My Inspiration

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Humility

Humility - the quality or condition of being humble; A modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.


I can be haughty, brash, bold, sweet, benevolent and worldly. I am a mother who fiercely protects what is hers and a friend that defends the defenseless. I am hell bent on saving the world and self sacrificing in the process to the chagrin of friends and family.

Despite the outer bravado, when it comes to my God and all that He blesses me with on a daily basis I am truly humbled. I shirk away from Him in utter humility unworthy of being in His presence but longing for that connection as a deer who pants after water. It is from the utter depths of my soul that I reach out to Him in prayer and supplication. Giving thanks before asking or even thinking of laying at his feet all that burdens my torn and twisted soul.

I live to serve Him by serving those He places in my path with a glad heart, and a cheerful and kind spirit. Although it may not always go the way I envision it at times, I know that He knows the intentions of my heart and that is all that matters.

And so I come before Him surrendering my all and saying “Here am I Lord, use me.”



Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)

Gratitude



Gratitude - the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
In spite of all the drama and chaos of the past three weeks I am truly grateful for my life. I have much gratitude in my heart for the opportunity to experience these trials and tribulations as a way to strengthen my character. Although it can be challenging and overwhelming while going through it, once the initial feelings have given way to reason and sanity I can clearly see the growth I gain each time I am faced with these issues.

Does that mean that I enjoy them? Not always but they truly are learning opportunities not stumbling blocks like I once envisioned them to be.


"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psalms 136:1)

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day



Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends that are helping to raise a child because it truly does "take a village" to do it.

A Mother's Love

There are times when only a mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.


There are times when only a mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.


There are times when only a mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.


For a mother's heart and a mother's faith
And a mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels
And sent from God above.


--Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Friendship



“Friends are the flowers in the garden of life. Beginning with a seed of trust, nurtured with laughter and tears, growing into loyalty and love.”


Navigating the minefield of friendship has always been a hardship for me. I’ve had friends come and go through the years and some friendships that have lasted since grade school, but I have never truly learned how to grow my circle of friends. As time has gone by it seems to have shrunk instead of increased. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for those that continue to be in my life although I wonder at times what I’ve done to deserve their loyalty.

I am true to my Virgo nature, once a friend always a friend - loyal to the end, unless the trust is broken and then the intricate threads that wove us together wither and break. While we still remain friends it is never to the extent we once were. I have a thing about trust; real deep-seated trust. Over the years I realize that I’ve grown cynical and isolated instead of outgoing and engaging in activities that would lead me to make new connections and now I find myself lost and at times alone.

My view of women and friendship has evolved from someone to hang out and go partying with to someone you share aspects of your life with and support each other through the different seasons you encounter in your life’s journey.

Not one to bog anyone down with my issues I’ve pretty much just held it all in and expressed what was just beneath the surface but nothing with any real depth to it for fear of rejection or abandonment. I always felt like I was supposed to be there for them but that my life had to be pretty close to perfect in order for things to work.

I never really realized until much later in life (like now…) that it is a give and take and that I have to share with them just as much as they share with me. Not wanting to be pushy or clingy I could go several weeks without calling or talking to my friends but devour the details of their lives when we did catch up while divulging very little of my own. Eager to please and ready to help at the drop of a hat but emotionally aloof is how I would define myself. And yet I know that there is more to friendship than this.

I pray that I will learn to reach out more often, to share more deeply, to trust implicitly and forgive as I have been forgiven for the slightest offenses that would normally send me retreating in an effort to preserve myself.

May He send me a circle of friends that will embrace my nuances and help me to break down the walls of isolation and allow me to blossom under their tutelage as I strive to be a better friend. May the friendships I do have flourish to even greater depths and may they know that I love them deeply, cherish them always and want nothing but the best for them today and always.

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17

Monday, May 7, 2012

Energy

Energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity; a feeling of possessing such strength and vitality.


Over the past few months since my schedule changed from working out in the mornings to getting the kids off to school therefore, I haven’t been working out. During this time, I’ve noticed that my energy level has plummeted and my sleep intake has increased. Don’t get me wrong, once I’m up I have tons of energy for the first few hours of the day but after 1:00 it decreases considerably and stays low the remainder of the day. I’m in the bed earlier than normal on days that don’t require extra studying for school and still feel drained. It’s amazing how that one hour of exercise each morning used to carry me through the day.

This also reminds me of how I get when I get out of the habit of having a quiet time with God each day. My spiritual battery runs low and I find myself not as sharp, in control and patient as I am on the days when I make that time to study the word, have personal prayer and quiet time just me and Him. Doing that 15 to 30 minute exchange each day recharges my spiritual battery just like exercising does it for the physical part of me.

Knowing this and applying this to my life consistently is a battle I am facing right now. I don’t have any excuse because I have the time if I use it wisely but I haven’t been a good steward of my time lately. I’ve given in to the flesh and when sleep beckons I’ve allowed myself to let go and catch a few extra minutes in the morning or allowed myself to be lulled into the abyss in the evenings when I lay in bed reading only to awaken a few hours later having not made it past the first paragraph or from my brain to my lips. The pages of my prayer journal are pretty sparse and the peace of having that quiet time is missing.

In a few weeks school will be out and I’m looking forward to the summer when I’ll get back into that routine of working out in the morning since the kids don’t have to get up for school and I can let them sleep in. But I can’t wait until then to jump start my spiritual battery. I need my quiet time to begin now on a steady and consistent basis.

