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It all comes down to character. Our true heart is shown in the storms of life.
Join with me as we seek to find the
beauty in our storms along with maintaining our character through them. And let us listen for God's voice when it comes - whether a whisper on the breeze or a shout through the hurricane.....

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Ordinary - Can Become The Treasured

Sometimes in the routine and hustle of life, we can miss the ordinary, common moments that will be so special in our hearts and minds for years to come.

My daughter was singing in the bathroom recently, before school, and I thought about how I’m going to miss hearing that singing in the mornings the day when she leaves home.  It’s something I’ve enjoyed for years, but never gave a lot of thought to how something so regular, would become something so treasured, down the line.

I can honestly say that I think I will feel the same way about my other daughter’s messy room. It already makes me smile instead of scowl, like it used to. She is my “creative–messy,” - that one. I know one day, that room will be spotless…. And empty. And I will miss her mess.

Life. It’s what we make of it.  What may seem ordinary, routine, or even an inconvenience at times, can end up becoming something that makes us smile.  For there really is no boring and ordinary life. Life is all a gift. An intricate gift; complex at times, but unique, special, and worth celebrating all the same.

Photography often shows us this special way of looking at something that might otherwise seem mundane. A stunning soft-focused shot through leveler blinds on the window. A pet sleeping on the couch. A steaming cup of hot soup. Dirt-riddled hands and feet on a toddler that has enjoyed play in the out-of-doors.   

Moments. You can almost smell and taste them.

ALL of life is special. All of life is a gift.

Please don’t ever take it for granted. Not the slow moments, the quiet ones, or the ones filled with noise and hustle-and-bustle. It all carries with it, its’ own beauty.

Beauty of life.

Monday, May 18, 2015

You Have To Understand, That No One May Understand

A husband can always think that he works harder than his wife. The wife on the other hand, will never be convinced that her job is not harder than her husband’s.

A military wife deals with her husband being gone for extended durations at a time. She will never understand how another wife can get so scared and weak, when her husband goes out of town for just two nights.

They are differences of perspective, to be sure. And life is full of them. Someone will always feel one way, while someone else will come along and challenge those very feelings that they, themselves, have conquered or endured on a greater scale.

Neither person is right or wrong. We are all simply living different lives on different scales. We all have different pressure points that are weaknesses for us. God made some of us to be tougher, and others of us to be softer. Both are beautiful in their ability to handle the life they’ve been given.

The thing is, it doesn’t help us when we are the ones going through something and we feel like our feelings are cast aside, laughed at (possibly), or ignored.  We want to feel validated. Listened to. Helped!

You have to understand, that there are some times in life, where no one may understand. Ever.

I know. It stinks. But there are just some things in life where it seems we are meant to go through them, alone. Only with our feelings, thoughts, and our God. And somehow, we have to reconcile with them.

It is good, to see what others have been able to handle. It shows us we have the ability to be stronger and tougher than we thought we could be. It’s also good to learn to be empathetic to someone else’s position and point of view – even if we feel they should handle it better. We are not them. We don’t live with their struggles – so how can we possibly ridicule someone for not being like us?

It is true. There will be times where it seems as if no one in the world understands us. (As a reminder, our God does. And He’s with us in those times.)  During these moments and challenging seasons, try to think of how you will navigate what you’re going through, if there is no one who will ever understand. Will it change your feelings? Will it impact your choices and actions?

Sometimes the times where I’ve gained the most strength, are the times where I’ve decided for myself that it doesn’t matter if no one else understands. I UNDERSTAND. And I’m committed to my viewpoint. Sure, it would be encouraging to get the affirmation of those around me – but it may not come. And if I can understand this and make some choices that will help me help myself, then that’s what I must do.

People will let us down. They will disappoint. But we can always learn how to take care of our own emotions and feelings by setting boundaries in our lives, being proactive with certain choices and decisions, and finding ways to encourage ourselves and help keep us going.

My friend, I wish with all my heart that someone would understand your feelings. But they may not. And they may not understand me. That doesn’t mean they are right and you are wrong or vice versa. It simply means they don’t walk in your shoes and see things from where you are standing.

