Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not What I Wanted

Hi my little pretties and  handsomes! I hope everything is going well for you in your life...  And all your prayers and wishes are coming into view!  Or... Maybe that's not what I wish for you at all because that's not exactly what's happening in my life...

Allow me to explain.... I'm not wishing non-fulfillment or unrealized dreams on you... Just that you might learn a lesson I got the chance to see this week. 

There was a certain situation I was excited about... All the possibilities I played out in my mind I was wishing would come true! The prayers I prayed... And it was happening, a little more slowly than I had hoped but hey, maybe a slow start is exactly what I needed, after all that would give me time to get confident in it as well as bring appreciation when my moment was at hand...

All of a sudden, in the midst of my excitement and expectation, without warning, everything came to a screeching halt.  I just couldn't understand and neither could anyone else around me who knew of  the situation through my eyes.  I was so confused... It seemed so fitting.  Even seemed like it could be God placing all these things in line for the final result... But now what?

After a while in my little state of confusion and disappointment I decided it best to just give up, who cares... I didn't have anything I actually lost, just the hope of something, maybe pressing toward the promise of fulfillment in that area... But I would take the stop sign as a closed door and not proceed further and make myself content knowing "I believe that God is working things out for me, even when I don't feel it" - ihatequotes.  After all, that God who I thought was working this situation out in an exciting way can certainly put everything back into motion or maybe it's the case of "...sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." - Marilyn Monroe

This week something happened that made it all come together!  No, I didn't get what I wanted but I did get an answer nonetheless... The answer was just more along the lines of "No, you don't want that and here's why..." And you know what... It's true, I didn't understand why things didn't work out how I had planned. I was totally stumped as to why God wasn't giving me what I wanted, after all what I wanted wasn't a bad thing... But now that I can see the whole picture I realize that I want more... I want better and maybe just maybe that's exactly what God has planned for me. He planned better!

Sometimes, it can be painful when God comes in and rearrange my life. But I believe that.... God's answers are wiser than my prayer." - ihatequotes

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29-11

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Building Process

In may last blog I wrote about "life altaring" vs. "life altering" (and if you haven't already read it, you should... It's only four paragraphs so it won't take long but I think it may have a lasting effect!) In thinking about my last blog and how it should be written to make sure you all understand what I'm trying to convey I searched the word "altar" in the Bible... Of course "altar" appears a lot in the Bible and, to be honest, I didn't get very far into the results before thinking I needed to write the blog you're reading now.

Like most people, I think of the altar in a church building when I hear the word "altar..." I think about sacrifice on the altar. Taking hold of the horns of the altar in prayer. Falling on the altar in a time of desperation. But there's something I've often missed and maybe you have as well... As you've most likely known and as you've just read the altar has many purposes... But I think we frequently miss one key thing about an altar... Yes, we must sacrifice, pray and fall on an altar but have we forgotten to build altars?

See searching the word "altar" in the Bible, the first context it appears (and many after) is an altar being built... Someone has had a "life altering" moment, God has come through or provided a need or has made His presence known and the reaction of the people was to build an altar! They built altars to remember and not only for themselves but for the generations to come to be able to see those altars to bring those stories forward and to build faith! Building altars builds faith!

Altars are to be built in the good times, to celebrate and remember God's goodness and might!  Landmarks of how far you've come and reminders of those who have gone before you and to those to follow your steps in the future! Altars are evidence of God's loyal love toward us. Altars are also to be built as encouragement for the inevitable hard times ahead, so if you get lost but you just kept moving eventually you will stumble upon an altar and know If God came through for you once then He can come through now! Building altars builds faith!

I suppose it only makes sense, if you aren't building any altars in your life in the good times you won't have an altar to place your sacrifice on, you will have no horns of the altar to take hold of in prayer and if you fall there will be no altar to catch you... If you've built no altars what will be a testimony to future generations? Where will your encouragement come from when your friends can't lift your head? And if there be no altars built in the light how will you stumble on the landmark in the dark? Building altars builds faith!

