A Relationship Renewed 

A Relationship Renewed | By Terri Krumweide

Difficult relationships can be, well, difficult. When the difficult relationship is with someone you gave birth to, it can be heartbreaking. My son has always been a bit of a challenge. At 11 lbs 11 ounces, he came into this world physically advanced and already more than a handful! I couldn’t keep up with him even then, the kid was just hungry. All. The. Time. I started him on cereal, by the Doctor’s suggestion, at one month. From there, he just seemed to do everything early, roll over, crawl, walk. He even learned to ride a bike without training wheels at 3- I kid you not. Raising a child who is so physically capable, yet not mature enough to control his impulses, was, well you guessed it- difficult.

Lil Ryan and meIn addition to his lack of impulse control, he had to deal with the confusion of being raised separately by two parents with very different discipline styles, a new stepdad, and a new baby sister- not a recipe for success for any kid. I put him in organized sports at age 3, which helped him burn off some of his energy, but my first trip to the principals’ office was his fourth day of kindergarten, and every parent teacher conference was me listening to the teacher tell me how disruptive my son was in class and how all the kids followed his lead. Ritalin was even suggested, which my pediatrician, God bless her, completely rejected. It wasn’t until third grade when he had, which he will still tell you to this day was his favorite teacher, Mr. Peterson, that someone finally understood what my son needed. As I walked into that first conference, head held low waiting to hear the horrors my son had been causing in his class, Mr. Peterson smiled and told me what a good boy my son was and how smart and helpful he was in class. My look of shock made him laugh and when I asked him about him acting up in class he said, “Well if I see Ryan getting a little antsy, I just send him out to run a couple laps on the track and he comes back ready to work.” Eureka!! He had another great teacher the next year, Mr. Mann, but sadly there were many more years of unhappy teachers and trips to the principal’s office, and unfortunately it developed a pattern of me always expecting the worst and constant disappointment, hopelessness and heartache.  And if someone is always expecting the worst of you, it’s pretty easy to deliver.

Teen Ryan and meMy son was not raised in a Christian home. We went to a Catholic church until he was about 14, which does not operate in the grace of God but more on how good you are, which my son was constantly being told by people in authority, he was not. I didn’t get “Saved” until the first time my husband left, and during that time, there was so much pain and so many tears from me and his now 3 sisters’, and that, coupled with the complete devastation of losing the respect of a man he completely looked up to, he found his escape in drugs and alcohol.  Yet another source of great pain and disappointment for a mom that never wanted her children to go down a road she had been down and knew where it led. My goal at that time was pretty much just to get him graduated from high school, which he did, barely, and then he would be on his own and I would not have to be affected by his rebellion and bad choices any longer.

Flash forward to my son as an adult, living back in my house, after several times being kicked out but having just been released from being in jail for five days and having nowhere else to go. There is something about seeing your child ushered into a courtroom in an orange jumpsuit handcuffed to a bunch of scary looking criminals that makes you want to bring them home and keep them safe. I set really strong boundaries, church was mandatory, no drugs, no visitors, get a job, etc and any violation of the rules meant immediate eviction.  At first, he was so compliant and very eager to please, grateful he had a place to live, but as time went on, old behavior patterns kicked in, and he was back in the habit of disappointing and I was in the habit of constantly letting him know it.

Love WorksThen, I signed up for a class at The Father’s House- “Love Works” a program developed and taught by Weyman and Susan Howard, based on 1 Corinthians 13. Compassion is my lowest gifting, so loving other’s well is something I desperately need help with. The first week of class was about patience, first receiving it- I knew my sins had been forgiven but had I ever stopped to think about how patient and long suffering the Lord had been with me in doing that? Had I ever truly received it? As I examined it I was sure of one thing- God never threatened to kick me out of the Kingdom every time I made a mistake, not like I did to my son… Ouch. Next was, kindness, where again we focused on first receiving it from the Lord and then practicing it. I was on my knees constantly for my son and I fiercely loved him, but my thoughts towards him were anything but kind. As we continued into the study, The Lord was softening my heart towards my son and showing me what I needed to let go of “Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs” Love doesn’t but I sure did and could recite them all back to him at any given moment. When we got to the “Believes All Things, Hopes All Things, Endures All Things” section that’s where The Lord really opened my eyes to what my son needed. When I looked at my son, I saw all the hurt and disappointment of the past, I never saw him how God saw him, I never BELIEVED anything more for him, I had stopped hoping for anything more from him. As I look back and read the things I wrote at that time: “Lord, help me to see my son as you do and to love him like you do, correcting in love.” And “I need to believe that the power of The Holy Spirit can help me to believe good for my son, and to help him resurrect his true identity and be the man God created him to be.” I can assure you that The Lord did. He showed me that Ryan didn’t need to be reminded of all the bad things he’d done, he needed all the goodness in him reaffirmed, and even though he still wasn’t making choices that I necessarily liked or agreed with, I could still operate in love.

