21 October 2014

So far. So gone.

Wow. I'm back. I really can't believe my last post was so long ago. A lot has happened in my journey since June. I'll fill you in. But, today, I have to share this with you...

"He will cover you with His feathers. He wil shelter you with His wings His faithful promises are your armor and protection." Psalm 91:4

Through this deep valley I have just stomped out of, even though I don't have the confidence in my story yet... I do know that dispite what dreadful circumstances  that compose my past, God has never left my side. Knowing that brings hope. This war I am still unprepared to fight is raging around me. All I have to shelter me is God.

If you don't know God, the One true God, just say His name and He will bring you a sheild too. It may not feel like you think it should... but, God is bigger and stronger than what we need protection from. Ask Him to forgive you of the sins you have knowingly and unknowingly acted out and thought. Ask Him to help you  extend forgiveness to those who hurt you, as you have hurt Him throughyour own sin, disobedience, rebellion and jealousy. And, your journey will be sheilded by the same mighty wings that loved you so much He created you for a day like today... a day to give what you don't have, what you think you can't and trust Him with all that is left. Amen

I'm glad to be back with you, dear freinds.
Rayne

Follow me on Twitter #RayneWhispers

23 June 2014

Not a Fan of the Tan

I am enjoying summer... I am enjoying the sound of children laughing at the pool and silence of afternoon naps.  As I lay poolside, closing my eyes for a brief moment before I hear "mommy", I take in every ray of heat the sun beams down.  I don't enjoy the heat and I'm not really a fan of the tan.  However, my favorite part of being in the summertime sun, is in the midst of exhausting temperatures is the brief breathes of breeze my skin feels.

As I thought about the indescribable relief a momentary breeze provides, it reminded me of the same sensation I feel when I am not stuck in disassociation.  Just like the summer heat, disassociation is a way of life and you adjust to it, even though it is often uncomfortable.  But, it is those brief moments that I have experienced in the last several years that give me hope and relief from my testing past and permanent surroundings.

As I write this in the pool-side shade, every breeze that passes me brings me reminds me of the struggles you may be facing.  There is relief in the Lord, for He is the Healer of every broken heart and every need.  Seek Him for a momentary breeze today.  Be thankful when it comes.  Be thankful when it leaves that you were blessed to experience it.


29 May 2014

Who says, "That is why I am here"?

For, this anguish I am suffering, in this prison of past abuse,
I say...
He says...

Although it is shameful and guilt-wrenching,
I can't let it become me.
I know who I trust in and I know that He is able to guard my life, that I have entrusted to Him.
I say...
He says...

So, I need to hold onto the Word and all it teaches me,
so my life will be shaped by faith and love
that only Christ Jesus can give.
I say...
He says...

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in me,
that I will carefully guard your stories, fears and dreaded-triggers.
I will carefully guard the Truth that God has entrusted to me...
...to you,

...He says.

Rayne


2 Timothy 1:12-14

That is why I am suffering here in prison.
But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust,
and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching 
you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 
Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, 
carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.


photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via photopin cc

22 May 2014

I Can See Now

I love spring.  It is delicious in many ways.  I love watching the darkness of winter fade. Each act of spring seems to be a brand new surprise.  I have been watching the trees transform into giant pallets of greendom, plants grow out from bland looking soil and birds chirping as a continuous mark that nature has its own music.

Over this past week, I have realized that my surroundings have becoming dim and difficult to see as I am driving from point A to point B.  I guess I knew that the sap and pollen, gifts from the trees, had been finding a home on my windshield, but I could still see.


Well!!  I had to share with you... I washed my van this morning.  As I was driving away from the car wash, I noticed that everything was bright and clear again!!  I didn't realize how bad my perspective had gotten... how much I had been relying on the side windows - when I wasn't going sideways!  I had an invitation to enjoy traveling through spring again... and all it took was a couple minutes in the car wash.

Why am I telling you about my dirty family van?  Because the transformation was SO noticeable!!  The view I had from behind my windshield after washing all the gook away was dramatic... and lovely!!  I didn't have to struggle to see anymore or fight with the sticky sap to see the traffic or the passing of scenery... it was as if my eyes had been covered and opened.

I am praying for you, if you are reading this... that God will perform a transformation in your life today.  No matter the reason or the season you are in, whatever is covering you from seeing what God has created life to be can be easily washed away!!  Now, don't go stand in a car wash... but, do seek to be covered in the cleansing power that prayer can bring.

