Approval Addictions and How to be Free of Them

 

freedom from chains

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

This past week was a trying one for me.  This week was not looking any better…until today.  Yesterday I was told by a loved one that I was not as loved as others in my family.  I had always suspected this, but never had this person ever come right out and said it.  You can imagine the hurt this brought to my heart.

Today when I awakened, Satan was right there to remind me of the horrid conversation  that took place the day before.  God warned me an attack was coming and to be prepared for it.  I did not remember that prophecy at the time, but today God reminded me of it.  He cautioned me not to fall into offense because if I did it would lead to destruction…my own.

I thank God for warning me in advance.  Thank God I was not blindsided by it.  As I thought about the prophecy today, and the attack that took place on me emotionally, I was grieved by it.  But God had something to say about it all.   He told me something that would set me free and something that will keep me free from the approval and disapproval of man!  Since a blog is a journal, I am writing it down in its purest form to always remind me.

God said, “If I (God) saw you the way you and the world see others, how would I think?  I could easily say that I have been with you all your life.  You were raised in church, but yet you still miss the mark daily and fail me. 

The things you could do for me and toward me you don’t.  You don’t praise me everyday as I have asked you to.  You don’t read the Bible as you know to do.  You make sure you know what time it is every Tuesday so you can be ready for your favorite television program and can sit in deep concentration for a full hour,  but many days I am fortunate to get thirty minutes.  Life is busy right?  How I would love to have the attention you give to everything and everyone else. 

I am not happy.  Your behavior has made me unhappy, and my happiness is contingent on the way you treat Me and what you do for Me.  If you had given Me the attention I have so craved, if you had met all of MY needs, if you would bother to try to understand Me, then My life would be happy.  Your approval is necessary to my happiness and if you don’t give it,  I won’t have it. I have forgiven you time and again, yet you still miss the mark and don’t do enough to keep me happy and satisfied. 

I can no longer take your behavior.  I have decided My life would be better off without you.  I am not going to be around anymore.  You have become unhealthy for me.  I don’t want to see you, hear from you, or see anything that even reminds Me of you.  I have given you grace before and mercy, but you have used it up.  My life would be better without you since you don’t fulfill me or bring the happiness I require. 

I am not going to allow you into heaven because then I would have to see you all the time, and I just can’t deal with that.  You will have to go to hell so I can be happy without any reminders of you and all the ways you hurt Me over the years.  I wish you the best, but I have to love you from a distance, so don’t call Me and I won’t be bothering you.

Harsh words, but true thoughts.  How many times have I treated those who have hurt and wounded me this way?  Oh I didn’t realize it at the time, but today God showed me the receiving end of this stick.  When He did He reminded me of the debtor who owed millions of dollars to his master who he was indebted to (Matthew 18:23-35).   He knew he would be thrown in a debtor’s prison never to see his family again and begged for mercy and forgiveness.  It was given and his debt was wiped out, just as Jesus’s blood wiped our debts out when we came to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

Not long after the man was freed from the bondage of that debt he saw someone who owed him.  This man owed him very little, yet he grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment in full and threatened his life if it wasn’t paid in full (this is the way we are when we walk in the our way instead of God’s supernatural way). 

When the master who was owed the millions heard of this he was furious and called for the man who had been forgiven of his great debt to be brought to him.  Because of his behavior and lack of mercy and grace toward the one who owed so little the master, who forgave much, withdrew that forgiveness and enforced the original sentence to life in a debtor’s prison…what the man had actually deserved.  Thank God for grace which absolves us of guilt and all we deserve.

When we deal with people by holding their feet to the flames, so to speak, we have positioned ourselves for dire consequences as well.  That path leads only to destruction…not the destruction of the person who did us wrong, but destruction to ourselves.  I am responsible for my happiness.  That power does not rest on you, but on what I choose to feel and think.  As I thought about what God was showing me, I cried out to Him for forgiveness.  I had no idea my thoughts and actions had become so ungracious toward others.  Were the ones who hurt me wrong?  Yes, but so was I.  The irony was I was hurting myself worse than anything anyone else had done because I was moving myself away from God’s will for my life, which carries great promise and great reward.

I remember when Jesse Ventura said Christianity was for wimps.  Show me where doing supernatural things in the natural is even possible, much less ‘wimpy’ or easy.  The Christian walk cannot be done without God, it is such a difficult one.  You have to have God’s super on your natural to forgive the unforgivable, to give grace and mercy when maximum punishment is rightfully due.  To pray for those who use you and persecute you to be blessed is impossible to mean if not for God giving us a supernatural ability to do it…yet, it can be done! 

Now when I look at others, I will ask myself if God were to see me and think toward me the way I am thinking and feeling toward that person, how would I feel. Would it be what I would want done to me? So simple…how did I miss it for so long? 

