2/27/14 – Morning Musings – Beautiful Scars

I was getting out of the shower this morning and got a glimpse of some of my scars in the mirror…it made me wince when I saw them…and then…I realized just how beautiful they are. A scar usually occurs with trauma…we aren’t scarred by an awesome day, a wonderful experience, an easy life…we get them when some sort of trauma happens to us…they accompany some bit of agony. Scar tissue is tougher than regular tissue…it is stronger and harder to break through…it is there, where we develop and grow into deeper people.

I have some physical scars from having children. Although I am not thrilled with the scars, It would be a shame to prefer an unmarred body over the souls that were brought into this world through the breaking of my body. I have scars from surgery; those scars remind me of how sick my body used to be and is now, through medical technology and God’s healing, in a much healthier place. It would be a shame to wish away those scars in order to have an unhealthy but unmarred body. Those physical scars have developed strength.

I have emotional scars from things that were done to me in the past. And while I wouldn’t wish those events on anyone, it has helped me to become someone more beautiful through the brokenness. I can bring those hurts to God and he can redeem them into beautiful areas of growth. (I’ll admit that I have to repeatedly go to Him with these scars and ask Him to take them because I tend to snatch the pain back from Him so that I can control it.) I think that deeper scars produce depth if we can allow them to heal properly.

I have emotional scars from things that I have done to others in the past. I have let people down and actively injured others in deep and lasting ways. While I have found forgiveness from those I hurt, God, and myself, those scars are a reminder to think outside of myself and consider others. (In case you are wondering, I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a privately-committed sin…sin ALWAYS moves outward like a domino effect. No matter how privately committed, it will always affect others. That is why it is sin…sin separates us from God…when we are separated from God, we will damage those He loves.)

Here is the thing though…I think (and I have no Biblical reasoning for thinking this) that our scars will be the crowns that we get to honor God with in Heaven. I think that we are a society that is obsessed with perfection and perception. We hide our “issues” from people which leaves us to wallow through them alone. But I think that in heaven, God will turn our thinking on its head. I think our brokenness will be our beauty if we trusted God with it. I think our scars, physical and emotional, will shout to all how God carried us through. How he healed. How we trusted and how He was worthy of that trust. So, I’m taking a good look at myself…at my “damage”…and praising God for it because it allows me to know Him deeper…it allows me to love people well…it allows me to appreciate being brought through the dark places and coming out on the other side better.

This image is a picture of a mosaic created by Sonia King. I think that mosaics show how sometimes, we make beauty out of brokenness.

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2/25/14 Morning Musing: Booby Trap

As I was driving the kids to school this morning, M said something about how I should watch out because she set up booby traps in the car. C started laughing hysterically so I asked him what he thought a booby trap was. Without hesitating, he said “It’s a trap set by a girl because only girls have boobies.” As is typical for Team Massey, we giggled the rest of the way to school at our awesome inappropriateness.

Well, once again, my kids brought insight to my thoughts: wouldn’t it be lovely if we all approached things that directly and simplistically?  His approach was fun, innocent, and refreshing.  Conversely, how often do we over-analyze things or people? How often do we play and re-play conversations in our heads? How often do we try to determine someone’s motives behind what they are saying? And how often is it beneficial to do all of this over-analyzing? For me, not very often.

When we do this, we are being ego-centric. We think that we are the star of the movie playing in everyone else’s head…when in reality…we probably only play a bit role, if that. I think most of the time when we get our feelings hurt by people, it’s not intentional on their part…it’s more out of neglect. People aren’t actively thinking of how to screw us over. People aren’t actively thinking about us at all. They are thinking about themselves, their to-do list, their stresses, their jobs…just like we are. So, with that in mind, maybe we should give them a little grace. It would sure be easy to walk around with a chip on my shoulder at all the ways that others have been “unfair” to me…or instead, I could enter in with them, extend grace, and ask them about their lives. Investment in relationships instead of in drama seems like a no-brainer to me.

