Posted in Amber Haines, Childlikeness, Our Saviour God, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God

An Ornament from Russia, with Love

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. ( Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV)

A Broken Matryoshka Heart

Before my beloved pappa was promoted to heaven about 8 years ago to meet His Saviour face-to-face, my wanderlust parents explored the beauty of Mother Russia.
They blessed me with a beautiful Russian lady-doll dressed in the traditional shapeless peasant jumper dress, a Matryoshka, or better known by her common name; a Babushka.

These ornaments date back to 1890 when they were the artistic brain child of a Russian folk crafts painter, Sergev Malyutin, and crafted by Vasily Zvyozdochkin.

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As I was contemplating the theme for this week, “the ornament”, this silent lady uttered a silent cry of despair.. Peeking through her big, blue lifeless eyes, the windows of her soul, I discovered an enigma…a metaphor within a metaphor. Her pearly pink rosebud mouth uttered a silent cry, a sigh of abuse…pain….neglect….rejection….and, tremendous suffering.

Her untold life story begged to be released as the hidden metaphor of her confinement within herself longed for freedom. Freedom for all the silent ones hiding within her…each telling their own stories, the age-old story of the craving for love. The craving to become a subject of affection and grace; to be released from the stigma of dead, nameless objectivity.

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A craving to become the recipient of words softly and tenderly spoken in love, instead of a heart being bruised and battered by harsh ruthless shouting. The craving of a body longing to be fondeled and held in a caressing embrace instead of the absence of loving arms. A craving to be wanted, desired instead of feeling endured with cruel indeference. A craving to be reminded of happiness and joy, instead of crying tears without words….silent tears of pain and abandonment.

Until the Master Craftsman opened her up, whispering sweet love filled caresses to the hearts of all the girls hiding inside. With determination He released all the broken ones within her soul from the prison of lies that have chained them in the dark prison cells of unworthiness, unlovable-ness, self-loathing, despondency and utter loneliness.

freeThey were cowering in the darkest corners of her heart when His Light ushered them out into a Kingdom not of this world…a Kindom of Light and Love and tenderly nursed them all back to life, eternal life….a life lived in Him….a life lived daily in His Loving Embrace.

That doll is me.

Much love to you

Mia

I am linking up today at The Run-a-Muck. Thank you Amber for allowing us to unchain our hearts. Come and join us at http://therunamuck.com/.

FCB Member

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Posted in Amber Haines, Childlikeness, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, Frost, God's Father Heart, Grace, Holy Spirit, Insomnia, Jesus Christ, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Snowflakes, Spirituality, Suffering, Sunflowers, The Love of God, Walking with God

Frost and Sunflowers

God’s Thoughts to Me

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:16-18, NIV)

Thawing in His Love

Oh, the beauty and joy of frolicking in the snow with complete abandon, creating snow angels and building big, chubby, potbellied snowmen with carrot noses, is truly a delightful gift from the storehouse of heaven.

Yet, another good heavenly gift I reluctantly accept and endure, is the beautiful flowers of feathery frost. Somehow I seem unable to see and appreciate their other-worldly, ethereal beauty!

While snow and frost are both formed from atmospheric vapor, snow crystals form on suspended dust particles high in the air, and frost, near the ground on just any flat surface like windowpanes and blades of grass. Their microscopic anatomy brings glory to our Heavenly Father’s attention to individuality and detail, for every single crystal, snow and frost, has a different shape and form; sort of their fingerprints from a Pappa of diversity.

Just like our Pappa truly has no favorites (James 2:1) and honors our individuality by giving each one of His children their own set of fingerprints, He also honors His creation. It’s diversity and beauty speak of a God who never overlooks a leper, a prostitute, a drunkard or glutton, or even a naked man possesed by a legion of demons, His children enveloped by the coldest winter frost of life.

Frost can be a killer by destroying whole crops during a severe winter season. I always contributed this to the extreme cold. Not so! The edges of frost crystals are needle-sharp. It destroys and damages any surface it settles on by cutting, slicing and stabbing like a knife. Truly, any surface, including my heart!

Ice crystals following the veining of a dead leaf

Before I walked with our Pappa God, I used to deal with the frosty winters of life in a very wordly, fleshly kind of way. Whenever the frost crystals of dissappointment, heart ache and sorrow, the pain of unfulfilled dreams and the whole enchilada settled on the surface of my fleshly, ground-dwelling soul, I would groan and moan, sulk and mope, indignantly blaming everything and everybody for my uncomfortable indisposition. So completely human! Truth be told, I even had the audacity to blame our Pappa at times!!

