Call Me the Clay

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

October 27, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

Amazing Love, Power Thoughts, Prayer Power & Lifestyle Changes

Amazing Love

I watched a movie on Netflix called ‘Amazing Love – The Story of Hosea’ last night.  Have you seen it?  Even heard of it?  I was surprised to find out that this movie came out in 2012 because it felt like an older movie.  I say this because the acting wasn’t great and it was a bit on the cheesy side in the beginning.  But at the same time it had a magnificent story about God’s love in it too!  This story is not exactly from the bible, but rather how a specific story in the bible may have taken place – the behind the scenes story – maybe.  And, it teaches about unconditional love and faith put in a way that many have never heard it.  I recommend this movie for sure – but please make sure you stick it out – the campfire story is well worth it!

Power Thoughts

I have been listening to Joyce Meyer a lot lately.  I tend to relate with her on many levels – sometimes it feels like we have lived the same life (except I was not sexually abused as she was growing up).  She talks about thoughts and actions that I have experienced in a way that I fully relate to.  And knowing her past makes one think that if she could rise above all that she did – then I really have no excuse for not doing the same.

However, she has been speaking about how our thought life makes all the difference.  I’ve written about this in past posts before – but it just keeps hitting home with me.  I always have good intentions to start thinking more positively – I really do.  But then when I hear another message like Joyce’s I realize that I haven’t been doing it as well as I would like.

I find myself frustrated.  Whether it be ‘old habits die hard’ or ‘immature Christianity’ or whatever it may be – I’m tired.  I’m lost.  I’m saddened.  I’m……I don’t know.  My inclination is that I need to read more of God’s word until its ingrained in me – but I struggle with this because God’s word is not comforting or helpful when I read it on my own.

Let me clarify this – I like to read – a lot.  I grew up ‘living’ in books.  But reading the bible is different.  Everything I read in it seems condescending or someone making sad pleas to God for something or cold or negative.  Now when I listen to people teaching – yes, I can then see their interpretation of the same scriptures I’ve read.  But isn’t that dangerous?  To rely on another human being – seems like a good way to be misled!

So what is it?  Is Satan messing with me?  Am I allowing him to constantly keep me in negative thinking so I cannot grow?  Maybe I’m being too critical of myself? Or is it something else?  I do not believe that God would keep me at arm’s length so-to-speak for this many years.  I’ve been trying to break through and have victory over this for more than 20 years, folks.  I have been searching for God’s input and His direction.  I long for Him to take over my life and to do His will.  So what is it?

And surely I’m not the only one on the face of this earth that has struggled with this.  Right?  But I have yet to find anyone who can relate.  Oh sure, I get those well-meaning people who try to offer advice in how to pray before reading, what to read and what to ask God for while reading…..and I’m grateful for that.  But ultimately I don’t seem to be making any progress in this area.

Prayer Power

All the while struggling with the above – I still believe and have witnessed answered prayers.  God does indeed take care of His children – and that includes me.  I have no doubt.  And no one will ever change my mind about that.

I believe that prayer is not necessarily that you go sit in a corner somewhere with your head bowed and your hands together.  For me – it is more of a constant conversation with God throughout my day.  And it is not just asking for things either.  It should be thanking Him for even the smallest things or simply talking with Him as if you can see Him sitting there beside you.

I’m not completely there yet – but I’m getting closer all of the time.  I do talk with Him throughout my day – but not quite as often as I wish I would.  Some days I get to the end and then realize I haven’t spoken to Him much.  But other days I do – and if is awesome!

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Changing gears now – I want to mention something about making healthy lifestyle changes.  We’ve all heard it.  Diets don’t work – it must be a lifestyle change.  Everyone talks about it – and there are many who have successfully made those changes.  I, for one, am having a terrible time with that.

But before you go judging me – let me set the stage for you.  I like vegetables.  I like fruit.  I like nuts.  I love Mexican food.  I don’t like fish/seafood.  I cannot swallow Hummus (tried it – can’t do it).  I don’t like strong seasonings/flavorings.

