Tiptoe


Even when you’re going through it,

You’re not going through it;

You’re tiptoeing around,

Careful not to step on

Your own thoughts, your own feelings. 

You don’t really want to talk about it;

You don’t really want to write about it.

You only want to think about, write about 

Nothing at all.

The nothingness that stares you in the face,

The nothingness that will never be nothing again,

The life that will never be the same.

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If Happiness Is Your Goal

“As believers, I think we live under a false assumption that we always have to be happy, that somehow happiness is a part of who I am. And I’ve always got to be happy and I’ve always got to be up, and I never face reality and I never face my problems and I never face the challenges that come. This is our way.

But listen to me, if happiness is your goal, it becomes very elusive. And let me tell you why, because happiness is all about me. And you become very inward-focused. And so we strive for happiness and we search for happiness but somehow happiness in itself, if that becomes your end goal, it becomes very, very elusive.

It’s like that elusive butterfly that lights for a moment of happiness but all of a sudden, it goes away and when it goes away, you are left empty all again, and you search for your next way to find some kind of happiness, and it just kind of goes.

As a believer, the chief end of man is not your happiness but is to glorify the Lord.”

Pastor Larry Burgbacher, Faith Assembly of God
From “At The Movies Part 1: Inside Out”

 

Never Say This To A Stepmom

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So tonight I was putting my youngest stepson to bed. He is three years old, and as usual, missing his mom. I didn’t think it was unusual at all when he asked if we could record a message for her. I pulled out my phone, and he left the sweetest message for his mom. I messaged it to her and she quickly sent one back. He was so happy listening to the playback, and was saying “I love you” in response to the audio even though she can’t hear him. It was then that he turned serious and said these words: “I love Mommy. Bunny, I need to tell you something. I never really loved you because Mommy is the best.”

I didn’t know what to do. My heart was instantly shattered, and I’m still sitting there on his floor typing a message back to her to share how much he loves her. He didn’t say it maliciously; the funny thing is that he spoke from his heart very honestly and sincerely. He had no idea that he hurt my feelings and I know that he didn’t intend to. When I later asked him why he said that, he told me because it was in his head. I think really it was something in his heart, something that has been bothering him that he didn’t know how to put into words. I guess tonight he figured out how.

My feelings are hurt yes, but he is also a child stuck in the constant battle of wanting his mom but never having enough time with her. He spends more time with my husband and I, and it breaks my heart to know that. I’m sure that he wants to be loyal to her, and save all of his love for her. This makes sense, it truly does. I just wish this was easier somehow and my feelings didn’t matter.

I love my stepchildren without holding back because that is my nature. Still, it is much harder to not hold back when situations like this come up. It’s usually the oldest one that I’m concerned with, the 14-year-old who doesn’t want to get close to another woman. I guess I thought I had more time with the younger one. I realize now that I was wrong.

Jesus, please be with me, I pray for the strength to endure this heartache from the children I love, the ones that will always love someone else more. Lord, allow me to be selfless in my love for them, and allow me to consistently and faithfully love them even if they never love me back. You are my example, you are my guide, and in you I will overcome the doubts that plague my heart. Through you, I will learn to stop searching for acceptance in every action and every word, but come to rest in the love you have for me. Lord, I ask these things not for myself, but so that my love is an example of patience and everlasting love that I can instill in these lives I’ve been given to minister to. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Is Your Faith Upside Down?

Some things in life are easy to let go of compared to others. Sometimes, it seems too easy to put something in God’s hands. The problem is you never really know by looking at a problem how easy it will be to give up. Looking back at my mom’s passing, I would have thought that it would have been impossible to turn over. I surprised myself with the ease I put it in His hands. Similar thing with my job search and the fact that I am unemployed. From the time that I knew my job was at risk, through the process of finding out I was being laid off, and up until now while I’m stilling seeking employment, my faith has been surprisingly steadfast.

Then why is it that the smallest things sometimes take the greatest faith? 

It’s strange how the littlest things can seem insurmountable. Have you ever felt like your faith is upside down? Remember after the housing market crashed and so many people suddenly were upside down on their cars and homes? Maybe it would look something like this…

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In every moment, in every challenge, no matter how small or how big, we have to remember to give everything to God. But it can be so hard, can’t it? How do we let go of our feelings and dreams in the moment of our biggest (and sometimes our smallest) meltdowns? The hardest thing sometimes is just remembering the most obvious…

In your darkest moments, God is holding your hand. 

When you are determined to handle things yourself, God wants to do it for you. 

We are only human, and He knows this. He doesn’t fault us for forgetting but He feels privileged like a willing father to come to our aid at our most desperate times, when we are most vulnerable. Only His love and patience can truly save us from ourselves. When I first got saved, I even wrote a song about it. He was the ONLY ONE that could save me from myself, and still is. I’ll go ahead and share the acapella version of the song (Only You) with you so you can listen. When I am at my lowest, I sometimes find myself singing it to myself as a reminder. It’s amazing how God gives me a beautiful gift to encourage others but in doing so, also knows how much I need it sometimes myself.

 


For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music, and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com. 

