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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Make it a Better Day!

When I worked as a purchaser, I used to try to figure out how to put personality into my emails. I preferred to submit orders for the parts and supplies in writing rather than verbally over the phone, so I was often sending emails. I had a basic template and I could tweak it for the contact. I did this job for several years and I would get depressed. My depression was not specifically about the job, but some of the people were more difficult to deal with than others. So, in an effort to improve my mood and others, I would include the following phrases depending on the day:

  • Make it a marvelous Monday!
  • Make it a terrific Tuesday!
  • Make it a wonderful Wednesday!
  • Make it a tremendous Thursday!
  • Make it a fantastic (or fabulous) Friday!
This was a reminder to myself mostly that I had the ability and the choice to determine how my day would go. My mood would then have the capability to rub off on someone else. 

Every time I wrote "terrific Tuesday" or "tremendous Thursday" I was reminded of my days in a summer youth group. I have a bright orange shirt saved somewhere with this phrase on it. Amazingly, I found the shirt, even after this move and a house with boxes. Take a look!


1994. Wow! That youth group sure had an impact on me to save that shirt all these years. I might try to wear it to church. I still go to the same church, or I should say I eventually returned to that church. Since it doesn't fit me well these days, I will hopefully share it with my daughter or son. It means that much to me. Jesus means that much to me.

I'm quite lucky to have gotten my life straightened out and to be here and now to acknowledge how much my life relies on Jesus. I think I always knew in my innermost being that I couldn't ignore my Savior. There were these years of my life that I was sold out to Jesus but there many others where I was really, really wrestling with sin and guilt and shame. The devil had me so screwed up. The vicious cycle I am describing is not uncommon in people that have experienced trauma or abuse or addictions.

Depression was a tricky topic for me. I am not ashamed of seeking counseling or treatment if needed and no one should be. I personally think it is super healthy to address our emotional health as it affects us spiritually, physically, and socially.

One counselor I had suggested affirmations which irritated me. With others, I felt like I was just talking and talking and not really making progress. I had a hard time with medication and most were too much for me. I felt misunderstood and lost. But, I always had my foundation with Christ. I was viewing God as angry but Jesus as my rescuer. In time, I found a Christian counselor and the most valuable part of the session was at the end when she would pray for me. She invited God into the equation. Yes I technically invited God by going to a Christian counselor but I didn't have the full belief yet. She did. And in a way, I started recognizing how much I did believe God was a part of the solution.

That counselor didn't give me lists of affirmations, but she read me the verses in Ephesians 3:14-19. She wanted me to believe that God loved me. This was not the first time I heard this but it was a big piece of the puzzle I had been working on for several years, if not my lifetime. The pain I was wading in was thick and was going to take a long time to work through. But for me, focusing on it, was not the answer. I had to learn to let God love me and accept the peace of being saved by grace. I started serving in a city church and continued to wrestle through my junk. I continued to see the counselor, go to church alone, and found a medication and dose that was effective for me during that time. I didn't give up. I chose to get up and move forward even though I wasn't all better yet.



I started to believe I was loved. One day at a time. I did what I could each day to make it a magnificent Monday or terrific Tuesday. My attitude, our attitudes have a huge influence over the course of day. When you wake up tomorrow, what will you chose to believe? Will it be a long day to get through or a short day to embrace? Will it be a have to or a get to? 

Dear God, Thank you that I was provided with the foundation of Your Holy Word and love, even though it got jumbled up inside along the way. None of that is Your fault, even though I blamed You. You always have been there as I worked through it. Amazingly, You welcome my thoughts and feelings and I can truly share my deepest burdens with You. I can trust You. Thank you that You never stopped trying to remind me of the love You gave through Jesus Christ. I wish I wasn't so stubborn or didn't feel so damaged. I believed the lies of Satan for so long. Now, because of those days, I can hopefully encourage someone else. Please give me the wisdom to be a wife that represents Your love and to be a mother that will guide her children towards You. I never want my kids to feel half of the pain I did but I'm learning to accept my powerlessness in that as well as in all parts of life. If I let You lead, stop worrying, then life will be so much better. God, help me to stay focused on keeping myself healthy, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually so that I can be there for my kids and husband. Thank you for Your grace. In Jesus Name, amen.



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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friends

I'll be there for you....is that song playing in your head right now?

With the recent move, different house, no cable, a new job, I am attempting to adjust my life. When I go through changes, I like to find something familiar , something comfortable. The voices of Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Ross, Joey, and Phoebe are soothing to me.

I didn't have cable before I was married. Didn't need it and couldn't afford it. Over time, I accumulated all ten seasons of the series Friends. Most nights I fell asleep to a DVD. After a couple weeks at this new house, tonight, I broke out season 5 of my collection.

