Would God break your leg in order to keep you from wandering?

I know this title sounds crazy, but there is a certain myth that has been around for decades about a shepherd and his lost sheep. One day a sheep goes out on its own and gets lost. The shepherd goes out and leaves the whole herd behind to find this one lost sheep. When the shepherd finally finds the lost sheep, he breaks one of its legs to keep it from wandering again. With its leg broke the sheep then becomes dependent on the shepherd and a bond forms; therefore, it never wanders again. In the end of the story an analogy is formed and the comparison in the Bible of us being the sheep and God being the Shepherd comes to life through this story. Yet, is this biblical?

Most everyone knows that I live on a farm. On our farm we have acquired several sheep over the last few years. I love them! I love not only their disposition, the cute babies, and how easy they are to handle, but I love the real-life perspective of how God looks at us as sheep. It brings it front and center. There is not a day that goes by, that I do not look at those sheep and see Gods word brought to life. One day recently we had a momma sheep become paralyzed after giving birth to twins. It started out very slowly and progressed over time. I must tell you we tried everything we knew to help her and to no avail she never recovered but grew steadily worse. In the end it was a neurological disorder that was beyond any human control. Yesterday, we laid her to rest and these two babies are left orphaned. As we struggled day after day to move this momma around and helped her with her lameness this story kept coming to mind. The logic that would make sense in the story was not true in real life. Moving this momma around and trying to form a bond and help her was far from the truth. Instead, she became more stressed, less responsive, and looked at us out of fear. We were not a safe place for her to heal, but a daily reminder that she was in dire circumstances. Could you imagine how she would react to us if we personally had broken one of her legs. The more I thought about this story, the more it did not make any sense. Why would a shepherd break a leg of their sheep to get their submission, when there are other ways to do so. Better yet, why would God do this to one of his sheep when there are other more loving ways. Does it truly work, or does it take away our free choice to decide who we want to follow?

More question kept coming since we laid that sweet momma to rest. I picked up my bible to search for truth, and the truth is there in nothing in that Bible that indicates and speaks of any such shepherd’s behavior. Here is what I found.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isa 40:11

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. Eze 34:12

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. John 10:14

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1John 4:16

These verses paint a beautiful picture of a shepherd that searches for his sheep, wraps them in loving arms, and gently leads. There is nothing to indicate he would purposely hurt one in order to get them to submit, but showers His abundant love over them and their lives so they cannot deny what he has done for them! This is the Shepherd who leads us and this is the Shepherd that we can put our trust and faith in. So, will God break our legs to keep us from wandering? No, God will shower his love on us so we can truly know who he is and know him for who he truly is! God is love!


Do List make you anxious?

List are a great way to help keep you focused and organized, but there is also a way that list can make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, a failure, and down right contrary when you can’t get it all done. So here is my tip for today. Instead of making a list of things to do, make a list of options I want to do instead.

*For meal options make a list that you can go to and choose something to make, instead of what you have to make. That way when you are having a rough day, or don’t have time, you can go to your list and make an easier choice that lines up with your day. (I find this helpful too if you have a family of picky eaters, make a list that everyone likes or agrees on. It takes the stress off of you worrying about how they are gonna react to what’s placed in front of them, because they always do. lol.) This also helps when making a grocery list!

*Exercise time, make a list of warmups, stretching, strengthening, and cool downs for each part of your body you want to work out and alternated them from day to day . Then when you have time, you wont have to figure out what to do, and even follow the same mundane routine every time, that is boring and leaves you feeling like its a chore. Pick a body area, pick one warmup, 2 stretching, and 3 strengthening, and 1 cool down and your done for the day! If you run out of time or skip a day, then don’t stress. Any exercise is better than none!

