Sunday, August 17, 2008

Go See!

I did it! I launched my new blog. Go check it out:

Being The Person God Created Me To Be.

I'll be doing my best to post almost daily. To be honest, I don't know if I'll be continuing here at The Stumbling Christian. I have a few things to wrap up, but I hope you will make the move with me.

See you there!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Please Say A Prayer

A friend of mine, Cyndi, just emailed me and several of our friends asking for prayers for her friend, Anna.

Tragically, Anna lost her 15 month old son today. He died in his sleep while at the sitter's house. I don't know Anna but my heart breaks for her right now. Oh, how I wish I understood God's plans. How I wish I knew the plans He has in store for Anna. How I wish I could explain it all to her.

But there is nothing that can be said or done to wash away the pain that Anna and her husband are feeling right now. Nothing to make her say, "Oh, I feel better now. Thanks".

It's just not possible. Only God can mend her broken heart. Only God can heal her pain. Only God can get her through to the other side.

Months ago, the Holy Spirit kept me awake with a writing. He does this from time to time and I'm often compelled to get out of bed, go to my computer and type out whatever it is the Holy Spirit wants me to say. But this time was different. What the Holy Spirit was dictating to me didn't make sense to me because it didn't apply to me so I stayed in bed and somehow managed to fall asleep anyway, never typing a word.

I get it now. Here is the story Holy Spirit was telling me:

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I am a birth mother.

You may have friends that have adopted children and you've probably heard them say many times how thankful they are to the birth mother. These women, the birth mothers, have given them the one amazing and precious gift that is second only to the gift of salvation - the gift of a child.

Birth mothers give their children to the only other person who could possibly love them as much as they do, if not more.

Birth mothers give their children to the only other person who could possibly provide more for them. Teach them a little better. Heal them a little more tenderly. Forgive them a little more gracefully. Accept them a little more completely.

Birth mothers give their children to the only other person willing to die for them.

I am a birth mother.

I gave birth to a beautiful baby but, not long after, the Lord took him home to live with Him.

I got in some kisses and some hugs but not nearly enough. I took a few pictures, played a few games but not nearly enough. I carved out some memories and stored up some love, but not nearly enough.

Then my child went to live in his new home with his new parent, his Heavenly Father. The Lord has His reasons - this I understand.

But not nearly enough.

I am a birth mother. My child was adopted into God's family and the Lord will raise him now. I could give my child so much, but the Lord will give him more.

I love my child immeasurably, but the Lord will love him beyond that.

I would've forgiven my child after everything, but the Lord forgives before.

I wouldn't have died in the place of my child, but the Lord already did.

I am a birth mother.

The Lord did not promise me a child to begin with but He gave me one anyway. The Lord did not promise me an indefinite amount of time with my child, but I got some anyway. The Lord did not promise me a life without pain, but I got some joy anyway. But there's is one thing the Lord has promised me and that is a reunion.

And I will live the rest of my days longing for it, for I am a birth mother.

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Please pray for Anna and her family. I know you've never met her & don't know her last name but God will know who you are talking about. Pray the Lord will heal her and her family and bring them through to the other side, together. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Working On Something.



I'm working on something BIG. Something BOLD. Something NEW and EXCITING.

Well, I think so anyway. Do you want to know what it is? Okay, I'll tell ya! 'Cause I'm dying to tell ya!

It's a new blog! Yep, that's right a new blog. I'm not ready to unveil it yet. There's some work to be done - you know, decide colors, cute graphics, fonts, etc.

Where does that leave this blog? Well, to be honest, I'm not sure. There's definitely more to write here but I'm really feeling like God is leading me onto something else. I think my work here at The Stumbling Christian is coming to a close and I need to move forward. Challenge myself more. Maybe challenge you more. Maybe the new blog will cause you to challenge me more. I don't know but I'm excited to find out!

I hope you come along with me. I don't know what I'd do without you, quite frankly. As soon as I have it up & running you'll be the first to know!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meyer Monday

God Has A Plan

If you have a poor self-image, it has already adversely affected your past, but you can be healed and not allow the past to repeat itself. Let go of what lies behind, including any negative ways you have felt about yourself, and press on toward the good things God has in store for you.

God has a good plan and a purpose for each of us and a specific way and perfect time to bring it to pass, but not all of us experience it. Many times we live far below the standard that God intends for us to enjoy.

For years I did not exercise my rights and privileges as a child of God. Although I was a Christian and believed I would go to heaven when I died, I did not know that anything could be done about my past, present or future. I had a poor self-image, and it affected my day-to-day living, as well as my outlook for the future.

Accept God's love for you and make that love the basis for your love and acceptance of yourself. Receive His affirmation, knowing that you are changing and becoming all that He desires you to be. Then start enjoying yourself - where you are - on your way to full spiritual maturity.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be.

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For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you ope in your final outcome. ~ Jeremiah 29:11


Friday, August 8, 2008

A Truth About Me Part V

I can't believe I haven't written since Monday. Where has my week gone? I have no idea. I thought instead of commenting on Meyer Monday, I would continue with A Truth About Me. It's about time I started to wrap this one up anyway.


When I left you last, I told the story about my dad's death and how it really affected me while I was pretending/believing that it didn't. That was the second wall to go up around my heart, keeping me "safe". With the second wall firmly in place, there was only one person left to keep out.

That was my husband.

Maybe it's taken me so long to write this particular post because this is the most difficult. Who wants to admit that they slowly and methodically walled the love of their life out of their heart? I honestly thought I could do this and maintain a marriage that was "just fine". I got news for you - when one person is not well in the relationship, the relationship is not well.

I can't tell you when I first started working on this third wall. I believe it was not long after my dad's death. You see, at that time I would do anything to not focus on my grief. Crying - any crying for any reason - reminded me of my dad's death. So I focused pretty darn fiercely on NOT crying AT ALL.

Like a lot of wives out there, I would often cry whenever my husband and I had a fight. Or when he'd do that thing that men sometimes do - you know, say something insensitive and stupid and not even realize it. I'll give you an example: my husband once declared that women cry just to manipulate.

Now, I'll go on record to say that, yes, some women do cry in order to get their way but by this time in our relationship we had been together seven years and, in all honesty, he should have known me better than that. I simply don't cry to get my way!

The fact that he said that made it all the more easy for me to shut off that part of my emotional self. He reduces my emotions down to a manipulative school-girl ploy and expects me to just take it? Oh no you don't, Buster! I'll show you! I just won't cry at all!

Ever.

Nothing.

No way!

Zip! Zilch! Done! Whenever I felt that tightening of the throat and prickle in my eyes, I would literally, drill sergeant-style start forbidding myself to cry. I would do all sorts of deep breathing, counting to ten, picturing kittens playing in my head, etc., to make it stop. And, you know what? It worked! I was tear-free in just a matter of a few short weeks!

