Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do You Want to be Well?



Do you want to be well?

This is the question I've asked myself a lot the last couple of years. In my world of moving and changing, my body has started to cry out for mercy.

You can pray and say all day long you are fine, but if you don't deal with what's really going on, eventually it will deal with you.

Our world-our lives-are fast paced. There isn't much room for for rest or slowing down. And when things get really stressful instead of acknowledging, wow, this is hard, we keep going full steam ahead.

Sooner or later our bodies demand to be heard.

Mine started with heart palpitations, then weight gain, my face suddenly thought it was 13 again, anxiety and depression soon followed, oh and lets not forget fatigue and irritability (my husband wouldn't want me to leave those out!)

I changed my eating habits and exercised harder. But nothing worked and defeat was being added to the list.

I didn't ever acknowledge how hard transition and change was for me.  Add to that stress from life, finances, marriage, and kids and my body was a volcano ready to explode.

My body was trying to tell me to hold up and slow down. But I just kept chugging along.

It's ok to feel the pain, you don't have to be so strong, I thought this weekend in church. Wow, do I really hold things in so much to the point that my health has become affected? Do I really not fully allow myself to feel the pain of tough situations?

I'm afraid so.

Admitting I'm weaker than I'd like to think I am is hard.I want to think I'm strong and can take on anything.

But God-He knows better. And so does my body apparently.
...For when I am weak then I am strong (2 Cor 12:10)
*****
Ask God for his wisdom and insight.

I'd been talking to God for a while about what to do and how to convince my doctor that I could be seriously dying and she needed to run some tests before it was too late.

One night I just happened to come across a doctor on the news-which is totally random, because I never watch the news- that was being interviewed for her holistic approach to diabetes and thyroid conditions. Through her program she has helped thousands.

I'm serious she was a real live doctor-I googled her-so she was legit.

I called the next day and on a fluke got allowed to get an appointment-now that's God( she usually doesn't even see patients unless they have been diagnosed). I don't have thyroid or diabetes issues but I knew something was going on with my body and after hearing what she had to say, I believed she could figure it out.

I finally found a doctor that would listen and run the tests that needed to be ran and the results came back what I thought they would. I feel vindicated!!

I could have given up and given in when my other doctors said there was nothing wrong-but I wanted to get well. 

When you know something is wrong, you just know.

Taking a laid back approach isn't  going to help me this time. I am going to have to be proactive if I want complete healing. I started doing my research ( I follow more health, clean eating, holistic blogs than I probably do religious ones).

I know there is more to health than popping pills and feeling miserable.

Is giving up old habits and eating more fruits and veggies and less pizza and chocolate hard?  HECK YEAH they are!! But worth it? (I sure hope so, or I'm going to be mad about giving up my chocolate and pizza!)

I could have taken the easy way and said this is just how life is. But is that really easier?

**
Are you like me?

Do you struggle to slow down and admit when life has you overwhelmed sometimes? I hope you will find time to rest, and listen to your body when it tells you to be still. Take care of yourself. It's worth the time and money to do something that relaxes you and brings peace.

Do you have special ways or do things that relax you?

~A


(**this post isn't meant to tell those that have real diseases and have been suffering, to just make some changes and you'll be better, that's not what I'm talking about. This is for those, like me, that have issues brought on by life and stress that can be helped by making adjustments and changes in our lifestyles. I just wanted to clarify that. Carry On)

Linking with #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Love We Deserve



Wordle: Love is



As a young girl I didn't date much. I liked boys and had crushes on several, and even went on a couple of dates, but not like most of the other girls I knew.

I was an inexperienced dater with only a couple of real dates under my belt, so when the cute blonde haired blue-eyed boy on the football team, named Mack, noticed me I was all in.

Things with Mack started out fast, too fast. We were a couple before I could say call me, maybe.

In the beginning things were pretty normal. 

But then he started to make comments about my boy-friends and how he didn't like them walking and talking with me in the halls.


Pretty soon he started to get clingy....Read the rest at Triple Braided Life. Thank you, Brenda, for letting me share my story at your place.


