Friday, November 8, 2013

The Bully

Last week, someone was in my apartment while I was getting dressed. Every article of clothing I put on, they would comment.

"You shouldn't wear that. It makes you look fat."

"Pull your skirt down a little bit. I don't like how your knees look."

"That doesn't fit you like you used to. You shouldn't have stopped working out. Now you look frumpy and unattractive."

"That color makes your skin look weird. Why did you waste your money on that sweater?"

Finally, I was able to find an outfit that both I and this person were satisfied with.

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Then, came the hair and make-up.

"Your eyelashes are too short. You need better mascara."

"Don't wear eyeliner. You look like you're trying too hard."

"You should get those eyebrows waxed! They are SO not feminine. But, that makes sense, since you're not much of a lady."

"Dreadlocks? What were you thinking?!? That was such a mistake!"

"Your bangs look weird. You should swoop them the other way. Better yet- why do you even have bangs? They don't make you cool, just so you know..."
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Then, I looked at myself from all angles, trying to figure out what other people would think when they saw me. But, it didn't matter. The person that was standing next to me let me know what other people probably thought. It wasn't pretty.

I'll spare you this part, because it just got downright catty and nasty. And, to be honest, I don't really feel like reliving that on my blog.

I never stood up for myself. I never talked back. I just listened and accepted their words. I felt defeated and hurt; scarred and slightly humiliated. I can't explain why I never stood up for myself. Maybe the words are too familiar. Maybe I've grown accustomed to just taking it.

When I finally got in my Jeep and the other person had strapped into the seat next to me, I was on my way. Fully insecure, fully taking in this person's words, fully believing them.

Does this make you angry? Does it upset you that I would just take it? That I would believe the toxic words? That I would let it internally affect me? That I would take their words with me, strapped to my back like a L.L. Bean school bag? That I would slowly let their words become the filter that defined how I saw myself?

Don't be mistaken: This person has been abusing me for a long time. With words. Harsh. Blunt. Cruel. No feelings spared. Crippling in most social situations.
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Now for the truth: I am this person. I am this abusive person that judges everything about myself: My laugh, my teeth, my eyelashes, my glasses, my body. Every move I make, I critique myself. Harshly. "Don't laugh that loud. You'll draw attention to yourself." "Don't slouch; it makes you look fatter." "Don't sing too loud; you're off key."

The list goes on and on. And this is what I know: I am not alone. Women and men alike. We all abuse ourselves.

I didn't realize until last week when I was having lunch with a dear friend what I do to myself. We were talking about the abusive thoughts we have about ourselves and the analogy popped into my head of being bullied.

Recently, I was bullied by a literal person. Someone who thought they knew what they were up against. There were manymanymany things I wanted to say to this person, to tear them apart verbally. Although I did say some things that I wish I could take back, the majority of what I wanted to say, I refrained. I tried to be careful with my words.

Several times, I had to stop and pray. Were my words glorifying God? Was it my place to take them down? Was it my job to seek justice? One thing was clear: it's best not to fight dirty. I kept my head high. I stood up for myself. I felt proud that I didn't dissolve into a puddle like I did when I was bullied as a child.

But, now a thought occurs to me: Why do I bully myself? Why do I quickly "Oh NO you DIDN'T" when a person verbally attacks me, but I take abuse from myself??
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I don't have all the answers. But, I do know this: God has been super intentional about showing me who I am to Him. I have been so focused on not letting other people's words affect me. Maybe it's time I started silencing the voice inside myself too. Maybe it's time to look at myself in the mirror and use God's Word to build me up, the way I would for a friend.

How does this resonate with you? Do you find yourself picking yourself apart until there's nothing left?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We're a Catch

In the last 10 or so years of my life, I have dated a good number of men. Some were mistakes. Some were good relationships that just didn't work out; they weren't meant to be.

But, here I am. 31. Still single.

I've gone "back to the drawing board" more times than I want to think about. I have reevaluated my standards and my "list" so many times that there is nothing left to examine. I have also cried and screamed and been extremely frustrated with this one thought that keeps lingering.

Why do men keep "throwing me back?"

You know those fish that people catch and deem not quality enough to keep? Because they are too small, or female instead of male or the wrong type of fish.

Thrown back.
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This all changed a few days ago.

I was having a conversation with a good married friend about dating and at the end of the conversation, he added, "You're a catch."

