Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cutting Each Other Out


With all the memes on social media suggesting we “let go” of the dead weight of people who’ve hurt us; of broken or damaged relationships – we all interpret those messages in our own personal way, in the sights of our own brokenness. 

We may defensively share the meme and throw out a defiant, “Heck yeah! Curse so-and-so!” Do we honestly think that agreeing with the memes or blasting those who’ve wounded us can “seal the deal” and put our pain behind us?

OR – we may roll our eyes and blow past the memes with any measure of scoffing.

OR – we may ponder the meme and its implications in our struggles.

What does it entail to let go of the important people in our lives? And why are they so important in the first place? Can we truly let them go?

To “let someone go” doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll “go away” or that the effects of their behavior will no longer be present in our lives.

Do some of these memes perhaps hint that we can cut people out of our lives in the simple way we can cut them out of our social media world; by “unfriending” them – or by “blocking” them from our social media pages?

When the offender is a parent or spouse or a friend you’ve had since childhood, with whom you’ve shared most everything, except perhaps, that they’re hurting you, or someone else integrally tied to your world, is it, or should it be as simple as a “click of a button”?

Looking at the smiles on the faces of so many of our friends (real or on social media) may deceive us into thinking we’re alone in our pain and suffering. Who knows, social media may even undermine our healthy relationships with imagined problems because - “everyone else is miserable”. We may jump to conclusions about each other’s happiness or lack thereof.

John Bevere wrote a great book (with DVD) called, The Bait of Satan: Living Free From the Deadly Trap of Offense. Available here, if you’d like to take a peek at it. I’ll come back to it in a minute.

Sometimes we’re too easily convinced we’re wrong or selfish for looking at ourselves; our own lives and our own needs. As if self-care is a selfish thing. But, how can we effectively help others if we’re all bound-up, ourselves? How can we un-cuff the wrists of those around us, if our own hands are tied?

When the plumb line in our own lives is not straight, no matter how many decorations we hang on our walls to make us more appealing, or even healthier people, they’ll all be hung crooked. Eventually our masks will fall off; people will see right through us. 

(plumb line: a tool that consists of a small, heavy object attached to a string or rope and that is used especially to see if something (such as a wall) is perfectly vertical. Merriam-Webster dictionary)

If I don’t believe swallowing this little green pill will help me enough to take it, why would I insist that you take it? This could be deception at its best; perhaps for both of us.

Does our pain, suffering, anger, sorrow, struggling, loneliness or our need to attack others, even within our defensiveness, have more to do with what’s going on in us as opposed to what others are doing around us?

Can our plumb lines be so skewed, that not seeing it yet – we defensively blame others for our misery?

To refer you to someone who’s looked at this much more closely than I have, I’ll point you back to the book I mentioned by John Bevere, The Bait of Satan. It might be something you’re meant to read (or watch on DVD). He’ll back up what he’s saying with much more than a short blog post. I’m pulling it off the shelf as soon as I’m done here, to reread it myself.

If we’re taking on garbage that doesn’t belong in our trash cans, it’s bending us and breaking us beneath the weight of the load, skewing that plumb line of ours.

If we refuse other people’s trash, perhaps we’ll have less need to cut them out of our lives.


If we take back the power and influence over us that we’ve let slip through our fingers (sometimes not so willingly, but reluctantly, in exchange for something we needed or thought we needed at the time) – if we can do that and begin to stand up straighter, our plumb line should begin to align itself. In so doing, I believe our defensiveness will fade, our anger can subside and our need to cut people out of our lives may begin to take on a different feel.

People are not our enemies.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…
…but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

I propose that many of our struggles are orchestrated within our own hearts.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Wednesday afternoon, I got my first ilybox!

Who doesn’t love getting a package in the mail in the first place?

I couldn’t wait to see what Crystal had tucked away in the first of many ilyboxes to come. I eagerly opened the packaging and snipped away the tape that sealed my ilybox.

I know you want to know what ilybox is, and you want to see it, too! So, I'll show you!

With the happy and phenomenal spirit of joy inspired entrepreneurialism, and everything else that must go in to starting your own business.... friend Crystal is officially introducing the world to the ilybox.

Just starting out, she’s looking for new customers and friends who will share her vision with those around us who need some encouragement. Yes, we’ll be encouraged ourselves, but, what’s greater is that we’re helping to fill a need in someone else’s life.

You’ve heard clich├ęs about giving from the heart; about giving ‘til it hurts and about giving to those who cannot repay you.

The Bible even tells us that when we lend to someone, not to expect a return, but to rejoice in the blessings of those who can and eventually will be able to repay you. So, you’re not just happy about the fact that you’re getting back what you lent or gave away, you’re truly rejoicing for the prosperity of the individual you gave to in the first place, whether you knew them or not.

Even when our lives are at their best, we have rough days.

But, when we find ourselves in the low spots – in the hospital, in jail or even in a shelter of some sort in need of rescue, our rough days are numbered in sequential order, sometimes with no end in sight.

When someone comes along and unexpectedly blesses us, the excitement is multiplied by the unexpectedness of it.

