Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Whirlwind

These last few months have really been a whirlwind in my life. So much going on with work, school, health and family, taking new adventures, closing the gaps in my life.... It's been eventful, stressful, fun and I just wouldn't even know where to begin.

Thanksgiving came and went. We had family together and I felt really blessed this year just to have most of my family together. A health scare almost kept us apart and that was mind blowing and also a blessing. 

Christmas is around the corner and I still have a couple things to grab. I cannot believe that the new year will be here in just a few weeks and everything will start back up again. 

I had a revelation - I changed my major. I am tired of school and want to be done. I want to move on to bigger and better things and in order to do that I just need to close this education chapter of my life. It's been a long time coming and I cannot wait to just be done. I can finish and get my masters in the same time it would have taken me to complete my original degree plan so here we are at another fork in the road and I've changed my direction. 

Interviewing for job positions that I am not seeking, but that I am being sought out for. This is humbling. Who would have thought that a hospital would want me on their team?! But that's a conversation for later if they actually decide to go with me. 

I have been enjoying loved ones and holiday parties. Meeting new people and just investing more time in those I already love. I know there is much change on the horizon and this is just the beginning, but I couldn't be more excited! 

Life never passes by slowly when it is good or when you are having fun. Life always speeds past and you feel like you are missing something. I just want to savor the moments as they come because they are so very precious. Every squeal, every hug, every exciting adventure, and mostly the little moments that lead to the bigger moments! I want more and I honestly even though it is a whirlwind - I don't ever want it to stop!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Time gets away...

I know I have been kind of slacking on this blog writing things, but that's because I have been writing. I am participating in the NaNoWriMo contest this year and that is a challenge to write a 50,000 word book in the month of November.

Check out my book and info here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/hulia2786/novels

So... I was thinking about all of this and just how much fun writing is. I could pump out a ton of books if all I did was write all day. I have been home for a few hours and already have a few thousand words in. I love it! I was a little hesitant at first, but then I decided about day four of the challenge that I should join in and that it was better late than never. So technically I did not pre-planning and didn't even start writing until 4 days after everyone else.... so if I do meet or exceed this challenge then I am going to be jumping for joy because I will have really pushed myself this time.

I also realized it is so much easier to write fiction than memoir or self reflective stuff. The words just poor onto the page when I am not worrying what people will think or how they will feel. I just know that I can be free and write whatever story comes to my mind.

Of course I am a girl so there will be relationship and lovey dovey stuff, but I am also a fan of suspense and thrillers, so we will see how this story flows. Will it end happy or will it end sad? I honestly don't know... So I guess I had better get back to it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coming together

It's that time of year when you start to think of family and holidays. You start planning meals and get togethers. You start thinking of how you will all come together for that long awaited family gathering. 

You get to stuff your face with too much delicious good- go into a food coma - then after a few hours do it again. 

You get to collect holiday wish lists. Download your Santa tracker and start writing letters to the North Pole. You get to decorate your house with ridiculous amounts of lights and other junk that you will be cursing when it is freezing out and you have to take it down. 

Oh. But the joy of it all! 

This year I have much more to be thankful for and so much more to plan for. Family to me this year means something completely different than it has in so many years- or possibly ever! 

This year may be the last holiday season my family is in driving distance. While I am loosing them to a longer drive ... I am gaining a family also. It's so ironic how these things happen and come together the way they do. 

Today I was allowed a glimpse into the future and it melted my heart. Just the opportunity to have these precious moments is something I would never and could never give up! I am so grateful for the little moments that come few and far between but that will be the ones that stick with me forever! 

I think family is one of the most important parts of my life and should be if everyone's life. I know that I cherish every moment I get with June because soon I won't just be able to have that quick hour drive down to visit... It will be many driving hours or flight hours that will take me to see them ... And I won't get that luxury as often. 

I also know that while that saddens my heart there are so many things that full my heart. It's so hard to put into words so I won't even try, but I just know. 

So.... From holiday planning and families coming together... There is nothing more precious than adding more names to the pile of family you already have! I just am more and more excited about the holidays as the days pass by! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Enough

He Is enough for me

Just sit and think about that for one moment. Has anything ever filled you up? Has anything ever been enough? What would your life look like if something or someone was enough? Would you stop searching for someone to fill that void? Someone to give you what you're missing? Stop putting the pressure on someone else to do for you what you need to do for yourself? 

Think about yourself. Think about never wanting anything else other than what you have now. Imagine your heart so full you feel like it's going to explode. Imagine only ever wanting to give your love to someone instead of having the need for someone else's love and taking that. Taking their love and their actions for granted is something so many people do. 

What if you were a giver instead of a taker? What if you were a giver instead of a keeper? How much greater which are love me if you gave it away.... Every last bit? Can you imagine giving ALL of yourself to someone? 

How great is our God! He knows my heart and he still gives me all love. He is enough for me. More than enough! 

What would your life look like if God was enough and you didn't need someone else to fill you up? What if you never craved to be filled? Because you always full!! 

What a concept?!?!

I am a woman and of course I think about my future. I think about my future husband and what my life will look like then. I think about love and happiness. Please do not hear me wrong when I talk about the above... When I talk about God being enough. I still am excited for my future and everything that God has planned. 

I write to him and pray for him. I pray for our future together and how God will use us. 

I've always imagine what love truly feel like when God was in control. I know that it's amazing. I know that it will be blessed. I can't have patience wait for it because I know the wait will be worth it. I am just truly excited for my future. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Music

Music moves me and it soothes my soul. Some times I just sit back ... Humming a tune ... Not knowing where it's coming from. I want to as lyrics an a piano or a guitar - I want to write music not just books or poems. 

All my life I have been drawn to this. Drawn to music. Drawn to writing. I always in myself denying this dream because I don't want to be famous or live in a glass house. I have this tainted view of what my life would be like if I actually put my heart into something bigger than me. I worry that I won't be able to do it or I won't be able to play well enough. 

But then I wonder- what is my dream and why do I have it? I love music and I love singing. I dream of working on something that I can call my own and I wonder what that would look like or feel like. Then I sit back and listen to people all around me who are doing what they love and a small slice of jealousy creeps in. 

I wouldn't want to be famous - I just want to embrace what's within. I wouldn't do it to show off - I just want to share. 

I have a long road ahead of me and so much more to do ... But tonight I felt inspired and I wanted to share it with you. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You Matter!

You matter.
What you do matters.
You make a difference and your influence is significant.

Sometimes you need to hear that. It gets hard trudging along sometimes when all you can think of is the time you are investing in everything around you and you are seeing no result. Sometimes you will never see the outcome in your lifetime. Even though this idea is difficult to imagine - you have to be accepting because it is the truth.

I have always known that I have influence and I try really hard to be humble about this, but I cannot help but acknowledge it and you should as well. The influence we have is significant and you have to be aware of how you are influencing.

If someone tagged along with a video camera for a day - would you be proud of what was filmed? Would you want that to be what kind of influence you were having on others? Would this be the explicit viewpoint or the G rated viewpoint? Would it be the truth and the real, honest you?