I thought that he was talking about a specific guy we had been discussing, so I responded, "What? He's a catch?"

"No. You're a catch."

I felt a little uncomfortable, since I can't remember a time when anyone has told me that. But, hours later, God opened my eyes and the words sunk in. What truth!! I am a catch! I am someone worth keeping. Not throwing back, but keeping.

This is true for all of us. We are all catches. We all have qualities that are worth getting to know. We all have characteristics that will benefit someone's walk with God. And while I don't believe in soul mates or "the one," I do believe that we should all be looking for someone that we feel would add to us (and us to them).
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Let this sink in: God looks at you and He sees beauty. He sees His handiwork- His craftsmanship. He sees qualities of Himself. The freckles. The curly hair. The big feet. The awkward words. The clumsy movements. The bad posture. All of it. He sees all of it, and adores every last bit. He made your body and personality and brain. And He loves it. He adores it.

The next time you have a chance, look in the mirror. And not in the hurried, I-don't-like-how-I-look glance.

Take a long look.

And remember.

You're a catch.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The One About Emotions

If you have known me for more than 5 minutes, you will probably learn without me saying anything that I am a sensitive person. I have a high level of empathy, sometimes taking on the emotions of others. I also can be affected by situations with more severity than others. And sometimes, embarassingly enough, I lose complete control of said emotions and become that person.
"That Person"

You know that person that I am talking about. That person kind of freaks out about things that maybe they don't need to freak out about. That person deals with their emotions in an unhealthy way. Sometimes drinking or overeating or punching something/someone or breaking a lamp or road raging are involved. That person needs to get a grip. On Jesus. Like, for real.

Don't miss what I'm saying. I am that person. We are all that person at some point in time. But, sometimes I feel like I am that person more often than I am a holy vessel of God.

Sometimes, I feel like I run to ice cream or an ice cold soda before I run to God.

Sometimes, I feel like I may think that I am showing people who God is when really, I am showing them who I am. You know.... that person.
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This weekend, my Grammy fell down. She shattered and dislocated her poor, 84-year-old wrist. It was so sad! While she was in surgery, I had a lot of down time. I took that time to send my friend some encouragement from a study that I did on JOY. It was like this whole intricate word/usage-in-the-Bible/how-does-it-apply-to-me study. I got a lot out of it last year when I was terribly struggling with depression. In fact, I wrote an entire series on depression. You can find it here.

As I was reading what I wrote, so much stuck out to me. Not like a memory, but like a, "I don't remember writing that, but wow, does it resonate with me now" feelings. I realized then that so much of what God has been teaching me this last year has been a build-up. He was teaching me, even when I hadn't let myself belong to Him. He was guiding me, even when He knew I wouldn't obey. He was rallying my heart for one purpose: to know Him in a deeper way.

You're probably all, "Be quiet and tell me the thing that you read!"

Okay! Stop yelling!


Here it is:

Psalm 51:10-12
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from  your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

The Greeks feared emotions because they sought permanent balance. Hebrews take a different track. Emotions are the fodder of choice. I can let them drive me or I can coral them in the service of the King. Once, David allowed his emotions to carry him far from his King. Now, he seeks restoration and emotion is the train he rides to reach his goal.”

This is that part that gets me..."While no emotion is permanent, every emotion can draw us toward [God] or push us away. We are at liberty to choose.” (taken from
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So, you're telling me that I in the middle of my raw emotions and freak-outs, I still have a choice what I do with those feelings? Yes.

So, if I'm depressed and I want to eat a whole container of ice cream because I feel like I deserve it, then I can stop myself before I even start? Yes.

So, if my husband/boyfriend/dad has just made me feel like crap again and all I want to do is drink, I can like.... not drink? Yes.

People, I have a choice. You have a choice. We all have a choice. And, it is possible to glorify God in the middle of what we are feeling. My friend shared with me that we can be angry/sad/depressed/etc. We are human and we have feelings. But, we (and I'm talking to myself too) need to train ourselves to stop and ask God, "What do You want me to do with this feeling?"

Believe this: He. Will. Tell. You.

He will.

He wants us to come to Him in our hour of need. He wants us to draw near to His heart. He wants us to draw from his strength and energy. He wants to fill us up so that we can handle what He has allowed in our lives.

He wants us.

He wants you.

He wants me.
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What about you? How do you deal with your emotions? Are you that person too?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Growing and Growing and Growing...

