Tag Archives: glory

Way Too Long

Well hello there! Remember me? Sorry for it being so long since I last posted. I’ll try to do better in 2013.

So, we got moved to Georgia in mid September of 2012 and the day after – yes, the day after we unloaded the last truck, we got the dreaded call – the contract had fell through. Yep. We loaded one more truck and headed home to Indiana. That was a scary and defeated feeling. I hated those days. Saying goodbye to something that I had no sooner said hello. The thoughts that rushed through me were common; ‘Why?’ Why did we literally pack everything we own and spend $1000’s of dollars just to move right back? My Mom taught me the most valueable lesson of my life in her last days. “There’s always a reason, we just aren’t meant to know why sometimes.”

By the end of October we were back in Indiana. His folks visited us a couple time for the holidays and I was very happy to host my family twice when my sons came to visit. My middle son came first the beginning of December with his wife and my first grandson, Riott. We had 21 family members over for Sunday dinner. It was amazing! Always wanted a place big enough to host my ever-growing family. If you think 21 is large – that was not even half of my immediate family. My nephew and niece-in-law announced their big news: due in July!! Yes, yet another grandchild to add to the family tree. What a joyous moment!

Hosting the family wasn’t near as much stress as I thought it would be and I was glad to do it again in January when my oldest son visited with his new wife. She’s due May 22 – yes, going to be grandma x2! YAY!! Another branch extends forth!! Found out it will be another boy, Noah. Can’t wait to meet him. Sucks that we live so far away. Doesn’t matter if I live in Indiana or Georgia or ‘Timbucktoo’; both my sons live in Missouri. That’s probably the part I don’t like about my life most right now; I can’t just stop over and see my kids/grandkids. Can’t just babysit and spoil my offspring’s offspring…but thank God for modern technology. I can text, call, Skype and keep up on their to-do-n’s on Facebook. I can see progressive baby belly pics and hear all about her craving and emotional boundings. I can still offer my motherly advise and be involved. It’s the little things 🙂

I found a new job – one I love so much. I work from home now. It’s great!! I actually turned down 2 other offers in town. That was scary. I’ve never worked on a contract like this before and after what happened to Dave’s contract last year, I feared the worse. Besides, I cannot recall ever turning down a job offer, but something told me to take this one. I knew it meant I had to disciplined. I knew the risks. It took almost a month before I actually started. I worried if it was real. But my worries were soon layed to rest. When I started working, it was just as I remembered. It was like dusting off a bike and hopping back on – I was a little wobbly the first couple days but before I knew it, I was doing flips and coasting with my hands up in the air! The people I work with are fun, dedicated, understanding and just down right great people. They have faith and that really sold me on them. They weren’t afraid to say it in both my interviews. Know how when you talk to someone, you just click? Well, that’s the way it was with this team. I’m glad I listened to my gut.

And it’s a good thing I took that remote job – we are back in Georgia!! Yep. Last truck is unloaded and no call yet. (And there better not be, God willing! Lol!) I have faith that this time is it. We are here for good. Today marks his first day at his new job. Kinda scary, but in a good way. Dave and I are as strong as ever. He even left me a little note in my office this morning. Love those little moments…don’t think he realizes how much…

So, what’s the moral of this blog? Don’t give up. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the best things happen out of the worst circumstances. It is our struggles – our victories and our defeats – that makes us who we are. We can chose to begrudge life and anticipate the next hurdle or we can face each day for what it is, knowing that we have the opportunity to rise above, grow and be grateful. I got to host my family not once, but twice. I got to have my sons over and create some new memories together. I got to spend some quality time with my daugther who is growing into the woman I knew she could be. I got to overcome one of life worst disappointments with the one I love. I am thankful for technology that allows me to stay connected no matter where I am. I am thankful for my faith that continues to see me through – and I am reminded that through God’s strength, we can do anything.

Until next time!

 

“The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.”  ~ Psalm 69:32

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  ~ Romans 12:2

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

To…Someone

Someone needs to hear this. Someone needs to see that they aren’t much different than me. Someone can relate to my desperation and needs to see the true meaning of faith…so…here goes.

