Why My Blog Is Titled Shadow Living?

From as far back as my memory will allow me to go;  I always felt like I was living “in someone else’s shadow.”  I wouldn’t understood the why behind it until years later.  But, it is connected to my childhood.  Growing up feeling invisible, unheard and dismissed had a tremendous effect on me.  Looking back, after years of God peeling back the layers and revealing facts vs. lies I realize it was no one’s fault.  Events, choices are made in life that leave ripple effects on a child’s heart.  BUT GOD!  He has a way of redeeming, restoring, resurrecting who He made us to be!  When we choose to let go of a life lived “in the shadow” of others and begin to live in the shadow of The Almighty!

Living in someone else’s shadow you tend to lose your own.  Or in my case have a really hard time finding it.  Remember how Peter Pan was always looking for his shadow?  He came into the nursery looking for it, thinking he had left it on one of those nights when Wendy would read to him. Wendy finds it and sews it onto his feet so he wouldn’t lose it again.  That’s what it feels like to not really know who you are.  To not have your own shadow or what we call identity.  You feel like something has been lost so you keep looking to find it.  I was looking for my “shadow” (my identity) but instead of sewing it on so I would not lose it again, for me; it was easier to just blend in and live in someone else’s shadow.

I grew up  in an environment where physical appearance or beauty was of utmost importance.  Now, beauty is not a bad thing.  But when that is the object of conversation or compliments were given only to the beautiful ones,  it can be a hard environment to grow up in.  Especially, if you don’t feel like one of the beautiful ones.  I was the little girl with gray teeth and freckles across my nose and a pixie haircut!  I was the quiet, shy kid who never looked people in the eye when they talked to me.  So living in the shadow of another was easy.  I was accustomed to it.  It had become my safe place.

In that type of atmosphere, it is easy to blend into the wallpaper, because there was always someone all too eager to take center stage! There were quite a few in my sphere of life who were willing to have all eyes & ears on them.  As a matter of fact, if they weren’t the center of attention believe you me, they would make sure they were seen and heard!  It was nauseating and exhausting.   I was definitely not one of those!  I just tried to stay out of the way.  So at an early age I learned to live in the shadows.   After many years of searching, seeking and self medicating something inside of me  woke up!

Through My Abba’s help in his word, prayer, pain & counseling I have been set free to step out of a life lived in another person’s  “shadow” and am learning how to live abundantly in the Shadow of The Almighty!

I am sincerely hoping there are others out there in blogosphere world who can relate to my experience.  My heart is to share my story of restoration, redemption & renewal so others can find their true identity & freedom in knowing who they are and why they were created.  Purpose brings peace & power.  I have found that shadow living can be a wonderful way of life but the key is choosing to live in the right shadow.   Hoping to hear from a few of you soon.

Choosing to live in the shadow of the Almighty,
Renee
Psalm 91:1-2 Shadow Living

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The madness!

We look to our government leaders.
We look to our law makers.
We scream for more gun control.
We yell for more mental health agencies. More drugs! (Not saying any of that is wrong)

God help us!

We blame the gaming industry.

We blame the movie & music industries.

But…

Do we ever look within as a nation?
Do we look in the mirror?
Do we check our hearts?
Do we care?
Do I care?

Do we look up in repentance & brokenness over our sin as a nation?

God help us!

Such tragedy!

So heartbreaking!

Where are those souls now?

Broken, motherless & Fatherless homes.

Friendless, broken, unloved, unheard, unseen kids.

Children left to themselves.

The forgotten ones.

The abandoned.

The emotionally, mentally & physically abused.

The neglected ones.

The down right evil of it all.

God help us!

These tragedies are the horrible symptoms of a nation gone mad!

Of a people saying, “no thanks God we will do it our way.
Get out of our schools, finances, relationships & homes!
Get out of our places of idol worship. Thanks anyway. We got this!

When the family unit is destroyed. When we turn away from our maker. When we go after the things that bring us pleasure at the expense of our marriages, our children’s best interest and turn away from God… This is the result.