I am ashamed to admit that I even praised Him profusely, thanking Him for my discomfort and suffering. Yet, my heart, full of hypocrisy, seethed inside, frostbitten by anger and resentment, bemoaning the unfairness of life. Secretly, I kept both my eyes on heaven, fully expecting our Pappa to reward my valiant efforts of praising Him amidst my hard circumstances by making all the bad stuff dissapear. Of course, that never happened! Our Pappa in His wisdom, blessed me with even harder trials and tribulations, for He cannot be manipulated! So, the blame-game kept marching on, keeping me imprisoned and chained to that monstrous jailer, self-pity.

I am grateful to our Pappa for bringing me to the end of myself by allowing Fm/ME to stop me right in my tracks.

I vividly recall one morning in the early morning hours. I was suffering from insomnia (a Fm/ME symptomn) and this was the fifth day without sleeping a wink! Totally exhausted and with a body wracked with pain, I was at the end of my tether and endurace. I raised my voice one more time and, with an honest, sincere heart, I praised my Pappa, telling Him that I trust Him, regardless; no strings attached.

Our heavenly Father immediately reached down and gathered me into His Loving Embrace. For a few hours my heart was soaring high in the sky where the snowflakes dwell. The Spirit of our Lord Jesus was the wind beneath my wings.

Our Pappa taught me a valuable lesson. When my heart is imprisoned by the feathery fingers of frost, I must look at sunflowers and learn. A sunflower’s eyes always follow the sun. It basks in its warmth and care, praising our Pappa with it’s incredible beauty.

I have learned to never take the eyes of my heart off Jesus, the Son of all comfort, warmth and love. I have learned to look full in His wonderous face, assured that the warmth of His love will melt all those frozen tears in my heart and transform them into a bubbling stream of joy and delight, to the glory and praise of our Pappa.

Dear Ones, I am fully aware that at times it seems as if the frost-filled winters of life never seem to end. They seem to transform our weary hearts into flowers of cold, feathery frost. But at times like these we need to keep our spiritual eyes fixed on the Son, basking in the warmth of His never-ending love. This also has come to pass, not to stay!

Much love, blessings and peace to you!

Mia

I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other “abstractions-on-the-frost” can be found at http://therunamuck.com/2012/11/12/an-abstraction-on-the-frost/

Posted in Amber Haines, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, Garden of Eden, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Grace, Holy Spirit, Invisible Illness, Jesus Christ, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Puzzles, Spirituality, Suffering, Walking with God

A Sweating, Striving Sweater

God’s Thoughts to Me

But as I looked at everything I had worked to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:11, NLT)

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, NLT)

The Futility of Striving

Solomon was a great man of divine wisdom. His words in Ecclesiastes show the depth of his wisdom when he acknowleded that all his striving and sweating caused him a severe case of burnout. A burnout caused by his relentless efforts in building his search for fulfillment, meaning and happiness on the wrong foundations: the shaky foundations of the world’s riches, values and ways.

Another foundation, much more subtle and dangerous, I have found myself building on, trying to find meaning in life, was religion. The etymology of the word “religion” shows that it is derived from the Latin word “religare”, a word aligned to the root word “religio”, meaning “to tie back” or “to bind up”.

During Paul’s visit to Athens, he noticed their numerous idols. Not to offend any god, they even had an idol to “an unknown god”. He told them,”Men of Athens, I notice that you are very RELIGIOUS in every way…” (Acts 17:22) The Greek word he used was “deisidaimon”, “deisi” meaning “to fear or respect” and “daimon”, demon!! Paul was actually likening religion to the worshipping of and paying respect to demons! To be totally honest, that frightened me to such a degree that I knew I was standing at the crossroads of my life and I knew I had to choose.

I realized I was swallowing all the lies the father of religion was feeding me, like Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Our Pappa gently showed me that my mind was veiled, darkened and wandering far from the abundant life our Lord Jesus longed to give me, free of charge! Before my Pappa gave sight to my blind spiritual eyes, I was striving and sweating, trying to cover my spiritual cold and nakedness with the fig leaves of religion.

I was knitting a sweater with a wide variety of religious knitting yarn: church attendance, giving to the poor, serving, Bible reading, praying and some more. My sweater closely resembled Joseph’s colorful coat. Instead of providing spiritual warmth and life, this sweater only birthed another sweater, me!! I was perspiring profusely trying to earn everything in life, especially love, worth and acceptance.

My late father once remarked that I always seemed to be chasing after love and he was spot-on with his words. I was completely baffled and left in the dark, for I had no idea why I acted this way. Was it because my earthly father’s love was the only love I had ever experienced without any strings attached or because my biological mother passed away when I was only 3 years old?

