Secrets

>> Thursday, July 26, 2012

There is nothing more heartbreaking than not being believed when you confess a secret.
I am so sad right now
My soul feels like it is breaking with my heart
I understand why people keep things to themselves.
This girl tried to take the power back
This girl tried to make sure it wouldn't happen to someone else, but
This girl was called a liar
and it hurts so bad.

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How to Tell Friends You're a Christian (and not scare them off)

>> Tuesday, July 17, 2012

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I would consider myself a born again Christian.  Though I still cringe when I think of that term, I feel like it fits me.  Why do I cringe?  I've been on the outside looking in at my born again friends.  I see how they come off as self righteous and judgmental.  I've suffered at the hands of people who profess to be Christian but were scum of the earth in disguise.  I've studied other faiths, intensely, and heard the arguments for those and against Christianity - those arguments have come out of my mouth.  Because of this, I know why people are so uncomfortable with those that proudly display their faith.  I'm not saying that I have it all correct, I am still learning and trying to understand everything I've been taught and everything I read, but it is how I feel I have been lead.  I know I have a sinners heart, so to say I follow my heart when it comes to my "interpretation" of scripture would probably make me wrong.  But I feel comfortable enough in what I have read in the Bible and my understanding of it, though, to say that I am on the correct path.
Today, I had an incident where a fellow co-worker and long time friend commented on the fact that my son is behind on his immunizations.  He asked, with a smirk and a sarcastic tone, if the reason my son is behind on his immunizations was because of some cultish, religious belief.  My normal, old me reaction would be to say "Screw you - you're just jealous that I'm going to heaven and your not!" - irritation coupled with a bit of humor/sarcasm.  Not today.  In fact, it didn't even phase me.  What did I say?  "No, he's behind because of bad insurance and because I didn't want to dose him with 100's of shots early on like they tend to do now." No sarcasm, no dirty looks - nothing.  I don't really know why I was thinking about the conversation, but in thinking about it I had the thought. "am I hiding my beliefs from my old friends, you know, the Christ hating atheist friends of mine?"  I mean, I never post things like "praise the Lord" or "my God is great" on Facebook like some people I know do, my blog is definitely not linked to my Facebook page, and I don't go to church with my old friends or invite them to go with me.  Am I ashamed of my Christianity?  Friends close to me knows that I go to church and some of them even know how strong my faith has become but I don't share with them really the joy I've come to feel.  Then I thought of my Facebook friend and artist Patty Ann Hale and a post she had put on Facebook back in December.  It said: "A local pastor's blog that I thought was really great. Don't keep the goodness of the Lord all to yourself. Whether it's sharing at your workplace, at school, in your church, or right here on facebook... we should live our beautiful redeemed lives "out loud" so that all may see the beauty of the ONE who came to love us "out loud." Grace Point Church"  While I feel it is better to reflect Christ in how we live than to share it with words, I'm began to wonder if I am wrong.  Well, let me restate that, not wrong but scared.  Scared to share and turn my friends away.
I know my family treats me differently.  My sister apologizes when she says a bad word, I can tell she chooses her words more carefully around me.  She thinks that's all that I want to talk about and maybe avoids talking to me because of it.  My mother thinks I spend too much time involved with my church and worries what I give to it.  My brother, the atheist, would have very little to do with me if I ever dared talk to him about church.  I hope I'm not hiding, a closet Christian.  I don't think I am.  I think I'm just scared that people will ask me questions, wanting to debate the Bible.  I haven't got the knowledge or confidence to do that, or at least I don't think so.   I guess I'll just try to keep living it instead of just saying it and hopefully one day I will be confident in my faith enough to be willing to talk to others about it when they ask.