How often are we REAL with people? Allow people to see the real/true self? So often we are afraid of people seeing us and judging us - we never let people fully in. Why should we fear people seeing us for us? We are who we are and we need to be honest with ourselves and everyone else.

Set the example. Monkey see - Monkey do. So true. There are eyes watching all the time and we have to be aware and know that they will follow in our steps. Are we leaving the legacy that we want them to pick up and run with?

Are you proud of who you portray? Do you know how much you matter to everyone around you? Would you act differently or love differently if you knew?

Well... You should know!

YOU MATTER!

There may never be anyone who tells you this, but it's not because they don't think it. It may because they don't know how to say it. It may be because they don't know that you need to hear it. It may be because you act like you don't need to know.

But you should know - if you don't and if nobody has told you lately, ever, or at all... You do matter. Everything you do matters. So make it count!

What you do now and how you treat others will affect them in their future. You should know that this is influencing and impacting the way someone grows old and how they influence and impact the world. Think on that....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stand out!

Tonight I had a conversation that made me feel high and low at the same time. 

A young woman is choosing to be single. She, like many others, has realized that you don't need someone to complete you and you especially don't need to make that happen in college, high school, or any time sooner than that. It takes a certain level of self control and self confidence to stand by while everyone else is "dating", get asked to school dances, etc and being the one who says no. It takes a certain level of maturity to know that not leading a man on is best for you and him. I must say that my heart skipped a best and I felt so proud when she said she was going to stand up for what she believed even if it meant being different. 

What breaks my heart is that because of these decisions - she stands out. Now, standing out is not a bad thing - don't hear me wrong. What is sad is that people take advantage of this, peg her, peer pressure her, invite her along and purposefully make fun of her lack of bad behavior. Since when did standing out become such a bad thing? 

My ten hear reunion is approaching and it got me thinking .... What was it like for me when I was in high school? 

I didn't fit in to any set crowds - I wasn't all in for any clique or club. I bet over half my class wouldn't know me or recognize me if you asked them who I was. I was the kid that melted in. I blended just enough that I wasn't bothered too much and I stuck to the people I knew and didn't try to befriend those I knew wouldn't accept me. I was also the kid that never got invited to parties or events. I didn't go to most school events, didn't go to prom or other dances. I wasn't that into school spirit and I didn't attend many games. 

I think about that time in my life when I was, we all were, seeking acceptance. We wanted to fit in and have friends we could count on. I remember when everyone went away to college, started jobs or families and most of those friendships dissipated. 

Then I begin to think abut what my life would be like if I had just made the effort to stand out... To take that step. To be different than everyone else and feel okay about it. 

What would your life look like if you stood out? If you took a stand? If you dared to be different?! 

Are we still in fear of being singled out? Made fun of? Bullied even? Are we the people who made fun if others or bullied them? 

What is the point of pressuring someone to do something? So you aren't alone and don't feel so bad for doing it? Are we still those people that try to pressure others even though me know it's wrong? 

What would life look like if you never felt pressured? What if you could stand up and stand out?! Paint that picture and let it set itself in your mind!

Dare to be different! 
Stand up and stand out!! 
Do you have the courage? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Surprises

Tonight I came home to an amazing surprise. It was likely the best surprise I have ever had in my entire life. I am in awe and amazement at the ways I am blessed. A part of my surprise involved chocolate!! Yum!


I was inspired, encouraged, and struck by these words I received and many others.

Live in the Present! There is no better place. You have all you need and all that God has given you. Do not seek out something that is harmful. Do not look at the past. Do not try to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Do not look for the 20 when you have the 80! Life is passing you by while you are too busy to realize it. You have to stop and take a step back. Look at all that you have and just wonder in it. You are blessed. I am blessed. I could not honestly ask for anything else in my life. The world is such a big and beautiful place and I am so excited to experience it every day. To see and enjoy new things, or experience things again in a new light. I think for the first time in my life I am actually living!

Be Fearless! Do not be afraid. Do not let it rule your life. Do not allow your insecurities to step in the way. Life is too short to hide in the shadows or creep around worrying about everyone else. You have to live the life you know you were meant to live and do it fearlessly. There is nothing that God cannot handle. Even when things get rocky or a storm starts brewing - know that He is with you and you shall have no fear!

Do what Feels RIGHT! You know what is right or wrong. You know what feels good and what feels bad. Yet often we find ourselves doing what is best for everyone else instead of what is best for us. Often we find ourselves going against what we believe in order to appease someone else in our life. STOP! You have to do what you know feels right. Even if you think it's crazy or you think everyone else in the world will think it's crazy. Crazy just means that they don't know or understand it. What is right is not always easy, but it is worth it!

Know and understand how blessed you truly are. Appreciate the people in your life that you love and those that love you. Do NOT ever take advantage of what you have because one day you might not have it anymore. Our days are numbered and we do not know when that number will be up. Live like you haven't lived before in your life. Love like you won't have a tomorrow. Remember to tell everyone you love just how much you love them and why. You have no idea how impactful that is on a person's day and most importantly - on their HEART.

Have you ever cried because you were overwhelmed by positive feelings and not negative feelings? Have you ever felt so much happiness in your heart that you could not sit still? The focus is gone throughout your day ... squirrel squirrel squirrel ACORN! LOL! Let it be! I cannot express how much energy I wasted fighting all of this. But the thing that I have learned is that you have to be FEARLESS! LIVE in the PRESENT! and do what FEELS RIGHT even if it may seem crazy! The best things in life and almost everything that God has done seems crazy, but we just have to know and understand sometimes that it is BIGGER than us.

So... I sit here faithfully - In such awe and amazement - So inspired - So blessed - I cannot imagine feeling a better overwhelming feeling in my life. OK! So ... here I am with open arms...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New Life

Today I witnessed people taking their faith public through baptism - then the most phenomenal thing happened ... A couple decided to get married and baptized together today in front of the entire church! What an incredible start to a journey! 

This life we live is always changing! It takes us on some bumpy roads and some smooth paths but all in all at some points we just wipe our old slate clean and start fresh - on a new journey with a new life! What a concept! 

Today I thought about the day I made the decision to take that leap of faith and go public. I was young and excited and didn't know really what I was getting myself into other than ... I was excited about Jesus and knew this was what I was supposed to do. Now mind you - there have been plenty of times in my life where I have faced trials and tribulation - I have turned away and it took me time to refocus and get back on track. I know and understand as an adult what it really means to follow Christ. It's a hard path and takes a lot of commitment - but it's definitely a journey I would not give up or trade in. 

I think about everything I have encountered along this journey and how it has impacted my life. The rocky and broken road that had led me to where I am. I see all the ways I have been saved and rescued. I can think back on all the ways I have been blessed. I can only credit these blessings to God. I must say that nothing in this life is a coincidence and I know He had a plan for me. I am excited to continually be uncovering that plan and journey. I'm excited for the company that will be with me on this journey as well. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food

I just finished my lunch and it consisted of: spinach, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower salad with no dressing and an apple. Ugh. Well.... here is to healthy eating and getting on the right path!

So I have decided to go Gluten Free ... for sure... and am looking into the Paleo lifestyle. This is all new to me and crazy because it's different and difficult. I have been doing this for 3 days now and it's already hard. I want ice cream, sweets, bread, etc. It's so hard to say no to things when they are sitting all around you all day long!