Being Vulnerable

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I am one of those kinds of people that is not only sensitive but empathic. I shy away from anger and frustration when displayed by others because it is too much stress for my body. My shields at keeping other’s feelings out of my psyche are very poor so I have a hard time with strong feelings. On the other end of the spectrum, I react with love when someone opens their heart wide open for others to see. I am moved by vulnerability and want to bring broken souls to safety. My heart is compassionate, but even with this sometimes I can be easily overwhelmed with too much emotion. It’s the reason that catching up with current events is on the bottom of my list of things to do. Still, despite all of my compassion, I cannot claim it as mine alone. I know that it is Jesus working through me.

We can be angry with God when things don’t go our way. I remember being like that in my early twenties when my mom first stopped talking to me. I gave God ultimatums and told Him to show Himself to me. I was demanding, angry, and closed off from wanting to have a loving relationship with Him. I just wanted my mom back and if He was all powerful, then I would do what I had to do to get her to come back. Little did I know that I was going about it the wrong way.

It would take me another 15 years before I was ready to know God and have a loving relationship with Him. Coincidently, I also didn’t have a loving relationship with my mom during this time. We both made our mistakes, and I have learned a lot now that I am a parent. I approached my mom just as I did God with anger, and she did the same with me. We weren’t vulnerable with each other, opening our hearts and apologizing for the miscommunication and misunderstandings. I didn’t trust that she had my best interests in mind or that she wasn’t trying to hurt me. I’m sure she assumed that I didn’t care about her as well and that she meant nothing to me. Like my mom, I didn’t think God cared about me. I felt like He had left me out of His kingdom. I didn’t trust Him when it came to my misunderstandings and so He became just a nobody in my life. I had to learn how to live life without my mom and accept that she was never going to be part of my life. It was a lot easier for me to accept not having God in my life.

It wasn’t until I was vulnerable that I allowed Jesus to come into my heart. Over the 15 years, I had become a broken form of myself, still smiling but still carrying a hole in my heart. Standing on a street corner on the day I had finally committed to go to church after 10-12 years, I finally understood the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. When I made it to church that day, I allowed myself to be vulnerable and just feel, caring nothing for the rest of the world. The tears that escaped me were years and years of pain flowing out of me so that God could replace it with peace. I surrendered for the first time in my life.

I can’t say that my mom magically came back into my life all of a sudden and my life was perfect but opening a door for Jesus to come in my life opened a window for my mom as well. It would take several months and a lot of surrendering. It took having no more expectations about what God’s plan was and saying more than I was sorry. It took a sincere understanding of what it means to be a mother, and the sacrifices one has to make for their children. It took realizing all of the times she loved me unconditionally. Perhaps we should all come to Jesus this way.

Below is the letter I wrote to my mom one year ago today. Perhaps, we all have written a letter like this to Jesus in our hearts. If you haven’t, and you need Jesus in your life, I pray that you will let down your guard and ask for His healing, and accept His unfailing love for you. It’s not too late. It’s never too late…

I failed you. In multiple ways. I lied. I didn’t listen. I didn’t even pay attention. I promised things that I didn’t follow through on. I consistently let you down regardless of the sacrifices you made for me. I put my own needs and feelings first. I simply did not understand.

I am playing stepmom now to a 2-year old and a 13-year old. These are not fun years. If anything, they repeatedly make me stop and think about what you went through with me. These kids don’t listen. They look me in the eye when I tell them not to do something, and they do it anyway. Spitefully. Eagerly. Lord, I pray I wasn’t this terrible. The teenager, Junior, lied to me about doing his homework. He stole my phone to find information about his girlfriend’s mom. He lost my trust instantly. The day he took my phone was the day I was to throw him a surprise birthday party at the skating rink that was going to cost me $200. I didn’t want to do it. I was so angry. We went through with it anyway because his father, Nicholas, didn’t want to let the other kids down. Two days later, Junior told us that the only fun he ever had is at his mom’s house. Talk about feeling rejected and disrespected. This kid is not grateful about anything. I automatically felt like giving up. I don’t want to do anything for this child. How am I supposed to keep forgiving him and keep loving him? How many times did you feel this way about me? How many times did you want to give up on me before you actually did?

I am quick to look at the fact that you are not in my life and want nothing to do with me because it hurts. But I never stopped to think how many times you forgave me, how many times you put on your suit of armor just to get through the day and try to keep loving me despite everything. I get it now, I really do.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of the grief that I caused you. I am sorry for not appreciating you enough, for not understanding how I consistently failed you so many times, in so many situations.

The Lord has taken over my heart, and shown me the error of my ways. I see why I have not been forgiven, and I don’t know that I ever will be. That’s not the point. I don’t know that I have the right to ask you for forgiveness. God will take care of me, and I pray that He will continue to humble me and allow me to make up for those I have let down through service of some kind. I love you, I always have, but I know now that I was not a blessing to my parents as the Bible says I should have been.

I am not perfect. I don’t know if God can turn me into a daughter that would be a blessing to you. I ask nothing of you. I don’t even know if you will read this letter. All I can do right now is repent for the pain I have caused, and hope that God can help you heal from the pain. I am truly sorry.

Sincerely,

Kristeen

 


For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music, and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com.