Songs That Speak To Me

The God Who Stays

My shame can’t separate,

my guilt can’t separate,

my past can’t separate,

I’m Yours forever.

My sin can’t separate,

my scars can’t separate,

my failures can’t separate,

I’m Yours forever.

You’re the God who stays.

You’re the One who runs in my direction when the whole world walks away.

You’re the God who stands with wide open arms.

And you tell me nothing I have ever done

can separate my heart

from the God who stays.

Matthew West

This is so reassuring! You may think that with my history I’m such a “good” person. Truth is, I have failed so many times. 

Maybe at some point I’ll reveal some of my sins here, but regardless of what they are, of what the “really big ones” were, just know that we all sin, even if just in our hearts.

How many times do you hate, or cheat, or lie, or lust after someone who isn’t your partner? Be honest. Our society does not openly speak about or label these as characteristics to avoid (except lately, there’s been a lot of talk about hate–with good reason). In fact, it seems at times that these things are actually revered. You know what I am talking about.

For those of us seeking to live a godly life that honors our Lord Most High, the scripture is very plain:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

See where I’m going with this? And here’s another truth:

Whatever we think or commit in our heart is the same as actually doing it! Whoa, what? Look at this:

Whoever looks upon a woman with lust has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28

Whatever a man thinks in his heart so he is. Prov. 23:7

I’m not singling out immorality. I’m just stating a truth. What we believe controls our behavior. It’s the core of who we are. So everything is about the heart of the matter. (This has nothing to do with positive thinking, but shows that our heart will reveal our true nature.)

Who we are is deep within our hearts, often only seen by God. We can present ourselves as one way to the public, but what lies buried within?

I could carry guilt, shame, and failure as a heavy burden. There is cause to do such, and believe me, the enemy tries to shove my past into my face. But, praise God we have a Redeemer who loves and forgives!

Instead, I can live as a forgiven child of God. I can live as one who is set free and healed from my past. Jesus paid the debt for my sin. And He has healed my wounds and set me free from the shame I carried.

No matter what I’ve done, He forgave me. That’s the power of His great love, my friends. He forgives, transforms our hearts, delivers us of our past, heals our scars, and makes us whole. No matter what we have done, no matter what we have been, no matter what we have said or thought, His love is unconditional.

Do you need Him? He is there. Period. Do you want to be delivered and healed? He is there. Plain and simple. No voice of the enemy condemning you. No matter what people have said about and to you. No matter if you have given up on yourself, God has not. He is calling you, seeking you because He longs for you to be whole, to belong to Him, to live fully.

He is your Savior too. All it takes is starting the conversation:

I’m sorry God.

Please forgive me.

Please cleanse and heal me.

I want to be Yours.

Thank you for your love.

 

He’s waiting for you with wide open arms.

What the enemy meant for evil, God turned it for good. Gen. 50:20

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

 

I am praying that the eyes of your heart may be opened to God’s great love. Talk to me!
Passionista Mimi

 

If you’d like to listen to the song that spoke to my heart this morning, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPwd_TQpsHY

You may want to look up the rest of the lyrics, too.

Inspiration

Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light In The Darkness

Put this where you can see it often! Right click, save, print it off.

Worship God with me! Call on His name. Petition the throne of heaven for God to move on our earth! 

Here’s the video if you want to join me. Way Maker

Way Maker

You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Working in this place
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Working in this place
I worship you
I worship you

 

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You are here
Touching every heart
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Healing every heart
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Turning lives around
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Mending every heart
I worship you
I worship you

 

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You wipe away all tears
You mend the broken heart
You’re the answer to it all
Jesus
You wipe away all tears
You mend the broken heart
You’re the answer to it all (to it all)
Jesus

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You are here
Touching every life
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Meeting every need
I worship you
I worship you

Songwriter: Osinachi Okoro

May God hold you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Mimi

Inspiration

Are You Tired? Afraid? Heavy?

 

Jesus says,”Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28 The Message Bible

 

 

Raw Honest Brave

God Is The Great “Recycler”

Okay, so this post is very open and raw. I have made myself vulnerable in order to reach you. I’m telling another part of my story. I believe that God wants to use all of our experiences as a way to connect with–and maybe bring hope to–another person’s heart. I’m really glad that He does that. It makes the rotten stuff worth a lot more. Let me begin…

Sometimes we just feel like garbage. I’m not talking about when we are sick and our bodies feel “trashed”. What I mean is how we fell when someone degrades us, or we can’t accomplish something we have worked really hard at. Or when we realize that we have screwed up big time. Or we disappoint someone whom we love deeply. Everyone feels this way at some time(s) in their life.