Food = Temptation

This is such a difficult concept for me. Now, mind you, I have food allergies and I have never really been consistent with following that dietary plan that keeps the allergic food out of my diet. So - for the first time in my life I am fighting myself to stay consistent with food. All I want to do is bake! or eat this really delicious and huge muffin sitting across the lunchroom!

But I must say that I think this is a good decision and really the best decision I have made for myself and my body in a long time. It is responsible and safe. I am choosing to refrain from putting foods that are toxic to me in my body - What a concept?! I know.

So - I know this is difficult for me but I do have support and that is the best thing in the world. Everyone who decides to make a decision that will tempt or challenge them this greatly needs someone to support them and hold them accountable. It is difficult, but I plan to stick to it.

What decisions in your life do you need to make? What challenges do you face that you need a support system for? What temptations do you encounter that you need someone to hold you accountable for?

I know food seems like such a simple thing, but you have no idea. When you talk to me about food, I can describe things that will make your mouth water because I love food so much! I love cooking and baking! This is such a new journey for me. I have to re-learn how to love food, cooking, and baking in a whole new way!

Eek! Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Identity

What does identity mean to you? How do you identify?

If someone asked me to identify myself I would say...
I am a:
1. Woman
2. Christian
3. Mexican
4. Sister
5. Daughter
6. Writer

I could have a long list of ways that I identify but I guess the real question is why? Why do I identify as these things?

I am a woman - this is a huge statement. Now it's not the sex that you were born that dictates your gender identity. This is such a huge and interesting topic, but I won't go into it so much today. I just know that I identify as a woman and love the woman I have become.

I am a Christian - also a bold statement. This means that I have found and am following Christ. I am intentional about what I do and how I do it in order to express to others just how Christ loves me and how they deserve to be loved as well. This also means that I want to share this aspect of my life with everyone that I know and love!

I am Mexican - really I am mixed. I really am Mexican/Puerto Rican/Native American/American mut mix. I don't say that when someone asks me what my nationality is - I usually just say Hispanic or Mexican/Puerto Rican. It's difficult to get into all that mumbo jumbo when trying to describe it to someone. Also - most places I have ever lived identify me as not white - so that identification of others allowed me to make that decision a lot easier. So - I am a non Spanish speaking Mexican who didn't have a QuinceaƱera and who doesn't celebrate Cinco de Mayo... lol.

I am a Sister - to 9 siblings... eek! I know right... That's most people's reactions when they realize or hear that I have a large family. Then come the jokes about my parents or about me having a large family myself. Then there is always the questions that relate to where we lived or what religious background we have because obviously that all dictates how many children people have?! Whatever. I have lived my life caring for people. Being the example (always not the best but I do what I can) and trying to show them what they deserve and encourage them to know what they are worth! Life has not always been easy - so I have been the comforter, shoulder to cry on, supporter, etc. This is what I do.

I am a Daughter - again ... one of many. But, I know that I am also a supporter in this area of my life as well. I am the go to person to help out and the dependable one when support or help is needed. I am the one who is always there. But ... now they are moving and that won't be my role anymore. Even being the daughter has been difficult at times. Being respectful and loving has been difficult at times. Again - life has not always dealt the best hand and this causes stress and conflict. But, I hope that I am what is expected.

I am a writer - I love this! I am creative and trying to publish. I have so much to tell the world - I just have to figure out how to make this happen. I have published one book and am working on editing, reviewing, and possibly completely republishing with a new or different angle. This should be interesting - also working on something completely different at the same time.

I am who I am - and I am proud of it. I am beautiful, smart, caring, loving, confident, compassionate, etc. I do not say these things to sound conceited - I say them because I know who I am and I love who I am. I am not afraid or timid. I am not scared or afraid. I have come a long way - I know where I have been and I know where I am - this is a huge difference.

Can you identify yourself? Can you tell who you are? Are you proud of who you are? Do you love who you are?

How often do you identify with others but not know why?
How difficult is it for you to explain or describe who you are?
How hard is it for you to love yourself and who you have become?

It has taken me a long time to get here. It has taken me a long time to love myself and be okay with where I have been and how I have become who I am today. I know this is difficult for many people and so many people cannot even define their own identity.

Work on it. Know who you are. Know where you have been and where you are now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yes

Say Yes.

What have you said yes to lately? What are all the things you can think of that you would say yes to right now?

I have always been a "say yes" kind of person, willing to help others and put everyone else in front of myself. I will go as far as sacrificing my own time or my own self in order to follow through on a "yes" that I have given someone else. Unfortunately, I have missed out on all the times I should have been saying yes to myself or to God.

Fear rules us... It shouldn't, but it does. I will admit that something that has always been a struggle for me is trust. Trusting others with my self, my belongings, my thoughts, my emotions, etc. Such a huge aspect of a relationship is trust. Yet, I have been unwilling for so long to trust the church... trust God... trust the people he has placed in those leadership positions to lead and mentor me. It has been a long journey and this Sunday I was reminded that I have to take that step and trust others completely or else I will always be a step behind everyone else.

My struggle - along with many others I am sure - has been trusting the people in leadership positions to do what is best with the resources I provide. Therefore, for quite some time I have held onto those resources and distributed them how I thought was best. This unfortunately never put me in a place of risk, sacrifice, or vulnerability in my relationship with God or the church (the people of God). I know that giving back is such a crucial aspect of my relationship and yet I have just been turning my head this entire time and justifying why I couldn't or wouldn't give.

So... I have decided to take up my cross and give back. I know that I have the relationship and the commitment needed. I know that I serve and give back in that way. But there is just something bigger about sacrificing your finances, giving to the unknown, and trusting that the best will be done with it. I have decided to give.

Now for some of you this may be routine and something that you have been doing along. For others this may be something you are shacking your head at and thinking I am crazy. Some of you know how big of a deal this is and others are laughing thinking I am silly.

For those who know how big of a deal this is... I applaud you for also making the sacrifice, giving up that hold on your finances and trusting that He will provide for you. I know he does. Giving back is such an incredible tie in to seeing how the church helps the community with what you have given.

For those of you who think I am silly... Well... when was the last time you sacrificed something for the greater good? When was the last time you sacrificed something at all? How do you intend to live your life and utilize your resources provided to you?

You cannot take it with you when you are gone! This doesn't mean that you should save for the future or plan ahead. This doesn't mean that you should go willy nilly and just blow all the money you have and forget about the purpose of it. You should be intentional about every dollar you spend and make sure it is worth it.

Is this how I should be spending what has been provided to me? Is this how He would spend it if given the chance?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately and it really makes me think about how I spend...

Are the manicures and pedicures a necessity?
Is going out to eat a luxury I need to partake in as much?
Can I conserve what I have in order to use it differently later on?
Did I give back?
Have I saved?
Am I investing in what is benefiting the greater good or just a greater self?

This is huge for me. I am not saying that I know everything, it all, or anything at all. I just think that saying yes to this is going to open my eyes to an even greater picture that I could never have imagined on my own...