Hang in there. Keep seeking God’s wisdom and guidance. And use this time to remind yourself to offer understanding to someone else when they seek it. For you will then know, what it’s like to stand in the shoes of the misunderstood.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When We Are Too Comfortable in the "Wait"

Sometimes, there just needs to be a change. An “action point” that needs to happen in a life. There are moments in time where there should be no more planning, no more thinking and stewing, no more putting things off…. But a time to make a choice.

We can get so caught up in what we want, that we end up wasting time hoping for perfect answers. We often know where we will end up, where we SHOULD end up, but we don’t want to see reality. We don’t want to acknowledge that that’s the path we need to go on.

We are too comfortable in the “wait.”

For most people, the “wait” can seem like an eternity. We grow impatient and we feel like answers will never come. But for others of us, the “wait” becomes a friend. We kind of grow to like it there and we feel happy. We don’t really want the work that we know is coming our way. We don’t welcome the stretching, molding, and pulling that we know will happen when we have to go to the other side of the “wait.” We just kind of would rather sit in the middle. Happily.

But that’s ignoring reality.  We can’t expect to be treated like an adult, yet still want the privileges and lack of responsibility that a child has. We can’t rely on others to support us and carry us along in life. We need to pick up the slack, find our own way and course, and become a responsible and independent person. Whether that is about moving on after college, after a failed relationship, through a change in careers, or whatever.

We need to move on to something. Something positive that will move us forward. Grow us.

When we sit in the “wait” of life, we waste time, and we waste opportunities. Both of which are priceless.

God DOES work in situations. He does prepare people and situations for us. But we also need to do our part and get our feet moving.

Make that choice. Move forward. It’s the biggest favor you can give yourself.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Remember, Often

I like to remember things in my past – often. I like to play them over in my head and in my heart. Not because they were more meaningful than my today, but because they helped form, shape, and mold, MY today. They helped form and shape ME!

I continue to move on in life. Hopefully grow and better myself along the way. But I take the memories of yesterday along with me. I unpack them from time to time, to remind myself of several things.

1.     I choose to remember, often, what my God has done for me. He is SO faithful. He has answered so many prayer requests. Loved me through so many challenges and mistakes. Given me strength when I felt so weak and given me peace when I felt in turmoil. He has walked with me, and before me. And I choose to remember, to remind myself to have faith in my today. To know that the same God who was faithful to me yesterday and years ago, will be faithful in my today, as well.

2.     I choose to remember, often, of the love I share with my husband. To remind myself of the man I first fell in love with. The man who thought I was worth fighting for. I like to remember those sparkly, magical feelings of being “in love,” to insert into the ‘many-years-gone-by-familiar-commitment-and-love’ days. When routine and business discussions are common, I choose to remember different days, and moments that I know will come again. They give me hope. They renew my love. They invigorate my commitment.

3.     I choose to remember, often, those special moments in life that made a dent in my heart and soul. These times truly crafted the person and woman I am today. Whether it was the death of a beloved, a priceless moment with my children, or some other monumental moment – I choose to remember the blessings of life. The gifts that I’ve been given. Even through the hard and bad times, these moments are forever etched within me. It would be foolish to forget them – to never learn and grow from them.

4.     I choose to remember, often, with physical reminders and mementos. Material things have their place, but they wrap my home in legacy. Whether it’s pictures, souvenirs from trips, or special gifts given in love – I choose to remember by hanging onto them and keeping them where I can see them often.

Life is a gift. ALL of life. The good and the bad. I think it’s important to remember it, often. As you get older, there is more of life to remember. It’s ok to revisit it. Laugh again, cry again, and ponder.

Let those yesterdays do the work in you that they were meant to do.

Remember, often. And let those memories complete the picture of who you are, WHY you are, where you come from, and what you’re going to do with what you’ve been given.

Our memories are personal. And they are there to be enjoyed. You only get one life. Remember it well.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Stopping Emotions From Becoming Tornadoes

A woman’s emotions. Those emotions that fuel our decisions, choices, and attitudes on any given day.

Those same emotions don’t just affect the choices we make, but they affect our whole family.

Storms and tirades of anger spewed out – radiate throughout our home and land on our precious loved children at times.  Feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, depression, or discouragement rake through as well.

It can be so hard to contain those feelings… those emotions that surge through us.