 When I moved back to Ohio a little more than a month ago, I didn't think that I would be farming. In fact, if my mom had said, "Hey! Let's dig up dirt and plant things! Then we can eat them later!" I would have laughed.

Well, I'm officially an urban farmer.

My mom had an idea to start a pallet garden, which basically means instead of tilling the ground and planting seeds, you create a series of small raised-beds from old pallets and plant your crop in the slats.

Maybe because of my love of pallets, or maybe my sudden desire to be more productive with my time, I quickly agreed and hopped on the tailwinds of her excitement.

 I collected manymany pallets (okay, like 10 or so) and we got our garden-planning-hats on. Three kinds of lettuce/leafy veggies. Two kinds of zucchini. Beans. Peas. Watermelon. Pumpkins. Tomatos. It's all happening in our backyard.

Because I have a very limited income, and wanted to help my mom be as resourceful as possible, I talked her into starting seedlings indoors in cardboard tubes. We incubated them in a clear storage container and once their roots began pushing past the bottom of the tubes, looking for more soil, I transplanted them to containers.
 I've always had a blacker-than-black thumb. Like, I would bring a plant home and it would die of fright, just knowing that I was responsible for it. I am just not good at taking care of something that can't tell me when it's hungry! Fish. Lizards. Plants. They all die.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when one, two, three then four little buds started peeking above the soil. I actually teared-up a little bit.

Once the had graduated to their containers, they really started to flourish!
 This week, we will be putting our tiny little, adorable seedlings into the ground. We have the pallets prepped with weed-control fabric to keep the soil from leaking out the bottom and sides and we are excited!

My goal is to harvest seeds from each item the plants produce. That way, we can save even more money next year!

Another project we are doing is planting a Sunflower Fort. If you have never seen one of these amazing things, check out this link. It's every country girl's dream come true! So what if I live in the city. It's happening!!!

I've felt really motivated to try to create a relaxing, refreshing backyard for my mom to enjoy. Who knows what relationships it will help build with those around us!

As I've been spending more and more time outside, I have felt myself more motivated. I've felt empowered. I feel like I'm able to do more than I've given myself credit for in the past.

I think that some women have the mindset that they are less-than. And once we meet our "other half," we are able to be productive and live full lives. I have been in that camp of people before. What I have found over the years is that I actually feel more confident when I'm single than when I'm seriously dating someone.

I'm not sure exactly why that is, and I'm not sure the "why" is important. The cool thing is that because I'm single now, I find myself pushed to accomplish things that otherwise my "other half" might do for me. And in these moments of independence, I feel strong and smart and a different kind of joy.

So over the next few months, as I establish spots of peace and tranquility here in New Rome, I am excited to see what God has for me. And my mom. And our neighbors.

For those of you who are interested in a more detailed update of what is going on here in Ohio, please email me at

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lost in Ohio

Okay, well.... I'm not really lost.

But, I have been preoccupied for the last month. Family. Unpacking. Cleaning. Organizing.

The whole nine yards.

Plus.... We don't have internet and my computer cord is busted.

So, needless to say, blogging has been a goal about halfway down a list of many goals for the near future. The list also includes (in no particular order):

- Being 100% unpacked and settled in
- Tightening up and doing some dreadlock maintenance
- Painting my bedroom furniture
- Listing my grandma's dolls on Ebay to help her sell them
- Getting our garden going (this is something that I have been actually able to work on)
- Sending letters to dear friends in VA
- Sending a postcard to the school I worked at in VA
- Helping my mom organize her house (Definitely feel like I'm living in an episode of Clean Sweep!)

And that is maybe 1/3 of it... but I will spare you :)
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Needless to say, once my computer is up and running, getting back on track with my blog will definitely be a priority. Until then, I am taking one day at a time, and enjoying the moments with my family.

**If you would like to have access to regular updates on what is going on in Ohio, please let me know and I can give you more information.**

Until next time,


Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Beef Cows" Don't Go on Vacation... They Die


(Told in six scenes)

Once upon a time, I was traumatized by my mother. Well, if we're honest, I was traumatized by my mother repeatedly. Take for example when I innocently asked her what a tampon was. That conversation left me in tears and vowing never evereverevereverever to have sex. Ever. This is not that story, though. That will come at a later time, because I actually just now remembered that it even happened. And, it is quite funny. So, why not share it with the public?