I'd missed it in the past but I'm going to build some altars in the good times... I'll be building in the light because building altars builds faith. Will you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life Altering

Life altering, I've had a few of those moments and experiences... I would even say I've had my share for this lifetime, and those experiences have been both good and bad. I'm sure all of you could say the same. But tonight as I reflected on a book my pastor read to our church (A Tale of Three Kings) I commented the words were "life altering." as a p.s. to that, EVERYONE needs to read that book!

Thinking about life in general instead of just the words in a book I think of all my life circumstances that have altered who I am... I would say, along with a lot of people past, "I would not change a thing good or bad because all combined I've been shaped by my life's path." Still when I made the comment I was left thinking of only one question:

"Have I allowed my life altering experiences to be life altaring?" I now ask you the same question. In fact, I press beyond inquiry and I challenge you to recognize when your next life altering moment or circumstance befalls you that just maybe God is creating a moment for life altaring. Allow your life to be altered and take it deeper by altaring your life before God.

Has your life only been altered? Or has it been too long since your last life altaring moment? Put your life on the altar of God, be a living sacrifice in commitment to him, walk in relationship with him. Love him, submit to his plan for your life and follow him wholeheartedly! This life is being altared and I pray yours will be as well!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lazy Susan... Break-ups & Breakdowns!

Every time I hear the song "Lazy Susan" by Sweet Thing (or Thang, funky monkey or whatever hah!) I think it was written for me haha! Not because I'm lazy or anything but because of the "Susan" "Suzie" similarity... Of course that makes me listen to the lyrics and see what applies.. Thing is, once I listened to those words a few times I decided they could/should apply to everybody! So here's what I think:

This may surprise you (or, more that likely, it won't at all...) but I've always been the dumpee... Yeh that's right, I said it... Loud and proud, baby, LOUD AND PROUD! Ok, well maybe not exactly. It's a strange thing really, this "being dumped" process... It makes you question yourself, lose confidence completely, "what's wrong with me?" "Why wasn't I good enough, what does he/she have that I don't?" And why is it that we never or at least do not soon enough think "what an idiot... He/she will never get any better than me! I'm FABULOUS!" and just move on, smiling? Not that you shouldn't be looking at the relationship and learning from what you've done to contribute to the break-up... Ask yourself what you would/should have done differently and what can do in the future to be a better partner and do those things, just don't depress yourself by spending too much time on it or by asking yourself those questions too early or by being too hard on yourself.

In my case, I've only actually had two what I would even come close to calling "serious relationships."  Both times the guy was more into me than I was him and, at first, both even had to convince me to give them a chance at all... Let's face it, no lasting love story actually begins with "Once upon a time, he had to convince me..." but somehow, whether it be the words they so smoothly spoke, the wishes and desires I tried to fulfill on my own time or my friends saying "but he's so sweet, and he really likes you!" I let my guard down.  And you know what? Both were actually pretty sweet, they both had their moments and for a short time I thought we could be happy... But it went from them convincing me to them dumping me once I opened up and let my guard down... And, let's face it, coming from a split home growing up that was a hard thing to process in any other way except "what did I do wrong? What's wrong with me that he didn't want me anymore?"

One of the people I dated I wouldn't have anything really bad to say (although I have my "cheating" suspicions) but the other, oh the other!  Ugh, I still get that "I'd like to slap you" feeling when I even think about it... Not really because of what he did at the time as much as what I didn't do... I didn't stand up for myself when he did and said horrible things like the day he kicked my rear end when I was bent over and said "look at that jelly shake!"  Girls, if he says those things to you hit his head and say "listen to that echo!" Or maybe it would be better if you didn't but GET OUT! He doesn't love you if he's disrespecting you (and guys, that goes in reverse as well, she doesn't love or deserve you if she doesn't show you respect.)  Even the times when I said "no" to what ever or I told him "I'm not comfortable with you talking to/about me like that" even  the famous "I don't want to" and he/she just doesn't listen or care.. Those things DO NOT mean he/she loves you so much he/she can't take no for an answer, can't stop talking that way or just plain can't stop: those things mean he/she just doesn't love you!  Not that I'm saying you should always get your own way out of someone that loves you but if it is seriously something of moral question, christian or ethic character, if you're truly uncomfortable they should listen and stop... More than that, they should take it into consideration on something they may need to change about themselves above just being your opinion.

