Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace

I’m hosting a series over here for the next few Thursdays on Grieving. The original posts/series are found over at my friend Lisa’s spot- Me Too Moments for Moms.

Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,” Psalm 30:11 (NKJV)

Imagine Jesus’ later life. Jesus ministering for 3 years. The great expectations of the multitude on Palm Sunday. The physical and emotional blackness when God’s Only Son, Jesus, died on the cross.

Yet Christ was sent to conquer death. For each one of us. He set us free for eternity when He arose from the grave three days later.

He loves you. And me. Do you believe Jesus died the death you deserved and rose from the grave to give you life eternal? Me too!

As a little girl, did you ever dizzily spin in the sunlight as you spun a dream of your future? Were you holding the hands of your father as you danced? Or were you dancing on his toes as he led you?

Me too. My mother played the piano and dad danced with me. As an infant, he held me on his arm as he waltzed across the room, then on his toes and finally stepping upon those hardwood floors as we swirled and the music swelled.

The steps became more intricate and advanced as Dad helped me become more confident. His tender, yet firm hands guided me through each new step and each new dance.

Our Father also takes our little baby hands, props us on His strong arm, holds us to His broad chest…and begins our dance and our dance lessons. Did you know?

Job 21:11-12, They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe.” (NIV)

As you became aware of God and began to seek His word, were you coming to Him as a babe, with little hands eager – or tentative – to hold His book, His Word and His hand? Thus the dance with God began and our confidence in the dance of life grew.

As the mom of two sons in their 20s, one in college, the other working, I thought the dance of life was simple. My husband and I were empty nesters, working and seeing “the boys” as college and work allowed.

Until the phone call that changed the dance…

To read the rest – https://communitymoms.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/dance-with-jesus-from-grief-to-grace/

MEET THE AUTHOR:

susanSusan B Mead is the author of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace. She is also a speaker, chaplain and mom.  After personally experiencing the hand of God caress her broken heart when her sister committed suicide, her faith transformed from knowing about God to KNOWING GOD. Susan’s purpose is to help women look up, light up and live again…out loud and in color.  She lives in the Dallas area with her husband of 35+ years and 2 “old girls”, Samantha and Brooklyn, her son’s labs.

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Children Aren’t PEZ Dispensers (Though I May Secretly Wish They Were…) GUEST POST over at God Sized Dreams

Hey Friends!

I am excited to share this guest post I was privileged to contribute over at “God Sized Dreams!”

Check it out!

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Photo Credit gosheshe

I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in truth.

3 John 1:4 (ESV)

 “People really shouldn’t get married unless they are Christians” were the words I just heard straight from the mouth of my 10 year old daughter.

I was surprised to hear such a dogmatic statement from her, but I was also proud of Jesus for working in her little girl mind. I asked her why she came to that conclusion. She said, “Well didn’t you hear the vows Mommy? They were all promises about following God.”

She was listening at that wedding ceremony.

She listens a lot of the time, actually. So, I seized the moment. I decided I would listen to her this time. We had a great talk about God and His design for marriage. And by the end of it, I was so encouraged by her.

I decided right then I should lecture her a whole lot less and talk with her a whole lot more…

Want to see the rest?

Pop on over to God Sized Dreams by clicking >>here<<!!

When Mercy Is Unthinkable…

Today’s post was written especially for Suzanne Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. I pray this story ministers to your heart.

http://tsuzanneeller.com/

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When Mercy Is Unthinkable…

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 

Mercy is no more mercy to the person who doesn’t understand their need for it.

But for the person who is desperate for mercy—the dear one who hangs in the balance between the blackness of sin and just penalty—mercy is exquisite.

Mercy is the loving pair of arms that shield such a one from earned consequences.

And mercy to a person in dire need is a jewel of great price. It is a lavish gift that can never be earned or repaid.

Like it was to me the time in my marriage when I was in need of mercy from my husband. I was so wrong and I needed forgiveness.

And mercy?

It was unthinkable in my mind.

CAUTION: Pardon My Mess While I Am Under Construction

The sin of my past had me pinned to the mat.

Years prior, I developed an inappropriate friendship with a male friend of ours. Thankfully, it was only a dance of words and didn’t result in a physical relationship. But that in no way released me from the weight of what I had done.

God spoke to me over and over again. He made it clear I had to tell my husband.

I argued with God.

I didn’t want to expose my deeds. It was over, and it was done in secret. I turned from it, confessed it to God and moved on. That was good enough for me.

But it wasn’t good enough for God.

He said, “You tell your husband.”

I knew what I had to do, and it wasn’t going to be easy. I was so ashamed and scared. I had messed up royally. And now, telling my husband was going to make it real all over again.

