Saturday, October 7, 2017
As I mentioned before I will slowly begin to put my words into the blogs once again; so many thoughts would take several blogs, I will post as I have time. Today is a beautiful fall morning. I absolutely love to sit on my porch and just hear the peaceful sounds of the birds, crickets and any other animal that is busy doing their thing. I love the cool breeze as it gently blows and I just welcome the peace from the chaos that all this represents. Oh if yall could be sitting right next to me to experience what my front porch offers that would be awesome! (I really need a SIGN for the PORCH!!)
My first initial thought is to look back through the last months to see where I am now and where I have come. We can easily get discouraged if we don't take the time to see any changes in our lives.
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" The enemy wants to steal our focus by distracting us with worry or busyness. He will kill our hopes for the future by overwhelming us with the sadness and sorrows of this world, and he will try and destroy relationships, including marriages and families. But this isn't the plan of the Father. He wants us to live abundantly. We can not do that if we are entangled with strongholds, insecurities, worry, doubt or any other weakness we may struggle with. If we don't take the time to reflect and see the areas in our lives that need change we will remain "stuck". Even though we may physically be getting older we wont grow emotionally or spiritually if the time isn't invested on doing these things.
I say all this to say I was STUCK at the beginning of the year! I can't believe when we get caught up on the lies of the enemy; our focus then is a cycle of negativity, on our own weaknesses and insecurities. Mike had started a job that for the first time was going to have him traveling on a regular basis, removing him from the home temporarily. One other time in our marriage we were apart like this while he worked for an entire summer. He was able to come home on the weekends, but the boys were little and it was extremely hard on us, so we had decided that it wasn't for us. Fast forward now, we are in a different season of our lives so we decided to revisit this arrangement. Here were the lies I believed:
~I can't make it on my own, I have never been on my own
~I need Mike, I don't know how to do things without him
~I am afraid to be alone
At the same time this was going on, the boys had decided to move out. Even though as parents we raise our children to one day leave the nest, I was depressed and sad about it. I had a hard time expressing my feelings because I felt no one understood. The lies I believed:
~No one understands what I am going through
~I feel abandoned
~I'm losing my identity
~We wont have a relationship that I so desire to have
Also at the same time, Mike had been in a fender bender and He was being falsely accused of what had happened. He was on the road and couldn't really handle the situation so we left it to the insurances to fight over. I didn't agree with the decision and because I was feeling alone, scared, abandoned I allowed fear to dictate my actions and became angry and frustrated with Mike. Lies I believed:
~Mike chose working the job over responsibilities at home
~I felt rejected
~I don't know how to fight for what is right
~None of this will be handled correctly
I felt powerless, out of control. None of this seemed fair! I was confused and frustrated and just desired to seek God in all of this. Phillipinas 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayers and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God" And so that is what I did. I got to a point where I knew a battle was going on and I needed to fight against it. I'm not talking a physical battle but in Ephesians 6:12 it says "For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood. but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil and the heavenly realms" What this means is the enemy doesn't want us advancing the kingdom. He knows when we desire to do the will of God and so He will do what he can to battle that, so we live in disobedience of the will of God. Of course, we are human and we have free choice. God, himself, doesn't want any of this to happened; but because man brought sin into the world, mans design ruined what God intended and until the day that the Lord comes back we must overcome the evil of this world. Jesus says in John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"
See, we will have trouble but we have the reassurance that Jesus, himself, has already overcome the world. As long as we remain in him we can have peace that we as well will overcome.
An excerpt from my journal:
Saturday, September 30, 2017
The trail of tears that I am referring to is a path that leads back to one of the three pastures that surrounds our place. There is a gate at the end of this path that prevents you from entering the pasture. My neighbors and I walk our dogs to and from this path. It is beautiful! It is the path to which I talk to God out loud and has become the place that I weep before the Lord as I walk. The other day as I was walking and talking, and the name came to my mind. Boy have I cried many tears while walking this path! But it has also been a path to where I have given much thankfulness; A path that I have shared some deep pain, struggles, and joys with friends as well.
