Monthly Archives: November 2013

Why Not Me?

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Here’s the short version of my history. I started having seizures and got epilepsy at the age of 9 and was constantly teased. My music and playing the piano was my comfort. In my teenage years I went through statutory rape from my friend’s father. Later I went through an abusive marriage, got fibromyalgia, died from a seizure resulting in PTSD, got carpal tunnel and had the surgery. I ended up with complications from the surgery and arthritis in my hands, can no longer play the piano and even writing increases the pain in my hands. Wow ~ a lot for one person? Maybe. Sometimes I wish it were different and I didn’t have all of this happen to me but – why not me?

When my son went to war someone once asked me if I was scared – DUH!!! I did tell them I was concerned but did view it as why not my son? Why did it have to be someone else’s? If I did lose him in war it would be honorable. I don’t know, maybe I’ve watched too much Star Trek and got the Klingon view. 🙂

Why am I sharing all of what others see as tragedies in my life? Too many people sit around with the “Why me?” attitude and not enjoy life. They feel sorry for themselves and get to a point where they just don’t care anymore. This is sad. You have to realize that we are here for God’s purpose and it’s not all about us. Also, if you go back and read Job you will realize that you don’t have it so bad. Read a little more into the chapter where Job starts questioning God and you’ll find that God asks him a few questions! I love that part! I am going to do some serious paraphrasing here but it all boils down to who are we to question why? It’s not like we created the universe and are all that and then some; yet, we question God. Did that one hit home?

You see, if God is going to use you the enemy will attack you because you are a threat to him. YES ~ you can become a threat to Satan!! You just have to realize it for what it is. When I went through everything when I was young all I said was I wouldn’t wish epilepsy on anyone, not even my worst enemies. And the statutory rape, well as long as he bothered me he was leaving someone else alone! Yes, my life has been a constant mess. But without a mess you can’t have a message!!! I was able to later counsel many people who went through similar things. I can take something good and ruin it but God ~ it’s so awesome how He takes something horrible and works it all for good. (Romans 8:28)

In conclusion, instead of seeing your life as “Why me?” try saying “Why not me?” God doesn’t call the qualified – he qualifies the called. Remember, because you aren’t sometimes seeing how what you have gone through has somehow helped someone else doesn’t mean that it hasn’t. It’s wonderful to be used by God and remember the ones who make the biggest difference in others’ lives are the ones who have gone through something. Change your view to ‘why not me’, give it to God and start watching what happens.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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You Wouldn’t Understand!!!

“You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said or heard this? If I had a dollar for each time I’d be retired instead of tired. 🙂 Then again, there are those who say “I understand…” and have no clue because they have never experienced what you’re going through. I know after living with ‘invisible’ disabilities I have found myself in positions that I have to attempt to explain a lot and still others just can’t understand.

You see, we can all understand what it’s like to have a headache, the loss of a loved one, etc. but there are a lot of things we can ‘think’ we understand and truly don’t. Talk to a former war veteran and say you understand what they’re feeling and look at the expression they have then. If you’ve never been to war you couldn’t grasp the slightest clue to what it’s like and the nightmares they will live with. Rape, abuse, neglect ~ these are other categories that unless you’ve been there don’t say you understand. With that being said we all need to remember that everything is said in context. For example, there are those who think they have been neglected vs. those who truly have been.

Throughout the Holidays many people feel alone and get truly depressed. They are by themselves or possibly family issues from the past so holidays are hard. For some it’s going through another holiday season without someone they love. Many times we try to be encouraging to others when we see their pain and then go to enjoy a feast with our own loved ones. I know I can relate to this when my son was in Iraq, my family in Florida and me on top of a mountain in western North Carolina and I was single. I finally found that if I went ahead and put up a Christmas tree and played my Christmas music I felt better even though I was alone.

There is one person who does understand the feeling of being alone ~ Jesus. Yes, the Son of God truly understands that feeling. Think about it. Even though He had many followers He had only a few close friends, and even one of those betrayed Him and gave Him to the Roman soldiers for money. His ‘friends’ were nowhere to be found through His worst time and his closest friend denied even knowing him. So when you feel like no one understands ~ Jesus does. He understands feeling alone, being abandoned and mocked and ridiculed as well!

If you are someone who can help someone feel less alone, take that step. Trust me, the Holidays can be hard and I know what it’s like to wish someone would ask you over just so you wouldn’t have to be alone again. If you are someone who is alone ~ I do understand. Not that that helps you feel any better but I can tell you what will. Talk with Jesus. Spend your alone time with Him and getting to know Him better ~ for not only is He listening to you and will help you through ~ but He does understand.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Feeling Alone?