I don’t know about you, but I feel horrible anytime I look at the aftermath of a ‘lost’ emotion going astray and having its way on my kids or my spouse. But “after” is always too late to do something about it. If only I could have controlled myself in the process!

How can we keep our attitudes in check? How can we spare our families’ the pain of being in our warpath, at the wrong time or place?

There are many ways you can motivate and inspire yourself. There are things you CAN do to set boundaries up ahead of time, to keep you on a more ‘level’ path, so that you don’t explode.

~ You can put inspirational quotes, thoughts, or scripture verses up and around the house where you see them. If anger is an issue, put a verse near your kitchen sink or bathroom mirror that speaks specifically on holding the tongue. Find verses or quotes that speak specifically to the emotion you are struggling with. (Hobby Lobby has great quotes on metal that you can purchase for $10 or less and place in your home as encouragement).

~ Have your family members or good friends gently give you a signal when they sense you are getting a little edgy. Maybe “dad” needs to step in and take over for you at bedtime with the kiddos. Maybe it’s a hug given for no reason – but bring them in on things and allow them to step through the process with you.

~ Pray! Pray together with your husband. With your kids. Pray on your knees, or while you shower or wash the dishes. Pray. Pray often.

~Join a Bible Study or small group. Sometimes having a ‘commitment’ that forces you to have some quiet time, or an outlet to share your feelings is truly all that is needed. It’s like letting that boiling steam out of the kettle. It’s an outlet.

~ Get more rest. Set your alarm while the kids are at school and take a short nap. Go to bed early, if possible, or sleep in later on the weekend while your spouse tends to the morning routine. Rest is vital in maintaining focus.

~ Go on a walk. Go with your spouse, or take your whole family. The little ones can ride in the stroller and bigger ones can walk or take their bikes. But there is something about being out in the fresh air, while exercising, that breathes much needed calmness into the brain.

Whatever tactic you use to guide you and to help you balance your emotions – let it be something that encourages you and inspires you as you learn to change your emotional habits.

Being a mom is grueling at times - with no escape or breaks.  Finding a system to help you process anger, frustration, or stress, is not just smart, but it will be a lifesaver to you during the extra difficult times. You will find you’re able to handle things more how you’d like to handle them – instead of letting your emotions take over all of the time.

Emotions aren’t bad. They are just signals that something is going on a little bit deeper. Listen to those signals and tame the tornado that can devastate a precious heart – without you even meaning to let it happen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Good" Can Be "Great" If You Appreciate It Enough

“Good” versus “great.” I was thinking about those two things this morning. I was thinking about our expectations in life – on situations, on people, on ourselves. How those expectations can ruin things sometimes.

Sometimes we have something “good” in our life. (Or someone.) We have a good relationship, a good job, a good workout – you fill in the blank. But for whatever reason, we aren’t satisfied. It’s not “good enough.” We have to chase after “great.”

Our “good” friendship – isn’t “good” enough. We need to be the “best” friend, or have “closer” talks.

Our “good” job – isn’t “good” enough. We need to be noticed more. We need to be compensated better. Promoted.

Our “good” workout – isn’t “good” enough. We should have walked longer, run harder.


Why isn’t “good,” “good enough?”

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31

God created the world. He created us. And when He had completed each job, He said it was “good.” Not “great”…. But “good.” “Good” was “good enough.”

I think we overlook the fact that “good” is really good! In our quest for “more” or “better” – we suck the life out of the “good” that we had. I’ve seen it happen time and time again where someone looks back on what they had and realize how good it truly was. Yet they wrecked it with their quest for better.

If we have a “good” relationship with someone, that “goodness” is really something great. For many people don’t even have “good.” They long for good relationships with their relatives, their friends, their workmates. If we have anything “good” in our lives – we need to realize just how great that truly is.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be our best. We should always try to be the best friend, worker, parent, child, person, – that we can be. But in that “bestness,” that we seek to be, that simply means loving and working with all the integrity, love, and character that we have. We have to be so careful in not realizing that what we already have is a gift. “Good” is a gift. A blessing. So it’s not “great.” But it’s “good.” And “good” can be really, really great if you appreciate it enough.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sometimes You Don't Need a Plan

I’m a planner, married to a spontaneous man. It’s made for some exciting years. Ha ha – But, seriously, I don’t always do well with issues in life that feel out of control. Whether that’s as a wife or a mama, or just an individual, I like to come up with ways to handle it. Even better, I like to know how I will handle things BEFORE they come up.