However, when abuse has been a building block of a person’s life, like mine, “feeling like trash” persistently winds its way through our lives, intertwining our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and affecting our quality of life.

Pictures7

Abuse can tear away at our spirit, making us vulnerable to lies. It can crumble and deteriorate self-confidence. It can take away our sense of worth and purpose. Basically, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse will change our quality of life. Forever.

My sexual abuse happened when I was very young. Like many, I showed the classic signs of being abused, but didn’t realize it until I was in my forties. In the early 1990s–before we became aware of statistics revealing that one in four girls will suffer abuse by their eighteenth birthdaya sexual abuse case happened within our church membership. It really tilted our world! This was before the internet explosion, with check lists and resources for those who had been abused. And many of us who had been were living in ignorance, or denial. 

Because our congregation was totally unprepared to deal with the chaos and ravaged emotions this abuse case caused, we hosted an all-day seminar to educate us on how to work through it. During the seminar I began to realize I had shown behaviors indicating abuse in my own life. This often happens to those victims who have suppressed memories as they begin to learn about sexual abuse.  I remembered some rather disturbing interactions with family members. I acknowledged my promiscuity, and the careless attitude toward sex. I realized that my need for attention and the feelings of never being enough could be rooted in sexual abuse, as could my low self-esteem and dislike of myself. Like I said, abuse will intertwine all aspects of our lives. And quite honestly, I fell apart. My tightly-held-together-world began crumbling.

The good news? (Yes there is good news.) It’s possible to find hope and healing. Not in a day or two. Maybe not in a year or two. It’s been a process (how I came to hate that word), removing the effects of abuse layer by layer. I needed to completely reprogram my brain to stop believing the lies (I’m worthless, used up, can’t be good enough, no one will want me like this, I’m garbage, I’m ugly) and believe truth instead (I’m created for a purpose, full of worth, I’m a priceless treasure, I’m more than enough just like I am, I’m beautiful and intelligent and amazing).

The process involved teaming up with a woman of great wisdom who could direct me to God’s truth and identify the lies I believed. I began to read books on the subject of abuse, co-dependency, and emotional healing. I read over and over how God could and would “make me new” (“The former things have passed away… behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5). I chose to renew my mind, rather than dwell on what had happened, because I wanted to change. (Not nearly as easy as I make it sound!) I did not want the abuse to have power over me any more and control my behaviors and thoughts. I realize my abuse was relatively mild (if that’s possible) compared to others I’ve come to know or have read about. However the root of it still caused damage in my emotions and spirit and shows how even the smallest offense of sexual abuse can wreak havoc in a life. It was as if my emotional DNA had been changed.

abuse

One garbage collection day, while I was picking up the recycle bin and looking at all the ”throw away” bottles and boxes, I immediately pictured my life and those of others like me whose life-scripts had been altered by abuse.  We often feel like a throw away–used up, soiled goods that nobody would want. But immediately my mind raced to the finish, or rather, what is being completed in me. I am NO LONGER a throwaway. I never really was, though I was sure of it.

And God has, indeed, done a new thing in my life. I am a totally different person!  Visions of the many wonderful recycled products we can see–that look nothing like their item of origin–came dancing through my mind. Those items have been completely “made new”! And that is exactly how I feel. I am just a shadow of the person I was.

All things made new

I realize that living this many years has given me a wealth of experience to fuel my self-confidence. However, it wasn’t until ten years ago that I really began to blossom into this crazy, passionate, outspoken, fun-loving and confident woman. (Unfortunately I had to leave an emotionally abusive relationship before I could fully bloom, but that’s a story for another time).

If you have encountered abuse, my heart goes out to you. With everything in me, I hope you will take steps toward healing and hope.

1*I encourage you to find someone you can talk with, someone who will love you honestly and help you see truth. Identify the lies you have believed.

2*Begin to reprogram your brain with new words and ideas (new scripts to play) that speak the truth about you. You have such power! Speak who you want to be and your mind and emotions will follow. I’m proof of that.

“I am loved.”               “I can heal.”               “I am worthy.”           “I am strong.”

“I deserve a life free from the effects of abuse.”           “I am more than enough.”

3*Find something you enjoy doing and do it! Try many things and experiences until you find your niche. Doing this has helped me tremendously!