This story is about how I came to know the difference between a cow raised for beef and a cows raised for milk. I am not sure the technical, rural farm terms. I just call them "Beef Cows" and "Dairy Cows." If I'm incorrect, don't judge me. If I'm right, by all means, please praise me openly in public with confetti and parades.


Scene 1 gives some background for the typical relationship that I would have with "my" cows.

I grew up across from a cow farm. Every once in a while, I would get brave and cross our street to feed the cows a blade or two of grass. Then I would get grossed out as they cleaned out their noses with their long, slimy tongues and make a sound that was a cross between a wretch and a scream and sprint back to the safety of my yard.

I felt like me feeding the cows meant that we bonded. Sometimes the cows would go on vacation for a while, but then they always came back to eat my long blades of grass and taunt me with their booger-tongues.

Scene 2 is a conversation with my mother.

I'm not sure what age I was when I declared to my mom that I had named one of the cows "Buster." She went along for a few moments with me. Then, she quietly told me that the cows that I grew up mooing to and feeding grass were probably not the same cows that I saw before they went on vacation.

In my innocence, I thought, "Oh, poor mom. She just doesn't know things like I do. Poor thing. I will just try to show her that they are the same cows."


Scene 4 is my mission to inform my mom.

All the cows had tags on their ears. I knew that these were like a name-tag that you would wear on the first day of school, except at school, they didn't make you wear your name-tag as an earring.

I thought that if I could just make a cow be best friends with me, then she would see that the same cows live at the farm for always. Just like us. Except they didn't have a tree house. That would just be silly.

So, I braved crossing the street.

I went over to feed the cows a few blades of grass. I started referring to them by the numbers on their earrings.


Scene 5 is another conversation with my mother.

Although an entire year hadn't gone by, I wanted to make sure that my mom knew that I was about to help teach her something. My mom was my mom. She was an adult. Adults don't always like it when kids tell them that they are wrong. So, I wanted to prepare her for the situation to make it less awkward. It was the right thing to do, right?

Me: "Hey, Mommy. I have something to tell you."

Mom: "Okay."

Me: "Remember how you told me that the cows are different when they come back?"

Mom: "No."

Me: "You did."

Mom: "Okay."

(Clearly my mom had been just as concerned about this topic as I had)

Me: "Well, I am going to show you that they are the same cows."

Mom: "But, they're not. You can't show me that because they are completely different cows."

Me: "They are NOT! They are my cow friends!"

Mom: "Maybe these are your cow friends, but then they go away, and they don't come back."

Me: "No they don't! Friends don't do that!"

Mom: "Honey, we need to talk."


Scene 6 is me being traumatized.

My mother decided that it was her duty to keep me informed. In that moment, she made a decision that scarred me for years. Well, okay, that's not true. The truth was that it only freaked me out for a day or two, but in the moment, it felt like I was going to be sad forever.

My mom said, "You know how when we grill hamburgers and those taste good? Or when we stop and get fast food? Or when we have steak and baked potatoes? That is beef."

She paused to give me a moment to process.

"Where do you think beef comes from?"

Me: "From beef."

Mom: "Right. But, beef is made of something. Like how mashed potatoes are made from potatoes. Beef is meat. It comes from an animal. Do you know what animal?"

Me: "No....."

At this point, a dim lightbulb was being lit. I was starting to get it, but not ready to admit where she was going with all this "beef comes from animals" talk.

Mom: "Beef comes from cows. The cows across the street are not 'Dairy Cows,' that we get milk from. If cows are not 'Dairy Cows,' then they are 'Beef Cows' and we eat them."

Pause for processing.

Mom: "Are you understanding what I'm saying?"

I understood.

I swore off beef for the rest of my life. That lasted about a week.


And that is how I learned that "Beef Cows" don't go on vacation. They die. And then I eat them.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tick Tock...

Twelve Days. Twelve short days until I embark on a new journey. It seems like just a few short months ago, I was moving to Lynchburg to start over. My plan was to attend grad school and enjoy the mountains. God's plan was so much bigger.

He needed to mend old wounds. He needed to show me Himself in all aspects of life. He needed to walk me through messes, mistakes and sin. He needed to reveal to me that I wasn't truley His. He needed to show me what it was to stop running. He needed to show me love.... friendship.... surrender.

And boy, did He ever!

So, now I am moving back to Ohio not defeated as though things didn't work out here in Lynchburg, but as a New Creation. I am not the same person that I was when I came here. I belong to My Creator, My King, My God. I am His daughtor.

