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You want to be stronger, braver, and more integrated.

You want to be more whole right?

I have good news. As you learn and apply Transformation Prayer Ministry to your life, you will become a stronger, braver, more integrated, and whole person.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”Hebrews 12:14 NIV

Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) is, by far, one of the best tools I’ve seen that can nurture growth in this way.

The intent of the TPM process is to provide a systematic and reliable means to intentionally and purposefully participate with God in refining one’s faith, which results in renewing one’s mind, and naturally transforming one’s belief and behavior.

 

“ . . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 NIV

 

To understand this more clearly, today I’m sharing with you a personal account of a Transformation Prayer Ministry session. In this, you will see how Molly (fictitious name) was able to move through her negative belief about herself.

To read another personal application of Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) click here.

We begin here.

When Molly was talking with her husband about the slow pace of work in her current job, he suggested she should look for another job.

Feeling irritated and defensive, and realizing they were getting nowhere in their conversation, she decided not to engage in any arguments.

 

In fact, she decided to essentially dismiss herself from the discussion and just let him talk.

Bothered by her own unclear thoughts and feelings, which arose in their interaction, she asked me to mentor her in Transformation Prayer Ministry regarding these unsettled feelings.

 

EMOTION  (The ‘box’ or place we begin a session)

 

I asked her: “How did the conversation make you feel?”

 

Molly: “It made me feel defensive and irritated.”

 

MEMORIES

I asked her: “What comes to mind as you focus on what you are feeling?”

 

Molly: “Hmm . . . Why did I feel defensive? What was I defending? . . . THAT I’M NOT SPOILED OR LAZY. “

 

I asked: Why do you feel that way?

 

Molly: “ Because I was the baby of the family, the youngest with a large age gap. I remained close in proximity to my parents and they were a great help to me with babysitting, helping with finances and rides when I didn’t have a car. My other siblings moved out of town and were more independent. Later, I was able to be a stay at home mom.

 

BELIEF

I asked her: “Not that it is true, but does it feel true that you are spoiled or lazy?”

 

Molly: “No. Actually when I think about it, I do not believe I am spoiled.”

 

TRUTH

We entered this TPM process spontaneously and were in an informal setting. Others began to enter the room before we were quite done. This interfered with the process. I believe Molly began to speed things up, and her intellect took over for her emotions in the BELIEF box.

Once she heard herself say she’s “spoiled and lazy” and thought about it, she realized that was not true. If her response was yes, (which would have been the typical response if not rushed to conclude things) I would have asked her if we could present that belief to the Lord.

 

TRANSFORMATION

I asked her: “So, what do you feel is true?”

 

Molly: “I am not a spoiled child. I work hard. I am very productive. I am resourceful. I contribute a lot to my family. I have made sacrifices and do not ask for much in return. I do not always get my way or what I want.

 

If you become familiar with Transformation Prayer Ministry you will be a stronger, more positive, united, and whole person.

Wholeness leads to holiness.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”Hebrews 12:14 NIV

To read another personal application of Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM) click here.

Our Children Will Miss This if They Always Get Everything They Want

Our Children Will Miss This if They Always Get Everything They Want

 

Contentment is not the first word that comes to mind when I think about Christmas. Nope.

The world pushes in with big expectations at Christmas. A whole new layer of distractions lures away my already distracted mind. Parties to throw and attend, gifts to be bought and wrapped, cookies to be rolled and baked, and a home to be decorated and lit. Life gets squeezed out in the dashing to store specials, and agonizing over home messes. We lose our patience, sleep, and scotch tape. The season can demand more time, money, and energy than we truly have.

We push hard.

At times we push so hard the important One

gets pushed out.

 

Unknowingly,

we miss giving the most important kind of gifts.

The Jesus-tag gifts.

 

 

The gifts that give over and again.

Not ones that tempt you to spend beyond your means, but ones that are life-giving to all involved.

I know you want the best for your family, and would do anything for them, especially at Christmas.