So I am challenging myself to create the habit again of doing this each morning for 15 minutes before getting up and starting my day beginning tomorrow. I know that He will give me the strength I need to get over the hump of missing 15 extra minutes of sleep and I will be renewed with an abundance of energy in return.



But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Friday, May 4, 2012

Destiny



As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time. Denis Waitley

The destiny of man is in his own soul. Herodotus

Destiny is defined as something to which a person or thing is destined; a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.

We all have a purpose, a destiny that must be fulfilled. No one can accomplish what has been destined for you and you can’t accomplish that which was meant for someone else. The key to this is for us to seek out and fulfill that which we have been purposed for in this life. Some of us have multiple things to accomplish while others have a singular path but we were all created for something much larger than mere existence here on this earth. Greatness comes from the creator and since we were created in His image then greatness is in store for each of us. What that looks like for me will be different than what it looks like for you but it is equally as important.

What is your destiny and are you living your life as to discover it?

All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good, so with the sinful; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. Ecclesiastes 9:2

Confidence

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” Norman Vincent Peale


Confidence is defined as belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust; the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7

Who is your confidence in - God, man or yourself? The question is not meant to trick or confuse you but to get you to think about your confidence and where it comes from.

I am confident in my ability to perform my job to the best of my ability. I have confidence in my role of a friend, mother and sister – sometimes. I am confident in my belief in God and that he is the beginning and the end and that I should cast my cares upon Him and feel confident that He will see me through.

When my confidence comes from myself it wanes when things get tough or beyond my control. When my confidence comes for God, I am able to stand steadfast through the storms of life and weather them out knowing that He has all things under his control and that no matter what the outcome, it is as He has planned.

Self-confidence is necessary to survive in the world but it is not to be confused with pride and our thinking that we are able to do all things by ourselves without care or thought of God in the process.

My confidence comes from my faith. When my faith is strong so is my confidence but when my faith falters so does my confidence.

Hebrews 10:19-39 talks about confidence and faith in great detail and I have learned a lot about how the two correlate to one another. I am thankful for the word and the lessons found within that help clarify what my role is in this life and how it relates to what God wants me to do and how he wants me to do it.

I am still a work in progress but I am open and flexible in my beliefs that as I delve deeper into His word that my faith and therefore my confidence will remain entrenched in Him as it should rightly do.

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Hebrews 10:35



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beauty

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and since the beholder is me then makeup is a necessity. I get up Monday through Friday and make my face up before going to work and on the weekends a little tinted moisturizer and mascara usually does the trick to get me through. My girls complain about the fact that I put on makeup questioning why I need it. For me it’s necessary for a couple of reasons. First I use it to protect my face from the dirt and grime encountered throughout the day and secondly it is a security blanket. Not one to think highly of myself and my looks, putting on makeup makes me feel better about whom I am. It’s amazing what a little foundation, eye shadow and mascara can do to bolster ones confidence.

Today’s scripture made me think about my inner beauty. What am I doing to put forth the best inner me each day. Do I wake up and have a quiet time with God setting my spirit on the right track to handle what comes my way? Do I soak up the word and listen to inspiring and uplifting music that will soothe the inner me and allow that beauty to come shining through? Am I doing things to nourish the inner most portion of my soul?

Sadly I’m not. I don’t have a daily regimen for my inner self as I do for the outer. Yet I feel as though I should. What a difference it would make to have my inner and my outer in tune with one another. Although I don’t go about flashing my gold jewelry and fine clothes I do take great pride in making sure I look my best for the world and since God means so much more to me than this place wouldn’t it make sense to treat my inner self with just as much, if not more, care in my desire to be pleasing to Him. God looks not on the outward man but on the inward man – the heart.

What is the state of your heart today?

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Action

Action –noun: The process or state of acting or of being active: something done or performed; act; deed.
An act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.

The harder I try the more I fail. The more I let Him do the leading and the guiding the easier it becomes. I struggle daily to be a good steward over all that He has given me. I struggle with being the mother, the daughter, sister, friend and co-worker that I know I can be. I am weak and give in to my flesh. I fall prey much like Eve in the Garden of Eden and surrender to the cravings of a idle mind only to fall on my face and cry out in forgiveness. It is the falling on my face and asking for forgiveness that keeps me humble. It allows me to get up yet another day and start all over again. That atoning sacrifice that Jesus made for me on that cross assures me that I am forgiven and that makes me want to do better. Today I walked a mile, tomorrow I might make it two miles and on Friday I might not do anything at all but that is ok. The lesson is this - each day that I get up, put on the amour of God and attempt to walk in the shoes of peace serving Him to the best of my ability for that time and place is all that he requires of me. I am not perfect. I am a work in progress. I am in a perpetual state of motion and that is the key.

What's Up?

Spring break, strep throat, stomach viruses and college visits, oh my! It’s been a crazy month filled with a whirlwind of activities, sicknesses and life in general. We had some really good weather and a lot of fun times over spring break. They went to Busch Gardens and the beach, played Putt Putt, did the movies and ate lots of great food. All too soon it was time to get back into the routine of things and head back to school.

The next two weekends we did the college circuit so that baby girl could make her final choice of which college she wants to attend this fall. It was eye opening to get a load of campus life now and how things were 20+ years ago. BIG difference. Things are definitely more open to the lifestyles of today with co-ed dorms, Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A on campus, drinking/partying seems to be a major for some kids and they tell you in orientation to learn to balance drinking with studying. That blew me out of the water.

