I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Monday, November 5, 2012

The cost of the Snow

I had a dream last night that our family was going skiing. I dreamed about the drive to the ski resort, getting checked in, renting the equipment. The kids trying on their pants, boots, skis, jackets, everything. I remember thinking the whole time... we don't have the money to do this. How are we going to pay for this? I'm gonna use my debit card and it's going to decline. A majority of the dream was the getting ready part. Then I got to the counter to pay and sure enough.. card declined. I thought about it for a little while this morning and then got busy with my day. I am helping a friend design a logo for his ministry so I sat with him a couple of hours and on the way to pick up the kids from school I thought I need to look up what skiing means in my dream book. But then supper, and homework and wrestling practice all kicked in. I just put my kids to bed and thought I need to look that up. Know what skiing represents FAITH. You know sometimes God speaks to us and we have to really meditate on it. We have to chew on it, pray about it, share it with our close friends. Really digest it. And then sometimes God speaks to us and it's like a "DUH" moment. As soon as I read what it meant. BAM. God showed me. He's going to give me what I have faith for. Jeremy and I are in a very transitional time in our lives. My job circumstance has changed, his, while a great environment, doesn't support our family. So we have been praying and seeking and going God what are you doing? How are you going to take care of us. I've been scouring classifieds, talking, begging, anything to find out what is happening. But I haven't been doing a lot of sitting, or waiting, or praying. This week every  time I got in my car and turned on the radio God said no, turn it off. Pray. Pray. Pray. So I have driven in a quiet car, just praying. While I still don't know what is happening, or what it's going to look like, I do have a peace in knowing that He does and He is going to let me know when I need to know. When it's time for me to pay, I'll have what I need, I just have to trust that He's going to provide it.

I wanted to write this out because I think we all need a reminder of who we serve. A reminder of whose hands we have entrusted our hearts, our families, our needs, our wants too. He makes the snow. I'm sure he can handle the cost of playing in it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The song within

A friend is one who hears the song in your heart and sings it to you when your memory fails

I read this quote this recently and it has really given me lots to think about. I have been walking through a season where there has been lots of sifting in relationships in my life. It has been a very painful difficult process for me. I have been so hurt by the rejection of people in my life that I thought would always be there. Through the process I have found God refining many areas of my heart. I asked someone recently if they thought that God had caused the rift. They responded that even if He didn't cause the rift, that He had a purpose for it. I'm learning all the places that I put people in my life that only God is supposed to be. My trust is to be in HIM not in a person or a ministry. I have also been equally amazed at the people He has brought into my life during this season. People that have helped me walk through a dark place and shown me the truth and the light. As I read this quote I felt a new appreciation for the people and the season of my life. Every person that I come in contact with, or am in relationship with God uses to pull something or put something in our lives. When my husband and I are in relationship with each other a beautiful love song pours out of our heart. When I feel unloved, rejected, sad or overwhelmed, Jeremy sings that song to me to remind me of who I am to him. Our friends work the same way. They are there to remind us of who we are. I believe this is all part of God's plan for relationships in this world. I have a new friend in my life that I love dearly. I sat at her house the other day and she shared her heart and how she feel like people will never see her for who she is because of the mistakes she's made. I left her house so heartbroken for her pain. The next day I read this quote and I begin to pray God please help me to sing the song to her that she needs. I want to be that person to the people in my life. One of my favorite verses is in Romans and it says very simply "For WE know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. I know that if she doesn't remember that WE remember. It's about being part of the body, and encouraging others. When one of us forgets, WE remember and sing that song to help them remember. It's part of being a believer. It's part of loving and reaching beyond ourselves. I am painting this quote for my friend. I want her to see everyday that even when she feels down, that I will sing her song and remind her of who she is. I will sing it until she hears the notes and melodies coming from deep within and then together we will sing a beautiful melodious harmony that comes when 2 voices blend in a perfect way. When two lives that are put together to form a bond to help us walk this path of life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blenders can be good

Here's to the first part of the process.........

For those in the know there have been a lot of changes happening in my life. I am thoroughly convinced that God has taken everything in my life and put it in a blender and turned it on high. Yep. That sounds about right. When all this started with losing my job in June at Waypoint, I was convinced my life is over. Today, I am convinced that my life is just beginning. I believe that God is pulling, dragging, yanking, calling, wooing, but intentionally placing me on a path that I wonder if I would have ever found had circumstances not happened the way they did. I am even more convinced that His plans are going to be so much better than my plans were going to be. The hardest part of all change is the breaking and changing of relationships. I have found myself dealing with rejection from people that I thought would always be there for me. The lesson that I keep hearing over and over and over from God is that there is no replacement in my life for HIM. He is the only person that will ALWAYS, CONSISTENTLY, NEVER let me down. Honestly it's a lesson that I think he's been trying to teach me for many many years. While I hate the pain involved in learning it, I know that the lesson learned is going to result in beautiful growth for my life. I'm learning that the growth that comes from pain is a lasting growth. Not just a lesson. I don't want to just be taught a lesson, I want to grow and change and be who God is calling me to be. I'll be honest, it's the hardest thing I've ever done. Because of my human condition I have to work through the hurt, pain and misunderstandings associated with change. I also have to work through my need to have everyone like me. I have to realize that God ALWAYS loves me. But more than realize it I have to believe it which brings me to:

The second part of this process.....