4*Help someone else. I cannot emphasize this enough! There is such healing that happens when we begin to focus on helping someone. There are people around you who would benefit from your smile, touch, note of encouragement, listening ear, help with housework, yard work, babysitting, groceries, a ride somewhere, reading out loud to a child. Kindness warms our hearts whether we are giving or receiving it. And, I always say that “good multiplies good” in our lives.

Once again this has become a very wordy blog post. To those of you who stayed to the end–BIG hugs!! I hope something I’ve said will help you or enable you to help someone you love. Abuse is horribly prevalent, and our society has become one of broken, “walking wounded”. Let me know if there is any way I can help you. Peace, love, and blessings.

Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Inspiration

Relinquish

 

 

I wrote this during a time of excruciating difficulty. 

I feel that someone needs it, as well as I , right now. 

Because I’ve been a control-freakish-type person,

relinquishing has been really hard for me. 

But, I do know that Jesus is the One I turn to. 

Hope this helps you today. 

Hugs and love,

Mimi

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

With ALL My Heart?

I say I love and follow Jesus with all of my heart. But the true story is that I can only love with the part that’s been healed from its wounding. Feeling abandoned and rejected, looking for love in all the wrong places because of my abuse (can I get an amen?), not loving myself and who I am—these things kept me from fully loving God (and others) and I needed to be healed and my heart restored. And let me tell you—that’s been a process! And not a lot of fun. But being able to live freely as who I am, without the lies haunting me, has been worth it.

Satan—the enemy of our souls whose only intent is to kill, steal, and destroy those whom God created—begins his diabolical wounding of us from birth and never stops until our death. He uses other people, life circumstances, and even natural disasters, to plant seeds of bitterness and despair in our hearts, often crippling our ability to love God wholeheartedly.

For example, if someone you love has fought a disease and you prayed for and believed in their healing but still that person dies, what do you do? Satan wants you to be so angry at God that you turn away from Him and live your life in bitterness and despair. God wants you to turn to Him, lean on Him so He can help you with your pain, can carry you, walk with you, and begin to heal the wounding caused by grief and loss.

God gave us the Holy Spirit, and He gives us the power to overcome in these situations. He helps our brain wrap around the loss and deal with the lack of answers. He helps us see that disease does not come from God’s hand, and that He is not punishing you or your loved one. And most of all He can give us peace, even in the midst of our loss. And a promise. I’m so thankful that I can rest on the promise of seeing my family (every member of my original family, except me, has died) in heaven, a place prepared for those who love God.

So what about the wounding that happens during our lifetime, even as children? When I began to understand that I’d been abused as a young child, which led to behaviors that wounded me even more, I had a choice. I could have been mad that God “let” those things happen. Or I could turn to Him as the Healer of those wounds—the only way I could spend the rest of my life wholly restored.

God’s desire and design is to heal those broken places

and heart issues in us.

As I drew closer to Him and spent time getting to know Him, He revealed to me the areas in my heart that needed healing, that had caused me to build walls around my heart.

As we go deeper with Him, He goes deeper into our hearts to reveal and heal. It takes time and I’ll never say it is easy (think surgery). It takes relinquishing. It takes us giving Him permission.

God wants to heal and renew us. He knew that the enemy of our souls would seek to destroy us and keep us from a relationship with Him. He made a way for us to live healed! Jesus came that we may have life in fullness, but that takes being restored to the glory God created for us.

John Eldredge says it this way,

“Your deepest convictions—the ones that really shape your life—are somewhere in the depths of your heart.

As God restores more of your story and broken heart, you will be able to live in the fullness of God’s promise,

the promise of a life set free” 

Excerpt from Restoration Year: A 365 Day Devotional.

Write this down:

As I am healed and the walls are removed, the larger my faith, trust, and capacity to love God become.

 

Supporting scriptures:

The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature. The old has passed away, new things have come2 Cor. 5:17

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

I will never say that healing from trauma and hurtful experiences is easy, but I will say that healing is worth it. And Jesus is waiting to walk you through it. Just call on Him, He is near.

And I’ll be praying for your blessings, healing, and a life of fullness! Let me know how it goes.

Passionista Mimi

 

 

 

 

Keepin' It Real

Doubt is Unbelief

Stop doubting and believe! John 20:27

Jesus’ disciples had just been through the worst time of their lives. Jesus, their  teacher and friend, had been killed and placed in a tomb. Three days later when some of the disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus as the risen Lord, Thomas told them he had to see it to believe it. He wanted proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus, being, well, Jesus, and loving Thomas deeply, appeared again to the disciples when Thomas was present. When Jesus showed Thomas the scars from his crucifixion, Thomas immediately believed that He was the Lord and had returned from the dead.

