frankly friday | heavy heart – full mouth.

frankly…

my heart is heavy and my mouth is full.

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brokenness does that to a person.
listen, i get it, it’s christmas time and the season is bright, and things are going to be alright.
but that isn’t me being really honest.
today marks 9 years that my mother passed.
nine. years. 
i’ve posted about the start of that morning before – and it really isn’t something i want to get into right now…but i will say that today – i miss my mom.

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but that isn’t the only reason i’m broken today – no it most certainly is not the only reason.
my heart is heavy and my mouth is full.
and if we look into the depths of our souls we all see something:
sin runs deep.
really deep.
a few months ago i shed some light on this subject.
& i was received with a resounding: you are not alone amy – you are not alone.
man do i need to hear that again today.

this world gets nasty quick.
it gets dirty, grimy, and just down right filthy.
it also breeds temptation that tastes all too delicious.
we get used to the scandal – to the drawl – we get pulled to the bed that is our tempter.
is that a little spicy, well yes, but it is also the truth.
sin is delicious.
disgusting, makes you sick, and spreads like cancer, but also delicious.
because we keep going back for more.

man, sin runs deep

i think far too often i ask the Lord for forgiveness but forget that there is still work that i need to do.
does God forgive me – a thousands times yes.
He continues to forgive me.
yet i still say yes to satans lies – and fall into the traps of his temptation.
because i want to.
if i didn’t want to – i wouldn’t.
hmm…
…that’s like a kick in the face.
i choose the sin – the sin didn’t choose me.
so when i feel convicted – guilty – run down and empty without God…
…and i go to Him for fulfillment, forgiveness, mercy and grace…i’m restored.
but that is never the end of the road.

what is the point of redemption and restoration if you’re not willing to change?
am i willing to change? 
i would hope so.
yes – yes i would say i am willing to change.
am i willing to give up those delicious temptations? 
this is where it gets tricky.

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i think this is where it gets tricky for everyone in general – but especially for Christians who have walked with Jesus for more than a few seasons.
we know Jesus. we are saved. we trust in our salvation. and we get complacent.
we see the “little sins” (no such thing) as no big deals – and well the “bigger sins” (sin is sin) as something to just avoid talking about so we can relish in it. or if we’re in a good season of our walk with God we seek out accountability to get rid of it.
so the slippery slope begins.
we love Jesus.
we crave the sin.
we love following God’s Word.
we crave feeling desired & the temptation gives us that.

man, sin runs deep.

so i’m here to tell y’all confess that i’m a sinner.
i mess up.
i struggle – struggle like you wouldn’t believe.
i make mistakes all the time – and not little mistakes but big ones that will have consequences.
i’m not perfect.
i judge.
i curse.
i say things behind others back.
i fall into the trap of lust.
i enjoy really bad comedy.
i – mess – up.

but God loves me.
i have no idea why He does.
but He loves me – without limits, unconditionally, immeasurably.
when i’m a broken mess on the floor – He gets on His knees before me and collects me.

He restores me.
moves me.
changes me.
directs me.
instructs me.
disciplines me.
man – He loves me. 

remember how i said my heart is heavy and my mouth is full?
…its true, they are.
my heart is heavy with sin – with distrust, greed, lust, and bitterness. it is also heavy with joy, love, compassion, salvation, and truth.
my mouth is full of lies, spite, malice, and fear. it is also full of encouragement, blessings, prayers, and restoration.

it’s all about allowing God to work through my mess and get me back on solid ground. 
dear Lord i want to be back on solid ground.

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if you’ve had a post this week that was rather frank – link up below. 

also if you missed the fiction posted yesterday – give it a read.

