Call Me the Clay

On a Journey to See What God & This Life Has In Store

August 19, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT

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Random Monday….Here are just some very random thoughts for today – mainly because I am in the mood to post something – but have no real topic to discuss at the moment.  Bear with me please…

I often find myself concerned that our society simply has no common sense anymore.  It seems no one uses their head and I wonder what has happened.  Examples:

I was headed to work this morning – rush hour traffic on the interstate headed into downtown.  I’m sure you can imagine the hectic routine.  So we start seeing the construction warning signs way in advance telling us that the left lane is closed ahead.  When that happens people start getting a bit more cautious, you see more brake lights as drivers get a bit jumpy in anticipation – and yet, until it is actually visible – people still continue to drive in all 3 lanes.

However, this morning apparently some lady’s car dies in the middle lane (before the actual construction work is visible).  So cars are now getting backed up behind her (she has NO hazard lights on).  People who are already skittish about the upcoming construction work are slamming their brakes at every little thing as it is.  I notice about 6 vehicles stopped behind her and one person swerves suddenly to miss smashing into the last one.  He/she barely makes it into the left lane without taking out the vehicle there. It was heart-stopping.

But this is the aggravating part of it – as I get around that congestion – I look back in my rear-view mirror and see that lady in the stalled vehicle waving her arms and evidently trying to tell the person behind her to go around her.  She is acting like he/she behind her is and imbecile for not going around.  Seriously?  First of all – if it weren’t for the line backing up behind her – she very well could be dead as I’m sure someone would hit her since she had no hazard lights on.  And second, as cars are flying by you on both your left and your right – it is a bit difficult for someone to simply pull out around you and not get hit.  I sure hope everyone made it out of that mess okay.

Okay – I may have mentioned this one before, I can’t recall.  But there is a local gas war going on in our town – and it’s getting a bit exciting, actually.  But that is not my point.  Needless to say, the place that has been running the lowest gas prices has lines of vehicles waiting to fill up.  On our way out of town for our vacation last month, we stopped there.  As we were waiting in line, I decide that I will go inside and get a bottle of water.

While inside I hear the two employees commenting on how they are so sick of people being upset at them and that it is not their fault that the credit card machine is not working.  So when I get up there, I tell them that I overheard and was wondering – does that mean the gas pumps too?  I ask this because I had noticed people at the pumps appearing to be frustrated while waiting for their cards to work.  They said ‘Yes – and it is not just here, but all Valero stations/stores.’

I then go outside and tell all the people standing at the pumps getting madder by the minute.  But really, people, what do you think would save the employees all of the hassle and disgruntled customer reactions?  How about putting signs up on the pumps stating that the card machines are not working!?

Third – I am not a donut person, but as a treat every now and then I sometimes take my son to the local Donut Stop to get him a couple to take with him for snack.  This place has two windows on the same side of the building.  However there is no rhyme or reason to their method of taking your order.  Some days you stop at the first window and someone will take your order, take your money and give your order thru that same window.  Some days you stop there at the first window and they will either run over to that one and ask you to move to the second window or they may wave their hand out the second window to get you to pull up there.  Other days they do like the typical fast food drive through in taking your order at the first and then asking you to pick up at the second.

It just seems to me like it would make life simpler on themselves and their customers if they would decide on one method.  And there is this little thing called a sign that could tell you to go to the second window if they were not going to be at the first window.

Fourth – when my daughter was younger, I was constantly trying to get her to understand that she needed to ‘think ahead’ about the consequences of her actions or ‘plan’ for what was going to be next when doing something.  For example, in the morning when you are finished getting your clothes on, you should also put your shoes on so you are ready to walk out the door (alleviates everyone standing with their arms full waiting for you to get them on).

I honestly do not remember what the specific thing was that my daughter was doing now – but I do remember her words.  One day while I was in the kitchen she came in and announced that she did it.  ‘Did what?’ was my reply.  ‘I finally did what you have been telling me!  I thought ahead and was able to avoid (whatever crisis it was at the time)!’  I didn’t really know what to say for a moment – but that didn’t matter, she was excited because now she knew what I meant.

I was amazed and struck at how somewhere along the line through the generations we as a society have lost something.  I say this because I don’t recall my parents ever ‘teaching’ me to think things through or to look beyond the end of my own nose.  It is just what you did.  It is kind of like drinking cleaning supplies or poisons under the sink.  My parents didn’t lock everything up in the cabinets and I never knew anyone who did.  But now we do because for some unknown reason kids think they need to drink or eat stuff like that.

Could it be that we are living in such a fast-paced world that we have no time to think anymore?  Is it because there are more and more families must rely on 2-parent incomes and so our children are carted off to be cared for by others?  Could be that back in the day, kids learned from the elderly in the family and chores were assigned and consequences were doled out?  Just wondering….

I don’t know….

August 13, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Internal Vows Broken

On my journey of late – I have literally been bombarded with reading and hearing messages of being aware of one’s mindset.  Watch what you think and see how it affects your daily life.

‘Okay, God – You must be telling me something here.’  So here I am trying to really take a closer look at something that I thought I pretty much had in the bag.  I mean – I know how negative thinking leads to negative talking and that, in turn, can create a very sad, dismal life.  It wasn’t until I was grown and out on my own – just having had my own child that I first remember considering the effects of such negative thinking.  But I was pretty sure that as the ‘expert’ I believed myself to be – I know how it all works – right?

I remember doing some of that self-talk that I commonly do and saying that I did not want to raise my daughter in such a negative environment as I was raised in.  Let me stop here and say that I love my mom.  I love her.  She did the best she could with what she knew and how she was raised.  I understand that.  But truthfully she was one of the most negative people I’ve ever known.  She was quick to tell you what you were doing was wrong or how something couldn’t be or couldn’t happen because of (fill in the blank).  She could be hurtful in the things she said.

So I did not want to raise my child in the same manner.  At the time, I knew nothing about things such as that being carried on through the generations similar to alcoholism or abuse, for example.  What I did know is that it was going to be up to me to not be that way.  So I made a point of trying to be positive with my daughter.  I made a point of hugging her and telling her openly that I loved her (again – not something that we did as I was growing up).

Through the years since the birth of my daughter, my family (including my parents) went through a transformation.  We made progress in how we interact with each other.  We became closer.  We hugged each other.  We told each other ‘I love you.’  Just ask my brother – who was not living near us – he thought we were a bit odd when he would come to see us and we were all touchy-feely! LOL

As I said – I felt that I had this mindset thing in the bag.  BUT – I must admit there are other things I am just now realizing that maybe I didn’t do so well or am not doing so well.  Or maybe I fell into that trap of depending on myself and my own abilities a tad too much.  And, since I’ve been asking God to ‘change me from the inside out’ – then, I believe I better sit up and pay attention because He is showing me a few things here!

