Grace

The other night I felt so defeated in my sin. I allowed myself to feel overwhelmed and suffocated by shame. Instead of turning to God and relinquishing the control I hold on to so tightly, I clung to my sin.

The thought of never being able to conquer this sin left me feeling like a failure. Like a wall was up between God and I. I told God He couldn’t use me until I defeated this part of me. I told Him I was unusable and ruined. And that’s not the case. Me telling Him He can’t use me is pointless because He will use me if He wants to use me. 

If we had to wait to be used by God until we were perfectly pure and sinless – we would be waiting forever. God exposes our sins and uses us right where we are. I need to remember that Satan wants me to feel isolated in my sin. God can use me and He is using me. Right where I am. Sin and all.

Don’t be content to be forgiven and forget. Your past is unique God-given baggage for carrying the Gospel to other. – Marshall Segal 

Don’t let the enemy use your history to distract you from your destiny. – Lisa Bevere

Just because we are tempted does not mean we are our temptations. – Jackie Hill Perry

e6d76c28c4e9e7b2103d84d9ced60a4e

…2018

My three greatest accomplishments of 2018…

#1. My salvation through Jesus Christ. I committed myself to living a life for the Lord.

#2. Getting baptized in a Colorado hot spring in front of my friends and students and strangers. Proclaiming my faith and commitment in a public way.

#3. Trusting the Lord with this new relationship thing. 

 

My three goals for 2019….

#1. Relinquish the control of my life into God’s hands. He’s got this and He knows my heart.

#2. Find my joy in the Lord.

#3. Budget. Budget. Budget. I have big plans to save up for.

 

 

Inhale Positivity…Exhale Negativity

My circumstances should not dictate my mood. No matter how exhausted or frustrated I am I need to work on reacting in a positive way, or at least not in a way that totally shows I am extremely irritated and negative.

So my hope for today, and what I am talking with God about, is for me to have patience and take a step back so I can take a deep breath. This will allow me to work on my reaction and talk to God about what He wants me to learn from the situation. Instead of completely imploding and becoming totally negative and angry.

Easier said than done but I like a challenge. The need to ask for patience is helping me as I  diligently work on my relationship with the Lord. He needs to be the center of my life. Trying to control everything is leaving me frustrated and exhausted and irritated all the time.

That’s not okay. It’s not okay for me or my relationship with God or those around me.

Lord, thank You for Your neverending grace.

She’s Back

I had a mental breakdown yesterday. It might be because of the total lack of nutrients going to my brain or the fact that everything hit all at once. Comments were said to me on Sunday that made me feel like a total failure for battling an eating disorder again. I struggle with confiding in people because of the reactions I’ve received from people I’ve confided in in the past. And it happened again. It felt like a punch to the gut.

The sick and twisted thing is that it feels like an old friend has returned for a long visit. It almost feels comfortable, nostalgic even. But I know it’s a parasitic demon of a disease that needs to be dealt with once and for all.

Work stress, financial stress, not having God time, being completely starving, my paypal account being hacked, and then dealing with a 15 pound jackfruit all didn’t exactly help the sobbing mess I melted into while on the phone with my friend. He totally helped because he’s a smart level headed guy and then he made me laugh for a really long time. Which I desperately needed more than I realized.

Today I feel as if I haven’t slept in weeks and I’ve been fighting the demons inside my head all by myself. I’m tired of fighting. It’s depleting every aspect of my being. To quote an old literary friend, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” And I’m sick of it. But I don’t know what to do to stop it. Therapy is too expensive, being hospitalized isn’t an option now that I’m a working adult. So I will silently suffer until I reach my breaking point. Taking supplements to offset the never eating can only carry a body so far. The difference with my disorder this time around is I don’t see even an inkling of light at the end of the tunnel.

And that’s terrifying me.

 

 

 

#blessed

Last August I was hit by a speeding texting driver in a truck going over 60MPH that made no attempt to slow down. The police (and my car genius brother) said it was due to a safety bar in my Ford that saved me. That if it wasn’t for the bar I would be dead. I choose to believe my angels were protecting me. 5 star safety rating or not.

I’ve been through a few things in life where instead of getting better I got bitter. Instead of having gratitude I allowed each situation to build up anger inside of me. Breaking my spine, GI issues, knee surgery, watching my dad battle cancer, thyroid surgery, PFRF that I convinced myself ruined my life, what my mom is dealing with right now, and countless other trials. Each time God protected my family and I. And each time I repaid Him with anger and frustration and an ever growing chip on my shoulder. I know I should be rejoicing with thanksgiving that He let me walk away from that accident. I feel ashamed that I survived and lack gratitude for it.

I walked away from my accident with bashed up knees, cuts in my mouth, minor arm lacerations, bruised ribs, bruised hips, a concussion, and what the doctors diagnosed as PTSD. That’s it. It could have been a billion times worse. And I got pissed off at God for it.

2018 didn’t start out to great for me with my thyroid surgery, but this year is ending in an amazing way I didn’t see coming 🙂 I hope it does for you too.

Shout out to my former boss for capturing the above photo.

