Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beautiful Scars

Today I heard a great message that tied tick or treating and Halloween into the ways we are tricked, manipulated, and lied to by the enemy.  It's never EVER fun for me ( & I'd bet probably no one else) being lied to or manipulated.  The trouble I have is trust.  I'm an honest person, and I have very high standards for myself and others.  It's great for me, because I consider the standards I have placed for myself to be goals, values, ethics, and a way of life.  Unfortunately, every human being breathing WILL in fact let us down.  I'm no different.  I'm certain I can fail, disappoint, and let you down if you set expectations for me that I am impossible of reaching.  I lose trust when I'm mislead, manipulated, or blatantly lied to.  Tricked is a nice way of sugar coating it, but a master manipulator will ALWAYS convince you and me that they are correct and I always believe it.  Call me gullible, but I try to see the good in people and overlook faults.  God knows I have plenty of faults.

I set these standards for others unconsciously.  Then, days, months, or years later after a bond of trust is formed and that bond is broken I'm left wondering which way is up.  I think to myself, "It must have been this or that fault of mine."  I am at fault plenty, however there are times when I allow myself to be a doormat without realizing it, then wonder why I've been walked all over.  This should all be extremely elementary, right?  It's not for me.  I've been burned and I have scars.  My body is scarred and it used to bother me.  After my fifth surgery or so, I developed a different outlook.  A better one.   My scars are part of ME.  They always remind me of what I've been through and I'm proud to sport them after surgeries(I don't even buy mederma anymore).  It took me nearly twenty six years to realize that beauty is only skin deep and looks can be deceiving.  What's on the inside IS actually what counts.  Looks fade, but what's on the inside never dies.

Unfortunately I've recently been burned and not by accident.  It hurt.  In fact, it hurt more than I can express in words.  The great news is, the burns left scars and taught me lessons.  It only takes one time for me to be burned to learn not to play with fire.  As a young child at approximately age five, I touched a kersosene heater/stove and immediately removed my hand.  I cried for awhile and my mom doctored the wound.  However, she DID warn me.  Don't touch the heater or you WILL get burned.  I never did it again.  I never dreamt I would later be burned in life as an adult.  I mean, I learned this lesson at five (or so I thought I did).  I believe in the golden rule.  You all know it, but if you need reminding it states "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  I also believe that what goes around comes around and others who aren't genuine eventually show their true colors.  One of my favorite lyrics are "There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost, but you'll never reach the end of the road while you're traveling with me."

"Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart." Proverbs 20:30

This week has been a tough one.  I'm in the midst of a legal issue (and I'm not a non- law abiding citizen) that must be faced Thursday, a relative had a heart attack today, there are multiple factors in my blood that indicate health issues (another thing that must be dealt with Tuesday), and the finale was being laid off and my oldest son being bitten by a chipmunk (let's hope that chipmunk doesn't test positive for rabies). 

The GREAT news is, my skin is thicker than ever, and trust me this isn't because I'm a tanning bed veteran!  It gets BETTER!  My family member is alive and in great hands (the hands of many professional surgeons, doctors, and the ultimate healer whom I call God), I have a HUGE support system, my health issues are being identified in the near future (and taken care of by God), I still have a career, it's just not full time anymore.  That only means no health insurance after December 31st, and best of ALL my stress factor is going down. 

You have to understand first and foremost that I am NOT a victim.  I have battles like everyone else.  I also have choices.  Lay down, quit, give up, & die or take God's hand, get back up, brush off the dust, hold my head high, move on, and trust in my maker.  I firmly believe that God has a plan and great things will come.  I'm stronger than yesterday, able to have a day off to go to the doctors, and my heart is still beating.  I have SO MUCH to be thankful for and I am.  Believe me.  My family is more valuable than flawless diamonds, billions of dollars, and irreplaceable. 

