Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Doubt Diet

 This morning as I was going through my email I across this and had to share it with you dear ones.  Doubt is what puts us on the B List in our minds, where the not good enoughs, not this enoughs and the not that enoughs come from.....I am going on a 7 Day Doubt Diet....
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Do you want to join me in losing the weight of discouragement and self-doubt? Renee Swope, from Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering a FREE “7-day Doubt Diet.” Just click here to enter your information in her sidebar, and you’ll receive a week’s worth of devotions from her upcoming book, A Confident Heart. Let me know so we encourage one another along the way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marriage 101.....The Series.....Part I

There must be something of value to someone in this post because there has been a myriad of  interruptions, computer challenges and discouragements to get it written and posted.  If this is for you....I apologize for the delay........
You've said the "I do's", gotten settled into a pleasant enough day to day routine and the honeymoon phase is pretty much winding what?  As I mentioned a few posts ago, I do not profess to be a marriage expert on any level, but I do have some experience in that arena, both good and bad.  That is what I bring to the table and what I am willing to be transparent about.  I made many many mistakes in my first marriage and by God's grace learned a little which has helped me to be a better, but not mistake free wife this time around.  When I said my vows this time I knew it was forever, I did not have that assurance the first time.
Divorce is something that I carry much guilt and shame about and I do not consider to be an option in my life any longer.  My Prince and I have a wonderful friendship, a bond unlike any I have ever known and after almost 8 years are only more deeply in love with each other than we were the day we said 'I do' barefoot on the beach in Jamaica.  Life is good, but certainly not easy.  Marriage requires effort and the ability to put someone else first, time and time again even when you don't want to.  This is a skill that did not in any way come naturally to me.  It has been hard work at times.  But I have to be honest and tell you that for me personally the benefits have far outweighed the effort required of me. 
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 And...somewhere along the way it became less like effort and more like a desire to please.... I know crazy huh?
Several years ago I read Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl which brought with it much conviction and a new perspective about my role as a wife.  During the time I was reading the book, something in me shifted and the way I viewed  marriage and my role within our marriage changed.  I began to see God's plan for  marriage in a way I never had before.  I was able to step out of selfish pride and allow God to soften my heart for my husband and his needs.  For that I am grateful.....and so is My Prince ;-)  At first, he did not know I was reading the book, but as things began to change he knew something was up....he joked about not knowing what he might come home to each day.  I began to really look at my role as his wife as an opportunity to minister to him and felt called to encourage and support him in all he did, something, truthfully, I had never even considered before.  I did things that required time or effort or both on my part and the strangest thing began to happen - I found myself looking forward to doing things for him.  I would get excited about a new idea or surprise I might have planned.  Not everything I did was a bulls-eye, but overall, my efforts were well received and I in turn felt more love and connection with my husband than I ever had.  Is our marriage perfect, no, but I can honestly say it is very happy and for me it really is my fairy tale.  There are days we snap and snarl but there is never any question of our forever.
What I really want to leave you with today is this....marriage is hard, but you can do things to make it more enjoyable and deepen the bond you share with Your Prince! First and foremost, pride has got to go girls!  If you put all your energy into what he said (or didn't), what he did (or didn't) you are equipping yourself for a losing battle.  Forget what he said, did, didn't do or what kind of thoughtless clod he may have been and extend some good old fashioned love and kindness his way.  If your typical greeting at the end of the day is a spewing laundry list of everything the kids did to drive you over the edge or how much you hate your job, or all the drama on Facebook (ouch) today then you might as well forget about having any of your emotional needs met in your marriage, because sweetie - those things will kill a mans desire to connect with you emotionally in no time flat!  (I believe in saying it plain...I love you).  You have to park your pride and your issues at the rear and put your hubby's needs before your own. 
 Proverbs 21:19 (NIV)
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
He is your man, you know what he needs! Set aside a little time to really consider how you can support him daily, what things please him, maybe he would appreciate a home packed lunch once or twice a week with a note, where you could share a sweet memory, dream a little about the future or even encourage him in something he may be going through at work.  Pray about what you can do that will bless him most right now.  Think about it and then formulate a plan. 
In my house, some fitted clothes instead of baggy sweats, a little squirt of something pleasing to the nose, a loving greeting at the door sans complaints and  good meal are a great thing to come home to and set the tone for an enjoyable evening together.  I am fortunate to be home and able to make this happen pretty often, you may not be - work with your circumstances.  Men really are made happy pretty easily.  If you are unsure of what he wants....ask....he will tell you ;-)  Then do it....even if it is one small thing at a time, baby steps, imperfect will get you there!
 Proverbs 12:4 (NIV)
 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Now is a great time to's almost February, this is a great lead in to gearing up for a wonderful Valentine's Day!  I have more ideas that I will share with you over the next few weeks....and it goes without saying that I would love for you to share yours as well!  Remember we are here to support and encourage each other!

