Showing posts with label humility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humility. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2016

Apology For Being Me

A few days ago I caught myself semi apologetic... for being myself.

I heard myself saying to a friend, "I wish I wasn't like that, but I am. I wish I didn't wear my heart on my sleeve. I wish I didn't share stories. I wish that with every post on social media, 75 bazillion words didn't accompany it."  Or something of that nature...
But words. They follow me like that cloud of dirt that follows Pig-Pen around on Charlie Brown. They spill out of me, out of my mouth, off of my fingertips, and they will swim around in my head for days and days if I don't liberate them in some way. It's almost embarrassing. Almost. But not enough to stop me.

I realized that somewhere in between the end of 2015 and now, I've said nothing. Strangely enough. At least not here. 
And I tried to do a little soul searching to find out why the silence. We (writers, bloggers, and the like) go through our "I've been quiet" phase and we usually have a good reason for it. For reasons that usually bury themselves somewhere between moderately intellectual and magnificently heart expanding.

But honestly, sometimes we just aren't feeling it. Sometimes it simply boils down to the truth in what we say, when we say "I have kids. I was tired. I was watching Netflix. (yes 3 months of Netflix)." Sorry, but it's true.

I'm forcing myself, for tonight... to write. Because I love to write. I love to think. I love to process. I love to explain. And I'm sure it's a treat for my husband too. Write something. Anything. I've had an assortment of well meaning, well thought out topics of things to write about these past few months, but you know... Netflix and whatnot.

But let's bounce back to my apology for being me. There has never been a time in my life where I felt more confident in who I am. There has never been a time in my life where I recognized and understood and knew the Greater One on the inside of me, so much so that I've challenged and trusted myself to stand tall and strong because of Him. Each and every time an accusation against me and who I am dares flatter itself in my presence, I am reminded that its' not me, but Christ that lives in me. 
So why am I apologizing? Now I apologize for apologizing. 

Really, I think some days I owe God a great big "I'm sorry" for not trusting Him and His purpose in creating me.
I'm sorry for not realizing you really do want to use me. I'm sorry for thinking that all the quirks and personalities and genius in this world aren't something you can work with. I'm sorry for forgetting that you created this world, you imagined and spoke the 7.77 million animal species and the 298,000 plant species into existence. Why wouldn't you be the one to create a human race with distinctive skin colors and personalities and passions and expertise ? And why wouldn't you want to use each of us for your purpose and your glory, in our own significant and exceptional way?
It's all you, God.

I'm someone that gets a kick out of the vast and colorful array that makes up the human race. I don't mean skin tone. I mean, I unquestionably see God's handiwork in the abnormal, the artistic, the eccentric, the intelligent. We don't serve a robot and he didn't manufacture us to even be comparable to one another, really. We are all convincingly vibrant in our own way. And it all comes directly from our amazing Creator and Heavenly Father.

So, why do we question His design? Or even the purpose of His design. Scripture is clear. He knit each of us together with thought and purpose. We were intended. Why wouldn't He use our sense of humor, our words, our dreams, our quirks, our charisma, our passions for His glory? 
After all, It's not ours. It's His. We are His. 

YOU are nothing to shy away from or be embarrassed about. Your story is not yours. Your story of creation and redemption and everything that comes along with being His prized son or daughter... is for His glory. 

Use what He put inside of you. Be loud with it. Stand tall and be brave. Clutch it to your chest tightly and embrace it even. But don't bury it. Cultivate it and watch God continue to weave His purpose and plans into you and through you. 

There is nothing more rewarding in this life, than really truly knowing that you are His, knowing that He is big inside of YOU and He wants desperately to let Him use all of YOU (yes, you), for all of His glory.

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.   My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth...
Psalms 139:13-15

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Loving Them Well

I started writing this around Thanksgiving and seemingly got busy and sidetracked and never quite finished. Fortunately, I can say with some certainty that it wasn't too much of the 'holiday rush' that consumed me, but just having a family. And that's a good thing. It's a good thing to have people to love. It's even a better thing to love them well.

All year long, most of us pour our lives into our people... our families our friends. And this is unquestionably a season where we intentionally set aside time, funds and thought to others outside of our circle. During the holidays, we make an effort to extend that extra hand in particular those that are in need. It's what we are called to do at all times, to love. But as we celebrate the gift of Christ each Christmas, we are reminded to love and give to those around us. We go above and beyond. However, going above and beyond for many of us may just mean to start at learning to love the people in our lives better.