My son is a good person with a generous heart, when I looked back on the fights he got into growing up, he was sticking up for the little guy. Although he was never studious and didn’t apply himself in school, my son is really intelligent and learns things easily. Although he could be disrespectful, he is kind and helpful. His physical ability has made him amazing at every sport he’s ever tried. He is great with children; kids and pets love him. It did my momma’s heart so much good to see my son through the eyes of love again. He was more than his mistakes, he was a masterpiece.  God is Love and Love brings renewal. I began treating my son with respect, and I asked for forgiveness when I didn’t, and sure enough, as time went by, the pattern was broken and the relationship was restored. And even when our relationship was tested and we failed sometimes the effort made to love my son well, was truly blessed by The Lord, and I can tell you as I write this, not only has the Lord redeemed my relationship with my son, but He has completely redeemed my son’s life, but that, is a story for another time!


The familyTerri Krumweide lives and works in Escondido. Her greatest achievements in life are her four children, Ryan 31, recently married to the beautiful Alexys, Brianna 28, married to the brilliant Dr Brendan, Miranda, 25 married to the amazing Joey, the proud parents of her adorable first grandbaby, Jeremiah, and her youngest Micaela 21, who is currently away, killing it in college. A couple of her favorite quotes are “Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for the kingdom is not in what you do but in who you raise.” And “There is no greater joy than to know your children are walking in the truth.” All four of her children are amazing servants of God and her constant source of joy is spending time with her family. She also has two golden retrievers, Daisy 5 months and Delilah 5 years, who receive all the nurturing she has to give now that all of her children Daisy and Delilahare out of the house. She spends most of her time walking and pampering her pets, and babysitting the sweetest boy in the whole world, every chance she gets. She also co-leads the ‘Extraordinary Women’ women’s group at church where she loves connecting with the ladies of The Father’s House and friends. She is always looking for new ministry opportunities where she can utilize the gifts The Lord has blessed her with to serve others and to help further the kingdom. If you want to know more- get connected with her- she is always looking to make new friends!

 

Cultivating the Soil

How God cultivated the soil of my life to create Miracles in the Mess | By Sandy Ochoa-West

Cultivate Defined:

To prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening; To till, plow, dig and work the soil

To try to acquire or develop a quality, sentiment, or skill; He cultivated a life of integrity

Gardener Defined:

A person who tends and cultivates a garden as a pastime or for a living.

 

My mom loved gardening and was really good at it. Me on the other hand, well I have pretty much killed every plant I’ve ever had and can’t even manage to grow mint which apparently you can just throw on to the dirt and it grows and takes over everything! With me however, dead in two days!!! I give a whole new meaning to the word black thumb, so the fact that I am writing about tilling the soil, gardening, cultivating etc. is a miracle in itself.

