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I was first ‘saved’ a few years ago and surrendered my life to Jesus.  As I’ve continued my path to become a better and better Christian woman, yes….I still have my struggles and understand I likely always will.  The blessings are that most of them are changing and new struggles emerge.  When I thought about surrender, I thought….yes, I’ve surrendered my life to God. In my mind it was almost like a checklist item…yes, I’ve done that.  As the months and years have gone by, I see myself trying to grab the steering wheel from God to put things in my own control.  Of course, that’s when I’m least joyful…yet I still try it every once in a while.  Much of this control issue after ‘surrendering’ I find is linked to trusting the Lord.   Yes, we all say we trust the Lord.  But, when the check is a little bit less or later than usual, do you get that anxious twitch in your stomach or side?  Does your chest tighten a little?   How long do you stay that way?  Do you recognize that it’s happening?   When you get into a relationship that is going well, and then you get anxious about it.   How long does it take you to realize what your mind is doing to the relationship?  Where is God in that?  Whatever it is that is your ‘hot button’, how long do you stay in fear or anxious over it?

What I’ve come to realize is that surrender isn’t a one-time offering.   The days I’m most joyful, feel I’m living more purposefully and have the most peace are the days I remember to surrender myself to the Lord in the morning.   To declare to Him that I trust him with everything in my life.   I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  I don’t just exist and think God’s going to get me to work, although, He will get me there safely.  Our responsibility is still to take action, but to do so in faith.

There is a LOT rolled into surrender and trust, isn’t there?  I would ask you if you have stress and/or fear in your life, are you putting on the whole armor of God every day?  We are not strong standing as an island.  Our strength comes from God and we can ask for it.  He will build you up.

For me, the biggest battle by far goes on in my head.   Negative or incorrect thoughts….projecting thoughts into the future which makes no sense.   There is a lot to be said for living in the present moment with total faith.  In order to maintain joy and peace in the face of society today, I strongly recommend using all the tools at your disposal.  I think many of us pray and read Scripture.  How often do you read Scripture out loud?  Our words are very powerful.  We can use them to protect ourselves and to strengthen our armor.

Try putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6: 13-17). If you don’t currently arm yourself with any, start with one or two pieces.  Start reading Scripture…then move into adding prayer…living more and more righteously….I bet you see that your life and your trust grows creating more harmony within you.   It will affect your relationships with everyone and more of satan’s darts will bounce off.   Once you’re more protected, beware of your weaknesses….satan’s a lion and will jump the moment you’re not squarely facing him, ie: be watchful.

I make the above observation because when I get lazy in putting on my own armor, my mind goes places it has no business going and it affects all of my relationships and my quality of life.   The moment I move back into my Bible reading, using my promise book to read Scripture excerpts out loud, pray, and do my best to live more and more as God wants a Christian woman to live…..my mind turns into a very calm and peaceful place.  I guess you could say that whatever shoes I’m wearing turn into my “shoes of peace”.

The goal of my posting is to encourage those that are having stress and anxiety to relieve those feelings.  They are so harmful in so many ways, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.   It is also to help you recognize when you feel anxiety and fear, how to find trust in the Lord.  I recognize this isn’t like turning on a switch but through faith and the armor of God, you can get there.   It took me about 8 months to lose my financial fear when I was going through divorce.  When I feel a twinge of financial anxiety, I recognize it quickly and turn to the Lord to get rid of it and trust that He is taking care of me.  I am very far from perfect and hope to encourage anyone in fear.  I understand and wish you blessings and pray for you.

I leave you with a quote from my favorite Casting Crowns song, “Just Be Held”:  “Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place, you’re not alone stop holding on and just be held”.

Wishing you peace, love, perfect health, joy, faith, trust, surrender, blessings, and tons of laughter!!!

Remember, God made you and loves every bit of you.

CD

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It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I have been inspired and then felt that the ‘lesson’ was not complete and then inspired, and then not ‘complete’ so I’m just going to pick this up where it’s at!  I know I’ve written on setting boundaries in my life before.  I’ve also written about where is God’s boundary and does he have one and the differences of opinion on that.

