Tag Archive | growth

Ok to Choose

goodbetterbest

So if you know me at all you know I love to bake and every single Christmas I bake.  A LOT!  From Frosted sugar cookies to fudge, Santa surprises to chocolate covered pretzels.  Probably about a dozen various special treats and gift them to my family, friends and neighbors (and help my husband need gift exchange because he gained another pant size.)   This past holiday season I did not bake.  Nope. Not one single treat and let me tell you, you would have thought I committed the unpardonable sin.

Let me explain.

The last quarter of 2015 I realized something I have never grasped before (or maybe held so loosely too I let it slip away).  Everything that is good is not profitable.  Everything that I like to do and want to do is not always what is best. I can’t do everything.  Not everything is meant for me to do.

I tried to go full steam ahead, do all the things I think are expected of me and all the things I need to do, all the things other people should be doing and find time for the things I love then I burn myself out.  Add to that being in a desert place spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally and you have a recipe for a meltdown.  I was at capacity and on empty and realized very clearly that if I added one more thing I would be in trouble.

So I choose wisely.

I realized that the things I had no control over were out of control and the things I could control I needed to reevaluate for importance.  The cookies, a few parties, decorating, projects around the house, extra activities I hoped to do- all made the cut.

The cookies was the biggest thing.  I found myself apologizing. I cried. I felt like I was letting everyone down in falling to make this holiday tradition happen.  I mean as silly as it is now because everyone did survive without Christmas cookies (to hear my husband you would think he lost a limb and was starved to death).  The moment at which I came to the realization that to make the cookies meant sacrificing being able to stand up without excruciating pain in my knee, meant giving up sleep my frazzled mind and body desperately needed, meant letting down my kids and my husband and my poor neighbor who starts asking at Thanksgiving when I will start baking, I realized something.  In that moment I realized growth. Growth in that I put what was best for me before what was good and everyone made it out alive.  I put what was needed before what was wanted.

May not sound like a big deal but to me this is huge. I live in the place of making everyone else happy.  Not because they require it but because I do.  I have always been a Martha and I needed a Mary moment. I need to be still (well as still as I could be) and I needed to catch my breath, to eat someone else’s cookies, to be quiet and boring and rest and miss those parties. I needed to not second guess my saying No and rest in my right to choose.

Too often I get lost in the “must’s” and the “think I should’s”.  Simple answer as to why:  because I lost perspective and peace.  I stopped seeking the plan for my day in a quiet and still moment with my maker. I started borrowing from what could happen and what should happen instead of living in what was happening and allowing it to.  I filled my time with stuff- necessary or not.

Now in setting limits, expressing your needs and making clear boundaries, in choosing, sometimes others are offended. Sometimes they see it as your feelings are more important than theirs.  For me that is not what it was about at all. It was for me and continues to be because I have been to the bottom and I know what it feels like to not choose and loose myself, almost completely and finally.

What a freedom there is in living IN today. Taking moment by moment.  I am sure I sound like a broken record but there is peace and taking it as it comes and trusting and resting that my steps are order, when I have HIS perspective on my day.

choices

 

Mary and Martha
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

*Disclaimer:  No innocent husbands were hurt in the process. My sister saved the day and made sure his waist line didn’t miss out on cookies and that there was a plate for Santa*

 

P’s

pp

When I was little I hated peas. Seriously my mom and dad would have to give me and my little sister Danielle a $1 a spoon and then I would swallow them whole with a huge gulp of milk. While my sister Brooke would just eat the whole bowl, for FREE.  EWWWW

I’m older now and I actually will eat some types of sweet peas on occasion but still find my self struggling with other types of P’s in my life.  You know:  procrastination, problems, pressure, people, perspective, peace.

I am learning continually the art of perspective and the lessons are coming as fast as I can  focus/refocus.  I can’t always look ahead, plan out, control what is happening.  Too many variables.  In my readings this morning a light bulb moment- when the wave is headed at me it seems so treacherous.  If I focus on the circumstances and spring into control, kill or be kill, knee jerk reaction mood I surely will drown when that wave hits. I will most certainly blow it into something larger than it was ever intended to be.  Yet if I keep my focus in the moment firmly planted in and on GOD and trust Him with the circumstances, trust Him with the storm, then by the time the wave reaches me it is shrunk to proportions of HIS design.