Now here's a little secret I want to share with you all: You can't shut down one aspect of your emotions without holding the rest hostage. You want to suppress sadness, anger, hurt, grief, pain? Fine. But you are also going to give up joy, happiness, laughter, awe, hope and love. The pendulum can and will swing both ways but you can't just make it stick to one side. Doesn't work that way.

Refusing to let my husband in on all the bad stuff going on inside of me meant I couldn't let him in on all the good stuff, too. No more sharing ideas, thoughts, dreams, amusements, hopes. Nope, it's an all or nothing kind of thing and for my own "safety" I chose nothing.

This does not make for a happy marriage. That's not to say things got ugly around here, they didn't. But growth did not take place. An erosion of sorts occurred instead. Thank the Lord, He got to me before it all crumbled into nothingness.

Fast forward to today: I no longer bury my emotions and cry freely whenever the mood strikes - this is a good thing. My husband and I are in a good place. I'm completely open with him now as I am pretty much with everyone. It wasn't an easy road to hike, these last 12 months or so, but it wasn't all that difficult either. The Lord carried me most of the way, anyway.

I don't know where this story will lead to after this post. There is more to tell you about - how I got from point A to point B and where I'm at with my food addiction now - and I will tell you about it soon. It's just that, really, it's an ongoing process. It never really ends, I suppose. I can tell you this much though - honest self-examination isn't all that pretty and there were some pretty hard pills to swallow. Some of those pills I still have to go!

I hope you continue to join me on this journey!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Are You A Grasshopper?

We read in Numbers 13 of how Moses sent twelve men to scout out the Promised Land to see if it was good or bad. Ten of the men came back with what the Bible refers to as "an evil report" (Numbers 13:32). When the twelve scouts returned, they told Moses, "The land is good, but there are giants in it!"

The fear of the giants prevented God's people from entering the land that He had promised to give them. It wasn't really the giants that defeated these people; it was their poor self-image. They only saw the giants; they failed to see God.

Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who had a proper attitude toward the land. They said to Moses and the people. "Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it" (Numbers 13:30). In the end, they were the only ones who were allowed by God to go into the Promised Land.

God had a glorious future planned for all of the Israelites, but all of them did not enter into that future - only the ones who had a proper attitude toward God and toward themselves.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be.

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There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sights as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. ~ Numbers 13:33

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

It's Super Savings Saturday over at MoneySavingMom.com again. If you have yet to wander on over to Crystal's site, you need to go now. Right now!


Go on, get! I'll wait.


Okay, now that you're back - see, I knew you'd like it - I need your help.

I've decided that while the savings are great buying items on sale and with coupons, I think I can do better by making more at home from scratch. This will be quite a task considering I'm basically someone who meanders through the kitchen either to, A) get a cookie or B) make my way to the bathroom on the other side. I'm not much of a cook is what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, I've decided to drastically cut back on buying anything in a box (except pasta, I'm simply NOT going to learn how to make my own pasta) such as Hamburger Helper, PastaRoni, brownie & cake mixes, rice mixes, etc. I like the fact that I'll also be throwing away less as well.

I have recipes for cakes and brownies, so I'm good there. What I really need are sauce mixes. Sauces to put over pastas, chicken, turkey and whatnot. Crockpot ideas would be MOST helpful!

Care to help a super savings sister out? Leave me one or two of your favorite recipes. Nothing too difficult, I'm a kitchen newbie remember!

I really appreciate your help! Thanks in advance!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Dead-Dog Image

The Dead-Dog Image is something that resonates with me. I'm happy to say, however, not nearly as much as it used to.

When my husband first met me, he was amused yet astounded at not just my reluctance to talk to employees at a retail store but my absolute refusal to do so. I would gladly walk up and down the aisles looking for whatever it was I needed before ever asking an employee for help. I didn't want to "bother" them. I thought I was being an inconvenience to them. A nuisance. I didn't see myself as having the right to their assistance that simply being a customer entitles you to. I didn't deserve their help.

Where this notion came from, I have no idea. I do know that over the years I've come to realize that I just don't do well speaking to people I don't know. What's funny is that I worked in retail most of my life. Apparently, I was into self-torture as well.

Most of that has changed now. Glory be to God! I can pinpoint exactly when I was thrust into overcoming this fear of speaking to strangers. It was very soon after my baby girl was born.

You see, London was born with A LOT of hair. Tons! Her hair literally stopped people in their tracks whether they be at the grocery store, mall, park, restaurant, bank - you name it. They had to stop and comment and ask to touch her little head. Then each and everyone of them were compelled to tell me about their baby/grandbaby/niece/nephew/child down the road who either did or didn't have hair like my little girl.

Of course, this meant that I had to talk to these complete strangers! Not an outing went by where I wasn't thrust into a conversation with someone. I remember many, many times I'd be in the grocery store, London secure in her brightly-colored, padded grocery cart cover when we'd round the corner down the cereal aisle and there they would be. That cute elderly couple you just knew had grandchildren of their own. And the Sybil-esque voice would start in my head, "The people! The people! The people!"

Inevitably, they'd spot her out-of-control curly tresses, smile and make a bee-line for the mom who they were sure wanted to talk endlessly about them. *sigh*

This happened so often that, without my even realizing it, I came out of my shell. Now, you'd be hard pressed to shut me up!

It's funny to me how God works sometimes. I never once prayed for help in this area of my life yet God saw a need, an area that needed growth and without so much as a word to me (because I'm sure I would've protested) He began His work on it.

I enjoy talking to people I don't know so much now that I sometimes go out of my way to do so. I'll happily discuss my children but even more happily discuss yours. Or whatever else is important to you.

And if you work in a retail store, you can bet your bottom dollar, I'll be asking for your help!

The Dead-Dog Image has died in this girl!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Sorry...

I am running behind! I have not forgotten my blog or my valued blog readers! I'm just up to my bunny ears is "stuff" to do.

I promise to be back a.s.a.p or as soon as I get a minute to myself.

Of course, if I do get a minute to myself this blog may just lose out to a much needed nap instead!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meyer Monday

The Dead-Dog Image

Mephibosheth was the grandson of Kind Saul and the son of Jonathon, who had been a close covenant friend to David. Crippled as a youth, Mephibosheth had a poor self-image, a dead-dog image. Instead of seeing himself as the rightful heir to his father's and grandfather's legacy, he saw himself as someone who would be rejected.

When David sent for Mephiboseth, he fell down before the king and displayed fear. David told him not to fear, that he intended to show him kindness. Mephibosheth's response is an important example of the kind of poor self-image we all need to overcome.

A poor self-image causes us to operate in fear instead of faith. We look at what is wrong with us instead of what is right with Jesus. He has taken our wrongness and given us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). We need to walk in the reality of that truth.

I love the end of the story. David blessed Mephibosheth for Jonathon's sake. He gave him servants and land and provided for all of his needs.

