Tag Archive | GRACE

Journey Down Memory Lane & Back

Mixed emotions.  That is what I have been experiencing lately.  Like a roller-coaster, up on minute, down the next.  Funny how going down memory lane can bring back emotions as if you were back in that time.  It kind of wears you out to be up one moment and then deeply saddened in the very next one.

My daughter and her husband were in town for the weekend.  The trip was quick and of course it went by way too quickly!  We have always been close – and this move has been rough on both of us.  No more dropping in on each other or calling and saying “let’s do lunch” anymore.  So we go from being anxious for days building up to their arrival – to great joy when they get here – and then a crash when they have to leave again.  It’s like mourning all over again.  Each time.
One thing for sure – we definitely appreciate our time together.  We value family and never take each other for granted.  My family has always been close and will always have each others’ back no matter what happens.  I never have understood how people can get ticked off at another family member and then simply cut off all ties.  That’s so sad!
Going down memory lane has been a bit more difficult on me lately.  We all take a stroll into our past from time to time.  Maybe it’s a song that you used to listen to when you were younger.  Or you see a book you read.  And maybe you run into an old classmate.  Whatever it is – it slams you right back into that time period for a few moments.
I find that Facebook has brought about a lot of those little strolls.  Whenever I re-connect with someone from my past.  The older I get – the more I value and appreciate those connections.  There are a few connections that surprise me.  They are the ones that humble me for various reasons.
Recently I reconnected with my first love.  I thought of him a lot through the years and often wondered whatever happened to him.  I honestly wasn’t sure that he was even alive as he was a mess the last time I ran into him.  As a matter of fact, after talking with him that night so long ago – I remember telling my friend I didn’t think he would live long.  So it has been a real joy to see that he did make it – and that his life is good.  My emotions run high with this experience though.
I guess it’s the Fibro Fog again – but for the life of me I cannot recall the specifics of why I broke up with him – other than being young and dumb.  He tells me that I was the only one to break his heart.  And that makes me feel really awful.  Yes, we were young and it’s all part of life….but that is no real excuse.  I regret that I caused him pain.  I regret that I didn’t know what I was doing back then.  And in some ways I regret letting him go.
It seems we both have lived through a lot.  Gone through tough times and survived.  For that I am grateful.  I really enjoy chatting with him and getting to know him all over again.  However, with that brings a lot of mixed feelings.   I find myself being like a school girl anxiously awaiting to hear from him again.  And at the same time – we live totally different lives in different cities.  Too much time has passed and we are different people now.  We can’t go back.  So then I feel like an idiot, ya know?
I’m sure it is the reminiscing about what used to be.  And what could have been.  And being single again.  But as mentioned in past blog posts – I have no intentions of getting into another relationship other than simple friendship.  So what the heck is up with my crazy emotions?!
At any rate – I am thankful for the people God has placed in my life.  And for the special times/connections that I have.  I am thankful that God has always had my back…..after all we are family.
Speaking of God having my back…I have been experiencing much favor of late.  I believe the reason is not that I’m ‘doing’ the right thing now – as that would be relying on my works rather than His grace.  But rather that I am believing that He has already provided everything I need and so much more.  I only have to learn to receive His gifts!
So thank You, Father for always being there for me and mine!

Still On My Journey…Learning More…..Sometimes With My Heels Dug In…..

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since May – and here it is October! A lot has been going on for sure. Some of it has been tough, but I lean heavily on God and He always sees me through!

As mentioned in this previous post, my daughter and son-in-law moved down south.  They are doing well though we are all missing each other like crazy.  My daughter had some serious home-sickness going on for a bit – but I think she is doing better now.

They both came back up a few weeks ago for a visit.  While here, many of their friends came out to the house for a little party.  It sure was fun seeing everyone together again!  And most recently they were here for the wedding of ‘my other daughter’ – as you may have read on previous posts….she is my daughter’s best friend.  They call each other ‘sister’ and I’m ‘Mom’ to her.

I also mentioned that the new job I got after being laid-off was not very enjoyable.  I didn’t want to complain about the job I had after losing the other one…but I was miserable.  I didn’t want to come across as being ungrateful. It was during this time though, that I started learning that I was not leaning on God as much as I thought.

I was so ‘worried’ about being laid-off that I grabbed the first job that came along rather than praying about it and relying on God to open doors for me.  Again, which has been typical in my life, I was trying to be in control and manipulate my situation.

If you read this earlier post of mine, then you will understand my thought process here.  Of course it wasn’t until after I started the new job and began to reflect on my situation that I came to realize that I was still struggling with ‘unbelief’. Though I had faith that God would provide, my unbelief came about in thinking that I needed to jump on that job because there might not be another offer rather than waiting on Him.  So I spent almost 6 months in a job that I was unhappy with and that was not a good fit – for me or the employer.