Will you Say Yes? What will you Say Yes to?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Transitions

When life is in transition it can be awkward sometimes. You never know where you are coming from or where you are going. Sleeping in new or different places and seeing new or different faces. It's just odd sometimes to try to figure out the normal schedule you once had and fit it into this new schedule, new places, new time frames.

So my commute to work is generally 1.5 hours now in the morning and then depending on where I am going after work the commute differs, but generally about an hour or more... ugh! I am getting re-acquainted with traffic and I cannot say that I am enjoying it. But, it does give me quality phone talk time which I am enjoying. So on the plus side ... I get time in the car to eat breakfast, drink coffee, talk on the phone, and think about what's next.

Yesterday I had two meals which consisted of Pop Tarts.... umm... really?! So breakfast and lunch yesterday were pop tart lunches. It's not to say that I cannot go to the grocery and buy food, but generally my life runs a little differently and I haven't had time or desire to do so. I was at the grocery a couple nights ago and should have just bought a couple of things to have, but my new on the go life until 10/15 hasn't really allowed for that. So, my diet lately has consisted a lot on boxed foods, take-out, or dine out style meals... with a few home cooked thrown in there which were AWESOME!

I am counting down the days till I move into my own place, not because I don't appreciate this time I have now, but because I am ready to be back on my normal routine. Not to say I will grocery shop more, or do homework more, or anything of that sort, but this transitional period is just odd.

Silly of me to even mention this, but my shows are starting this week... generally I DVR everything, but I gave up cable for the transition month because I only watch what's on my DVR and because it's saving me $100. I am so crazy that I even text my brother and asked him to record for me so I wouldn't miss out on anything... umm... this means I am addicted to television and really should be taking this time away.

Transitions are full of unexpected changes and turns of events. This is probably the longest lasting transition I have had in my adult life and it is throwing me off. It's odd to realize how routine your life has become until something mixes or shakes it up. It is also funny how silly things seem that bother you when you actually call yourself out on it. Like my missing my shows, or travel times to and from work, etc.

I wonder sometimes what life would be like if I just stopped being so routine. I know I am spontaneous and spur of the moment with my decision making, but my lifestyle is very routine and expected. What if I threw all that out the window? What if I cancelled my cable and want tied to the couch for a set amount of time every week? What if I woke up fresh every morning with extra time to live and enjoy life? What if I set time aside in my schedule to write and learn to play guitar? 

What would life look like if you stopped being so routine? If sports weren't more important than loved ones? If television wasn't more important than exploring the outdoors? If eating out/fast food wasn't more appealing than cooking a meal at home? 

Think about all the extra quality time you would tack onto your life! What would you do with it? How would you down it? 

Recently I have uncovered this new crazy concept of quality over quantity in a new way. It honestly doesn't matter how much time or energy you invest in something or someone unless it is intentional and quality time. If you are intentional about what you do and say then you will move mountains! If you are not intentional then you will keep taking baby steps and walking around the mountain. 

Are you ready and willing to be intentional about living? Can you set quality time aside? Are you willing to sacrifice something consuming time in your schedule now that doesn't offer that intentional quality? 

What would transition look like for you? How would it throw you off? Can you make it happen? What are you willing to sacrifice so that you can have more?!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Solace

Have you ever needed to find comfort in a bad/sad/difficult situation? Ever needed that person or visit to a place in order to help you close one chapter and turn the page to start another? 

Comfort is such a large part of how we function on a daily basis. We all want to be comfortable in our own skin and a lot of times that requires comforting from others. You long to find that solace within. We need reassurance and guidance. 

Who provides you solace? 

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

When we are in need, often we search for others around us to fill that need or void. Most of the time others are able to offer some kind of comfort to us, but we still feel like something is missing. Know this - God's comfort is never ending. He will fill you up endlessly. 

I am a pretty independent person - but as independent as I am - I know that I must depend on others for certain things. This is difficult to accept but it's necessary. I cannot do everything on my own and there are times I have tried and failed. 

We were not created to be alone. God crated everything and saw it was good, until he saw man lonely and couldn't have it that way. In the beginning God recognized that we needed others and that's why he created a partner for Adam. 

We need community. We need interaction. We need other people. This is obvious to us and should be important to us! 

When you are in need of solace - of comfort - who do you go to? Do you have someone you can depend on? Someone you can lean on? Someone you can trust with anything knowing they will love you and understand that you are human?

It has taken me years to accept that I need someone. That it is okay to accept love, comfort, praise, support from another person. But as soon as I opened my eyes, mind, and heart to this concept ... Oh let me tell you! It makes a world of a difference. 

Are you being comforted? Have you found solace? If not - why? Who do you have that you can depend on? 

Everybody needs somebody sometime! 

Be open - Be vulnerable - Be trusting

Allow yourself to receive comfort!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who do you see in the mirror?

Image - What do we portray of ourselves and show to others? What do we see in ourselves? Who are we really and how frequently are we hiding behind a mask of who we think others want us to be?

Who are you to tell me I am less than what I should be? It's not easy to be perfect! Perfect is a relative term because we are all perfect in God's eyes because he created us uniquely and then he broke the mold! Unfortunately society tells us that we all need to be the same or like other people. We need to strive for this physical perfection or this image created by others - this is what society is telling us.... We are so lost!

Why do we allow others to try to define us? Why do we allow society to define us? Why do we allow commercials and name brands to define us?

Who is staring back at you in the mirror every day? Are you proud of who/what you see? Are you ashamed? At what point in your life did your reflection change? What happened to you that you started looking at some strangers eyes staring back at you in the mirror?

This morning I saw a music video and was disheartened.

(I am purposefully not posting the video, name of video or artist because I do not want to support this media or behavior. I also do not think it to be appropriate material for most of my readers. I am sure you all will know what or who I am speaking of.)

A young woman who used to be a role model for young girls has recently put herself on display for the world in an attempt to become more famous, of a higher ranking, and someone who everyone is talking about. Some say her attempts are to become the next Madonna - but honestly Madonna was risky, but had better taste and more respect for herself.

The first thing I said out loud was - "WOW" .... then soon after I begged the question ... "How damaged does one person have to be in order to get to a point where they pull a stunt like this?"

How important is your image? Remember that when you actually decide to become a responsible adult or decide to take a step in your current career ... these things are out there and online forever. It is ironic the images young women are willing to post on their online profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Think about whether or not that is something that you want your children to see, your parents, the people who love you... and mostly... is that something you would want God to see?!

Often we do things, say things, or portray ourselves to be something we are not just to make a career move, a societal step, a friendship circle move or jump... We don't think about the consequences of our actions when we are doing this and how it will affect our futures. Most of the time we are blinded by what is directly in front of us - whether that be an obstacle or opportunity. We see what we want to see and dismiss everything else .... We have to stop this!

One of the most healing exercises I performed when I was dealing with image issues included washing them away.

1. Take a piece of rice paper - write down all the things about yourself that you are ashamed of or self conscious about.
2. Place a mirror against a wall so that you can see your whole self.
3. Place a bowl of water at the base of the mirror.
4. Stand in front of the mirror and read aloud all the things you have listed on the paper.
5. Drop it in the water and watch it dissolve and wash away!
6. Friends start to immediately write positive uplifting things on the mirror for you so that when you look back up and see yourself in the mirror you also see what others see.
     - Beautiful, Smart, Funny, Loyal, Unique, His, Created for a purpose, Driven, Strong, Uplifting, Compassionate, etc...

