Sunday, June 26, 2011

Struggling With Feelings

I'm struggling right now with the feeling of not being good enough. What brought this about? My son. We were on our way home from church and he told me that it upsets him when one of his classmates is always at the end of the line. Why? Because she has earned herself a nickname by the teacher. "Lucy the Caboosey". I asked him if he thought HE has special things about him that others could be jealous of and he said no.

This nearly made me run my car into a telephone pole. Really?!? The kid that will hug anyone and everyone, REGARDLESS of how adverse I might find them? The kid with the thousand watt smile? The kid that will talk to anyone and brings people out of their shells? The kid that can make the million year grumpy looking grandma in the grocery line light up like a kid at Christmas?

That's when my old wounds started surfacing. I asked him if he thought he was good enough just the way he was. He told me no. I literally burst into tears (lucky that telephone pole and I didn't have another near miss meeting) on the spot. I told him that God made him exactly the way he was because this worlds NEEDS someone like him to show them how to love unconditionally.

Through tears, I told him that I grew up feeling like I was never good enough. I do love my parents, but there are things that they did that hurt me deeply. One of those things was to constantly tell me, "You should be more like your sister." That told me that the person that I was, the sensitive, shy, creative person that God made me, wasn't good enough.

So, through my tears, I told him that I NEVER wanted him to EVER feel like he wasn't good enough. God DOES NOT make junk. He made each of us the way we are, with our own special sets of gifts, no two alike, because we each contribute our own abilities to the world. Does that mean we are perfect in the sense that we will never make mistakes? Heavens no!! We all have things we have to work on to get better and more in line with God's plan, but our gifts that we have ARE good enough, and we don't have to walk around being jealous of the gifts that others have simply because we don't have them.

Oh how our children can bring things to the surface that we once thought was buried forever in the past.

I will probably be processing this for a few days, but if you struggle with not feeling good enough, just remember:

God does NOT make junk.
You ARE good enough!
God loves you JUST like you ARE!
There is only one you, and only you can make the impact on the world that God created you to make.

God bless and good night my friends. <3

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Gauntlet

Now that we have processed Gratitude, let's go one step further. No, this isn't going to be easy. It wasn't easy for me when I first started, but, as with anything, the more you practice, the better you get! In fact, God is still working on me in this area, but it is getting easier and it is even starting to feel good.

Let's go back to the group of friends that are in new relationships and/or newly engaged. You are still single.

Option 1: Whining

"God, whhhhhyyyyyyy not meeeee!" Inside you are jealous and mopey. You start thinking a million things: "Why not me? What's wrong with me? Really God? I know I'm not perfect, but I'm not that bad!"

It is quite an ugly sight. You start eating poorly, treating yourself badly, and thinking that you aren't worthy of a good healthy relationship.

"Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost]." Proverbs 23:6-7

Notice that I put in bold "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he". When you are whiney and start down the path of self destruction, much like the person with the hard, grudging, and envious eye, your actions will reflect this. People who are happy and in new relationships or are planning their marriage don't want to be around others that are bitter and resentful. You will find yourself alone. What do you say to yourself? "See!?! NO ONE wants to be around me! I'm wretched!"

Check your attitude. People who are happily in a new relationship and/or are about to get married don't need a million pounds of depression and self pitty falling down on top of them. If they are smart, they will distance themselves until you realize that you are your greatest demise.

Option 2: Not Whining

You congratulate your friends (to their face....with a smile....and MEAN IT), praise God for their good fortune, and give them a gift or other token of celebration for the new relationship/pending nuptials.

This stretches you. The first time that you step outside your comfort zone and do something for someone that they are getting but you want may even make you cry, but it will get easier. You may even start seeking out people who are getting what you want in order to bless them.

As a note, this doesn't mean that there won't be pain while you are in the in-between-time. God never promised us that the road would be easy, but we can make it easier on ourselves if we learn to accept God's plan for us and praise Him for what He does for others, and go one step further and bless them.

