Love

love + honor

As time seems to pass with increased speed lately, my desire for a civil relationship with my family increases. Now my use of the word ‘civil’ may, in your mind, paint a picture of a hostile family culture as the current state of my family, which isn’t exactly accurate. Of course this all depends on your distinct perspective. So allow me to make this clear: our home flows with so much love and that love is expressed intensely; especially in the case of disagreements.

No, we do not put our hands on each other, but words will be exchanged and tone of voice can be, well, nasty. We understand each other’s ways, but should that be used as an excuse for disrespect?

The Bible says that we should obey and honor our parents, and to be honest with you I have struggled with the obedience part a lot which has had a domino effect on the honor part.

My father is not in the picture, so that leaves my mother. I love my mother to pieces, but my tolerance level had become nearly nonexistent for her. It was as if I was the landmine and her words were the foot setting me off. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say about anything. I was tired of her attempts to make me go her way. I wanted her to accept me for who I am, understand that I won’t always agree with her, allow me to be free of what I felt like was manipulation. It was as if I was the landmine and her words were the foot setting me off.

The thing is: am I accepting her for who she is? Have I loved her unconditionally the way God does? Am I honoring her?

Yes, I am at an age where I can make decisions for myself. No, I do not need to have decisions made for me. But I still need my mother. Her words are what let me know that she’s there and that she deeply cares. We do have boundary issues to resolve, but that does not negate the honor she deserves.

So it has been one of my most urgent prayers that God heals my relationship with my mother. I know that this means that a work must be done in me.

James 1:19 says, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

I have been slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to get angry. That is opposite of the word of God. That is not of God whatsoever, and I am so glad that God placed someone in my life who wasn’t afraid to lovingly check me on this and actually lives this out.

There are a plethora of other principals laid out in the Bible that I must work on, and I dedicate myself to God’s work in me and through me. With that being said, I am learning how to love my mother the way I should and honor her the way she should be honored.

 

#TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy

stumbling block

I grabbed my notebook, found my black and blue pen, pulled up today’s Daughter of the King devotional, and opened my YouVersion Bible app. As I began to stare at the words on my phone screen, I knew that I couldn’t read my devotional this morning. Something in my spirit wasn’t right, and I knew what it was: I offended my mom two days ago and the vibe between us had been off ever since. I needed to go reconcile with her before I could really spend some time reflecting on God’s word and speaking to Him.

Matthew 5:23, 24 NLT
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

I sat there for a minute just thinking. I knew that my mom was probably reading her Bible and for a second I thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t interrupt her. I’ll just wait for a little bit.” But honestly, I couldn’t. So I went upstairs and cracked her door open, and as I suspected she was reading her Bible. She told me to come in and asked me what was up. We talked and then sung a song and prayed together. Then I was free to engage in my devotional.

The thing about all of this is at the time that I offended her, I felt like she was being completely inconsiderate. I had come home from work; I was tired and hungry. Instead of letting me get myself together, she was asking me to do things for an event she has coming up that is an extremely significant milestone in her life. It doesn’t matter if I felt like she was being inconsiderate or not, I should not have responded to her the way I did. I made her feel like her requests for my help were an annoyance and that I viewed this milestone as insignificant in my sight. So naturally she felt as though she couldn’t depend on me as her daughter to aid her with preparations. That is not what I intended to do, but that was the result of my response, nonetheless.

God has pulled me a mighty long way from how I used to respond to my emotions, but I still have a ways to go. So my prayer this morning consisted of not only confessing and asking for forgiveness, but asking God to work in me this sense.

Despite any circumstance, my emotions do not warrant a reaction.

Emotional intelligence is crucial. I find it easier for me to exercise emotional intelligence with those who are not a part of my household than those who are, and this is just an indication of what I need to work on. By work on I mean studying what God’s word has to say about emotions and dealing with relationships, meditating on it, and having an increased sensitivity to this area in my life. I believe that this is a significant part of my spiritual journey at this time.

With all of that being said, transparency brings about intimacy. Our journeys are all different, but we can learn from one another and encourage one another throughout it.

I see how it is

DISCLAIMER: There is a purpose to sharing this personal experience of mine and if you read until the end, you’ll understand.

You know how something catches your attention, and in that moment it really bothers you, but you choose not to allow it to dwell in your mind. Then it occurs repeatedly and becomes more difficult to shrug off. Maybe I’m the only one, but I choose to be honest with myself:

It doesn’t just bother me, it hurts.

Here’s the deal: I have a friend that I truly love wholeheartedly. We have been physically distanced due to my relocation after graduating, emotionally distanced due to my hiatus in interactions with anyone/thing that wasn’t directly connected to developing my relationship with God. I have made advances to reconnect and catch up with her as I have with others, but it has gone absolutely nowhere. I have reached out, and the times she has responded has been to tell me that she’ll get back to me. Which I totally understand. I mean living the college life is time consuming and hectic. However, if someone reached out to you, you don’t respond, and you post twice on Instagram, then maybe the person you’re neglecting isn’t that important.

I realized that the friendship I cherish so dearly, isn’t as cherished on the other end.

I finally decided to get it out and talk to God. As I opened up to him about how I was feeling in that moment, I had an epiphany. The Holy Spirit checked me rather than comforted me, and I am so grateful. As I talked to God, my plea for comfort and clarity changed to forgiveness. I couldn’t believe that this was the way I made Him feel all the time. He wants to hear from His child and have her listen to Him. He desires a connection, my affection and confessions. He longs to commune with me, but I tend to neglect Him.

I see how it is…

It isn’t just about reading His Word, it’s about totally engulfing yourself in His Presence. Losing yourself in worship.
Just in awe of who He is.
Being reminiscent of all He’s done.
Laying your burdens down.
Receiving His gifts of grace and peace.

I MEAN it’s so much more than making sure you’ve completed the checklist that consists of Bible study and church service. It’s about really being connected to Him; experiencing His Glory in everything you do. Of course Bible study and church service is vital, but do you truly fellowship with His people? Do you truly enjoy nature, His creation? Do you truly rejoice in what He has given you?

Our lives are so much more than Bible study and church. It’s the ultimate test of trusting the One who intricately designed you and this world. See the beauty in everything around you regardless of the circumstances. There is so much to be grateful for and to enjoy.

This post just went to a totally different dimension than I expected! It’s amazing though. I’m challenging myself and I hope that you challenge yourself.

#TransparencyBringsAboutIntimacy