But “life” doesn’t always obey MY rules.

Life likes to throw me curve balls. It comes up with scenarios that I couldn’t possibly have dreamt about. Life is smart. Life is always changing. And life is a challenge.

I saw a quote on Facebook recently that said, “You don’t always need a plan.  Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.” (

And I thought – “This is SOO true!”  Because there are things in my life that I stress and fret over. I try to come up with ways in which to handle them, when in reality, there may be no perfect solution.  Sometimes I don’t need to come up with a plan. I just need to trust God as I put it all in His hands.

If only I could dictate how my life would go. If only I could funnel and channel things down the paths I think they should go in. But I can’t. And I shouldn’t. I know that I wouldn’t learn or grow if I managed everything into comfortable zones for myself. I know that sometimes the best lessons are learned in the hardest battles.

Do I REALLY trust my God? When I kneel and pray so earnestly that it feels like my heart will bleed…. Do I trust Him to do the right thing with that? Do I trust Him to lead me and guide me in wisdom, discernment, and to give me peace as He does? Because if I do, then there is no need for a game plan. The only plan I need, is to pray, listen for Him to speak to me in return, and obey.

I may try to come up with my own plan of attack to things in life – but sometimes there IS no plan of attack. There is simply faith.  And as I apply the faith that I claim in my heart, I can sit back and watch God work. And feel deeply loved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"What Could She Possibly Understand About Pain And Struggle?"

I’m not sure what others think about me as they read the words I write. I try to be transparent in the lessons I’m learning in life. I try to be authentic about my own shortcomings. I am very, very far from being a perfect person.

I try to be positive. And in that ‘gleaning’ of something good out of a lesson or life, I often wonder what others think of me as they read the words I write. If others might think I could never possibly understand what it’s like to live life in their shoes. To hurt. To be frustrated. To struggle.

It’s not that I live a charmed life. I live a real one. But I choose to see the blessings God has given me in that life. Not because I think I get more blessings than someone else – but because I’ve seen and felt times where there WAS pain, hardship, and struggle. So the blessings are very apparent to me – very coveted.

If you find yourself questioning and thinking that maybe I think I walk a better path in life than you, that I never have hardships, or could never love, understand, or care about someone who constantly deals with issues – let me change your opinion.  For I HAVE hurt. And I HAVE struggled. I still do.

I have dealt with death and loss. Cancer. Suicide. Plane crashes. Heart attacks. These have been a part of my life.

I have struggled. As a stepmom. As a wife. As a friend. I have let people down. I have said things I regret. I have been immature. I have hurt my children’s feelings, and they have hurt mine. I have hurt my husband’s feelings, and he has hurt mine. I’m human.

I have dealt with health issues. I don’t need to rattle off every thing I’ve been dealt with – but just a few are heart irregularities, kidney stones, reflux, anxiety, bursitis, bad posture, teeth issues. No one is perfect. I know what it feels like to be frustrated.

I have been on food stamps.  I’ve only had $20 at the end of a payday. I’ve lost money and I’ve wasted money. I know what it’s like to not have enough, and to have more than you need.

I’ve been misunderstood. Judged. Ignored. Laughed at. Talked about.

Yet, God is faithful. He’s walked through everything with me. My mistakes. My mess-ups. My challenges. And He HAS blessed me. I live a blessed life. Some things I’ve overcome, some things… I still struggle with.

So, I may not know EXACTLY what you are feeling and going through – but I do know what it feels like to hurt, to be sad, to feel lost, and to be discouraged and frustrated. But I also know what it feels like to walk over to the other side of those things. To see victory. Praise. Blessing.

And that perspective humbles me. It shapes me. It touches me.

Please don’t ever think that I live a charmed life with no obstacles or hurdles to overcome. No one lives that kind of life. NO ONE.

I may choose to look at the positive, the bright side… the blessings. But that’s only because I know what it feels like to feel the hurt and pain. And I’m thankful to not always sit in those moments. To sit in new ones – redeemed ones.

We are all in this walk of life together. TOGETHER.

