Sunday, December 27, 2015

My name is Shame.

For years I struggled with the weight of shame. I stole for so many years and I wanted freedom but shame was this wet blanket that wouldn't let me move and was suffocating me. I know people who wanted to change their ways, who wanted to walk in freedom but couldn't speak out because they were so worried about what someone would think of them.
Years ago when I was in my early teens I stole a ring from a relative. I enjoyed it for about a min and then spent the next 20+ years thinking of ways that I could get it back to her without anyone knowing. I was so shameful of my actions that it completely hindered my ability to make things right. I would hardly pray about it because it would admit to my self what I had done. God already knew but I wasn't ready to talk with him about it. Finally I got to a place where it was do or die. I knew I had to confess and live with the consequences. I told my husband and he was so loving and understanding. That was only half the battle. I still held onto the ring for another couple of years. I then told my sister and sent my aunt and her daughter a Facebook msg. I told them I had something to tell them and it needed to be in private and face to face.
We set up a time to meet when I went back home to Alabama. I first met with my mom and dad and had one to one time with them and confessed. I was so embarrassed of my sin. I was so ashamed of what others might think of me. See the thing is, I had been free of stealing for so many years. I had giving my life to Jesus and when I got re-baptized with the understand that I was a new creation all temptation to steal was gone. I had not stolen in over 10 years but I was still carrying around this burden, this shame. I did not want people to see me as someone they could not trust. It was not at all who I was now. But remember it was do or die. I HAD to make amends. I had to make it right. I had to confess. 
I went to my aunt's house and in a back bedroom I poured out my heart. I cried from the years of heart ache. I cried at the thought that maybe my cousin had gotten in trouble for "losing" this special ring. I cried at the thought of ruining one of my favorite family relationships. But I had to tell. 
The most amazing thing happen. They laughed. They forgave. They thanked me. They said I probably  kept the ring safe for them all these years because she probably would have lost it her self. 
It was the biggest showing of God's love that I had ever seen. I was finally free. Now I can tell my story with power and excitement. I tell it with joy and freedom. 
I know what it is like to be stuck. I know what it is like to be free. Freedom trumps being stuck any day.

Today I turned on the tv and it was on channel 45. TLC. I never watch this channel anymore so I am sure my oldest was watching "Say yes to the dress" 
Anyway I kept it here because some of the Duggars were on there (19 kids and counting). This was a new episode and they talked some about how the birth of this new baby was a good distraction from the season they were in. 
I finished watching the show and later on in my room I was praying and thinking about this whole family. I though about how sad it was that shame had so covered their son Josh to where he "lost his voice. He got to a point where he quit fighting. The first line of a poem came into my head (as poems usually do for me) and I had to write it down. I prayed about how to finish it and came up with this poem. 
Here it is. 

My name is Shame

Shame has claws bigger then any monster under the bed. 
It yells  "BE QUIET, YOU ARE ALONE", and it is exposer that you dread. 

Shame is the hot lava that flows from the sin. 
It tapes your mouth shut making you feel this battle you will not win. 

There is a tug at your heart to tell someone you love,
But shame punches you in your gut and knocks you over with a slight shove. 

Shame is deceiving, it makes you feel like you are friends,
All the while it is shredding apart relationships and bringing them to an end. 

Shame wants to block out the voice that says " There is still hope" 
You hear it whisper " You can have victory and not just get by and cope". 

Shame wants you to feel hopeless like you have no tools with which to heal. 
But your mouth is your biggest weapon if you speak to someone and your past you do not conceal. 

There is someone who can help you remove the tangled net of shame. 
They will walk with you, pray with you and never cast blame. 

God already knows you inside and out. 
He sees your heart and hears it crying out.  

Open your mouth and find words and use it to fight. 
Speak out for the WIN, It is your only life. 

You are already loved by God 
But shame tries to make your forget. 
But stand up and take ground and change your mindset. 

Tell yourself you ARE worth the fight, you ARE loved, and this battle you WILL win. 
At first you may feel like a failure but lift up your weary chin. 

Whisper if you must but do not give in to the temptation to quit. 
Speak life over yourself until both your heart and mouth can admit. 

That you are set free from shame that is the monster, that is attached to sin and tries to steal your ability to conquer. 

You have got this my friend, you will come through the battle with some scars to show. 
Shame no longer makes the decisions, it has no place here and must pack up and go. 

Shame will try to come back and look for empty space, so you must fill your heart with God's word and slam the door in Shame's face. 

-Charlene T. December 27,2015 

I know what it is like to live with shame and I know what it is like to be free of shame. I can honestly say it is never better to stay on the side of living with shame. The freedom is like no other.
If you are walking with the weight of shame then find someone ASAP that you can talk to. Find some one who can pray with you. You can even msg me. I can walk in agreement with you and your fight for your life. Do not let shame win its place in YOUR life. 

*the ring was returned in January 2011. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A gift for the homeless.