God knew I needed a break, so to speak so he gave me one so I could put my focus where it needed to be all along.  Sure, I was burned, but the scar will heal in it's own time and I'll appreciate that scar and never forget where it came from, where I've been, what I've seen, and most importantly what I've lived through.  I think my scars were all beautifully created by being opened up, and sewn back together into one piece all while my God was guiding the highly skilled surgeons every step of the way.

"I will give you back your health and heal your wounds," says the LORD. For you are called an outcast--'Jerusalem for whom no one cares."Jeremiah 30:17

Tomorrow night is a BIG night for my precious boys!  The first night of trick or treating for my toddler, and the highly anticipated, sugar seeking search will begin for my seven year old immediately after school, as I now have career that allows me to embrace these priceless memories with the ones who have my heart.  I hope you all have a safe, fun, happy, & more importantly a memorable Halloween filled with candy, cuties, costumes, and moments that you can't put a price tag on!  Absorb every second of it!  I most definitely will!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Season of Change

It's Autumn where I live, which means that the leaves are constantly changing color & the wind is continuously blowing them off the trees. Some trees are gorgeous & colored with red, yellow, orange, green, and brown leaves.  The others are bare already. This time of year is time for hayrides, bonfires, pumpkins, Halloween, warmer clothing, & more cooking (I'm not one of those people who cook more often when the weather changes).  Others I have  known (and some I still know) have changes in moods when the seasons change.  I don't understand it, but I do understand that we were all made to be different!  I myself LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be unique.  There is no one on this earth I'd rather be!  Autumn symbolizes change to me.  Change in the weather, scents, & scenes!!

Change in life is inevitable.  I know that whether the situation you are currently in is good or bad, it WILL change.  I've needed reminding of this lately.  However, I'm not one that adapts to many rapid changing situations all at once. I've been known to over analyze a situation,  lose precious sleep, forget to eat, and even break out with a nice pimple when things many things are changing at a rapid pace.  Change is part of life.  It always has been and always will be. Those are the cards I've been dealt and I will do my best to make the most with the cards I have. 

I love to shop, read, write, bike, run, spend quality time with my family, take photos (I can't ever have enough photos, because in my eyes photos remind us more vividly of memories we might otherwise forget), learn, and grow as a better and smarter person.  These are the things I focus on when the winds of change blow my way.  I turn to God first and foremost, and trust in him. 

"Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world"   1 John 4:4

I'm not the most patient person in the world.  I'm a perfectionist, analytical, and pretty high strung.  It's hard for me to be patient with certain changes.  I'm a mommy and as patient as I can be with my children, but they are children.  I'm not as patient with adults.  I'm the kind of person (as bad as I hate to admit this) that wants it done yesterday, wants answers now, and really don't care too much for excuses. 

I've learned that "good things come to those who wait." A very famous preacher by the name of Charles Stanley once said "If you aren't going through a storm then prepare now, because storms will come your way."  After every storm, a rainbow usually always follows.  I believe in rainbows, happy endings, love, peace, and I am certain that it's time for a change of pace in life.  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  I live for the weekends with my family!  May God bless you all and happy Autumn!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Motivation mixed with inspiration & determination = SUCCESS

I believe you should smile as much as possible.  You never know what someone else is going through and just how much a smile might brighten or make their day.  Laugh multiple times daily.  I laugh at myself often.  I think it’s better to laugh than to cry.  Laughter is, in fact, the best medicine and it cures all ailments.  It’s also changing your mood, and others love to be around positive, happy people.  Tell those friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances how much you care about them.  They can be taken from you in an instant and no one is guaranteed another breath or another tomorrow.  Don’t tell God what’s wrong, but instead thank him for all of your blessings.  The truth is we ALL have so much to be thankful for!  Yes, things can always be better.  However, things can always be worse! Life can be much, MUCH worse.  What if we woke up tomorrow with only the things we thanked God for today?  I read that question once and it really put my perspective into place.  I’m only human, but I do my best to thank God for all my many blessings and humbly ask him to help me to be a better person, a witness, a messenger of his word, and someone who is Christ-like.  It’s hard, but to me I can never stop trying to be a better person.  I always have room to grow, room for improvement.
I’m a runner and my first attempt at running was so pathetic that I won’t share it with you!  I ran three times that cold winter in the month of December.  I ran three consecutive nights expecting to get better, faster, stronger, and further within only THREE DAYS!  I got mad at myself when my legs hurt from pounding the pavement, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the wintry air in my lungs, and I just wasn’t getting it.  Had I been easier on myself, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what transpired of my quitting for three months. 

