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It all comes down to character. Our true heart is shown in the storms of life.
Join with me as we seek to find the
beauty in our storms along with maintaining our character through them. And let us listen for God's voice when it comes - whether a whisper on the breeze or a shout through the hurricane.....

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sometimes We Just Need To Feel Understood




Have you ever felt like you must have been born on a different planet? I mean, everyone seems to treat you like you are strange and weird for feeling what you feel, liking what you like, and thinking what you think.

I’ve had those days.

I completely feel rational inside about what I’m thinking or feeling and yet I can’t shake the fact that it feels like I’m standing all alone….for no one else agrees with me. Not only do they not agree with me, they look at me as if I’m a “whack job” for just expressing those views or thoughts!

C’mon. I know it’s not just me. We’ve all been there. We’ve all longed for one word, one touch, or one suggestion from someone to help us feel like we are not alone.

We long to feel understood.

Even on the days I don’t feel weird or like I’m from planet Mars; I may be having a trial, challenge, or problem. I don’t always need someone to solve it for me. I just need someone to listen and to understand.

To understand.

We all have this innate desire to be understood. To be validated in our thoughts and feelings.  And do you know what? It’s okay to want that. It’s okay to need that. And in fact, God can supply that for us if we ask Him to.

Yes, God can give us understanding. And He DOES understand. But He can also supply someone here in our personal life to understand. He knows we need it. He created us to be there for each other!

Pray for it. Ask God to send you someone to simply understand your heart. To validate YOU. For you ARE valuable. I believe there is someone out there, who knows just what it is you’re feeling. They’ve been there. They’ve walked in those shoes. They’ve looked through that vision.

You are never alone. I promise.  God understands. And He can send you someone to help you feel understood, as well. Ask Him for it. Believe Him for it.

And wait for it.

You are not weird. You are not from another planet.


You simply need to be heard.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm Ready For This



Have you ever felt like you were truly ready? Ready for that job to come along, that amazing ministry opportunity, that baby, that romance, that (fill-in-the-blank?)

You. Were. Ready.

I know the feeling well. The feeling of the thrill that might reveal itself just around the corner. The feeling of anticipation, which is usually accompanied by impatience. The feeling of “this is right for me.”

It’s a good feeling. That feeling of knowing you have put in the legwork, and you are ready. Only problem is; sometimes God doesn’t agree with us.

I then look back and wonder, just what it was that was incomplete in me. Lacking. Ill-equipped. Flawed. Why wasn’t I picked? Why wasn’t I right? Why is it so hard to get what I want, when I want it so that I can simply feel blessed, and joyful in celebration?

When I experience those feelings, the frustration and depression that comes along with them…. I realize the reason God didn’t agree with my point of view, lies in the questions I ask.

I focused on ME. 

It’s okay to have wishes and desires. It’s human. It’s natural. It’s expected.  But those wishes and dreams can grow to become too important. They become our everything. Our “all.”

I believe God is excited when my dreams come true. I believe He smiles when I’m happy and celebrating. But I also believe that He knows best. If the timing is not right for me, as frustrated and sad as I may be – the truth remains; the timing is not right for me.  If I’m not right for the position or opportunity; then I’m not right. I can’t “wish” myself into being right.  But not being right for something doesn’t mean I’m not valuable.  Oftentimes, I’ve looked back and seen just why things didn’t work out. And I’ve understood.

So, I may feel ready. And in all reality, I may BE ready.  But others may not be ready for me. God may not be ready for me to put in the time, or work that is needed, for His plan to be fulfilled.  And I have to be okay with that if I truly believe in Him and believe in what He says He wants for me.

I know there will come a day when I will be fully ready for something I’ve been waiting for, and it will all pull together flawlessly. When this happens, all the other days of incomplete dreams will come into clarity and I will feel fulfilled. I will be up to the task.


I will one day be picked; chosen; loved. For ME. And it will be worth every moment of expectation and delay.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The 2014 Ultimate Blog Party


Ultimate Blog Party 2014


I may be arriving to the party late, but I'm here! I'm joining the 2014 Ultimate Blog party. It's a fun way for bloggers to hop on around the internet and meet other bloggers.