For instance – I don’t know how to have fun.  You know if you don’t know how to have fun, it is difficult to enjoy life.  I truly believe that God intends for us to enjoy this life and what He has provided for us.  Yes, we went on vacation recently and that was fun!  But what I mean is on a daily basis kind of fun or enjoyment.  And that thought keeps rolling around in my head lately – ‘I don’t know how.’   And honestly – I will leave that one just as it is for now….because I really have no more to say about something I know nothing about.  All I know is that it bugs me – and it needs to change.  So I will wait to see what He reveals to me in this area.  It’s coming – I just know it.

Everything goes hand in hand too.  I believe that God is always there to provide for me.  I trust that fact.  But I still find that when the pressure is building and life’s stresses come around – I tend to get grumpy – and sometimes a tad depressed.  This leads me to believe that I need to change my way of thinking – right?

So why do I get grumpy? Hmmm….. Could it possibly be because I find myself losing ‘control’ – or at least what I perceive to be control of a situation?  Yep, I think so.   So why do I need to feel that I am in control?  Hmmm…..Fear?  Yep, I think so.  What am I afraid of?  Well, I don’t know…..failure, I guess.  Big whoop.  All I know is that I have always had a fear of failure – and that kept me from doing things – a lot of things actually.  I wouldn’t participate in games for example because I didn’t want to make a mistake when all eyes were on me.

And yet if I circle back around – do I or don’t I trust in God?  If so – then I need to not have fear of anything – right?  *Sigh* I am getting tired…..and dizzy – aren’t you!?

Okay – so those are the biggies right now.  But also it is all of the little things that snowball into huge things.  I say this because I see a lot of my shortcomings in the area of negativity coming from my children.  Ouch.  And here I thought I had it all figured out….

My daughter is so awesomely strong!  She is fearless and I am so in awe of her and her accomplishments at her young age of 21.  But at the same time I see difficulties as a result of her hard-headedness and her negativity.  This, in turn, affects those around her making everyone miserable.  It comes out in anger.  People and things constantly ‘make her angry’ (although we all know that no one makes you angry unless you choose to be angry).  She’s been hurt in her life and this is her defense mechanism.  And my heart hurts about this because though I may not be the main cause of that pain, I do own that I had a part in it too.

My beautiful 7 year old son – he is a fairly quiet and tender-hearted individual.  However, he complains – a lot.  He cries often out of frustration for things not going his way – not like tantrums that kids have – but more like sadness.  For him, if he doesn’t know how to do something – he cries that he can’t – even if you attempt to show him that he can.  He seldom ‘likes’ things – it’s usually ‘I don’t like it’.  And it really doesn’t matter what it is – he may like some sort of food today but tomorrow if you give it to him – he finds something wrong.

But wait a minute…..isn’t that what I was talking about earlier when describing what I grew up in?  But didn’t I say that I consciously made an effort to be different and not raise my kiddos in the same way?  I didn’t think I did….but what happened?

Obviously God is showing me that I don’t have it all together and that I shouldn’t be getting such a big head!  He is showing me that I still need to learn to lean on him more – like lean ALL the way on Him.  And I have to say folks, this is scary for me – because I don’t know how this happened, but I am beginning to see that I am the common factor here with my kids….so…..it…..must…..come…..from…..me!?  Again – ouch!

My devotional for today is from Haggai 1:5 where God tells the people who are dissatisfied and experiencing problems to ‘consider their ways’.  And again I see where I need to take a hard, long and honest look at myself.  I need to consider my views of the world and what thoughts and words come from me.  I influence others – and how I do that is up to me.  It can be in a positive light where people can see Christ in me or it can be in a negative manner in which no one would or should follow.

I am praying that God will help me to see more – as painful as it is – and to help me to learn.  I pray for a changed heart, a changed mind.  And I am also seeking forgiveness for past sins and claiming victory over the generational ‘curses’.  I am declaring that they be broken so that they no longer carry on in my family.  My family will heal and grow in God’s loving care and we will overcome!

Thank You, Father – for loving us and providing for us.  Thank You for Your patience and Your grace – especially when we are slow to learn.  Amen.

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July 30, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Belief vs Unbelief

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Heard another message that really hit home for me this morning….like a ton of bricks….my head still hurts (Ha!).

The speaker was teaching about how Christians can be saved, but still have unbelief.  Not that we don’t believe in God and that Christ died for us – but rather how we often focus on our issues or problems rather than the promises of God.

The speaker said that unbelief comes to be when we do not consider (meditate on or bear in mind) the promises of God.  Instead we focus (or consider) on the problem/issue more – and all of this comes to us in a variety of ways:

  •  Disbelief – when we are given incorrect teaching of God’s word

o   Can be countered by our reading and studying His word for ourselves

  • Natural Unbelief – is relying on what we physically see and hear – what we naturally experience

o   Again countered by what we know of God’s word and not on our own emotions/senses

  • Hardened Heart – a result of what you will not consider/accept

o   Countered by considering/meditating on the promise rather than the issue – instead of thinking that something is or is not going to happen (based upon your knowledge or experience about the issue) – you simply believe that although you don’t know how, you know for sure that God will take care of it and it will happen in a way far beyond your imagination

 Our own unbelief often stands in the way of the promise being fulfilled. And we’ve all read and heard that before.  But I guess I never thought of it past believing in God and that Christ died for me.  I never thought of it in terms of my thinking or views having an impact on the results.  I mean – yes, I’ve said to myself or others ‘God will take care of us’ – or something along those lines.  But what was really rolling around deep inside my mind at that time?

Funny thing is though, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been learning a lot lately.  About myself.  About God. About my life and this journey I’m on.  And I had already come to realize that I need to re-direct my thought process as I’m working to trust and have more faith in God.  And this message today simply reinforced what I have been processing in my own mind lately.

For example, I have been working through some financial issues of late – and I knew I was in for some very rough times.  It was going to be bad.  On paper, I simply was not going to make it, folks.  But then I corrected myself and thought ‘No, I am going to trust God.  He is going to see me through this.  I am going to rely fully on Him and stop worrying about what I cannot change.’

I have to tell you – I was nauseous with worry about what I was going to do – and several times throughout the day I would speak with God about it.  And I would remind myself to stop worrying, trust God – stop thinking about it, trust God…..you get the picture.  Over and over I would go through that process.  It took a couple of days – but the anxiety subsided.  It took time, I believe because if I wasn’t careful, I would find myself getting anxious and contemplating the horrible things I just knew was going to happen ‘IF God decided not to help me out of my predicament’.  I also praised Him and thanked Him for taking care of me and my son.  Each time I caught my mind wandering back to the dark side – I would praise Him and thank Him and claim His promises to me.  And of course, He was faithful and He worked it all out for me!  I just had to focus my thoughts on my heavenly Father and stop focusing on the things of this world.  Why oh why do we make things so difficult on ourselves?

