Stuff to know

Monday, October 28, 2013

I wrote a bunch of stuff yesterday  on thinking, 
and  before you get preconceived notions
That I’m some kind of  “think good –good always happens”
or some name it and claim it theology.
Let me be clear about my process. 

Any thought worth thinking has to meet certain criteria for me.
So you might want to think on that a bit.
What standards are you  going to set for your  thinking?

You get to decide
You get to be the gatekeeper to the door of your mind.
That is a gift.
Use it wisely.

For me the standards of my mind have to meet 3 criteria:

  1. It must be true
  2. It must be positive
  3. It has to teach me.

 For a thought to be  true some would say is subjective.
So pick your subject of truth.

I am lover of God and follower of Jesus.
Every word that God has spoken is true.
If the thoughts about the situation don’t match God's  thoughts
They shouldn't make it into my thoughts.

Can we really just decide not to think our way
and trust His even when there seems  to be no visible evidence to do so?

Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.’
Isaiah 55 says yes.

You can forsake your own thoughts!!
 Yeah this is good news!

I can reject that thought of popping my child’s head off like a Pez dispenser
when she rolls her eyes at me.

 Or the random thought of
“Why are we married?’ when my husbands tracks mud
 all over the newly mopped floor.

Yes this is good news indeed!!  For all concerned.
( And if your concerned that in the above scripture You would be the unrighteous,
just get over it – because that’s all of us)

At the very least even if the thought made it into the foyer of my mind-
the brakes of forsaking were applied and it never became cemented in the basement,
( which by the way is next to the front door of the mouth- more on that later.)

So today’s assignment: FORSAKE AWAY

Don’t want that thought- Forsake it

Untrue thought  coming your way -Forsake it

If you live in Jersey – Forget About it
You see my point.

You do not have to entertain every thought that comes into your mental realm
Weather you thought it , read it , or heard it. You get to decide weather or not to keep it

 Take it from a person with OCD this is a huge.
 Hard but Huge.

According to Webster forsake means to renounce or turn away form entirely.
 Another definition is to abandon. 

That doesn't leave ANY wiggle room to keep that thought hanging around in the back of your mind.

This isn't a stiff upper lip thing.
I’ll  make the best of it.
I’ll just  keep this dung heap of a thought but put a glittery bow on it.

NO its got to go.
Abandon it
Forsake it and Forge ahead.

Because there are better thoughts to think.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I've Been Thinking

I have been thinking lately a lot about thinking.
  It seems everywhere I turn I am receiving messages about thinking.
 Messages of hope and encouragement.
And messages of rebuke and action. 
 I have OCD and I suspect a touch of ADD,
ask any friend of mine they will whole heartedly affirm this! J

And at the risk of sounding prideful or crazy
I have at one time or another thought I could be a genius or a lunatic.
See I have the gift/curse of being able to have two or more thoughts at once.
 Not just half a thought or scattered thoughts but complete thoughts at the same time.

No there are no audible voices or multiple personalities (that’s just my hormones).
And at times it’s great I am free flowing with creativity.
I can’t write an idea fast enough or get my hands on something as quick as possible.
 I often can not express a thought without stuttering because I’m already onto the next one. Other times it is just maddening.

 Especially when the thoughts are negative, uncomfortable and untrue. 
You know which ones.
 We have all had them .
 Insecure thoughts.
Unkind thoughts.
Fearful thoughts.
 And when those thoughts run wild and pile one on top of another I just want to scream . It is a mental wrestling match.

And at that point taking a nap is my best ally. 
I literally want to be unconscious and NOT THINK.
  Maybe this is a reason why some turn to the bottle or the drug or anything else that deconstructs them as a person.
I can see the temptation for escape.
 I just nap and while its not heroine.
 Its still an idol.

Sleep helps my exhausted mind-
heck if my body would workout as much as my mind
I would be the best paid supermodel and most decorated Olympian all in one.

So  I want to begin a series on the topic of thinking.
Since not thinking is not an option ( and who really wants that option anyway)
  Logically (there goes that thinking again) it makes sense to deal with the content of thinking and the control we have been given over that.

What shapes our thinking?
 Why do we think the way we do and should we?
Why do we think a certain way and why do we continue to do so?
Can I change my thinking?
 And what will that look like in my life?