God help us!

Anger & pain unleashed in an evil act through the end of a gun. Innocent lives taken. Lives & minds of the perpetrators stolen by the wicked one!

The puppet master is the EVIL one! The most broken, damaged, mentally ill & emotionally unstable because of reasons stated above are his puppets!

God help us!

Trump doesn’t have the answers.
The Right doesn’t have the answers.
The Left doesn’t have the answers.

God help us! You are the answer!

2 Chronicles 7:14 – when my people humble themselves—the ones who are called by my name—and pray, seek me, and turn away from their evil practices, I myself will listen from heaven, I will pardon their sins, and I will restore their land.

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Jesus-Loving Mommas

To the Jesus-loving Momma’s out there whose hearts are aching & breaking 💔 over the babies we once held in our arms, prayed over & sang songs over.   To those mommas who loved their toddlers well, played with, laughed with, taught how to do, well…everything!  to those Mommas who prayed for their teenagers, loved them well through those tough years, taught them responsibility, helped to cultivate their gifts & talents.   

The ache & hurt we feel for the kids God blessed our homes with…those kids we modeled a life of following after God….even though imperfectly.  

Those precious souls we taught in word, action of God’s truths – prayed for Day & night.  Only to watch them walk away from that very truth and dive head long into a culture that is lying to them.  Telling them anything goes!  

Let’s make a pact!  

To not give up.  Ok? 

God sees our aching hearts Mommas! 

God hears our prayers in the night! 

God loves us! 

God loves them! 

God is ABLE! 

God is good!  

When everything we see, hear and feel tells us they are long gone…

The Holy Spirit whispers to our breaking hearts “don’t quit, don’t give up! Stay in the fight.  Their very souls depend on it!” 

Jesus-loving Momma’s we’ve gotta stay at our post of prayer!  

Don’t you dare give in to doubts, to the lies of the enemy, to the shouts of this world!  

Don’t listen to the faithless whispers & voices that surround you!  

Keep praying.  

Keep believing.  

Keep seeking, asking & knocking!  

Don’t quit!  

Don’t give in!

Don’t give up!  

The battle for their hearts, minds & souls depends on it!  

Prayer:  Dear Daddy-God, help us to love well, live a life that points to You.  Teach us to pray! 

Mostly though…Father, help your “Jesus-loving Mommas” to Trust that your love is more than enough!  That your arm is longer, your reach is farther!  Help us to Trust Your plan to rescue & redeem our prodigals from the roads they are on.  

We know You are able!  

We know & believe in Your power!  

Do it again Lord, do it again! 

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ! 

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Exposing Scars…

When we expose our scars through writing there are risks involved.   We risk being misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Revealing our healing story makes us vulnerable to critics, skeptics, and those who just don’t get it.   That’s ok!  There are others who need to hear our story.  Someone out there needs to understand that they are not alone.

So, I write!  Even though no one knows my name. Well, there is One who knows my name!  Even though I don’t have a platform (working on that).   I write!   I heard the call to write my story for His glory!  Deep down I know there are others out there like me, who have stood in the shadow of someone or something else their entire life.  We were never meant to live this life in anyone else’s shadow.  We were created to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and stand in the shadow of the Almighty!

If sharing my story helps one person turn to Jesus Christ.  If exposing my scars leads one person on a journey of healing in the shadow of His Wings; It will be worth it all!  There are many that live in the “shadow” of others who suffer with depression, anxiety, doubt & fear.  It is for those who will get it that I write.

I am trusting My Abba to use my story for His glory!

Psalm 91:1-2

Renee

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God’s Invitation To All… “Come in and know me better man”

via God’s Invitation To All… “Come in and know me better man”

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Great Article!

http://positivewriter.com/my-favorite-quote-which-changed-my-life-and-can-change-yours-too/

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To the Hagars of The World

My heart has this aching pain for those on the fringes!

The left-out
The forgotten
The left behind
The unpopular ones
The mis-fits
The misunderstood

The ones who feel like outcasts.