Expectations at some schools are very high freshman year and in others it wasn’t mentioned. Parents were told to drop off their kids and don’t look back at one school while another said keep a pulse on them at least during the first year. I left feeling overwhelmed and insecure at one and I’m an adult to feeling right at home at another. It is definitely worth the effort to visit these schools and get a feel for the lay of the land rather than just shipping your kid off and hoping for the best.

Strep got three out of the four and one had a stomach virus these past two weeks. It’s been fun. Things have started to settle down just in time for May to begin. Warmer temperatures are expected this week and it looks like spring might get pushed out of the way early for summer to roll in.

Time is quickly winding down to prom and graduation. I’m not sure I’m ready for the end of one chapter and the beginning of another but ready or not it’s coming so I better get prepared. I can’t believe my first girl is getting ready to leave the nest. Boy what a big change that will bring in the house.

As for me, I finished my Intro to Marketing class and hated it. The professor was good but the workload was over the top; way too much to learn and do in 5 short weeks. Things have settled down with Business Management but our class has dropped down by 4 students and I’m losing two from my study group in the next rotation. Change is in the air and I might as well get used to it. I passed my one year anniversary and still feel good about school and the progress I have made. I made the President’s list for carrying a 4.0 GPA which was really nice. The summer will be busy with class and juggling the kids out of school but hopefully I have it all worked out so that everyone will be pleased.

What’s been going on in your world?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lent

As Lent winds down there is time to reflect on what this season has meant to me this time around. I've been reading off and on and when I have there have been great insights to be found in His Word. I am thankful that I started reading again and asked for my spirit to be open and receptive to the Words that I was reading. My prayers have been answered. He's such a sweet and loving God and I am thankful that I know this.

My biggest take away from this Lent season is forgiveness. There is no condemnation from God for my sins. I am forgiven wholly, fully and completely. Nothing I do can separate me from Him and I am thankful for that knowledge and finally being able to accept it. I have let it marinate in my spirit and sink into this hard head of mine over these past few weeks and it has put me in a better mindset. That's not to say I won't have to be reminded of that time and time again but the rudimentary knowledge is finally there. My heart is full because of this wonderful gift and all that Christ endured on my behalf to have it.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. (Romans 8:1-3)

A Confident Heart

It's been a good week. Busy as usual, but good. I had a wonderful session with the counselor, been running everyone around town to doctor appointments and school activities and working all the same but its been quiet as far as the drama goes. It's like we are in a good spot for a little while and I am going to bask in it for what its worth!

The kids are out next week for Spring break and I am actually going to take some time off and spend it with them. Doing what? I have no idea, but I'm sure we'll make the most of our time together. This weekend it will be Easter egg hunts and church. No soccer practice or games due to the holiday.

I've been writing my son and praying over him that he is learning from this place he finds himself in right now and I have peace in my heart over it. I'm not lamenting or allowing myself to take on the blame game. I know that I have done all that I could and that the rest is up to him. I'm letting go of the guilt that I have held onto because of life's circumstances when he was younger. In looking back and I'm realizing that I was learning and growing up just as he was and instead of beating myself up I am telling myself that I did pretty good considering the circumstances and letting go of the dead weight. It feels great!

I owe a great deal of this peace and insight to Renee Swope who's book I just finished reading and will re-read many times over called A Confident Heart. It was a great read and it blessed me tremendously. I read it on the Kindle but plan to purchase a hard copy so I can highlight and mark it up. There were so many little nuggets in there and the last chapter gave me so many scriptures to situations in my life that I know where to turn in times of turmoil, grief and pain. It also reaffirmed that I am loved. I am needed, wanted and worthy of all He has for me in this life.

I highly recommend this book to everyone and plan to make it a gift to those that I encounter that are suffering as I have from low self-esteem, self doubt, loneliness and isolation from God.

Warmest blessings,

Kimberly

When I grow up...

I’ve found my passion, my purpose, my goal and now I have to channel it in the right arenas and allow God to direct my path so that it can be done for His glory.

When I grow up I want to be a life coach and trainer. I want to share all these wonderful experiences I have had in my life with those that are going through similar situations. I don’t want them to go it alone, not when I have so much experience, empathy and sympathy that can be shared with them.

I love helping people. Encouraging them and being their voice when they don’t have one.

I like to talk with them and get them to see things from a different perspective than what they may be currently seeing it as and succeeding in working through the situation and coming out on the other side better, stronger and happier than they have ever been.

I like figuring things out. Teaching and training people to trust themselves, their instincts and the voice of reason that most of us have but at times fail to use or listen to.

I love posing questions and watching them figure out the answers, especially when they are stuck. To see the results that come from within when I knew they had it hidden deep inside them all along but we just needed to work at getting it out is so satisfying and fulfilling to me.

There is great joy in seeing other’s accomplish their dreams. To realize that life is good and they can have the best life ever if they work for it just a little harder, smarter and with passion. And mostly, they don’t have to go it alone.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Warrior

It has been a whirlwind week. Sick child, doctor appointments, sick mom, school, broke down car, final exam for school, work, and soccer practice. We haven’t been home one night this week and I am TIRED. We have soccer and bowling tomorrow and I will try to cut the grass and trim the bushes between the rain showers they are calling for. Don’t forget the laundry and cleaning the house. It’s a never ending cycle if you ask me.