Pinterest


**I'm sharing a part of my story that I don't talk about, much less write about. But God has been dealing with me lately on a part of my past I'd wished to forget and pretend didn't happen. In sharing my story it's my hope to bring healing to not only others but to myself as well.

Pinterest



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Embrace Your Gifts

'Female Soloist' photo (c) 2011, SteFou! - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I was sitting in church excited, because one of my friends was about to sing. I didn't know she could sing!

She was in the choir, but you don't really have to be able to sing to be in the choir ;). I read in the bulletin that she was doing a solo. I whispered a quick prayer in my head for her before it was her turn.

She opened her mouth....and... it was GOOD!

After church when she walked past me, I stopped her and told her what a great job she did. I was really impressed with her gift. She just smiled, said thanks and shrugged off my compliment.

In that moment I wasn't sure if she thought I didn't mean it.

But now I'm pretty sure it's because as Christian women, we tend to shrug off compliments. Afraid for them to be true because we might get all prideful and deflect glory from God to us.

Since then I've noticed other women doing the same and have even caught myself doing it as well.

Pretending our gifts don't exist....

What kind of bull is that?!

I have another person in my life that says they don't have time for dreams. They just want to be able to work, provide for their family and have a good/easy life.

But actually choosing to understand and embrace who you are is one of the most unselfish things you can do because it maximizes your ability to serve others and bring glory to God. (Holley Gerth, Opening the Door to your God-Sized Dream)

Maybe that is their dream, being able to provide for their family. And that's more than OK and very important.

When we talk about God-sized dreams all we are really talking about is wanting more of what God has for you in your life.
More of Jesus, more of what He's created you to be, more of what He's calling you to do.(Holley Gerth, God-sized Dream)
We are each made with specific gifts and ways of talking and doing things. Use that uniqueness, that weirdness, or whatever to bless those around you.

I think it's one of the best ways we can serve God.

Now, when someone says good job, I'm trying to stop the initial reaction to say it's no big deal, and simply say thank you.

I'm thanking God for the gifts he's given me and I'm hoping that each day I'm making him proud in how I'm using them.

How about you?




Joining my dream sisters as we talk this week about Embracing Our Gifts and Soli deo Gloria



Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't Rush The Beginning


Every Dream has a beginning.  Wondering where to start? What’s the next step?
This is the beginning of any dream and it can be confusing and hard work. You may find yourself doing things that you don’t think make any sense. You may wonder, what does this have to do with my dream?
I once heard Beth Moore say that she started out in ministry working in her church’s Mom’s Day Out program. Her heart for ministering to women started there in the day to day of caring for small children and seeing how the women in her church needed to be encouraged.  She’s come a long way from the days of working in her church’s preschool.
Starting small is the prep work, the foundation.
Sharing over at the God-sized dream website today about not rushing the beginning of any dream....
Join me?

                                                            Don't Rush The Beginning

                                                           

















Thursday, February 6, 2014

Grace-Filled Parenting



This has been one I really didn't want to touch. Especially since I'm in the middle of raising two myself. With one about to hit the teen years next week and is trying to seriously undo me.

I have no words of advice on parenting...but willing to take some :)

This post is what I'm striving for in my home, but we're not there, yet.

When stubbornness and pride mix with rebellion it can make for some hard days. And lots of intervening prayer time.

Grace has been a hard thing around my home lately.

We've had a hard few months with my eldest. She's growing up and becoming a young lady. Change is hard and good.

I'm finding myself in need of more grace each day. Grace to give and receive.

These teen years involve a shedding of the old and embracing of a new. It's a weird in-between stage.

We've had to switch and adjust how we think about parenting.

I want my kids to respect us because we deserve being respected.

Not because we're telling them to because we're the parents and they have to.

It's a crazy thin line you have to walk between friend and authority figure.

I read a devotional recently from Proverbs 31 that asked the question, "Do you meet aggression with aggression and call it strength?"

This wasn't a devotional for parenting but in dealing with friends and difficult circumstances.

But when confronting an angry, moody 12 about to be 13 year old you feel aggression and anger.