Philippians 4:4-7The Message (MSG)

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Perspective is a lesson I am learning every day.  As I continue taking moment by moment, living in the here and now and looking ahead, I have to remember continually to assume nothing, to release that which is not mine to own, to seek HIM first in all my Steps and not focus on what seems to be headed my way.  I can control nothing but boy do I think I can.  When I keep my perspective in check and on him then the circumstances of my day, the events, the interaction with people ( and traffic) are manageable.  When I change my perspective then peace follows.  And these are P’s I can devour.

(Jesus Calling devo inspiration)

 

Do the 1 thing

be who So I had a total different plan for my blog this morning.  Each morning I spend some time in the word and read a few devotions that have ministered to me over the years.  I just love it when the words for the day are so intertwined and link together.  When the word just leaps off the page and penetrates my soul.  After some time in the word this morning I opened up my Proverbs 31 email to read today’s devotion and wow-

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37:5-6 (NIV) – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/#sthash.8tA9L5y8.dpuf

Today’s devotion is about being who God created you to be.  A common theme maybe but as I have spent the last few months trying to find my place, own my own stuff and find a way to define what I need and where I stand and my direction, today really ministered to my heart.  The devotion goes on to say:

“So God says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.” That’s it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” Essentially, He’s saying: Just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do. You’re rain … so rain. You’re snow … so snow.

I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be. And He’s asking you to be the thing He’s already created you to be.

He doesn’t tell the snow to thaw and become rain, or the rain to freeze itself into snow. He says, essentially: Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do.”

JUST DO THE THING!  If I am snow then snow.  If I am rain then pour down!  I have reread this a dozen times.  With tear stained cheeks I realize that yet again I get so lost in all the expectations and seemingly necessary stuff that I end up dancing to a song I created instead of the play list He set apart for me.  Yes, there are things I must do but, when and why did I stop JUST DOING THE THING?  I let too many other things define me.  I get stuck in a Martha habit when a Mary heart is sometimes needed.  Oh my goodness I am moved today, moved to rediscover and redefine and reignite.  I am excited that though this word wasn’t written just for me today it found me right when I needed to be pushed to the next level.  Right when I needed to define the next moment by moment thing for today!  Right when I needed to JUST DO THE THING!

With great anticipation I step boldly……….

Just ONE

one small

I was reading a devotion this morning about an overgrown garden.  The author was taking in the over growth, the forgotten and untended plot but with a sense of hope could glimpse what it could be.  She noted it would not be without hard work yet”promise was burgeoning just below the soil”

I think that was where I stood just a few weeks ago.  After a season of overgrowth, where I had allowed weeds of self doubt, condemnation, frustration and just pure exhaustion to drown out anything productive in my soil. I lost sight of potential as well as promise.  I started to walk through and past my “Garden” without any consideration. I literally was going through the motions.  I had lost hope with all the commotion.

I read too this morning her words “When we glimpse an opportunity before us, do we turn our gaze because we are wary of the work the soil demands?”

How true the words. I have read them over and over.  How true that I can see the things that need to be done but fall victim to excuses, fear, frustration.  I let what others say, do or WON’T do stop me from what I should do. I fall victim to procrastination because the task seems to daunting.

” You need only consider your next step.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the task before you.  Focus on one thing that must be done next and trust God to level the ground before you.”

I am here Lord, I am doing this.  One day one moment one call one conversation one trust one step at a time.  I can’t stop re reading. I am here. I am doing this. I am pushing off the things that have bound me up and I am doing it.

“And then watch in wonder as it begins to blossom. When we are faithful to simply show up with hands willing to work, we can watch in wonder as God brings forth fruit from our humble efforts.

Yes- tears streaming as I type this!  YES YES YES

I was ready to give up on so many things. I was hurt and frustrated and gave back in to self doubt and fear. But YES I am doing it. I am showing up from the time my eyes open til my feet are pulled back into my bed. I am willing I am taking that one simple step and showing up for my day.  At work I am just blown away to have such success in just a few short days.  But it is right here. I made a choice to allow my efforts to be as unto the Lord and not be side tracked with anything. I made a choice to allow one positive thing to radiate through my whole day and my whole being and walk simply through my day for HIS glory for He is my provider.

