STOP

It’s good to know when to stop.

We have zero power over how others view themselves or us. We have zero power over how others handle their inner traumas. We can strive to make amends or to clarify, but we have zero power over if the other person will listen or respond.

But we do have the power to stop. We can stop trying when someone actively resists everything we are. We can stop commenting when everything we say is misconstrued. We can stop attending when we are disregarded or pushed away. We can stop opening ourselves to behavior that makes us uncomfortable.

It’s vital to know when to stop.

If you keep going and don’t heed the warning signs, you will get run over. You will hurt yourself and or others. You will damage relationships to the point of no return. You will regret not stopping if you don’t stop.

You have to stop trying. Stop fixing. Stop caring. You have to focus on you and what God has put in your hands. That is all you have to do.

But one thing to never do, is never stop loving you. Never stop believing in you. Never stop trusting your gut. Never stop standing up for yourself. Never stop fighting the lies. Never stop caring for you. Because you are the only one who will be there until the end of every day, every moment, and every breath you take.

THE QUEEN RULES

I will not pay your way

I will not make it easy for you

I will not go to you

I will not send a gift

I will not trust you

I will not love you

I will not feel sorry for you

I will not make excuses for you

I will not let you off the hook 

I will not pretend all is well 

I will not be lost in a wish

I will not fight a battle that isn’t mine

I will not look for you

I will not expect you

I will not allow your way

I will not speak to you

I will hold my head up high 

I will remain distant

I will sit on my throne

I will rest alone in my chamber

I will battle for truth

I will win my wars

I will rule my land 

I will care for what is mine

I will protect my rights

I will stand my ground

I will put me first

I will reign in power

I will surround myself with guards

I will leave a legacy 

I will fortify

I will be fierce 

A Queen or a Slave

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
I have the power to choose
From this point forward

I can be bound to the words spoken over me,
Or I can break the chains and set my self free

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
My circumstances do not choose
From this point forward

Will I look around me and believe what I see,
Or will I look within me and find greater strength?

Am I a Queen or a Slave?
I choose not to fall into default
From this point forward

I will speak my identity into existence
The power to raise my head is mine



An Ocean

You came in like an ocean full of words
Beautiful words that swept me away
I drowned in the warmth of the waves of your love

You cradled me, lovingly holding my head above the water
You cared for me like I was yours
You loved me

And I loved you
Love never dies
But oceans quiet for a time before the seas start to roll again

You came in like an ocean full of words
Then you left without a single one
And I drowned in the silence as waves of grief rushed over me

When the storm calms, may we find each other alive and well
And may the ocean of love wash over our hearts again
My drifting, lost Love


The Weed in My Garden

Two hands clasp in friendship, a mingling of souls
A fire burns away the past and
Paves the way for a new beginning

Beautiful feelings rage
Dreams, stories, pain, and anger
Are exposed in full daylight, nothing hidden

Truth and lies from
The bottom of the sea reveal a life full of treasure
Waiting gladly to be discovered

Until a storm of doubt, fear, and shame
Ascends and everyone takes cover
Darkness and isolation rain down like tears on a face

Violence and neglect, a refusal to water the plant
Brought home until it struggles gasping for breath,
For that one drop of water to ease its’ soul from hell

Is this where the story ends?
Is it where the road eternally forks?
Or is it what’s required to learn to plant a beautiful garden?

Choices we cannot control dictate the next move:
The number of thorns and rocks in the ground
The nearness to the River, the abilities of the caretakers

Dependence is not intimacy, separateness is not freedom
The war rages between hearts and inside the minds
Perfection is impossible, could anything less ever be accepted?