I need this post as much as anyone who will read it. I have recently been on that downward path, and I'm done with letting the devil win. I know that I am where I am because God needs me here now. He's not only working on me, but on my situations that I am struggling with.

Face it, if we always got what we wanted, we wouldn't need God. If we never faced adversity, how would we ever know God is a deliverer? There are TONS of verses that say the same thing (and I've always been told that when something shows up in the Bible multiple times, you'd better pay attention!), but this is the one that my heart rests on:

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

God bless you my friend. <3

Saturday, June 18, 2011


How often do we sit around, being mopey about what God asks us to do? If it's anything like my son's response to me asking him to take a bath or put his toys away or throwing something away, I can bet it's often for us. (By the way, the above picture is my son after I asked him to take a bath.)

As I was listening to Joyce Meyers podcast on Friday, she said something that gave me an "ah HA!" moment. Say your child comes to you and asks you for a new toy. You have every intention of granting this request (because it's educational, right?!?), but you don't have time to do it right now, so you tell said child, "Sure! We'll go get it in a couple of weeks."

Imagine that child dragging around for two weeks saying (in a whiny voice), "I'll never get that leapster game!" You aren't exactly inclined to run to the store that second and buy it. In fact, that may push it off for a week or two, if we are being honest.

Now, in another universe, imagine said child asks for the (educational) toy and your response is the same - sure, in two weeks - but this time, the child walks around saying, "I can't WAIT to get that leapster game!! It's going to be so cool! Mom, thank you so much for agreeing to get that for me!" I would be far more inclined to find time in my schedule to get that toy faster if he walked around saying that.

Gratitude. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Let me put this in a more God/you relationship perspective:

You want something. Let's go with....a significant other. You're single, you want to settle down, you don't think there's THAT much wrong with you (everyone has their faults, right?), but you can't seem to find someone you want to settle down with in a permanent way. You get sick of seeming to date the same kind of person, so you figure out that you are the problem, and you change (with God's help).

You start dating again with a new attitude/outlook/action plan, and someone comes along that makes you think, "This could be it!" Then God says, "No! You are putting far more time/effort into them than you are in to me." Out they go.

Maybe God is asking you to wait just a *little* bit longer.

Here's where your gratitude (or lack thereof) comes into play.

Option 1: Whining

"I'm NEVER going to meet THE ONE. Poor POOOOORRR meeeee." *Drag face across floor* (real cute)

Option 2: Not Whining

"God, thank you for this valley. Thank you for this time I am not tied down to someone so that I can serve You and Your house. Thank You for putting the desire of having an earthly companion into my heart, and thank You for working on both of us in this time, and I praise You for the (wo)man you are going to bless my socks off with!"

I think I'm going to try gratitude. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Being Stretched

My life has become very busy lately. This week I have been volunteering at Adventure Week at my church. It has stretched me. A lot.

I love volunteering. I love giving my extra time to my church so that I don't have idle hands that will get into things they have no business being in. There is a large part of me that wishes I would be able to do something new, a situation that stretches me, a little more gracefully.

This week has not seen me and grace in the same room often. I'm tired, but I haven't "allowed" myself to go to sleep before midnight (though I am getting home at 10 p.m.). It really is my own fault. At the same time, I don't want to take something that will put me to sleep because I know that I will feel drugged well into the next day (the hazards of a sensitive system).

In this time of being stretched, I have met some of the most amazing people. Some of them are staff members at my church. Others are volunteers. The kids are just absolutely funny to me. They get up and jump around and sing and dance and just GLOW. It's really awesome.

Where I end, where my abilities end, where my strength ends, there God begins. I know God is growing me, though I don't know what for specifically, but I'm thankful that God loves me enough to know me and to grow me.

I'll post again on Sunday. God bless you my friends and I pray you are growing too!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Man and the Butterfly

Once upon a time, a man came across the cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. The man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a bloated body and tiny, shrivelled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly. He thought that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand and the body would shrink – allowing it to be able to fly up into the air.