Now let this bring a tear to your eye and imagine yourself experiencing that... It's like nothing else. Even as an adult when I think I am not good enough, perfect enough, beautiful enough, etc I just think back on this moment/experience and remember how that made me feel.

Psalm 139:13-14 
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

There is no point in your life where you should feel so defeated, broken, or damaged that you have to climb your way back up in a way that will be further damaging to you or your image. When you look in a mirror you should see all the things that make you unique because that is the way that God purposefully created you and designed you to be. You need to know that he wanted you to be a certain way and you should love yourself for who you are because He loves you exactly the way you are.

If you are defeated, broken, or damaged - rest easy my friend because there is nobody better that can help you climb your way out and hold you all the way. You will heal and the scars left behind are just considered beauty marks that remind you of how far you have come and how much you have grown.

Fearfully and wonderfully made.... How can you imagine anything more impactful? He had passion in his heart and purpose in his hands when he pieced you together... and He will continue to piece you together whenever you need him to!

Who do you see when you look into the mirror? Do you see someone you are proud of? What would it take to get you to a place where you love and respect yourself that way that God does or the way that everyone else does?

You are smart - You are funny - You are beautiful/handsome! Know this and believe it! You have a purpose greater than that which society leads you to believe.

Jeremiah 29:11 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You may not know it yet. You may not see it yet. You will someday.

Who do you see in the mirror?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Forgiveness

We have all been forgiven, we have all forgiven - but what does forgiveness mean to you? Is it the same that someone else thinks it is?

CS Lewis said, "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive."
God said - forgive 70x70 - ie... you should always forgive.

So just like CS Lewis says - we all love the idea of forgiveness and always want to be forgiven for our wrong doings... but the real question is... are we always forgiving others for their wrong doings toward us or others that we love?!

Forgiveness is a really hard topic and it drudges up the past and bad memories. Forgiveness is important for each of us because in order to remain whole and forgiven, we must first forgive others or possibly even ourselves.

There are many times in my life that shoot straight to the front of my mind when I think of forgiveness. When I think of how someone has forgiven me or I think about the times I have had to forgive someone else or even myself. It is a rough and rocky road, but I know that when I look at the days, weeks, months, or even years after that - all I see is growth and healing.

So - what does forgiveness mean to me?

Forgiveness is the act of letting go, healing, and moving forward. This means that you forgive someone else or yourself. You allow yourself to heal from it and then you move forward. Not holding grudges or holding an event/action over someone else's head or your own - this is what causes baggage and tears at your heart. Now, just because you have forgiven someone does not mean you have to forget how it affected you, your life, and those around you. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you have to sweep it under the rug and keep letting someone else bring you down or yourself be beaten! Forgiveness does not mean that you have to keep allowing that hurt to consume you.

So - If forgiving something/someone means that you need to make a phone call, a visit, or just write a letter and burn it - then that's what you should do.

I have written a few letters in my life. Letters that are written to someone that I cannot communicate with any longer, or that it is not safe to communicate with. I have made those phone calls and visits when necessary, but I also know how difficult it is.

There are times when I sit with pen in hand and just don't want to write those words. There are times when I sit in my car outside someone's house because I just don't want to take that first step and approach the situation. We all know this feeling and we all have been here.

Obviously if you have been reading my blog long enough or have read my book then you know that I have had many opportunities to forgive - and let me tell you that it is not easy and sometimes takes a lot of counseling or coaxing to make it happen. But I know that I cannot be forgiven or heal properly unless I forgive and let it go.

A little over ten years ago I was sexually assaulted. At the time I would have told you that I was ruined but I know better now. But it took me years to forgive him. I had to make peace with the situation and open myself up to the idea of forgiving someone that "ruined" me. I cannot even tell you how long it then also took for me to forgive myself. Not that any of this was my fault, but I felt guilty and I needed to forgive myself and rid my heart/mind of that guilt in order to heal and move forward. Now when I look back on those years and see that brokenness in my heart, I wonder how I made it from there to here. I know that forgiving him and myself allowed for that healing that brought me to a much better place. A much stronger place.

Around that same time I struggled with forgiving God - I know this is crazy and most people wont say this out loud, but I will. I blamed God for what happened to me for a while. I didn't understand why he would allow such a bad thing to happen to me and why he would allow such brokenness in my life. But I had to continually remind myself that sometimes bad things happen to good people. And - God gave us free will to act as we wish and he will not interfere with that. I cannot control other people's actions, and even when trying to control my own, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you cross paths with someone who is up to no good. This affects you. You have to know and understand that this is not God's fault. It is not my fault. It is just a bad situation that needs time and healing in order to walk away whole.

For so long I longed to be whole. I waited and waited for healing to come. I waited for the weight of the world to drop off my shoulders. But I did not do anything to allow this to happen. All I did was sit and wait. Eventually I realized that healing only comes through forgiveness.

What do you need to heal? What/Who do you need to forgive? What does this look like?

I can guarantee that forgiveness will put you on the right path to healing and growth. I know that it has for me and when I see how much stronger I am I know that it was because I made that first step. I know that it was because I forgave.

Say what you need to say.... Just say it! Forgive or allow yourself to be forgiven. See where this takes you!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vulnerability

To be susceptible to attack - to physical or emotional injury... You are basically saying - here I am - come hurt me. 

When I think of being vulnerable I imagine a lone soldier in the middle of a grass field with no cover. I imagine the feelings rushing through the mind when you know the enemy is all around and just waiting for the right moment to take you. Why would anyone willingly place themselves in the middle of a field vulnerable to the surroundings not knowing what's ping to happen next? 

The thing to remember is that a soldier is never alone - there is always an army nearby or at least a partner that is there to serve as nothing less than protective guard. 

So - I step out into the field and suddenly feel bare, naked, vulnerable. I am trusting that I will be guarded and protected. I am trusting that all is well and there is no enemy to find me. I've left all my armor behind and knocked all the walls down and all that is left is me. 

How scary and thrilling all at the same time?! How is it that the idea of being vulnerable or completely trusting is so foreign and off putting to so many of us? Is it foreign because we are trained not to trust? Or is it foreign because we've all weighed ourselves down with baggage from the past? 

Being completely vulnerable means knowingly placing oneself in harms way - you aren't asking for it but you are saying that the journey, the field, the battles ahead are worth the risk. 

Can you risk it? Are you willing? What does it take to walk into the open field and be completely vulnerable to all your surroundings? 

I recently shared something that put me in a completely vulnerable state. When you know it's the right thing to say but you have been holding it in for fear of the reaction you will receive - I'm sure we have all been there. I almost don't say it. I had the opportunity and I froze the first time and blurted out nonsense - but the second opportunity came and I knew that it was now or never. 

Often in our lives we allow fear to control is and we miss out on so much because we hide in the woods, cower closets the ground, or stay silent. What are you missing? What are you hiding from? Could you be completely vulnerable and take that leap of faith? Can you put yourself out there and trust? 