As a young girl I felt always felt like I didn’t fit in, didn’t belong. I grew up as the middle child in a family of 6 kids (I know that explains a lot right) and as a tiny little freckle faced kid I pretty much felt invisible, unnoticed and overlooked. As I look back I realize that even at a young age my life was being tilled and cultivated, but not by the one who created me. The enemy took control as the gardener and starting planting the seeds and cultivating the soil of my life with things like unworthiness, fear and feeling like I didn’t belong.  At about 14 years old, even though I was on Drill team, in Glee Club and the Journalism staff, I felt ugly and out of place. I felt like a weed in a garden of beautiful flowers. It was around that time that I took over as the gardener (remember the whole black thumb thing) and as I started to plant my own seeds in the soil that was already damaged and unhealthy I slowly began to cultivate a life filled with drug addiction, abortion, abusive relationships, depression and suicide attempts. This downward spiral would go on until the age of 30. I’m going to spare you all the ugly messiness I created because my story is really a story of redemption. On August 27, 1995 at a Harvest Crusade, I accepted Jesus into my heart and gave my life over to the Master Gardener. He began to dig up all of the guilt, shame and feelings of unworthiness that the enemy had planted and began to tenderly till the soil with love, grace, mercy, and hope. I was redeemed by the gift of God’s sacrifice on the cross.

The drug addiction had changed my life forever, but Jesus; he changed my life for eternity. I was in bondage to so many things but that day the chains were broken and I walked away a free woman because Jesus loved me enough to pay the ransom for my sin with His own blood, His own life. He accepted me just as I was, but loved me too much to let me stay that way. What Satan used for evil, God used for good. Through God’s redemption and His grace He turned my test into my testimony, my mess into my message, my broken into beautiful and I went from victim to victory.  And today I have the privilege of mentoring young women, teaching them to develop and cultivate a sense of self based on a deep and personal relationship with Jesus, grounded in the Word of God and passionate about sharing the Gospel. I am willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly.

“We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives too.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 NLT

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

feature_940x529_cultivate_14-158111Today, I still can’t keep a plant alive (I’m giving succulents a shot at the moment, pray for them), I love weeds more than flowers and I have finally allowed the one who created me to be the Master Gardener.

“God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.” Job 33:28 NLT

I would like to share 3 of my writings with you; each relates to my Miracles in the Mess.

The first was written at a workshop at a Youth Winter camp in 2016 where the students were asked to write a letter to their future selves. As I looked around the room I realized that they were all about the age I was when I started using drugs so I decided instead to write a letter to my 14 year old self.  

Letter to My 14-Year-Old-Self :“You took these rags & made me beautiful” (11/2016)

Oh sweet girl, how I wish you knew back then how very much our Heavenly Father loved you.

The pain and the sorrow, the shame and the guilt you endured searching for someone to simply love you for who you are.

The addictions you chased to fill the hole in your heart could have been so easily healed by the one who created you and your beating heart.

It was a God shaped hole that took on many forms but only He could truly fill.

Climb up into His lap & lay your head on His chest. Let your tears pour down for He hears your cries.

You are enough! You’re pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, simply enough.

If you only knew how God is going to turn your pain into purpose, your test into you testimony and how He will take you from victim to victory.

In years to come you will be sharing your story of God taking your broken and turning it into beautiful.

How He took the dirty, messy rags of your life and wove them into a beautiful tapestry to cover & comfort those who are hurting.

You will leave the cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly ready to color the world with your story of redemption and deliverance.

You will leave the cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly ready to color the world with your story of redemption and deliverance.

This next writing was written in 2016 around this time of year after I had driven by this field filled with the most beautiful wild flowers (weeds) I had ever seen. God gave me a revelation about myself and “Weeds” was born.

Weeds (2016)

I have decided that my favorite flower isn’t a rose or daffodil or sweet pea. Although I find them beautiful, I am drawn to

and love the weeds found scattered on freeway off-ramps, fields and various other random places. The definition of a weed

is: a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants. I’ve been thinking about my love of weeds for a few days and today God gave me a revelation as to why they are so dear to me and why I am so drawn to them. They are the overlooked, unwanted and set aside. Some people don’t want them around at all, they are an inconvenience. That is how I felt for so much of my life; unwanted, uncared for, like I was just an inconvenience, like I was existing where I wasn’t wanted with people who were much better or more cultivated than I was. Today I see broken people out there who like weeds are set aside, overlooked and unwanted. They are walking through life feeling as if they don’t matter to anyone, that they are ugly and just an inconvenience. I make eye contact and our hearts speak: why can’t anyone see me, why can’t they see that I matter and have purpose, and I reply “oh sweet and wild weed, there is one who sees, one who cares and one who gave you purpose. He is your creator. Bloom in His presence and the world will finally see that yes you are wild but you are oh so beautiful, oh so worthy and oh so loved.

