Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘reflection’ Category

I Just Want You To Be Happy.

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the ...

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the Bijou Opera House production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience Português: A cantora Lillian Russell, na ópera Patience, em 1882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This sentence has always troubled me.  I have heard it off and on when I was growing up.  And today in movies and television programs – there it is again.  Usually from parents talking to their children.  Usually after a “talk” about what they should or shouldn’t be doing.  The sentence “I just want you to be happy” is a disclaimer to any and all unpleasant topics and issues.

But what does it really mean?

I heard it yet again in a movie I was watching – and turned to Greg who was standing in the kitchen and said, “HA!  There it is again!  Those words.”  It is not the first time I’ve turned to Greg after hearing something like this – nor will it be the last.  This phrase seems to be one that is heard over and over again.

What does ‘being happy’ have to do with real life?  What exactly is the state of ‘happiness’ anyway?  Is there a quick pass and free ticket to that place just because someone wishes it for me?  “Well, since you put it that way – I guess I will be happy”  It doesn’t work that way.

Happy is a neutral place found by those who have felt the opposite once or twice in their lives.  Somewhere where pain is absent but easily remembered.  Where struggle and frustration gave birth to break through and hurt and determination yielded fruit.

I can no more wish that place on my children or anyone else without knowing what true happiness means – and what it takes to get there.  I believe you can’t get to happy without the ‘unhappy’ and all the rest first.  I know the journey to get there is worth it.  But I have also lived longer, tried more things and know what works with people and circumstances and what does not.  I am striving to live in that place of  ‘peace with all men’ and will do anything to remain there – in that place that is eternally ‘drama free’.  But that takes experience and just plain hard work.

A better thing to say to others is this:

I want you to be healthy.  Health requires good choices for your body and mind.  To be aware of what influences affect and pull you in ways not good for you.  To know your limits.  To fulfill your purpose.  To develop those God-given gifts and talents.  To move by God’s leading and always hear His voice.

And if you just must reference that word ‘happy’ – then I would say this instead:

I want you to always choose to be happy.  That in itself is a loaded statement.  You mean we can actually choose to be happy?  Even in negative circumstances?  Even when life is crashing down all around?  Even when I have no money for that next bill?  Even when someone has said negative things – ruined my reputation and tried to steal my joy?  Even when illness comes to stay?  Even when no one understands?

Yes.

It is in just those such things that eventually bring a kind of ‘happy’ – but it is deeper.  It is more like joy.  For in those trials and adversity – something happens to us.  We depend and lean more on God.  We get to know and understand His mercies and kindness.  Patience and perseverance are developed in us in an intangible way.  

Psalm 3:3 says:

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

When He is the one protecting and providing a shield around me and my circumstances, I can look at things differently.  I can lift my head.  I can choose to put on joy.

Won’t you choose to be happy?  Allow Him to walk beside you through those stormy times of life.  And He will lift your head.  The next time someone says to you, “I just want you to be happy” come back with this statement:  “I will choose health and choose to be happy no matter what my circumstances”.  You will be empowered by this statement of faith.  And in your faith – you will find happy.

God Bless

The Quiet Center

Dream of the Abandoned Chair

Dream of the Abandoned Chair (Photo credit: garlandcannon)

We sang this beautiful song during our morning church service.  The words are reflective and personal.  With any good lyrics, I find myself searching deep within and relating so well with each line.  The title is simply, “Come and find the quiet center” and invites all to pause and reflect.  In stepping away from the noise and chaos so often associated with our busy lives – I love the times I can quietly retreat and find my ‘center’ – that place reserved for God alone.  A place where He is my focus and steadiness in a world gone mad.  In the second and third verse (which are not on the video) there is a richness of word pictures.  I especially love how ‘silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace’.  And ‘there’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care, in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!’

 

Do you have a quiet center?  A place of reflection?  A refuge in time of  the great storms in your life?  Take a minute today and reflect on these beautiful words – you will be blessed!