Today I’m revisiting boundaries in our lives.   I have been very blessed through prayer, experience, and spoken verses from the Bible to have received emotional healing of childhood wounds I thought were already healed.   Apparently, forgiving someone does not equal personal healing and is just the first step.  Silly me.  I had not realized that I was interacting with people looking to be validated in my life, especially with men.   However, this experience was true for most of my personal relationships.

An interesting dynamic starts to show itself when you begin to realize as the son or daughter of God, you are already valid.  Not only do you no longer seek validation, you also gain self respect.   In gaining this self respect, your interaction with historical relationships may begin to change.   Behaviors you once found acceptable or allowed you no longer tolerate in your life.   I find my reaction can be strong or defensive if I’m not self aware.   It appears as if three of my close friends overstep boundaries that I never recognized before.  It has caused me to pray and ask the Lord if I’m bringing these reactions into my life or if it is just a matter of recognizing the inappropriateness of behaviors.   I prefer not to lose friends but find it necessary to establish new boundaries of what is acceptable.   I am a firm believer in you are responsible for what you allow in your life.  I think with an approach of love things will work out….and of course prayer.

I’d be curious if others have had this experience and what typically happens…..do you develop new friends or do existing friends adjust to your newly ‘framed’ self?

This blog is nothing but consistent: relationships and God.  The interesting dance of how relationships can bring you closer to God and how God can clarify and form relationships….and change your perspective.

As a woman born in the Northeast US, I had some ideas of what the man I want to marry might be like.   My marriage that is now ended was one where I was co-dependent.   Now that I have come through that and have a relationship with Jesus, that picture has changed significantly.  Even now, I am finding lessons in my ideals versus what I could and should be looking for in a partner.

In this recent blizzard, I was left alone.  My “boyfriend” (I quote it becuase he’s a grown man) said he’d rather stay in his apartment than be here to help me.  Knowing we were likely to get about 30″ of snow and potentially lose power, I was very hurt.  Now that I’ve come through the storm and he obviously feels like a worm at this point seeing what it was like and that there was a travel ban so he could not come to help me…..what a different place I view that relationship from.   I have been praying and mulling over how uncared for I felt…feel.   I made it through last winter alone and was fine.   Which brought my mind to, “when I was alone”….so now what am I?  Not alone?   Yes, you can imagine a slight pity party in my head, can’t you? Luckily, I don’t allow myself to stay in self pity for very long.   However, this did make me look at my relationship with a whole new perspective.

Is it fair to expect a man to be my rescuer?  I think to some extent, yes.  A man’s love is demonstrated through actions.   However, if his apology is real, genuine, and he was truly being a block head for a moment, then what?   Is it devastation that I couldn’t count on him?  Is it significant? Yes and no.   We will see how things go.   I’m hurt, disappointed, but mostly, very pensive.    If this life truly is a temporary assignment before eternity, then how much does all of this matter?  It matters more, I think, that the person has a relationship with Jesus.  It matters if he does think more about how to be a helpful and supportive partner.

Then, it came to this.  Who can I count on 100% of the time?  Me? another human being?  Not really.  The only one, Absolute entity I can count on 100% of the time, is the Lord.  And you can take THAT to the bank!

People will be what they are going to be.  We make decisions about who we have in our lives and how we can best serve our purpose here.  When you understand that God has you, it becomes SO much more important to walk with Him, closely. It matters to have a close relationship with Him and that you work on building that relationship every day.  God will be there long after this brief life we have here. Jesus will hopefully welcome me to Heaven.  Can you truly ask for anything greater?

Given that knowledge and when we start to walk more closely with God, I think we shed a lot of baggage.  We do not get ‘offended’; we realize that everyone is only capable of being who they are on their journey.   Expectations, whether we set them or someone else sets them for us…they drift away.   To a certain extent we become naked again.   No baggage, no pretenses….just you in front of Jesus wondering if you’re being the person He would want you to be.   Once you are standing there, raw, really seeing yourself, the other person becomes ‘naked’ as well.  You don’t look at what they say about themselves.  You observe their actions and who they are to you without expectation….just the thoughts and actions exchanged.   You stop judging them and you shed your expectations of them.

