Category: Life Lessons


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So this week i’ve been on autopilot. I go on autopilot when things get rough and I don’t have time to process anything.

I go on autopilot when I don’t want to feel anything.

I go on auto pilot when im scared.

Needless to say I’ve been feeling very blah, and I’m not one to admit that to anyone. Reasoning is because in ministry, when you minister, your taught to remain copacetic, always strong, and blatantly not real. But in the two years I’ve been out of ‘ministry’ I’ve learned that God can work more in my realness than in my stoic perpetuation of myself.

[yes i do realize I’m writing some big words here, just left humanities class…]

Anyways, so driving to school it all kinda hit me. It hit me that the man who raised me, in absence of my biological father who died before I was born, had a heart attack this week and almost died. It hit me that I’m not ready to face the idea of mortality with my parents. On the way to school I was sure my heart couldnt take this all, because for awhile I’ve felt to so strong. Driving down Staples Mill I began blinking back the tears forming in my eyes, telling myself to suck it up. You’ll be ok.

But that’s not ok. In the past two years I’ve felt somewhat alone as I’m making a new journey in my life which caused me to leave my friends, ministry, my life as I knew it and start over. In my alone-ness I’ve learned things that God could only tell me in private, beautiful things. Beautiful things like REALNESS is ESSENTIAL, owning what we are feeling while talking to God. Things like I’m not alone, never alone, nunca solo, He is mine and I am His. Things like starting over is ok, because its starting over that wrecks you. It wrecks every perception of how to live you’ve ever learned. Learning to do old things again with  a new attitude. Learning to see things with new eyes is starting over.

So what made me smile when I felt blah?

My buddy John. I’ve known him since I 17, we led worship together for 2 years in the college ministry at NLOI. John has always been an awesome guy, but he used to annoy me. He used to annoy me because he could read me like a book, know my thoughts, feelings, irritations, insecurities in like two seconds, and call me out while being gentle and comforting. I in-turn would get pissed, accuse him of patronizing me, and walk away. Yes, I, Heather Nicole Toler was, and probably still is,  a certified brat.

So today I got a message from him basically saying I haven’t forgotten you and see you soon.

Wow! How does someone you haven’t seen in almost two years, be able to reach in and pacify what you’ve been struggling with.  Because that is always my struggle, being alone, being forgotten. Well here’s the how, God. He gives us all the right combination of words knowing the meaning to someone else.

So I’m choosing and learning to Disengage the auto pilot. Its like an old friend said, ‘ Feelings are niether good nor bad, its what you do with them.’  So own them, give them to God and allow his comfort.

You haven’t lost.

Its amazing the things that God will use to make you smile when you feel blah.

love is #fb

I’m a self cynic, i’ll admit. Matter of fact, that is probably one of the first things I inform people.

I’m a self cynic, seeing my glass as half empty and yours half full.

So love, yeah…. Love is one of those things.

I don’t believe in fairy tales.

I don’t believe we should go kissing some frogs and hope the prince comes out.

I don’t believe in Plato and Edgar Cayce’s ideas of androgynous souls who were two souls together, male and female,spilt by the greek gods, out of fear, forever doomed to wander the earth searching for their other half. The one who completes and complements them.

i believe love is complicated. i believe love is a choice. i believe love is, what it is. not defined by a textbook, not define by the best philosophers or thinkers, but defined by our actions and willingness to stay.

Love is probably one of the most earth shattering, head turning in delight, awesome yet soul shaking experiences ever. Love is complicated. The realization of love for someone is possibly the most frightening experience of human existence while also doubling as the most enlightening. Enlightening because you see what you reflect, what you want to be, don’t want to be.

love is…. what you make it.

Here’s the dreaded beginning of relationship posts…… Gotta ‘love’ it.

WARNING:  sometimes my posts are like alcohol before noon, its just to early for that. I tend to be a polarizing personality, so either you’ll be completely offended by the statement above and leave my site or you’ll be intrigued to read on.

Infidelity & America, wow!

I’ve been pretty silent throughout the Tiger Woods ordeal, didn’t quite understand it when Clinton was doing his dirt, lets not forget my televangelist brothers and sisters who did the same, but now here’s Jesse James.