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Lastly, at the beginning of this year I was asked not only to be a part of TFH Women’s Ministry Team but to also be on the panel of women sharing their testimony at the March Daughters Event. The theme we decided on was “Cultivating What Matters”, Miracles in the Mess. The next morning as I was praying God put this writing on my heart.

 

The Master Gardener

Father, you have planted a new seed in my heart and have tilled the soil of my life with

your tender love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.

Jesus you are the “Sonshine” I needed and through your redemption and deliverance, I’ve become stronger.

Holy Spirit you have watered me with wisdom, discernment and direction and what began as a seed has blossomed into me finally starting to become the Woman of God I was created to be.

When I allowed the enemy to till the soil of my life, only shame, guilt and fear were grown, but Jesus, when I finally

surrendered my life to you, you planted the seed of redemption in soil rich with hope, encouragement, and faith.

Where the enemy saw a weed, unworthy of anything and cast aside by most, you saw me as beautiful;

a treasure, a daughter and worthy of an abundant life.

I am nourished by your unconditional love.

Now, when I see a woman who has allowed the enemy and the world to plant the seeds of discouragement & despair in her life, I know that can take her by the hand and lead her to the one who can give her new life; I can lead her to the Master Gardener.

 

 


Messages Image(3099754613)Sandy Ochoa-West has lived in Southern California her whole life. The beach is her favorite place, it’s where she feels like she can reach out and touch God’s face. She loves reading, her family, connecting with friends and a good strong cup of coffee! She is the mom of two great kids and one son-in love. Robyn (39), her hubby Joseph (34) and Shane (24).  Mentoring women is her passion. She strives to be as real and transparent as possible as she shares her story of redemption and deliverance.

 

 

Clean Slate | Special Song Included

Clean Slate | by Bethany Sousa

-Scroll to her bio for the video link to her song

When I think of spring, I think of renewal. I think of getting a second change. I think of cleansing and vulnerability with myself emotionally and spiritually. Seasons of transition and change in life cause a lot of clutter and damage to ourselves. I for one believe that Spring is the greatest time to purge those cluttered parts of our hearts, minds, and emotions. It’s quite incredible how much clutter we can each accumulate through life. Each and every single one of us carry a unique and individual suitcase, filled with specific life choices we either did or didn’t intentionally make. Yet, no matter what path our choices lead us through, we are always able to seek grace and freedom through Christ. He will always be near ready to take our hand and walk with us through the struggle of surrendering that bulky suitcase filled with so much clutter such as: shame, regret, self esteem, lack of courage, fear, anger, confusion, etc. Now, my story is specific to me and how I heard God through my own clutter, but I believe it will be encouraging to someone searching for similar freedom.

 
​It’s 2016 and my emotions are falling apart. Everything I held dear in my world was fading away. Nothing seemed to be moving forward – only standing still. I took a huge leap of faith and followed a tug on my heart to move to Nashville. I had NO idea what was going to be here waiting for me, all I knew was that God had already gone before me. At least that’s what I felt Him continually whisper in my heart. And boy was He serious. I arrived and immediately life came alive in me! My first day in town I met up with a friend and I got a connection of a lifetime with a producer, started getting work, the creative juices were flowing! Life was really moving for me in ways I never imagined. I thought Nashville was going to be a place of rest, a place of transition before a city like New York or London. I had no intention on staying here longer than 3-6 months. But little did I know God had something else in mind. I found an incredible church, moved into a townhouse with a friend, started making friends, got a decent job… Yes life was looking pretty good for me. Until I prayed a very unique prayer.

images ​It’s the new year and I always write a small list of things I desire to accomplish for the year. This one was particularly different because I threw in a few fun goals as well as a few challenging ones. My prayer consisted of asking God to clean house in my heart emotionally and financially. To heal and to restore broken parts of my heart. Without getting into too many details, my life slowly began to crumble. Leaving my job due to some unfortunate situations. Going under financial wreckage. Having nothing familiar close by that I was used to running away to. Life was in emotional chaos for me. My reality was quickly shattering the fantasy of my life I thought I was working so hard to build. Again, without getting into too many details, I was at a bare boned empty. In debt larger than I could understand. Yet, still, I could hear that faint – “I have gone before you” still whispering in my heart.

