Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pondering "Chosen" (and giveaway winners)

 Each morning, before I step out of bed and go rouse the hoodlums for the day (generally with obnoxious camp songs, I'm ashamed to admit, and lately with singing and a puppy let loose on their beds- they may hate me when they are teenagers) I open my phone and click onto my email devotional.

Some weeks are heavier than others, and this week was a kick her while she's down kind of week in many ways that I won't go into here.  Better in the JJ department... but not so great in others.   Last night, my puppy who refuses to potty train, made yet another mess on my rug... and I had. just. had. it.  (Tell me you've been there.) My man, who had been up since 3 am because he is working ridiculously long days right now got upset with me... because I was upset with my dog.  Anyway... it was a comedy of nasty words, high emotions and I stalked off and went to bed.  Raise your hand if you can relate to that kind of day/week.  (I'm not recommending letting the sun go down on your anger... I'm simply admitting that I did it for maybe the second time in my entire marriage.) I didn't sleep at all of course, because well.. I was cranky... I had been unreasonably nasty to the man I love most... and my puppy is still learning, yada, yada, yada.  Needless to say, I really needed to begin my day with God.
 When I opened my email devo this morning, I read, "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you."  (Jeremiah 1:5) This hit me because I have been speaking a lot about this to my son who is wondering aloud if God intentionally created him as a joke... an outcast.. a loser.  Breaks a mother's heart because of course I know that's not true, and conveying it to him so that he truly believes it is excruciating and seems impossible because of what he so firmly questions.  I will go to any length to squeeze that horrible thought out of his head and press in just how precious he is and how much I adore him.  How I wouldn't want him to be any other way.

Why is it so difficult for me to accept the same assurances of love from my Heavenly Daddy?  Because when it all comes down to it, I do the exact same thing, convinced that I'm worthless.  Inadequate.  Lacking.  And constantly seeking that reassurance from the people around me.  Over the past week I felt invisible to a few friends.  I wanted them to really hear my concerns and validate them.  I was chased by mean words and I wanted someone to step in and defend me.  I was passed up on the running trail by a grandmother pushing a jogger stroller and I wanted someone to tell me I was still doing a good job. (It's okay... you can laugh.  I really am that slow.) I spoke with a counselor about my son and I desperately wanted reassurance that they simply didn't give.  I've been trying to train a dog that seems un-trainable I wanted someone to tell me I was doing it right.  I compared myself to countless others and wanted to know I was still okay even if I wasn't as good, as fit, as pretty, as accomplished, as successful, as calm, as good at photography... it goes on and on... These are all  me-centered mistakes.  No one has to tell me that, because I already know that.

So when I read my email devo about how God has chosen each one of us uniquely for His purposes, I wasn't surprised to see the passages of scripture that I've been steadily feeding to my son.  A nutritious diet of  Psalm 139:13-16. (Message)  Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;  you formed me in my mother’s womb.  I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you,  The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.     
It wasn't a shocker that this new new study I just began with my sis-in-law was on pretty much the exact same thing today.  In it, Karen Morerod writes, "One of the hardest prayers I've prayed is that I will see myself as God does.  It's too bad I know myself so well.  I recall every ugly thought, shameful action, and nasty word that's come out of my mouth.  How could God love that?  But God sees the potential in me.  He remembers the original plan for my life, how he wired me, and he is confident that, as I trust him, the one who sees beneath, I can do exactly what He purposed from the beginning."

Oh praise God that's true.  And though I was at the point of working through some of that... when I came out to make breakfast, I was greeted by a sweet note (of reassurance) from my man when he left at 5:00 am.  And he even called me his "sweet beautiful bride" in spite of myself.  

 Ah reassurance... it's a funny thing isn't it?  You can live without it... but it's oh-so-nice to have.  Today I'm going to try really hard to get it from the ONE source who gives generously to all-the only Source that really matters.  Oh how He loves and accepts us just the way we are!  Let's grab a hold of that kind of love and acceptance.

