Goals, My Story, Reflect, Resolutions

I Resolve To…(part 2–No Excuses)

new yearsAs I stated in, I Resolve To…part 1:

The dominant challenge we face when striving to obtain a goal or make a life change is OURSELVES.

But if you don’t allow yourself to make excuses or look for a back door, you’ll be much, much more successful. AND if you choose to look at multiple sources of data, you’ll have a more complete picture of the situation and be able to measure your progress better. (I’ll share a personal example in a bit.) Continue reading “I Resolve To…(part 2–No Excuses)”

Christmas, Give Away, My Story

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And New Things for the New Year!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I am so very thankful for you! There are no words to describe the affection I have for you.

The last four months have been a whirlwind! Not just in launching this blog, but also in learning tech tricks and terminology I never knew existed. Baby, I’m living proof Old Dogs can learn new tricks! Continue reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS! And New Things for the New Year!”

Christmas, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

Where Are You Chrsitmas?

Where are you Christmas tree

Are you having a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit this year?

I am.

I confess: I’m struggling!

And I feel guilty that I’m not experiencing the same emotions I usually experience. I feel like I should be excited; I should be full of anticipation, awe, and wonder.

But I’m not.

And forcing it—well, I feel fake.

Instead, I’m feeling overwhelmed, overextended; and to be sincerely honest, Continue reading “Where Are You Chrsitmas?”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story, Reflect

Our Best For Him–Even when You Don’t Feel Your Best

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Being sick sucks!

Wouldn’t you agree?

It takes more than it gives and when it’s over, you have to play catch-up.

For two weeks now a virus has had its way with my family. We’ve dropped one-by-one, like dominos falling in slow motion. Continue reading “Our Best For Him–Even when You Don’t Feel Your Best”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

Some Days Don’t Go As Planned…

coffee cup

My last several days have not gone as planned. Do you ever have that?

I know you know what I’m saying. I see your hands raised. I hear you shout, “Same!”

You lay out your plans; you create your to-do lists, you set your schedules, and get everything in order to make it all past-tense…and then— Continue reading “Some Days Don’t Go As Planned…”

Devotionals, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story, Psalm 100

Welcome To The Holiday Season

Holiday Season

Welcome to the Holiday Season.

The world’s on fast forward, and I feel like I’m standing still.

There’s a blur of activity around me, and I’m going in slow motion. I know I’m moving. I know I’m making progress. I know I’m getting stuff done…right?

Balance is a mirage in the distance. The pressures are unending and unrelenting. The tasks relentlessly demand to be seen, heard, and completed. I search for something to eliminate, anything to lighten my load, but I’m afraid everything will come crashing down like Jenga blocks if I pull one more thing out. Continue reading “Welcome To The Holiday Season”

Devotionals, My Story, Psalm 100

Psalm 100, Part 3: SHOUT!

Psalm 100.1

There were a solid 10 years I dreaded Thanksgiving. Not because I didn’t have something to be thankful for, but because there was (and still is) an emptiness. A void. An estrangement. That emptiness was like a vacuum, sucking out all the joy of the holiday and my life. But a few years ago, after a lot of healing, I decided I didn’t want that to be my reality anymore. I wanted something more. Continue reading “Psalm 100, Part 3: SHOUT!”

Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story, Your Purpose

Ask For God’s Best and Give Him Your Best

 

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Sometimes my kids are smarter than I am.

I don’t mean in the academic sense—although, that’s true in the math department.

What I mean is, there are times my children teach me about being wise and resilient. About giving something my best effort, even if it’s a long shot. About putting myself out there to determine where I stand among the competition. About identifying my weaknesses so that I can Continue reading “Ask For God’s Best and Give Him Your Best”

Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

A Season of Refinement

1 Peter 5.10

The fire. The heat. It’s unbearable. I’m not sure I can endure it.

Will it consume me? Will I survive? Will I come out on the other side intact? I can feel the fear welling up inside me. The uncertainty. The dread.

I know I’ve asked God to remove everything in me that’s not honoring to Him. But this fire! I’m afraid it will destroy me. I’ve never experienced anxiety like this before. Or fear.

I’m afraid of something I can’t name—no that’s not true; I’m scared of something I don’t want to name.  Continue reading “A Season of Refinement”

31 Day Challenge 2017, Jesus in Everyday Life, My Story

Day 30 of 31 Days of Seeing Jesus in Your Daily Life: Masquerade

IMG_3156I’ve always wanted to go to a masquerade ball. Call me crazy, but from the first time I watched Phantom of The Opera on stage, I’ve wanted to go to one. I want to wear a gorgeous dress and a beautiful mask to conceal my identity from those around me. I want to eat from a fabulous spread of food and dance the night away without anyone knowing I was there.