I suppose I will never know the answer, but I do know that from a young age the sweet Holy Spirit has been drawing me into the source of all love, compassion, grace, kindness and mercy, the abundant Life of our Lord Jesus.

What joy the day when our Lord Jesus started to free me from all the chains that were keeping me captive. He also revealed to me the true meaning of His words,”I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), because to me it meant something along these lines, “For I came that you might have religion and have it more abundantly, to practise it more faithfully and committedly, defending it with all your might and behaving more morally!”.

What joy when our Lord took me by the hand and showed me a better way, a long walk to freedom, freedom from all this striving, sweating; freedom from the dark, futile road of self-effort and fear. Our Pappa promises us that there is no fear in love for His perfect love casts out all fear. ( 1 John 4:18).

I want to pay tribute to all those dear saints from the past who in the face of extreme opposition and persecution  refused to accept another gospel which was not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-7). Saints like Paul and many others who preferred to be beaten with rods, to be shipwrecked, fed to lions, to go hungry, cold and without sleep, rather than to bow the knee before the idol of religion.

Thank you, Amber, and all you dear Ones for allowing me to share the freedom, love, joy and abundant life of our Lord Jesus with you for a short while along my journey of life.

Hugs and blessings

Mia

I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other  “abstracts on the sweater” can be found here http://therunamuck.com/2012/11/05/an-abstraction-on-the-sweater/.

Posted in Amber Haines, Bit and Bridle, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, God's Father Heart, Grace, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Psalm 32, Puzzles, Senseless Horse, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God, Walking with God

A Senseless Horse

God’s Thoughts to Me

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and a bridle to keep it under control. (Psalm 32:8-9, NLT)

In Training

It is a great honor to participate in Amber’s Concrete Word Series. Amber paints with words and she brings the abstract to life through her use of concrete words. Amber can be found at http://therunamuck.com/2012/10/28/an-abstraction-on-the-horse/.

The last few weeks this Scripture has been repeating like a refrain in my mind and I was quite puzzled and uncertain about the reason my thoughts kept wandering back to Psalm 32. My heart quietly, without words, asked our Heavenly Father the reason for my predicament for I had a suspicion that I was being compared to a senseless horse or stubborn mule.

When I saw Amber’s invitation to write on An Abstraction on a Horse, I knew our Pappa was leading me to a painful, yet liberating revelation. The haphazard array of puzzle pieces in my mind started to fit perfectly as the scales, blinding my spiritual eyes, fell off. I could slowly but surely start to comprehend what our Pappa was trying to teach me.

For the past 8 years I have been suffering from Fm/ME and although I have come to a place of sweet acceptance and know our Lord will work His good through this illness as well, I have found it difficult to understand why our Pappa uses such a debilitating, chronic, painful illness to bring about His good. He knows how very sensitive I am to pain! But as always His thoughts and ways are definitely not mine!

Our Lord is very well acquainted with all my insecurities and shame-based self-esteem that causes me to gallop ahead like a frigthened, senseless horse, as fast as I can. During biblical times the horse was the fastest transportation available and I could relate to that. My whole life was consumed by my frantic galloping and racing, trying to outrun all the ghosts of my past: the feelings of guilt and condemnation for being so sinful and imperfect, my constant striving for approval and acceptance, etc. I was over-eager to convince my Pappa that with a lot of elbow grease and self-effort I could clean up my act and be worthy of His love.

I longed for His unconditional love, for His guidance and acceptance. I longed to walk with my God, but I was like a stubborn horse who lacked understanding. The jockey riding this horse was a very nasty fellow called Fear. He had a comfortable ride while I had to plow my way through the swamp of depression and despondency. I felt totally defeated as I was wallowing in the mud and mire of rejection and hopelessness. Mr Fear was a cruel man showing no mercy or kindness. Then that sweet day arrived when our God stopped this horse in its tracks with such velocity that Mr Fear flew off my back forever.

Our Pappa knew of my desperate plight and rescued me from this despicable man by allowing this illness to enter my life. It was the bit and bridle He used to lead this stubborn horse out of the marshland of despair into the beautiful meadow of His love and acceptance. Old habits die hard and I need to allow our Lord to keep a tight reign on the bridle of my life.

I am so grateful that He has, in His divine wisdom, allowed this illness to teach this galloping horse His ways and paths. Living with the constant pain and exhaustion that accompany Fm/ME is not easy, but is has taught me, like Paul had to learn, that His grace is always sufficient.

In conclusion, this is one horse that needs the firm Hand to lead it!

Hugs and blessings

Mia