In spite of ourselves. 

P.S. The winners of the Rusted Chain giveaway were Laura@cowboy boots and Kelly Cach.  Email me at to claim your prizes!


  1. I can SO relate on every level.
    thank you for your candidness and transparency.

    it's not easy to put yourself out there, and you do it so well.
    I kind of feel like it's how we were made, right? to let his power be perfected in our weaknesses.

  2. I really needed to hear this one today, Sasha. I have been struggling lately. My sweet mother passed away in May and I have been devastated and not feeling that I am doing anything right these days. This was a good scripture to read today. Hope your week gets better. Hugs.


    1. I am so sorry for your loss. Mothers are so special. I bet like me, you're being way too hard on yourself. Hang in there girly.

  3. So many Christian women I know struggle with these very things, ME included. My son and I have even struggled with a lot of the things you and JJ have experienced. He is now 21 and doing so great. Praise the Lord! I think it's much easier to be an adult than a child when you don't "fit in the box". Take heart, sister. xox

  4. sweet beautiful bride?? seriously that Adrain! love what you're learning...hope you tell me every detail.

  5. Your honesty and transparency is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. I hope you were able to experience the true reassurance you needed from our Creator today :)

  6. Oh, Sasha. Thank you. I needed this more you you can imagine. I've been a long-time reader, but don't comment very often. It's funny. Yesterday, when I was reading your post I thought to myself. Man, She's got her act together. Beautiful, clean house; precious children; amazing man, amazing relationship with God; beautiful photography. How does she do it all? I'm currently pregnant with our first. To our surprise, twins. But I struggle with myself to be the perfect mom. To have it all and give it all too. To do everything perfectly and still have a smile on my face at the end of the day. But how? How does she? How does Sasha? I find myself wanting to relate to you. I know this sounds crazy. And, I may be, with all the hormones. But even though you have bad days too, you still have so many people who look up to you, respect you and enjoy your company. Even if it is just through a computer screen. Keep up the good work. You're changing lives (I know you've changed mine) and you don't even know it. Hugs and prayers.

    1. I do not have it together at ALL. And I'm the quickest person to tell you that. LOL Remember so much of what you see in the blogland is what we want to show... that's why I'm so quick to point out my struggles. I do like to keep it real.

      Blessings to you as you take on twins.

  7. Sasha,

    I echo what others are saying, but wanted tom comment on your pup. I'm sure you've been taking her to the vet and all, but perhaps Daisy has some kind of issue that is complicating the potty training like a bladder infection. Have you looked into that? It just popped into my head as I was reading and so I thought I should say something.
    As tot he rest of your post, I love your honesty, and I know I struggle with accepting God's love too. As much as I try to grow in this area I am so thankful there will be a day when I will never struggle with it ever again! And even more than that, I'll FULLY understand his love in a way I could never comprehend now. That is exciting :)

    long time reader- rare commenter... sorry :/

  8. Beautiful Sasha! A great reminder!

    As far as the pup goes- I read somewhere that puppy's like kids don't mentally have the capacity to understand potty training until like 4 months, give or take depending on the dog. Also, pups don't need constant food and water. If you limit her food and water intake, you can better predict when she will need to go out to the bathroom and set her up for success and lessen your stress... she should only need food 2-3 times daily, and water either with food or after exercise, then you can take her out every 10 minutes after that until she uses the restroom. And finally, have you thought about crate training? I know it sounds awful, but it is incredibly successful in training and pups actually find comfort in have a place of their own. They are in their crate all night, and whenever you leave the house or can't keep a constant eye on them. The second you let them out of the crate you take them outside to use the restroom... the idea being they will not use the restroom in their crate because it is where they sleep- teaching them to hold it and only go outside. Hope some of that can help!