Now for those of you who know me, you’re probably confused by this because you know my standard attire is yoga pants, tank tops, sweatshirts, and slippers. And you know I’m not much of a girly-girl. But every once in a while I like to dress up, heels and all. And every Halloween, the desire to go to a masquerade ball bubbles to the surface for a blink of time.

Why?

Because I love seeing the variety of children, pets, and adults in costume as they masquerade through the day. I’m always amazed by what people come up with year after year because their costume choices reveal what they’re interested in, their sense of humor, or who they would like to be. For some, Halloween costumes offer a chance to try on a different personality for the day, for others they allow their inner drama-king or queen to surface, and for many, like my kids—the Halloween costume is nothing more than a vehicle to collect a bag full of candy.

But today as I watched Andrew’s classmates play games, make crafts, and do other fun activities for their Halloween party, I couldn’t help but think about the masquerade we live out in our daily lives. Our costume may not be Spiderman, a cowboy, or a whoopee cushion—but we wear them just the same.

  • We may wear a cross necklace to appear “religious” to the world around us. Yes, we believe in Jesus, but in truth, we don’t follow Him or obey His teachings.
  • We put on athletic clothing to look like an athlete or fitness buff, but we honestly wear them for their comfort more than anything.
  • We act like the woo-hoo party person to fit in when in reality we would rather be home on the weekends watching a movie or reading a book.
  • We wear clothing that leaves little to nothing to the imagination because “it’s cute,” but in reality, you’re freezing in outfits that make you feel insecure instead of confident.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we pretend to be something we’re not rather than being honest about who we are?

I have a theory:

We’re so focused on the external, what we can see; that we give little to no attention to the internal, who others really are. We tend to make snap decisions about a person (or ourselves) based on our idea of beauty, the clothes they wear, how clean they are, etc. We tend not to look past what is and isn’t attractive to our eye. We shirk getting too close. We don’t want to know what lies beneath the surface. Because when we know, we’re destined to care and caring leaves our already broken and bruised hearts exposed and vulnerable.

I’m not trying to condemn anyone or recreate the wheel; so stick with me here.

I’m just wondering if we wear our costumes BECAUSE of this knowledge. We know others won’t look too closely because it could cost them something. So we paint a picture of ourselves, create an illusion, or a invoke a distraction to keep others from looking beyond the surface. We masquerade to keep people at arm’s length. We distract people with immodest dress to keep them from seeing the hot mess we’ve got going on inside.

I say this because this was me. I remember walking a block and a half from my front door to my high school and becoming a different person; the person I wanted to be, with each step I took. I didn’t want anyone to see the broken, hurting young lady I was. So I put on my mask—the happy-go-lucky cheerleader. The friend who was always there to encourage you and had your back. No one, I mean NO ONE knew I was dying inside, coming apart at the seams.

Beloved, THAT IS NO WAY TO LIVE!

Let me encourage you today by sharing with you how God helped me to remove my mask:

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, NLT)

The more I meditated on this verse and allowed it disclose my masquerade, the more I realized to be who God has called me to be, I needed to be Me, hot mess and all.

I had a heart that loved Him, though I wasn’t in love with Him yet, and that was good enough for Him. The only other thing He required of me was, to be honest with Him. And once I was honest with Him, I could be honest with myself. And once I was honest with myself, I could be honest with the other people in my life. And then I could be honest about the mess and start the healing process.

Beloved, when I realized God doesn’t see things like we do and that He looks at the heart, I was RELIEVED! I didn’t have to keep up the pretense anymore. I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t. I could be real. I could be me with all my broken pieces and jagged edges. I could be me with all my anguish and gut-wrenching sorrow. I could be me with all my anger and fear. I could be HONEST.

The energy it took to maintain my well-crafted façade was insurmountable. I went to bed exhausted every day. And every day I died a little more inside knowing I wasn’t genuine, but I had been doing it for so long, I wasn’t sure what was real and what was false anymore. My goal was to survive, to keep people from finding out the truth.

And then God showed me a better way. He gave me His identity as His Child. And that My Dear, gave me freedom!

Oh, Precious One, if you are living in a mascarade, come before the One who sees the heart. Let Jesus set you free so you can show the world who you are—A GENUINE, REAL CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD!

Blessings!