And maybe Ohio is colder and flatter and it doesn't have quite as many any mountains.... but it's where He told me to go. And so I'm going and holding onto His promises, expecting miracles and opportunities to give away what was given to me.

In 15 months, He has changed me, and I am forever grateful.

As my time here draws to a close, I am finding that He is showing me how to tie up loose ends and have the conversations that need to be had. So that I can drive out of this town with the knowledge that I did my best to honor Him in all areas of my life- including moving back to Ohio.

I will be cherishing every person, every hug, every inside joke, every opportunity and taking nothing for granted.

Lynchburg, you have been good to me. So very good.

You will always be a special part of "home" for me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Are You Willing?

A few weeks ago, my church had a service dedicated to celebration and worship. Baptism. Just typing that word makes me excited. And hopeful. And honestly, a little weepy.

This is from my baptism in September, 2012.
Baptism to me is more than getting sprinkled with water, more than going for a quick dip in a tub or pool of water. It is taking a step of obedience in front of our community. It is continuing in the obedience that God has called us to. It is an incredible thing to watch, especially at my church. If you haven't ever been to Blue Ridge Community Church, take a second and click on this link. It will send you to one of the services that just took place.

Because I serve on the Praise Team at our church, I had an opportunity to serve at all three services. I got to bear witness to story after story of life change and freedom. It was a beautiful thing.

Not too long ago, I stood on that very stage and told my story. I was scared and excited and overwhelmed. The feeling afterwards was incredible, though. Because I had finally surrendered my life to God, I needed to also step out and make my decision public. I was taking a chance and putting myself out there. There were a lot of insecurities that were involved in the process, but ultimately God made it clear that I was doing exactly what He wanted me to and exactly the right time.
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While I was watching these stories, God spoke to me in true "Abba Father" form. He showed me myself in all of their stories. Showed me their sacrifice. Showed me their boldness. Showed me their courage. Then He showed me who He was and where He was in all of it: in control.

These are the words God spoke to me: "I know sacrifice. I know what it is to let go of something that I care about. I know what it is to say goodbye. I understand completely what I am asking of you, and I am asking, 'Are you willing?'"

This was a new step. He already knew that I was being obedient and moving back to Ohio. He knew that I was packing thing after thing. He knew that I sold my furniture and threw things away. He saw me and what I was doing.

But, now He is addressing the condition of my heart. Where is my heart in this? Is He going to need to drag me kicking and screaming back to my family? Is He going to need to put me in my place time and time again as I try to make my own plans and have my own agenda?

Or am I going to go willingly?
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How many times in our lives do we begrudingly do the things that we know we are supposed to do, but complain along the way? Doing the chores our parents ask us to, but complaining the whole time. Apologizing to someone we hurt, but hiding pride and bitterness.

Moving to Ohio to love and serve my family, but crying and complaining as I pack and say goodbye.

I am not saying that's where my heart is, but that's definitely where it was headed.
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Poverbs 4:20-27: "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
Above everything that we do, we need to pay close attention to the condition of our heart. Everything. Every. Thing. Everything we do is a result of what we allow in our hearts.
This includes doing dishes, and apologizing and moving to Ohio.
Maybe Ohio is boring. Maybe I will feel useless. Maybe Certainly it will be colder than VA.
But as I go, I need to make sure my heart is soft to what God is saying and free from anything that will hinder my ability to fully glorify Him.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Leaving on a Jetplane?

My efforts to stay on top of writing on this blog and continue to process through what God is showing me were taken over by a big life event.

The event itself is twofold:

1. My Grampy started his battle with mesothelioma about a month ago. The news itself was not a shock to me, which I credit to years of watching medical-related TV show (thank you, Shonda Rhimes) and symptoms which I suspected pointed to cancer. But, it is still difficult to picture someone that has always appeared strong and invincible as strugglng and weakened.

All my bag are packed... I'm ready to go... (Well, almost)
2. I have decided to move back to Ohio. This was a long and complicated decision, but surprisingly not a hard one to make. Why? Because I can trace back how God has been preparing my heart for the past year (yes, year) to go back and love on my family. At first I wrestled with feelings of sadness and grief over leaving people that are so close to my heart. But then as God comforted me and began confirming over and over again that this was the thing He had for me, I began to get excited.