My problem?  Well, I don’t know what to do with my very limited budget, my extremely finicky 7-year old son, my limited knowledge of variety and cooking skills and time.  Honestly I find that when I switch my foods to ‘healthy’ – it lasts for less than a week and then I am feeling so un-satisfied and unsettled I don’t know what to do with myself!

In a previous post I mentioned doing a detox of sorts and mainly eating vegetables.  I did start feeling better and it was working for a while.  But then something kicked in and festered up my Fibromyalgia like never before.  At first I thought it was the diet.  Then I decided that maybe it was the supplements that they had me taking instead.  At any rate – I still haven’t gotten myself straightened out from it and that started back in April.  Needless to say – I am really, really struggling now because besides being overweight the Fibro is causing constant pain and I can’t concentrate.

I recently watched a video on people who were juicing and the testimonies of how their physical well-being has improved.  This piques my interest except that I tried the juicing thing years ago and it was costly.  The juicer was expensive, it took a lot to juice enough veggies/fruits for a glass of juice and cleanup was time consuming.   So I thought that maybe the one that actually blends/grinds/pulverizes the whole fruit/vegetable might be better.  I got one.  I like the way it works.  However – I find that I am having an extremely difficult time getting a full glass down – never mind multiple glasses in a day!  I simply do not like the strong taste of ‘green’ things.

So, I’m not sure where that leaves me now.  Back to square one, I guess.

October 8, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

Childish Government Antics

So our government has shut down.  I typically don’t get too involved or pay much attention to all of the b.s. that goes on in our political world anymore.  It doesn’t really matter which group it is – it has become nothing more than who can bully the best and stomp their feet the most.  It seems to me that everyone has forgotten what the real purpose of our government is supposed to be.  People are so geared toward attacking what they deem to be the ‘other side’ that it really doesn’t matter what the issue is – they are simply set to argue.

I find it interesting (and sad, actually) that we the people continue to pay these people enormous amounts of money to do nothing more than act like little kindergartners.  And – sadly we allow them to rule the playground with their bullying and their tantrums.  I wonder when we the people will say enough is enough.

If you ask me – I think we should boot them all out and start over.  And I don’t believe they should be paid any more than what they vote in that the average person in America will get paid.  Make them actually work for a change. And, when you quit that job – you don’t get paid anymore – just like the rest of us.

I’m sorry, people – but come on!   Let’s get real – if we had people in office that were just like you and I and the reason they were there wasn’t because of the power or the money – but simply because they cared – don’t you think we would be in better shape?  I know that every now and then we get someone that we vote in that we feel will make that difference….but reality proves that one or two can’t make a big enough wave to knock the other greedy ones out.  So let’s clean it all out and start fresh.

It is very similar to our justice system these days.  I don’t believe that people get a fair shake in this area anymore either.  Again, it’s a matter of whose lawyer can’t be the biggest bully or at least the most creative.  The juries no longer hear all of the evidence – but only that which the lawyers couldn’t find a creative way to have it blocked out.  Honestly – since when has it been deemed that one can make good and fair judgments and decisions without all of the information?

And why-oh-why do we have so many ‘rights’ for the accused to the point that the victim is again victimized by our own legal system?  The way I see it – if you do the crime, you do the time….and it shouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Okay – so I got off track here a bit.  But what I am getting at is that we have gone too far with all of these silly, childish antics from our government.  Have you heard of some of the ‘government shut-downs’ of late?  Tell me it’s not intentional when they cause privately owned businesses to shut down because the road or the parking lot leading the business is run by the government.  They actually hired people to give out traffic tickets to people who stop on the side of the road to look at Mount Rushmore (since the park is closed)?  The Vietnam War Memorial is privately funded – but again, they have hired guards (where there were none before) – just so they can be jerks about it knowing that we have Freedom Flights from all over this country scheduled to arrive.  Huh?

All I can say is you have got to be an uncaring, silly individual to think that anyone in government is doing the right thing right now.  It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ you are on, people – this boils down to common sense and decency….and apparently we have none.  How embarrassing… I wonder what the other countries think of us now?

October 4, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

Did You Know That Bullying Is Funny?!

