Monday, February 01, 2016

Love

While watching Biggest Loser last night and hearing the story of one of the contestants, I was once again reminded that you just never know what people go through and what brings them to the place they are in. They could be the rudest, meanest, fattest, skinniest, happiest, well put together, falling apart person you have ever met and you have no idea what they have walked through and why they are those things on the outside.

My job often reminds me of this too. Patients come in and can sometimes be very rude or short tempered and when they check out or maybe by the next visit they have transformed into seemingly an entirely different person because they feel better.

We just don't always know what road people have walked or are walking. What pain they may carry around or regrets, guilt, shame, doubts, etc.

The specific story shared on Biggest Loser was of a mother whose son had gotten outside and drown in a pool while she was sleeping. What a devastating story and oh the guilt she is carrying around with her. I cannot even imagine and when I thought about that happening to us I just about lost it all together.

It reminded me of the quote we so often see and I actually posted on social media..."Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." ~original author unknown

Think about that. We have no idea what people are facing everyday. We have no idea the heartbreaks they are or have experienced. We have no idea. 

If we keep that in mind my hope is that we will love freely, even those who are unpleasant or not very easy to love.

After all..."But the greatest of these is love." 1Corinthians 13:13b

I am a firm believer that, as it says earlier in 1Corinthians chapter 13, in verse 8 "Love never fails." I believe this because I have seen in with my own eyes and in my own walk and in how God has called me to walk.

Love never fails. Love is what transformed my life. God's redeeming love and the love of fellow Christians (one in particular) who walked with me through some of my toughest days of healing and transforming (it did not happen over night and it was not a pleasant process, I was not a pleasant person).

I would not be the person that I am today had they given up and decided that I was too difficult, too unpleasant or too mean to love. Love never fails.

Christ's unfailing, unconditional love continues to be my rock to this day. He is always always there to love me especially when I am at my worst or when I am unlovable. 

What I have typically found is that those who are unpleasant are usually hurting in some way or have a need of some kind. They need love the most.

So I leave you with this...the Love Check

Read 1Corinthians 13:4-8 and all the places it says love, substitute in your name and see how well you stack up. Don't worry, noone really stacks up but it is a good way to check and see where you are in loving like Jesus.

It is a reality check for me EVERYTIME I do it!

Happy LOVE month! Let's make it a LOVE year!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Restarting

Oh how I love January.
The hypothetical RESET button of the year!
I love the opportunity it gives to take a collective breath and begin again so to speak.

I love to look back over the ending year and reflect on the ups and downs and look ahead to the clean, shinny, brand new year. 

Fresh with new possibilities and beginnings. I love the feeling of having a "clean slate" again, a place to start anew. 

This year as I look back on the year that is coming to a close I find myself thankful. I am thankful for the hard things that have taught me so much and have helped me to appreciate the good things. I am thankful for freedom and life. I am thankful again this year for the amazing husband that God shares with me and I am thankful that we walked through this past year hand in hand. I am thankful for our little boy who brings so much joy into our lives.

As I look ahead I cannot help but be excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. We will have a whole year of firsts with our little man and I know God has some new ministry things in store for us and I am so incredibly excited to see what He has up his sleeve. 

Each year I seem to find a word that encompasses that particular year...for 2015...LIFE

We had new LIFE breathed into us after a particularly life draining situation and we experience the birth of our son and the literal bringing of new LIFE. 

I feel that for 2016 the word/theme is NEW! 

I hope to use the flipping of the calendar into a new year as a Restarting point, a nice reset or place to begin. 

Here's to a fresh new year ahead chock full of HOPE, LIFE & NEW possibilities!

Lord, Thank you for never leaving us, for walking with us through the muck & mire and through the sunniest days of this past year. I cannot wait to see what YOU have in store for us in this new year. I give you this brand new year and ask that you shape it and mold it as YOU desire. I trust YOU and desire only to follow YOU! In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Relationships: Just Try

So in recent months I have met a few new people in which my initial reaction was not good.

In some way or another I struggled with them and didn’t quite “click”.  I found myself really putting a wall up because of this.  

Well in the past week I have found that I actually somewhat enjoy one of the persons. Through that and a great sermon from church Sunday morning I want to say something to you and to my future self…

Just Try.

Often times when it comes to others we want to judge or respond so quickly when really we should just give it some time, we should just try to have relationship before we make a decision about somebody.

What I have learned is that one person in particular is difficult for me because they are like me…they do things that I have to fight against doing on a DAILY basis. That makes me struggle both with them and with myself. But when I stop to think about it and when I try with them I find a few things that are needed. 

First: I need to be aware of those things in me and be aware that I need to keep fighting them, what better way than being irritated by them in someone else. It gives me great insight into what others feel when they are around me so I can be more aware.

Second: What if everyone who met me never tried to get past my annoyances and my humanness…well I doubt I would have a single relationship.