 
​I realize not everyone reading this has gone through a complete overhaul of their life, but there’s something powerful about asking God to take a closer look and actually letting Him. In these past couple of years His hand has guided, protected, and provided in ways I couldn’t even imagine. There were days when I had 7$ to my name and I didn’t get paid for 10 days and some how I was able to pay for gas, or food. I made a conscious decision to not let the clutter of my emotional life continue to get in the way of how I was called to fulfill and live out my calling. I didn’t do it alone, but I did have to make the decisions and work it out on my own. I decided I wanted to be debt free by the time I was 30, and that meant I needed to hustle. Lesson one – financial freedom – and to trust that God has my everything, including my finances.

 
​Then there was lesson 2, relationships. This was a deep and challenging lesson to work through. For my own sanity, I believe God knew I needed space to deal and heal from my life in a space where time was slowed down and people were loving and trusting. Transitioning into a southern pace of life has actually healed my hurts and pains that I either put there myself, or others had. Really taking the time to get a deep look, and actually really forgive, not just myself but family and friends too, I had to trust God with my heart. Trust Him, and no other man. He is the ultimate protector and lover, if I can’t trust Him, then how else would I love another? There is no perfect family, and no perfect person in this world, and my attempt to hide behind all my disappointments in others was no longer a cop-out I was allowed to hide behind.

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​I really had to learn a valuable lesson in vulnerability with the Holy Spirit. If I stay humble and grateful, even in the midst of pain, I will get to witness His grace. His beautiful and redeeming grace. I can’t count all the occasions I was lost in the wreckage so much that I count look up to see He was protecting me. However I have been able to reflect back and look at all He has done to redeem and restore me. I haven’t lived enough to have all the answers, but I have made enough mistakes to witness mercy and grace.


Click on this link for her blog video:

Bethany’s Song

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BETHANY is a singer/songwriter currently living in Nashville, TN. Her dream and desire is to partner with other artists collaboratively to help bring awareness to the audience an awakening of purpose. In today’s western culture, we have focused too music on selfish ego and not enough on the bigger picture–we’re all here for a purpose, and we all play an important role in achieving that goal in each other  Art is such an intense expression and tool to use to help awaken peoples minds and souls of their own existence. Music heals us mentally and spiritually, and one of her main goals is to help bring that healing, one song at a time.

 

March Madness

March Madness | by Bethany Luchetta

Do you ever feel like you’re trapped? Or like the fire-in-your-heart went out? Maybe because you didn’t get married at the ‘right’ age. You never had kids. Had kids. Got divorced. Never finished college. Work too much. Don’t have enough money. Aren’t as smart as the next person. Are too tired.  Have physical or mental limitations that prevent you from moving towards your dreams. Or maybe you just feel like you don’t own an original thought/emotion/creative bone/spiritual idea that is worthwhile. I am here to inform you, you are not alone. And IN your story, there is greatness.

I had been percolating on this March Madness blog for some time and nothing was coming to me. I wanted to assimilate it with the Daughters Event on March 17 – ‘Miracles in the Mess’. I even contemplated changing the blog title to March Messness. I thought about outlining people who failed and got-back-up-again to find success. I wanted to tell you about women in history who were faced with adversity, yet still accomplished greatness. Then, I switched to “you’re never too old”; she did something noteworthy after mid-life. Maybe write about ladies who, even in their storm, were able to pursue their heart-call. But after spending way too much time reading about people and things, I decided that I wanted you to be the story.

I am in the middle of a life transition, or several. I am starting to think we are always in one, or coming out of one, or about to go into one. The more stories I hear from other ladies, the more human I feel. We all have ‘stuff’ – none of us get out of childhood unscathed. Once adults, we seem to have seasons of feeling great, and others ‘not so great’. Is there anything we can do to limit the mess and madness?

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HOMEWORK: Ask yourself the ‘why’ question.

Why am I overwhelmed right now?

Why am I filled with anxiety right now?

Why am I sad right now?

