Wednesday Scribbles The HUMPDAY

RIP to the Humpty Dance Man. He passed a while back and he just popped into my head when I wrote the title.

My ADHD sparkles are nothin man. The sparkles that come from each breath God provides are beyond measure. You wanna know where he has shined brightest in my life? Through my mistakes.

This is a fresh real-life example of what I am talking about. Before I write each morning, I pray to help me with the words. Somedays I can’t type or write fast enough. I type in bursts, think and process, then barf the words onto the page. On other days it is the complete opposite. I get stuck. It could be a thought or an idea I want to articulate. Distractions and ‘urgencies’ usually have my attention. The struggle is real. We are not perfect, and never will be and we make mistakes too. 

My real-life example may seem small to you but it was huge to someone dear to me. 

Yesterday’s post included a quote I made up, so I cited myself and dated it. Hashtag nerd alert. 

Last night I received a message from a dear friend I hadn’t spoken to in quite some time. The funny thing is I think of him and his family often. His message was to reach out as he saw we had some loss around us. It was so kind. He went on to share, the reason he contacted me was because of the ‘Date’ in my quote. He read me the date and I thought to myself “That’s funny, I am not sure where I would have written that date.” His message continued, that was the day he lost his father and he is still grieving. I felt his pain. I can’t wait til we sit face to face so I can listen.

This is where God’s sparkles are what drive everything in my world, whether I am noticing it or not.

The date he referred to is a TYPO on my part. I made a mistake. The month was supposed to be 11, not 2.

How bout that?  Where my heart and head are, I am like whoa!  A simple, effective example of how God works things out and how He connects us.

Through my mistake, my friend was touched and now we are reconnected. Amen. That is God’s grace and mercy in real-time.

I sent him a little message because it struck me joyfully.  One, I messed up and he still used it. He is not hovering over us condemning us for our mistakes. He showed me, love, through my mistake, and more importantly, He showed my friend love and grace. I was around my friends’ father a few times. Man did he have a Bright Light shining in him. I said to my friend, “I think your pops had some influence in this. He said God can you please make BURKE (my friend and his family call me BURKE) mess up so my boy can see that I am better than OK. I am with him still, along with you and we are carrying you through this storm.”

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

If you would like to enrich your soul, on your adventure to PEACE – don’t be shy. Read on friends.

Romans 7 15:20

What I am sharing here goes much deeper than a TYPO.

I think it’s a good story, because who canat wrilate to a typo?

Dave Burke

Bible Truths, Shared with Love with my friends as I continue to learn as a student of Jesus.

Like Paul says in Romans 

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

The student in me breaks things down like this:

V 15. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 

Ex. I do what I am not supposed to do, in fact I do things that I hate. I can get ramped up on politics which turns me into the opposite of who I am. 

V16. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 

Ex. Since I am aware of this, I agree with the command “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I want to obey this but it is really, really hard

V17. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

Ex. This struggle of mine to want to lash out and only fuel the flames IS NOT ME.  Whatever struggle you have IS NOT YOU.  We tend to make our identity in the struggle, not by choice as it chooses us. 

Remember this when you are weary my friend. You are so much more than your struggle.

V18. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 

Ex. This is good storytelling in two sentences. Our hearts are messy. There is a constant battle between good and evil going on. We can try within all of our power to NOT give in to the struggle and we still fail. His power overcomes it. This is why we need him.

We only want to do right and be free from it, but we can’t.  I write these words often, to myself. I need the reminder knowing this is what NORMAL is. There’s no perfection in being a Christian. I use the term lightly because I struggle to identify with that cookie-cutter version that is smeared and rightly so. I love Jesus and He is God, and there is where I find peace. Peace fuels joy. Joy is long-lasting, and happiness is fleeting.

V19. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

Ex. Paul purposely reiterates this. His words are just as true today as they were 2,000 years ago. I should tell you that Paul, St. Paul….. His name was Saul. His nickname was ‘THE BUTCHER’. He murdered many, many Christians. Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. At that moment, he became Paul and began sharing the Gospel. God uses everybody. Every person He uses in the Bible has afflictions, and struggles (Sin is the Bible’s word for all of these). He uses us in the midst of the deepest struggles. Look up, Paul.