Are we like Thomas? Do we have to be shown something that is written in God’s word (for example His faithfulness or His promises) to believe it’s true? But what happens to us when we haven’t seen yet? What happens when we are still struggling and God hasn’t provided a solution? Do we begin to doubt if He will? Do we doubt His love for us and His faithfulness? Or even if He can provide what we need?

We are a society of gratification—the quicker the better! But God is not interested in our societal expectations. He loves us and wants us to grow in Him. He knows that adversity can bring us closer to Him, to His heart of love, to closer communion with Him. Even if that communion consists only of, “Oh God! Oh God!” (The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows the cry of our hearts.)

How can our faith grow if it is never tested? It’s often through these hard times of testing that God is able to prove His unfailing love and attention to our needs. Don’t you know that Thomas was at the end of any faith he might have had in his dear friend, Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah. That “Messiah” had been killed, and in the worst, most agonizing and humiliating way possible. Thomas was in deep, deep grief, and perhaps feeling a bit of anger too. “This is not how it was supposed to go. Where is the kingdom, the reign, the wonderful life I thought Jesus was talking about? I saw him die. You say he’s risen, but buddy, I gotta see it to believe it. I believed once and now I’m paying for it.”

You gotta love Thomas. He said what a lot of us think, really. Jesus commended those who believed without seeing him first (verse 29). But we can ask God if He will prove to us that He exists and give us the faith we need to believe in Him. 

By now in my life, I have firm convictions and believe in God—period. During some intensely difficult times I began seeing items in stores with the word “believe” on them. I picked up a few and it became my “word” for the season. I embraced this word, not because I lacked belief in God’s ability to take care of my problems, but because I chose to believe He would. Those words were affirmations of what my heart chose and reminders for my brain. Around the house whenever I’d see one, I’d breathe the prayer, “Oh yes, God, I believe You will provide.” 

I grew up in an environment of belief. (Many times, my parents had to believe for food on the dinner table that night. And God, being the faithful one He is, provided for our family of five.) I’m very thankful for the foundation that belief provided me. AND the gift of faith that God has given me. Did you know that you can ask God for the very thing He requires from us? That blows my mind. It’s like He says, “Child, I want you to give me your faith, lots of faith. I want you to fill this big box with your faith in me. But first, let me give you a warehouse full of faith so you can give me a box full of it back.”

I know this is very elementary, and probably not exactly scripturally accurate, but faith is a gift from God. And the more we are in difficult situations where our faith in God is tested, the more we choose to believe in His ability and desire to help us, the stronger our faith becomes. Because He will always come through for us.

Lest you think that I’ve had an easy life so it’s easy to talk about God’s faithfulness, I’ll share some of the most dramatic ways God has proven His faithfulness. (Believe me, there’s more!)

Shortly after marriage when our total income for the year was minimal to say the least, the refrigerator broke, my husband’s contact (which was necessary for him to see since he was legally blind) tore, and our car was stolen and joy-ridden until it was totaled (two cars were necessary because I drove 45 minutes one way to work). We had no money in reserve and no way of getting any. But, God came through and provided not only a car, but for our financial needs as well.

When my husband was attacked and chemicals thrown in his face and eyes, not once but twice, God came through and healed his eyes.

When I was left totally alone, betrayed by most of those I’d been closest to, God came through and not only healed my heart toward them, but as a result of that emotionally bereft time, came into my grief with more and more of Himself. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything because He drew me even closer to Him than I’d have ever known. I didn’t much care for the excruciating barrenness and alone-ness at the time, but I say now that the experience was worth knowing deeply, and personally, of God’s faithfulness and love in a way I’d never experienced before.

When I went through another devastating time–this one ended in divorce, God came through and provided a place of safety for my children and me to stay. He provided for all of our physical needs, and also healed my broken heart, helping me to parent my two very hurt and confused seven-year-olds. He knitted us together in a stronger bond, making a sweet, loving family from the three of us. My children were content, even in the midst of their grief.