As you may know from reading previous blogs, I was devastated to find out my special friend wasn’t who I thought he was. I thought we were both following God, trying to get our lives straight so that we could potentially enjoy a healthy life together in the future, if God allowed. Yet, I found out he was seeing someone two months before we even met, and it brought me to my knees. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t work. I wanted answers, I wanted to understand what was going on: surely it couldn’t be as bad as it appeared…but it was. The reality smacked me like a brick to the forehead. How could someone outright lie like that? How could someone toy with love and emotions? On eHarmony he listed that the quality he was looking for most in someone was ‘honesty’. He told me secrets of his past, his introduction to God…he said he loved me, that he never thought he would love again after what his ex-wife did to him. It was lies, all lies. My world, or at least that part of it, crumbled around me. 

Sitting at home for days, I read my bible and listened to praise music. I spoke to my friend and accountability partner from church – matter of fact she and another Christian friend were the only one I spoke to those 5 days besides my special friend and God. The bible says he will give us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) but where is it?? Why is it so elusive?? There is no worse place than being stuck in despair, but I knew God was with me. He had to be. That’s what His Word says over and over again.

Here’s where we have to remember the definition of ‘faith’: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1. I sure couldn’t see the way out, and I sure couldn’t feel the love surging through me like I wanted, but I knew He was there because of my faith. There was not going to be a glowing neon sign above the path I needed to take – I had to trust Him. At times I did feel a glimmer of calm, and that helped, but I needed more. So I prayed for it over and over again. I put my trust in God and tried with all my might to let go, but it would creep back in and take my heart and soul over like a hostage attack.

Even in this time I stumbled. I probably texted him when I shouldn’t have. I probably rationalized where I shouldn’t have, but I always prayed, always asked God to help me, give me clarity, light my path. My mind just seemed to keep going and going. I couldn’t shut it up, no matter how hard I tried it crept back in like a cunning thief. No sooner did I feel a bit of relief, I succumbed to the pain, the memories, the reality that maybe he was just a liar and a cheat and I was a fool. What did I do to deserve this? I couldn’t bare it. At one point, I had the notion to just polish off a bottle of sleeping pills. I wanted to escape so bad – anything to numb the pain. (I have a bottle of prescribed sleeping pills that are at least 5 years old. I only use them when my restless leg syndrome prevents me from sleeping which is very rare – I hate pills.) Thankfully, I made it over that hill. I vividly recall kneeling at my bed, crying, wailing, hurting, praying. I imagined God at my side, holding my head while I hurt. His eyes…

Later, that desperation returned in full force – this time it was even more powerful. I wanted to escape again. I’m not stupid enough to commit suicide or try to hurt myself, but what’s the harm in taking one pill so I could sleep it off? But…I knew it would be there when I returned. I’m sure I looked like an idiot, sobbing uncontrollably and aimlessly pacing the house. I justified to God that I needed this little pill in my hand. “I can’t handle it anymore, Lord!” Almost immediately, I recognized that I did have a choice. Oh, I wanted to take that easy way so bad but I just knew it was the wrong way. Going that way would only lead me around that mountain again and I was tired of traveling that same lonely path of pain and sorrow. In reality, I was debating on taking the easy way out – a temporary escape. Boy did I need God, more than ever. I WANTED A TRUE RELEASE NOT TEMPORARY!! I raised that pill to heaven and said “God, I DON’T NEED THIS! I NEED YOU!” I slammed it on the kitchen table, clutched my bible and collapsed onto the couch. It’s a good thing I write my favorite passages on note cards for easy access – I pulled those cards out and just started reciting them out loud. My mind was so scattered I couldn’t focus on the words; I’d have to read and re-read them through sobbing tears. I spoke them out loud and offered them as a prayer to God because I didn’t know what to pray or what to do; I just knew what I couldn’t do. I wanted God to know how serious I was about wanting to heal, about wanting to get off this old beaten path. I wanted to demonstrate my faith, exercise my trust in Him. And that made all the difference in the world.