I want to take you back before I take you forward. Many of you know that I used to be faithful in writing my blogs. I kind of gave up because I was overcome with fear that what I had to write didn't matter to anyone. It became a hassle, as a result I wrote less and less. I have tried to pick it back up on many different occasions always resulting in a failed attempt to get this blog revived. But the other day I was looking back and realized I had nothing to refer back to as a reminder of where I am and where I have become. You see, the blog was an online journal for myself; it allowed others to have a glimpse into MY JOURNEY. It was written in hope that It would speak life to others, encourage others and uplift others. It was a desire of mine for others to possibly see some light in their situations as I figured out life lessons into my own situations. It was a way to spread a small light in such a dark, painful yet joyful life. Even though I have made many claims before if you could get past my MANY grammar and spelling errors that somehow someway this would be the very words that others needed to speak life and truth into them.
Years ago when God called me to write the blog, I was afraid because of how transparent and authentic he was calling me to be. I had stepped out in faith, making my above disclaimer (haha) and the blog became life. Currently, I am going through a bible study called "The Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer. The piece of armor that we are on is FAITH. Two questions that resinated in my soul were:
What is God calling you to do?
How is God calling you to act?
One of the many things I feel God is calling me to do is to pick this blog back up! (AGAIN!!!) If you bare with me, I will spend a few days publishing several blogs to share what has been going on in my life, so that the blogs don't get long!! (I have been known a time or two for that to happened! BUT THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES)
To move forward, the trail of tears has become a time for me to vent out loud and just get things off my chest. You know how you feel after you have had a really nice talk with someone? YES, that's how I feel afterwards. Not only am I exercising, walking the pups most of the time, but I really get to enjoy the privacy that this path offers. I look around and see the beauty of God's creation right in my front yard! Sometimes I just simply try to grasp how God could make all of this creation, but yet care the most about us, as humans!! In fact, he designed us to BE IN RELATIONSHIP with HIM. So I LOVE having conversation with HIM. When I do not have much to talk about I will listen to music. Most of you know how healing and soothing music is for me! Often times when I don't know how to articulate my thoughts or emotions the artists of these songs do a great job for me!! I often find myself crying while walking; sometimes it's tears of joy, tears of being overwhelmed, or tears of pain while carrying the burden of what I am going through. I will walk that path until I feel better. But one thing is for sure; once I am done walking I usually feel better.
Psalm 56:8New Living Translation (NLT)
"You keep track of all my sorrows.
Do you have a trail of tears: an outlet to where you can go and vent? A place to call your sanctuary? A safe place that you can just cry out to God?
God sees you! He has not forgotten you! He sees your tears and hears your cries! God may not take away the situation you are currently facing, for HIS REASON that sometimes we may not understand or know during the time; however, HE will walk along side of you during that time. I do know in the past the reason He was not willing to remove the situation (not that HE isn't ABLE) was to build character or teach a lesson of waiting on HIM. In the past it may had nothing to do with me, but that HE had to line up all the pieces in order for the situation to fix itself. Or in the past HE wanted my focus ON HIM and NOT THE SITUATION to grow closer in relationship with HIM. Whatever the reason of not removing the situation, He is in control. He has a plan for each of us! We must trust that His plan will not hurt us, or harm us. God will never leave us or forsake us. When I'm feeling frustrated as I'm waiting, it is often because I want to be in control of something it isn't meant for me to be in control of or I want to KNOW more than what I need to know. Often times, HE is teaching me a lesson of simply TRUSTING HIM!
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze"
Thursday, July 20, 2017
I met my first major goal!!!!
I wanted to loose 50 pounds, which is the weight I started out at when we moved to Nebraska before I hurt my back. (2011) It was important for me to set that goal as that was the weight I gained over the past five years due to the lack of mobility due to my back.
For those who don't know, I am walking out a healing and because of that I am on a journey to become healthy. It is an opportunity to bring glory to His name!