But for you who struggle financially, physically, or emotionally, and simply can’t buy your dearest ones everything they want on Christmas morning . . . it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap even among your safe friends. **She has this and is getting that, and they have that and are getting this.**

The temptation to spend beyond your means can be great, but don’t be lured into self pity . . . You, nor your children, are to be pitied.

There is an unobserved wealth that’s birthed in not getting all that you want when you want it.

Your young will learn that “no” and “not now” will serve them all their lives.

They will be in position to know how to live when things are difficult and how to live when things are prosperous. They will know the secret Paul speaks of in Philippians 4.

“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either poverty or plenty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.” Phil 4: 11-13 Phillips

After 40 years the Stanford researchers, involved with the well known Marshmallow Experiment, verify that those who are willing to wait for two marshmallows, instead of immediately eating the one in front of them, are those who experience success in life. Those who can delay gratification (which is a learned skill) will know the wealth of contentment.

They’ll learn they are capable of waiting, or working, for something they really want. It will give them the necessary experience to understand what it’s like to enjoy something even more because it didn’t come instantly.

They will appreciate the gifts you give them because, if not at first then eventually, they will know the price you had to pay. Not the monetary price. The invisible price . . . the love price of the ache in your heart because you could not afford to give them what they wanted, and the sheer joy of when you could make it happen.

They will notice, and remember, how you spent time together doing the simple things that really mattered like letting them put the chocolate kiss atop the peanut butter blossoms, using whatever cookie cutters they wanted to make the cut outs, and creating Christmas ornaments from pine cones, paper, and popcorn . . . even if they didn’t look as good as the ones on Pinterest.

 

 

 

When your daughter becomes a grown woman she will be capable of much because she will know how to create goodness from almost anything. And when your son becomes a man he will know what it’s like to be without at times, and how it shaped him into the hard working, caring, young man he has become.

No, my friends, don’t go in debt to get everything your sons and daughters want or they will miss out.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

1Tim 6:

 

Grateful, Grumpy, Grateful

Grateful, Grumpy, Grateful

            It was one of those elegant evenings . . .

            rare for a parson and parson’s wife.

I immediately began to feel like a queen as soon as my husband and I were greeted at the curb by the engaging elderly gentleman in black tuxedo. The pampering continued all evening long. After having our picture taken, my husband and I are invited to enjoy the hors d’oeuvres. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts, a delightful cheese board, and what appears to be extra colossal shrimp, dance before our eyes.

I barely finish eying those delectables until Joyce (founder of Ladies Encounter) says, “Each of you be sure to identify something on the display tables that you would like to have. After we eat, I’ll call each of your tables to go up and get what you want.”

The tables were close to the hors d’oeuvres, and I walked over to browse.

There was almost too much to take it all in.

Can you envision about six or long tables stocked with wreaths, blankets, adorable Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations, hand crafted tall wooden candle holders topped with chunky candles, a collection of perfumes, journals, and gift certificates? I also saw a lovely handbag, an indoor grill, a set of knives, and a toaster oven. Gifts thoughtfully chosen, some suitable for men, and others appropriate for women.

I chose a soft cozy blanket, and joined my husband back at the dinner table.

The delicious meal, which by the way included two meat entrees, elegantly encircled the table’s centerpiece. “Oh yes,” Joyce reminded us, “Each couple please remember to take one of the baskets in the center of the table home with you.” The little autumn basket that was overflowing with chocolate kisses, candied pecans, and lifesavers . . . which is the now-nearly-empty vessel, is a visual reminder of God’s affirming presence still radiating from that evening together.

Joyce and her jolly tuxedoed husband, Erwin, are unstoppable. They sure know how to spoil a folk when they pair up with the Calvin House. Not only had they given us this amazing dinner in an exquisite restaurant, but they also prepared enough gifts for everyone of us. Both the pastor andspouse were to each individually choose one. I think the attendance numbered close to one-hundred that evening.

As our tables were called one by one to go gather our gift of choice, Erwin entertained us with jokes and laughter so as to never have a dull or awkward moment.

