Thursday, February 16, 2012

battle wounds...

When I was hanging out with my handsome Valentine's Day dates on Tuesday we were engaged in a very serious game of Light Saber Fight. The rules of the game are pretty simple Justin and Jackson attack me, when we get hit with the Light Saber you fall to the ground, wait about 3 seconds and then jump back up and attack again. Obviously, the 2 against me isn't all that fair, but I can't complain when my arm length is double theirs. 

Well, during this intense game I was the recipient of a Light Saber to the face...the bridge of my nose to be exact. I can now joke and say that the force was against me and not with me...but that shot to the face was incredibly painful in the moment. Yet as I gasped from the initial blow I immediately knew that I had to remain absolutely calm and collected for the sake of the boys. I knew it was an accident and such things occur when you are ridding the world of evil (somehow I'm always on the Dark side). My heart sunk because I saw Jackson run and hide behind the sofa in horror that he hurt me. I could hear the sobs muffled behind furniture. Precious Justin eagerly asked me with such concern if I was okay and if I was bleeding. I assured him I was not bleeding. I knew that my reaction could impact how Jackson would react to moments like this in the future. Trying to swallow every ounce of pain, I calmly told Jackson that I knew that it was an accident and that I was okay. I said that it did hurt, but that I would be fine. I reiterated that I knew that it was an accident. As I mentioned it a second time he eased his way back from behind the wall he placed between us. I told him that I needed a minute, but that he better be prepared for another round of storm trooper attacking and taking over the universe. The look of relief flushed through him as he readied himself for battle. We went on and I'm pretty sure that I won (I may have the slight advantage) and lost (ouch! that really hurt was all I could think of) that game.

After I put the boys down for bed and all was picked up I got on Facebook and was messaging with an acquaintance. I definitely didn't expect the conversation to go the way it did. I was being judged and as it usually happens it was without all the facts available to them. I felt as if I was being slapped in the face this time with words, but it hurt just as much as the hit to the face earlier (in fact, I think I would prefer the physical pain to the emotional pain). I wasn't going to defend myself...and especially not over facebook. My heart sank a little at the response, but I have been the person in that position before and I knew that I needed to offer them grace; forgiveness and grace. I knew that I needed to respond without reproach and continue to honor everyone involved. Definitely not the Valentine's gift I was hoping for though.

Immediately the Lord downloaded some revelation to me as I was sitting there in a little shock. I heard the Lord say "you get to choose how you react to the smacks in the face whether physical or emotional. You get to choose to remember that your response can alter the atmosphere/mood and course of a situation." Just as I knew that if I sulked in my physical pain from the blow to my nose (which would have been a legit response) that Jackson would be distraught the rest of the night and the mood of the night would have just been ruined. Just as I knew that my response to the accusatory conversation could reinforce their already skewed version of that situation and me. My response had to bring life... to react in anything but love, grace and mercy would not bring life or healing. Being hurt does not justify hurting in return. 

The Lord is my Defender and He alone can vindicate me. He will rescue me when I am hurt...He is my Healer. It is my prayer that as He continues to heal those places in my life that He also helps me to remember to react as He so graciously does with me...over and over again...with grace.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

it's what you choose...

I love, love, love Valentine's Day...and yes, I'm single and I still love the day. To me, it's as important as Thanksgiving Day. I know many of you just gasped with utter shock that I just compared those two days. Let me explain... On Thanksgiving we are reminded to be thankful...that's what the holiday is about...a call to stop the business of life, breathe and remember all that we have to be thankful for. Valentine's Day we are reminded to stop (and smell the roses...literally), take stock of our lives and remember to celebrate the people whom we love. You can bash the commercialism and retail driven focus, but you choose how you want to celebrate those whom you love. You don't have to buy the roses, chocolates, stuffed animals or do a fancy date night. You can simply take a moment to call the ones you love or send them a love note. It doesn't have to be about the should be about the expression of your sentiment for those in your life. Let's be honest...we need reminders to slow down, breathe and look at what's important. I know that I do and that's one of the many reasons I love Valentine's Day. 

I've gotten to spend my evening with two incredible boys whom I love dearly. They showed me their love for me with chocolates and a beautiful card, but the best part...when they say "you always spoil us" or when they got excited that I'm coming over to play. I have a bruised bridge of my nose to prove their love as well...Light Sabers are dangerous, folks! :) 

Last night the cry of my heart was for the Lord to open my eyes to see His expressions of love toward me. He calls me His beloved and yet so many times I don't receive it. Today I saw many little things that made my heart overjoyed. Many of these things I wouldn't have really noticed as messages from the Living God, but today my understanding was open to seeing them for what they were. I'm overwhelmed by His love. So my prayer is that your eyes are open to His expressions of love towards you this week. Receive His love with open arms as He calls you His beloved. 

I am not going to post prayer points for the next few days. Take time to ask the Lord exactly what He would like for you to keep in prayer that day. He's always ready to tell us. We just need to be open to listening. 

My prayer tonight is that I may love others well as I have be sooooo loved.