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

by Shirley Erena Murray

 

1 Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.
2 Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we’re shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun.
3 In the Spirit let us travel,
open to each other’s pain,
let our loves and fears unravel,
celebrate the space we gain:
there’s a place for deepest dreaming,
there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming
there is always room to spare!

 

On A Clear Day

Driving to Seattle on a clear day is very revealing.  It shows me what I’ve been missing all the other days of the year.  The things that are there, yet hidden.  The Cascade Mountains, for one.  Suddenly I’m aware that my world isn’t so small after all – and just beyond my ability to perceive them lies untold beauty.

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing ...

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing towards the North East from Queen Anne, Seattle WA. The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge is in the background with a backdrop of the University of Washington and the Cascade Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times are we like a cloudy, rainy day in our thoughts – going along through the day with all the correct motions and intentions, and yet perceiving our world as much smaller than it really is.

I was challenged to take a lesson from nature – open up my eyes and LOOK around me – for things I cannot see with my natural limited senses.  I want to reach far beyond the box of “normal” and see with God eyes all the beauty I’m missing.

I thought of the song “On a clear day you can see forever” and was reminded that it is clearness in both our eyes and thoughts that can give us that unique perspective on things around us.  And I want to always remember what is invisible when the storms of life close in on me and I cannot see.

Dear Lord – help me to hang on to that clear vision from those clear days – and to use it when those tough times close in around me.

When was the last time you saw things with “clear vision”?

I heard the following song on Spotify today from a local Seattle band – and have been writing this article with this tune in my head.

Enjoy and God Bless

Tell me somethin’, give me hope for the night
We don’t know how we feel
We’re just prayin’ that we’re doin’ this right
Though that’s not the way it seems

Summer gone, now winter’s on its way
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
Oh, I’ll miss the days we had

Loving, leaving, it’s too late for this now
Such esteem for each has gone
Has time driven our season away?
Cause that’s the way it seems
In the world of the speech that is new
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay

A Dream Within A Dream

I have a recurring dream.  I’ve had it off and on since my high school days, some 35 years or so.  It is always the same theme, although many elements of the dream are different each time.  Two things are always the same:

1) I can never remember my locker combination (or sometimes can’t even find the locker)

Locker

Locker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and

2) I don’t know my class schedule, remember what the assigned material is or even find any of my classes (in each dream the school is different).

I can only assume each time I have a dream with this same theme, that there is something unresolved from my past and for whatever reason, because I cannot solve it – it keeps happening.

Last night I was dreaming the same dream and like so many times before felt those same feeling of helplessness and frustration, when suddenly I decided to DO SOMETHING about it!

I became present inside my dream – kind of like a dream within a dream –  and took control of where it was going.  I grabbed some poor person that happened to be standing by me in the hallway and said, “take me to the office RIGHT NOW!”  I don’t know who it was, neither male or female, but it didn’t matter in the dream – I just needed someone to point me to the office.  Many times before in these same dreams I couldn’t even find the office – but this time it was going to be different!

I arrived with this person at the office and said to the person behind the desk, “Could I please have a copy of my locker combination and a copy of my class schedule?   Look – you have to understand – I will NEVER be able to remember them and need help – AND it is very possible that I will come here again and need the same kind of help – can you do this for me?”

It was there that my dream ended.  I’m curious to know if I am able to stop these stupid recurring dreams and maybe the key was to take control of the situation, I guess I’ll have to see.

Dreams are funny.  Some say they hold symbolism that is key to unlocking your subconscious, others like my husband say that they don’t hold any meaning, it’s just your over action imagination going wild while you sleep.  I guess I fall in the middle somewhere.  I do know that I’ve had closure with people in my dreams where I’ve never had closure while I’m awake.  Five minutes within a dream can “fix” so many things.  One old friend in particular visited me in a dream a couple of times in the last few years and we had a lovely conversation, the relationship was mended and things were said that needed to be said.  There was a sweet hug and everything was fine.  In that moment all the doubt and raw emotions were finally brought to right.  For me, it brought closure and reassurance.  I’ve heard people say that they have had similar conversations of closure with loved ones who have passed away.