Ultimately, this has taught me to think a little deeper and do some serious soul-searching about my ‘self-talk’.  I am the expert in telling myself that something is not as good as it should be or why would God do this when I did that, etc.  Few people know that I have a Commercial Art & Advertising education on my resume – the reason?  I was so critical of my own work it was not rewarding to do the work.  Therefore, I never pursued that field as a career.

So, on this piece of my journey I am striving to redirect my thinking.  To stop and tell myself, ‘No – I am not going to think that way.  Instead, I’m going to believe and trust that God is going to do _____.’  I am going to keep reminding myself daily that I am loved.  I am worthwhile.  God is waiting for me to get out of my own way – so He can do miraculous things!

Wishing you a blessed day! Take care

July 29, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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JOURNEY KICK-START

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I feel that my journey is about to kick in gear.  Sure, something is always happening and we are always experiencing and hopefully learning – but I ‘feel’ something coming my way.  Not sure what it is – but I’m excited!  I see things lining up in my life.  So many prayers have been answered.  Or better yet – I know that God has always provided for me and mine – but I am more aware of the answered prayers lately.  I have been made more aware of how my thoughts and actions can hinder – but that if I stop and remind myself that I need to wait on God – Wow!  It’s been so awesome!

I find myself wanting to shout it out to everyone and tell them all about what is happening – but of course, I realize that most folks would deem me a crazy person and/or be turned off and tune me out….so I refrain.  I want to share with everyone each time a realization comes to me – but instead I make myself calm down and allow God to use me in the best way He sees fit.

One area that I am anxiously waiting upon the Lord to deal with is my Fibromyalgia.  Actually the Fibro Fog bothers me more than the pain – but they go hand-in-hand.  I find myself frustrated because I can’t get my thoughts together.  I have always been a sharp, quick-thinking and detail-oriented person.  But this Fibro Fog has taken a lot of that away from me.  My blogging is a perfect example.  I have many, many things I would like to write about – but am unable to get it done due to the scatter-brained thought processes I have now.

But that’s okay.  I’m waiting.  I have faith.  In the meantime, it forces me to assess things that I probably took for granted in the past.  It causes me to consider my relationship with God.  It creates in me a stronger desire to trust and be dependent on Him.  But just you wait – I believe that when there is full breakthrough in this area – it will be time for seeing some very real changes in my life!

Something else I’ve been thinking about quite a bit.  I’ve probably touched on it in past posts – can’t recall.  But…..I need a friend.  I don’t have one.  I have lots of people I care deeply about (coworkers, former coworkers, etc.) – but not a real friend.  Yes, I’ve mentioned one over the past few months – but she and I have finally come to the conclusion that it’s difficult being close friends with someone you have absolutely nothing in common with other than you have known each other for years.  We simply couldn’t find a way to connect.

So – why don’t I have a friend?  Hmmmm…..  Well, I think for one that since we moved around a lot while growing up – I learned to make friends easily but never got really close with them because we would always be moving on.  We were very close as a family though – and so as an adult now, my family is who I am close to.  I miss my brother so darn much it hurts – and I wish he lived closer….but that’s another story for another time.

When younger and single and a different lifestyle – yep, lots of friends that I hung out with then.  When I got married – I was content to just be with my little family.  But being single again and living a Christian lifestyle – I find it difficult to ‘meet’ people who I have enough in common with that we might be able to become friends.

I will admit that I have not ‘connected’ to the singles group at church for a couple of reasons.  Some may say those are just excuses – and maybe they are – but for now, it’s the way it is for me.  For one – I go to church on Saturdays because I want my son to have that exposure and to be involved in our church.  On Sundays – he is with his father.  The singles group meets on Sundays.  So – why not get up and go again on Sunday?  Yep, I’ve thought about it.  A lot – but so far, I haven’t had the energy to do that…..I usually need at least one full day of nothing but rest at home in order to make it through the week at work without my Fibro interfering.

Getting back to the subject of a friendship for me – please pray that God will put the right person in my life to fulfill that need.  Pray that we can be a blessing to each other and that we always keep God in the very center of it at all times!

Moving on now – here is something that I heard Creflo Dollar say the other day: “A tree bears fruit when it is exposed to sunlight and water.  We bear fruit as we are exposed to SON-light and God’s living water.”  I like that.  Just let that sit with you a bit.  What do you think?  Isn’t it true?

Another thing I heard from someone else recently:  We shouldn’t be amazed when supernatural things take place.  If we are amazed, then we need to take a look at our hearts and our relationship with Christ.  The speaker was trying to say that if we relate so much to this world that when we see supernatural things we are in awe of them – that maybe our focus is incorrect.  But – at least from my view – it wouldn’t be amazement that it happened, but rather the awesomeness of witnessing the event!  It makes my heart sing to witness awesome things from God.  So I’m not sure I agree with this line of thought – we all perceive things differently, don’t we?

This reminds me of a time when a coworker had foundation stabilization work done on their home.  Her husband had been paralyzed years prior and was in a wheelchair.  He had recently fallen out of his wheelchair and broken his leg and had to have surgery.  In an odd turn of events, she tripped while trying to learn to rollerblade and broke her own leg in two places.  During this time, she and her husband had various companies coming out to give quotes on the work to be done on their home.  They made their decision and came to an agreement with the company of their choice.  At the end of the job, the owner of the company stopped by one evening and said that ‘God had laid it on his heart to not charge them for the work.’

I remember this like it was yesterday – but isn’t that awesome!?  I’m sure some folks wouldn’t agree – but what I saw was God doing an awesome thing here!  Not only was this man close to God, he was obedient to His prompting.  In turn two people who were very used to being independent and taking care of their own needs – learned what it was like to experience God’s love.  And all of the coworkers and friends of theirs had the opportunity to witness some supernatural work taking place!

And finally, I will end with a little heart-medicine….. My ex-husband has been out of the country (visiting the new wife) for a little over 3 weeks.  He called to speak with our son one time for about 5 minutes.  After all this time, I figured my son would be stuck to him like glue when he returned (because he was always very attached to his daddy).  Dad just returned last week and so my son spent this past Friday night, Saturday and Sunday with his dad.  He tells me when he gets home Sunday night – ‘I’m sure glad to be back home with you, Mommy.’  Can you say Awwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hey – you take the little sweetheart moments where you can find ‘em, folks!  They will be grown and gone before you know it!