Did I snap out of it? No. Not immediately, but I did return to a peaceful place. Peace doesn’t mean the removal of doubt or pain, it means the acceptance of it of whatever it is we are going through. In church that Sunday I confidently felt the words “do nothing”. I couldn’t believe it, but try as I might, I listened. That’s when I realized the truth would only come from his girlfriend. Was it right for me to contact her? Some would argue, but I really don’t care…I gave that to God. I needed the truth, not all of it, but enough to move on. At that point I only suspected he was dating us at the same time. Was it hard to let him go? Your damn right.  I can’t just stop loving someone. My heart doesn’t have a shut off valve. We all have faults and I was willing to accept his, but he was bad for me. I can’t accept lies and unfaithfullness. He said he was following God – I had to let go. I had to give him and my situation to God. Even after that day I had to give him to God repeatedly, but today, I am much better off because of it. I see more than just the truth about him, I see the truth in God, in myself. He is there. Faith is real. His love is unconditional and overwhelming and I can do it with Him at my side. PRAISE GOD! I walk with Him in confidence because I know He will shed just enough light for the step I’m on.

Whatever you’re going through, whatever trials you’re facing right now – whatever you do – don’t give up. Don’t take the easy route. It will be hard but don’t succumb to your desire to escape whether that’s through pills or enduring more hurt. You are worth more than that! Face it head on. Have faith. I warn you, the devil won’t like your resistance and he will try harder than ever to pull you back into your bad habits and bad choices, but you must resist. It will be the battle of your life, for your life, but there’s a victory that can be yours if you choose to invite God to be at your side. When you aren’t strong enough, God is. Trust Him. Have faith. It may not feel like strength, it may not be anything you ever expected, but I promise you, you are not alone and this is not the end. The end is not the end. Once you move towards God, you become a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). The death of who you use to be will not be without pain – you didn’t become this way overnight: these trials and tribulations didn’t just happen. It’s a process. So, give it to God, repeatedly if you have to, keep praying, keep reading, keep worshipping and praising Him through the storm, keep your faith and let the healing and the transformation begin! Surround yourself with a church family. Take the opportunity to let the end of what you’re feeling be the beginning of something great. You are worth it and so am I.

‎”The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so you can endure.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” ~ Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. ~ Proverbs 9:10

“An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.” ~ Proverbs 20:21

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Fix You: Haunting Memories of the Past

A friend turned me on to this song. Love the lyrics and it fits well for me right now. After talking to my special friend on Tuesday, I started to analyze what it is I’m trying to ‘fix’ about myself. Why am I not ready to be in a relationship? What is at the heart of my pain? It’s a hard question but you can’t fix what you don’t understand is broken. It’s not out of lack of not wanting it. I can’t get him off my mind. He’s embedded in my heart. Our goals are in alignment. So…why? Why am I not ready?

Well, to be honest…and I almost hate to type this, but…I don’t think I know how to be loved. Somewhere I learned that you do whatever you have to in order to be accepted…to stay loved…even if that goes against the very grain of your soul. I know how to love; I can be very romantic, caring, giving, etc., but…I don’t know how to be loved. Maybe that stems from the abuse I survived as a child and the attitudes it set in my brain: sex = love, love = pain. I learned how to walk on egg shells and just be thankful for what little love was shown. To turn a man on sexually is to earn his affections. Give of yourself 200% and expect nothing in return. The love I have experienced so far has taken me to the poor house, both financially and emotionally. It’s like, somehow, I convinced myself that’s all the love I deserved. But I’m seeing that true love isn’t earned…it just…is. I am full of love and I was meant to be loved, too. Sadly…I don’t know what that even means…or feels like….I need God to fix me…to show me what I’m worth.