Moved By Mercy

It took months for me to get the courage to ‘fess up.

I thought my husband would hate me. I imagined him reacting in every terrible way that I could think of. Fear of the unknown was the excuse I gave myself to disobey one more day.

But the thought that I was walking in disobedience to God bore deep into my conscience.

Suddenly, the fear of the Lord hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in danger zone—I even thought maybe I didn’t truly belong to Christ if could allow myself to ignore God for so, so long.

I broke. I couldn’t continue in my disobedience to the Lord.

I decided I couldn’t say the words, but the writer in me could put together everything I needed to say on paper.

So that’s what I did. I confessed to my husband in a letter.

The moment came. I told my husband I had something I needed to tell him, but I had written it down. I warned him that it was a “bad” letter that contained a confession.

As I handed it to him, my heart was about to explode.

I squirmed uncomfortably as I watched him read it. My heart broke when I saw his face turn red as water collected in the corners of his eyes. He had seen the words that detailed what I had done.

Now what?

Looking down, I waited while he sat quietly collecting his thoughts.
He raised his head to look at me, and said in response to my closing question, “Well, of course I forgive you.”

That was it. No questions. No rebuke.

Nothing…except mercy

Mercy poured out all over me in the time when I deserved so much worse.

In that moment, though my sins were as scarlet, and my husband’s heart had been shredded up by my sin, the cross covered us both. My husband became a living, breathing picture of Jesus Christ when he had every reason to react in hurt and storm off in an angry tirade.

The glory of all Christ came to accomplish was reflected right there in that room before my eyes. I was/am thankful for the forgiveness my husband offered me.

I was once again thankful for the forgiveness Christ offered me.

And I am grateful that despite our brokenness—NO—through our brokenness, “he show[s] the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us…”

…even when mercy is unthinkable in our own minds.

You may also see me linking up with these lovelies:

Testimony Tuesday with Holly

#RaRaLinkup with Kelly http://purposefulfaith.com/

Woman 2 Woman with Meredith

Three Word Wednesday with Kristin http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/

#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee http://jenniferdukeslee.com/

#LiveFreeThurdsay with Suzanne Eller, http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Coffee for Your Heart with Holly

http://arabahjoy.com/ — Grace and Truth

#DancewithJesusLinkup, http://www.susanbmead.com/blog-2/

Fellowship Fridays, http://equippinggodlywomen.com/

I’m hosting a series over here for the next few Thursdays on Grieving. The original posts/series are found over at my friend Lisa’s spot- Me Too Moments for Moms.

This is Sarah’s story, and below is a picture of her beautiful Annie.

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Shortly after we buried our baby, Annie, I turned thirty. She was six months old when we discovered she had a massive brain tumor.  She died just four days later. The morning of my birthday I was with a group of women who didn’t know our circumstances of the past months, but they somehow found out it was my birthday.  As they were saying all the things that acquaintances say to one another on birthdays, one older lady reminisced, “Oh those were the best years of my life.  I was knee deep in babies then.”

 

I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  Because for me, the terrifying, overwhelming grief I felt at that point was so new, so raw that I felt like I was drowning.  Along with the death of Annie was the death of what I had imagined my life would be like– the happy wife and mother of three. It had been so perfect. But instead of baby-proofing the house, I found myself buying depressing cemetery flowers and collecting books on death.

 Click here to read the rest of Sarah’s story https://communitymoms.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/when-we-lose-a-baby/

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Healing the Broken Bedroom Friday…errr on Tuesday?? OOPS!

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Okay.

So sue me… It isn’t Friday. I’m sorry! lol

I could give you some excuses, but I’ll save those for the judge! Ha!

I didn’t actually write a post this week, but I do have a little Vlog about some of the things God is doing! (And I DID actually record this on Friday, so that counts for something–right?)

And P.S.

My hubby and I were asking one another if conversations had started. He told me he was doing most of the talking on the “Men Only” page.

I shared with him that several of our ladies on the “Women Only” page were ready to share, and already started taking about the hard stuff!

We are both blessed to be able to hear your hearts and offer help through the scriptures. Thank you for an opportunity to make our own struggle matter!

Here are those links again so you can find us!

Women:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/614645262005777/

Men:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/786398374788414/

Until next time!

 

Samuel—“Tuned In” to God in a World that is “Tuned Out” – Post for Ask God Today

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Check out today’s post written for Ask God Today Ministries for the “Mighty God and Broken Faithful” devotional series.

Samuel—“Tuned In” to God in a World that is “Tuned Out”

“It’s a boy!”

The sonogram revealed the sex of our third child, and we were thrilled to welcome some “snakes and snails” to our duo of “sugar and spice.”

I began asking God what our first baby boy’s name should be. He took me to this powerful passage about the prophet Samuel. When I read the words at the beginning of Chapter 3, I got chills.

