Brokenness to Beauty

Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life


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Brokenness to Beauty blog is moving!

I’m excited to invite you to my new website! My blog, Brokenness to Beauty is changing its name to Living with Hope and Purpose and is moving to my new website. I don’t want you to miss any of my posts, so please click here to go to my new website, JacquelineGWallace.com.
Check it out, and in just a few clicks join the community to keep getting my blog posts, updates, and inspirational thoughts. ​
PLUS you can download a free copy of “The Source of Hope,” a short Bible study adapted from my forthcoming book, The Brokenness to Beauty Bible Study. To receive your free gift, be sure to sign up on the pop-up invitation or one of the subscribe forms.
This will be the last post on this site. See you at my new web home!

Jacqueline Wallace

 

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

 

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Power Lifting for Jesus = JOY


(Centerpoint Church of Colton, CA, volunteers serving with MCCA delivering foodstuffs to Christian orphanages in Mexico. Our son Seth is the good-looking guy in the black T-shirt and his handsome son Caleb [a little family bragging here] is in the white T-shirt, his head being squished by his cousin twice removed, Colton; his girlfriend Hailey is next to him. My friend Bob is on the far left. He’s been doing this for over 30 years and is grateful for the young, strong backs joining him! Read on to find out more about where they are and what they are doing, and why.)

For the most part, I’m on facebook to see what my kids are up to and I’m glad I saw this post by our son Seth. He gave me permission to use it for this blog post.

A verse came to mind as I thought about this post, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4, NIV). I am happy when I see or hear of my sons following the Lord in whatever he calls them to do. Here is one way Seth is serving the Lord, and by taking Caleb with him, he is discipling him and modeling for him the kinds of things godly men do when they love Jesus. From one generation to the next …. Read on.

By Seth Wallace

On Saturday my son, Caleb, and I went with Mexican Christian Children’s Aid (MCCA, http://mccaredlands.org) taking food supplies to Christian orphanages in Mexico. I spent 15 hours on the road, loaded and unloaded 4,000lb in our truck alone, helped load other trucks, hauled 6- 100lb packs of blankets up nearly vertical stairs in TJ (Tijuana, MX), sat for 2 hours at the border crossing, and got home tired!

The “hard work” of the day, the “frustration” of traffic and driving, the “inconvenience” of a precious weekend taken … is real … but I consider it JOY. I realize what a small sacrifice of time energy and money it really is with Kingdom eyes! So did 20+ other volunteers!

The call to serve others has been given to ALL believers in Christ! Those opportunities to serve can just look like hard work. They are, but it is extremely rewarding to know that others, especially the vulnerable children, will be safe, fed, warm, loved, and blessed!

There is truly no ego or boasting when I post this! Because of the need, I’d love for this to serve as an encouragement to action for you to be God’s hands and feet, with work boots and gloves, and come serve with me!

Centerpoint Church #consideritpurejoy #Godshandsandfeet #selflessgiving

If you can’t join Seth in Mexico delivering food to needy orphanages, what is going on in your area that you can volunteer for? There is need all around us crying out for extra hands to meet those needs. Be the hands and feet of Jesus, power lifting not necessarily required.

 


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Journaling—Again

 

The other day, reading something in a book my brother sent me (he asked for my opinion of Hope in the Dark: Believing God is Good When Life Is Not, by Craig Groeschel, and yes, I do recommend it) I was spurred to start journaling again. I say “again” because I’ve started and stopped journaling numerous times over the years. I’ve always felt rather disappointed in myself and a bit guilty for not seeming to be able to continue the practice. Journaling really can be beneficial in many ways.

For instance, I decided to pull down a couple of the journals I’ve saved from past years. There are probably half a dozen of them, mostly unfilled. First, I was surprised that I actually filled one whole journal with about a year and a half of notes. Pat on the back for that one!

Second, I wrote it during the last half of my cancer treatment; this particular journal started in September of 2008, in the midst of my chemo treatments, ten years ago last month. That I’ve had ten good, cancer-free years since that time is humbling and yet an occasion for rejoicing and giving praise to our good God and heavenly Father for his mercies to me and my family.

