7/30/17

Take the thoughts captive

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 


It's always when I am at my weakest.  It's always when I can't muster up a smile on my face.  It's always when I have no motivation.

What is it, you ask.

It's the enemy.  He comes  in the name of self-reflection, pointing out where I have failed.  Where I am failing and how I may fail in the future.  He whispers past mistakes and roads not taken.  He reminds me of the roads I actually did walk down that lead me all away around the promise land.  Much like the Israelites.   He points out the difference between me and other moms, women and Christians.

Before I know it I am defending myself.  Sayings things like, "Well, I've always been a bit legalistic" or "I'm proud of the relationship I have with my children.". Even better, "I did the best I could."

The more the conversations go on the more I feel tired, defeated, and sad.  I can't see any real good thing in me.  I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I strain my eyes looking around for any redeeming quality about myself.

But then ... but then I remember who I am in Christ.  The beloved daughter of the Living King, joint heirs with Christ.  I am more than a conquer.  I am saved, redeemed.

So I must be careful, taking every thought captive.




6/4/17

good times

Lately life has been too good.  I mean really, really good.  Scary good.  The kind of good that makes you almost check behind doors and every noise you think to yourself, "This may be the shoe dropping."  But it isn't.

The last seven or so years have been a time of grief, worry, anxiety, loss, gain, laughter, strength, weakness and all other sorts of feelings.  It's been extremely hard and yet extremely easily.  I have learned so much about myself and my God.  I realized that I am stronger in my faith and that my God is mightier than any situation or person I have faced.

Now I am in a season of strength and renewal.  There is complete peace in Christ.  I know that I know His word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.  I know that I know I am joint heir in Christ. I know He loves my sons more than I ever could, He is the perfect parent and I am humbled He chose me to be their mom.

I have seen God move in ways that I can only look back at and say "that was all You".  Those moments where you have no idea how.  There was no way the bill would get paid or the child would be healed.  Those moments you cry out in your despair.  That deep cry that comes from your toes.  The sound unrecognizable to even yourself.  Yet, there comes a peace that floods in, surrounds you and covering every inch of your heart.  In that moment you know, you just know that God is with you.

In all things I trust Him.  Trust Him with my thoughts, heart and actions.  Some people thought I was crazy for my response to situations or problems but in keeping my heart humble and focusing on Him and His love for me, I have been able to rise above the noise.  Rise above the chaos.  In doing so I have been able to reap the benefits of all that God has for me and my sons.

I'm not naive, I know that my story doesn't end here.  I know that this journey is anything but far from over.  However the treasures I have gained are invaluable to me and I wouldn't change it for the world. 

3/1/17

I'm asking myself ...

Lately I have been challenged with the thoughts of my future.  Where do I see my self in a few months, maybe a year?  What about five years or a decade? 

Truthfully, I don't know. 

It's easy to say that I'll still be in my career or living in my area.  Is that true though?  Can I honestly say that I know?  Does that even really matter? Location, career, age ... are those the things I want to truly focus on?  

Seriously, does it matter if I still live in this townhouse?  Will the world be a better place because I've focused majority of my energy on job?  No, it doesn't. Nor should I. 
Some things are a means to an end.  I'm thankful I have a job, a career, that allows me to comfortably put a roof over me and my family's head.  I'm thankful that we have lived here for almost seven years.  Settled. Secure.  

My question to myself is really ... where will you be mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Will I be stagnate? Or will I have grown a little, a lot? 

Will I be emotionally immature in areas, allowing silly opinions to fester in my mind and heart?  Continuing to be judgmental in certain areas? Will I not stand for what is right because it's easier to look the other way?  

Will I finally have a meek and quiet spirit?  Will I be completely faithful, full of trust?  Willing and joyfully doing what I know needs to be done.  When situations arise or when the enemy comes creeping around, will I be on my guard; standing firm in the faith; being courageous; being strong as 1 Corinthians 16 states?  

I know this post is full of questions.  That is where I am right now. Questioning, searching and reasoning.  I think it's important to dial back the white noise of this world.  Take a look inside your heart and mind to the core of who you are.  Challenging yourself to grow and mature in areas that are lacking. Being accountable to yourself, God and those around you.  

There's a saying that pops up from time to time.  "Thrive, not just survive." It's a truthful statement.  Many times it is used to encourage people of abuse or to shake off the mentality of just living.  You know ... working, paying bills, worry, day in and day out.  I want to thrive and not just survive.  However for me it goes beyond any betrayal I've faced or any day to day living.  I want to thrive in my heart, in my relationship with my Savior, and in my personal relationships and in this world. 