Is it our wishful thinking that makes these things happen?  Closure and explanation – when in reality, there is none?  I would like to think that there is.

What dreams do you dream?  Do you find closure and comfort in things that have none?  Do you have conversations with those that have passed away – or walked away from a relationship with you?  Have you ever stepped in to your dream and “fixed” something?

 

God Bless

Faithful

English: Image for BBVA EAGLEs article

Image via Wikipedia

 

My puppy puts me to shame

She is loyal

Faithful

She will not leave my side

even in the early morning when she’s hungry

She waits for me

to have my devotions

and coffee

and to fully

get up

and put my slippers on

even though it takes me

several minutes

to finally go downstairs

She does not get upset

or anxious

she trusts

and waits

 

How faithful am I?

How patient?

Can I wait?

Do I run ahead?

Anticipate?

Set my own course?

Am I willing to wait

on God

for the things

He says I must?

Can I sit

and  quietly contemplate

drink in

calm my scattered mind

and just

be faithful?

I’m tired

and need strength

I complain

fuss and fume

I need

to relax

stop the spinning

sit back

and wait.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. 
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired, 
   they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:31  Message Bible

What about you?  Feeling weary?  Need some fresh strength today?  I know a source of strength that will not only renew – but help you to soar like an eagle.  Imagine running and not getting tired, walking and not lagging behind?

Yes – I think I can – I know I can – Lord help me to...wait.

God Bless

Faith (George Michaels Style)

Music guitar

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

This is for my daughter – the #1 song on the charts for the year she was born – 1987.

Where were you when you first heard this song?  Are you old enough to remember?

Enjoy and God Bless!

Is It Okay To Be Really Angry?

Angry Birds Plush Toy

I’ve been following along with the documentary show on OWN called “Finding Sarah” – about Fergie – the Duchess of York.  She is on a quest to find out why she has turned out the way she has – and why she seems to be helpless to spin out of control and make wrong decisions in her life – resulting in years of destructive behavior including a failed marriage and loss of several careers to reinvent herself.  In this last episode after meeting with trusted friends and experts such as Dr. Phil – she traveled to Arizona to meet with a guru and nature healer.  He was native American – with long braids – a very serene and gracious person who asked her to talk about the things that troubled her.  As she poured out her story to him – he said things very similar to what Dr. Phil had already told her – with a unique spin.  “What you do not acknowledge – you cannot change”.  He used 2 pound rocks to represent all the different aspects of the dark side of her personality – Anger, Rage, Bitterness, Frustration, Jealousy, etc.  He asked her if she had ever felt RAGE?  She told him it wouldn’t have been acceptable to do that – or to even be ANGRY.   Having been in a very controlled environment – that would never have been allowed – even as a child.  And there were some things in her that were buried so deep – and to touch them was very scary.

Then he told her to pick them up – and pack them around on her back while they took a little journey.  He said, “you carry them around now anyway – you might as well take them to know how heavy they are”.  So she did as she was told – and they were heavy.  Once they drove to their destination and walked in the desert for a bit – they came a place where she was instructed to take off the rocks and then he demonstrated for her what he wanted her to do to release these from her life.

He stood facing a canyon that echoed back and yelled, “WHYYYYYYYYY?”  Using his whole body to really take his time – from standing upright to going down on his knees.  Then he did it again – took his time – again yelling, “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY”? And letting it echo back.  He told her – you are doing this for youYou need to release it.  There is no answer.

She was reluctant of course – to look foolish.  But she wanted to comply.  When she tried to do it – it was difficult – especially when the subject of abandonment from her mother came up – and touching that emotion was so painful she couldn’t allow herself to even cry or become angry.  So again – he demonstrated and feel to his knees and sobbed like a baby.  She watched him – fascinated that someone could be so in touch with their feelings – and could release them and not hold on to the darker things.  And though she could not do what he wanted – by watching him – it touched something inside of her – and he knew it would be a long journey of healing for her.