Marriage matters and it pleases God when we function within our marriages as He planned for us to - He can't bless what we don't honor.  A pan of brownies or a thoughtful gesture goes a long way toward telling your guy that he is important and that he matters to you, that you think about him when he isn't around and that pleasing him is important to you.  You will reap a bountiful harvest for your efforts in ways that you would never imagine...really!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm a Mother.....HELP!!

I have one son, he is eleven.  He completely bumfuzzels me.  I feel so ill equipped to do this  Mom job most daysHe is a fantastic kid in so many ways, smart, funny, loving, witty, empathic and on... and I am proud to be his Mom, but I really feel like I am going down really big scary white water rapids most days on a pizza box!  Does anyone else identify with that?  For instance....can anyone tell me a logical reason that I should find an empty box of baking soda in the downstairs bathroom that somehow appeared overnight?  Do you know why an 11 yr. old needs baking soda while his parents are upstairs sleeping?  Bumfuzzeling I tell you!
I am discovering that eleven is a hard age.  There are new things going on all over the place....the P word (puberty) is most definitely kicking in and bringing with it all kinds of foreign territory....sigh!  There is attitude and eye rolling, a simple sigh can send me to my knees begging forgiveness for my words and actions daily if I am not prayed up!  Things that used to go unnoticed are now much more interesting....girls...the world...girls...the's hard, for me,  but for him too!  He has come to me on more than one occasion and tried his best to express his struggle and try to make sense of it....OH MY!!! It just hit me....he is bumfuzzeled too!!   
Granted, he has had more to deal with than alot of kids his age, some of it pretty hard stuff that most adults would struggle with, but as you and I both know, you don't have to look around far to see someone else in a worse way than you.  My point ? We have it good in this home, even with the challenges we face, we are blessed and then some!  He is not dealing with an environment where there is abuse of any sort, sure we are a little dysfunctional, but in a loving kind of way ;-) We are far from perfect on any level, but he is loved in abundance, provided for above what many will ever dream of having.....all his needs are met and lots of his wants as well. 
 I was nor will I ever be an 11 year old boy and quite frankly I am not always sure what to do with him.  Love, discipline, consistency, stepping back enough to let him make mistakes, guidance and lots and lots and lots of prayer....these are our job requirements and of course laundry and cooking and snuggling and and and.....
  We take them from our womb, hold them, nurse them, teach them.  They get to the point that they can walk and they take our hand and we walk beside them along the path that leads to the bridge....the bridge that is there in all our lives that we find on the path somewhere around 11 years old I'm guessing that takes us over the river of life and gives us a safe view of what goes on, while we are still in the care and protection of our parents.  We journey over the bridge at different speeds, but ultimately we reach the other side and we find ourselves alone to forge into the great unknown of life....adulthood. I will walk the bridge with The Boy and offer  guidance and advice, impart wisdom where I can and warnings for traps in which I was caught in my own journey.  I will cry as I watch his journey many times I'm's hard to let go and yet at the same time I do desire to see him successfully on the other side without my hand to hold and making it along the path on his own.....brings a whole new meaning to the expression "Build a bridge and get over it" doesn't it?
 So here's what I am Moms we need each other for support, as sounding boards, to commiserate and encourage and cheer each other on in our journeys to the bridges and over them.  There are trolls and loose footing all over the bridges of our children's lives.  Some Moms have made the journey to the bridge and are experiencing life with that journey as part of their past, for those at the beginning and at every stage along the way - we need you!!  You, who have walked the path to and over the bridge to help direct us through what you learned in your travels.  Our Father knows what each path looks like, and He has entrusted us to care for these gifts while they are here, to love, to teach, to equip and to train them.  
 Truthfully, He will supply us with everything we need to come out on the other side, and sometimes what we may need most of all is each other.  It is my prayer that we can find each other at whatever stage of our journey we are in and support and each other as we are able.  
 So....can we talk ?.....Please share where you are,a little about your kids, their ages, just whatever you feel comfortable sharing and most of all what you are struggling through today...maybe someone reading has already conquered the mountain that lies before you.
 For me, my mountain today would have to be the P word.....any takers?? 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gifts 4 thru 10

Lest you think I have already forgotten my plan to count my gifts, I wanted to take a few quiet moments this morning to share with you the things that I have been thankful for this week.

