Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Holy Spirit

I was researching the word shame the other day and somehow found myself reading about the Holy Spirit. At first glance it wouldn't seem likely that shame and the Holy Spirit would ever be used in the same sentence but please let me explain.

One of the definition of the word shame according to dictionary.com is: "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous done by oneself or another." In this definition we find that the feeling of shame comes from the conscience. Our conscience helps to directed us with what is right or wrong. As a Christian I have comfort in knowing that God has given us help, He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our councilor.

John 14:15   Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit 

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

 “All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,  but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave."

The Holy Spirit is our advocate. He will guide us in truth. In the sin of my affair, I ignored the urges of the Holy Spirit. At first, I could feel the Holy Spirit urging me, putting unrest and guilt in my heart. We are free to make our own choices and I choose to ignore the Holy Spirit. As I continued down the path of sin and shame, it seemed to me that  I was able to turn-out the voice of the Holy Spirit. I am sure He was still urging me and calling me to turn from my sin. I became callous to my sin and began to justify my behaviors. I deceived myslef into thinking that I was doing nothing wrong and I continued to look for validation. I was choosing to disobey God by living in my sin and continuing with my affiir. 

At first I felt terribly guilty about spending time with another man. I ignored the Holy Spirit's direction to stop and made myself believe that what I was doing was okay because we were just friends. But the deeper and deeper I climbed into my sin the easier it was to ignore the Holy Spirit. I wonder if the same thing happened to David when he spied Bathsheba from his rooftop. You can find the story in 2 Samuel chapter 11. 

I still feel shame from by disobedience to God. I wish that I could go back in time and change everything that happened. I wish I would have listened to the urges of the Holy Spirit to run from my sin. But I know that God has graciously forgiven me and cleansed me from my sin. God used David for good and I pray that God can use me and my mistakes for good too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Really Bad Decisions

Emotional affair is also known as an affair of the heart. I was caught up in an emotional affair...however, my affair soon crossed into physical affair. At first, we did little things like hold hands, and hug. We made excuses to touch each other on the leg or the back. Our hugs were lasting longer and we started to kiss. At the time, these personal displays of affection didn't seem like I had crossed any line. I was in love with my new lover. I was simply showing him how I felt.

It was summer. Scott was working long hours. I was in love with two men. Scott was still in the dark as to what was going on. I had Scott convinced that  me and the other guy were just friends. He seemed to be okay with that. In fact, the story that I am sharing with you today starts by Scott dropping me off to be with him. (From this point on the man I had the affair will be known as Ozzy.) Ozzy and I had plans to go bowling that night. We went to a local place that had free bowling for those over 21 years of age in hopes that the people would drink. I should mention that as a result of dating Ozzy that I picked up drinking. This night in particular was a night of really bad decisions.

We bowled and drank to the point that I was very drunk. We drove to a friend's house. I called Scott and somehow convinced him that I was staying with these friends. He offered to come and pick me up  but  I told him I was too ashamed and I didn't want him to see me when I was drunk. I didn't want him to be upset with me. (I should have let him pick me up.) If I would have let Scott pick me up the night only would have had one bad choice, drunkenness.

Ozzy and I cuddled on the couch. One thing lead to another and we had sex. At the time, it felt so right. I wanted to show Ozzy how much I cared for him and loved him. After, we laid together, I cried. I can't remember if Ozzy noticed or not. I do remember feeling terrible. This was not something I could take back. No amount of apologizing was going to make it go away. My double life was spinning out of control really fast.

The next morning, I knew Scott had the opening shift at his work and I needed him to grab an outfit, and some toiletries from our house and I would meet him at his work. Ozzy woke up and dropped me off at my husband's place of work. I greeted Scott  with a hug and a kiss as if nothing had happened. I had a terrible hangover and I smelled of cigarette smoke. I sobbed in the bathroom trying to wrap my head around everything that just happened. My head was confused and my heart ached. I pushed the feeling aside as I got cleaned up and dressed for my first day at a new job.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gratitude Entry # 4

Gratitude Entry # 4: My mother's sacrifice.



My Mother’s Sacrifice

As a child it was difficult to understand my mother.
I never realized the strength of her character.
The beauty found in her timid spirit.

Now that I am a mother I can see it
I appreciate the sacrifices she made for us.
The courage to leave behind all that was holding her back.

She was gained the courage to start again.
Leaving behind a job, friends, and a home
Finding freedom in the face of a world unknown

Raising 3 teenagers alone, no help from their dad
She did the very best she could
Seeking help and advice when it was needed

Her children admire her for her courage
Her sacrifice is commendable
She is their friend and support

A mother’s sacrifice is that of love
Assisting when needed
Encouraging always
 



Wildcard Wednesday: Reliving a Nightmare

I know God wants me to share my past. God wants me to encourage others through my experiences..God is good and is in control. I am trusting Him fully as I continue to follow His leading.