    1. That is awesome and we have started the crate training thing as of yesterday. She had an accident last night literally while we were watching her. WE caught her just as she started so it was tiny.. but this is what our vet recommended to us as well. I love the idea of limiting her food and water. WE were doing that at night but I will start doing it in the daytime too! Thank you so much for weighing in on this! Fingers crossed. :)

  9. Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Sasha, Thank you for your post and verses...they so speak to my heart as well and it is nice to know that "we" are not alone in those feelings! I have been a longtime reader as well, but don't comment much...sorry!

    I have also gone through potty training two different puppies two different ways and I had much more success following what Stephanie ( above) commented. The guidelines that she stated are exactly what we did with our golden retriever puppy at 4 months and she did GREAT with a feeding/water schedule and crate training at night or whenever we were not home. They are forced to learn to hold it and they also learn that they need to give you a signal that they need to go out that way. Also, we did not allow her to drink much water after 7 pm or so and she did really well over night. Hang in there...potty training a puppy is so challenging. That is why I didn't want to get one until my kids were potty trained too :)

    Take care and hope the rest of your week goes well. Alisa

  11. thanks for your honesty. it's so comforting to know he chooses us... despite all our crud. and reassurance is so comforting... i think it's why God wants us in community.

  12. we went through
    a period for a couple years
    when our oldest son was 9-11
    where he consistently said things like
    'i'm so stupid' 'i hate myself'
    and other heartbreaking comments

    i felt so sad
    and frustrated that this beautiful boy
    of mine should feel such negative things
    about himself
    on a regular basis

    or at all

    but the reality is
    we all believe those lies from the pit

    but we just learn how to put up a good false front
    for everyone else

    after lots of tears
    and prayers
    and late night talks

    those words now
    rarely slip out
    of our son's lips

    but it is still a constant prayer
    on his dad's and my hearts
    that the Lord would protect his mind
    from believing the devil's lies

    i truly pray
    the same for your JJ


  13. Just what I needed today. :)

    I've been bombarded recently by verbal messages from others . . . telling me what a failure I am . . . how bad a mom I am . . . how bad an adoptive mom I am. Then, I look in the mirror . . .and see the "fat, ugly, morbidly obese" woman staring back (even though I have lost almost 30 pounds in just over 2 months). I'm having a really hard time seeing the ME that GOD created.

    Haven't heard of that book, but just might have to pick it up. Keep us posted on what you are learning.


  14. I have shared my writing in public forums on the internet and I felt lifted by wonderful comments and flattered by praise, but it is always that one critical message that will send me reeling, believing the one negative review over the many positive words. So easy to see and believe in the negative, no matter those who support and say otherwise. It always boils down to self-belief. I will never be completely there, everyday a struggle, but I believe the key is "creating" for yourself, for the pure love and joy of self-expression. I often would feel unaccomplished in my life. What if I don't fulfill God's plan for me? What if I have a wasted life? And then it came to me one day -- I have and continue to nurture and care for two wonderful children, guiding them so their own life's plan can be obtained. As mother, we have been given the most difficult and joyous life plan handed to us from God. As far as my writing is concerned, although I haven't been published yet (being upbeat here) it dawned on me God has heard my words, knows I have put words to paper, understands the stories I have struggled to tell. Money is a man-made barometer of success. One day, when I am ready and if it is to be my life's plan, I will have that book. If not so be it. I will always write, always find joy in creating things, but knowing my greatest success in God's eyes will be the two previous souls in my keeping and care.
    I believe as mother, this is the greatest truth.

  15. **two precious souls. Fooey on spellcheck!

  16. I find it a privilege to be on the other side of the screen like so many of your other commenters. You are so precious! You have absolutely no idea..or maybe you do that a lot of what you share we are all going through or have gone through but would never feel comfortable to be so transparent as you.
    I stop by your blog each day and it's always a blessing because on any given day you are speaking right to my heart and reminding me of God's promises or helping me see where I may need God work on my heart.
    I thank you for being a sweet sister in Christ and sharing your heart with us each day.
    Hugs to you sweet friend!!