It’s a blow to the head to realize this about yourself. Probably why I haven’t blogged in a couple days…I didn’t really want to admit this to anyone. I want to be loved for me…what’s inside. I deserve it. I know I do. And I want the love I give to be returned. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying he doesn’t love me for the right reasons, if in fact he loves me, I’m just saying…I’m not sure what that’s suppose to feel like or…how to even accept it. The love I give will not always match the love I get, but, I can honestly say I don’t know what it feels like to be loved. I don’t know how to not walk on eggshells…I don’t know how to not doubt…I don’t know how to not be…afraid. How sad is that?? It’s an area of the playground the devil has the most fun – and the most control – over me. I’m usually the one busy trying to figure out how to demonstrate my love, how to not cause a ruckus or make waves…not how to accept it from someone else. I don’t know how to accept that kind of love…a love that’s real, pure. As the old saying goes, ‘how can you love someone else if you can’t love yourself?’ I need to learn how to love me so that I can accept it when someone else does. I need to learn that love doesn’t have to hurt….not everyone lies and cheats.

For too long, the devil has made me feel unworthy. God is showing me that I am worthy of love. (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 8:32, Deuteronomy 31:6) That’s an amazing feeling. I know in my heart, in the very depths of my being, that once this lesson is learned, I will love like no other and I will be loved like never before. It will be beyond anything I could have imagined. And that, my friends, makes the wait so worth it. Maybe it will be my special friend, maybe it won’t. I can’t worry about that now….it is what it is and time will reveal where I am suppose to be.

I have my downfalls, but I know I have qualities, too…I’ve actually had a few close friends almost in shock when I talk about my insecurities with love. I’ve discovered that some see me as a confident, accomplished, independent woman – that actually blew me away to hear that…but on the inside…I am just a fragile rose bud. Which reminds me of a story someone sent me recently – how we can’t open a rose bud without damaging it’s fragile petals, but God can. One petal at a time. I just haven’t bloomed yet. While I am a confident and secure woman, when it comes to relationships and love…I’m lost. Scared. I don’t want to be used any more. No more lies no more cheating. Maybe my Dad doesn’t say he loves me or hold me when I’m sad, but my heavenly Father God does and He is giving me the nourishment I need to learn to love myself so that, in the future, someone else can love me, too…just as it reads in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. Slowly and gently He is revealing the beautiful rose inside me. Praise God…

I will only look back to my past to grow from it. Staying there is dangerous. I hold no grudges. I have no regrets. It was what it was. Revenge in not mine. (Romans 12:19, 2 Thessolonians 1:6, Luke 6:33) The pain we experience in life either breaks us or makes us and I am not easily broken. (Ah-ha. See the confident side coming out?) Learning about ourselves isn’t easy. Admitting who we are isn’t who we want to be and not knowing how to change it – that’s scary. (Proverbs 15:32) But “repentence means change, not just remorse” (The Three Battlegrounds.) I want to grow. I need to grow. I want my table to have 4 strong legs (I’ll explain this in another blog – table represents the foundation of a relationship, like building a house on sand verses rock.) I want my home to be sturdy, to withstand any storm (Proverbs 15:32). The Lord is the rock of the house, the man is the head of the house and the woman adores it with love. I seek the knowledge to make my home strong: to do my part. And once I reach that – nothing: no trial, storm or tribulation – will ever damage the foundation in which it is set. NOTHING. It will be grounded in God and…in love; pure, real, love.

The next time I love someone, it will be complete…it will come from every pore of our being and nothing will go to waste. I’m letting go so I can fix myself, because if I don’t, I will never know what I’m really worth. Lights will guide me home and ignite my bones. God will fix me. I will be loved.