Take care.

 

July 22, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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RANDOM FIBRO-BURSTS

ImageI have been suffering from a really bad bout of Fibromyalgia and the Fibro Fog that comes with that lately.  As a result – I want to blog but can’t think clearly enough to figure out what to say or how to say it.  I have decided to attempt it with some random topics but be warned – this may or may not make any sense!

 rd a message this morning about renewing the mind and how we must continually ‘feed’ it in order to win the battle over the sinful nature of our flesh.   One renews the mind by God’s word.  And it hit me that this is where I always struggle the most.  I know this is the reason why I never seem to grow – or grow as much as I desire.  My problem?  Besides the Fibro Fog – which hinders my thinking and concentrating on much of anything – I struggle with reading the bible in general.

Yes, I’ve read it.  Yes, I followed all of the advice from many.  But I admit I do not read it daily.  It has never been satisfying or educational to me.  Maybe because of all of the negativity and ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ in which I was raised – I find the words of the bible to be harsh and cold many times – more criticizing than helping.  When I hear teachings of the bible and it is ‘interpreted’ or I read a devotional piece – I am then able to perceive it in a different light.  But why can’t I do that myself?

I have asked several church leaders over the years.  They never have any helpful advice other than ‘start in the New Testament’ or ‘start with the gospels/Psalms/Proverbs’.  Which, as I’ve stated – I’ve done all of that.  It’s frustrating to me – as I am an avid reader.  I love reading (though I don’t do it as much with the Fibro).  For now – when I go to church or hear a message that particularly moves me – I make note of the scriptures discussed. Then I go back when I’m at home and re-read and study the context in which the scripture(s) are written. 

I don’t know – am I so weird that no one has ever experienced this too?  *sigh* – Someday, Father, someday.

Okay – enough of my whining.  Moving on now…..

So, this weekend was my 30-year class reunion.  That’s depressing – we can’t possibly be that old!  Age is a state of mind – right?  It looks like everyone had a good time.  I didn’t go.  I was too worn out from my vacation and then playing catch up at work.  I have come to learn what my limits are in activity and then how much time it will take for the Fibro to kick in, etc.  So I knew that I would not be able to attend since it fell shortly after my very active vacation.

It’s kind of weird for me though – I never really ‘hung out’ with most of the kids in my own class.  I typically hung out with an older group, and I have a lack of memory (Fibro Fog) –  so the reunion didn’t mean as much to me.  Or maybe it’s Facebook.  It has allowed me to re-connect and see how everyone is doing and that is good enough for me – at least for now.

Random rant….

Let me preface this with I am not one to get on the political bandwagon.  I am not one to jump on the debate team either.  But this T Martin/G Zimmerman issue really bugs me.  I don’t know who did what first or much about the incident – I tend to tune the ‘big’ stories out when the media keeps on and on and on.  But I’ve picked up enough to know how the trial ended – and the firestorm that is now brewing.

I guess the thing that bugs me about this and other similar cases in our history is why everyone immediately has to jump on the racial issue.  Maybe it’s the part of the country that I live in – but I don’t see the discrimination as prevalent as the media makes out.  Yes, it still exists – but it comes from all races – don’t you think?  It seems to me that it has become a crutch or excuse for people to either get special treatment or throw tantrums (called protests or rallies).  And really – does it make any sense whatsoever to destroy the very place that one lives in ‘protest’ (as we have seen play out on national television)?  Why aren’t ‘other’ races having rallies every time someone walks after a crime against one of ‘their own’?  Look at all of the sex offenders/molesters who get a slap on the hand after literally destroying the innocence of a child – some of them are of a ‘different race’ than the victim – so where are the protests and anger there!?

I could go on about this – but like I said, I don’t care to re-hash the same old story that we have all been reading and hearing daily.  But I just want to say one more thing:  I cannot imagine how Zimmerman could get off completely – but I wasn’t on the jury.  That being said – why is it that we adhere to our justice system only when we want to these days, Mr. President? 

Random thought…..

I lost my mom almost 5 years ago.  I loved her.  We were close friends.  But I never cried for her when she passed.  I teared up a bit at the service – but that was mainly due to my daughter and dad crying.  I can’t handle it when my loved ones cry.  People would tell me that ‘it will come’ – just wait. 

So far that still has not happened.  It used to really bug me.  I wondered why there is a part of me that won’t allow it.  In the big picture of things – I believe it goes along with why I don’t have close friends and why I don’t crumble during crisis.  It’s part of a protection mechanism in me.  I don’t allow myself to ‘feel’ too much in certain areas – so I won’t be hurt too much or fall completely apart.  Or at least that’s what I think it is at any rate.  That’s a whole other story that I’ve touched on in other posts – so I won’t go into here.

But to get back to my mom – I do miss her greatly.  Sad thing is – I was missing her before she passed away.  Her quality of life in the end was non-existent.  She suffered greatly for a very long time – again, another story.  Lately though, I find myself thinking of her more often.  And my heart is a bit saddened at times because I wish she were here to see or hear things that I know she would have appreciated.

In spite of my own struggle with the bible study – I have learned or heard certain teachings that I sure wish Mom could have heard.  I know that it would have eased her mind about a few things.  And it would have explained certain things that I recall her wondering about.  And my church – she would have really enjoyed it, I believe.

I have also seen pictures or things lately that make me think of her and how she would have like it.  The other day I saw some yard ornaments of some funny frogs – Mom loved frogs – and I thought of her.  Just this morning I saw the most beautiful full moon through my neighbor’s trees – it was an awesome sight!  I remember her saying she loved God’s beauty in the world and hoped she was around to see much more of it – that was many, many years ago.  And I guess she did get to see a lot in her time!

My 7-year old son thinks about her a lot too.  And that is interesting if you consider his age when she passed away.  It seems like he wouldn’t have much of a memory of her really.  And honestly, I’m not sure that he does have real memories – but from what he does know and hear about her – it’s enough for him.  He likes that she is in heaven and that she feels better.  He wants to see her though – he mentions that a lot.  He says he can hardly wait to get to heaven to see her feeling better.  And he knows how much she loved animals so he is positive that she is ‘taking good care’ of the two dogs we had to put down a couple of years ago.  He is excited about heaven.  And about God.  He has lots of questions for God when he gets there – so He best be ready! LOL

Random thought…..

I need to find a way to make a living from home.  My Fibro pain makes it more and more difficult to keep a regular schedule.  Fibro Fog makes it difficult to think clearly.  I have a very strong desire to teach/train….about something – not sure how that would work though.  I want to create…..something – but can’t decide on what. Ugh!