We live in this era when there is something to be said for just being there in that moment without having to document it for the world to see. There is something to be said for loving our people well...for no other reason than just because. Not for a photo op, not even to make ourselves feel better, but just because those are the people that have stuck by us, will stick by us and they deserve our best and our better most days.

Earlier this year, I really felt God tugging on my heart to step out of my comfort zone to love my people better. I'm a home body. I'm perfectly comfortable pretty much never leaving the house. I adore my friends and I love my family, but getting up and out takes work and energy.  Mustering up the words via email or a text or vox to let someone know I have their back when I wont actually leave the house to have their back seemed pointless. So I knew God was calling me to stretch a little and make sure the people who have laughed with me and cried with me knew that I loved them truly.

As the body of Christ we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to this world, but I  have always had a problem with the person that can be kind to the stranger or will give more time and thought to the passerby in their life, yet fail to treat those who have always been in their life with respect, honor and kindness. I don't want to be one of those people.
I happen to believe most of my family and true close friends are God given. Those are the people who have defended us, who will repeatedly forgive us and who will go on trusting us over and over again when others wont. Those who will try and talk us out of the bad decisions or even tattle on us when we make them are the people who love us. And first and foremost, if we are to practice love, we need to learn to honor them with our time, our integrity, and our sincerity... I truly believe if we can learn to love our circle of people well, that love will spill over naturally to the world outside of our circle.

This past February, we very unexpectedly found out my dad had to have open heart surgery. I don't want to say I was scared, but I was prepared. At least as I could be.. And I made sure I was there every moment possible of his 10 day stay in the hospital. With four kids, school, my husband being out of town for 5 of those days, it wasn't easy and I was exhausted. But I knew how important it was for me to be there. It was important to me that I was there for him, and I needed my dad and mom to know how much I loved them. The previous year, my mom went to the ER and was told she was a week away from a heart attack. Those are hard and scary moments. I'm a faith girl and I believe in the promises of God, but those moments are just hard and I am thanking God for his peace through every moment.

Since then, I've thought a lot about whether I've shown my love and support for family  and friends the way I needed to over the years. And until this year, I don't think I have. At least not as well as I could have. And over the course of this year, it's something I'm still working on. I've been selfish. I've been negligent. I've been busy. But I've come to this place in my life where I realize a lot of the 'issues' we have with our people simply aren't worth the inner fuss and they definitively aren't worth the fight. Our goal in life is simple. To love. And to love well. To be there first for those God has placed  in your life and that are there just for you... and let that ministry of loving well, then, seep over to others... on the outside as well.

I'm really good at saying I love people, because in my heart, I do. I am empathetic. I am sympathetic. In my heart, I rejoice with those when it's time to rejoice. I mourn with those when it's time to mourn. But love isn't an empathetic feeling or a smile or a tear alone. Love moves you. And I want it to move me to be present in the lives of the people that mean the most to me.
In between the week of starting this post and today...One of my aunts who I am closest to had a stroke.... My heart aches. I see her almost weekly... at church, on visits, we spent Thanksgiving laughing and cracking as we all played Heads Up and Catch Phrase, we spend every Christmas Eve with her and her family, and she always has such a giving heart and is such an example of faith to me. And as I've witnessed and experienced these hard moments with people I love these past 2 years, somewhere in between shock and heartbreak, I am reminded how much I really love them, but even more, how much more I could be loving them. And this isn't my goal for 2016, but it's something God has been laying more and more on my heart. Love them well. From now on and forever, love them well.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, who are those people?  Who are the people that have been there for us? Who are the people that we spend our holidays with? Who watched us get married or came to a funeral of someone we love to support us? Who cared enough to tell us like it is when we messed up?  Who cried with us when we lost someone or something? Who texted us to ask if we were okay? Who laughed with us over and over at the same dumb joke? Who visited the hospital when we were sick or having a baby? Who taught us to be more like Christ? Whose words of wisdom have stuck with us? Who hand held ours? Whose arms hugged our neck? Whose shirt was wet from our tears? Who forgave us over and over? Who trusted us again after we hurt them? Who trusts us enough to tell their frustrations? Who looks up to us to care for them? Who do we laugh so hard with we need our inhaler to breather (ahem...)?

