and though they intuitively do know, how do they stand up against an adult who they are supposed to trust? For me I pretended it was a dream, I was sleeping and therefore it was a dream.

My grandmother promised it would stay between her and I and this made me feel better about the conversation.  Up until that point I kept this reality about myself tucked away in the back of my mind, almost as a mechanism to forget that it is happening.  As you can imagine, adults hearing disturbing news about someone they love need support themselves and she decided to talk to her counselor about it.  That counselor is required under law to report sexual abuse to the State of Michigan.

That is the precise moment the sky came crashing down.  Home life was completely turned upside down, I was catapulted in to therapy and I just wanted to pretend it was not happening.  When the first confrontation happened I was not around, thank you Jesus but I remember being terrified my school supplies would be destroyed with all of this coming to light.  Seems silly but that was all I had in my mind to hold on to and at fourteen years old we are all a little shallow.  I certainly didn’t have Jesus either.

Then came meetings with child protective services, district courts, the therapist.  There I was having to retell this story over and over and over again.  There came a point when I felt completely done telling the story.  I’m not going to talk about this anymore, let’s just all get over it people! All these other professionals can decide what kind of fate the other individual involved with this mess will endure as a consequence and just let me be.  You want to know if I want to prosecute them?  Hell no I don’t want to prosecute them because then I’ll have to tell this story a million more times.  That is how a teenage mind works, mine anyway.  No, I don’t want to go to court but I also don’t want them to suffer and I don’t want my family hurting any more than we are already hurting.  I just want to make it go away, the pain, the hurt, all of it. I need to make it go away for everyone involved. I will just be “normal.”

Just let me focus on school.  I’m good, I’m fine, I promise.  Nice one Aimee, you are very good at the princess routine.  This mess has taught you the expertise well.

At some point during this year my younger sister went to church with her friend from school, her Dad was the pastor.  It was a small church they had started and it met in a movie theater at The Livonia Mall of all places.  I have no doubt people were praying hard for our family and those prayers brought us to this church, those prayers brought us to the most important message of Christianity…saying yes to a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Not church politics, not Christian bureaucracy, not bible thumping, not we are all burning in hell messages I’m pretty sure many of us have heard and know well.  Not if you are a good person and do this or that or don’t do this or that you won’t go to hell. Yeah, because that one is really tangible to figure out. WTF! We all screw up so I guess do’s & don’ts are gambling with logic. I mean chocolate is good, very good but it’s hell on the hips. You get my point, how are we supposed to figure that one out!

No, we are talking accepting a gift that we could never deserve or be worthy of ourselves, or be “good” enough on our own merit. Not a single person on this earth.  Can you imagine how much love Jesus has for us that he walked that road to the cross?  He is God, He could have escaped and said not a chance. But He did not want eternity without us, no matter how much we have denied Him and tried to do it ourselves.

My family was trying to do it ourselves and it wasn’t working out so well.  It was dark, it was empty, it was ugly abuse.  Guess what?  That individual who abused me as a child is not defined by that abuse.  They are defined by grace and grace wins all of it when we choose it. If they don’t choose it then that is an altogether different story. Forgiven and loved by grace is where I stand on this matter. Yes, I hate the abuse but I love the person and so does Jesus.

It has also made me in to the person I am and I will not change it. I have hurt people in my lifetime, I’m no better than anyone else.

Fast forward to here and now.  I spent several years as a young Christian, meaning I had faith and I’m saved but I still kept at the endeavor of keeping trust to myself as if I had all the control over life.  Control over life, control over death, control over EVERYTHING.  Much of the time through my twenties and…oh that’s right I’m thirty-one now.  The thirties especially were a time when I didn’t feel like I could hear God and I had three babies to keep alive so this control freak had things under control.  Who needs God, he doesn’t say much anyway.  I would go to church, try different ones here and there but that required being social with people and I’m exhausted from these children, I can’t do this, I can’t talk to people. I don’t trust people Jesus.  See above, duh!  I’m supposed to trust people?  Hell no.  I know it is going to be okay that I don’t go to church and I still believe in you Jesus.  Life is busy so there is that little element in this equation.  I got this thing called life. I’m good, I’m fine, I promise. 😉

Then life happens and all of a sudden you realize we are not in control of a single thing. Sure we can try our hardest but it’s not happening peeps.

I lost someone I love, love with the entire fiber of my being and I could not change that fact.  I have to live every day with that reality and I’m sure as hell to blame for the loss. There is nothing I can do to change it except be accountable to Jesus and surrender my complete trust and life to His very capable hands.  Grief has a funny way of growing us spiritually when we decide to surrender the pain to Jesus and nobody else.  I’m not sure I can survive each day without Him so this connection to my Jesus is strong, iron clad strong peeps.  I can’t do each day without Him, I just can’t.  Otherwise I just want to be where you are and I can’t be so this Faith thing is all I have.

It is my beautiful hot mess loved by grace.

So Loves, I suppose I’m now what we might call a maturing Christian instead of a younger one but it will always be a journey for all of us.  I still have moments when I feel clueless, completely clueless. Any guesses who I’m trusting to handle the blind parts when I can’t see?

You got it! Footprints in the sand.  Because, Jesus is the best! ❤️

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

IMG_6411

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