There is a beauty in the weed that arose despite the conditions
The hearty, strong, and lonely weed that will not go away no matter how I pull at it
The weed whose root runs deep has a name: Survival

Survival consumes my soul, but I know him and am comfortable with him
We are old friends, Survival and I; he will not destroy me, but will
Inspire me to push my head up and allow the Sun to look on my face

The Wind will blow out the dead leaves from my garden
The Fire will burn away the brush and burst open the seed
The Water will flow and renew youthful life again

And so I can see the beauty of my Weed
And appreciate the heartiness required to survive without care
And see it not as a Weed, but as my soul and life, and something to cherish











The Weed in My Garden

Rachael K. Hartman 9.25.20

The Battle

November 5, 2019
by Rachael Kathleen Hartman

The Battle

prayerwarrior7.jpgFear of forgottenness
Fear of the future
Regret of the past

Where you gonna run and hide
When you locked up on in the inside
How you gonna get outside

Feelings of unworthiness,
Feelings of unwantedness,
Raging of the mind?

Look around, but see nothing
A seastorm, but no lighthouse
God is there, but you in the dark

Stuck in prison hell
Reaching, fighting, trying
To find an answer

Is it mental? Meditate
Is it spiritual? Pray in tongues
Is it biological? Take the oil or pill

Then sleep and dream
Dreams to interpret
For a clue to the waking world

The mind a battlefield
And you the Wounded Warrior
Prayer Warrior

Drowning it all in the Blood of the Lamb
Fighting the bloody battle of the soul
A battle only He can win
____

Suggested reading: Don’t Call Me a Prayer Warrior

 

The Chapter that Ends Well

I’ve been thinking about the next chapter of my life, where I will go, and what I will do. When you lose everything, that is a good thing, as it opens you up to receive everything. There’s nothing there to take up space and keep you from whatever it is that is waiting for you in the future.

Every time I have packed up and moved–which has been often–I have left a part of me behind. I can’t complain about that, as I have always found myself wherever it is I go. God is always with me, even when I am not with Him as I wish I were.

I am still a long way off from moving, about nine months. But I know somewhere deep within me that the apartment that I am in right now, this lovely place, will be difficult for me to leave. So much has happened here. I’ve loved and lost. I’ve grieved and found peace from my grief. I’ve broken down and learned to build myself up. I’ve cried, wept bitterly, and come to a place where there were no more tears.

I’ve had dreams, visions, and whispers from the Lord. I’ve had friends reach out to restore me. I’ve found a place of peace and a place of rest. I’ve found a lot of who I am.

I’ve gained and I’ve lost here. I’ve lost rebellion here. I’ve gained trust in God. I’ve lost unforgiveness here. I’ve found grace. I’ve lost friends. I’ve found new ones.

Something within my spirit feels like spring is about to burst forward. That the death I have died here is ripening my ground.

It’s not so much about what the next chapter holds, as it is that this one ends well. It-is-well.jpg

Please God, Love People

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

I’ve had three particular situations over the past few days that I have stressed out over.  Today, I stopped and asked myself if I had made the right choice in those situations. Yes, I do believe I did. Then what’s the problem? Why was I stressing?

I’m empathetic by nature, so if I know another person is upset or stressed or mad about something I’ve done, I stress. I want other people to be happy with me. And that is my problem.

Several years ago, I heard a great quote that stuck with me. “I used to love God and please people, but now I please God and love people.” I needed reminding of that today.

As soon as my brain logically admitted the following truths, I felt a weight lift off of me.

  1. Did my choice please God? Yes.
  2. Did I do my best and admit my faults? Yes.
  3. Did I act out of a pure and honest heart? Yes.

That’s when I saw this post by Rachel Miranda Kerry as I scrolled Facebook. I shared it, of course. “Don’t let anyone try to convince you that there is something wrong with you when you are pursuing the heart of God. You are doing right.”

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 6.10.13 PM.png

Perfect timing. It’s honestly not even that other people are trying to convince me that something is wrong with me. It’s my own natural tendencies that I am fighting against. It’s the natural path of guilt and shame that I find myself on that I have to repent from.

