Respecting someone Does Not make you a Doormat

Firstly, let me tell you, I once WAS a doormat, I know what it means to be a doormat and I am not a doormat now. A doormat knows they are being abused and they let it happen out of fear, low self-esteem and sometimes just for the attention they get from the abuser (that was my experience anyway, and I know that this is by no means true for everyone).

I have changed so much since those years of being controlled, manipulated and choosing not to fight back. Being an emotional doormat is an awful place to be, and I think the term doormat isn’t the most sensitive way of describing it either if I’m honest!

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What I have the main problem with, however, is when I am called a doormat for making a conscious decision to do things my fiance’s way.

I agree that in some of these situations he is not “right”, and his course of action is certainly not the way I would do something, but instead of moaning, pouting and shouting like my friends tell me to, I do something else. I go along with his decision (without complaining!). If there comes a time when I’ve explained my reasoning and it’s still important to him, I do what he’s asking me to do, I stand up for him when others criticize him and I trust that if it’s important to him then there’s a reason he’s making this call.

He is an amazing man who loves me so well, and for me a massive part of returning that love is respecting the wisdom he has; even when I don’t agree.

This has happened about 3 times in our whole 3 years together, because he wants my opinion and wants to make me happy so most of the time we do end up agreeing. Living this way makes me happy, because it’s my decision and my way of showing love – It does not make me a doormat.

A doormat has no choice who’s shoes are wiped on it, a doormat has no mind. The way I live might mean that I end up with the dirt of someone else’s decision clogging up my life – but that is because I’m choosing to let it be there.

I’m no doormat when I’m chosing to wash his feet – I’m being a follower of Jesus.

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For Those of us doing a Hard Days Work!

This is what I’m clinging to today at work – have a read if you feel overwhelmed too!

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“If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.” Romans 4:4-5 The Message

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The Curse of the Ugly Days

The curse of the “Ugly Day” is probably something most women experience. The impatient fussing in a mirror that just won’t show us what we want to see, the shrinking feeling inside as our faults feel lit up, on display, and, sometimes, the concrete hate deep in our stomachs directed at ourselves.

It sounds petty to admit how much I care what I look like, and how unkind words from the past still to this day really affect me, but the truth is I do care and some days I really REALLY care.

When an Ugly Day comes upon me I feel defeated, I feel ashamed and I am not a good advert for following Jesus. What a great plan of the devil to keep me under his control!

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Low self-esteem can destroy so many things in a person’s life. We become jealous of our friends, distant from our husbands (at the moment I’m just guessing!) and causes lack of confidence with new people we meet. Half the things that God would have us do, that we would be perfect at, we are too afraid to do. This is just plain poisonous!

Now unfortunately I don’t have answers which are life changing. I know that focusing on our positives is good, as is taking control of what we think/read/watch on TV – none of this is new or mind blowing stuff. What I think might help though, is to remember that this is a great way for the devil to keep us inactive. Basically, this is an attack which can have devastating results so he uses it a lot.

We can remember that we don’t feel this way because we are ugly, we feel this way because of an attack. You wouldn’t attack something useless, and you wouldn’t attack something that isn’t important. Women are made to be beautiful, and that’s why the devil wants us to feel ugly. Our strength is in our beauty, which actually has very little to do with what we look like; We are beautiful because that’s what God made us to be – if you feel anything else it is simply a lie.

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Coffee, Collapsed Lungs and Praises

I love blood and guts. I love biology and I love the way our bodies are made. I’m the kind of person who will be moved by the inner workings of a kidney far more than a sunset. I chose to study biomedical science at uni because I see God in our blood and guts – strange but true.

My last few posts have been what some may define as moany/dramatic and that’s because some blood and guts have hit me in the face (almost literally but mostly metaphorically!). My fiance, who’s been struggling with chest pain for months, is finally being treated for a collapsed lung (hence the title of the post) and after many trips to A&E and appointments and x-rays he is still stuck in a hospital chained to a bed by a tube in his chest. A ten minute painless, yeah right, procedure turned into a two-hour long, morphine endured, knitting needle stab of the lung. It was the most horrific thing I have ever watched and am blown away by the way my fiance dealt with the pain, bravest man I know – just saying!

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In between the working and the visiting, the worrying and keeping everyone up to date these last few weeks, I am exhausted (hence the coffee!). I have found it really, really hard and have been dealing with things myself which were deep, deep from my past. Through this I have realised that maybe I can see God in this chest drain too.

At some point my fiance’s lung collapsed, we’re not too sure why, and for months he lived with 70% lung function. He managed, but his life was affected by the things he couldn’t do and the constant pain he was in. The day came when the drs decided enough was enough and although it was incredibly painful they knew they had to get in there and fix the issue.

Had I been living with 70% function as well? Had my past experiences of illness, hospitals and loosing my loved ones started to affect my everyday life in the things I couldn’t do and that pain that I was in? YES. In his astounding wisdom I believe God has been using the physical situation of my fiance’s illness to emotionally do the same thing to me. To get in there and fix it for me, and even though I am in pain I truly believe, and can see, that God is sorting me out!