3.5 weeks from now, I will be rejoining my family in Ohio. I will begin a New Journey as a New Creation sharing New Love. I will be seeking community, and clinging desperately to the God that I now can call Abba Father. And I know that He is going before me in all this- every last step of it- to prepare a way for me to do the things that He is asking of me.

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I am so reminded of the passage in Matthew 28, when Jesus commissions His disciples out to share the things that they experienced and to reproduce themselves:

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

I went to Virginia, where God told me to go. I became His daughter and learned to worship Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Now God is asking me to follow Him in this and give away what He has given me. And there is a little fear and uncertainty. But, He is with me. Always. He is by my side in all of this.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Life Changed.... A Little Bit More

Man. It has been quite a weekend so far.

Friday, I was at church all day at a conference geared towards pastors and leaders in the ministry. God really opened my eyes in a deep, deep way.

Friday night, I went to bed and just prayed that God would show up again.I signed up to pray in our prayer room at 8am, so I would finish just as it was time for the conference to start.

I went into the room a little hesitantly. I knew that big things happened for other people during their "prayer room" time in the past. What if nothing big happened in mine? What if I fell asleep? What if I couldn't hear God say anything? Obviously, my mind was all over the place.

What a relief when I got in the room and one of the first things that it prompts you to do is to set your stuff down and just take a few moments to surrender the things that might distract you from God. As I sat on the couch, and just surrendered my thoughts, I felt the weight lifted off of me, and was able to focus (which is not easy for me in any normal situation).

As I made my way around the room, I felt God piggy-backing off what He had done yesterday. He gave me a very clear order to begin inviting Him into all the moments of my life. So, I was intentional about keeping that posture with Him.
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When I got about halfway around the room, I felt it. That feeling when you know that God is about to speak. I felt Him speak into me the answer to my prayer when I invited Him into all the parts of my life.

He reminded me of people in my life that have walked me through the hard things (and some of them are still doing this), and the love that I felt from them. Then He told me, "That is how I want you to spend your time; loving those that are difficult to love. You need to give it away. Love those people that are making big steps towards freedom."

There were a few areas that came to mind, but that isn't important. What's important is this: I know for a fact that these promptings were not me. I know it was God. Why is that? Because I, in my own strength, do not like (or love) people enough to desire to love them.

Specific actions in my past allude to this, but since I fully surrendered my life to God a few months ago I have found that my love for people has been blossoming. I find myself wanting to pour into people where in the past, I haven't. My heart burns for women walking through those really hard steps towards a new freedom. I actually can't wait to give away the things that God is showing me and doing in me. That is got to be the Lord.
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I don't know all the things God is going to do with what He just did in me, but I sure am excited to do it!

I'm just thankful that He keeps moving and working in me, and that He loves me enough to redeem me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Life Changed

My life was changed today.

And before you think, "Oh, Lindsay-Marie.... so dramatic.." I'm not exaggerating. I literally went into a building and came out completely different. Changed.

I found out a few weeks ago that our church was hosting a conference on prayer. I wasn't sure why I was supposed to go, but I knew I needed to be there. So, I let me boss know that I wouldn't be in and I bought a ticket. I showed up with simple expectations: that God would show up.

As soon as the day started, I could feel it: God was stirring something up in me. My mind and heart were completely taken over by specific things that stuck out to me. I scribbled them all down so I wouldn't forget them, knowing that I could read them later and try to process through what the thing was that God was trying to show me.

I might share those things later after I process through them. But, it's not the quotes that are important. What's important is what God did in my heart through them.
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We had people that shared about how they saw prayer transform their ministry area. People shared about how transformed their lives and those around them through prayer. One of the speakers was sharing about how prayer has affected her specific area of ministry and God got me all excited about who He is. His power. His faithfulness. His goodness. His consistency. How big He is. His righteousness. His majesty. He used specific things that have been happening in my life to remind me of who I know Him to be, because I have experienced it first hand.

Shortly after that, we broke off and prayed with our tables in different parts of the church. While my table was praying, God sent this jolt through my heart. It stung a little bit and shocked me.

This is what He said: "If you really believe those things about me, why are you not inviting me into the other areas of your life?" As He touched my heart, I repented of shutting Him out and trying to be my own God.

Because here's the thing... I love shouting proclamations of praise when God does something amazing and miraculous. I invite Him into those moments. I (like most) am also fairly quick to go to Him when I need something. But.... what about the in-between times? The things that seem mundane to me? The times that the choice is so simple that I decide that I can do it on my own.

