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Just as He intended

I look up from my work and there she stands.

A little sugar,

a whole lot of spice—

exactly as He intended to make her.

There she stands.

Squinting eyes that twinkle with joy.

An adorable, kitty cat dress.

Sweet. Girly. Proper. Polite.

This. This is the sugar.

But there she stands, a whole lot of spice, too.

Spice so feisty it can’t be overlooked.

Spice so feisty it can’t be contained.

Yes, there she stands.

An ornery, crooked smile.

A gleeful giggle bubbling to the surface, just seconds from erupting.

And that headband.

Let’s not forget that headband.

A dainty, red and white polka dot accessory adorned with a bow,

meant to perch atop a head of tamed, manicured locks.

A headband meant to be the cherry atop a sweet little sundae.

Yes, let’s not forget that headband.

It crosses her forehead, no bow in sight.

It tries to contain her crazy mess of untamed waves and curls.

Instead of the cherry atop a sundae it looks more like the iconic accessory of Rambo.

Yes. A little sugar, a whole lot of spice.

But I can’t help but smile.

I can’t help but laugh.

This girl is one-of-a-kind,

This girl is made just as He intended.

This girl, like us all, is fearfully and wonderfully made.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” –Psalm 139:14

Pieces of Jessika©

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I choose to blame him less

It’s been 3 years since he confessed hints of his infidelity over breakfast.

Initially, I blamed him.

I blamed his wandering eye.

I blamed his callous disregard.

I blamed his all-encompassing love for himself.

And initially, I blamed his adultery for the ultimate destruction of our marriage.

But now, years later, my heart has not only forgiven,

my heart has softened allowing my eyes to see things in a new light.

Now, I blame him less.

And instead, I blame our broken world more.

I blame the ever-cunning, always-persistent enemy more.

Matthew 5:28 tells us, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Anyone. Who. Looks. At. A. Woman. Lustfully.

Not anyone who flirts.

Not anyone who touches.

Not anyone who engages in anything.

No.

Slow down.

Throw it in reverse.

Anyone who so even LOOKS at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery.

Friends, is it just me or have we totally been missing the mark here?

Is it just me or has the enemy gotten ahold of society, dangerously twisting the truth?

Society has us believing that in order to be considered adultery one has to sleep with another.

Society has us believing looking, flirting, touching isn’t REALLY adultery; it isn’t THAT bad.

Society has us believing we should be able to tolerate or overlook such things because they have yet to fully “cross the line.”

But friends, who are we kidding?

Listening to those lies is not protecting us.

Listening to those lies is not shielding us from the pain.

In fact, listening to those lies is just opening the door for the enemy to easily enter and destroy.

The truth is the damage is done long before one sleeps with another. The truth is the moment one looks at another lustfully the damage is done, the sin is committed. The truth is the flirting, the touching, the engaging in anything else just further deepens the hurt, deepens the betrayal, deepens the shame of the sin.

So, when I take the time to really reflect on my past experience

my compassionate heart makes a decision to blame my former husband less.

While like each of us, he was and is responsible for his actions,

my compassionate heart makes a decision to extend grace.

I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult it must be to understand the importance of protecting your heart when you aren’t walking with the Lord.

I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult it must be to understand the importance of shielding your eyes from the images that infiltrate our daily lives when you don’t know they are harmful to your soul.

And I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult and overwhelming it must be to feel you have to do everything in your own strength when you aren’t aware that you could tap into the strength of the Almighty God.

So, while the adultery broke my heart and broke our marriage,

I choose to blame him less

and blame our broken world

and the ever-cunning, always-persistent enemy more.

Pieces of Jessika©

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Shift your focus

Girl, why?

Why is it that we could seriously have the whole room applauding us,

the whole thread lifting us up and encouraging us,

but that ONE, that ONE person,

that ONE comment,

can totally ruin it for us?

Why is it that instead of focusing on all the good,

all we can seem to focus on is the one who didn’t think it was good?

If there is one thing I know, it’s that the enemy wants to rob us of our joy.

And girl, the haters are no different.

No matter how hard it is, let’s make a pact.

Let’s make a pact to shift our focus.

Let’s make a pact to shift our focus away from the haters and toward the encouragers.

Deal?

shift your focus

Pieces of Jessika©