Other people may not like our choices, decisions, responses, or boundaries, but it really isn’t about pleasing them. It’s our job to please the Lord, pursue His heart, and to take care of ourselves so that we have the capacity to love others.

I hope this thought helps you as it helped me. I am not perfect, but I am on the right path. I can let go of my stress and rest in the Prince of Peace, His grace, and His love. He loves me as I am, which makes me want to worship Him even more.

Jesus is good, kind, merciful, and full of everlasting love that endures forever.

Obadiah

A few days ago in a post, I wrote about my desire to buy a fish. Well, I did, and I named him Obadiah. Here he is, a little blue betta.

IMG_6740.jpg

You may be wondering why such a small fish has such a large name. As I previously shared, while in Bible College I had a fish named Jonah. I love the name Jonah for a fish, but I think it’s pretty awkward to name every fish I own the same name, so I figured I would make my rounds through the Old Testament prophet names. If you want to learn about the book of Obadiah, watch this short video.

In the meantime, I discovered that the name Obadiah means “servant of God” or “worshiper of Yahweh.” The form of Obadiah’s name used in the Septuagint is Obdios; in Latin it is Abdias; in Arabic, it is عبداللّٰه ʿAbdullah.

Every time I see my little fish, I think about what it means to be a servant of God. Sometimes, it does feel like I’m trapped a bit in a little glass bowl with not much going on. But the cool thing is that I don’t have to have a lot going on to worship God. I don’t have to be something super special or extra. I don’t have to have everything in my life the way I ideally want it to be. I just have to be what God created me to be – myself.

A short post, but I have some other fun pictures of my dogs’ reactions to Obadiah that I’d like to share as well. Have a great day!

 

IMG_6715.JPGIMG_6713.JPG

IMG_6717.JPG

IMG_6720.JPG

IMG_6740.jpg

Contentment

2461889-Jeremiah-Burroughs-Quote-Contentment-is-not-by-addition-but-by.jpgIn my last post, I wrote about hope for the future and looking forward to new seasons. Though that is still the case, I had a huge reminder over the past few weeks about why it is important to be content.

I had two different situations occur that gave me quite a bit of “hope” for what I thought would be a change of season and would breathe fresh air into my life. One of those situations was a potential job and an interview at a very well respected company. The other was a possible new friendship.

I had an interview at the company that went very well. I also had a phone call with the potential new friend that I also thought went very well. Both “potentials” ended up as closed doors that left me wondering why the opportunities even showed themselves to me.

When we are in the midst of times of need and have spent so much time and life waiting and praying for breakthroughs that we just feel like we can’t go forward another step, these kinds of opportunities can feel like the weight of the world is about to be lifted. They give me a bit of wind in my sails and feels like the first day of fall after a scorching hot summer.

Until it doesn’t.

When those opportunities slam shut, the heaviness returns with a vengeance and the emotional rollercoaster jolts back down. It takes a few days before my emotions settle into a steady, even pace again.

These are very small bumps in the road of life, but they can feel so intense after such a long time of waiting and praying. These ups and downs give me an opportunity to demonstrate my trust in God again. I find myself back on my knees surrendering the burdens and trusting that God will make a way when He decides to.

These times of disappointment can propel me down for a few days, but after that, I find myself in a place of contentment. I find myself in the exact same place I was at before those opportunities came my way, yet I am more thankful to be there than I was before. I am more grateful for where I am and the peace I have. I am more at ease walking forward carrying the same weight I was carrying before, yet knowing that at least I know what I have and how to deal with it.

Lord, Jesus,

Help me to stop seeking my own help and trust in You to meet my needs. Though I did not seek out either of those opportunities when they came my way I gave them a chance. It didn’t work out, but it gave me hope that You can change my life for the better anytime You want to. My life is at times unmanageable and confusing, but I am so grateful that I can hand it all over to You. You can choose to open doors and close doors as You see fit. I trust You with where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. One day at a time. Thank You for contentment.