As I watched this “teacher” and “nature healer” speak to her – helping her discover who she is and why she is still so lost – I was reminded of how God works with us.  We all carry around those heavy rocks too – but since no once can see them – we learn to hide and stuff – adjust to the weight of them.  And I realized that I am not so much different from Sarah – I suppress things – stuff them – control my environment so everyone including me is comfortable.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment of RAGE in my life.  I’ve been angry – but mostly my anger goes right to sadness – and I am afraid to touch it too much.

I remember pouring out my heart to God in a situation I had about 2 1/2 years ago – and it was scary going to that rage and anger – and sobbing seemed a more comfortable place for me – so that’s where I went.  Even though I know that God can handle my questions, my rage, my anger and my ugliness – it was still difficult to admit it – even to Him.

The dark emotions that each of us have – can be destructive – if inflicted on another – but I also learned that they are important to deal with and release – with just myself and God.  He can handle them.  He made these emotions.  And He can help release something in me – so that I don’t harm and inflict someone I love.

When was the last time you were really angry about something – and allowed yourself to touch that emotion – so that you could deal with it?  When was the last time you let God see that in you?  Is that okay for you?  Do you see it as a sign of weakness – or lack of control?  When is it wrong to be angry?

God Bless

What Else You Got?

Cover of "Love Is A Decision"

Cover of Love Is A Decision

We have good manners (or at least we should) we have possessions and things and we have potential to be the best we can be.

But we are living in a society with failed marriages all around us.  They fail – even when people have all the above things in spade.

We get married because we’re in love.

We are well-mannered, and well-meaning – even bringing material things and all kinds of potential with us.

And still – many marriages fail.

So I ask the question:  WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

Love – check

Good manners – check

Well meaning – check

Some material possessions – check

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

You see – every marriage that fails – started out with these things too.  Yours is no different.  Or is it?

I have learned a few things being married almost 30 years.  It takes much more than just love, good manners, material possessions and well-meaning to make a good strong lasting relationship – that can go the distance.

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

When the bottom drops out – life goes sideways and things aren’t fun anymore?

When crisis touches your family – financial security goes out the window and illness comes to stay?

When you have nothing else to give and the emotion of love is gone?

Here are some practical things to think about when contemplating marriage or in trying to better yours.

1. Love – ah the very word just makes us all warm and tingly, right?  It is something that great songs and Hallmark movies are made of.  “Love is all you need” and “Love means never  having to say you’re sorry” blah blah blah.  Nice sentiments – they sound so good and sing well – but they are NOT true!    I wish it was.  And there was a time not so long ago that I really thought love would be enough – but it was not.  Love is great but it can only take you so far.  Love is the great leveler – but it can also mess with your emotions and blind you. It is not enough when emotions can be fickle – and that feeling of romance and newness wears off eventually with anyone – especially in a long-term marriage.  This can be a  problem for people – if they don’t feel it anymore. Love – is a decision, therefore – not just an emotion.  It is an act of our will.

2. Friendship is wonderful and much more solid.  And friendship in marriage is a must. How many times have I heard that a couple was “in love” but as time wore on – they discovered that they did not even really know each other well – and they were startled to find out that they were not even friends.  When the emotion of love and romance wears thin – you must have something left to fall into – something safe and comfortable.  A friendship of heart and soul can save you when your marriage goes through a rocky patch – as all marriages do.

3. Respect in a marriage is also a must.  Many partners lose respect for each other when times are not exciting anymore – they withhold love – aren’t friends and don’t like each other anymore.  This leads to so many problems – the first and foremost is a sabotage of their own relationship.  Respect is given – as well as taken.  You must respect your spouse – but they  must also respect you.  And it is hard to hold that line – if you yourself are not respecting them.  How many times over the years have I seen couples talking badly to each other – even in public.  That is not good.  But you must be the first to respect. If you show kindness and proper respect for them – they will not be able to help but return it.  But you cannot have it only one way.  And respecting  means supporting your partner through good and bad times.  Finding a way to encourage the hopes and dreams of him or her and being that safe person that they can trust when life goes sideways.