Random thought…..

Okay – never mind.  Fibro Fog is screwing with my thought process – so I will end the blogging for now.  I hope you weren’t too confused with my ramblings and that you will choose to stick around.  Things will get better – they always do!

Have a great week J

July 11, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Take Time to Reflect

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I just got back from the BEST vacation!  We haven’t been on an out-of-town vacation in almost 4 years – so needless to say, it was MUCH needed.  But besides that, God revealed a lot of things to me.

Briefly I will tell you that we live in the Texas Panhandle – if you have never been here before, let me say that it is hot, dry and flat.  No trees.  Very little water.  And windy – very, very windy.  We do have the second-largest canyon in the country (Palo Duro Canyon) – and it is something to see!  The beauty here is in the people.  We have the friendliest people around – and that is a true blessing!

For vacation, we headed to the nearest mountains (see the picture I took above!).  We stayed in Red River, NM.  I’m not a person who enjoys snow — so mountains in the summer is my kind of fun.  We spent our time doing the following: fireworks on the lake, watched a parade, grilled, mountain climbing/hiking, tubing down the slopes, off-roading and water rafting.

During our time there, I was able to reflect on a few things.  For instance, I was witness to some little spats that took place within the couples.  Being older than they are, having been there, done that and being single again, gave me a different perspective.  In some ways it was like Deja vu – because I remember thinking/saying/acting in similar ways.  But I could also see where I had matured past a lot of it and I now know that I handled things in the best way I could in my marriage.  It was like God was allowing me to witness these things to let me know that maybe, just maybe I needed to forgive myself a bit more.  I have always been critical of myself and though I thought I had moved on, I suppose that I still blamed myself for ‘failing’ in my marriage. So this let me know that 1) I no longer need to second-guess my thoughts/feelings on certain things and 2) It always takes two – so it isn’t all my fault.

I experienced some pain that I thought had healed through the years when I learned of some unkind, hurtful words being told to another.  It brought back memories.  It hurt and it helped – if that makes any sense.  My heart hurt witnessing someone going through the same stuff I had and at the same time it reminded me that what I experienced in my past was not because I’m such a ‘bad’ person or unworthy person – but rather the insecurities of the person saying the hurtful things.

I also learned to lighten up and laugh a little more.  You know, being around young adults is definitely an experience!  It helped to remind me to be happy and enjoy my life a little more. And it helped to get me off my duff and move – to do something active. AND – to drink more water – LOL!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in existing in this world that we forget to really look around.  We forget to pause and take a look at what He has provided. So I am also thankful that I was able to enjoy God’s beautiful creations there.  We saw it rain every afternoon – where that would normally put a damper on one’s activities – we danced in it!  We would stand like goobs and simply breathe.  It was fantastic!  I must admit, when we got back home to the dry 100-degree temps – I was a bit disgusted.  I keep telling myself to mellow out though – LOL

And – it has inspired me to really do some serious praying about guidance and seeking God’s will for me.  For a couple of years now, I have had a desire to make a living in a different field – but I typically squash it down and try to ignore it.  I have obligations.  I can’t see how I could do anything else.  Blah, blah, blah……but now I’m thinking, why not!?  If God has put this desire in my heart, I should be listening – right?  So, that is my goal.  I will keep my heart and mind open and wait for His lead.

I also discovered that though I thought I was pretty stress-free these days, apparently I’m not as much as I thought.  No wonder I’m still struggling with my Fibromyalgia (mainly the Fibro-fog) and weight/health issues.  Yes, I’m better than I was – thank you, Father!  But I experienced true peace and contentment while away from the daily grind.  And I want that in my life!  So, I have decided to work on that a little more. Progress not perfection – as the saying goes.

And finally, I was simply able to truly enjoy my family.  I love my family.  We are tight.  But this allowed us to forget the daily stresses of life and just have fun.  It’s been a long time, folks.  I saw my 7-year old mature right before my eyes.  My daughter is struggling with a few things and that in itself is growth.  My heart aches for her at times – but I’m so darn proud of her too!  She has her own business at the young age of 20 years old – not many can say that, you know.  I love my son-in-law.  He is intelligent and responsible and he loves my daughter.  My ‘other’ daughter – I call her that, she’s my daughter’s best friend — I finally got to know her a little more (she’s always been so quiet though I’ve known her for years).  I’m proud of her too – she has grown into a beautiful young lady and she has a bright future ahead of her.  And I got to know her boyfriend – and I like him.  A lot. Not to mention that he saved my bacon when I went overboard on the rafting trip – LOL!

And then there is my dad.  He didn’t go with us.  But he stayed behind and tended to my pets on top of running my ex-husband’s business while he is out of the country.  I don’t know what we would do without him.  I’m 48 years old and still tend to run to him for advice.  We all do.  He’s a great man and I thank God for him every single day!

Coming back home I found a few more things to appreciate (once I got over the disgust of the extreme temps).  I learned that some of my daughter’s friends were disappointed that we were gone over the 4th of July holiday.  We typically have a cookout at my place and they had wanted to do it again this year.  It’s nice to know that they (being teens and young adults) feel they can come out and have a good time and that they don’t mind being around an ‘adult’ (me) – so I must be okay.

Bottom line, I found a greater appreciation for my job, my home, my life and my church.  Though I have a desire to do other things – I will be content where I’m at until God shows me that it is time to do something different.  I have faith that I am yet on another exciting journey with my Father and that He will shower me and my family with many more blessings.

Hope you are having a great summer and please, take time to thank God for the blessings He has provided.

As a side note:  a friend of mine is listing 10 things he is thankful for each day on Facebook.  I’m thinking that is not a bad idea.  I may start doing that too in order to keep my mind on the lookout for the positive and the good things in life!

June 10, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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It Has Been One of THOSE Days!

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We all have days that make you wonder if you shouldn’t go back home and start over……or go back to bed.  It seems like we had one like that today at work.

Monday.  Walk in and find that two offices have been flooded due to who-knows-what….some leaking pipes or something.  It ruined a few things in the payroll office.  There were guys here cleaning up the mess, setting up fans and looking to repair the mess.  Instantly, when you walk near the place, you smell the mildew/moisture – which is not a good thing for some of us (me included) who have allergies to such ‘aromas’.  Top that with the cleaning products that permeated the air – which triggered more problems for some very highly sensitive folks in the office.  All of that made for some pretty miserable people.

Add to that – our phone system was down.  Tech guys didn’t know why. They rigged up a phone that allowed the external calls to continue coming in – but they couldn’t be transferred or place on hold, etc.  Therefore the receptionists had to take messages and/or ask the caller to call the employee’s cell phone (company phones, not personal).  Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?

