Sometimes I Can’t Look Myself in the Mirror, and It’s Not Because of My Haircut ~ FLAWLESS by MercyMe

Click to listen to "Flawless" by MercyMe. The Cross Has Made You Flawless. Amen!

Sometimes I can’t even look myself in the mirror.

It might be because that new hair cut was a mistake, but usually it’s when the past jumps up to haunt me.

That “past” may only be a few seconds ago.

The past can pop up when a song on the radio transports me back to a moment in time I’d hoped to forget — forever — back when I was a much different person.

Or when I overhear a conversation about someone who did something to someone else that I’ve also done. My shame reminds me I could’ve been that person they were talking about.

Other times it’s when I knew I should keep my mouth shut, but refused. I said it anyway and can’t take it back.

My thoughts love to torture me over the sheer number of times I bring outright shame to the name of Christ through the countless things I say and do.

Guilt wants to crush me, but the cross has set me free. [Read more…]

Enough With the Pity Party — IT’S NOT OVER YET (by for King & Country)

Listen to "It's Not Over Yet" by for King & Country and be encouraged to never give up. "Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5. (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Sometimes there’s just nothing like a good old fashioned pity party.

My friend: “Hey. How’s it going?”

Me: “My daughter Brittany is moving to Hawaii Tuesday! Waaaa!

In case you didn’t know, I live in South Carolina. She might as well be moving to the moon.

I’ve had this conversation about Britt’s move a lot. I’ve been inviting lots of people to my pity party.

But then someone had to go and spoil my party:

My friend: “I know how you feel. One of our daughters is getting married in June and moving to Alberta, Canada, and our other daughter lives in China.”

She smiled the whole time she said this. And it wasn’t the kind of smirk that says “I can one-up you,” but the kind that says, “Isn’t this a great day.”

You’d almost think she didn’t like her daughters. But I happen to know she loves them. A lot. 

So, I’ve cancelled my pity party.

My friend looked like she was having more fun than me, anyway. I’m joining her party.

The IT’S NOT OVER YET party. [Read more…]

Surviving Another Dreaded Bleh of Life – FIRST (Lauren Daigle)

Click to listen to "First" by Lauren Daigle and read "Surviving Another Dreaded Bleh of Life!" ~ Matthew 6:33

I’ve held onto too much in my life, unable to let go.

I’ve never been so happy as when I learned to let go of my rights, shame, unforgiveness, and that obnoxious shirt that hasn’t been in style since 1987.

But letting go of my children? Bleh!

That one feels like it just might kill me.

My baby, Carolyn, is headed to college. 

I typed those words last fall.

I thought our last child–our baby–moving 2 1/2 hours away to Clemson was tough. Imagine when our oldest daughter announced she got a job in Honolulu.

Yes, as in HAWAII.

Yay?

How do I prepare to send her off across the planet with a smile on my face and a Bleh! in my heart?

Before I cry over my children, I will rejoice over my God.

Before I dwell on my pain, I will dwell on His presence.

Before I do anything, I will seek God FIRST.

“But seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.”

~ Matthew 6:33

Seeking God isn’t about getting what we want, except that it is.

When we seek God first — truly seek Him with our whole heart first and foremost — we actually do end up getting everything we desire because everything in our being actually desires Him.

God is our highest desire.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26

Think about it. Even individuals who reach the pinnacle of success in their field only enjoy a measure of contentment for a period of time. They don’t stay content.

People who’ve lost hope and appear to desire nothing actually feel deep desire — a deep desire to stop feeling.

Desire never disappears until it reaches its truest and deepest longing in God.

I don’t want to stop desiring my children, but I do want that desire to stop hurting so much.

I want to be able to give them over to God and send them off into the world with my heart full of genuine joy, and without a quivering upper lip.

When God is my first heartbeat, my first breath and my first thought — my all — then all that I’m experiencing — all my sorrows or sadness — are covered by Him and His radiant glory, and His joy is mine.

“You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
~ Psalm 16:11, NASB

Living in the midst of our highest desire–God’s presence–will turn our tears into laughter.

Some pain shouldn’t be erased. It’s good to miss our children, so long as we don’t turn into a crazed Mrs. Bates.

Some broken hearts can’t be completely mended on this side of heaven, but fullness of joy relieves a lot of pain.

It has the power to wash away our bleh’s.

As I face the Bleh of Brittany’s exciting and wonderful move to Hawaii, I’ll seek God first.

And I’ll listen to Lauren Daigle sing “First” a lot. In fact, now would be a good time: [Read more…]

This Is Not The End (THE GLORIOUS UNFOLDING by Steven Curtis Chapman) ~ Monday Music

Listen to The Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman via www.JeanWilund.com

Floodwaters ripped through South Carolina recently.

Some survivors share stories of near-death experiences, miraculously rescued.

(See one survivor share his story below.)

Others were tragically discovered too late. 

Some have surrendered to a wake of hopelessness and despair.

Others have fallen to their knees and sung praises of gratefulness. 

Surely everyone has cried out, “Why?” [Read more…]

Parachute Lights & The Peace of Christ (They’re better than frown lines and fewer friends)

Click to read about the rehearsal dinner that led to parachute lights and the peace of Christ rather than frown lines and fewer friends. via www.JeanWilund.com

Forty-five people were coming to dinner, and it looked like we’d have no place to seat them.

This wasn’t just a regular dinner.

As if dinner for 45 people is ever a regular dinner.

Our son Bobby and his fiancee Kaitlyn were getting married, and this was their rehearsal dinner.

The groom’s family has one job. Just one. Feed the wedding party and special guests the night before the wedding. That’s it.

Plus, you want to impress the new in-laws, so they don’t grab their daughter and run.

So, what do you do when you learn the night before the dinner that there may not be a place to feed the 45 people coming? [Read more…]

“Through All of It” by Colton Dixon ~ Monday Music

Click to view Colton Dixon "Through All Of It" Music Video

It happened.

I knew the day would come.

It’s not that I wanted to stop it, but I also dreaded it, all while celebrating it with pride. [Read more…]

When Your Child Is Suffering: An Interview with Author Michelle Medlock Adams – Part 4

When Your Child Is Suffering: An Interview with Michelle Adams Part 4

 

Andrea came running to the door screaming, “Mrs. Jean! Brittany got hit in her eyes by a bungee cord, and she can’t see.”

My legs lost all strength as the sound of her wailing in the backyard reached my ears.

Even thinking about that moment weakens me over ten years later.

I hurried to Brittany, praying every step of the way. [Read more…]

Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave

Click to watch video: Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave

Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave

___________†___________

The prisoners received their pardons, and their prison doors swung open.

But they didn’t leave.

Some hadn’t been told they could.

Others were told, but they’d lived imprisoned so long, they refused to believe they could just walk away.

And so there they live, imprisoned still today even with the doors wide open. [Read more…]