*4*  Happy Tuesday Flowers.....

*5* A good cell signal in the middle of nowhere!  Thank You Lord for keeping My Prince !
*6*  Lunch with a new friend and sharing the excitement of their   adoption progress- I am praying for y'all!! ;-)

 *7* Puppies being born.....only 8 weeks to choose a name, you would think I would have that figured out after a 20 year wait!!!
Please feel free to offer suggestions for our new little boy;-)
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 *8*   Anticipating a long overdue evening with a sweet friend and her daughter - homemade pizza, comfy clothes and hanging out and catching up!!!
*9*   Sunshine after days and days and days of rain.

*10* Answered prayers and a place of peace about the situation - Lord You are SO GOOD!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Gets Lived in the Journey....

Today I thought I would share a little more of my story, who I am and where I am coming from, what has brought me to where I am today. I want to share a little of my history in regard to marriage.  Marriage is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  I long to see strong healthy marriages, I believe that they are critical to strong healthy families and we NEED strong healthy families to combat the enemy as he prowls the earth!! (1 Peter 5:8)  I did not come from a home where one was in place.  I am no authority, this is not my first rodeo, but hopefully I have learned a little along the way that may in some small way be of benefit to even one of you, dear readers....
My first marriage was doomed from the start, but of course I was too blind to see that.  I have no desire to dwell on regrets - wasted energy in my opinion.  I will say this, I was young(ish) 30 years old at the time, I was deceived in many pretty major ways by the man I was to marry and most importantly, I was not walking with God at that time in my life....I did not yet knowNot too hard to read that writing on the wall from my current perspective, but then I was clueless.
We were married for 8 years, 10 months and 16 days (I calculated this as I prepared this post as I am about to celebrate my 8th anniversary a second time and I get curious about things like that...).  The last 2 years of my first marriage were spent in divorce, primarily in court, chaos and oh so much drama This was one of if not 'the' hardest times in my life.  As a single mom I learned so very much in the School of Hard Knocks in which I found myself automatically enrolled during this time.  
Many good things came out of those 8 years, 10 months and 16 days.  It brought me to Alabama from my lifelong home in Canada - I had cats, he had kids, the cats and  I made the move..... I love living in The South Y'all!  I came to know my Lord & Savior during that time as well.....this is The Bible Belt after all. And last but absolutely not least, I have a beautiful son who was born out of that union.  God really can take what the enemy means for evil and turn it to good !!  And I wish I could locate the scripture reference for that to share with you - I was thinking Romans 8:28, but that doesn't seem completely a sister out if you know the one I am thinking of ok? Thanks.  But I digress...
Many not so good things came out of those 8 years, 10 months and 16 days as well.  Wounds that run very deep which to this day I continue to pray for healing of.  My self image/worth was completely destroyed during that time, I lost myself almost entirely.  Damage to the way I related to people in general and even more so how I viewed men.  God's goodness (I am one of His favorites by the way...nannie nannie boo boo ;-)) brought me an amazing man...My Prince....who is nothing at all like the one who lied, who hurt me and caused so much pain.  He is a man of stellar character, patient (amazingly so at times - bless him), kind, gentle, honest and loves me like crazy!  There is that principle at work again - evil turned to good - in this case - turned to supercalifrajalistic! 
I tell My Boy (who is now 11 years old and already taller than his mama!!) all the time, that hurt people hurt people when he is struggling to make sense of the things that his dad does or does not do.  I won't even begin to dig into that today - there is an plethora of posting that is bound to come out of that as well.  
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It's true, hurt people do hurt people, but healed people can help hurt people heal...Amen! Again we see that marvelous principle at work - God takes our yuck and turns it into something lovely that brings life to the awesome is that?  We serve an entirely Awesome God!!  A God who loves us beyond our ability to comprehend.  

I for one feel that there is accountability and responsibility that comes with understanding and wisdom.  This blog was birthed out of that belief, I will say it over and over no doubt, that if these posts help just one that is more than enough, and  the reason I feel called to be here doing this baring and sharing when it is hard. Even when I really don't want to because I am scared of the transparency it will at times require and I don't know what to make for dinner tonight and I need to start a load of laundry and what will people think of me? and the dishwasher needs to be emptied and there is the history test and the math lessons and on and on and on.....It is hard, but it is so very worth it!  
I certainly don't do it alone and never could.  God has given me a heart to reach out to the hurt out of my healing and with His help and guidance, it is my prayer that I can help you see that even in the yuck He can perform life is truly a testimony of progress.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Prison Life