With the loss of my job I begin the process of OH CRAP I have to pay my bills. A friend of mine told me about a company called It Works Global. This company sells amazing supplements and nutriments. (I will be more than happy to tell you about their amazing products but that's not what this is about). My friend Glory introduced me to the company back in March and I signed up to sell but because of my work schedule I really didn't have the energy or focus to put into it. With the loss of my job she kept telling me you need to do this, this is going to help your family. So she talked me into going to a conference in Nashville for training. The conference was called Ignite and honestly I went just to be with her. However, God did something amazing in my heart. On Saturday am we all showed up at the ballroom to get ready. Lots of dancing, celebrating, excitement, hype, etc. You get the picture. I watched all these people so excited about the money they were making, the products, the company. And then it happened. God spoke so clearly to me and said This is what I want you to do. And then the OTHER thing happened. I. didn't. believe. it.

I sat in my chair in that conference all day and cried. ALL DAY! I couldn't stop. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I alternated between wanting to run away and wanting to hear everything that was said. I wanted to be convinced (because obviously God saying it was not enough) that it would work for me. Because honestly what I believed was that everything was great, it just would never happen for me. At one point we broke up into groups and the lady asked What's your number? Not the monetary number of how much money you need to make but the number you need to change your life. I sat there and thought of all the dreams I had buried deep in my heart and for the first time in a long time I saw this little shoot of grass burst through the soil. As the day ended this amazing godly woman named Tina stood up an addressed the group. She looked at everyone in the room and made a very simple statement. "What do you decide that you deserve"? At the moment the switch flipped. My resolve grew. and I knew. I KNEW... do you hear me I KNEW that my life was taking a path that God was laying before me. I knew it would be work. Success is not convenient, but you know what neither is ministry, or parenting or any other thing of value in my life. You work at what you know God has called you to do. One of the sweet ladies there shared this little tidbit "We have so many voices in our head and they all need to AGREE!!!!"

So what does this all have to do with the title blenders can be good? OK, I'm glad you asked......

I love ice cream. And in my house we like to make milkshakes. We mix in milk, chocolate, vanilla, ice cream and other goodies to put together this wonderful treat. However, did you know that other people use their blenders to make like healthy things? I know, me either!!! My friend makes smoothies everyday. He mixes in blueberries, kale, spinach, bananas, juice, carrots. All assorted items. I do not like kale or spinach. I'm not real fond of blueberries either. However what comes out of that blender is delicious!!! Here's my point. Losing my job sucked, losing my friends... yeah another suck. But when all that is blended with an opportunity to be home with my kids, to help run our household, to find THE PATH that God has for me. It makes everything else go down better. Because all of it is healthy and good for you, even if it doesn't taste good when it is mixed the RIGHT way it is delicious! Every single day my son Zachary looks at me when I pick him up from school and says Mom I'm so glad you get to pick me up and be home with me. Do you know how priceless that is? How it makes my heart sing. It makes that little shoot in my heart grow a little more. It is Good. Change is hard but it is GOOD.

I want to encourage you. Maybe your going through a change in your life you just don't understand. Maybe your looking at circumstances and your thought process can't even fathom how this will work out. Find God. Seek Him, Search for Him, Talk to Him, Yell if you have to. but FIND GOD. Because He works out EVERYTHING for our good. Trust Him. Even the things the enemy means for evil He will turn them into good. No matter what you are given... job loss, grief, depression, illness, cancer, desperation, hopelessness?He will add to it just the right mix to make it exactly what you need... Just hang in there and don't quit. Don't quit don't quit don't quit. ARE YOU LISTENING???????? DON'T QUIT!!!! Your path could appear tomorrow. DON'T QUIT!!! You can do this! I promise.. He will not fail you or let you go!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I couldn't sleep tonight so I decided to clean out my desk and move some filing around that needed to be organized. As I was going through the files I found a sermon I preached several years ago at a friends church. I was blessed to be able to share part of my testimony with their church and as I read my notes I realized how appropriate they were in this season of my life, so I thought I would share them with you. I know that God redeems everything and that He is still working on me to make me who He has called me to be.

(There are some things in here that I have never shared with some people in my life. I ask that you please be sensitive to this)

REDEMPTION: Improving of something; the act of saving something or somebody from a declines, dilapidated or corrupted state and restoring it, him or her to a better condeition.

REDEEMED STATE: The improved state of somebody or something saved from apparently irreversible decline. Buying back of something, ending of obligation.

I remember one night I went to ATL to take Jeremy something he needed at work. His boss had given me specific directions and so off I went. Now I am pretty good driving in ATL. It doesn't scare me or bother me. I found the building, made the delivery, kissed my husband and got in the car to head home. But suddenly the road I was on started getting smaller and smaller and found myself in the middle of nowwhere and not somewhere you wanted to get out and ask directions. I called his boss and got new directions and finally got on the right road... only to find out it was a one way street and I had six lanes of traffic headed straight toward me. It was quite terrifying for me. Well that is what this last year has been like for me. My life was a small road and suddenly I woke up and realized that there was a lot more going on than I realized.

