God Provides

In the fall of 2014 I attended a weekend event that wrecked me…in a good way.  I remember sitting knee to knee with the speaker.  I was frustrated about where I was at in my life.  I was single, childless, still living on a college campus at the age of 30, spending all my holidays with “just my parents”, and not in a good place, emotionally.  I shared my deepest wounds with the speaker and shared how all I wanted was to be married, have children, serve in my church…you know, the dream of almost every little girl.  And while sitting there, I told her how I felt that none of those things would ever happen.

She shared with me that she had walked through that season in her own life as well.  Her biggest piece of advice that she shared with me was that I needed to take time to focus on my relationship with God.  That I needed to quit dating just to find a husband.  She shared that what she found to be the most helpful was for her to take an evening each week and go on a date with Jesus.  That sounds kind of cliche and corny but I decided to give it a try.

So I chose to quit dating (after a few failed relationships after that conversation, I’m a tough one to teach…hahaha) and focus on my relationship with God and where my life was at.

And you know what happened, after almost a year of doing that, I got a message on an online dating profile that I thought was deleted.  And this guy seemed amazing.  He had everything together, was a Christian, owned his own home, and had a job.

And you know what, almost exactly 2 years later, I am married to that amazing man.  And I am happier than I’ve ever been.

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I pray that you are able to find a spot in your life where God comes through for you and provides in a way you never expected.

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Restoring Your Soul

This past week I spent 5 days with an amazing group of women who I would now call sisters to the core.  I spent the time on a beautiful piece of property in Star, Idaho.  During my time there, I was able to find truth that I’ve never been able to find before.  I was able to find courage that has never been present.  I was able to find friendship that I’ve never experienced before.  Friendships that look simply at the soul, not at the circumstances, outward appearance, life successes or struggles, or anything else.  I was able to let go of things that I thought I would take to my grave.  I was able to be honest with myself and with others about who I am, why I am the way I am, and what I want to be.  I was able to take time to just be, to rest, to rejuvenate and to find my Truthteller in a way I’ve never found him before.

And at the end of it all, I was a changed person.  I know whose I am, I know why I am, I know what I am.

In the days and weeks to come I can only pray that the peace that I’ve felt these past few days lingers and that I am able to continue the search for true soul restoration.

I would so encourage all of you to check out bravegirlsclub.com.  They are doing truly world changing work and are amazing!

Ever Had That Person In Your Life?

You know, that one that you thought you would be close to forever?  The one that you felt like God brought your way because they understood you and were willing to be there for you?  And then when the tough really happened, they changed their mind and walked away after you’d revealed things to them that were hard to share?

I’ve recently noticed this more in my life than I would like to admit.  And then I have to make a decision.  Do I choose to bottle it all up again and not share things for fear of this happening again and again?  Or do I choose to push on, find someone new to play that role in my life, and keep pressing into the freedom that comes with honesty and openness?

And so I challenge you: if you are that friend for someone, don’t walk away when the tough happens.  If you have that friend, ask them to not walk away on you.

 

And I also challenge you to make sure that you are cautious about who you allow into your life and into those sacred places with you.

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

So for those of you that watched the Superbowl on Sunday evening, you know that the statement “It’s Not Over Until It’s Over” rings more true than ever.

I actually only caught the halftime performance, the last few minutes of regulation play and overtime.  Just being honest here.

Anyway, ever since seeing that ending, I realized that this statement is more true in life situations than many would like to admit.

We’ve all been faced with situations in life that were challenging.  We’ve all been through things in life that have scared the literal poo out of us.  We’ve all been through things that make us want to dig a hole, crawl in, and never come back out.

But what’s this really mean?  The fact that you’re reading this means that you’ve made it through those times.  It means that you’ve lived.  It means that you’ve come out on the other side.  It means that you’ve made an incredible come back.  It means that the world may have thought it was over for you, heck YOU may have thought it was over for you, but it wasn’t.

NOW is your chance.  NOW is you time to come back from a debilitating score.  NOW is your time to show everyone around you that you’ve got the strength.  NOW is the time to show what God has done in your life and brought you through.  NOW is the time to put on your big girl panties.  NOW is the time to share your story and let others hear what you’ve been through in order to help them crawl out of their pits.

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I want to challenge you, right here, right now, to look back.  To look at the mess you’ve seen in life and been through in life.  And when you look at that mess, see where you’ve been blessed and helped through these things.

Whoa…Where Have I Been?

Oh man, I just realized it’s been like FOREVER since I’ve blogged.  A TON has happened in my life since my last post and I so wish I had the time and energy to share ALL of it with you but know that it’s been big.  Anyway, onto the point of this post.

So each year I pick a word for the year to focus on.  In 2015 I chose the word freedom.  In 2016 I chose the word brave.  Both of those years, the words I chose required me to live them out in different circumstances.

As I prayed and pondered what my word for 2017 should be, it came to me quite quickly and I never second guessed it.  My word for 2017 is:

I’m not 100% sure how this word will play out this year.  I know that there are big things ahead for me this year.  And I look forward to finding the places in which I can belong.  The places I can help others belong.  And finding where my skills, talents, beliefs, gifts, and love belong.

Secrets Are Lies

I can remember, quite vividly, my grandmother, Jean, saying just that.  “Secrets are lies.”  That phrase came out of her mouth often during her time on earth.

My grandma has been gone, from this earth, for 14 years now and those wise words still ring in my ears and mind nearly every day.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking through secrets and what they mean/don’t mean.  I’ve contemplated where they’ve played a role in my life and where I’ve let them run my life.  I’ve explored the idea of keeping secrets as a safety mechanism and a way of avoiding the reality of it.  I’ve wrestled with whether secrets are kept out of fear of the truth or fear of having to own the issue.