I encourage everyone to take some time to look yourself in the mirror and ask, "Where do you see yourself?"

9/8/16

All

It's that time of year when I sit back and do some reflecting.  Who am I kidding?  This occurs about every three to four months.  However there is something different in the Fall.  It's like the beginning of my calendar year.  Fall has always been my season.  Fall is peaceful, hopeful.  I understand it's when Earth starts to slumber and things die off.  But for some reason it just speaks of new life to me.  

I've been thinking lately about my life.  This summer was so quiet, relaxing and peaceful.  No real drama. There were no sleepless nights, no pressing issues that had me ringing my hands with worry.  Sure, we had things that took up our prayer time but the actual worry ... that was gone.  

Each obstacle was faced with an assurance that God was in control, not me.  Each question was answered with whether or not I had any control.  If I did then I would do what was needed.  If not, then I would let it go.  

Something started to happen.  God moved in such mighty ways in my and the boys' lives.  At one point God completely removed me from a situation and used other people to accomplish His goal.  Can you believe that?!  God didn't "need" me to do anything other than give it to Him and back off.  

I shudder to think that I have control issues with God.  To be honest, I sometimes (if not often) do.  I know He requires my obedience and my willingness to do what needs to be done but He doesn't need my 14 different ways to handle things.  

I'm a planner.  I always will be.  I believe God is a God of order so no, I can't just "wait til we cross that bridge" because if you know a bridge may be coming and you believe that bridge is rickety then you should plan! However I am learning that you make plans, you set a course through prayer and praise but you have to let God move.  You have to listen to the Holy Spirit so that you can walk, sit, or run.   

Even writing this there is a struggle inside me.  Part of me wants you to know that I always listen to God.  I only move when He tells me.  That I am carefully listening to the direction of The Holy Spirit.  All those are true and if you know me then you know.  This isn't about what I do.  It's more about what I'm learning not to do.  

I'm learning not to lay out a ton of different ways to work out something and then tap my toes while I wait.  It's funny to me because I trust Him completely with the BIG things.  Finances, health, safety etc.  It's the little things.  It's the minor day to day things that I have way to many opinions about.  And that my friends is what I'm learning ... to let go of the control of the little things too.  

1 Peter 5:7a NIV says "Cast all your anxiety ..."  ALL not just the big stuff, not just the little stuff, not just the stuff I have no clue about, not just the stuff I don't want to deal with.  ALL. 

Webster's Dictionary defines all like this:  


  • the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of:
  • every member or part of:
  • the whole number or sum of  
(Emphasis mine)


So there you have it ... I'm learning to cast all ...

8/17/15

This sermon has blessed my heart

I first found S.M. Lockridge during a Beth Moore conference.  I could sit and listen to him for hours.
I highly encourage you to check out his stuff.  Gotta love YouTube!

I wanted to share this sermon, he is funny and right on point!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOsXV3_D9ak

1/1/15

Finding my way

Just sitting here enjoying a great cup of coffee while fooling around with my blog.  A much neglected piece of work.  Perhaps an update to font, color and layout will inspire me to write more... Surely that will work.  Maybe reading some other blogs that I follow will spark something inside of me.  Of course, that will do the trick.

Truth be told - nothing inspires me.  I don't mean it all gloomy, it's simply that nothing besides my faith and loving my family really stirs deep inside of me. 

Another truth be told - I lack discipline and perseverance.  GASP!  Although if you have known me long, you may have already suspected as much.

I'm not sure what my problem is with it.  If someone asked me to do something like one of the boys, Bobby or at work, I would be all over it.  Could it be the immediate gratification of helping someone?  Their appreciation of me?  Possibly and I'm sure to some degree but I really think it's an internal dialog that has become white noise in my mind.  That recording that says "what you desire, what you need, what you want, your dreams, your passions, your likes are not, nor will they ever be important enough to do, achieve and therefore stop now before it gets to involved, stop now.  Stop now before you invest talents, time and focus you simply do not have."

Now, I know all that is not true.  I know that if I really wanted something, I would find a way. 

So, 2015 is my year of finding my way -
 
Finding my way to:

  • a deeper relationship with God.
  • loving deeper those that matter the most to me.
  • financial freedom.
  • being healthier (physically). 
  • growing in my career.
  • finding my passion.
  • being disciplined
  • being organized (time management).
 
 
The sad thing is that I know everything is doable.  I just have to do it.  Stay focus, dig deep inside of myself. It's only me.  I can read all the encouraging posts, blogs, books and articles but until I make a change, nothing will happen.  I will be blessed because God is so merciful and gracious to me but I won't be living well. 
 