As we all claimed our gifts one by one, and I had gathered my cuddly new blanket, the evening was at last drawing to a close. “On your way out,” Joyce announced, “each couple please take a box of paper (four reams per box) along home. Also, each couple please pick up a restaurant gift certificate. There are several to choose from. That way you can go out to eat again.”

Did I mention this was not a fundraiser dinner?

It was an area wide pastor appreciation meal, and free to all invited.

This is the seventeenth year Joyce and Erwin Bassler have given a banquet to honor the area pastors and their spouses. And it’s the second year Rob and I attended. We are grateful for the classy meal and relaxed evening Joyce and Irwin blessed us with again this year.

The first year we went everything was just as wonderful.

On our way home that year, however, much like we squeeze every dollar, Rob and I squeezed every ounce of delight from the evening by recounting, to one another, each indulgence and detail.

This recalling made room for the evening’s blessings to sink deeply into our beings, and to be carved vividly in our minds. The stellar memories would carry us through until we returned next year.

Those memories will soon be far in the distance . . .

Because twenty minutes down the road our car began to sputter *and choke* then die.

That’s right.

But no worries, we have AAA.

What?! My husband tells me we can’t call them his phone’s dead.

And mine? Why ever did I decide to not bother bringing mine. (Yes. I take it everywherenow.)

We’re stuck on route 99 South, a four lane highway, smack in the middle of nowhere.

Our return home from our most exquisite evening, was feelinglike Cinderella’s return home from the royal ball without her carriage.

I was so angry at my husband. How could he let the car run out of gas?

How could I have not brought my phone? How could he let his cell run out of charge?

We were sunk.

Had no choice but to walk.

Thirteen or so miles to home.

I WAS ANGRY, I WAS MAD, AND I WAS VERY GRUMPY.

It was about 9:35 pm

A cool November night.

We had no flashlight.

I was wearing heels and a fitted pencil skirt. Not the kind of clothing for any kind of walk, especially a walk in the night, without a flash light, on a four lane, in the middle of nowhere, at least thirteen miles from home.

Sure wish I had my walking shoes with me.

With no other choice but ot go afoot, we began our trek.

I was grumpy, and a tad frightened by the occasional whizzing by of a passing car. What if they couldn’t see us? What if they could see us? My brave man was walking on the manly protective side. Between me and the road. Oddly he seemed quite happy, and was trying to cheer me up by noting the beauty of the starry night sky, and reminding me that I like to go for walks.

I was not impressed. The last thing I wanted to do was gaze up at the dark sky, and march through the night on a four lane highway in my high heels and pencil skirt. My goal was to get us off the highway as quickly as possible.

The sign said exit #10 Blue Knob one mile.

I do like to walk a couple miles a day ideally, and if I can spare the time. And I was due for a good walk cause I hadn’t walked for a few days. And I do like to walk with my husband, which happens only on rare occasions. And Hmmm this was a rare occasion. And Hmmm he was very present and happily walking with me.

Shortly before we walked onto the #10 exit ramp I began to realize I still had some things to be thankful for. A positive husband who was trying to make the best of a miserable situation. A happy husband who was enjoying a walk with me, even though I wasn’t enjoying the walk with him. And I hated to admit Rob was right, but the stars did look awfully pretty that night.

My attitude gradually began to change from grumpy to grateful when I accepted things as they were, and began to think about the virtues of the situation. After all I could enjoy the long walk with my husband under the canopy of stars. (something I’ve been wanting him to do with me many a day). Or just be grouchy it’s not the kind of walk I want it to be. I can have a grateful walk or a grumpy walk. I choose grateful.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 NKJV

We already walked about 1.2 miles and calculated we would finally arrive home a little past midnight, which would be in three or four hours.

As you would guess, we were growing weary, and had some disagreements about how we could creatively get home more quickly. He wanted to stand at a deserted intersection and wait for someone to offer us a ride. I wanted nothing to do with that. I wanted to knock on the parsonage door, even though it was 10:00 pm, and ask to use their phone, instead of just walking by. (Maybe they were at the pastor and spouse appreciation dinner we were just at, who knows) Rob wanted nothing to do with that.