I relate Mephibosheth's lameness to our own weakness. We may also fellowship and eat with our King Jesus - despite our faults and weaknesses.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be

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And Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, Mephibosheth! And he answered, Behold your servant!

David said to him, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathon your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father [grandfather], and you shall eat at my table always.

And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am? ~ Samuel 9:6-8

Friday, July 25, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

My shopping extravaganza for the week:


First CVS:

I can't remember the details of everything, except that I got all of the above for a little over $12.00 OOP with $5.00 ECB's back. Not bad, not bad. I'm not hitting CVS like I used to these days. I did so stinkin' well the first few months that I'm completely stocked up on just about everything. So now I just keep an eye out for diapers, detergent and the occassional make-up steal. Like this one: I had swiped my CVS card in their coupon machine thinga-ma-bob and got a $3.00 off any Revlon cosmetic. I knew I had a $2.00 manufacturer coupon at home so I ran back to the house (I live all of 3 minutes from my CVS store) and grabbed it. CVS was having a B1G1 Free sale on Revlon products, combine that with my $5.00 in coupons and I got the above for .99 cents!


Now it's Walgreen's turn:They had several back-to-school items on sale this past week. Everything except the mini composition books (.5 cents ea.) and the paper clips (.19 cents each) is available for a full rebate. The really good news is that I paid for everything with my Walgreen's gift card that has all my other rebate money on it. I get a kick out of the fact that I'm just reusing the same money over and over again to buy new stuff!


Now for Walmart:
I'd just like to take a moment and thank Crystal over at MoneySavingMom.com for all the hard work she does so I don't have to! All I did with the above purchase was follow her directions on this post , clipped my coupons and off I went. I got everything above for $5.78. Here's what I did:


Kotex pantyliners - $1.00 minus $1.00 coupon = Free!
Johnson's Baby Shampoo - $2.12 minus $1.00 coupon = $1.12
(2) Huggies Clean Sweep - $5.46 minus $3.00 coupon = $2.46
(2) Muir Glen Tomatos - $2.48 minus $2.00 coupons = $.48 cents
(2) Tava 4 packs - $3.96 minus $3.00 coupons = $. 96 cents
(2) Bic Pens 10 pks - $1.76 minus $1.00 coupon = $.76 cents.


All total I saved $11.00 at Walmart thanks to Crystal! I've seen others make a much better killing than that but I'm a newbie at working the Walmart deals so I'm cutting myself a little slack. Not a bad start, though.

Check out MoneySavingMom.com for more great deals!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Truth About Me Part IV

With the first wall around my heart successfully built after deciding to close out friends, old & new, it was time to start construction on the second wall. This would come all too easily in 2001 when my dad died suddenly from pancreatic cancer.

I say "suddenly" because from the time of diagnosis to the time of death was nine days. Something had been terribly wrong with my dad's health for months but having that "pull yourself up from your bootstraps and shove on" mentality, Dad wasn't in all that of a rush to find out what it was. The cancer would have gotten him anyway. Pancreatic cancer is a losing battle. It's as painfully simple as that. I don't know if the extra time of knowing would have done any good. It would have just caused people to fuss over him and being fussed over was not something Dad was terribly interested in.

I handled my dad's death like a pro. Spoke clearly at his memorial without so much as a quiver and pulled my own self up by the bootstraps and shoved on! The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree, ya know.

I came to understand that their are five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Denial I could totally relate to seeing that is was pretty dang close to daydreaming and, since I consider myself a professional daydreamer, I jumped right in.

Being the impatient person that I am, I had no time for the three stages in the middle so I jumped ahead to acceptance. I saw no reason to even consider the other three since acceptance was where I was going to end up anyway, why not just get there sooner rather than later, right?

I had a simple plan: Anytime I felt myself even coming close to the other three or, heck, any kind of emotion resembling grief in any way, I would jump right back to denial since I was so good at it anyway. Besides, pretending is fun & easy. Why not do it in place of actually working through your emotions and heal from your grief? Phffftttthhh!!!!

Remember the movie Finding Nemo? Of course you do, it wasn't that long ago! Anyway, there's this scene where Dory and Marlin, after getting directions from the school of fish, are supposed to swim through the trench, not over it. Marlin decides that swimming through the trench looks dark and foreboding. He's scared to go through the trench (we all are). So he decides to do what looks easiest and that is, swim over it. Well, it turns out that swimming over it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Sure, it started out fun but Dory and Marlin end up in worse trouble, more painful trouble, than they ever imagined. Trouble that nearly cost them dearly. Take it from me, you need to swim through the trench!

Oh, for heaven's sake! The jellyfish! Remember? The jellyfish, people! Remember? Dory almost died! It was not that long ago!

Anyway, back to my simple plan. The problem with it was that it was nearly impossible to NOT come close to those other emotions whenever I was around my brothers. I didn't want to avoid them, especially at this difficult time but I absolutely, positively, for my own "safety" (there's that word again) could NOT speak to them about the death of our dad. Do you know that NOT ONCE did I call my brothers afterwards and ask them how they were doing? Not once.

What? No nomination for Sister of the Year? Come on!

I just couldn't do it. I could not take on the pain and sorrow of my brothers'. Not for even one small phone call. I couldn't deal with my own. How could I deal with theirs? The truth of the matter is, when we help to carry each others burdens, we end up with less of our own to carry. I didn't know that at the time, and thus went up the second wall around my heart closing out my family.

As long as I kept my family at bay, I could continue mistakenly believing that I had accepted my dad's death and shove any emotions proving otherwise deeper down into my soul. And now that I had successfully barricaded my friends and my family from my heart, there was only one more person to go...


To be continued...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Godly Self-Love

Joyce writes: We all need to ask ourselves what we are doing with the love of God that has been freely given to us.


I think this is an excellent question. What are you doing with it? What am I doing with it? Am I passing it on to others around me? Well, yes, sometimes.

But mostly, no.

Don't get me wrong - generally, I'm a nice person. I'm friendly to others, helpful & cheery but am I loving others the way God loves me? I've heard Joyce say before that we are not reservoirs of God's love, but channels. We shouldn't be storing it all up for ourselves but, instead, God's love should be flowing through and out of us.

I've also heard it said that we can't really love others until we first love ourselves. Am I loving myself the way God loves me? Well, yes, sometimes.

But mostly, no.

But I do love myself a heck of a lot more than I used to before putting God in the lead role of my life. I still fight the demons of self-doubt, self-criticism and negative thinking but many of those demons have given up the fight now that they see I have the power of God on my side and I'm not giving up. I have a long way to go but I'm getting there.

One thing I like to remind myself of is the fact that God is never wrong. God says I'm beautiful. God says I'm worthy. God says I'm good enough and God says I am made right through Christ. To say anything different about myself would, in every sense, be arguing with God. Now I don't know about you but I hate to lose an argument so I just try to remind myself that, when it comes to me, God is right and I just need to accept it.

