When it Doesn’t make sense

I hate him.

Yes, I know. Hate is a really strong word. But I do. I hate him.

I try to avoid him. I keep myself busy. I pray, a lot. I bury myself in scriptures. I do everything I’m suppose to do, according to experts, to keep him away.

And yet, there are mornings like today. His hold captures me from my first waking breath and no amount of prayers shake his grasp. He shoves fear into my mind, and rattles my body. 

Depression/Anxiety. He is brute.

I look at my world right now, and logically it doesn’t make sense for the grasp of this mental monster to have a hold on me. I love my job, I have my loving Daddy, my incredible sons, and a really awesome Christian boyfriend. Logically, depressed is the last thing I should be. 

Mental health is a real battle, hurting a body and mind with its cancer-mimicking ways.

So just breath. Remember God has not abandoned you. And don’t do anything rash.  Rest in Christ. Just breath. 

When GOD surprises you

I love to surprise people with little gifts. Though my primary love languages are quality time and words of affirmation, I do tend to express my care and appreciation for people through small gifts. And I giving them to them the most when it is completely unexpected.

We’ve all been told NO

I won’t imagine that I am alone in that I have prayed so hard for GOD to move in something or to provide something and HIS answer has been a soft, loving NO. (And sometimes, a firm NO).

I can think of so many instances when the answer from GOD was ‘NO’.. but there is one that has been my biggest and hardest No. January of 2009, I learned I was pregnant. I was estatic, as I had for so long dreamed of having a little girl. Having had complications with both of my sons, I was sent to a high-risk pregnancy doctor 2 hours away. Using a special ultrasound, he smiled as he refered to the wee one on the screen as ‘she’. A daughter. Prayers answered, right? A week later, I would go back to the same doctor because I was having some health issues. A second ultrasound was done. Immediately, the doctor’s face was pale. I watch as the fluttering of a tiny heart ceased.

The next morning, I would go through surgery to remove the baby from my womb. The nurse lovingly explained to me afterwards that I would have less than a 15% chance of ever conceiving again.

I didn’t understand GOD’s no. Wasn’t I a good mom to my boys? Wasn’t I a decent wife to the boys’ dad? I remember asking lots of hard, painful questions in the months to follow. It has only been in the valley of the last three years, that I have begun to see that God’s no was to prepare me. Perhaps some day, GOD will allow me to minister to another young woman who loses a child. Already through that no, I have developed a deeper compassion and concern for those who are in mourning or are walking through grief.

We do get “yeses”

GOD blesses us. Oh, how HE richly blesses us.

GOD gave me a Christian Daddy. My Daddy and Grandmothers had heavy influence on the woman I have become.

I could list a hundred thousand things that GOD has blessed me with, and barely scratch the surface of HIS goodness. One answered prayer was in my current job. I came to work for my company on September 2, 2014. That very first week in the building, I told my dad that I had found a department in the building that I wanted to work in. I was told by supervisors in my workplace that getting into that department was very difficult, and that it usually took 4 to 5 years to even get a chance.

Just over a year ago, GOD gave me a great big yes by giving me a job in that department- after having only worked for my company just shy of 2 years. And GOD answered a bigger prayer. Because of romantic relationships that I had been a part of, I had become very very isolated. I didn’t have a single person that I could have called a friend. GOD not only gifted me my dream job within my company, but GOD also placed me among ladies that would become my friends.

And Then, GOD just might say “Not Yet”. “Wait”

It is hard sometimes in our flesh to surrender to GOD’s timing. We have read GOD’s Word and know full-well the Word of GOD says:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV)

In our flesh, we grow inpatient with GOD’s timing. We start to think that GOD has forgotten. But, no. HE hasn’t. Sometimes HE has us to wait to prepare our hearts and minds for what HE has in store.

April of 2016, I became engaged. And through that, suffered a great heart ache. A lot of emotional abuse and emotional pain. But GOD was saying NOT YET.

I would have to walk through pain. I would even walk through tremendous depression and despair.

GOD was getting me ready. I didn’t know what for. Or I should say, who for.