Trust and obey God with your stains, sticky sap and gook!  He has power washers that will painlessly wash away anything that is hindering you from enjoying this season of life.


20 May 2014

Speak'n Truth

This is my first practice video devo!!
I hope you enjoy it and share it with those who need encouragement.


For my playlist, visit my YouTube Channel.

30 April 2014

Can I be a decision maker? I CAN!


Even as a 40 (something), I am having to learn a lot of things for the first time... and, honestly, it isn't an easy process picking up pieces of your own childhood when you are parenting children the same age that you missed.

The concept Suzanne offers in the last chapter of her book (along with a couple principles to back it up) really helped me in finding this part of myself... not only as living as a forgiver, but accepting the possibility that I have my own identity and the strength to carry through... and on.

She shares,

"...you learn to release or overcome things that once kept you stuck or afraid or angry, and you soar.

Instead of weak, you become strong.  You also learn to choose your battles.  You weigh what is valid, and some issues simply aren't worth the investment of time, energy, thought process and emotion; so you don't engage in 'word-fare' with others or try to hammer your point until he or she 'gets it through his (or her) thick head.'  You see, it's not that you've become passive, but you are no longer passive-aggressive.  You are intentional.

By doing this, you discover how to address the real problems with people and events.  You also grasp the art of responding rather than reacting as you perfect the art of the pause, giving your emotions a chance to simmer down before you say or do something, because you have discovered that words and behavior matter.  You've always known that, but now your life reflects it.

You also find grace for yourself, and for others..."

So, my long journey with Suzanne Eller is coming to a close.  I highly recommend getting her book The Unburdened Heart if you are healing from trauma, abuse or everyday forgiveness.

image credit | favim

29 April 2014

The Pressure of Perfect

I just was reminded of the stress I put on myself for being perfect.  I don't need to make up reasons to be perfect or expect perfect results in everything I do.  Being perfect isn't realistic and it isn't fair to myself.

28 April 2014

I Wish I Had Words

As I flipped through Facebook posts today, I saw so many words that seemed... so simple.  So, why can't I think of something simple to say?  My blog writing is a priority and I haven't abandoned you, dear friend.  I just don't seem to have any words lately.

I wanted to share words or a picture with you today... and these words, and not much else, are all that come to mind.  Maybe all I have today, is all you need...


17 April 2014

But, I'm Responsible! Right?


So, I am still [slowly] working my way through Suzanne Eller's book The Unburdened Heart.  I've been carrying it in my purse, hoping for a moment here or there to read.  Finally, tonight, I had a few solitude moments and I was able to finish the chapter I have been stuck in.

As she continues with the theme of forgiveness, I continue to read... not being able to wrap my head around this confusion... if I am struggling with abuse of someone else's evil choices, how is it my sin is preventing me from growing and being pure of heart.  Maybe you struggle with the same thing... here is a from Suzanne Eller's book that make forgiveness and sin finally make sense in the face of abuse:

"In Romans 8:1-2, Paul describes how the hold of sin is broken and we find freedom through Christ.  If we read about this freedom and see it only as freedom from our own sinful acts, we might miss the complete message.  Through Christ, we are offered freedom from the hold of all sin, whether that is due to another person's sin or our own.  We (you and me) are not destined to be bound by the influence of another person's choices!"

Powerful, right??!?  When we receive the freedom of forgiveness through Christ, we are free from our sin.  We are free from the sin that others do against us and God.  We were designed to live within the grasp of God's hand... we were NOT designed to be trapped in the grasp of a human's sin and chooses against us.

I can't say it better than she did.  But, have reassurance!!  Fear can be replaced with freedom when you believe that God offers you freedom from the hold of sin... not just yours, but the sin that others commit against you.

11 April 2014

The Creeping Car

This morning, while waiting in line to drop the kids off for school, I was quickly reminded how quickly stress can creep up, oblivious to any other important circumstances in life.  Stress usually isn't obvious, but a creeping tone that creeps into our lives and breaks up the melody and rhythm we are writing.