Then, through the emotional processing and prayer there is the blessing.  Knowing that you choose to walk more closely with the Lord and that only His love is never-failing, beautiful, graceful, and something to consistently strive to build inside you and in your life.

How can you be angry with someone that builds your faith? I don’t think you can.

Wishing you perfect health, love, joy, laughter, and knowing your purpose in this life.  God bless!

CD1

Today I am writing about boundaries.  There are two contexts in which I present them.  The first was based on a wonderful service given at church by an engineer. The way he framed and asked where your boundary is with regard to your faith established a wonderful platform to discuss boundaries.  After the service, my beau and I were discussing where our boundaries are as far as how far spread the Lord’s reach is.  He believes that about 1% of things are random.  I was very engaged at the thought.  As far as my faith, I believe nothing is random; there is no luck; there is no karma…..everything in the past, present, and the future God knows and either allows or is part of.  This then begs the question, how could He allow AIDS, ALS, Ebola, natural disasters, plane crashes, etc.?  The way I frame it is that I think there’s more to it in the large scale of things that we couldn’t possibly understand. I don’t understand a sick child or the death of a child and it pains me beyond comprehension.  However, I have to believe that child is with the Lord, in a much better place and I pray for the comfort of those around the family suffering.  So by saying that I do not believe in randomness…is not to say that I do not feel for those suffering.   I want to be clear about that and have you in my heart in prayer.

However, what I did learn is that my border doesn’t exist when it comes to the Lord; where my beau’s is 1% less than infinity.  Learning about our perspectives and faith definitely helps me to understand where we differ when we speak of or discuss our faith.  It was inspiring to think about how I think about the Lord and whether or not there are either limitations or anything that is not in His control.

The second context of boundaries is setting them in relationships. I believe this is also related to the rescuer behavior and bursts of anger but I’ll explain that towards the conclusion.

I have had several friends talk to me about being ‘offended’ by people in their lives. Our Pastor speaks about never letting anything come between you and another Christian.  Let things go and don’t be offended or hold a grudge.  I believe that and it struck me deeply.

I will use myself as an example related to setting boundaries.  I have a friend who has been ‘saved’ for decades, unlike me, the newbie, not even three years yet.  The two of us have a lot in common.  She is quite gabby which I believe comes from unhealed emotional wounds, but I digress.  When we get together we tend to be very close and intense and then in a mater of anywhere from two weeks to three months, we blow up.  After a couple of episodes of this, I’ve observed that if I take a step back when I feel the relationship getting really close again…it resets things back to where we’re excited to see each other and happy.  I now set very clear boundaries around this friendship and I’m able to love her more consistently and stronger and be a better support to her in her life and faith.  She is a lovely person whom I pray heals her wounds of many years.

This is not the first time I’ve had to set boundaries with people in my life and I find I have more peace and love in my life since I’ve observed and made changes.

Enough about me……Observations:  I have one friend who has been a very supportive and loving friend to another woman who is much younger. That younger friend is, well, let’s just say, running back to the flame that burned her already for four years.  Now that she’s running back to that flame, she doesn’t want to hear about what’s best for her because she knows it, yet hasn’t grown or matured enough to make better decisions for herself.  As you can imagine, she’s suddenly distant to the woman who has listened and supported her for years related to this same issue.  So there are at least two frustrations if I put myself in my friend’s shoes. First, she’s listened and supported this friend for years yet after a hopeful few months of separation, she’s drinking from the poisoned well again.  Second, the blatant and quick separation makes my friend wonder if she was ever really her ‘friend’.  The other woman is younger and rebelling.  She’s never had a mom figure in her life before so my friend is the mom she’s rebelling against, I think.  My friend is intelligent, beautiful, faithful, and would guide anyone on a virtuous and healthy path, like a mom would.  So what now?  What is there to learn from this?  Observing this behavior, I recommend my friend create a little distance and not just jump back into the ‘mom’ role which I know she won’t.  Rather than becoming offended, look at it as a learning experience.  Think about where to set boundaries with this relationship so you can consistently love this person, be supportive, but not be offended when she needs distance.  The most important learning here, I think, is understanding the dynamic and how to manage it so you don’t own other people’s actions.  Some people are blessed and can give and give and give a lot of themselves and are mature Christians to understand never to own other people’s actions.  Then there’s the rest of us…learning one step at a time how to be solid no matter what is going on around us.  Everyone has his/her journey and to respect that is a beautiful thing.