He brings forth the fruit from our humble efforts. HE provides the increase. When I am faithful HE shows up.  When I trust and walk simply HE is there.  He give the increase. It is Him.  He is the WHY and the HOW.

I am so thankful. I am so blessed. I am so ready to continue to clear this path and see the fruit and the journey.

1 cor. 3:6

(You can read the Proverbs 31 devotion for today here)

Probably won’t but I should

rainy dayDay 32 Project 365

Been awhile since I did more than a quick post from my phone. Though I am actually logged in tonight I am not quite in a place where I am ready to really write. I am recovering from feeling like death warmed over and still not myself. I am exhausted and emotionally feel like I have been ran over. I can’t quite explain that either. I mean I can, but, I probably won’t. I am stuck and feeling like I am going through motions. I know what I would like to do, but, I probably won’t. On that note I need to go back to some basics. Some things I know pull me out of this place. I need a new direction. I need ………to catch my breath!

Just a number

scaleDay 15 Project 365

We were moving! Moving in to a 3200 sq ft house. I was excited and exhausted. The previous owners had left a mess. ( HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!) No part of this house didn’t have to be cleaned, painted or repaired. So after weeks of work we were down to the final steps. We needed to prime and paint every room so we called in the troops. Literally a dozen people on top of the 9 of us, descended upon our house in a paint party to end all paint parties. We had started early in the morning and by lunch time we were a tad punchy. It was about then that we realized that most of the punchiness was due to the fact that for the last hour we had been using the 2nd bucket of primer we had opened and it was oil based and we were all pretty much high. The jokes were flowing and the laughter was too. I remember a friend pulling up in the drive way and hollering in, I can tell you are all high from the fumes out here. We laughed and went back to painting. We were almost done and finishing off the formal dining room. It was me, my oldest son Nik and my friend Mary. The ‘Your MOMMA” jokes had started about 20 minutes earlier. Nik says to Mary your momma is so fat she eats Wheat Thicks instead of Wheat Thins! I think we laughed so hard we cried. Mary called her husband and told him about the paint mistake, the fumes, the wheat thicks. We laughed some more.

My friend is telling me the other day about the show Duck Dynasty and how one of the guys is going mattress shopping. I guess one guy says he doesn’t like to have to shake the sheets to find his woman. He likes that all he has to do is look for the low spot.

Once I was standing in line at the store when this guy says to his friend, “If she needs to eat a sub, I ain’t interested!” Now every time my husband sees a really skinny girl he says, “she needs to eat a sub!”

We have all heard the jokes and funny stories and laughed a little. As someone who struggles with the issue of weight I have laughed and cried my share of tears at the rude comments, hurtful looks, lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. I have been convinced I am not good enough because I don’t look a certain way. I have heard the “your kids will be ashamed of you comments” one too many times. I have tried every fad diet and tried and tried and tried. Some successes and some failures. I have been slave to the number checking and re checking. I have allowed outside sources to determine the number attached to my goal. What would make me beautiful to be defined my things that fade away. I surely wasn’t design for YOUR idea of what looks good on me or what it looks like to be in my skin.

Even my perspective on this issue has to change. A number on a scale doesn’t define me. Your idea of beautiful should not define me. I might never be what you think is skinny enough or pretty enough.

I love the commercials, I think it is for the Dove campaign for real beauty. Real women loving who they are and being comfortable in their skin. Could I do it? Probably not! Not quite there yet!

Being comfortable in my own skin means way more than being okay with what I see when I look in the mirror.

I have lost and gained and lost and gained and though I have been in the mode of losing since my son’s wedding it is quite different this time. I haven’t made a big deal. I haven’t shared my “new number” with many. People have noticed and made comment. I have thanked them. I am trying to not allow a number to be what it is about. To be my focus. I am not a slave to a number. I am not following some crazy set of rules that are destined to fail. (I can say that with complete certainty because I have done this before). As I examine my perspective I know that even this area of my life needs a change of my vision. It will never work if I don’t change my insides. My outlook starts on the inside too. Just like guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Food in and of itself doesn’t make me fat. I know my thoughts have a huge part of what I look like on the outside. As I identify my real feelings I find 95% of the time I am not even remotely hungry. I am finding that as I acknowledge my emotions and my thoughts I can deal with them instead of self medicate with food.