Take comfort & consider today my friends…God is the God who SEES You! El Roi’ is His name. He sees your pain, your brokenness, your loneliness. He sees and He can heal the pain. He can repair the broken pieces of your heart. He can give you the friends you need. He can make you the friend someone else needs. He also desires to be your closest friend. He is the one who promises to…”never leave you or forsake you”

He desires to lavish His holy love on you! His love is extravagant! You are loved! You are wanted! You are His!

Guess what else?  He not only loves you but, He also likes you!

Your quirky personality
Your uniqueness
Your awkwardness
All of you! He likes you!

While others may leave you out,  walk away, look right  past you.

When life makes you feel over-looked, unnoticed, forgotten or invisible…

Your heavenly Father sees you!

He includes you!
He notices you!
He remembers you!
He sees you!

His arms are open wide & he has invited you into a magnificent relationship through His One & Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ.

You are valuable to the King of the world!

You are not alone.

You are important!

In the Shadow of the Almighty,

Renee

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The Faith of Abraham

Romans 4:16-21 – Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” 17 He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not as though they were.  18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

This morning as I was reading through Romans 4, the passage above leapt off the written page and came alive in my heart!  The word is absolutely alive and active (Heb. 4:12).  If you know his journey with God; you see Abraham’s faith was not in his obedience to God.  Although, that was important.  His faith was not even in the promise! Albeit he knew God would bring it to pass.

Abraham’s faith was in “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not as though they were.”   

WOW!   You see, he was 100 years old and he knew his body was as good as dead.  Sara was old too, her womb was dead!  DEAD!  No possibility for life to form in a dead womb!  It’s impossible!

But, isn’t that what our God does?

The impossible!

 He takes what seems utterly ridiculous and makes it an absolute reality!

 I really think it gives God great joy to blow His kids minds!  The word says, “Abraham believed without weakening in his faith.  He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God!”

But y’all know when Issac was born from a womb that should have been dead; Abraham and Sarah were completely blown away! 

These incredible truths made me do some soul-searching.    The Holy Spirit began activating the word in my heart with these questions: 

1.  Do I have the faith of Abraham?

2. Is my faith in the promises of God or in the Promise Keeper?

3. Do I believe like my father Abraham in the God who not only gives life to the dead        but on top of that… calls into being things that are not as though they are?

4. Am  I fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised me?

SO, can I ask you a few questions to give you something to ponder and mull over this week?  

What things in your life are as good as dead?   Or maybe are definitely dead.
Maybe there are dead relationships and your heart is broken.
A dead marriage? Financial hardship? Your health?
Maybe a lost loved one who is dead in trespasses and sins?
Could it be a dead God-given dream or vision for your life?

I have some things in my life that appear as good as dead.  Some truly break my heart. But you know what they say, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

So let’s agree to ask The Lord Almighty to forgive us for our unbelief and let’s be honest we all have times of unbelief.

Repent & Believe!

We love and serve a God who was true to His promise to Abraham and Sarah!

 He raised Jesus Christ from the DEAD!

A God who transferred us from darkness to light.

Who has spoken promises to us through His Word!

Let’s believe BIG in the GOD of the Promise!  Let’s take our “dead” things to His throne room and lay them down at His beautiful feet.  Knowing He can and will call those things in our lives that are dead to life!

Let’s not waver in our belief regarding His promises but let the waiting strengthen our  faith so we too can give God glory!

 Let’s be fully persuaded that God will do what He says He will do!  He will call things that are not as though they are!

Let’s ask God to give us the faith of Abraham!

 

 

 

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Encouragement to Mommas of Young Children

This is to those Mom’s who have chosen or have been afforded the ability to be SAHM’s for a season. Some have no choice. Others choose not to. This is not a slam to them. Was meant to encourage those in this place….

A quote from the “Prince of Preachers” –

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” Charles Spurgeon

To those Momma’s in this season of life! Thought you might need a bit of encouragement! The world is screaming at you to abandon your home & your children in the name of woman power! There is also a message not necessarily taught but definitely caught in our church culture today. That a mother being faithful to God in her role as a wife, Mother (esp. of young children) & in her home is somehow not involved in “Kingdom work”.