Why am I frustrated right now?

Do tell! What does this have to do with March Madness-Messness? You may find that as you ask yourself the outlined following questions, you begin getting in touch with deeper feelings (which may or may not cause some messiness). The deeper feelings almost always dwindle down to shame. Shame has a way of robbing us of our potential. The real answers, and the real healing within them, are where the ‘Miracles in the Mess’ happen.

I made this chart from the things I have learned in my readings and courses on this process. This is a very basic chart, yet I have found it helpful (there are several other steps, if you have interest, reach out).

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I will use a personal example to show you how to work these steps:

The Feeling: A sales lady at Home Depot ‘sells’ me with some lies and deception when purchasing shutters. I get frustrated. Like, lose-my-emotions-all-the-way-home frustrated. Like, can’t play with Livvy or talk to Vince frustrated. Like, I feel like crying or posting a horrid one-star review on yelp frustrated. Like, I am looking super cool, calm and collected, yet stuffing all my feelings, but wanting to scream out loud frustrated. Outlandish emotions sound familiar?

The ‘Why’: I can go about my day and try not to be frustrated, go for run, have some wine, call a friend to vent, or try to pray it away. #2 Or I can ask myself ‘WHY’ am I feel so out-out-whack frustrated with this lady.

Deeper Feelings: So, then I analyze how I felt when this happened. I felt: abuse, used, coerced, domineered, played, bad, unworthy and unimportant. You may think that these are some pretty intense feelings for being lied to by a sales person at Home Deport. Some people may have just brushed-it-off, taken business elsewhere, or told the person how they felt. But I was not in my adult mind, so that’s not what happen.

Associated Situation: When I say this, it is very specific to the reduction of the situation. Dr. John Bradshaw (theologian, psychologist, philosopher) explains that our foundation is set before the chemicals change in our body (before puberty). In circumstances where your emotions outweigh the reality of the situation, it is an indicator to look back on your childhood and identify what part of you was stuck in your current interaction (lady at Home Depot). The easiest way to do this is to look back on the deeper feelings you identified and ask yourself, ‘when I was young, in what situation did I feel like this?’. Bradshaw says in asking this, you will find the part of you that is wounded/stuck. My deeper feelings immediately echoed when I was abused at age 4. As soon as I reduced my current feeling to an unhealed wound, I began crying. Until I heal this shameful wound, I will repeat these frustrating situations in my adult life that rob me of potential to ‘Grow up in Christ’.

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Forgiveness: The last part isn’t always easy or popular. I am not talking about forgiving the sales lady. I am talking about cutting myself loose from my perpetrator. There are tons of resources out there on processing forgiveness. I am defining forgiveness as cutting yourself loose from strings keeping you tied to the thing or person. Sometimes forgiveness requires forgiveness of self, and in this case, you may need someone else to help guide you through that process.

These discoveries may be messy, painful, and sometimes, unbearable. If you get stuck, come back to them later. But, commit to your whole healing. Once you are able to heal through the wounds you identify, then you will be more capable of dealing with the reality of your adult life in situations. I was able to go back and confront the sales lady in a calm manner. I didn’t have to stuff my emotions inside, allowing them to eat-away-at-me. I used the truth to encourage myself; I am an adult, I am not a child, I have choices, I am capable, I am not stuck and I won’t be used. This indeed is God’s miracle working power in our lives, in the mess.


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Bethany Luchetta is a writer of life and reality. In hopes to connect with the humanity around her, she writes from her heart. Bethany just celebrated 7 years of marriage with her love, Vince Luchetta. They are both on their second marriage. Life has not been without challenge in their personal lives and career lives, yet they strive for growth in love and tragedy. They share three beautiful daughters, Makayla (17), Paige (14), and Livvy Lou (3). If you see them, reach out and say hi!