Now to circle back to the rescuer mentality and bursts of anger. The rescuer is the person that wants to help another and will be supportive.  Some rescuers do this to the point of overwhelming the subject they’re rescuing and some have a toned down version they exhibit.  However, the rescuer almost always gets offended, hurt, and angry when their subject does something different than their instruction or falls back into the same situation because they are personally invested in the act of saving the subject.  If they took their personal investment out of it, then the offense doesn’t happen or not for long, and they’re likely not surprised the moth has flown back to the flame now that it’s not personal.  They can observe the subject’s patterns.

So where does the anger come from?  Whether you’re a rescuer or not, when you allow people to treat you badly, is it really them that you’re angry with?  Or are you truly angry at yourself for not setting healthy boundaries to not allow people to treat you badly?  I know I’ve written on this subject a few times so I won’t go deeply into it…but I invite you to consider this as food for thought.

Big deal, so what? Boundaries?  I was inspired to write this because when I experience the same topic surfacing through relationships repeatedly, then it inspires me to help others that might struggle with this same topic.  I only wrote about one friend but honestly, I’ve had at least five friends tell me about similar circumstances in the past two weeks.  Is there a call to action for everyone?  Maybe.  Do you have a relationship that is trying or where you may not have harmony?  If you set a healthy boundary, could you then maintain a better, more consistent relationship with that person, even if it means some distance here and there, or even frequently?

I hope this helps someone and I pray for your happiness, health, and faith!
May every day be filled with laughter and joy!!

God bless,
CD1

If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I have come a long way to get fear out of my life.  I have full trust in God with my life and hope that I get out of my own way to see what I’m supposed to be doing while here in the physical…what is the work He wants me to be doing.   I’m still unclear but face life with an open heart, open mind, open ears, and open eyes in the expectation that it will be revealed to me.

Well! Just when I thought fear left my life I realize that there may be different ‘houses’ where you have to address fear and grow and let go of it.   I am no longer fearful when it comes to money as I know God takes the best care of me and I am taking action to do my best.

I am no longer fearful as a single woman and can be happy.

I am not fearful about any part of my life for the most part.

AND THEN……………..

I get into a relationship and the fear demons leap into me.  What is THAT?  I didn’t even know it and here I am….fear based instead of love based in a relationship?  Now that doesn’t make any sense.  For some reason this quote caused that reality to hit me between the eyes from the Bible Gateway daily passage: “[Living in the Light] Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.  He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

And it struck me….when you think about it..the poor man I’m with!  Here I am being fear based and not love based.

Every day I’m learning more about what it means to be a better Christian, a better woman.  And now I see that when life puts you in a different situation…check in and make sure you’re coming from love and not fear.   I have to do some praying on this for sure and hope that I can make that shift or I have no business being in a relationship at all.

Wishing you love, joy, peace, health, faith, and laughter and happiness…always!

CD1

Wet, Add Shampoo, Lather, Rinse, repeat until hair is squeaky clean.

It’s my thought that we continue to experience similar events in our lives until we learn from them….really learn with every cell in our body.  I am going to share something very personal for the sake of demonstration.  Please know that I have no animosity towards my mom and I know she was doing the best she could; she was likely not very happy with herself or her life or she would not have done this.  My example takes place between 6th – 8th grade.  At least three mornings a week my mom would wake up completely grumpy and send me off to school after screaming at me that I was fat, unattractive, and why would someone like me have any friends.  She would be really violent with her tantrum though never physically hurt me.