I need to accept the fact that I'm worthy of God's love and that God sees me as worth loving. Once I fully accept that (sometimes it's hard to wrap my brain around the infinite depth of His love), then I will be able to really pour that love out of me and into the hearts of others.

What about you? Have you fully accepted the love God has for you?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meyer Monday

The Bible teaches us that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. That simply means that when the Lord, in the person of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell in our heart because of our faith in His Son Jesus Christ, He brings love with Him, because God is love (1 John 4:8).

We all need to ask ourselves what we are doing with the love of God that has been freely given to us. Are we rejecting it because we don't think we are valuable enough to be loved? Do we believe God is like other people who have rejected and hurt us? Or are we receiving His love by faith, believing that He is greater than our failures and weaknesses?

We should love ourselves - not in a selfish, self-centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way, a way that simply affirms God's creation as essentially good and right.

God's plan is this: He wants us to receive His love, love ourselves in a godly way, generously love Him in return, and finally love all the people who come into our lives.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be.

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...God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:5

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My 100 Things

I'm skipping Super Savings Saturday this week, though I did find a couple of good deals over at CVS. Oh, and speaking of CVS, if you haven't gotten over there to get your free photo books, what's keepin' ya? Get to it!

In the meantime, I had completely forgotten about my 100 things until about a day or two ago. It's been pretty heavy around here, so why not lighten things up a little! See the rest of my list here.


Here we go:

80. I do not, can not and will not ever understand the fascination with The Rolling Stones.

79. I totally understand the fascination with Aerosmith!

78. I sometimes have dreams where my teeth are rotten and nasty and falling out. What does this mean?!

77. There is a part of me that could totally live in Alaska. It's a small, crazy part that I don't let out often, but it's there.

76. I am dead serious when I say I want to someday own a goat farm.

75. When I was little I wanted to be an actress, a rock star and a teacher.

74. I have eaten escargot and loved it. Twice.

73. I have stepped foot in 18 of the 50 states. Most of which I simply drove through.

72. I LOATHE peas. Don't even talk to me about them.

71. I honestly used to believe that Britney Spears was the normal one and Christina Aguilera was the troubled one!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Truth About Me. Part III

When I last left you, I said that telling you my story about when my compulsive eating began involved a friend whom I had no intention of hurting and, if necessary, I would skip that part.

Well, that good friend of mine proved even a better friend when she called me and immediately gave me the go ahead to tell the story.

The truth of the matter is, I probably had a food addiction before the issue with my friend, it's just that I seem to be able to pinpoint a seriously bad habit I formed right after that that I don't recall having before. A bad habit that, in my opinion, is worse than just shoving copious amounts of food into my mouth. That habit?

The act of knowingly, willingly and purposely ignoring my emotions, pushing my feelings down to the depth of numbness and closing off every person near and dear to me from my heart. Not good, my friends. Not good at all.

I've heard it said that when you bury your emotions, you bury something that is alive and one way or another it's going to dig it's way back out. Mine dug their way out in the form of a food addiction and compulsive eating among other things. Those other things I'm still trying to figure out. Heck, just the other day I realized I may have rejection issues. Who knew? But believe me, you'll know about them when I do!

Anyway, back to my friend. The long and short of it is, we were best friends for fourteen years. All through high school and then some. I was in her wedding, there for the birth of her second child and she rode every emotional rollercoaster ride with me that I could find. As a great many friends do, we found ourselves on different paths in life and, I don't know, maybe we just didn't know how to handle that. So we did the only thing we knew how to do and that was have a rip-roaring, all-hell-breaks-loose, knock-down-drag-out falling out. That was in 1997. We didn't speak afterwards for eight years.

EIGHT YEARS, people! Take it from me, that is a long time to hold onto anger and resentment.

The truth of it is, I was unwilling, for quite some time, to accept responsibility for my end of it. Sure, it may seem easier to put all the blame on the other person, but in the long run, you end up paying for it.

Anyway, as a result of constantly blaming her and not looking for any truth within me, I then took the next natural step - I ended up distrusting all of my friends. I figured if "she could do that to me, they all could". That is when the first wall went up around my heart. I not only no longer shared my emotions, problems, anxieties, fears, dreams or really anything of value for that matter with my friends. I also absolutely refused to form any new friendships with other women. As far as I was concerned, I was done in the girlfriends department.

Sounds healthy, right? I knew even then it wasn't healthy but it sure did seem safe to me. And "safety" was exactly what I was after. Oh, if I had only known about the safety of Christ at that time!

Now with friends "safely" on the other side of the first wall around my heart, it was time to get busy building the second one. That one would go up almost immediately after my dad's death in 2001. I'll fill you in on that part of the story very soon.

Until then, thanks for listening.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Root of Rejection

Rejection...hmm...this is not an easy topic. I can remember different times in my life when I was rejected for different reasons. I've been going over them in my head and I'm afraid that this is just going to come out like a "poor me" post.

But, then again, this has never been an issue that I've explored before, so maybe it's worth it for me to go over a few of these things...

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Okay, I've sat here for the last twenty minutes or so typing out all the times I suffered rejection in my life and, while I absolutely agree that it deserves to be explored and I will, it was getting to be a really, really long story. So let's just say that I've suffered from rejection from time to time but, I truly believe that while, yes, I do need to explore this, I've suffered no where near what other people have.

Joyce writes, "If you are rooted in rejection, abuse, shame, guilt, or a poor self-image..."

Okay, poor self-image is definitely something I've struggled with. I have no idea where that comes from, really. Perhaps another post some other time on that. And, let's just say that rejection has been a part of my past. That I'm willing to face as well.

Joyce also writes, "your "tree" will bear depression, negativism, a lack of confidence, anger, hostility, a controlling spirit, judgmentalism, a chip on your shoulder, hatred, and self-pity..."

Can I get a ding! ding! ding! on the lack of confidence, anger and controlling spirit? That's a dead-on right there! It has never occurred to me that these issues that I struggle with may have something to do with my feelings of rejection that stem from the past. Wow. Really worth exploring further!

I'm thinking that there are going to be several times when Joyce gets me to explore what's been going on inside of me. And I'm also beginning to think that maybe I need a journal of some sort to really help me with this exploration. Is anyone else thinking online journal?

Because, you know, I could use another blog! lol!

Meyer Monday

The Root Of Rejection

Rejection starts as a seed that is planted in our lives through different things that happen to us. The devil does not want to plant just a seed of rejection. He wants to plant it deep so it will develop into a root that will go way down and have other little rootlets attached to it. Eventually these roots and rootlets will become a tree.