Wow – I mean talk about practicing the two become one thing before we are even married!

God is SO GOOD and although last week I was posting about His goodness without understanding it in regards to this situation now I think I can see further than my humanness would choose to, and I’m seeing into the Kingdom of God waging its battle against the darkness in my life.

THIS is why I’m praising!

Does it feel good having a chest drain? No. Does it feel good facing old wounds? No. Is it worth it? Yes. My God is so very good.

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A Challenge for the Breaking People

These last few weeks for me have been HARD. The kind of up in the air, hospital visits, yo-yo-ing emotions, watching someone you love in extreme pain kind of hard.

People, I want to be honest about this, my worst fears have been happening in front of me.

In light of other people’s struggles what I have had happen these last few weeks are nothing. Honestly, they are a walk in the park compared to other people’s lives that I know of.

But for me this is the crunch-point. This is the one too many things going wrong, one too many sleepless nights, one too many nightmares coming back to haunt me kind of moment.

All the defences I learnt to use, all the coping mechanisms, all the catch phrases of God that I used as bubble wrap against the world have popped, broken and stopped working.

These situations have burrowed deep to the core of me and I FEEL BROKEN!

I don’t understand and my emotions are fighting to take control of me and I can see that I, in and of myself, have lost control.

In this place I see a choice and a challenge.

That challenge is God. Do you know Him? Have you loved Him your whole life? Have you only ever known the name as a curse word? It doesn’t matter what you know of God, this desolate place in anyones life brings the mighty challenge of what do we make of God?

Are you angry at Him? Are you clinging to trust Him? Do you hate Him? Would you spit in His face???

The challenge to me, and to you, is how to handle God in this situation. The challenge is to face Him, even if that is just to shout in His face.

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You heard. If you are angry with God, show it. If you are depressed, show it. If you are sad, show it.

I am not a Christian who will tell you to become a robot and change your emotions. I am a Christian who knows how big my God is, big enough to take any abuse from us, willing to take pain from us. AS LONG at it let’s Him into our lives.

Bring your true opinion, self and life to God, no matter what that means.

This is my challenge today.

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When you Just Don’t Want to Love Someone

Ok, so telling people that you just don’t want to love someone anymore sounds like a dramatic thing to say. Maybe you’re imagining me as some kind of martyr who doesn’t want to keep loving an abusive lout, but that my heart is simply too pure and huge that I can’t stop myself. I assure you this is not the case…

I don’t want to love someone anymore because it’s just too much effort. It’s taking my free time, my energy and my happiness and I just don’t want to do it anymore. Harsh but unfortunately true.

This is what my feelings are telling me, I’m ashamed of them and they go against everything I want to be; but I can’t deny the fact that it’s taking every ounce of my effort keep being there when I want to emotionally checkout and cry for myself in self-pity.

When someone you love needs you desperately and requires that you face things that are still incredibly painful for you to do, when you’re “buttons” are pushed and you’re forced to deal with issues you just don’t feel ready to look at, this is when God’s love starts to worm its way through. Unconditional, independent from your own needs, and so very powerful.

God’s love has a law of its own. It’s a law that no human can follow, and it’s only through the grace of God, doing in us what we could never do for ourselves that we can even get close to it.

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“3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13:3-7 The message

I don’t think there has been a single day of my life when I’ve done all those things listed above, and right now sometimes I don’t even want to! But I want to want to with all my heart. When I pray, God answers, and out of my nothingness, selfishness and pity, suddenly strength bursts out to love other people more than myself, when I just can’t do it on my own.

Like a slow trickle of water providing a thirsty man just enough drink to survive, I get given love to give away, piece by piece, trickle by trickle, day by day.

I would be bankrupt without His love.

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Depression Days are Over

After a time of massive trial this is what God had to say to those people who ran to Him because of the trouble. These are amazing words and I hope they brighten your day!

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 Jeremiah 18-21

“Again, God’s Message:

“‘I’ll turn things around for Jacob.
I’ll compassionately come in and rebuild homes.
The town will be rebuilt on its old foundations;
the mansions will be splendid again.
Thanksgivings will pour out of the windows;
laughter will spill through the doors.
Things will get better and better.
Depression days are over.
They’ll thrive, they’ll flourish.
The days of contempt will be over.
They’ll look forward to having children again,
to being a community in which I take pride.
I’ll punish anyone who hurts them,
and their prince will come from their own ranks.
One of their own people shall be their leader.
Their ruler will come from their own ranks.
I’ll grant him free and easy access to me.
Would anyone dare to do that on his own,
to enter my presence uninvited?’ God’s Decree.

22 “‘And that’s it: You’ll be my very own people,
I’ll be your very own God.’”

In people’s lives it seems that awful circumstances, pain and grief can either cause people to run as far away from God as they can or to deliberately push closer to Him.

If you are trying, even the tiniest bit, to love God throughout your trials this promise is for you – BE ENCOURAGED! 🙂

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