Take the leap - live a little - what if you only had 30 days left to live? What leaps would you take? What life would you live? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writing

It's been a while, I realized last night, since I have put the pen to paper and written some poetry. This morning I started and I almost couldn't stop. I had to peel my pen off the paper and start getting ready for work. 

But I wanted to share one - it's nothing crazy and really a unique style, but it's all about being and living. 

Stop
Stare
Breath 
Beware 

Heart
Jumps
Blood
Pumps

Think 
Hard
Start
Guard

Tear
Down
Walls 
Around 

Trust 
Believe 
Fear 
Leave 

Stop 
Stare
Ease
Care

Laugh
Smile 
Stay 
Awhile 

Enjoy
Being 
Feelings 
Freeing 

Hold
Tight 
Through 
Night 

Wake 
Smitten 
Future 
Unwritten 

Stop 
Stare
Forever 
I dare 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Trust 2.0

It's funny how you think you have it all down and then you are shaken and everything you thought just comes to an abrupt end. My last blog I spoke about trust and the importance of this in every relationship. How does trust affect you and effect the way you live? How does the lack of trust or even deceit affect the way you live and the outcomes you experience?

The one thing I didn't talk about was the way other people's deceit affects your foundation....

No matter what you do, how honest you are, or how strong a foundation you build... someone can come along and start taking a hammer to it.

Matthew 7:24-27 - Build your house on the rock and not the sand.

I am not unshakable - I am not unbreakable - I am merely a girl

There will be times when, even if you are standing strong, you will feel an earthquake. You will feel someone coming along and taking a few whacks at that foundation you have tried so hard to build. You might feel the aftershock of this - you may feel like you're going to come tumbling down. But remember that you are on rock and not on sand.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. When you build your house on the rock, it will withstand anything.

Trust is such a vulnerable state of mind. You open yourself up to someone or to an idea and you have nothing left to do, but trust. If that hammer comes along and starts whacking away at that foundation, you may feel shaken, broken, beaten... But do not allow that crack to allow distrust and doubt to seep in. The allowance of distrust and doubt causes caution and fear. You automatically put up a guard/wall/sense of hesitation. You are removed from the idea of vulnerable trust and placed in this sinking sand where you feel it is inevitable that you are foolish and cannot go back.

James 1:5 - if you lack the wisdom - ask for it...

It is such a weird place to be in - when doubt starts to play a role in a relationship.... Will you ever recover? Will you ever completely trust again or be completely trusted? Where do you go from here?

Don't be the hammer bearer - Don't be the sand sinker - Don't be walled or guarded.

Even if I am shaken - I know that there is peace to return to.
Even if I am broken - I know that there is healing to come.
Even if I am just a girl - I know that I was uniquely created.

I know who I am - I know where I have been - I know what I have done

But I have to allow for the idea of others partaking in this life - in this build - being affected by what happens around me and to me.

Have you sat back and thought of all the ways you need to appreciate those around you that are vulnerable and trusting to you? Have you thought about the ways that people see you and react to you? Have you considered how your actions affect others and the way they live?

Have you truly trusted lately? Have you been there to blindly trust someone even when others told you you shouldn't?

Trust is not just about me and it's not just about you.... Trust is about us. It is about us working together to build strong foundations and help each other heal and repair what is shaken and broken.

Trust....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Trust

Trust: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Trusting blindly and completely - what a neat concept. There is something that just generally goes unsaid about people and relationships. There is a beginning level of innocent trust between people when a relationship initially forms. We believe what someone says and trust that they are being honest and unveiling all the information to us. We build an entire foundation on that trust and confidence in the other person's character.

Sometimes trust is broken. We uncover a lie, a small level of deceit, or sometimes something even larger. That once innocent trust no longer exists. Now there is doubt in it's place. There is this question always lingering in your mind - Are they being completely honest? What are they hiding?

Trust is such a hard concept to base a relationship on when there isn't any or there is a lack of it. Such a foundational aspect to relationships and without it I could say there would not be a relationship.

Recently I have discovered that without trust you have nothing. Trust has such an impact on a relationship or lack of trust causing a loss in a relationship....

Respect: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

I think it goes without saying, but I will say it anyways. Trust is all about respect. When you respect someone enough that you do not allow anything to get in the way of that trust factor. You say what you want to say and need to say even if it isn't what the other person wants to hear. You are up front and honest from the beginning because it's not only the right thing, but it's also the best thing for your relationship.

Think about a relationship you have; new or old. Think about those questions that build a relationship and lay bricks to the foundation. What would happen to the future if one of those bricks were faulty or went missing? What would happen to the foundation if there was a huge crack through it? Imagine what life would look like if one day the foundation caves underneath your feet? What will you do then? Think about the old friends and loved ones that you surround yourself with. Why are they still around? Can you trust them with your life? Do you respect them? Do you invest everything you have into those people because they are the committed ones?

When you are in that moment - a question is posed - you have a choice to make. You can either be honest and allow that trust to grow.... Or, you can tell a white lie, a big lie, etc and take one more brick away from that foundation you have built. Eventually there will be nothing left and it won't be worth rebuilding because there will always be that shadow of doubt laying over your head. How it is that more people than not choose to take away a brick than lay another one?

I am laying a foundation .... it will be nice and strong. I am adding bricks to make it stronger and healthier. There will be no cracks in my foundation and it will not fall out from underneath me one day....

Will yours? What does your foundation look like? Are you adding bricks or taking them away?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Head vs Heart

Often we have this struggle - head vs heart. Which do we follow? Which do we listen to?

As a younger person I prized myself on being a person that followed my heart. On a whim I would make decisions and justify them because I was following my heart. Soon enough I realized this was not the way to go because my heart, over the years, has gotten me stuck in the mud and in a lot of bad situations.

How often do you sit and ask yourself if the decision you are about to make is a wise choice? Is it at all frequent? Or are you that person that follows your heart because it is fairy tale like and just makes you feel the best? How often do you consider what God has to say about things - or seek out the wisdom of another person - or even just sit back and think about the decisions you are making instead of chasing after that tug you feel on your heart and the direction you think it is leading you?

I know I have written about this struggle before, but I recently listened to Jeanne Stevens from Soul City Church speak on this topic.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

It is so very difficult to sit back and think about our hearts being deceitful, but then if you ponder on all the heart decisions you made and look where they have brought you - you will see that fruit of that. Sit back and think about all the decisions you have made with your head, the wise decisions. Look at where that has lead you and see the fruit of that. I can definitely speak for my experiences and say that I see more fruits of my labor in the wisdom category than in the heartfelt category.

What is a wise way choice or a my way choice? Have the decisions/choices I have made been what I want solely based on the flutters in my heart? Have the decisions/choices I have made been based on wisdom, solidarity, etc?

Ephesians 5:15-17 Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

I have been more careful in my decision making because I know what a heart choice will lead me toward. I know what a wise choice will lead me toward. Do you? Have you examined your life recently? Are the choices you making selfish or wise? Are they heartfelt? or thought out?