But where would I be if it wasn’t for all this stuff that is my life? Nothing is better than cheering on a child running up and down a field doing their best or stepping up to the line and letting go of the ball and getting a strike or even a spare. I find cutting the grass therapeutic and thanks to modern technology I have electric hedge trimmers and I know how to use them. I haven’t figure out the joy in cleaning the bathrooms or the kitchen yet but the smell of freshly laundered clothes gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

If I’m lucky I’ll get my nails done and get to love on my granddaughter for a little while before the weekend is over and I start this ride on the hamster wheel all over again.

Whatever is your routine this weekend I hope you make the most of it and remember to count it all joy that you have the things you have and the people you do in your life at this moment.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Warmest blessings,

Kimberly

Daily Devotional

Narrow your focus, beloved.


Refuse to allow your attention to be scattered in all directions.


And, do not allow your focus to be on your trouble or current dilemma.

This is a time to look squarely into My face, deliver your prayer with earnest faith, and trust Me to answer, says the Lord.

Release yourself from all anxiety and worry.

But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." (John 6:20)

Friday Upheaval

My morning at home started just fine and today when I got to work I found out that my boss resigned and I went through a gamut of emotions. I went from fine, to shocked, to mad, and now I am sad. I know that life is short and things have an order but this particular move came out of left field. Yesterday we were planning for his next trip and today there will be no more trips.

What really gets to me was just how much I’ve grown to care for him in the past two years. We had a great relationship and I have the highest level of respect for him as my boss and as a person. I know this had to have been a tough decision for him and so I don’t take it lightly that he felt the need to leave. I wish him the best in his new job.

What I am going to miss the most is that he wasn’t really a boss to me as much as he was a mentor, a role model and a champion for me. He pushed me to think and look outside the box and when I tried to limit myself he always gave me a nudge to keep it going. He believed that I could go back to school and do well and so he took the financial hit on his bottom line to support me in that endeavor and he was very much interested in my grades and how well I was doing.

Work/life balance was important to him and he pursued it and made sure I did as well. Not many bosses have that mindset. I was spoiled and somehow I don’t think I will get that this next go round but I could be wrong.

This just might be another turn in the road from God to get me stirred up and on the right path.

The next few weeks will be interesting ones and I look forward to what they will bring.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One Week

A week ago I felt my world was falling apart. My son was sent to jail, the girls were fighting and mad at me, my marriage is over and the residual effects of that are draining me emotionally, I’m going through perimenopause so my emotions are all over the place and I felt alone. To top it off I had hopes of having lunch with a friend who had to cancel and as understandable as it was it took me spiraling down into the depths of hell. I cried most of the weekend and felt like I wanted to be anywhere but here.

It was the perfect opportunity for me to reach out and say I need to talk but instead I withdrew into my shell and went it alone. I made it through the weekend but it was time wasted instead of shared. It was miserable instead of comforting and therapeutic. I did have a few people who reached out to me and gave me words of advice and tried to steer me back on the right path and that did help but I was my own worst enemy at that point. I was determined to take the blame and heap it on my shoulders. I wanted to wallow in my misery and pain because it’s all I know. It’s like Linus’ blanket. My miseries, my hell, and my life’s failures all bring me comfort.

The idea of happiness, peace and joy are unfamiliar to me but something I advocate strongly for in the lives of others.

Today I am better. Things haven’t changed but my mindset has. Instead of wanting to wallow I am pulling myself out of the pit and advocating for myself. I want to be able to find something meaningful out of all of this and to reflect back on this time and be able to see where God has brought me from and feel blessed and loved like I know that I am. I want to stop going it alone.

So it is 6:00 on Saturday morning and I am embracing the fact that I am wide awake due to night sweats and in the midst of writing this have been having hot flashes because it’s all a part of my life and I am loving it good, bad and indifferent!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

Together

" I advocate that every woman be a part of a circle that meets at least once a month or, if you can’t do that, once every two months or every four months. But you have to have a circle, a group of people – smart, wise, can-do women – who are in the world doing their work, and you need to meet with them as often as you can so that they can see what you’re doing and who you are, and you can see the same. And you can talk to each other about the world and about your lives in a circle of trust and safety. It’s crucial. It is crucial for our psychological health and our spiritual growth. It’s essential." Alice Walker

"If we’re by ourselves we come to feel crazy and alone. We need to make alternate families of small groups of women who support each other, talk to each other regularly, can speak their truths and their experiences and find they’re not alone in them, that other women have them too…It makes such a huge difference." Gloria Steinem

The idea of a group of women coming together to share is so foreign to me. So scary and unthinkable but over the past few months it is something I have been hungering for. It is a need I have that has to be fulfilled. It’s only taken me forty-seven years to realize that this life was meant to be shared with other women and to embrace that knowledge.

In all honesty I intentionally stayed away from women because I have been hurt through the years by friends and instead of forging ahead embracing the situation for what it was and learning from it I slowly built up a wall keeping everyone out. Living this life alone for the most part, walking out this journey all alone. Now as I look around I find that those walls that I built to protect me have actually isolated me and left me by myself.

I am so hungry for that connection again and am struggling to find it. I have found that I am not alone in my situation. There are so many of us that have been hurt, been too busy, too isolated and too afraid to venture forth and say I need or would like to have a circle of friends that I can share life’s experiences with. But as Alice and Gloria stated it is crucial and makes such a huge difference in our lives.

Sharing is what our ancestors did. It is how they got through some of their toughest times and yet here we stand going it alone. Trying to do it all on our own and failing miserably because we have to learn lessons that others have experience and knowledge of that could make a difference in our lives if only we took time to sit down and have a conversation.