Whatever you are rooted in will determine the fruit in your life - good or bad. If you are rooted in rejection, abuse, shame, guilt, or a poor self-image - if you are rooted in thinking, Something is wrong with me! - your "tree" will bear depression, negativism, a lack of confidence, anger, hostility, a controlling spirit, judgmentalism, a chip on your shoulder, hatred, and self-pity. It leads you to say to yourself, "Well, the real me is not acceptable, so I need to produce a pretend me!"

All the areas of your life that are out of order can be reconciled through Jesus and the work that He has done on the cross. It happened to me, and God can do it for you. Begin to believe it! Don't settle for bondage, but be determined to be free!

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be

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And God say everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. ~ Genesis 1:31

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seek The Lord Sunday


This week over at Called Her Blessed, Daiquiri asks us to talk about Jesus. One of the questions she asks is, Who is Jesus to You? Well, if you've been a long-time reader, you know I like photo montages, so I'm answering her question with a series of photos. Enjoy!

He is the rock on which I stand:
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. ~ Matthew 7:25

The one whom I cast my cares upon:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7
He is my new beginning:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! ~ Corinthians 5:17


He is my strength within:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Phillipians 4:13

He is my satiety:
"I am the bread that came down from heaven." ~ John 6:41

The foundation of my faith:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

The calm in my storm:
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. ~ Matthew 8:26

He is a promise kept:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16

Jesus is my only path:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:6

He is the one who paid my debt:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
~ Isaiah 53:5

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

It's Super Savings Saturday again over at MoneySavingMom.com . Come join the fun!

Here are my deals for the week:

Party City: I like hitting the clearance section at Party City. You just never know what you might find. This week, I stole got away with two rolls of gift wrap and a ribbon bow for $1.00 TOTAL! Yay!

Christmas in July:


In sticking with my $10.00 limit on (most) Christmas gifts, I found a bathrobe on the clearance shelf at CVS for $5.00 and this great brand-new picture frame at a garage sale for a $1.00. Both will be going to my mom this Christmas.


Kohl's:

I did some speed shopping at Kohl's last week. I hit the 80% off racks ONLY! I refused to look at anything else. I walked away with four tops and a dress for under $20! You can't find prices like that at a consignment shop. Plus, the stuff I bought was NEW!

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store:

Overall, I was not impressed with my local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. The selection was horrible and the prices were outrageous! Lucky for me, they were having a 1/2 price sale so I thought it would at least be worth my while to check out their books. I picked up these four for less than $5.00. That was worth the trip!



Have a great week, everyone!

Self-Acceptance

Did I say I'd write my thoughts about Joyce Meyer's writings on Tuesday? I meant Thursday. Yeah, yeah - Thursday.


To say that I've had issues with self-acceptance is an understatement. This is something I've battled my entire life but I'm happy to say, I'm on my way to victory. Maybe self-acceptance just comes with age because after awhile, you just get sick of the fight. You get tired of that nagging voice in your head that tells you you're not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, this enough or that enough so you grab that little voice by the neck and shove it's annoying little self into a box and leave it on the side of the road somewhere.

You know, like people leave cats out in the country. That sort of thing.

I'm still working on it. I'm not completely there yet. But I can tell you this - finally accepting the fact that God accepts me AS IS has been a huuuuuge step forward for me. For the first (nearly) two years after I returned to the church, I had a hard time believing that I was good enough for God's family. I felt like a welcomed dinner guest but couldn't see myself actually making my home there with Him. Like Joyce Meyer said - I had been in the habit of rejecting myself so I automatically concluded that God would ultimately reject me as well. Why would someone so pure, so holy, so good and so perfect want me at His dinner table all the time?

It took some time, but I finally realized that I go to Christ to be cleansed, not go to Christ already cleaned up. If I (or you) were to wait until I had myself all spiffy and shiney before giving myself up to Christ, well, it just wouldn't happen, let's be honest.

Someone once gave me this example:

Say it had been a long, long time since you last saw your children and you finally got the chance to be with them again. Say your children came running up to you dirty and grimey, would you stop them before they reached you and told them they had to go wash up first before hugging you? No, of course not! God is the same way. He wants us even if we're dirty, grimey and a mess! Just as long as He gets us!

Well, He's got me and, together, we're doing a fine job of cleaning up my messes here & there. If you're a mom of a toddler you'll get this reference - God is like a great, big Magic Eraser!

God Bless!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Being The Person God Made You To Be.

*beep* *beep* *beep*
We interrupt this compulsive eating story to bring you this important message:

I've been wanting to start something new with my blog for quite sometime but it seems like everytime I want to start it, something comes up. Well, I'm determined to start it and start it I shall! I will get back to "A Truth About Me" in just a matter of days, I promise. The more I write on the subject, the more I find there is to write on the subject. I thought I'd be able to spew it all out in one boring post but it seems that my loquacious nature has gotten the better of me.

I just need to get this new thing started as well.

As many of you know, I have "Meyer Mondays" - that's when I post a page out of Joyce Meyer's "Being The Person God Made You To Be". I will continue to do just that but instead of just posting what she says in her book, I would like to add my comments about her writings and actually apply what she says.

Can you imagine? Apply the teachings of God! Who'da thunk?

I feel that it only makes sense, then to start at the very beginning of her book and go from there.

(let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start).

Sorry, I channeled Julie Andrews there for a minute. I'm back now. No worries.

So this is how it's going to work: On Mondays, I'll do "Meyer Monday" as usual. On Tuesdays, I'll post my comments about Joyce's writing, how what she says may or may not ring true with me, and how I will be applying (or attempting to apply) what she teaches to my life. From time to time, I'll update you on whether or not I'm succeeding in being the person God created me to be and ask for your prayers and support.

Or, at the very least, ask that you don't point and laugh at me. Because, you know, that would be mean.

So, are you ready? Good! Let's get started!

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SELF-ACCEPTANCE

During my years of ministry, I have discovered that most people really don't like themselves. This is a very big problem, much bigger than one might think initially. It is certainly not God's will for His children to feel this way. Rather, it is part of Satan's attempt to ruin us.

If we don't get along with ourselves, we won't get along with other people. When we reject ourselves, it may seem to us that others reject us as well. Relationships are a vital part of our lives. How we feel about ourselves is a determining factor in our success in life and in relationships.

Our self-image is the inner picture we carry of ourselves. If what we see is not healthy, not true to the Scriptures, we will suffer from fear, insecurity, and various misconceptions about ourselves. For many years, it devastated my own life.

God is a God of hearts. He sees our heart, not just the exterior shell we live in (the flesh) that seems to get us into so much trouble. Our Father in heaven never intended for us to feel bad about ourselves. He wants us to know ourselves and yet accept ourselves in the same way that He does.

~Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be

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May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love. ~ Ephesians 3:17

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Truth About Me. Part II

Sorry about the delay. I'm fighting a nasty head cold and will be quite surprised if I'm able to string two coherent sentences together in this posting. Let's see if I can put more of this story together, shall we?