This walk in heels and a pencil skirt was getting old. I was struggling once again to think about whatever things are lovely, praiseworthy, or virtuous. It was dark and we had no flashlight.

At about three miles into our journey home, we passed by a business with some activity in the back. Not seeing a way to get across the fence, we kept going.

We only took a few steps, however, until we heard a tractor trailer pull up from around the back of the building. With everything we had, Rob and I dashed toward the truck. Tim, the trucker, was a rather rough looking guy with long blonde hair, a bit of a smile, and most importantly a phone.

Rob explained the situation to him, and asked if he could use his phone to call our son to come rescue us. When Tim realized we were contacting our son, because we ran out of gas, he laughed heartily and stated, “Well, you don’t look like ax murders. You two can just hop in with me and I’ll take you home.”

Rob sat up front when Tim moved his collection of food and bags from the seat, and I sat beside the mess in the back. Riding in his rig was an adventure. Along the way Tim crossed a bridge that, according to the road sign, was not sturdy enough for his big truck. And he often swerved to the other side of the road as he became more intensely engaged in conversation with us.

The talking went like this.

“So,” Tim inquired, “what were you doing tonight before you ran out of gas?”

“Well, you wouldn’t believe it.” Rob continued, “We were at the most elegant banquet ever. We were greeted at the door by a man wearing a tuxedo. Then ushered into this beautiful restaurant with huge chandeliers. You should have seen the shrimp, and delicious plate of food. We all were given gifts including a gift certificate to a restaurant of our choice. It was amazing.”

Tim: “Wow. Was that for your work?”

Rob: “Yes.”

Tim: “Oh, what do you do?”

Rob: “Well, I’m a pastor.”

Tim laughs loudly then adds, “Well, I used to go to church.”

As he and Rob exchange further “what’s and how’s”, Tim explains that his rig is his home, his son is in prison, and he’d like to come to church sometime. The conversation continues comfortably, and before we know it we arrive home. As we climb out of the rig right in front of our home, Rob and I both thank him for being our angel. To which he heartily chuckles.

I’m grateful once again.

In celebration of our first year, use the code OneYear for a 75% discount

on the purchase of the live video recording

of our spring 2017 retreat

here!

($5 now until end of November, regularly $20)

A Comfy Cozy Cabin

A Comfy Cozy Cabin

To do something new, even if it’s better than the old,

we often experience resistance . . . at least at first.

 

 

I’m thankful for this comfy cozy cabin. Though the giggly lil’ girl

in me is still tucked inside these cabin walls right between the

boards of the tiny simple shelter it used to be.

 

The darker cabin above, on the left, is an old one I enjoyed as a youngster. The middle one is in the
process of transformation. The golden one, on the right, is completely reconstructed.

 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19 ESV

 

 

This new little cabin, which I shared this past weekend with a few of my friends, is comfortably familiar. In fact, if there was building version of comfort food this little dwelling would be it for me. 🙂 As soon as I was eight, I was old enough to spend a week at Camp Harmony. And that I did. Every summer I couldn’t wait to get there. Afterall, I had guaranteed excitement for a week with my friends.

 

In recent years, the decision was made to rebuild new cabins over top the old cabin frames instead of tearing them down. After all, they’ve been aging right along with the rest of us . . . however, the giggly little girl in me is still tucked inside these cabin walls . . . right between the boards of the tiny simple shelter it used to be.

 

Yet, I’m thankful for this little dwelling both old and new. I love the new version with the front and back porches, the two lofts, as well as the kitchenette, bathroom and heat. But I must say, I do feel a twinge of sadness knowing the old ones (as inferior as they are) will all soon be invisible, and swallowed by the new.

 

Do you have a hard time letting go of something comfortable or familiar?

I do . . .

 

When I gathered with my friends in the comfy cottage last weekend, we gave some thought to the value of letting go of things, like mindsets and emotions, that might be familiar or comfortable, but also could be unhelpful or destructive.