Crystal Ferry is sharing her love – and ours, with the women around us who need it the most. She’s inviting us to share our love and encouragement and support with women we don’t even know, through her new ministry and business, ilybox.

You’ll see this on her website, but here’s her heart-filled mission.

“Ilybox is a monthly subscription box that brings hope, love, and inspiration through scripture, challenges, and amazing products. We strive to give God the glory with everything we create and do….

For every ilybox purchased, an #ilygoxo box will be supplied to someone in need of God’s love whether that be in a hospital, jail, women’s shelter, at-risk youth shelter, or elsewhere. Our goal is to supply the world with hope and encouragement.”

"For every ilybox purchased, an #ilygoxo (ilygoxo = I love you – go – x.o.) box will be given to someone in need at the location of your choice whether that be in a jail, hospital, or women’s shelter. We strive to meet Jesus’ command in Mark 16:15 that says “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

The #ilygoxo boxes will be slightly different than the ilybox because they’re curated for outreach, discipleship, and bringing more people to Christ.

#ilygoxo is the heart of the ilybox.”

Each ilybox will deliver encouragement and love. Though the contents will be different each month, this box held:


*the sweetness of Divine Chocolate (their story is on the inside of the chocolate wrapper - that's all that's left of my milk chocolate and toffee bar.....)

*inspiration from scripture on beautifully designed cards – ilycards
*30 challenges to spark my inspiration

*the reminder to let my light shine with a Bright Band

*the gift of relaxation through a MacDaddySoaps bath bomb fizz ball

*a journal

*and the joys of receiving AND giving – all packaged beautifully – as a gift!

Go explore the ilybox website; you’ll want to take part in sharing the love, too – Crystal has provided me my very own unique 10% off coupon code – to share with YOU! When you place your first order, use this discount code: VIPHW10

God bless you, Crystal - and all that you put your heart and mind and hands to!

Here’s the link to see what ilybox is all about:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ready for Fun?

Who’s ready for a little fun?

I know we’re not all fed from the same trough, but my “happy tank” sure gets filled spending time in the great outdoors. Yeah, the heat and lately, the humidity, makes me work a little harder for it, but it’s sooooooooo worth it.

There’s a new trail in town, and we’re going to hit it – soon.

Between hiking up Helen Hunt Falls and roaming the trails at Palmer Park with my husband, and traipsing around the Fountain Creek Nature Preserve with our grandchildren, my happy meter has been registering quite high lately. Does that make me immune from the blues? No. But, it sure goes a long way in self-care!

Sometimes I don’t even let it register that what I’m leaving the house to do will require energy, which, quite frankly, I don’t always feel like I have. I get ready anticipating the joy that will come of it. I suppose I could face all forms of exercise this way; perhaps that would help me to “just do it….”

There’s just something about the word “exercise” that doesn’t register in my brain as fun. But, how do I change a lifetime of thinking this way?

One thought at a time!

Sometimes I think my children think that babysitting their children should be a task for me, something that should drain me. I can’t seem to convey to them just how life-giving their children are to me; how they energize me and re-teach me the pleasures that come from simple things. How did I forget? Well, I don’t think I actually forgot. I think I just don’t always remember to remember, if that makes any sense.

Go for a walk with a child – it can become an adventure if you allow it to. Look at what they’re seeing, from their perspective. Get on your knees if you have to! There’s so much excitement there for the taking, so much pleasure for the enjoyment. How did becoming an adult rob us of some of the most incredible yet incredibly simple joys of life?

Letting go seems to be a theme in my life, lately, (actually, for several years now.) Sometimes it’s much easier than I’d have ever thought it could be. Other times – I don’t even realize what I’m hanging on to so tightly.

A few years ago, a friend was going through a particularly hard time. Watching her grieve drew my attention to some of the differences between how children look at life, and how we adults try to control it.

“And he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 17:3 (NIV)

I’ll leave you with a poem that came to me through watching her wrestle with God’s will and her own. It resounds loudly in me, from time to time.

When you were just a little girl
The world was simple and small.
There wasn’t much to be anxious about
Or cause you to worry at all.
Faith came so easily, trust was just there,
We knew that we weren’t in control.
What is it that’s changed between
childhood and now?
We’ve let doubt take it’s toll on our soul.
What’s the secret to that childlike faith?
How did we sleep at night?
There must be a way to get it all back,
A way to make everything right.
Did we know more when we were a child?
Have we forgotten the basics of living?
A good place to start as we take back our lives,
Would be laughing and playing and giving. 
Let’s go back to being God’s own little girls
And give back control of our days.
We’ll promise to worry when God says we can,
And feel fear when He says it’s okay.
We’ll rest when He tells us it’s time to relax.
We won’t let adult things cause worry.
   We’ll laugh for no reason and cry when we want
And deadlines won’t make us hurry.
We’ll pray every morning, we’ll pray every night
And refuse to doubt angels are real. 
We’ll smile at our trials and scoff at our pain,
Feeling each feeling we feel.
~ Helen Williams! c 2006