When is the last time you had a gathering with your girlfriends?

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Daily Devotional

Trust Me to lift you up when you're down.

Believe that I am vitally interested in your life, and I see those things which concern you.

I am with you to help you get up and proceed on the path of life--eternal life and eternal joy.

It is My will to establish you in peace and strength.

Receive My help and rise up to a new level of confidence and faith that I will not leave you or forsake you.

You are precious to Me, says the Lord. Be established in that truth.

Deuteronomy 31:8 "And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."



This devotional gave me peace and made me "feel". I felt myself open up just enough to receive His love and the truthfulness of His words.

Counseling 101

The counselor is in and I had a session yesterday. I thought I would go in and purge my soul and everything would be just fine but I had a hard time talking to her yesterday. I bounced all over the place talking about the girls, Jamar, work, school, etc. but never zeroing in on anything specific. So, although it was therapeutic in a way it was frustrating because I still walked out of there feeling out of sorts. I wanted to solve all the problems I’m facing and barely scratched the surface.

The more I try to let things out the tighter I seem to be holding on to them. I don’t understand that. One would think that I would be ready to let go of it all. I feel that there is more at stake here than me opening up and releasing my inner demons. There is a war being fought and I’m just the pawn being shuffled all over the board. Something life altering is going to happen if I break through this current trial. I’m reading things that are making me aware that I am so much more than I have ever given myself credit for and I am trying to truly embrace those truths for the first time in my life.

My level of understanding has broadened and I am hungering to read more and let it sink into my soul. Although little things still cause big hurts I know that they are just distractions of the enemy and I am trying hard not to give in to them. Things are coming together in some areas and falling apart in others but I don’t expect a perfect life; never had one so why should I expect it now. What I am aiming for is the ability to roll with whatever comes my way without allowing it to send me into a tailspin or making it my truth when in reality it is a lie or trick of the enemy.

My breakthrough for the week is that I am not perfect but I’m not as bad as I have believed all these years. I have also finally started grasping the meaning of Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Now I need to start the healing process of all those wounds, lies and judgments I inflicted on myself and start embracing His word and His love.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Words of Wisdom

In an effort to move forward out of my mess I went to the beach yesterday to visit my grandmother. I just needed to be around her and get some of her wisdom. I wanted to share what was burdening me down so much and I just had to get away from the house and all the drama the has unfolded there over the past few days.


Somehow I knew that Nana would have something to say that would resonate with me. Something that I could relate to and possibly grasp a hold of and move forward out of this hellish hole I’m in. I was not to be disappointed. One does not live 87 years without gaining experience and trust in God while raising 9 children and over 100 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.


Although she knows a great deal about what is happening I didn’t tell her everything but she shared with me a prayer she has prayed for the last 30 years over her family and therefore she doesn’t worry because she knows that God has everything in control. She answered my questions with deep conviction and simplicity and it made me feel good about her life and all that she has accomplished in a quiet and unassuming way. There are no awards on the shelves for what she’s done but she has found great joy in the simple life she has lived taking it one day at a time and making the most out of it. She found her purpose and she has lived it without regret or recriminations.


She has had her share of sorrow, death and disappointments but she has not let them define her or her life. She has taken them in stride and continues to forge ahead one day at a time without complaint. What a role model. Yet she calls me the emotional one and understands that I take things to a much more extreme level than the others and that is ok. I can accept those words from her. She also feels I am much stronger than I give myself credit for and to some extent I agree but what I didn’t try to explain to her is that I’m tired of being the strong one. That I’m weighted down from it and just ready to dump it all off my shoulders and give up. Instead I just sat and absorbed her wisdom, her love and her support.


This is the prayer she shared with me that I will start praying over my family. Prayerfully I will let go and allow God to do his thing and stop worrying and fretting over everything and everyone.


Child of God I love you and bless you


Child of God, I love you. Beloved of God, I bless you. This moment, I set you free as I release all concern and anxiety about your well-being. In my mind’s eye I see you rising above any limited self-concept. I affirm the highest truth regarding your health, prosperity and affairs.


The love of my heart and the blessing of my prayers are gifts that I can give to you every day. Your strong victorious spirit pushes open the floodgate, allowing unwanted problems and conditions to dissolve in the cleansing tide of God’s love. Any barriers of separation or unresolved differences are washed away.


Through meditation and prayer, we are one in spirit, free from old bonds and limited concepts. Courage and joy replace guilt, resentment, and fear.


I behold you vitally alive in the now, restored, renewed, refreshed. Child of God, I love you and I bless you in prayer.


How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1John 3:1)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Falling apart

The tears came as soon as I read your note. Why am I crying? What’s this all about and then I realized just how much hope I had wrapped up in your visit. Just how needy I am for the companionship. I didn’t want to cry, feel angry or even sad but I couldn’t help it. I withdrew into my shell, crawled into bed and called it a night. It’s not that I didn’t understand it’s just that my need overtook my senses and I gave in to them.

I’m all over the place with my emotions these days. There is just so much locked inside that is screaming to come out and I don’t know how to do it. I don’t want to walk around feeling this way I just want to let it all out. I’m alone now. Kids all gone and I’m left with my thoughts; thoughts of failure, loneliness, need and defeat.

What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I seem to get things right? I just want someone to love me like I love everyone in my life. I just want my kids to grow up and be the best they can be. I just want to succeed at just one thing in my life and feel like I’m making a difference. Instead I feel like I’ve failed miserably at everything and let everyone including myself down. I’m so lost - so far out there I don’t know how to reel myself back in or if I want to be reeled in.

