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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, 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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Sunday, March 22, 2015

What's Up With That Texas Pride?

The pride in Texans is so very obvious. When we first moved here, I noticed it right away. The Texas star symbol was engraved on beautiful glass entry doors, on manholes in the street, and on highway overpasses. The Texas flag hung here and there and the Texas state shape was on jewelry, phone cases, and wall d├ęcor.

One of my daughters commented on how much people adored a “symbol.” I mean, we came from Idaho, and I never saw anyone wearing a necklace in the shape of the state of Idaho. I grew up in Oregon. Same thing. Never saw anyone wearing an Oregon necklace, much less have the shape of it painted beautifully as art on their wall!

It’s Texas pride.

It may seem odd to some – but I like it. Not that I want to worship a symbol, but that it shows respect and pride in something. And that, I think, we need a whole lot more of.

I have a cross on my wall and it is a symbol I respect. Just as I respect the shape of Texas that I wear around my neck. Because it stands for a place where I live and where I love others. It stands for a place that I am going to try to better, while I am there. Somewhere that I am invested into the community, and care about the people I walk amongst.

Can you imagine what would happen if more people had symbols as reminders of what they hold important to them? What if we had images of the cross engraved in our doors, or beautiful paintings of the Bible hanging on our walls? What if we had other images as reminders of what we prioritize in life? Images of a committed marriage, the value of a newborn’s life, or a symbol for respect and honor?

They are reminders, that’s all. Reminders of what we hold dear and what we stand for.

I’m thankful to be here in Texas - to see what pride in something means, and to take part in that. The world could use more people who take pride in where they live and in who they live among.

It may just be a symbol – an object – but what it stands for is what matters the most.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sometimes I Don't Feel Equipped

As a parent, a wife, and an adult – I feel like I should know answers in life. I should know how to handle dilemmas, problems, challenges, and hurdles.

But I don’t always.

I have instincts, I have intuition, I have some experience in things – but it doesn’t cover all of what life plans to throw at me.

Sometimes… I just don’t feel equipped.

I don’t feel equipped to navigate the circumstances that my children have to go through.

I don’t always feel equipped enough, to know what to do with life’s hurts.

I don’t feel equipped to deal with relationship issues that no one will seem to win at.

I don’t feel capable. I don’t feel knowledgeable enough. I don’t feel like I am the right person for the job that is placed in front of me.

But the thing is – as ill-equipped as I feel at times? I know my God is MORE than equipped. He is able to handle it all.

When I don’t know how to help my children, God knows. 

When I don’t know what the right thing to say is, God knows.

When I don’t know where to funnel my emotions after a deep wound, God knows.

He knows it all.

And I am here – His vessel. Ready to be used. Ready to be molded. Ready to grow.

Because I don’t want to keep facing life’s challenges feeling like I can’t do it. I don’t want to feel unsteady. I want to feel equipped – not in my own strength. But in HIS. I want to feel His lifeblood course through my veins knowing I can trust it all into His hands.

And be at peace.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Love Is....

Love. It’s easy to show love to someone when you are “feeling” it. When you first meet and everything feels magical … it’s easy to love.  But as the years go by, and you get to know your love more intimately, you realize love is a much deeper feeling. It’s a much deeper choice.

You choose to love when your spouse smells from working out in the yard or hasn’t shaved all weekend. You choose to love when they are throwing up from a 24 hr bug.  You choose to love when you are grumpy, irritated, or annoyed by your significant other.

My husband has shown me what true love is. He has loved me in ways and in times that have deeply touched my heart. My husband has showed me how much he loves me by going out walking in our neighborhood; calling, and looking for our indoor cat who had slipped out and gone missing. He doesn’t like cats, particularly. So him taking the time and effort to try and find something that was dear to me, showed me how much he loved me.

My husband knows how cold I get. So if he is in bed before me, he will lay on my side and warm it up for me, so that when I come to bed, it’s all warm. Now, that’s love.

Love is more than a good feeling when everything is going well and you both think the world of one another. It shows up in the middle of a tragedy, when you are bone-tired, and when you have the plain-as-day choice to not “feel” loving. That’s when true love shows how selfless, kind, generous, joyful, patient, and thoughtful it can be.

My husband is so good at loving me. He’s a great teacher. I learn from him often, how to reach out and think of someone else and not yourself. I am blessed.

