Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “encourage”

Peel that Onion Please

This morning I had some great girl time with my baby girl.  She was telling me all about her yesterday.  She met up with her “BFF” at church where they served together on the last day of VBS.  Afterwards, she went to her house where they swam, ate dinner, went shopping and ended the day at a yogurt shop.  She was showing me pictures and showing off her latest “BFF” gear.  How many BFF’s does a girl have, I wondered.  I asked her what her other “BFF” would think when she saw her pictures on Instagram.  “She’ll know how I feel when I see her pictures with ‘Roni.'”  My mommy ears perked up and I asked her if it hurt her to see those pictures.  She said no and was adamant about it not hurting.  Were you at least tweaked?  Pinched?  Bothered at all by it?  Nope, she said as her eyes welled up with tears.  Oy!!  I’m needing some quick wisdom here.  Do I impose MY belief on her that I do not believe in best friends?  Do I break it to her that your best friend usually has a best friend besides you and chances are great that your best friend has shared a tidbit or two about you?…that’s what best friends do!  I was on a quest for an answer before I broke it down to her.  I switched roles with her and asked her to teach me.  Show me how one can have so many “best friends” without there being a conflict.  She named her besties and it would appear that they are separated by category.  There’s the school BFF; the neighborhood BFF and the church BFF.  What happens, I ask, when you have a party and they all come?  Who’s your BFF then, huh?  She looks at me all puzzled, like I’m the one who is confused.  I’m thinking I may be overthinking this BFF thing, so I’m thinking I should stay in my lane and instead address those tears I saw in my girl’s eyes.

Well, that exchange prompted a discussion regarding emotions and the reality that we have ’em, but they shouldn’t have us.  They shouldn’t change us, paralyze us, debilitate us.  I encouraged her to acknowledge her emotions so that she could avoid the tendency to cover, conceal, deny them, which would invariably give them power over her.  I told her not to be ashamed to be vulnerable with someone she could trust; someone who won’t judge her (LIKE ME—CHOOSE ME); someone who could be her soft place; someone who will encourage her; listen to her; pray for her; hold her and tell her it’s gonna be better.  With that she snuggled next to me and put her head on my lap.  I brushed her hair back and did just that.  Instead of breaking it down to her (my BFF theory) I told her about my onion theory.  I explained that an onion consisted of many layers and  peeling those layers back makes you cry…it’s uncomfortable, messy and rather annoying, but it’s necessary.  I told her how people have a tendency to cover their hurt…to never address their issues.  Instead they add layer after layer thinking that if they cover the hurt and not address it, it will go away.  It never goes away, though.  We just create onions and the peeling away of those layers make you cry, is uncomfortable, messy, rather annoying, but necessary.  “I don’t want you creating onions, Mariah.  Address your emotions, acknowledge them and heal.  Don’t bury them…disable them!”

We were interrupted by my husband who reminded her that her BFF would be by to scoop her up for day two of BFF time.  She sat up and gave me a kiss.  I walked into her room a short time later and as she was tying her shoes, she looked up at me and said, “thanks for loving me, mom.”

Should I have shared my BFF theory?   No, she’ll either see it my way or prove me wrong.  I’m hoping and praying for the latter!

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What if

What if the world were as friendly as the bloggers’ world I find myself in?  What would something like that look like?  A place where we’d honor one another with gifts and surprises that cost us nothing but time and reflection.  A place where we’d “like” each other for a change.  A place where we would be able to speak from our hearts our hurts and our stresses without fear of judgement, for those who would be of the judgement sort would just hear and not reply and leave us untouched…unphased.  What would our world look like if we would encourage each other, celebrate each other, pray for each other, spur one another to greatness?   What if there were no strangers, everyone was welcomed, supported.  What if the world were as friendly…<sigh>

My Friend Ruth

I was blessed with an opportunity to teach at our church’s school of ministry on the subject of prayer, one of my favorite subjects ever!

Pause for a bunny trail…you know if you ever wonder what your strength is or what your calling is, take a look at your book shelf for a hint.  If you were to take a peek at mine, you’d see mostly books on prayer.  I love prayer…I see my prayers…I see myself in the throne room; I see myself seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.  I love prayer…I’ll probably touch that subject another time…back on track now.

Towards the end of the class I was sharing about prayer hindrances, unforgiveness being one such hindrance.  I told a story of a friend who had called me for prayer.  I knew that she and another friend of ours were involved in a scrape of some sort and I listened as she shared her prayer request, noticing that it was something that she had been anguishing over for some time.  I told her to get her bible and turn to Mark 11:23-24 “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  She was squealing with delight as she read these scriptures aloud and I could hear her highlighter screeching across the page.  I then asked her to read the next verse...”And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  “Hello, hello, are you still there?”  <silence>.  Exactly!!!  I shared with the class that I didn’t know if she ever “got it.”  She claimed she and our friend had settled their differences…I knew they hadn’t at the time.  I encouraged my class to pursue peace, seek forgiveness early…release in order to receive.

After class, there were people who stayed behind for prayer mostly and I noticed a woman in her seat watching me.  She got up from her seat when everyone else had left and asked me if she could speak to me.  She told me her name was Ruth.  She was a petite woman and I towered over her in my heels and my instinct was to remove my heels to come down a little closer to her.  She was crying as she asked me to forgive her.  Huh?  I asked her whether we knew each other.  No, she said, but I have talked about you, I’ve said mean things about you.  I was a bit surprised.  This was a first for me.  “Have we met?  Have I been mean to you?”  She said, “No, you asked me to move over a seat in church.”  I asked her if I was rude and she said I was not and she realized it was her…all her.  I just melted as I listened to her ask for forgiveness as she tried to make sense out of something so senseless.  We embraced and I took her hands and we prayed and of course I released her.  That took some boldness.  Ruth is my hero!!  I have made it a point to look for her at church to squeeze her.  Ruth has become one of my greatest encouragers.  She has no idea, unless she reads this, that the Lord used her in a mighty way to encourage me.  She had grown accustomed to seeing me in a particular seat during a particular service.  She had not seen me and reached out on more than one occasion to encourage me and to reiterate how much she missed seeing me in my normal spot.  She was looking for me…she was missing me.  I’ll not forget that!  Thank you Ruth, mi hermana!!  Te quiero mucho!!! ❤

And when you least expect it, you find yourself forgiving someone for something only they were being tormented over; and when you least expect it, you release and encourage a new friend; and when you least expect it your new friend becomes one of your biggest blessings.

Forgiveness….necessary…empowering…strengthening…healing…building.

“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” James 5:16 The Message Bible

“Be…quick to forgive an offense.  Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 The Message Bible

Me and my friend and sister, Ruth

Me and my friend and sister, Ruth

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