*Task for the day- my task list always includes every thing from house work to yard work, church stuff, family needs. Its so long an the pressure to get it all done leaved me feeling defeated before I even get started. Instead of making a huge list that needs to get done. Just write down 3 things that are most urgent and work on just those for the day. If 3 is too much, then just pick 1. One day at a time, 1 thing at a time. You can also include your self care stuff to that list like making the bed, exercising, go for a walk, sit still for 20 minutes. What ever you need for the day to help you get through. Before you know it you will sit down that night with some important things done, a sense of accomplishment, and some endorphins from being productive without the pressure of it all.

*Lastly- make a checkmark, (not a slash mark in case you need to continue to use the list), next to what you get done for the day. Just checking the box of completed tasks gives us a sense of victory and this is needed for our mental health. We need to feel as we are moving forward and not stuck. It is also great to look back over a couple weeks and see all the check marks and the progress you have made.

Life is so busy and at times we feel as though we are being pulled in so many directions with no help in sight. I have found these list of options when I get overwhelmed helps me to focus, gives me options when my mind cant concentrate, and takes the burden off of the pressure to get it all done now. It also takes away the burden of adding more to my plate by having to come up with ideas on the spot! I hate doing this and I get overwhelmed so easy.

So when you are at peace and you have time, sit down and make your option list and post it inside a cupboard, beside your computer, on your basket of exercise bands and weights. Not all in one place, but in a home where they belong.

Other list that you may need, or better serve you.

*Bible Study Time
*Mental Health care- come out of the bedroom for 1 hour, wash your hair, get dressed, make the bed, wash one load of laundry etc. *Errands (only 1 or 2 whenever you go out)
*You time

One more thing, perspective is how we see and view things. Its is also 90% of our feelings of success from day to day. So with these options of things we want to get done, instead of list of things to do. Change your perspective on how you see them. These list are a help, not a pressure. I don’t have to get everything done today. Its okay to do things on my time without pressure. These are options, not demands! Just a change in perspective alone can make the day seem a whole lot brighter!

God says I am accepted…

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 2 Corinthians 8:12

Strongs Definition – to grace, i.e., indue with special honor: —make accepted, be highly favored.

Acceptance is not only crucial, but one of the most important things a person needs in their life. Acceptance gives an individual confidence, power, and a good dose of self-esteem. I personally have struggled on many occasions with craving acceptance. Not just to be apart of something, but on a personal level to feel wanted. Those who accept us want us in their life. Accepted with all our quirkiness, our flaws, our weirdness, our truths, our mistakes, our failures, and in the state they have found us in. With no strings attached. God is no different.

God not only wants us to accept Him as he is, but He accepts us just as we are.  I always thought that I needed to change before God would love and accept me. That accepting God meant quick and drastic change in my personality, and deep shame and regret in my past. This is not true. God accepts us, our sinful nature, our past, our future. We are indued with a special honor in His sight regardless of what our lives have beheld. “Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8We are not just accepted as we are, but also highly favored. We are not at the bottom of the pecking order, but we are at the top. The highest of the high. Beloved, cherished, set on high, and accepted just as we are! What a relief. Today I don’t have to make amends, try to erase all by bad with good deeds. Today I can just be me, take life one day at a time, grow in the knowledge of God one day at a time. And be loved and accepted for just being me!!!

I feel like I need to add a little something else. Being accepted by God also gives us permission to accept ourselves as we are. Whether we are skinny or overweight. Dirty or clean. Weak or Strong. Happy or sad. Struggling or in perfect peace. Feel beautiful or ugly. Have a job or don’t. Have money or poor. Have a clean house or messy. God accepts us just as we are. In that peace we can also do the same for ourselves. Put all these thoughts away, and find joy and peace in knowing there is nothing for you to do, but rest in His love and acceptance of who you are! You are precious to Him, so treat yourself like you are!!

God says I am Loved…

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Most everyone knows John 3:16 and can quote is by heart. Today I want to not just know it by heart, but know it TO HEART. There is definitely a difference than “by heart” and “to heart”. “By heart” means that we can repeat it and have it in our memory. “To heart” means that we have taken it to our heart the true meaning of this verse and it brings us immeasurable comfort, joy, and peace.