I have a weight problem.  I have wrestled with my weight since my teen years. And just to clarify that is 30 plus years now, a reasonable amount of time to figure something out I dare say.  My first memory of thinking something was off with my body was around fifteen when I remember a then boyfriend (which I had no business having, but that is a whole other post) commenting about my thighs in a less than favorable way, I can still remember the shorts I was wearing and where we wereOh hindsight.....I should have shut it down right then and there, instead I decided to run.  By that I mean I took up jogging to get my substandard thighs into acceptable, boyfriend pleasing condition.  Thus began the battle that would be my constant companion all through my teen and adult years.  I am now 48 years old and ready to move beyond this relationship.
Over the years, I have tried diets, programs, exercise (not too much), supplements, etc.  I was very good at being rewarded with good numbers on the scale at the meetings and did enjoy good success on several occasions as a result of those programs,diets and meetings I even made the local newspaper several years ago well by backside did as I was weighing in at a weekly meeting.  What I loved about that picture was how baggy my pants looked.....I still own those pants, they are not currently baggy, in fact, they do not currently fit.  Truth, is hard, but truth will set me (and you) free. 

John 8:32 (NIV)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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I don't know about you friend, but I sure want to be free.  I long to be free, and I may even know what will set me free, but I remain bound.  My bondage is a prison of my own creation and restraint and it seems absolutely ridiculous that I would chose to remain bound when I have the tools to be set free.  It is.  I have often wondered "Why is it so hard to do the things that are good for me and so easy to do those which in the end hurt me?But I do them, repeatedly time and again....what is up with that?  While I don't profess to have any answers for anyone, let alone, my own self, I do think I may be on to a hint of something that just simply makes sense.  Indulge me through this train of thought won't you please?
It is a trust thing.  And if you recall from a few posts ago  I concluded that fear is simply a lack of trust.... it's just that simple right?  No.  There it is again - imagine that - that fun packed four letter word that God has asked me to deal with this year.....fear.  Now this is where the ride gets a little crazy so secure your seat belts and hold on while I make a quick pass around some curves.  It looks like this in my mind......
I use food to fill an empty place inside - not my stomach.  The emptiness is there because I am afraid of something.  I am afraid of something because I am not able to trust.  Therefore I am using food to fill an emptiness which it was not designed to fill and will never succeed in filling.  I gain weightI feel emptierI eat moreI gain more weight. The emptiness gets bigger and louder.  I self medicate with food.  I turn on myself for my lack of control and the whole messy cycle begins again!   Exhausting!  Destructive!  Sad!  Not to mention, absolutely not what God wants for my life.
Do you see the obvious problem here?....I am using a  hammer to cut a piece of wood.  I need a saw and I know what one looks like, how to use one and where one is, but for some reason, I keep picking up the hammer!  WHY?  I. don't. know. But I know someone who does. 
The Prince of Peace.  He wants to take away the chaos and confusion and put an end to the journey around the same old mountain and set me free to live and walk the path He laid out for me before I ever wasSo what is stopping me ? Fear, which of course brings us back around know by
 It sounds like it might be a little taxing, a tad hard doesn't it?  It is.  This is....well, I've lost count of how many panic attacks I have fought off just getting this typed out!  But then I find myself back at square one, facing my old nemesis ....fear.  I cannot retreat, it is no longer an option.  For goodness sake I have exposed myself  here and there is no turning back now.  And even more than that, there is that possibility that this just might help someone other than me. Believe me when I tell you if this helps one - it is SO very worth it to me!! That is all I need to acknowledge to keep moving forward.  I have this fleeting vision of standing there one day (a thinner me of course....with a great outfit on a perfect hair day) and looking at this fear and saying in the most confidant and convincing voice "I laugh at fear."  Does anybody else have those victory moments?  Ok....moving on.....
I've acknowledged that it's hard and that I am afraid so, what am I going to do about it?  Take baby steps foot in front of the other and keep moving....forward.  This post is really more than a baby step, this may classify as a leap - a little 'catch up' of sorts.

For now, that's all I have it in me to share.  
I currently reading a great book (see sidebar)which is providing some really interesting insight and ideas to approaching this battle, this prison that so many of us keep ourselves trapped in.  I will be sharing more, but before I commit to doing too much here I would love to know if this is something you want to read more about. 

Please give me some feedback.....Would you be interested in going through the book with me?  Tell me what you want, this is for you...and I am more than happy to go deeper.  Do you have any interest in my journey/progress, would you like to share yours?  I would love to hear your ideas about what this could look like! 

I will leave you with this for now, the good news is, there is Good News!  And He is the key to release from our prison cell.  You put yourself there and with His help you can sentence yourself to freedom for life!!