V20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

Ex. For the third time, it is not US doing the wrong, it is the SIN within us. That is not who we are. Jesus came to set us free FROM that sin. It’s gone, man. Every single one from this day forward and everyone behind you. This does not mean easy sailing. Consequences are a part of it. Trusting in Him, we are to have no fear as He is with us. 

Friends – I have faced consequences for bad decisions. I am just as susceptible to making the same or worse decision today. We are all on the edge of disaster, as the next decision’s consequences could be catastrophic. I constantly pray to help me and those whom I have hurt through words and actions. I can’t stay in guilt or I could never help anyone else. I did that lifelong self-abuse. He has freed me from this. I know that is not me, it is the sin within me. It is not a cop-out. It is straight out of the Bible. I will keep following God asking for his guidance, wisdom, patience, and most of all endurance. My road has been long and weary and joyful. I have been able to pay it forward and will never tire of this. Lord keep me true to these words. I never want to tire of doing good, in Your Name. Amen.

Long and weary my road has been.

Chris Cornell, Audioslave: I am the Highway

Peace, Love, Empathy, Prayers

Dave

New Day – Persevere

Hello, my friends. After a week of walking through multiple storms, it’s appropriate for a heart pouring.

First I want to thank you all who have reached out to us, our family and friends as everyone is putting out their own fires. It speaks volumes when you run to help your friends (whom you may not know) and help them put out their fire too. Your rewards will be many.

Persevere and keep the faith. I am always trying to keep the faith, as I press on. Notice that word, Trying. Just like my youngest is always trying to reach something he shouldn’t. Constant pursuit.

I stress this because there are times when I am so far away from my faith, I fear I will lose it. Failure after failure, God remains the same and is always smiling when I turn back to Him. It’s a day-by-day pursuit, sometimes minute-to-minute, keeping His love and truth at the forefront. I rest in this.
If this is your heart – you’re crushing it!! If you desire to follow God and the words Jesus gave to us – you are going to make it. That little seed in your heart will continue to grow as you water it. Sometimes it gets dried up, but never perishes.

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!

Luke 17:6

That tiny seed is alive and growing as you are following Him, trusting and applying the goodness of his words and commands. A small amount of authentic faith in God is all you need. It will take root and grow. It starts on the inside and will begin showing its presence externally. How we carry ourselves, how we treat others, etc. The more you water it, the more roots take place and it will grow into a righteous tree. When you get discouraged and ignore this tree, the roots, trunk, and branches will remain and be ready to produce more vegetation and fruits. Or is it more mustard? 🙂

That tiny seed, in all its glory as the next storm approaches her.

There she is! Look at her. She is upright, strong, and perfectly IMPERFECT. Perfectly imperfect in her appearance, her structure, shape, number of branches, leaves, stems, bark patterns, ailments, and solitude. She is unique and PERFECT because God grew her this way. God does the same thing with us. It starts in the heart and as every storm comes, He uses the pelting of the hail to strengthen our faith. The storm passes and we are still standing. Growth in the struggle. Stronger for the next one.

In the storms, we lose heart, faith, and hope. Losing hope is the scariest thing, in my heart, for someone else to experience. Those feelings, ‘feel’ real. Feelings are the biggest deceiver within us.

You don’t have to believe anything I am sharing with you, but I know you can relate to this scenario:

All of us: “This is so sweet! OMG, I am having so much fun, I want this to last forever…” Then we woke up the next day. Instant regret sets in and once again, we are stuck in the identity of our failings.

Feelings Lie Period.