I asked a group of teenage girl’s what love means to them. The list included, kindness, caring, forgiveness, gentleness. They said it was a feeling, an emotion, that we have towards another person. When we started digging deeper into our emotions, we realized that our emotions change constantly all day long. Our emotions are so sporadic and scattered that we cannot rely on them to carry out the necessary task of loving someone. So rather than love being just an emotion, we realized love is a choice. It is something we choose to do. We make a conscious effort to accept another person for who they are and treat them based on our choice to do so and not through the emotions that we have in their presence.

God’s love for us is a choice. God doesn’t love us on a whim or whatever good or bad thing we have done that day for him. God chooses to love us every day whether we are in sin or not. God sent his only son to pay for our sins. This required his son to experience fear, anxiety, pain, loneliness, betrayal, bullying, embarrassment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. Jesus went through all of this to pay the cost for our sinful nature we are born into. Our sin, His sacrifice.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans 5:8-9

Even when we were sinners, God chose to love us. Commendeth means to take a stand; to exhibit favour. He took a stand and showed the whole universe just how much he loved us! Not on a whim of emotion that will change with the passing of time, but as a choice that is constant and never changing. He took a stand for us, and sent his son to take our place for punishment. That is how much he loves us!

We are not a whim in Gods eyes. God chooses to love us every day, without fail, and within our sin. We can’t say that of ourselves. Someone hurts us, or makes us upset and we take our love from them and move on. God just keeps coming back over and over to prove his love for us!

One last thought for you to think about this week. God chose you just as you are, covered in sin, covered in shame, covered in regret. The person you are that is broken, confused, hurting, not worthy, arrogant, proud, and maybe even hard hearted. God chooses every day to love you!! Not for what you have done, but simply for who you are! You are his creation, his reason for existence, his joy, his sorrow, his pain, his victory, his peace, his adoration. You are all these things to Him and if he had to do everything over again, he would still choose this path of creation and sacrifice! He would still choose you!

God says I am Blessed

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Ephesians 1:3

In the verse we see blessed mentions 3 times. The first is talking about God who is blessed. This definition of blessed in the Greek means adorable. It is saying God the Father is adorable. I think of a baby kitten and how adorable and easy to love a baby kitten. The definition of this first blessed is saying God the Father is also that easy to love. To picture God as an adorable kitten, so to speak, and how easy he is to love when we get to know him better and spend time with him. The second blessed is talking about how God has blessed us! This definition in the Greek language means to speak well of. Also, the word blessings mean to speak in elegance with reverential adoration. God is not also adorable, but he thinks we are! He talks about us and sees us with adoration, love, respect, and high esteem. He doesn’t go around heaven pointing out every mistake we make or talking about what we have done or what sins we have committed. God is the giver of blessing who talks about us in heaven as if we are precious to him and deserving of acknowledgement.

God who is easy to love, love us in return and speaks about us with great esteem. So right now, I want you to think of someone who you love and adore. This could be anyone. This person would definitely love you in return. Think about that love and adoration you have for each other and now apply that to God times 10! That is how much he loves and adores you!!

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the gift of another day, I thank you for the adoration you bestow upon me, even when I feel as though I am not worthy or deserving. I pray Dear Lord that I will continue to remember when life gets hard and I make mistakes that you still love and adore me as no one else can! I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.

Want to know how to find out the Greek/Hebrew definition to bible words on your own. Check out this app link below for android. There is also one for apple users as well, just go to your apple store and search Bible with Strong’s or Strong’s Bible Concordance.