For those of you visiting me from 5 Minutes For Mom, thank you so much for stopping by!


This Is A Peek At Me:

Two daughters, husband, and me

Stepson, daughter-in-law, and three grandkiddos



I am a proud mom of two precious, joyful, delightful, and beautiful teen daughters. I'm also a proud stepmom. My stepson and daughter-in-law have given me three precious grandchildren. I'm so blessed.  I've been married to my hard-working, handsome warrior for almost 20 years.  We just moved to Texas in September from Idaho and I just love it so far!


My Blog:

This blog is a labor of love for me. I mainly write on faith and family - but it can all be boiled down to "life." I try to be honest about the lessons I'm learning, the joys I'm blessed with, and the hurts I struggle to overcome. I've always wanted this blog to be relateable - a place where someone can come and say, "you too?" Maybe, in the process, someone gets some encouragement and hope along the way.

I had my own website/newsletter for 16 years (Emphasis On Moms). But now I focus on just enjoying being a blogger, and have stretched my wings into freelance writing a bit (something I'm really enjoying and hope to do more of).You can find me at StartMarriageRight.com, Ibelieve.com, and I do some writing for the San Antonio Marriage Initiative.


Get To Know Me Better:

I thoroughly enjoy meeting and getting to know my readers.  I am at several places where you can connect with me more personally than just this blog.







Please let me know you stopped by! I look forward to getting to know your heart and you personally. 

Do come back and visit me again. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Giving Up Control

I think one of the hardest things I have to deal with in life, is giving up control.  I don’t consider myself a “control freak,” but every time a circumstance comes up that I struggle with….I realize one of the common factors is that I’m struggling to give up my control over that situation.

We all set out with preconceived expectations for our lives. Maybe not intentionally, but they are there.  Marry the prince, get a good career, have perfect kids, reliable friends…and those are only the basics. Yet even with the basics, life likes to mess with us.  There is no such thing as a perfect kid, a friend that never lets us down, etc.

I have expectations. We all do. We have dreams. Wishes. Desires. And when life throws us a curveball that we never expected, it shatters all our perfectly laid-out plans.

We lose control.

The older I get, the more I’m learning that I don’t really have control over much of anything in my life. Sometimes, out of luck, or God’s grace and mercy, things DO go perfectly as I set out in my mind that they would go. But more often than naught, they go on a different course.  And there’s the internal struggle. Every. Time.

An internal tug-of-war happens when I realize that what I want is not going to happen. Sometimes, not anytime soon – other times, not any time at all. 

I grieve over the loss of what I wanted to happen. The hopes, the joys I felt I would experience if things had ended up differently. And yet, through the struggle, God often works in my heart. He molds my never-budging stubborn pride to see things from a new perspective and in a different way.

What IS normal? What IS perfect? Chances are, things wouldn’t have been normal or perfect had I gotten my way. Those too, would have had their own twists and turns in them.

That’s life.  Ups, downs, corners and hills. Valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. It’s all a part of the process and I have control over none of it. But I do know One who does have control. He keeps me in His loving hands despite how many times I fight Him on His direction. He sees the big picture whereas I cannot.  That’s the one thing I always DO have control of. My faith.


So no matter what happens, through thick or thin, I know that even though I may go through the age-old battle and internal struggle that I so desperately want to learn how to overcome, God is with me and He is FOR me.  And that’s one thing I pray I never forget.


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Monday, April 7, 2014

RUSH



I feel the rush of life often. I feel it when I’m running out the door to get my girls to school on time.  I feel it when I’m squishing in unexpected “to do’s” into an already-packed day.  I feel the rush of life when I look at my children and realize that they are almost grown…the time of my parenting them in my home is quickly coming to an end.

The rush of life is felt in long car lines, busy grocery stores, people running in late for meetings, and the constant buzzing of our phones. It’s almost as if life wouldn’t run without a rush to it.