After a period of years during which I was stripped of all my “identities”—wife, daughter, sister, teacher, pastor’s wife, worship leader, home owner, person with good credit—through the deaths of my family members, my divorce, my retirement, and bankruptcy, I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t have a clue “who” I was anymore, had lost most of my support system, was adrift in emotions, and felt weighed down. Over a period of about two years God and I did a lot of work on me. He came through with direction, provision, and so much love to flood my grieving heart. He set me on a new path that brings fulfillment and allows me freedom to be the person He created me to be.

I have many experiences of my own to prove God’s faithfulness and love to me. I know He has our best interests in mind. Do I ever get willful and try to do things my own way? Of course I do. But I’m better at relinquishing the reins these days.

I choose to believe. I choose to seek Him. There is no room for doubt in my life because to doubt God means that I’m believing the lie that God is not able. And I have learned and know, deeply in my “knower” that:

And you can know it too. Carry this verse with you, say it throughout the day and ask God to help you believe it. In a culture that glorifies the self-made person, it’s reassuring to know that it is GOD in us that is carrying out His purpose and satisfying the desires of our heart—way more than we could imagine.

Be blessed beyond measure, my friends, and thank you for stopping by. 

Love and big hugs, 

Passionista Mimi

 

Christmas Reflections, Inspiration

We Are Not Alone

 

“Christmas is a reminder that we are not alone.”

My aunt shared this quote with me and it resonated within me.
God touched humanity with Jesus—the greatest gift of all. Love came down at His birth. He provided a way to live with HOPE in the midst of despair. To have a FRIEND when everyone turns away. To have STRENGTH in the midst of fear. To have LOVE in the midst of hate. To have FAITH in the midst of turmoil.
HE alone is my Rock, the One who has sustained me through some really, really rough times. He has anchored me when I’ve been adrift and floundering.


I am forever grateful for this Savior who came humbly to walk among us and make a way for us to have lives of fullness and joy, regardless of our circumstances. My heart belong to the One who loves me.

May you be blessed this Christmas

and the year to come. 

Love and big hugs, Mimi

Mimi's Messages

Do You Love Your Child “Every Single Bit”?

I designed this card to express how I feel about my children. How about saying these words to your own children? Help them feel like precious treasures. Because when children know that they are amazing and wonderful and CHERISHED, they have a healthy foundation for self-love and courage, and know that they have a safe place supporting them. 

 

On the other hand, please don’t let your child hear that they were a surprise, or a mistake, or an “oopsie”. Those words can damage for life. If you were blessed with a child, however that happened, they are a treasure to be cherished. 

 

Am I always diligent about letting my children know I love them, every single bit? No, of course not! I make mistakes, lose my temper, say things I shouldn’t. But I really try. I want them to know the gift they are to me.

 

Side note: Does that mean always sacrificing MY needs for theirs? No. I believe that always making them a priority, even over my own needs, teaches entitlement and expectation that the world will revolve around them, which we all know is not true. I model healthy self-love by taking time for myself and doing things that help replenish my spirit and restore my brain so I CAN take care of them better. 

 

So, my friends, won’t you join with me in telling your children that you love them, “every single bit”?

 

(You can buy this card in my Etsy shop or click on the image to go directly.)

Have a great day, folks!!

Hugs and sparkles, Mimi

Mimi's Messages

Tell Your Mama!

Has your mama been a shining light in YOUR life?

Has she guided you through

life’s tumultuous waves

and almost-drowning experiences?

 

and so she lit the way
Did she stretch out her hand for you to hold when fear made you tremble?
And open her arms widely

to receive and envelop you

when you were broken-hearted?

Did your mother support you

and encourage you to do that something scary

 that you really wanted to do?


you are absolutely fabulous

Did she clap wildly and smile widely

when you reached those difficult-to-achieve goals?

And thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of a challenging decision?

Did she show you how to live life,
and model unconditional love so you’d be able to?

You are amazing with a side of sprinkles

Then TELL her!

Mother’s Day is one of  the most important times

to give her a card, folks.

And WRITE in it all of your appreciation.

In your own handwriting, tell her thank you.

Tell her how much you love her (like she tells you).

Her heart was more tender

She will KEEP your cards

to read over and over.

 

And you will find them stored together

after she is gone. 

Why? Because she loves you

and your words matter.

 

Take it from a mama who knows.

 

Wishing those of you who are,

a Happy Mother’s Day!

Love and great, big hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

P.S. If you are a bit word challenged, there is no shame in using someone else’s.

You can always search online for words to use.

Buy one of my Empowordment cards to get you started, then write a bit inside. 

You can do it, and your mama will be so happy!