Chances are there are several people, friends, family members, leaders, pastors, classmates, co-workers, etc that fit several of these categories... Chances are these are your people. People that are in your life, right here right now, that need your time, your patience, your generosity, your forever support... These are the people you need to love well.
My husband always teases me when I drive through Starbucks or am on the phone with a customer service rep. Apparently, I  talk "pleasant." He's messing around me with me because my voice gets extra high and perky and I suddenly pull out the ultra nice card. I get a good laugh out of him joking with me. But the truth is, it convicts me of how I treat and talk to him or my kids or the people I truly truly cherish. Why do they not get this 'pleasant' side of me? Am I more kind to a stranger than I am to my own people? Do I put more thought into how I treat someone I don't know than how I treat those I love?

It's certainly something to think about...

I pray as we embark upon another year, our hearts aren't broken or afraid or tattered before we learn to love and cherish our people. I pray today, right here and now, before difficulty comes, we stop and make the decision to really love.
To realize and remember those that really impact our lives and we all learn to love, love them really really well...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

When You Believe Google Over God

I've come across way too many people lately, including myself, who want to question God's word.
Not on purpose, but just the same as the people who pick it apart word for word deciding what they will and won't believe, we still do it.
The whole point of believing it, is that you have Faith.We believe what we cannot make sense of in our mind. We believe what you cannot see or feel. We either believe it is inspired by God or we don't.
If you don't, then it certainly doesn't mean to you what it does to someone that has faith in the Bible.
Because to that person, the questionable, in time becomes reality. But it takes faith to get there.
Perhaps to some it's a book of poetry or stories of history (true or untrue) told by men.
But to those that believe the depth therein, the depth is as simple as faith in every promise spoken. That every word spoken throughout thousands of years comes from the mind of our creator. What he did for one, he will do for us. Afterall, he is neither a liar, nor he is a respecter of persons.
We believe that because His word says it. Yes, His word...God's word.

Trust and faith in God and his word are both supernatural responses, if that makes sense. They don't make sense. They're not "natural" as we think of the word. It's the opposite of what comes naturally to us. Our natural pea sized brain wants to reason, to wonder, to question, to debate, to worry....Our natural mind wants to google whenever a circumstance or a difficulty or something we don't understand arises. Or we want to "intellectually" justify our conclusions in which we belittle the Bible to be less than what it claims to be ~ the inspired word of God.   It's highly egotistical to place trust in our "knowledge " or "understanding" of something, as opposed to the mind of God and even more so, the heart of God.

Repeately in scripture we are told to trust in Him. Repeatedly He reveals his heart and his thoughts in scripture, and as "believers" we claim to believe it, yet we still pick it apart. We still fight it. We debate it. We choose what we will believe. We still google it, our questions, our answers, our symptoms...before we trust Him. We find out fallen man's thoughts, fallen mans experiences and we choose to believe fallen man's words over God's. 

No, we would never say that, but if we are honest with ourselves, we do it all the time.

 He wouldn't tell us to 'trust him' it if we were incapable of trusting Him. Fight the desire to worry. Fight the urge to google. Fight the desire to reason and compromise over his word.
Respond to life supernaturally or abnormally, whatever makes more sense to you. Which actually, as a person of 'faith', trust (the abnormal) should be a normal response.
Respond to life 'in faith' of Gods promises. Not faith in google's declarations.
Googles got nothing on God's promises.

  As it were, I was googling symptoms the other night, I woke up and I opened my devotions to this topic. 
We love to trust in our own understanding of things. Why? We love to find out what other people say about it. Why?  But one complaint, one word of negativity or worry can slowly spiral out of control and can take  the place of our knowledge of who God is and what He has promised us. Stop yourself before you give yourself over to a life of question and reasoning. Stop yourself before you replace faith with questions and then questions become doubt.

Friend, remember, faith believes what it cannot see. It doesn't go to man first. It doesn't turn on the laptop first. It doesn't open the latest 'christian' book filled with man's unbelief first. It sees God first and trusts in Him alone.

But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalms 13:5

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That Girl?