For years I have spent my life feeling like I was defective. I had a great husband, a comfortable life, great friends and yet I felt like I was such a failure. I struggled with anger, pain, fear, feelings of rejection, and a whole slew of other emotions that I hated and couldn't seem to control. I felt like I was a hypocrite of everything that I believed. I needed help. But how do you ask for help? I mean we were on staff at a church, I am supposed to have my stuff together, but inside I felt like I was falling apart and couldn't ask for help. Because if people really knew how far in the pit I felt then I would no longer be "good enough" to minister. Boy, the lies we tell ourselves so often that we eventually believe them. I blamed all my sinful behavior on wrong behaviors and tried to control them. I hid them, I lied about them, I denied them. Then in September of 2008 I found myself taking a class called Elijah House. This inner healing class promised to be a root canal if I would just give everything and lay it out on the table. The first week I lied through every question I was asked. The second week I lied through every question I was asked. By the third week I was ready yto quit and felt like it was stupid and certainly not applicable to my life. Then I got some truth. "To the degree that we are willing to be open and honest is the degree to which God can heal us" BAM. that was it. The more open I was willing to be, the deeper God was willing to go.

Healing is not about making something broken good enough to work, but to free us from the power of what is broken so it doesn't rule us and so God's righteousness can shine through us in that very area we have been healed from. Only God can take our brokenness and make something new. Only God can take the ugly things in our life and turn it into something beautiful. But we have to allow Him to overtake everything. We have to be willing to give him everything. What was amazing to find out was that God pursued me. He chased me down. He came after me. My willingness and cry for help was enough to activate his heart to come after my heart. I realized that all the emotions, all the feelings, all the hurt, pain and thoughts I struggled with was a message of the condition of my heart. 

Imagine you have a splinter in your finger. You have two choices. You can remover the splinter or you can leave in in your finger. The longer you leave it in there it begins to become part of you. Your skin will grow around it, it will begin to fester. Because your body knows it doesn't belong. Well that is what inner healing is. It refers to the sanctification and transformation process that God wants to do in our life. If you have a past, you have a need for inner healing. You can't change your history, but God can change what you think about your history. We forget that our spirit is a living thing that God created and very much a part of who we are. I was molested as a young child. Even though my flesh got past the incident, my spirit suffered great distress from what happened. It is like putting a band aid over the splinter. Eventually that band aid will fall off and there is a huge gaping hole that was never completely healed and is most likely full of disease from being unattended so long. Every time something touches it, it hurts so you eventually learn to live your life without using that part of your body. In this case, that part of your spirit. Unattended there is always a place that doesn't function correctly. With me it was in relationships. I desperately wanted to be loved and taken care of. I found myself in one unhealthy relationship after another. I went through heartbreak, abuse and even rape. But I have learned that God wants to heal everything. EVERYTHING that isn't right. We don't cut our finger off if we get a splinter. We pull it out. Even if it's painful. Because to leave it in there can make it dangerous. But we leave so much in our hearts, buried deep until it becomes dangerous for our spirits. God has started a great process in my life. Is it over? Not by a long shot. But it has changed my view. I now know when God is working in me. More importantly, I possess the tools to allow him to work in me. The beautiful part is that as God heals me, I walk in authority over the very thing that held me captive. That is redemption. That is God's plan for wholeness. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surrender and Trust

I've been walking around for about a month now with a huge knotted ball of yarn in my head. It's very annoying. I find myself looking at the end result of circumstances and I pick up the end to follow the yarn back to find the truth and I end up in a knot, in the middle of the mess. Did I tell you it was annoying? Very. annoying. I've been on the journey the past few years and through out the journey I have been very much seeking truth. I have realized that so much of my life, my past, my family, relationships were all built on lies. I have been told so many stories by different family members, I don't even know if they know the truth anymore. So when God began putting things in my life in order, truth was at the top of my list. To find it, to live it. So now, as I struggle to find truth, I find myself very much undone and unable to cope. I find myself questioning relationships, questioning people that I love and respect. Trying to make what I am seeing line up with the truth that I have been told, or has been shown in their actions (and let's all admit, the truth that is shown is sometimes way more powerful than the truth that is told). Needless to say it's been a very hard few weeks. I've cried, been angry, frustrated, wanted to run away, wanted to NEVER leave my house again, had anxiety attacks, and felt on the very edge of a complete breakdown. Every person I see has come up and asked me why I look so distressed. (The fact I can't hide my feelings, also very annoying). I've spent more time in the bathroom than anyone ever should (I'm a stress pooper) which I know may be TMI but my blog, my TMI.  I even went to the grocery store and decided I would eat a whole box of cookies, cause, you know, it would make me feel better.  I couldn't do it, it made me sick. then I sat in condemnation for once again seeking solace in something that is so detrimental to my health. So at the end of myself, one of my spiritual mamma's invited me to a women's retreat at her church, her husband (who is also a pastor) even volunteered to watch my boys. Of course I told her no, and that I knew her husband had better things to do and politely declined because I felt so guilty. So Sat morning I dropped my kids off with her husband (she convinced me) and off I went.  It was a bootcamp style retreat with lessons on several different things. I don't think I could tell you what all was taught about because all I heard in every lesson was SURRENDER & TRUST. As I sat in the last small group of the day and listened to a sweet young lady talk about something I don't remember, God very clearly spoke to me. He said "You are so busy trying to find the truth, that you have missed knowing the truth that I will always take care of you, in every circumstance". Ok. then I began my arguing of but God you told me to seek truth... I TOLD YOU TO SEEK ME. But I don't know who to trust... YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST ME...But God, my job my family... YOUR MINE AND I HAVE YOU.... ok. I surrender. THAT'S ALL I NEEDED. During the closing session of worship, I stood in the back of the sanctuary alone, turned to the wall and repented. I repented for not trusting that God would take care of me. I repented to for reaching the point of desperation that I had reached. Today, I see God. I know he has a plan. I know he will take care of me. Whatever that looks like. I have to know and trust that He will take care of everything that concerns my life.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6: 25-34