Jesus called 12 men to be his disciples. Luke 5: 1-11

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."


The fishermen had been out all night trying to catch fish. The never succeeded. Jesus comes along and tells them to throw their nets into the water again the men list excuses: We worked hard. We are tired. We failed. But they decided to put their trust in Jesus and because of that, they caught so many fish that their net was breaking and they called for extra hands to help with the catch. Jesus called me. He told me to share my past with others. At first, I was reluctant like these fisherman.

I don't want to share something so personal.
No body will want to read about my sinful past.
I am not a writer. 
I am to scared.

But just like the fisherman, I began to put my faith in God and did the things He was asking of me. It is still very scary to be sharing my person sins with the world. Each time I sit down to write about my past I relive the nightmare that I caused my family. I am reminded of the shame and hurt. My emotions are stretched and exhausted. I have fallen to my knees writing sessions begging for mercy and grace only to be reminded that God cleared my name. God loves me and give me strength as I write. God hold my hand and guides me each time. I hope and pray that I continue to have the passion and desire to share my story without hesitating. I want to be willing and enthusiastic about sharing the victory that God has given me over my sin. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

3 Aspects of Sin

Scott and I had been married for about a year before my heart became tainted with love and lust for another man. I was like Eve in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tricked her into thinking she needed the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:1-7:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’"
 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

I found while studying the verses above that that are three aspects of sin; good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom. Satan, the master deceiver, has ways to make forbidden things look good, pleasing and desirable to us. He tricks us into thinking that we need these good and pleasant things that in all actuality will harm us or hurt us. He doesn't care about our well-being. He doesn't care about our souls. He wants us to sin in hopes of tainting our love for God.

 How can something pure as love cause sin?

The devil tricked me into thinking that acceptance from another man was good, a new and fresh relationship was pleasing and  his comfort and passion was desirable.  When I realized that a friendship had slipped into an emotional affair, I was already neck deep. I was passionately and completely in love and it wasn't with my husband. The devil deceived me into thinking that I couldn't live without my lover. I needed his acceptance, passion, and love to breath and live. I believed the lies so much that I almost left my husband to pursue a life of mystery and excitement. I was deceived by the devil.

I fall to my knees each time I think of God's unending love and immeasurable grace.  I sinned. My heart and soul covered by the darkest, thickest slime this world can dish out, my heart, unwashed after being dragged through manure and filth. Disgusting. Broken. Ashamed.

By the grace of God, I found my way out of the slime and filth. I mustered all my strength and crawled to the feet of my loving Father and clung for life. God, without hesitating, called me his child and with open arms, held me close. My grace is sufficient for you. You have been clean and shine like snow. Your sins are no more. You are still my child. God accepts me as clean, pure and beautiful.





Friday, October 19, 2012

Am I afraid to share my story?



Am I afraid to share my story?


I am full of fear. I know that it is satan trying to scare me, not wanting me to share God's glory through my mistakes. I have told parts of these stories to others and have lost friendships because of them. I am scared to death that by revealing some of my past secrets that I am going to lose family and friends who will judge me or be disappointed in me. I am scared that my children when they grow older will be embarrassed or teased by their friends. I am putting my faith in God that he has a better plan for those who hear. I want to share my stories so that I can give hope and encouragement through God's grace to others who can relate.

I am deciding to follow God's calling for my life to be a writer and a speaker. I have given part of my personal testimony a couple of times to church family, but I have never done either task before on the topics that God has laid on my heart. I would love to share nothing but love and joy and happy stories from my life, but of course, the topics that God has laid on my heart are the ones that are difficult to share. The lessons that I plan on sharing are raw, heartbreaking, shameful parts of my past. I am not looking forward to opening the hurt and disappointment that I caused God, members of my family and friends. I disappointed myself in choices and actions that I have made. Yet God is calling me to share these lessons with you. He wants me to share His victory in each of these lessons. I know that I would not be the woman I am today if these events were not part of my history. I am not proud of any of them. But I want to share how God covered me with His grace. God loves me unblemished. He has forgiven my mistakes and shortcomings. Forgiving myself has been the hardest part. I hope that through these lessons that I want to share with you that God meets you. God is amazing and if I can find the grace He gives and the forgiveness of my sins I know that it's possible for others to find this as well. I pray that if you are struggling with anything that you give God the chance to change your life.