I pray, that you too, can have a great teacher for what love is. If you don’t, you can teach yourself by modeling it and showing it – even when you aren’t quite feeling it.  Make the choice to love your husband (or wife) on the days and in the moments where you won’t get anything back for yourself. There IS no greater gift, than to give the gift of love. It will come back to you tenfold.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sometimes Our Hearts Go Off Course

Sometimes our heart goes off course.  We start on a mission, ministry, or goal and it can be pure. It’s good. God may have called us or led us to that thing, purpose, or vision.

Then, somewhere along the way, that pureness is lost. We aren’t following God’s calling anymore. We aren’t listening to His whispers. We listen only to our own voice, or those who feed into us with things we want to hear.

We get lost along the way and we don’t even know it.

So many things in life are like this. We get tainted by our own ‘press.’ We get filled with our own success. We get lost in the details of the plan and forget the meaning and purpose of what the plan originally was.

Our hearts go off course.

It’s so important to have accountability in our lives. People who won’t just tell us what we want to hear, but people who are honest with us in a gracious and loving way. We need people who have wisdom and discernment – and those who are honest.

We also need to remember we aren’t the boss. We like to think we’re in control, but we’re not. There is a higher power who dictates where we go, when we go, how we go, and when we get there! He can strip us away from that dream just as easily as He gave it to us.

Just because we are gifted in something, doesn’t mean we are pure in using that giftedness.

Just because we were called to something, doesn’t mean our hearts are humble in achieving that calling.

We need to analyze our motivation and our intent on a regular basis in order to keep our heart on the right track. We will only accomplish what God wants us to accomplish and touch hearts in the way He wants them touched, if we allow our hearts to stay on the course that He wants them on. Sometimes we may feel rerouted from original goals. Sometimes we may feel like we are stuck in our tracks and not moving anywhere at all. But we are right where we’re supposed to be if we continue to let God do the leading and guiding.

It only feels right, to be on the right course. We usually internally know when we’ve veered off, but we can do a lot to protect ourselves before we even get to that point. Take the stand today to put boundaries in place, so that you can be right where you flourish and are used the most….

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Living In a Constant State of Thankfulness

A spirit of thankfulness.

I was recently listening to someone pray and they spoke of wanting to live in a state of thankfulness. Their words really touched my heart, for they are words that you don’t hear that often.

We ask God for forgiveness. We offer up many prayer requests. And we do thank Him for specific answers. But we don’t offer ask to live in a constant state of thankfulness day-to-day.

I was touched by the humility in that request. The pureness of it all. And I immediately wanted that request to come from my own heart as well.

I want to live in a perpetual state of thankfulness.

I don’t want to ever forget where God has taken me, the things He has brought me out of , or the platform He has given me. I don’t want to forget His constant faithfulness, His never-ending patience with me, or His tender love during the tough moments in my life. For I am so deeply, deeply thankful for it all.

I am thankful for all the “yes’s” He’s given me, and I’m even thankful for many of the “no’s. “

I’m thankful for the protection, reassurance, and victories.

I come to my Lord over and over and over again. And He never tires of me. He never tires of my requests.

That is a GOOD God. That is a LOVING God!

I never want to feel entitled, bitter for what I don’t get in life, or ungrateful. I want to be thankful for where I am, what I have, and who I have with me. For I know, they are all precious, priceless gifts.

A spirit of thankfulness. I do want to live in it and feel it radiate within me.

For with it, I know I will be happy and content.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The World Has Enough Talkers

It seems to me that we can say just about anything we want to in life. We can express our heart’s dreams, wishes, disgust, criticism, or opinions on just about anything and everything.

We can openly talk about all the things we want to do or intend to do.

We can say we’ll do lots of things.

We’ll pay back that debt.

We’ll be accountable.

We’ll get a job.

We’ll change our ways.

The list goes on and on.

Our politicians say lots of things. Our teachers say lots of things. Our pastors, our community leaders, our parents…. Say lots of things.  But do they DO them?

It seems to me that the world has enough “talkers.”  We need people who put action behind their words. People who are active participants in their life and in the lives of others.  For talk doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s just that – talk.

