Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, No Fear.

  This past year I have let go. I have let go of the burdens and chains that come with fear and negativity. Sure, I still have bad days. I still get irritated but I have learned to let go. I have learned a sense of peace that comes with lifting the heaviness of the negative up to God. I have learned to focus on the light of the world and not the darkness. I know its there but I choose to focus on the light. Some people might call that immature but truthfully I think its immature not to. So many people get caught up in the negativity in the world that it tends to take the priority above the light. The news rarely shows you the good stories because the public wants to focus on the bad. Materialism has taken the place of kindness in the world. I refuse to let it consume me. I refuse to teach my kids that it is more important to have something shiny then help someone in need. I refuse to live in the fear of the unknown. I instead choose to live in the gracious light of the Lord.  (Yes Ma'am...I am on a role. 3 in a row! I am trying for the Bible Thumper Maniac of the year award ;)  I found this picture online that pretty much sums it up perfectly.

   The last time I wrote a new year's resolution I was in high school. Sure the occasional goal was written and forgotten about but I've certainly been living step by step without a clue as to what was at the top of the stair case. I just could not see through all the nonsense in my life.

<insert theme song "I can see clearly now , the rain is gone!" here>

  Yes, my friends, I can indeed see clearly and while I may not know exactly what is at the top of that stair case I can tell you that with God by my side I am excited to get there. I know that He is in charge of my life and that is exactly how I am supposed to be living. Which in deed, has made things much clearer. I can see steps ahead taking shape and I have more stamina then ever to get where ever he is leading me.

  I know that he is leading me because I am eager to start and end my day with him. I get on here with the intention of writing nothing in particular and this is what comes of it. My love of the Lord. My passion for my life with the Lord. My new bff! Oh yes, I am one of the Nerd girls who calls Jesus her best friend. <Insert rainbows and sunshine here....actually rainbows would be appropriate> Aren't you excited?

  With the Lord, I have new resolutions. Not just new year resolutions. I have a passion to learn, teach, know and talk to the Lord in an ever-going en devour. I have come to know his love in a great way and it has been unleashed inside of me. I want more then ever to share that love with everyone I know. (you haven't notice right?) I have let go of my fear of being judged as a bible thumper and embraced it. (after all, all the cool kids are doing it)  (unless, of course that includes standing in front of people who are expecting words to come out of my mouth...that is just a train wreck waiting to happen) This is how I intend to live this and every year coming forth.

I have however come up with a few focus points for the year: 

Spend more time in prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ~ Pray without ceasing
Psalms 145:18 ~ The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.
1 Chronicles 16:11 ~ Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Treat my body better. Get healthier. 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 
1 Corinthians 10:31 ~  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
1 Corinthians 9:27 ~ But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 

Be a better steward with the money God provides. 
Proverbs 21:20 ~ In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. 
Romans 13:8 ~ Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 
Proverbs 22:6 ~ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. 
Improve the Wifey and Mommy skills.  
Proverbs 31:10 ~ An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 ~ Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 
Proverbs 14:1 ~ The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. 

It can all be summed up to say:
Be more like God intended me to be. 

  I have spent a lot of my time in recent posts talking about me....Tell me about you. What is the most life affecting lesson you have learned this year? Any bold aspirations for the new year? Any tips or advice you want to give me for mine?? I'm all ears.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


   I often wonder what my 16 year old self would have to say to my present self. It is no secret that as a teenager I was lost, living with no direction. I had no big plans for the future but I had so many judgments on how others lived its almost embarrassing. I fantasized about getting married and having children, daydreaming about what they would look like, my family. That's it. That's as deep as I went. I was living each moment clinging to my youth without a clue as to what was missing. I dove into drama. I had to rescue others from persecution when all the while I was merely including myself into the chaos. I was a teenager. I had issues just as everyone else on the planet did. I could blame many factors on my upbringing but its meaningless to do so. I was a teenager and I knew everything... about nothing.

   Today I know nothing about everything...or so it seems. My hunger for knowledge is my addiction and truthfully in this day and age quiet the challenge. It seems everywhere you turn you can find 1,000 different opinions and little to no actual facts. Not to mention, the million or so distractions that require your attention prior to your literary infatuation. So the knowledge thing is a meaningless pursuit without a foundation on which to base it.