Now that I’m an adult I have choices.  I can resent her forever or I can understand how tortured she must have been to do that to her only daughter.   What I have taken from this are incredible gifts, though it has taken me years to process and truly forgive my mom.  I regret that I did not fully lose my resentment until much later in life because she is no longer here on Earth as of May 16th this year.  However, having come out of this experience and analyzed how it has affected my choices and behaviors, I have a gift.   I can relate and empathize with people that have come from worse hardship than I have.  I have a deeply felt compassion for people in emotional pain and sometimes I can help them.   I would not be the woman I am today if I did not have this experience.   I feel deeply and can establish a connection quickly with most people and enjoy learning about them.   I can’t imagine a bigger gift.

So why repeat?  It struck me that I am being attacked by my father’s girlfriend of 23 years with whom I was very close until about a year ago.  She has been criticizing me to my father every day for a large portion of the day; it’s become very prominent in the past two months.  It struck me today that this is very much a repeat of what my mother put me through years ago, though a bit less direct…yet still as hurtful.   And I realize now, that she must be in a lot of pain to lash out at someone who has been nothing but kind to her.  I have endured many an evening of too much wine when she might have insulted me or my family but assumed that wasn’t her real intention as she was more elaborately looking to build herself and her family up due to some lack she feels in her heart.

How large must her pain be to spend so much time in anger and hatred?  For me, as of this evening, I am feeling a great deal of compassion for her.  I have been praying for her but tonight and moving forward, my prayers will be even more heartfelt.    No, it doesn’t mean I’m going to subject myself to abuse; it does mean that I can look at her and the situation with a great deal of love and extend my heart to ask God to comfort and  heal her for whatever she is going through.  Her behavior, which I cannot control, has laid heavy on my heart and now….that weight has been lifted.  I am grateful for the learning and am happy that I don’t believe something like this will repeat in my life.   I am finally at peace with her actions.

If you have a source of pain in your life from someone else’s behavior, something you cannot control, maybe there’s a gift in that.   Maybe there’s a way you can be grateful and figure out how to heal yourself and find compassion.

This evening I experienced a significant shift in who I am and how I choose to live.  I thought maybe someone else out there might be helped by this post.  If so, I’m grateful and thank you for reading.

Wishing you love, compassion, joy, and peace…always.

CD1

Dating has been an interesting experience related to coming from love and loving oneself. The one person that I am really attracted to did not ask me out but I usually see him once a week at a common venue.
I asked him to go on a Segway tour at a local town by the ocean via email which he enthusiastically accepted. The next day we met at the usual venue where we did have our first kiss…which was really wonderful.
He ended up having to work instead of going on the tour with me and was very nice about it via text ending with, “please know that it upsets me to miss a great day with you”.
To which I texted back a flirty and very understanding email so not to make a big deal about it because really, there is nothing either one of us could have done about it. It was out of our control so you’re best accepting it and looking forward to the next time we can go out. However, I’ve not heard a peep from him since. I had expected at least a “thank you for understanding” text back. But no. And that’s fine.
The interesting part is what the brain did. The brain started a chatter of what does he think, does he like me, etc. And the fact that I did not hear from him ended up being the greatest gift. I was able to get myself back in balance and be sure that I am coming from a loving, not a needy place. I got back to my grounded statement – no one and nothing can determine my value, beauty, or who I am…and if the mind creates chatter giving something or someone that power, quiet the mind and take the power back.
So at this point….I can look forward to seeing him and know that I am loving and happy either way. If it works out and we move forward…great. If he is not interested or does not have the courage to move forward, then that’s all right, too. Everything is as it is and it’s beautiful.
So I am focusing on happiness, love and enjoying life.
Wishing everyone joyous bliss as every one of us is a gift and a blessing…love to all!!!
CD

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