Know that you are never alone.

And that you are loved. In whatever season you find yourself in.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

What If You Knew This Moment Might Never Come Again?

If you knew it would be the last time you’d cradle your child as they fell asleep in your arms… how much longer would you hold them?

If you knew, that it would be the last time you’d see that dear older man’s smile… would you stay in his company just a bit longer?

If you knew that you’d never again be that size 3 after you have kids… would you enjoy your waist a little more and relax a lot more often?

What if you knew?

What if you knew that you’d never again get to cuddle with your sweet cat, because they would get hit by a car?

What if you knew that your finances would change and this would be the last time you and your husband would get to enjoy a fine steak dinner?

What if you knew?

Moments are brief. So many only come once.

Some people in your life will only ever get to hug you one time. Some moments of laughter will only be shared once. Same as moments of grief.

Just once.

Other moments come occasionally, but special moments change them forever. That ONE Christmas, that ONE hospital visit, that ONE ‘goodbye.’

Moments lost forever.

How would we change how we live if we knew a moment would never come again? If we knew we’d never have another chance to hug, kiss, or touch someone dear? Would we speak kinder if we knew our words only had one chance to stay forever with another soul?

Would we be less rushed, if we knew it would be the last night our kids would ever confide their hearts’ to us? Or let us tuck them in? Or even hold their hand?

Life goes by so quickly. So fast.

We have choices. Every day. Every minute. To truly live and love and soak in those around us as much as we possibly can without wasting the time that ticks by; escaping our notice, so often.

We will often be caught unaware and by surprise at the “last moments” with someone in life. We will often miss those treasured minutes that we took for granted – like rocking our baby, combing our child’s hair, and more.

We can’t go back, but we can carry them with us while trying to remember that each day is a gift. Each moment with someone – a precious present.

If we knew this moment would never come again, would we make a different choice? Say a different word? Be a different person?

What if?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's Ok to Fail. That's How You Grow.

I can be very hard on myself when I mess up or make mistakes. I know I’m not perfect, but it can be hard for me to swallow embarrassment or moments that I call “failures.”

I try to do my best. My best at being a mom. A wife. And a woman. I try to keep my home in order, so struggle when someone runs out of underwear and I’m behind on laundry. I try to be involved in my kids’ lives, so feel disappointed when they don’t want me there or I can’t be there.

Moms – can you relate?

But I’m learning. I’m learning that trying to be ALL to everyone is futile. It’s frazzling.

No one is perfect. Certainly not me. Not those celebrity moms who are back to their pre-baby weight a week after birth. No one.

It’s good to hold ourselves to certain standards. But some standards are too far out of reach. It’s impossible to go through life and not fail at some point.  If we can allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes from time to time, and fail at things along the way – oh – how liberating!

We will gain so much more out of our journeys by learning to ask for help occasionally, and giving ourselves that freedom to not be perfect, than we will ever gain by stressing ourselves out trying to be something or someone we’re not.

Our families’ will be able to enjoy our presence more, as well as relax more. We will be happier as we learn to laugh at the missteps, and grow and become better from the learned lessons.

Failure may seem like a bad word. But it can be a stepping-stone to better things in our lives if we aren’t so afraid of it.

That’s how you grow.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Putting Some Action Into Loving Others

We do not need new methods, better advertising, finer churches. We need
women with hands soiled in the tasks of life,knees callused with
prayer, bodies worn with burdens, eyes swollen with tears.

- Mildred Bangs Wynkoop

I found this quote going through some of my old newsletters recently and it spoke to my heart in a new way. I guess I’m a deep thinker at this point in life. (Who am I kidding, I’ve always been a deep thinker!) But with one daughter being a senior in high school and the other a sophomore, I’m looking at the life we’ve had, the life we have, and the one that is coming.

Life is changing quickly.

Living in Texas for just over a year, I also see things from a different perspective at this point in life. I see what I want for my life and for my family, and I see what is needed; what is missing.

It all revolves around relationships. People.

We need people and people need us.

My kids don’t just need superficial friends at school to laugh with – although that is welcomed and nice for them to have. They need friends who will wipe their tears when they are hurting, friends who will encourage them and invest in their dreams, and friends who are good examples.