My former nanny kid gave this to me after my accident. I miss her lots 🙂

My mom and I went to the tow place to pick up everything I left in my car. And everything in that Focus was electric. Even though the windows were totally gone the button for the trunk wouldn’t work – duh. So I first asked the jerk* in the office to hook my battery up so I could use my key and the buttons. My mom and I were tired of waiting for him so we hooked the battery up ourselves. HE WALKS OUT WITH A JUMP STARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO HOOK UP A BATTERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SKJhfLIHGFLIHJF. He was then amazed that us women could manage to do that without a jump.  That’s just my cute little story from that nightmare of a day.

*Think something stronger than jerk.

 

img_7806img_8046

Grace & Forgiveness

It’s easy to allow past circumstances to dictate how we handle present and future situations. We are called to forgive those who remind us of our past and we are called to forgive those we aren’t necessarily fond of. We are called to forgive everyone no matter what. Just as He forgave us. His grace is astonishing and seems impossible for us to comprehend. We are called to be filled with Christlike love, grace, and forgiveness. And that’s really difficult but totally doable.

A life filled with love, grace, and forgiveness, a life pursuing Christ…that’s a life I am striving to live each and every day. Life is too short to hold onto pain, frustration, and grudges. That’s how bitterness and resentment grows. Been there done that, it’s not fun.

God forgave me for my plethora of sins…why can’t I forgive my neighbor? Retribution is not a burden for us to bear. That’s between God and the sinner.

Matthew 18:21-35  (NLT)

Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.[c] 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.[d] He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters[e] from your heart.”

Oh friend…

A few days ago I was told that you were finally home.

I’ve been wondering why Joey Feek has been on my heart since Monday. I reread Rory’s blog and watched the videos again. A similar throbbing ache clung to my heart and made itself at home in my throat. I then watched the new videos with Rory and Indy smiling and celebrating life, the tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy. I wonder if there’s a reason for that or if this was all purely coincidental. I like to think you had a hand in it. You would want us to be laughing, remembering the good times, and knowing you weren’t in any pain anymore. But I’m sobbing and my heart feels like it was torn out of my chest and thrown on the ground.

To say I am thrilled you are not suffering anymore would be a major understatement. I am shouting praises that you are finally free of the cancer that ruthlessly tore through your body. But at the moment it pains my heart to the very core. I can’t imagine what your family is going through. I want to send a card and flowers and a million hugs but it all seems so incredibly minuscule compared to what they actually need right now.

Your time on earth was spent making people laugh. You never allowed the focus to be on your cancer. You never wanted people to feel bad for you. During your short time on earth you lived well and you loved well. And so many people loved you back. I never got the chance to thank you for your words while my dad was battling cancer. With you I saw hope and joy in the midst of one of the ugliest battles I’ve ever seen. You tackled each test and every treatment with laughter and strength. Because of you I knew my dad could make it too. I just always assumed you would always bounce back with each relapse. I didn’t think this day would ever come.

Years ago your writing inspired me to start writing a blog. I can only hope to someday have even a tenth of the impact you’ve had on the world. I’m grateful to have known you and to have laughed with you. I’ll miss you. I’ll miss your face and your impeccable taste in fashion. I’ll miss your writing and your gift of making a horrid situation hopeful.

I won’t regret not saying goodbye because I know I will see you someday and we will laugh together.

Until then, my friend.

You’re Never Done Learning

About a month ago I decided to return to college, I figured 5 years of college wasn’t enough! Ha! I decided on the University of Pennsylvania because saving money is totally overrated and if I am going to be in student loan debt for the rest of my life I might as well go to an Ivy League school! *begins to hyperventilate*

I am taking their online accelerated learning classes. Which means I have peer review projects, forums with my fellow classmates and professors, readings, quizzes, final exams, blah blah blah, all on my own schedule. Okay, well technically not on my own schedule. It just means I can choose to go as fast as I want as long as I get all of my homework, assignments, peer review projects, and tests in by the due dates on the syllabus. So far it is working spectacularly. I may have sped through my first class and finished an entire 16 week course in the matter of 2 weeks and I may have only received an 84 because of that….but it’s okay! Because I learned it’s okay to take it slower!

I am now onto my second class which is right up my alley, social media marketing. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. It’s difficult. I just handed in my first peer reviewed project of the class and it was non stop researching and writing for 3+ hours without looking up from my laptop. I think my fingers are going to fall off. I have about 10 hours of homework and reading to get done later but I’ll do that later 🙂

Long story short it’s okay to keep learning. You’re never done learning. Ever. I just found out I can take CPE’s (continuing professional education credits) for my job and I am so excited! I love learning! I love studying and reading and absorbing knowledge. It’s fantastic and I am so excited for the opportunities ahead of me.

 

 

Gratitude

I’m sure you’ve heard it said a million times before: What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?

 

Well? What if that was what happened? And to add on to that…what if we stopped talking to God only in times of trials and pain? What if we talked to Him throughout the day? What if we shared the ups as much as the downs? And the happy moments as much as the heartbreaking gut wrenching terrible moments? Thank Him for the moments that make a day great as much as the moments that allow us to work on our patience.

Life looks a whole lot different to someone who focuses on the positive and chooses to live in a way filled with gratitude and thankfulness.

Being thankful isn’t just for Thanksgiving.

What are you going to thank God for today?