Friday, February 1, 2019

MORE of you



I am my own WORST enemy. You see, I have often already failed at something before I have even started. Not because I might not be able to do it, but because of the words I have allowed to enter my head, have filled my mind with so much fear and self-doubt, that I have already failed before I have even started!

You get my point!

Years ago, I realized that having any kind of New Year’s resolution was a complete waste of time. I would set out to make myself a goal or something I wanted to change and then I allowed fear and self-doubt to keep me from achieving said goal. I honestly never felt like I was good at anything.

I would vow to be a better mom because I would compare myself to the so called perfect, have it ALL together Pinterest moms I would see around me. By January 2nd I was yelling at my kiddos, the house was a mess and laundry was pouring into the hallway and seeping out the doors…Yep; I’m not that mom!

I would vow to read my bible more, be a better house wife, better teacher, better friend, or best yet; to get in shape…NOTHING EVER WENT MY WAY!

You see, we all Vow to make the annual New Year’s Resolution. In some way, we vow that we will change our ways, eat better and all around get healthy. We ultimately make a vow to change.

Although these things in and of themselves are not bad goals, they will never bring the change our heart desires for eternal satisfaction.

We need more. More than just a New Year’s Resolution that may or not get lost in the Chaos of life.  

So often, more than I want to admit, I plan my life out and then wonder where God is. I seek control in the midst of heartache. I fear I will never be good enough and I allow self-doubt to take over every thought and emotion running through my body.

These specific fears have often lead me to the verse, Ephesians 3:20:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

My word this year is, MORE.  I want more of Him and less of me. I want more of Him in every aspect of my life. In my marriage, my home, my job! Without pause, without Him, I am nothing!

I don’t know about you, but I need Him. I am honestly a hot mess almost daily without the saving grace of my Savior.

If more of Him means less of me
Take ev'rything!
All of Him is all I need
Take ev'rything!

I want eternal satisfaction. I want a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. I want More of Him, THAT is the real change I am seeking. It is the one thing I can do in my life that will last for an Eternity.

You see, tomorrow is never promised and today is a gift. I want to let God use me
RIGHT WHERE I AM… Scary, I know!
God will use you in your mess. He will use you in your brokenness. No change, goal or plan can ever compare to the life God has in store for you when you simple follow Him.

Silence the lies…
I will never measure up…. He is More than enough.
I am not perfect…He is Perfect.
I will never be good enough…He is MORE than enough!!!

This world will quickly pull you in to the surface and fill your head with lies from every angle you turn. From social media, to magazine racks to the girl next door, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are not defined by the girl sitting next to you or what you may or may not be wearing. Too often we jump to changing something about ourselves to measure up to the standards of the world and then we crash and burn when we can’t meet the word’s expectations.

Well, how about turning to God instead?
Break free of the bondage from fear, self-doubt or whatever it is that was creating the need for change in the first place.

When you have nothing left….Turn to God

When you feel you have failed…God is more

When you feel you will never measure up…He is Always more than enough!

Oh Lord, I am so unworthy. Thank you for being so much more than I deserve!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ten-year Challenge


Ten-year Challenge

2009
2019


In some ways 10 years ago seems like a life time ago, and in other ways it seems like yesterday. When I saw the ten-year challenge begin to circulate, of course I got interested in how much I had changed; however, I didn’t realize just how much this ten-year challenge would really affect me.  

Have I changed…yes, but it wasn’t so much the physically appearance that bothered me. As I began to think about where my life was ten years ago, I realized just how different my life was. You see, ten years ago I had three small children and I was pregnant with Bethany. In my own perfect world, I was living my own fairy tale.  As a little girl the only thing I ever dreamed of being was a wife and mommy. I had no clue how fast my fairy tale would come crashing down around me just ten years ago.

At times, my mind can’t fathom it has even been ten years. I have learned to overcome unimaginable hurt and heartache with the grace of my Savior. I have battled the deepest darkest depression and learned to use my darkest hours for the glory of God. Most days I see God’s never-ending love and grace reminding me that He pulled me from that darkness and into His light.

And then, sometimes it hits me out of nowhere.
Sometimes the walls come crashing down. Sometimes it’s all just TOO much.
Sometimes my heart races so fast, I can’t breathe and I feel like I might explode.

This is Grief.

This is hard, messy, unpredictable and exhausting.

I wish I could say that I have always grieved well, but unfortunately, I haven’t. I honestly never knew my heart could ache so deeply. I failed my husband and my other children terribly as I attempted to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. At some point through my grieving process, I felt like God literally had to bring me to my knees where I felt like I had absolutely nothing left but him. I hated hearing that grief takes time because there really is no time to grief when you love someone that deeply. You see, I would have told you I was doing great until that grief hit me like a ton of bricks this week. I am learning to give myself grace. I am learning that I am not enough by myself to endure what I have been through or the pain that comes with it. You can’t force yourself to stop loving someone or to just get over them, but God is enough. God is more than enough. I need Him more today, than I did yesterday or even ten years ago! He is more than enough than any obstacle I will ever face.

This May Bethany would be ten. My memory haunts me of what was and what could have been. I see her tiny face and imagine and dream of all she could have been.