Third, along with putting recorded life events (and prayer requests and answers to prayer) in their rightful order and year, it answered a question I’ve had and others have asked me several times. It is a question I confess I didn’t know the answer to–when did I start writing my book, Brokenness to Beauty? Well, there it was, in black and white in my journal. Sometime in 2009 I began to compile my blog posts into a form that could be shaped into a book. So there it is if you ever happened to have asked me that question.

Another benefit of my journaling is that I’m reminded of insights God gave me in the past which I have been building on to the present. Truth is eternal; it doesn’t go out of vogue (at least not in God’s economy). I sometimes recorded lessons God was teaching me from his Word and I’m encouraged all over again reading them years later.

So as I take up pen and journal once again, I hope this time I will keep on writing. There is value in the written word, even our own words.

Do you journal? In what ways have you benefitted by it?

 

Photo by clairtrafton, words.jpg by clairetrafton XqcqdT.jpg


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Back to Blogging

After four months away from blogging, I’m back and hope to stay here posting more often.  In May, you could say I was thrown a curveball, health-wise, by an exacerbation (a big word for worsening) of the MG (myasthenia gravis). I was out of commission for several weeks as a result.

Thank God, my strength is nearly back to where it was before the curveball hit me and knocked me down.

As I cried out to him with this new hit to my health, the Lord brought this verse to mind, “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22 NASB).

I especially like the note in my Bible indicating the word “burden” can mean, “what he has given you.”

“What God has given me.” That put a completely new spin on the idea of a burden. Somehow, as bad as the burden might be, knowing God has given this burden to me for this time, and knowing God, it is for a reason, gives me hope. Even when I don’t know that reason or how long the ordeal.

How is that I have hope? My hope is rooted in the character of God, not circumstances.  I know God is compassionate and gracious, full of lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6), and is righteous in all he does (Psalm 145:17).

And not only do I know it in my head from reading the words of Scripture. I have experienced God’s compassion and grace, his lovingkindness and truth and faithfulness. This experiential knowledge is part of me now.

 

Even when I cried out, “Why is this happening, God?” he reminded me to throw this curveball back to him.  Knowing that he wants me to give it back to him also gives me hope. I have confidence that “what God has given me” is not for my destruction but for my growth in grace, and God, who gave the burden, will hold me together and not allow me to be shaken to pieces (Colossians 1:17) for I belong to him by faith in Jesus Christ. I will not destruct, because his gracious hand is holding me (Psalm 37:24). Peace follows from the decision to trust God and throw the burden back onto him.

I cannot have hope and peace and confidence if I refuse to throw that burden back onto the Lord, if I turn my questions into a rant and accusation against God that refuses to remember all the goodness of the Lord poured out on my life.

I’m not referring here to an honest pouring out of your heart to God as you wrestle with the real circumstances you find yourself in. The psalmists did that all the time. But they came with humble hearts as well to the God they knew they could trust, even when it felt like he was absent.

I’m talking about continuing to accuse God and harden my heart. If I harden myself to his kindness, I may very well become so brittle that I will be shaken into a thousand pieces. I may very well self-destruct.

I do not want to go there. Ever. From that place, it is a hard, long road to get back to where I should be. And I don’t have to go there, I don’t even have to carry that heavy burden. God will.

If we give the burden back to him.

When we do our part of that verse (cast our cares on God), he does his part (keeps us together, keeps us from falling apart). I can attest to the truth of that.

This hope and peace God gives are available to anyone who will humbly come to Jesus, embrace the truth that God cares for us enough to carry our burden, and throw their burden on the Lord in the midst of their suffering. Hope and peace are there for us because God is faithful to do his part, holding us up and keeping us from falling apart.

Now, because of his goodness and faithfulness keeping me from being shaken to pieces, I am back at the keyboard creating blog posts.

What is threatening to shake your world? Be encouraged to trust in the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of it.

 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash


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Living Like You’re Dead

I’ve had a blog post rattling around in my mind for several days, yet unwritten. Then I read Bills’ post this afternoon. It is so true and powerful, I had to share it with you. Bill always teaches and challenges me. I hope you will feel the same way after you read this post, take to heart what he says, and implement what is needed to rise to the challenge of God’s Word spoken by our brother Bill.