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A Failure

>> Saturday, June 23, 2012



My bedroom was so alive with light this morning, but today I feel like I am surrounded by darkness.
I feel like a total failure,
A hypocrite,
Not humble enough, not deserving of God's grace.
I know it comes from my own fears.
Fear of doing or saying something wrong, something that is an incomplete image of God - my own God puzzle, with pieces that I've cut to make fit.  I don't feel knowledgeable enough or authoritative enough to speak or write about His word.  I'm afraid of confusing people or turning them away.  I'm afraid of reflecting what a Christian shouldn't be than what a Christian should be.
I don't always articulate well.  Most of the time feeling like maybe I come off as arrogant and superior instead of humble and loving, but that is not my heart.  I've always felt that reflecting who Christ is and who He calls us to be was better than me trying to explain Christianity
I do not claim to be perfect.  I have my struggles.  Everyday I struggle with wanting to be an addict.  Yes - I said that correct, "wanting to be".  So that I don't have to "Be Here".  So that I can hide away in the numbness of addiction to whatever vice I want.  I choose a more socially acceptable vice - shopping or food.  I retreat into the Internet, tuning out my children that want me and need me.  Tuning everyone out.
I want to shut this site down.  I am freaking out over everything I've written.
How "not" Christian it is.
How much of Me is out there.
How much some people will know and see.
And I hate it all.
So, I close my blog...
Open my blog.
I write and don't publish
A read and re-read my words to make sure they are proper and correct.
But today I give up and give in.  I'll publish what I've written.  I'll take criticism with praise and I'll be okay with it because I refuse to give in to the voice that keeps telling me that I'm not good enough for salvation or for God.



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Hiding

>> Thursday, May 10, 2012

I've been hiding out again.
Work has been a bit stressful and I haven't been very motivated to share much.
In all honesty, I actually got stressed out about how much I have shared on here.  Over the years, I had developed a tendancy to keep things to myself and didn't like people prying into my life.  Makes no sense being a blogger and all, but blogging was supposed to be my way of letting others in, learning that it's ok to let people see every side of you, even the damaged ones.  This was supposed to help me be comfortable being me and instead I'm freaking out.  I contemplated deleting the blog, making it private...and then I decided to just forget I had one for a few weeks which seems to have turned into months.
So, where have I been and what have I been doing?

I guess I've been here, dealing with normal (and not so normal) life stuff.
Taking care of the kids
Taking care of my mother when she broke her wrist (long story)
Working and trying to remain sane,
which I can say that my kids have done a fabulous job of helping me do.  They kept me alive and alert..more than you could ever know.  They pulled me out of the dark places I was wanting desperately to go to and have kept me motivated...to just be.  I mean, look at them, how could you not love those faces??






I never realized how grounded my kids kept me.  I always thought they just kept me on the line of sanity and insanity.  I never thought kids would be part of my life but I am so glad that they are.

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Dear Jesus

Jesus, my Savior and Friend,

I wanted to chat and let you know where I've been.  Been working on finding my joy, being the person I should: the good mother, good friend, good follower.  I've struggled, I've stumbled, fallen flat on my face but I've met some wonderful people along the way.  They've picked me up and helped me out, helped me understand what these tumbles are all about.  I've caught sight of you in all their faces and it brings me such joy to know that you are still there with me, every step of the way.  I know I will continue to stumble, I will fight against the things you want from me, and I want to go ahead and apologize, but I am so happy to know that you are there for me and I just wanted to thank you.