There’s not one person who hasn’t gone through times that they didn’t feel totally alone, even in the most crowded of rooms. When life starts getting rough it is too easy to fall into depression and most people stay to themselves more then resulting in an increase of aloneness. Others handle this feeling at the total opposite end of the spectrum and will stay out and keep themselves busy until they can no longer go anymore and then sleep. Any of this sound familiar? It does to me. None of us are strangers to feeling alone or depressed.

One thing to remember is that feelings are temporary and not to let them control your life. You can have multiple feelings at the same time in fact. Also, think about right after you get married and that cloud nine you’re on. Ah yes, the honeymoon stage. At some point you think something’s wrong with your marriage because you don’t “feel” the same as you used to. The cloud nine’s in life are wonderful but also temporary. In a marriage love is a commitment, not a feeling. Surprised? Well, be glad because being angry is a feeling too and you don’t want to stay angry your whole life either!!

There are a few things you can do to help bring yourself out of this funk. I have found that going for a drive, a walk, sitting by the river or waterfall, anything that surrounded me with beauty and God’s presence. Also, embrace these feelings and recognize them for what they are, temporary and then the next day make a commitment to yourself to do something that makes YOU happy and feel good. There have been many times when I was single and living on top of a mountain that I experienced feeling alone. When I finally realized what was going on I would make a tray of veggies, deviled eggs, cheese (you get the picture) and put in the frig. Then I would fill the bathroom with candlelight and soak in a hot bubble bath with smooth jazz music playing. After the bath I would bring out the tray of goodies, put in a movie “I” liked and would end up having a nice evening. After a good night’s rest and feeling at peace I would set out once again to conquer the world until the next time.

During all of this I continuously reminded myself that not only was this a temporary feeling but I was never alone for God is always with me. There were other times I just started cleaning with some great Gaither tunes playing and felt better because not only was I productive, but singing along with Gospel tunes lifted my spirits as well.

There’s no particular set thing (such as bubble baths, driving, walks)  for anyone to do to just make this feeling go “poof.” The one thing we can all do is pray and count on the fact that God is listening and He will help you through this time if you ask Him to. Also, remember you are not alone ~ we’ve all been there ~ it will get better. May God bless you all!

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Trust and Honesty

What a powerful topic ~ trust and honesty. There were many values I was raised with and one in particular my father told me was the most valuable thing one has is their name and to make sure you could take it to the bank. That also falls in the same guidelines as honesty. When one is honest they can be trusted. My mother has always told me I’m too honest for my own good. Well, everyone ‘says’ they want honesty; that is, until it’s something they don’t want to hear.

Many relationships fall apart because someone abused the other’s trust. There are marriages ending up in divorce, friendships ending, problems between parents and children and on into the work place as well. This lack of trust isn’t immediately there, one has to do something for this to occur. There are circumstances that make it hard to trust, i.e. abuse, adultery, etc. and in these situations ~ yes, do let experience teach you but try not to make others pay the price for what someone else has done.

Of course we are all familiar in the world of being a child where we weren’t honest with our parents to keep out of trouble and see how much we could get away with. How many times have you heard or said to your child “I just can’t trust you…”? Well, I guess it’s time for me to confess I am definitely familiar to hearing it! I wasn’t always this sweet!! 🙂

Also, be careful who you trust. Remember, Satan was once an angel. The One we can trust explicitly is God!!! All throughout the Word He proves that His promises are always kept. He will be there for you, He will guide your paths and His way is the only right path. The more you spend time in His Word, seeking His guidance and walking daily with Him, the more you will experience that without a shadow of a doubt ~ you can always trust God.

In closing, let’s be honest ~ we can’t rely on ourselves 100%. Talk with God, ask Him to guide you and take that step ~ trust Him with your life.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

I’m Not Perfect….

Let’s get real for a minute – there are so many people we all know who seem to think they’re perfect. They are always telling you how to do things, how you could do better and this comes without ever asking. In fact, unless you do things the way they do you are wrong!! First lesson in life to remember – life is not a ‘one size fits all’. What works for one person may not work for the next. In fact, God spent time making sure all of our fingerprints are different for a reason. We all are unique by His design.