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amazing people do not just happen

I flew to Dallas this past weekend to go to the wedding of my cousin. Now this particular group of family are some of my favorite people. Suzanne, my cousin, is the daughter of my mom's brother, Duane, also known as the silver fox among my girlfriends. Suzanne is one of those people who I've had an instant love affair with. We have so much in common and I'm able to share such a deep part of my heart with her. Her children have grown into interesting, fun, amazing people. At her son's reception he stood up and thanked his new inlaws, the friends and family that helped make the day possible and everyone who came to watch them start their new lives. Then with much emotion he thanked his parents for teaching him how to be a man of God. How to love and serve God and others. How to speak truth. How to live a life pleasing to God. As I listened to such sincere, heartfelt gratitude I knew amazing people like this just don't happen. They are borne from the fire. They are created from years on the potters wheel. And I prayed... God the wisdom to do that only comes from you and may one day may children be able to thank me and Jeremy for teaching them how to be amazing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Whisper from God

I've started writing 3 or 4 times the past few weeks and had to erase and start over. Maybe today I will get out what is so deeply in my heart.

As you know the past few weeks have been a huge struggle. I have felt so beaten up and abused emotionally that this weekend I actually thought to myself "God please take me now, because I can't do this anymore". I've been amazed at how connected my emotions are to my desire to eat and hugely blessed because even though I wanted to stop and get a dozen KK donuts, I didn't. I called Christine and poured my heart out, let her love me through it and the donuts weren't necessary. I've been having migraines on top of everything else which forced me Friday to go to my sweet Heather's house in the middle of the day and say if you can't make it go away I'm going to the ER. She massaged, rubbed, prayed, loved, talked and left me to lay in peace for about 30 min. It was exactly what I needed. I'm learning more and more through this process that I am different. That I am called to be different. And when I try to force myself to fit in the expectations and beliefs of others that it sets off alarms in my spirit and my body, and if I don't heed the warnings my body revolts.  A couple of weeks ago I went to my mom's with our box truck and some of my boys from work to pick up the furniture that was coming home with me. I got to the house before everyone else and it was the first time I've been there by myself since she passed away. (I hate typing that. I HATE it!). As I walked through the house, I felt at home, which I haven't felt since the funeral. There's something about your parents house. Even if you didn't grow up in it, when you visit, it's your parents home. You are comfortable, you are safe, it represents them in your life. I haven't had that feeling the last few months, but in those few precious moments as I walked around, touching everything, it felt like home and I started sobbing. I melted into the floor and for about an hour just sobbed and sobbed. For the brief time it was my mom's house again and I was welcome and I just cried out all the pain, hurt feelings, rejection and abondoment that I have been feeling since losing my parents and the months following. They were amazing tears that cleansed deep places in my heart. I needed that so badly. The truck arrived and as they loaded furniture we talked about her house, and her things. One guy picked up some old cologne bottles that were shaped like cars and said "Hey, my grandfather had one of these" and we talked about the large "collection" of everything that she had and we laughed at some of the really weird items. I got to share who my mom was and all the things she shared with me, the legacy that I have because of the doors she opened for me. I talked about how much my mom loved Waypoint and how she loved coming to our monthly lunch and how she would have made over them for getting their life on track. How she would have written their names down and prayed for them. She loved people. She didn't always know how to show it in socially acceptable ways, but she loved people. I get that from her. I value relationships more than any "thing". I see the value in people and I know that they can't be replaced. I would rather save a relationship and lose everything. I'm thankful for that in
my life.

This past Sunday as I sat in our monthly Tree of Life meeting (a ministry that I work with that does counseling and teaching) God began to trigger my heart and show me more of the root of all the rejection, abondonment, etc. (This will make sense to my EH peeps, others just ask and I will try to explain) I realized the hurt I carried from my childhood and the hurt I feel now were exactly the same. Because as I struggle with having healthy relationships in my family, I realized that I NEVER felt like I fit in my family. I always felt different. My memories as a child all revolve around people telling me I was in the way, I talked to much and I was obnoxious. I was always seen as irresponsible, the baby of the family and I felt like I had no value. I see that I have spent my whole life looking for people who would love me FOR me, not in SPITE of me. I wanted to show them that I am worth loving for me and I've finally realized that I can't convince them. Sunday, God just held me heart and assured me that He knows my pain, He understands and that is why He gave me the people in my life that have filled that void. Someone told me, I think it was my sweet Heather, "everyone you meet loves you. Stop trying to be something your not" . Well I hear you. After intense feelings of hopelessness, depression and feeling alone, of crying all the time and falling into bed exhausted, this morning something broke. One word, one whisper from God changes everything. I just needed to hear from Him.