And in all of this thinking, it also hit me that we all have secrets.  Even if they’re small, we all have them, at some level in our lives.

At some point, it’s important to find someone you can share the secrets with.  Someone you can trust and you know will hold that secret like their own.  So, what do you do when that person pulls away, after they’ve learned so many secrets?

You have to believe in them and believe that they are honest, trustworthy people.  You must have faith that what they’ve been told is just as sacred to them as it is to you.

And then you must also ask yourself, after you’ve told someone your secret, how will they look at me?  Will they still accept me?  Will they laugh and walk away?

I have been very blessed that as my secrets have come out, I have been loved, accepted and honored.  I’ve been given so many gifts of forgiveness I’ve lost count.

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that, in time, secrets come out.  The hard, gross secrets become reality.

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And then you must be willing to look at that secret.  Straight in the eyes.  And tell it it no longer has power over you.

That is exactly what I’ve spent some time doing these past few weeks.  God brought me to a point of being willing to confront some secrets and bring them out into the light.  I’ve felt so much lighter since they came out.  (In fact I was told by a group of dear friends, just this past Friday night, that they could see the weight had gone.)

But it also hasn’t been easy.  My family has been there to support me and for that I could never say thank you enough.  But I also didn’t realize that when things were brought out that they would create this deep crevice of darkness.  I didn’t realize that the spaces that secret used to fill would become holes that hurt and burned.

Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club talked about how it’s important to clean out the infection.  I am now an official believer that secrets create deep, dark, gross, smelly, yucky infections that hurt to clean out.

But I’m also here to tell you that it is possible to clean them out.  I’m not at the end of the road, by any means.  But I am willing to stay on the path and keep cleaning it out.  I can only pray that at some point the hydrogen peroxide that has to be poured into the infection won’t burn quite as bad.

Restoring Your Soul

This past week I spent 5 days with an amazing group of women who I would now call sisters to the core.  I spent the time on a beautiful piece of property in Star, Idaho.  During my time there, I was able to find truth that I’ve never been able to find before.  I was able to find courage that has never been present.  I was able to find friendship that I’ve never experienced before.  Friendships that look simply at the soul, not at the circumstances, outward appearance, life successes or struggles, or anything else.  I was able to let go of things that I thought I would take to my grave.  I was able to be honest with myself and with others about who I am, why I am the way I am, and what I want to be.  I was able to take time to just be, to rest, to rejuvenate and to find my Truthteller in a way I’ve never found him before.

And at the end of it all, I was a changed person.  I know whose I am, I know why I am, I know what I am.

In the days and weeks to come I can only pray that the peace that I’ve felt these past few days lingers and that I am able to continue the search for true soul restoration.

I would so encourage all of you to check out bravegirlsclub.com.  They are doing truly world changing work and are amazing!

When Life Seems Too Busy To Function

I’ve recently walked out of what I consider to be my “busy season” of life.  I found myself, for the month of August and early September, working more hours than usual, disconnecting from people I love due to the craziness, and flat out sucking at the thing that I preach to those around me.

So, I sit here today, and ask you this: what do YOU do for YOU when life gets crazy and seems that there is not even a moment to sit down and breathe?

I read a post on social media lately about the glorification of busy and it really got me to thinking.  We, as a society, in my opinion, almost compete with each other to prove that I am busier than you.  Being busy is something we need to stop being proud of and start looking at why we are really doing what we are doing.  It’s time to realize that EVERYONE is busy, tired, and never has enough time.

As Melissa Ramos said in the Huffington Post: “So stop the glorification of busy. Get up an hour early if you have to, make lists for yourself, reorganize, meditate for even five minutes a day and set aside a selfie day for you. In other words, take life by the (lady) balls.” Read the full post here.

 QUIT BEING THIS PERSON!

QUIT BEING THIS PERSON!

So, it’s great to come down on those around us for being busy.  Or to even talk about how we hate being so busy.  But what do we do to fix it?

Rikki Rogers gave some great times in the form of 4 steps: (Read the full article here)

  1. Stop talking about being busy.
  2. Stop multi-tasking during leisure time.
  3. Rethink your definition of self-care.
  4. Outsource and delegate more than you think you should.

So I ask, are you a drug addict?  

I sure as heck hope you said no.  So stop acting like one then!  Quit this whole glorification of busy.  

We’re all busy.  Let’s quit competing!

Forgiveness…It Sucks!

For the past 2  years now I have chosen a word of the year (woty) before January each year.  Last year (2015) my word was freedom.  That word played out huge in my life last year.  For this year, I felt called to the word brave.

Sitting in church this morning my word of the year hit me like a freaking sack of bricks.  I’ve spent this year with this topic of forgiveness coming up again and again and again.  And I’m going to own the fact that I have wrestled really hard with it.  It is a concept that I frankly do not like.  And it’s a concept that I have a super hard time following through with.

At church today the message was about forgiveness and it really hit me hard.  The following are what I took as far as notes go:

Holy guacamole batman!  The part that REALLY hit me was the whole idea that “true, real, authentic forgiveness takes time.  You keep forgiving, again and again and again, until there is no record of wrong.”

This was the first time that I feel like someone has told me flat out that forgiveness is NOT forgetting!  I don’t have to forget what has happened to me.  Choosing to forgive does not mean I am excusing what happened to me or pretending it was fine.  I also DO NOT have to ever reconcile with the person who hurt me so tremendously.  Forgiveness does not require reconciliation.  Instead I get to simply choose to forgive because forgiveness only requires me!