During this time, I kept studying and learning about God’s grace and His desire to provide for us, His children.  Most recently it dawned on me….

Just as an earthly parent, God does not want His children to suffer, be ill, in pain or live in poverty.  He wants only the best for us.  I have always said I believed that….but I think deep down I always felt like I wasn’t living up to whatever it was in my mind that I thought I should be or be doing for Him.  I felt that because I was ‘failing’ or falling short of what I thought He wanted….then why would He shower me with abundance?  If I couldn’t take care of the little, why would He give me more?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about doing ‘works’ in order to get to heaven.  But just as with my own children….they may do things that are not what I would choose for them…and they may even disappoint me from time to time.  But would I want them to suffer, do without, hurt?  No way!  So why would I assume God would be any different?

I heard someone say that maybe we shouldn’t be asking God for ‘just enough’ – meaning, why do we ask Him for things like giving us just enough to live comfortably, or feel better, or pay our bills?  We are children of God.  We were made righteous by Christ.  So we should claim it!  We have power through Christ!

So I recently sat down and had a lengthy conversation with my Father.  And I laid it all at the feet of my Savior. It finally made sense to me! I gave thanks.  I cried. And rejoiced.  And cried some more.  But afterwards I felt so much lighter and I could definitely feel a difference.  The burdens were gone.

Very shortly after that…things started happening for me:

First of all, I hurt my back carrying something at work that was WAY to heavy.  And I was laying in bed on the 3rd night of the worst pain I have ever been in.  But through the misery – I kept repeating thanks over and over for the healing.  And sure enough, the pain went away without seeking medical care.

Every time I found my mind wanting to head down in the dumps or start with the negative thoughts – I would correct myself and say thanks to my Father.  I gave thanks for my healing (we are healed by his stripes….) and thanks for His provision. Let me tell you….it was not – and still isn’t – a natural or automatic thing for me.  I am so used to thinking ‘here we go again’ or something negative…and then gearing up to deal with it.  So, I have had to repeat many, many times that I do not have to carry the burden….God’s got this!

Next, I got a call from someone that I have always considered a mentor of mine.  I had worked with him in the past and though we parted ways years ago, I would still do some ‘virtual assistant’ jobs for him from time to time.  I also know his boss – the owner of the company in which he works now – from that same time period in our past.  He asked me to stop in to help them with some personnel issues.  I agreed.

When I got there, both of them were there telling me about how some things had changed within the company – and they wanted to offer me a job!!!  You have to understand – I have wanted to work for them for years!  And here it was, out of the clear blue, being offered!  Needless to say, I accepted the job.

Within the first week – I was given a raise…to cover the healthcare premiums – so that it wouldn’t cut into my take home pay. Can you believe that!?  I was also assured that I would be getting my pay bumped up very soon.

Then came the realization that I was most likely going to lose my insurance on my home – due to ‘forgetting’ (Fibro Fog) to pay it…and my first check was coming in exactly one week later than the cut-off date.  Again I found myself starting to get stressed.  But I reminded myself that God’s got this….and I was just along for the ride.

Sure enough – no quicker had those thoughts crossed my mind when my boss asked me how I was with the gap between my last job’s payday and this one.  I told him I was figuring it out.  He told me to give him a figure and he would advance it to me.  I did.  He did.  When I asked about re-paying it…..I was told not to worry about it right now.  So, house insurance was paid – literally within 4 hours of it being cancelled!

For many – this may sound like small potatoes….but for me – this is huge!  For the first time in my life, I feel that things are going to be good for me!  I no longer feel like I screwed up and therefore it is what it is!  Of course there will still be things to come up and I will probably have to remind myself another few hundred times to let things go….but I’m confident that it will become easier as I’m growing and learning more!

Next on my list is my health – again, I’ve spoken with God about this and I am confident that my body is repairing itself and I will no longer suffer.  For now, I find that when I’m getting caught up in the ‘unbelief’ – my Fibro starts acting up.  Once I claim healing and refuse to worry about the situation the symptoms recede.  I believe that for now this is my little reminder to help get me back on track.  But I also fully believe that I am healed and that my healthy body will manifest once I learn to accept the gift given to me.

And finally…..relationships.  I’m not sure where I’m going here yet.  But I’m trusting God to lead me.  At the moment, with all of the pain and mistrust I’ve experienced in this area….I do not want an intimate relationship with another man…ever!  But at the same time, I find myself lonely and wishing for companionship.  However, I will wait on my Father and see what He has in mind for me.  Maybe it’s more than I can ever dream of…..or maybe I’m not supposed to have another man in my life….either way, I’m good with that.

F.R.O.G. = Fully Relying On God…..that’s the fun part….once you learn to relax and go with it!

Attitudes – The Good, Bad and Ugly

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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

 

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

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.