Second point in life ~ no one is perfect!!! Only Jesus Christ and His way is perfect. Does that mean we have nothing to strive for? Of course not! We can exercise every day and still look in the mirror and find flaws ~ at least one! We also know that even though some flaws remain and more will add to the list as we get older that exercising and a good diet will help us live a healthier life. In our spiritual life our exercise and diet helps as well. The more time and energy we spend in His Word the better our walk with Jesus will be. Our spiritual exercise is walking with Jesus in our lives daily and our diet is reading the Word to feed our minds the spiritual food and knowledge we need.

I will close today’s writings leaving you all with a reminder not just for today, but everyday. “I’m not perfect….but thank God I am forgiven.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Encouragement

As an author of her first book I truly have experienced how much a few words from others can mean. Of course, most people focus on the few words others say that have hurt them. Imagine how we would all be if we spent more time focusing and remembering the encouraging words, even if they are few and far between.

First and foremost when we feel the need for encouragement and/or inspiration all we truly need is to open the Bible and read God’s Word. We can also turn to Him in prayer and find a sense of peace in the darkest of storms. Then there are times when we need something with a little more flesh – someone we can ‘literally’ talk to and hear from right here, right now. For instance, a child may have a nightmare and you can assure them they’re not alone because they have God watching over them. Even with that assurance the child still doesn’t want to be physically alone. We need to remember we are God’s children and He recognizes our need to have someone here and He does put people in your life to help you for that very reason.

Take a look at your life very closely. Do you find yourself encouraging others or always telling them how much better they could do things (which in it’s own way is discouraging)? Every word we say to others makes a difference and we need to be conscious if we are making a positive difference in others’ lives or are we subconsciously tearing them down. I know that when I look to see how many views my page is getting, how many ‘likes’ my posts are getting, comments, etc. it encourages me to keep writing no matter how hard it may be that day. I thank you all for your encouragements.

Let’s all start this week out focusing on encouraging others as God instructed us to do in His Word. Yes ~ one person CAN make a difference.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Coincidence or Luck?

There are many people who consider great timing a coincidence or some call it luck. Personally, I don’t believe in either. In my opinion saying something is coincidence or luck is taking the credit away from God. “In the right place at the right time.” A phase you hear over and over. Did you ever stop to really think about why it happened that way?

About 7 1/2 years ago when I was waiting tables a man walked in, sat in my section and constantly stayed busy on the phone throughout the whole meal. By the time he was ready to pay he was off the phone and we talked briefly. I spoke with him asking if he needed an assistant because I knew I couldn’t continue making it on what I was making. Four months later he called and asked if I was still interested – of course my answer was yes. His name, Rick Curren, III. He trained me to work Per Diem for a medical device company. We had many conversations during training and he never missed a beat talking with me about how I needed to get back into church and guiding me for a much more positive direction in my life. In April 2008 I lost the job and broke my back in September 2008. I was alone and scared and who else did I call – Rick. He planted seeds which God took His time to make grow. By this time Rick and his beautiful wife, Tanya, started a ministry called “Boundless Limits” and were extremely busy. Tanya wrote me a long letter and sent me Women of Faith Bible Study Guides while I was laid up. What an impression that made on me. Not long after that they went full-time into ministry which has now led them into filming and producing their son’s new TV series, “Scaly Adventures.”

Through the months and years different things Rick said to me stuck way down deep inside, words that in their own way haunted me because I wasn’t yielding to God’s call through His messenger. Yes, the job with the better money was great – but what was greater was that God sent someone because He knew I had a greater need. It was time for me to come back home. A lot of people I knew told me how lucky I was. What they didn’t realize was this had nothing to do with luck or coincidence, it was all God’s doings and in His time in His way.

Today I still keep in touch with Rick and Tanya as I go through the process of writing my first book, taking care of my mother…just life. I won’t say I’m “lucky” to have met them – but I will say I was blessed!! The next time something turns out great – remember, it isn’t coincidence or luck. On the flip side of the same coin, when something doesn’t work out – that’s just God keeping you from where you don’t need to be because He has something much bigger and better for you, even if it is years down the road.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Can I Get a Witness?

Of course, as a musician songs always come to mind when a subject does and the title not only describes what the topic of the day will be ~ but also shows how songs always come to my mind. I will start by quoting the last sentence in yesterday’s blog ~ “We need to make sure our words and actions are a witness and not a warning.” So ~ can I get a witness?

