Sunday, November 20, 2016

Barbie Mansion Blues

6:46 AM 0

Did Ken and Barbie ever move from their Barbie mansion I wonder? I mean sure they went on plenty of vacations to Malibu, RVing in the mountains, and on frequent wardrobe hunts in their pink convertible corvette, but did they ever move from one Barbie mansion to another? It is pretty sad that I actually played this scenario out in my head as I was staring at boxes upon boxes with all of our belongings stacked to the guills just waiting to be moved to their new location, or so they/we thought.    Surely I was in delirium world as I was coveting Ken and Barbie and somehow wishing I could step into the Mattel world of "Barbie and Ken Move to a New Home." But lets face it, I'm not Barbie, Zach's not Ken and in the real world cars aren't pink (well for the most part) and hair isn't always a blonde mass of perfection that never gets damaged and has to be cut off.  Refer to previous post if this seems confusing to you. Ha.

In the real world, closing dates get pushed back, they get pushed back again, and then quite possibly they may fall through all together leaving you with a house full of packed boxes, minimal furniture because you sold most of it in a moving sale, and a roller coaster of emotions as you attempt to process it all. But I'm not freaking out, nope, not me (insert crazy face emoji of someone on the verge of a meltdown.)

It truly is my hearts desire to become a woman that can say with all honesty that "she is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future" Prov 31:25, but the truth is I am not quite there yet. I was conversing with some women the other day and we were discussing my current state of affairs to which I replied that we were simply in a state of waiting to see what the Lord has in store.  She then responded something to the effect of "that's great that you can handle this situation so well." I immediately felt the need to clarify, which is undoubtedly proof that the Lord is still working on me. Years ago I would have felt proud and content that although my response was only half true at least I left her with the impression that I was a strong woman of faith.

"Let me clarify, when I say that we are in a time of waiting, please know that this also means that I fluctuate between a four year old tantrum of "life's not fair" to a place of trust and peace and then back to the four year old all over again on a daily basis. Really and truly I do trust the Lord, my flesh just isn't always caught up with that fact." Her response, "that makes me feel better."

If I had chosen not to clarify and allowed her to walk away with a view of me as being the "all together girl that has full confidence in Christ at all times," that would be a lie.  Not only would I be portraying to be someone that I wasn't, but I would have also probably left her with a sense of discouragement believing that she was somehow alone in her struggle of fully believing and trusting in God. Instead I was able to Glorify God in that moment, not in my lack of faith, but in the fact that I now feel comfortable sharing that I sometimes lack having the faith I should, but praise God because He is still working on me.

I sat on the floor of my sis in laws home, shoulder to shoulder with a house full of believers, as we sang "Holy Spirit you are welcome here," on a day that to be honest Zach and I were both struggling.  This may sound weird, but the Holy Spirit spoke to me in that song through the image of the Barbie house that is piled on top of all our boxes. Although Laela is out of the "Barbie" stage I decided to save the house for my grandkids.  As I was singing I began to imagine my grandkids playing with the barbie house, I saw them laughing and a floor full of barbie clothes. In a few short years this "unknown phase" will be just that, a faint memory.  In a few short years I will no longer care that I wasn't able to recreate "pinterest perfect" decorations around my home in the year 2016 or that we were sleeping on mattresses on the floor because I sold all of my bedroom furniture.

How Great of a God do we serve that He would give me that little jewel of joy even amongst my doubt?  How Great of a God do we serve that His mercies truly are new every morning and that my "tantrums" do not define me?  How Great is our God that he is teaching me through the works of the Holy Spirit that I do not have to hide behind religious language or pretend to have it all together, but to simply lean on The One who does when doubt arises?

I do not know your situation, your potential doubts and fears, but I do know someone that does.  At times that someone may seem silent and even leave you questioning if He is really there.  In those times Satan wants to condemn you, to rename you as a fraud, and to tell you that those whom God really loves never struggle with doubt, so He must not love you. Simply not true.

This is truth, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.  Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" 1 Pet 5:6-7.  The humbling part of this scripture is possibly the most powerful and one that will require an entire post in the future, but for today we are casting out all our anxiety.  Go into your closet and speak out your fears to the Lord, every single one of them, great and small, no matter how insignificant they may seem.  Even in what may feel like silence the Mighty one is listening and "due time" is coming.