I want to believe someone when they talk. I want to trust what they say. At times, what I need is hope. I need love, respect, and yes, sometimes I need protection. I need to trust that when someone tells me something, that those words stand on fact. I need to believe in words that hang out in the air with nothing to hold them together except someone’s integrity and character.

We all need that.

There was a time when I’d trust people until they betrayed that trust. Time’s are a changing! It’s more often than naught, that now, I wait to see if someone will actually do what they say they will do. If they will be who they say they are.

I want to believe. Don’t you?  But we can’t expect of others what we also don’t deliver ourselves. WE need to not just be “talkers” but also, be people of action. WE need to deliver on our word and on our promises. WE need to be trustworthy!

The world has enough “talkers.” Let’s start praying for “doers” and let’s start BEING “doer’s” ourselves.

It’s time for action.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Is the Life God Has Called Me To Live

From my point of view, I’ve seemed to go through quite a few things in my life that weren’t “normal.” By that I mean, that I didn’t know anyone else to whom I could talk to or consult with about what season I was in at the time. I understand that doesn’t mean that someone else somewhere wasn’t going through it. But for me, I just felt all alone. I felt like I was navigating that season a little bit blindly – hoping that I made the right choices through it and came out the other side in tact and better from it.

I’ve struggled with these seasons in my life. I’ve struggled because they were things that people would probably view as things that “shouldn’t be done that way.”  There are certain things and ways you should go about things in life. And for whatever reason, my life doesn’t always seem to go about these things in that ‘acceptable’ way.

I’ll give you a couple of examples.

I got married at 23. But I didn’t just get married. I got married to someone who had been married before, and who had custody of his 6 year old son. So I immediately became a full-time custodial stepmom. Not something I knew anyone else in my life had done.

I’ve had two children get engaged at the age of 18. Before they graduated from high school.

Not part of the normal. Not part of the way society says you should do things.

But I’m thinking, “Just who made society always right, anyways?”

Just because something isn’t considered ‘normal,’ doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

There are a few other examples in my life of things that haven’t taken the ‘traditional’ path. I’ve had to adjust my mindset and my thinking to accept these deviances from what everyone else thinks I should do, how I should do it, and when.

There are so many times where I wish I could feel ‘normal.’ I wish I could have the same problems as everyone else. But it seems that I am not called to ‘normal.’ God has a different direction and plan for my life. He has asked me to step into abnormal situations and circumstances and trust Him with them.  It doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle internally with them. I do. But I’m learning that this is my life. This is the one He has called me to. And it’s beautiful.

I’ve been stretched. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been judged. But I’ve also seen glimpses of God at work that I know I wouldn’t have any other way. I’ve seen His hand in my life and in the lives of those I hold dear and I could not wish or ask for anything differently.

I may wish at times that God had called me to a normal and safe life. But I’m honored that He’s called me to this one. Even though it is so different than what I would have thought I needed in my life – it’s a blessed life. And I will handle it with as much graciousness, prayer, and integrity that I can.

Whatever life God has called you to, know that it is tailored just for you. It’s a life that He feels is right for you and how He can best speak to you and through you. Trust His judgment. Trust His curveballs. Enjoy the ride when you can, and hold on to His hand when you’re scared. He will never leave your side.

It’s your life. Whatever you’re going through – it’s what He has designed.

Just. For. You.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Want to Make a Difference

I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to know that their day was better because of something I said or did. I want to know that they are happier because of my presence in their world.

I want to make an impact.

I want to smile, knowing that I had a part in causing someone to smile.

I want to feel content, knowing that I helped make the load and burden in someone else’s life – just a little bit lighter. I want to feel like I helped someone else realize that they were valued, cherished, and loved.

I want to make a difference.

I don’t want to go about my business and fail to see the tears in someone’s eyes or the droop of their shoulders. I want to notice. I want to act.

I don’t want to ignore the struggle that someone else is enduring.

I want to listen. Love. Hug. Touch. Smile. And care.

If only I could always help someone feel less alone. If only I could help them see their own beauty. If only I could help the cracks in their heart heal – the ones that are there from deep wounds and hurts.

I want to try. I want to love.

I want to make a difference.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Don't Need a Bucket List

Lots of people have “bucket lists.” Things they want to do that year, or throughout their whole lives.

I think it’s truly great.