As I stated before, it was an Oprah episode that smacked me upside the head and made me realize something about myself I had never before. I remember the day clearly...

It was a cold and murky day...I'm kidding. It was actually quite nice out as spring was just turning into summer and yet I had decided to spend said nice day indoors cleaning my floor. I had the Oprah show on for "background noise". No, really! Oprah had her trusty fitness guru friend Bob Greene on and he was talking to several people who had found success using his latest techniques.

Now let me just stop right there and switch gears on you for just a minute. I'd like to discuss the term "self-medicating". I had heard the term several times on Oprah and Dr. Phil and similar shows (painting a real nice picture of a stay-at-home mom who does nothing all day but watch daytime television, ya think?) many times before. I had honestly never thought about applying the term to me or my issues with food. It really never occurred to me. I honestly thought that people who self-medicate, whether it be with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, etc., did so because of some trauma experienced in their childhood. I didn't know that someone could experience a trauma in adulthood and then go on to self-medicate as a way of coping with that trauma. I know that sounds silly to say I never realized that, but it is the truth.

One of the women on Oprah that day told a story about how her job meant everything to her. It was her life, her passion, her identity. She told how when she was fired from her job she felt like a part of her died that day. She then explained how she went on to self-medicate with food to help her cope with her loss.

That's when I received the smack upside the head. There I stood, Bissell Steam Mop in hand, jaw agape and resting numbly on my semi-clean floor, staring at the t.v. Did I hear that right? This woman suffered a trauma as an adult and now she was self-medicating with food as a result of it?

The words "I'm self-medicating" came rolling of my tongue. I realized right then that self-medicating with food was, indeed, what I was doing. Thus began the process of delving back through my adulthood in an attempt to discover just what trauma I had endured. But, you know, I just couldn't think of anything. I didn't lose a beloved job. I hadn't suffered a divorce, lost a child, my house hadn't burned down, my dog didn't run away.

Okay, I've never owned a dog but still...

The only thing I could think of was my dad's passing from pancreatic cancer. But I had handled that so well. I accepted my dad's death upon diagnosis - before he even died. And, come to think of it, I was having problems with my weight and food before his death. If it wasn't my dad's death, what was it then? (turns out my dad's death did play a part in it)

Mentally, I went back to the time I first started plumping up and I narrowed it down, quite specifically, to the time my compulsive eating began.

I'm going to have to stop right there. Please believe me when I say that I WANT to tell you everything but to tell you the story about how my compulsive eating habits began is going to require some prayer. You see, telling you the story may end up hurting a friend. I have no interest in hurting someone even for the purpose of confession or to help someone who is reading my blog and struggling with their own food issues. I just won't.

I'll continue in a few days either with or without this component. In the meantime - sorry to leave you hanging - enjoy your holiday! Happy 4th Everyone!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Truth About Me. Part I

As I said in a previous post, I discovered a few truths about me 'round-about this time last year.


I told you that one of those truths included M&M candies, Nicole Kidman, Oprah and Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Makes for an odd picture, wouldn't you say? Allow me to put the pieces together for you (this may take awhile).

The start of the summer of 2007 found me with a new baby boy who struggled to nurse and a three-year-old who was set to potty-train. For you experienced mothers or non-OCD/control freak types, this is not enough to put you in a tizzy. For me, a slightly OCD/control freak type (albeit a charming one), it was tizzy-city!

I was in a strange, post-partum, sleep-deprived, unshowered, tizzy-city haze when I made the brilliant decision to go on a diet at this time. Not just any diet. No, not me. I decided I'd go on one of those ill-conceived, no-plan, change it from day to day, no formal guidelines, willy-nilly type of diets. And do you know, for some strange reason, it just didn't work? Go figure.

Did I mention I was in a strange, post-partum, sleep-deprived, unshowered, tizzy-city haze?

At the same time, I was in the beginning stages of potty-training my daughter. I'll just get it out in the open right now: I whole-heartily believe and support the act of bribing a child to pee in the potty. Whatever gets the pee in the potty, people! Use it!

And my brilliant dieting-self was bribing her with chocolate M&M's. A bought the biggest bag I could find at Wal-mart and swore that they were just for use as a potty-training reward. I figured one big bag was enough to see us through. I re-filled that bad no less than three times. Not because my daughter was pee'ing on the potty 67 times a day but because Mommy has some deep-rooted chocolate issues.

Oh, and I stress eat.

Imagine Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining with a bag of M&M's and no typewriter to bang his frustrations out on or ghost bartender to pour his heart out to. He would tear up that bag of chocolaty goodness! And tear it up (no less than three times) is exactly what I did.

All the while, wondering why on earth I was struggling to stay on a diet and lose weight.

You see, I have never had a problem sticking to a diet (a well-planned one with guidelines) for several months. I almost always saw success with my diet plans but this time around I could not get past even two or three days. I could not figure it out.

That's when an Oprah episode knocked me upside the head and I made a startling revelation about myself.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Even though I've rededicated my blog to focusing more on my walk with Christ, I want to continue participating in Super Savings Saturdays over at MoneySavingMom.com because it's important to be a good steward of our money. I've heard from more than one person that my postings on Saturdays have helped them to save money grocery shopping and at CVS. That alone is worth keeping these posts! So here we go:

This first pic is actually from last week. I went to Target for the first time for the sole purpose of "working the deals". I first checked out Crytal's site to read her excellent tips on what to get at Target. The few extra minutes with Crytal really paid off.
I paid .25 cents for the Band-aids, .25 cents for the Q-tips, and $2.34 for one of the toothbrushes. Everything else in the picture was free thanks to Crystal's advice! Thanks Crystal!

Next, my trip to Albertson's: Albertson's was having a great sale this week on selected items. A few of which I already had coupons for but the one thing I love about Albertson's is they take competitor's coupons - including the $5 off a $20 purchase from Fresh & Easy. Everything in the above picture totaled $14.10. According to my receipt, I saved $51.00! That comes out to .61 cents per item! Yay!

If you haven't checked out Crystal's site yet, you have to get over there. You don't have a thing to lose but lots to save!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Authenticity

au-then-tic-i-ty [aw-then-tis-i-tee, aw-thuhn-] noun

- the quality of being authentic; genuineness

In my previous post, I mentioned my desire to be an open book. Did I mention it would be non-fiction? I think anyone can spin a good tale but I've always felt that life was more interesting than the stuff of fiction. However, I think there is non-fiction and there is truth. I'm sure we've all perused an "unofficial" biography or two to know that fiction still manages to find it's way in.

Or we've all had a boisterous uncle who liked to tell tall-tales at the Thanksgiving table. Either way, we all know an embellishment when we hear it.

What I'm striving for in my book is authenticity. If I'm not going to be authentic, then I'm not growing in my walk with Christ. I will literally be standing still. And where will my passion be then?