God’s Gifts During Struggle

Struggle, struggle, struggle. I am beginning to think this is my middle name. Not only am I struggling to feel joy, but I am struggling to come up with anything to write about. I just don’t feel the spirit leading me in that way. I also think I have so much going-on I am definitely compartmentalizing my mind and my activities. Market days are ahead and I am low on inventory. Low is actually an understatement. I don’t have anything! Trying to work around sickness, church, family time, family members with covid, and more personal sickness. To me, household chores are consuming enough. Then you add on a craft business and wham! I am thinking, “What are you doing?” Not to mention my book and my blog, and another book sitting in the files of the computer waiting for attention and the holy spirit to guide me forward. In the midst of all this I feel overwhelmed, I feel pressure, I feel a need to perform at my best. The one thing I am trying to concentrate on instead is gratefulness.

I am so blessed beyond what I deserve, but I am constantly getting overwhelmed and lost in the sickness and pressures of life. Everyday I never know what to expect, and this expectation scares me. Will I be hurting today, or sick to my stomach? Will I be depressed and not motivated, or anxious and can’t sit still? These are just a couple examples of the questions I constantly roll over in my mind as I open my eyes to face the day. Every day, I try to push them aside and concentrate on the blessings I have. Trying to stir up some emotion. Any emotion, to feel something other than the all-consuming dread of what I may face today that is not pleasant. As I do this day after day, I realize that counting my blessing isn’t the problem. Being thankful is not the problem. What if the problem might be understanding the goodness of God? In the midst of all my pain, suffering, and blessings how can I grasp the concept that God is good all the time? How can I reach up and grasp hope without crashing when my hopes don’t come to fruition? These are the true questions that are keeping my focus in the midst of my struggling.

As I search for answers, I have found there are a couple of core beliefs that I have mixed up in my mind. I believe these core beliefs are part of my problem. The first one is, if God truly loved me, he would not be giving me this trial, and if he truly cared he would deliver me from it. Second one is, if I don’t control my sickness, I am not going to live that long and it will be my fault. So, with these beliefs, I dig into my bible and look for validation in it. Is this way of thinking accurate to how things are and how God is? These are the verses that brought clarity to me.

James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted (facing a trial), I am tempted of (from) God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he drawn away of his own lust (desires), and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

I am going to break down my scenario using this verse. Its like solving a riddle using the word of God as a guide.

Tempted/ facing a trial- My trial is my multiple sicknesses. I don’t like to talk about my health issues, but I would like to give you a glimpse of how it can be all consuming for me. I struggle with Ulcerative colitis, Interstitial cystitis, Migraines, Sjogrens syndrome, Complex post traumatic stress disorder, depression, chronic thrush, and insomnia. Everything I eat can either make these worse or better, yet each illness has its own diet to follow. By the time I get done crossing off the list of things I can’t eat, I am left with very little that won’t sustain me. Trust me I have tried! Not only am I struggling with pain and other annoying issues with each illness, every time I eat, I face the fear of the consequence it may have.

Drawn away of his own lust- My lust or my desire is to not be sick. To not face the struggle that illness can play in my life every day. To avoid pain, fatigue, starvation, anxiety, and depression. To look for a cure and to find the right diet that will be healing and sustain me without symptoms. To take responsibility for my health and gain some control of it all.

Lust hath conceived- When I fall into the role of trying to control, I am neck deep in my lust/desire to not be sick and even deeper in the trap of avoidance. Avoid food, avoid situations, avoid people, avoid anything that will make my illnesses increase in intensity. The trap of avoidance is an all-consuming pit of despair and leaves you feeling hopeless. The more control I think I have, the more faith I put in myself, in the next medicine, in the next doctor’s visit, leaves me in a never ending roller coaster of emotions.

Bringeth forth sin- The sin, I believe, is the dwelling on the problem and a solution. Dwelling on the avoidance, dwelling on my diet, dwelling on my suffering and pain. The funny thing is when I looked for the definition for dwelling this is what came up: A place where someone lives. A house or structure in which someone lives. Where your attention and focus are directed. Not only am I constantly making my bed in the midst of my struggle, but I am constantly focused and have my attention there.