In fact, my husband had a bucket list when he turned 50. He had all sorts of fun things on it to do – not just large things. He wanted to skip down a street, roll down a hill, do a dot-to-dot, climb a tree – and more. My favorite things were the little things he chose to do. The things that reminded him to enjoy the simple things in life.

It was fun to watch him, and it was fun to do some of his “bucket list” things with him.

But for me, I don’t need a bucket list. And I’ll tell you why.

I have done far more in my life, than I ever could have dreamed of doing. I have ziplined in Guatemala, climbed the Eiffel Tower, touched a dolphin, and seen a lightening storm over the ocean. I’ve seen the miracle of birth with my two daughters, felt the love and friendship with someone who doesn’t even speak my language, and felt the beauty of romance.

I've touched a rock that someone thousands of years old, touched. I've kissed the face of someone I've loved dearly - who has passed on. I've gotten chills down my arms as God has revealed that He protected me and answered a deeply-held prayer request. 

I've seen the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, walked the Mall of America, stood in the FOUR CORNERS, gone on a swamp ride, seen a grizzly through binoculars, white water rafted, gone up the side of a volcano, hula danced, seen a carving of Michelangelo, and gone horseback riding on the beach.

I've been able to do A LOT.

I have travelled to more places than I ever thought I’d visit – Ireland, Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama, Scotland, England, Belgium, and France.

I have lived in many different states – Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and now Texas.

I have gone on road trips all across the U.S.

Most all of these things were unexpected gifts in my life. I didn’t pursue them. I didn’t dream of them. They just naturally came about.

I’m blessed. And I know it.

Everything I do from here on out, is just ‘extra’ for me. I’ve already experienced, and seen more than I could have dreamed possible. So everything I’m able to do from this point on, is a “cherry” on top of the huge cake I’ve already been allowed to eat in my life.

I don’t need a bucket list. The only things I desire from this point on have to do with those people I love, good health, and rich friendships. Sure, there are things that I think would be cool to do. But I don’t NEED to do them. I’m happy enough with what I’ve already been able to do.

Life truly is a gift. We just have to realize when we’ve unwrapped it. And I’ve gotten more gifts in this life than I deserve. How could I ever ask for more?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And We Wonder Why We Struggle

Sometimes we want to lead. We want to have control of our life and a situation or circumstance going on in it.  We want to walk in the direction that we see fit, and hope that God will bless it along the way.

Let’s face it, we don’t always want Him holding our hand and walking step by step with us unless He lets us choose the course of the direction we are walking in.

It’s the truth, yes?

In our heart of hearts, we DO want God’s blessing in our lives. We DO want Him to be with us and to guide us as we make decisions and choices. But often, we want to make those choices on our own – without consulting Him. And then, we want Him to stamp an approval on it.

And we wonder why we struggle.

I am so guilty of wanting things to go in the direction that I think is the right one. I can have quite the ‘heart-to-heart’ talk with my Lord in trying to convince Him that my way is the best way. As if He doesn’t really know the BEST way! Who am I trying to kid? My way is usually – simply – my way.

We often operate in fear. Fear of losing someone, some thing, or some control in our lives. Fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of anything. We let that fear dominate our faith. We let it take over.

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I do that. And I’ve done that time and time and time again.

I want to instead, choose peace. I want to trust in my Lord and Savior; that He knows what He’s doing, even if that DOING might cause me heartache. I want to let HIM choose the direction and course of things – not me. I don’t want to fight against Him or try to talk Him into my logic.

It’s hard not to do those things. So hard. Some battles are so personal and so emotional that it can take everything we have, to just cling to God in that trust. But my God has ALWAYS, ALWAYS been faithful to me. He is good to me. And I want to trust. Not because I believe I will get my way, but because I believe that HIS way will be the best way.

It’s scary – this letting God choose the outcome thing.  I still have to fight against the mentality of thinking that my way should be the right way. I have to swallow a lot of pride and fear. But, I want to know God’s heart more. I want to hear and see Him more. And I think the best way to do that; is if I get out of His way.

Everything I am, and everything I believe in, is riding on my faith and trust in God – especially when I have so much at stake in certain decisions and circumstances. But, that’s who I want to be. That’s HOW I want to be. For I’d much rather be walking through challenging issues in life holding God’s hand, than walking alone and hoping He’ll catch up and accompany me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Am a Reflection

It seems like lately the subject of whether or not certain things are “ok” in the life of a Christian has been coming to the table fairly regularly. I’ve seen them discussed by others, and observed people take one side or the other.

