Faith, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Forgiveness

Collect: When We Collect Hurts

A cup of tea

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—COLLECT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

COLLECT

What do you collect?

I used to collect tea cups—one from every country I have visited. I’ve collected stamps, scrapbook papers, and other things that I would use or hope to use.

I’ve recently discovered I’ve been collecting something else.

Hurts.

I know, it sounds horrible. But I have. I’ve stored up in my mind and my heart those painful memories, hurtful words, and spiteful actions others put upon me.

God’s recently been showing me that I have a tendency collect these things.

Though collecting tea cups can add beauty to a shelf or a space, and stamps and scrapbooking paper can create beauty and reminders of special times . . .

Collecting hurts? That only promotes a whole lot of ugly.

Broken leaves

Unforgiveness.

Bitterness.

Painful sores on my heart.

God is reminding me that I need to let go of those hurts. To forgive, which is a hard, hard process.

Those hurts? They keep coming up to the surface of my thoughts. Different nuances of the conversations and situations reveal themselves.

The only way I can truly forgive is to make the decision I’m going to, and then ask God to enable me to.

Forgiveness is a choice made over and over again.

For the people who have hurt me, and I’m still holding onto those hurts? I’m asking God to give me a heart that genuinely loves them. Yes, LOVES them.

Each time a memory comes up and an acerbic word slips from my mouth? I have to confess it to God. Which reminds me to pray for that person, and for my own heart.

Some hurts can only be forgiven with God’s help. Some wounds can only be healed with God’s touch.

white flowers snowy backdrop

For me, the first step is admitting I have a problem. With the person. The wounds of the memory.

The next step is confessing my own sin of withholding forgiveness.

The third step is choosing to let go of the hurt and ask God to change me (before I ask for change in the other person).

I’m tired of collecting hurts, and them taking up space on the shelves of my heart. I want beauty to replace the ugly that’s been on display.

What about you? What do you collect? How do you work through forgiving the hard to forgive?

Click to Tweet: Forgiveness is a choice made over and over again.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Collect

By the way, Susan Shipe has coordinated The FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY BOOK with a number of Five Minute Friday posts in it. It released on Monday, September 26th! If you choose to purchase one, all the funds go to support two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar TribePlease consider helping these ministries and being blessed by the words of many wonderful writers!

its-a-five-minute-fridaybook-2

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Forgiveness, God, Love, Mothering, Relationship

Love: Undeserved Love

Low Storm Clouds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.

Continue reading “Love: Undeserved Love”

Forgiveness, Guest Posts, Jill Kemerer

Guest Post: Healing Broken Relationships, by Jill Kemerer

Hubs and Ed

Jill Kemerer is one of the first people I met online when I began writing. She is one of the people who motivated me to begin blogging, and she answered LOTS of my questions as I set my blog up just over two years ago. Meeting her in person at ACFW one year showed me she’s as lovely in person as she is online. She’s such an encourager and an inspiration to me, and to many. Her debut novel came out on March 17th, and it’s a wonderful read. Without further ado . . . .

Here’s Jill!

Relationships can be the most wonderful things in the world. There’s something amazing when you meet a new friend and instantly connect. Families can be more comfortable than the comfiest couch. And falling in love—is there anything better?

But relationships can also cause so much pain. There’s a reason many people dread the holidays, and it’s not the commercialism. It’s being confronted with imperfect, stressful relationships when we’re all supposed to be happy. Christmas movies make the holidays look good, but how often do you really end up with everyone in harmony?

Continue reading “Guest Post: Healing Broken Relationships, by Jill Kemerer”

Forgiveness, Grace, Mothering, Relationship

Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace

Spilled cereal

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It was one of those mornings . . .

It seems we’ve had a lot of them lately. I’ve gone from being mad mama, to hurt mama, to  . . . this morning seeing the hurt in one of my boys and my heart aching for him.

He’s in a place I can’t touch. Change has always been difficult for this one. He resists it with temper tantrums and angry outbursts, leveling all hearts in his path when he’s on a rampage. When his sanity returns, we talk through what happened amid lots of cuddles.

Continue reading “Grace: Choosing to Accept Grace”

Control, Forgiveness, Intentional Living, Life, Perspective

Intentional: 5 Thoughts For Numbering Our Days

Framed sunset

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

What would you do if you knew the number of your days?

Most of us know we’re going to die at some point in time. Many will die in their older years. But what if you discovered the number of days you had left to live? How would it change you?

Someone I’ve known for awhile received a diagnosis. This person has lived a full life . . . made wonderful friends, created cherished memories.

Continue reading “Intentional: 5 Thoughts For Numbering Our Days”

Forgiveness, God, Grace, Grace: Grace Lived Out, Uncategorized

Grace: Living Out Grace

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By Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve been thinking about grace and what it means to live with grace. When people say, “I gave grace in that situation.” Or, “You are a gracious person.” What does it really mean, this word—grace?

Continue reading “Grace: Living Out Grace”

Expectations, Forgiveness, Life, Surgery: Working Through Hidden Hurts, Uncategorized

Surgery: Working Through Hidden Hurts

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Almost two weeks ago, my right side and back throbbed with pain. I suspected it was a kidney stone. Past experience revealed nothing would ease the pain, and I’d have to grit my way through it. The low-grade fever concerned me. The pain worsened the next morning.

Continue reading “Surgery: Working Through Hidden Hurts”

Life, Simplicity, Simplicity-Heart Stuff

Simplicity: Heart Stuff

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Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you seen the Capital One commercials that close with the line, “What’s in your wallet?” My thought-response is, “I’m not telling you!”

As I considered simplicity and stuff on Tuesday, I was struck by the question, “What’s in my heart?” Just as I have material stuff needing some attention, I also have heart stuff that needs to be purged before I can genuinely walk a life of simplicity. Growing in simplicity really begins on the inside. When I’m walking closely with Jesus, I’m better able to hear His guidance through my days. Having an uncluttered heart helps in all this.

Sometimes, it’s easier to deal with the outer stuff than the internal issues. It’s a lot less painful. My heart-stuff isn’t all pretty and/or useful. Sure, there’s good stuff in my heart–the Holy Spirit, deep love for family and friends, a desire to show kindness to those who people my world, to help those in need, and to live this life well all reside in there.

But, there’s also ugly stuff in my heart. Two areas I’ve struggled with are letting go of hurts and insecurity. When I cling to unforgiveness, I only end up hurting myself. It hinders me from hearing God’s words in my heart, it hardens me, and it plants the seeds of bitterness. When bitterness takes root in my heart, oh, that’s when it gets really ugly. The longer I hold onto it, the deeper its roots plunge.

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Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Picture a weed with deep roots yanked from the ground. These seldom come up with a gentle tug. Forceful pulling unearths it. Large clumps of dirt hang from it. It’s good the weed is out, but it costs muscle strain and energy to remove it. The same is true in removing bitterness from a heart. It hurts. A lot. The weed is out, but the pain of the uprooting burns for a time.

Insecurity’s clutter takes up space in my heart. God’s done a lot of healing, but scraps of it still hide out in my heart. I’m learning to identify thoughts that reveal insecurity and bring them to Jesus. I ask Him to show me His truth. When I see my insecurities in the light of His truth, it’s easier to release them into His caring hands. Jesus deals with them and lightens my heart in the process.

When my heart is clear of this stuff, I can live a life of simplicity. Nothing hinders me from hearing God’s words and experiencing His delight in me. Those barriers are gone, which makes it easier for me to hear and believe His truths. This enables me to walk in simplicity.

Your turn: What’s in your heart? What are your thoughts about simplicity and heart issues?