When I first began blogging, I felt that I needed to post everyday to be a loyal blogger. I made sure I sat and read through fabulous blogs. I felt badly when I didn't have the time to do so. I have come to realize that it is not always doable and that is ok. Phew....am I glad I am past that. I caused myself unneeded stress. The truth is, I love blogging, I love the women I have met, I love writing, and I love reading great blogs. Guilt and the have to feelings shouldn't be a part of it. We all get busy and have things that we need and want to do. Blogging should be fun and enjoyable, not stressful. :)
Forgiveness is such a difficult thing. When we are wronged, it is hard to release our hearts and forgive the person who has hurt us. Often times, we don't want to forgive because we don't want the offender's behavior to be excused. We certainly don't want to give the message that what he/she did was, in any way, ok.
The truth is, forgiveness is between us and God. The other person is really not even a factor in the equation. To truly forgive, we must be honest with God and tell Him what our hearts are feeling. He knows we are mad, hurt, etc. It's perfectly ok to tell Him everything. He knows anyway. I have found that being completely honest with Him has caused our relationship to be extremely deep and meaningful.
Once we tell God what is on our hearts, He is able to free us of the pain and fill our hearts with forgiveness. Forgiveness is setting our pain free. Our hearts are no longer filled with anger. We are free to focus on God rather than our hurt and anger.
A few years ago, I received an email telling me that I was going to go to hell if I did not forgive a particular person. This person was supposed to love me and protect me. The thing was, I had forgiven that person. I just hadn't allowed the person to manipulate me and be a victim in my life.
Forgiveness doesn't mean that we allow people to treat us badly or take advantage of us. It means that we trust that God will take care of us and let Him be the judge. We are free to openly love and receive love.
One of my children has recently had to deal with forgiveness. A person who was supposed to be a good friend began treating my child badly and saying ugly things to my child and other people. My child was hurt and confused. I won't lie, when I found out, I was angry. I wanted to give this person a piece of my mind. This child has been to our home on a number of occasions. I know this person well, or so I thought. The issue was that my child did not do something that this person thought should be done. This person tried to ignore my child and give dirty looks. Thankfully, we have raised our child to be aware of this behavior. When those tactics didn't work, the meanness began. That is when I became livid. I had ugly thoughts...
I am adamant that I will NEVER allow my children to behave as victims. Their worth will never be determined by other people. Therefore, I didn't pull out the poor you card. We won't allow our kids to even touch the woe is me card. We did, however, put our hands on the mad card. It didn't take long to realize that that card needed to be shoved down the garbage disposal!
My husband and I realized that this was a teachable moment. We talked with our child about forgiveness and trusting God with the situation. We told our child that God sees everything and knows everyone's hearts. We said that eyes needed to always be kept on God and that He would lead us on our paths. I promised that He protected those that were obedient to Him. We warned that when our focus is the other person rather than God, our hearts will never be right and peaceful.
Honestly, I was talking with my child as much as I was talking with myself. Forgiveness is hard, but it is harder to live with anger and hurt. Allowing God to free our hearts is so much better than the weight of anger and hurt. We must trust Him to protect us and love all over us. When our focus is on Jesus, we are free to live and love.
Here are a few pictures of our week:
Notice the cardinal in the branches. It let me get fairly close.
Luke doesn't play basketball without the much loved headband.
Taking a break and reflecting upon his game. I'm pretty certain he even dreams about basketball!
This is the way the homework is done....all comfy on the couch. :)
Luke and Jorden in a friendly game of bb.
Emily getting ready for a Valentine's dance. She went with a group of girlfriends. Good times!!
Ready for the dance.
Love, love her shoes for the dance. Unfortunately, she passed me up in shoe size a long time ago so I can't borrow them.
Picture with her padiddy before the dance. Yes, that is what Emmy calls her dad. :)
The boys told her how pretty she looked. :)
Action at the basketball game. They are so much fun to watch!!
My love to everyone! May you all have a wonderful weekend.