Whether or not some of these things are suitable for a Christian to do or not – is a very hot topic. Someone will always feel excluded if one person says it’s wrong and they, personally, partake in that action. They will immediately feel defensive. Someone else will always be interpreted as ‘judgmental’ simply because they think something is wrong. It can be a tricky thing to discuss.

I can hear some people say, “Well, that’s why I stay away from subjects like that!” But that doesn’t always work either. I believe that God asks us to stand up for what is right. So that means that we sometimes have to take the side of unpopular opinion in order to take GOD’S SIDE.

A lot of these ‘hot button’ issues revolve around things like alcohol, tattoos, gambling, smoking, ‘white lies,’ or swearing.

This is where I stand on these issues and others that might come up.

For me, I want to always remember that I am a reflection of my Lord God Almighty. It is HIM, whom I serve. I don’t serve the world. I don’t have to someday account to the world. But I do, to my Lord.  If someone sees alcohol in my fridge and it in turn causes them to question my beliefs, my Christian walk, and my faith – then to me, and for me, that is wrong, because I don’t want to ever be the cause for someone else to stumble. I don’t want to be the hindrance to someone else’s faith.

Being a believer means I’m held to a higher standard whether I like it or not. It means that someone is always watching me. Watching to see if I’m really different. Watching to see when I will mess up. Watching to see if I can stay true to what I say I believe when temptation comes, when trials come, or when disappointment comes. 

So, yes. Some things may not be a sin in and of themselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to take part in them.

1 Corinthians 10:23

“I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive.”

Not everything is beneficial. And not everything is constructive.  That’s what it comes down to for me. I don’t need to partake. I don’t want to partake. For I am a reflection. A reflection of my Lord.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Nothing Wrong With a Little "Selfie!"

“Selfies.” The craze of this generation.

Everyone seems to have their own opinions on this craze. I’ve heard it said that people who take ‘selfies’ are narcissists. That it signifies mental or emotional issues. I’ve heard people mock others for taking ‘selfies’ and I’ve seen people think they are ‘above’ the whole craze.

I think ‘selfies’ are fun. And, I think they are perfectly normal and okay to do.

Recently, I went to Hawaii with my husband. We saw people taking selfies all over the place. At the beach, by a palm tree, overlooking the ocean, and more. Sometimes it was an individual ‘selfie’ and sometimes it was a couple.

This is how I see it. There is nothing wrong with taking a picture of yourself, to remember a time, place, or moment. It’s fun. And it’ a way to enjoy life and where you are currently are, in it.

I even think it’s okay to take a  ‘selfie’ once in awhile in your bathroom or car. Make a pucker face, or have fun with a pout. Again, it’s about enjoying life. Enjoying yourself and the moment you are in.

“Selfies” are kind of like photo journals, in a way. You’re recording who you are on a certain date and time. You’re recording your mood, your outlook, your environment.

The only time I can agree with the professionals on ‘selfie’ assessments, is when someone takes CONSTANT and UNENDING selfies, then posts them online or on Instagram. If someone does nothing BUT selfies, then yah, maybe a deeper look needs to be given as to why they don’t find anything else in life worthy of capturing with their camera.

I also personally feel that ‘selfies’ should always be kept classy. Flipping off the camera generally doesn’t make others love you more. And anything you might regret posting one day you get married, have children, or have a relative see – you might want to forget about posting. In fact, forget about taking that shot at all. No shot – no regrets!

But other than those wise words of wisdom, I say, have fun and take some ‘selfies!’ There’s nothing wrong with loving on those around you and taking your own shots of a moment in time. There’s nothing wrong with capturing yourself, either.

Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. So live and enjoy it. And take a ‘selfie’ to show it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sometimes I Forget To Pray

I want to be as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ as I possibly can while I walk this earth. I want others to feel love, encouragement, and warmth in my presence. I want them to enjoy laughing with me, and feel safe crying.

I strive for these things. I believe they are the character traits that my Lord has. Character traits that He’d want me to walk out.

But let’s face it; I am so imperfect. I screw up, and feel like slapping myself on the head over the ease into which I slipped into an area, that is not an area that helps me be the kind of person I want to be.