I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders when I came to this realization today.  I don’t have to be concerned with what anyone is thinking or saying about me.  I don’t have to worry if I am loved as much or less than someone else.  My present and future does not rely on anyone’s approval but God’s.  I have His approval and He is the last say on where I spend eternity.  Whether people think I deserve it or not, I will be blessed if I stay in love.  The only one who can stop His blessing is ME!!!  I don’t have to worry where my needs are going to come from and that includes my most basic needs which is love, for God is my Source!  He will open doors people cannot open and He will do it in the face of my enemies…HE sets a table before me in their presence (Psalm 23). 

Far too long I have worried about the approval of people.  I have sought to find my worth in it.  I have mourned and have allowed myself to feel less than when I was found lacking by one or by many.  How frustrating to seek what is impossible to ever have.  No one can make me happy or that my life is of infinite value except God and me

I have to choose to put on the robe of righteousness (His way of being and doing).  I have to choose to put God first, and that means what He thinks above all others.  I have to choose to let my good character speak for itself, and if I am judged or misjudged it is on God’s shoulders to make it right and He will.  But if there are critics that refuse to see what God sees, and their minds never change I still win because I am exactly as I should be in my Father’s eyes and He will cause everything to work out for my good.  You see it is a win/win, no lose situation.  When you truly realize that, you are free to love, free to forgive, you are free indeed! 

Men die for freedom.  Jesus died for mine and yours.  That is how important freedom is.  It removes fear of people, fear of society and its dictates, and fear of never being all I want to be and should be, the fear of disapproval. 

Fear is a heavy weight.  It stops you and hinders you from joy, happiness and contentment.  It hinders you from leading life to the fullest and stepping out in faith because fear produces the opposite effects of faith which is rooted in God’s way of loving and brings courage. 

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  God never intended for me to walk in the wounds of rejection, nor the need for approval of anyone other than Him.  Thank God He set me free to love not just the loveable, but the unlovable…just like me.

 

 

About Kim

As you can see… I am blessed beyond my biggest dreams! I am the ONLY girl in the house (besides our sweet dog, Princess) and my boys are my WHOLE world!

There isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do for this group of wonderful young men! And my every day revolves around them…

You can call me Taxi Mom (mini van and all), Team Mom, Room Mom, Chef (or so I like to think), Housekeeper, Shopper, Tutor, Bookkeeper, Nursery Room Keeper (former Children‘s Pastor), Prayer Warrior, Doctor Mom, and Organization Coach.

My oldest, Steven is a Freshman in college at Univerisity of Houston. He will be 20 very soon and I don’t even want to go there…. LOL!

Dawson is 12 and in his 1st year of Jr High. He is very musically inclined, plays the French Horn and LOVES playing baseball (Go Braves!!!).

Benjamin is 8. He is witty and funny and ALWAYS on the move! Always. He loves collecting rocks, trinkets, jewels and coins. The dryer and I find them daily. Cooper is 2 1/2… my last baby… (sigh) He is FULL of energy and words. He talks better than most 5 year olds and can hold a conversation with the best of them.

As you can tell, I’m VERY proud of all my boys.

My husband, Doug, aka Booker, is my EVERYTHING! He is my rock, my prayer partner and my best friend.

No one ever said it would be easy but we are committed to NEVER give up… and that’s what I love about him most.

He is right here beside me, sharing life and fighting through the tough times with me. It goes without saying… there are a whole lot of AWESOME times too!!!

Wouldn’t want to share it with any body else!

 

About Kim

As you can see… I am blessed beyond my biggest dreams! I am the ONLY girl in the house (besides our sweet dog, Princess) and my boys are my WHOLE world!

There isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do for this group of wonderful young men! And my every day revolves around them…

You can call me Taxi Mom (mini van and all), Team Mom, Room Mom, Chef (or so I like to think), Housekeeper, Shopper, Tutor, Bookkeeper, Nursery Room Keeper (former Children‘s Pastor), Prayer Warrior, Doctor Mom, and Organization Coach.

My oldest, Steven is a Freshman in college at Univerisity of Houston. He will be 20 very soon and I don’t even want to go there…. LOL!

Dawson is 12 and in his 1st year of Jr High. He is very musically inclined, plays the French Horn and LOVES playing baseball (Go Braves!!!).

Benjamin is 8. He is witty and funny and ALWAYS on the move! Always. He loves collecting rocks, trinkets, jewels and coins. The dryer and I find them daily. Cooper is 2 1/2… my last baby… (sigh) He is FULL of energy and words. He talks better than most 5 year olds and can hold a conversation with the best of them.

As you can tell, I’m VERY proud of all my boys.

My husband, Doug, aka Booker, is my EVERYTHING! He is my rock, my prayer partner and my best friend.

No one ever said it would be easy but we are committed to NEVER give up… and that’s what I love about him most.

He is right here beside me, sharing life and fighting through the tough times with me. It goes without saying… there are a whole lot of AWESOME times too!!!

Wouldn’t want to share it with any body else!