But neither happened. The butterfly was never able to fly and spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings.
What the man did not understand was that the butterfly’s struggle to get out of the tiny opening in the cocoon was required to force fluid from its body to its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it emerged.
In his kindness, the man ultimately harmed the butterfly.

Moral: Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we went through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.


My brother-in-law told me a variation of this story today and I had to look it up. I'm posting it here now, but will blog about it tomorrow.

I realized that I do not have time to write a post every day, so instead, on my way to work, I have started talking to God more about what I am thankful for rather than what I am worried about. It has helped tremendously and I will continue to do this because I know how much I like to hear my son tell me thank you, I know God loves to hear it too.

I'll post my thoughts about this story tomorrow. Good night and God bless you my friends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thankful List # 1

I'm totally going to step up to this challenge. Mainly because I feel like I need to change what my focus is. Not that I don't want to post how God brought me through my troubles, and what those troubles are, but because life is so much more than troubles. I'll start this list now, but will probably have to finish it later (busy day today):

1. God, I am so thankful that You provided me with a job that I love, that is tailored for me specifically.

2. I am thankful for the vehicle that I drive that has been with me for the last four years.

3. I am thankful for my son. Thank you Father for his heart that is so filled with love for everyone (even when that love is not returned and his feelings are hurt).

4. Thank you for the opportunity to go to court to ((hopefully)) explain why I was a day late on paying a speeding ticket and not having to come up with the extra $160.00. God, even if I do have to come up with that, I know You have my back.

I'll edit and add more later!

5. I am thankful for a wonderful team of people to play sand volleyball with.

6. I am thankful for the prosecutor who had a bit of mercy on me today.

7. I am thankful for getting to where I needed to go today safely.

8. I am thankful for being sore from our first practice.

9. I am thankful for my ankle holding up through practice (and I pray it continues this trend tomorrow).

10. I am thankful for the rest I am about to get.

That's my list for today. I will find 10 more things to be thankful for tomorrow! Good night and God bless my friends. <3

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of my friends. He is an amazing example of God's love. He just got married to a woman who is just absolutely gorgeous and the sweetest person. Actually, while my parents were here from California, they got married. I wouldn't miss it for the world, so I drug my parents to their wedding so I could see it. :)

Anyway, after I read his e-mail last night, I responded to him and thanked him for including me on the list. Hearing the things that God has done in his life and through him is just absolutely a blessing to me. I also included the link to this site. He responded back and told me, "...YES share your Blessings (too)"

That made me pause.

Lately...actually, since the beginning of the year, I have been going through storm after storm and, I'll be straight honest, it is HARD some days to look back and think, "Wow! What an awesome blessing today was God! Thank you so much!" I'm kind of tired of storms, though I know that, as a Christian, if I am constantly chasing God and His will and His desires for my life, I'm going to be faced with a lot of them.

But I NEED to start looking back at each day and REALLY finding the good spots. So what if they aren't all, "I won the lottery, then I met the man of my dreams, then I booked my first ever REAL vacation with my son to Disney World, and then I got a huge raise at work, and then I adopted 10 at-risk teens who all instantly gave their lives to Jesus because I am bad ass!" I'll admit, that would be one amazing day, but where would I go from there? How could anything possibly top a day like that? It couldn't.

His e-mail came at a good time for me. Today was tough. Last night I was up until 1:45 a.m. packing and worrying (instead of praying and journaling), which resulted in me being extra tired today with a low tolerance level for people being...people. Today was also the day that every upset move and rebate client decided they wanted to talk to ME.

And then my boss comes in and hands me a credit card statement and looked at my quite messy desk with a look that needed no words to accompany it ("Would you clean up your desk and get something done on credit card reconciliations please?!?!").