I didn’t know life; my life would be this hard, this crazy or overwhelming. I look all around me and I know that a lot of what I see isn’t how it truly is but it all looks so much better than what’s going on in my little world.

I don’t want this. I don’t want the loneliness or the time to myself. I want to be needed and wanted. Please God please take me away from this. I can’t do this much longer. I’m trying so hard but you have no idea just how difficult this is. I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to come home. Why can’t I come home? What more do you have for me to do here? I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything and right now I’m not enjoying this in the least. I just want out. Right now! How much longer do I have to stay here and endure this life?

Please answer me. Talk to me, send me a sign that you hear me and that I’m not really here all alone. Tell me what you want me to do. How you want me to do it and let me know that I am making a difference that all that I am going through is not for nothing.

Why am I here? What am I accomplishing? There’s got to be more to life than this pain, these thoughts and feelings. I just want it to all stop being so chaotic and settle down. I’m so tired, so very tired.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Invitation

by Canadian writer and teacher Oriah

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreams for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes."

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Friday Blues

Today is Friday, the beginning of the weekend and I am tired, emotionally drained. So ready for the weekend and all that it entails that will keep me busy and my mind not focused on the issues at hand.

Days like today I’m so ready for His return and all of this to be over. I don’t want to think or feel anymore. I don’t want to have to try to deal with the swirling turbulent thoughts that are in my brain. I just want peace and quiet. Yet, that eludes me and I am left to deal with all that is happening around me.

It was a long hot night last night. The fan did nothing to dissipate the hot air. Sleep didn’t come easily and when it did it was full of dreams of varying degrees of distress. I loathe nights like that.

Yet I am here and so I will make the most of it.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gone Again...

Here we go again... five months lost, gone, never to be recouped in the life of a son gone rouge yet again. I don’t even know how to express how I feel about this latest twist of events in his life. I've been through so much with him and yet things are still happening.

What’s so heart-wrenching is that it is from the same stuff over and over again and the lesson just doesn’t seem to be learned.

How do you show up for court and blow a .07 at 9:00 in the morning? How do you get 4 tickets for driving on a suspended license and continue to drive. How do you get piss ass drunk every day and wake up to do it all over again? Why do you continuously hurt those that love you, lie to them, let them down and most of all slowly kill yourself one drink at a time?

Why is it that when you are sober you are a good son, brother, dad, boyfriend and friend to all those that know and love you but with each reach for alcohol you lose all sense of who you are in the name of having a good time. You have so much promise, so much love and bring us such joy during your sobriety only to throw it all away when you reach for the beer, the alcohol, the cigarettes and the "fun times" you think you're having while you are doing all of those things.

Oh son of mine if only I could save you from your demons; soothe away what hurts you and put you on the straight and narrow path towards freedom and peace of mind. I long for that with all my heart for you and hope that these next five months will be a time of enlightenment for you as you have to stare into the eyes of your child through a glass window.

My prayer will be for healing, for strength and for peace. My hope will be for change and rejuvenation. My desire is that you will be safe and that you will look to God to get you through this time.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalm 121)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Secrets in friendship

Lunch with a friend on Saturday was fabulous. We ate, drank, and talked for several hours. I had a ball. The shopping afterwards was really great and the time we spent working on a project she has in the works ended the day with a bang. As I made my way back to Richmond I had time to reflect on the day and how well it went but there was this nagging in my head that reminded me that it didn't really go as good as I was making out.

You see, although we talked, I kept the conversation light and easy. I didn't delve into the hard stuff that I'm dealing with and she didn't push although she could have and had that right. A couple of times I wanted to blurt some things out but I held back and that was wrong. But it was also eye opening.

I'm a master manipulator. I can manuever things so that everyone thinks their needs are being met by saying the right things but in reality I haven't really said anything at all.

No two friends of mine could sit down and tell you the same thing because they only know what I chose to tell them not necessarily the whole story or even the same part. Why?

My reasons are two-fold... One is to save myself from my fear of rejection and the second is to save them from having to carry the burden of my problem(s). See, I think I have it all worked out. If I don't tell them anything but the good stuff then life is grand. We walk away with this false sense that all is well when in reality it could be "hell in a handbasket" and secondly it keeps the friendship intact. I don't have to fear that they will be disappointed in me, that they will judge me or even yet that they will abandon me or hold me accountable because of my thoughts or my actions.

How crazy is that? Yet it is the way I've handled the majority of my friendships. Yes, I do say some things that are pertinent and pretty open but there are so many more squelched down inside waiting to come out but unable to make it past my lips. Always wanting to be the good friend, the proper lady, the upstanding citizen never could I divulge my deepest, darkest thoughts or secrets.

Besides who would want to hear them and what purpose would they serve other than purging them from my system? Could we really talk about them openly? Would you understand? Would you even be so forthcoming about your own thoughts and feelings?

I have to wonder am I the only one holding back or do others censor their friendships too?

Aren't we all good at that? Don't we have our friends that we tell certain things to but not others?

Do you censor what you say, how you say it and when you say it? I do. I did.

Shopaholic

I am a shopaholic! There, I said it and I'm not taking it back. I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I love to do it but hate what it does to my checking account!


It doesn't matter if it's grocery shopping, clothes shopping, or shoe shopping if it requires me to spend time walking around aimlessly putting items in my shopping cart, on and off my body and eventually making my way to a register to let go of my hard earned money I am there.