Less is More

1/22/14

Morning Musings: I have decided that my theme for 2014 is to accomplish less than ever before. Now, I’m not being snarky here…I feel that sometimes I am missing out on the great blessings that God has for me because I’m so busy being productive. I think that it would be better to spend time with friends in my house than to wait until my house is clean to have them over. I think it would be better to play games with my kiddos than to get the laundry done. I think it would be better to pray with/for a friend than to get that to-do list knocked out. (Besides, the to-do list is NEVER done so why am I working so hard to complete something that will never be complete?) I’ve never been so excited to do “nothing” before!

Perfectly-Equipped

1/16/14

Stan said something tonight that really has me thinking and smiling: He was talking about a video that we have for our Marriage class next week and he said that in it, the speaker says (paraphrase): “God used Moses’ staff to do miracles…his staff represented his identity, his job, and his financial status.” I liked that because what that means for us is that God knows what gifts he has given us…He knows our personality traits, our passions, our abilities…and it makes God smile when we use those gifts in the way that He intended for us to use them. What that also means is that God does not expect us to accomplish things we aren’t equipped to accomplish. This thought helps me to not feel over-whelmed because I am perfectly equipped to do the tasks I am needed to do

Equipped

1/17/14

Morning musings: I’m not polished. I don’t have a flawless way to speak to people. I bumble through my words and my actions with good intentions. If you are waiting for me to find the cue to say the right thing at the right time, you will probably be disappointed. But, when I add to this line of thought the thinking that I had last night about how God has perfectly equipped me to accomplish the tasks that he has laid out for me, I realize that I still attract the people that I am called to interact with: people who are not looking for a perfect friend with perfect appearance, friends who don’t expect me to always know what to say or do, friends who are more interested in the state of my heart and my posture before God in my approach to them, friends that know that I consume diet DP and chocolate every day and go without a bra every chance I get. I love deeply and awkwardly and am very thankful for the friends in my life because they help me to understand God.

Purpose in Pain

11/26/13

Science Geek-Out Alert: Been thinking about pain a lot lately and several thoughts are coming to mind: 1. I think many of us are voluntarily living with too much pain and stress in our lives…which causes us to enter into a physiological stress response and creating an analgesic effect. 2. That is basically fight or flight…this is meant for us experience in order to save our lives…not to set up camp and live in this experience. 3. I think with the analgesic effect, many of us are not learning from our pain experience and consequently, we are repeating the behavior that causes the pain and stress. 4. I think many of us are addicted to the analgesic response and even add to it by numbing ourselves further through escaping from our lives: television, alcohol, drugs, pornography, over-eating, under-eating, sex addictions, etc.

All that to say, don’t waste your pain. (Physical and emotional.) We are meant to learn something from it and we are meant to feel it so that our lives can eventually be better. Trouble comes when we numb our pain instead of dealing with the root causes.

The Illusion of Having it all Together

12/13/13

Was thinking this morning about how easy it is to feel inferior to others who seem like they have it all together. I am the mom in the elementary drop off line who takes my kids to school in a minivan with crazy troll-doll hair, sweat pants, slippers, medicine on my face from last night, and a list of stuff to do today on my mind. My kids jump out of the car with pants that are too short, their backpacks hanging open as they run joyfully to class. Of course, I pull up behind the mom who is driving a Porsche, who is stunningly beautiful, dressed immaculately, and whose kids look like they just stepped off the cover of a clothing magazine. I can only assume that this woman has never had a pimple, leads a glamorous life, and has endless amounts of money. Then I catch myself. I don’t know this woman or her struggles. I don’t know what it takes to get her family here on time. I do know my family and our struggles and know that I chose to let my kids sleep a little longer, I woke them sweetly with soft words and tender phrases. I told them repeatedly how much I loved them as I warmed up left-over bagels and poptarts for them. My family is happy, healthy, loves each other and loves Jesus which is our family’s mission (Mission: We love each other, love others, love Jesus, and have fun because we are the Massey Tribe.) It’s a good day to love your family, hug them a little tighter, and show yourselves and others a little grace. We don’t know what others are experiencing and they don’t know what we are either: blessings or hardships. Find a way to love others selflessly today if you can. Just my morning musings. Praying you all have a fantastic day today and feel loved.