A Quote To Live By

“I can really lose momentum when I start focusing on how much instead of how well.” Karen Harmon.

I heard this quote by Karen Harmon on Christine Caine’s Instagram page and I immediately grabbed a hold to it! I am that person who tends to measure myself by the numbers, what I mean by that is if a lot of people come out to support me I think I did well. If not a lot of people come out to support me then I tend to see myself as a failure.

In some cases it’s how much weight did I lose that measures my success or how much money I have in my bank account or how many hours of sleep I got that decide if I have a good day or a bad day. When I heard Karen Harmon say that we need to focus on how well instead of how much, it was like I heard angels singing.  What if instead of focusing on how many people, how much money, or how many hours, I focused on how well I slept, or how well the people who did come out showed me love and support? I know for a fact that I would be a much happier person.

I do think on some level this is just another way of saying focus on the positive or be grateful for what we do have, but I love the way she said it! When I really think about it, there have been so many times when I did not allow myself to enjoy certain moments in my life because I was too focused on how much or how many to even see how well something was going.

For example at my book launch party I was expecting about 15 to 20 ladies to come. I was so excited, I got a great venue and I picked out the right outfit, my hair was perfect, my makeup looked great, but only two people came! At first I was crushed, but then I decided that my family of seven plus two more was all I needed and we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Those two ladies were my example of how well and not how much.

There is an example in the bible where God demonstrates the concept of how well and not how much, and it’s brilliant. Now honestly, there are several examples of God using a little to accomplish a lot, but I’m only going to talk about one today.

To briefly summarize the book of Judges chapter seven, we’re probably all familiar with the story, but God tells Gideon that he has too many men. He told him that he needs to make his army smaller so that when he wins everyone will know that God did it and not them.  I’m sure we all remember how God fought for them and confounded the enemy. And yet, the focus was not on how many men, but how well our God loved his people.

How many times have we stopped to think about the many times that God has used a little to deliver us from so much? Perhaps we can each think back to a time when God used a seemingly small thing to lift our spirits or let us know that he was with us, and protecting us?

Let’s always remember that we don’t need a lot to be relevant or successful. God doesn’t need us to have a large bank account or a huge army to be victorious. I will often say to my children and my husband whenever we start to feel inadequate or inferior , gain is not Godliness. That means that the abundance of earthly/worldly treasures does not mean that God is with me and not with a person who has less than me. The thing about storing up our treasures in earthly things is that in a moment, those things can be gone.

I understand more and more that if I continue to equate my value to home much, I will have no value at all. It’s not about how much I have, but how well. How well I am loved, how well I am living every day of the year instead of how many days I call a good day. It’s about how well I live every minute of every hour of each day that God gives me.

I leave you with this thought; you may have many long days, but the years will be short. Always remember to live them well.

I noticed that I have a couple of new followers, so I invite you to say hello in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!

Organize My Busy Life

I recently missed an appointment for one of my children and was charged a $50.00 fee. I was so upset with myself! I will be the first to admit that I need some better tools to organize my life, so I want to get some suggestions from you ladies on ways that I can better organize my days.

I know some people use planners and smart phone journals, but what I don’t know is what else is out there. I would love to hear some feedback on things that you guys do that really makes your life schedule easier.

Also I’m experimenting with updating my blog, changing my posting styles and just refreshing some things to make it feel more exciting for me as the writer and you as the reader. Please leave some suggestion in the comment box, I can’t wait to read them!

Sometimes you have to go slow to go Fast

If you know me personally then you know how impatient I can be, I always seem to be rushing off to some place or to do something. I have one of those personalities that won’t allow me to just sit still and enjoy a relaxing day at home. Typically whenever my friends call me I’m in the car or headed out the door. I often joke that I have an internal clock that’s always telling me I’m running late. I think because of this God paired me with a man who is never ever in a hurry to go any where or do anything! No matter if he’s running late by a whole day he’s not going to rush. It drives me absolutely crazy!! However, If I’m being honest he rarely forgets anything and he makes fewer mistakes than I do.

I can’t remember where I heard this from but, someone once said, “sometimes you have to go slow to go fast.” The first time I heard that it was like a lightbulb came on in my head. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to slow down so that I didn’t make careless mistakes or forget something. I was rushing around the house the other day, trying to get out the house quickly when it dawned on me, “why am I rushing?” Once I heard that thought ring out in my head I stopped and really asked myself why was I trying to leave in such a hurry?