My saving grace is I am a thrifty shopper. I utilize every avenue possible to save money while giving it away. I use coupons both paper and electronic, buy sale items only and don't let it be BOGO because I am all over that.


However, after I have made it home and found room, usually in someone else's closet for my purchases I'm left with that feeling of emptiness again and the need to fill it starts to well up inside of me and before I know it I'm on the hunt for something else and so I turn to the computer. Amazon knows me by name and iTunes is my best friend. Thankfully I've learned to download music from YouTube but still this compulsion needs to stop.


I must admit that I come by this trait honestly. My older sister is a "reforming" shopaholic. I don't know what fueled her passion for spending/buying but it was nothing for us to spend a day together going from store to car to store again and having a blast in the process.


Now that I'm flying solo it is still an itch that has to be scratched at least a couple of times a week. Need milk? I'm there but I never leave with just the items I came for. I always find something else we NEED.


Part of this compulsion I know comes from fear. A deep-seeded fear of not having. There was a time when I couldn't go shopping. Not even for the necessities in life and often went without food or clothing to make ends meet. So I understand that I am satisfying that fear when I buy the things that I need and some of the things I want since I went for so long without them but the other side is much deeper than that. What that driving factor is I'm not sure but I know there is one otherwise it wouldn't keep coming back.


In the meantime, suffice it to say, we won't run out of food, clothing or household goods anytime soon.


Can a sister get some help here!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

If leaving me is easy

It wasn't like I intentionally walked away but I got so caught up in life and what was happening and one thing led to another and before I knew it I was a couple of miles down the road.

Instead of turning around and heading back in the direction I came I kept going forward thinking that there was no reason for me to go back after all I had come this far what was the use in trying to change things.

Now I find myself wanting to go back but I've gone so far I don't know that I can. I know it's me that did the leaving but now it's me that wants to also do the coming back but I don't know how. It's not like I can show up on his doorstep, ring the bell and say "Hi, it's me and I'd like to come home." How easy that would be.

Although there is forgiveness to be found the road of repentance will not be an easy one but I want to go back home into the comfort and safety of His arms.

Music speaks the words I can't seem to find for myself. This song by Phil Collins tells how I feel in my relationship with Heavenly Father right now. Coming back is harder especially when you didn't know you had left.




I read all the letters
I read each word that you've sent to me
And though it's past now and the words start to fade
All the memories I have still remain

I've kept all the pictures but I hide my feelings so no one knows
Oh sure my friends all come round but I'm in a crowd on my own
It's 'cause you're gone now but your heart, heart still remains
And it'll be here if you come again

You see I'd heard the rumours, I knew before you let me know
But I didn't believe it, not you, no you would not let me go
Seems I was wrong but I love, I love you the same
And that's the one thing that you can't take away but just remember

If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder
If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder
If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder

If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder
If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder
If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder
If leaving me is easy
Then you know coming back is harder

Reconnecting

I've reconnected with a couple of friends since restarting my blogging efforts and am pleased to say I have had lunch with two and a visit with another. It has done my heart a world of good to be in the company of these women.

I am having lunch on Saturday with another friend and can't wait to get fed the food my soul has been clamoring for as she is so full of wisdom and usually it is from God's mouth to her lips and into my ears.

I'm just sorry its taken me this long to get it together and reach out to them and say something. Although several friends have moved on I am ok with it. In some instances I understand and even if I don't it doesn't really matter. If I allow myself to get all caught up in the whys of the situations I will just drive myself crazy and since I'm already there I figure I'll leave that one alone.

I was hurt to lose one very special friend but I know that she had a lot going on in her life when I took my hiatus away from everyone and I also allowed my guilt about another situation keep me from reaching out. I have learned that I should just go ahead and put myself out there; after all, the worse that could happen is that we go our separate ways but at least I would have done the right thing...

I look forward to catching up with a few more over the next couple of months now that the weather is changing and people will feel better about getting on the road and taking short trips to share a little food, a lot of conversation and love with one another.

Reconnecting is a wonderful thing and I am blessed to be able to have done it before it was too late.

Monday Snowy Monday

Wow, what a day. It started with an unexpected snow day that was really just a monkey wrench in my plans. All signs of snow were gone by 10:00 but I was home with the kids for the long-haul. The day grew long and draining as they clamored to be entertained. I thought I was beyond having to entertain but obviously not. Sigh!

When I wasn’t the entertainment and between answering emails, updating calendars and checking voicemail, I was the referee as they fought over who played what games on the wii, the DSI’s or whose turn it was to pick what to watch on TV. Never did a Monday seem so long. By 2:00 I’d had enough and retreated to my room to no avail. The constant knocking to ask yet one more question just made me blow an internal gasket.

I got up and started laundry to everyone’s dismay because that meant work on their part sorting, untucking and carrying them down to the laundry room. If only they had listened and let me be… Dinner, showers, pack lunches and to bed. Thank you God!

I was so tired and frazzled I soon joined them but for the life of me couldn’t get to sleep. My head would not shut down. I was befuddled and befumbled with voices from the day. I put on some soothing music, lit a candle and eventually went off to sleep but not without silently rehashing the moments of the day when I truly enjoyed my time with them – 5:00 in the morning when I checked on them and they were all asleep and 9:00 tonight when again all was quiet and no one needed, wanted, begged, cried, screamed, threatened or cajoled another into getting their way. Oh the joys of parenthood.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Love? Pt. 2

And because I didn't say all that I wanted to say in my first post because I'm still leery about this new found freedom to write, I'm being convicted. So here is the rest of what I truly wanted to say.