The rush is common to us. It’s familiar and it’s often. But I wonder how often we feel the rush of life in a different way.

How often do we feel the rush of life that comes so often when God answers prayer? How often do we feel the rush of life that blows through our hearts and minds when we relish in being in love, feeling the love from another, or holding a new life? Do we recognize the rush of life that comes in the form of celebration, exhilaration, and expectation? Or do we let it steamroll right through us, like everything else?

A “rush” doesn’t have to be bad. It doesn’t have to push, pull, drain, and demand of us. It can, instead, recharge, refuel, energize, and enlighten us…if we let it. Because life is full of “rush.” The rush of good. The rush of great. The rush of deep thankfulness and unleashed joy. It runs rampantly, freely, and randomly.

If we allow ourselves to hold our arms open to the blessings that life can give; I think we will find our lives overflowing with the bubbling joy and goodness that God gives to us.  And I want that kind of rush. Don’t you?


Life doesn’t have to be hurry and scurry all the time. It can, instead, be hit with the unseen….the “felt” things that can rush into your veins and make you feel alive.  That kind of rush I never want to miss.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just. Try

Ever since I was a little girl, I was told (as most children were), that I could be anything I wanted to be. The sky was the limit.

As I grew up, I got disillusioned because I realized this was not the case. I could not just become what I wanted to be without hard work, luck, or connections. Life so often gets in the way of our plans.

But I remained a dreamer. The world never stole that from me. Ever the “positive” person; I dedicated my heart to believing in the impossible and hoping for the unattainable.

I call it faith.

Faith is what makes me tick. It’s what makes me believe in what can’t be seen. It’s what carries me through heartache and wraps it’s arms around me when it seems no one else will.  And faith is what fuels me to always try.

Just. Try.

So many people don’t see their dreams come true because they don’t try. They tell themselves they have failed before they’ve even tried.

I hear so often from people, that “it probably won’t happen.” And I want to tell them – “why not? Just try!” Maybe it won’t. But at least you will have tried. Why not give yourself the benefit of the doubt? Why not believe in yourself enough to give yourself a shot?

Just try.

Try to become friends with someone who you don’t think will want to be your friend back. Try for that opportunity that you think will go to someone “better” or “bigger.” TRY!

There is so much to be said for trying. So many rewards to be found in the pursuit. Joy in the journey. So by the time you get to the end result, you usually gain something in the process; whether or not you got what you set out for in the beginning.


Just try. You owe it to yourself. You are worth it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Empathy Comes From Experience

There is a saying that says, “Hurt people, hurt people.” It is very true. But I also believe that ignorant people hurt people.

Not everyone has gone through tough things in life. Some people have had a fairly easy go of it. That’s not to say they haven’t had trials and challenges. But some of those trials and challenges just haven’t been…..as….deep.

It’s hard to offer grace and mercy to someone when you haven’t had to experience that for yourself. You can tend to think that people need to “shape up”, “get it together”, or “buck up”.  For we don’t understand. We don’t FEEL. And why would we? We haven’t experienced.

Experience in heartache, pain, hurt, grief, loss, desperation, frustration, betrayal, anger, abuse, and depression – those things are not forgotten. They are not lost on us. When we understand, it is then that we can really feel and embrace what someone else may be going through.

Empathy for someone else comes from experience.  It comes from a place that has seen, felt, heard, and understood the hard places in life. The places that we all would love to avoid.

Compassion cannot be bought. It can be learned but it can also be grown. Grown from the lessons that only life’s challenges and trials teach us. Either way you receive the gift of compassion is okay. For others will need us. They will need our strength, love, support, and understanding when they have to cross the waters that we’ve already swum through. They will need to know they will make it and that they won’t drown.


Everyone needs someone. Someone with empathy. Someone with experience. Be that someone – for someone else.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Beauty of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Our family recently got to travel overseas for a brief stint. I am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given to see God’s world. It never fails to amaze me. It is so beautiful.