I have a lot of things I am learning right now. Perspectives that are changing and even in this moment I am making an active choice to do just that.

I don’t share the stories above without a point. I laugh differently today then I did back then. I used to laugh with an over whelming sense of guilt and shame. Today, I laugh because it is just a number, a thing. It doesn’t define me nor is it who I am destined to be. I am making strides, huge leaps and bounds above where I used to be. Maybe you can’t see it but, its okay! The biggest change is in me. Is in the things that no longer have the power to pull me.

Continuing to change..

Picture Credit
Resource-
Lose it For Life This book is pretty awesome. They have a little daily devotional/inspirational book too that is great. It really addresses the change in thinking needed. It is a great resource if you have the time to read it.

MORE BEAUTIFUL YOU – Johnny Diaz

Bitter Root

dogDay 14 Project 365

And so it continues into the night.

I have these nights when I can not shut off my brain. I do everything I know possible to relax and shut down but, sleep is nowhere to be found. Instead, a whirl of thoughts and before I know it sunrise is approaching.

Last night was one of those nights.

After days of thoughts on perspective, changing my outlook, inner healing I have been in some deep thought.

Like a dog with a bone, I have a hold of something I can’t seem to let go. I spent the day yesterday talking to myself wondering why, why can’t I seem to shake this one thing. Some where around 2 a.m. it dawned on me. I don’t think I want to let it go. I think if I let it go I know I will have to actually participate in life with people I don’t want in my life. Even the not wanting in my life is a problem. I don’t feel I created the problem. Yet, it has become one. A big one! What part is mine? What is really not? A mix of hellacious crap.

Deep breath and small side note. No names are needed and please, if you “think” you know to whom I am referring because you are in my “inner circle”, please don’t even ask.

It is enough to know this. I have some deep seeded un-forgiveness. I have some bitterness and resentments and I don’t want to let them go. I know I need to. I know un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I know it is the bait of satan. I know that my issue lays a lot in how I perceive people and situations and the need for “justice” and validation and (gulp) revenge! I know that I can not move forward until I address this and let it go. I also know that some of this is misplaced and that in itself is a hornets nest. I know! Understand? I really KNOW! I have let it go before AND gone RIGHT back.

Part of getting whole and changing perspective is admitting, painfully, honestly, completely admitting. There is something I have allowed to take took root in my life. Deep root. I allowed it. I welcomed it in, polished it, made it comfy and poured it some tea. There are moments when I am in a situation and I have a thought and think WOAH Who have I become?

There is a fear if I cut it out I might be required to participate again and in that case get used and hurt and some how validate the crap said persons have put me through. Validate the lies the hurt the abuse, the crap! After all, why should I be the only one willing to admit and make amends? Why is it I am the only one that has to deal, face and “grow up”?

I read back, I know better, I know. I have worked recovery enough to know. I know for the LOVE OF GOD I KNOW! (yes, I am yelling. Screaming actually because it is very overwhelming.)

And in this knowing is chaos. Maybe I have become comfortable in it. I know what to expect. I am used to it. It is every single day. Maybe, just maybe I have never required anything different. Maybe some of this rests on me.

I have to address this until it is gone. I have to deal with it and yet in needing to start I don’t know where to start and then I don’t want to start. Not really. However, I know, that if I continue “using this drug” it will surely kill me, kill my dreams and my otherwise “healthy” relationships and poison my life source!

So ensues tossing and turning and the battle within my mind and heart and oh how thankful I am I can have real conversations with God and He hears me. I know that there is no condemnation. I know that grace abounds. I just have to decide to walk back out and be honest about what I see. Half the battle is in admitting and then comes the need to surrender.

It is the knowing I need to know that I need to know that I need to let it go.

I know! Did I already say that a few times. I KNOW!

I surrendered to the fact I wasn’t going to sleep last night and finally drifted off somewhere about 3. By 5:15 a.m. I was back awake and instantly my head was overwhelmed.

The cry of my heart today is pretty intimate. The requirements that are necessary for recovery will come with a price but, not as high as the cost if I don’t surrender and allow Him.

In my life I have learned when I don’t even know where to start just the name of Jesus is enough.

Jesus.

HEALER by Hillsong

Surrender by Marc James

Another blog about letting go.

Root of Bitterness bible study

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