Hey guys!
In my last summer/break update I mentioned there was a possibility of me speaking at a women's event over the summer. I can hardly believe I said yes. I committed to it. It was posted on our church website and facebook before I had the chance to back out. I have known for awhile (for close to a year) that God was leading me pushing me in this direction, but I certainly wasn't rushing it. Because I knew if setting any kind of example publicly (outside of my blog) were to ever happen, it would HAVE to be by the grace and strength of God. This has never been my thing.  In the words of my 4 year old, "REALLY? Me?"
Or Maybe you are thinking "Really? That Girl?" I know, right?
Because if you know me, I mean if you really know me, you know that I like to hide behind the scenes.

Despite that, I am stoked. I am beyond amazed at the things God has been teaching me this year and I'm excited to take it a step beyond typing and push myself to new territory. I love a good challenge. 
I'm trying not to over think what I am going to say, and just speak from my heart. I'm continually asking God for his wisdom to be revealed to me and that when I speak, it would be his words, not mine. In fact, this is something I have been praying daily in my personal life as well. That as I deal with my kids, as I love them, discipline them, guide them...or as I talk to my husband... or any other person or situation I come across during my day, that my words and my decisions would be guided with His wisdom.
Lately, I've been wanting more than anything to be completely in love with Jesus. I told him that. I told him I don't know if I'm always there, but I want to be. I want him to follow me around, hang out with me, everywhere I go...just like you would, when you start getting those tummy butterflies and wanting to be with the new love of your life every second of every day. I want to feel that with him. Sounds funny to type out, but it's the only way I can describe it. I want to fall in love. I wake up every day and say "Jesus, hang out with me. I want to know you are there. I want to feel your peace and your presence with me all day long, today, and every day." 
It's really something indescribable...when I know he is here with me. It's something new for me.

Anyways, just asking for your prayers as I take this small step in a big direction for my life. If you are in the Milwaukee area, by all means, come out and say hi! It's on Saturday, July 27th and it's a women's breakfast!  Shoot me a message or email if you need any info! I will touch base and let you all know how it went!
 Love you guys!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another Piece Of My Story

A lot of times when I write and try to tell my story,
I talk about how I was raised in the church,
so I don't really feel like I have a story. I was a pretty good girl. Never got in alot of trouble.
So instead, I go to a recent experience of God helping me out of a very long season of depression.
That must be my story.
But the truth is we all have a story. I'm a big believer that every part of our story is important.
Every tragedy, every epic moment of joy creates us into who we are today.
And today I am going to tell you that first moment I became this girl I am today.
a part of my story I have never talked about in blog world.
When I was 19, I had been out of school for over a year, but I had no desire to 
go to school beyond that. So I just worked.
About a year into it I went to a youth conference, you may have heard of it...
called Acquire The Fire. Being raised in a preachers home, I had actually been to several
of these youth conferences throughout my teen years and had always enjoyed them but went home
pretty much the same person I went there as.
Every year they would show videos of their Global Expeditions.
A part of their organization that took teenagers across the globe on missions trips to like
eighteen countries every summer to share the love of Jesus with people of other nations.
That year, because all I was doing was working, I felt like I was doing nothing with my life.
So I decided this would be the year I would go. Yes, I was going to travel the world
all by myself with a bunch of teenagers I did not know.
And I did. I went to Albania. The experience of traveling through Italy and to Greece in 
itself was amazing. I met new friends. I encountered a new culture.

I learned of these people who had recently come out of communism at that time.
Who were so grateful, and loved the Lord so much, and didn't take for granted
their new found freedom in serving God. A lot of what we take for granted here.
In fact, lately  it seems like we are using our freedom to kick God out of our country.
They were the exact opposite. They desperately wanted the freedom to serve God.
They were unashamed in sharing the gospel. I mean, even the teenagers were. 
They were our interpreters and had no fears or hesitation in approaching people with the story of Gods love.
I can't say how much that made an impact on me. How much it moved me.
I remember coming home after a month in Albania that year and taking a trip"up north"
to visit my relatives with my mom. You see, My mom grew up on an Indian Reservation.
So, yes, I am Native American.