"Vulnerable strength isn't a verbal assault. You speak the truth in love, but you let it settle rather than hammer it in.
 Vulnerable strength isn’t an emotional outburst, rather it’s working through misunderstanding.
 Vulnerable strength isn’t one-sided, but it’s stepping into another person’s shoes for a moment to expand your understanding of the conflict.
 But this is the hard part. You might still get punched verbally, and you might still be at odds. Vulnerable strength doesn’t guarantee a happy ending.
 When aggression is met with aggression, there are bound to be casualties. Vulnerable strength reduces the potential for casualties and paves a path for resolution. And if not, then as Luke 6:35 says, “you will truly be acting as children of the Most High …” (NLT)." (Proverbs 31)

I can hammer in all day long the rules and why she has to follow them, but it won't do anything to touch the heart of the matter.

We are all born with a rebellious heart.

But Grace. It has that covered.

I want to touch my girl's heart not just conform her to the house rules. I want her to know how unconditionally she is loved, despite her behavior.That no matter how low she goes, love and grace will be there to meet her and pick her up.

These days are hard. I cry out for wisdom and prayer from my prayer warriors.

I'm gearing up for the battle of my child(ren)s heart. And it's not easy, the enemy has gained some ground.



Our kids are in a fierce battle for their souls. The world is tugging at them from every angle and all they really want to know is that they are deeply loved and accepted. My heart breaks for our youth today. They are going through things they shouldn't have to deal with. And the good ones, like my daughter, are being brought down with them.

They aren't mature enough in their faith to stand against the wiles of the enemy, and they are becoming easy prey.

It would be easy to meet aggression with aggression. God knows how angry we've been lately.

My new parenting strategy instead, (besides pulling the rug out from underneath the little buzzard) is grace.

I'm going to try and meet her where she's at and try hard (even though I would really like to forget!) to remember what is was like at 13. Lord, help me.

She's facing new and different struggles that I didn't have to face. Technology has ramped everything up a notch.Can you imagine being young and insecure and having a smartphone to detail it all?!

The enemy may winning a little right now, but he better watch out! I'm armouring up, this battle for my daughter's heart is one he won't win!





Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday and Imperfect Prose

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Backstory




Everyone has a story. We may not to tell it because we worry what others will think. But our past is what has made us who we are today.

My past includes ugliness that I'd rather forget and pretend didn't happen.

I like to imagine I was always saved and a -good girl.

If you ask anyone from my youth they would say I was good-and on the outside I was. I was all polished up with walls as the high Berlin Wall.


On the inside were all my insecurities, fears, and doubts. They made me do and say things I'm not proud of.

I was never a rebel in that I snuck out or did drugs. But there were other ways.

I rebelled against what I knew was right and good. For a long time I ignored God and his nudgings because I just wanted to fit in with everyone else.

I knew somewhere deep inside, unconsciously, that following God meant that I was going to have to change-be different.

Being different from the world takes courage, and courage was definitely something I did not possess at 16,17 years old.



So many things happened in the in-between.

From the start of the nudgings to the final lay down of my heart at 23 I had lived life my way and held God at at an arm's length away.

So now here I am at 34, realizing and believing that God has dreams and plans for my life and I'm blown away because for so long I told Him "no."

 But He doesn't care.

 He still wants to use me!

One thing that I know without a doubt, is that we don't have to have it all together, our past can be messy and yucky, our life, now, doesn't have to be perfect or semi-perfect, and we don't have to be good enough to be used by God-we just have to be willing.

God uses the willing.


My backstory isn't want I wish it were. But you know what, I wouldn't change a thing. I am who I am today because of it.

Today, I'm one determined person that wants everyone to know that if God can use fear-stricken, anxiety ridden, insecure me, then He can use you too!

God's love and truth finally set me free.And He wants to do the same for you.

So tell me, what's your backstory? I want to hear.








***Holley Gerth has a new book coming out today!!! It's a book that speaks to those no-good-hard-I want-to-give-up and quit days. "You're Going To Be Okay

God-Sized Dreams
Coffee for Your Heart 150
Holley Gerth

Soli deo Gloria, Winsome Wed, Three Word Wed, #TellHisStory
   


Photo source: Shelly Prevost 

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