The answer to the last questions I have  answers in the form of a proverb

As a man (women) thinks, so he is.
Prov 23:7

Let’s paraphrase this for ourselves

As a woman thinks, so she is.

Let’s personalize this

As I think, so I am,
As you think, so you are

Now put your name here

As_______thinks, so she is.

Yes lets get started thinking ourselves into who we are.
If your not there yet, no problem.

You are about to think yourself into who you want to be.

Friday, October 25, 2013


A throwback Thursday

The sun is just beginning to peak over the trees this morning of our big mountain trip.
It seems like we have been planning this forever.
 This is our first grown up all-by-ourselves vacation
(Minus the weekend get away at camp) since we have been married.
Once every 14 years I say!!
We are not taking relatives.
We are not visiting relatives. 
We are just traveling just the 5 of us to an adventure through the smoky mountains.

Going to sleep in a real live hotel!!! Whoo hoo!!
Now some of you may be thinking this is way overdue
Yes… Yes  it is. But it was either this or the bills that had to be overdue.

So bills are paid and we are off.
It is possible we will be close to broke,
as in no liquid assists for a while,
when we get home but we will be mountainside!!!
And by that I mean we may have to become
 mountaineers and live off the land as we drain the savings.

But in the words of Scarlett O Hara:
 “Ill worry about that tomorrow (or next month)

At 5 a.m. the alarm went off and our oldest was already up and ready to fly out the door. 
I on the other hand was just stumbling to the kitchen to the coffee pot.

Thank goodness Marc had set it all up the night before
 and all I had to do was push a button.

Some of my worst mornings have come when Marc fails
 to complete this step as part of his nightly routine

In this event I usually find myself fiddling with the filters,
and trying not to have a heart attack as the grinder pulverizes the beans into dust.
 Then I half  hazardly pour the water into a two inch opening while my left eye attempts to twitch open.

As I stare into space awaiting the 3 beeps
that signal caffeine completion my pulse begins to recover from
the bean mutilation machine
I am still in such a state of confusion that I fail
 to notice the enormity of coffee grounds in my coffee cup.

But as I sip my already prepped coffee this morning
 I am somewhat perky and excited about our road trip.
  I hear a slight stirring in the next room and
 I assume it is Mr. Rodgers and go to greet him.

However it is not Mr. Rodgers

It is in fact the largest horsefly in North America.
If you have never had the pleasure of seeing a southern horsefly you are blessed.
I believe they are the Alabamian curse for participation in the confederacy.
They arrive every May and the BITE

The only relief comes when the dragonflies swoon in 3 weeks later to devour the beasts.
Ahhhh circle of life.

The only thing worse I have ever experienced came in the summer of 2000
when the 17 year locusts came out in literal Biblical proportions. 
But that’s another story.

I guess each region has its own quirks. 
Once Mr. Rodgers came back from South Carolina
 with his legs all bitten up from some critter.

“What in the world got you “I asked?
“I don’t know I never saw them”
“Excuse me?’

“Really, I asked the local boys what the heck was making me itch so badly because I couldn’t see them.’
“They all replied ‘We know and they will eat you up.’”
I told them “I obviously knew that but what –are-they-called?”(Silly south Carloiners)
They said “Noseeums”

Now wanting to engage in intellectual dialogue at all times
and being blonder than I pay to be I replied:
“Oh is that Lithuanian?”

My husband just shook his head very slowly and said
“They are called “NO-SEE-UMS” because you don’t see um!!”

Oh got it.
Gotta love local flavor.
  Wonder what lexical wonders we will encounter in the mountains?”

What do you have from your neck of the woods?
Provide definitions please!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Spectrum of Joy

Living in Estrogenville is always eventful. 
All three of my girls are different from one another. 
They look different and they all have drastically different personalities.
Their reactions are vastly different.

Take for instance a simple remark made at separate occasions 
to Happy Mouth (who will be receiving a new alias soon), 
Laid Back Jane and Forrest.  

Something as simple as " Have you finished your chores?' 
 can be met will a spectrum of (over)reactions.

Of course there is the all time favorite of "Yes, Moooom" 
accompanied by an eye roll. 
But this doesn't happen too often 
since eye roll=hard labor. 