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frankly friday…v55


{here}

i mentioned monday that i’ve been struggling.

in fact my exact words were – my life is a hot ugly mess at times…i just happen to be in one of those hard places…conviction is never easy friends.

bleh.

have you ever had a post that you just didn’t want to write but you knew you should.
where writing meant sitting down, being quiet, and actually reflecting on where you are in life.
on the mistakes.
on the joys.
on your current struggles & insecurities?
yeah…i haven’t been looking forward to writing this.

and then how much do i share – if i share certain things at all; this is my blog, not my diary. sometimes they are one in the same but i have some personal things that i keep, well, personal.

double bleh.

maybe if i just blurt it out it will be easier.
i sinned.

yeah, i know, not really a shocker there – we sin every single day.
but this time i chose to sin – and i chose the sin over God…on purpose.
why?
why do i do that?
why do i allow my flesh to beat out my spirit?
how did i get to a place where i have become complacent, comfortable even, with the lack of spiritual discipline in my life. when did life become so – bland?

i’ll tell you when.
when i started to choose the world over Jesus.
when i stopped fighting satan’s tempting schemes because i was too weary.
when i let my guard down and thought i’ve been good – i can skip getting in the word today.

i’ve allowed my personal desires – my sin triggers – my filth to become more of a priority than God.
because i haven’t been diligent.
and honestly – because i am tired.

man, how do i explain the back story on this one.

if i was to shorten it – it started about…hmm…about 4 years ago. God was telling me to put Him first – and so i sacrificed something very valuable to me. but i didn’t really lay everything down – not fully. i got more involved in student ministry and was a youth leader for a few years. constantly striving to be the best i could be – to go to God with my failures while leading these incredible students down a path of salvation and growth. then the church crumbled because sin entered it. we shut our doors in the fall of 2011. i’ve been struggling to find a home church since…a place to feel – comfortable, to serve, to…plug in. singleness has grated on my heart – worn me down to where i feel undesirable. my friendships have taken a beating because we were all broken hearted over the loss of a ministry. college was finished – and i haven’t been mentally challenged since.
it’s all a big ol’ cluster of garbage.

somewhere in that time i gave up. i quit. i was just too tired. i had been fighting for so long, being strong for many years, putting on the “well, that’s life and lets just move forward” attitude to get through struggles. i had done “the right thing”, loved on people who hurt me, made mistakes in the process sure, but overall i was the “good amy” everyone knew and talked about and praised. i felt like i was constantly trying to make people proud – impress them – be the perfect example of a girl who went through hard times but came out on top loving Jesus.

and here i am, 24 on the cusp of turning 25, and i’m tired.
i’m tired of pretending.
of forcing a smile when i want to cry.
i’m tired of acting like i always do the right thing – when i really really don’t.
i’m tired of having all of the answers – or at least pretending to.
i’m tired of always getting it right.
so the world becomes tempting – because it’s easy. sin is easy.

the truth is – here i sit with some things figured out – but most things left a mystery.
i make mistakes, BIG MISTAKES, that have consequences that have yet to be seen.
i fail. a lot.
and in my weariness i’ve looked at God and said “where are you man? i’m broken here…”


i think psalm 69 is the echo of my heart right now…

“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck . i sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; i have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.” … “But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.” …”But i am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on High!”



yeah, David was struggling too – i feel ya brother.
i know the truth.
my heart knows the truth.
God hasn’t left me.
not once.
i’m just struggling right now…i’m just tired.
i saw a quote on pinterest that ended with: “always fight – until you can’t fight anymore, and then be fought for.” 
i’m not done fighting yet – not even close, but i am tired.

i feel like rocky after being beaten to the brink – blood running down his face yet he still has the desire to get up, focus through the blur, and get in a few more swings.
i’m going to get in a few more swings, and then a couple more.
i won’t let satan win this.
in all sincerity – this isn’t my breaking point.

not letting him win starts with me being honest with myself and with the world.
because i know i’m not alone.
i know this struggle – this journey – this battle isn’t unique.
satan knows our struggles and tempts us like a swift kidney punch.
he finds joy in our sin strongholds – he likes seeing us suffer and pull further from God.

however…
…God Is Bigger.
He is always bigger, always stronger, always pursuing us when we run.
He knows how/when/why satan tempts us and is continually offering us a way out.
offering me a way out.
i just have to choose it – follow Christ when it gets tough and when it’s joyful.

as I recently heard… “Never let satan make you believe that God doesn’t have better for you”.
amen friends, amen.