Love,
Me

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Turning the Other Cheek

>> Friday, March 23, 2012

I've often wondered why I've stayed at my job for as long as I have - it can be a stressful and very toxic environment.  Now, don't get me wrong, it has it's perks.  My bosses pay me well, think that family comes first, and for the most part, treat me like family (good and bad).  But, just like anywhere else, it has its moments of conflict.
Since my husband left, I have noticed a major change in who I am. I know returning to church has been the main reason for that and today it became extremely obvious to me how much I have changed.  You see, today I let something pass by.  I let go of my anger and irritation at a co-worker and told him that I wanted to move on.  I got put into a situation yesterday that I didn't want to be in.  I put myself there because I was trying to help another co-worker find a solution to his problem.  Without getting into any details, this person blamed me for something that he was responsible for and accused me of trying to get him "in trouble" (yes, we are both adults!) in my quest for a solution - saying this to me based on complete assumption only.  This accusation was sent in a mass email that went out to several people after the office had closed.  I was so angry last night that I must have written and re-written 5 emails in response that I was going to send to everyone.  I did the same on my Facebook account, wrote and re-wrote negative comments and public complaints about this co-worker even though I can't stand it when other people do the same. 
But I never hit send.
I never posted to Facebook.
Day two and here I am at work.  I came in this morning planning on not engaging with this co-worker at all.  Planning on being positive and moving beyond - which lasted all of 3 hours.  It took 3 hours for him to say something to me that almost pushed me off the deep end.  In trying to help him, because he told me he was busy, I screened a call for him and tried to get the caller the answer to their questions.  I was told by my co-worker to stay out of calls for that department as I don't know what I'm doing, in what I knew was meant to be a demeaning tone - yes, there is a history of prior conflict. 
I've never been one to bite my tongue, but I did and somehow managed to make it back to my office before I started complaining about him to another co-worker - and that is when I took my breath.  That is when I realized I needed to stop this "nothing" before it turned into something.  I went to my co-workers desk and decided to talk to him.  I told my co-worker that I did not want to be angry and did not want to fight and the most unthinkable thing happened.
He gave me a hug
And an apology.
It felt good and it felt right
And my day couldn't have gone any better after that.

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Why Did I Stay?

>> Sunday, March 4, 2012


What in the world was I thinking?
I had another job lined up, one that was closer to home, with less stress and less responsibility.
Yet I stayed.
December, 2010 I tried to quit my job.  I tried to quit after months of enduring some of the worse stress I've ever managed to endure.  Things had gotten so stressful for me at work, that I would go to the bathroom at work just to cry.  I would come home from work and completely ignore my kids, unless it was to yell at them.  It got so bad that my doctor put me on two medications to help me manage to get through the day.
Yet I stayed.
My boss seemed shocked that I wanted to leave, though she had to have known it was coming.  It was obvious that I was fed up with everyone.  She asked me to reconsider and even offered me more money to stay.  And I did.
I can't say that the money didn't factor into my staying, but it was more than that.  It was that she actually wanted me to stay.  It gave me confirmation that I was doing my job and that I was a valued employee, something I was questioning.
The following month after deciding to stay, I started attending church - something I never thought I'd do again (a long story for another day).  But, there was Gordon that day at the coffee shop, probably the forth or fifth preacher to have asked me to come to his church and the timing couldn't have been better - I was finally ready for it. I came to fully embrace my Christianity and it has shown at work.  My co-workers have noticed this change in me too.
And that is why I stayed...or so I guess.  They have seen changes in me and some have even asked questions that have started meaningful conversations.  Some teasing from a co-worker about my new "Christian cult" followed by reactions from myself that have shown me the strength I have in my faith.  Feeling the joy of not letting my anger overtake me and turning the other cheek only to have it be followed by an apology and a hug by the offender.  Opportunities to discuss with co-workers the importance of forgiving (though I am definitely not perfect here) and having them listen without them feeling like I am lecturing, judging, or preaching to them.  And I've had the pleasure of seeing relationships slowly repairing themselves following forgiving.
I feel blessed that God has given my a chance to see all his grace working around me.  I am so grateful that God gave me this place, this real life, uncontrolled workplace, to grow my faith even stronger.

Sharing at:
Graceful: Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday
Finding Heaven

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Jesus Help Me to Stand

>> Friday, February 10, 2012

Some Friday Inspirational sounds from Alison Krauss.  I've never been a country music fan, but I love her voice.


Enjoy!

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Broken Families

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

The last few weeks have been a real struggle for me at work.
I've been brokenhearted, saddened by watching these families and friends that I work for slowly fall apart.
Hurting as if it was my own family being destroyed.
I look for my role in this challenge and wonder if I could've done anything to prevent this.
What is the reason for this?
What is the lesson?
I hear God speaking to me, in the people he's putting before me, in Facebook post that "click" for my situation, in blogland, and in the Sunday school lesson and sermon that followed.
Concrete solutions has been difficult to see but some words of wisdom have been comforting.
I've taken the wisdom from Sunday school's scripture:

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NIV)

and from our Sunday sermons from James 1 in speaking of taking great joy and perservering during trials. 
I don't know if this is my trial to endure but considering how much my heart hurts for my co-workers, I will joyfully endure with them.
I will come to work and give a shoulder to lean on. 
I will give them all the love I have to give them in hopes of them finding the love they all had for each other before this all happened.
I will cast all my worries on Him (1Peter5:7) and remain confident in kowing that He has a plan for what is happening.