Jesse James, CEO of West Coast Choppers, has been in the press the past few days for apparent infidelity. I only comment now, as I woke up and read the tweet from the Washington Post that James is apparently entering rehab for ‘personal issues’.  When I read that I assumed he was there because he’s a “sex addict”. Now please understand, I’m not judging, just asking a question.

Why is it that America makes celebrity infidelity seem like an addiction problem,specifically a sex addict, whereas in people like you and me we’re just plain ole cheaters?

Now, I’m not coming at this with a blind eye, not at all! I was the girl who was in a relationship with a guy for almost 2yrs and he cheated, multiple times. Cheating is a real thing, but how do you define it?

I’ve heard people say the worst kind of cheating is the emotional kind, where your sharing emotions and not just a physical relationship. They’ve point blank said, sex is something you can get over, but sharing your dreams and emotions with someone your not with is worse. I don’t know how I feel about that.

So all in all,  here are my questions:

  1. How do you define cheating? Is it physical, emotional, or both?
  2. Is there a difference between a wandering eye and having a sex addiction?
  3. What does God say about this?

Answer away!

Just a note from my perspective

I believe the bible. I believe what  Jesus said, that when you look at someone with the wrong eyes you’ve committed adultery because its been done in your heart. I believe in a one man, one woman relationship. I believe in faithfulness. I believe that we should faithful to whom we are with as Christ has been faithful to use ( remember your supposed to love your wife/husband as Christ loved the church?)

* I didn’t post any female cheaters because I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head, not picking on guys, some of us ladies are worse. Also, I don’t drink, in case your wondering…. I like to post a little something provocative to scare away the religious folks.

John Piper is simply one of those dudes I love to listen to. I love it because I get a perspective change, when I know my selfish heart is fighting God, when my grief seems overwhelming, when I’m challenged in life, when I’m happy, and when I’m sad.

This is the living gospel message that changed my life.

God is enough

God is enough

He is good

He will take care of us

He will satisfy us

He will get us through this

He is our treasure

Whom have I in heaven but You?

None on earth I desire beside you.

My  flesh, my heart,  my circumstance may fail me

But You, Lord, are the strength of my heart, my portion forever.

I’ve heard alot of gospel messages in my 22yrs on earth. I’ve seen the, ‘send your twenty bucks for your magic prayer cloth’, the prophetic bumbles, and peter popoff’s, but I didn’t believe that was the true gospel. The true gospel is that I was a sinner, saved by grace, and kept by it through Jesus. The true gospel is that I will go through things, suffer loses, and have gains, but God is my strength and my portion.  God wasn’t here to make me rich, thin, and fit, but to make my desire  His all consuming fire. And that my desire for Him, would be satisfied by Him and Him alone. That He is all I need.

When God is all I need, all I have, all I want, I am most satisfied. I am made rich, when He is the stronghold of my life.

This is the message that changed my life.

Cos I no longer have to stumble my way through the valley of the shadow of death, no longer would I need to figure out how I’m gonna make it. I wasn’t alone because I have Him.

Him, God, is my great and exceeding reward. Past prosperity, past fame, His fame is my joy, and His love is my riches.

I continue to strive forward, until that day when these words are made flesh.

is God enough?

as we bury our dead

in my family we dont do death well.

come to think of it, we don’t really do life well.

February 28th, the hospice care began taking Great Aunt Carolyn off the machines, because nothing was working anymore. It made me sad because that meant we’d all be going through it again.  It, refers to the grieving style my family has.

Step 1: We all are numb.

2. We get mad at each other over stupid things.

3. We act civil and like a family at the funeral.

4. We act outlandish when it comes time for buriel

5. Then we go on, and our grief rears its ugly head later down the road ‘cos we don’t deal well with these things.

Thats my family, and I love them. But see this time around I’ve learned differently.

See we’ve been trained to grieve as those who have no hope.

The word of God says we’re aren’t to mourn as those who have no hope, see we have hope of heaven. We have hope that when Jesus come or our human body fails, we will rest in His presence eternally, and be with those who also trusted in Him.

Thats some good stuff!

Something to truly have hope in.

I used to view death as a horrible, tragic thing, as I have had a life filled with those horrible and tragic things happening to me and the people I love. I once was one who grieved with no hope at all, just raw pain. But now recently its changed, I don’t know when or how, but I now know its ok to be with Jesus.