4. Lead with your head and your heart will follow.  If you always allow your heart to lead you – you will be in trouble – as the heart is fickle and changeable – like the emotion of love.  We can feel love for many different people we have chemistry with. That doesn’t mean it is real. This is a hard one for many to deal with.  A long-term relationship isn’t always going to give you “tingles” – and if you get bored easily or need excitement 24/7 –  then long-term marriage isn’t for you.   But normally something needs to happen in you first.  You can’t always change things for the better – but that is the place to start.

5.  Be the person of integrity and character that you expect your partner to be. Living a life of character is hard.  We are not perfect and slip and fall in so many ways.  It is a daily choice – and sadly I have not always lived up to this – and maybe you have not either.  Don’t give up.  If you blow it – Jesus forgives – get up and try again.  He has promised to be with us on our daily journey and He will be there to help and guide us – giving us words of encouragement through His word and speaking softly to us through prayer.  He understands that it is hard to go through life without temptations – in fact we need to know that THEY ARE COMING.  No one is immune. Brush yourself off – and begin again – each new day is another chance to get it right.

5.  Don’t play the “blame game”.  That’s way too easy – and such a cop-out!  “They don’t respect me” or “They’re withholding” or “They don’t understand me” or “They don’t meet my needs” – are very common things that are said when going through a serious problem.  Instead of blaming – try finding out what is happening inside of you.  Have you stopped respecting them?  Have you withheld to punish or teach a lesson?  Have you failed to understand because they don’t understand you?  Do you meet their needs?

6.  Be the best person, lover, friend and confidant that you can be.  It starts with you.  Marriages still fail – but not usually when couples are sensitive to each others needs – putting their feelings and needs ahead of your own agenda and even your own happiness.  What you sow into them – in love, compassion, understanding, respect and friendship it WILL COME BACK TO YOU. And you CAN turn even a bad marriage around.  You can rekindle a dying relationship – bring a spark of life because of attention and determination – disciplining your heart and your mind to honor and love first – and let the feeling comes later.  Wait for it – it will come.

When couples wants to get married because “they’re in love” – this needs to be our question for them:

WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

God Bless

Truth Or Spare?

Truth

Image by TW Collins via Flickr

Yesterday my husband and I were returning from a fun date night in the snow – after having gone to Taco Bell and then Starbucks for a cup of coffee – we were returning home when we landed on such an interesting subject – I just HAD to write a blog article about it.

We were talking about something we had seen the night before on an episode of one of our favorite shows, “House”.  In this episode, House was addressing a group of grade school kids – and said to them, ‘Everyone lies’.

We all do it – we say we don’t – but we do.  Even Bill Cosby in his book, “Bill Cosby Himself”, said – ‘I love it when people will say that they LOVE children because they are so truthful.  The only time children tell the truth is when they’re in pain’.  So true – children learn to be manipulative from a very early age – we all have done it.  We know how to twist the truth to get our way – blame someone else when something is broken – lie about being sick so we get to stay home from school – or to watch a special program on TV.

We learn it as children and then get better at it when we are grown.    Oh I don’t mean terrible lies – but everyone tells little white lies – and mostly they are harmless.  But is it ever right to tell a lie?

What about telling a lie to spare someone’s feelings?  We all have done it.  A good friend gets a really bad haircut – or a new outfit and they ask you point-blank – “How do I look?”  You wouldn’t hurt your friend for the world – and so even if it’s not great – even really bad – you lie and say, “I think you look great!”  Which you know you don’t mean – but you love them and wish to spare them. You say, “I was protecting them”.

And let’s face it.  Sometimes the cold hard truth – can be very damaging.  There are those that seem to take great pleasure in doing this.  You know the people I mean – the black and white folk who see NO GRAY and have to tell it like it is – even being brutally honest – because – hey – it’s the truth!  Usually those folks are fine with giving it – but not so great at receiving it.

Is it okay to lie a little – when it’s to protect someone?  Their delicate and fragile feelings?  What about when it’s to protect yourself? What then?

We all have some pretty interesting conversations and thoughts going on in our heads that no one can see and hear.  It would be really humiliating to have it exposed at times – because besides you and God – no one hears and sees what is going on inside.