I'll be surviving.  Which, if you think about it, that is a bit of a victim mentality. 
 
The Webster definition of Survive-
: to remain alive : to continue to live: to continue to exist
: to remain alive after the death of (someone)

Now, what I'm about to say in no way takes away the strength of someone who has survived something in their life, whether emotional, mental, spiritual, physical. I am well aware of that strength.

This is just where I am in my life.  I am no longer comfortable being a survivor.  Continuing to live? What kind of life?  Exist?  What kind of existence? To remain alive? Just alive? 

No, no, I want more.  I want to thrive -  to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed

Heck, I don't want to thrive I would rather flourish! to grow well : to be healthy
: to be very successful : to do very well

Yeah, I like that much better!

So here's to 2015 and finding my way to flourishing!



8/8/14

just wanted to share

I'm not sure where to start this post.  I'm resisting the urge to just verbally vomit on here.  It's not pretty and no one wants to read that.  I'll do my best not to ramble but it may just happen.  Just preparing you :)

Lately there has been such a deep stirring in my spirit.  There have been so many personal changes within myself and my sons.  I'm a little older, a little wiser, a little more funny and a lot more compassionate. 

I've been looking over my life recently and I've determined I'm not content any more.  Well, let me try to rephrase that because in all things I'm content but there is a stirring I cannot ignore.  I'm content to be secure in where I am in life but I know there is more for me.  I know God calls me to something higher, greater and more meaningful.  That's where I'm not content.  I'm not content to stay "here". 

I recently posted on Facebook that I am no longer telling myself "wow, look how far you've come!" but rather stretching myself.  "Where are you going?" has replaced the pat on the back.  It's true - I've been through a lot and continue to be but it feels like it's defining me, at least to myself.  Although my past is and will always be a part of who I am, it is not all that I am.  I have goals, dreams and a purpose.  I'm looking towards the future. Content in my present, enjoying the moment but reaching for something else.

My sons have taught me to look towards the future.  They have no idea they did.  Although, they would not be surprised simply because they are awesome (and they know it).  Each one has dreams and goals, plans and routes they are wanting to take for their lives.  I'm very proud of them.  Proud for what they, themselves have come from.  The journey of their own healing over the past 4 or so years. But also proud of where they are now.  The young men they are and who they are becoming.  Bright, funny, caring, kind young men who open doors, say please and thank you, do well in school, keep each other's secrets and laugh.  Man, do those kids laugh ... a lot.

I'm so thankful for their relationship with one another and me.  It's nothing for one of them to text me something funny or show me a crazy video.  They rag me, laugh with and at me, compliment me on my singing, humor and even my looks :) They've seen me struggle and go without just so they could have. They have compassion and are not greedy.  The know the value of a dollar. They are strong and brave. They are both street smart and book smart. 

The women that captures their hearts will be blessed.  And so will they.  For, I believe, they will be a woman among women.  Perhaps a little like the boys' mother.

This next season in my life is going to be some pulling and stretching as I find my way through my career and finances.  I've worked very hard, many sleepless nights, many gut wrenching moments to partner with God in regards to healing my heart.  Now it's time to move into a different fixin'.  I'll be 38 soon.  To which I am actually very excited about.  It's time to get some things in order.  To set some things straight in my life.  It's going to be difficult, any thing worth having typically is.  I do, however, believe I am up for the challenge. 

I am beyond thankful to my Savior. Jesus, in His mercy and kindness, has been so good to me.  Not a day goes by that He doesn't remind me of how much He loves me, protects and provides.  We've been through a lot and I know the journey is not over. 

I'd be a fool to lie and say I'm not a little concerned how things will play out.  Or to try to tell you that I believe it's going to be "all good".  It's life, so no, it won't be.  But - and this is a very large but - I will be O.K. I will have resolve.  I will move forward, even if it's an inch at a time. 

Besides getting my finances in order - I intend to spend more time with God.  I've slacked a bit because, well, I've been a little tired.  God has granted me the rest but I can hear Him calling me back to our quiet times.  It may seem silly or ungodly to say that I was resting apart from quiet time with Him.  Basically, it was becoming a chore.  Something to check off my list for the day.  He doesn't want that.  I'm certainly not blessed by that.  God's Word was becoming just letters on a page.  That, my friend, ain't no way to live.  So I took a break.  Still worshipped, still prayed, still gave Him all glory.  Now I find the craving again for His wisdom, love, guidance, hope and peace.

I've decided to start with Ezra.  No particular reason.  I literally pulled it out of a hat. I'm looking forward to getting back into His Word.

Well, that's a little snippet of where I am right now.  Just wanted to share -