This is Grace: we have our seed. The seed will never leave. There will be no denying if you have the seed. I have, with all of my weak-ass power, tried to dry that little thing out so many times. I wanted to cut it out and stomp on it. I turned my back on God, unplugged from my fellow bros and sis’ in Him, and stopped reading the Word. The funny thing was I never stopped praying because I couldn’t. I would catch myself even saying this is BS and I am speaking to the wind. This is my heart man… It can be brutal in there. I want to do the right thing, but I fall short. WE ALL DO.

Check out these words of wisdom from our friend Paul, once again:

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:22-24 *Romans is my favorite book after Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

I will attempt to simplify but will probably use more words. I’m a simp and a wanna-be-better-story-teller-kind-of-guy, what can I say?
We as humans are sinners from birth. It sounds harsh but we need to get over it. It’s true. We don’t know Jack, and we still don’t. I see this in my little boy and have in all of my children. They are devious haha! It’s amazing and incredible. We are hovering and protecting and loving unconditionally. This is exactly How He Loves Us. Read the words – He loves us. He doesn’t condemn us, He loves us.

I think He has been beating me over the head with this idea of How He Loves Us, through the use of children. I mean my children span the ages of 21 months to 27 years.

“I get it now God, if you could please chill on the fathering department, that would be great! I love you either way though!”

Dave Burke 2/22/2022

When your child makes a mistake, do you stop loving and caring for them? I hope not. Do you scold them over and over, thinking that is going to change them? It won’t. When they are hurting themselves are you enabling it? Check yo self. Your heart is thyself. I just made that up, but you get the point.

We love and want to cultivate change within our children. We want them to have clean hearts, so they can be loving toward themselves and others. That’s what we do. It’s the hardest and most rewarding work I have done.

There is nothing that could separate me from the love I have for my children. There is nothing they could do, which would cause me to stop loving them. Not a chance in Hell. I think of the phrase ‘Get Behind Me Satan’ which is the title of a White Stripes record. The title, penned by Jack White, is a reference to Matthew 16:23.

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Matthew 16:23

I love that I get to tie Jack White, the White Stripes and the Words of Jesus in a few sentences.

DB ADHD sparkle:

I don’t know Jack personally, but I have watched him and enjoyed his talents for 20 years. He seems to me, to have a serving heart. He’s bold and makes no bones about it. He’s a warrior. Watch his story sometime hiss early years to today. No one works like Jack. He’s on a mission and he is equipped. The way he has helped the music industry and helped bring so much talent to the forefront. Now he’s married to another gifted artist, Olivia Jean. Check them out! They both inspire me beyond words.

Back to it – “But wait, didn’t he just go off on Instagram yesterday about Elon Musk and Donald Trump?” Yes he did. His heart is hurting. He sees hurting people just like you and me. He has the right to let it rip! and so do we. His heart looks to protect people. It’s a gray area, this world. Our leaders of this country are deceiving and dividing us. Let’s forgive Jack whether we agree or disagree. Let’s forgive all because we all are being lied to. It’s a freight train of attacks, to detract from horrible things they do not want us to see or know.

DB ADHD sparkle:
Where is the outrage for not sharing Jeffery Epstein’s black book and the trial of his madam? The many red flags going on about child trafficking. I think this is a better focus. Help the children being trafficked, helping the kids shooting each other. It’s a heart issue.

I am reeling this back in. Our hearts when intended for good, growing from that seed of faith in Jesus Christ, KNOW that you are promised eternity. We all fall short of friends. While we were still sinners, He died for us. When we believe in Him God looks down at us and SEES Jesus. He is not focusing on our faults and condemning us. He is focused on our hearts. He knows what is good for us and He loves when we are doing His work.

That’s Romans 3:22-24 in the words of Dave Burke. Been praying the whole time, so He provided them. I’d still be talking about Jack White and getting angry about the lies we are being fed.

Love to you all. Love someone today.

Dave

Episode 0102 – Suffering

Good Morning! Welcome to Episode 02 of the Forgetting David Podcast.

I am continuing this new adventure of seeking truth, relating, and sharing as I go. I am a student and always will be. Having a microphone is not something I take lightly. If I want to start conversations I have to reveal who I am, to anyone willing to listen. In our culture of canceling people we disagree with, the norm seems to Jump on the Shame Train and tear others down. Do what everyone else does, right?!