 I know that the devil is going to do anything he can to keep me down. He will cloud my mind with doubt, fear and apprehension, I Peter 5:8 "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I am keeping my eyes open. Lions are sneaky. They like to watch you while they learn your motions and learn your weaknesses. When you least expect it, they jump at you. They chase you. Very rarely will you get away. I am watching and warding off the predator as best I can. I can only do this with the wisdom and truth that I find in Jesus and His Word. I am not going to let satan stop me. I will not let fear or doubt stop me. Thank you God for giving me the authority over my enemy. I will boldly proclaim God's glory!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wildcard Wednesday

I was reading an article the other day about signs of an emotional affair and I ran across this list that I want to share with you. This is a list of signs that your relationship with a friend has evolved into an emotional affair. Please read through the list and be honest about your relationships.

I wish I would have know more about emotional affairs before I was married. I wish I would have had a list that would have shown me where my friendship was slipping into an affair. My friendship hit every single one of these signs. I was blinded by the enemy and never saw it coming until it was too late.

 You can find more about this list from:  http://www.emotionalaffair.org/emotional-affair-signs/. 

 

So how do you know if a relationship has evolved into an emotional affair?

  • When most meetings and conversations are kept secret from your partner.
  • When you say and do things with someone you never would do in front of your spouse.
  • When you make a point to arrange private talk time with them.
  • When you share stuff with them that you don’t with your partner.
  • You are withdrawing from your spouse.
  • You are preoccupied and daydream about your friend more and more.
  • The amount of time you and your spouse spend together is less.
  • When confronted about the apparent emotional affair, you respond, “We’re just friends.”
  • You find yourself anticipating when you can communicate or be with your friend again. Alone time together is important to you.
  • You are sharing your thoughts, feelings, and problems with your friend instead of your spouse.
  • You find reasons to give your friend personal gifts.
  • Your friend seems to understand you better than your spouse does.
  • You are keeping your friendship a secret from your spouse, or you no longer feel comfortable telling your spouse about this person and begin to cover up your relationship.
  • You touch your  friend in “legal” ways, like patting him on the shoulder or picking lint off of his shirt.
  • You pay extra attention to how you look before you see him.
  • Think crush-like thoughts like, He’d love this song!
  • Tell him more details about your day than you do your partner.
  • You experience increasing sexual tension; you admit your attraction to him but also insist to yourself that you would never act on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friendship

Friendship is very important to me.  I believe that everyone has a short list of qualities that need to have in a friend. We don't build friendships with random people. We meet. we have things in common. Is this person trustworthy? Do we have similar interests? Can I be honest with this person?  Does this person understand me?

I had a friend, who met all these qualities. My friend was easy to talk to, encouraging and a great listener. My friend showed me support and truly understood me.  My friend loved the same type of music, loved the same movies. I could open up and share my dreams and desires with understanding and acceptance. I enjoyed the times that we were together; shopping, watching movies or football. I looked forward to spending time with my friend or talking on the phone when we had the chance. I would say that this friend was my best friend and a very important person in my life.

Friendships can be hard to find, so when you do find a friend who meets the list of qualities you are looking for it feels good. I found a friend who I could trust and open up to.  My friend was a boy. As a child and throughout high school my closest friends were boys. I have always thought that being friends with the opposite gender is okay. However, as my friendship with this boy grew stronger and stronger, my relationship with Scott began to fade.

The friendship I had developed with this guy was innocent at first. I was not looking to hurt my husband or break my marriage vows. My friendship with the other man crossed the line into an emotional affair. An emotional affair is defined by David Moultrup author of  Husbands, Wives & Lovers: The Emotional System of the Extramarital Affair as; "A relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that has an impact on the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage. The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage."

The quality of my marriage relationship took a dramatic turn as my friendship with the other man grew deeper and deeper. I was knee deep into an emotional affair.  Scott was working hard and supporting his family in the evenings and I was finishing my college classes during the day. We didn't see each other much, which also played a role in my affair, but you will hear more about that later...It is important to mention it now because the changes in my relationship with Scott were not noticed by Scott or myself because we weren't together much. It wasn't until about year into my emotional affair that my actions were bold as I would leave the house at random times and not return for hours.

I learned the hard way that friendships with the opposite gender are dangerous when you are married.
I am sure that it can be done for some people, but there is a chance that the friendly relationship can wander into grey areas.That is exactly what happened to me. I began to connect emotionally with my friend and down the road those emotions grew into physical attraction.  I hope that you take the time to cultivate relationships with the opposite gender carefully. I hope that you keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. I hope that you can evaluate your friendships honestly and if you find any level of emotional connection within that friendship that has an impact on your marriage..please RUN!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry # 3

Gratitude Journal Entry # 3:

I am so grateful for friendships. I have made some questionable choices with friends in the past..so I am very very grateful to have several close friends who have stood by my side through the test of time. I have a couple of girlfriends who love me for who I am despite my past. They encourage me when I need it most. The listen and support my decisions and they have the guts to tell me when I am way off base. We share a passion for God, scrapbooking and yummy food. I am blessed to have these special friendships, but I feel very fortunate that they call me friend in return.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Q & A Friday

I wanted to ask my readers a question today!