And finally – a dear, beloved man that our company has worked closely with for many, many years passed away this weekend.  His funeral was today.  Several folks are greatly saddened by this.

I must say though – everyone handled the chaotic morning better than some places I’ve worked before.  Everyone simply got to work doing what was necessary.  And ultimately it smoothed out by the end of the day – for the most part. 

Yes, it has been one of those days, for sure.

Then there is my friend.  She and I email back and forth to check in on each other from time to time.  She is ‘stressed’ she says.  I say she is depressed.  Either way, she doesn’t sound good.  I worry – no, I am concerned about her – because she tends to take on unnecessary burdens.  She is a people-pleaser and therefore she takes on too many things trying to ‘help’ others at the expense of her own well-being.  She means well.  She is a good person.  But she needs to stop doing that.

Most of our conversations consist of her looking to escape by moving somewhere else.  I’ve known her for over 20 years and she has always wanted to leave town.  She did once…for a while and then she came back.  But she still dreams of leaving.  I personally think she is looking for things to be ‘better’ in another place rather than facing what the real problem is in her life.  Do I know what her ‘problem’ is?  No.  That’s not my expertise – but it seems to me that she is looking to fill a huge void in her life with material things rather than with what she really needs.

I believe she has a lot of self-esteem issues.  I believe she needs a closer relationship with God – let Him fill that void.  But she’s not there yet.  She ‘searches’ by visiting different churches every week – but can’t seem to land anywhere. And she believes she is ‘good’ in this area – and honestly, who am I to judge?

I care deeply for her – and I’m concerned greatly.  I pray for her.  I don’t ‘worry’ because that is not of God – and I know that He knows better than I what she needs and what she needs to learn on her journey.  She and I have little in common – we don’t even know why or how we became friends actually.  We are both single moms – but her kids are grown.  I have one grown and one 7-year-old. So we don’t really hang out or do anything together.  We communicate by email and sometimes by phone and that’s it.

Since we don’t hang like best friends normally do – I choose my words carefully with her so as not to sound like I’m preaching.  After all, I’m on my own journey (hence the name of my blog).  But I do try my best to be encouraging and uplifting when I can.  But here’s the kicker…

I have to be careful so as not to be taken down the negativity road myself.  What I mean is – have you ever been around people who want to dwell in the negative all of the time!?  If you have, you know how draining that can be.  You know how it can ‘rub off’ on you if you aren’t careful.  Since I come by negativity very naturally myself – it takes real effort to keep myself from going there.  So when I find myself banging up against that wall with her – I try to be encouraging, she shoots it down, I try another angle, she finds something wrong with it too…I simply have to step back, and remind myself of the Truth.  And remember that He is in control and that it is not up to me to do or fix her situation. 

If God chooses to use me to be a testimony or something – that’s awesome!  But that doesn’t mean that I am to ‘do’ anything – because that is ME controlling the situation again – or trying to at least.  See how I must self-talk all of the time because I find myself chasing my own tail!?  LOL – don’t worry, I’m not crazy yet. Just traveling along on my journey with my best friend – God!

But I do have a tremendous need for my vacation to hurry up already!!!!  I can hardly wait – mountains, fresh air, fresh water…..ahhhhh!  Can you see it, feel it, smell it!?!?  I have included pics I took on my last vacation with this post – this will give you an idea.

 

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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June 7, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Learning & Leaning Every Day

After my rambling in my last post about how saddened and discouraged I sometimes get – I thought I would now counter that with some more positive and encouraging words!

Life is like a rollercoaster with highs and lows. The main thing to remember is to hang on in the low times in order to get through them and into the high times – right? At least that is my view. I’ve really been that way all my life – even with my natural tendency to find the negatives in life, I don’t allow those down times to keep me down. For me it’s just a matter of dealing the best I can and waiting for the next wave.

While I was feeling down about the thoughts rumbling around in my head when I wrote the other post – a part of me kept saying ‘no, I am not going to remain in this place’. I will release the pressure that was building for so long inside by writing it down, but I refuse to allow myself to remain down on life and society, etc. First of all, what’s the point? Does my attitude make a difference in how this world will rotate? Nope. It only makes a difference in MY life and how I choose to live it.

I believe that God waits for me to wallow around and get a little dirty and messy for a bit – until I run full circle right back to Him. It is then that He starts to reveal things to me. I know that I have this constant and unnecessary little battle in most things I do – because I am such a strong-willed person maybe? But it seems that most times it is like this – I am battling and fighting for survival and then I finally slow down, calm down and turn my thoughts and focus back on God.

If it were a cartoon – you would see me running around chasing my own tail or like a chicken with its head cut off (as the saying used to go). And you would see God sitting there silently watching and waiting for me to run out of steam. Then he would gently pick me up off the ground and comfort me without a single word -without any criticism what-so-ever but simply with love and kindness and unbelievable patience. Once I catch my breath and settle in to pay attention, He will then show me whatever it is that I need to know. And of course I then see that had I started with my focus on Him, I would have saved myself a lot of energy and bruises.

Right after I wrote that last post – I met with someone asking for some insight about a very difficult situation she was in. That gently reminded me of how many people still come to me for support or advice or whatever insight I might be able to give them. And then just yesterday, my superior mentioned that I had stated something several months ago about praying for someone that I had difficulties with –and that she was trying to do the same now. I realized that a simple statement I had said had made an impact – when I didn’t even realize it.

Also another coworker made a statement that I was quite an example of a true Christian – and that I walked the walk. Wow. I was taken aback. You see I don’t think in terms like that really. I don’t think to myself that I must act and talk a certain way necessarily – I simply desire to treat others in a compassionate way and to always be fair and honest. The way I want to be treated.

There was God’s gentle voice in my ear –reminding me to not let the negatives of this world take me down. Not to allow myself to wallow too long because people around me were watching. People were learning from me. They were taking to heart things that I barely gave a second thought to honestly.

Okay – so I’m getting back up, folks. My fibro pain is in full throttle this week and I’m so incredibly tired I can barely function. BUT – I will not allow it to get in my way. I will not allow it to cloud my thinking and feeling down on life in general. After all – this life is a gift from my God! I will cherish it and take care of it to the best of my ability.

More importantly though, I will strive to always keep Him in the driver’s seat and simply enjoy the ride!

I hope all who reads this will have a wonderfully blessed and fabulous weekend (today is Friday as I write this). And maybe take a minute to slow down, quiet down and listen to that loving Voice. See and hear what you might need to learn.

Take care!  Red River

June 5, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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What Are We Doing To Each Other & Why!?