So often I have battled with what is the right or wrong decision in my life. I have questioned even after a decision was made whether it was the right one to make. But I think this is a great way to really sit back and think of those decisions before they are made. Are you making a "my way" choice - or are you making a "wise way" choice? Have you thought it out and sought counsel on it? Have you considered what the decision you make will do? How will it affect you and others you love?

From small things to big things... this is a great question to ask. I have thought long and hard about my life and I know that the wise choices to make are the best choices to make. They might not always be the easiest but they are definitely the most fruitful and rewarding.

Think on it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Playlist

It's been a long time since i had a mix tape or cd. I remember when I was younger and I would pop a tape in the stereo and record my favorite songs off the radio. Haha - this is totally bad but that was before all this sharing, burning, copyright mumbo jumbo started. That was when cds were starting to become popular and I think I got a walkman for Christmas, but was upset because I couldn't record songs on it... I have made a few playlists in my life, some for other people to give away and some for the people I care about. I have never gotten a playlist or a mix tape before. It takes a lot of time and effort into creating one and just the thoughtfulness alone is remarkable.

Have you ever considered making a playlist for your life? What would it look like? Sound like? What would the sequence of the songs be? How would you decide what parts of your life to share? What would you put down for the world to hear and what would you leave out? What lyrics mean the most and what phrases do you want to stick out? 

I have a playlist on a cd playing in my car. There is at least one phrase that jumps out at me in every song. There are parts to the music that I cannot even describe - but they make me feel good. How is it that music can move you? How is it that something as little as a one line lyric can become something bigger than you may live by. 

Sometimes it's hard for us to express how we are feeling in a moment, how someone else makes us feel, or what we want out of life. Sometimes it's easier to use someone else's words. When you hear a song and it expresses how you feel - the lyrics as a whole or just one line take the words straight from your lips - a playlist is perfect. 

If I had to describe my life in a playlist there would be ups and downs - distinct artists and sounds. There would be sad songs, happy songs, love songs, angry songs. But I don't think anyone's playlist would be much different than that. We all go through life trying to be so elusive of who we are and what we are going through. We don't want anyone to know what's going on because we want privacy, security, or something else. The thing is - you are no different than I and I am no different than you. Our stories may be different but at some point in our lives we have all been at the same roadblocks, paths in the road, and in the same sinkholes. 

What gives you comfort? What brings you from that dark emotional or angry place into a happier more satisfying place? What puts a smile on your face and what gives you goosebumps or butterflies? 

For me - its music. I cannot explain it. All I know and always have known is that I feel this deeper connection to what is going on. I can close my eyes and picture it in my head. I can feel the music in my soul. Music can bring tears to my eyes or slap a smile on my face. There is something for everyone and I just cannot shake this feeling of making my own music. 

What if the playlist for my life was made up of all original songs? What if yours was too? What would that look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Grace

Your past is your past

I don't want to fix you. I created you. I want just be with you. - God

John 8 tells the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, strewn out in front of the town (likely naked) and accused of her sins in front of everyone. 

Have you ever had your dirty laundry aired out for all to see? Have you ever been drug out in front of the town, naked, ashamed, and vulnerable for all to see? Have you ever been accused and your life threatened because of a wrong that you have done? 

Ultimately the woman was forgiven and shown grace; the favor of God. She walks away and her past is her past. Even after such a wretched scene she can walk freely away with a clean slate. 

So many times in our lives accusations are thrown at us and we have to thwart them off, fight them, or lay in them. Sometimes we can feel like we are on a battlefield - waging war against others or even feel defeated as if the battle is over before it has begun. 

Imagine yourself in this woman's shoes. She was in bed with a man (we'll leave it at that). Her door was suddenly burst through and guards wrenched her from her bed suddenly without warning or cause. She just has enough time to possibly grab a sheet to cover herself, or maybe she doesn't. Drug through the streets, naked, exposed, vulnerable to everything and everyone around her. Thrown onto the ground at the feet of many. Many men who already have stones in hand ready to take her life. Imagine the feelings that would be rushing through you at this very moment. 

GUILT - SHAME - NEGLECT - UNLOVED - LONELY - DIRTY - HURT - LOST - FEAR

Now, imagine what it would feel like if suddenly all of that went away. Because you don't need to be fixed. You were beautifully and wonderfully made. Your past is your past and you can walk away with a clean slate. Wipe all that away and know that you can start fresh and unscathed. 

Many times in my life I have needed a do-over. I sit and think about the dumb/foolish things I have done and I know that I have been shown grace over and over again. I know that I have walked away with a cleaner slate than I began. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have this stirring inside of me to strive to be a better person. 

We don't have to be naked, on the ground, in front of many to feel any of the things listed above. Those emotions come tagging along for many reasons. Maybe we have something in our past we have not forgiven or forgotten. Maybe we are someone different in private than we are in public. Maybe the way we do business isn't the way that would make our families proud. 

I am sure there have been multiple instances in your life when one of those emotions creeped up and swallowed you whole. That is what they do - they consume us. Make us feel less and less, until we feel nothing at all - complete emptiness. 

The funny thing is - it takes only a second to feel whole again. Grace was shown and she was helped up. She was forgiven and she walked away. There are so many situations that I have been shown grace, helped up, and walked away. We struggle with history repeating itself and finding ourselves back in that same place over and over. How is it so that our past can be our past?

I don't want to fix you. I created you. I want just be with you. - God

How solid and reassuring is this statement. Someone that you can depend on who is not trying to fix all the things that are wrong with you because you are different, damaged, or scarred. Someone who will take you for who you are exactly where you are and just be with you. Now that is love. That is grace. That is God. 

What else could you possibly want?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Humbled

lower (someone) in dignity - humiliate 
make (someone) feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, esp. publicly - embarrass or mortify

This past week I had a few instances where I was humbled. I was humiliated and embarrassed. It reminded me of 10 years ago when I was in high school and similar situations happened. 

How is it possible that I as a person can be so prideful that even when I fall I do not accept help getting up? 
How is it that I can be so self-centered not to keep an eye out for what is right in front of me? 
How can it be that I am too distracted to realize what I am doing as it is happening? 

Monday I was walking down the hallway at school - and then I was suddenly on the floor... Apparently there was water on the floor and I hadn't realized it. As I heard a girl passing by say water I was already on the floor before I could register what she was talking about. 

Humiliation humbles a person like nothing else can. I am reminded of my place. 

Ironic that I so quickly try to jump up and not allow anyone to assist - even though I'm hurting and am not even sure of my surroundings or if I'm okay. Far too mortified to stand around and let others bask in my embarrassment. I just walk quickly away before I start to realize the pain I am feeling- two days later I discover the debt in my computer from the fall - I've been struggling ever since just walking in general because I am pretty sure I bruised my hip. 

Even with all of that said - I cannot help but think about all the times in our lives that we are down, get knocked down, fall down... And we are so quick to jump back up and into things without even assessing ourselves, our surroundings, and the situation as a whole. 

The evidence of the fall sticks with us and slowly affects us over time; progressively getting worse. And yet we continue on forward, thinking that eventually the pain will just melt away. 

I know that I cannot do any of this on my own. Although I am quick to jump back up and continue trudging on, I am also quick to identify and assess the situation. See that I was wrong to jump back up and back in. I have to learn to humbly as for help- to acknowledge that there is something bigger - I have to lower myself to see what else there is. 

