Pssst . . . Guess What’s Coming in September?

So a little birdie told me that we are expecting very soon, and I couldn’t be more excited!

That’s right!

A new little book about a special superhero should be expected to hit shelves in September.

Here’s a sneak peek of the cover. Jewel of Light is headed your way soon!

Jewel of Light© and all related images are copyrighted © by Fearfully Made Ministries, LLC and Charla Marion Pavlik. The use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission from Fearfully Made Ministries is obtained.

Jewel of Light© 2014

All Rights Reserved.  Jewel of Light and all content associated with Jewel of Light
© 2014  Fearfully Made Ministries, LLC and Charla Marion Pavlik.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Fearfully Made Ministries, LLC is strictly prohibited.

You might also want to check out a previous post about Jewel of Light HERE.

Divorce Sucks

Mommy

Divorce sucks. Yes, I know that isn’t a very “lady like” thing to say, but you know what? I don’t know another way to say it. It absolutely sucks.

Just 10 minutes ago I did one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I kissed and hugged my babies, and fighting back tears, I told them “Good-bye.” A week and a half may not sound like much to some people, but I’ve never been away from my kids for that long. And I have a pain running from my left arm pit to my chest. Do you know what that is? That is heart pain – literal heart pain.

We watched the movie, Home, last night. In that movie, Oh tries to figure out human emotions and struggles with the fact that Tip is both mad and sad at the same time. He called it “mad sad.” Right now, I am a mixture of mad, sad, hurt, and fearful.

My oldest had to get stitches just 2 days ago, and I’ve been taking care of him since then. I don’t get to tonight . . . or tomorrow . . . or for the rest of the week. I don’t get to love on him and help him feel better when he’s hurting, and I don’t get to reassure him before he goes to sleep that I’m just right here, and all he has to do is call for me if he needs anything or if he’s hurting in the middle of the night.

On top of that, in a few days, my little ones will take their first flight, and I won’t be with them.  They will land in California, and I won’t be with them to experience it for the first time because I have never been there either. They will go to the ocean and feel the sand and salt water for the first time, and I won’t be a part of it. And I won’t be there to keep my oldest company when he doesn’t get to fully experience the ocean water because of his stitches. I don’t get to comfort them when they’re nervous before the plane takes off, and I don’t get to see the wonder in their eyes when they see the water and sea life for the first time. Although my son and I have dreamed and planned for years for this, I do not get to be a part of it, and for their sake, I have to be excited for them and not let them know my sadness.

My mommy heart is absolutely broken, and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. There are several types of moms, and no one type is better or worse than the other. We are just all wired differently. Never would I have thought it when I was younger, but I am the mom who wants to experience every teeny thing with her kids. I mean everything. I want to be with them for the little things, and of course, the big things like this . . . but my life didn’t go as planned, and now both their dad and I have to share the first experiences.

Divorce sucks.

End of story.

An Eye For An Eye – Vengeance Is Mine

Courtesy of Disney's Inside Out - Anger

Courtesy of Disney’s Inside Out – Anger

A few days ago I posted a legitimate question on one of my social networking pages. I asked how to respond realistically but biblically when someone continues to “slap” you. I even gave the scripture of turning the other cheek when someone slaps you (Matthew 5:38-39) because I know that’s the scripture one goes to when a question like that is asked.

Turning the other cheek sounds great and all, but in real life, I need to know what that looks like and what to do when constantly being slapped in the face by the same individual. I believe my words were something like, “What do you offer up when you’ve already had both cheeks, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, arms, legs, body, feet slapped many times over?”

Let’s Be Real Here

Am I the only one who struggles with wanting to retaliate when someone blatantly hurts me, most especially when it’s a constant thing? As much as I want to be the “good Christian woman”, I have a terrible time with the follow through part of that.  You know, the turning-the-other-cheek-and-offering-help-and-love-to-the-offender part. Why is that so difficult for me?

So here I am, yet another sleepless night, and I have a million things racing through my brain. The incident that provoked this question being one of them. After 3 hours of wide eyes, I decided to have some alone time with my Daddy God. Honestly, I had nothing specific in mind as far as what scripture to read, or if I would even read it, and I had no idea what I was going to pray. The funny thing is, God always knows what we need to hear, and he lead me to a story I’ve known forever but had not heard it the way I heard it from him tonight . . . or this morning – whatever it now is.

In Genesis 37 and Genesis 50, my answer was so clearly laid out. In short:

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They plotted to kill him, which changed to them deciding to throw him in a cistern to die (so they weren’t technically the ones killing him), but then they decided to sell him as a slave to some passersby, and they sold him pretty cheap, too. They came back and let their dad believe Joseph was killed by a wild animal.

Those passersby who purchased Joseph, sold him to someone else. It turns out, the one who purchased him was the captain of the guard of Pharaoh. Through many wrongs being done to him, many slaps in the face, Joseph never complained about his circumstances. He never fought back. He didn’t blame his circumstances on his brothers when he very easily could have harbored hate and anger.

Instead, what we see from Joseph is that he took every opportunity to listen to God and obey whatever he told him, and he ended up being Pharaoh’s right hand man, so to speak. God blessed him in ways he couldn’t have even imagined had his circumstances been different.

Fast forward many years, and the brothers had to depend on Joseph for provision during a famine. He gave graciously to them rather than leaving them to die just as they had intended to do for him.

The part that hit me, though, was after his father died, and his brothers came back asking to be forgiven. Let me pause from the story to be completely up front with you. I am human, and more times than I would like to admit, my flesh wins in the battle between it and my Spirit. I look at my particular situation, and I hear the “I’m sorrys” from this person, but I don’t believe them, and I may or may not say they are forgiven, but even if I say “I forgive,” that anger is still there depending on what the action was. In Joseph’s situation, it would be very difficult not to hold on to that hurt and anger.

That’s not what he did, though.  Verses 19-21 say:

Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives . . .” (NIV)

The scripture goes on to say – get ready for this one – . . . And he spoke kindly to them.

OUCH. Joseph not only provided for them when they were in need, but he forgave them for selling him as a slave, AND he did it all while speaking KINDLY to them.

Wow. I’ve failed. I’ve not only failed, but I’ve failed over and over again.

This is what the scripture in Matthew means. Someone slaps you on your left cheek, so you offer up your right. You don’t seek revenge. You love, and you offer help to them even if it’s the shirt off your back. This story of Joseph tells us exactly what that looks like in real life. It tells us that God can use any situation to save others, and it tells us that he will protect us in all situations if we just allow him to. Are we really allowing him to protect us and utilize us if we are angry and yelling and constantly thinking about yet another way we were wronged by the same person?

How are we to reach people if that’s where we stay? How can we focus on others if we are constantly fighting that same battle with that same person – or any battle to defend ourselves against those who have wronged us, for that matter?

We can’t.

I don’t know if the story of Joseph speaks to you in the way it spoke to me, but I hope this speaks to someone out there who might feel like they’ve been kicked down too many times and are at a loss for how to defend themselves. Our society today so quickly jumps at the opportunity to cause an uproar when they feel they are being wronged. I’m guilty of it. I won’t pretend I’m above that. None of us want to be wronged, and it seems unrealistic to “turn the other cheek.”

Step with me outside of society’s way of thinking, and let’s give it a try. Don’t hang on to it. Don’t talk about it constantly. Don’t let your mind drift back to it throughout the day. And . . . speak kindly each time you speak to that person. Let’s see how life changes for us. I’m ready. How about you?