There have been times when my husband wants to know what’s going on there – I think he may even be afraid to ask – in this new season we are in of ‘absolute honesty’ – but still I am selective about what I tell him – I don’t wish to hurt him – so I withhold the ‘truth’ a lot of times or dummy it down.  I’m sure he does this for me as well.  Everyone does this.  We would be SCARED TO DEATH to know what it is lurking in everyone’s minds.  This is why I keep a journal.  They are my private thoughts – reserved for myself.  I don’t want anyone reading it – nor should anyone.  They would misunderstand – these are my thoughts alone.

I believe that’s why people write their thoughts down – it is a way of getting them out – a way to reflect and pray – a way to allow the love of Jesus to renew and refresh – validate and kiss the ideas, questions and inspirations that come from living, failing, hurting and struggling and then ultimately finding that in doing so – brings perspective and healing – and a joy to begin again each new day.  They are not meant for another human being – who could get their feelings hurt – misunderstand the heart of what’s being thought about and so on.

If you’ve ever been exposed – or had things you’ve said in a journal – or to a special friend come out – to another person completely out of context – then you know the pain in which I am referring.  Those thoughts that were not meant for others to see – But that were the internal questioning, searching and struggling that was meant for someone you trust and for God – to help and bring perspective your troubled and questioning soul.

Can we always be completely transparent with what we are thinking and feeling?  I don’t think we can – nor do I think it’s wise.  First of all – not everyone knows us well enough for us to empty our thoughts out to them.  I believe there is a certain wisdom in being cautious and even guarded about subjects that are dicey and sensitive.  I know for me – I will never reveal things about myself to someone who I cannot trust with my life – words have an ugly way of coming back when I have not been wise and the truth can come back to bite me – my own words of authenticity – can be perceived as dangerous and rebellious to those who do not understand my heart – and motive.

So when do we reveal?  When do we spare?  I believe we need to be wise, cautious, loving and encouraging to those around us and in our world.  I believe that not every random thought needs to be said.  I believe in discretion.  But I also believe in being me – and not letting fear of what has been revealed or what may be revealed in the future about me and my words and thoughts – prevent me from being who I really am – and steal my joy.

This is a daily balancing act.  My thoughts and feelings – my internal dialogue, questions and musings that go on inside my head.

And as for the truth – we all tell it – at least our version of it. And if we’re really honest we would have to admit that we ‘spare’ way more than we ‘reveal’.  And sometime the only time we ever really tell the real truth in regard to another person – is when they are in danger, hurting or in trouble – and we need to intervene on their behalf.

Lord help me to work on me – to make me more like you – no hidden agenda – no personal gain.  Help me to love like you do – to be good, honest, kind and giving.  To live a life of integrity – but also of graciousness with all of those entrusted to me – just like you are gracious and kind to me – telling me the truth in such a way that it helps me – doesn’t hurt me – that corrects and convicts me to live better and want to be an example of your love to others.  The AMAZING thing is this:  You know me – and all my thoughts and still you accept me just the way I am.  That is freedom. Help me to model this behavior to those around me.  Help me accept people just the way they are – no questions – no opinions – no judgment.

This is the only way to live.  And that’s the truth.

God Bless

  • Show Me! (cindyholman.wordpress.com)
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Walking In My Pastor’s Shoes

The following article was written by my good friend, Deanna Morauski.  Deanna and I go way back – have known each other for 15 years now, served on a church staff for about 5 of those years – and then recently reconnected through facebook in the 2 years.  She is an excellent writer, counselor, wife, mother and friend to many.  She and her husband run a beautiful little place called ‘The Old Hen Bed and Breakfast’ located in North Bend Washington – and my husband and I have been out there numerous times to share friendship, food and laughter with them.  I hope you will be encouraged by her writing today!  God Bless!

Walking in My Pastor’s Shoes

Every time that I write, I make 100% sure that I am not writing about current feelings and observations when it comes to ministry before I type a single word. Tonight I am breaking my own rule because I feel that being honest and real about where I am today is the best thing to share. Usually I pull from my past so that others can learn from my stories and experiences. Today I am pulling my past together with my present… from both sides of ministry.