My husband and I need the same thing. Although at times we do have material needs, it is the emotional needs that we crave. Those needs that can be helped with friendships that invest into who we are as people. And we need to be able to offer that to others, as well.

People need someone to help them rebuild that broken fence instead of just saying, “I’m sorry.” They need someone to bring them over a meal when they’ve just had surgery, instead of just sending a card. Words are valued and they are welcomed and needed. But we need to soil our hands a bit – get them dirty and put some action into loving others.

We need to get on our knees and truly pray for one another. Carry each other’s burdens, rejoice – as well as cry – TOGETHER.

There are all sorts of new ways of doing things in this life. Exciting ways. The advancements we are making are mind-boggling. They are fun. But nothing can replace a hug, a handshake, or arms and legs getting in the thick of things and working hard to help someone else.

We are SO much better together. We are so much HAPPIER together!  Let’s help one another a bit more. Love one another A LOT more – and put some action into loving each other.

Monday, April 6, 2015

So You're Thinking Of Leaving The Church....

I’ve been hearing it more and more. People, saying they are leaving the church.

“The church isn’t a building. The church is the people,” I hear. And yes, that is true. And I understand that many people have been hurt by church denominations and those who occupy its’ walls.

But there is a danger in this new philosophy crossing so many hearts and minds. There is a danger in this mentality that we can simply “worship” online or on our own. That danger is in lack of Christian community.

While it’s true that we can listen to sermons on our ipods, television screens, or study the pages of the Bible for ourselves – we cannot and will never be able to, replicate a body of people who can encourage, minister, and support us. That is, unless we attend Church.

It is dangerous to go life solo or alone. It’s too easy to lock yourself away when you’re hurting or going through a huge challenge in life. The easier it gets to separate yourself from others, the longer it lasts.

I, like most others, don’t want church to become a ritual in my life that I do simply by habit. I want it to be meaningful and long lasting in my heart. But I also don’t want to wipe away its influence on my life altogether, leaving myself vulnerable to Satan’s attacks on my life.  Without the love and encouragement of my Christian brothers and sisters, I don’t know how I would find the strength, hope, and peace that I need, to go through certain things in life.

I need others. And they need me.

So if you’re reevaluating your place and presence in church – I say, do so. Evaluate how much time you spend volunteering or giving yourself over to church activities and functions. Evaluate the morals and values of the place you are attending. But don’t write church off altogether.

It’s important. It’s needed in our lives. And it’s life giving.

We need an army in this battle of life. If we abandon the church, we are abandoning the army that God has placed here to help support us and back us up.

God’s people may be far from perfect. They may hurt and wound us at times. But they are all we have. Hold on to them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Fought Hard For You

Most rewarding things in life don’t come easy.  They take a lot of hard work, many tears, and time spent in deep prayer. On your knees.

Especially when it comes to your kids.

Being a parent is a tough job. And it’s tougher as the years go by in this society with its technological advances. Things are being thrown in our kids’ faces that we didn’t even have a thought of until we were in our 20’s. And we can’t just sit and whine about it. We can’t just lay blame. We have to deal with the realities of the world we live in. The world our kids’ live in!

Raising our children to be adults full of honor, integrity, compassion, generosity, and wisdom will take great intentionality on our part. There will be days where we will feel like every painstaking moment is worth naught. We will feel like the world has won on many occasions.

But those are only battles.  If we faithfully love them, follow the Lord’s leading, and continue to pray and believe in our children, we will win the war.

Love does the hard stuff. It doesn’t always say ‘yes.’ It isn’t always a friend. No. Sometimes it cringes while it says ‘no,’ fearing a revolt. Love does what is right for a child, even when it temporarily dents your child’s feelings for you.

I want my children to know that so great was my love for them that I fought for them. I fought HARD. I fought in prayer. I fought in word and deed. I fought in faith. I FOUGHT! I don’t want to just say, “This is too hard! It’s their life.” And let them go. No. I want them to know I fought for their future. I fought for their morals. I fought for their happiness, and I fought for their faith.

I’d want to know someone loved me enough to fight for me. Even if it meant protecting me from myself, and my own lack of good judgment, selfish wishes, or na├»ve choices.