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Image courtesy of bplanet /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lately there has been something weighing heavily on my heart.  And I keep thinking I want to post about it – but then I struggle with how to put it into words so as not to sound too negative and judgmental.   If you follow my blog – you may have heard some of this before – but read on, some of it is new.

I suppose we all reflect on similar things as we get older.  Maybe when we mature we start looking at life through different eyes.  I struggle to put into words the things that come to mind in a manner that won’t sound like generations before me – ‘this world is going to hell in a hand basket’ or ‘this generation is so ________’ (you fill in the blank).  You know what I mean – we’ve all heard those types of statements from parents and grandparents.

However, I do not believe this is the same as the generations before me.  I have always been able to take what is thrown at me and I can handle change – even when I don’t like the change.  So I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the past or anything of that nature.  As a matter of fact, I’m the one who is usually helping others to transition into what’s new or different.

Maybe my problem is that I hold people to a high standard.  I always have.  And yes, I am often disappointed or hurt because of that standard.  People are people and don’t we all fall short?  So what am I rambling about you ask?  It is how people treat each other these days.  Our society seems to have lost compassion for one another.

We have kids killing kids.  We have people being picked on (now called bullied) to the point of suicide.  We have people hating each other for no reason.  What happened?  Some of it is that we did it to ourselves.  Don’t you think?  We have raised a generation (or two) who believes that they should be made comfortable at all times.  They should get what they want, when they want and you better not make them work for it either.  They expect it to be their way or the highway. 

I believe that is why no one is allowed to say or do or think for themselves anymore.  No one is allowed to compete.  No one is allowed to joke around or have fun – because after all, we might ‘offend’ some group of people. And I believe that is why there are so many jumping on the bandwagon to accuse others of saying discriminatory or slanderous things.  It’s like people are just waiting to pounce on every little thing – maybe because there is no adrenaline rush anymore – after all, everyone gets a blue ribbon whether they work hard or not.  There is no sense of accomplishment and the thrill of competition is non-existent – so let’s find something to do….hey look – that person said the ‘R’ word!  Let’s get him!  Without logically considering the context in which things are being said – people want to get a rush from attacking.

And then there are situations such as my former employer.  I’ve touched on it a few times but have not gone in depth.  This is – no, was a place of love and caring for others.  The sole purpose of this establishment was to help those in need while allowing them to maintain dignity.  It was to show God’s love – to be His hands and feet in the community.  That is why I applied to work there – I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  That is why everyone I worked with was there too.  We shared that same desire.  Regardless of the lower pay scale – those who worked there chose the blessings of improving the lives of the less fortunate over money in their own pockets.

In all my years in the corporate world, I have never worked with such an awesome group of people!  I’ve never seen so many people willing to put so much energy and everything they have into their work.  As mentioned, the pay was very low – and yet people stayed because of that love for others.  There were times when paychecks didn’t come on time.  There were times when benefits were taken away.  There were even times when pay was taken back for a period of time….and yet we stayed.

However, as the years progressed there was a group of individuals outside of the agency who couldn’t stand not having their hands in the middle of it all.  They simply would not leave things alone.  Slowly this outside entity started creating a different atmosphere into our agency.  I started seeing some of the meanest and cruelest actions by people who claimed to be Christians.  To this day I am amazed at the arrogance of this group (I am calling them a group rather than a specific church as I do not wish to label or lump any particular group of people together).  I am surprised at how these people would look you in the eye and tell you that that they strive to show God’s love and at the same time – stab you in the back.  Possibly I’m being naïve.  Maybe it’s because I live in the so-called bible belt….but I’m not so sure because I have actually lived all over the country and never experienced anything like this.

Their arrogance and interference led to an upheaval in our agency.  People became stressed.  They were hurt.  Negativity permeated the entire environment.  Very few of us were happy.  No one could trust anyone else.  The gossip mill was rampant.  However, because of our desire and our love for the agency and the people – many of us tried to stick it out.  We assumed it was a cycle that would eventually go away.  Don’t get me wrong, there were problems before any of this took place – there are always issues anywhere you go.  Nothing is perfect.  But even with the shortcomings, one can tell the difference between people who truly are trying their very best and those who are trying to undermine the entire operation for their own greedy reasons.

Through those years, I watched the head of the group treat his second-hand man like dirt in front of others.  I remember being appalled and shocked that someone could be so openly cruel.  I eventually lost all respect for this person and honestly that religious group as a whole.  There was once a very loving and caring person who stepped in as an Interim Director – just to help out until a permanent replacement was found.  His sweet little wife was very ill.  It didn’t take but a few minutes talking with him to know just how much he loved his wife.  He was the picture of how you hope your own marriage would be.  But before long, this ‘group’ was pushing him to do more and more in the church – to the point that the head told him that he should be picking his service to the church over the needs of his wife.  Kudos to him – he told them what they could do with the whole thing!

Let me be clear – I don’t mean that I believe all people of this faith are bad.  What I mean is that for whatever reason there are those who have this idea that they are all-powerful and that they can do whatever they please.  They are out to gain whatever they think will advance them to the next level and they don’t care who they stomp on in the process.  Harsh words – I never thought I would say….but I have felt this way for several years as I’ve watched how people are used and then thrown away when no longer useful.

When I finally decided to leave – I was completely burned out.  When we hear of people getting burned out – the picture in my mind is that they are tired, exhausted and bored with whatever they are doing to the point that it is time to stop.  I also assumed that once they change environments all is well again.  Not the case here.  And since I’ve visited with others who have also left since my departure – I know they have gone through the same process.  I believe that it is because we put so much of ourselves into that place.

It has been a very long healing process – one that I am still recovering from to this day.  It’s like coming out of a very dark, ugly place into the sunlight.  You don’t quite know what to do.  You don’t feel you fit in – you don’t feel like you know how to react to or with others.  You jump in startled reaction to the simplest things because you know that had you been back at the other place – man, you would have been in trouble big time!  It’s similar to being in an abusive mental/emotional relationship. We have had to learn that it’s okay to be happy again.  It’s okay to not fear others and believe that they are out to get you.  Eventually you figure out that you no longer have to second-guess the motives of every little thing.

Since my leaving, I have been surprised but pleasantly honored to have many of my former coworkers seek me out for friendship and/or counsel on how to handle things that are still going on in that place or once they have moved on to another.  My heart aches for all those still there.  Since I am in the Human Resource field, I have made it a personal mission of mine to seek job openings and post announcements on my FB page just so those who are considering a change will have information should they wish to apply.

