Personal stuff, photo

Friday, April 21, 2006
What a day! My husband brought me to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday. What I did not know was that he and my friend Julie got their heads together to give me a surprise birthday party. What a great night, I am so blessed.
I just want to share something cool that happened today. A few days ago I shared about the 7th grade girl that I had been working with. I go in as a parent volunteer during a sewing segment and the teacher puts me next to kids that need a bit of extra help getting paperwork done, and later getting their projects completed. Sometimes sitting next to a child will focus their attention toward the goal.I sat next to a girl in full goth regalia, and she had a armband on that said, “How can I ignore you today.” I was able to find a bracelet amid the dog collar spiked bracelets that I liked and commented positively about it. She was amazed that I was not scared of how she dressed, and I pointed out to her that I have found out that it is not how you are on the outside, but how you are in the inside that matters a lot. She and three of her friends were surprised at my comment, and said that is what I have been trying to tell people.

The next time I saw her she was happy, cooperative and responded well to me. We worked and got a lot done.

Today, she was cold and withdrawn. I prayed as I worked with another child to get him moving along (he too will finish his project for today we got a lot done). So I went up to my little goth girl and asked her if she would wish me a happy birthday, as today is my birthday. She smiled, wished me a happy birthday, and I was able to sit down next to her and get her almost finished, she really will be able to finish the work!

But the cool thing is that on the pillow she is working on she had to sew on up to three letters for initials, she chose SIN, sigh. I prayed about how to turn that around because I obviously couldn’t force her to use letters she didn’t want to use, and I need her to feel loved and accepted as she is, so I started musing out loud. Let’s see, SIN, hmmm, Sweet, Intelligent, Nice, Smart, Sincere, Inventive…. And then she got into the game and came up with a few other positive words for these initials. My prayer is that when she takes this pillow into her room after she finishes it that when she looks at those letters she will remember affirmation and love. I was so psyched when I left the room, and her final comment today was, “this is one of my favorite classes.” You have to realize that a few days ago she hated the class. Oh I pray so much for her that God’s love will come through to her. I did mention that she is in my thoughts and prayers now because I care for her. Her name is Natasha if you want to add her to your prayer list. I will get to work with her one more day, Monday, then the sewing segment is over. So please pray that God keeps guiding what comes out of my mouth. My heart goes out so much to her.


Currently Reading
Breaking Free: Leader’s Guide
By Beth Moore
see related

Currently I am doing the Beth Moore study Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life. I could only find a picture of the Leader’s Guide, but there is a workbook with a similar cover. This is a tough study for me. Many of you know of my past and can probably imagine why. (Testimony on 3/24/06) And it still is incredible to me that Christ reached through all the walls, barriers, and hatred that I had for Him to touch my heart with love, and sent a wonderful mentor/pastor to help me navigate through some of the minefields.

I sure wish that it was possible to say, now that I am saved everything is wonderful. It is wonderful in the far-reaching aspect of my future in Christ being assured, but there are still the day to day things, and the hurts and pains that don’t just dissipate with salvation. Have you ever been envious of those who have challenges that are not so crushing to you? Challenges that you don’t have to do battle with on an ongoing basis. I am also certain that each and every person can ask the above same question. What seems easy for one is hard for another, and pain is pain is pain is pain. But right now I seem to be battling a bit of depression and a good dose of self-pity, sigh. My teenagers, whom I love dearly, can sometimes make you wonder. My teens have what I would have considered a heavenly life, and yet they complain, hate their life, and it is based on things that I would have thought so trivial (as a teen I was struggling just to live, not commit suicide, and survive massive abuse), being hated for making my teens do their homework, not dropping everything and running to the store for them at a whim, not letting them go someplace, or checking up on them is the worst that they have to face in their lives at home. I am certain pressures at school are tough, peer pressure, the lack of values that is so rampant today, and the demands placed on them there are probably tough ones. It is not an easy world to grow up in.

Right now I am in week 5, Binding up the Brokenhearted, and Beth Moore gave some incredible studies in Day one, She talked about the fact that having your heart broken is an injury in a class all by itself, and says that it is inevitable from time to time that it will happen, and that it is an emotional rite of passage into maturity, but that many individuals are introduced to mature emotions long before they should be – she has that one right there, I was introduced to a broken heart at the age of 8 and it put a huge wedge between me and my perception of God, I decided then that God had abandoned me – I now know He didn’t but it still takes a huge microscope for me to detect God’s hand at that time. I still struggle with why He didn’t do more.

One important point she made is on page 95, “People often contrast the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament. Actually, He’s the same God. Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead fulfilled the demands of the Law and unleashed the gates of boundless grace, but God has always loved and been compassionate.

She gave several Old Testament references where we had to look at the circumstances  involved in the person’s broken heart, and how God bound them up. Genesis 16:1-13, Genesis 39: 11-23, Ruth 1: 3-18, and 2 Samuel 12:15-25. You may want to check these out.

She then pointed out Psalm 127:3-4 and said how do these verses describe “sons” – it is like arrows in the hand of a warrior. And she pointed out that God had one arrow in his quiver – Jesus. And love reached sacrificially into that quiver and pulled out the solitary arrow to defeat the plans of satan.

What love, what sacrifice, and all who will “lower their veiling shields of unbelief and let the healing arrow penetrate shall be saved.” P.96

On page 98 she concludes day one with a description of the word “bind up” in Isaiah 61:1 where it says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.” The word is chavash meaning to bind on, wrap around; bind up as a wound, bandage, cover, envelope, enclose, and in our context today it is one of hemorrhaging.

God will minister to his children, Beth says, willingly and lavishly whether the hurt is minimal or unbearable, . He sent Jesus to apply pressure to our badly bleeding hurt hearts with scarred hand. It is an intimate activity of Christ.

This paragraph on page 98 struck me hard. “Let’s conclude our lesson with a last thought on Christ binding up the brokenhearted. Notice the first definition includes the concepts of covering, enveloping, and enclosing. Have you ever noticed that when your heart is broken, you tend to feel exposed and less in control of your emotions? I certainly have, and frankly, I hate losing control of my emotions in front of people! Few things feel more vulnerable than a broken heart. Life’s way of reacting to a crushed heart is to wrap tough sinews of flesh around it and tempt us to promise we’ll never let ourselves get hurt again. That’s not God’s way. Remember, self-made fortresses built to protect our hearts not only keep love from going out, they keep love from coming in. We risk becoming captives in our own protective fortresses. Only God can put the pieces of our hearts back together again, close up all the wounds, and bind them with a porous bandage that protects from infection…but keeps the heart free to inhale and exhale love.

Then she challenges us to..” expose our heart one more time…just to Him. After all, this was what His father sent Him to do. The bow’s stretched back and the Arrow’s ready. But it’s up to you to drop your shield.”

Tomorrow I may share more for it will touch close to home, hearts broken in childhood. sigh.

Boy do these studies touch me deeply, the emotions that I still work hard at controlling, the need to withdraw, the need to hide and not be noticed, the fear that God might change His mind about me, all have their origin in a broken heart. I sure could use God’s healing hand tonight and a lot of prayer.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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