Most of the people who aren’t believers will always speak of the actions of “Christians” that really turn them away; especially those that hold the Bible in one hand while pointing their finger judging with the other. Actually, most ‘Christians’ are the worst example of what Christianity is all about! We are told in the Bible we should be loving, forgiving, nonjudgmental, caring, giving, and the list goes on. Not to mention how we are to be slow to anger. Does this remind you of anyone you know? Does it even remind you of yourself? Oh, not me…most of us think. But take a deep, closer look at yourself. Are your words and actions being a witness to others? Does anyone ask you why you are always positive and how can you be so forgiving? Speaking of being a witness, when is the last time you spoke to someone about Jesus and salvation? That is also our job too, not just the pastor’s. These are just some thoughts to think about going into the weekend that maybe just might cause a few to start their week out differently and make a difference in someone else’s life – possibly their eternal life. Just keep in mind ~ if you were the only Bible someone would ever see would they truly see Jesus?

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

It IS Your Job

Many times today everyone is always saying “It’s not my job” to get out of doing work. Our society has become so lazy as each generation passes by. Back in the old days no one ever said something wasn’t their job! They were told to do something and did it, end of story. The truth always lies in the Word of what our jobs are. Whether we choose to do it or not is what it boils down to. Let’s look at just a few things we are told to do.

One of the hardest things is to love your enemy. It is so hard for us to come close to this feeling to those who have done us wrong. Nevertheless, that’s what we are told to do. In fact it goes a little deeper when we’re told to feed and help our enemies. Just how much can be expected of us, right? Wrong. Jesus didn’t tell us to do anything He didn’t do himself, remember that. Forgiveness lies in close proximity of loving one’s enemy. We find it easier to forgive the ‘small’ things but what about when it’s something big, what then?! When someone hurts your spouse or child you’re supposed to forgive them? YES! According to the Word that’s exactly what we’re supposed to do. Again, remember the purest of examples when Jesus hung on the cross and said “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” And he was speaking of the ones who nailed him there, who were mocking him and those who betrayed him!

A different category of a job but something we’re supposed to do is care for our parents. Sounds easy enough, but look at how many have turned away from this responsibility! I can speak of this because as I write this I am staying with my mother and taking care of her and visit my husband once every 3 months for a week, two if I’m lucky. In January it will be two years that I have been doing this. When the time came that she could no longer live alone neither one of us questioned what to do. I packed my bag and put my life on hold. Not once did I say it is the easiest thing in the world to do, especially as we watch our parents slowly drifting away. I believe Nancy Reagan worded it perfectly ~ “The long good-bye.” All I did know is that not only because God told us to take care of our parents, but my heart also told me it was my job whether it is ‘convenient’ or not. I can say it’s hard but I will always say it is worth it to be able to spend the time with her while she’s still here.

The main point I am trying to make is that in the Word we are given jobs to do while we’re here. We forgive if we ‘feel’ like it – but, that’s not what we’re told. We’re told to do it, no questions asked. In the end we will be accountable for everything we do, and for those we don’t do. The next time you are finding it hard to forgive, love your enemies, or feel like taking care of someone in need (especially your parents) is an inconvenience ~ ask yourself if you really want to look at Jesus in the end and tell Him it wasn’t your job.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Danger Zones

Every day we have to watch out for what I call “danger zones.” It is common knowledge that our thoughts become actions and the words we speak can damage the soul of another. A computer is very much like our mind – garbage in, garbage out. Immediately when we think something that is along the lines of anger, jealousy, greed, etc. we need to catch ourselves and make a conscious effort to change that thought. The enemy is busy trying to cause damage in the homes in today’s world so remember it is in your mind that he places all kind of thoughts, just like he did Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Not just our thoughts though, we have to remember that our value and self worth is not defined the same as a Christian as it is out in the world. It is not our checkbook, our figure, the car we drive that truly defines us. What defines us is that we are God’s children. Don’t let the world tell you that you aren’t good enough, just remember ~ Jesus died on the cross because He thought you were special. That’s where your true worth lies.

Last thought of the day ~ when you think someone else’s business is your business erase that thought too!!! It isn’t our place to judge others and whether someone is saved or not. If someone doesn’t believe exactly like you or act the way you think they should, that’s Jesus’ business, not yours. Keep it to yourself and if it really bothers you – PRAY ABOUT IT!! Don’t Facebook it! Let Jesus take care of His business, He sure doesn’t need our help. Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be concerned with others and speak to them personally if we have prayed about it and think we should. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be posting all of this on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else. That in itself is wrong. Jesus did tell us to pull the log out of our own eye first. All in all the point I am trying to make is we need to make sure our words and actions are being a witness and not a warning to others..

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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