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. ~ Revelation 3:15,16

Personally, being spit out of the mouth of God is not really something I would find appealing. Maybe that's just me.

The desire to be my more authentic self started in the early summer of 2007 when I came face to face with some truths about myself. Some of which weren't all that pretty. Upon realizing these truths, (and, yes, I will be sharing all the nitty-gritty with you, don't worry) there was no turning away from them. Either I was going to head out onto the road of health & healing or I was going to continue on the road of self-destruction and misery. Do you see a choice here? Neither did I.

What were those truths? Well, well...a little nosey aren't we? I'm kidding. Be nosey all you want! I'm spilling my guts either way. But not now. No, my precious, I like to keep you in suspense.

But here are a few little hints, just for fun: M&M candies, Nicole Kidman, Oprah and, oh...let's say Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

My life - it's a page turner!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open Book Policy

I haven't been writing much and, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. Having a precocious four-year-old and a rambunctious 17 mos. old in the house surely provides enough fodder for one simple blog but...still...when I put fingers to keyboard, I get nothin'.

But it finally came to me. Actually, not so much as came to me as I finally acknowledged what was there all along. I was no longer producing good writing because my blog has taken a direction it was not originally supposed to take.

If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God , you will not be able to overthrow them. ~ Acts 5:38, 39

When I first started this blog, my hope was to be an open book. To talk plainly and honestly about what I was experiencing day to day as a wife, mother and woman but, most importantly, as a Christian stumbling along in my walk with Christ. I wanted to connect with people who were in the same place as I was, learn from those who were more mature in their walk with Christ and be an inspiration to those who were just starting theirs. More than anything, I wanted God to be present in every post and for this blog to glorify Him.

What happened, however, was not that. I don't want to beat myself up too much, because I think from time to time, I hit the nail on the head. But if I'm going to be really honest, I began worrying too much about how my blog stacked up next to others. I paid too much attention to the number of hits my blog received on a daily basis and when I noticed my average number of hits declining, I worked to make my blog more "popular" with the masses instead of using it an instrument to get the Good Word out. I started to concern myself with what others thought of me instead of focusing on my authentic self and highlighting how God was working in my life.

I took the wheel out of God's hands and, sure enough, drove this train right off of it's tracks.

It's time to let go, stand back and let God lead the way again. He knows the route so much better than I do anyway.

So some changes are going to be made and I hope you stick around to find out what they are. I have lots more to let you in on but my Kirby is making it clear to me right now that he wants out of his crib. I better get him before he figures out how to get out on his own. I'm in BIG trouble then! LOL!

Until then, I pray that God blesses you in ways you never imagined and that His favor rains down on you like a flood!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pushing Pause


I am pushing pause for a few days. I'm leaving out of town Friday and won't be back until Sunday night. But I'm pausing for more than just that reason. It has been made clear to me through God that my blog needs to go in another direction. Not a new one, but an old one - the original one. I've hit a bloggers' wall and cannot seem to write much of anything. I could not, for quite sometime, figure out what it was, but God makes it all clear when the time is right, and He's made it clear to me.
Come back on Monday and I'll tell you all about it. Until then, have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Seek The Lord Sunday - My Testimony Part 2

It would take me nearly 16 yrs before I stepped foot as a member into a church again. It took moving to a new home and a patient and reassuring neighbor to convince me to give it one more try. This person, I can say with complete confidence, was certainly Heaven sent.

Before our current home, we had lived in our previous home seven years and knew only one of our neighbors. I don't blame that on the neighborhood, we just weren't that motivated to get out and get involved. Funny how having kids changes that.

The first few years that we lived in that home, there was virtually nothing around us. No gas stations, convenience stores, pizza joints or even a church on the corner. I remember seeing the sign "Future Home of Spring of Life Church" standing alone in a dusty, dirt field and thinking, "How nice. A church is going up". Not because I was planning on attending but because having a church on the corner means that the chances of having a liquor store or nightclub go up are pretty slim. A church on the corner is good for the neighborhood and property values.

But, if I'm going to be honest, there was a little part of me that wanted to belong to that church. I wanted to tip-toe in, have a look around, see what the people were like and, most importantly, make sure that I would not, in fact, get struck by lightning.

But I just didn't dare.

I had visions of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers where the aliens, upon recognizing that you are not one of them, stand frozen, arm extended, index finger pointed and scream the warning signal to the others that a "real person" was in their midst.


You know, like this:




It was just too terrifying a prospect for me handle so I stayed away. I mean, you can see how scary that would be, right? And I just knew they would all recognize me as "new" and, well, I just didn't want to be screamed at, okay?

Years would pass, the church went up, large banners inviting the community to Easter and Christmas services would come and go and, still, I never ventured near. We moved from one side of the freeway to the other and, almost immediately met our neighbors to the left of us - Steve, Jennifer and their three fabulous children (and I'm not just writing that because I know they'll read this - those kids really are fabulous - ask anyone). Friendly and inviting from the start, we hit it off and it wasn't long before many driveway conversations took place.

It was during one of those conversations that Jennifer politely inquired about whether or not we had a church home. When I said we didn't, she began, ever so slightly, telling me about Spring of Life. She didn't smother me with biblical facts or act the least bit shocked at the realization that she had moved her precious children right next to a couple of heathens joy-riding on the highway to hell. No, she just very casually invited us to join them for church one day, no strings attached.

At this time, I knew Jennifer well enough to confide in her my body-snatching-finger-pointing-warning-scream fear. She chuckled a bit and then assured me that no one would single me out in such a manner. I then relayed to her my previous experience attending a church some 16 years prior and she also assured me that no one would make me commit to any church function or attempt to move me into a community home. She told me I could be involved as much or as little as I wanted. That was comforting and I was happy to hear it but it would still be a few months before I took her up on the offer.

During those few months, Jennifer nor Steve ever made us feel like something was wrong with us for not going to church, but when I look back now, Jennifer did have that you-don't-know-what-you're-missing air about her. I recognize it now because I have that same air about me whenever I talk to someone who doesn't attend church. More specifically, doesn't attend Spring of Life. I'm a tad bit partial.

No, instead, Jennifer just kept politely inviting me and then came the day when I, taking a deep breath and mustering up all of my courage, finally did tip-toe in, had a look around and found out what the people were like.

And, I'm happy to say, not only was I NOT struck by lightning but not one person pointed and screamed at me. Whew!

I started out in what my minister refers to as the "ejection seats". Those are the end seats of the very back rows where people sit who may want to up and run during a service but don't want to disturb anyone else. Ejection seats make for a quick get-away. It took some time, but after finally accepting the fact that I was forgiven for the sixteen years that I was lost and that Christ loved me so much that He actually DIED for me, I have made my way up to the front. I no longer sit in an ejection seat. I sit in *my* seat, not surprisingly, next to Jennifer.