But, what God said to me today is that He wants that too. He wants the boring stuff. He wants me to get up each day and for me to ask, "Okay, God. How do you want me to spend your time today. What do you want me to do to glorify You with each moment? How can I make today count for you?"
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So, we have one more day for this conference. I am going into tomorrow with the expectations the same. Simple. Just asking God to show up. And, I'm sure He will, like He always does.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You're Hired!!

What a weird twist of events the past two days...

Yesterday, I set up an interview for today at a preschool. Being a preschool teacher is my "fall back" job. It's something that I do well, and am well-qualified for. But, this teeny-tiny part of me felt going into the interview that being a preschool teacher again was taking a step back. But, I decided to go into it with an open mind.

I put on my best "preschool teacher-y outfit" and went in with confidence.

Upon arrival, I immediately felt at-ease. The preschool is set up in an older house, with each room set up as a different classroom. You can't help but feel comfortable there. Like going to your grandmother's house. It was nice.

The interview was seamless. The owner/director and I connected really well, and for a few moments I felt like I was gabbing with a girlfriend and not speaking with a prospective employer. That has proven to be a good sign in the past.
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Fast forward four hours. I was offered the job. In a measly twenty-eight hours, I lost a job and got a job.

But, in all of that, here is what I saw: God is incredibly big. He's so big, in fact, that He orchestrated me to find a job that would end after 3.5 weeks. Though the experience was short, it had many purposes. I met a coworker that pushed me to start to freelance. I also discovered my passion for social media management and marketing is a lot bigger than I thought. This job filled in a gap that bridged my nannying contract with a preschool job. A preschool job that wasn't available when I was looking.

I could go on and on about how I saw God in all of this, but the details aren't the point! The point is that He was in it. He always is. He's in everything, and in control.
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Last night during worship practice, we were given a time to listen to some mellow worship music and be encouraged by God. Something that God pointed me to was this:

Psalm 73:21-28
When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you. 
Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds. 

This passage was the very one that stirred my heart and moved me to come back toward God and His hear four years ago. It means a lot to me for a lot of different reasons.

One of the things that struck me last night was how God is the same God today as He was then. Four years ago, when I was coming out of a long bout of alcoholism and promiscuity and a string of bad choices, He opened my eyes and showed me that all I had was Him, and He was all I needed. Yesterday, when I was angry and sad and confused about losing my job, He comforted me and told me that He would take care of everything. He is still the same. He has never changed.  His word is still comforting and loving and has this way that it draws us closer to His heart. It’s satisfying and is a breath of fresh air and when we’re panting and exhausted from fighting the war against the enemy, He quenches our thirst and leaves us feeling replenished.

He’s the same. Always. Faithful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You're Fired!

Well, that's not actually what I heard, but it might as well have been.

So much has changed in the past few months. I'll sum it up in a sentence or two, how's that? I am now happily single and unemployed. So yeah, I guess I was able to sum that up fairly quickly.

Bitter? No.

Was I expecting this? Not in the least.

But, as most people end up saying: in the long run, I am better off.

The relationship just wasn't going to end up being a long-term thing. And, after three months of getting to know someone in a romantic way, no matter how much you care about them, you need to either.....ahem..... or get off the pot. I'm not saying that if you're still gaga over him, you need to get married, but at that point in a relationship, you know the person. And if you feel like it's not working out, break up. Simple. No need to drag it out and "try to make it work." Why? You're not married. If it's not gonna happen, it's not gonna happen.

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Now, onto the job situation.

I knew that my nannying days were numbered back in May or so. This part wasn't a surprise. (And man! I need to say that I miss those girls something fierce!)

What was a surprise is to be working for New Job for less than a month and to be "laid off" due to lack of work. I'm sorry, what?

I'll skip the drama and my hours of frustrated tears and cut to the chase: It just wasn't working out. In four months, the business I was working for will probably be doing a lot better and be able to support an addition staff member. Until then, he had to cut me loose. That's just the nature of business sometimes. I was the new kid in town, so I got the axe.

What's next, you ask?

I don't really have that answer. All I know is that God has given me a supernatural peace. I know He will provide the thing that He wants me to do. I know that all that He has led me through has been for a reason, and the break-up and getting laid off are no different. I'm just excited and eager to see what He's got up His sleeve.

For now, I am going to reassess, reorganize and rest.