One thing I got really used to over the years is hearing the continual tragedy that haunted people we knew, or people that she knew. If it wasn't suicide, it was jail time. If it wasn't jail time, it was someone's kids getting taken away. If it wasn't someones kids getting taking away, it was rape. If it wasn't rape, it was death associated with alcoholism.
This is fairly common conversation. So sad and tragic and I always wondered why.
I never understood it, but as I grew up I learned that it wasn't just the reservation she grew up on,
Native Americans as a whole seemed to enslaved by much of these types of things. day we were up north in my moms hometown and we were driving...
and we came across someone that she knew and he was walking on the side of the road.
She picked him up and he wreaked of alcohol and looked sad and sickly and weak as he
stumbled into our car.
I was just a young nineteen year old girl, and although I had heard stories of alcohol related accidents
and disease fairly often, alcohol was really never apart of my life.
It shocked me. It made me sad to see him look this way. So given over to a life that had no hope.
I remember after she dropped him off, there was a song playing on the radio.
It was by an old Christian rock band called Petra. The Lyrics said "We are strangers. We are aliens.
We are not of this world." And I remember busting out in tears.

I remember thinking how different our lives were. Thinking how do people live this way?
This isn't normal. At least to me it wasn't. This isn't happy.
And that week, I was praying  "Lord, give me a heart of compassion. I want to see people the way you see them. I want to hurt for them. I want to love them the way you do."
That moment was the beginning of who I am today, why I blog the way I do.
When I see people that are bound with depression or addictions, when I see their families hurting as a result, when I see people shoving God out of their life, sometimes purposely, sometimes not even realizing it, my heart aches for them. Because I know it will only end up in confusion
or heartache for them.
My heart aches for God as he must want so badly to help them.
I truly believe that moment was a defining moment for my life. Why I think and talk
and act the way I do today. That moment had an eternal impact on my life and will forever
move me to love people, tell them the truth that can only set them free.
Sometimes, people don't want to know the truth. I know there have been times where I didn't,
but truth & hope in God is the very literally the only thing that can help humanity.

That summer forever changed me to want to see people through God's eyes.
After seeing how excited the Albanian people were to have the opportunity to serve God and tell others about Jesus, how could I just sit by having all the freedom in the world to do so, and let my world, the people I came in contact with, how could I let everyone just hurt and be lost in confusion without hope when I know the truth? 
Up until I started my blog,  I never realized the impact even just having compassion on other people's stories and sharing my own story could have on people.
And I am forever grateful that I can share my ups and downs, trials and errors, and still be able to glorify God and direct people to Jesus in all that I do and say!

This is a big part of why I started this Suburbia to the Streets project. It's close to home.
It's both near, yet far...feeling the hopelessness of these women, and young girls.
Bound by addiction. It's not a story far away. It's a story I have heard many times over as
I grew up. People needing love. And if we don't see them with the eyes of compassion,
we can very easily overlook the heartache of other people, because to us, it's just a story.
But to others, it's a reality.
I only have 7 more days left. I've raised enough to help 2 women off the streets, which was my original goal...But with my remaining last few days, I want to help one more.
Will you help me, help one more? Please? If you can give even $5, please click below.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Practical Thoughts about The Daniel Fast

In my last post, I talked about how this year, I want to be uncomfortable. I want to break out of
my comfy cozy habits and do things that may be uncomfortable but better for me & my family.
Well, this certainly fits the occasion. Last Friday I started the Daniel Fast. Only then, I didn't 
know that's what it was called. I saw on facebook that my uncle and his church were doing a
 21 day fast  and for some reason I decided this was something I also wanted to do.  I'm not even 
sure exactly why, but I know that it's a new year and I want more. And that means getting rid of 
everything that is comfortable to me, including my food. Because I have never fasted before, 
I knew that I couldn't do a foodless fast, but rather cut out certain foods & possibly television that
was becoming more of an idol than they should be. Silly that food can be an idol, but when you 
turn to food or television as your relaxation or reward, rather than to the Lord, there may be
some things that need to be adjusted to allow more of God back in your life. 
This is the case with me.

I decided on the spot that Thursday Night I would cut two specific things, any foods or drinks other than water or fruits and vegetables...and any television show that had me addicted. In this case,
I had spent the previous 2 weeks making it through 4 seasons of Desperate Housewives. So 
this is my fast. I have never cut any food from my life ever. Ever. Even when dieting. I simply cut 
portions sizes, but soda generally is a must have for me daily. And I rarely eat fruits and veggies. Horrible, I know. Not that I don't like it, I just like pizza and subs and chicken better. 
So for me, this is truly a sacrifice to forsake my flesh, and replace it with being open to
 more prayer & time with God.