{look into “breaking free from strongholds/best sermon ever/dr. eric mason/ guest speaker at mars hill church – great sermon on this topic!}

If you had a post that was rather frank this week – link up below

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Frankly Friday…v54

frankly…

+ the charleston scottish highland games are this weekend! WHHHAAATTTT!! i’m hoping i’ll be able to go – but i’m not sure. $$ + time + a wedding that night + i am b.r.o.k.e bleh – probably next year.

+ truth y’all, truth.

+ the grass at my house is so high. i’ve had ZERO time to cut it. i was gone 90% of last weekend and when i got back i was sick. that sickness lasted through until tuesday which is when i got STUNG by a dang wasp, then wednesday night i went for a run downtown and got home and fell asleep, last night – lets not even discuss last night. SOOOOOOO maybe it will get cut soon – maybe not. maybe i will just become one of those neighbors who lets it see how high it can go. 🙂

+ this story warmed my heart. seriously – reading this made me smile from ear to ear at the thoughtfulness and strong backbone of joey. & that woman – I hope she feels some conviction and pays forward something kind to another human being.

+ i am SO OVER this wasp sting. seriously – it sucks. i got stung on tuesday night and it’s just been itchy & red & hot since then. cortisone cream has been my only relief.

+ this looks like a super easy fall diy art project. i could definitely see it over a couch, or fire place.

+ frankly…i’m not perfect y’all. *gasp* i know – you’re shocked just as much as i am ;). i make mistakes – lots of them, and i make selfish choices over Godly choices daily. i do things that make me look back, run my head through a wall thinking “why on earth would i do that?!” – i am human. i’m learning as i get older, the “mistakes” seem to carry bigger consequences or heart ache. i find myself thinking “have i really not learned this lesson yet – how will this affect me in the years to come”. am i alone in this? in choosing the flesh over the spirt? i don’t think i am, but sometimes it feels that way. the truth is, being 24, without a “home church”, not knowing where God is calling me to go/be/do/serve/etc, and desiring a relationship while lounging in the desert of singleness – has been hard. i wouldn’t say it’s hard every day, i’m not that dramatic – but it is a challenge. i’m also thankful for it, even for some of the mistakes. i’m learning more about myself, about life, about what is holy & good vs destructive & foolish. things i thought i had concrete answers for are being tested – and with testing…with refinement comes a stronger more resilient individual. i feel like i’m blabbering. all of this to say – thank you for your prayers, please continue to pray, and let me know how i can be praying for you. this journey of life is so much easier when we lean on Jesus as we should and have sisters & brothers in Christ to pair up with and share the burden. y’all…that is how it’s meant to be.

+ y’all….John Mayer + Phillip Phillip concert tickets go on sale at 10am here today…they suspect it to be sold out in minutes – i am going to TRY to buy tickets!!! i’m not the biggest fan of john mayer as a person, but musically – swoon.

+ my brother turned 21 this past week. 21!!!! WHEN DID HE GET SO BIG?! i still look at him and see my little brother. the one with the white-blonde curly hair and brilliant blue eyes, the one who i would say “how fast can you do this” to trick him into getting me a glass of sweet tea. the little boy who would come snuggle up next to me because he felt like it. when did he turn into a man? a man who is figuring out life and learning more about himself, who loves his family and friends fiercely, a man who still gives me hugs and says i love you. i can’t wait to see the kind of man he will become as the years continue to pass – but can the years slow down at least a little?

+ ummm hello BRILLIANT. i never would have thought of this. my little artistic heart is doing cartwheels and backflips!

+ i found one of my mothers necklaces last night – it makes me happy to find small things of hers, it brings back sweet memories. i miss my mom.