Maybe you are struggling. Maybe you can't seem to find the answer you need. Ask God. I promise He knows what you need and when you need it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The YES before Him

Had dinner last week with some great amazing people from Elijah House who were in to spend some time with our group. As they shared and prayed with me Sue told me to make sure that I put my YES before Him. I thought it sounded great but I really didn't get the full force and meaning of it until today. Normally I love weekends like this. Lots of togetherness with all the people that I love the most, lots of worship, lots of great words coming out, lots of just good ole sop it up with a biscuit presence of God. But all weekend I fought to engage and participate. I was so tired and felt so drained and so wiped out that I didn't even enjoy it. Which is really weird for me. I'm usually up for anything. Saturday night we had service and it was wonderful, left the church about 9 and I could barely keep my eyes open to drive. Sunday night we had another service and on the way there both my kids had major meltdown (in their defense I was gone every night last week and then all weekend) and so I decided to bow out of the service and stay home with them. As I sat at home with my kids, just spending time with them and investing in them, and still feeling exhausted I was overcome with guilt for not being there to play, and for letting down Jeremy, for letting down Kerri, for letting down Bill and Sue and even for letting my kids down and pushing them to their point of breakdown. But today I realized. I finally realized what Sue was sharing with me and what God was trying to effect in my life. God has called me to a path. He has put a destiny, and a purpose that is for me. My answer is YES with no backing out, no letting go. I have never been as exhausted as I was this weekend. When I tell you it was weird, it was weird. I couldn't even engage in what was happening. It was like a slumber had just come on me. Which I know some of you may not understand but just trust me it was weird. I don't know why that happened. I don't know if God let me feel that way to show me that I have to push through it or if I felt that way so He could teach me boundaries of what my kids can handle, but as I sit here tonight I know that regardless of the reason, it pushed me today to seek Him and to try and find out what was happening. The result is that I know that I can't stop the race just because I'm tired, or overwhelmed or frustrated or..., or...., or...... Get the point? I have lots of excuses that I can use. Lot's of outs that I can take but if I do that I miss out. This translates to my spiritual walk and my physical walk. I'm working to be healthy. I've made a decision to eat differently and make better food choices. Regardless of my mood and even my convenience (cause believe me, with all the sports, theater and practices, it's a whole lot easier to swing through a drive-thru) I have to make up my mind before the decision is there or I sabotage everything I have worked for. So my answer is YES. No backing down. No leaving the path. No matter what falls in the road. No matter what I move forward. I don't stop. I don't quit. I have given my YES and that cancels out every No that comes after it. The beautiful part is that when the big dead tree falls in the road, I am surrounded by people that will help me cut it out of the way. People that will help drag the dead limbs so that I can keep going. People that see the vines growing in my heart and around my life that will say "hey... if you don't get rid of that it's going to stop you so let me help you trim that." What an amazing analogy of my journey. What an amazing picture. It makes me wish I could paint it just so I could see it on paper the way I see it so vividly in my mind. So my answer is YES and I want to challenge you. What is God calling you to do or to be? What goals do you have for yourself? Put your YES out there. Put the YES before everything else so that it is ingrained and there is no other option. Because really what option do you have that is better than what He has for you?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mind. Body. Spirit.

It's been a hard couple of weeks for me. One week I didn't lose any weight and was so stressed because of the emotional stuff I talked about in my last blog which reached it's peak of suckiness after a phone call on Sunday night. This week I tweaked my eating some more and I've lost like 3 lbs. I also talked to my cousin, Suzanne. You know there's a saying that goes "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world". That was Suzanne for me this week. I called her to just share where I was, and God must of known that was who I needed to talk to. She just encouraged me and loved on me and helped me find truth in the midst of opinions and accusations and just emotional mud. I am constantly amazed and humbled at how God is going before me and helping me. I am also learning that some people just won't get it and that is ok. It's not the end of my world if people don't know my heart. I just have to follow the heart of God, listen, obey, repent if needed and move on. I'm also learning so much about myself and where I struggle to forgive people who hurt me and don't understand me. I'm trying to find the root of why that bothers me so much. So I'm sure there is a prayer ministry session in my future. (actually calling Janet right now as I type to see if she can meet with me this week) I'm also in finding out that seeking why my answer when I'm upset is the whole comfort food thing. So lots to work on in myself right now. It's overwhelming, but I'm handling it one bite at a time. (No pun intended). I'm learning to lean on those who love me, set boundaries where needed and seek God always in every circumstance. It's still a long process, but I see myself changing, growing and moving in the right direction. I know that only in dealing with my issues will I be completely whole and healthy. Mind, Body, Spirit. It's all connected. I line up my eating habits, my thought processes, my relationship with God. He created a beautiful machine in our bodies that when all 3 are working properly, it allows us to flow and exist in His plan for our lives. It is such an amazing thing and something I never fully grasped until I started this process. So amazing, so life changing, so life affirming. So part of my journey that I am on right now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Can I just tell you that I'm struggling today? Last night was the Ash Wednesday service at my church and while I really abhor anything about traditional worship, it is my favorite service of the year. (I'm not knocking traditional worship, it's just not for me. I'm more of a free bird) Last year my mom came with me to the service and it was wonderful. I just cried the whole night. I'm so thankful for the people in my church who just came and sat by me and let me cry. You know in losing people, and I've lost many the last 3 years, I've learned something. From my parents, to a guy that was like my brother, and friends it's been interesting to see that when people die we remember the good and we tend to forget the bad. My brother was an amazing person. He was funny, smart, and so unique, but he was also a pain in the ass (which I say with a smile on my face, b/c it was live entertainment to watch it, unless you were the target). I've been pushing down some of the issues with my mom b/c I miss her so much and that outweighs everything. This weekend though, I came face to face with it.