I met Steve just as I was beginning to start truly allowing myself to heal from my hurt. And what a surprise from GOD Steve has been. Instead of looking down on me for my past, he has lovingly found beauty in my ashes. I never ever expected to find a kind, gentle Christian man like Steve. I thought men like him were extinct. I thank GOD that my Wait has led me to the relationship I now have with him. (Visit Steve’s blog at http://www.courageouschristianfather.com/)

 

Weeping in the Garden

Through tears, I look up into the morning sky. I am full aware that I have not just stumbled a bit. I have failed. I have disobeyed GOD.

Realization

It is the Holy Spirit Who convicts us, burns our heart with full awareness that we have done or said something against The Holy and Righteous GOD. And Oh, how my heart burns with that realization.

It isn’t my first time failing HIM. Though I make attempts to serve and obey GOD and do pour myself into HIS Word (but not nearly enough), I fail. I try to do some ordinary thing in my own feeble morality and I find myself in the dung heap.

Confession

I have failed. I won’t go into a lot of details but I have failed by recently disrespecting to people that are Christians. To make it worse, both of them are men of GOD that I look up to.

Disrespect is never okay in any case. But as a Christian, I know better than to treat any of my brother or sisters in Christ Jesus with disrespect. Increase the weight of this flaw in that my disrespect was also toward two men of GOD.

Petition

I have asked both of these men to forgive me. It was a humbling experience, admitting to these two men my wrong doing, admitting my disrespect for them, and asking their forgiveness.

And I have asked and am asking GOD. I do have the weight of what I done to lay upon GOD’s alter of mercy and beg for HIS mercy to remove the filth of what I have done.

Restoration

The confession and request for forgiveness are all well, but they do nothing if my heart and my life do not show true repentance.

I can break a vase, and stand looking down at the shards. I can admit to the vase I broke it and that my breaking of it was wrong. I can even ask the vase to forgive me for breaking it. But I do not display repentance until I take actions.

I’ve decided to spend today meditating on my flaws and asking GOD to help make me a better person. I need to control my words, and carefully weigh out each word before I say it. And in my time of meditation today, I need to kill out any desire (though sometimes hidden) to do anything other than to treat others (particularly my brothers and sisters in Christ JESUS) with anything other than respect.

So I am in the Garden weeping, knowing I have denied my Savior three times – like Peter.

 

 

It’s Monday, and Sunday is over

The alarm dishovels my sleep and I wake knowing three things: it’s Monday, it’s time to get ready for work and Sunday is over.

Sunday, it’s so easy to be focused on God and His blessings, His magnificent mercy. Sunday, it’s easy to meditate on God’s Holy Word and furl His praises loud. 

But Monday? Monday means our weekend break is over and we return again to the mundane March of work and life. 

Monday means bills come, doctors appointments need to be made, and the faucet is leaking.. again.

Providence in Prayer

Pray. Stressed? Pray. Rejoicing? Pray. Had to ask your child for the thirtieth time to finish getting ready? Pray.

It doesn’t have to come on bended knee or in some ceremony. It can be whispers of, “Lord, I need You” as you restart your computer for the 3rd time. Prayer is simply conversation with God Most High…our Father.

Yes, I do know not everyone was blessed or is blessed to have the kind of Daddy I have. I can talk to Daddy about anything and I do mean anything. There are only two rules for when I talk to Daddy: (1) whatever I say or talk about I must say respectfully & (2) I must be willing to listen not only talk.

Prayer is the same for me. I talk to God about anything and everything. My pain, a sick friend, a lost watch, a family mourning, my want for a queen sized bed, forgiveness of sins or just in thanks. 

But I can’t just talk. I must listen. I must cup the ears of my thoughts to His Holy Scriptures. I must bend my heart to the words from a Godly Pastor. And in listening, I must obey.

I was only 12. Daddy had told me so many times to be careful around the cellar. One hot day, I didn’t listen to that. In pure fiesty stubbornness, I was playing in the cellar until I felt the distinct singe of metal cut through my foot.

I thought it would be fine. Until I could clearly see the peppering of rust on the lid I had embedded into my foot. I would have to tell Daddy.