And that leads me to "Lazy Susan" lyrics:

"Oh Susan don't lose your cool
But I'm leaving you on your own...
Yeah you got the world to see...
But you ain't coming too...
I'm all out of sympathy
When you come around you'll see that I'm gone
Who's gonna love you baby?
Who's gonna love you now?"

Listen, if you're leaving and have the nerve to say things like "Yeah you got the world to see... But you ain't comin' too.  I'm all out of sympathy when you come around you'll see that I'm gone. Who's gonna love you baby? Who's gonna love you now?" Susan better lose her cool a little and make sure you know you're a complete moron... Dumper, just because you're breaking up with someone doesn't mean you have to break them down with your rude and hurtful words... I know it makes it easier on you - if you're mean you can diminish your own emotions - but man (or woman) up and since you're causing hurt by calling it quits anyway don't make it worse with personal beat downs. Also, please remember a couple of lyrics to one of my all time favorite songs (because I relate to it) "Oh, see that skin? It's the same she's been standing in since the day she saw him walking away now she's left cleaning up the mess he made..." -John Mayer, Daughters. In a world with over a 50% divorce rate, a lot of us have had to deal with a parent leaving and whether we like to admit it or not, it does effect how we view relationships... And for the other 50% we've seen enough to make us question relationships and probably been walked out on by someone other than a parent so just make you walking out just as much about your own issues as about the dumpee. Thanks.

In a lot of cases, it's probably too much to ask that the bumper treats the dumpee with respect so here's what I have to say to the dumpee:

"Lazy Susan turn yourself around
Oh you're the queen of the living room
Sleep through the afternoon...
You're holding out at the starting line
You're just wasting time
Whoa oh it's not right
Lazy Susan turn yourself around"

I know break-ups suck (for lack of a better word) whether it be in a parents relationship, a love relationship, another family member, a friendship or any other break you would like to include... We need to learn from them.  But also allow yourself to heal from them! Don't be the "queen of the living room," don't "sleep through the afternoon" and absolutely no "holding out at [your] starting line!"  It's ok to be hurt, angry and confused for a second but don't wallow... Pick yourself up, remind yourself that while you may have things to learn and to change so does everyone else on the planet and you're still pretty darn fantastic on your own!  Because if you're not learning "you're just wasting time... it's not right!" So PLEASE LEARN, be honest enough with yourself to see your own mistakes and kind enough to yourself to remember that person who did walk out on you made mistakes too. "Lazy Susan, TURN YOURSELF AROUND!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Help! I need somebody's help!

Life is so unnerving for servant who's not serving. He's not whole without a soul to wait upon. –Lumiere (Beauty and the Beast) via DisneyWords on Twitter

Okay, we can face it and admit none of us want to be a servant... In fact we've gone completely the opposite direction, everything is "serve me!" "It's my way or the highway!" "Ummm... I'm not doing that, it's below me." But, in my opinion (and I'm sure if you give it some honest thought you will agree) that kind of attitude is exactly what's wrong with the world! We all expect people to bend, submit and contribute to our happiness while we refuse to do any of those things for anyone else... So if we are all expecting and wanting from others but not giving what can we really accomplish? Nothing.

Here's the deal, we are on this planet together and we need to start realizing we all effect each other... We have to start contributing to the lives of others. I don't care if it's just a friendly smile, helping someone pick up the items that just smashed to the ground when the bottom fell out of their grocery bag, giving someone a card during a frightening life experience or just using common sense when responding to a friend and instead of telling them how silly they are for being scared, listen or assure that friend they are not now and will never have to be alone.  I expect a certain level of compassion and contribution from others just like the rest of you but we cannot forget what is expected from us... Better yet, we can't stop going above and beyond what's expected from us! Who knows maybe when we continue to go above and beyond, when we pass on a blessing, share a smile and care for someone else they will pass it on to the next person.