If you happen to be a reader of non fiction... 

What is the title of your favorite marriage book?

Leave your answer as a comment below!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry #2

Gratitude Journal Entry #2



I am grateful for Scott.  He is my husband, my lover, my best friend.  Life has not always been easy for us. We have traveled together through mud and mire. He has the patience of Job.  He has never wavered on his promise to me even when he has had biblical grounds to divorce me.  Scott has never thrown past mistakes in my face.  He has never yelled at me, swore at me or put me down in any way.  He has always stood by my side.  He has always defended me.  He has always cared for me and assisted me.  He has supported me and encouraged me.  He has loved me with passion so deep.   He takes the time to love me.  He is silly with me.   


I am drawn to the famous love verses found in I Corinthians. 
“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
~I Corinthians 13:4-7


I have never been a fan of this verse.  Who could ever love that like? I know I can’t and I don’t.  I fall short on my displays of affection toward Scott.  I have a short temper. I am stubborn.  These characteristics shine more brightly when I am with Scott.   I am comfortable around him.  Only by the grace and strength of God, is Scott able to love me and honor me the way I Corinthians tells us to.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.


Wildcard Wednesday

Have you ever had a song that you have listened to a thousands times, but suddenly speaks to you? I've recently experienced this and I questioned why? The answer: God's timing is amazing. It keeps me speechless every time.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Fall


Our world is full of smooth talkers and talented manipulators. The darkness can be covered by something that looks so good. The devil is not an idiot. He is well prepared for the battle over your soul. He will do anything to win. He carries around a bad bag of tactics that work on each individual.  Maybe he has a library, housing books with our names on it. In each book are the very devices that can bring us down. He will use them to his advantage in anyway he can. He is ruthless. He is cunning.

 I hate to give the devil so much credit, but for a time in my life I was bested by him in the worst way. If satan can get me to listen to his lies I begin to play them over and over again in my own head until I am defeated.  These lies that I hear again and again start wearing on me eventually tearing down everything that I know are true. "You aren't good enough for him. You aren't worth anything. You are never going to know love."

I had been married to my husband for not more than a year. It was a hard year. We were adjusting. We had to learn how to live together. We had to learn how to manage our time as he was working and I was still going to school. We were still learning about each other. I for one was still getting comfortable with my new role as a wife. I was uncertain and a bit timid when  BAM!! My lack of self confidence opened the door allowing these lies to pop into my head and spoil my heart.

At first, I dismissed the lies, but Satan is relentless. He doesn't stop easily. I told myself that I was being silly for even thinking such things. I busied myself with activities, homework and house chores. I heard the lies and once I listened, I slowly began to believe them. He had me tricked.

I began to believe that Scott deserved someone better. I began to second guess the things I had to offer to Scott and our relationship. I began to think that I had married the wrong man. The torment inside my heart stayed there. I never stopped to tell anyone my feelings, not Scott,  not my friends. I was being persuaded more and more by the deception that clouded my head and heart.

Once my self esteem and confidence as a new wife were torn down completely, I began struggling to find myself. I hid my feelings from everyone and  I finally decided to open my heart to friend. I began telling my friend about my personal struggles. I began to share my inadequacies as a wife. I opened up to a friend. Looking back now, opening up to this friend was the biggest mistake I ever made.

My story started with a lie. The bad news is, it gets worse, much worse. The good news is God delivers me from the lies, repairs my heart, and guides me with His marvelous Grace back into His loving arms. Sharing this story is hard. It makes my heart sad. It floods my mind and heart with raw emotions. I am finding that retelling my story is making me deal with past issues that were not dealt with properly. This is an enormous emotional task. I know without a doubt that God has called me to share my testimony with the world. He has a purpose. He always does!!



Friday, October 5, 2012

Q & A Friday


On Fridays I will be posting questions that people have asked me along with my answer. The questions can be about anything and everything. I am willing to be vulnerable and transparent in hope that others may gain some insight or wisdom . Feel free to ask anything. You can leave your questions as a comment or you can shoot me an email: chilsons@ymail.com. I look forward to your questions.





Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Gratitude Journal


I am starting my series called My Gratitude Journal! 

In Colossians 3:15-18 the bible says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Psalm 100 
 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.



 Each Thursday for the next year, I will be writing an entry into my Gratitude Journal here on this blog, something I am grateful to have in my life, big or little.  I challenge you to join me. Feel free to leave a comment each week to share the things you are thankful for! You can start your own gratitude journal by grabbing a notebook and writing down one thing you are grateful for each week.



Gratitude Journal Entry #1:
  Thank you God for this opportunity to share my story. Blogs and other social networks are a great platform for sharing my story with others. I am thankful for the experience of blogging and the feedback I have already received. Thank you for blessing me with courage and strength as I share my story with the world.