Remember, this season will pass all too quickly! You can’t go back and have a do-over…there is a time for serving in bigger ways in & outside our churches.

Just be careful & wise in where & when you put your Yes on the table!

Don’t let the good take the place of the best!

Don’t let everyone else’s urgent crowd out what is most important in your life!

Pray & ask God to fill in your calendar.

It’s not that we can’t or shouldn’t serve elsewhere; it is just that this season is so short.

No one else is called to be your children’s Mother.

God gave them to you.

From someone who has been there & done that.

Disclaimer: this is NOT a post to discredit women in ministry outside the walls of their homes. Just a bit of honest reflection. Hopefully this will encourage young Mommas to be faithful to their husbands, faithful at home & to understand that being faithful as a Mother is definitely kingdom work!

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Insecurity Builds Walls

A few months back while listening to a sermon series by, Chip Ingram Living On The Edge  he talked about living in authentic community.  I heard him say, “We are all desperately insecure people.”  The way we live this out depends on our back story, how we were raised, our experiences, our view of God, ourselves & others.

Insecurity is rooted in FEAR.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.  Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being good enough.  Fear of not being liked.  You name it!   It may be different for all of us, but we are all insecure in our own way.

     He went on to explain how insecurity exhibits itself:  Some of us are puffed up with pride and arrogance which is rooted in fear of being found out or found lacking; so we are driven to push harder, to accomplish much and climb that ladder of success to prove we are ok.  Driven people also drive others, sometimes over the edge!  Others of us are introverted to a fault.  We would rather just sit on the side lines than get in the game for the very same reasons that the driven person pushes so hard!  We don’t push at all!  At any rate, insecurity is the root of it all.  Which I have come to believe is the birth child of FEAR.  I should know, I have been the victim of fear more than I care to share here!  Be it panic attacks, sleepless  nights, worry, anxiety all of it is rooted deeply in fear.

     Over the past few years I have seen up close & personal how insecurity can damage relationships.  How insecurity builds walls not bridges.  Those who allow fear of losing control learn to isolate & insulate those they “love” from all others.  They become possessive to a fault.  It is heart-breaking for all who feel the ripple effects.   Like an infectious disease if not treated it has the power can to effect & infect the people we love the most.  Instead of keeping them leashed to us, it pushes them far away.  The very thing we feared becomes reality – all because of insecurity.

I know this because I once lived in the shadow of insecurity.  Which leads to social awkwardness and silent pain.   I adapted and learned to live in the shadow of others so I could just breathe and experience a degree of comfort.  This insecurity affected my entire family and was the root of my battle with depression.

Now, I see it for what it is.

Insecurity builds walls not bridges.

Walls are erected to keep the insecure person feeling safe.  In the process of protecting their hearts they end up building tall, thick walls that at times are impenetrable.  I am sure that I am not the only one who has struggled in this battle with insecurity.  We all have people like this in our lives.  Maybe we have tried reaching out to this person from a pure motive with no strings attached but each time our actions are misinterpreted through a screen of insecurity and the need to be in control and at the same time control those closest to this person.  Which in turn shuts down communication and relationship with others.  It is unfair and can I say also unjust?  Leashes were made for animals not people!

As a recovering insecure, fearful, anxiety filled person I can spot one a mile away.  Not that I am sitting in judgement but you know the quote, “It takes one to know one”? Yes….that was me.  What I have learned from my own insecurity issue is this:

Yes, we are all desperately insecure people.  ALL of us.  Even the most confident people we know are insecure.  

Fear desires to control others, schedules, environments and creates an atmosphere of
oppression for all those affected by it.  Fear erects tall, thick walls.  Keeps those they love so close that over time they feel like they wbuilding brick wallsill suffocate.

Fear builds the walls to protect but in protecting our safe little cocoon others are pushed out and kept at a distance.

Fear breeds  a sense of competition.
Fear feeds comparison even if in our minds.