Image

At least that is what our young people are being taught.  Did you know?  Yes, bullying is a huge topic and there are many efforts to put it out there in the public eye that bullying is wrong.  BUT – have you checked out television lately?

Please understand I am not one to get on that bandwagon to say that television shows or music or video games will make our kids go out and do violent things.  I do have opinions about all of that – but it is not the purpose of this post – so bear with me.

Just recently we all saw on the news where the motorcyclists harassed that little family in their SUV and then proceeded to seriously beat up the driver.  My heart hurt to see how quickly something so minor escalated to the point that a man is beat in front of his child and is most likely going to be paralyzed for life – if he survives, that is.  And can you imagine the impact of watching something like that for a small child?  Ugh….it makes me sad….and angry…..and nauseous.

While thinking about how such a thing happens, my mind then wanders to bullying in general.  Then it hits me.  How can we expect people to act any different when we put it in their face that it is funny to be ugly acting? 

I have a soon-to-be 8-year-old son at home and I try to monitor what he sees on television.  I have to admit that I was not raised that way – we simply watched what we wanted.  Of course back then, you didn’t see much that was inappropriate.  These days I feel you need to keep an eye and an ear towards the television if your child is watching.

In the past week, here are some of my observations about the shows in general:  

·         You see harsh critiquing of other people’s attire or overall appearance – on live television – not a kind piece of advice, but outright ugly and embarrassing comments while the person is standing there in front of thousands of people

·         On multiple afternoon kids’ shows you see young people being extremely sarcastic and rude to others – and the producers then plug in laughter soundtracks – so it comes across as funny

·         Again on multiple kids’ shows you can see youth being outright disrespectful and often mean to adults – again with the laughter plugged in to make it funny

·         You see slamming doors in others’ faces – laughter soundtrack included

·         You will see hitting or throwing things at others – with laughter plugged into the soundtrack

·         The practical jokes that you see people playing on each other on the kids’ shows are not harmless – in reality they would be very hurtful, sometimes potentially dangerous – but, let’s plug in the laughter track to make it innocent fun

·         Seldom will you see repercussions for such actions

·         You can often see the kids lying and being deceitful to others – and again there is always laughter

·         You see people destroying the property of other people – and it comes across as funny or justified

·         On one very popular show – you can see someone in a teacher/coach role who is always undermining others – and you see her saying very, very mean and ugly things to them – and you never see anything that teaches that this is improper behavior – just more laugh tracks

·         When is the last time you’ve seen a show for the younger crowd that doesn’t contain a lot of yelling? (Followed by laughter track)

·         And yes, there are all of the sex and offensive language on there too

Are you starting to see the picture?  If society is bombarded with this type of behavior why wouldn’t they act in similar fashion?  Yes, I believe we are to teach our children right from wrong – but let’s face it folks, when things are put out there in front of you constantly – you become numb to the impact of it.

Back in the day – they didn’t allow kissing on television….or blood….or cursing.  Then that changed and it was allowed – who gives it a second thought now?  Are you shocked to see someone kiss?  I doubt it.  Are you shocked to hear a cuss word these days?  Maybe, maybe not depends on your age or maybe the word.

I believe we are losing empathy these days.  It makes my heart hurt.  I feel sadness for the true fun and innocence that my child will not experience in the ways that we did years ago. 

Don’t get me wrong – I am an advocate for the technology that we have these days.  I enjoy some of the advancements that we have made and we owe much of it to our younger folks.  So I’m not one of those to say that the world is going to hell-in-a-hand-basket as the saying used to go.  But I do wish that we might back up just a tad on some of the things that we are flooding our eyes and ears with and simply enjoy a little peace and love towards others a little more.

What do you think?

Image

September 6, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

Attitudes – The Good, Bad and Ugly

Image

 

I’m frustrated with society – or is it just my life? I know that I get a bit grumpy when I’m tired.  Or when I’m hurting (Fibro-pain)…..and I have definitely been hurting this week.  It’s been pretty bad, actually.  And forgive me if something isn’t spelled correctly or my words get jumbled – that happens a lot with the Fibro-fog. 