I know all of us (definitely including myself in this one) want to appear stronger, happier, more content, more confident and more self sufficient than we really are but the simple truth is we are not meant to be self sufficient!  We are meant to help each other, lift others up.. We are meant to share life lessons and experience.. Be some one's strength when they are having trouble finding their own... When one is weak the strong ones are meant to gather around and offer a helping hand not kick dirt all over them!  And I know sometimes it's not accepted but that doesn't change who we need to be.. Just because someone is not able to accept a helping hand doesn't mean we should refuse to extend our hand to others in the future!

As a reminder, their refusal of your help doesn't change who you are and doesn't make your offer invalid in the eyes of others or God, if your motives were pure and your offer to help comes from a kind heart people will see that and so will God. Their refusal of your help cannot make you a bad person or a loser, it makes their heart harden just a little bit more, their hole get a little deeper and their life a little darker but it does not take away the goodness of your soul. On that note, if you are one of the few who don't expect the world to revolve around you and you think it all hangs on your shoulders, please, I know you're probably not comfortable but accept help, accept a blessing or gift someone is trying to give you, accept that smile from a stranger on a bad day, allow those things to help you see the lighter side of life again!  I know it's hard to accept what we view as "charity" but try to reverse the rolls, you want everyone to accept what you do for them and when they do not you don't feel appreciated, allow someone else to help you and feel appreciated in return!

Ok darlings, I don't care what it is we are all doing but lets take the selfish thoughts down a notch and help someone else every day this week... I understand we are not all rich and can't all do huge things for people but we all have an extra three minutes at some point of the day to write a post-it note or even quicker smile at a couple of passers-by.  I challenge you all (as well as myself) to take a minimum of 5 minutes a day to not think of our own needs but the needs of others and more than thinking alone, ACT! HELP SOMEONE ANY WAY YOU CAN.... Something you may not expect that I promise will happen at some point, by helping others you will find your own help.  Helping others is food for your soul, you will feel better about your own life when you care for the life of others!  I leave you with a quote to think about, apparently I am not the only person who poses this question... Can you answer it, if not, make sure by this time next week you will have a response! And hey, why don't you post a comment below (you don't have to be a member, choose name/URL and type your name or choose anonymous!)
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' - MLK Jr. via KiptynLocke on Twitter

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Hi Kiddos!

I'm sorry for not writing a blog for you on Monday... Yes I heard your lamenting over it hah! 

Okay, so this blog is about being honest with myself and others hoping that through writing I find answers in some of my own situations and that you will be able to not only read about it but apply the lessons to your own life. Here goes a bit of honesty: I don't want to write this week.  I'm so stressed out I just want to have a good cry (lets face it, we all feel a bit better after a good "no reason outburst,") I'm cranky today and just need a nap... Plus it's raining which always makes the day seem a little more depressing... But I'm committed to you all and I honestly love you so I figured I should at lease write and just tell you why I've been delinquent. So that's it, stress... Unfortunately now is not the time I can share why but I will in the future.

I had a talk with my mama this weekend as we travelled to the USA for a bit of shop therapy... Well, I vented and blatted to her actually. Some things that have been bothering me that I won't talk about I let out... The thing is I just kept saying I felt like giving up or at the very least completely walking out on my life and starting over somewhere else.  (Wow, hello Debbie Downer!) but here's the thing, that's nuts!  I don't know what God is doing or thinking and I'm pretty sure I don't agree at this point and I don't even have to... The only reason I don't agree is because "I don't know," I simply don't understand and that's ok... In fact it's to be expected! Because we can't know his ways "I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work... For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think." But just because His ways are not for our understanding does not meant they are not for our trusting... "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" Proverbs 3:5. 

So if you ask me what's going on, why it's happening or how it's going to turn out... I don't know but I do trust the process and so should you! After all "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD..." Psalm 37:23 and "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God!.. Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best... But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under his loving correction.It's the child he loves that God corrects; a father's delight is behind all this." Proverbs 3:5-12 Because after all the God who shaped the universe and everything in it out of His great wisdom shaped and cares for you out of His great love and He is able and "we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good!" Romans 8:28. So keep moving forward, don't give up and take comfort that as long as you're moving at all you're going somewhere!