I find big cities beautiful. I find the countryside beautiful. I find people with their differing customs, accents, and way of living… beautiful.


And I just wanted to share a little slice of it with you.
























Friday, March 28, 2014

When You Plan In Advance To Be Upset




There are moments in life where I dread something coming up. It’s either an obligatory kind of thing or something I feel trapped into doing or going to. I hate these times for I don’t feel like I can be at my best due to my attitude.

Sometimes we plan in advance to get upset.  We know what someone is going to say, we know what action is going to be demonstrated on their part and before it even happens, we plan in our hearts to be upset about it. Without even giving them a chance to be different, or to act different. Without giving ourselves a chance to be different or act different.

I’ve done this. I’ve BEEN this. Have you? Have you planned in advance to be upset about something?

It’s as if we’re not just upset at that moment in time, but we’re upset every day leading up to that moment in time, as well. Because we know how we are going to feel about it.

I think I have pretty good instincts about people. And I’m often right about the outcome when it comes to these same people. So I have plenty of occasions to get upset, if I choose to. And sometimes, unfortunately, I do choose to. Sometimes I’m entitled to be upset. Other times, well, not so much. I can make things bigger in my head and heart because of all that time I gave myself to dwell on the issue.

It’s a lose-lose situation.

When I plan in advance to be upset about something, the other person loses because of the unfortunate choice or action they made. I also lose because of all the time I lost harping on the thing. I lose because of all the stress I put myself through and I lose because I didn’t choose (on the occasions that call for it) to not let it ruin me or affect my joy.

I can choose so many different ways in which to respond. But often, my pride wins out by telling my heart that it’s going to be upset before anything even happens!

I could do a lot better by myself.

I could choose to pray about things leading up to the moment in time that I’m focusing on. I could choose to let the issue drop at God’s feet instead of my own – thus removing the weight of the burden on my heart and shoulders. AND, I COULD choose to forgive BEFORE the offense is given. Especially if I’m expecting a predictable response or pattern.  I could even somehow set up a boundary in my heart and life so that I avoid the moment all together.

Getting all worked up is something we are good at. Especially women. Some things are indeed worth fighting for. But our frame of mind in the process is so crucial to how drama-free our lives can truly be if we want it badly enough.

We just have to want it badly enough. Bad enough to wait and see what will happen. Wait and see what God will do.

Isn’t that worth putting off the “upset” for a bit?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Are Precious, You Are Priceless




A parent’s worst fear is that something will happen to their children. Illness, accidents, abductions and other kinds of harm fill our hearts and our minds.

And it’s not just worrying about our children. A parent can worry about themselves too. That something will happen so that their child has to grow up parent-less.

So many worries. So many fears.

Fear can rule my life if I let it. And it would be so easy to let it. But I have to live instead; in courage and in faith, trusting that my God will take care of my children and that He will take care of me.

I realize that life is not perfect. Not everybody gets to live through it without disease, sickness, accidents, or tragedy befalling them. In fact, very little of us get to go through it without being affected in some way.

But there is so much to be hopeful for. So much to be thankful for. There is still so much that is good.

I am thankful every time my children celebrate a birthday. Every milestone that I get to watch, I am blessed that my children get to reach it, experience it and touch it. And of course, I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it.

I think of the “what if’s.” I try to prepare my children for those possible scenarios and I pray that they will never come to pass. But if they should, then I have to trust my Almighty God that my kids knew the most important things they could know.  I have to trust that they knew how much they were loved and valued. How deeply they brought joy to my life.  And I have to trust that they saw the Lord in my life and that they too, will always seek to have Him a part of theirs.

I have to believe that they knew how precious and how priceless they were to me.

So I tell them. I tell them often. I hug them. I kiss them. I love on them with everything in me. I laugh with them and I enjoy them. I listen.

Time is so short. Every birthday shows me that.  But each year is a blessing.

I don’t know what the future holds. I pray, of course, that it holds many more blessings and joys.  But if it also holds unspeakable pain, then I will carry with me one thing – how great a blessing I was given, to be given children that were so irreplaceable and so beautiful. How lucky was I to be their mom for however long I was allowed to place my arms around them.