No one should have to beg someone to love them. We have the greatest love of all - the love of God and that is enough for us. Although some of us (me) have yet to discover and/or embrace this, it is still there. It is more than enough and it won't hurt us or let us down like the love of the world.

I know that this is true with all my heart but it doesn't matter when my emotions are all caught up in the worldly love. The love that makes my heart skip a beat when I hear his voice, read his text messages or hear that song that is exclusively ours. Nor does it matter when you are a child longing for the love of a parent, a friend or a sibling. All you want is the here and now. The ache is so real you can touch it and all you want is for it to be filled and in your mind that person is the only one that can fill it.

That may be true for the moment but over time the needs rises up again and that person is no longer capable of filling the void and bitterness and resentment comes into play. Disappointment follows you around and if you're not careful you start searching for the next thing that will fulfill you, albeit temporarily, yet again.

I'm speaking my truth. My journey. The fact that I have searched and searched and searched without having found fulfillment in my longing to be loved; to feel completely loved, understood and accepted for who I am. And because of that there has always been this sense of emptiness and worthlessness that has followed me. I have never felt that kind of love although I have come close with my Dad but he was taken away from me and the void grew even stronger.

I've done my share of discarding people because they couldn't give me what I was continuously searching for. I think that is why I became a nurturer. If I couldn't get the love I needed then I could certainly give it to those around me. And so I have spent my life giving, giving and giving in hopes that it would ease the ache and divert me from what I'm searching for.

And yet I still want it; crave it and make vain attempts at finding it when it is right before me. I am ashamed, yet I am human. I am sorry but I am still needy. I want and therefore I go after it in all the wrong places for it is here. Right here; yet I reject it because it is more than I can handle.

I am fearful for I have spent a lifetime searching and find it so hard to fathom that it is truly within my grasp and I can have it if I but give in to it. And yet I can't. I'm not ready. There is still so much I am wrestling with inside of myself. Most of all my worthiness to receive it. I know that I don't have to be worthy just willing to accept it but in my mind... therein lies the problem that I do not know how to overcome.

Love?

The chorus to the song “I can’t make you love me” sung by various artists, most recently Tank, ran round my head all weekend for several reasons.

I can’t make you love me if you don’t. I can’t make your heart feel something it won’t. Here in the dark, in these final hours I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power; but you won’t. No you won’t cuz’ I can’t make you love me if you don’t.

These words say a lot about my relationships yesterday and today. They take me on a trip back down memory lane to how I’ve spent my time trying to force relationships to be all that I wanted them to be instead of accepting them for what they were and just being thankful that I got what I did instead of what I longed for to the present where I find myself once again (in a different way) wanting from someone something I can’t have but long for.

And then again it was brought to my attention as I watched my son and his girlfriend this weekend go through changes in their relationship that I can relate to. I see what they are going through and want to share the wisdom that I have accumulated over the years to help them navigate through this rough time they are going through and with a baby involved nonetheless, yet feel inadequate in my ability to do so because it is still something I continue to struggle with.

Through the years I have learned that love is more an action verb than a noun. It is not passive and it requires a lot of work. It is also a choice and when someone chooses to stop loving another individual essentially unless they change their mind there isn’t much you can do except accept their decision and pray. Pray that in time they will change their mind or that God will intercede and things will work themselves out if that is His plan for your life and that if it is not in His will that you will be free to move on from the emotions that envelope you and make you long for that which is not for you.

But being the carnal creatures that we are a lot of us will go through great lengths to coerce the other party into loving us to the detriment of ourselves and others involved. Girls end up pregnant and men stalk women and both get crazed out of their minds in an attempt to force a relationship that just isn’t there any longer and perhaps never really was. This is where you determine whether or not it was love or lust; a passing fancy or the real deal.

I have learned that love isn’t just about feelings because they do wane after a while. It should be based on a much stronger foundation. Friendship is the true basis of a loving relationship. When there is friendship first there is something to fall back on as time passes, the emotions die down and the hustle and bustle of life interjects itself into the equation.

Love is also about forgiveness and sacrifice. Sometimes we have to forgive those that we love because they will inevitably do something to hurt us intentional or not for we are all human and fall short at one time or another. Sacrifice comes into play when we have to give of ourselves and sometimes get nothing in return but that too is ok because in the end it all works itself out. I am guilty of not doing either in some of my past relationships and as a result they ceased to function and died.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing if we can take the lessons learned and bring them forward and apply them to our current and future situations. As for right now, I am torn between wanting someone to love me the way I want/need to be loved and accepting the friendship that is being offered.

Accepting the friendship is the right thing to do but the void that has been there all my life waiting to be filled will still be there. I know it is a void that only God can fill but until I heal this relationship with Him and allow it to progress to what it should be it will remain.

Funny how I know the answer; I know what needs to be done but I resist because I want what I want instead of what is the appropriate thing. There are other forces at work that make this a difficult choice. Satan knows what I’m longing for and he’s dangling it in front of me. Making me desire it more than what I really truly need (temptation) and I have to resist and be stronger than the enemy at this time.

So instead of trying to take matters into my own hands I need to look to the One that already has it worked out according to His will. Oh what a hard lesson that is to learn.

In the meantime, as these words ruminate in my mind a little while longer hopefully I will find new meaning in them instead of the sadness and longing they currently instill.