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Hey! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm Lyn- wife, mother, writer, speaker, and yes- a former beauty queen. But don't let the title fool you, I'm just a country girl saved by a Grace I don't fully understand. I write about the journey with that amazing Grace here and I'd be delighted for you to join me.
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Tag Archives: forgiveness
I wasn’t prepared for that day. Those days. When they laid you in my arms. And all the days after.
How does a flawed Mama raise her babies well?
I didn’t know that having you would rip down walls I had carefully propped up around my heart.
I wasn’t prepared for this wild love.
How does an imperfect woman love her children? Imperfectly, I’m afraid. But constantly and fervently.
I watch you both. Almost grown. And I miss the days of ponytails and fingernails. Of glitter and glue. I miss snuggling and bedtime stories. I miss your sleeping breath on my skin. I miss catching fireflies under summer stars and “sing me another one, Mama”. I miss all of it.
This is a new season. No more twirling in the yard or hosting tea parties with dollies. You are on the threshold of your own road and I pray that you hold tightly to the things that matter most.
Life can be hard. Difficult seasons may tempt you to see the world through a distorted lens of bitter. The enemy may lure you with a bucket list of wants and must-haves and gotta-gets. It’s a slippery slope right down to empty and unsatisfied. The antidote is thanksgiving. Cultivate a habit of gratefulness.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Even when they don’t deserve it. Even when you don’t feel like it. Forgive. It’s not a feeling. It’s a decision. I believe it is a decision that thwarts the devil’s schemes. We disarm him when we extend forgiveness. When we hold a grudge, we are engaging in a tug-of-war, struggling against the rope, pulling and straining. But if we release the rope, the game is over. We walk away free and the door is opened to fresh blessing. I am always amazed by the move of God when I forgive.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Like forgiveness, love is a choice. An action. Lead with it. Always. Even if they don’t love you back. Love them anyway. When you love those who hurt you, you break through into that other world. You do what is seemingly impossible as a human being, but so possible to those who belong to Christ. He is love itself. It is His very language. When you choose to love, you reflect Jesus. Ask Him to make you an instrument of love.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Whenever you can. Wherever you can. We were created for this. You don’t have to look too far to find a place where you can be a blessing. Right where you are you can offer a smile or a word of encouragement. The world is starved for kindness.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The heart is tricky. It is unsteady. It will mislead you. It is deceitful. The world will tell you to follow it. Follow Christ instead. Till the soil of your heart with what’s true and good and steadfast. Sow His Word into your hearts. It will heal wounds and mend brokenness and will equip you for the road ahead.
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
I don’t know why God gifted me with you. I’m so glad He did. Happy Valentine’s Day, my darling girls.
Your Mama loves you.
(Photos courtesy of Fox Mountain Photography)
The fire is warm and we sit around after dinner watching old home movies. I see my husband for the first time as a chubby little toddler, a shoot ‘em up cowboy, and an architect of whole cities made of sand. In one scene I watch my father-in-law scoop up my husband and his brother and cover their heads with kisses. I can hardly watch for the tears stinging my eyes. My father-in-law was larger than life. He left a legacy of integrity, character, and devotion to family that is rarity. I miss his hugs. His words of wisdom. Him.
As I wash dishes and tidy up the kitchen, I think of the standard my father-in-law set. He did such a good job. I’m not sure I measure up.
I fall short. Daily. Continuously. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend…Christian, I fall short.
Isn’t that why Christ came?
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
God, who created the Universe, took the form of a baby and came down to us. The fallen ones. Because He loved us. Loves us.
He exchanged Glory for a smelly animal shelter. He took on all the limits and frustrations of flesh and bone. Hunger. Sickness. Death. He was nailed to a Roman cross… all for us.
It is an incomprehensible Love. I can hardly grasp it.
It is the love of a holy, perfect Father who scoops us up and covers us… with grace. With mercy. With kisses.
So honored to join with friends at Crosswalk. Won’t you come on over!
I spoke with a friend today and she mentioned someone who, at one time, hurt me. Someone who insulted me. Laughed at me. I thought I had forgiven this person two years ago. I remember mouthing the words to God in prayer.
I thought it was behind me.
On Sunday I took an hour and went to a quiet place down the road from our house. It’s the place where they hold the horse races twice a year. When it isn’t filled with horses and spectators, it is wide, open, green pasture with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Lovely. Spacious.
I went there looking for God’s whisper.
I read scripture and prayed. I asked God to reveal any sin in my heart so that I could confess it. I waited a while in silence and nothing came to mind. The air was still except for a breeze that rustled the trees. After reading a few more chapters, I packed up and went home.
I had forgotten my prayer until today. As I listened to my friend, God showed me my heart.
In the Greek…
Forgive: aphiemi – primarily “send forth, send away”; denotes, besides its other meanings, “to remit or forgive” debts, these being completely cancelled.
I hadn’t completely cancelled the debt. And it’s not just residual hurt. When his name is mentioned, I have split-second imaginings of giving him a piece of my mind ~maybe an exegetical lecture on the sin of slander and pharisaical finger pointing ~ in my best Julia Sugarbaker impersonation! After all, he pointed his finger at me. He accused me. Doesn’t he deserve a sound tongue lashing?
Then Jesus’ words come to mind…
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
As I forgive, I am forgiven. As I forgive…
To the measure I give mercy, I receive mercy.
I melt a little, because I know how much mercy I need…how much grace. I know the “height from which I have fallen.” (Rev. 2:5) And it’s high, folks! As David says in Psalm 51:3, “ For I know my transgressions; my sin is ever before me.”
I have lived in seasons of defeat, darkness and utter rebellion. I have known the right way and taken the wrong one many times. And time after time, Jesus came for me. Comes for me.
He rescues me from myself. Continually. Seventy times seven. Infinitely.
As I see the depth of my sin, the height from which I’ve fallen, I forgive. And then I hear it…a whisper.
Once our eyes have been opened to see the enormity of our offense against God, the injuries which others have done to us appear by comparison extremely trifling. If, on the other hand, we have an exaggerated view of the offenses of others, it proves that we have minimized our own.