YES.

In a time when it was a rare thing for God to come to people, “Then the Lord called Samuel.”

I wanted God to work in my son’s life like that. I knew right away we would call my sweet boy “Samuel.”

Little did I know I’d be calling my Samuel over and over again to no avail. Sometimes, that stinker completely tunes out the sound of my voice and runs in the opposite direction.

But not the Samuel of the scriptures. No—when he heard God’s voice call his name, he “tuned in” and presented himself as a ready servant.

“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. Then the Lord called Samuel.” 1 Samuel 3:1, 4 (NIV)

Asked of God

Samuel was born to Hannah, a woman whose womb had been “closed by the Lord.” But that didn’t stop Hannah from asking, no—begging God to give her a child.

The peak of Hannah’s angst played out as she made a complete spectacle of herself—“pouring out her soul” to God in prayer. (Yes, there were people watching—her husband even thought she was drunk.) Hannah promised to give the child back by devoting him to God’s service.

Samuel’s name, which means “asked of God” or ”heard by God,” was a memorial to the prayer God answered. Hannah asked God for Samuel and was heard. Yet God’s plans for Samuel’s life reached far beyond merely providing a barren woman with a bundle of joy.

God had raised up a servant for Himself…

Want to see the rest?

Click here and pop over to Ask God Today where this post originally appeared!

Samuel—“Tuned In” to God in a World that is “Tuned Out”

Taking SEX from Shame-FULL to Shame-LESS Healing The Broken Bedroom

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Taking SEX from Shame-FULL to Shame-LESS

Healing the Broken Bedroom Friday

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (ESV)

I have always felt like sex was a shameful act.

I didn’t know much about it except that “good girls” don’t do that. And, it was “no-no” stuff. From time to time I experimented in varying degrees. But after, I felt so guilty and especially shameful.

And honestly? I should have felt shameful, but for the right reasons.

I built wrong thoughts of sex in my brain influenced by my up-bringing and some of my own conclusions. Those thoughts put me a speeding train that nearly destroyed my marriage.

Bottom line?

I was not thinking about sex on God’s terms. Even if I said, “Yeah, yeah…I know it is good. God made it. It has to be good, right?”

In my mind I was still stuck in shame.

Un-stucking My Shame-FULL Views

I never really fully believed God’s words about sex. That “good girl” of the past kept whispering that sex was “dirty, nasty, and shame-FULL” in my ear.

I didn’t want to be any of those things. So, I believed lies for 18 years. Those lies caused me to construct walls of “protection“ around myself so I didn’t have to do the “nasty.”

But that is just it. It isn’t nasty. Or dirty…or SHAME-FULL.

God made it for husband and wife to “be fruitful and multiply.” And to “cleave” to one another.

He made it to be a shame-LESS expression of love. I just needed to be convinced of that. I need HIM to convince me of that.

And after 18 years, I broke completely. I got raw and HONEST with the Lord.

REAL HONEST.

I told Him “Yeah God, I know you said…BUT, I don’t really believe that! How can that possibly be true?”
He didn’t strike me dead. Nope. (not this time!)

By His Spirit He took me to verses I had read and heard teaching on countless times. He did a little open-brain surgery. Those verses opened up life-giving truth to me I had never understood before.

That’s the power of God’s word! He wants to “Un-stuck” each of us. He doesn’t want us living feeling shameful for things He made to be good. We have to take Him at His word.

If you’re stuck in shame, I want to help you if I can! Check out this recent post on my journey with God. (I even did a short Vlog!)

legobrideHealing the Broken Bedroom of the Frigid Wife

Let’s heal together and LIVE FREE in Christ together!!

Linking up with Suzie Eller on #LiveFree Thursday! http://tsuzanneeller.com/

And Susan B. Meade #DanceWithJesus http://www.susanbmead.com/

http://equippinggodlywomen.com/

Grace and Truth Linkup http://arabahjoy.com/

Grieving Life While Living – Guest Post at “Me Too Moments for Moms”

grievingI had the privilege to guest post over at “Me Too Moments for Moms” this week.

Lisa is kicking off a series entitled “Grieving Well with Jesus” beginning March 17! I will be posting those over here on Thursdays, so be on the look out for some great encouragement!

Grieving Life While Living – As a part of the Grieving Well with Jesus Series

My husband thinks I’m a hypochondriac.

I say, I am just “sensitive” to my body…

It doesn’t take much to set off a flame of unrest in me, like when I was pregnant-all three times…

I had pre-eclampsia. It is a scary condition, and it definitely puts you eye to eye with your mortality.
When the doctor visited my hospital room after I had my son she said something that will forever reverberate through my “sensitive” brain: “Pregnancy is the ultimate stress test a woman’s body can endure. You have failed three out of three times. You are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.”