As you know I went to my mom's last weekend and it was so hard.  I found a letter that my mom wrote 13 years ago and emailed to my in-laws. It was 4 pages long in an 8pt font. The letter basically shared every frustration she had with me. My mom and I had reached a good place in prob the last 4 years. Through Elijah House and lots of counseling I had learned to just love her for who she was and put really good boundaries. We had our typically issues but my mom had lived a very hard life and had lots of struggles. She was very wounded and wounded people hurt others. She shared every detail of my house not being clean enough for her, financial problems, her opinion that I was a bad mother and didn't know how to take care of my baby (who was 7 mnths old and cried all the time from colic) and a whole other slew of slanderous things. She talked about the family that I moved in with when I was 15-( I moved in because she kicked me out). They took me in and raised me and there always animosity between them and her. From her because she was jealous of my relationship with them and from them because they were appalled at the things she said and did. I was simply thankful to see how a normal family operated. It was a place where I felt safe and taken care of. But reading her opinions and comment, I am devastated. I feel like I have been shot in the gut and there is nothing to heal it. I have found myself wanting to eat more since this weekend. I'm hurting so bad because there is no resolution to it, and apparantly my solution to the pain is food. While I know that many of her opinions expressed were based on her viewpoint and not truth, it still hurts to know that she thought that in the first place. It hurt that she would share that with people that I love, peope that are my family, behind my back. Woven in the letter were small grains of truth that I know I've grown past, and I know that that's not who I am anymore, but it still hurt to see it, in writing and that my mom would do that.

So I'm processing alot this week and looking for the root and origin of the pain and why I want to eat when I'm hurting. It's an onion peel and I'm peeling back all of it so that I can be who I'm supposed to be. I don't know how to deal with it. Everytime I think about it again I cry and wonder why she would do that. As I pulled into Dahlonega Sunday afternoon I felt my whole body unclench and relax. As I went to dinner on Sunday night with a slew of my friends, some new, some I've had for a while, I had a massive meltdown. Because God has surrounded me with people who love me for me. People who don't care if my house is clean, or my beds made or if my kids say yes maam or yes sir. People who don't care if I'm appropriate or proper or any other expectations. People who are always on my side and have my back. They are amazing, loving, giving people who see the best in me, even when it's not, they choose the best. People who are just exactly what I need because God knows what I've been through. So please pray for me. I'm really struggling this week as I process what I read. And through it all I know that I have friends, who are really family, to help me through.

Monday, February 20, 2012

You Are For Me - Kari Jobe (LYRICS)

The Hidden God

So my journey has had some amazing roadmarks this past week. Last week I had an impromptu dinner with some friends and he had read my blog. He then told me that he had talked to the husband of my friend (the one that had been praying for me) some months ago and that they had decided to pray for me as well. I've have been amazed during this process the people who God ordained, arranged, picked, put together to pray me into the journey that I am on. As I left dinner (which was wonderful and under my calorie intake for the day) I became so overwhelmed as I thought about it. It was like God just put everything in place waiting on me to get to the point I needed to be at. It was unbelievable to me. One of my favorite songs is by Kari Jobe entitled "You are for me" I will put the lyrics at the bottom of this blog and if you don't know the song go to youtube and listen to it. See I have been hearing and singing this song for years but yet I don't think I realized what God being for you meant. He has been working and laying the groundwork for me. He has put people in place to pray for me, uplift me, encourage me, and be there for me for such a time as this. His plan for my life, this season of my life wouldn't have happened without the hidden things that He was doing to help me. It has opened up a whole new side of God that I didn't even realize existed. It makes me wonder what all happens with this Hidden side of God that I don't know about. Maybe you are on your own journey. Maybe you are pushing a rock up a mountain and it seems stuck. Hold on, don't let go and for goodness sake DON'T QUIT! God is on your side. He is for you and He will lay out everything you need to accomplish what He's called you to do. Are you called to adopt? Then have no doubt that God has baby that needs you. Are you called to write? Then God will give you thoughts and dreams and ideas to accomplish that. God is so complete and so thorough that He will have details to work on your behalf that you couldn't imagine. So just hang in there because I'm learning the hidden God always shows himself mighty and true.

So faithful, so constant
So loving and so true, so powerful in all you do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to you

I know that you are for me I know that you are for me
I know that you will never, forsake me in my weakness
I know that you have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who you are

So patient, so gracious
So merciful and true, so wonderul in all you do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to you