  17. You've got all the approval you need-God's. He's the one who called for you to be here now, at this time with these people in your life to do your work. God don't make no junk, sister! (Apologies to all of my English teachers.) Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend. You deserve only the best. Continued blessings...

  18. Thank you again for your transparency. I have been struggling and blogging about my own journey of self acceptance and the need to see myself how God sees me lately and your post just solidified God's whisper to my soul. You are beautiful, talented and all that God created you to His eyes. Patty

  19. Sasha you are doing a good job! And thank you for sharing the good and the not so good with us.
    Admitting when you've made an error in judgement - an error made because you were right at the end of your tether is not always easy to do. But recognising that you didn't handle that incident too well doesn't diminish you in my eyes and certainly not in God's (and yes - I've done the 'storming off' too more times than I care to admit).
    We once had a puppy who although toilet trained, did not feel too well on Christmas morning (I'll not go into detail here)! We spent hours cleaning the place up before we could even think about gifts/food and bless her, my 5yr old daughter didn't complain once.

  20. *hand raised* :)
    i completely relate to this...and i am SO guilty of it, too.
    that sweet note makes me smile, because my hubby calls me his beautiful bride all the time, too.
    what a blessing to have Godly husbands who love us with Christ's love.

  21. Ohhh you have no idea how much I needed this today...(this week) I also found THIS that a friend has posted on FB yesterday that just drove to my heart...

    Thought for today:
    “We suffer much agony because we try to get from people what only God can give us, which is a sense of worth and value. Look to God for what you need, not to people.”

  22. Sasha, this is the second
    time I've read this verse
    today; it's very powerful.
    We've all had days like the
    one you write about ~ it's
    what we learn from it that
    counts more than how we
    react in the moment.

    Sending you blessings as
    you tackle the puppy, your
    sweet boy and well, LIFE : )
    It won't be long and these
    issues will be in your rear-
    view mirror. Trust me, been
    there, done that, with both
    puppy and self-doubting child!

    Happy Friday. Bet you are
    excited for our sweet B to

    xo Suzanne

  23. Oh, I so needed to read this tonight! I have been struggling with this lately too, and really feeling like I keep failing at so many things in life. I find myself comparing my life and accomplishments to others, but trying to remember that I don't know what's in their hearts, just like they don't know what's in mine. I saw something on Pinterest the other day that defined this so clearly... "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel" Source: I loved it!

    Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing your struggles. I find that hard to do on my blog. It's hard to open up and really share what's in your heart and head. Thank you!

  24. Loved this post-- and as I write this I know I've also faced the same insecurities and struggles you've had. Thank you for the reminder to look to the Lord for affirmation.

    And have faith in your sweet puppy. I can completely understand the short temper with them--goodness knows I had that with our sweet golden, Piper. I honestly thought she would NEVER learn that my rug wasn't the potty!!! Well, she's 2 now and completely trained. (Sort of...she will LICK you to death, but that's not too bad...)

    I'll run with you anytime. My daughters say my running is like a walk with a hop. lol!

  25. Stopping by (late) to say that this has been my life the last week. Good words at the right time.

  26. Dear JJ,

    I just want to tell you that you are loved and adored! Not just by God and your awesome parents, but bunches of people who come visit her blog. We pray for you and when you're hurting we hurt too. Everybody feels like you do at some point in their life. We always seem to be wanting acceptance and approval and when we don't get it we feel sad. I am 42 and I still have these moments...even though I know that I have to love and accept myself and ACCEPT that God made me and LOVES me more than I can fathom. Love yourself JJ. There are tons of people who find joy in your smiling face and the sweet moments your Mama shares. My prayer for you is that you can see yourself the way God see you.

  27. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. Thanks!

    Kind Regards,

    Elayne Taylor
    German Shepherd Training

  28. Crate Training I am sure that this one is showing creativity at its best. They are simply looking great and awesome.