+ i love my city. it’s beautiful, historic, and friendly. yes it is ridiculously hot in the summertime (which is basically 99% of the year), but the blue skies, salt water, and smiling faces make up for that. 

+ i hope y’all have a lovely weekend and get whatever accomplished that you’re hoping to – that’s my goal! 🙂

if you had a post that was frank this week, link up below.

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Frankly Friday…v47

Last week i got a little raw with my Frankly Friday.
Well heads up, i’ll be doing it again.
God’s been moving in my heart without me even fully noticing. He kicked my butt last night spiritually and physically to remind me of some of his truths. Truths I had chosen to overlook for a while; truths that are resonating within my Spirit and i feel compelled to share with you today.

. . .

Conviction = Accountability
Accountability = Humility.
Living a Godly life = being honest.
Resisting temptation is a daily battle.

Now that that is out of the way…

Friend, lovely, beautiful woman or handsome man of God.
You are cherished.
I am cherished.
We are set apart and if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior then we are given new mercies and abundant grace every single morning.
Take that knowledge as a fact.

I need You to soften my heart, to break me apart. I need you to open my eyes, to see that You’re shaping my life.

But let’s get honest for a second, real, transparent.
The truth is, i struggle so that means i know you struggle too.
Sin is such an ugly thing…yet still so tempting.
You know when you’ve got a “handle” on the sin that is a thorn in your side and somehow something throws you off and it becomes a struggle again? Yeah, me too.

Sin is delicious. 
Was that scandalous? Meh i don’t think so, because it’s true.
Sin tastes good when we’re in the midst of it. It feels good, Satan is a beautiful temptress.
Sin is crafty, brilliant, sneaky. It can wrap its way around your heart in one tinytranslucent spider-web string…hardly noticable. Then before you know it, you’re heart is being constricted by this sin you’ve overlooked – chosen to overlook.
Sin is nasty business.

Give me faith to trust what You say, that You’re good, and Your love is great. I’m broken inside, i give You my life.

I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone.
Nope, not even in that sin that you think is so disgusting.
The one that only the walls of your own bedroom know from crying out to God.
You are so not alone.
Our hearts are fickle, and un-trustworthy, and bent towards sin. Our nature is to follow the flesh, to give in to it. Sometimes i look around at the lives that don’t have a relationship with Jesus and think “man, that looks…enticing“. I know it isn’t fulfilling. I know it would lead only to hurt and pain…yet my flesh attempts to trick me into believing that it would be fun, or interesting, or…exciting.

When you’re not taking the time to bend your sinful heart towards God – the flesh gets stronger.
I can tell you that from personal experience.
It’s easy to fall into temptation, sometimes you jump at the chance.
It can look so good.

I may be weak, but Your Spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God you never will.

But here’s the thing; you and I both know that once you’re out of the temptation, the sin has happened, and you’re left alone with your thoughts…guilt encompasses you.
And not just guilt but frustration, brokenness, anger, despair…
…sin leaves you hollow.

So i’m here before you today to remind you that within your struggle, you’re not alone.
If you think your sin is too big, or too disgusting, or too taboo – God doesn’t think so.
That’s why He sent His son Jesus to bring healing and salvation.
God offered us a way out…a way to be free from the bondage of sin.
Will we still sin? Yes. Undoubtedly yes.
But we have Jesus.
We have a Savior who reaches into our sin, pulls us out, cleanses us, and says sin no more.
He offers forgiveness.
His life pours out love.
He desires to cradle your heart and protect it.
We have to only say Yes.

It will be a rough journey.
Full of thorns, cuts, snares, and traps.
We will fail.
Often.
But we get right back up by holding onto the hand of Jesus and continue down the narrow path. We listen to His guidance, we soften our hearts to His word, we follow His conviction. With His help, we set our lives in motion for forgiveness, redemption, and righteousness.

All I am, I surrender. 

If you had a post that was frank this week, don’t forget to link up!!

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