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius as tweeted by Philo_Quotes

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not the Prettiest

I have no illusions... I know I'm not usually the prettiest woman in the room.  I wish I was one of those with the exotic vibe or the dark hair and striking blue eyes... On the the girls with the hair that never looks messy or the one who always has a Colgate smile.  It's just not me, I hold my own in a lot of areas and always try but I am just normal...

[My little man & I last weekend]

Some things you have I may not, and some things I have you most likely do not... But I've come to realize one thing is very important, possibly the most important... And the great news is: we can all have the most important part!  I know it's a cliché but the most important part of beauty is on the inside.  I know, beauty on the inside can't make that wart on the nose disappear and no matter how much we wish it would help that snaggle-tooth, it's not gonna happen... That takes money, ha!  But just as much as that "inner beauty" can't help the outside... The "outside beauty" of a person can't fix the "inner ugly."  Can I get an amen from men and women alike who have almost slipped in the puddle of drool from that hottie that just crossed our path but once they've opened their mouth a couple of times the troll appears and we can't believe there was any attraction in the first place? "AMEN!"

"No amount of makeup can conceal an ugly heart..." tweeted by TheSingleWoman

We all have a little bit of "people pleaser" in us but we can't allow ourselves to worry about pleasing people to the point we forget about who we are on the inside... Or never find out who we are to become because we were too busy trying to be what everyone else expects us to be.  And just an interjection... We are all still on that road to becoming (unless we've given up or got lost) and no matter how great we are there is some area we just haven't "arrived" yet.  So I'm not talking about perfection... Instead I'm talking about awareness of that inner beauty and those little quirks we still have to work on, an honesty with ourselves that we are not perfect and finally a commitment to ourselves on becoming more beautiful with a plan to work on it each day.

I don't know what that area is for you, I'm not sure what buttons get pushed for you or what chip you have on your shoulder that causes you to lose sight of who you want to be and the importance of being a "good person" and "beautiful person" at your core... I know it's not fun to talk about, think about or worse yet, be told about (which has happened to me on a couple of occasions)... I know your initial reaction is anger, an excuse or two, to point out fault with everyone else around then to sweep your "not so serious as their issue" under the proverbial rug... But let's not do that this time... Let's take a minute and give thought to some things we want to change about who we are on the inside and then put those thoughts into action and change ourselves!

You know, I'm pretty proud of who I'm becoming. I like her, she's nicer, tries to be sweet to people when they aren't expecting it, cares about people... Sometimes even when she doesn't feel cared about herself.  She is considerate of others (which is a big one,) she doesn't put herself above others, refuses to look down her nose at people who are not just like her. She simply does not assume that someone is wrong, bad, not a good person or christian (whatever the label or category you would like to pick) just because she sees one thing she doesn't like about someone, something they lack or aren't doing that they should or something they are doing that she wouldn't consider, whether it be circumstance or action... And if she does notice someone who is doing something that could harm them in some personal way or she notices them not doing something that could help them she reaches out to them and allows them to take her hand of trust and help instead of slapping them down with nasty comments.  And the one thing I like most about her is that she's becoming that person that anyone would be lucky to have in their life, she has a warm heart and a beautiful soul to offer to the man of her dreams someday (and yes, I am feeling a little sappy at the moment ha!)  "Side note for 'him': Come win that beautiful heart. :o)"

Again, I am just like you, I haven't arrived but I've been working on my inner beauty for a while.... It's really important to me.  Inner beauty is what makes you a great friend, daughter/son, mother/father, soul mate and person in general.  The reason I'm sharing this thought is to try to inspire you to work on you while I work on me!  It really is important and more than that, it will actually make you feel better about yourself... After a little while of working on it you will see progress and start to appreciate the journey, it will give you something to be proud of and to share with others! Let's do this :o)

Love yas! I really do!