Little by little I got involved. A Christmas Angel here, a function there. A bible study this and a parenting class that. Jennifer also invited me to the MOPS (Moms Of PreSchoolers) group. I enjoyed getting to know the other moms so well that the following year I joined, what is now the M.O.M.S (Moms On A Mission) Leadership team. After serving a year on leadership, I was asked by the group's director to take over her position as she had decided to step down and move forward with God's new plan for her.

It's safe to say, I'm knee-deep in church activities now and though I may not live in a community home and am, without a doubt, at home with this community.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Seek The Lord Sunday


I'm participating in Seek The Lord Sunday again hosted by Daiquiri over at Call Her Blessed. This week, Daiquiri asks each of us to share our personal testimony about how we came to know Christ and make the decision to become a Christian.

My story is a long one, so I'm not quite sure I can get it all into one post. In fact, there was a defining moment in my life when I realized that Christ was indeed real and not someone that I was simply told to believe in by my Sunday school teacher. Not only did I realize the He was real, I realized and felt firsthand the amazing healing power that Christ brings to all of us. This part of my story I will save for another time. It's a great testimony but also one that I'm, sadly, not always ready to share. It takes a little out of me.

As for the rest of my story, I'll start when I was 22 yrs. old:

I was at a time in my life when others around me were starting theirs - getting married, having babies, finishing up college - and I had a distinct feeling there was a big hole in my life. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I was happy with my job, not missing college at all and was, surprisingly, quite content in my singleness at the time. Still, the hole was there and it seemed to be getting bigger.

About that time, a couple in my apartment complex knocked on my door one evening and invited me to their church. That was it!! I realized at that moment that God was missing in my life and He sent this couple to me so that I might find my way back to Him.

Now, at this point, I'd like to say that, looking back, I really don't know if this was part of His plan or just some weird thing that happened to me. But if this couple and their church was in His plan I haven't yet figured out why because I wasn't but two weeks into attending services with this couple when things started to go terribly, terribly wrong.

I was working second shift at the Sheriff's office at this time having kicked and screamed my way off of the night shift due to health reasons. I was still a rookie in the department and had absolutely no say in when or where I would work but, nevertheless, my supervisors took pity on me and transferred me off of nights. Because I worked second shift I was both able to attend Sunday morning services but unable to attend church functions that took place in the evenings during the week, except Bible study - that I attended on my day off.

It was made clear to me early on that the small group of people I was associating with (I can't say the church as a whole felt the way they did, I didn't stay long enough to find out) expected me to devote ALL of my evenings to church-related functions. When I explained my work situation to them, they point-blank told me I would have to quit my job. I told them that I honestly believed God wanted me to pay my bills and that up and quitting just wasn't an option. They then explained to me that I could move into the church home for single women and, therefore, my expenses would be reduced.

Are you getting this? I'm TWO weeks into this group and I'm expected to quit my job, break my lease, move in to a community house and devote every free moment to their church schedule!

When I explained to one of the other women that this just wasn't going to happen she felt it her duty to warn me, "It has been our experience that people who work second shift just aren't successful spiritually and therefore do not enter the kingdom of God".

Yeah, she said that! Word for word, let me assure you, because I've never forgotten it! Seems that my salvation hangs purely on when I punch in for work.

So I ran fast and far from this group and never looked back. Over the next week, I received several phone calls from, I'm sure, well-meaning church members politely explaining to me how I was on my way to hell if I didn't return, but I was just sure this was NOT what God had in store for me.

To say that this experience shook me up a bit would be putting it lightly. Up until that time, I had only experienced church as a child and, except the occasional wedding or baptism, never as an adult. If this church was an example of what I could expect from God and church, I was determined to stay far, far away. It would take me nearly 16 yrs before I stepped foot as a member into a church again. It took moving to a new home and a patient and reassuring neighbor to convince me to give it one more try. This person, I can say with complete confidence, was certainly Heaven sent.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Priceless!

Dance Registration Fee: $30.00

Dance Classes for One Month: $35.00

New Dance Outfit from Wal-mart: $20.00

New Tap Shoes: $15.00

London staring out the window the entire class too scared and intimidated to participate:

PRICELESS!!

We go again today. Wish us luck!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Meyer Monday

I'm continuing the Meyer Monday series with her chapter on Developing Your Potential from her book titled, Being the Person God Made You To Be.

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When we are confident and free from tormenting fears and self-doubt, we are able to develop our potential and succeed at being all God intended us to be. But we cannot develop our potential if we fear failure. We will be so afraid of failing or making mistakes that it will prevent us from stepping out.

I often see people who have great potential, and yet when opportunities and promotions are offered them, they quickly turn them down. In many cases, they are insecure and unaware of how much they could accomplish for the Kingdom of God if they would only step out in faith and confidence.

When we are insecure, frequently we will stay with what is safe and familiar rather than taking a chance on stepping out and failing. We avoid accepting greater responsibility, and the truth is that none of us is ever ready. But when God is ready to move in our lives, we need to believe that He will equip us with what we need at the time we need it.

Humbly leaning on God leads to success. If our confidence is in Christ rather than ourselves, we are free to develop our potential, because we are free from the fear of failure.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being The Person God Made You To Be.

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Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Ooh! I almost forgot what day it was! Can you imagine?

I'm going to do this quickly because I have a four-year-old sweetheart of a child throwing one major fit in her room and it's only 7:15 a.m. Yay! I just love starting the weekend like this, don't you? Oi!

I actually got waaaaaaay more awesome deals like this over the last two weeks, but I don't want to, you know, rub it in your faces or anything so here's just a few:

My CVS trip for the week. All of the above I paid for with ECB's, spent $0.00 OOP and got $5 in ECB's back. Gotta love CVS!!


I've always wanted to learn how to sew. I've seen these little Dressmaker sewing machines for nearly $20 in stores. I picked this cutie up for $4.99 at Savers 1/2 price sale on Memorial Day! I like this one because I think it'll be good for London to learn on, too. As soon as she's done with her little fit, that is.

I'm totally stoked about this find. I followed signs for a garage sale that I thought were just left over from the weekend but, sure enough, she was still going strong mid-week. This rug is roughly 4'x6' in like-new condition and I picked it up for only $5.00! I tucked it away in the Christmas closet since Kirby-boy isn't quite interested in keeping his little cars on the road quite yet.
I love red toile print! I found these darlings at Goodwill. Their tags were the 1/2 price tag color of the day. I only paid $3.50 a piece for them. They are in excellent condition and look wonderful in my bedroom. I loathe paying full-price for pillows so I'm thrilled with this find! I hit another garage sale last weekend and found some cute stuff for London. Everything was in great condition and I only paid .50 cents per piece. I love going to garage sales where people are serious about getting rid of their stuff!

Join in the fun for more Super Savings Saturday over at MoneySavingMom.com and have a great and thrifty week!