And sin when it is finished bringeth forth death- sin without repentance bringeth forth death. I believe that when you ask for forgiveness of your sins and acknowledge God as the giver of life and Jesus as the sacrifice for sin, then your soul is sealed and there is nothing that can take you away from God and your place in heaven; but I also believe that Satan’s goal for all people is to pull their focus away from God, away from growing in him, away from witnessing what God has done for them. Most importantly he wants you to question God and doubt his ways. Especially as a non-believer looking for answers. As I get stuck in my desire for control and my entire focus is on my circumstance, then my focus is not on God or our relationship. My focus is on me and only me. My desire for relief becomes so strong and consuming it takes up every spare moment I have. I struggle to get past the noise in my head and truly focus on my relationship with God and what he can do for me instead of the fleshly pain I am in. I especially get lost in it when I continue to struggle day after day and God does not seem to answer my prayers.

Every Good and perfect gift comes from above- God’s good and perfect gift from above is not the same good and perfect gift we think it is. We think that Gods good and perfect gifts are answered prayers, health, financial stability, spiritual feeling of wholeness, and consistent joy. These are the things I always thought were true. It brings me back to those core beliefs I have. If God loves me, he would not give me this trial and if you cared he would deliver me. Verse 13 states… Let no man say when he is tempted (facing a trial), I am tempted of (from) God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man… Trials do not come from God. Trials come from living in this sinful world and dealing with our own personal desires. Satan knows our desires and he has the power to place obstacles, thoughts, and people in our path to deter us and lead us astray. Yet, inside the trial and circumstance, God has a good and perfect gift that I never understood until now.

What is this good and perfect gift you ask? The gifts we receive from God our not necessary to sustain our physical desires, but to fill our emotional and spiritual needs. Gods main focus is the salvation and spiritual growth of our souls. Everything God does is for our benefit in these areas. Satan’s goal is to use all his power to attack you and distract this from happening. When we are consumed with our struggle, we see the pain and daily grind of pushing through it, while God sees the growth in character and fruits it is producing. What is also amazing is the other great gifts God has given us to help us through these difficult times.

His son as a sacrifice for our sins- John 3:16

His word the Bible that has 8,810 promises directed to man and speaks to us-Psalm 119:105

A church family and others to pray and help us gain perspective-John 4:12

An abundance of mercy that is new every morning- Lamentations 3:22-23

The Holy Spirit as a comforter so we are not alone- John 14:26

A heavenly home to look forward to- John 14:1-6

Through trials comes hope of deliverance and growth- James 1:2-4

Endless forgiveness-Psalm 103:10-14

An abundance of Gods grace and strength in the midst of our weakness- 2 Corinthians 12:9

The list goes on and on, but these are just a few to know the love that God has for you is real and the gifts he wants for you are everlasting. Just think about that. God’s gifts are everlasting and will sustain us! His gifts are everything we need to make it through this world. The only thing we needed is for us to trust and believe in them.

Perfection is my Enemy

Be perfect, be normal, be regular. These are statements we all hear on a daily basis. An expectation to be perfect and act perfect and make perfect decisions and choices. The pressure to never make a mistake, because if we do, we are judged and put in a box that says, “weak, unworthy, unlovable.”

Most of all is the expectation to be perfect as a Christian. Perfect as a witness for God. Perfect as a virtuous woman. Does anyone else feel this way? Maybe you’re a man and you feel the pressure to be the perfect spiritual leader in your house, the perfect deacon at church, or the perfect witness on your job sight. Why do we do this? Because we have a core belief that the Bible says once you’re a believer in God you must be perfect all the time. Especially as a confessed believer, because if you don’t the fear of making a mistake will lead others astray, kill your witness, or keep you from God’s forgiveness. Well, in my searching of the Bible I have found this core belief to not be so accurate. As well as my personal experience with forgiveness.