Friday, February 10, 2012

The plan and the season

So I feel like I have come off the high of beginning this process and have now hit the pavement for the long stretch into this process. I'm doing good with my food. Still a little apprehensive about the grocery store, but working on that this weekend. Going to start adding in some walking and stuff this week so excited about that. You know there is something that happens when you know it's time. You can't fake it, you can't force it. To everything there is a season, and this is working because it's my season. For whatever reason, right now in February of 2012 it became my season. Everything in my life lined up exactly with the plans that Father had for me to do this. I know that missing even one ingredient would have changed the timing of this. It would have begun and ended just like every other time I thought about getting healthy but didn't really do anything about it. So let me answer the question that maybe your thinking, or maybe I'm the only one thinking "How do I know this is it and it's not just another failure?" Well. I don't know. Except I know that there is deep inside me a feeling, an impression let's say and I see myself with my feet burrowed deep in the sand and my body hunching down, digging in and saying I am doing this. No matter what, no matter if I fail one day, it's one day, not the rest of my life. I am called to do more and be more than how my life has been. So one day at a time I'm taking a step toward walking that out. It's my season. I know it's my season because something in me has changed and is looking a new direction. Only God can do that. Only His perfect plan can do that. But I'm realizing, that for all the plans and directions and seasons that God has for me, only when I'm obedient to walk them out do they happen. I could have never shared with Christine how much I weighed. But because I was obedient to be open and transparent she was able to share with me that her and Alex had been praying for me and Boom. that was it. The switch flipped. The journey began. One act of obedience. One moment in time. One second to make a decision to be honest and share my pain, my struggle. One moment in time for God to whisper deep in my heart "this is it, this is your moment and I'm here, and I'm gonna help you". He has continued to whisper and tell me that I can do it. So has all the people who have emailed, texted, hugged, called and encouraged me. Because to me this isn't about losing weight. It's about being who God called me to be and walking out His plan in my life. I've just happened to reach the part where he is purging me from the "weight" that has held me in one place for so long. So my part is obedience to do whatever he tells me. His part: well He holds the plan and I get to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Comfort Food

Yesterday was wonderful as I realized that I had lost 8 pounds... (yay me) Today has been really hard. Hard circumstances at work (for those that don't know I work at an addiction recovery center for men) have made me weepy, jumpy and stressed. I've learned that when I'm stuggling, I want to eat. Which was very disconcerting for me, because I never realized that I did that. I knew I would snack when I was bored but this has opened my eyes to a whole new realization. I do comfort food. I had no idea. So because I'm a freak and can never be happy with just one new revelation, the process begins of WHY? Why do I do this? And very quickly, (actually very quickly twice because the first time I remembered I ignored it and asked for a different answer) God brought to mind a lesson I took in Elijah House 2 on False Refuge. A refuge is defined as shelter or protection, or a sheltering place; a place or person offering protection or safe shelter from something. (On a side note, I firmly believe that is is possible to preach from the dictionary) SO.... a false refuge is basically something that I go to that is really not supposed to do that job for me. In this case, God is my refuge, not food. Need something to back that up? ok you asked for it.....

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 25:20
Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Psalm 31:1
[ Psalm 31 ] For the director of music. A psalm of David. In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

Psalm 31:2
Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

Psalm 31:4
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

Psalm 31:19
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:22
The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

These are just a few of the scriptures that refer to God as a refuge. So my focus and thoughts have to be that when I'm worried, stressed, sad, happy- no matter the emotion, I have to trust that God has got it and He's going to take care of it. It's so much easier said then done. Remember the crushing process I talked about a couple of weeks ago... this is part of it. For me it's letting go of all the false places that I go to seeking comfort, help, peace and going to the Creator of these things. It's knowing the God's plan is to do good for me and to give me hope and a future. These other things, these false refuges are fleeting, and blown away with the first wind that comes through. God is eternal and never ending.

Lord, help me trust You. Help me to seek You first, before anything else. To know that You are my peace, my comfort, my REFUGE. You never leave anything undone, lacking, empty. But You are finisher of everything in my life.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Presence and Investments

What a wild and crazy weekend I've had. Left on Thursday night to go to my sisters and then head to my mom's for the first estate sale at her house. I'm learning to be very diligent in logging what I am eating, which is harder when your not at home and around what you've put in place to help you eat healthy. It's also harder eating at restaurants that you don't normally eat at and figure out portion sizes, calories etc. I've become that person in the restaurant no one wants to eat with because I'm changing sizes, how they cook it, what they bring it in and honestly I think some green foods would be much more cuter if they were pink. But I also know that this is the price and cost of being healthy so if people don't like they can play words with friends or angry birds on their phone while I order. Fortunately, the people around me are so supportive that it hasn't mattered. My aunt and uncle have been helping us at my mom's and we would go eat and I would apologize for taking so long and they are so happy I'm doing it they didn't even care. I guess I'm the person that gets annoyed at people who do that not everyone else. :)

In other news the estate sale went really well. It was hard in so many ways. Watching my mom's life reduced to stuff on tables for sale, people looking through it, bargaining down the price is just so heartbreaking. But I look at all those items, her house, her things, and I know that she lived. She lived her life and enjoyed it and used all those things to help her do that. She used them to help others, to teach children, to share Christ with those who didn't know Him. In the end, now that her life is over those things will go on and be used by someone else to bring them joy and hopefully they will remember the person that owned it, maybe painted it or changed the color, or put flowers in it. Everything we touch, every person we share our lives with is changed by our presence there. My mom would purchase old, beat up things at yard sales and turn them into vintage pieces envied by all her friends. She would also see the person that no one would talk to to and hug them and invite them to share a meal, or go to church. I hope that my life has the same impact. I want to touch people in such a way that when I am gone they feel the difference of me being there. I want to know that I'm affecting people for the good. That they feel loved, cherished and treasured by me. I want to know that my kindness can turn a blue day into a pink with green polka dot kind of day. So that one day, when my kids are looking at my life sitting on tables for people to go through they can say Mom would want you to have that, to let it bring you joy. You know our things are simply representative of our presence on the earth. It's funny so many of my things are reflective of my mom. My paints and brushes, my sewing machine, fabric and scissors. My scrapbooks, papers, stamps, cards. All of a part of creating something beautiful. I'm finding all these things at her house and I see where I get it from. It makes me thankful. I'm thankful for the times we spent painting, and sewing (well she sewed, I watched) making cards, singing, always singing. The investment she made in my life that has continued to help me become a person that has something to invest in others. The gift of painting for a friend and sharing the joy of that with them. Every Saturday night when I play the piano at church or just sitting to play at home and letting the melodies drift through the house while my children sleep. All of that is a result the investment of her presence in my life. I want to challenge you... find someone to invest in. Find a friend, a neighbors kid and spend time with them. My favorite person in the world is the one I am with at that moment. Make them yours and watch the difference it makes in their life and in yours.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Daily Devotion