Lovingly, my Daddy took me to get a tetanus vaccine and have the two inch gash flushed out. But once I got home, I got a whipping.

Mondays (And many other days) need prayers

Daddy didn’t love me any less because of that moment. Quite honestly, it taught me that maybe just maybe Daddy did know best.

God is much the same. Yes, we will rebel and end up peppered in sin. But GOD is faithful to forgive when we repent and come talk to Him. More than my precious Daddy..or your Mom or Aunt or best friend… GOD truly knows best. 

Sunday is over and Monday is upon us. And God is waiting to hear from you, HIS son..HIS daughter. HIS child. 

Furbaby Friday: The story of Buffy

A few years back, I still was working in the Newspaper industry as a reporter. For a brief time, I got to live my dream of being a reporter for my hometown paper. I truly loved it.

One of the largest joys of working for my hometown paper was getting to work for Ed. Ed is more rare than a golden hens teeth. He is a lovable Christian man who is a master story teller and has a way of just making everyone around him smile. He is truly one of the most amazing men that I have been blessed to work with.

Just shortly after my dog Bishop passed on, Ed and I were engaged in one of our long conversations. Sometimes on press night, there would be segments of long waiting – waiting for a source to confirm, waiting for results of an election or waiting for many a reason. Ed asked me did I know someone who could give a home to a dog. Mind you, I had just gone through my divorce. I listened as Ed told me about Buffy.

Ed and his wife had found Buffy, wounded, near their home. Someone had somehow broken her rear leg, and she had lost a litter of puppies. Ed and his wife nursed dear Buffy back to health, but were surprised to find that Buffy’s troubles were not yet over.

Ed and his wife had (and still have) a beloved dog that has comforted them through a lot. That dog did not care for Buffy, and it was causing turmoil in their home.

I drove home from work that night, thinking about Buffy and only one thought came to mind- I want Buffy for my boys.

Buffy and “B”

I wasn’t able to take Buffy into my tiny subsity apartment. But I knew Buffy would do well, as an outdoor dog, for my sons at their Dad’s house. At that time, they were without a canine companion and my youngest son “B” had been asking for another dog.

I called the boys’ dad and talked to him about Buffy. I agreed to have Buffy checked by a Vet and vaccinated. A few days later, Buffy was taken on her triumphant journey to live with my sons.

And it was automatic love.

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(“B” and Buffy, March 2011)

“B” took to Buffy as if they had always been a part of one another’s lives. And Buffy took to him, protecting him but also playing with him.

Goodbye, sweet girl

October 2016, just one week before my sons would experience the passing of their Paternal grandfather, sweet Buffy died. She lived a long 8 years, far longer than she was expected to have lived.

Buffy’s story is much like mine. I was bruised and broken by the roadside in 2011. and CHRIST JESUS scooped me up, mended me, and cared for me. HE has given me a new story twice already since then. When my days are over, I hope someone will be able to say of me what “B” said of Buffy when she died:

“Momma, Buffy loved me most well.”

Life can be brutal

I *had* a different blog post planned today. But, a loss this week drove me to write this instead. As always, thank you for reading. 

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I remember hearing a saying growing up. You probably heard a version of it, but not likely this:

When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, we drown

Being a Christian makes life no easier than being a non-Christian. And to be frank, sometimes being a Christian can actually make it harder. When it all comes down to bare bones, I am just a human. I have losses, heart ache, bad days, aggravations, and sorrow.

Along comes a Song

Know this: Music is a part of my wiring. Somewhere amongst the DNA GOD wove me together with, are quarter notes and stanzas.

When I hurt most, I find myself baptizing myself in music. Often, the lyrics and melodies GOD will use to grant seeds of peace and hope in my hurt.

So, here I am. Broken again. Feeling utterly overwhelmed by circumstances that I cannot see escape from.

This song has been on repeat for a few days now. May GOD use it to impart seeds of peace and hope in your heart. Click the link below to listen to it on youtube.

Remember Me, JESUS

 

 

 

Daughter of an Eagle

For those who are not aware, today is National Eagle Scout Day. (Read more about the holiday here: (National Eagle Scout Day)

The Boy Scouts of America, founded in 1910, looks very different after over 100 years.