   So I got to thinking. What is my foundation? What makes me tick and thrive? What is it that makes my life worth living? (Here is where my 16 year old self would have judged my present self as a bible thumper and continued to tune out while smiling and nodding and screaming of boredom inside.)This one is a no brainer.
 (Yes, I know second post in a row in which I become a bible thumping maniac. ps. Someone should really make a rap song out of that) But the words are beating their way out of my fingers and can't be stopped. Ok, truth be told I have no intention of stopping them . People that knew me back then, my 16 year old self included, would laugh in sheer amusement about the words that are about to come from ME.

   God is the sole reason I am a somewhat normal, functioning, human being at this point and really every point in my life, even without my knowledge of it. I have had trials. Shocker right? My point is that I shiver at the thought of my 16 year old, love for Jesus-less-ness, self going through the trials I have. My guess is that without him I would still be that 16 year old who knew everything about nothing version of my self finding other addictions to fill the void in my life as so many others around me have done.

   This year is nearly over and I have to say this has been a big year...or more realistically few months worth of growth for me. I have, through this amazing "transformeter challenge" study at my church, found this incredible way to connect and communicate with God. It has unleashed a new found passion in me. Actually a few but who is counting. Primarily my passion for knowledge. I love to read. I love words and wouldn't you know...the bible is FULL of them. Good ones too! Hence the foundation aspect. I love to learn and in a world where the truth is hard to decipher it is monumental to have the foundation and truth of God and the bible to stand on. It has allowed me to find my voice even with the knowledge that at times people may not want to hear it, others it may be too quiet or even be too loud, and it may come with the tears of being a shattered person with many broken pieces I, or more accurately God, is still gluing back together.

If I could talk to that 16 year old it would go something like this.

Undisclosed age me:
   You wonder about your future self and here I am ! We are married to D. Yes, D! Marriage is hard. It is not a fairy tale. It is better but it is a challenge. We have 3 beautiful kids. 2 living. 2 beautiful girls breathing and healthy, precious gifts from the Lord. Parenting is another one of those not a fairy tale, challenging, but wondrous things. And an amazing relationship with Jesus!

16 year old me:
   Wait? We had a child die? How are you still alive speaking to me?! The world had to have ended right?! and did you just say Jesus?

Undisclosed age me:
   Yes, we had a handsome baby boy who was meant for heaven. He was one of the best gifts we have ever received from...yes, God. We have an amazing, ever growing relationship with Jesus and that IS the best gift we have ever received.

16 year old me:
   Great so you are telling me that I lose a son and turn into one of those know it all, better than you Christians that think they are all high and mighty. That's just great...I am thrilled. (accompanied by extreme amounts of sarcasm.)  How in the world (ok, being 16 probably wouldn't have used the word "world.") did that happened?

Undisclosed age me:
   No, I am telling you that you have an amazing husband, 2 wonderful, smart, beautiful girls, a son who has taught you more than you could have ever hoped to learn about life, love and God. A relationship the Lord unlike anything words know to describe. A relationship that has shown you a love you don't even know how to wish for and taught you that you are in fact better than NO one and broken and shattered like everyone else but that is okay because you in fact ARE loved now and even then by a forgiving, gracious God who just wants you to love yourself like he loves you, so that you can love others they way he does. Not to mention the many other perks that come from loving him and embracing his love.
I am telling you that you have more than you even know to dream of and you have more love you never knew existed.

   So there it is. My conversation with myself...ok maybe I should rethink this post. Oh well, its out so its happening.

In conclusion:
(yes, I have a  point after all!)
   This year has had its ups and downs, trials and celebrations and a whole heck of a lot has changed but I honestly think that the biggest thing that has changed has been my perspective. I had God in my life before but now I am trying to see my life through God's eyes and live accordingly. I have judged myself and my relationship with God based on where I believe others are in their relationship with God. So basically I was judging myself based on where I judged others to be. Tell me why I am JUST now seeing something wrong with that picture? Just as you can not judge your relationship with other people based on their relationships with others, you can not judge your relationship with God based on others relationships with him. (Confused yet?) My problem was that I wasn't aware I was judging. I was looking in awe at their seemingly perfect relationship with God. Without a clue of how to get what they had. Without a clue that I was neglecting my own relationship with him.  Once I gave that burden of judging back to the Lord our relationship soared.  As did my passion to know him and know of him and to share his undying love with others.