As I sat in my silent car, I watched as the car in front of me slowly pulled over left into the parking spaces of the school's drive way.  As the rest of us inched forward, the car in the parking spot did too.  And, she kept inching forward.  I thought maybe she was just wanting to move up to the front of the parking spaces.  But, it wasn't until the parking area ended and she kept going did I feel emotion well up deep inside.  I know this is a little thing, but stay with me.  Slowly, the car kept going until it had made its way in front of the car [now in front of me].

I couldn't believe my eyes!  With a line out to the road, we were all waiting.  We were all there for the same purpose.  So, the inching car pulling in front of the car ahead of me to pull into a handicapped spot... we kept following the long line around the parking lot to drop the kids off.  All I could do was watch the car ahead of me... wondering what she was thinking and feeling!?  Did she feel the same emotions I felt or was she being more gracious than I was?

When we finally rounded to the front of the line, I jumped out of my van and knocked on the driver's window of the car now in front of me.  She smiled and her emotions showed frustration.  I told her that I was so sorry that person did that... that wasn't an easy way to start the day... I hoped she would have a good day.  She smiled and said thank you.

See, circumstances that change our day may not be obvious to us.  I didn't realize how much anxiety I was filling  until I allowed myself to admit that the actions of the creeping car really upset me.  Oblivious to everything else around me, the action of one other person secretly was steeling my joy and hope for the day.

So, tell yourself today... I am sorry that person did that... it may not be obvious, but the stress that I am feeling is real.  Going through that [past or present] wasn't an easy way to start the day and it wasn't fair.   But, I will have to choose to have a good day and choose to let my stress be oblivious to the rest of my circumstances because I have a God so much bigger than my situations.

07 April 2014

I could smell it!!

I was flipping through a magazine and found this little article about worry and the senses... maybe this explains why I smell asparagus in offices and find great relaxation when fresh rain hits a window screen...


"People who are anxious by nature have another trait in common: a heightened sense of smell. After testing 38 people for anxiety tendencies, Valérie La Buissonnière Ariza, a graduate student at the University of Montreal, and other researchers presented each of them with the scents of strawberry, fish, and clean air to inhale. The participants with anxious personalities indicated they smelled something 24 percent faster, on average, than the others did. Anxiety-prone people have already been found to be fast at processing visual information, which presumably helps them detect threats (research has shown they are quick to spot angry faces). Though sensitivity to potential danger may have served an evolutionary purpose as a defense mechanism, it can also be a problem, since often the presumed hazard is not real, La Buissonnière Ariza says."


31 March 2014

...the winter is past.

I am enjoying the seasonal change from winter to spring.  Fall was my favorite season when I was little.  Maybe because I now live in a totally different part of the country, fall doesn't quite seem as brilliant as spring... maybe it is just my age.


I too am in my own season.  I'm not sure what it is or where I am at.  It's change and deciding... I'm not too keen on either.  But, one thing is for certain, it will too soon pass.  There will be a time of refreshing and a time of sweet singing is to come!

Stay encouraged, dear friend.  For you too, God has a season.  For you too, God will use the rain.  Not to cause storm or trouble, but to nourish and strengthen the weak.  Pray for a peaceful moment to allow God to speak to your heart, that His voice will be heard and your life will bloom.

05 March 2014

I'm cracking up...

I came across this quote on facebook or pinterest last week.  I set it aside and came across it this morning.  God has such good timing.  I so needed to be reminded today that I am not broken.  I certainly feel broken, worn out and discouraged.  But, what a reassurance that through my healing, God sends words to remind me that I am NOT broken!  I'm not even falling apart... just put to the tests that life and others bring.  I need to tell myself that I will conquer this day... not as a broken or girl in pieces, but living with a wholeness that only God can bring through my pain.


Dear friend,  I pray for you too this day!!  I pray that God will speak to you where you are at and reassure you that you are not broken, used or useless.  God reassures us that not only is He with us through our pain, but that He suffers when we do.  A little hard to believe if we only believe in what we can see.  God can see SO much more... He has a future planned for me and you... in a minute, in an hour, in a day, in a week, a month and years to come.  Believe when you don't have the strength to believe!!  It is when we are broken that God uses our faith to keep us put together... mended and whole.  ~ Rayne

03 March 2014

Sometimes, I just feel like wondering.



I need direction.  Do you ever feel like that?  There is so much to do and be in the world.  There is not enough time, resources and energy to accomplish much at all.

Maybe it is my depression speaking...