The truth is, time will never escape her memory, her birthday and the moments I will never get to have. No amount of time could ever make me forget that I have four children. NO amount of healing will heal the scar left on my heart.   But God… God can heal my heart and comfort my unexpected grief. He takes me into His arms to hold, comfort and cry when the storms are too strong.

So, the biggest change in ten years….

All four of my children got to be in the first picture with me, and now, one will always remain in my heart until we are united again in Heaven.

The other change, God found me, He rescued me, and He changed me. Before Bethany died, I lived a very self-centered life. I wanted more kids, I wanted the Fairy tale, I wanted a Perfect family…. I was so desperate for the things of this world that I wanted, that I lost track of living my life for Him and seeing the good things I had.  I went into a very dark depression and lost a piece of myself. I honestly didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how to be a mom or wife anymore. The life I had so desperately craved felt a million miles away. God brought me crashing down until I had nowhere else to turn. I can still remember sitting on my bathroom floor with my bible open and tears hitting the pages. I didn’t even know where to start and my eyes were too swollen to even read, but I opened my bible and I prayed. I prayed for God to rescue me and heal my family that I had pushed so far away.

Over time…He did. He gave me JOY when I thought I would never smile again. He gave me Hope when I thought I would never feel again.

You are more than your grief. You are more than you know.

Today may be hard, but Joy comes in the morning!

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Real Beauty in Marriage






           
The world tells us that beauty is defined by the way a woman looks and by the way she presents herself. If a woman shows enough skin or dresses a certain way, then she is perceived as “sexy” according to the worlds standard of beauty. Girls, let me tell you something, YOUR BODY IS NOT FOR THIS WORLD TO DEFINE! Your body was designed by God to be precious, pure and the temple of God to be loved, valued and treasured by you and your husband. Brad has ALWAYS told me that confidence is sexy, not what I am wearing or how much skin I choose to reveal to the world. You see, it is NOT the worlds approval I should be looking to gain. I should not be getting dressed thinking, “Will others think I look good?” “Do I look like the Pinterest model I posted wearing this?” The problem is, we as women have lost our own confidence in beauty because we are aiming to fit the standards of this world. We are aiming for a beauty that DOES NOT EXIST!

            I am THE WORSTsigh… I literally beat myself up almost daily with a lack of confidence in myself because I feel as though I JUST CAN’T KEEP UP. I often feel like age has approached me at warp speed and taken over my body like a magnet attracting every virus and bad thing out there and zapping it straight into my body. The last year I feel as though I have been on an uphill battle with my health and yet I am not getting anywhere. My insecurities and confidence has taken a beating to say the least. I beat myself up that everything I have gone through has aged me drastically and now I battle wrinkles, lines, dark circles; REALLY, just name it!

            However, I struggle when my husband tells me I am beautiful or pretty. I don’t see it, how can he? The problem is we live in a world that tells us what beauty should be, what marriage should be. We live in a world that has lost value on what is real and what is not.

            The truth is: Marriage is not always pretty. It is not always beautiful. In fact, its messy, hard, challenging and beautiful all wrapped into one. There are really great days and really bad days. There are days when I do not like him and there I days when I know he does not like me. Marriage is about CHOOSING one another in a world that says you can find something better when life gets hard. Marriage is about love, partnership, forgiveness, grace, AND…the ability to pursue God TOGETHER! I think that is my favorite part. I have never said that Brad is my soul mate. He does NOT complete me. The problem with asking a spouse to complete you, is that we place that person above God and then they become an idol. If I put Brad above God and place him as that person in my life, then I am setting him up for failure EVERY SINGLE DAY! NO one can complete me except for GOD!  I had to learn this early on in our marriage. I loved Brad so much that I did place him and my love for him above God. I had to learn that I could not look to another human, especially my husband to find my value and worth, I had to find that in Jesus Christ alone. Once I did that, I realized that my husband did not complete me, but yet he complemented me. Together we were better. We were able to Pursue each other and Christ together with encouragement, love and forgiveness.

            You see, Brad calls me Beautiful. He calls me pretty. He calls me his because we choose to say, “I still do” and fight for a love that’s worth fighting for. He loves me at my worst and forgives me when I am unforgivable. He accepts me for me. You see, Brad is a daily example to me of God’s love, grace and mercy to me every day. God accepts me when I feel unworthy. He loves me when I am unlovable. He calls me Beautiful, and He calls me His! I am a MASTERPIECE; created, designed and DEFINED by HIM…not of this world!
        
       So, girls; when you feel like the world is telling you you are not pretty enough, good enough and will never measure up... REMEMBER...Silence the lies of world. Do not let the World define you. You ARE a masterpiece, created to be loved and valued and SO much more than an object because of the way you look and/or dress. Stop comparing yourself to the worlds vision of what beauty SHOULD be. Look in the mirror and see the reflection of who God designed you to to be and NOT the lies of an imperfect world. Social media will show you the fairy tale life of the perfect body, perfect skin, perfect family and perfect everything you think you want. The problem is; perfect doesn't exist here on earth. Behind every filter, perfect picture and flawless imagine is a REAL person with REAL insecurities JUST LIKE YOU! God did not call us to be like the world, He called us to be different. Be the change. Be the reflection of beauty this world NEEDS to see. Be the light in the darkness. Be imperfectly perfect in His image. Be you! 



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