 Really any body language offense will land you in the pool of 
"Mom's least favorite chores are now yours."   
One year Happy Mouth was unable to control herself so much that
 I had the cleanest kitchen on the Eastern Shore; all the way down to the grout.

Seriously it was bad.
Friends would call and ask me to send her their way 
when she met her quota at my house .

Other times a reaction of "Yes ma'am"  comes and not only was respect shown
 but the chore was actually done well. 
 These are fun ,fun, times . 
Rare but fun.

Then there is the high octane estrogen response.
 It goes something like this:

"Uggh" (no eye roll here because they are shut tight)
" I can' t believe all you care about is chores, when my entire existence is at stake. 
I mean my whole life is about to implode!! And do you care at all?'

Now over the years I have learned that this response is designed to distract. 
And while I have fallen for it before ,
 my years of training have now made me a Master Rebound Reactor.

I know just respond to this drama with a cool
" You are fine and unless you would actually like me to rip
 your world apart by the seams I suggest you get your tail in motion ."

They usually just stare at me
 like I am the most compassion-less human 
that ever existed , and do their chores.
I' m good with that.

So when I say something that really is fun and good news 
that I think should have a typical reaction of oh.....
I don't know say --JOY  
and am met 
with a schizophrenia of reactions,
 I am once again
reminded that parenting is not for the weak.

Me:  "Girls let's check out early today and take your Daddy to lunch
. Won't that be fun"
 Note here:
In my mind it was supposed to be all Little House on the Prarieish.

Happy Mouth(age 15) " Why do we have to check out?
 Let's take the whole day and go shopping
for Dad, I mean."  
 Her eyes are in backpedaling mode at this point

Laid Back Jane (Formerly Rollercoaster at this age of 12):
" I can't check out. Do you know how much homework I will have? 
We are reading and taking a quiz on Despereaux today!! 
What are you thinking?"
The look of horror on her face is equivalent to that of watching a kitten being beaten.

Forrest (8):  " I bet Dad wants us to bring Sissy and my turtle too."
She has a gum drop stuck to the front of her jumper
 and I swear I saw her backpack move just a little.

Then the three of them start talking all at once,
 each of their own dialogue 
and slowly my mind
just hears the teacher from The Peanuts cartoon:

"Wha -wha wha" 
"Wha-wha wha-wha"

Finally I am drawn back to reality as they are all saying "Mama"

ME: "Yes well okay ," 
 "I think today your dad has a lot to do 
so just finish up your lunches because you are going to school today"

Happy Mouth: "Great way to go!" )
(pointing at  Rollercoaster) Now we gotta go to school!"

Rollercoaster: "YES!!!!"  (multiple fist pumps)

Forrest:  (She already has the dog on a leash)
" Okay , Sissy and I are ready!"

Everyone went to school .

 I, however , went to lunch with Mr. Rodgers.

It was Joyful indeed!!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Tools of the Trade

As many know my family and I volunteer with a non profit that provides clean water to people in rural Tanzania. Both my older girls have been to Tanzania twice
. As it just so happens I work at a drilling company .
 Now we were into the giving of wells long before I ever got this job.
 And I am basically a paper pusher here , 
so its not like I'm  learning to drill or 
getting this company to drill in Africa.
(But I'm working my plan)

But this post is not about any of that but rather the daily dose of what I get by working at a place of industry.
And it is an ear opener and a eye poper.


Prepare for laughter and a touch of offense

 I sometimes think my company is its a covert operation for something else.  As I am going through the invoices and purchases orders I see things like "3 in brass nipples", "5 in female couplers" and  "dope was left".  Hmmmm......

I'm not an engineer  so I don't know the lingo- go it.  But the day I walked to the mail box and retrieved a drilling magazine titles "Deep Hole Driller" I really just had to laugh-
Really?  They couldn't think of a more politically correct name?

After awhile I started paying attention to the roughnecks when they turned in payroll and talked logistics with the boss.   


 here are a few lines I have over heard:

"I'm going to need the strippers ASAP on tomorrows platform."

"Use the 1 inch black nipples they cover better"

" Video tape the site and see if the female couplers are leaking"

Now I know a little bit about home improvement and know they describe male/female when something locks together, but I really didn't know the extend of the debauchery.  Here are just a few names used in drilling, electrical and other industries:

butt splicer 
whole spreader
blow off preventer
socket wrench
pike pole
slip joint
male reducers
just to name a few 
and of course the obvious screw, screwdriver and cockpit.