I want to do big things.  Go places.  But, I have no energy and my desire to work hard fades as quickly as the clouds move.  I have always worked hard.  Everything I have done and accomplished is because I fought for it.  I just get tired of fighting.

So, the other option... wonder.  I don't want to wonder either.  I suppose it takes just as much energy to wonder as it does to actually do something.

I don't have much to say either.  But, I want to write as much as I can to reassure you that you are not alone.  I know this is just a part of my journey right now and time will pass.  So I will leave these words here to mark this moment.

Healing isn't always eventful.  Sometimes, I just feel like wondering.

image credit  |  peone.tumblr

28 February 2014

Psalm 31, Day 5

This week we have been making our way through Psalm 31.  I hope you have God empowering through the words of the Psalmist David.  Today we finish the passage.  It says...

"Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
In panic I cried out, "I am cut off from the Lord!”

But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.

Love the Lord, all you godly ones!

For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant.

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"

Whether we feel we can see God clearly or not, He can always see us (in ways we could never imagine).  God is a loyal God. I believe that He chooses not to control what happens around us or to us, otherwise bad things would not happen to us.  But, He is always in control of our safety when we put our hope in Him.
So, be strong and courageous through your pain.  God has shown us the wonders of His unfailing love... that when we are under attack and we panic, He will always hear our cry for mercy and answer. 
So, next time you find yourself between "a rock and a hard place", remember that the rock isn't an unmovable force, but the King of Creation.  Your Protector.  Your Savior.  And, that only leaves you with one undefeatable obstacle.  So believe!  If God is your shield and safety, you can do anything through the God that strengthens you!!

27 February 2014

Psalm 31, Day 4

We have been working our way through Psalm 31.  I hope you have been reading, praying and finding hope in God during this week.  This is today's portion of Psalm 31...

"But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!”

My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
Let your favor shine on your servant.

In your unfailing love, rescue me.

Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord, for I call out to you for help.

Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave.

Silence their lying lips— those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.

How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you.

You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them.

You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues."
 
Yesterday's passage was pretty real.  Have you ever felt like that?  That everything in the world was against you, there was no hope and your trust in God was even hard to see?  As we prayed yesterday, I hope you found some freedom despite your circumstances.

 
We have been looking "between a rock and a hard place".  So far, Psalm 31 has lead us through ourselves (in the middle) and "the Rock".  Today, let's look at the hard place... those who have sinned against us and God.
God has promised to rescue us and shelter us from those who relentlessly hurt us.  What does the scripture say about those who are sinning against us, and God?  God is a great God.  A God of great fear.  If in our disgrace we anguish, have you ever consider the type of terror that the wicked must feel or ignore?  It must be great.  While God gives us safe shelter from those who conspire against us, He still longs to see them lavished in His protection too.  God will silence their lying lips.  Although we must know our future is in His hands, so is the future of those who conspire against us. 
Find peace knowing that God is a just God.  He will find favor in those who love and serve Him.  To those who do not, well, that is God's decision and we must learn to trust Him with that too.
 

26 February 2014

Psalm 31, Day 3

Yesterday, we read the second portion of Psalm 31... another awakening that God has ultimate control of our safety if we allow Him to.  Let's read todays passage...


"Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.

Tears blur my eyes.

My body and soul are withering away.

 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness.

 Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.

 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors—
even my friends are afraid to come near me.

When they see me on the street, they run the other way.

 I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.

 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror.

My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life."

 

Dear God,

Please forgive me for being overwhelmed by my circumstances.  Please forgive me for not being able to be overjoyed in Your presence.  I feel like I am withering away, dying from grief, drained of my strength, being scorned by my enemies, despised by my neighbors, ignored, surrounded by terror.  Please have mercy on me, God, for I am in great distress.  My tears are so large, I can't focus on the truth, or hope or You.  With all the confidence I have left within me, I pray for your protection and safety.  Help me not to be blinded by those who conspire against me, rumor about me, ignore me or run away from me.  Help me to have sight that only You can give.  Help me to find safety in you despite what I can see.  Hear my cries!  Lift up my eyes and give me a glimpse of You through the darkness that surrounds me.

Amen
 

25 February 2014

Psalm 31, Day 2

Yesterday, we read the first portion of Psalm 31.  We read that when God is with us, we cannot be trapped by any advisory... that if God is our "Rock", being stuck in a difficult or dangerous situation is only one-sided.  God is the provider, protector and defeater of our enemies' trap.  Today, let's read...
 