For a time, I found myself angry.  I was angry for the way my friends/former coworkers are being treated.  How they have been lied to.  I was angry because I heard from multiple people that I and others who have since left have been thrown under the bus over and over again.  Yes, I know that is a typical thing whenever a person leaves – they are then blamed for everything wrong.  But this is more than that.  It is announcements or open discussions being made in group meetings that are inappropriate.  Private and confidential things are being aired to others who have no need to hear it.  They are assumptions and discussions by the so-called leaders of the agency who know absolutely nothing about what took place prior to them or why decisions were made.  And honestly I have always worked diligently to be honest, trustworthy and reliable in my work.  I worked hard to gain the trust and appreciation of the members of the board – only to have the so-called leader now tell lies about me/us.

Forgiveness.  I know, I know.  I am to forgive.  And I believe I have – and I don’t hold grudges….but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.  And more than my concerns for my own professional reputation are my concerns for those who are still trying to survive in that deceitful environment.  I pray regularly for those folks.  I pray that doors will be opened for all of them to move on.  I also pray that the community soon learns the real truth about what is going on in that place.  It’s no longer serving the community as it was created to do many years ago.

I guess what I’m getting at is that my heart hurts for the state of our society as a whole.  Yes, yes I will acknowledge there are many, many good and caring people still out there.  Heck, I consider myself one of them.  But I almost feel we are being overrun with negative, hurtful individuals who no longer have the compassion.  It got lost somewhere along the way.  And is starts early – check out this post about bullying – it is very touching.

Seems like we need more positive, good stories in the headlines.  Let’s bring back to light what we are all here to do.  We are to share and show God’s love – aren’t we?  Let’s help remind others of the good in people.  It does rub off, you know.  Let’s teach our kids to be good people again – but that it doesn’t mean being a doormat.

I wonder what it would be like to have a news program that focused on GOOD uplifting stories instead of all of the crisis and negativity the world?  I don’t mean that we should stick our heads in the sand….but how about a better balance of news, ya know?   Just a thought……………

 

June 2, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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HE DIDN’T SAY IT WOULD BE EASY….OR PAINLESS…..

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I have had a rough couple of weeks.  I am frustrated with myself – which seems to be a recurring issue.  One that I am trying to work on but have a long ways to go!

If you have been reading my posts you know that I have been trying a detox program.  One that is supposed to get my system straightened up (hormones, candida, you name it).  In turn, it is supposed to make you feel better and ultimately lose weight.  Let me first say I’m very hard-headed (just ask anyone who knows me personally – Ha!).  So please do not think that I am giving up though I am struggling.

I just read something that a Twitter friend sent me as he realized that I was having a rough time – and it certainly gave me some things to think about.  Actually, there are quite a few things that came to mind while reading it – but for now I’m going to stick to just a couple of things.

As mentioned in my previous post – I backslid in my detox program.  I couldn’t take the pain from what they call ‘healing crisis’.  I wimped out.  At least that is my self-talk of late.  Negative self-talk is where I struggle the most in my life.  Logically, I KNOW better.  I KNOW that it is not of God.  I KNOW.  But I have a hard time with it just the same.

I have learned loads of things concerning nutrition and how how body works during this journey.  So on the positive side, if I were to completely stop now I can say that I have gained knowledge that I didn’t have prior to this program.

Once I stopped the liquid-only portion of the detox program – the part that caused my fibromyalgia to flare up – I simply have had a hard time getting back on task.  I started feeling better when I started eating again – so that was good.  But it seems that by the end of that week, I had fallen completely off of the wagon and easily went right back into my old habits.  By the end of the following week – I am extremely exhausted.  Its as if I have had absolutely no sleep.  I can’t think straight.  I can’t focus.  I have no desire to do anything at all.  I also find myself anxious and stressed for no reason.  And I am irritable and grumpy – which is not my nature….it only shows up when I’m tired and stressed.  I also struggle with my writing, which is very discouraging.

As the author of that post I read – there is One who knows what is in store for me.  He alone knows the path I will take and what lies in my future.  I simply have to have faith and rely fully on God.  I believe that is where I am coming up short. 

You see, I realize these things – but struggle with them ‘sticking’ – if you know what I mean.  I don’t know if it is the focus issue I have or not….but I do not that my clarity was improving as I was on this program.  So I am determined to figure out what works for me.

What is going to be different?  First, I am going to stop ‘trying’ to do it myself.  Though I’ve said that I am relying on God – I have concluded that I only do that to an extent. I pray for help but that is as far as it has gone lately.  I even struggle with finding the words to say – though I am well aware that He knows my heart.  I believe that.

I also hope to get to a place where I will replace the negative self-talk to some serious God-talk.  Instead of talking to myself and beating myself up – why not talk to God and let Him speak to me!?  

I’m not going to do the liquid portion of that program again.  But I am going to take the things I’m learning about God’s wonderful creations – our bodies and the wonderful, natural foods He provides for us.  I am going to try juicing I think.  See how it goes.  That seems to be a good way to get an abundance of nutrients in a simple manner.

Also, I haven’t really ‘connected’ with most of my classmates from school.  I find that I am so unhappy with myself and how I have let myself go – that I don’t feel the strength and self-confidence to face people from my skinny days.  However, for some reason – a few weeks ago, I ‘friended’ an old classmate on FB.  I was somewhat in awe of his life.  He and his wife were in the Boston Marathon this year.  And from what I could tell, they run….a lot.  I’ve always wanted to run….but even when I was thin, it didn’t seem a possibility – don’t ask why, because I have no idea why I thought that except that I had very low self-esteem when I was younger.

Recently, he posted a pic of him AND his wife standing inside of a pair of pants that he used to wear!  I asked him how he did it being that he was physically in such bad shape.  He then told me his story.  He has now become one of my role models – though he doesn’t know it.  But it has inspired me to do what I’ve wanted to for years.

I don’t know if I will actually make it to the degree that he has – I don’t even know that it is something I am interested in doing.  But I do believe that I will at least get to the point that I can run – if I want to.

And on a final note, I have been through a lot in my life.  Many say they can’t believe how strong I am or how much I’ve had to deal with and come out of it with such victory.  Example:  My kids have been raised by a single mom – and they are good, well-mannered kids!  No drugs, gangs, pregnancies etc. And above all – they know about God and how to count on Him! 

So this is the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with in quite some time.  And I believe that most of it is because of my own shortcomings.  My own stubborn ways.  My own fear of failure – which in turn makes me quit BEFORE failing.  BUT – I know where the answer lies.  I know deep down that I simply need to STOP.  Stop trying.  Stop doing.  Stop relying on my own abilities.  

Instead, fully rely on God – not halfway.  Wait on Him – which is what I started doing, but stopped.  My self-talk will now be to remind myself over and over and over….as long as it takes to become victorious.  

If you are a praying person – I would appreciate it if you add me to your prayer list!  And as always – I will keep you posted!

Thanks!