17 
A friend is always loyal,

    and a brother is born to help in time of need.
I'm not watching it. Its just on in the background. I have most of the episodes memorized anyway. Why do I like this show enough to watch, or listen to it thousands of times?

I know I am not alone in this. This series has been syndicated on TV and is played daily on many channels. I used to fall asleep to it when we had cable before the move. I knew what channels played it at 10p and then from 11p to 1A. This show is wildly popular and it hasn't been made since 2004. I didn't even watch it when it originally aired. Why after?

There are other shows I binge watch but they don't help me fall asleep. Some of those shows give me bad dreams or keep some part of my mind active. Friends is relaxing for me.

As I am growing spiritually, I am less fond and more aware of the parts of the show I don't like. I'm not thrilled about the sexual innuendos or language at times but I know that I am not and never have been perfect. Is it healthy to watch the show like this though?


The heartfelt counsel of a friend

    is as sweet as perfume and incense.   Proverbs 27:9 NLT

How many of us like to block out our thoughts by drowning them out with music, or a show? What is your background noise?

I think this Friends thing started with being uncomfortable in my own silence. Often I didn't feel safe and I didn't like the unknown. This show becomes predictable. Its light, not heavy. No one is being raped or assaulted like on SVU (another show I'm drawn too). There are a couple episodes of Friends that still make me LOL, laugh out loud. (Remind me some time to tell you the story of my misunderstanding of how to interpret "LOL").

Do you have a best friend? My 3yo daughter was telling me about who her best friend at the moment was today. She changes her mind on this often. Seems like if we are on the way to someone's house, they are her best friend. I tried to explain that she doesn't have to have only 1 best friend. I don't even understand what she thinks a best friend is. I think she may think she can only have 1 friend at a time.


Are you able to fall asleep without noise? Do you have a good set of friends to support you? Is your best friend Jesus?

Who will be there for you?

Father, Jesus, Thank you for loving me first. Thank you! I want to learn to recognize Your voice without question. I want to come to You first. I want to read the Word until I have it memorized. I want to call you friend, my best friend. You have blessed me immensely but no one is without the pain and loss caused by the fall and the sin of the world. We all go through tough times. Help me to remain grateful and able to share how I've been able to grow and overcome life's challenges. Thank you for the grace to move forward and for the air I breathe. Thank you for Jesus! In His Name, amen.  





These are special items that were just unpacked that bring back memories of friendship. 
A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stood Up



Do you know the feeling of being stood up? 


At one time I would have been so wrapped up in the defeat and the "whats wrong with me" attitude. Now, I feel disrespected and think its rude and not worth my time. 

Well, our house got stood up the other night. You see, our house is on a dating site, Realtor.com and it has been having a lot of 1st dates these days. This date got cancelled about 45 minutes before but rescheduled. I let that slide. Then after the date, I got that lonely feeling in my stomach that we had been stood up. And the feedback email came through that the buyer had to cancel at the last minute. Really? So the agent couldn't have called to tell someone but told us in the feedback. That ticked me off but at least confirmed that my intuition was right. I'm debating how to respond. I feel as though I do not want to let this person schedule again unless its during an open house. I mean really, if they would ever decide to put an offer in, what kind of shenanigans may happen later. Not worth it. 

That is one thing I learned from my single life. Don't waste time being mistreated. If they don't care in the beginning, when people are usually presenting the best version of themselves, then what will be in store when the honeymoon wears off. 

But this house for sale stuff is different than dating I guess. We are leaving something forever rather than agreeing to get something forever. It just feels eerily familiar with the online profile and pictures, the trying to show a clean and tidy house, hiding the clutter and mess, and of course the rejection. It is weird that I could feel offended at all about the comments about the house. But actually, I think I have matured since I am not that surprised or concerned about the issues being brought up. It just is what it is. This house is not large, it is not for everyone. Thats ok. But its still wearing on me with the amount of showings with no offers. 

I'm recognizing that I want to punish those people for the inconvenience to my family. But I have no idea what may have caused those cancelations and lack of communication. They don't know me. It was not personal so why am I taking it so personally. I have to stay grounded in who I am in Christ. 

Stress can be such a distraction from God. I have to be intentional about staying in the Word and praying. This house stuff will get worked out someday. This is temporary. But I want to remind you of this, no matter how many times you leave God hanging, Jesus will never stand you up if you ask for Him. 

Dear God, Thank you for being constant and reliable. Even when I do not understand what is going on around me and I may be in a time of pain and confusion, I know that You are there. I know that I can stand on Your promises. In Jesus Name, amen.

2 Peter 3:8-9 NLT
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

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