"I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the Lord.
 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles,
    and you care about the anguish of my soul.

 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place."
 
Friend, be confident in the Lord.  Being confident will look different at different stages of life and circumstances, but hold on.  When we focus on our troubles, we are unable to focus on God and the enemy takes flight with our anguish.
Despite what others may do to us, have done to us or we choose to do to ourselves, God has always prepared a safe place for us to hide.  Don't I sound optimistic?  That gladness and rejoicing should follow us around as if life has been completely pleasant?  Remember, God has not handed us over to our enemies.  If we are able to glimpse into that truth and trust in God, He will care for our anguishes and protect us in ways we cannot see.
 

 

24 February 2014

Psalm 31, Day 1

This week, I really wanted to look at Psalm 31.  It really couldn't be filled much more with confidence in God.  Each day this week, we will look at a portion of this Psalm...

"O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.

     Save me, for you do what is right.


 Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly.


 Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.


You are my rock and my fortress.


     For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.


 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone.


 I entrust my spirit into your hand.


     Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God."

Have you ever heard the expression, "between a rock and a hard place"?  For years, I have heard that expression.  But, it wasn't until I read this portion of Psalm 31 that I was able to see my trials and torments in a different light.  Can you guess what I am going to ask? 


So, if I was literally stuck between "a rock and a hard place", I would be pretty stuck, wouldn't I?  Wedged between two unmovable obstacles isn't necessarily a place I would choose to be.  BUT, what if that "rock" was "the Rock"... the "Rock of Protection, the fortress where I will be safe"??  Being stuck between God and a place of danger doesn't seem like such a bad place to be trapped, does it?

If God is on one side of me, the trap the enemies set for me can not hinder me.  Psalm 31 says that this will be a safe place, a place to lead me out of danger.  I must entrust my spirit to God's hand, then He will rescue me and protect me from any disgrace.

That is good news!
 

23 February 2014

Psalm 31

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
    Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
    rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
    a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
    For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
    for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
    Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.


I hate those who worship worthless idols.
    I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
    for you have seen my troubles,
    and you care about the anguish of my soul.
You have not handed me over to my enemies
    but have set me in a safe place.

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
    Tears blur my eyes.
    My body and soul are withering away.
I am dying from grief;
    my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
    I am wasting away from within.
I am scorned by all my enemies
    and despised by my neighbors—
    even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
    they run the other way.
I am ignored as if I were dead,
    as if I were a broken pot.
I have heard the many rumors about me,
    and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
    plotting to take my life.

But I am trusting you, O Lord,
    saying, “You are my God!”
My future is in your hands.
    Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
Let your favor shine on your servant.
    In your unfailing love, rescue me.
Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord,
    for I call out to you for help.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
    let them lie silent in the grave.

Silence their lying lips—
    those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.

How great is the goodness
    you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
    blessing them before the watching world.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
    safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
    far from accusing tongues.

Praise the Lord,
    for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
    He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
In panic I cried out,
    “I am cut off from the Lord!”
But you heard my cry for mercy
    and answered my call for help.

Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
    For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
    but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
So be strong and courageous,
    all you who put your hope in the Lord!
 
 

19 February 2014

17 February 2014

perception + peace = stillness

This afternoon, I had almost an hour of quiet time.  Although I was supposed to be taking a nap, I just couldn't fall asleep.  I kept thinking, "be still and know I am God".  It became a prayer.  It became a request. 

As quiet as it was, every time I thought, "be still and know I am God" I would be aware of another part of my body that was as tight as a frustration.  I would pray, "be still and know I am God' and feel the tension reside.  After this happened from my forehead to my toes, I realized that being still wasn't just a matter of physically being still, but my perception of peace.


As I listened to the silence, one of my daughters arrived home from school.  I heard the door bell ring.  I heard foot steps.  Then a warm greeting.  The stillness was such a place of solace.  Although my muscles would tighten at the sound of each noise, as they often do when I am in bed, each noise brought new words...

The door bell:
“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking.
If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door,
I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me."

The foot steps:
"As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?"

The warm greeting:
"After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper."

Even in through the sound and commotion, God was able to show me peace and a moment of still.  He was able to give me a breath of his peace and a perception of His love.