Unshakable Hope

The title of this blog might seem like an oxymoron, but I hope to convince you otherwise.

I have come close to death several times even before ALS entered my life 21 years ago. With each brush with death, the more I am able to identify with death and eternity and live my life accordingly.

You might think that viewing my life as having one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel would be a depressing way to live, but I’ve discovered just the opposite; it’s a very liberating way to live, at least, from a Christian point of view. I think it’s also the viewpoint that Christ intended us to have.

In the days leading up to Christmas every year, Mary and I always watch “It’saWonderfulLife” and the 1951 version (the best version) of “AChristmasCarol.” After…

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Thanks-living

Unshakable Hope

Even though I cannot eat (by mouth) anymore, I still love the Thanksgiving Holiday. (I no longer have to worry about that gluttony thing).

Over my 21 year journey with this horrible disease called ALS, I’ve become a more grateful person. I also seem to notice ingratitude in myself and in others more than I did before ALS entered my life.

Through my observations, I’ve concluded that ungratefulness and unhappiness go hand-in-hand. Think about it, have you ever known a happy ingrate? Yeah, neither have I.

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

The Bible doesn’t tell us to be happy, which leads me to believe that not even God could teach happiness. However, the Bible repeatedly tell us to be thankful:

“...let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…

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The Man In The Mirror

In Lesson 2 of The Bible Study Guide I write:
“We learn about God and his ways by reading Scripture day after day, year after year, relying on God’s Spirit to teach us spiritual truths, as 1 Corinthians 2:10–13 states.
When our reading of and obedience to Scripture is combined with teaching by God’s Spirit, we are strengthened to endure and to persevere through the difficulties of life, whether our difficulties be small or great.”
I recently read a post by Bill on his blog “Unshakable Hope,” which vividly and poignantly captures thoughts on the question of “Who am I becoming?” as I look into the mirror.
I can see the changes physically when I look in the mirror in the bathroom. What about the changes, and those that need to take place, when I look into the mirror of God’s Word? Who am I becoming?
Read James 1:21-25, quoted here from The Living Bible:
So get rid of all that is wrong in your life, both inside and outside, and humbly be glad for the wonderful message we have received, for it is able to save our souls as it takes hold of our hearts.
22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. So don’t fool yourselves. 23 For if a person just listens and doesn’t obey, he is like a man looking at his face in a mirror; 24 as soon as he walks away, he can’t see himself anymore or remember what he looks like. 25 But if anyone keeps looking steadily into God’s law for free men, he will not only remember it but he will do what it says, and God will greatly bless him in everything he does.
I’m reblogging Bill’s post, “The Man in the Mirror,” in the hope that you will be as challenged as I was by what Bill writes. I listen to what Bill has to say because he is living proof of the truth of God’s word. He is living out our unshakable hope in Jesus Christ.
Read his post and see why I say those things.
After you’ve read Bill’s post, I encourage you to leave him a reply, then come back to my blog ,brokennesstobeauty.wordpress.com , and leave me a note. I’d like to hear from you. What did you get from Bill’s blog post?
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another … “ (Colossians 3:16)

(Reblogged from “The Man in the Mirror,” posted August 3, 2017, on Bill’s blog “Unshakable Hope,” https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/author/bsweeney60/ )

Unshakable Hope

Can you imagine going a whole month without seeing yourself in a mirror?

If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that I’ve had ALS for almost 21 years, and that I’m totally paralyzed and home-bound. In addition to an excellent nurse visiting me once a month to confirm that I’m still alive, a very nice lady also comes to our home once a month to cut my hair. She came the other day to cut my hair so Mary maneuvered my wheelchair into the bathroom in front of the dreaded mirror (mirrors don’t lie). “Who is that guy with gray hair and big bags under his eyes?” I asked myself.

You see, unless I ask Mary or my caregiver to place me in front of the mirror, which, for obvious reasons, I rarely do, haircut time is the only time I have to face this 56 year old…

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