I got pregnant at the age of 14. One of the most unforgiveable, unworthy things a young lady can ever do. By getting pregnant I was looked upon very negatively by most all people. I was judged without anyone ever trying to get to know me. I was called a whore, a promiscuous girl, a tramp. I lost friendships and was dissuaded from participating in anything biblically related. Instead of being tagged with a scarlet “A” on my chest, I felt like I carried a scarlet “P”. As though I had a disease that could be caught. Most importantly, with the tag on my chest I could walk into a room and everyone could participate in the only cure for my transgressions. That cure was judgment and isolation. One action, one choice, one vulnerable moment and I was put into a box. The box that says, “weak, unworthy, unlovable.” Not by the unconfessed sinners of my life. Oh no! I became a knew person in their eyes, but to the eyes of my fellow believers I was trash.

My so-called perfect image was lost forever and I would spend many hours, weeks and days trying to gain forgiveness. The only way to forgiveness and acceptance was to regain my perfect status. To be perfect all the time, and make no unforgivable choices from that day forward. Well, that was a bust. It wasn’t long and before I knew it, I would make another choice, and another that would be deemed as wrong. It wasn’t an action as big as getting pregnant, but it was how I handled the trauma and life altering events in my life that everyone disagreed on how I should handle it. There was no perfect solution, and no matter what I did someone would get hurt. Until…

Until I made a decision one dark night in the woods, holding my 3-month-old son, running from the chaos that had become my life. Every decision was going to be a mistake no matter what way I looked at it. I knew if I was going to give this dear child a life of love and acceptance something had to change. That something was me. From that night forward I chose to take one step closer to God. To make God the Lord of my life, not just the Lord of my soul. I was saved at the age of 9. My salvation did not keep me from making many imperfect decisions. But my salvation did allow me to be forgiven. It did allow me the right to call upon my heavenly father and have a direct relationship with him.

Till this day I still struggle with perfectionism. I think it is something I will always struggle with. When my life took another turn a few years ago all the trauma and life experience I went through caught up with me. I experience major bouts of depression and overwhelming anxiety. With this struggle I made another decision to get as close to God as I could, no matter the cost. I did this by reading His word and searching for truth. Truth to what he really sees as perfection. What His expectations of me really were. And I found these verses with a few more.

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect  (Thoroughly complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 19:30-32 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength an maketh my way perfect (my life, my journey, without spot, and complete).

God’s blood alone makes me perfect. With me accepting His sacrifice of his son and choosing to live my best life as a Christian, God works his will. God doesn’t say we need to be perfect. God says He is perfect and if we trust in him, he will give us the strength to battle this life and through our journey He will make our lives complete and perfect. It takes a journey. A lifetime of learning. It takes time in your life to grow and complete you. The potter is patient and willing to keep trying no matter how many times we flatten out and fail to stand. All the experiences, the imperfections, the judgement from others has grown me and my relationship with the Lord. It has caused me to search for answers and with that search has come a life not worried so much about being perfect. Let face it, there is no way I will ever be perfect in everyone’s eyes. The more I try the more I fail. Instead of wasting my time trying to be perfect, I will spend my time living like I am loved and forgiven. So, in order to be perfect in God’s eyes I will move forward in my relationship with him. First to be humble and honest for my choices and who I am as a person. Once I became honest, the Lord was able to move in my life in ways I never thought possible. I am free to be me! Flaws and all, and as I grow in my relationship with God, everything just comes together. I can’t explain how, but I can encourage and support you in your journey to lay perfection aside and embrace this wonderful freedom you can have in Christ.

P.S. Notice I didn't use the word mistake, but imperfect choices. I do not believe my son was a mistake and will never use that title to describe him. Both of my children are a blessing from God. Through trusting me with their lives and upbringing it has brought me closer to Him and shown me how much love plays an impact our our lives in the most beautiful ways. At the age of 38 I had a complete hysterectomy due to sever endometriosis. My doctor said it was the worse case she had seen in 10 years and couldn't have had more children if I wanted them. He gave me a blessing when I didn't know I would have wanted or needed it. God is good all the time!