But I don’t think that the above-mentioned symptoms are the reason for my frustration of late.  And I find myself extremely tired.  No – not lack-of-sleep tired…..but rather tired of all of the complaining and nit-picking that people want to do.  Yes, I know that many times it is as simple as removing oneself from a situation so as not to participate in all of the negativity…..but sometimes that is just not feasible.

All I know is that I am so very, very tired of everyone complaining.  If you have followed my blog much – you know about my Fibromyalgia.  Yes, I have it and yes, I am in pain – often.  But I don’t go around whining and complaining to people about it all of the time.  I mention it as it is part of who I am now.  I deal with it and continue on in my life the best way I can.  Sometimes I have to make adjustments to my plans or miss work due to it – I hate that…..but it is what I do in order to continue on in life.  It is what it is. 

Someone told me one time that they were amazed with everything I have been through in my life that I was not be a bitter person.  And I remember my mother saying that she couldn’t understand why I wasn’t angry at my ex-husband (she was – very much so).  I said to them and still tell people that I figure I have a choice here.  I can choose to do the best with what I have and try to live a life of quality or I can wallow in self-pity about what I don’t have and be miserable.  To me I don’t see a good reason to waste all of my energy hating and being angry or bitter about things I cannot control.

And sometimes, people – even if it could be changed, you have to look at whether it really is worth all of your time and energy.  Is using up your resources really worth it in the long run?  Will you be adding to your quality of life or taking away from it?  Will your kids/loved ones be robbed of your time because you are so focused on the bad stuff?  What about your health?  If you stress over things long enough you develop serious health issues (I know this first-hand).

Let’s take a look at this Boston couple in the news right now who are fighting to have the Pledge of Allegiance taken out of the schools because it mentions God.  They are claiming that they do not believe in God.  And therefore if they say the Pledge – they are stating something they do not believe and if they choose not to say the Pledge then they ‘come across as’ not being patriotic.  Regardless of where one stands on this debate I guess I don’t see why people can’t simply use their heads a little.

If the majority of people do want to say the Pledge and they do believe in God or at least it doesn’t bother them – then I wonder why one would think it is reasonable to waste their time, the court’s time, not to mention money to have something like this addressed?  If it were me, I would say the line in the Pledge as follows: “And to the republic, for which it stands”, (pause – while everyone else says ‘one nation under God’), “indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” You get the picture?  I guarantee you that no one is going to notice that you took a breath or paused or whatever during that one little clause.  Done.  No anger, no fighting, no wasting resources on anyone’s part.  Move on.

It seems like people are getting some sort of adrenaline rush by jumping on the bandwagon to accuse others of the tiniest things anymore.  And I wonder why.  It’s exhausting and honestly disheartening to me.  Has it always been this way, I wonder?  Maybe as young kids we just didn’t notice it? Or maybe we didn’t see things that way until others bring it to our attention….

I remember observing this with my own daughter when she was young.  She met her best friend in preschool.  And he is of a different race than she. But she didn’t know that – all she knew was that he was her best friend (and at 21 years of age now, they are still very close friends).  It wasn’t until they had a teacher in the 1st grade that treated him differently that she asked me why.

And it doesn’t have to be a media issue either (though they certainly create a lot of it).  How about the workplace? I’m SO very tired of people gossiping and stabbing each other in the back.  Yes, there is always going to be that one person – that one person that you simply cannot like no matter what.  But that’s okay – it is not part of your job description to like everyone.  You were hired to do a specific job – and most likely that means dealing with a variety of people.  So do it.  It really is possible to be cordial to people that you don’t really care for, trust me.

I have even lost one of my best friends because I chose not to participate in her constant negativity and coworker bashing.  If she complained or said something ugly, I would either try to change the subject or state that maybe the situation wasn’t as it appeared.  It ticked her off.  The final straw was when I was invited to church by a coworker that she despised.  I accepted the invitation and was later told by my best friend that she simply could not ever ‘forgive me’ for betraying her.  That ended a 12+ year friendship.