God is a faithful God. His timing is perfect. When we pray and expect answers, sometimes these answers don't come in the form of what we hope they would come. During the five years I suffered tremendously with excruciating pain. I had several shots and was told by 3 doctors I would need surgery. At one point I could hardly walk. I tried acupuncture and have been on a form of pain medicine. All through this I trusted that God, the ultimate physican, would heal me. Now I do believe in doctors, I had a surgery back in 1999, but this time I just felt in my spirit that I wouldn't need surgery. The waiting was weary, and at times I wanted to give up. I often was more negative than positive and when God would relieve my pain I often would forget to thank Him!!
I believe God will honor those who are obedient and willing to trust in Him. My word for this year was endurance, or I should say is endurance, I never imagined what all that would intail; looking back this year as been challenging but I desire to persevere through the diffucult times. When I think of how hard this journey has been to become healthy I am reminded that we serve a good Father!
I never realized how mental loosing weight was. It was overwhelming to research and start learning about the nutritional values that food has to offer and the effects on us negatively when we over consume. I believed the 'lie' I was healthy because I ate healthy sometimes. When I began to watch what I was eating I couldn't believe how unhealthy I really was. Health doesn't stop at food; it is about the exercise, the sleep, the water intake, and the veggies we consume. A friend of mine had said "We crave what we put in our bodies" I didn't believe it at first but the more veggies I started to eat the more I craved them and wanted the 'junk' less. Now I have no intentions of giving up junk but I have rewired my thought process to make a choice on what I choose to eat, if I choose to eat something that fits in that catergory.
The other major thing I had to do is establish smaller goals. And trust me at first the goals were super small. Too often we set up unrealistic goals and then feel defeated immediately causing us to what to give up!
When I first started walking, I couldn't walk more than 10 minutes. Now I walk 45-60 minutes a day! I couldn't do a plank more than ONE SECOND! YES I SAID one second, but a friend of mine encouraged me just to make that my goal.. at least it was more than I had done before. So I set out to do that and now I can plank for 45 seconds. Still not a lot of time but it's progress. And any progress is progress!
Lastly, it was so important to figure out what works for me. Each of us are different, our bodies require different things. We need to learn our bodies to determine the best course of action. And we need to listen to our bodies. I never realized how much sleep I required. I used to be embarrassed to admit I needed 9-10 hours of sleep because I felt others would view me as lazy! But as I have adjusted my mindset I also have adjusted that too! I have accepted it, I am okay with it, and when my body screams rest, I do it! I can't believe how much sleep or the lack of sleep plays into all of this!!
I have a ways to go! My second major goal is to loose 25 pounds by December!!! I don't have the stamina to do challenges daily but that's okay, I am working on it!
I am thankful for the prayers and support and encouragement I have received a long the way!! My prayer is that I become healthy enough to be used to my fullest potential. My desire is for others to see Jesus even through this journey~
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Lyvvie got baptized today! Such a blessing to see my children following after God's heart!!♡♡
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
"And I was made by you
I was made for you
I am unfulfilled without full communion
Since your love got a hold of me
Since your love got a hold of me
I’m a new creation
I’m forever changed" United Pursuit~
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
We had a great time this weekend, unplugging since there was no reception in the mountains, camping with friends!
This was out first time at Indian Boundary up in the Cherokee National Park. We relaxed, walked the dogs, played games, talked with friends, ate and just simply rested.
I will never ever get tired of the beauty of the mountains!! Pictures do not do it justice but come second to the breathtaking splendor of such creation.
Isaiah 54:10 " Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor by covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
It is so refreshing to escape the noise of life and just unwind! I enjoy walking through life with my hubby and enjoyed our mini family, but did miss my boys. Oh how I remember camping with all of the kids when they were little. Such fond memories. It was nice to reminisce a little as well!
Life passes us by in a blink of an eye. It is so precious. It is so easy to loose sight, or focus on what is truly important! These gentle reminders help us regain control on what should be priorities in our lives~
"The love of a family
is life’s greatest blessings.”