My Daddy, the Eagle Scout

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(Above, my Granny pinning my Dad for his Eagle in 1974)

I don’t know much about my Dad’s time of earning his Eagle. Hopefully, GOD will permit me the time to have that talk with him. Perhaps even record it, to pass along to my sons someday.

Growing up Under “Daddy’s Wings”

My Dad is by no means perfect. But for the most part, he raised me under the the Scout Law:

A Scout is …
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,
thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 

(Source: Scout Law)

One such example of this was in how he insists, still today, that I refer to others as Sir or Ma’am. Shortly after my oldest son was born, I attended a local event honoring area piano players and worship leaders. At the event, my Daddy introduced me to a new minister that had moved into the area. He was close to my age, so I called him by his first name. My Daddy, in love, leaned over to me and said “Unless he said otherwise, you should honor this man of GOD by saying Sir”.

In so many ways over the 19 years I lived at home, my dad would bring up various aspects of the Scout Law in his loving way of trying to help his fiesty, auburn-haired girl grow into a woman of integrity.

Flying under Daddy’s lead

Years later, I find myself feeling my Daddy’s lessons filtering through my life. So, here on National Eagle Scout Day, I make my own declaration:

  • May I live a trustworthy life
  • May I be loyal to CHRIST, to my sons, and to (GOD willing) my future husband
  • May I live in a helpful and friendly way towards others. How people respond to that is not on me.
  • May I be courteous and kind to all of those I encounter in my day, be that in person, on line, or on the phone.
  • May I be obedient to the Holy Scriptures, obeying CHRIST’s commands to the best of my ability, and repenting for the many times I fail or fall short
  • May I be cheerful. This is harder than it sounds. I have Severe Anxiety disorder, which I have been diligently seeking treatment for over the last 3 years. Regardless and in fact, because of that fact, I need to focus myself on being cheerful (ie, content) in the here and now of my mundane life
  • May I be more thrifty. Those who know me best know that I have a bit of a gift for this. But I want to begin to use this gift to also serve those around me.
  • May I be brave. Again, going back to the anxiety. I need to be intentional about reminding myself that:
    The LORD is my strength and my shield

(Psalm 28:7, KJV)

  • May I be clean. Now, mind you, I am sometimes a bit lazy in keeping house while other times I will clean for hours just to relieve my anxiety. But I can do more to guard my heart and mind from unclean thoughts.
  • May I be reverent. May I show respect to all of those who I work with and work for, not only in my job but also in my community and in service in a church
  • One added: May I be LOVING. To Christ, first. My family. To my coworkers, to strangers.

The Story Behind a Name- SimplySpokn?

I have a thing about names.

There is a fairly unique story about how I came about the biological name that I have. My oldest son is named for a 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon character and my youngest son is named after an Uncle that neither he or his dad ever knew.

I even took thought in naming my new kitten, Joel the Brave, that came into my life last month. The name Joel means “the one to whom JEHOVAH IS GOD”.

But, SimplySpokn?

Seeing as I have committed to GOD to getting my blogging back full time, I felt it was time to talk about why I gave the blog THAT particular name.

Partly, it starts with a unique part of who I am. I am an “old soul”, meaning that I tend to like things that most people my age would think was old-fashion or outdated. One of the things I love is the art of letter writing. At about 12, I started signing my name “Simply, Heather”

(I will gladly send you a letter, if you would like to email me your mailing address. Send email to fstopchick (AT) gmail (DOT) com) 

The other part of that is that I am a simple person. I don’t care much for having lavish things for myself (though I do love old fashion soaps wrapped in paper). Even if I had millions to spare, I would much rather live a simple, relaxed life and bless others with what extra I have.

SimplySpokn became a Motto

I wanted what I write here, what I share here to be simply from my heart. I am no eloquent writer, nor will I pretend to be. I am no theological student, but I will share with you the Truths that CHRIST has revealed to me through HIS Word.  I am no expert, but I can share with you what I know.

If you blog, I’d love to hear how you came up with your blog name or of how the title represents who you are.

Me? I am a simple lady. What I share here is simplyspokn here, filtered through GOD’s grace.