If you read any article these days – with the lovely ability to leave comments and most likely you will find some of the meanest, cruelest, ugliest comments.  Many times it doesn’t even fit what the story was about.  Example:  I wanted to check out the story behind Google’s Doodle for the day. But rather than people finding the story interesting – they all jump on the bandwagon of criticizing one typo in the article.  It’s one thing to critique and another to simply be ugly.  So…making someone feel inferior gives people a rush, I guess?  And we wonder why there are so many hate-crimes these days.

It’s like we can’t get away from it!  It is everywhere……and this is why my family and I often joke around about heading for the hills…..to get away from all of the chaos.  But I would challenge people to take a long hard look at their attitudes and the part they are playing in the big picture – because how can we expect our young people to be kind and to love one another when we are constantly bombarded with the opposite?  When there are very few places to go to escape the ugliness it eventually rubs off on you. 

Okay – so I can’t end this post without circling back around to say that though I am frustrated with society as a whole – I still have my eyes on my Savior and He allows me to see the good in people.  And yes, there are a lot of good folks out there.  And though it seems that the positive is being covered up by the negative, His light will always shine.  He protects.  And He blesses.  All we have to do is claim Him as our own and invite Him into our lives.

Thanks for stopping by……Kelly.

Gratitude List (in no particular order):

1.       I have a job – it pays the bills

2.       My beautiful daughter & son-in-law

3.       My super-awesome son

4.       My Dad – who is always there no matter what

5.       My Brother & his family – live so far away, but always near in my heart

6.       God’s grace

7.       Breathtaking sunrises

8.       Nourishing rain

9.       New Bible Study Group

10.   My home – provides shelter that we need

 

September 2, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

Always Trying to Be in Control – Ha!

ImageDo you ever struggle with hearing God’s gentle voice?  I do.  I believe it is because I am a ‘take control’ type of person and I tend to act before I think on things too much. This often means I bulldoze right on into things without checking in with God first to see if He agrees with my plans.  I don’t mean to do it – I really don’t. 

It seems like it is a survival mode that I somehow acquired during my lifetime – but I don’t know where the off-switch is located.  I am so used to having to take care of things and make things work.  I struggle with handing it all over to my Father.  I know that God can handle everything much better than I can.  And I want Him to do so – I truly do. 

A perfect example of this would be a recent chain of events that took place concerning our plan for my son’s care after he gets out of school.  I am a single parent and therefore I have to make arrangements for someone else to care for him until I get off of work.  I stumbled across something that I was sure was something I was supposed to do – after all, I had been trying to get him into this program for several months.  It was the eleventh-hour on the Friday before this new school year started and I was scrambling to make it all work out – there were several hurdles that I had to maneuver.  Each time one would pop up, I would have an uneasy feeling about it – but I kept telling myself that this was meant to be.

Then on the first day (Monday) – I go to pick my son up.  I can tell immediately that things did not go well for him.  I ask him if anything is wrong and he tells me ‘no’ – and I can tell it is because he doesn’t want to talk about it in front of others.  When we get to the car – I find out what took place.  Now normally if my kiddo tells me how he/she doesn’t like this or that – I convince them to stick it out a bit longer and see how things go.  But after all of the roadblocks that kept coming up while trying to get this all set up – it finally hits me.  God was trying to tell me that this was not His plan for us – and silly me…..I wasn’t listening! 

I went back to the drawing board and talked with my loved ones.  As it turned out – I was able to work things out so that everyone involved benefits in some way.  I have peace about my son’s care.  He is happier.  Others make a little extra money for their efforts.  And we all get to see each other on a regular basis – which typically doesn’t happen.  Of course!  God’s ways are always the best! 

On another note – and this is in reference to my previous post, but God is showing both my daughter and I a few things about our ‘automatic drive’ of negativity.  We are both learning and growing and excitedly sharing with each other what is happening!  I will write more on that some other time – but just wanted to openly thank God for His love and His grace and definite patience with those of us who are a bit slow in learning things!

Take care and I hope you are enjoying your life journey!  If not, turn to God and see what He has in store for you – I can promise that you will be greatly blessed!

August 19, 2013
CallMeTheClay

no comments

THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT

Image

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

no comments

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.

Image