 

Mulling over negative thoughts toward your neighbor, entertaining feelings of anger for being overlooked, or rushing through your day without being thankful for something, are all unhelpful mindsets that cause us to stay stuck. Oddly, these can feel comfortable because they are familiar. To do something new, even if it’s better, we often experience resistence. At least at first.

 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 ESV

 

I want to remember, and I want you to remember too, to let go of the familiar and comfortable,

 

when it gets in the way of the-better-way,

 

and embrace the new things God is doing in and around us.

 

 

Let me know how you’re letting go of the old to embrace the

new things

God is doing in and around you 🙂

 

 

In celebration of our first year , use the code OneYear for a 75% discount

on the purchase of the live video recording

of our spring 2017 retreat

here!

 

($5 now until end of November, regularly $20)

 

Happy One Year Birthday Heart Working Women!

Happy One Year Birthday Heart Working Women!

One year ago, fifty-two women ( some of you!) joined us on November 5th 2016, for the Heart Working Women’s premier conference at White Sulphur Springs in Manns Choice, PA. We have been blessed by you, and especially encouraged as we’ve been able to stay in touch. 🙂 I’m grateful for your continuing friendship and connection, and also looking forward to many more interactions, whether it be online or in person, as we grow along side one another.

 

The following is an excerpt from the newspaper article, written by Julie

Leppert for the Bedford Gazette, which announced our initial conference.

Heart Working Women of Western Pennsylvania is hosting its premier conference Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 at the historic White Sulfur Springs, Manns Choice, Pa.

The conference, an outreach branch of Heart Working Women, will launch as a decade-long vision of Bedford County resident Joy Thacker. Joy says Heart Working Women is designed to equip and connect women throughout the region offering them creative tools to engage in life-giving relationships.

Joy, a pastor’s wife of 20 some years and a nationally certified counselor and relational therapist, says her inspiration for connecting women has been born and nurtured through her life experiences, the most significant one having been her own mother.

“I didn’t realize how much significance that held for me until I realized not every mom was nurturing like mine . . .” Joy said recently as she recalled her mother’s kind, loving nature mixed with a positive outlook toward life.

As the concept and vision for Heart Working Women has taken root and been clarified, Joy anticipates the arrival of a dear friend from Ohio whom she mentored there. “This woman and my friendship with her signifies for me the work of Heart Working Women. I have been able to connect in significant ways with women, but then the connections are disrupted with a move to a different location. The context of Heart Working Women provides the flow for those connections to continue. It carves out a space for continuity and encouragement in relationships, not only for me, but for many women in our busy culture when it can be difficult to maintain heartfelt, life-giving connection with themselves, with their families and communities, and with God.”

The premier event for Heart Working Women scheduled this fall (2016) invites women to a life-giving day of connections and will feature inspiration for transforming negative self-talk to life-giving self-talk in a community of safety.

Since the conference, and over this past year, we had a retreat (which was

smaller and more intimate) also at White Sulphur Springs Conference

Center.

 

In celebration of our one year,  you can use the code OneYear for a 75%

discount on the purchase of the live video recording of our spring 2017

retreat here! ($5 until end of November, regularly $20)

 

We also had a few informal retreat gatherings in a lovely hideaway nestled in

the neighboring county where my family and I now live. This year has been an

amazing journey. Along the way we’ve embraced a few more women in our

think tank and continue to seek God’s direction as we wait on Him.

 

The direction of Heart Working Women has become clear as the following definition of a heart working woman indicates.