I am one of the people that have a heart for something and then sit back and do very little about it. Life, time, and money get in the way making it hard to follow though with a great idea. I will spare you the long stories of my few times I did walk out an idea and today just focus on this one.
A week or so ago I thought how great would it be to make little stockings for the homeless people ( who sell the newspapers) and put a little gift inside of it. I wanted Ava to draw some lovely picture of a Christmas tree and then we would put some candy inside and -in a perfect world - we would have a gift card to some food place. 
Today I started on the stockings. They were horrible...No good....throw away....What the crap are those...stockings. So i changed it up and did a different shape. I am much more pleased with this design.

  I have a few sewn for tomorrow when Gabi and I go out. If anyone has any ideas of more stuff to go in the bags please let me know. 
I wanted the stocking to be small but bring happy memories and Ava's picture to be used as their own tree if they have no place for a real one. 

I mentioned all of this to Jerry and he suggesting writing a poem to add in. I prayed about what to write them and wrote this.

Don't forget 

It is the season to remember....but it has been a hard year. 
They say "Take time to count your blessings" but you can hardly do that though your fallen tears. 
Life has thrown you some curve balls and you had to learn to play the game. 
It has been a challenge and now walking though life doesn't look quite the same. 
I pass you all the time and I can recognize your weathered face. 
But I don't know your name or your story or how you got to this time and place. 

I want you to know that as I pass you I pray,
For protection, and for blessings, and for joy each day. 
I want you to know that you may feel like you are unseen 
But you are loved by a God who sees you as his child who is worthy and can be redeemed. 
The Christmas season is the celebration of a child's birth 
He is Jesus, God's son, sent from heaven to earth. 
So to the poor person reading this who may live on the streets or the wealthy person seeing this as the prop up their tired feet,
You need to know that to God you each are the same and he wants to capture your heart  and He already knows you by name. 
Charlene Turney December 22. 2015. 

Is there an idea that you have been thinking on but haven't walked out? Maybe this is the season to do just that. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

A boy and his heart

Last weekend we had Caden's 9th bday party where he invited lots of his friends from school. I rightly assumed he wanted everyone to come but was pleasantly surprised when he specifically asked to make sure that James knew he was invited too. They have been in the same class for 2 years now and Caden has told me many times that James is one of his best friends.

See the thing is James has special needs and from an outsider like my self it seems just about impossible to communicate with him. I am always amazed at the thought that he is in the 3rd grade and learning right along with the other kids.
All the kids in the class, even in the school, do not blink an eye at James' difference. They see him for who he is. James

I sent out an invitation to the class and later realized that their email was not part of this group class email. On the last possible day I ran into his dad at school and was able to personally invite them.
James' mother and I emailed back and forth and they looked forward to the chance to come play.
She warned me ahead of time that it may take some time for him to get used to the new place. I told Caden about this and he said "James will be fine, he knows me". Caden was right.

James and his mother arrived around the same time other kids were getting here and we all just hung around outside playing until James felt comfortable to venture inside. The weather was perfect that day for just that thing.

After a bit of time inside everyone went out to the back yard and played and James joined them. His mother was very happy that he was so comfortable being in the new place. I said maybe it felt like recess at school because all of his friends were here. They were able to stay for over an hour until things got a little overwhelming.

I later told Caden that I was very happy he is friends with James. I said he is very good with him even though you can't really communicate with him. Caden interrupted me and said "Oh you can communicate with him, it is just hard" I stopped and thought about that. I was so impressed with the matter of fact-ness to his statement. Caden has learned and understands that even though it may take an extra minute and even  though it may not look the same he can have a friendship with someone who is different then him.
This picture here is James communicating with his helper what he is looking forward to this Christmas season. He was able to read what was written (after he choose what to say) The class was so wonderful and gave him their full attention.

I have thought about this family a ton over the past week and I love the lesson that is so intertwined to our families.

We as humans are all different. We grow up in different cultures, we grow up with different religious beliefs, we discipline different, we talk different, and we even communicate different. Being different does not always mean wrong it just means different. It means it might be a little harder to communicate but if we all took the time like Caden and so many of his class mates and paused for a moment to "listen" to a "James" in our life I am confident we will be blessed because of it.
James' words to not work like ours but there are so many people in this world who's words do not work like ours, they do not sound like ours but his heart is the same, his smile is the same and when we can look past the differences of those around us we might be surprised to see their heart too.

This is my mother in law. She is Korean and most defiantly does not communicate the same as us. Her culture is so much different then mine but I love her! Her heart is so big and so giving and kind. She is always willing to serve and help if you need her.

This is the group we had here for Thanksgiving. There were a few different languages and cultures here. It it so much fun getting to learn how we are all the same and hearing how we are not the same.

Do you have some things or some people in your life that you need to "learn" to communicate with?
All 5 of my kids are unique and I am having to continue to learn how to talk with them. If I stopped solely on the fact that they don't act like I do, I would miss out on so many amazing things. Not all the things are easy, some are flat out hard lessons to learn but well worth it.

So thank you Caden and thank you James for being friends and thank you LynnMarie for coming to our party, it was a joy.  (thanks for the party pictures too)
This picture is of James loving on Caden monkey pillow at the PJ party friday.