I will be completely honest with you and tell you how I am doing so far. On day one, I did well. But at night I gave in and ate one cookie. Day two, I did the same thing & had ranch dip with my carrots for dinner.  By night time I actually felt like I was having withdrawals, and then Sunday night (day 3) hit and I was shaking. Not kidding. But I stuck it out, prayed for grace and went to bed with some water. Since my first two days, I looked a little more into this 21 day fast and did find out it is called a Daniel Fast based on Daniel 10:3 where Daniel let nothing pleasant touch his mouth for 3 weeks. And on Daniel 10: 8-14 where he asked  to the king who was to feed him and 3 other men lavish meals, to only be fed vegetables and water for 10 days. The authorities feared that he would weaken, but in fact after 10 days looked stronger than the rest of the men.
I have finished 5 days of the fast and am now on day 6 and my body is functioning so much better already. I feel good. I don't feel withdrawals like I did 2 days ago. And this has nothing to do with why I started doing 
this, but I lost about 4lbs already. Red potatoes have become my new best friend, and I found out I am also allowed things like plain rice cakes, homemade salsa, homemade tomato based vegetable soup, natural peanut butter, brown rice with spices, plain oatmeal with cinnamon... 
as long as it doesn't have any additives in it and is made of only things that come from seeds.
Spices & vegetable/olive oils are allowed for some taste. I think the hardest part so far for me is no soda to wash down some of the more bland foods. Tortilla chips made with just corn, salt & oil are also a "questionable" ok, because the ingredients work, but you technically are supposed to give up fried food. 
So I guess that's a personal call on an individual part...

Let me say this...
In Matthew 6:16-18 the Bible says "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head & wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others buy by your Heavenly Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees you in secret, will reward you openly."
I feel that because the Daniel Fast is being done so corporately right now, I've seen it in the blog community and numerous church websites, I felt peace that sharing this part of my life was okay, 
because we lean on and encourage one another, not as to gain any sort of human reward, but as a 
simple way to share what is on my heart.
For those of you that have always wanted to fast, but have been nervous about it. let me reassure you,
once you get past those first 2-3 days, things seem a ton easier. I encourage you to try it, God knows
your heart and if you mess up like me, just keep on going. Any amount of cleaning things out of your life to make room for God is good...

And what a great time to start fresh...

oh...and ps... NO, I am not pregnant. I know these pictures and this shirt dress thingie give that 
illusion. I could hear the rumor mill before I even posted this ;)

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Word for 2013 is...

I pretty much have avoided even contemplating a "New Years Resolution" because I usually
 don't have much else I feel the need to resolve other than my workout habits, and generally fail at those.
Instead I decided, like many do, on a word I wanted to sum up my year, 2013, because this year,
I feel there are a lot of things I can adjust, not that anything in my life is crazy out of order.
This, in fact, is the first in many years that I actually feel satisfied at where I am and comfortable in my own skin.
But this is the problem. I am comfortable. Everyone is comfortable. 

Ok, not everyone, but a good percentage of people do things they are comfortable with...
I mentioned in my last post that I am a procrastinator. And to be honest, although there are plenty of 
Type A's out there who may gasp as I say this, I am actually quite comfortable with
being a procrastinator. I really work quite well under pressure. Better actually.
I have always been comfortable (for the most part) with my exercise and diet habits because I work out just enough to keep myself fairly petite and I eat small portions to keep the regime going, as well.
The problem with this is that this past year I grew extremely & abnormally fatigued and tired, 
only to find out I was anemic, and the anemia is due to a bleeding ulcer.
None of this is good. I do need to change my diet and I want to be strong, not just thin.
I want to kick your butt. Ok, not yours, but if someone were to cross me, 
I want to have the ability to kick their butt.
I've always been a prayer & a worshiper. Meaning I verbally talk to God.
I have conversations with Him on a daily basis, 
I  cry to Him, I thank Him, I tell Him I love him...but I have been so comfortable with that, that I forget sometimes to open up my Bible and just let him speak to me. Or just be silent...
I have been trusting enough in my marriage that things are going well. No massive fights, 
or no awkward silence. We talk well, laugh a lot. So I am comfortable, but so comfortable that I forget passion and romance and date nights! Oh how I miss date nights!
I definitely have some things with my children I need to step up, I'm not even going to pretend that I have been comfortable with it. Everything from teeth brushing to eating better to discipline to homework to playing with them. It all needs adjusting. 
But I have been too comfortable with me to be uncomfortable with my family, I guess?
We all have things that we settle for, whether its our finances, our marriages, our families, our relationship with God, our health, our bad habits or past addictions, our attitudes, the way we treat others or perhaps they way we are treated. We get used to being how we are.