Yes, being a parent is full of hard turns and painful changes. We are faced with choices that are tough. We don’t always know the right answer, even though we’re the parent. But we can trust in one thing. Our love. That love that will guide us, as we take any and every step possible to fight for the future of our children. To fight for their honor, purity, integrity, and values.

Don’t give up mom and dad. Hang in there. Your child is SO worth it.

Keep fighting for them until they are strong enough to fight for themselves.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

When You Can't Move On

Stuck. Sometimes we’re just stuck.  Stuck in the past. Stuck in the moments that hurt us deeply. Stuck in what “wasn’t.” Stuck.

We live there, in the past. We wish. We hope. We mope about feeling sorry for ourselves and our bad luck. Our misfortunes. Our wasted dreams.

It doesn’t do us any good to be stuck. It’s not healthy and we need to learn how to move on with our lives. To move forward.

Yes. We were wronged.

Yes. We were hurt.

Yes. Someone took advantage of us.

Yes. We were lonely and ignored.

Yes. We could have been great at “that” thing.

Yes. We are dealing with someone else’s wrong choices and they affected us in an unfair way.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It stinks. But we lived through it. We made it.

It was in the past and we are now in the present. It’s time to live in it, don’t you think?  Use what hurt you. Use it for good. Use it for growth. Use it to get stronger and better. Use it to help someone else.

The longer I live life, the more I see how life doesn’t go the way we thought it would go. Our nicely laid out plans and paths end up being detours and road blocks. What should be a smooth road is bumpy. What should be a straight shot is full of curves.

It’s life.

We have the opportunity to move forward with freedom, joy, and peace. We just need to come to terms with what has happened to us.

It is a part of our story. Not the best part, but a part. And we can use it to our advantage and the advantage of others. But we can’t stay ‘stuck’ back there; still living in that moment and time. We have to leave it back there and move forward.

What we’ve gone through will always be a part of us. But it can be a part of us that God can redeem and use for good.

Let Him.

Take a step today to move forward and find a new dream, a new purpose, and a new freedom in knowing that you weren’t conquered. You weren’t overcome.

Move forward. Make the choice to redefine your future into something beautiful. One step at a time.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sometimes, Your Decisions Cost Me

The world loves the saying, “to each his own.”  It is a champion of doing what is right “for you.”

This mentality fails to highlight the problems with these sayings, or with this kind of way of living. There is the plain and simple fact that more often than naught, our own decisions affect others.

Rarely do the decisions we make affect only us.

I am here to say that many, many times I have been hurt, stressed, lost financially, and been burdened, by the decisions that other people have made – for themselves.

When we think only of ourselves, we fail to see how our decisions affect those around us, especially those we care about.  Someone always picks up the tab for a responsibility, problem, issue, or dilemma that we choose to leave unaddressed. If it’s not us – then who is it? Someone else!

Someone else always picks up the tab emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Issues in life can’t just hang out in the open air to dangle for eternity. They have to be dealt with.  Not only that, sometimes the issues we DO choose to address, are still dealt with by someone else nearby. It’s an overflow issue.

When we choose to do things to our bodies, those near us have to deal with those choices as well, whether or not they agree or like it.   When we choose to live according to ideals or principles, those who love us are affected by those same ideals and principles – whether they are good ones, or bad ones.

I’m not saying we have to consult everyone around us before we make decisions in life. I AM saying that we should give thought to how our choices might affect the people we love; especially if there is the possibility of them being affected negatively.

It is also important to remember that when we choose to run out on commitments, problems, responsibilities, etc – someone else is often left holding the bag. It may not cost you, but it costs them.

You may not have to deal with the affects of quitting that job – but your parents might, as it weighs more heavily on them financially to help you out.

You may not see the problem in growing or smoking marijuana in your backyard, but the neighbor who has to breathe and smell it next door might.

You may not have any problem with your dogs running around the neighborhood, but your neighbor who doesn’t own pets and has to constantly scoop up poop or gets pee spots in his green grass might have something different to say about that.

You may not worry about that money that was loaned to you years ago, but the person who loaned it to you could really use that amount repaid to them.

Our decisions always cost someone. It’s better that that someone be us, than someone else. We need to be responsible for the choices and moves we make in life.

If we can own our actions and behaviors, we can overcome them, as well. And we won’t ruin relationships along the way.

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