Well friends, every since that day I have been questioning my own heart and my reasons for rushing all the time. That has lead me to try and slow down and make sure that I’m enjoying my life, and really living my life everyday. The more I thought about it the more I began to see that this wasn’t just one area of my life that I was racing through, but in several areas. I have the hardest time waiting on the Lord. I always seem to want things right now. If I pray and my prayers don’t get answered immediately I start to think that God isn’t going to answer my prayers.

When I read about Job, Joseph, or David I’m always in awe of how well they waited on the Lord to deliver them. Since I’m being open and honest with you all I feel as though I can tell you that I have not mastered the art of waiting with joy. I have a list of things that I’m praying for and a list of things that I’m, “waiting on God,” to do in my life.

It is a lesson that I am continually learning. It’s a lesson that I never seem to learn so well that I can move on to the next lesson. I do not have a check list of things that I have mastered or conquered for good. It would be more accurate to say that I am ever coming into the knowledge of the truth, whether it be about myself or about God.

I’m curious to know do you all have anything that you seem to always be learning? Any life lessons or hard truths that you have to own up to time and time again? Don’t be ashamed to share something that you struggle with, we’re all here to help! Let me hear about it in the comment section!

Fight the Real Enemy

Everyone around the world probably knows about the hurt and divide that America is experiencing right now. It’s upsetting, it’s disturbing, but I think the prevailing emotion right now is fear. We as a country are really struggling right now with anger and being afraid of what’s happening right now between the men and women who have sworn to serve and protect their communities and the citizen’s who have been treated unjustly.

I actually didn’t want to write about this because I figured I would just be another voice that no one hears, or another bell sounding in a chorus; however, I have a dog in the fight as they say. My Father-in-law is a Police Officer, he has been for almost 30 years, my husbands best man is a Police Officer, as well as Hubby’s first cousin and his wife, so I feel deeply connected to this issue.

The problem is bigger than just bad cops, or racism, I believe the issue is Spiritual. We can not defeat these things with marches, or protest, not even with new laws. Those things may be effective in some way, but the real battle must take place in the spirit realm.  The Apostle Paul tells us that “though we walk in the flesh, we do not WAR after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 2Cor.10:3-4” Guys when I read the Bible I believe that what God inspired those men to write way back then is true for today!(2Tim3:16-17) I believe that if we would all just humble ourselves and pray that God would heal our land. I believe that there is a Word from heaven that can cause us to put down our protest signs and weapons. I believe this because I trust God, and I know that with Him all things are possible.

I don’t want to write a sad blog that causes us to think on all the ways that one side is right and the other side is wrong.  I want to encourage you to join me as I pray that God would heal the broken-hearted, that he would comfort those who have lost loved ones and that he would knit our hearts together so that we would love one another more fervently.

To be honest the whole world is hurting right now. There isn’t one place that doesn’t need the Lord today. I’m going to pray for our families and our children that they might know the Lord. I’m going to bombard heaven with prayers for my country and the world tonight.  I want to leave us all with this very popular scripture to hide in or hearts John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Friends, Families and Long Goodbyes

The Bible says” That a man that hath friends must friend shew himself, friendly…”(Prov.18:24 KJV)As you may remember, we recently visited with our very good friends who will soon be moving east and we had a blast!! We spent about three days and two nights with each other, celebrated one birthday, and attended one book signing together.  It felt so good to be around friends who have become family to both my husband and me. We had to leave on Sunday, so Saturday night we hugged and said our final goodbyes and let me tell you, there were a lot of tears. It really touched my heart that my children had such deep friendships with people whom, we love so deeply as well.

On our way back home my Hubby and I got to talking about how important it is for Humans to have relationships with other likeminded people. I think this is easy for so many, but when you move around a lot from state to state that can become difficult. Creating strong bonds and friendships with people who you share similarities with is vital to your mental health and well being. I think we(my family and I) have missed that the most, having a good group of friends and family around us.

The goodbyes never seem to get easier but, I believe we become more intentional about making sure we make keeping in touch with our loved ones, whether they be friends or family, a major priority. We’ve been friends with this particular family for over fifteen years now, so we truly consider them family to us. They have double the number of children than we have, their a bit older than us and we hold the same beliefs about a lot of things. I can’t even tell you how many times we have look to them for advice and encouragement when life threw us an unexpected curve ball. Most of the time when I’m lost and looking for some guidance about raising my children or I just need to vent about something, their typically my first call.