So as we bury our dead, I pray my family comes to know the comfort of God and the knowledge of Christ. I pray that the come to understand that aunt Carolyn is pain free and rejoicing with Jesus.

as we all bury our dead I hope we all know it.

Ever prematurely tweeted something, and got grief for it?

I hate to say this, but it feels good when ‘things’ come around. People made their bed and layed in it with pride. Clean hands and pure heart.

Here is it friend, this is where I’ll rephrase and redeem myself hopefully, but if not that’s ok.

Sometimes, in life, we go through circumstances. We deal with people, their judgment, and wrath. I used to get mad when things wouldn’t go my way, when someone would offend me, spitefully use me, but then the rebuke of the Lord came upon me and reminded me so deeply.

DO NOT – pay them back

DO NOT – try and change them with anger and even kindness

Do – come to me and allow me to change it.

The Lord showed me, that he moves a situation much quicker than my stupid attitude, wounded heart, and offended christian letter could ever fix.

In the past, almost two years, I’ve learned to surrender the hurt, and let God do the dealing.

As humans we have consequences, we ‘make our bed’ and we ‘lay it in’. Unfortunately, the thing that bugs me is when people do it in pride. Ignorance is one thing…

In this situation, I never prayed for vindication, just that God would bless them and fix their hearts, but to fix and correct mine first. And now here He is with his swifer mop, cleaning up the years worth of dirt.

Please hear my heart, I can’t say, I say this without pride, because that would be pride itself. So, now here on my blog, publicly and with twitter, I admit that was wrong for posting that, but I will be honest and say I’m glad God is starting to move upon ‘that’ situation and clean out some closets.

I so happy that their hearts are softened enough that God’s pressure can come down and begin to deal with the real issues and real hurts which provokes the sin, and the sin against their brothers.

So again, deal with me first God. Forgive me for having joy in this table turn, and show me to continue to walk in grace and compassion.

I woke up this morning and just knew.

Knew what?

I knew, past tense, I was okay.

To know something is to have deep intimate knowledge. The present tense of know, makes you think now.  But I knew.

I have past tense knowledge that I was ok, I am ok, and everything was going to be ok. Thats a strong cup  to drink.

more on this later.

*I understand most of you who read my blog see my problems with tense’s in my writing, but this time around I know it.

Love Me Now #fb

Here’s a few things I’ve come to know:

There’s a strong craving inside of each of us for Intimacy – to be fully known fully joined with another, to be fully known without having to say very much.

God is the perfect fit to that jonesing, that craving. For He alone knows us completely and complete. David also recognized that as he  says in the Psalms:

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.

In the past three months, why its always a journey of 3 – I don’t know, I’ve come to understand in a small scale of things that GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING!

So one of the other ‘few things I’ve come to know’ is there’s really no weight and anything powerful we can do through worrying.

I determined to simply know, to have intimate knowledge, that God knows my needs so I need to choose not worry.

The other thing I learned was just this past weekend.

When I feel buried under the weight of my life, overwhelmed by circumstances, burdened by my own schedule, left out, feeling like whatever, in that moment He knows and is waiting for an invitation.

Invitation to what?

Friday night during the Fuel School I heard something so profound come from Sarah who was speaking. She simply said,’ Love Me Now.’ In the midst of trying moments, circumstances, whatever, ‘love me now God’.

So here in this moment, I’m saying

Love Me Now

sometimes the deepest lessons about God is the most simple ones.

That in a moment of heaviness, simply saying ‘love me now’ invites Him in to do just that.

“Why Me?”

One of the most loneliest places in the world is to feel ignored by those you feel or felt most connected with, the only ones your connected with.

Its been a long while since I’ve written, few weeks maybe but thats long for me.

One of my constant struggles in this new season of my life is feeling ignored or forgotten, by people in my life and sometimes by God. Now please, remember this one thing when reading my blog: God is big enough to handle my questioning heart.  So let me be honest here about what I mean:

I left one place and moved to another.

Now I’m almost 2 years on the other side of this thing and I still feel alone, not connected, by myself.

So instead of dwelling on ‘poor me’ and getting angry with people and refusing to work with them or make advances to be nice to them, I dwell on the eternal factor. Not the ‘why me’ of a victim mentality, but ‘why me’ as in what are you allowing me to learn through this.

I sit here today, a writter, encouraging you to ask the Lord ‘Why Me’ as in what can I learn from this.

Peace and chicken grease!