 

What a Wonderful Day With Auntie Em!!

melinda and me

This is Auntie Em and me.  I am in the black shirt and, of course, she is in the red jacket.  Auntie Em is one of my favorite people in the whole world!  We have been friends since the eighth grade.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding 29 years ago.  We are both teachers (I am retired now), we are both authors, we are both wives and moms!  We get together every time she gets an extended break to have a blog party!  She is a very Godly woman!  We both blog about “God” things!

I am so very blessed with angels in the form of friends and she is one of them.  Today, my dear friend and pastor’s wife, Kathy, brought over lunch.  We had homemade potato soup, homemade croutons, Italian crackers and blackberry tea, and chocolate chip cookies with pecans.  Everything southern for these Texas gals!!

We decided to take pictures and that is when all joy broke out.  I don’t know what happened!  Auntie Em just looked at me and said, “Laugh” and I got so tickled I thought I would fall over!!  Then when it happened to me, she caught it!  Let me show you!

melinda and me 2     She has me so tickled here!               melinda and me 3   Now she has the giggles!

She reminds me of her daughter, Sunshine in that second picture!  We laughed and laughed some more.  I told her to let us take some silly face pictures and she replied to me, “I thought that is what these were!”  I didn’t tell her I look like this all the time!

Auntie Em and I love to talk about blogging, God, God, God, and God!  We think alike, believe the Word, and love Jesus!  How could you not feel joy over that??

I love Auntie Em!  Always have and I always will!  She is one of the dearest people I have ever known!  She taught me so much today.  She even helped me set up my giveaway on my ‘simplyjuliana’ Facebook page!  Hey, y’all ought to swing by there and put your name in for the prize!  Two $25.oo gift certificates to Barnes and Noble!

Auntie Em is a true genius!  I am not!  God sent Auntie Em to me to make up the difference and she is fun, too!  You know you really ought to go check her blog out!  She is full of good advice on marriage, recipes, budgeting, raising Godly children, and many other areas, too!

If you ever need an Auntie Em, hop over to her blog at http://auntieemsguide.wordpress.com/  You will be glad you did!  See you next time, dear reader!!

Anniversary Celebration, Day 2

anniversary day2b

I  am happy to announce haven’t stepped in the hole again!  Every single time I step out the door I remind my husband about it and for him not to step in it either;  it is a doozy!

Today, when we woke up, it was storming and the trailer was rocking with the wind.  I could see my husband’s head going back and forth with the sway of the wind.  I looked out at the lake.  It had waves that looked more like the beach!  White caps were everywhere!  They sky behind the lake was a strange gray, a color I have seen just before a tornado.  Somehow, I knew a tornado was not going to be part of my day.  The wind was lulling me back to sleep, but church was quickly approaching and I had to rush to get ready.

Hubby made me pancakes and bacon while I got ready to leave.  We went to church and drove back talking about where we would eat tonight.  All of a sudden I thought just being in my jammies and writing a blog while hubby napped just sounded great!  We decided, he would go into town for burgers.

Gracie is beside me with her new Christmas blanket and her toy rope.  Gracie is my chihuahua.  Suddenly, I just got a hankering to watch “Hondo“, my favorite John Wayne movie.  Last night hubby surprised me with my favorite Christmas movieSilent Night” with Linda Hamilton.

You know what would make this day complete for me, Baby?

What?

To watch “Hondo”!

It would?

Yep, it sure would!

Suddenly, my husband reaches down and pulls out the movie “Hondo” from the movies we have in the trailer!  He thought of everything!!  I feel like a queen, but better than that I feel loved and cherished!  He thought of me and all I enjoyed and just to wish for it, he gave it.

I thank God for my husband!  After 29 years of marriage, neither of us are the same physically or mentally, but thank God, we have grown in our love for each other and grown together and not apart.  We have loved the changes!  We have embraced them and in so doing embraced each other even tighter!

If you were looking for a “Lucy” incident, I hope you aren’t disappointed!  The day is not over…you just never know when one is going to pop up!  Blessings, dear reader!!  See you soon!

Romans 16…Glory to God!

Romans 16

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Paul’s Commendation of Phoebe

16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant[a] of the church in Cenchreae. 2 So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a benefactor of many—and of me also.

Greeting to Roman Christians

3 Give my greetings to Prisca[b] and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches. 5 Greet also the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who is the first convert[c] to Christ from Asia.[d] 6 Greet Mary,[e] who has worked very hard for you.[f] 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia,[g] my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles,[h][i] and they were also in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our coworker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow countryman. Greet those who belong to the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who have worked hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother—and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you greetings.

Warning against Divisive People

17 Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause dissensions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them, 18 for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites.[j] They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.

Paul’s Gracious Conclusion

19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

21 Timothy, my coworker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow countrymen, greet you.

22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.[k]

23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you.

[24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.][l]

Glory to God

25 Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith[m] among all nations— 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be the glory forever![n] Amen.