So my word for this year is
I want to try harder to not be so easy on myself. To push myself to write more, be romance more,
to love harder, to be healthier, to break old habits, to have another baby...
All this makes me uncomfortable. Anything that requires effort has the possibility for failure, for hurt, for loss. But on the upside it has the possibility for success, peace, energy and more happiness than we can imagine! 
There is so much more positive than negative.
I want to be uncomfortable working out an extra 5 minutes. I want to be uncomfortable waking up earlier to read my Bible. I want to be uncomfortable going from person to person to person getting rejected trying to find a babysitter so my husband and I can have some alone time. I want to be uncomfortable attempting to write a book in which I have no idea where to start. I want to eat gross things because it's better for me. I want to let go of hurt feelings that I got used to & simply settled.
 I want to help others & be a friend even when I feel too tired or sad myself. I want to be more involved in my kids lives. I want to hear more from God. I want to be quiet...
Whatever makes me uncomfortable, I want it. 
I want to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I've Been Quiet

Today I am quiet
I've been quiet, as of late actually.
I know it doesn't look that way,
because I've still been posting things on my blog.
I hide it well, I guess.
But my heart has been quiet.
The few things I've put up,
were written awhile ago, months even,
or just they've been easy go-to type posts
that took little thought or connection.
My heart feels withdrawn.
I'm not entirely sure where I am,
why I am feeling this way.
I've been asking God to search my heart
lately. I mean it.
I love that time alone, just me and Him.
Where my thoughts and his thoughts are exchanged.
I want to make sure every word I speak is to His glory,
not to mine.
There is a realm of glory we receive,
even when we are hoping to direct others to God.
The comments,
remarks like "God is using you."
Of course, I want God to use me. I am His.
But I don't want it to be about my gift or ability to speak into
the lives of people.
I don't want it to be about my story,
and how I relate so well to others.
Because in reality, none of what I can do or say
is possible without Him.
I want people to look straight through me, and see
the love of Jesus.
The personality of Jesus. The mercy of Jesus.
There is such a fine line between God using my story
or my personality because it reaches people
and Me using my story and personality and people crediting me
because what I said had an emotional impact
on their soul, or it made them laugh.
It's a very very fine line.
How do I tell my story, share my thoughts to encourage
without it being about me?
Do I pray each and every time I sit a computer?
Would that make me feel better, in knowing
I gave the Holy Spirit complete control in what comes
from my fingertips as I type?
I just don't know.
All I know is I want it to be about Him.
Next week, I think I have to make a confession to make to you.
I'm pretty sure I will.
A confession about how I let the disapproval of you,
my blog world, shape me for just a day,
into forsaking my loving Jesus.
These are the thoughts that have kept me quiet, silent...
I fear any sort of self glorification will make me 
into someone I do not want to be, nor someone I would
ever respect. I want to remain humble.
I want to remain a meek and lowly heart, 
yet rise up with confidence in who God made me to be,
but again, to be only for His Glory!
Is this confusing anyone else, or just me? Haha
So instead I say little to nothing.
I want to be me, but I want it all to be about Him.
How do I do that?
Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Don't Tell Me!!!

I love Arthur. You know Arthur...from King Of Queens.
He has all these weird quirks, which are hilarious for TV.
One of my faves is actually when
Arthur is being told something random & not really a big deal at all and he yells,
"Don't Tell Me!"

My hubs likes to say that a lot to me and of course I laugh every time.

Is it totally just me, or do we all have those moments when we swear
WE ARE RIGHT or no one is gonna tell us nothin...
 or we have a hard time letting it go until someone will admit 
"Yes, you're right." or perhaps you can convince them to say "I was wrong."
I'm one of those people that will annoy the heck outta you. I have this obsessive need to 
get the facts straight and for other people to do it as well,
and for some reason exaggerated truths or portions of truth BUG me like crazy.
It's one of my weird quirks I guess you could say.
Grrrrr....Lame right?
Hope I'm not the only freak out there.
Example. Nine years ago, when my sister had her baby on May 3,
her due date was on May 16th...
She kept telling people that he was 3 weeks early.
Well, me, being the brilliant mathemetician that I am could not handle that.
I mean, in the mind of me, I'm thinking..."Do the math.
He was born 13 days before his due date, which means he wasn't 
 even 2 weeks early. Which means he definitely wasn't 3 weeks early."
She obviously didn't do this on purpose. 
But does it really matter? No. 
Do I obsess over trying make sure the facts are correct? You know it.
I must have "argued" over this 20 times with her. Yeah, I'm a little dumb like that. Meh.