What I am convinced of ,after learning all the terms used in industry, is that the world was indeed established by men . 
Hence all the names and references that they can remember.

And I thought Miley was in the  skank business...

This is some dirty business

Excuse me  I need to shower now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I am guilty.

Guilty of trying to be the greatest mom.

Guilty of trying to convince others of this pretense as well

I looked for affirmation among the motherhood crowd and the crowd I tried to appease came with a big price tag.

I am a Christian and I want my children to be raised following Christ.
So my first clue should have been to turn to Him and Him alone.

But I was surrounded by other great believers and great church and endless Christian resources. 
Some of you may be able to decipher better than me and could take the advice of some either in person or through a book and then throw out the rest that doesn’t work for you

I didn’t possess that great skill but I ended up earning it.

When I didn’t meet the criteria that I thought was better than me I poured on the guilt and then the determination followed by the exhaustion and then the explosions.

Next came the shame and repentance, followed by fatigue and depression.

Then I would get just enough to carry on in a recognizable form of sanity but eventually would cycle back .

You are probably thinking what in the world made you like that ?

Things like:

 Homeschool – I didn’t  I don’t

 Family devotions everyday without fail-  we tried, some were funny others I was to controlling

Lead and encourage other women at church- I’m not good enough in my walk to lead others

Work the children’s nursery- I love the little ones they don’t judge

Volunteer – so much that we went to church as a divided family unit for an entire  year

 These  may seem silly to you but I bet you can insert your own statements from  whatever is important to you and I might find it ludicrous.
But I bet we are not that far apart when
 we have good intentions and unstable motivation.

Anyway I realize I set many of these things up in my own head 
and to be honest with you not many of the people 
who surround me would ever guess at my insecurities.

Others who had to one up me were never secure to begin with .
I went the route of “let me tell you all the great things” 
I do thinking  and I would  just justify myself bless the socks 
off of who ever was listening!
God quickly cured me of that as I realized 
I was talking about doing more than I was doing- OUCH

But even in  a circle of believers I never seemed to be enough. In my mind anyway.

We should encourage one another and not one up, 
,judge or belittle one another.

But ultimately my relationship with God relies on Me and God.
And since God has no insecurities about His love for me ,  I had to conclude that it was ME.

I mistook the approval of those I admired for the approval of God.

And it could not have a been a bigger lie.
My behavior wasn’t the matter.
I was doing all the good things so to speak
But my motivations were not pure.
And they brought no peace.

It was like a task list of Holier than Holies.

  • 3 chapters of the Bible read-check
  • Devotion read –check
  • Prayer journal-check
  • Scripture cards memorization-check
  • Bible study done-check
  • Bible study attended-check
  • Read latest Christian parenting book-check
  • Asked (nagged) husband to lead devotion (again)-check, check, check
  • Read Bible story to kids-check
  • Got fussy when oldest didn't do devotion-check

And then there were these unwritten checks

  • Talk about a parenting moment when you used Biblical principals-check
  • Correct your child in that non sarcastic sweet way when disciplining in front  of others- check
  • Recommend date night with out fail because your marriage depends on it
  • Join 4 Bible studies simultaneously (seriously someone smack me)

I am not saying that these things are not good or are not helpful I’m simply saying
It matters what or who motivated you – that is when authenticity is born.

Now I’m not claiming “if you feel like it” here.
 NO those who don’t do anything until they feel like it are just lazy- self included .

I understand obedience is necessary, but to Whose obedience?

Your Bible study leader?
The chick down the street who has “it all together?”

Even if the end result is what it should be
God knows my heart – He knows who I am trying to please
To be affirmed by

This surely has to quality for the “filthy rags” Isaiah refers to  as our acts of righteousness.

It is no wonder so many of us lose our true “want to”
and we label God as demanding and oppressive . I did

But He is not either of those things-
HE is waiting for me kindly and lovingly .
Waiting for my  control freakness to die .

Can I really rest?
Not in an exhaustive hot mess heap but really rest and not “do” anything but be loved?

I am reminded of the words in Isaiah

 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust  is your strength, “   

Yes I can rest and count on Him . 
The end of this verse holds a sharp reminder
 and rebuke to the people of Isaiah day
 and it is a red flag for us.

