How do you find rest for your soul?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28
I just finished my junior year of college yesterday and now I am with some of the family at a lake house. As I was kayaking with my 11-yr old son, it was absolutely quiet on the lake. I could see pretty far down in the water. Various birds were circling around overhead, some would come down to the water and swim for a bit. 

As I closed my eyes and leaned back on the seat to rest a bit, I realized how long it’s been since I’ve deliberately taken a deep breath and heard the sounds around me. The idea that I have a few days where nothing is pressing is amazing. 

This is what I’ve been missing. Chillax time. Quietness. Breathing deeply. Listening to birds and the wind through the leaves. Walking barefoot on the sandy beach. Feeling the cool water on my feet. Watching the waves on the lake. This restores my soul. 

I look forward to reading a book and getting in some knitting and napping. Unwinding is good. 

What do you do for self-care? Hiw do you manage to take care of yourself when you are worn thin, emotionally and spiritually?

How do you find God during these times?

Personal Story: Wife of Pedophile Shares How Her Husband Manipulated Her from Seeing the Truth

Pedophile, Wife of Pedophile, Sex Abuse


Today I am posting a personal story from a woman named Cindy who left a comment yesterday on the 3-1/2-year-old article, , which has continued to reach women who are searching for support.

Her comment was posted at 4AM on the West Coast the day after Christmas. It got me wondering . . . maybe Cindy lives on the East Coast and was posting this in the quiet hours of 1AM after a pleasant Christmas day (the story ends on a positive note). What struck me was that she posted this around the time where families are gathered for the holidays. Perhaps she, too, was reminiscing of Christmases past, of what it was like when their family appeared to be whole and happy. But obviously she also thought about the pain and felt at liberty to share that with us the process of getting to acceptance and peace with herself and her family. The memories of living through the destruction that pedophilia brings to a family doesn’t ever entirely leave. And maybe that’s why Cindy shared her story – to personally acknowledge what she went through, to share it in a safe place where others who have walked in her shoes can also identify.

Although this story is not about abuse in church, this is about abuse that many families go through. How can the church connect with these hurting families and support them?  I share these stories because pedophilia is yucky and disgusting. It’s easier to walk away and let someone else deal with it. The reality is that being the wife of a pedophile is a lonely place. Once the pedophile is discovered, their family will never be the same. They don’t need to walk this path alone. Continue reading

SSB Sunday Gathering – July 27, 2014

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Spiritual Sounding Board  – This is our place to gather and share in an open format.  Feel free to join in the discussion.

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Emotional Chaos after Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse can leave damaging scars, some resulting in real difficulties, including anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, etc.

Continue reading

SSB Sunday Gathering – June 28, 2014

Spiritual Sounding Board  – This is our place to gather and share in an open format.  Feel free to join in the discussion.

Continue reading

Spiritual Recovery and Leaving a High-Controlling Church: Free to Plant, Free to Bloom, Free to Be

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What does freedom feel like for those who have left a high-controlling or spiritually abusive church?

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Brave: A Song of Hope for Survivors of Abuse

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Brave:  A Song of Hope for Survivors of Abuse

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  1 Peter 1:3-6

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Who Will Take Care of Your Beloved Pets after the Rapture?

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Who Will Take Care of Your Beloved Pets after the Rapture?

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I’m sure this has been a great concern to my readers, so having you, my dear friends in mind, I am passing along this helpful information.  ~ja

Here is a brief excerpt from After the Rapture Pet Care, the great folks who will look after your pets after you have gone on.

I agreed – it’s a real concern, and a legitimate concern. Our pets are given to us by God for us to care for. We are stewards of their lives. Should we simply forget them at the Rapture, allow them to starve or worse?

While planning our system, we thought about the stories of pet rescues in New Orleans after Katrina. Imagine how many more pets would have been saved if there had been a database of pets and volunteers activated immediately. This is something we could do for Christian owned pets.

Carol began recruiting other non-Christian animal lovers nationwide to volunteer to take care of left-behind pets if the Rapture occurs. As a Christian, my role has been to put together a program that is Biblically appropriate and provides true value to Christians. I believe we’ve come up with a plan that is affordable, unique, Biblical and practical.