The heart working woman = one who is growing

emotionally & spiritually healthy

 

Breaking that down:

One who is willing to let go of destructive mindsets and emotions

One who is willing to make room for healthier mindsets and emotions

One who becomes increasingly aware that God is for her and not against her

One whose works are motivated primarily by love, not duty

One who gains an awareness of her double-mindedness, and seeks to become integrated

One who’s willing to position herself to receive God’s wisdom

One who welcomes the flow of God’s Spirit to circulate new life in the core of her being over and again

One who increasingly finds and responds to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in her ordinary everyday life

One who intentionally faces her difficulties knowing God will make her more like Him as a result

One who invests herself in a safe relationship with another woman, or a small group of women, for the purpose of building emotional & spiritual health

One who ultimately is a safe person, and with whom others can build meaningful safe community

 

A heart working woman is not:

One who is looking to carry out her own agenda

One who is hiding from herself, others, or God

One who is satisfied to be only where life is familiar and predictable

One who is clinging onto unhealthy mindsets and emotions once she becomes aware of them

 

In celebration of our one year,  you can use the code OneYear for a 75%

discount on the purchase of the live video recording of our spring 2017

retreat here! ($5 until end of November, regularly $20)

Hope in Your Pockets

Hope in Your Pockets

Hope in Your Pockets

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13

 

 

Instead of carrying her money in her purse or pockets, Hanna put her money in her mouth. She was an elderly soul who lived in the same small Pennsylvania town where my mother grew up.

 

Hanna used to walk around town, my mother told us, with money in her mouth. While shopping, my mom and her sisters would see her spit the money into her hand when making a purchase. (In the 1930’s you could actually buy things with a few coins.)

 

Why would Hanna keep money in her mouth? Was she afraid someone would steal it? Was she afraid she would accidentally drop it if she kept it somewhere reasonable . . . like inside her wallet? Did she decide it was a convenient way to carry her cash because she had no pocketbook or pockets? Was she unable to afford a change purse? Or did she learn to carry her money in her mouth by her mother’s example?

 

Can you imagine the horrible unforgettable taste of pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters in your mouth?

 

If you ever had the nerve to carry money in your mouth I’m certain you’d never ever forget how it tasted. YUCK. You’d be keenly aware of it’s obnoxious presence.

 

Some repulsive things we carry, however, are more subtle.

 

The negative attitudes of a judgmental spirit, unforgiveness, or self-criticism can be mindless habits that go undetected.

 

They are like lint, or used tissues, in your pockets.

 

Other objectionable things you may hold in your pockets are things you agree to carry for other people. Things such as their opinions, ideas, and lies. The ones that don’t even resonate with you, but you don’t want to be disagreeable. You cram them all into your pockets anyway.

 

What’s in your pockets? Are you aware? Why do you keep those things there? Are they good things? Truthful things? Or lies . . . yours or someone else’s?

 

 

Your infinitely powerful God can fill your pockets to overflowing with joy, hope, and peace.

It’s a promise.

 

“May the God of hope fill you (your pockets) with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 ( mine)

 

It’s not about working hard enough to earn it, or being good enough to deserve it, but it’s about putting yourself in the right position to receive it.

 

Instead of having your hands in your pockets fumbling with your negative attitudes or mimicking someone else’s negative attitudes, stretch your hands upward. In this position, and in this quiet moment, let God fill you with His presence. And as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.

 

• Put yourself in position to receive God’s outstanding goodness to you

• Fill your pockets with His thoughts about you.

 

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands… (Is. 49:16) 

 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Pet. 5:10)

 

I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15 )

 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Secrets for Soul Rest in the Sensitive

Secrets for Soul Rest in the Sensitive

 

“. . . learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”                   Matthew 11:29 AMP

 

Unrest can take root in a young girl’s tender soul. One sensitive soul like Ava’s. Her momma didn’t intend to plant a seed of shame into her daughter’s spirit when she told Ava she doesn’t look very nice when she pouts. Had her good momma known the power of those words, and how they might stick in her sensitive soul, she would’ve never spoken them.

 

Ava learned to smile on the outside, to please her sweet momma whom she loved, even if she wasn’t smiling on the inside. After all, she wanted her momma to be pleased with her.

 

Ava’s momma had no idea she was teaching her daughter to be ashamed of her feelings.

She was just trying to settle her down, but in a bigger sense the opposite was happening. It was a quiet and unseen event, even to her own self, but deep within she begins to deny a tiny part of herself. The part of her that now seems wrong and needs to be hidden.