Third: I would miss out on the good parts about others.

I am finding that there are some things that I really like and enjoy about this person and that ultimately I have been placed in their life and them in mine for reasons that I may never know anything about. Ultimately I am placed in their live to be a light and to love them. Period. But beyond that, if I just try then I may find a friendship that I would not have expected (that is yet to be seen, but is a possibility.)

So when it comes to relationships (not of the romantic kind) I say….Just Try. 

You never know what blessings will come out of it or what learnings.

I am learning that I have a lot of work yet to do in me and that is always a good thing to remember. None of us are finished yet. We are not finished working on ourselves or finished loving others no matter how hard it may be.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Comparison is a Thief & Liar

Comparison is a thief of joy and life.

When we begin to compare ourselves to others we are ultimately ripping away the good things that God us given us individually.

Comparison is an ugly and devastating thief and liar.

Comparison lies and says that what someone else has is better or makes them better. Oh dear children of God…WHAT A LIE. 

God does not make mistakes. He did not make a mistake with you. The color of your hair, the build of your body, the place you are in. 

What we must do is:

1.       Take responsibility for ourselves. If we don’t like our body…are we treating God’s creation right? If we don’t like the place we are in…are we listening to God and in His will alone?

2.       STOP! Stop looking outside of our Creator for happiness and joy and life. STOP! JUST STOP!

3.       Be Sweet. Be sweet to and about yourself. Be sweet to and about others. 

I find there are two main ways that we use the thief and liar that is comparison. 

1.       To make ourselves MISERABLE!! When we choose to believe the lie that what others have is better that what we have we absolutely make ourselves miserable. Stop and focus on God in your life and where He has you and get real with Him and just LEAVE OTHERS OUT OF IT. It truly is just between you and God!

2.       To make ourselves “Feel Better”. This is when we look at others and think, hhmmm at least I am doing this better or at least I have this and they don’t. We think that we are making ourselves feel better doing that, but oh NO NO NO don’t you be deceived dear child of God; for that too is a LIE! Our lives were not meant to be compared to others! We were all created by God with our own purposes and plans and God did NOT make a mistake with us or them!

 No we were created to PREACH THE GOSPEL to SHARE GOD’S GREAT LOVE AND SALVATION!

That is the business we should be attending to and I believe if we are at our Father’s business then…

1.       We won’t have time to waste comparing ourselves to others

2.       We will find joy and contentment that we never knew could exist!

3.       We will find a love for ourselves and others that God created us to have!

COMPARISON IS A THEIF AND A LIAR.  Sweet child of God (talking to me here) DO NOT BE DECEIVED! Take your eyes off them and you and put them on HIM!! Focus on being about our Father’s business! 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

I have officially reached MOM status

Happy Wednesday!

I know that I have officially reached MOM status since this is my day off and I have already cleaned the kitchen, living room and done laundry all before 7:30am and before my boys (Hubby and 2 month old) are even out of bed.

I now sit at my desk with my coffee, computer and the baby monitor writing this!

I never thought I would be able to rise to MOM status. I have never been one to get up early or to keep up with house work, yet I find myself coming home on lunch just to clean the house and getting up early just to get everything done so that I can spend every moment with my little guy on my off day!

MOM status...I use the snot sucker and said that I would pass that job on to my Hubby...and I know that if my lil sweet face got bad enough I would use that nasty Nose Frida (even though I returned the one we received as a shower gift).

MOM status...last weekend I was pooped on TWICE and I didn't even mind. I have been peed on and puked on and I never get to eat when I want or shower often and I DON'T CARE!

MOM status...I lay awake when I should be sleeping thinking about how to best organize lil man's clothes and how I want to change my schedule so that I can be home with him more.

MOM status...I have picked my son's nose.

MOM status...I can change a diaper on my lap in the back seat of the car.

MOM status...I rarely ride in the front passenger seat of the car.

MOM status...I plan everything around my son's eating schedule.

MOM status...when I shop...the first place in the store I go is to the baby section.

So many of these things I feared I would never instinctively do, I was a selfish person before my son because I could be, to some extent.

I feared I would never be the mom that put her child first or kept a clean house...now don't look at my floors or you will see the truth about how clean my house really is ;-) ha look at that MOM joke.

All this to say....I woke up this morning and realized that I can do this and I am doing this...not perfectly but I am doing it. My son is safe and well and happy and my husband and I are in love with him and still in love with each other and find time to spend together.

I am beyond thankful to know that this was in me...I never believed it.

I know I will never be perfect and I will get things wrong A LOT, and that my house may never be fully clean and I may go to work everyday with spit up on my shoulder with my dirty hair in a bun for the 100th day in a row....but ultimately I can do this.

Thank you God for helping me every single day. I give this little boy to You and I thank you for sharing him with me as you share my wonderful husband with me. They are not mine, they are YOURS! Thank you!