May I tell them often, “You are precious, you are priceless”…..  so it is always felt, always known and always carried with them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Ways To Still Be "You" As You Blog



There are so many sites out there with blogging and social media advice. I’ve been writing online for a while now and I’m still learning so much. Technology is changing right and left and it can almost be a full-time job trying to keep up with it all.

One thing I’ve learned along the way, is that no matter what changes – I need to still be “me.” I need to keep my own voice. It’s too easy to see what someone else is doing and try to adapt that to fit yourself. You can do that in a way, but sometimes you have to go against the grain and simply decide that being “you” is more important than being SEEN by everyone.  For if you do this, the ones that read your words will be the right audience because they will see that you are authentic to your own life and world.

So, here are 5 ways that I’ve been able to distinctly keep my own voice and heart in my blogging and writing.


1.     Use the layout that you like.  There are trends in blogging layouts. Some only show “snippets” of a post, some have a cover page, and some are only on white backgrounds with a header.  Personally, I like to be able to scroll down a page and see the whole post. I don’t enjoy having to click to “read more.” But that’s just me. And that’s my style. So my recommendation would be to use the format that works best for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s the new trend or not. Be “you.” If you like a cute background, use a cute background! Just make sure that everyone can clearly read your words.

2.     Use the blogging platform that you find to be the easiest. In a world that says “Use Wordpress or bust,” I have stuck with blogger. I’m not great at coding or using complicated systems. Blogger is easy, simple, and it’s been reliable for me. I did purchase my own domain so that I don’t have a “blogspot.com” address – but I went through blogger to do that. Simple is what I need and simple is what I use.


3.     Write about what you love.  If you only want to write about your kids, then write about your kids! It won’t feel right to write about other topics. If you are passionate about knitting or fashion, then write about those. There is an audience out there for everything.  But, you also don’t have to stick to one topic alone. It’s YOUR blog. You can do whatever you’d like! So, if you have a cooking blog, and your heart just really feels like it needs to write on a story in the news – go for it! Your audience will enjoy getting a glimpse of you that is out of the norm. For me, I write on whatever topic is on my heart and where God prompts me with that. It usually ends up being mostly on faith and learning through life’s ups and downs with a little bit of lifestyle  and beauty thrown in from time to time. I enjoy writing on life in general.


4.     Talk to people. Let people get to know you. If people leave a comment, comment back! You don’t have to reply to every single one – but a blog is partially about relating to others. If it’s just for you, you might want to keep it private. But if it’s public, others want to get to know you and talk to you. Reply to comments if you’re on twitter or instagram. Relate to others on your facebook page. No audience wants to feel ignored all the time. It can get harder the more responses you get, but it’s important to remind others that you aren’t “above” them. You are ONE of them. You can do this on any level you feel comfortable, but it truly does reinforce who YOU are.


5.     Ignore the advice out there if it doesn’t “fit” you. If you don’t enjoy having to have an email list just to grow your blog…. don’t! If you don’t have the time to participate in different discussion groups….  don’t! If you don’t like using SEO words in your posts just so you will be listed in Google… don’t!  You will be discovered by the people who find your words meaningful, helpful, or relatable in some way. We all only have so many hours in a day. We can’t do it ALL. Use the platforms that matter to you and ignore the ones that you don’t enjoy or have trouble grasping. It’s okay.



There are definitely certain rules that seem to work for growing an online presence. But overall, I’ve found it’s important to enjoy what I do. Don’t focus on popularity or success. Focus on passion and joy and the rest will truly follow if it’s meant to be.


**I’d love to connect with you on the many different social networks I’m a part of. You can find me here:
Google Plus - +DionnaSanchez


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

God's Timing Is Always Perfect




I have a hard time being patient. I do. It’s not just that I live in a society that is so quick to “feed me now” or deliver whatever I want, when I want it. I think it’s the way I was wired. I get so excited over things that I have a hard time waiting.  Just like a child.