 

Hide and seek is one of her favorite games. But this is a different kind of hiding. It’s powered by a small lie that tied into her soul that says, “ Your feelings are unworthy, unwelcome, and unimportant. They should be banished if you want to be valued and loved.” Which she very much wanted.

 

Sometimes the unrest sinks even deeper into a little girl’s soul like Ava’s did when she was ten, and her daddy questions her decision to go forward at an alter call accepting Jesus into her life. She feels shamed by his concerns and buries herself in her room in her books. Door shut. Pain contained. Shame slides down to her belly.

 

Ava’s life is good for the most part. Any part that can be seen . . .  her parents love her. Thank God they don’t abuse or neglect her in any way. She does well in school, and gets along with her siblings and friends. However, she’s a sensitive soul, and often withdraws when she’s confused or upset.

 

Longing for love and attention, Ava becomes increasingly agreeable and compliant.

She agrees to eat broccoli and chicken at mealtime instead of macaroni ‘n cheese, and to keep flip flops on her feet in summertime instead of going barefoot. Ava is relentlessly cooperative to assure herself of the attention and love she craves.

 

When her daddy criticizes someone, she quietly remembers not to do what he’s being critical of because she believes if she would do that it would diminish her daddy’s love for her. She thinks even being an annoyance to him could jeopardize his affection for her. And she can’t risk the chance of losing his affection. Ava believes her value as a person depends on whether her parents, and most especially her dad, are pleased with her or not.

 

Though no family is perfect, thankfully, Ava’s family is a solid one. It wouldn’t require much imagination however, if her family was a troubled one, to understand how she could slide into a heap of trouble by following her quest for attention and love beyond the safety of home.

 

Shame just slips into a soul . . .

 

Though she doesn’t get into escalating trouble with mounting shame in her pre-teen years, none the less, Ava feels deep hidden shame and desperately needs rest for her soul. She believes her very essence is WRONG. At age twelve she notices her friends changing, her body acting odd, and her heart aching. Sneaky lies tie knots continually in her soul, and she crawls inside whatever handy hideout she finds everywhere she goes.

 

Ava needs rest for her soul. Rest that comes from drinking long at the Fountain of Living Water. Though she’s no stranger to the Fountain, and drinks from it often, still she has unrest in her soul.

 

She’s clinging to Jesus’ promise:

“. . . learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:29 AMP

 

She’s longing for that soul rest . . . but unable to find it.

Until one day someone mets her at the Fountain and listens to her story. Even though her story is apparently dull and unimportant to others, this new friend takes time to hear her story. To listen deeply. With sincere interest, she asks Ava a bunch of questions she was never asked before. Like how does she feel about that, how’s her heart, and what comes to mind as she thinks about those feelings, why does she feel that way? All the while giving Ava her full attention with no sense of hurry or judgement. Then she asks, “not that it’s true, but does it feel true . . .

 

After Ava answers her, she asks Ava. . .  may we present this belief to the Lord?

 

Ava agrees . . .

 

Instantly, God’s Spirit speaks peace to her soul like never before.  A lie is untied. She experiences the miracle of rest in her soul.

 

Her friend taught her how to drink long at the Fountain of Living Water. How to drink deep enough to allow Jesus gentleness to uncover her inner lies, and then to ask the Holy One what He thinks about her lies.

 

As He gently humbly pours His wisdom on her, she learns from His heart and is set free from another lie and another piece of shame. She’s being transformed by the Holy Spirit little by little as she uncovers her inner lies and presents them to the Lord for His truth. She’s learning that guarding her heart means eradicating her soul lies one by one, and exposing them to the Light. “for out of (your heart) is the well spring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The new lies don’t have time to burrow and the old ones scatter from the heat of the Son.

 

Transformation Prayer Ministry is how Ava found rest for her soul. It’s an effective way to process your inner lies and find a healthy and much desired soul rest. You can learn more about it here.

 

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