I will roll my eyes at you all day long until you make sure you admit
had your facts wrong. I'm not really sure why I do this, to be honest. 
Anyone who knows me well can tell you I'm totally telling on myself right now.
(I like to be real, people. Take it or leave it. xoxo)
I really drive myself crazy, because I know what a geek I must come off as to other people,
always trying to correct people. I''m very "Ross" like..

This weird obsession is semi beneficial though when people are gossiping.
I've mentioned this before, but the whole
"I think they think this because someone might have did this..."
thing drives me bonkers. I'm not even kidding. If you tell me something,
I can guaranteed you that in the back of my mind I am thinking,
"Okay, were you there...or is this just what you think MIGHT have gone down?"
I want FACTS, baby. Show me em'. Then maybe I will believe you. =)
You will rarely catch me exaggerating except when it is to be funny or tell a story
and have people laugh. If I'm discussing something real, 
I want to have all my stories straight. 
I'm pretty sure I don't do this to prove that I am right, necessarily...
but to prove that everyone else that thinks they are right, are actually may be wrong.
I know, I know. Who cares?
Here is where this weird quirk comes in handy. In a good way.
(It may sound contradictory, but I dont think it really is.)
I am usually more than willing to admit when I, myself, am wrong,
 because it bothers me something crazy when other people don't.
I  always ask God to show me when I am not right in something I do or say,
if an attitude I carry about someone or something is negative or bitter.
I always want to be teachable. I want to advance in life.
Learn from my mistakes. Admit to faults and being human.
And to say "You know what, I shouldn't have said that, or done that...
or even thought that. And the fact is, I messed up."
I was talking to my brother in law the other day about a situation...
and I  told him "the thing with us is, we know what our screw ups are."
It's not always fun to have people find out about you, or to have admit you have messed up,
but I never want to believe that I am perfect or right all the time, because if I'm perfect,
then perfection is sad. And sorry. And pathetic.
I want to be teachable.

I want to always count on God to show me where I can better myself,
where I can fess up to my mistakes and imperfections to help others, to help myself.
(uh, like this post maybe??)
"Teach me Lord, to always be willing to learn, to admit I am not perfect, I'm not always right,
and to realize that no matter who I am, what my background, how much I have studied,
where I went to school, how much I helped people, loved people, loved YOU...
help me remember that I, myself, am still human...
and I will always need you to show me what is next.
 to admit to myself, to YOU and to others that I messed up,
I am not perfect, and most importantly, that I need a savior."

This doesn't mean I don't strive to please and honor God, daily. Because I do.
But in striving to honor and please God, it means you have to let yourself
learn some tough lessons sometimes. And grow from them.

In what ways can you ask God to help you? 
Do you consider yourself teachable?
Are you always willing to learn from your mistakes, perhaps listen to others words?
Or are you like that little kid who holds your hands over your ears,
or like Arthur who doesn't want to hear it and yells "Don't tell me!"
when someone tries to tell you something that you don't want to hear?
That's icky, right?
I can tell you from experience, its not fun having a friend approach me about something that
I know is true, but I do not want to hear.
I've had some moments where I have got extremely hurt and ticked at friends
who have addressed me about things they see in my life (they did it out of love for me).
One time in particular it wasnt until years later where I admitted to her,
 "Hey remember that one time you said this?
Well, I was offended because you were stepping on my toes. God was convicting me.
But in the end, I took it to heart."
 If you are willing enough to swallow your pride for 2 minutes, you can take great strides in life 
at simply being a better person, because you allowed yourself to be taught.
And it's always a great thing when you can admit to someone else,
that you "needed to hear that."

Humbling ourselves and letting God teach us through whichever means
he needs to reach us (many times that is through people close to us)
is a first step to high honor in our lives.

Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.-James 4:10

The fear of the Lord is the instruction in wisdom, and before honor comes humility.
Proverbs 15:33

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