I thank God everyday for bringing them into my life, because they had a huge part in the reasons why I am the woman that I am today. I think what I realized most this week is how much my children need good friends and  family interactions in their life. At times I desperately want to go back home and just live close to my family and see them as often as I can. However, something whispers to me that I’m not finished seeing the world yet, and that my children would grow so much if they had the opportunity to live abroad and see the world. We want them to know that God’s creation is bigger than just the fifty states of the America. Of course we have other dear friends whom we love to see and hate to leave, but this happen to be the most recent episode.

We all have that group of friends or a certain family member that we love to get together with and just have such a good time with right? I want you to share with me how you deal with hard goodbyes with friends or family? Is it easy for you to make good friends? Do you have tons of people over to your house often and can’t imagine life away from your family? Let me know in the comments!

 

Change, Transitions, and Growth

Have you ever heard the Bon Jovi song, “Who says you can’t go home?” Well I first heard that song a long time ago before I truly understood the meaning of that song. If someone would have told me when I left my home state to go away to college that I might not return there again, I would have never believed them! Life has literally taken me to the other side of America, that’s a very long way from where I grew up. Unfortunately, I have experienced some heartache, and disappointments along this journey west. In every life some rain must fall, but it’s our choice to become bitter or to become better.

No matter who you are, no matter how much money you make ,or what kind of car you drive you will go through hard times. It may be that you have a battle with your health or you lose your job, or someone close to you passes into the next life, you can’t escape trouble. When I was only sixteen my Mother died from Colon Cancer, after that everything changed for me. After my Mother died I felt like I didn’t have a home anymore, because she wasn’t there. I graduated from high school and went to college and I experienced many more test and trials, some made me think I wouldn’t get through, them. However, the strange thing is, instead of getting weaker, I got stronger. I started to trust God more and more to bring me out of whatever storm I was encountering.

I found that after my husband and I got married we had to stand against several storms and trust our God to deliver us. Tonight we were talking about all the things that God has done for us, and all the many ways that we’ve seen his hand on our lives and we felt so blessed. It’s such an honor to know that the God of the universe doesn’t just want us to worship him, but that he wants to show his love toward us.

Looking back on the last ten years we both feel like the good days far outweigh the bad days; and yet, we both noticed that we have started to long for home. We both have began to feel like we wanted to go back to the place where we felt most comfortable, welcomed and loved. The more we thought about it, the better it felt to us. We could go back home, buy a house, get jobs close to home, and live the life that people always dream about. Naturally we started imagining, and planning for how amazing it would be to go home and then we came to the point where we asked a question, “Can we go home again?” I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that it feels like we can’t.  We have been through so many test and trials that have impacted us in ways that have caused us to be forever changed.

I think through all the test and trials we have come out different people and we aren’t really sure if we belong in our old home town now. It’s funny how hardship can cause you to long for the familiar, but many times the connection we have to our past is based on how we remember home. I have found that when I’m having a really rough day, or struggling with something that I feel like I can’t overcome, I don’t remember the reasons why I wanted to leave home anymore. It seems like the more I fight to overcome my new challenges the more romantic my memories of home become, but we know that in reality something caused us to be dissatisfied with home in the first place. Something deep down inside of us gave us the courage to leave the comforts of home and search for something that we had never known.

When my Hubby and I got really honest with ourselves we could admit that while we may really want to go back home, we can never go back to who we use to be. The truth is we’re different now and we have to accept that our relationship with God and our life experiences has caused us to change. We’ve grown into different people now, and that means that we may not have the same group of close friends any more and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As we grow into adults we are all going to be shaped at least a little bit, if not a lot, by the experiences we have.

I hope that we can all embrace the fact that you can’t go through life and not be changed by the trials and challenges you face. For example, having children and becoming a mother means that the things you use to do for fun have to change now, because you have new priorities. That doesn’t mean that you can never have fun again, it just means that what you see as fun or exciting must change. We have to accept that we are not the same people anymore and let go of trying to be who we use to be. This is something that I am still trying to adjust to in my own life. As you know I recently made some life changing decisions to start a blog and pursue publishing my book. That has caused me to make adjustments and see my future and my past differently. I believe that everything that I have been through in my life has brought me to this point and everything that happen to me was for a reason. It still feels weird to me to hear people refer to me as a writer, but that’s who I am now. I can’t go back to being the person who I was, that season of my life is over and I can’t be scared to let go of my comfortable past. I have to transition into this new phase of life.