That life isn’t for me. I have fallen into it before and it feels like crap to me. Life is hard enough my friends. We all suffer and see suffering, if we look.

This past week, my family and others within our circle, were struck with suffering. Three unexpected deaths in a week. Ages 29, 54, 75. No warnings, no signs. Taken from here and loved ones left with their hands up.

Suffering can swoop in and take you off of your perch. It’s not fun, but it is part of our life here. Jesus says, we will experience suffering while we are here. He gives his followers, the Holy Spirit to help them through these times. Even though I know this, I haven’t tapped into it throughout my sufferings. I am now and I can assure you it is different. There is still pain and suffering, but a peace that comes with it, when you lean into His love and promises.

Suffering doesn’t just show up as an unexpected death. I think most of us have an internal suffering, that is constant. Nothing really seems to take the pain away.

In this episode I share about the suffering around us as well the suffering from within. I hope you join me on this journey of searching for truth, applying the learning and sharing with others.

I love you all!

Dave

Transformation: Renewing Your Mind.

Happy Monday folks! How’s your head today? I am hoping you don’t have a case of the Mondays.

‘Office Space’ – if you haven’t seen it, I recommend highly!

If you have a case of the Mondays or not, it’s a great day to renew your mind bit.

I mentioned in the first podcast, how I spent so much time living in the ‘hurt’ instead of being present.

My definition of the hurt: I created my own self-image, which wasn’t healthy. Focusing on my negatives and weaknesses, rather than living in my strengths.

I come from Love, baby! I have wonderful loving parents, who love me still. I am blessed to have an amazing step father and step mother to boot. God was very good in setting my parents up with there forever partner, after their divorce. Divorce is sad and it has consequences, however there can be beautiful restoration if you are open to it. All 4 of my parents have taught me so much, and built amazing traits into my character. They have loved me hard, always there for me when I reach out.

As a kid, I made the mistake of holding things in. I knew at a young age, I was different than any boy I had ever met. I had a softer demeanor than they did. We shared our curiosity and adventurous spirits, but there was a toughness about some of the other boys I did not have. This made me feel shame. No one told me to be ashamed. I didn’t realize until decades later, that my view of myself was ‘not enough’ from a young age. This was my own doing. Coming from the home life I had there was nothing, I mean zippo – that influenced this identity within me. I didn’t know what was up with me. I couldn’t have talked to my parents or sister about it, because I didn’t know what to say.

My older sister, Amy and me, had the best of times in our first house on Songo street. I remember her and I plotting to annoy our mom and it worked! hahaha When the three of us chat about those times now, it brings back so much fun! I remember the house well and I how I felt in there. I was safe.

I was safe and sensitive. I was sensitive but I definitely loved girls. Although shy, I was a flirt. I wanted to be something I wasn’t, a hard ass. I was influenced by the neighborhood bully and his little sidekick brother. These dudes came around and started throwing around language that I had never heard before. These guys were bad assess and they were taking names. I was terrified and in awe. How can I be like that? Well, when you are raised to LOVE others, that’s where you operate from. That was me.

As I grew older, I eventually had to fight to defend myself from bully’s. I would throw a few quick punches, feeling terrible about what I am doing, then go into defensive mode and protect myself. I wanted to get it over with. There were a few times I agreed to go toe to toe with a kid, and as soon as I caused him to bleed I was done. I was out, I couldn’t stand that I was hurting someone.

I have a fighting spirit, but love drives this fight. When my fighting spirit comes from anger/hate I harm myself more than others.

I am glad those days are over! haha. No more fist-fighting for me. The only way that is going to happen is if there is an immediate threat to me or my flock. Then look out. That fighting spirit from love is gonna bite ya back hard.

Most of my discontentment came from not ‘being enough’. When you tell yourself this lie long enough, it becomes your identity. It did for me anyway. Discontentment breeds fear and fear leads to control. You hold on too tightly and things break, mainly you are breaking and probably hurting those around you.