It states :
“but you would have none of it.

The verses that follow as you can imagine are not pretty.

I want to rest in Him .
 I want to trust in Him and I do not want it said of me that “ I would have none of it”. 
NO Lord I do not want you to be able to say that to me.
I want to say that “I took all of it”

All the repentance from my striving
All the rest You have to offer
This is my Salvation

All the quietness in my mind
All the trust in Your love for me
This is my strength

I wanted to be such a good mom and I am a good mom.
I love my children and they love me and all of us are strewn together by the loving hands of Our Sweet Heavenly Father, who has been abundantly generous in  His grace.

I made many mistakes as a young mom and I still make some today but one thing is sure: God has never left or forsaken me
And I can rest.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Reminder

Its 11 p.m.
 I did it again.
 I didn’t want to.  I didn’t intend to.
I didn’t see it coming
I don’t know if I should have or not

But I did it
I lost my shit last night

Lost my temper, mind, reasoning, religion

Whatever you want to call it- I lost it
Lost it right into the lap of my youngest, Forrest.

And not in a funny – “oh my will eventually make a great sitcom episode” way.
No .
In the “What the hell am I doing?”
And “God please repair the heart I have broken”
Kind of way

That messed up.

The one ray of light in the whole dysfunctional whirlwind was I didn’t look past the hurt on her face-
It was there : raw , red and my doing.

Thank God it became my undoing.
I watched internal pain produce a desperate look and it floored me –
it made me to say to myself   “You incredible ass, what are you doing”

And my blood pressure was still up,
 and my anger was still there (stupid as it was) 
and my selfishness still gripped me –
but my spirit sank like a lead weight.

Like a millstone hung around my neck was that weight and it hurt.

I wanted to crawl in the hole that I belonged in.

And I would have taken a life of despair in exchange for her healing.

I wish I could have made the trade.
But it doesn’t work that way.

We cannot undo

We can only redo

The next moment
The next time
The next choice

I sent her upstairs
Afraid to have us in the same room
Ashamed to let her see the monster I was

It’s 11:05
5 minutes-
5 foolish, reckless, damaging minutes

Heated, 0 to 1,000 in 30 seconds or less-
 the moments have now past
And I can’t get them back
No amount of grieving can do that- and trust me I’ve tested the theory

Now at this point I have a tendency to think the thoughts of the damned:

“What a lousy mother you are”
“You are a freak”
“Seriously this is a request, not cancer”
“Don’t you love your child?”
“You always do this”
“Spare her please- she would be better off without you”

The decent to the pit is a rapid one
When you let your conviction turn  to condemnation.
And that is where I went……fast.

But then I realized some facts:

Yes I acted foolish
Yes my reaction was hurtful
And then
 I saw what it was doing
I stopped.

I heard the conviction.
I listened.

And actually I listened much earlier than the last time I lost it.

I fell down on my knees asking forgiveness
 and asking twice over that God would fill her with His truths and not my lies.

That He would comfort her and let her know how wildly important and loved she is.

I pulled a small amount of myself together and humbly walked the stairs , knowing what had to be done .
I sought and received her forgiveness.
I attempted to be back in her  good graces.
That is going to take longer.
I understand that.
 NO one wants to snuggle up with the dog that just bit you.

I left her room and attempted to sleep.
I didn’t. The longer I lay there the madder I got.

At myself,
at my husband (honestly he is sleeping while I’m sniveling in the dark)
And even at God

“Why Lord?  Why does this keep happening?
What is wrong with me?
Why won’t you just immerse me in your Holy Spirit and make me like so many I see; happy walking in faith with you?”

And I kept on descending into the
Bowels of unhealthy thinking with:

“Yes I’m envious of other’s faith  . They have a seamlessly, effortless, wonderful, doubtless relationship with you .”
“Why can’t you just zap me into that?”

I am being brutally honest here
I actually said that
And then in the background
I am pretty sure I heard a Whaambulance.

Finally I shut up enough and did a few deep breaths.

I then heard that still yet commanding voice

“You want to hear from me?   Then meet me.”
You want to know what I think?  Then seek me”


“You want to know if I forgive you?”
“Yes Yes Lord I wan’t to know. How can I be forgiven?”