I get this devotionl every day and it is right on target. Just wanted to share with you what was in todays. I have no doubt that this is my season and my time:

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns--02/02/12:
The repositioning that I have spoken to you about is beginning to take place,
says the Lord. It is no longer something that is out somewhere in the distant
future, but I tell you that you are even now starting to step over the threshold
into the next phase of spiritual experience and opportunity. Do not be afraid to
be bold in embracing all that I have for you in this season. For some, this will
seem to you like it has been a long time in coming, but in reality you are just
now situated or in the right position to receive. Rejoice!

2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God
and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope
by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The value of the process

I had a friend call me last night so excited about the changes I'm making. She was so happy and then begin to share with me that I should look in gastric bypass/lap band type surgeries. I hung up from her somewhat irritated, a little defeated feeling and then in very few seconds very very sure that this path I am on is as much about the process as it is about losing weight. I know that millions of Americans have had weight loss surgery, many of them have successfully kept it off. But it's not for me. I just can't take the easy way out. I need to feel the struggle of doing this. I told someone today, that I have grieved more for my mom in this last week than I have since she passed away in October. My mind, emotions and heart are in a totally different place than I have ever been. I'm very good at pushing through and pulling myself up by my bootstraps. But since my mom passed away, I haven't been able to do that. I've been so depressed, so disheartened, and felt so alone. Reaching the depths of despair that I've been in has broken something in me. Something that I think on this side of things needed to break. And in the breaking of that has caused me to break through some of the emotions that I work so hard to keep in check. I've been able to cry and admit that I've been angry at God for taking both of my parents last year. I've been able to admit that I've felt blindsided and even used the F word.... FAIR... it's not fair! But in the past week, I've been able to simply be. I've been able to say it's ok to grieve, to cry, to be angry and to say that I can't continue to live like this. Being able to focus on getting healthy has had a great side effect of releasing some of the closed up areas of my heart and through that I'm learning to appreciate the process. It's hard, it's going to continue to be hard and a struggle but nothing easy is worth having. I know that the struggle will push me closer to God, it will push me closer to being real, and to being who I'm supposed to be. I put a status on my facebook today that said: There is a difference in being broken and being crushed. Brokeness can be fixed with superglue. It's in the crushing that we become so broken beyond repair that only God can make us into who He called us to be. This is my crushing process. This is how I become who I was always destined to be. But I don't regret the process for through it I am learning how to walk in who I am, how to let go and how be crushed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

my fitness pal app is amazing!!!

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Talking helps the walking

You know what I did last week for the first time ever? I told someone how much I weighed. Not the weight that I round down (or lie) to match what is on my drivers license. Or that I think I can get away with. But my real honest to goodness weight. The weight that 2 weeks ago in the doctors office almost caused me to lay in the floor and cry in front of everyone. The weight that the doctor used every word but "fat" to describe. The weight that has reached the point that I lay in bed at night and cry because none of my friends look like me and how could they possibly want to be with me and not be embaressed because everything is harder for me. Because I can't just squeeze in the backseat of the car or sit in the little chair b/c my ass is to big to fit inbetween the sides. I reached a new point. Maybe it has happened because I lost both my parents this year. Maybe it happened b/c my mom's heart fell apart on the operating table and she bled to death. Maybe it's because I don't want my kids to lose me and cry everyday and question whether God has their best interests at heart. I just know that I am miserable. I am tired of looking the way that I look and feel. But this time feels different. Whenever I've tried to "diet" and I hate that word, I didn't tell people b/c I always felt like everytime I did anything people would be like "You can't do that", "that's bad for you". But this time is different. I've told 2 people what I weigh and I'm telling everone in my life "HEY I'M TRYING TO BE HEALTHY". There is a huge relief that comes when you don't carry that secret anymore. It holds you accountable, it makes it real but it brought something else that I didn't know it would bring. It brought out people that love me in a way that I could have never imagined. When I told my friend how much I weighed she gave me the most amazing smile and said Me and my husband have been praying for you every week. I was totally blown away. Then at coffee I brought it up to someone else and they were so excited I thought they were going to pop their baby out. The talking about it has brought out and surrounded me with people that I can call and ask "why wheat and not white", they are going to the grocery store with me, offering me massages b/c it will help cleanse my body, more nutrition information than I will ever understand. and not one single word of condemnation, or it's about time or finally. Just you can do it, I will help you and you are not alone. Just sitting here typing this, I have tears streaming down my face because I am so overwhelmed. I know that there is a long road ahead of me. But I have no doubt that God has surrounded me with people that will help me along the way.