The only thing we have control over is how we respond to things.

My problem goes back to this principle quoted here. I’m responsible for my life. It is my response, which is important. When faced with a few tragedies, my response was not healthy. I blamed myself for the tragedies. This just added confirmation that I was bad and not good enough.

I don’t do this anymore. That is behind me. I am in a good place mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I am experiencing peace, genuine peace for the first time. The rush is gone, it’s now calm, intentional steps. What a relief.

How can we renew our mind?

There is good news. The Bible, ya know the best selling book of all time, is filled with all kinds of Life Giving Principles. If you never decide to believe in God, I believe you can appreciate the principles and probably apply most of them in your life. He designed us, in His image.

If you’re ready for a mind renewal, I invite you to read one chapter of a book, in the library of the Bible. Romans chapter 12 provides a wealth of information to help you through the process. It’s a great place to start, whether you believe or not.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We are all God’s children. He has good and perfect plans for each of us. He wants to transform us, by renewing our minds, living to honor and obey him. The word ‘Obedience’ gives most people the heeby geebies. No one likes or wants to be told to OBEY. Our initial reaction is to flee and rebel. Why do you think there is so much rebellion against God. Obedience get’s thrown around like wranglers rope. It snags people and they are kicking and flailing, to get out of the grip.

This isn’t the obedience God intends for us. He doesn’t want us miserable and wondering aimlessly. No, He Loves us. He created us for his pleasure. He wants us to be close to him. He knows what is best for us. He wants our obedience because He loves us and we become obedient out of this love. We start living this way and things begin to change. If we love our god and others (even our enemies), we can’t help but change for the better.

He gave us His son Jesus, so we can have this new life he promised. This may be hard to understand. I pray this place will help you and me work through this together.

This a place to move the ball forward. If I say something here that hurts people, I am missing the mission. I am here to lift up, not tear down. He is lifting me up out of the sludge and He can do the same for you.

Love you all.

Dave

The Forgetting David Podcast

Hi! I’m Dave Burke. Welcome to the Forgetting David Podcast.

I am The David in the title. This episode is an introduction to the meaning and purpose behind Forgetting David

In short, I want to live a good life and care for those I love. I do have this and strive to live this way. Something had been missing for the most part. When setting down the path I think is good, I end up stumbling and fumbling. Living from a place of fear and doubt instead of love and peace. Love and Peace comes from Faith. 

This year,2022, I turned 50 and many unexpected speed bumps began to arise. This eventually turned into broken roads that I could not longer maneuver and something had to change. 

I remembered something from when I was 12 years old and always have carried it with me. This thing, I carried, made me feel good but uneasy, sure but doubtful, courageous and scared. All opposites! These things working together all the time. It’s how we respond to them that makes a difference. This is where I needed most help. Responding well to things I do not know, understand or fear. I also needed better intention behind my decision making.

A change started in me this year. I am still perfectly-imperfect, but changing for the better daily. As I seek answers and truth my identity and purpose are beginning to take shape! Each path I have taken has been my choice. What we want (or think we want) may not always be what we need.  

I hope you join me on this journey and share in the process of reaching out to help our brothers and sisters that are feeling stuck, unsure, afraid, angry, bitter or lost. We can be the solution together.

Learning to Love Yourself

Audio version of this post. It is better I think haha. Enjoy!

Learning to love yourself is radical. If you don’t love yourself in a healthy way, you won’t be able to love your neighbor as yourself – authentically. Youre probably good to your neighbor now. (neighbor = is anyone that is not you). This changed things for me.

Are you as kind to yourself as you are to others?

I have not been so kind to myself. I never have been. This is changing by the day and it is a good feeling.

After hitting a rock bottom (for me) earlier this year, I reached up and asked Jesus to pick me up. I knew about Jesus, but I didn’t KNOW Him.