Even with those we say we love the most, and makes for a very unhealthy environment to live in and be “happy” in.

Insecurity fosters fear, fear feeds control, control erects walls, walls result in insolation and eventually isolation.  Isolation destroys relationships.  What a waste of energy! When instead that energy could be used to build bridges.

Do you struggle with insecurity, control, fear and inferiority?  Or, maybe you have someone like that in your life or live with someone like this and are miserable?  What are we to do?  How do we build a bridge when they are busy building a wall?

PRAY for them and for ourselves.
PRAY and choose NOT to live your life under their thumb but enjoy the freedom, love and joy found in Jesus Christ.
PRAY they would see and be able to be honest with themselves and God.
PRAY the wounds of their past would be healed by the Holy Spirit through the Word.
Remember they are the real prisoner behind the walls of their own making.  Be patient. Love them where they are.  Speak truth into their lives when led to.  Help them get counseling from a biblically sound and compassionate professional counselor.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us tear down the walls we have built up to keep others out and instead learn to trust Him to help us begin building bridges to one another’s hearts.

 

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God’s Invitation To All… “Come in and know me better man”

ghost of christmas present

I just love Christmas movies!  During the Christmas season I make it my aim to watch all of the old classics.  One of my favorites is Christmas Carole,  by Charles Dickens.  That scene of “the Ghost of Christmas Present”, always reminds me of God the Father!

I realize He is Father Christmas; but his unbridled joy, untamed laughter and his larger than life stature; helps me visualize how absolutely Great God is!

His call to Ebenezer Scrooge to, “Come in and know me better man!”; resonates in my heart for me to do the same!

In this movie, Father Christmas is wearing what looks like a Christmas wreath on his head. His eyes dance with life!  His robe is long and flowing & he is surrounded by a bountiful feast!  His voice fills the entire house! In his right hand is what looks like a torch always lit to lead the way.  Reminding me of the Light of the World – Jesus Christ! John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  

His presence radiates a brilliant light, so bright that grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge has to shield his eyes upon entering the room!  What a beautiful picture of our heavenly Father! Scripture tells us about His glory – 2nd Corinthians 4:6 –  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  

Just like the Ghost from Christmas Present with delightful things at his disposal; God’s word tells us in Ephesians 1, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places!  How amazing is that.  Can’t you see this picture of our Abba, withholding nothing good from His kids – ALL spiritual blessing means ALL!  He is saying to us through His Son Jesus Christ, from the Cross, from the empty tomb, and from the written word of scripture; “come in and know me better man.”

Many of us are a lot like Ebenezer Scrooge!  We are in our own little world, thinking we are rich when in fact we are the poorest of the poor!  Maybe we are friendless? Maybe our relationships in our families are broken because we are proud, self-sufficient and need nothing from anyone? Could it be we are just as greedy with our time as Old Ebenezer Scrooge was with his money?   Maybe like Scrooge, we just want to stay in our nice comfy bed with the covers pulled tight over our heads.  Have we squandered the time spent that we could have used to get to know Him better?  It’s not too late!

Oh! What if we would answer the call and seek to know God better!  There is no better way to “come in and know me better”, than to set aside time each morning to get quiet and still before the Word of God.  To open up His Word and read with one desire and motive; to know Him better!

All we could possibly want or desire is found in Him.

The time we choose spending to get to know Him better; will reap bountiful benefits & treasures.  Treasures that no amount of money can buy and no amount of work can supply! Things like abundant grace,unlimited mercy, extravagant love, total forgiveness, & complete acceptance!  We are all in short supply of these.

In Max  Lucado’s book, Grace: More Than We Deserve Greater Than We Can Imagine ,  he quoted Nancy Spiegelberg – “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup…if only I had known you better, I’d have come running with a bucket.”  Oh how abundant His marvelous grace is poured out for us!   Why not heed the words of The Ghost of Christmas Present, like Old Ebenezer Scrooge did – “Come in and know me better man.”

PS:  Don’t forget to bring a bucket!

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