I have been in ministry of various kinds of roles from youth group vice president, class president, writer, teacher and counselor, deacon, speaker, pastor and pastor’s wife. I have been a follower, a leader, a follower that didn’t realize that she was leading and a leader who looked back to find that no one was following. In the last five years I have dedicated my skills to supporting my husband often behind the scenes in a church plant, the most difficult role of all.

Although I have had only three pastors of my own in my life: one as a child, one when I moved out on my own and my husband, I have found plenty of time to judge many. I have come to a new place of repentance today. I have had to repent for every pastor that I have ever judged…

I have sat under the leadership of a pastor that was boring, one that talked about his little kids too often, and the one who played favorites. The pastor down the road with a sweet little family of his own who had an affair with a teenager and got her pregnant, the one who had an affair with a church member, and the one who was so evangelistic that he couldn’t remember my name even though I was a part of his church for 10 years. Oh, and did I mention that his favorite hymn didn’t make sense to me and his wife sang alto which isn’t pretty to you when you are only 12 years old?

Then I remembered today the one who I admired that had an emotional affair with someone in his church and the one who joked poorly about his wife. Better yet, there was the pastor who seemed to be prideful when he won awards for his church giving so much money to missions and then I even judged another one because he was being so judgmental about the pastor who seemed prideful over his missions giving!

How about that pastor who told me I would work well with children when the only kids I had ever babysat were my two cousins because I didn’t enjoy being around kids? How out of touch was he? And that pastor who didn’t do anything about his congregation smoking in the parking lot right after church, how could he ignore such a thing? I mean, after all, it was a Sunday!

Then there was the guy who was verbally mean to his wife in front of others and was out of control angry when he went to his kid’s sports games. Some friends of mine judged his wife too. They left the church because they didn’t like it that she sang the song “I am the God That Healeth Thee,” (a song written in 1986) because it seemed to them that she was singing about how SHE was claiming to be God. Then there were all the youth pastors in training that took wearing ties to church to the utmost level of importance along with the one who annoyingly declared, “God is good…” waiting for someone to finish his sentence with the words, “all the time” as he trotted through the hallways.

I remember the pastor who spiraled into depression because someone told him he was selfish… how weak of him. No, wait, how HUMAN of him. The very men and women who are teaching us about God’s grace and have showed us grace need the very same grace that we do.

Lord, please forgive me for judging my pastors as well as my friends and family member’s pastors. Please forgive me for every phrase of theirs that I twisted and then repeated. Please forgive my attitude of pride. Please have grace on my husband and me now we are in their shoes.

I remember learning about giving grace from these men and women, learning about reaching out to others, how to worship you, how to talk with you in the private moments I have alone with you… and most of all thank you for giving me the guidance from those much wiser than I to apply your word not only to my head but allowing your truth to touch my heart and change me each step of the way.

Thank you for using the pastor’s wife who sang alto to teach me how to serve others gracefully and how to make my home warm and comfortable for others. Thank you for teaching me endurance from the pastor’s wife who endured criticism when her husband strayed from her. Thank you for teaching me the needs of missionaries that I cannot see and would easily forget about if it weren’t for my award winning pastor and evangelistic pastor who could not remember my name.

Thank you for developing my love for children through the anger I had to face when my pastor was out of touch with my discomfort around children. Thank you so much for reminding me that you are the God that healeth me through my pastor’s wife who obviously was just relaying your words to me through song.

Thank you for the nod of fatherly approval from my very first pastor before he passed away last year, even though he still didn’t get my name right. I know that he loved me and he had a bigger picture of life than I had because he saw the world through your calling.

Please forgive me for judging these lovers of people and servants of yours. Had they been perfect, I would have judged them for that too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pastor Deanna Morauski, CMHC – Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. Deanna has been a pastor’s wife since 1997. She expresses her loves today creatively through photography and writing for her foodie blog, tastehope.com, as well as hosting guests at her inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

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