My Dad introduced me to Jesus when I was 12. I heard the Good News many times. I have shared it many times. I didn’t live it. I lived pieces that appealed to me but wasn’t living the core of the Gospel (Love the Lord your God, Love your Neighbor as yourself). I had weighed myself down with so much, in the name of fear and control. I couldn’t handle all of the responsibility I placed. I was also becoming cynical and critical of most everything. I was a problem adding to a bigger problem within our culture. It didn’t feel right, but I wasn’t doing anything to change it.

In my lifetime, I have never seen so much self hatred, pain and ugliness on display.

Have you? When feeding your eyes and ears to all the negativity, it sucks you in. Before you know it, you have become the very thing you hated.

It may not even be obvious to you. You have to be honest with yourself and ask:

● How am I doing?
● How’s my heart?
● Am I living out my purpose?
● Do I even know what my purpose is?

At my low point, these questions overwhelmed me. I hadn’t take time to reflect for too long. I was in constant rush and go mode. As I began to examine myself, I knew I was lost again. I’d become a lone wolf. In reality, I was a lone sheep. Sputtering along, letting fear guide my decisions, and fumbling all over myself. In my state of being now, I can see Jesus laughing (lovingly of course) at me through these times, while he is walking beside me. He gets a kick out of my “control freak” demeanor. It amuses Him as I carry heavy things and then add more, thinking I can handle it. He’s like, “I see you, haha go ahead, I’ll be here when you’re ready”, shaking his head and smiling at me.

There was a weekend this past April, that made this all crystal clear. I have been the nemesis in my life. I am responsible for where I am today. This is on no one else. I had fallen back into the hurt little kid I’ve carried inside for 50 years. The difference this time, is my heart,head and gut are all aligned.

I have to stop trying to control each aspect of my life.

I’m married, with 4/5 children living at home. I am the sole protector and provider. I want the best for them and live like it is on me to make it happen. This has worn me down. Well-intentioned, maybe even noble, but misguided. I was doing the heavy lifting thinking Jesus was there for moral support. I didn’t understand Him as the helper.

I am learning it’s not my responsibility to do and know everything.

I only have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. It’s working, things are changing. I am still doing the work I feel necessary to be the best I can for my family, but I no longer worry about the ‘results’. I hand that part over to Jesus, because this is all he asks of us. I am learning about Jesus as a man. I believe He is the Son of Man, as he says. He says He is the way, truth and the life. I choose to believe. His principles are valuable and He wants us close to him, doing things to bring praise to His name.

He says, ‘Follow Me. Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given to you.’

I’d heard these words a bazillion times in my life. I have been in and out of churches since I can remember. Long stretches in, longer stretches out. I understood the words in my head, however, my heart never was in it. I also felt like a hypocrite sharing the Gospel of Jesus, while I felt I was a mess.

I let religion and people get in the way of the most important element of the Christian faith: Jesus. Jesus needs to be the center, the core. Everything else can get noisy and distract you from the Truth.

Remember Jesus First, Religion after.

If a religious leader, person, or guidelines put the heavy lifting on you, it is time to reprioritize. A good church community is awesome. When rooted in the Gospel, the feel is different. There is no perfect church though. Take it from me, as soon as I walk into one, it is dirty, because I am not perfect. Churches are for the imperfect, thankfully. Jesus came for the sick.

After the April weekend(a religious men’s weekend focused on Jesus Christ), I decided it was time to relearn about Jesus. I hadn’t taken it upon myself to do the research and find out Who Jesus is. I read books, and some bible, and listened to pastors, podcasts, and family/friends. I didn’t approach it from an utterly helpless place like I needed to.

I assumed I accepted Jesus, He is in my heart and I am saved. This was and is true. I wasn’t living in His peace and grace and strength.

I had ignored the signs, the trip-ups, the conflicts, the constant anxiety, and the rush. The problems were the focus and it was up to me to fix everything. I took pride in my ability to be a fighter and want to do the right thing. I was falling all over myself. All the while He has been beside me, carrying me mostly.