Often I find we are self focused - not observant enough of our surroundings and completely distracted. This leaves us vulnerable to falls, bumps, bruises through life. This is where the hard falls and learned lessons come into play. Until we humble ourselves we will not see the bigger picture; the greater mission.  

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6 NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

All of this comes with first recognizing - when you are down - you need help up. When you are damaged you need time to heal. When you are humble - you will be lifted up and you will prosper. 

Why is being humble so hard? Why is it in our nature to want to be on top? To WANT to be in charge? To feel the NEED to be independent? To be so COMPETITIVE? How do we change? Where do we go from here? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silence

This is the first time in a long time that I have been silent. I have been battling with the idea of whether or not I should censor myself. I have so much to say and I just am not sure how to say it. I have had a couple really tough weeks in my personal life and I have also had such insight dropped into my lap within that time. 

There are a few reasons for questioning the censoring. Obviously I am not here to hurt anyone or throw anyone under the bus. I am also not here to make anyone feel uncomfortable and I do not want to at any point in time offend any of my readers. With that said, I have to understand the reality of the situation is that I have likely already done that and will likely do that again because I am here to express in writing ideas, thoughts, and emotions. This is not eggshells that are meant to be tip toed on or around, this is a place where I throw fuel on the fire an let it burn. 

With that said I am still deciding what to write and how to write it. But I am battling with this idea of censorship - when it is or isn't appropriate. I am battling with the idea of truth- when is it just time to speak it and when is too much truth harmful and where do you apply truth with grace? 

In tough times I have reverted to silence because being silent is so much easier than making a statement, but what I have to realize is that being silent is in itself making a statement. My silence is very telling. 

Someone last night told me that my eyes were speaking - even in silence I am speaking so loudly with the rest of my body and my soul. I have to realize and understand that this is truth. No matter how much I want to believe - I am unavailing the truth whether I speak it out loud/ write it down or not. 

So as I begin to feel this weight lift of indecision and guilt I will dive into my next blog soon. I just need some time to come to terms with what I will put in black and white before its permanently there and I cannot take it back. It's been a long road - a long journey - but a learned journey. 

I am so ready for more lessons, but lessons that I take in stride as they come and learn as I go - not the lessons that slap you in the face after you are knocked down and having to be helped back up again. 

Until next time...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Taking the Queen in the Night

So the strategy is always the same and the concept has never changed. The objective is to take the Queen in the night - obtain the throne - and knock the ruler down so that you can rule. Most likely this will happen in the night because this is the time of most vulnerability and when it is least expected.

I am taking the queen in the night.

I have never done such a thing before and it is not something that I necessarily want to do, but it is something that is necessary. In this instance the queen is preventing growth and change and positive outcome. I cannot have negativity and prevention surrounding me or those in my life and therefore

I am taking the queen in the night.

This will change everything. It could change those that surround me. It could change those that stand behind me. It could change who stands beside me. I know where I stand, but I still cannot believe that

I am taking the queen in the night.

Have you ever imagined of creating an army? Of fashioning a coup against someone or an organization? Have you ever considered taking the queen in the night? Now the time has come where I must and it doesn't feel right. I don't know if it is my heart that tells me she is a good person at the core, or if it is my heart that tells me it is wrong. Either way I have to think with my head and know that this is the right decision to make for the business. I have to know that this is the best to help the business grow and therefore I have to take the queen in the night. She will not know what is coming, it will strike her suddenly and unknowingly, but it will be what is necessary for the bigger picture. Can you say that you have ever taken the queen in the night?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear Future

To my future,

I decided that I deserve you. Let me tell you that it has been a long road to get to this point. I haven't had the gall to stand up to someone yet or really to feel the way I do now until now. But I am glad that I do. I have decided that I deserve something more. I deserve respect and honor. I deserve faithfulness and commitment. I deserve love and support. I deserve stability and consistency. I deserve you. So I have decided to leave my past behind and continue looking onward and forward into the future and continue looking for you.

This is such an odd concept for me because I have never thought to leave the past behind even when I was still tied to it. I have always cut ties first and then moved forward. It is much more difficult to move forward knowing that there is still a connection to the past. I know that this is the decision that had to be made because it is the best for my head, heart, and mostly it is the best for you - future.

I know this road has been bumpy and there have been many ups and downs. I don't know what your road has looked like. But I pray every day that when we meet that you will know that I am your future as I will know that you are mine. It is so trying this world we live in but I know that love surpasses everything and just as Jesus did I will forgive your trespasses as you will forgive mine.

Life is not about living happily ever after, but it is about living happily with one another. There is a childhood sunday school song that sings about having the joy down in my heart. This is what I think of when I think of my future. When I think of experiencing that true joy in my heart I cannot explain anything else except a heart that is overflowing.

I have so much love to give and I just really need somebody to bake for. So I'm excited for the day that comes when I can say my future has finally arrived. But, until that day arrives, I will patiently wait. I will pray for you and our relationship that will be. I will continue to grow in my faith and pray that you grow in yours. I will prepare my heart for you.

Love - your future.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

home

Home is where your heart is. I am sure we have all heard this many times.

Where is our home?
Where is our heart?
Are they together?
Are they spread apart?

Are we lost?
Are we found?
Have we been searching?
Do we need to send the hound?

Lost forever?
Is it a lost cause?
Can we be redeemed?
Are there too many flaws?


Was I caught up in it?
Caught up in his art?
Where is my home?

Where is my heart?

We all ask ourselves sometimes where our hearts are. Where is our focus? Sometimes our hearts may be focused in the wrong direction and that leads us down the wrong paths and toward the wrong doors.

Home is where our hearts are. What if we cannot find our hearts - let alone recognize a home?

To me - growing up - a home has always been considered a place that offered a roof over my head. Whether that was a house, apartment, hotel, church, friends house, etc. It was a place that rendered a sleeping environment where I didn't feel worried or scared that I had to fear for anything or sleep outdoors because we couldn't afford shelter. As I grew older, home was a place similarly representing a place where I took shelter from the outside. It was a place that generally offered a meal, a place to sleep and there was always someone else there - and most frequently never a dull moment.

I have moved around frequently in my life and have never sunk roots down because I have never felt at home. I never have sunk my heart into a place really hard enough to grow roots deep enough to want to stay planted. Until now....

I have come to realize that this where my heart is - The 10 - Mission Church - Mission Students - Education - Writing - Blogging - Family - Friendships - etc.

All of this that is growing as my roots are growing faster and deeper and it is more than I could have ever expected. I cannot even begin to understand what I am experiencing here because I have never felt at home somewhere like this. I have never wanted to stay somewhere the way I want to stay here. It is such an inner struggle I have been facing. I want to be closer to work and school, but I cannot bring myself to move there because that would draw me away from the roots I am planting here. I cannot pull myself away from this and it is the first time in my life I have ever been faced with this type of a dilemma.

My heart has not been so homeland focused over the past couple years and I intend to spend some time refocusing. I am excited about everything that will happen as that is happening. Home is where your heart is - when your heart is home focused what more can happen I am sure will be amazing and I cannot wait to see what will come of it.