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Perfectly Imperfect

>> Sunday, January 15, 2012

I was thinking, "Why do we beat ourselves up for our lack of perfection before God?"  Maybe I believe different than most, but if God made me who I am, how I am and God makes no mistakes, then:
I am perfect.
There is nothing about me that is wrong.
I totally and completely embrace who I am
Because God made  me the way I am
It is because of the circumstances in life that he has put before me that I have
the personality that I have,
the desires.
It is because of the gifts He has bestowed upon me that I have
the talents I have,
the skills.
He has a purpose for me and I am going with it completely.
Do I embrace my sinfulness?  No, but I will not punish myself when I fall to sin.  Who am I to punish myself when God has forgiven me?  Jesus has already paid for my sins, which I am grateful for.
God uses my sins to teach me, help me grow into who he wants me to become.  So, instead of beating myself up, I will take these lessons as opportunities to become the Christian that I want to be.

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Changing Hearts

>> Sunday, January 8, 2012

"5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6. in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


I have to make a confession - I've been avoiding going to church.  There were several small, silly reasons that I hadn't gone:
- feeling anti-social
- stressed
- holiday overkill
- exhaustion with the kids
Those were all excuses I was making but not the real reason I wasn't going.  Have you ever met someone that, for lack of a better way to say it, "rubbed you the wrong way"?  Maybe they never said anything directly to you, but you felt that comments were meant as jabs and you felt like they were constantly judging you.  I have one of those people in my life.  I've been able to not let it bother me until recently, but I guess maybe I let them get to me at a sensitive moment.  So, I've been avoiding them by avoiding church.  See, I wasn't mad at this person, I didn't truly think that this person was trying to hurt me or anything.  I was bothered by my reaction to this person.  You have to know me to really understand why this has been hard for me.  I am totally oblivious when it comes to people not liking me (or liking me).  You literally have to tell me, "I don't like you.  Go away", before I will get the hint.  This person didn't do that.  Not only did they not do that, I don't think they've said anything to me to be hurtful or mean, so I've been very confused by my feelings, but I think I may know why now.
When it comes to my Christianity, I feel like a failure.  I feel like it is insufficient and flawed.  I've rejected my Christianity more than once.  I struggle with being the humble Christian woman I am asked to be.  I admire the soft spoken kind woman.  Me - I talk to much, am straight forward, too honest, loud, and a confident woman.  I actually think that I'm upset that this person might not see anything good in me.  Why do I care?  I see how this person can carry both those sides, maybe not to an extreme, and be a beautiful Christian woman.  It's what I'd love to be.
She came up to me after service today and apologized for  making a joke a few weeks ago at what she considered my expense ( a joke that I could've seen myself making).  When she first came up to me, she asked how I'd been and tried to make small talk.  It was so strange that the only thing I could say was "Fine.  So what do you want?"  It didn't come out quite as harsh as it's written here, but it was direct.  When she apologized, I wanted to tell her how I'd felt and how I didn't like that I felt that way.  I wanted to tell her how sorry I was that I had these odd feelings toward her in my heart, but I think I was so taken aback by the entire thing that all I could say was thank you.  I was probably one of the most sincere thanks you's that I've ever said.  I felt it in my heart and it made me want to cry because it felt so good.
I don't know if things are perfect now, or even really better, but my heart has come to understand it's own confusion and from there I can pull it towards a better way of thinking toward this person and myself.  I thank God for motivating me to go to "coffee shop service" (as I so fondly refer to it as) Sunday and for listening to my heart these last few weeks about it all.  I am grateful to my preacher for telling me Sunday that "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." (Proverbs 18:1 ESV).  It encouraged me to come to church when I just wanted to curl up at home.  I asked for guidance and God gave me more than I expected.  I love it when I see God so brilliantly and hear His soft whisper so loudly.


Linking today at:
Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday

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