 

Don’t Slap the Princess

How many of us know that we can do something with healthy motivation, and do the same exact thing, with unhealthy motivation!? Being clean or tidy, for example. It can be our natural bend, gift mix or personality – birthed from a healthy desire for our life. Or we can be motivated to clean from our deficiency, fear, or control. One motive gives life, the other takes life. One may manifest from love, the other striving for love.

images-2When we think of today, we may think of hearts, candy, love, flowers, etc. Do you ever associate Valentine’s Day with love for yourself? Daughters young and old, from every culture and religion, learn from others how to love themselves – or hate themselves from a young age. Most of how we understand love comes from the caregiver(s) we had growing up. In turn, most of us project our understanding of love learned from caregiver(s) onto God. We ‘learn‘ about our need for love; acceptance and validation (or our fear of rejection and fear of exposure) early in life. But, our projection on God from what we’ve experienced on earth is typically lightyears apart from His true expression of love for us.

DoingVsBeingGods loves doesn’t change. But we do… we are human after all. What happens when a child does something they aren’t proud of? My daughter will hide behind my leg or tuck her head into my shoulder in anticipation of having to apologize for something she isn’t proud of. Sounds like Adam & Eve. Shame causes us to react. Some shame is there to keep us in the boundaries of healthy living. John Bradshaw would say, “Healthy shame says I did something bad. Unhealthy shame says I am bad.” Wait, some shame is bad? If we didn’t have the feeling of right vs wrong (shame), what would limit us from bad behavior? There are some times we do need to be repentant of bad/shameful behavior. Set that aside, I’m talking about the unhealthy shame motivation. So many of were raised with a gaping hole from the love we needed verses love received. We simply walk around with shame reactions all the time – we think we are bad.

How many times have we felt, or said, if they knew XYZ about me, they would not accept me, or even reject me. How can we be fully loved if we aren’t fully known? If we are the sum of all our parts, which make us a whole person, we can’t be truly loved if we aren’t truly known. Sounds like a recipe for a lifetime of emptiness. But Gods Love is so powerful; He fully knows us, still sent His Son to die for us (while we were sinners), and Loves us without condition.

140216-2What if we could change how we thought about shame, love and acceptance? Maybe we struggle to love ourselves? Struggle to be fully known, so we hide; tuck and run. Do you ever notice yourself trying to explain, justify, clarify, or rationalize your behavior? This is rooted from a unhealthy toxic learned shame (noted from: LifeSkills International). We do this to try to legitimize our need for acceptance and love. So ‘what if’ when the desire to vindicate yourself pops up, instead you stop and say, “I am okay with me! God is okay with me!” What if we took a conscious effort to love our SELF. I’m not talking about being selfish, or even the narcissistic approach that the world has adopted on the topic of self. I’m talking about actually looking at yourself like a small child – lovable and squeezable and innocent – because you are!

Imagine that you are truly the Daughter of the King and KNOWING that He doesn’t condemn or shame you. He openly embraces all your parts, and you can too!

 

38C4C6F500000578-3807402-image-m-2_1474879237125I’ll admit I have a dire desire not to be misunderstood. Its roots look like shame: they say I’m not good enough for me, so I must rationalize, explain, justify, and clarify myself to you (even if /when you haven’t even asked for my epilogue). Have you ever been ashamed of your shame!? I have. It isn’t pretty. I waste so much time and energy grasping for the love and acceptance of others, when I could stop and accept the Love of Christ, and the love for His Daughter (myself!). Ha! I got a picture of me walking up to Princess Kate and slapping her in the face. Holy Cow. How disrespectful! Jesus reminds me, you do this every time you beat yourself up for not being good enough. You are a Daughter of the King. A treasure. R.E.S.P.E.C.T

If we really had bad behavior, we can own it. We can expose ourselves ASAP. And then, instead of going to negative self-talk, “I’m stupid”, “I always do that”, or “I’ll never get it right”, we can change our ways, and agree truth – “I did bad, but I can change my behavior and make this right”, “I am okay with myself because Gods way works for me”, and, “God alone is my vindicator, and He loves me!”.

LOVE!


IMG_2727Bethany Luchetta is a writer of life and reality. In hopes to connect with the humanity around her, she writes from her heart. Bethany just celebrated 7 years of marriage with her love, Vince Luchetta. They are both on their second marriage. Life has not been without challenge in their personal lives and career lives, yet they strive for growth in love and tragedy. They share three beautiful daughters, Makayla (17), Paige (14), and Livvy Lou (3). If you see them, reach out and say hi!