I know the habits that should be a part of my life. I know the people that I should surround myself with. I know how I should behave.  Yet, sometimes, sometimes, I just neglect the very things that would help me be a better, more faithful, “me.”

Sometimes, I forget to pray. I try to handle a situation myself first before I remember to ask God to intervene.

Sometimes, I don’t read the Bible. I’d rather watch the news, get on the computer, or fiddle with my Iphone, than read the great wisdom, peace, and direction that God has sitting there at my fingertips.

Sometimes, I sleep in and I don’t go to church. I may have been up too late, or I just don’t feel like going. So I don’t.

Sometimes, I prefer to listen to my ‘pop’ music, rather than my ‘praise’ music. It’s usually more danceable.

I am human. Just as you are. None of these things are horrible sins. In fact, I think God expects me to forget to pray, read His Word, or go to church at times. I think He KNOWS that the music, books, and movies of this world will entice me.

And sometimes, sometimes, it’s simply ok to just enjoy this life that He’s given us. It’s ok to enjoy hanging out with good friends until late at night. It’s ok to struggle in our own skin to try and solve an issue – because then we are reminded how much we need to rely on God! It’s ok to sleep in sometimes and not go to church. (Even God needed rest when He walked on this earth). Rest is important. As long as that ‘sleeping in’ doesn’t become a habit more important than being a part of a local church body where we can be encouraged, ministered to, and fellowship with other believers.

It’s ok. Sometimes.

But if I want to be as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ as I possibly can? If I want to love, be loved, encourage, be encouraged, and have others in my life to laugh and cry with…. I need to do those things that I “sometimes” forget.

For they are food and water to the heart and soul of a Christian. I can’t grow without them. I can’t BE the kind of person I want to be in my own strength, in my own will, and on my own terms. Well, maybe, sometimes I can – but not indefinitely. I need God speaking into my life through His Bible, His church, His music, and His whispers in prayer time, for those character traits to permanently take root in my life.

I have to be intentional.

I have to prioritize.

So, sometimes? Sometimes I might forget to pray, and it’s ok.  As long as that “sometimes,” never turns into “all the time.” And that is a slippery slope to watch out for.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Things Will Never Be The Same Again

You usually know those moments when you are experiencing them. Those moments that are timeless. You are making a memory and you know it. You are living a special moment with someone, or several people that are dear to your heart. And you know it will never come again. You know things will change after that moment.

I remember visiting my grandpa three weeks before he died. We knew he was dying. He knew he was dying. And I asked for a hug – knowing it would be the last time I ever hugged him. I tried to soak it in the best I could. Tried to take note of how he smelled and felt. For I knew life would change for me after that hug. I would lose my grandpa.

I knew when I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten and cried in the car. I knew from that day on, that things would never be the same. She would never simply be safe in her momma’s world. She would be exposed to people and things I had no control of. She would never just be ‘home’ with me again.

And I knew when I said ‘yes’ to my husband’s marriage proposal that life would be forever different for me. I knew the life I had known up until that point, would change. It would be new, different, exciting, and tough.

Those are the moments.  The ones where you know you are going to forever try to be reliving those hours or minutes over and over again in your heart and in your head. They are the ones that cause a lump in your throat – for you are happy and sad at the same time. Life is shifting. The ground under you is changing and you will have to adapt.

And you know it.

I recently had one of those moments. The circumstances around it will remain sacred only to me for now, but I knew …. I knew it was one of those ‘this will never be the same’ kind of time. It wasn’t lost on me.

I both love and hate these times. I hate them for what I feel I lose as the season in my life changes. I will miss what once ‘was.’ But I love them for I know that there is ‘new’ around the corner. And ‘new’ is usually motivating in some way. It forces you to grow.

It’s a privilege to be able to be a part of so many of these iconic moments in time with your loved ones. To see special ones be married, to watch graduations, to hug loved ones as they leave your life – all – a privilege.

We can try to force things to stay the same in our lives, but change will happen eventually. Kids will grow up, parents will retire, and health circumstances will alter. It’s the cycle of life. And it’s beautiful. It’s priceless. It’s ours.

Relish those moments. Smell them, feel them, and touch them the best you can. For they will never come again and things WILL never be the same. It’s the bittersweet beauty of life and love.

And it’s a treasure.


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