Well, tell me something I don’t know. I suppose my risk is doubled then, because pretty much all of my mom’s side of the family suffered with varying levels of heart disease and many died from it.

I know deep down that no statistics or family histories make my heart beat—or stop it from working—but, my humanity often gets the best of me.

The Mystery of Life

Lately, I have suffered from a myriad of symptoms and no one can figure out the cause. Many of the symptoms, conveniently, mimic heart attack or stroke symptoms which can cause DEATH.

It’s so scary not knowing the right way to respond. I don’t want to over react and yet I also don’t want to UNDER react either.

This past week has brought my mortality before me again…

Want to see the rest?

Click here to hop on over to Lisa’s place!

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Healing the Broken Bedroom of the “Frigid Wife”

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Healing the Broken Bedroom of the “Frigid Wife”

Killing the lies we believe about sex

Hey everyone! I want you to meet me! So, I did my very first ever Video! (Trust me, it shows!) Check this out first then read the rest!

About a month ago I shared a post called “Walls of a “Frigid Wife” weren’t built in a day.”

At the closing of the post, I invited everyone to come along on the journey of healing with me. I said I want to help anyone who wants to destroy the walls that keep us from experiencing the sexual unity God intended in marriage.

I meant that.

You might be saying to yourself right now, “I’m not a “Frigid Wife.” That’s totally okay!

Truth be told, we build walls in so many areas of our lives. So maybe you have sexual intimacy down, but you might struggle with some addiction, gossip, or anger. Even though we will primarily address problems as they relate to the bedroom, the tools that lead to healing from sinful patterns in our lives are the same.

And some have already approached me. I want you to know you are not alone.

WE are not alone.

I also want you to know that though your struggle probably feels completely impossible and hopeless to you that THERE. IS. HOPE. (I felt that way for 18 long years)

I am living proof that God can intervene in a MIRACULOUS way. He changed my mind by the power of His word. He can do the same for you, too.

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You Are Cordially Invited

I invite you to join a Facebook group I started called “Healing the Broken Bedroom.”

This is a women-only group where we will be able to connect and support one another as we move from broken to free in Christ.

I will use this group page to post helpful reminders and verses. I also want it to be a space where you can ask questions and share your story. There is support for this journey!

I hope this group will grow into a community of women who want to demolish the walls of sexual frigidity in our lives!

The Battle is Not Yet Won

God has already moved in many of you, and in me too. But just one thought or positive connection with truth will not solve the problem. Trust me I know! WE NEED ACCOUNTABLITY!

I am ready and willing to minister grace to you! Please feel free to join the group or connect in any way you feel comfortable.

Healing is waiting for us if we would just step out in faith!

And don’t forget to SHARE! Share the page and share today’s blog. It is my deepest desire to shower all of you with the love and truth of Christ. You become an part of that when you share the links with your friends!

Thank you for reading and thank you for partnering with me to minister grace to our sisters!

P.S. Though all of this is directed at the ladies, we (my husband and I) know that the men are hurting too. They need to know they are also NOT ALONE. If your husband would like to talk with someone who has walked a mile in those shoes, let me know and I will send his contact information to you!

And he has a “Men Only” group on Facebook as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/786398374788414/

You might see me Linking Up with these lovelies:

Testimony Tuesday with Holly

#RaRaLinkup with Kelly http://purposefulfaith.com/

Woman 2 Woman with Meredith

Three Word Wednesday with Kristin http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/

#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee http://jenniferdukeslee.com/

#LiveFreeThurdsay with Suzanne Eller, http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Coffee for Your Heart with Holly

http://arabahjoy.com/ — Grace and Truth

#DancewithJesusLinkup, http://www.susanbmead.com/blog-2/

Fellowship Fridays, http://equippinggodlywomen.com/fellowship-friday/featuring-faith-love-chocolate/

 

“…I Need Somethin’…”

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“…I Need Somethin’…”

Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…

Just call me the indentured servant of the house.

Everyone around here is beckoning me for something almost non-stop. I almost forget I need stuff there are so many requests hurdled my way.

But my little guy…

He’s three and he’s VERY good at it—

He’s mad and frustrated because he can’t get something to work. (Things that are a scientific impossibility most times). “Mommy! Fix dis!”

He asks for help with everything; then he refuses my willing hands once I arrive on the scene. “No, Mommy. You no help.”

He’s whining constantly because…well, because he can. (Imagine the worst sound ever coming out of one of the cutest things ever…Epic contradiction of terms!)

But his phrase of the month is “Mommy, I need somethin’.”

Yeah buddy, Don’t. We. All? Continue reading