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For more information, click here.

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When we are spiritually abused, are we partly responsible?

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Quick note:  Last weekend, I went to the Oregon Coast to a ladies retreat.  Knitting is my constant companion at retreats – – especially in case the speaker disappoints.  However, I did not get one stitch of knitting done.  The message was very good, convicting, refreshing, and motivating.  And you cannot put a price tag on getting together with long-time friends, sharing heart-to-heart conversation, laughing and crying together.  What a precious time.

This is where we were . . . . . .

photo-10

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. . . but I would be lying if I said I saw this during the retreat.  The weather was stormy with strong winds and horizontal rain keeping me inside the entire time.  After driving away, upon realizing I not seen the ocean once during the weekend, I pulled over to get a shot.   Here’s the shot I took – the only time during the weekend that wasn’t raining/storming –  – – from my iPhone, with no photo editing.  The Oregon coast is gorgeous.  It is free for all to enjoy, and worth a visit.  This was taken in Cannon Beach.

Now this is kind of funny.  I took a picture of a tsunami evacuation sign, but had not looked at the fine print until getting home.   🙂

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spiritual abuse

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What is our responsibility when we are spiritually abused?  Were we part of the problem?

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Spiritual Edification: What has worked for you?

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In our spiritual journey, many of us have had mountain-top experiences and maybe some valleys, too.  Mountain-top experiences are pretty exciting and can fuel us for a while, but I’m not convinced that our spiritual journey should be based on one great experience.   But in those times in which you have grown the most spiritually, how did that happen to you?  Was it a personal Bible study?  Was it some sort of accountability?  Was it through a small group?  Was it listening to a pastor’s sermon series?  Was it because of a traumatic event where you had to daily seek God?  Was it the discipline of daily devotion?

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10,000 Reasons to Keep Singing

Do as I say, not as I do~screaming off the page~
While he posts sermons that are judgemental and hateful to the lost, it seems he demands blind following fro his herd. I have been hurt so deeply, both spiritually and emotionally by this man and his ‘perceptions’ over the past 3 1/2 years, as I see it because I didn’t succumb to his leadership and left the church. It took a few years to understand what had happened to me and my family. As I have sought the Lord, He shows me that I am to continue in love and good works. Exposing darkness is love and good works. God will direct my path, as He always does and refine my faith if only I will be humble and trust Him.
I still have folks who have left there contact me about the confusion and pain they suffered while attending there-as well as when they left ‘elders’ showing up unannounced at their homes. This happened to me as well as Julie Anne. It really does make me sad, but I am grateful to be able to love them and encourage them through a very dark time….praising God for His mighty love of His children, I am patiently waiting on my Lord as He has made all things new. When I walk in the truth, there is no need for damage control.
Love you Julie Anne, and thank you for doing this blog, giving the wounded (me for one) a place to understand what I have just lived through and the encouragement to continue to love the saints with grace and truth.
I read this comment from Meaghan this morning while sitting in the dentist chair and wanted to cry.  Meaghan is such an amazing testimony of someone using the pain she has gone through for God’s glory and it ties in so beautifully what I had planned to post on today.  (Thank you, Meaghan, for your heartfelt post – it really blessed me!)
If you are reading this blog, you may have suffered spiritual abuse.  I am aware of some who are reading this blog because they are studying spiritual abuse for research and others are following the story because of the lawsuit and are keeping us in prayer.  (What a great comfort that is, thank you!)
It’s easy to dwell on the pain, the hurt, the tragic stories, the losses, the shattered relationships, the years stolen.  Today, can we shift that focus to the positive?
What has God taught you through this experience?   How have you changed?   How have you been able to use that pain for His glory?  Please, take the time to comment.  Tell us some wonderful goodness that has come out of this experience.    If you don’t comment, that’s fine – I just want to encourage you to think how Christ has worked in you.  God is victorious through all of the trials.  He will not leave us abandoned.  He is faithful.  Listen to the words of this song on the YouTube video.  Maybe it will help prompt some ideas:

 What are some of those 10,000 reasons that your heart can sing?  Yesterday, I was pretty down after hearing more stories of abuse.  I look forward to being encouraged by your words.
 
“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name