I take great joy in my memories, they make me happy; although, I have to recognize that every trial played a part in shaping me into who I am today. Every hard day added to the chapter in the book of my life.  I ask you this, are you afraid to let go of who you use to be so that you can embrace who you have become? Are you comfortable with the changes that life has made to who you are? I want to hear how your trails have changed you. Let me know if it was hard for you to embrace change and move on from how you knew yourself. Do you have trouble reconciling the person you are to the person who your friends knew you as?

 

 

 

Make-it Right Monday

Forgive and Forget

I have heard so many times that forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you!  Well I think that’s easier said than done.  When I was a little girl my sister and I were very close, we played together and we fought together too.  We never physically fought so much as we verbally fought with one another back and forth all day long. We use to drive our parents crazy bickering about everything. We argued over clothes, shoes, whose turn it was to wash the dishes, the bathroom and the list goes on for miles. My mother, who was from a family with nineteen children, would always lecture us about the importance of forgiving one another and make us hug and apologize to one another.  As a kid, I did not understand why I needed to forgive her, I wanted to be right and get an apology from my sister before I was willing to apologize, but my mom would not have it! You simply had to apologize and accept the other person’s apology whether they were sorry or not, right or wrong.  The funny thing is now, I can barely even remember some of the things that little Sis did to me or that I did to her. I asked myself why that is and I just know it’s because I have truly forgiven her, to the point where I threw it away and forgot all about it.

Now some may say, even me once upon a time, that you can forgive someone but just don’t forget.  I guess the problem with that is you’re still holding on to all the negative feelings caused by their betrayal. If you’re still holding on to what someone has done to you and how it made you feel then how can you say you have forgiven them and moved on, if you still remember the hurt? I struggle with letting go and forgiving people who have really hurt me or offended me if I keep remembering what they did to me that caused me to be hurt in the first place. I know that God wants us to forgive those that offend us and hurt us, because that’s what He models for us. However, I still have the same problem as a woman that I had as a child, I want an apology. My Mother knew something that I didn’t at the time and that was, you may not get an apology, and you have to be okay with that. You still have to let go of how you feel about the past offense and move on to be truly healed from the pain of that betrayal.

Something that I find interesting is that when  Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive someone who offends us (Mat18:21-22) Jesus says not seven times but seventy times seven! Whoa, that’s a lot in one day, but what really grabbed my attention is that Peter wanted a number placed on forgiveness. It was almost like what He wanted to know was, “How much do I have to put up with from a person?” I think we all feel that way to a some degree when it comes to being around negative, rude people. We all want to know exactly how many times we should have to forgive someone or endure someone else’s rude behavior before we can lawfully get rid of them out of our life.  Eph 4:2 tells us that we must be longsuffering , forbearing one another in love, in fact Longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s something that as Christians we should all desire and strive to demonstrate in our everyday lives.

Have you ever found it difficult to just let go of a feeling of offense and move on knowing you would never get an apology? (Hands in the air, hanging head in shame) I admit that I have to work really hard at letting go and forcing myself to forget what was done to me or against me and put it out of my head and my heart. One of my closest friends teases me all the time about holding grudges, because she knows that I have to really fight against my flesh or my nature and let stuff go! I use to not care to let anything go and I was fine with that, my motto use to be, “Don’t get on my bad side; because once you do you’re never coming off!” However, what God showed me one day while I was studying my Bible is that’s a root of bitterness (Heb.12:15) and it was defiling my heart. I had this concept of if you cross me you’re out of my circle and I’ll never trust you again.  What God revealed to me is that when I offend Him, or break his heart with my short comings and my sins He never cuts me out of His life. When I fall short of the Glory of God the one thing that I want most is for Him to forgive me and not hold my sins against me. How would we feel if God threw all of our past sins in our face when messed up and didn’t keep our vows to him? I can tell you we would feel awful! We want forgiveness and grace when we fail, but we don’t want to give it to others when they sin against us. I am an awesome Lawyer when I have to defend my faults, but I prosecute others when they do something that I perceive as wrong.

It’s very clear to see now why it was so important that I change my view of how important it is to forgive those who hurt me and offend me. I urge you if you can relate to me and how I have to really work to forgive and let go of things and people hurt me, let it go. I once read that not forgiving someone was like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Even though it was one of the hardest things for me to do, it was one of the best decisions’ that I have ever made. Deciding to let people go so that I could be free of the past has been very worth it for my Spiritual Health.

 

So I want to know do you struggle with releasing people too, or do you find forgiveness and letting go easy? If you can forgive people quickly tell us you secret!!! What are some things that you guys do when you need to get over something without an apology? Do you have to talk to move on? Do you have to apologize to someone about all the things you did before you can move? Let me hear you in the comment section!