I bet you thought I forgot all about my other blog content besides the End of the Week Prophecy Updates, huh? 🙂 Sorry about that! To be honest, I’ve been spending a lot of time praying about changes and now working behind the scenes at Calvary Couponers and Crafters to bring those changes about. I’ve been spending some time making new graphics to give the blog a little face lift. I can’t afford to hire a professional graphics designer or web builder, so I work my own amateur magic as I can 🙂 The changes will be nothing TOO drastic. Mainly cosmetic. You will probably start seeing some changes within the next few days depending on how faithfully I stick to my planner schedule 🙂 I want to re-prioritize things and get back on track blogging more than once week 🙂
I plan to put all the coupon content on one page so my readers who are wanting coupons and couponing information can find it all one one page without hunting through my other posts. That will leave all my other content like the prophecy, devotional, crafts, etc. content on the main page that opens when you visit the blog’s home page. The majority of my current readers visit for the Sunday prophecy post so I want to make that a priority for us all. (Also I’ve been hearing a lot of, “I thought that was just a coupon blog” comments –SO frustrating! So, I’m hoping this will clear things up for my readers.)
And to begin with that, I offer up this week’s Mindful Monday devotional, “Too Much Baggage!”
I know we can all relate to this week’s devotional by Holly Wagner. I doubt a lot of us connects the topic of “too much baggage” with forgiveness though. This was one of my YouVersion reading plans for last night and I decided to share it with you after being convicted by it myself (you are welcome 😉 ).
There is a lot of baggage in my past and I always think I’ve laid it at the Savior’s feet and given it up and moved on, just to find that it’s still on the back burners of my mind ready to pounce on me when I expect it the least. At least that’s what I tell myself. I need to more actively ask God to take it from me than I do. Do any of the rest you struggle with leaving things with God after you’ve given it to Him for what feels like a million times? I was bullied badly in high school by a boy I STILL struggle to keep forgiving over and over. All these years later when someone mentions the word, “enemy” his face is the first thing that pops in my mind (aside from our spiritual enemy who seems to love to plaster his face in my vision at those times!) Why do we hold on to pain that long? I never mean to. I certainly don’t plan to! It just happens. Is it because in my case it happened during my formative years when a girl is the most vulnerable? Only the Lord knows, but I tend to have to be reminded over and over that He wants to take that pain and help me move on already! 🙂 Once and for ALL!
I’m so glad we won’t wrestle with this in heaven! Here’s what Holly has to say on the subject:
I have packed suitcases numerous times, but I still take too much. Just as when we travel, in life we tend to carry excess luggage. If you are going to make it through any storm, you must throw some of it overboard before the weight of it sinks you.
Past hurts are definitely part of the excess baggage we need to throw overboard. Pain from previous events can take up excessive amounts of space in our hearts. It’s as though each hurt comes with its own set of luggage, and each stuffs itself into the next. It’s as if we carry within us a set of Matryoshka dolls, those wooden nesting dolls. Inside the big one is a smaller one. And inside that one is another even smaller one.
Painful experiences are like that set of dolls; each carries its own luggage. Most of us have been betrayed at some point. If we haven’t dealt with it, we carry the baggage of bitterness. If we don’t deal with that bitterness, it breeds unforgiveness. And the unforgiveness breeds resentment. And the resentment creates envy. And envy harbors distrust. All that luggage! If we don’t lighten our load and intentionally lose some of this stuff, we can spend the rest of our lives crippled by the weight.
I am an extrovert, so I find it easy to open my heart and life to people. With that also comes the risk of hurt, and I have been wounded a few times.
People who said one thing and did another. People who were careless with my feelings and my heart. People who said unkind things about me. People who were silent when I had hoped they would have my back. Each one feels like a punch to the gut.
So how do we get rid of the power past hurts hold over us? By practicing forgiveness. Whatever its source, in order to get rid of the baggage of past pain, we have to be willing to forgive—sincerely and deeply—those who have hurt us. It is not a feeling, it is an act of our will.
Honestly, I have to work at it. Most of the time, I think I’m doing pretty well by just not killing someone. But I get the feeling Jesus wants us to be overachievers in this aspect.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15 (NIV)
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” -Isaiah 53:4 (ESV)