I love it when my children get excited over a vacation, or a special “someone” coming to visit. They often ask for the time, or stand watching out the window. They are so anxious and excited they can barely contain themselves and have a hard time waiting. I compare myself to them sometimes when it comes to my prayers and things I want out of my life. I can barely contain myself. Oftentimes out of my excitement or zeal, other times merely out of my impatience in having to wait for an outcome that I think will be exciting.

One of my favorite lines from a movie is from one of the “Love Comes Softly” movies. It’s the one where the main character’s father comes to visit and right after he arrives, her baby dies. What should be a time of rejoicing in seeing one another becomes a sad time.  But after some soul searching and deep healing that only begins to take place, she tells her father that she is so thankful that he happened to come at that exact time, for she doesn’t know what she would have done without him. And he replies with, “God’s timing is always perfect.”

I love that.

“God’s timing is always perfect.”

And it is.

I may wish He’d get with it, sooner – but His timing truly is perfect. I can see it woven throughout my life in retrospect, time and time again. How my timing would have been so wrong and the outcome not blessed by God at all. But His timing…well… it was just perfect.

So here we are, His children, standing at the window waiting for Him to arrive. Waiting for Him to come and answer our deepest prayer requests. Waiting for Him to swoop in and deliver us. Waiting for Him to grant us our wishes. And yet He knows what is best for us. He knows that in the waiting we are learning – growing – being molded – and made into a far better product of ourselves. So that when He does come to knock with that answer, that wish (maybe a better wish than the one we thought we wanted), the timing will be so perfect. And we will look up and smile, knowing that He came at just the right moment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Prove Your Love


Tough times in life. They come and they go. But when they are here, they can be downright excruciating. It can feel like life will never resume a normal daily pace.

During one of my recent “tough seasons” I was having to have some real “nitty gritty” talks with my Lord. Over the course of days and actually a few weeks, he brought many verses to me. Many of them were reassuring verses of how He would fight for me. Many were about trust. And I needed those verses! Oh, how I needed them.

During a “low point” one night I finally just out and out told God that I was frustrated and that I didn’t understand why He so clearly was withholding something from me. I basically (not in so many words) through my prayers, pleas, whines, and cries – was begging for him to prove His love to me.

As if He hasn’t done that so many times already.

As little as I liked the answer, a whisper came to my heart – “What if God is waiting for YOU to prove YOUR love to Him?”

You see – it’s so easy to love God when things are going well. We can praise Him and speak of Him glowingly. We can teach our children how to follow Him. But when the darkness comes at us, that’s when the real test of our love comes in. And God has nothing to prove to us. He’s God.  But what does our trial show of our love for Him? Do we bail quickly? Do we hide out? Do we curse the one we say we love? Do we try to handle things on our own terms? Or do we get on our knees, pray, and offer up our lives to Him? That’s tough to do.

Most of the time, I don’t think God is even asking us to give up things for Him. I think He just wants us to consider the cost. There’s a lot we can learn in merely the thought or mention of certain costs and losses in our lives. There’s a lot we feel in the temporary losses of things in our lives.

I remember in the movie, “Facing the Giants” the football coach’s wife wanted a baby badly. She’d had so many disappointments in this area and finally thought she might be pregnant only to be told that she was again – wrong. Deeply crushed she went out to her car, stifled her tears and looked up into the sky where she told God, “I will STILL love you!”

I think that’s what God wants from me. He wants to hear me say that I will still love Him when things go unfairly in my life. He wants me to stay dedicated to Him even when I don’t understand the “why’s.” He wants me to prove my love just as Job proved His love despite losing almost everything he had in the Bible.

Will I be worthy when the challenging times come?

Will you?

All I’ve ever wanted is God’s love and favor in my life. And I know that’s all He wants from me as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When We Try To Go Through Tough Stuff Alone




Going at life “solo” is dangerous. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. You grow frustrated with your church and so you stop going. You drop out of your ladies Bible Study or pull away from your friends because tough stuff is going on in your life.