And I began my argument

“Shouldn’t I have a millstone around my neck?”  Luke 17:2
“Doesn’t her angel see your very face in heaven? “  Matthew 18:10
“Won’t I have to give account of every careless word spoken and won’t I be guilty?Matthew 12:36

I had asked and God was faithful to answer:

“Your answer is not going to be here in the dark writhing in your bed”
“Move , get up”

I roll out of bed and walk like a hunchback to the couch. I grab my Bible,  tears are streaming down my face. I’m a total snot bubble and pretty sure I have created a new breathing pattern for myself.

 It is now 2 a.m.
I flop like the leader of the pity party that I am on the cushions.

 “Fine,  fine”  I think , “I’m just going to randomly open up my Bible, roulette style, and see what I get’

It wasn’t thought in hope.
It sure wasn’t spoken in expectation.
I half way thought that I would open up to a passage
about a possessed woman or a the Philistine foreskin story
or something that I can make hide nor hare out of.

At this point it would have done me good to remember that God can hear me even if I’m just thinking.

So I whip open my Bible and glare at it with blurred vision
And this is what I read:

21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
    Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you.”

I thought I had lost it
But I was wrong

You can obviously go lower

You can be lower than prostrate
I got that low  as I was overwhelmed by God’s incredible Mercy

I wouldn’t forgive myself but
He reminded me that He didn’t need my permission  in order for
His forgiveness to be granted.

And all He wanted was to
 remind me

Remember these things

What things? 
The scripture above the remember scripture
speaks about idolatry and states this:

“Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

I was feeding on ashes, convincing myself
that my self loathing accomplished something.

That gripping the “don’t forgive myself card” was righteous
What it was is the thing in my hand that was a lie
Then He reminded me I was His
“for you, Israel, are my servant”
His servant- one He choose to carry out His will

And that He made me.
“I have made you, you are my servant”
He choose me.
He didn’t get stuck with me in some cosmic Saint Sinner League draft
or acquire me by default with a trade for Mother Teresa .

No. He decided to make me and then put me on His team.

Then He reminds me in the middle of my “me” mess
That He has not forgotten me.
Israel, I will not forget you.”

My rambling about not being this way or that
or having what I see in others is a group of poop .
He has not forgotten me for one moment

And He proves it with God  action-
Demonstrative Love

22” I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist”
He sweeps away my offenses like a cloud
Like a whispy  frail gas like as if it is  nothing
My sins like the morning mist
Evaporated, faded into invisibility

NOT that the offense was nothing - no it was something and it has consequences.

A HOLY SHOO and it is gone before His presence.

At this point if I were God I would be like
“Ok I done dealt with your crud now please go slither away somewhere and try to keep a low profile”

But God is not like me
His thoughts are not my thoughts (PRAISE JESUS)
And His ways are not my ways

He goes on :

Return to me,”
I’m like “What?  You want me to come where You are?   You almighty God want me to be hanging out with you?”

“Umm do you not remember the past couple of hours?
The pain I caused,
the regrets I have ,
the snot I have produced, the pity party I held in my own honor?”

And it’s at his point that He reminds me that
All of that is immaterial to WHAT HE WANTS.
He is not bound by me
or my thinking or  my behavior.

 Because of how HE handles sin, death and the enemy, who just a few hours ago had all my attention.
Because the biggest reminder of all
 HE saves for last:

“for I have redeemed you.”

He says “ I HAVE.”

And so it is.

And because of that my next moment can be  new moment 

A merciful moment,
 a healing moment.

And Forrest and I can share that moment together in the arms of the only unfailing parent there ever is.

And together we can learn that
  Grace is the only thing that ever makes a way.

I have been encouraged by a number of great strong women one who has encouraged me by reminding me that God loved me first and that anything synonymous with Israel, Jacob, His servant, His Bride is in reference to His redeemed.
 I am one such redeemed and so are you.
So as you read scripture I would encourage you to rightful by His Blood place your own name in scripture where the redeemed are.
For instance the above passage could be an encouragement to you as such:

21 “Remember these things, your name,
    for you, your name, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
    Your name I will not forget you.

22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you.” Your name

And I pray today you are reminded of His great love
Before you lose it
If you lose it
Or after you’ve lost it
Because at every stage
You have never been lost
You are always the Redeemed.