   I am Christian. I am human. I make mistakes. I sin. I sometimes judge when its not my place or swear when I get too easily frustrated. I have not always been the greatest example of what a person with good morals looks like.  My life is not perfect. It is a beautiful mess but my foundation is firm so I can stand strong in the Lord and know that my mistakes do NOT define me. How I accept and show His love DOES.

   We're pretty tight, me and God. We both laugh at my illogical ways of thinking sometimes but I am human and he is cool with that and I am learning to be too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The warm fuzzies of the not warm or fuzzy.

When you've experienced an emotionally intense day such as mine. It is hard to put the words into play that you yourself want to hear. They dance around my head taunting my presence in front of the computer. "You are here with an open blog, now what profound insight have you for us?."
I have nothing. My words are nothing and mean nothing without the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am nothing without him.
I have God in my life. <-----oh ya, I just went there. But wait there is more! (please note you have now been forewarned) I am no where close to perfect. I have more flaws then I can count but I also have more love then I have ever known in my life. I have great relationships and not so great ones. The MOST meaningful relationship I have is with God. It has not been an easy one...we have it out sometimes but most the time (OK OK FINE) ALL of the time...he wins because his presence in my life has been the most prominent, life altering, positive, scary, hard, humbling thing I have ever experienced and it is far from over.
The biggest thing that has changed in me since I became a Christ follower is my view of the world. The world is and will always be a scary place until His return. What matters is our reaction to the evil of the world. I have been one to struggle with fear so much so that it has had physical affects but I have found that the more present God is in my life the less fear I have. It is not because He promises to make me rich, or healthy, or keep me from horrible fact I have had poverty, illness, and tremendous trials in my life. (We all have right) It is because I am allowing him to be my strength, my courage, and my hope. Without him I am nothing but susceptible to the world and all its negativity with him I am armed. I have compassion and love and not hate and blame. You can call him my crutch if you want..I am ok with that because I KNOW I am broken.
Why the unanticipated rant?? Here is why. Because some of my first emotions after hearing about the horrific tragedy in Connecticut was sorrow not only for the kids, teachers, and parents but for people in the world that are going to turn to fear, hatred, and blame. Weather it is geared toward God, guns, or the shooter himself. This appalling act, in my humble opinion, was not because of any of the above. Yes, it is my belief mental illness had its part but it was caused by something far more evil with the intention of spreading the fear, hatred, and blame. The sad truth is it has worked on a lot of levels. People are taking the death of the innocent and using it for their own agendas. Forgetting that these lives had a purpose and it is highly doubtful that it was to cause a battle among the nation over a difference in beliefs. Yes, I know am spewing my belief in God on you right now in hopes that you will receive it well. If not, its ok. You won't offend me. I can agree to disagree with a smile on my face and I will not love you any less.
The point of this God isn't always warm and fuzzy. He doesn't always intervene when we think he should or answer prayers in a way that we would like but there is always a purpose. His timing is perfect. There are many evils in the world that do not have his name on it but only he has the ability to turn something so broken into something beyond beautiful. We can pull together and show strangers the love and compassion they deserve. The love Jesus tells us to show one another. The love you will find when you look at most teachers and 6 and 7 year olds. The love they would have been awe struck to see honoring them. The love they now know and experience daily.
I have been lucky enough to experience this love. Today especially, as my church family sat together mourning and broken. For the families of the lives lost and for those who were there to witness the tragedies in our nation. As well as for us as individuals with the personal trials we each face. We got down on our knees and lifted it all to the only One who can take something tragic and turn it into something beautiful. The love in that room for and from God and each other was something truly beautiful.  
My prayer is that we see more of that kind of love in the world.

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