P.S. We should find out about our house situation this week so please pray that I will Trust God no matter the outcome, in my mind, body, and soul!

Love you guys!
Jil
PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN (BOXES) BEHIND THE CURTAIN (DOORS)











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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dead Ends

7:00 AM 1
I ignored several warnings.  It was not as if I was unaware of what I was doing.  In fact, I had been trained for crying out loud and yet somehow I convinced myself that the odds were in my favor and surely I could manage to circumvent chemistry.  "Just one more time," I told myself; let me just cover up this last job and then I will make the commitment to leaving it alone for a time to heal.  

Famous last words as I now sit staring at my new "bob" and by "bob" I mean my hair is so short I could easily be confused as a "Bob." No offense to you beauties who can totally pull off and look stunning in your short do I have just never quite had the face for it.  My poor hairdresser is an angel, literally I call her Gabriel of the hair realm, she comes to my rescue every time I take it upon myself to go from Gwen Stefani to Cher and then back again.  
     
It seems so simple.  Just cover the junk and life will go on, right?  Oh how I love metaphors, God you crack me up.  It would seem that my unfortunate hair situation is the perfect intro into the truth of what "dead ends" do to our lives.  Sin is much like my fried hair that was so dead it could not grow.  After layers upon layers of color and bleach it would appear to be growing at the roots but it would break off as quick as it would grow leaving my hair a hot mess of dead ends with no hope for a future in Pantene Pro-V hair modeling.  

I secretly knew that the damage was not going to be easily undone, but I just didn't quite have the guts to do what it would take to truly fix the mess I had made.  Much like the dead ends in our lives, we know that they are there and we often feel the tug at our heart to do something about them, but all too often we believe the convincing lie that simply covering them will fix our problems and prevent us from feeling pain.  I have learned the hard way that it is impossible to cover up something that is dead.  Death stinks, it deteriorates everything it touches, and will eventually leave our hearts and our manes lifeless and dull.  I hate to burst your bubble, but as a former hair dresser I must break some devastating news to you.  The all popular conditioning mask is a farce.  Sure it may leave your hair healthy and shiny for half a second, but one wash and those locks return right back to their previous state.  This is because the mask simply does what it says, "masks" the true condition of your hair and in no way gets to the root of your problem, no pun intended, ha.  Sorry slight rabbit trail, but the truth is the only way to heal your mane is to CUT THE DEAD OFF!  

What is dead in your life?  What is preventing you from growing and thriving?  What are you attempting to hold on to, but in the depths of your soul you know that The Spirit is calling you to let him cut it out.  Is it a toxic relationship perhaps?  One that you know does not glorify God, but you are afraid to give it up because you fear being alone.   Is it an addiction? Are you blinded by something that promises to fulfill you, but actually leaves you empty?  Perhaps it's something as simple as social media.  You find yourself in a constant state of comparison that you can no longer see the you that God specifically adores and created you to be.  Is is money, power, or significance?  We can easily find ourselves in the cycle of "when." When I get ________, or when I achieve _________, then I will be happy.  But all the while we are replacing genuine growth with a cheap counterfeit because we refuse to believe the promises of God.  

"But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 John 1:7-9

I walked into the salon as I have hundreds of times before and with the exchange of a look and the flip of my hair there was no denying what was about to take place.  Do not miss this next line, because this is my disclaimer:  I replied to Stephanie (AKA: Gabriel) "It doesn't matter what we do, I already know that I am not going to like my hair short, so just do what has to be done."  Cutting dead ends out of your life is not fun and does not produce immediate results, at least not in my experience.    

We often must go through a period of healing, a "bob" phase.  In this phase we may not feel as confident or as loved or as "important," but it is one where the Holy Spirit is shaping you and molding you into a place where you no longer view the "bob" as your ugliest moment, but the moment in which you first began to live.  

For me it was the moment I decided to live in the light with the understanding that I may have to come back every four weeks to have this mess trimmed, but by golly I was ready to live in the phase of healing, short hair and all.  Teach me, show me, cleanse me, remake me, pull out everything dead within me Lord and allow me to submit myself to your authority.  Rid me of all pride, rid me of all fear, rid me of any desire to cover and Lord Jesus please do not let me get my hands on hair dye! 

P.S. In the few days since cutting the my dead ends off, my hair has grown more than it has in months, just saying;) 

        
      
   
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