Closed Mouth, Open Heart – Guest Post by Amy Mable

Today, I’m honored to present guest blogger, Amy Mable.  After you read Amy’s STRETCH story below, please join the conversation in the comments then head over to her blog – Pentriloquist.  For more information about Amy, see her bio at the end of this post.

(If you’re interested in sharing your STRETCH story here as a guest blogger, let me know in the comments, so we can connect.)

Closed Mouth, Open Heart – Stretching Towards A Deeper Understanding

For much of my childhood, I had God and the taxpayers of the U.S. to thank for providing a roof over my head and food on the table. A “treat” for us was an Archway oatmeal cookie on the way home from the grocery store and I remember take out pizza just once. We were well below the poverty level. I remember one winter we ran out of kerosene for the furnace and my mother had to call all our relatives to ask for help. To say I dreamed of a different life as a grown up would be an understatement.

Today, my life is very different. Having only bare necessities and nothing extra, every little bit of work improved my life. Having a warm home year round and cable television provided tons of motivation, and the work built endurance within me to face harder challenges. It set an example for my children and it made me stronger.

So, when I say I believe government assistance programs should be carefully administered – it isn’t because I begrudge anyone a warm home or food on their dinner table. I just know that having “almost” enough motivated me to do whatever it took to get “enough.” I don’t want anyone stuck in poverty without the hope of being able to make things better. I thought that without that hope, people would just give up. I believed in the mantra, “Leave no man behind!”

As a result, I aligned myself with fiscally conservative policies. I had no bitterness or resentment toward poor people, I wanted hope for everyone. And I wanted real help for those that couldn’t make it out – a safe and warm place to sleep, food on their table, the ability to see a doctor when they were sick.

I wanted people to understand, but they didn’t. The popular opinion was that people “like me” begrudged single moms and poor children the help they needed. No matter how loud I said, “That isn’t what I mean or feel,” it was the message that was coming across.

“So, stop saying it. You’re not delivering the hope I have for people, you’re hurting them.. just stop!” God convicted me of the message I was sending. It was the world’s message, not his, and it was hurting the very people I wanted to help.

“How important is it that you hold onto this?” I could feel God speaking to my heart. “Is it more important to be vindicated? Because, this isn’t my work for you. It’s distancing those in need from my love, provision, and peace. I want you to let it go. Stop being known by your politics, but as my daughter. Hold your tongue. Reach beyond the shame of your financial poverty and grab onto the real riches I provide.”

Initially, it seemed too “holy” for me. I’m a practical person, but it rang true. I knew He was the source of my peace. I had that peace even as a child in a poor family, but somewhere along the way… the farther I was removed from those days of poverty, the less I remembered the peace in the midst of it all.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:26-27

God has been stretching my muscles – literally. The ones under my chin. The ones pulled taut when my mouth is shut. It’s uncomfortable at times, but I can’t tell you how much better I feel after a good “stretch.” I’m never sorry. It’s improved the circulation of God’s inspiration, enhanced my flexibility (I was quite rigid in the past), and I can reach things that I could never grasp before.

How has God revealed a higher level of understanding that stretched you beyond your experiences?

A Jeep driving, sled riding, wife, mother of three daughters, and Granny to 6 of God’s best productions, Amy Mable is set on fully living this life God has given her. She blogs at encouraging herself and others to enthusiastically pursue a relationship with God that will knock your socks off and impact the world around you. Why settle for less? You can also follow Amy at Facebook, Twitter, and finally Google+.