Whatever the reason; suddenly, we have put ourselves in a position of great vulnerability. Not that Satan doesn’t like to attack us in any kind of situation; but I think he finds us an especially easy target when we are going at life alone and without the support of a community of believers.

Yes, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen tragic things happen to families and friends who removed themselves from a positive and Godly circle of influence. I’ve watched marriages crumble into divorce. I’ve witnessed children fall prey to drugs and sexual temptations. I’ve cringed at unnecessary deaths.  And I’ve painfully seen people sucked into the vast tunnel of emotional and physical illness.

When tough stuff is going on in our lives; that is when we need one another the most. That is not the time when we should be dropping away from people who care about us. And yet it seems like that becomes such a magnetic pull for us. It’s like we think we will get back into church once we get our lives on track again, or we will rejoin that group once we can overcome “just this one” hurdle….and our “justs” become our downfall. We open ourselves up for attack.

I believe there are times where it’s important for us to take a step back from what we are doing and where we are going in life. I think fresh focus and clear insight can only be gotten by sometimes putting a “pause” on what we have going on with and around us. But I also believe that usually those times are entered into with a convicted heart – never an ashamed or guilty one. We go into these zones of life with every intention of renewal, obedience, and humility. Our heart focus is different.

We all are flawed. We all hurt.  We all wish that we could sometimes hide the ugliness that life can inflict on us. But those also are the very things that make us relatable to others. God can use them in our lives to be inspiring, healing to another hurting and lost heart… and He can turn our sorrow into a blessing by using it for the good of another.

Give others a chance. Give them a chance to truly love and accept you despite what “junk” you may have going on. Give them the opportunity to help you bear your burden. That’s what they are there for. And in the process, you just may find out that the perfect part of relationships is the imperfect threads that connect us all.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Moving the Line of What is Acceptable




I was talking to my girls a few years ago about music. We were downloading some new songs from Itunes and one of my daughter’s was asking me what some of my favorite current hits were. I finally mentioned one that I liked, but was hesitant to buy because of the singer’s reputation.  She told me, “That has a bad word in it.” Really? I hadn’t even noticed. She told me if I listened carefully that I would very clearly be able to hear it. Which brought up a short little discussion on content in songs.

When I was growing up (yes, I can’t believe I’ve relegated myself to using those lines!)…I informed my daughter that bad language in music wasn’t allowed on radios. Now, it’s commonplace.

Why do you think that is?

I think it’s because we’ve allowed it. We’ve desensitized ourselves to what is bad and what is okay. 

Say you have a song that is really vulgar. Everyone is in an uproar about it. But then another song comes out that isn’t quite as bad and so it’s allowed. Then down on the road, more songs come out. Some push the limit, others go back to that one song that was a little “edgy” but allowed and so they too – are allowed, because “hey” – they aren’t “as bad” as the other songs.  This continues for a while until you start having a market saturated by songs that once would have been deemed “unacceptable.” The line keeps moving. And it’s moving in the wrong direction. Instead of starting back where we didn’t allow any of these words, thoughts, or actions; we’ve allowed them in small doses because they aren’t “quite as bad” as some others out there. But the limit keeps getting pushed to worse and worse – more vulgar and more vulgar and so the ones that aren’t “as bad” also keep getting pushed because everyone thinks they are tame “in comparison.”

Just what is “our comparison?”

Whether it’s movies, music, commercials, television, news…whatever….we’ve allowed the line of what is acceptable to continue to move, when in reality it should be back where it started. No bad language. No untruths. No demeaning of people. No sex. The list goes on and on.

For me – God’s Word is what I hold everything in comparison to. His Word never changes. It was relevant yesterday and it will be relevant tomorrow. It doesn’t get to be “old fashioned.” It’s amazing that way.  His values and morals are for our protection. And the line of what is and is not acceptable never moves or changes.

I need to hold what I listen to, see, think, and act upon – on His Word. Always. Just because something is “less bad” doesn’t mean it’s good. That fact will never change…no matter what society does or does not allow.

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