Clothe Yourself With Love

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony, and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.

Colossians 3:12-14

As I was thinking about Valentines Day this week with all of it’s chocolates, roses and love, is it just me, or do you find that the world, in all of it’s tolerance, is less sweet, less loving…less tolerant? The man who wrote these words, was himself, in chains in a prison. He is imploring a church in Colosse to forgive and make allowances for other’s faults and offenses. He is showing, with word pictures, how to walk in love toward a fellow human being. I think if he was able to do this, we must have something we can glean from it.

These words are every bit as important today as they were in Rome, back in 60 AD. This is easier said, than done, don’t you agree? Every day I have opportunities to forgive and not be offended, but because living Christ is my core value, I find ways to lean into the pain and align myself with the truth that Paul wrote here.

I have found Brene’ Brown’s books to be so helpful and practical in areas of vulnerability and relationship. We all, ultimately, want to be understood and want to keep communication going- it’s loving, it’s kind. In Dare To Lead, Brown write’s about recognizing when you are emotionally hooked by something. You know, the times where you feel like you are coming out of your skin, the times you cannot get the conversation to quit playing in your mind, the times when you are hurt, angry, confused, pissed, scared, etc, and times when you even feel sick or have other physical manifestations.

She states in her research that: knowing when you are emotionally hooked and then getting curious about it is the important first step. The getting curious piece is about asking yourself questions concerning the irritation. What is underneath my response? What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

She uses tools like, slow, metered breathing and writing in the process to slow the winds and calm the seas. I have been a long time journal- er and I have learned the value of deep breathing in vocal lessons and singing, but combining these two things in times of emotional confusion have been empowering to me.

When I combine these practical tools with wanting to do the best I can as a human, I find I am drawn to the image of clothing myself in love and tender hearted mercy. I believe we must have necessary, difficult discussions, but leaning into the pain and doing it right not only strengthens us, it sets others up for success in the process.

We are often so rushed, we do not take time to consider how we can clothe ourselves with gentleness and love. Just as you take time to pick out your clothes for the day and look at yourself with them on, ask yourself what being clothed in tender hearted mercy and love would look like on you and how you can wear them today. Maybe it is simply smiling and being cheerful. Maybe it is thanking the person who makes your coffee. Maybe it is telling your co worker when they do a good job. Maybe it is telling your spouse thank you for the little things they do everyday. Maybe it is taking care of something that someone else forgot to do and not telling them about it. Maybe it is buying groceries for a single mom working her tail off trying to make ends meet. What ever the situation, love covers and has an extraordinary, self- less aroma!

I am right here walking this road of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today<3

Many Emotions Can Emerge At Christmas

Understanding that Christmas-time can bring a host of conflicting emotions, we pray this over each of you today.

Jesus said, I am the Light of the World, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.

Blessings to each of you, in His Mighty Name, by the Power He gives in His Spirit. Merry Christmas from Honest Aromas.

God Delights In Mercy

I have been some what quiet on Word Press for a while because I have been writing a few books! This excerpt comes from my devotional book which will be published early in 2019. As I was proofreading today, I thought I would share this rich truth with you. 

Who is a God like you? Pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He doesn’t retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on you and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  Micah 7:18-20

Other people may retain their anger toward us until we die, but God does not. God delights in mercy. Let me say that again, God delights in mercy. Say that to yourself over and over, let its truth wash over you. He will have compassion on you and subdue your iniquities. And when you ask for forgiveness, He will cast all of your sins into the depths of the sea and envelop you in His love.

Let’s Pray! O Lord God, you truly are beautiful. Who is like you, O God?? Pardoning and passing over my sin, washing it clean in the blood that Jesus died for me. Thank you that you delight in mercy. Thank you that you have compassion on me, knowing me as but a man, human and faulty. You have compassion, because you walked as we walked and were tempted in every way that we are. You are sinless and transparent, Holy and approachable, High and lifted up and lowly. Thank you that you chastise me with the love of a Father. Thank you that you cast every last sin in to the sea of forgiveness that envelops me in love. Thank you my loving Father, Holy Spirit that leads me into all truth, and merciful Savior, friend,  Amen.


A Beautiful Heart

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My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3

I’m Doing The Best I Can

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“Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing! Mom! Mom! Mom!??? Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing? (I remain supernaturally quiet). Mom!! Why are you ignoring me?” Assuming everything in the universe that is wrong has been caused by yours truly...”Mom why didn’t you tell me….”

“Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it  heats up and overflows.” “Oh!” he says, as if he has truly learned a new concept. A few minutes later…”Mom, why didn’t you tell me that the oatmeal was overflowing?!!Mom! Why are you ignoring me?” ( I thought we just had this conversation a few seconds ago and he accepted my response as a reasonable answer?) “Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it heats up and over flows.” “Oh!”, he said.

Here is an actual excerpt of a 5 minute conversation we had the other morning at breakfast. This is very typical.  Of course the oatmeal isn’t always over flowing, but the intensity and seeming insanity is commonly overflowing. I am not sure why I have been chosen for such an enormous task as this. One which requires such superhuman love! I have not always dealt with it wisely and definitely have tried my hand at escape. Sometimes I think, after all of the education I have sought out, the prayers that I have prayed, the multitude of counselors and therapies we have implemented, that some how we should reach a plateau called, Easier! I am realizing that to get to the other side, you have to keep moving through, keep doing the next right thing, keep going through. Some times I let my son and my self down with how I respond but there is one thing I am sure of… I am doing the best I can.

My Beloved

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“The core of my faith belongs to the conviction that you and that I and that we are the beloved daughters and sons of God. One of the enormous spiritual tasks we have is to claim that and to live a life based on that knowledge.” henri nouwen

I agree. It is something that I have been trying to wrap my mind around for the last few years, but more than that, asking God Himself to implant that deeply into my mind and my heart. I believe it is the core of living; looking past our “false self”, or our apparent self or circumstances to our “true self” who is the beloved of God to fully live as we were intended.

While meditating on Nouwen’s book, Spiritual Direction and his meditation on The Beloved, I wrote this song.

 

I am your beloved-you made me in eternity

You gave me love-so I could give it out-it will not run out in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

Here and now-your love is my power for victory- your song and strength to me

You will never leave- though the enemy tries to deceive- I will trust in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

You know my thoughts afar- you come to where we are- no stones, just nail scarred hands

You put them ’round my face- and sing amazing grace- love divine pouring into man

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

I pray that this love pours out of me to others and that I let it’s truth sustain me the rest of my life<3