Out of the Heart

DSC_0386.jpg

 

I have been in a season of great frustration lately. I am frustrated with the health, my physical limits, my personality,  the finances being stretched and not being able to work at what I love right now, and finally the lack of some changes around me that need to happen.
I am frustrated with my reactions to those frustrations.
I am frustrated with my frustrations!

I have noticed my speech has been more negative, I have blown up more often in harsher ways and I have seemed to misplace that joy to the full that was with me constantly. Lately, my joy comes in snippets, like this morning when I was watering my flowers listening to the bird songs, yet the fatigue sets in and my joy meter seems to begin to fade.

I have been seeking the Lord on this issue lately and He reminded me of truths when I first began seeking joy and what will lead me to get my joy to the full, back in place.

1- Out of the heart, the mouth will speak.
God pointed out that just as a parrot, will repeat what it has been told over and over, so will my heart. You can teach a parrot good things or bad, depending on what you spend your time feeding it.

I have been so negative lately because my heart is frustrated. I am repeating that despair and defeat. I am letting it set in where there should be no place for it. I need to fill my heart with life rather than my situations. The fruit of that will be less negativity and criticism.
How to fill the heart to be life productive: Word, Prayer, and Worship. Less of the world and more of HIM.
The song… I have the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart, comes to mind. Let’s have the Lord put some JOY in our hearts today!

2- Recognize the NO’s
One thing that gets to my heart frustrated is the conflicting political views. The anger and hatred I read or hear from both sides are contagious. This is a no for me. I need to recognize the no’s in my life. Sitting and listening to someone else’s frustrations for hours is a NO. The other day, I had a FULL 7 hours of listening and trying to minister to others. Multiple people, but it was a straight 7 hours and they just wanted to vent, not solutions! This is A BIG NO for me and I have to be prepared to say, enough let’s talk about something else. It is absolutely draining otherwise.
Another big no, Doing everything that pops into my head because I have the energy at the moment, is a no for me. I can’t do everything and be everything to everybody. I have to know when to say no, otherwise out of my heart will be resentment and frustration when I become exhausted.

3- It is okay to be me.
I feel guilty for wanting to spend so much time alone and then it plays on my mind. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, if I am dogging myself and my personality in my heart, I will not have life and give life to others but criticism and harshness. The same criticism and hurtful opinions of myself will be put on others.

I was an only child, a latchkey one at that. Much of my time was spent joyfully alone. I am learning I am a social introvert. I love people and the ministries the Lord has before me, but too much and I am absolutely exhausted. I need to separate and reboot, and in this season it is needed more often. I need the quiet, I thrive on the quiet, it is life-giving to me and that is okay. I need to accept me.
I also have let the opinion of others that I need to be love to everyone all the time put guilt on me. I do need to love everyone, be a light to everyone, but I do not need to socialize with everyone. There are some people who are toxic and I can’t love them enough to change that, I have tried.  When a needy, critical, hurtful person begins to toxify my life, I need to be aware and put my foot down.
I can be selective in this season and for my own health that is ok and necessary.

4- Except my limits.
This is an extension of the no’s but very relevant in its own way.
I have half completed things around my house all of the time in this season. To get through doing the dishes, I have to unload the dishwasher, sit down and rest, then go back to loading it. Same with the Laundry, I can get it out of the dryer and fold but that is the end of it for me and it sits folded, while I rest. This is often the same getting ready for my day; shower, sit. Fix hair, sit. Put on makeup and brush teeth, sit. The fatigue can be overwhelming and if I push, do not rest, do not take those breaks, I can hardly walk across the room and it last for days rather than moments. I have to accept where I am, not bury the negative in my heart but the truth, I have limits, God will grant me strength in my weakness, but I can listen to those limits. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, perhaps my healing will come faster, if I take the time to REST IN THE LORD, and speak the truth about what I am ABLE to do rather than just sit and stir about what I am not.

I am sure there are many other areas the Lord will reveal to me in the next few weeks as I seek Him on the issue. But today the biggest one that sticks out to me is out of the heart the mouth will speak. No matter how I feel, if I am feeding my heart good things, my mouth will speak good things. If my focus is on my flesh and my situation, of course, negative things will be what comes out. I need to not focus on all my flaws, to err is human, but my God is bigger than my screw ups. He can do more than what I know. He can restore. He makes all things new.
These truths are what will be buried deep in my heart. So that Out of my heart my mouth will speak LIFE things.

Matthew 15:18

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
ESV

Bitter Much?

You know that we are told it is healthy to forgive. I know I  can not walk a victorious life and have hatred and anger stirring and festering.
So when I was hurt by a friend years ago, I forgave her. I did what Jesus instructed and I forgot that sin. I did walk away from the friendship, as this person had left me raw and unable to trust them. The relationship was not healthy, to be so bold, I was almost bullied by the sly comments that tore down and then the lies and gossip against me. But I forgave and moved on, or so I thought.

You will find out the hard way that bitterness has taken root, if you had just buried the pain of a situation and moved along.

That very root will still fester its way to the top again and stare you defiantly in the face.

For me this root of bitterness, reared its ugly head through Facebook. Yep,  the lovely social network, that now tells you whenever your friends like or comment on another’s page or status. As soon as I saw this old friend’s picture on Facebook, my heart started racing, my stomach was in knots and I wanted to erase her off of Facebook! I was angry, all over again. I felt like I had years ago when this friend first wronged me over and over.  I wanted to be angry with the friend that was communicating with her.  I wanted to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum. Was I bitter much?

Often when we are face to face with our bitter roots, we want to talk all about our troubles and how we were wronged with other people. If we are talking about it, we have not truly forgiven.
Like a splash of cold water across the face, I realized, I had not forgiven.

This person still had a hold on my emotions and feelings, for only one reason, I had allowed them to.

To  forgive completely, you keep no account of wrong doings. You let them go as far as the east is from the west. You no longer hold the individuals accountable for what they had done, but pardon them instead. It is a very difficult concept to grasp when you are full of pain and hurt. It is extremely difficult in our flesh, when you have every right to be angry.

This is especially hard when individuals take no  responsibility for the way they had hurt you. And I use this past friendship as an example, but I have been injured by far greater offenses that I am leaving untouched at this time.

How do you forgive, when someone would continue to hurt you the same way given the chance? How do you forgive when you know that they have no intentions of changing, or admitting their wrong. Or how do you forgive when they ask you, but have no right to ask, for their acts were far to hurtful to deserve forgiveness.

The truth is, you forgive out of love. You forgive out of obedience. You forgive with the help of the Father, when you just can’t do it on your own. It says, He is only able to forgive us, as much as we are willing to forgive others. I will not allow someone who hurt me once, to keep me from forgiveness of the Lord. I will not allow them to consume my thoughts and steal my peace, because I want to hold on to wrong doings.

How do you forgive? You let go. You truly release the pain, the anger, the wrong doings and say, I forgive them. I am choosing to wipe it from my memory. I am choosing to walk in love which is kind, long-suffering and keeping no records of wrongs. And for my most bravest of days, I pray for them.

The moment I truly forgave, was freeing for me. When I am tempted to pick it back up, I remind the offense that I let go and will not hold on to it.

Bitterness is not only spiritually strangling, but wreaks havoc on the physical body as well. I want no part of those nasty roots and will pluck them out one by one….. with the Lord’s help.

** This is the next topic for ladies’ group … A Sister’s Pursuit of Joy. I will be conducting a study on what the scriptures state about forgiveness. We will be sharing our hearts and praying for one another to let go of the roots of bitterness.

%d bloggers like this: