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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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When I was a little girl and watched cartoons on saturday mornings with my brother, it was always a treat when we caught the Pink Panther.  One of the cartoons was the Ant and the Aardvark.  And every time I think of the voice, “Hey Ant”….it just cracks me up.  In case your’e not familiar with it….here’s a little youtube link for you: http://youtu.be/E_LX7_48oLA

So why Ant?  I had the recent experience of starting to deal with the financial end of my divorce….what he expects, what I expect…etc.   If you’ve not gone through it…don’t.  It’s not a lot of fun.  I had always gone into fear and small mode.   In this feeling I’m more of a victim that has to accept my circumstances or what the other person insists on having.   So when he emailed me yesterday that he wants to force the sale of the house, the house that I owned before we met that is now a bit upside down, I went into that same place and got fearful and very upset.   And as I sat there, soaking in my sadness, victimology, unempowered-ness…..I started to ask God what He wants of me.  And I felt this shift start to happen from the inside out.   I am not a victim.  I have no reason to be sad.   I am fully empowered and strong with God and Jesus in my heart.   Just because the ex says something does not make it true nor what will happen.  My mind went a lot of places I’m not really proud of for a little bit but then came back to grounding.  So I let go of all of the old response/reaction and embraced my new self who knows that I am fully taken care of and trust God implicitly…that He is showing me the path of what is the next best step for me.   And I am more than ok…I am peaceful.

I went to sleep very early last night so I was wide awake and bushy tailed at 4am.  Instead of leaping out of bed like I used to…I waited for wisdom and was thankful for all I have…and then…the next wonderful lesson came.  We face things all the time that seem like they rock our world; they are paramount in and to our existence.   When really if you take a step or two back from the situation…it’s a speck.   It’s a speck in time and a speck in the world.  It’s just a speck in God’s overall plans.  And you have to always know that you are going to come out of whatever situation it is..happier, healthier, and an overall better person, better equipped to help others that might face the same or similar challenges.    As my pastor once said, things don’t happen so you can say ‘so what’; they happen so THAT you can help someone else…..so that.   The difference between that little double-u and tee is huge.

I write this blog so THAT maybe someone else will find some strength in knowing he or she is not alone…that we all have our struggles…and no matter what…there is always love for you.  In the overall picture we are ants in a way…carrying our own world on our shoulders.  It’s important to remember that the struggle that feels like the world on our shoulders will seem no more significant than the size of an ant some day.   If you have a struggle and you’re able to…let it go, even if for a few minutes at a time…and know that you will be ok.  Having said that, I know there are many people going through health issues…my prayers for you and I wish you no pain, perfect health, laughter, blessings, and optimism.

Wishing you love, happiness, joy, grace, perfect health, and tons of laughter, 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

Election Day

I didn’t think much of it but struggled a lot for whom I would vote for.  Meanwhile in the background it’s been a roller coaster day and week, really.   I had one friend in the throws of what to do with her relationship call and literally vent/scream for a half an hour.  Another out of nowhere had a sudden outburst at me.  None of it was meant for me but I received a bit.  While the second hurt a bit only because now that I live without another human being, I’m not used to being yelled at….shocked me.

On a personal level…I found great comfort in a very competent recruiter that told me I am very marketable and gave me more optimism towards my next step in my career.

And…I voted for the opposite person I was going to vote for based on research and articles.  I’m frankly not crazy about the choices but felt I would at least make a vote that would quasi count given our electoral college.

Through the day I was reminded of so many things I’m grateful for.  As I left the voting area….I had a bit of a walk and I thought….it feels incredible to know I’m taking great care of my heart.  I was also thankful that I’m not having emotional turmoil in my life created by another or external forces.  Anything I feel is created by my own mind so why not create peace, beauty and optimism.

Last week I started to think about an ex bf.  I wondered why and I kept asking why for days.  Then, on Friday…there it was.  He texted me.  Turns out it was a huge gift to think about that relationship, why I’m not in that relationship anymore, and would I ever revisit that relationship?  No.  I would not.   He was not nice to me many times; he treated women as a commodity; and mostly, he broke some cardinal basic laws of humanity and overall caring of another human being’s life.  While I believe he was hurting from an ex gf, there were still larger problems under that foundation that would prevent any woman who at least likes herself to say, no thank you. I’m glad I did.

Surrounded by friends in emotional turmoil and an ex trying to weave his way back into my life made me thankful that I’ve learned to take care of my heart and keep it for someone who cherishes and loves me.  It also makes me thankful that I’m not in emotional turmoil and to pray for my friends peace and love and healing.

I’ve never stopped and thought about taking good care of my heart before.  This has been a first for me and the observation and experience is lovely.  I wish it for everyone and hope that I stay on the path towards healthy, full, deep love.

Wishing you peace, love, health, light, and inspiration….always.

CD1

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