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
In March 2011, friends were talking about doing a ½ marathon, which is 13.1 miles.  I thought to myself that I would never be able to do it.  More than one doctor had told me that due to my asthma I would never be able to do anything like that of an athlete and they all told me to quit.  What they didn’t know was that my personality is to “show them” when people tell me I can’t do something.  I don’t believe in “I can’t.”  You never know until you try. 
March 2011 I decided to try again.  I got my motivation from three friends.  Two friends who discouraged everyone saying we would never make it.  Again, that fuels my determination and my perfectionism attitude.  The third friend had never run in her life.  We were able to run 13.1 in just eight weeks!  One of my favorite quotes is “Pain is temporary.  Quitting lasts forever,” Lance Armstrong.

"He guards the steps of his faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness, for no one succeeds by his own strength."  1 Samuel 2:9

None of the discouragers ever told us things like “We knew you could do it,” or “That’s an incredible accomplishment.”  You see, they never believed in us in the first place.  The others didn’t even attempt it.  They said they were going to in the beginning, and I think around ten people signed up to do it.  FOUR actually DID it, one of which did it because we encouraged her even though she was not trained.  Guess what?  We all finished!  My next goal?  A full marathon of course!  Say I can’t do it.  I’ll show you that I can or I’ll die trying.
Don’t give up on your dreams.  As long as you believe in yourself and put your life in God’s hands, you can do anything you want to do.  ANYTHING!  “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”


Friday, October 21, 2011


"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections."

Things aren't always what we think they are.  Being of human nature, I generally like things to go my way.  I too am selfish. I'm not opposed to other's ways, but I'm referring to my choices and decisions. However, sometimes it takes a disaster of a day or a week for me to refocus, put things in their true perspective, and to hear and see God's way.  I tend to forget that God's way is the best way even when I think I have it all figured out, scheduled, planned, and taken care of.  Guess what?  I don't.  

I was reminded of this several times in the past two weeks.  Life has me spinning lots of plates and wearing a bunch of different hats these days.  It's next to impossible to do without assistance.  I know, I know... That's my sign.  The determined person I am tells me to keep trying, keep going, don't give up, and that I should be able to do it all by myself.  It's only when I try to maintain what already is, take on new duties, & over-extend myself in every direction I know, that I realize I can't always do it.  I'm sure this is a lesson from God telling me to rely solely on him.

My life is so much easier knowing that God has it all taken care of, figured out, scheduled, and planned already.  I know this.  It's just hard for me to give him everything always.  Some situations are simple to hand on over to him.  It's the ones I think I can control & that I know what's best,  that are the hardest.  I do believe God is working in me to not only make me a stronger christian, but to make me stronger period.  

My heart has a strong desire to help others in need and to be a good example.  God opened my first international mission trip door this past summer and I traveled to Honduras, El Salvador, & Guatemala.  This trip was life changing, but it didn't settle the urge to help others.  It made the urge to help others stronger!
Recently, I have been looking into local mission opportunities and seeing what my schedule will allow.  It's exciting to me to know that I can help a fellow human, be there to listen, tell them about God, etc and come home to my family in the same day!  Have a wonderful day!  I am going to and I'm also going to thank God for what blessings he has given my family and I as opposed to telling him what all I need his help with and what all I would like.  I choose to be happy and to see the good things in life!

Hebrews 13:16 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.