“God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.” ~ 2 Thessolonians 1:6

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” ~ Romans 12:19

“If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.” ~ Luke 6:33

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”” ~ Jeremiah 17:9-10

“It was also called Mizpah, [a] because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.” ~ Genesis 31:49

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32, NLT

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

“Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find [show] love and faithfulness.” ~ Proverbs 14:22

“He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”Proverbs 15:32

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” ~ Proverbs 14:1

“The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” ~ Proverbs 15:14

A Three-Ply Cord Not Easily Broken

Today is tough. My niece is getting married. I have to sit there and watch a couple unite before God and family, professing their love, their commitment, their bond. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just hard to attend a wedding when you’re freshly divorced. I believe in love and I am incredibly happy for her. She deserves it like no other – she’s been following God for some time, even sacrificing having a relationship so she could attend bible school. I took their engagement photos over the summer and during the session I got a great shot focusing on them holding hands. They looked at each other and gasped. I didn’t understand so she explained that their belief was that kissing and sex was for after marriage, that the one thing they do to show intimacy is, hold hands. HOW AWESOME! I thought. And I captured that without even knowing.

Anyway, these are two extremely blessed people and I’m so happy they’ve found each other. I pray their marriage is made tight with the Lord as their third cord – let me explain. First, read this:

9Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As this was explained to me, when you put God into the heart of your relationship, it is like creating a strong three ply cord. Twisting fibers together forms a rope making it stronger, right? One strand alone is weak, yet two is strong, add yet a third, and that cord is even more resilient. Get where I’m going with this? When one cord gets weak it has the other to lean on, but what if both grow weak? Having that third cord adds even greater strength. Alone we know can lean on God for strength so why not include Him in our most important vow and commitment to the one we profess our love to in front of family and friends? When God is the cornerstone, all other bonds are strengthened, fortified. He becomes our stronghold, our center, our ROCK. Combine that parable with these verses:

“May we let go of the world’s view on self, and get back to love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:4-13

And there you have it. Love + God. That’s all you need to make anything great. Make God your cornerstone. Get back to love. I love that: “GET BACK TO LOVE.” Quit complaining how you don’t like this or that, quit griping about how you never or she/he never. GET BACK TO LOVE. I feel compelled to say this right now: someone needs to renew their wedding vows. Don’t let this world strip you of what God has blessed. Let go of what the world has convinced you of and get back to the real principles of life. There’s too much to worry about, too much flesh. Get right with God and get your marriage back on track. Relationships take work. Nothing worth having is ever easy and starting over is not the answer. No one is perfect. Turn to God and let Him settle your hearts. Pray together. Pray for each other. And most importantly, put God, that third cord, back into your marriage. Let love reign once again in your hearts.

Wow. Don’t know where that came from. Back to what I was saying… surprisingly, the one who explained that three-cord parable to me was my nephew. He couldn’t have been but 19-20 at the time. Such a wise man, but then again, he has a wise mother. (My sister, the one who led me to God.) Be sure to plant your faith seeds today: in your children, in your husband, in your neighbor, in the stranger as you walk out the bank…in your own heart. It will sprout in time. When it’s ready. No sooner. Leave a little love everywhere you go. Leave a smile, leave a note, leave a prayer, leave a blessing. Leave a little love…

I will be present as God Himself is edified tonight as two people demonstrate the purist act of love known to man. I will ask God to bless this union of Jessica and Shane tonight. I will pray that God follows them all the days of their lives and strengthens them as one. I ask that He be their Cornerstone, their third cord. I pray He will solidify the love they have for each other so that 50 years from now, the glow of this day will still resonant between them. Praise God. 

I can say, I am at peace. Maybe I’ll never get married again. Maybe I will. For now I just have to work on me, and I’m seeing real progress. I am more willing to just accept things for what they are. I have…patience. WOW! I JUST REALIZED THAT! Huh. And to think I was afraid to pray for that. Then again, maybe all the times I’ve drove myself up a wall lately, maybe that was the purpose: to instill in me that some things just take time. It is what it is. Time…remember? I’m loving me more than I ever have and I think that’s because I’m honestly trying to be the person God wants me to be. Even in the darkness I see a tunnel of light ahead of me. I set my sights on that light and I bear forward. I am not afraid. I’m learning how to put on God’s armor. I’m getting to know myself better: what makes me tick… and what needs to be shed. I cannot express the gratitude I have to my Savior for all He has done.

Thank God. Bless you, bless yours. Now I’m off to the wedding….