I'm home now. Reflecting on my day. I can chose to look back and think, "What an awful and busy day filled with (fill in the blank)!" But I think I'm going to try something different:

God, thank You for helping me handle clients who were upset and high maintenance more gracefully than I was otherwise inclined to. Help me to do even better next time. Thank YOU for giving me the steadiness of mind to work through credit card reconciliations and disburse ALL requests to their accurate parties in a quick, efficient, and professional manner. Father, help me to wrap everything up with them by Friday so that is one less looming task I have to stare at and worry about. Help me to get real, honest, and genuine rest tonight. Help me to remember that You are in control, no matter how big or many my storms are. Thank you for all you do for me. Thank you for carrying me when I can't carry myself. Amen

In thinking about it, I may start posting 10 things I'm thankful for every day. I wonder how long I can go without repeating.... :)

Until next time my friends. God bless!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

There's An App For That!

This morning I went to church and I got there a bit early, so I sat in the congregation (I don't know if that's the right word, but I was sitting in a chair in the audience waiting for service to start), preparing my tithe and, in general, just feeling really good after a season of not feeling happy.

The band comes out, the auditorium lights go down, and I see this person that I assumed was an usher with, what I assumed again, is a flash light, showing some people to a seat right next to me. Awesome! An opportunity to meet someone new! Then all of them, person with the flash light included, all take their places next to me. I then realized that the "flash light" was on the person's phone. There's an app for that!

And that started the wheels in my head turning. Society is moving towards the convenient and instant gratification app system. Need a flash light? There's an app for that! Need to know directions somewhere? There's an app for that! Need a Bible reference? There's an app for that too! Now, I don't have a smart phone, I'm just not that technologically advanced, however I would assume that there is an app for needing prayer.

The one thing in this world that there is no app for is God. A phone can tell you the date, time, what your schedule is, what sports teams are playing, what restaurant is the best, where your friends are.......but it can't tell you what God's will is for your life.

There is no substitution or short cut for quiet time, prayer, reading the Bible, and genuine Christian relationships. Sometimes in my life I forget that, and I can definitely tell when I let day to day busy-ness take over. I lose touch with my real friends, I start exhibiting behaviors that are not glorifying to God, and I second guess who I am and what I need to be doing. That also corresponds to me having a bad attitude, thinking way too highly of myself, and believing that I can do life on my own.

God isn't a vending machine where I ask and receive,
He isn't a bank where I put a card in and money comes out,
He isn't a thing you can put in a box and set on your shelf,
He desires a REAL and GENUINE relationship with YOU!

Yes you! The one that is lost and lonely and scared. The one that messed up, caused other people harm on purpose, drank too much, did far too many drugs, stole from others, and lied. The one that cheated on their significant other, watches porn on a regular basis, and swears like a sailor.

He even wants to know you, the girl who slept with more men than she cares to remember, the girl who dresses in revealing clothing to get attention, all because you feel invisible and like no one will like you if you don't perform for them. GOD wants to have a relationship with YOU! He wants your hurts, and He can take your anger. He doesn't want someone who will perform and be perfect, He wants someone who just wants to know Him for who He really is...gentle, loving, accepting, forgiving, merciful, just, and understanding.

I pray for whoever I just wrote that for. I hadn't intended on going that direction, but if this post touched you, please let me know, either as a comment or through e-mail.

God bless you friends!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have learned that me under an immense amount of stress makes me not able to write as well as I would otherwise like to. This means that I am not dealing with my stress as I should - by prayer, petition, and trusting God.

Today I realized that God has brought me through FAR worse than what I'm facing now, and I AM STILL HERE! I also started thinking: Is it more "holy" to suffer? Is it glorifying to God for me to walk around with a bad attitude and take it out on everyone? No on both accounts. All I'm doing is showing my butt.

On top of that, it's not inspiring anyone to want to get to know God more when I'm walking around with my face on the ground and grieving the situations in my life.

So today I choose to pick my face up off the ground, not show my butt, and praise God through this storm! Why? Because life isn't fair, and, frankly, I wouldn't want to get my just deserts because then Jesus wouldn't have died on the cross for my sins so that I could have a personal relationship with God.

"He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes." Deuteronomy 10:21