I am sharing with you because deep down there is a hole in my heart. I recognize this and admit it. I’ve tried to fill it with every good and bad thing this world has to offer. Nothing has come close to filling it.

He was waiting for me to turn to Him and say, Ok I give up. I surrender. That word surrender, scary.. Yikes… I had no choice.

There were serious things going on in my life and all around me. I knew I couldn’t control any outcomes. The chaos in the world was sucking me in because I was letting it. I was feeding myself everything negative.

You are what you eat. That doesn’t mean just what goes in your mouth. It’s through your eyes and ears too. Feed yourself negativity, you become it. Feed yourself positivity you become it. Neither is sustainable for a healthy life. Pretending to be positive when inside you are miserable, shows. Those that love you will let you know. If you’re like me, I go deaf when I hear this from those loved ones.

Now, I am listening better and my patience is growing.

Learning to love yourself is imperative. It is for you, your family, and everyone you have the ability to encounter. I have not loved myself. I stayed in the hurt, pain, shame, and guilt. For comfort, I’d turn to booze. Booze provided temporary relief, only to make things worse later. Alcohol became a demon that would take my mind to dark places. It kept me as a prisoner of pain. Once the party ended I would be alone with my own thoughts. It was not a healthy place for me. I prayed for God to quench that thirst. He has. It is no longer my go-to pain reliever. We don’t keep it in the house. When we are out I can have one, or two at most and enjoy our time.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not love myself. Confidence evaded me. Never feeling like I ‘fit in’ even as an adult. I had no beacon that I was aiming for, no plan. I am still not much of a planner and never will be. I have ADHD so that is not gonna work for me haha

I am thankful for that weekend in April. It was a new beginning. I continue to strive each waking day, for a new beginning. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow I may not be here. I want to focus on being present. Here now doing the work I was designed to do. It’s these words I share. I have always wanted to help others. I have in different ways, but nothing felt like a good fit. Since deciding to learn about Jesus as the Son of Man, things are changing. My heart is changing. He has been in there since I asked Him to be when I was 12 years old. Instead of focusing on all of the struggles in my heart, I am focused on learning His ways. At 50 I cannot think of anything more important than to plant seeds for Jesus. I want to help grow His Kingdom. He has given me many stories to share glimpses into his promises.

If you are reading this, I encourage you to think a little about yourself and where you are. What about that heart of yours? I have always been interested in the heart. It’s an amazing instrument inside us capable of beautiful and horrible things. If you have any doubts about yourself, believe me, God knows you. He sees you and He is waiting for you to accept His invitation to follow Him.

Jesus doesn’t say “You have to do this before you follow me. You have to change this about yourself before you can follow me.” He just says ‘Follow Me’. In other words, come as you are, you are one of my sheep and I am your Shepard. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am here always and forever.

There is nothing else in the world that promises this. Lots of false prophets and doctrines out there. The lure of religion attracts many. Jesus was a humble carpenter. He was born out of poverty. Coming into the world, naked like the rest of us. He loves His people and wanted to be below everyone so He could serve them through love. The love in your heart comes from God. He wants us to follow Him, to help Him plant seeds and grow His Kingdom.

I feel a draw to share stories of hope and healing, because our world needs it. We all deserve to be restored. Restoration of our mind, bodies and souls. I have spent most of my life reliving the hurt I have dealt to others, hurt I’ve received and traumatic experiences.

This is NOT what He wants for me and you.

He does the changing, we cannot do ourselves. If you Follow Him, you will change. It’s a guarantee. He didn’t come to condemn you in your sins (struggles). He came to save you FROM them. Some of those struggles may never completely vanish. He promises as we follow Him, He helps us with our struggles. He only wants us to be Free in Him.

If you’ve never considered this, and you are intrigued, we can say a simple prayer together:
Dear Jesus, Thank you for your message. I know and accept I am broken inside. Though I have good intentions, I cannot keep up and am not content. I accept your invitation to follow you and ask you to be with me in my heart. I pray that you start showing me who you are, through my life. Amen.

Have a great week!